Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington Rep. Scott of Georgia, at a February Financial Services hearing, urged regulators from five agencies to re-think the treatment of CLOs, saying the securities “provide large amounts of credit to small businesses.” “They are not toxic. They didn't cause the problem,” Scott continued, adding that small and regional community banks would be hurt.
Open Access Publishing: Predatory Publishers The LINGUIST List hosts over 10,000 books and almost 900 publishers from around the world. Linguistic Analyst and Publications Editor, Justin Petro, has been with the Publications team here at ILIT for three years, and is a pedestal of academic integrity for The LINGUIST List. On August 29th 2013, Justin gave a spirited talk about Open Access publishing models and some of the pitfalls and abuses the modern world has imposed on them. Modern academic culture is faced with the dilemma of an enduring need for information constrained by business models. The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything. You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments.
An online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee calls for bill of rights for web The inventor of the world wide web believes an online "Magna Carta" is needed to protect and enshrine the independence of the medium he created and the rights of its users worldwide. Sir Tim Berners-Lee told the Guardian the web had come under increasing attack from governments and corporate influence and that new rules were needed to protect the "open, neutral" system. Speaking exactly 25 years after he wrote the first draft of the first proposal for what would become the world wide web, the computer scientist said: "We need a global constitution – a bill of rights." Berners-Lee's Magna Carta plan is to be taken up as part of an initiative called "the web we want", which calls on people to generate a digital bill of rights in each country – a statement of principles he hopes will be supported by public institutions, government officials and corporations.
Secret Files Expose Offshore’s Global Impact Dozens of journalists sifted through millions of leaked records and thousands of names to produce ICIJ’s investigation into offshore secrecy A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over. The secret records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists lay bare the names behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore hideaways. They include American doctors and dentists and middle-class Greek villagers as well as families and associates of long-time despots, Wall Street swindlers, Eastern European and Indonesian billionaires, Russian corporate executives, international arms dealers and a sham-director-fronted company that the European Union has labeled as a cog in Iran’s nuclear-development program. “I’ve never seen anything like this.
Lobbying and declining corporate tax burdens According to a report today in the Washington Post, most companies in the Dow 30 have dropped their tax rates by at least half in the last four decades. The article notes a few factors: the corporate tax rate of today (35%) actually is lower than the corporate tax rate of 1971 (48%); Large U.S. companies today are increasingly multinational companies and so can keep corporate profits overseas; Companies have become increasingly aggressive in their tax strategies. But here’s another factor: Lobbying. When it comes to lobbying, the #1 issue for special interests in Washington is taxes. As I estimated back in November, 2,049 unique organizations had spent $619 million on lobbying during the 112th Congress (2011-2012).
Australia bans reporting of multi-nation corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam (on 2014-07-29) Today, 29th July 2014 WikiLeaks releases an unprecedented suppression order by the Australian Supreme Court in Melbourne, Victoria, made on June 19th 2014, with regards to a multi-country, multi-million dollar corruption case. The supression order forbids any discloures, by publication or otherwise, of any information relating to the court case by anyone, including the Australian media, ensuring complete secrecy around the largest corruption case in Australia. The order also forbids any disclosures about the order itself, and specifically commands no mention be made of the affirmed affidavit submitted to the court by Gillian Bird, a career diplomat, currently appointed as a deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Bird is one of Australia's most senior and experienced diplomats and is responsible for relations with South East Asia which is why her affidavit, currently held sealed by the court, is so important.