Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Jan 08 2013

AIG wants its money back

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Sorry? Did I read that right? “Its” money? “Back?”

Yes.

“Such a move would almost certainly be widely seen as an audacious display of ingratitude.”

You don’t say.…

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Jan 07 2013

Bankers to bring their propaganda directly to UK classrooms

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

A couple of years ago the eminent UK economist Lord Skidelsky recommended that graduate education in macroeconomics needed to be dramatically revamped and supplemented with instruction in ethics, philosophy, and politics. Quite so, and an article in Harvard Business Review explores the theme of ‘economic imperialism’ by which economics – and particularly versions of it discredited by events since 2007.2008 …

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Dec 18 2012

UK memo to US media: our financial bad guys are badder than yours

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

I think that some elements in the U.S. media like to take a kind of twisted pride – if that’s the right word – in the ‘our bad guys are badder than yours’ sheer awfulness of Wall Street. And yes, it is truly godawful what has happened there over the years. Everyone knows it, and many are shouting from the …

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Dec 14 2012

The difference between the U.K. and the U.S. on financial regulation

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Financial regulation in the United States has been godawful enough. But compared to Britain, it has always looked rather good. My quote of the day, from SEC enforcement director John Fedders in 1984, speaking to Rowan Bosworth-Davies who was on secondment there at the time:

“You British think that those people who are responsible for the management of other people’s

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Dec 13 2012

Google boss Eric Schmidt in veiled attack on capitalism

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Google boss Eric Schmidt says, when challenged on the firm’s tax avoidance shenanigans:

“I am very proud of the structure that we set up. . . . It’s called capitalism.”

Let’s see, now.

  • Multinationals’ tax avoidance via tax havens corrupts markets, tilting the playing field in their favour.
  • Tax avoidance helps multinationals out-compete their smaller, more locally based
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Dec 12 2012

How Too-Big-To-Jail HSBC wriggled out of money laundering indictments

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

This is shocking, if not surprising. From the New York Times (via Naked Capitalism):

“State and federal authorities decided against indicting HSBC in a money-laundering case over concerns that criminal charges could jeopardize one of the world’s largest banks and ultimately destabilize the global financial system.

Instead, HSBC announced on Tuesday that it had agreed to a record $1.92

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Dec 11 2012

Harry Shearer show

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

I’m on the widely syndicated Harry Shearer show in the U.S., with quite a long interview on tax havens. My section starts at about 08:30.

There’s a transcript here.…

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Dec 10 2012

Quote of the Day: London and the criminal sink

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

From Rowan’s Blog:

“The performers in this financial farrago are required to continue to maintain a steady stream of profit, and increasingly, as that profit becomes harder to achieve by lawful means, so the criminal means take over.”

The whole thing is worth reading. And who ever wants to listen?

And here is another quote, right on the money:…

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Dec 04 2012

And then a miracle occurs: my favourite cartoon

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

. . . at least for today.

This has wide application, but I take it as commentary on so much of what has for many years passed for economic analysis.

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Nov 29 2012

Logic falls apart in Switzerland’s “Trust Us” White Money Strategy

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Switzerland, now recognising that its poisonous “Rubik” spoiler strategy to protect financial secrecy is dying, has rapidly swiveled its position, and its politicians and bankers are now pushing hard for what is being calling a “White Money” (Weissgeld) strategy to try and persuade other countries to go easy on the secrecy that it provides. The clear and …

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