Posts Tagged ‘Corporations’

Luxembourg, Den Of Thieves

May 8, 2016

Send The Tanks?

Luxembourg is a nothing country. Yet, according to the World Bank and the IMF, the GDP per capita in Luxembourg was $117,000. That makes it the richest country in the world (omitting tiny tax havens such as Monaco). And more than half of it is stolen money. Nasty nothings like Luxembourg are, increasingly and subterraneously enraging We The People, all over.

Idiots say that Trump’s popularity is growing because of the color of Obama’s skin. In truth, the rage is growing because of the likes of Luxembourg. We The People has not understood this, because the Main Stream Media, owned and inspired by plutocrats, has made sure that We The People would not understand that. However, We The People is starting to guess what is going on, and it is my pleasure to help in this understanding. Here is an enraging picture:

Rogue Governmental Tax Thieves Are Stealing The Pillars Of Civilization, To Feed Plutocracy.

Rogue Governmental Tax Thieves Are Stealing The Pillars Of Civilization, To Feed Plutocracy.

For 20 years, J-C Juncker led Luxembourg. Juncker made a business to betray the very foundation of Europe. The very foundation of Europe is the principle of SOLIDARITY. Then Juncker was selected to head the European Commission. The wolf was put in charge of the sheep (as Eva Joly, a Franco-Norwegian European MP who was presidential candidate and magistrate puts it). Unsurprisingly, Juncker himself is used as an argument against Brexit. Juncker is junk, the name of one of the greatest fraud ever.

People such as Juncker are toxic, even lethal: Juncker just re-authorized deadly chemicals such as BPA, an endocrinian perturbator who turns boys into girls, and vice versa, while giving them cancer. Lethal, and in more way than one.

[Computation by Gabriel Zucman in “Taxing Across Borders…”.]

In World War Two, Luxembourg just let itself be invaded, not even with a token 6 hours resistance like Denmark. Whereas France and Britain declared war to Hitler on September 3, 1939. Some will, naively, say that they don’t know why I talk about a major tragedy of history. But the reason I do is that we are going through a major tragedy of history now. The weakening of the tax base of the leading countries of the West has, in particular reduced their might and awe. As a result we enjoy the likes of the Islamist State, Assad… And many other tyrants whose activities are rendered possible, precisely because the leading countries have been weakened… and contaminated by the corruption of the likes of Luxembourg.

Now we are facing Brexit, a plot by financial pirates, brokers and professional tax evaders to have “The City”, an official plutocracy in London, to lead the gullible to tragedy.

We are facing Brexit in great part because of the plutocratic organization of Europe. And that plutocratic organization is gaining ever more power.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the very human (in appearance) and extremely plite and nice ex-Prime Minister of Luxembourg who heads the European Commission. He is the one who organized the

Paradoxically, the “Lux Leaks” scandal made advertizing for the mass, governmental tax thievery organized by… Luxembourg: business has never been better.

In “Lux Leaks” journalists from 40 international media outlets on Wednesday used leaked documents exposing tax avoidance by major international companies — like Ikea, FedEx, PepsiCo, and Amazon — in Luxembourg through secret deals between that rogue state and more than 300 multinational corporations.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) examined over 28,000 pages of deals with hundreds of multinational corporations. Those allowed the companies to jointly

cut trillions from their tax payments worldwide.

Most of the documents were Advance Tax Agreements, or so-called “comfort letters,” which are rulings determining how businesses will be taxed by the rogue regime’s tax authorities.

Technically, Luxembourg is not an official tax haven, since it… does have taxes. (Places such as British tax havens do not have individual or corporate taxes outright.)

Luxembourg’s government] has developed a system of tax rulings, which are secret agreements between tax authorities and the companies.

Luxembourg has denied the leading countries which defend civilization part of their taxable base. Thus Luxembourg is an active enemy of democracy. Luxembourg is also a paradigm of tax piracy. It is followed by other scavengers such as Great Britain and the Netherlands (who also practice the tax haven trick, industrially). In 1914, and thereafter, the Netherlands collaborated with fascist Prussian-German empire.

A young Frenchman who came across documents of Pricewaterhouse Cooper showing the tax stealing of Luxembourg. He communicated them to a journalist who then contacted the afore-mentioned IJC. Both whistleblowers are on trial in Luxembourg, and they are threatened by ten years in jail. Meanwhile the bosses of the companies who stole billions of taxes are free to operate in, say, France.

This is the world upside down, and inversion of all values. Seeing tapes of J-C Juncker, tapping in the backs of presidents such as France’s Hollande, or Orban, the leader of Hungary, saying, with a big smile:”Hello, dictator!”, kissing other leaders on top of the head, etc. even a movie such as “The Godfather” feels quaint. And, indeed, although inspired by the Mafia, the GDP  used now with Rogue Government organized Dark Liquidity, Dark money, Tax havens, etc are orders of magnitude greater.

Meanwhile, back in the USA, Obama urged at Howard University, an apartheid university for “blacks” to engage into a “more disciplined form of activism”. I guess they should do like him, and collaborate with the powers that be, those who animate the Junckers of this world. Instead of being undisciplined?

Patrice Ayme’

 

Voting Clinton Is Voting Trump

April 18, 2016

Why choosing Clinton as democratic candidate guarantees the election of Trump? There are two main reasons. The first is that Donald Trump is going to defeat Hillary Clinton. Trump, however, would be defeated by Bernie Sanders (and he knows it, hence the virulence of Trump’s attacks against Sanders).

Why would Trump defeat hillary Clinton? Just look at Hillary Clinton’s tax returns, if nothing else. In 2014, she made more than 24 million dollars, in 2015, more than twenty-seven millions. Who would not love to earn three million dollars more, from a year to the next? How did Hillary make this money? Through influence peddling, and the promise of more to come. By contrast, Bernie Sanders made less than 1% of what Clinton made.

Private (Including Corporate) Investment Versus Corporate Profits. Under Clinton-Obama-Establishment Rule, The Gap Between Monopoly Profits And Lack Of Investment In The Economy, Has Never Been So Wide. Can’t Accuse Bush, Reagan, and The Great bad Wolf Out There. The Wolf Has Been Obama’s Policy

Private (Including Corporate) Investment Versus Corporate Profits. Under Clinton-Obama-Establishment Rule, The Gap Between Monopoly Profits And Lack Of Investment In The Economy, Has Never Been So Wide. Can’t Accuse Bush, Reagan, and The Great bad Wolf Out There. The Wolf Has Been Obama’s Policy

Some will say Trump makes more than Clinton. Yes, but it’s the nature of their jobs, which differ. Donald Trump is going to accuse Clinton of corruption. Because that’s all what her immense fortune is about. When asked why he lived so modestly, ex-President Truman pointed out that, doing otherwise, using influence peddling, “would demean the office of the presidency”. And Truman was no shrinking violet: among other things, he dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (shortening considerably, by a psycho-political shock effect, a war that killed much more than 10,000 persons a day).

Trump also has favored single-payer, and, or, socialized medicine, in many declarations, for decades. He extolled the Canadian (single-payer) or Scottish (socialized) systems in the past, Hillary has declared that the richest country in the world could not afford either (differently from all other rich countries, and many, not so rich).

So Trump is going to run to the LEFT of Hillary. This is all the clearer as Trump declared, also many times that his friends in the financial industry should pay taxes at the same rate as anybody else (in particular Trump accused his friends, the hedge fund managers New York is crawling with, of getting an unfair break with “carried interest”).

Hillary, like Ted Cruz, is financed by the likes of Goldman-Sachs.

At this point, Trump is running fully on the right against the Goldman Sachs puppet who says things won’t be right “until the body of Christ rises agian”. I said in December Cruz was the true candidate of the plutocrats, and, indeed, here we are.

I used to consider, very long ago, Trump as the poster boy of what was wrong with the US banking system (long story). However, in the meantime, the Clintons got to power, and unleash the banks onto the world. The Clintons made finance so domineering that “Shadow Banks” sprouted all over.

And what of Obama, in all this. Paul Krugman himself, a strident Hillary partisan, admits, in his latest editorial, that Obama increased the powers of monopoly (in a similar vein, the New York Times admitted that Obama lowered the tax rates of the 400 richest US taxpayers by 20%, in 2009. Ironically, when I used to notice that, as it happened, I was taxed with racism, and the NYT censored my comments; this mentality of censorship of an inconvenient reality explains why said inconvenience was allowed to grow).

***

Anxious To Please Progressives, Krugman Suddenly Gets It:

In “Robber Baron Recession”, the hard core Hillary supporter opines that:

“ In recent years many economists, including people like Larry Summers and yours truly, have come to the conclusion that growing monopoly power is a big problem for the U.S. economy — and not just because it raises profits at the expense of wages. Verizon-type stories, in which lack of competition reduces the incentive to invest, may contribute to persistent economic weakness.

The argument begins with a seeming paradox about overall corporate behavior. You see, profits are at near-record highs, thanks to a substantial decline in the percentage of G.D.P. going to workers. You might think that these high profits imply high rates of return to investment. But corporations themselves clearly don’t see it that way: their investment in plant, equipment, and technology (as opposed to mergers and acquisitions) hasn’t taken off, even though they can raise money, whether by issuing bonds or by selling stocks, more cheaply than ever before.

How can this paradox be resolved? Well, suppose that those high corporate profits don’t represent returns on investment, but instead mainly reflect growing monopoly power. In that case many corporations would be in the position I just described: able to milk their businesses for cash, but with little reason to spend money on expanding capacity or improving service. The result would be what we see: an economy with high profits but low investment, even in the face of very low interest rates and high stock prices.”

I have, of course been saying this for years. I even saw in the root phenomenon of all this, the plutocratic phenomenon, the cause of the Fall of The Roman Republic, and thus, ultimately, of the Roman Empire.

Basically elites profit from the established order, and thus work against changing it, at all cost. Technology itself is disruptive (and, a fortiori, science), so they are limited as much as possible (while claiming to not being doing so).

So, in 2014, Paul Krugman wrote that growing importance of monopoly rents is producing a disconnect between profits and production. Is that new? No. Actually the word “rentier” was the number one class distinction in Nineteenth Century France. There was the “rentier” class, and the “working class”.

What we have here, though, is rentier monopolies. So the extent of the phenomenon is new.

Krugman:

“And such an economy wouldn’t just be one in which workers don’t share the benefits of rising productivity; it would also tend to have trouble achieving or sustaining full employment.”

What Krugman should have said here was: “quality employment”. There is plenty of employment in the USA, as there are in many a slave society. There USED to be quality employment.

Krugman: “… when investment is weak despite low interest rates, the Federal Reserve will too often find its efforts to fight recessions coming up short. So lack of competition can contribute to “secular stagnation” — that awkwardly-named but serious condition in which an economy tends to be depressed much or even most of the time, feeling prosperous only when spending is boosted by unsustainable asset or credit bubbles. If that sounds to you like the story of the U.S. economy since the 1990s, join the club.”

There are, then, good reasons to believe that reduced competition and increased monopoly power are very bad for the economy. But do we have direct evidence that such a decline in competition has actually happened? Yes, say a number of recent studies, including one just released by the White House. For example, in many industries the combined market share of the top four firms, a traditional measure used in many antitrust studies, has gone up over time.

The obvious next question is why competition has declined. The answer can be summed up in two words: Ronald Reagan.

For Reagan didn’t just cut taxes and deregulate banks; his administration also turned sharply away from the longstanding U.S. tradition of reining in companies that become too dominant in their industries. A new doctrine, emphasizing the supposed efficiency gains from corporate consolidation, led to what those who have studied the issue often describe as the virtual end of antitrust enforcement.”

***

Krugman Then Dropped A Bombshell: Bad Obama

Obama, if anything, made monopoly powers greater than ever. A deer in the headlights is the charitable explanation. Here is Krugman again, suddenly coming over to the side of those who want justice, and wealth for all:

“… the Obama administration — preoccupied with the aftermath of financial crisis and the struggle with bitterly hostile Republicans — has only recently been in a position to grapple with competition policy.

Still, better late than never. On Friday the White House issued an executive order directing federal agencies to use whatever authority they have to “promote competition.” What this means in practice isn’t clear, at least to me. But it may mark a turning point in governing philosophy, which could have large consequences if Democrats hold the presidency.

For we aren’t just living in a second Gilded Age, we’re also living in a second robber baron era.”

So Obama was the Robber Baron-In-Chief, I presume? (I am very sorry… Barry, please, tell us it ain’t so…)

***

Brazil’s Standards Higher Than The US For Corruption?

The president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has been impeached. The charge? Not personal enrichment, but cheating with the numbers of the Brazilian economy when she ran again for office (and was re-elected president). Hillary Clinton is an even bigger cheater, in the category of lying with the numbers of the government. But nobody knows about it, because nobody has called her lies.

Hillary, following Obama, pretends that the banks reimbursed 800 billions of TARP money. That’s technically correct. But a lie nevertheless. The Treasury was reimbursed TARP, modulo a Quantitative Easing program of many trillions which dwarfed TARP.  The Federal Reserve, another branch of government, bought Treasury Bonds, and Mortgage Securities from the banks at inflated prices (that what QE is).

Rousseff did not profit materially personally (whereas many of her accusers, about half of them, are under judicial examination for corruption!) The Clintons did, tremendously profit from the institutions they unleashed on the world.

The preceding reasonings are not too difficult: even New York democrats should be able to follow them, and even discover them, on their own.

Conclusion? All too many well-to-do New York democrats secretly, subconsciously, want to have Trump elected president.

And what is the “candidacy” most supported financially so far in these elections? Arguably the anti-Trump campaign paid by nominal Republican “PACs”’. Indeed, the Obama administration gave oodles of public money to plutocrats (in direct gifts, or taxes not perceived, or monopolies powers encouraged). Those plutocrats at the government teat want to keep it that way: that’s why their candidate is Clinton, not Trump (Cruz would be even better, because he is only a multimillionaire; not at the head of a 200 million dollar fortune as the Clintons are).

Trump has a long track record of suing the government, thus a rather adverse relationship with said government. And, whereas the likes of Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, Bill Gates, etc. can buy simple multimillionaires, they cannot buy a multibillionaire financed by real estate such as Trump. So they detest him, and this is why the anti-Trump movement is the most financed.

I worked for Obama two years before his first election. I recognize (now!) it would have been smarter to have Clinton as president, first, before Obama (Obama was promising, but proved too naïve). I recommended Clinton for Secretary of State. I recognize it is high time to have a woman president. I even appreciate many of Hillary’s smarts, and of her neocon ways.

However, it’s disturbing to see so many democrats have embraced obsessively sheer plutocratic propaganda, against Trump, or against Sanders. Indeed, crafty propaganda accusing Trump to be a “demagogue” or “populist” has been used to smear Sanders, in the guise of smearing Trump.

So here we are: New York democrats have a real choice. If they vote Sanders, they vote for the needed revolution (at least, the revolution in perception which has to precede the revolution in legislation). If New York democrats vote for Clinton, they vote for New Pork.

Patrice Ayme’

Anti-plutocratic Tirolean to Common Sense?

October 13, 2014

Is this site attributing the Nobels?

It sure looks like it: I approve strongly of three Nobels in a row. Amazing. On Friday, the Nobel was attributed to a French writer who worries a lot about Nazism, Modiano. Then there was the anti-sexist, anti-Islamist Peace Prize to Malala.

Today professor Tirole, a French economist at the public university in Toulouse, got the Nobel in economics. Mr. Tirole pondered the best regulations so that large, powerful firms in industries such as banking and communications would act in society’s interest. that’s one of my familiar themes, and I go much further.

It’s the first Nobel in economy in 10 years who is not a citizen of the USA. Are we in an increasingly terrible socio-economic situation just from that monopoly? Tirole is the most American of French economists: a “polytechnicien”, he got an economy PhD from MIT.

He is depicted as “liberal” (right wing pro-capitalist in French parlance), because he believes in share holders’ rights, and that corporations should just worry about profits. As an extreme left wing progressive nut, I, paradoxically, agree with both points.

However how do I reconcile this with what I call “governmentalism”? Well, they go hand in hand.

According to governmentalism, the main actor in economics is the government. That’s pretty much obvious and was even true on Caribbean islands ruled by pirates: pirates, too, had government, and it ruled their economy (and that’s true to this day, except the pirates use finance instead of swords).

Much of what passes today for the free market is little more than global monopolies, organized crime and deregulated madness.

Jean Tirole, defending the real owners, the shareholders, has done important work exposing executive overcompensation, what I call the CEO class, and over-greedy corporate hegemony.

Here is the introduction of Roland Bénabou and Jean Tirole’s “working” paper on the “Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking”. (Executive overcompensation, etc.):

“Recent years have seen a literal explosion of pay, both in levels and in di¤erentials, at the top echelons of many occupations. Large bonuses and salaries are needed, it is typically said, to retain “talent” and “top performers” in finance, corporations, medicine, academia, as well as to incentivize them to perform to the best of their high abilities. Paradoxically, this trend has been accompanied by mounting revelations of poor actual performance, severe moral hazard and even outright fraud in those same sectors. Oftentimes these behaviors impose negative spillovers on the rest of society (e.g., bank bailouts), but even when not, the firms involved themselves ultimately suffer: large trading losses, declines in stock value, loss of reputation and consumer goodwill, regulatory fines and legal liabilities, or even bankruptcy.

This paper proposes a resolution of the puzzle, by showing how competition for the most productive workers can interact with the incentive structure inside firms to undermine work ethics–the extent to which agents “do the right thing” beyond what their material self-interest commands. More generally, the underlying idea is that highly competitive labor markets make it difficult for employers to strike the proper balance between the benefits and costs of high-powered incentives. The result is a “bonus culture” that takes over the workplace, generating distorted decisions and significant efficiency losses, particularly in the long run. To make this point we develop a model that combines multitasking, screening and imperfect competition, thus making a methodological contribution in the process.”

Philosophically it can be explained and said much more simply: a culture of greed has taken over.

One should even say a MOOD of greed takes over. Considering recent discoveries in ethology and epigenetics, hell itself is the bottom of that abyss.

Indeed. Just like some fishes, according to circumstances, modify their genetics, and females turn into males, and some males even in “super males”, the top officers of today’s society turned into predators predating onto the rest of society.

It was high time that some authorities (and the Nobel committee is a small sort of authority) recognizes something in that direction. The work of reflection is just beginning.

The philosophy of banking has not been mulled enough. Nor that, more generally, of mighty corporations.

Those are gigantic institutions with a para-governmental role. They are big enough to influence governments, society, law enforcement, and the law itself. The immensely rich heads of major corporations are received by heads of states, as if they were other heads of state.

Yet, officially, banks and corporations are not led by the social good, and other higher principles, but by greed. Just greed. When those greedsters are celebrated as if they were statesmen, “philanthropists”, or even philosophers or “geniuses”, greed is recognized as philanthropic, and genial.

The less we regulate those giant corporations, the more powerful they get, and the more they can change the mind of civilization itself, towards greed. For example executives of Google were loud, clear, and acknowledged by the British government itself, to be of great influence in deciding educational programs: they are credited for making coding mandatory at age 5 in all schools.

Are Britons to become all little googlers? Ogling the mighty founders of Google, who travel the world in their personal jumbo jets, while paying no significant taxes, and being received by heads of states on their knees, another proof of their genius?

Yet Google siphons its multi-billion Euros profits in Europe through Ireland, to lower its tax bill, and then send said profits to paradise islands with no taxation whatsoever. In other words, Google seems to be an organized crime corporation, as it avoids paying tax nearly entirely. Mafias, and other crime syndicates can only admire such brazen arrogance, and no doubt envy Google after tax profit margins.

European regulators condemned Google for cheating with its search engine, to bring itself even more profits, and now say that Google is ignoring their pleas. Yet, we are putting the fate of youngsters under Google’s maniacal guidance.

This is just Google, the Do Evil company.

All other mighty corporations are applying similar tricks. GE, the oldest company in the Dow Jones, paid no tax for years. Disneyland France, the number one entertainment center in Europe, claimed giant losses, and had to be rescued by Disney (while forgetting to say said losses were from paying giant fees to Disney itself, probably re-routed through some tax heaven).

The situation with the banking system is even worse. As Marx noticed, banks have a monopoly. He left it at that. Now we need to talk.

A monopoly of what? Banks create most of the money. Thanks to the states.

So here we have people, the bankers, unelected and unsupervised, who do not have to justify themselves, operating in secrecy, who, through credit, give most of the money which exists in the world, to whoever they like. It turns out, they love themselves.

And, officially, all the motivation that this sort of secret government, by corporations, for corporations, has, is greed.

Time to ask them question, observe, study, and regulate them.

Economy does not need any more equation to burnish its reputation as a pseudo-science. Economy needs a thorough rethinking, of a philosophical nature.

Otherwise the employment situation, which Tirole, after getting his prize, just described as “catastrophic” will only get worse.

Employment is, of course, a crucial pillar of democracy: no employment, no democracy. The economy is more now about plutocracy than anything else: Tirole and company have lifted just a little bit of the veil.

Patrice Ayme’

Obama: Un-American Corporations

July 25, 2014

Bait, Switch, Bait, Oops: Obama Discovers His Sponsors Are Scofflaws.

After baiting us, Obama could have done a lot when he became president. He did not. Instead he switched to the will of those mentoring and monitoring him. As early as 2007 Obama was surrounded by plutocrats, and had been told to keep his real friends away… by said plutocrats (some of whom already mentored Bill Clinton that way).

It was all the easier to do, as Obama, just like Clinton, did not know much, beyond his hunger for domination, and how to navigate by pleasing everybody. If the only people who know much around you are plutocrats, plutophiles and their servants, that’s all your universe is. Just like the world the Cathars depicted, it’s dominated by the Devil, and its name is the Good Lord.

In the first three months of his rule, Obama could have done much. Such control of government (Congress, Senate, Presidency) is rare.

Although it’s true that the banks needed trillions to keep going, Obama could have financed them with the Treasury, instead of TARP and Quantitative Easing, and thus acquire control of them (as Reagan and Bush Senior, two eminent Marxists did, in an earlier, similar crisis). But of course, when one is a child with his toys, with senior plutocrats in attendance, baby-sitting, it’s a ridiculous perspective.

Even a series B actor like Reagan knew more. Now the Marmot-In-Chief, realizing the hour is late, has woken up.

President Obama called for Congress to end a tax loophole that allows big corporations to designate a foreign country as their official address, avoiding American taxes while maintaining their presence in the United States. (Individuals trying this without using anonymous companies go to jail, or risk destitution. Plutocrats, though, just set-up perfectly legal companies off-shore.)

Same said companies also avoid big taxes from other big countries (Germany, France, UK, etc.), and accept them from tax havens (Ireland, Luxembourg, British Virgin Islands, etc.) So it’s not just the USA that is at fault.

The president indulged in unusually harsh language to describe companies using the relocation practice, known as “inversion”. Obama claimed they were renouncing their American citizenship by “cherry-picking” the nation’s laws at the expense of ordinary taxpayers.

“These companies are cherry-picking the rules, and it damages the country’s finances,” he said. “It adds to the deficit. It sticks you with the tab to make up for what they are stashing offshore… I don’t care if it’s legal — it’s wrong…You shouldn’t get to call yourself an American company only when you want a handout from the American taxpayers,”. The audience booed the companies.

Mr. Obama called on Congress to close the loophole, as he poses for what White House officials call a “new economic patriotism”. The president is pressing that argument as elections approach in the fall.

Republicans refused to consider the president’s tax proposals. And the question is… why did Obama not impose all this on day one, in 2009? When he had control.

Because he never intended it to pass. Or maybe he did not want to be shot.

Now that he is sure that it won’t pass, he is trying to pose as a great progressive.

History will see through these games.

Yet, it’s good Obama talk about this. By ignoring such subjects, We the People has been an accomplice to its own demise.

Patrice Ayme’