… here’s what [Tax software maker] Intuit said in its investor report, describing risks to its business model.
“Our consumer tax business also faces significant competition from the public sector, where we face the risk of federal and state taxing authorities developing software or other systems to facilitate tax return preparation and electronic filing at no charge to taxpayers. These or similar programs may be introduced or expanded in the future, which may cause us to lose customers and revenue. For example, during tax season 2010, the federal government introduced a prepaid debit card program to facilitate the refund process. Our consumer and professional tax businesses provide this service as well.
Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum is a case alleging that Royal Dutch/Shell (Shell oil) was complicit in crimes against humanity in Nigeria in the 1990s, when numerous Nigerians from the Ogoni region were killed and tortured for their opposition to oil activities in their territory and criticism of Shell. Shell allegedly collaborated with the Nigerian military regime to commit these abuses, and the victims sued in federal court under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that corporations could not be sued for human rights abuses under the ATS, which allows suits for universally-recognized violations of international law.
This Friday, in an assault on the Volcker rule that might on the surface seem to have been in support of Dimon, the Wall Street Journal editorial board ultimately made the case instead for breaking up the large banks.
The Journal editorial rightly argued that Dodd-Frank promotes the illusion that an increasingly complex regulatory apparatus can prevent systemic failure. It is simply not reasonable to imagine that regulators can begin to track and monitor, much less regulate, the complex risks embedded on bank balance sheets — hidden away in collateral rules, language arbitrage and collateral valuation.
While the Journal rails against the extent to which the banking industry problem stems from bad policy — from overly stimulative monetary policy to political meddling in banking rules — neither the Fed nor Congress are going away. In its penultimate paragraph, the Journal suggests as a closing imperative that a real solution requires “a Congressional plan either for allowing large banks to fail or for breaking them up.”
And thus the path ahead is clear. We know that too-big-to-fail is a product of the size and systemic importance of such banks as JPMorgan, and that when our next crisis comes, there will be no politician or regulator that will let JPMorgan collapse. This is not a question of Dodd-Frank or public disdain for bailouts. It simply is the truth.
“… Mogul, an attorney at the People’s Law Office and one of the lead attorneys on the recent $6.2m Chicago Police Department settlement for improper arrests at the 2003 anti-war rallies … leaned over to me with a fascinating question: if the City is arguing that the parks need to be closed at night from 11pm to 6am, then how come they remain open for corporate speech 24/7? Aren’t the McDonald’s, Chase, Exelon, Boeing, etc, signs, advertisements, images, also speech? How come they get to be there 24 hours a day?
A quick look at Chicago’s Millenium Park gives you a vague idea of how much corporate speech litters the park.”
The drone industry eagerly anticipates that civil drone use, including use of drones for “suspect tracking” by law enforcement, will soon eclipse military use of drones. Under a section called “Challenges facing [drones],” the lobbyists listed “Civil Liberties.”
The B-Corp is a privately-owned corporation that benefits the public in both general and specific ways. This is different from a regular corporation, which has the specific purpose of generating profits. It also differs from a not-for-profit corporation, which is not privately-owned.
Every B-Corp has the purpose of creating a “general public benefit,” which means that the B-Corp’s business and operations will have a material positive impact on society and the environment.
Each B-Corp will also provide one or more “specific public benefits,” such as:
- providing underserved populations with beneficial products or services;
- promoting economic opportunity beyond the normal creation of jobs;
- preserving the environment;
- improving human health;
- promoting the arts, sciences, and/or advancement of knowledge;
- increasing the flow of capital to entities with a public benefit purpose;
and/or accomplishing any other articulated benefit for society or the environment.
“Two American brothers of a Mexican casino magnate who fled drug and fraud charges in the United States and has been seeking a pardon enabling him to return have emerged as major fund-raisers and donors for President Obama’s re-election campaign.
When The New York Times asked the Obama campaign early Monday about the Cardonas, officials said they were unaware of the brother in Mexico. Later in the day, the campaign said it was refunding the money raised by the family, which totaled more than $200,000.”
““We’re not going to fight this fight with one hand tied behind our back,” Jim Messina, the manager of Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign, said in an interview. “With so much at stake, we can’t allow for two sets of rules.””
Aspartame can step aside. There’s a new sweetener in town and it isn’t saddled with the inconvenience of having to be listed on labels, so it can be sneaked into any prepared food, even USDA so-called Organic. So sayeth the FDA. Neotame is a Monsanto-created chemical similar to Aspartame, including its neurotoxic properties.
Monsanto developed Neotame as their Aspartame patent was expiring, and had no trouble in gaining FDA approval in 2002. They added 3-dimethylbutyl, a chemical listed as hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to Aspartame, making it both sweeter and more toxic.