- Quiz on Tax Rates7 y
According to OECD, which country -- of the largest 15 -- has the highest ratio of overall taxes to GDP? And the answer is --
See, that was easy.
And which country has the highest marginal personal income tax rates?
And the answer is Germany. Also not too difficult to guess.
One more question. And which country has the highest corporate income tax rates?
And the answer is.
The United States.
That sounds like a pretty bassackwards tax policy to me.
Given that no one really likes to pay taxes, and that no politician likes to vote for higher taxes -- but also given that ta ... read more
- This is a buddy's blog
- Financial College on Ethics7 y
New Center for Ethics at The American College to Feature Financial Services Leaders at Inaugural Event
Recent reports in the media have focused on allegations of financial impropriety and a lack of professional ethics at some major corporations. Enron, Worldcom, HealthSouth, and market timing issues have all been the subject of significant media attention. In an effort to be proactive about issues of concern, leading thought makers on business ethics will share their insights at a special panel discussion sponsored by the only ethics center of its kind at The American College on ... read more
- This is my alma Mater, and I tell you it is first class and they train at a high level- first time I had to retake a test in my life was with this group- and I've taken a lot of tests!
- Pox on both Houses7 y
My comments in the January 11 A-Letter about the warrant-less wiretapping of American citizens by President Bush, Judge Alito’s record on privacy issues, and the record of the Supreme Court, elicited a flurry of angry responses from some of our more ”conservative” readers.
One said: ”... you have adopted the same thrust as our Liberal friends i.e. Teddy the swimmer, Barbara the Boxer etc...” Others thought I must be a ”liberal” because I didn’t point out Bill Clinton’s abuses of power, only those of Bush. I was told that I was stating only half the story about Judge Alito’s rulings. Sev ... read more
- Are you a sovereign individual, sounds a little like the microcosom of all collectives, eh? Rang some bells as I read it!
- Convertibe Bonds7 y
Senate Targets Some Convertible Bonds
Under a current provision that might be eliminated, corporate issuers of certain hybrid securities can deduct the costs they would have incurred had they issued a higher-interest traditional bond.
Stephen Taub, CFO.com
January 18, 2006
Some convertible bonds may soon be less appealing to issuers.
These hybrid securities, which that pay interest but also enable investors to convert them into stock, typically offer lower interest rates for this reason. Under current tax rules, corporate issuers can deduct the costs they would have incurred h ... read more
- Money Managers of covertible bond funds have the ability (if managed by say Bill Gross- the Warren Buffett of bonds) to prosper when stocks begin to be the vogue investment again. The Senate has found some money maybe ...ah well, corporations will adeptly find a new loophole if this one is closed- Investments are compliance eveolutionary in nature
- Bonds...7 y
Dear A-Letter Reader:
Over the last two years, investors have barely kept pace with inflation in benchmark intermediate term US Treasury bonds. After enjoying a massive rally since 2000, bond yields hit a 40 year low in 2003 at 3.3%. Despite thirteen Federal Reserve rate hikes since June 2004, bond yields have actually declined twenty basis points (0.20%), a worrisome signal Chairman Greenspan called a ”conundrum” last fall. Yield curve inversion is a dangerous anomaly because it portends to economic weakness; the last three inversions all resulted in economic recessions.
Indeed, the ... read more
- I'm wondering if the fed will rachet rates as they have been slowing but surely doing...then it's not so sure what Eric is presuming..or if like landing a bloated C3 carrier we will bump into another growth period...Magical Thinking
- Economically Perverse=Pensions?7 y
TWO PENSION CRISES PLUS HEALTH CARE - The U.S. pension system is heading toward a double crisis. For employees, the crisis is a lack of funding. S&P says the companies in their S&P 500 with traditional pension plans will need another $40 billion to get their plans back up to speed. The second impending crisis is an accounting change that may make pension issues more painful for corporations. Regulations for both pensions and retiree health care cost changes will be implemented over the next five years. Health coverage for retirees is even scarier for employees. The same S&P 500 companie ... read more
- My now that IBM has frozen their Defined beenfit plan- it turns out defined benefit plans were economically perverse- for whom- the worker...ummm not my guess, for the corporation- ah I see the corporation paying retired workers is perverse..Kinda the what have you done for me lately corporate tune?
- Home Office Deductions7 y
Depreciation Appreciation 101: The Ins and Outs of Deducting for a Home Office
By DAMON DARLIN
Published: January 14, 2006
Every year at tax time, Robert Sigal, a San Diego chemical engineer specializing in computer simulations of chemical plants, would take his home office as a deduction.
Skip to next paragraph
Enlarge This Image
Sandy Huffaker for The New York Times
Robert Sigal, a San Diego chemical engineer, often works from his home office.
Explanation of the home-office deduction:
Business Use of Home
IRS Publication 587 (PDF) (See page 14, bottom of the first ... read more
- The ins and outs of filings forms, which forms (pdf files), and what deductions with retirement and health plan deductions
- Canada and US7 y
U.S. GAAP Won’t Fly North of the Border
Canada will align its accounting rules with international financial reporting standards.
Stephen Taub, CFO.com
January 11, 2006
Canada’s Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) has decided to scrap the standards known as Canadian GAAP, but not in favor of the U.S version.
Instead, reported the Toronto Globe and Mail, during the next five years or so, Canada will align its accounting rules with international financial reporting standards (IFRS).
AcSB chairman Paul Cheery said the decision came after extensive discussions with Canadian ... read more
- Huh, wonder if we count different...This actually has other ramifications that spell the divide between Can and US philosophy...better to think global in accounting-?
- Mistaken Identity7 y
Enron Audiotape Prompts Second Thoughts
After listening to the evidence, a former executive now maintains that a misleading statement was made not by him, but by Jeffrey Skilling.
Stephen Taub, CFO.com
January 10, 2006
Mark Koenig, the former head of investor relations for Enron Corp., now maintains that a false statement he admitted to making was actually made by former chief executive officer Jeffrey Skilling, according to the Houston Chronicle.
In August 2004, Koenig pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting securities fraud and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. He is expec ... read more
- 10 years in jail and 1 Million fine, yea I'd say "It was him- not me!" I do think there are voice Id machines that can identify voices on tape- maybe that's just TV!
- Bush~ Supreme Court7 y
Our Presidential Era: Who Can Check the President?
By NOAH FELDMAN
Published: January 8, 2006
I. OUR PRESIDENTIAL ERA
Forum: Issues Before the Supreme Court
Not since Watergate has the question of presidential power been as salient as it is today. The recent revelation that President George W. Bush ordered secret wiretaps in the United States without judicial approval has set off the latest round of arguments over what the president can and cannot do in the name of his office. Over the past few years, the war on terror has led to the use of executive orders ... read more
- Who can check the Presidential Powers?
- There IS Enough!!!!7 y
This is one of my personal experiences so according to my usual it would be under Cold Water blog but it is about my doings last night and money!
Guess who I saw after lovemaker went back home? Lynne Twist the author of ”The Soul of Money”, if you haven’t read this book-Do...it is not really about money but sufficiency About having enough..and KNOWING when we have enough It’s about sharing and realizing there is enough for everybody and only our distribution process is broken.
Is our distribution broken? Is our heart broken? We live on the earth-Do we poison our own water-the w ... read more
- We can make a difference- now -there is "enough", we are enough, and we have the power to "make a difference". A Bucky coinage!
- City Pension Gone?7 y
Multiple felony charges include conspiracy, wire and mail fraud
By Kelly Thornton
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
January 7, 2006
K.C. ALFRED / Union-Tribune
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shane Harrigan, who announced yesterday’s indictments, said the actions of the defendants not only jeopardized the pension fund, but ”the financial stability of the city of San Diego.”
A federal grand jury indicted the former top executive of the San Diego pension system, its lawyer and three former trustees on conspiracy and fraud charges yesterday in the opening salvo in the federal government’s latest ... read more
- I can't imagine anyone will get anything from this exercise...not even time. And they let one guy retire in December that's last month-so , huh? that means they pretty much knew they were going after indictments for a felony against this dude and he retires while being charged? BTW he retired in the same plan that he was head of and supposedly did some non dicuciarial governing in.
- $$ and Yuan currency7 y
As Goes the Dollar?
Bad (if inevitable) news from our banker.
Keep your eye on the dollar. If it starts going down big time, the Fed won’t be able to ease as much as the markets have come of late to expect.
Friday Jan 6 2006 . All times are London time.
China signals reserves switch away from dollar
By Geoff Dyer in Shanghai and Andrew Balls in Washington
Published: January 5 2006 20:13 | Last updated: January 6 2006 02:43
China indicated on Thursday it could begin to diversify its rapidly growing foreign exchange reserves away from the US dollar and government bonds – ... read more
- Here it comes- I knew someone was smoking something when the $$ was "high"...There is no reason, no reason for a strong dollar....And here is China's weapon -worse if they start selling our debt. And ya know, it is smart to diversify. Whee.........Time to end the war- This is how the war will end $$$$$
- MSN closes China Blogger7 y
Microsoft Closes China Blog
Redmond giant deletes blog on MSN Spaces service kept by New York Times researcher.
January 5, 2006
Microsoft closed down a widely read blog on its MSN Spaces service run by a blogger in China who apparently ran afoul of government censors.
Michael Anti, also known as Zhao Jing, a researcher for The New York Times, wrote the Beijing-based blog, which featured coverage of subjects such as a string of cat murders in Shanghai that attracted the attention of the outside press. The blog was deleted New Year’s Eve.
Former CNN correspondent Rebecca ... read more
- So china has pull in government quarters- freedom of speech (this used to be in the bill of rights in America for you younger peoples) is not for China- but how and who went to Gates and made their point "governmentally" about his server's blog space and who could use it....Shame on us...I'm pretty sure Bill woulda just as soon as left it up- But of course he has a big sales number in Chima for OS-if they aren't just making copies of the OS for free! Yes, maybe bill said "quit copying my software, and I'll close down blog space for China dissenters" Just Maybe.
- IBM cancels pension7 y
I.B.M. to Freeze Pension Plans to Trim Costs
By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
Published: January 6, 2006
I.B.M., which has long operated one of the nation’s largest corporate pension funds, said yesterday that it would freeze pension benefits for its American employees starting in 2008 and offer them only a 401(k) retirement plan in the future.
The company said that the shift, which is expected to spur still more major companies to move away from traditional defined-benefit pension plans, would save it as much as $3 billion through the next few years and provide it with a ” ... read more
- Harbinger of things to come. IBM took a look at the airlines and their dilemma, and made the decision to cut the defined benefit pension, and make a nice contribution to their 401K plan (defined contribution plan)- the difference between plans? (so glad you asked)...is that the risk for a defined lifetime benefit is on IBM investing and liability for risk, and it is exactly the opposite for the defined contribution- ya'all will get what you get...Oh boy-this is gonna get interesting! What who's next!?
- Nasdaq, brew of choice?7 y
Battle of the Brands: NYSE and Nasdaq
’’The competition for the attention of CFOs and management should be a big winner’’ for companies, says one observer.
Helen Shaw, CFO.com
January 05, 2006
A half-dozen centuries ago, a competitor who ”entered the lists” was riding onto a mock battleground — the site of jousting and other deeds of arms. Today, a ”listings” battle is being contested not merely between corporate worthies, but between the venues themselves.
The decisions by Charles Schwab Corp. and Cadence Design Systems Inc. to drop themselves from the New York Stock Exchange ... read more
- Can it be only money? 400k is a drop in the bucket for Schwab, I'm curious to read a posting that hinted some had been asked to leave the NYSE-this is rare unless there has been aggregious offenses of rules and reg's. It usually is not a casual parting!
- $750.00 an hour?7 y
Tremors Across Washington as Lobbyist Turns Star Witness
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
Published: January 4, 2006
WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 - As a high-flying Republican lobbyist, Jack Abramoff has long been known as a mover and shaker in Washington. But when he cut a deal with federal prosecutors on Tuesday, he shook up this town as never before.
Not long ago, Mr. Abramoff was perhaps Washington’s most aggressive - and, at $750 an hour, most highly compensated - deal maker, a flamboyant man who moved fluidly through the nexus of money and power. Now his decision to cooperate in a broadening c ... read more
- And considered well worth it UNTIL Abramoff turned "Star Witness". But did he really become the star witness, only one indictment from the whole episode..I think he knows lots more and decided to be a witness to get the powers that be off his back- Most know he knows much more and has decided not to kiss and tell-Now at least.!
- Yield Curve7 y
ANALYSIS-Economists, traders eye different yield curves
Tuesday 3 January 2006, 1:36pm EST
By Victoria Thieberger
NEW YORK, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Bond traders have been fixated in recent days on the rare dip in long-term Treasury yields below those of short-term Treasuries, an event that has often presaged economic recession.
But while traders in the bond market have focused on the difference between two-year and 10-year Treasury note yields, some economists say a more reliable economic signal is found in a different measure of short-term interest rates.
They prefer using either ... read more
- Nothings for sure, but I glean it will be a long time until they lower rates. The "feeling" is that they stayed low too long as it was ...
"FED RATES FOR 2006 - Some say that they will continue to rise, some say they will stay the same and others believe they may even go down. So, there you have it! Actually, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates for a 14th straight time in January to 4.5%".
- CFO blog/China7 y
Executing in China (So to Speak)
Over the holiday week, I received this press release, complete with disturbing photos, alleging the beatings and rape of two Falun Gong adherents by Chinese police last month.
Grassroots organizers are getting smarter and more aggressive about sending this sort of thing to the business press. (The first such release I remember blogging about came from the Rainforest Action Network.)
I expect I’ll see more. We reported in November on ”China’s Growing Appetite,” and I’m writing an article right now about the protectionist sentiment sti ... read more
- The links are very educational, and the idea that China who executes more citizenry than any country in the world- even more than Aarrnnoollddd.
- Taiwan/China Next?7 y
Taiwan Chief Seeks More Arms, Not Better Ties to China
By KEITH BRADSHER
Published: January 2, 2006
HONG KONG, Jan. 1 - President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan called Sunday for increased arms purchases and warned against greater economic ties to mainland China, in a televised speech that silenced months of speculation that he might soon seek to improve relations across the Taiwan Strait.
Patrick Lin/Agence France-Presse
An honor guard at a ceremony before President Chen Shui-bian’s speech on Sunday.
Patrick Lin/Agence France-Presse - Getty Images
President Chen Shui-bian of Ta ... read more
- I know that at some point in the economic future of the USA and China we will absolutely use the Taiwan Chip- How many times has the US sent ships to the straits between China and Taiwan to show a stance of solidarity- but I'm thinking if China gives us some preferential corporate treatment we'd likely soften our stance on Taiwan- or look the other way while certain liberties were curtailed (huh! parellel universe)
I'm wondering why we haven't done so already- I mean Britan threw in the Hong Kong connection- We shall see but Taiwan is a major sticking point in US-China politics.
- Dollar Bill Symbols7 y
Take out a one dollar bill, and look at it. The one dollar bill you’re looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material. We’ve all washed it without it falling apart. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know. It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look.
Note that this is a Federal Reserve Note, a debt note of the United S ... read more
- I've heard or read a slightly different interpertation of the symbology of the dollar, but it was sent in an e-mail and I didn't save it.
- usd$$$7 y
By Carolyn Cohn
LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar looked set on Friday to end 2005 up almost 15 percent versus the euro and the yen and to post its best annual gain in eight years against an index of currencies, boosted by the Fed’s ongoing rate-raising campaign.
The dollar had a shot in the arm this year from a steady stream of U.S. interest rate rises. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates for a 14th straight meeting in January, taking its key rate to 4.5 percent, and more rises are seen possible.
The greenback has rebounded after a three-year, 30 percent decline driven by wo ... read more
- Dollar is high- on what?
- Recession-When/Why8 y
By Mike Dolan, Economics Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Head-scratching over whether this week’s U.S. yield-curve inversion is a true bellwether of recession is merely a new spin on a hoary old problem that has puzzled economists all year.
Rather than some ill omen, the inversion -- an unusual rise in two-year borrowing rates above 10-year rates -- has occurred because long-term rates have remained stubbornly low or fallen as the Federal Reserve has jacked up short-term rates.
While economists have a plethora of theories, few still have a watertight explanation for why 10-ye ... read more
- No One really knows the whys and wherefores...And often Buffett, and Gates, and Bush, and Greenspan decide to influence by just saying "their truth" -And so it is!- It works for them...Power goes to whom we allow it..The last time we had inflation in fuel-it was stag flation and Jimmy Carter was president
- Enron's exCFO to help Prosecutors8 y
HOUSTON, Dec. 28 - The former chief accounting officer of Enron agreed on Wednesday to cooperate with the government in its case against the two leading executives in the scandal over the company’s collapse, significantly shifting the dynamics of a trial that is scheduled to start late next month.
Dave Einsel/Getty Images
Richard A. Causey, a former top Enron accountant, arriving Wednesday at the Houston courthouse where he pleaded guilty to fraud.
In exchange for a guilty plea to a single felony charge of securities fraud and for help in prosecuting Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Sk ... read more
- 35-40 years in jail, well, one becomes more cooperative, no?
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