Showing posts from April 7, 2016

Elizabeth Warren Flays Former Fed Official Who Saw No Evil on Subprime Loans, Currently Peddling Line That Regulation is Too Costly (to Banks, Natch)

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[The video at the end is well worth watching - unfortunately I had to lower the resolution substantially to get it to fit within Blogger's tight upload limits. Warren is fantastic, but she's still like Isiah in the wilderness and, plainly, she is still thought of as nothing more than an irritant in Washington where Wall Street is concerned. Long may her flag wave! *RON*]
By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, 6 April 2016

Even though I’ve seen Elizabeth Warren repeatedly make masterful use of her very limited time during Congressional hearings to interrogate witnesses, I can’t recall her ever getting angry. But she did yesterday with a completely deserving target, and if anything, her display of ire made her more, not less effective.

The target was one Leonard Chanin who associate director of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve in the runup to the crisis. As we managed to ascertain by a peculiar bit of synchronic…

Harper Signed Free Trade Deal With Panama Despite Tax Haven Concerns

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[Harper plainly understood exactly what was going on in Panama well before the leak of information to the public. See also: While Clinton Backed 2011 Trade Deal, Sanders Foresaw Panama Papers Fiasco, and Edward Snowden: Panama Papers Leaks Show Change Doesn't Happen By Itself. *RON*]

By Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 5 April 2016
The release of the Panama Papers, linking numerous world leaders and high-profile figures to offshore accounts, may be a good time to remind readers that Canada has a free trade deal with Panama.

Critics of the agreement have said it could make it harder for the government to investigate and prosecute tax evasion involving offshore accounts held in the country.

The Harper government reached the deal with its Panamanian counterparts in 2009, agreeing to eliminate tariffs on 99 per cent of trade between Canada and Panama eventually, including trade in financial services.

Tigers declared extinct in Cambodia

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[Conservationists say Indochine tigers are ‘functionally extinct’ as they launch action plan for reintroduction. See also: Sumatran Rhinoceros, Believed To Be Extinct, Dies Weeks After Landmark DiscoveryMonarch butterflies face substantial risk of extinctionAll Gorillas In The Wild Are Now At High Risk Of ExtinctionApocalypse now? Experts say Earth in middle of MASS EXTINCTION. *RON*]
AFP, The Gaurdian, 6 April 2016
Tigers are “functionally extinct” in Cambodia, conservationists conceded for the first time on Wednesday, as they launched a bold action plan to reintroduce the big cats to the kingdom’s forests.

Cambodia’s dry forests used to be home to scores of Indochinese tigers but the WWF said intensive poaching of both tigers and their prey had devastated the numbers of the big cats.

The last tiger was seen on camera trap in the eastern Mondulkiri province in 2007, it said.

“Today, there are no longer any breeding populations of tigers l…

Donald Blankenship Sentenced to a Year in Prison in Mine Safety Case

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[He still says he didn't do anything wrong and the case will probably be in appeals until everyone involved who's still left alive isn't. Witlessness defined: "'I never heard of anyone thinking that that could happen or would happen, because it had never happened before,' said Senator Joe Manchin III, who was governor at the time of the explosion." *RON*]

By Alan Blinder, New York Times, 6 April 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Donald L. Blankenship, whose leadership of Massey Energy Company transformed him into one of the wealthiest and most influential men in Appalachia, was sentenced on Wednesday to a year in prison for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards.

The sentencing, in Federal District Court here, came six years and one day after an explosion tore through Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine, killing 29 people. Although Mr. Blankenship was not accused of direct responsibility for the accident, the deadlie…

Money for Nothing: The Lucrative World of Club Appearances

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[Bread and circuses. How rappers, Real Housewives, and lesser Kardashians get paid just for showing up at the club. *RON*]
By Carrie Battan, Gentlemen's Quarterly, 4 April 2016

In a single night, Scott Disick—the runt of the Kardashian litter, the fuckup father of Kourtney's three children—makes more money doing nothing than most Americans earn in an entire year. Disick is a man routinely mocked on national television for being the one without any skills in a family of people who are famous for not really having any skills. But in 2016, he represents both the luckiest beneficiary and the most tragicomic casualty of the booming club-appearance economy. All he has to do to earn his check is walk through the door at 1OAK in Las Vegas and not leave for one hour.

And yet the club-appearance gig is a giant knot in Disick's life that seems to only tangle and tighten like a noose. He began booking these appearances a few years back, presumab…

US tax crackdown provokes foreign fury

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[That didn't take long. Obama stops tax inversion deal for Pfizer: the howling began instantly. *RON*]

Barney Jopson & Arash Massoudi, Financial Times, 5 April 2016

A White House tax crackdown designed to put a halt to Pfizer’s planned $160bn takeover of Allergan has provoked fury from foreign multinationals with operations in the US.

Barack Obama stepped up the offensive on Tuesday championing new proposals to deter “inversion” deals — such as Pfizer-Allergan — that companies use to move to low-tax jurisdictions, accusing them of exploiting “one of the most insidious tax loopholes out there”.

Multinationals responded by saying they were being unfairly caught in the crossfire of Mr Obama’s campaign as their operations in the US could also be affected by the new rules.

The angry rhetoric came a day after the Treasury department released new proposals which threatened the biggest planned inversion to date — Pfizer’s takeover of Irish-dom…