WE MUST BE VERY CAREFUL AS WE LOOK FOR NEWS TODAY. THERE IS A CORPORATE SLANT LIKE NO OTHER TIME. THE ARTICLES BELOW SHOW HOW THAT FRAUD AND CORRUPTION IS SO PERVASIVE IN OUR CULTURE TODAY THAT EVEN THOSE IN THE THICK OF IT ARE EMBARRASSED. DO YOU HEAR THAT IN THE PRESS OR FROM YOUR ELECTED OFFICIAL? I EMPHASIZE OVER AND AGAIN THAT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY STOLEN IN THESE FRAUDS THIS DECADE OR TWO IS STAGGERING....TRILLIONS....AND THE PEOPLE INVOLVED ARE THOSE IN OFFICE NOW. JUST LIKE THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES, EUROPEAN AND US CORPORATE EXECUTIVES ARE STOCKING THEIR MONEY OFF-SHORE IN SHELTERS AS THEY TRY TO DRIVE OUR QUALITY OF LIFE DOWN TO MAKE UP FOR ALL THAT MONEY LOST TO THE ECONOMY.
THIS IS HOW UNDERHANDED YOUR THIRD WAY DEMOCRAT CAN BE. RATHER THAN JUST LETTING THE BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRE AND COME BACK TO FIX THE MIDDLE-CLASS RATES, THE SENATE THIRD WAY LEADERS PUSHED A TAX PACKAGE THAT ACTUALLY CUTS THE TAXES ON THE 1%. ON TOP OF THAT, THESE GRISLY POLITICIANS ARE ON TRACK TO LEAVING THE ESTATE TAX PROTECTED IN FAVOR OF THE RICH. REMEMBER, TO REVERSE INCOME INEQUITY WE NEED STRONG TAXES ON THE TOP....THAT INCLUDES TAXES ON DIVIDENDS, CAPITAL GAINS, AND ESTATE TAXES. SO THESE GUYS KEEP PRETENDING THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE THESE FAT CATS PAY AND THEN THEY LEGISLATE SOMETHING DIFFERENT. THERE'S A REASON REPUBLICAN SPEAKER BOEHNER LAUGHED AS THIS BILL CAME TO THE HOUSE....IT IS CLOSE TO WHAT REPUBLICANS WANT.
ALL THAT NEEDED TO HAPPEN WAS TO LET THE BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRE AND THEN COME BACK AND FIX TAXES FOR THE MIDDLE/LOWER CLASS.......IT IS EASY AS PIE.
Wonkbook: The Senate’s unusual vote on the Bush tax cuts Posted by Ezra Klein on July 26, 2012 at 8:01 am
Something amazing happened yesterday: The Senate passed a piece of legislation. An important piece of legislation. And it did so by 51 votes. There was no filibuster.
Sadly, the more I reveal about this shocking turn of events, the less amazing it will become. The legislation was the Democrats’ proposal to extend the Bush tax cut for income up to $250,000. And tax laws have to originate in the House. “The only reason we won’t block [the bill] today is that we know it doesn’t pass constitutional muster and won’t become law,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “What today’s votes are all about,” he continued, is “showing the people who sent us here where we stand.”
Charming. Meanwhile, there’s very little chance that the House will pass the Democrats’ bill, so that’s that for our exciting tale of Congress seeming, for a brief moment, to actually get its act together and do something constructive to avert the fiscal cliff.
Just one more data point behind the case that the 112th Congress is one of the worst congresses of all time.
But insofar as McConnell wanted to show Americans where the two sides stood, it’s worth making a point that often gets overlooked: Compared to the law as it’s currently written, both Republicans and Democrats want to cut taxes on the rich. Remember: The Democrats’ extension cuts taxes on all income between $1 and $250,000. If you make a million dollars, you still get a a tax cut on that first quarter-million. For that reason, the Tax Policy Center estimates that the Senate Democrats’ bill, if you assume it’s later followed by an AMT patch and an extension of the 2009 estate tax rates (which everyone does assume), would cut taxes on the top one percent by more than $17,000. And even if you don’t assume the AMT and estate fixes, it’s a tax cut of $15,000. The Republican bill, by contrast, would cut taxes on the top one percent by more than $75,000.
So compared to letting the Bush tax cuts expire, both sides are offering a broad-based tax cut. Republicans are just offering a larger one for folks making more than $250,000.
KNOWING YOUR POLITICIAN MEANS THAT YOU KNOW JOE BIDEN IS FROM DELAWARE AND DELAWARE IS GROUND ZERO FOR TAX SHELTERS AND ESTATE TAX EVASION FOR THE RICH. SO, YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND HE IS A THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRAT AND NOT SOMEONE FOR WHICH TO VOTE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.......JUST LIKE O'MALLEY.....PEAS IN A POD.
We Set Up An Offshore Tax Haven
by Chana Joffe-Walt July 27, 2012 NPR
Setting up an offshore company in a tax haven is surprisingly easy. A simple Google search offers up thousands of companies willing to help you do it.
Anna Vaivade works for one of these companies. She is in Latvia, but her employer offers company registration in Seychelles, British Virgin Islands or Belize. She told me all these places offer no taxes and extreme confidentiality.
"No third parties, no creditors, no other companies have access to this information, " said Vaivade.
But what good is a company without a bank account attached? Anna Vaivade said she could help Planet Money with that too. She told me we could open a bank account in Switzerland that's tied to my offshore company in Belize.
And if that's not enough anonymity for you, Anna's company offers another service — a board of directors.
"In all public documents where the director's name appears, it will be our name," she told me. The idea is to ensure no one knows we are in involved in the company. Anna calls it "absolute confidentiality."
And all of this is perfectly legal.
I can think of legitimate reasons why you might want to have a company in Belize with a bank account in Switzerland and fake Latvian shareholders. Maybe you don't want your competitors to know what you're up to or maybe you're a large business operating across borders. It's easier to do business when you have accounts offshore.
But what is striking about all the offshore services available is that while they are totally legal, the system seems to make it easy to get away with things that are not legal.
In the end, it took a week and a half and fair bit of paperwork to get our Belizean company registered. I had to fax a notarized passport. To get our bank account, I needed a reference letter from my bank, an accountant and a lawyer.
Jason Sharman studies tax havens at Griffith University. He says all that due diligence is relatively new. Lately, he says big, rich countries have gotten together to crack down on tax havens.
"In the rest of the world the United States is seen as taking a very robust and aggressive line towards tax havens, " says Sharman.
The way an academic like Sharman studies tax havens, is by doing exactly what we did. He's been in touch with hundreds of providers in many different countries, and he says his experiences were all very similar to ours, with one big difference. Sharman says there was one country where he was almost never asked for documentation: the United States.
"The easiest place in the world to register a business anonymously is definitely the United States," say Sharman. ROBUST AND AGGRESSIVE AGAINST SHELTERS?
So of course, we had to try. We wanted to see if registering a company in Belize was different from registering a company in the United States. It was. Compared to the process in Belize, registering a company here in U.S. was easy.
Registering Planet Money's Delaware company took one day and three emails. The company that set it up for us asked for absolutely no documentation. I gave them my real name, but I could have been anybody from anywhere in the world.
Right now, the team here at Planet Money are the proud owners of two companies. Unbelizable Inc., in Belize City, and Delawho?, right here in the United States. We have a packet of incorporation documents and a lot of questions about what exactly people do with these kind of companies. Our plan is to find out.
WE ARE HEARING TIME AND AGAIN THE LAMENTS OF HINDSIGHT. TO HAVE SOMEONE AT THE CORE OF THE PROBLEM PUSH FOR GLASS-STEAGALL SHOWS HOW BAD IT HAS BECOME. IT WON'T MATTER IF RULE OF LAW IS NOT REESTABLISHED....NO ENFORCEMENT MEANS ANYTHING GOES. HERE IN MARYLAND WE HAVE CARDIN, HOYER, SARBANES, AND CUMMINGS ALL STILL IN OFFICE AND ALL APART OF THAT BREAKING THE GLASS-STEAGALL WALL. THEY ALL FELT THAT PUTTING THE WALL BACK IN PLACE WAS A BAD IDEA. THEY ARE ALL STILL PUSHING THIS GLOBAL CORPORATION POLICY THAT IS KILLING THE COUNTRY.
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT!!!
Editorial The Big Banker’s Change of Heart
Published: July 26, 2012 Opinion New York Times
Sometimes, in a great national debate, the most powerful voices can be those of the converted. Think of Nixon to China or, more recently, President Obama’s declaration of support for same-sex marriage. Now add to the list Sanford Weill, the financier who led the charge for the repeal of the 1933 law that separated commercial banks from investment banks. He says banks have grown too large, that they may need to be broken up a bit and that separation should be restored.
In the late 1990s, Mr. Weill used the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act to help usher in an era of huge firms — epitomized by his own Citigroup — that brought trading, mergers and acquisitions, commercial lending and other banking services under one roof. Banks became bigger and bigger and their banking and trading arms more intertwined. It was the beginning of a period of sharp deregulation of the financial industry in general.
Some expressed alarm about having banks, driven by huge profits and huge bonuses, bet the money of their depositors on new, opaque and increasingly risky investment instruments. But the idea that the industry did better without regulation was entrenched in the political debate, not only on the right, but across the political aisle and into the higher reaches of the Clinton administration. It was not until the 2008 financial crisis that Americans woke up to the dire threat posed by banks so big that their failure could destroy the financial system and even the economy.
Appearing Wednesday morning on CNBC, Mr. Weill surprised everyone, including his interviewers, by announcing that the wall should be rebuilt between a bank’s deposit-taking operations and its risky trading businesses. “What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking,” he said. “Have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not going to be too big to fail.”
It’s tempting to say that Mr. Weill sure took his sweet time coming to this realization. And we should note that his position is driven primarily by his belief that rebuilding that wall would make banks more profitable. He also says that he does not regret the Glass-Steagall repeal, which he thinks was the right thing to do at the time.
But the important thing is that the architect of the megabank has stepped forward and called for sensible financial regulation — much in the same way that Warren Buffett shook things up by calling for tax increases on the most wealthy Americans. Other bankers from the 1990s boom have also expressed concern about deregulation, including John Reed, who helped create Citigroup with Mr. Weill.
Mr. Weill’s position carries special weight. Representative Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat of New York, said at a hearing on Wednesday that Mr. Weill appeared to be calling for even stronger regulation than envisioned in new rules aimed at curbing the risky behavior of banks.
While we are on this subject, add The New York Times editorial page to the list of the converted. We forcefully advocated the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. “Few economic historians now find the logic behind Glass-Steagall persuasive,” one editorial said in 1988. Another, in 1990, said that the notion that “banks and stocks were a dangerous mixture” “makes little sense now.”
That year, we also said that the Glass-Steagall Act was one of two laws that “stifle commercial banks.” The other was the McFadden-Douglas Act, which prevented banks from opening branches across the nation.
Having seen the results of this sweeping deregulation, we now think we were wrong to have supported it.