Fair Tax Would Close Transfer Pricing Loopholes

May 18, 2010

Jesse Drucker, writing this week in Bloomberg Businessweek, tells the fascinating story of “Forest Laboratories’ Globe-Trotting Profits” and bemoans the fact that billions in U.S. income tax are legitimately avoided by corporations like Forest through international transfer pricing strategies. Drucker’s last paragraph is the best: “If multinationals cannot be prevented from shifting profits to low-tax […]

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Good for All Americans: Decreasing Capital Gains Tax

May 3, 2010

As this video illustrates, every American would be better off if Congress decreased the capital gains tax instead of increasing it as recommended by President Obama.  In fact, it is hard to imagine a tax policy change that would be more detrimental to economic growth than increasing capital gains.  At this particular moment in our […]

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American Needs the Fair Tax, Now!

April 15, 2010

I’ve been practicing and teaching in the income tax arena since 1987, almost a quarter of a century.  I got into the income racket — yes, racket is a fair way to describe it — at then Price Waterhouse, on the heels of the great Reagan tax code overhaul called the Tax Reform Act of […]

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Speech Ban Banned: High Court Nixes McCain-Feingold Limits on Political Speech

January 21, 2010

In a huge victory for 1st Amendment rights, one day after Vietnamese communists sentenced five political dissidents to 16 years in prison, the United States Supreme Court has overturned a decades-old U.S.-government ban on political speech by corporations.

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Bear Stearns Acquittals Send Message to DOJ, SEC

November 12, 2009

Not Guilty! Congratulations to Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin on their acquittal, Tuesday, on securities fraud charges.  Responding, in June 2008, to pontification by the SEC on the arrests of Cioffi and Tannin (see video flashback, below)… …I pretty much nailed the eventual outcome of these specious, politically motivated indictments in legal and market terms: […]

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Mockery of Justice: Why SCOTUS Should Let Jeff Skilling Out of Jail

October 23, 2009

When a prominent Houston attorney advocates exonerating a convicted Enron executive you have to believe — as I have long argued — that something is seriously wrong with the conviction.  In his excellent post, The Reeling Prosecution in the Skilling Case, Houston Attorney Tom Kirkendall explains why the U.S. Supreme Court should (and likely will) […]

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Honest Services Fraud & Texas Justice to Get Skilling Grilling: Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Skilling v. United States

October 18, 2009

With Wall Street agog over the DOJ’s biggest insider-trading sting ever and fully seven years since the Enron scandal broke, Jeff Skilling is back in the news.  The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Skilling’s appeal of his convictions in the Enron case for so-called “honest services fraud” and insider trading.  Needless to say, […]

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Watch Out for Falling Chinese Derivatives: Banks Run for Cover as China Hedges Fuel Bets

September 23, 2009

As this story from Chinese markets shows, financial derivatives are often not what they seem.  If you plan to use derivatives to hedge risks, don’t forget the counterparty risks inherent in the derivatives themselves. Highlighting once again the risks of doing business with state-owned Chinese companies, banks and the derivatives market took another hit on […]

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“Contrived Facade of Enforcement”: Judge Rips SEC Over BofA Settlement

September 15, 2009

Earlier this year, I shared misgivings of other commentators that Mary Schapiro’s tenure at FINRA rendered her too conflicted to Chair the SEC.  Judge Rakoff’s scathing September 14 order in SEC v. Bank of America adds weight to the argument.  Judge Rakoff rejected the SEC’s settlement, ordering the parties to prepare for trial on February […]

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Did Accountants Really Let Us Down? Floyd Norris Misfires on FASB & IASB Role in Recession

September 11, 2009

Who ruined your retirement portfolio? In his September 10, 2009 New York Times’ column, Accountants Misled Us Into Crisis , Floyd Norris points the finger at standard-setting accountants at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). Norris appears convinced that if the FASB and IASB had written the “right” […]

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