Showing posts from March 16, 2016

How Much International Tax Evasion is There?

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[On banksters, taxes and the sources of income inequality. *RON*]
By Valeria Pellegrini, Posted on Naked Capitalism by Yves Smith15 March 2016

Yves here. The short answer is “a lot”. This analysis confirms Gabriel Zucman’s estimates on how much in assets is hidden (a mind-boggling 6+% of the total) but estimates the stealth income as much lower than his estimates. Mind you, the amounts not reported are so great that including the estimated losses would make the US look like a far less significant capital importer than it appears to be.

By Valeria Pellegrini, Senior Researcher, Banca d’Italia, Alessandra Sanelli, Head of the International and Withholding Tax Division, Banca d’Italia and Enrico Tosti, Senior Researcher, Banca d’Italia. Originally published at VoxEU

Balance of payments statistics suggest that assets held abroad are greatly underestimated – particularly for mutual fund shares and bank deposits. This column looks into the role played b…

Homelessness In Canada Has Common Causes Across Nation, 'Census' Finds

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[The researcher says the numbers and profile have been remarkably constant from place to place and over time. Yet the lobbyists say, "It's hard when you don't have numbers. The politicians really want numbers." At least this will give them one less excuse. *RON*]
By Jordan Press, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 14 March 2016
THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Stephane Boyer's nostrils flare and his breathing quickens, his lips failing to separate, when he thinks about Doreen — his partner of 22 years who died in August.

Doreen, who lived first in sub-standard housing and then on the street, was among 17 people who died on the streets of Thunder Bay, according to a new federally organized homeless census that illustrates the depth of disparity across the country.

The numbers, of course, only tell part of the story.

Up to 13 Million Americans Are at Risk of Being Washed Away

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[On soon-to-be dead ducks in Duck, Florida. New research highlights a threatened coastal region where attitudes capture the nuances of the climate change debate. And, as we speak: Extreme Weather, Widespread Flooding Hammer Louisiana as Federal Government Prepares to Lease Gulf of Mexico for Drilling. *RON*]

Eric Roston, Bloomberg, 14 March 2016

Tyrrell County sits just inland from North Carolina’s Outer Banks barrier islands. With 3,600 people living and farming along 400 square miles, it’s an ecologically rich enclave. It also ranks No. 1 among 319 U.S. coastal counties facing long-term risk from rising seas. By 2100, according to a new study, 94 percent of Tyrrell's future population may be at risk from encroaching seawater.

The swelling ocean may threaten the homes of up to 13.1 million coast-dwelling Americans by the end of this century, according to the study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. Led by Mathew Hauer, a d…

The World Bank is supposed to help the poor. So why is it underwriting oligarchs?

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[In 2014 IFC, a branch of the World Banksters, earned $1.5 billion in profits. "Poverty alleviation, does IFC see that as its primary role? I think you could question that. They're pretending to be an investment bank." A policy of pursuing multi-million dollar deals that must turn a profit at all cost is undermining the purpose of the World Bank, i.e., "Most IFC investment projects generate satisfactory economic returns but do not provide evidence of identifiable opportunities for the poor." *RON*]
Claire Provost & Matt Kennard, Mother Jones, Jan/Feb 2016 issue.

A MILE NORTH OF the chaotic heart of downtown Rangoon, where electrical wires dangle haphazardly overhead and street vendors hawk roasted pig intestines, sits an upscale complex of 240 luxury residences overlooking the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda and a serene man-made lake. Marketed to wealthy expatriates and foreign business people on extended stays in Burma's…

Austerity linked to rising mortality rates among older pensioners

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[A UK study shows that 90% of an observed rise in mortality among pensions aged 85 and over is explained by cuts to income support. *RON*]
Medical XPress, March 15, 2016

Rising mortality rates among pensioners aged 85 and over are linked to reductions in spending on income support for poorer pensioners, suggests new research published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The researchers suggest that austerity measures in England have affected vulnerable old-age adults.

Sociology and public health researchers analysed mortality statistics for 324 local authorities in England covering the years 2007 to 2013 to examine whether budgetary reductions in pension credit and social care have been associated with recent rises in mortality rates among pensioners aged 85 and over. They found a significant association between both declines in pension credit spending per beneficiary and the number of beneficiaries with increases in age-85+ mort…

Did Putin trump Obama in Syria?

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[Bishara argues that Putin's partial withdrawal reflects the fact that Russia doesn't have the money now for a sustained war, so he is nudging Assad to start bargaining in good faith with the Geneva peace process. Meanwhile, simultaneously: a) Syrian Kurds say they'll declare federal region in Syria, yet b) The Kurds Should Prepare Themselves for Yet Another Betrayal. *RON*]

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera, 15 Mar 2016

Have you noticed how President Vladimir Putin does not prepare the political grounds or give any advance notice before he acts? Or how he seems not to give a damn about international public opinion?

True to brand Putin, the Russian leader’s decision to withdraw forces from Syria this week was as much of a surprise as his decision to deploy them back in September.

He shocked and stunned his friends and foes alike. Well, except perhaps US President Barack Obama.

Putin, previously an officer in the former Soviet Union's main s…