Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Links Dec 14

Human rights abuses? Blame the parents Guardian
Dec 9 - Action is needed to stop companies avoiding legal liability for alleged human rights violations by hiding behind subsidiaries. As Nick Mathiason observes. "For those campaigning for economic transparency, like the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development, it seems the same intractable problems of corporate secrecy and difficulties establishing beneficial ownership also play out in the human rights arena."

Gordhan thanks tax compliant SA BusinessLive
Nov 30 - "Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan has thanked South Africans for being tax compliant ... 'Look what has happened in Greece and other countries where there is an absence of compliance culture ...This shows that refusal by some to meet their obligations can have disastrous effects when fiscal difficulties arise.' "

Activists Want Illicit Cash Flows From Africa Stopped Voice of America
Dec 7 - "Lawyer Attiya Waris, vice-chair of the British-based Tax Justice Network, explains that tax evasion by multinational companies accounts for two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa’s estimated $480 billion per year capital flight. She says trade mispricing, false invoicing and manipulation of tax policies are the most common methods."

India: Black money debate: Who said what
Dec 14 - "The Opposition and the Government were involved in a heated debate over black money in Parliament on Wednesday." - transcript provided here.

Eight Former Senior Executives and Agents of Siemens Charged in Alleged $100 Million Foreign Bribe Scheme U.S. Department of Justice
Dec 13 - "Bock made cash withdrawals from Siemens AG general-purpose accounts in Germany totaling approximately $10 million, transported the cash across the border into Switzerland and deposited the funds into Swiss bank accounts for transfer to officials. . . . the conspirators allegedly relied on at least 17 off-shore shell companies . . . to disguise and launder the funds, often documenting the payments through fake consulting contracts." Hat tip: Lucy Komisar.

Where’s the fraud, Mr. President? Reuters
Dec 13 - David Cay Johnston observes: "Tax evasion equals 18 percent of global tax collections, a new report by British accountant Richard Murphy shows. His report for the Tax Justice Network cleverly lined up a World Bank Report on the size of shadow economies with a Heritage Foundation report on average tax burdens by country to reach that figure."

See also:
Will the U.S. wake up to the financial black hole in London? Treasure Islands

Dec 14 - "David Cay Johnston is on form again, this time on the Dylan Ratigan show alongside Bill Black, a thoughtful former banking regulator."

Senate approves US double taxation measures swissinfo
Dec 13 - "United States authorities may be granted assistance on alleged tax evasion without providing personal details of suspects under measures agreed by the Senate."

Should Britain become the new Switzerland? Guardian
Dec 13 - A debate whether Britain should base its relationship with Europe on the Swiss model. Richard Murphy asserts: "The Swiss business model may itself already be bust."

Britain is ruled by the banks, for the banks Guardian
Dec 12 - "In a poorer country, the cosiness of relations between bankers and politicians would be scrutinised by an official from the World Bank and disdainfully pronounced as pure cronyism. In Britain, we need to come up with a new word for this type of dysfunctional capitalism – where banks neither lend nor pay their way in taxes, yet retain a stranglehold on policy-making. We could try bankocracy: ruled by the banks, for the banks."


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