Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Monday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 26, 2012

The best news I’ve heard in the past two weeks, courtesy of co-blogger Charles:

A leaked document reveals that the UK plans to impose its own version of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) on the crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, as well as its overseas territories, such as the Cayman Islands.

Fatca, which will come into force in the middle of next year, requires foreign banks to report American account holders to the US Inland Revenue Service. The draft UK equivalent, seen by the magazine International Tax Review, will require British tax havens to make similar disclosures about UK account holders to UK tax authorities.

— Maybe the planned tax-haven crackdowns will catch some of these Richie Rich tax scofflaws, who not coincidentally are the persons behind the deficit hysteria movement:

The companies represented by executives working with the Campaign To Fix The Debt have received trillions in federal war contracts, subsidies and bailouts, as well as specialized tax breaks and loopholes that virtually eliminate the companies’ tax bills.

The CEOs are part of a campaign run by the Peter Peterson-backed Center for a Responsible Federal Budget, which plans to spend at least $30 million pushing for a deficit reduction deal in the lame-duck session and beyond.

— Life’s little ironies: The parts of the US that use the most Food Stamps, that government program so reviled by conservative Republican guys like Allen Quist, are among the most heavily Republican:

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said in May that he’d written off votes from 47 percent of Americans who are collecting government aid. Turns out many of them are part of his political base.

Seventy percent of counties with the fastest-growth in food-stamp aid during the last four years voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by Bloomberg. They include Republican strongholds like King County, Texas, which in 2008 backed Republican John McCain by 92.6 percent, his largest share in the nation; and fast-growing Douglas County, Colorado.

The Week magazine lists three possible reasons why “liberal” is no longer a dirty word. One reason not mentioned: The Occupy movement, which was the first serious and successful effort to at least slow down the slickly-oiled deficit-scold juggernaut and which has branched out to effective debt relief as well as effective hurricane relief.

5 Responses to “Monday Morning News Roundup”

  1. x said


    • Charles II said

      Interesting, X.

      Looks like this is going to be an important story.

      • x said

        Follow those links and noodle around.

      • Charles II said

        Oh, I think I’ll let those with sharper noodles do the noodling, X.

        It’s unclear what it means. Fraudulent businesses, yes. Ties to organized crime, yes. Tax evasion, yes.

        I mentioned Nick Shaxson’s article when it came out (see also here). And we’ve talked about tax evasion. There’s more on Hermitage out today, which I think I’ll blog on.

        So, we’ve known about the general issue for at least half a year. But it’s unclear what it means. Will taking down the shell companies take down US tax evaders? Drugs and arms traffickers–and the banks that launder money for them? Or is that mostly an issue for porn site operators and offshore bingo parlors? It’s really not clear to me what the real impact of these disclosures will be, if any. Because shell companies are tools, tools that make it easier to conceal the true source of financial transactions, but only tools. If the drug cartels need to smuggle profits as gold bars in minisubmarines, they’ll do that. Taylor has gotten away with what he does in manufacturing shells because it’s perfectly legal.

        So, if you have any specific thoughts about what these revelations mean, please share. But so far, all I see is a low-level, replaceable operator who is probably persona non grata anywhere except Vanuatu

  2. Stormcrow said

    Shell companies are as disposable as used Kleenexes.

    A patent troll outfit like Intellectual Ventures creates them literally by the thousands. Something I discovered while reseaching them during one of the more desperate phases of my post WaMu-implosion jobsearch.

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