In case you missed them, here are our most popular posts from the past week plus an awesome GIF:
- Greece gets set to Occupy Wall Street. Greece prime minister George Papandreou’s plan to hold a referendum on the latest Greek bail-out hit like a tornado at a garden party.
- U.S. Postal Service saved by new foreclosure initiative. Looks like the Feds are getting into the junk mail business. Or what else could you call the new Independent Foreclosure Review process?
- Taxes are for suckers. Presenting: How to avoid paying taxes like a (corporate) boss.
- Don’t celebrate U.S. banks just yet. While there have been no major convulsions yet, isn’t it a bit too early to sound the all clear on U.S. banks?
- Goldman’s good citizenship fail. I got a right good chuckle out of the ol’ Vampire Squid after reading an odd little article in this weekend’s Financial Times.
GIF of the Week: Everyone needs a little push now and then
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 for your weekend reading pleasure are our most popular posts from the past week.
- Greek CDS Shenanigans. The big question is whether the latest deal for Greece will trigger a CDS pay-out.
- Notes on global wealth. We learn some interesting things from Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report, published last week.
- Why the rich should Occupy Wall Street. The American rich have also suffered from the financialization of the economy.
- The Obama administration hears you–sometimes. News outlets are reporting that the Obama Administration’s new student loan initiative came partially as a result of a citizens’ petition.
- Whither Greece. Greece seems trapped in a crisis with no end.
And an extra cuddly version of our Gif of the Week.
A few days ago the Wall Street Journal published The Wild Ride of the 1%, in which it said that “the once-stable incomes of America’s biggest earners now fluctuate dramatically from year to year.” You can read it to learn about such people as the Siegels of Orlando, FL, who due to changing fortunes can no longer afford to finish building their 90,000 square foot dream home complete with bowling alley, indoor pools, 5 kitchens, 13 bedrooms, 2 movie theaters and 20-car garage. The bank also repossessed their private jet. Continue Reading
President Obama’s plan to fix the deficit in part by raising taxes on the rich has drawn strong reaction. “Class warfare … may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics,” said Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee. So it’s interesting to note that the U.S. is not alone in asking whether the tax burden is being shared equitably among the haves and the have-nots. Here’s a look at the debate going on in other countries. Continue Reading