Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for June 26th, 2010

Misquote of the day

Posted by Charles II on June 26, 2010

I’m pretty sure he said “produced”. But the resultant quote is probably more accurate. McClatchy:

“After great debate we have reduced a strong Wall Street reform bill that will change the way our financial services sector is regulated,” said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., the legislation’s principle proponent and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.”

Posted in capitalism as cancer, Democrats, financial crisis, Just for fun | 2 Comments »

Crimes of incorporation

Posted by Charles II on June 26, 2010

If one were to add up all of the shady business in the US, from spam and adware to pyramid schemes, whether so designated by the courts or not, to corruption, and outright criminal enterprises, I wonder how much of our GDP is off the books. One interesting point: ICE, which we think of as “immigration” does a substantial amount of the investigation which unearths this activity.

Citizens for Tax Justice:

This week, efforts to crack down on offshore tax evasion and illegal flows of money were stymied by the U.S.’s own tax haven, Delaware. The Financial Secrecy Index ranks Delaware as the world’s number one secrecy jurisdiction and this week one of the state’s Senators [Tom Carper, D- E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co] fought to maintain its ranking.

In hearings last year on S. 569, Senator Levin told of a single Utah company that had been engaged in suspicious wire transfers of $150 million. When Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) investigated, they discovered a web of over 800 companies formed in all 50 states, all controlled by the same Panamanian entities involved “in a massive shell game in which U.S. companies were being used to disguise the movement of funds and mask suspicious activity.” The Utah company had been set up by a Delaware corporation, and the investigation hit a dead end when ICE was unable to discover who the beneficial owners of the corporations actually were.

Or, take the case of Viktor Bout, which Senator Levin described in another hearing last year. Bout, an indicted Russian arms dealer who was the inspiration for the book Merchants of Death (and the Nicholas Cage movie), used Florida, Texas and Delaware companies to carry out his activities, including moving millions in dirty money. In 2008 he was indicted for conspiracy to kill United States nationals, the acquisition and use of anti-aircraft missiles, and providing material support to terrorists.

Sen Carl Levin: “… our 50 states are forming nearly 2 million companies each year and, in virtually all cases, doing so without obtaining the names of the people who will control or benefit from those companies. The end result is that a U.S. company may be associated with an alleged arms trafficker and supporter of terrorism, but we are stymied in finding out, in part because our States allow corporations with hidden owners.”

Unfortunately, in my opinion, we will first need to impeach half of the Supreme Court and several dozen appellate judges before we can invoke the Commerce Clause to clean up this corruption.

Posted in capitalism as cancer, corruption, immigration | 2 Comments »

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