The Swiss government says it may have to renegotiate that deal with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to hand over names of thousands of tax cheats in return for ending legal proceedings against the Swiss banking giant UBS. Law Professor Daniel Berman, a former U.S. Treasury deputy international tax counsel, says the Swiss government has no choice but to comply with the agreement.
“If doing so will require a change in the domestic laws of Switzerland, then Switzerland will have to modify its laws.”
Contact Daniel Berman, 617-353-3105, email@example.com
Despite fury over Wall Street’s pay culture, major banks and securities firms are headed toward a record compensation total of around $145 billion for 2009 when all the numbers are out. Economics Professor Laurence Kotlikoff, a senior economist in the Reagan administration whose new book, “Jimmy Stewart is Dead,” about the banking industry, will be published next month, says the idea of taxing Wall Steet now is a “transparent joke.”
“Wall Street is continuing to play craps with the taxpayers’ chips and to lay the ground for a financial earthquake of even greater magnitude than we’ve just experienced.”
Contact Laurence Kotlikoff, 617-353-4002, firstname.lastname@example.org
On the one hand Citigroup is repaying Uncle Sam that TARP bailout money, which is good for taxpayers. On the other hand, they’re getting a multi-billion dollar tax break in the process. Economics Professor Laurence Kotlikoff, a former senior economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisors, doesn’t like the tax breaks built into the repayment program.
“This is Uncle Sam handing out money under the rug. This is expected of a third-world dictatorship, not our country.”
Contact Laurence Kotlikoff, 617-353-4002, or email@example.com
Law Professor Tamar Frankel, author of “Trust and Honesty: America’s Business Culture at a Crossroad,” says taxation is a reasonable tool to use to control corporations which are being given federal bailout money because they’ve become “too big to fail.”
“Many wonder and worry about the mammoth banks and corporations that became ‘too big to fail’ and are sucking the taxpayers’ money — yet do not have enough. How should the size of these corporations and future ones be controlled?
“In the name of efficiency we have eliminated enforcing antitrust laws and allowed corporate managers to increase their power by acquiring smaller corporations. We have specialized functional limits (e.g., investment banking separation from commercial banking). One possibility is to tax not the income but the assets of corporations above a certain size. But that has not been done before and is fraught with problems.
“The new administration has taken the better step of taxing corporations wherever they profit and escape U.S. taxation. Corporations will declare their income, pay taxes and hopefully shrink somewhat. Their share prices might fall, but they might also rise. Size does not mean efficiency or competitiveness. It does mean management and executive higher compensation.
“In light of the enormous handouts to these corporations and the national deficit which they have bestowed on us, taxing these entities may bring both the shareholders relief in an indirect way, and the country some relief in a very direct way.”
Contact Tamar Frankel, 617-353-3773, firstname.lastname@example.org