At a conference in Berlin on 29 June, the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, when asked about the situation of Deutsche Bank, said he was more concerned with the situation in Portugal. He added that if Portugal does not comply with EU budget rules, a new rescue program will be needed. It is not the first time that Schäuble has made this kind of statement about Portugal when questioned about Germany’s leading bank.
Read the article about how the German banks are saved ...
Memo to accountants: In the future, there are going to be fewer shadows and more sunlight in your world. Even investors are fed up with the opaque system in which you’ve thrived.
For much of the past 10 years, a mixture of espionage, intrepid journalism and political pressure has exposed financial practices that thrived in the dark but don’t do nearly as well when made public. Tax minimization schemes. Deals with low-tax governments. Complex legal structures that obscure ownership.
Now, a mixture of investor activism and public shaming is turning the international tax and financial system, which all but invites companies to move and stash money all around the world, into an agenda item for federal regulators, lawmakers — and perhaps prosecutors — in the coming years.
Today we launch a detailed proposal for a new era of collaboration between the United States and Mexico: bilateral regulation of temporary, lawful labor mobility across the border. I join with a diverse, five-star group of experts from both countries—chaired by Ernesto Zedillo, the former president of Mexico and Carlos Gutierrez, the US Secretary of Commerce under George W. Bush (as featured in the New York Times)—to say that it is time for a new vision of the shared future at our shared border. We offer specific ways to get there.
‘Five-Alarm Threat to Our Food Supply’: Monsanto-Bayer Merger Advances
Chemical and GMO giants agree on takeover offer worth $66 billion; mega-merger to be reviewed by antitrust agencies worldwide
Monsanto accepted Bayer’s $66 billion takeover offer—the largest all-cash deal ever—on Wednesday morning.
The left sometimes has problems in seeing the positive dimension of the news. True, the overall reality of today certainly does not look rosy. Inequality keeps growing, unemployment keeps rising, neoliberalism certainly is not dead. And right-wing populism continues to rise, while even some left-wing forces now seem to be convinced to follow the road of nationalism and protectionism.
Yet, there are signs something might be changing positively.
People not versed in the complexities of the diplomatic world of distorted mirror images in Geneva or Accra or Nairobi may wonder in awe at the agreements negotiated in their name by their representatives in multilateral forums like UNCTAD. But, truth be told, UNCTAD is in no position to deliver the mandate that it got in Nairobi.
The elaboration of an ‘International Legally Binding Instrument on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with respect to Human Rights’ (hereinafter ‘the Instrument’), as mandated by the Human Rights Council at its 26th Ordinary Session (June 26, 2014), requires definitions about a multiplicity of issues. Many choices need to be made among possible policy options and properly reflected in treaty language.
This paper addresses one of such issues: the subjective scope of the Instrument, that is, whose conduct will be subject to the disciplines eventually incorporated therein.
With the continuing bleeding of various Syrian economic sectors, the movement of Syrian funds abroad in search of safe havens is increasing, stopping the heart of development inside the country while ensuring the sustainable development of “downstream” countries.
The flight of local capital began with the first year of the revolution with a number estimated by the British magazine the Economist at about 20 billion dollars in 2011 alone.
Nigeria is gripped by the familiar anxieties of an economy in distress. This escalating crisis has demystified a president once thought capable of astute, if not magical, economic management. In their desperation for respite, many Nigerians are now paradoxically yearning for the corruption that they and their leaders blame for their economic woes.
But theirs is not nostalgia for corruption per se but for a period in which, despite or because of corruption, the flow of illicit government funds created a sense of economic opportunity and prosperity. During a recent research trip to Nigeria I sampled the opinion of various segments of the Nigerian people to gauge their perspectives on the troubled economy of President Muhammadu Buhari, which just entered recession. One refrain I heard fairly regularly was “bring back corruption.” It is not an entirely new rhetoric. For months, Nigerians have been advancing this idiom on social media as a sarcastic rebuke of what they see as Buhari’s narrow, obsessive focus on corruption.
APPLE got a big surprise last week when the European Commission ordered Ireland to collect more than $14 billion in back taxes from the company. The global giant had been attributing billions of dollars in profits to a phantom head office, allowing it to pay a tax rate of 1 percent or lower.
Both Apple and Ireland are appealing the decision, but the commission’s announcement was the latest sign that multinational corporations are running out of places to hide from paying taxes. The door is now open for Congress to fix our own corporate tax code, which has allowed the biggest multinationals to shirk their obligations for decades.
Contradictory as it may seem, the big pharmaceutical companies give little priority to the human right to health, in spite of the fact that they play a strategic role in this context. Their main goal is profit, and as they work in an industry whose final clients are highly vulnerable people – those with illnesses – this gives them a much greater margin than in other industries to fix inflated prices. It is therefore up to States to establish the parametres for operation of these companies, with the public interest in mind and in order to guarantee the right to health.