This is one of the best partnerships I’ve seen recently: Citizens for Tax Justice teaming up with the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy to create a SUPERB report on tax (non-)payment within the Fortune 500 over the last three years. Well-written, accessible and funny, it’d be a pleasure to read if the data weren’t so frustrating. Data like:
- Pre-tax U.S. profits of $1.4 trillion were made by the 280 companies examined but they paid an effective tax rate of only 18.5% (vs. the intended rate of 35%).
- A quarter of the companies paid less than 10% in taxes.
- Thirty companies paid less than nothing (in other words the government wrote them checks), despite having made over $160 billion in that timeframe.
It was not always thus. Have a look below at how corporate taxes as a percentage of GDP have decreased since 1960:
While it’s nice to see the tax dodgers named and shamed (General Electric, I’m lookin’ at you), I particularly liked how the study broke down exactly what the tax loopholes are that result in this.
Presenting: How to avoid paying taxes like a (corporate) boss Continue Reading
Here are the economic events and news releases to pay attention to, today, Friday(!) November 4:
- G20 summit ends
Insert bland and meaningless communiqué here
- Greek vote of confidence
Will it be a wrap for G-Pap?
- Non-farm payrolls (employment report) for October
The Big ‘Un. Consensus is for 90,000, down from September’s Verizon-workers-back-on-the-job affected 103,000.
Congrats to Sheila Bair, former head of the FDIC, for scoring a new gig with Fortune Magazine. As Joe Nocera wrote in the New York Times earlier this year, Bair’s FDIC was the only bank regulator to anticipate the subprime crisis. Once the big banks ran into trouble Bair was the only one to be unmoved by the demand “Bail-outs–else the world goes KA-BOOM!” So I was a bit taken aback to read her first piece, called “The Eurozone crisis will not go away until banks face reality“.
In it Bair runs down the ways that European regulators have given their banks more leeway in calculating the capital necessary to shield them from losses they might incur on their loans and other assets. She points specifically to Europe’s adoption of the Basel II capital regime, which allowed the banks to adjust the capital held based on the perceived risk distinctions of various asset classes. Continue Reading
Here are the events and economic news releases to pay attention to today, Thursday, November 3:
- G20 summit begins in France
On the agenda: the Greek referendum, the Greek referendum and the Greek referendum.
- ECB governing council meets–first time with Mario Draghi at the helm
Good luck and godspeed, my man.
- Initial weekly unemployment claims
The number has been stuck around 400,000.
- Manufacturers’ shipments, inventories and orders for September
Analysts are looking for a small orders decrease (0.2%)
- ISM non-manufacturing index for October
No change happened in September and none is expected for last month, either.
I didn’t realize that the Fed and the OCC were getting into the junk mail business. The Wall Street Journal reports:
“Bank regulators in April ordered 14 large mortgage servicing firms to fix problems in their foreclosure-handling processes. [...] The industry has now started sending letters to around 4.5 million borrowers who were in some stage of foreclosure in 2009 or 2010.”
This is meant to be part of the remedy to address the widespread
accusations admissions of robo-signing that several U.S. housing lenders engaged in in the last few decades. Wikipedia reminds us that robo-signing
“describe[s] the robotic process of the mass production of false and forged execution of mortgage assignments, satisfactions, affidavits and other legal documents related to mortgage foreclosures and legal matters being created by persons without knowledge of the facts being attested to.” Continue Reading