Norway's titanic sovereign wealth fund takes a stand against executive pay

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When Norway -- historically one of the poorest countries in Europe -- struck oil in the North Sea, the country put the proceeds into a "sovereign wealth" fund that invested it in other industries and used the returns to pay for an extensive welfare state that has given Norwegians one of the highest standards of living in the world. Read the rest

Fantasy accounting: how the biggest companies in America turn real losses into paper profits

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Lax enforcement from the SEC has allowed the biggest companies in America -- 90 percent of the companies in the S&P 500, led by the faltering energy sector -- to ignore the "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles" (GAAP) in presenting their financial information to investors, manufacturing nonexistent profits in quarters where they suffer punishing losses. Read the rest

The Gimmick Economy: how central banks pretend software isn't eating the world

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Mathematician/economist Eric R Weinstein is managing director of Thiel Capital, but that doesn't mean that he thinks capitalism has a future. Read the rest

Hackers take $81 million from Bangladesh's central bank by pwning its $10 second-hand routers

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The central bank of Bangladesh lost $81M in a digital heist whose perpetrators have not been caught, thanks in large part to the bank's decision to run its computers without a firewall, and to run networking with second-hand cheapie routers it sourced for $10 each. Read the rest

UK Chancellor exempts families of "Politically Exposed Persons" from money laundering scrutiny

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George Osborne, the Tory chancellor of David Cameron's UK government, has amended the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill to exempt the families of "Politically Exposed Persons" -- Members of Parliament and other elites -- from money laundering investigations. Read the rest

No, tax-havens aren't good for society (duh)

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As the Panama Papers story unfolds and we learn more about the systematic world-scale corruption of offshore tax-havens, the usual suspects have mounted a charm-offensive top defend anonymous offshore bank accounts as critical to democracy and a check against the rise of fascism (no, really). Read the rest

High profits mean capitalism is cooked

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From The Economist to the White House Council of Economic Advisers to Goldman Sachs itself, the staunchest supporters of capitalism are worried about the consistently high profit margins in key industries, especially finance. Read the rest

Uber and Lyft don't cover their cost of capital and rely on desperate workers

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Uber and Lyft are only economically viable because they offload their cost of capital -- the investment and depreciation on cars and the cost of keeping a driver fed and healthy -- onto the drivers, who are only willing to accept such a bad deal because the labor market sucks. Read the rest

New York public employees union will vote on pulling out of hedge funds

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The New York City’s Employees Retirement System has $51B in assets, $1.5B of which is lodged with hedge funds -- but maybe for not much longer. Read the rest

Panama's public prosecutor says he can't find any evidence of Mossack-Fonseca's lawbreaking

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Following Tuesday's raid on disgraced offshore incorporation lawfirm Mossack-Fonseca, Panama's public prosecutor has announced that he can't find any evidence of wrongdoing in the firm's files. Read the rest

How the UK's biggest pharmacy chain went from family-run public service to debt-laden hedge-fund disaster

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Boots the Chemist started out as a family-run business whose Methodist founders believed in civic duty and public service, spreading across the country and providing front-line medical services to Britons, making 40% of their revenues from government compensation for NHS service. Read the rest

Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca law offices raided by Panama authorities

Police officers stand guard next to a company list showing the Mossack Fonseca law firm outside their office in Panama City April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Officers acting on behalf of the attorney general of Panama raided Mossack Fonseca's office on Tuesday. Ramon Fonseca, the company's co-founder, insists that the firm had "broken no laws, destroyed no documents, and all its operations were legal." Read the rest

Jeremy Corbyn overpays his taxes

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The Sun, a Murdoch-owned UK tabloid, accused the socialist Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (previously) of dodging his fair share of taxes, claiming he understated his income from speeches by £450. After closer examination, it transpired that Corbyn overstated his earnings by £270 and paid tax on the full amount. Read the rest

Goldman Sachs really only has to pay half of its settlement for world-destroying financial fraud

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The headline figure of a $5B settlement that Goldman will have to pay after admitting to the toxic-asset fraud that led to the global economic collapse is just window-dressing: in the fine print are exemptions and giveaways that could cut that number in half. Read the rest

Goldman Sachs will pay $5B for fraudulent sales of toxic debt, no one will go to jail

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No one at Goldman Sachs will go to jail despite the company's world-destroying, multi-billion-dollar frauds that culminated in its unloading billions' worth of worthless mortgage-backed securities on its customers just before the crash. Read the rest

John Oliver versus credit-reporting and background checks

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1 in 20 credit reports contains grave errors that seriously harm the people whom the reporting bureaus are libeling; the credit reporting industry -- which controls access to rental accommodation, employment, and loans -- says this is proof that the system is working, because they're only ruining the lives of 10,000,000 people. Read the rest

A cashless society as a tool for censorship and social control

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The Atlantic had the excellent idea of commissioning Sarah Jeong, one of the most astute technology commentators on the Internet (previously), to write a series of articles about the social implications of technological change: first up is an excellent, thoughtful, thorough story on the ways that the "cashless society" is being designed to force all transactions through a small number of bottlenecks that states can use to control behavior and censor unpopular political views. Read the rest

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