Archive for August, 2016
Apple has been caught illegally dodging billions in tax. The European Commission has ruled today that Apple should pay €13 billion in unpaid taxes to Ireland under illegal state aid rules. .
This is great news, but we know there are many more cases of corporations dodging tax that go unnoticed or where investigations don’t lead to sanctioning . Now that all eyes are on Apple, we have momentous opportunity to call on them to persevere and side with the European people by demanding real transparency.
After years of pressure from people like us, in these very months the European Union is looking into forcing corporations to be transparent about how much tax they pay. That way everyone can see if they have tried to hide profits and how much they actually owe. Corporations are putting all their lobbying power against thisproposal. We have to be stronger than them.
If the law the EU is preparing ends up with the lack of transparency corporations want, we wouldn’t get information to monitor whether they do aggressive tax planning and profit shifting, and we’d get it from fewer than 15% of them [3, 4]. It would mean that corporations can simply shift their profits to tax havens and continue to dodge tax.
The Commission has done a good job of investigating and sanctioning Apple, but investigations take a long time, and only scratch the surface of the problem. It is still addressing the symptoms but failing to treat the disease.
Over 80,000 Europeans who are part of our WeMove community already joined the tax justice movement. There are many more corporations avoiding taxes, and if we are to to stop it, we need the Commission and the Council to act.
Thank you for standing up for tax justice,
Virginia (Madrid), Julia (Warsaw) and the WeMove Europe Team
PS. Real transparency means that all companies in the EU are obliged to report publicly, no matter where their headquarters are; that they report on their activities in all countries, not just EU countries; and that 85% of companies are not exempted from reporting.
Just minutes after the excitement over Apple’s new product announcement hit, The FT drops a rather more painful headline stating that Apple will on Tuesday be hit with Europe’s largest tax penalty after Brussels ruled that the company received illegal state aid from Ireland. Despite Treasury Secretary Lew’s pleas/demands just a week ago that the EU back off, the company will have to pay billions of euro in back taxes to Dublin as the European Commission moves to redraw the boundaries on aggressive tax avoidance by the world’s biggest corporations.
A week ago, Jack Lew implored Europe to reconsider…
After a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last month, the European Union’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager tweeted a photo of herself standing awkwardly next to the American finance chief, with the two of them facing in slightly different directions.
It was a “very good meeting,” she tweeted. But the photo was fitting, for the two were far from seeing eye-to-eye over the EU’s investigations into the sweetheart tax deals some multinational companies have sealed with various European governments.
The trans-Atlantic discord could deepen this fall when the European Commission, which holds the bloc’s antitrust authority, is expected to decide on some of its biggest cases, including one involving Apple Inc. The commission could require the companies to pay back large sums in unpaid taxes.
But it appears Washington’s might has been overlooked as The FT reports that Vestager circulated the final ruling to her counterparts in the EU’s executive branch only on Monday morning, deploying a fast-track procedure in a bid to minimise leaks. The usual notice period is two weeks.
A 130-page judgment by the commission follows a three-year investigation into claims that two advance tax opinions issued by Dublin violated EU law by granting Apple an advantage not available to other companies.
The decision is set to be the subject of appeals in the European courts by Apple and Ireland, both of which have denied any wrongdoing.
The commission’s ruling calls on Dublin to raise a new tax assessment on Apple, which previously warned the US Securities and Exchange Commission that an adverse decision by Brussels could have a “material” impact on its finances.
One person familiar with the inquiry said Apple will have to restate its accounts as a result of the ruling.Investigators have examined how Apple paid a tax rate of less than 1 per cent on European sales — far lower than Ireland’s headline 12.5 per cent tax rate on business profits.
The commission is concentrating on the tax treatment of Apple’s intellectual property assets, a hotly disputed area likely to lead to a large claim for back taxes.
Although the decision itself does not specify the precise amount of money in play, Ms Vestager will set out an estimate when the findings are released on Tuesday, according to people briefed on her plans. Several people briefed on the findings in Brussels and Dublin believe the liability will run to billions of euros.
The Starbucks and Fiat rulings are under court appeal, and investigations continue into Amazon’s arrangements.
Clearly, the ruling marks a setback for the Irish government, which has moved in recent years to unwind the most contentious elements of a corporate tax regime that has long irritated other EU member states.
“The government‘s case is very robust,” said Ireland’s finance ministry. “The minister has indicated previously that any adverse ruling should be appealed in the European courts and will recommend that course to cabinet.”
How long before we hear calls for IreLeave?
And how long before more European banks face fines for various money-laundering charges or mal-treatment of investors? The ‘tit’ for this ‘tat’ – just as American hegemony is being called into question globally – will likely be large.
In a recent interview with the Un News Center, Peter Sutherland, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, declared that “sovereignty is an absolute illusion that has to be put behind us.”
“I will ask the governments to cooperate, to recognize that sovereignty is an illusion — that sovereignty is an absolute illusion that has to be put behind us. The days of hiding behind borders and fences are long gone. We have to work together and cooperate together to make a better world. And that means taking on some of the old shibboleths, taking on some of the old historic memories and images of our own country and recognizing that we’re part of humankind.”
“Refugees are the responsibility of the world. They’re the responsibility of the United States, of Canada, of Latin America and of Asia, as well as Europe. Proximity doesn’t define responsibility.”
Sutherland continued by drawing upon the standard progressive narrative that anyone who disagrees that “sovereignty is an absolute illusion” is just “racist and xenophobic, and [ought] to be condemned.” Wow, won’t you please tell us how you really feel?
“[But] in the European debate, there have been areas, there’ve been pockets of political activism, which I consider to be racist and xenophobic, and [ought] to be condemned.”
Deutsche Bank’s war of words with the ECB is not new: it was first unveiled in February when, as we wrote at the time “A Wounded Deutsche Bank Lashed Out At Central Bankers: Stop Easing, You Are Crushing Us.” Europe’s largest bank, with the massive derivatives book, then upped the ante several months later in June, when its chief economist Folkerts-Landau launched a shocking anti-ECB rant in which it warned of social unrest and another Great Depression.
Ironically, these infamous diatribes hurt more than helped: telegraphing to the market just how hurt DB was as a result of the ECB’s monetary policy, the market punished its stock, which has been recently trading within spitting distance of all time lows, in effect making Deutsche Bank’s life even harder as it now has to contend not only with its own internal profitability problems, but also has to maintain a market-facing facade that all is well. So far, it has not worked out very well, prompting numerous comparisons to another infamous bank.
So, in what may have been DB’s loudest cry for help against the ECB’s unwavering commitment to rock-bottom interest rates, the bank’s CEO, John Cryan, warned in a guest commentary ahead of the Handelsblatt Banking Summit titled, appropriately enough “Banks in Upheaval”, to be held in Frankfurt on August 31 and September 1, that “monetary policy is now running counter to the aims of strengthening the economy and making the European banking system safer.“
However, his most striking warning was not aimed at Mario Draghi, but at Germany itself – and ostensibly his own clients – implicitly suggesting that if Deutsche Bank goes down it is taking everyone down with it, when, as cited by Bloomberg, he warned of “fatal consequences” for savers and pension plans while “companies refrain from investments due to ongoing uncertainty and demand less loans.”
The details are known to those who have followed the paradox of central bank failure – if only for the economy and ordinary people – summarized earlier today by Citi’s Matt King.
Quoted by Handelsblatt, Cryan warned that “the ECB’s policy is squeezing the margins of Europe’s struggling banks, making it harder for insurers to find profitable investments and dangerously distorting financial market prices.” Meanwhile, he added, the hoped-for benefits haven’t materialized. “Given the continued uncertainty, companies are holding back on investments and are hardly seeking any credit anymore,” he wrote.
He added that it was unacceptable that financial regulators demanded that banks increase their safety cushions but then imposed punitive interest rates on these additional reserves.
Many agree with Cryan:”The hoped for pan-European investment boost hasn’t happened, and neither have the expected structural reforms in the affected euro member states,” said Georg Fahrenschon, president of the German Savings Bank Association. Instead, uncertainty is growing throughout the euro zone in light of the “horrendous sums of money the ECB is now directly pumping into the markets,” he added.
While Cryan admits that the ECB’s intervention did avoid an all out collapse in Europe it has done so at extreme costs, like negative rates on most German debt. Which is why, Cryan writes it is high time for a change in direction at the ECB. He would say that: his bank is in the midst of a painful restructuring and battling to keep the confidence of investors, so the side effects of the ECB’s policy are causing it particular pain. That’s one reason why Mr. Cryan is particularly critical of the negative interest rate on bank deposits at the ECB. He said net interest income, traditionally the most important pillar of bank earnings in the euro zone, had fallen by 7 percent since 2009.
full article at source:http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-24/deutsche-bank-ceo-warns-fatal-consequences-savers
Tip to all Irish savers : If you have money in Allied Irish Bank or even worse Bank of Ireland Get it out NOW !
I am great-full to my good friend Christopher M. Quigley for sending me this copy for his e-book ” Towards Truth ” I consider this a must for all seekers !
“The symbol of the Unicorn: The physical world is an allegory of spiritual truth.”
Joining The Dots I have been counseling friend s and family for over two decades following personal search, self-training and private erudition and education. In general I believe over specialization is an error in this post-industrial world. In thought and in spirit we have become atomized. This fracturing of the individual is resulting in the disintegration of personality, mental health, personal effectiveness, happiness and social cohesion. Faulty understanding brings with it erroneous analysis. This leads to wrong conclusions and frustrated endeavor. We need to start “joining the dots” and thinking for ourselves. We need to stop being naive in our thoughts and actions. I recommend that you read comprehensively and transcend the “SUB-SET MODEL” we have been brainwashed into. Herein I have listed some books (with quotes and personal summaries and essays where possible) that have helped me to start to think for myself and pass through the veil that is contemporary “conditioning”. I hope it motivates to commence your own journey of self-realization and conscious growth leading to a new awareness and peace of mind.
Carl Gustav Jung Self-Knowledge: Expressed in the language of Hermetic philosophy, the ego-personality’s coming to terms with its own background, the shadow, corresponds to the union of spirit and soul in the Unio Mentalis, which is the first stage of the coniunctio. What I call coming to terms with the unconscious the alchemists called “meditation.” The Unio Mentalis, then, in psychological as well as in alchemical language, means knowledge of oneself. In contradistinction to the modern prejudice that selfknowledge is nothing but a knowledge of the ego, the alchemists regarded the self as a substance incommensurable with the ego, hidden in the body, and identical with the image of God.
What the alchemists sought, then, to help him out of his dilemma was a chemical operation which we would today describe as a symbol.
Historical and scientific criteria do not lend themselves to recognition of mythological truth; it can be grasped only by the intuitions of faith or by psychology, and in the latter case although there may be insight it remains ineffective unless it is backed by experience.
Thus the modern man cannot even bring about the Unio Mantalis unless he learns to actually accept the fact of his dreams and fantasies and begins to engage with them. This is where insight, the Unio Mentalis, begins to become real. What you are now creating is the beginning of Individuation, whose immediate goal is the experience and production of the symbol of totality.
The Individuation process subordinates the many to the one. But the One is God, and that which corresponds to him in us is the Imagio Dei, the God image. The God-image expresses itself in the mandala.
The political and social isms of our day preach every conceivable ideal, but, under this mask, they pursue the goal of lowering the level of our culture by restricting or altogether inhibiting the possibilities of individual development. They do this partly by creating a chaos controlled by terrorism, a primitive state of affairs that affords only the barest necessities of life and surpasses in horror the worst times of the so-called Dark” Ages. It remains to be seen whether this experience of degradation and slavery will once more raise a cry for greater spiritual freedom. The problem cannot be solved collectively, because the masses are not changed unless the individual changes. At the same time, even the bestlooking solution cannot be forced upon him, since it is a good solution only when it is combined with a natural process of development. The bettering of a general ill begins with the individual, and only when he makes himself and not others responsible.
Individuation helps this process towards authenticity by balancing the unconscious and the conscious through the medium of the Self rather than the Ego. This involves allowing the matter of the unconscious to be absorbed by the Ego. This matter can be dreams, or fantasy or moods. Through this focusing on the unconscious the center of the personality shifts from an Ego basis to a Self basis. This allows for greater unity, balance, creativity, freedom, energy, courage and synergy.
Thoughts On Good And Evil: (Memories, Dreams, Reflections) Light is followed by shadow, the other side of the creator. This development reached its peak in the twentieth century. The Christian world is now truly confronted by the principle of evil, by naked injustice, tyranny, lies, slavery, and coercion of conscience. Evil has become a determinant reality. It can no longer be dismissed from the world by a circumlocution. We must learn how to handle it, since it is here to stay. How we can live with it without terrible consequences cannot for the present be conceived. In any case, we stand in need of a reorientation, a metanoia. Therefore, the individual who wishes to have an answer to the problem of evil, as it is posed to-day, has need, first and foremost, of self-knowledge, that is, the utmost possible knowledge of his own wholeness.
Our (Christian) myth has become mute, and gives no answers. The fault lies not in it as it is set down in the Scriptures, but solely in us, who have not developed it further, who, rather, have suppressed any such attempts.
The unavoidable internal contradictions in the image of a Creator-god can be reconciled in the unity and wholeness of a self as the coniunctio oppositorium of the alchemists or as a unio mystica. In the experience of the self it is no longer the opposites “God” and “man” that are reconciled, as it was before, but rather the opposite with-in the God-image itself. That is the meaning of divine service, or the service which man can render to God, that light may emerge from the darkness, that the Creator may become conscious of His creation, and man conscious of himself.
By virtue of his reflective faculties, man is raised out of the animal world, and by his mind he demonstrates that nature has put a high premium precisely upon the development of consciousness. Through consciousness he takes possession of nature by recognising the existence of the world and thus, as it were, confirming the Creator.
Meaninglessness inhibits fullness of life and is therefore equivalent to illness. Meaning makes a great many things endurable – perhaps everything………..
see full e book in PDF doc here eBook-Towards Truth – – and Here https://www.scribd.com/document/239407264/Free-eBook-Towards-Truth