Thursday, January 20, 2011

Links - Jan 21

Some links

SAB Miller presentation - Martin Hearson The content of a much-demanded presentation by Martin Hearson of ActionAid of the SAB Miller story. It's a fabulous presentation, and a top U.S. tax expert recently described the main report as a superb piece of work. Hearson says: "obviously it’s best with a human presenter to talk through it, and I’m available for seminars, conferences, weddings, bar mitzvahs..."

Consultancies Gear Up For Corporate Reputation Fight - PR Week
Jan 20 - British PR agencies are making senior hires to strengthen their corporate reputation offerings as blue-chip clients come under threat from campaigning by UKUncut and others. Some corporate officials have said this is the toughest PR issue they've faced.

On Rudolf Elmer's re-arrest - Treasure Islands
Jan 20 - Elmer’s image has been comprehensively (though not uniformly) trashed in the Swiss media. Many Swiss media outlets have focused very heavily on his shortcomings as an individual, rather than on his actions – the whistleblowing – the real story. A troubling disconnect with the foreign coverage.

Removing tax relief on Goldman's bonuses would pay half the cost of EMA Tax Research
Jan 20 - The tax relief on the excessive part of Goldman’s bonuses to 1,200 people would be enough to pay for well over 150,000 young people to stay in education.

BJP Slams Cong over black money, reshuffle Washington Bangla Radio USA Jan 19 - Reshuffling in the Indian government appears to be protecting those accused of corruption. A Supreme Court bench said: "It is a pure and simple theft of the national money. We are talking about mind-boggling crime" Meanwhile, fig-leaf Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) negotiations continue. See earlier links.

Indian Government tells Supreme Court it can probe only 18 accounts The Times of India
Jan 20 - Germany gave information about 26 accounts held by Indians in Liechtenstein's LGT Bank (data from whistleblower Heinrich Kieber), but tax evasion could be initiated against only 18 resident citizens.

First Ex-Siemens Executive to Stand Trial in Munich in Corruption Scandal -Bloomberg
Jan 20 - Former Siemens AG management board member Thomas Ganswindt goes on trial for charges of inadequately supervising a company by failing to halt corrupt payments and tax evasion. The defense team stated that the bench was improperly composed, there should be more relevant expertise - "because the matter was complicated". Complicated is right. Will we be seeing window-dressing in this case?

Tax-Exempt Bonds: Who Benefits? Economist's View Jan 20 - In the U.S., tax-exempt Bonds form a federal subsidy for state and local borrowing. "But the problem is that, like most subsidies effected through the tax code, this one is inefficient ... who buys tax-exempt bonds? Rich people. So by funneling the subsidy through this tax exemption, part of it gets siphoned off by the rich."

The Poor Did Not Cause the Crisis - Economist's View
Jan 19 - A narrow private-sector elite got almost all the upside of the housing boom; the downside was shoved onto the rest of society. These people did not cause the crisis. But they are paying for it.

Goldman Sachs Cuts U.S. Investors Out of Facebook NPR/The Associated Press
Jan 20 - Goldman Sachs has prohibited U.S. investors from participating in a private offering expected to raise up to $1.5 billion for social networking site Facebook, out of concern for securities guidelines. The story involves a Russian investor and an offshore fund; Goldman did not specify which laws it was concerned about.

The Greatest Recovery, Part II Dollars&Sense
Jan 20 - Corporate taxes as a percentage of GDP in 2009 and 2010 are the lowest on record, just over 1%. --- U.S. corporations have increased their overseas stash by 70% in four years to now over $1 trillion, largely by dodging U.S taxes through transfer pricing, avoiding U.S. tax obligations to the tune of $60 billion dollars annually.

High Tide: From Elmer's Conviction to A 'Rushed' UK Bribery Law WSJ Blog Corruption
Jan 20 - A roundup of corruption-related news from Dow Jones and other sources.

Nick Shaxson interviewed on BBC Radio You & Yours - Treasure Islands
Jan 20. About his book Treasure Islands. The site contains the sound clip, for those who can't access the web version. See also The FT Likes Treasure Islands and Praise here


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