Wednesday, January 14, 2009

International News - Jan 14

** Also see our searchable archive of past story summaries; and Offshore Watch for more stories. **

Executive at UBS Is Deemed a Fugitive
Jan 13 (NYT) - Raoul Weil, 49, a Swiss citizen, oversaw UBS’s lucrative cross-border private banking operations from 2002 to 2007. Two months after being indicted by a federal judge in connection with a widening investigation of UBS’s offshore private banking services, his whereabouts are unknown.

UBS expects $1.8 bln U.S. fine in tax case-paper
Jan 11 (Reuters) - Swiss Sunday newspaper Sonntag reported that Switzerland's UBS expects a fine of some 2 billion Swiss francs ($1.80 billion) related to a U.S. tax investigation.

Calif. court rejects lawsuit against tax increases
Jan 10 (AP) — An anti-tax group will consider new legal action after a California appeals court tossed out a lawsuit that sought to block tax increases passed by Democrats in the state Legislature, the group said Thursday.

Pelosi Urges Obama to Raise Taxes on Wealthy This Year
Jan 8 (Washington Post) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is urging the incoming Obama administration to stick to its campaign pledge and immediately increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans, a position that President-elect Barack Obama has wavered on since winning election.

Manulife in hot water over tax shelter
Jan 6 (Financial Post) - Manulife Financial Corp. is attempting to take advantage of the credit crisis to cash in early on a complex financial transaction that lawmakers view as a "tax shelter scam" and were due to shut down, inciting fury on Capitol Hill.

Morgan Stanley, GE Want Tax Waiver on Loans From Offshore Units
Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) - They are promoting a plan to Congress that would waive U.S. tax penalties on businesses that borrow from their offshore units. The proposal would allow foreign subsidiaries to lend cash to their parent companies for up to two years without triggering a tax that would otherwise be due.

Sleeping watchdogs
Jan 14 (Guardian) - India's intellectual elite has abdicated responsibility for developing accounting and auditing technologies fit for an emerging economy. Instead, they have adopted standards developed by corporate dominated western organisations such as the International Accounting Standards Board and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. These may not be appropriate for family-dominated companies.

Africa May Face 'Centuries' of Poverty
Jan 8 (IPS) - Extreme poverty will continue to blight sub-Saharan Africa for another 200 years unless action to overcome it is intensified, a new report has suggested.


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