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Wittgenstein: Analysis of Language

Wittgenstein: Analysis of Language | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
A survey of the history of Western philosophy.

 

The direction of analytic philosophy in the twentieth century was altered not once but twice by the enigmatic Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. By his own philosophical work and through his influence on several generations of other thinkers, Wittgenstein transformed the nature of philosophical activity in the English-speaking world. From two distinct approaches, he sought to show that traditional philosophical problems can be avoided entirely by application of an appropriate methodology, one that focuses on analysis of language.

 

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Ethics? Rules? Cheating?
If everyone in the Business, Economic and Political world would play by the rules and be ethical - what kind of world would we have?
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Humanity In An Image

Humanity In An Image | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
You can see why I was so affected immediately upon focusing your eyes on the picture.
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GMO Contamination of the Food Chain. Devastating Health Impacts. EU Food Safety Regulators Turn "A Blind Eye"

GMO Contamination of the Food Chain. Devastating Health Impacts. EU Food Safety Regulators Turn "A Blind Eye" | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
“Corporations as the dominant institution shaped by capitalist patriarchy thrive on eco-apartheid. They thrive on the Cartesian legacy of dualism which puts nature against humans. It defines nature...

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My party has lost its soul: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and the victory of Wall Street Democrats

My party has lost its soul: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and the victory of Wall Street Democrats | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
A former Clinton aide on how Democrats lost their way chasing Wall Street cash, and new populism the party needs

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That FL CEO Who Said He'd FIRE Everyone if Obama Elected? Guess What Happened...

That FL CEO Who Said He'd FIRE Everyone if Obama Elected? Guess What Happened... | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
"The Queen of Versailles" was a film documentary based on the sleazy time-share mogul, David Siegel, and his wife, Jackie. David had major financial troubles following Bush's 2008 economic crises. ...

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Human Trafficking: The Silent Crime Of The Caribbean

Human Trafficking: The Silent Crime Of The Caribbean | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
While law enforcement is obsessed with seeking out and confiscating contraband on the high seas there is a crime that, if left unchecked, will become a problem in Antigua and other Caribbean Islands.

Via Sunita Millon, Dana Hoffman
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Montana’s top court suspends judge who blamed 14-year-old girl for being raped

Montana’s top court suspends judge who blamed 14-year-old girl for being raped | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

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‘Economic patriotism’: Obama calls on corporations to stay in US, pay their taxes

‘Economic patriotism’: Obama calls on corporations to stay in US, pay their taxes | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday hammered U.S. companies that avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as “inversions” and called on Congress to pass a bill to curb the practice.

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malek's comment, July 26, 6:30 AM
smart government, not a hollow call of patriotism
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ESPN Host: Battered Women Should Learn Not To Provoke It

ESPN Host: Battered Women Should Learn Not To Provoke It | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
On Thursday, the NFL punished Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice with a two-game suspension after the player allegedly knocked out his fiancée during an altercation in February.

While many around the league have been highly critical bot...
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The key elements of a Ponzi scheme

The key elements of a Ponzi scheme | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

"Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from White Collar Crime: Core Concepts for Consultants and Expert Witnesses, Chapter 10 by Scott M. Richter, CPA/CIA, CFE, edited by Debra K. Thompson, CPA/CFF, CFE, and Randal A. Wolverton, CPA/CFF, CFE.

The Ponzi scheme is named after Carlo “Charles” Ponzi, who in 1919, devised a simple investment vehicle. Effectively, Ponzi planned to take advantage of weakening foreign currencies by purchasing international postal coupons overseas that could be redeemed for U.S. postage stamps. He would then sell the U.S. stamps and make a profit. However, Ponzi was unable to reap any meaningful profits due to the bureaucracy and administrative burden involved in redeeming these coupons.

Instead of abandoning this unsuccessful (but legitimate) investing method, Ponzi refined his pitch to potential investors, saying he could return a 50% profit on their investment in 45 days or double their money in 90 days. Ponzi advised investors that he would achieve such returns through a “network of international agents,” who would purchase the postal reply coupons on his behalf. He withheld further details of how he would achieve such returns “due to competitive reasons.” In reality, Ponzi was merely paying off early investors with new investors’ funds while making no new purchases of postal reply coupons.

In the short eight-month duration of his scheme, Ponzi collected as much as $15 million from 40,000 investors. News reports at the time described huge crowds lined up outside Ponzi’s Boston office waiting to invest. However, after the scheme unraveled, Ponzi was $7 million in debt, with assets that included a mere $61 in postal reply coupons. In the decades since Ponzi launched this brazen scam, thousands of other fraudsters have pursued schemes with the same common denominator: Earlier investors are paid off with funds from new investors.

Today, the legal definition of a Ponzi scheme is simply “a phony investment plan in which monies paid by later investors are used to pay artificially high returns to the initial investors, with the goal of attracting more investors” (Alexander v. Compton, 229 F.3d 750, 759 n.1 (9th Cir. 2000))."


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21st-Century Slaves: How Corporations Exploit Prison Labor | World | AlterNet

21st-Century Slaves: How Corporations Exploit Prison Labor | World | AlterNet | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
In the eyes of the corporation, inmate labor is a brilliant strategy in the eternal quest to maximize profit.

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We need an international court to stamp out corruption

We need an international court to stamp out corruption | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

The creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court would hold leaders accountable...

 

.In too many nations, corruption is endemic at the highest levels of government. Then-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan was correct in characterizing such behavior as an “insidious plague” in his 2003 statementupon the adoption of the U.N. Convention Against Corruption.

Corruption is extraordinarily costly, consuming more than 5 percent of the global gross domestic product. Developing regions lose more than 10 times in illicit financial flows than what they receive in foreign aid. Russia’s corruption-fueled “shadow economy” makes up an estimated 44 percent of its GDP.

Corrupt governments also often provide havens for international criminals, including drug lords in Mexico and terrorists in countries such as Afghanistan and Yemen.

 

Nevertheless, the most serious consequence of grand corruption is that it destroys democracy and devastates the human rights that governments are constituted to protect. Countries recognized as among the world’s most corrupt — including Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq and Syria — repeatedly violate the human rights of their citizens. The poor and powerless are victims of corrupt regimes throughout the world.

 


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5 Arrested In Rotten Meat Scandal

5 Arrested In Rotten Meat Scandal | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
BEIJING, China - Five employees of a company accused of selling expired beef and chicken to McDonald's, KFC and other restaurants in China were detained by police Wednesday after an official said illegal activity was an organized effort by the supplier.China's food safety agency said on its website that its investigators found unspecified illegal activity by Husi Food Co. but gave no confirmation expired meat had been found or other details.Some of the illegal conduct was an "arrangement organized by the company," the deputy director of the agency's Shanghai bureau, Gu Zhenghua, told the official Xinhua News Agency.Those in criminal detention include Husi's quality manager, the Shanghai police department said on its microblog account. The one-sentence statement gave no details of possible charges or the employees' identities.The scandal surrounding Husi, which is owned by OSI Group of Aurora, Illinois, has alarmed Chinese diners and disrupted operations for fast food chains.It erupted Sunday when a Shanghai broadcaster, Dragon TV, reported that Husi repackaged old beef and chicken and put new expiration dates on them.
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Saying that a killer ‘snapped’ is not an explanation for domestic violence

Saying that a killer ‘snapped’ is not an explanation for domestic violence | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Too often the language the media uses to explain domestic homicides falls short – or worse, makes the murders seem less shocking.

Via Stalking Violates, Dana Hoffman
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M. Philip Oliver's curator insight, July 23, 8:52 AM

Thanks To Dana!

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The fight against dirty money goes global | North Africa

The fight against dirty money goes global | North Africa | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

Via Dr Lendy Spires, Jocelyn Stoller
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Dr Lendy Spires's curator insight, July 27, 4:08 PM

 

Trade mispricing, money laundering and tax evasion are stripping more than $50bn a year from African state revenue. So says a detailed, new United Nations report coordinated by South Africa's Thabo Mbeki.

 

A s heads of state meet Malabo on 1 July for the African Union (AU) summit, a substantial bombshell is due to drop at the gathering.

It will take the form of a no- holds-barred investigation into the multibillion-dollar losses that state treasuries are suffering across Africa due to what are euphemistically called 'illicit financial flows.'

A detailed research dossier on how these losses are engineered and the damage they do to Africa's development chances, along with some hard-hitting recommendations, will be released at the summit.

 

The report's authors hope the scale of the losses to African treasuries – $50-100bn a year at a time when the continent is scrabbling for development capital – will prompt serious and practical action from the assembled leaders.

These losses are the ill-gotten gains of grand corruption, criminal fixing of trade prices, tax evasion and money laundering.


Dirty money: the questions

What are illicit financial flows?
Illicit financial flows are the tens of billions of dollars that secretly sluice through the world's economies. About 70% of flows are estimated to be controlled by companies evading tax and customs duties; 25% are from the proceeds of the smuggling of drugs, arms and people; and 5% are kickbacks, bribes and commissions negotiated between corrupt officials and companies.

Why is it important in Africa?
Experts reckon Africa loses $50-100bn per year from capital flight schemes. That is money the continent needs for infrastructure, health and education. These shadowy financial schemes are taking at least 10% a year out of Africa's tax revenues, increasing the burden on tax-paying citizens and reducing the chances of improving the lives of ordinary Africans.

What can be done to fix it?
Tougher customs enforcement, including better training and equipment for customs officials on the hunt for trade mispricing schemes. The establishment of effective anti-corruption commissions with independent prosecutorial powers and research resources. Transnational companies should publish their accounts on a country-by-country basis, and tax havens should be subjected to the highest level of scrutiny. ●

 

The guilty parties – and the beneficiaries-in-chief – are top government officials, politicians and their local business allies, together with multinational corporations and a pin- striped army of account- ants, tax lawyers and company agents.

"A certain elite benefits from this trade mispricing. They inflate prices so they can keep money out- side. This is more or less known, but it's not quantified," says Carlos Lopes, executive secretary of the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa.

 

"There is no financial intelligence, even less trade intelligence. When we engage governments with a lot of information on trade negotiations, the lack of knowledge is really patent," Lopes explains.

International lobbying against these costly trade and tax frauds is finally getting results. In 2012, the UN appointed Thabo Mbeki, a former president of South Africa, to head the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows, supplied with critical research from Lopes's team at the Economic Commission for Africa.

 

African economies are proportionally hit the hardest by this global phenomenon. Experts such as Alex Cobham at the Washington-based Center for Global Development reckon that Africa's trade losses amount to more than double the foreign aid that the continent's 54 states receive.

Cobham told the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa in April that these trade rackets are eating into state revenue for education and health while also contributing to the criminalisation of the state and undermining security.

"Stronger surveillance of trade terms and customs services coordinated regionally with requirements that multinational companies should report their earnings on a country-by-country basis to prevent profit-shifting could stop the rot quickly," argues Cobham.


The west wakes up

Such policies require great political will, say the researchers on the Mbeki report, although international rules are changing.

Initially reluctant to take the problem seriously, perhaps because some of their biggest companies were benefiting from the scams, Western governments are reining in tax havens such as Guernsey, Jersey and the British Virgin Islands as well as demanding more open exchanges of information about corporate taxation and profit-shifting schemes.

Lopes says he expects a good reception for the report at the AU: "I think those within the leadership who will not like it will keep quiet, but there will be very vocal support for it."

Although the report and recommendations will be detailed, its authors hope it will be worded diplomatically enough to win back- ing from key African leaders.

High up on the list will be proposals for much tougher customs enforcement together with better training of and equipment for customs officials.

In many countries, customs departments have been one of the most protected, opaque and corrupt of state institutions. Changing that will require political determination and much better surveillance technology.

The report will include case studies of massive trade losses in Algeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa. It is likely to urge closer cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force, an international outfit that is leading the charge against money laundering.

A lack of international data on trade pricing in Africa has held back enforcement. Officials from the United States (US) are proposing a system of trade transparency units under which countries could share trade documents and set common standards for statistics.

Many trade scams have been exposed because investigators have had access to the US Department of Commerce's comprehensive database.

 

The most common form of trade fraud is a scheme for getting money out of a country without paying taxes and duties while evading capital controls.

A typical deal would involve grossly inflated invoices for imports. For example, a Kenyan sports company imports golf clubs that sell for $1,000 in the exporter's market.

But the exporter will sell to an intermediary or shell company that marks up the invoice by 10 or 20 times the market value of the products.

So the shell company will invoice the Kenyan sports company $20,000 for each set of clubs, allowing the companies involved to shift substantial sums of capital outside the country and to declare a trading loss and evade tax.

Undervalued exports

At the same time, exports – especially of minerals and oil car- goes – are often undervalued and quantities are deliberately understated. That reduces the tax burden and disguises the size of the real financial gains.

To facilitate such deals, governments appoint third parties to market their commodities.

These traders buy cheaply from the country of origin and sell to the destination market at the going price. The profits are then shared between the traders and corrupt government officials.


Flies do not land on an egg that is not cracked

In Nigeria, such trade scams are institutionalised, according to Nuhu Ribadu, the country's former anti-corruption tsar.

"Why does Nigeria need private agents to sell its oil when our state-owned oil company could sell directly to the end user? This is not done in any other oil-producing country in the world," he says.

Not only do such arrangements take revenue from the public coffers, says Ribadu, they promote a criminalisation that fuels violence and instability: "I see links between corruption, stolen money and these insurgencies [...]. They are all the outcome of lawlessness.

"An African proverb says: 'Flies do not land on an egg that is not cracked.' Nigeria is like a cracked egg: it's attracting pretty bad people. It comes down to our inability to protect our resources. They go into the private pockets of individuals, and our institutions are extremely weak," Ribadu explains.

Even when Ribadu headed up the state anti-corruption agency, it made few inroads into the oil sale scams that were costing Nigeria billions of dollars a year.

Diagnosing and identifying the problem of trade fraud is difficult enough. Arresting the perpetrators is tougher still, as they often operate behind a wall of secrecy and shell companies, and they frequently have friends in high places.

As the pace of African economic growth gathers momentum and banks are better regulated, more revenue is lost to this trade-based money laundering. Increasingly, it is a two-way traffic: trade scams are used to smuggle money into as well as out of countries.

Cross-border crooks have become adept at smuggling money into countries to evade tax and capital controls and launder the proceeds of crime.

Over the past decade, hundreds of millions of dollars from drug smuggling have been invested in real estate in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire while officials turned a blind eye.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates the proceeds from the drugs trade in West Africa at more than $1bn a year, much of which is laundered through the regional economies.


Narco-governments

These investments are quickly converted into rents, producing substantial local surpluses: those revenues can buy political influence and power, creating narco-governments.

Last year US authorities slapped a $102m forfeiture order on a Lebanese bank that had helped finance a complex scheme to sell used cars in West Africa for massive profits that were then transferred to front companies controlled by Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Islamist militia.

Trade frauds are growing in scope and ambition. The non-governmental organisation Global Financial Integrity (GFI), whose president Raymond Baker sits on Mbeki's UN panel, reckons that almost $1trn flowed illicitly out of poor countries in 2011.

Those funds were made up by the proceeds of drug trafficking, arms smuggling, terrorism and state corruption.

Later this year, GFI will publish an exhaustively researched report showing that there has been a net transfer of capital from developing economies to rich industrial ones for several decades.

In Africa, GFI reported in May that more than $60bn of illicit trade deals took place in just five countries – Ghana, Kenya, Mozam- bique, Tanzania and Uganda – between 2002 and 2011.

Those countries lost about a tenth of their tax receipts to these trade frauds. "This is just the beginning of the conversation surrounding trade misinvoicing and illicit flows in these countries," says Baker


Read the original article on Theafricareport.com : The fight against dirty money goes global | North Africa
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Thatcher 'Knew About Closes Aide's Sex Parties With Boys'

Thatcher 'Knew About Closes Aide's Sex Parties With Boys' | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Margaret Thatcher was told about alleged sex parties with under-age boys held by one of her closest aides claims her former personal bodyguard.

Barry Strevens, who worked as the prime minister's personal bodyguard, said that he passed on allegatio...
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Watch Rachel Maddow Explain Why This Is the WORST Congress Ever (Video)

Watch Rachel Maddow Explain Why This Is the WORST Congress Ever (Video) | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Rachel Maddow breaks it down: 'This Congress is -- quantitatively -- the WORST Congress ever!' Thanks, GOP.

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, July 27, 12:01 AM

All the topics covered in this video are so important. The VA issue is one that hits very close to home. I was so sadden when the Head of the VA stepped down as though all this was his fault. In fact that is twice he has taken a hit for other people's stupid choices. HE was on of the four very respected generals fired by Rumsfeld because they told him before going into Iraq that 30,000 troops could not do it right and it would take at least 145,000. It was not the General's fault this time either. The VA has been underfunded and auctioned off to the lowest bidder starting with Bush Senior then going for another huge blow under Clinton who delivered even more to the contracting work of HMOs and even more outfits that hired contract doctors and medical professionals that basically blew through the military system not even with the status of civil servants.  

 

This administration actually was building this VA medical system back up. The problem is their big hearts also thought Agent Orange victims from the Vietnam war should finally be treated (those that haven't already died) and so should the mental health cases of the last decades. This over-loaded the lean medical care system Bush Senior and Clinton put in place. But leaving them with nothing also was costing lives. Agent Orange victims and their offspring were becoming sicker and suicides for soldiers after over a decade of war had become daily events. Waiting even longer it treat them (ready or not) wasn’t an option.

 

I fear this congress is staging all this to further action off the VA system, which while expensive, was one of the greatest medical care systems in our nation’s history. We once trained very smart, but often-poor students in the best medical professional schools they could get into to. They paid us back with 5 years or even sometimes a lifetime of excellent service for modest salaries that including nice housing and left them with no school debt in return. It was a good trade for many on both sides of the system. I think we should do that again for both military and Medicare/Medicaid professionals and build for them the best facilities and research opportunities as we once did with the VA medical system. Provide lovely housing and perks, pay a decent, but not millionaire salary and they pay society back with committed years of work. If they trade us a lifetime of work they then earn good lifetime benefits as well.  For-profit outfits have a first obligation to make the shareholders rich not make sick people well. The old VA system put all our medical dollars into the medical care program and not into pockets of share holders.

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Watch: Senator Rips Republicans for ‘Nickel and Diming’ Veterans After Wasting Trillions on Iraq War

Watch: Senator Rips Republicans for ‘Nickel and Diming’ Veterans After Wasting Trillions on Iraq War | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Earlier today on the Senate floor, Democratic Senator Mark Begich (Alaska) shamed House Republicans for having the audacity to nickel and dime our nation's veterans after spending trillions on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In typical Republican fashion...

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The Day I Was Nearly Arrested for Having an Autistic Son

The Day I Was Nearly Arrested for Having an Autistic Son | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Moms arrested for going on job interviews, for letting kids play outside. It almost happened to me over a tantrum.

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Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93 Million to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens

Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93 Million to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Big wins can happen in small places. The West Virginia State Supreme Court finalized a big blow to the biotech…

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Mark Cuban Threatens To Dump Companies That Move Offshore

Mark Cuban Threatens To Dump Companies That Move Offshore | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Corporate greed is getting out of hand, and Mark Cuban isn't going to take it anymore.

The billionaire investor and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks took to Twitter Friday morning to shame companies for moving offshore to buck taxes.

If I o...
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Hedge fund Renaissance Technologies used structured financial products purchased from Barclays and Deutsche Bank to avoid more than $6 billion in taxes


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Can This One Guy End Robo-Calls For Good?

Can This One Guy End Robo-Calls For Good? | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Aaron Foss thinks he may have built a better mousetrap when it comes to ending all those scam calls that ring up your landline. The 36-year-old contract programmer split a $50,000 prize in a crowdsourcing competition staged by the FTC -- you know, th...
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Who’s Policing Miami Cops After 63 Unsolved Civilian Shootings? - COLORLINES

Who’s Policing Miami Cops After 63 Unsolved Civilian Shootings? - COLORLINES | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

Once again, Miami cops are living up to their brutal reputation.


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Renaissance Avoided More Than $6 Billion Tax, Senators Say

Renaissance Avoided More Than $6 Billion Tax, Senators Say | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

 A Renaissance Technologies LLC hedge fund’s investors probably avoided more than $6 billion in U.S. income taxes over 14 years through transactions with Barclays Plc and Deutsche Bank AG, a Senate committee said.

The hedge fund used contracts with the banks to establish the “fiction” that it wasn’t the owner of thousands of stocks traded each day, said Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The maneuver sought to transform profits from rapid trading into long-term capital gains taxed at a lower rate, he said.

“It meant enormous profit for both the banks and the hedge funds,” Levin told reporters yesterday in Washington. “Ordinary Americans had to shoulder a tax burden of billions of dollars, a burden that was shrugged off by those hedge funds.”

PARTNER INSIGHTSWHAT'S THIS?Special Report: Multistate Tax Reports® 2014 Survey of State Tax DepartmentsNexus-Creating Activities from Bloomberg BNA’s Annual SurveyState Taxation in the Digital Age
   

The panel urged the Internal Revenue Service to collect taxes from the fund’s investors at the higher rate that Americans pay on wages and salaries. It said Congress should remove legal obstacles to audits of hedge funds and other large partnerships, whose returns the committee said are rarely questioned.


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15 Things We All Need To Know About America's Appalling Child Sex Trade

15 Things We All Need To Know About America's Appalling Child Sex Trade | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
At least 100,000 children are estimated to be sexually exploited each year....

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malek's curator insight, July 23, 1:54 PM

 shocked that so much evidence is known about child sex trafficking and how little of that knowledge inspires the law to act.

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It's Time to Destroy Corporate Personhood

It's Time to Destroy Corporate Personhood | Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
The United States in the only country in the world that recognizes corporations as persons. It's a so-called "legal fiction" that's meant to uphold the rights of groups and to smooth business processes.

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