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Tag: columnist
Massive German Tax Evasion Probe (December 19 2012) Massive German Tax Evasion Probe (December 19 2012)

Hans Leyendecker the 63 year old German political editor and columnist at the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung, has published along with Claus Hulverscheidt an article on Worldcrunch titled ‘Massive German Tax Evasion Probe, Billions Stashed In Swiss Banks’ with one estimate is that some 150 billion euros have been stashed in secret Swiss accounts. Leyendecker and Hulverscheidt states “The German prosecutor’s office in the western city of Bochum announced it had uncovered proof of massive tax evasion, with billions of undeclared euros deposited by German investors in Swiss bank accounts. The prosecutor in the state of North Rhine Westphalia analyzed the contents of a CD with data from German clients, including 750 foundations and 550 individuals. The data showed secret accounts with Swiss banking giant UBS totaling 2.9 billion euros. The foundations alone are alleged to have evaded 204 million euros in German taxes. Since 2007, the western state of North Rhine Westphalia has been buying CDs containing information about alleged tax evaders. The practice by the state’s Social Democratic Party (SPD)-led government has met with criticism from Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who believes it adversely affects the chances of getting a global German/Swiss tax agreement signed. Meanwhile, the SPD and Greens believe the draft agreement Schäuble has negotiated with the Swiss is too lax and are blocking its passage in federal parliament. There are no official estimates of how much “black” money Germans have in Swiss accounts, though this latest probe, one of the largest to date, offers further signs that the amounts may be enormous.”


Inspired by Worldcrunch image source Wikipedia

I believe it is time to regulate the press (December 14 2012) I believe it is time to regulate the press (December 14 2012)

Will Hutton the 62 year old columnist for the Observer and former stockbroker and investment analyst has published an article in The Guardian titled ‘Why I, as a journalist and ex-editor, believe it is time to regulate the press’ claiming the Leveson report is a much-needed opportunity for newspapers to abandon the excesses of the past. Hutton states “Leveson’s report… is being portrayed across great swaths of the British print media as the greatest threat to freedom of speech in modern times. The abuses Leveson was set to up to rectify – industrial-scale phone-hacking and the emergence of News International as a de facto state within a state, along with the more widespread culture and ethics that produced them – are deemed to be yesterday’s problems. What is left is the prospect of state regulation of Britain’s proud free press. …To strengthen press freedoms, he may propose stronger public interest protections for newspapers that want to publish what the powerful try to muzzle. The case against is that the proposals are unworkable, slow and legalistic and address practices that are now supposedly defunct and which they would not have prevented. Above all, the charge runs, they represent state limitation of freedom of speech. Such criticisms are bunk, tired and born of special pleading. The whole exercise smacks of doctors, the Lloyds insurance market, trade union barons, the police and various other special interest groups over the years trying to protect self-regulation that had palpably failed. The brutal truth is that British newspapers have become far too careless about the boundaries between news and comment, too ready to use innuendo to prove a point, too fast to phone-hack/pay for information to stand up hunches that have little or no public interest defence but which serve the political and cultural interests of proprietors.”


Inspired by The Guardian image source Twitter

Learning wrong lessons from Latvia (July 22nd 2012) Learning wrong lessons from Latvia (July 22nd 2012)

Mark Weisbrot the American economist, columnist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘Learning the wrong lessons from Latvia’ referring to Europe’s use of the Baltic state’s austerity programmes as an example. In the article Weisbrot states “Latvia, a Baltic country of 2.2 million that most people could not find on a map, has suddenly garnered attention from economists involved in the debate over the future of Europe and the global economy. …This is terrible, because if there’s one simple lesson that most of the world – if not the European authorities – seems to be learning from the prolonged crisis in Europe, it is that fiscal tightening is not the proper response to a recession. …Latvia lost about a quarter of its national income. Unemployment rose from 5.3 per cent to more than 20 per cent of the labour force and, …under-employment peaked at more than 30 per cent. Official unemployment remains at more than 15 per cent today, even after the economy finally grew by 5.5 per cent last year, and about 10 per cent of the labour force has left the country. …the bottom line is that no country with three times the unemployment rate that it had before the world recession, and Latvia’s huge income losses, should be considered even a qualified success story. It would be a shame if these unwarranted conclusions from Latvia’s experience were to help prolong the unnecessary suffering in the eurozone.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Twitter

Steve Chapman the 58 year old American columnist on National affairs published an article on Reason Magazine titled ‘Chinese Communists No Longer Put Much Stock in Communism – China has gone from Mao to ‘money worship.’ In the article Chapman states “Mao was dedicated to class struggle and the elimination of property. He created a totalitarian society in which everyone wore the same clothes, chanted the same slogans and—as far as anyone knew—thought the same revolutionary thoughts. Mao’s “new man” was barely recognizable as human. Purported to be selfless, tireless, austere and indifferent to pleasure, he lived for the revolution alone. Skeptics mocked these subjects as “blue ants,” for their drab, uniform dress and unquestioning obedience. But that way of life is extinct and apparently un-mourned… Not that communism is entirely dead. The party remains in firm control of the government, and many enterprises are partly state-owned. Party committees operate in corporate workplaces, where they play the odd role of celebrating those who diligently serve the interests of shareholders. …Even Communists no longer put much stock in communism. Today, it’s the consumer who rules, and it’s buying and selling that dominates economic life. Mao’s visage still dominates Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, but his people seem to have more in common with Calvin Coolidge. …it’s clear that the business of China is business.”


Inspired by Reason image source Washington Examiner

Glenn Greenwald the 44 year old US constitutional & civil rights litigator and columnist, has released a controversial article implying the top one per cent of US society is enjoying a two-tiered system of justice and politics. He states “In lieu of the rule of law – the equal application of rules to everyone – what we have now is a two-tiered justice system in which the powerful are immunised, while the powerless are punished with increasing mercilessness. … That is what has changed, and a growing recognition of what it means is fuelling rising citizen anger and protest. The inequality under which so many suffer is not only vast, but illegitimate, rooted as it is in lawlessness and corruption. Obscuring that fact has long been the linchpin for inducing Americans to accept vast and growing inequalities. That fact is now too glaring to obscure any longer.”


Inspired by Glenn Greenwald image source

Arianna Huffington [Stasinopoulos] the 61 year old Greek born US columnist and co-founder of the news website The Huffington Post, has been profiled by Vogue Magazine as “slightly teeter-tottery.” Huffinton’s profile included observations from her colleague and former other Huffington Post co-founder Kenny Lerer, refuting Huffinton’s claim of de-emphasizing the politics of the liberal website, stating the site had never been left wing to begin with, and was only seeking to pacify advertisers by appearing to move away from progressive stances on issues. The profile included descriptions of Huffinton’s clothing tastes, including the excessive use of thick makeup and the drinking of cappuccinos’ with a straw. Huffington is the ex-wife of former Republican congressman Michael Huffington, and stood as an independent candidate for Governor in the 2003 California recall election.


Inspired by Kat Stoeffel image source Jezebel

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