Friday, April 01, 2011

Links Apr 1

Swiss hunter of embezzled funds comes clean swissinfo.ch
Mar 30 -
Interview with the Geneva lawyer responsible for hunting down dictators' ill-gotten gains. "There were threats but veiled ones and not from Africans. They were from financial intermediaries in Switzerland, sometimes lawyers, who, feigning friendship, advised me to drop the whole business ...On some occasions I could have earned lots of money if I’d dropped certain things. " Also: "Dictators may continue trying to put their money in Swiss banks by using increasingly complex methods, such as accounts created on behalf of companies whose shareholders are based in the British Virgin Islands or in Panama."

Gaddafi's gas stations pose dilemma for Europe Associated Press

Apr 1 - European countries have accepted assurances from Libya's Tamoil petroleum company that none of its profits reach Tripoli, but experts say governments are being naive, or simply self-serving. "Tamoil's many shell companies in tax havens — from Monaco to Curacao in the Caribbean — make it impossible to guard against Gadhafi's allies funneling money out of the company.

Stop the Amnesty for Corporate Tax Dodgers Citizens for Tax Justice

Mar 25 - A new report from our friends at CTJ explains the right way to reform corporate tax - and why the amnesty is the worst possible change. Corporate leaders are conducting a massive campaign for what amounts to a tax amnesty for corporate profits shifted out of the United States, especially profits shifted to offshore tax havens.

Jon Stewart rips GE, Obama over taxes & NBC for not covering it Huffington Post

Mar 31 - Hilarious, hard-hitting edition of the "Daily Show," Jon Stewart did a segment on recent news about GE not paying any federal income tax in 2010, even though they made $14.2 billion in profits. GE wasn't Stewart's only target - he also criticized Obama for saying he would stop corporations from profiting from outsourced labor when they pay no domestic taxes, but instead making GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt a chairman on his new economic council.

See also:

The global tax avoidance dance Huffington Post
Mar 31 - America's most successful multinationals make great products and offer superior services. But they have another, less enviable quality in common -- they have become world leaders in tax avoidance.

See also:

Corporations are draining America's vitality Huffington Post
Mar 31 -
Our economy can stand upright again if our leaders simply outlawed offshore corporate tax havens. Do our leaders want teachers or tax cheats? Will we let corporate tax cheats continue to plunder the American people, or will the American people stand and demand our leaders take action?

Fight back! A radical primer from Britain's winter of discontent boingboing

Feb 18 - See Fight Back! A Reader on the Winter of Protest with "the best writing on the wave of anti-cut demonstrations that have rocked Britain this winter; writing from radicals and reformers, students and members of the UKUncut movement -- a discussion ranging from philosophy to strategy and tactics."

Why tax avoidance is among the bigger issues of our generation Liberal Conspiracy

Mar 29 - Yet another reader who chooses Treasure Islands as a vacation book, and finds it revelatory. "Tax avoidance and tax havens are therefore the big issue of our generation (in addition to global warming). Its right for UK Uncut to focus on it and they should continue to do so vigorously."

Trustee Investments focus too much on financial return ThirdSector

Mar 29 - Charity trustees put too much emphasis on financial return when investing, and too little on their duty to beneficiaries, according to a new report from the ethical investment organisation FairPensions. The report says that trustees focus too much on securing the best financial return, instead of ensuring their investments meet ethical standards. See also: Fair pensions debate - why trusts beat contract Tax Research UK

I'd like to cut - but the law won't let me - so why not raise money instead? Tax Research UK

Apr 1 - In Birmingham, UK, A decision to axe a £1.4 million funding package for 13 voluntary organisations, including the Citizens Advice Bureau, was unlawful, a High Court Judge has ruled.


The Land Ethic: How to address inequality and financial instability Global Policy Innovations
Oct 20, 2009 - On the public capture of the full value of socially generated rents to curb land speculation and stabilize land and housing prices - by a land-value-only type of property tax. Socially generated land rent is an enormous sum, estimated to be as much as one-third of GDP in developed countries. Hat tip Alanna Hartzok.
However, we disagree with the prescription that we should remove income taxes. We see land value taxes as just one part of a comprehensive tax system. See also Tax Justice Focus - the Natural Rents edition.

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