Friday, April 29, 2011

Links Apr 29

The basis of Glencore's competitive advantage is not paying tax Tax Research UK
Apr 28 - 'Up to 50% of the world’s trade in some commodities has been controlled by the 485 partners in Glencore. And as is now apparent that was not due to their innate ability. It was due to to the fact that Switzerland let them trade virtually tax free, providing a wholly artificial competitive advantage.'

Obama backs country-by-country reporting Tax Research UK
Apr 29 - On the Obama administration lobbying European allies to adopt anticorruption laws that require energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.

The art of not paying taxes Third World Network
Mar 2011 - Tax policy in Latin America is 'pro-rich' and not 'pro-poor'. In other words it is regressive, not progressive. This is one of the main causes of the huge inequalities prevailing in this part of the world. See also Tax Justice Focus: The Latin American Edition

BRIC Super-Rich Worth $4 Trillion The Wall Street Journal

Apr 29 - Brazil, Russia, India and China are reported by Wealth-X to have a combined 25,600 people with US$30 million or more in net worth. What is most interesting about the BRIC data is the concentration of wealth at the very top of the wealth pyramid.

Hopes that rich Russians will use the Island’s services Jersey Evening Post
Apr 27 - 'An increasing number of rich Russians could well be using Jersey to protect their wealth in future. That is the message from Jersey Finance following a visit to a major conference in Moscow...' So, what exactly does 'protect their wealth' mean?

Barclays' Protium Deal is 'all that's wrong in the City' Telegraph
Apr 29 - On how Barclays struck a highly unusual deal to move $12.3bn (£7.4bn) of dodgy credit market assets off its balance sheet and into a new Cayman Islands company, Protium. Barclays' Protium deal bears some remarkable similarities to the off-balance sheet vehicles it helped structure for Enron.

See also:

Lord Oakeshott asks HMRC to investigate Barclays' Protium deal in Parliamentary question Telegraph
Apr 29 - The compliance code Barclays signed last November states that banks "undertake tax planning only to support their business operations, not to achieve unintended and unexpected tax advantages."

Mexico Preparing to Sue U.S. Companies Deemed Culpable For Drug-War Crimes the narcosphere
Apr 27 – The
Attorney General’s Office of Mexico has retained a U.S. law firm to explore options for filing litigation against U.S.-based companies or individuals “believed to be participating” in money laundering and weapons trafficking activities “that may be harming Mexico”. The potential targets of such lawsuits could well include mainstream U.S. banks.

Guernsey Foundations Set For 2012 Introduction, Consultation Begins
Apr 29 - Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance says he is hopeful that by early next year Guernsey practitioners will be able to offer a foundation which enables clients to preserve and enhance their wealth and assets. Adding this product to trusts, to appeal to other clientele - namely those in emerging markets.

Channel Islands' VAT abuse has cost the UK at least £475 million Tax Research UK
Apr 29 - Richard Murphy on the UK House of Commons issuing a new briefing sheet on VAT abuse involving the Channel Islands (and no doubt undervaluing the sum) - and how it could have been spent.

Netherlands Eager To Cut Corporate Tax Burden
Apr 29 - Dutch State Secretary of Finance, Frans Weekers has announced that his fiscal agenda includes increasing taxes on consumption whilst reducing the tax burden on companies in an effort to increase the number of international investors positioning headquarters in the Netherlands.

IRS Likely to Expand Mortgage Industry Coverup by Whitewashing REMIC Violations naked capitalism
Apr 28 - Demanding that tax law violators pay what they owe is somehow seen as an misuse of government authority? That appears to be the message." . . . Adam Levitin, a Georgetown University Law School professor and expert on taxation, said that if the IRS fails to act, “it would be a backdoor bailout of the financial system.” The piece is somewhat wonkish, but important.

CBPP: A Repatriation Tax Holiday is a Lousy Idea Taxprof

Apr 10 - On a recently released report by The U.S. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Tax Holiday for Overseas Corporate Profits Would Increase Deficits, Fail to Boost the Economy, and Ultimately Shift More Investment and Jobs Overseas.

Rich Man, Poor Man Mother Jones

Apr 27 - Fascinating commentary on wealth status and perceptions. And conclustions: if the poor don't really know they're poor, they're never going to mount much of a fight for more egalitarian public policies. And if the well-off don't know they're well off, they're going to strongly resist more egalitarian public policies.


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