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

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

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

Middle class housing projects are the Bay Area's future

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When "affordable" homes in San Francisco are advertised as "From the low $1,000,000s", it's not just the working poor who are pushed out of the city: it's everyone, except VCs, people living on VC money, and people who've cashed out on VC-backed companies. Read the rest

Iceland's Prime Minister says he won't resign, mass demonstrations gain momentum

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After storming out of an interview where he was questioned about his ownership of an offshore company implicated in the Icelandic banking scandal, Iceland's Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, has said he will not resign (he did apologize for doing a bad job on the interview). Read the rest

Panama Papers: Largest leak in history reveals political and business elite hiding trillions in offshore havens

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An anonymous source has handed 2.6TB worth of records from Mossack Fonseca, one of the world's largest offshore law firms, to a consortium of news outlets, including The Guardian. Read the rest

LA's new rule: homeless people are only allowed to own one trashcan's worth of things

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A new law passed by the LA city council prohibits homeless people from owning more belongings than can fit in a 60-gallon trashcan with the lid on, and allows police to summarily confiscate any tents that are still standing on public property during daylight hours. Read the rest

33 state Democratic parties launder $26M from millionaires for Hillary

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The Supreme Court's 2014 McCutcheon v FEC ruling eliminated aggregate caps on individual campaign donations, and this paved the way for the DNC and the Hillary Victory Fund to collaborate with 33 state-level Democratic parties to accept $10,000 donations from the millionaires and billionaires who back Clinton, kicking them back up to Hillary, allowing each couple to donate up to $1.32M to the Clinton campaign. Read the rest

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