Confidence Games

Lawyers, Accountants, and the Tax Shelter Industry

Author: Tanina Rostain,Milton C. Regan, Jr.

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262323176

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 424

View: 7714

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For ten boom-powered years at the turn of the twenty-first century, some of America's most prominent law and accounting firms created and marketed products that enabled the very rich -- including newly minted dot-com millionaires -- to avoid paying their fair share of taxes by claiming benefits not recognized by law. These abusive domestic tax shelters bore such exotic names as BOSS, BLIPS, and COBRA and were developed by such prestigious firms as KPMG and Ernst & Young. They brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in fees from clients and bilked the U.S. Treasury of billions in revenues before the IRS and Justice Department stepped in with civil penalties and criminal prosecutions. In Confidence Games, Tanina Rostain and Milton Regan describe the rise and fall of the tax shelter industry during this period, offering a riveting account of the most serious episode of professional misconduct in the history of the American bar.Rostain and Regan describe a beleaguered IRS preoccupied by attacks from antitax and antigovernment politicians; heightened competition for professional services; the relaxation of tax practitioner norms against aggressive advice; and the creation of complex financial instruments that made abusive shelters harder to detect. By 2004, the tax shelter boom was over, leaving failed firms, disgraced professionals, and prison sentences in its wake. Rostain and Regan's cautionary tale remains highly relevant today, as lawyers and accountants continue to face intense competitive pressure and regulators still struggle to keep pace with accelerating financial risk and innovation.

American Tax Resisters

Author: Romain D. Huret

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674369394

Category: History

Page: 381

View: 5407

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American Tax Resisters gives a history of the anti-tax movement that, for the past 150 years, has pursued limited taxes on wealth and battled efforts to secure social justice through income redistribution. It explains how a once-marginal ideology became mainstream, elevating individual entrepreneurialism over sacrifice and solidarity.

A Republic No More

Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption

Author: Jay Cost

Publisher: Encounter Books

ISBN: 1594038686

Category: Political Science

Page: 408

View: 4113

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After the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin’s response: “A Republic—if you can keep it.” This book argues: we couldn’t keep it. A true republic privileges the common interest above the special interests. To do this, our Constitution established an elaborate system of checks and balances that disperses power among the branches of government, which it places in conflict with one another. The Framers believed that this would keep grasping, covetous factions from acquiring enough power to dominate government. Instead, only the people would rule. Proper institutional design is essential to this system. Each branch must manage responsibly the powers it is granted, as well as rebuke the other branches when they go astray. This is where subsequent generations have run into trouble: we have overloaded our government with more power than it can handle. The Constitution’s checks and balances have broken down because the institutions created in 1787 cannot exercise responsibly the powers of our sprawling, immense twenty-first-century government. The result is the triumph of special interests over the common interest. James Madison called this factionalism. We know it as political corruption. Corruption today is so widespread that our government is not really a republic, but rather a special interest democracy. Everybody may participate, yes, but the contours of public policy depend not so much on the common good, as on the push-and-pull of the various interest groups encamped in Washington, DC.

Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel

Author: Assaf Likhovski

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 131682019X

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 2720

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This book describes how a social-norms model of taxation rose and fell in British-ruled Palestine and the State of Israel in the mid-twentieth century. Such a model, in which non-legal means were used to foster compliance, appeared in the tax system created by the Jewish community in 1940s Palestine and was later adopted by the new Israeli state in the 1950s. It gradually disappeared in subsequent decades as law and its agents, lawyers and accountants, came to play a larger role in the process of taxation. By describing the historical interplay between formal and informal tools for creating compliance, Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel sheds new light on our understanding of the relationship between law and other methods of social control, and reveals the complex links between taxation and citizenship.

The Palgrave Handbook of Australian and New Zealand Criminology, Crime and Justice

Author: Antje Deckert,Rick Sarre

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319557475

Category: Social Science

Page: 916

View: 4628

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This handbook engages key debates in Australian and New Zealand criminology over the last 50 years. In six sections, containing 56 original chapters, leading researchers and practitioners investigate topics such as the history of criminology; crime and justice data; law reform; gangs; youth crime; violent, white collar and rural crime; cybercrime; terrorism; sentencing; Indigenous courts; child witnesses and children of prisoners; police complaints processes; gun laws; alcohol policies; and criminal profiling. Key sections highlight criminological theory and, crucially, Indigenous issues and perspectives on criminal justice. Contributors examine the implications of past and current trends in official data collection, crime policy, and academic investigation to build up an understanding of under-researched and emerging problem areas for future research. An authoritative and comprehensive text, this handbook constitutes a long-awaited and necessary resource for dedicated academics, public policy analysts, and university students.

Pioneers of Critical Accounting

A Celebration of the Life of Tony Lowe

Author: Jim Haslam,Prem Sikka

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137542128

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 327

View: 9869

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This book celebrates the life and work of Tony Lowe, a pioneer of critical accounting. The authors elaborate on the fact that Tony Lowe regarded accounting as a moral and political practice rather than some dry technical phenomena because it has serious social consequences. The essays in the book are written by a global community of Tony’s former colleagues and students and show the value of adopting interdisciplinary perspectives. The essays locate accounting and business practices in wider social, economic and political contexts to show that Tony’s ideas had far reaching applications for regulation, corporation governance, accounting, auditing, the environment, corporate social responsibility, organisational accountability, gender, race, globalization and the functioning of the state. The book is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students, scholars and practitioners seeking to free themselves from the shackles of conventional views about accounting and business practices.

DNA and the Criminal Justice System

The Technology of Justice

Author: David Lazer

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262621861

Category: Law

Page: 414

View: 7061

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Examines the impact of DNA technology on issues of ethics, civil liberties, privacy, and security.

Getting Up

Subway Graffiti in New York

Author: Craig Castleman

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262530514

Category: Social Science

Page: 191

View: 6589

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Depicts the efforts of teenagers in New York City to write graffiti on subway cars and discusses the attempts of transit officials and police to eliminate graffiti

Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting for High-Tech Companies

Author: Frank J. Fabozzi

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262336901

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 448

View: 6699

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This book offers an accessible guide to the financial aspects of launching and operating a high-tech business in such areas as engineering, computing, and science. It explains a range of subjects -- from risk analysis to stock incentive programs for founders and key employees -- for students and aspiring entrepreneurs who have no prior training in finance or accounting. The book begins with the rigorous analysis any prospective entrepreneur should undertake before launching a business, covering risks associated with a new venture, the reasons startup companies fail, and the stages of financing. It goes on to discuss business models and their components, business plans, and exit planning; forms of business organization, and factors to consider in choosing one; equity allocation to founders and employees; applicable U.S. securities law; and sources of equity capital. The book describes principles of financial accounting, the four basic financial statements, and financial ratios useful in assessing management performance. It also explains financial planning and the use of budgets; profit planning; stock options and other option-type awards; methodologies for valuing a private company; economic assessment of a potential investment project; and the real options approach to risk and managerial flexibility. Appendixes offer case studies of Uber and of the valuation of Tentex.

Climate of Capitulation

An Insider's Account of State Power in a Coal Nation

Author: Vivian E. Thomson

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262340674

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 2643

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The United States has pledged to the world community a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 26--28 percent below 2005 levels in 2025. Because much of this reduction must come from electric utilities, especially coal-fired power plants, coal states will make or break the U.S. commitment to emissions reduction. In Climate of Capitulation, Vivian Thomson offers an insider's account of how power is wielded in environmental policy making at the state level. Thomson, a former member of Virginia's State Air Pollution Control Board, identifies a "climate of capitulation" in state government -- a deeply rooted favoritism toward coal and electric utilities in states' air pollution policies.Thomson narrates three cases involving coal and air pollution from her time on the Air Board. She illuminates the overt and covert power struggles surrounding air pollution limits for a coal-fired power plant just across the Potomac from Washington, for a controversial new coal-fired electrical generation plant in coal country, and for coal dust pollution from truck traffic in a country hollow. Thomson links Virginia's climate of capitulation with campaign donations that make legislators politically indebted to coal and electric utility interests, a traditionalistic political culture tending to inertia, and a part-time legislature that depended on outside groups for information and bill drafting. Extending her analysis to fifteen other coal-dependent states, Thomson offers policy reforms aimed at mitigating the ingrained biases toward coal and electric utilities in states' air pollution policy making.

Persuasive Games

The Expressive Power of Videogames

Author: Ian Bogost

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262261944

Category: Games

Page: 464

View: 9476

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Videogames are an expressive medium, and a persuasive medium; they represent how real and imagined systems work, and they invite players to interact with those systems and form judgments about them. In this innovative analysis, Ian Bogost examines the way videogames mount arguments and influence players. Drawing on the 2,500-year history of rhetoric, the study of persuasive expression, Bogost analyzes rhetoric's unique function in software in general and videogames in particular. The field of media studies already analyzes visual rhetoric, the art of using imagery and visual representation persuasively. Bogost argues that videogames, thanks to their basic representational mode of procedurality (rule-based representations and interactions), open a new domain for persuasion; they realize a new form of rhetoric. Bogost calls this new form "procedural rhetoric," a type of rhetoric tied to the core affordances of computers: running processes and executing rule-based symbolic manipulation. He argues further that videogames have a unique persuasive power that goes beyond other forms of computational persuasion. Not only can videogames support existing social and cultural positions, but they can also disrupt and change these positions themselves, leading to potentially significant long-term social change. Bogost looks at three areas in which videogame persuasion has already taken form and shows considerable potential: politics, advertising, and learning.

The Design of Everyday Things

Revised and Expanded Edition

Author: Don Norman

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465072992

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 384

View: 4714

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The ultimate guide to human-centered design Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious-even liberating-book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization. The Design of Everyday Things shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time. The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how--and why--some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

Author: Erik Brynjolfsson,Andrew McAfee

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393241254

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 3126

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A New York Times Bestseller. A “fascinating” (Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times) look at how digital technology is transforming our work and our lives. In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies—with hardware, software, and networks at their core—will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human. In The Second Machine Age MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee—two thinkers at the forefront of their field—reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives. Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds—from lawyers to truck drivers—will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar. Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape. A fundamentally optimistic book, The Second Machine Age alters how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.

The New Environmental Regulation

Author: Daniel J. Fiorino

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262062569

Category: Law

Page: 290

View: 5670

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Winner, 2007 Louis Brownlow Award presented by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and 2006 Best Book in Environmental Management and Policy, American Society for Public Administration. Environmental regulation in the United States has succeeded, to a certain extent, in solving the problems it was designed to address; air, water, and land, are indisputably cleaner and in better condition than they would be without the environmental controls put in place since 1970. But Daniel Fiorino argues in The New Environmental Regulation that—given recent environmental, economic, and social changes—it is time for a new, more effective model of environmental problem solving. Fiorino provides a comprehensive but concise overview of U.S. environmental regulation—its history, its rationale, and its application—and offers recommendations for a more collaborative, flexible, and performance-based alternative. Traditional environmental regulation was based on the increasingly outdated assumption that environmental protection and business are irreversibly at odds. The new environmental regulation Fiorino describes is based on performance rather than on a narrow definition of compliance and uses such policy instruments as market incentives and performance measurement. It takes into consideration differences in the willingness and capabilities of different firms to meet their environmental obligations, and it encourages innovation by allowing regulated industries, especially the better performers, more flexibility in how they achieve environmental goals. Fiorino points to specific programs—including the 33/50 Program, innovative permitting, and the use of covenants as environmental policy instruments in the Netherlands—that have successfully pioneered these new strategies. By bringing together such a wide range of research and real world examples, Fiorino has created an invaluable resource for practitioners and scholars and an engaging text for environmental policy courses.

The Access Principle

The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship

Author: John Willinsky

Publisher: The MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262512664

Category: Computers

Page: 287

View: 5916

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An argument for extending the circulation of knowledge with new publishing technologies considers scholarly, economic, philosophical, and practical issues.

Understanding Media

The Extensions of Man

Author: Marshall McLuhan

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 9781537430058

Category:

Page: 396

View: 7203

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When first published, Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media made history with its radical view of the effects of electronic communications upon man and life in the twentieth century.

In the Bubble

Designing in a Complex World

Author: John Thackara

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262250375

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 336

View: 7377

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We're filling up the world with technology and devices, but we've lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives? So asks author John Thackara in his new book, In the Bubble: Designing for a Complex World. These are tough questions for the pushers of technology to answer. Our economic system is centered on technology, so it would be no small matter if "tech" ceased to be an end-in-itself in our daily lives. Technology is not going to go away, but the time to discuss the end it will serve is before we deploy it, not after. We need to ask what purpose will be served by the broadband communications, smart materials, wearable computing, and connected appliances that we're unleashing upon the world. We need to ask what impact all this stuff will have on our daily lives. Who will look after it, and how?In the Bubble is about a world based less on stuff and more on people. Thackara describes a transformation that is taking place now -- not in a remote science fiction future; it's not about, as he puts it, "the schlock of the new" but about radical innovation already emerging in daily life. We are regaining respect for what people can do that technology can't. In the Bubble describes services designed to help people carry out daily activities in new ways. Many of these services involve technology -- ranging from body implants to wide-bodied jets. But objects and systems play a supporting role in a people-centered world. The design focus is on services, not things. And new principles -- above all, lightness -- inform the way these services are designed and used. At the heart of In the Bubble is a belief, informed by a wealth of real-world examples, that ethics and responsibility can inform design decisions without impeding social and technical innovation.

Political Standards

Corporate Interest, Ideology, and Leadership in the Shaping of Accounting Rules for the Market Economy

Author: Karthik Ramanna

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022621074X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 277

View: 3250

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Assembling compelling and unprecedented evidence, "Political Standards: Accounting for Legitimacy" documents how in subtle ways the rules of corporate accounting a critical institution in modern market capitalism have been captured to benefit industrial corporations, financial firms, and audit firms. In what is perhaps the only independent overview of the accounting industry, Karthik Ramanna begins with a history of corporate accounting and an accessible explanation of how it works today, including the essential roles it plays in defining the fundamental notion of profitability, facilitating asset allocation, and ensuring the accountability of corporations and their managers. From the evidence, Ramanna shows how accounting rule-makers selectively co-opt conceptual arguments from academia and elsewhere to advance the views of the special-interest groups. From this, Ramanna moves on to develop more broadly a new type of regulatory challenge that of producing public policy in a thin political market. His argument is that accounting rules cannot be determined without the substantial expertise and experience of groups that by definition also have strong commercial interests in the outcome." Political Standards" concludes with an exploration of possible solutions to the problem in accounting and that of thin political markets in general, charting avenues for scholarship and practice. Certain to be an eye-opening account of a massive industry central to the modern business world, "Political Standards "will be an essential resource in understanding how the rules of the game business are set, whom they inevitably favor, and how they can be changed for the better of society."

Synthetic Worlds

The Business and Culture of Online Games

Author: Edward Castronova

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226096319

Category: Computers

Page: 344

View: 2286

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From EverQuest to World of Warcraft, online games have evolved from the exclusive domain of computer geeks into an extraordinarily lucrative staple of the entertainment industry. People of all ages and from all walks of life now spend thousands of hours—and dollars—partaking in this popular new brand of escapism. But the line between fantasy and reality is starting to blur. Players have created virtual societies with governments and economies of their own whose currencies now trade against the dollar on eBay at rates higher than the yen. And the players who inhabit these synthetic worlds are starting to spend more time online than at their day jobs. In Synthetic Worlds, Edward Castronova offers the first comprehensive look at the online game industry, exploring its implications for business and culture alike. He starts with the players, giving us a revealing look into the everyday lives of the gamers—outlining what they do in their synthetic worlds and why. He then describes the economies inside these worlds to show how they might dramatically affect real world financial systems, from potential disruptions of markets to new business horizons. Ultimately, he explores the long-term social consequences of online games: If players can inhabit worlds that are more alluring and gratifying than reality, then how can the real world ever compete? Will a day ever come when we spend more time in these synthetic worlds than in our own? Or even more startling, will a day ever come when such questions no longer sound alarmist but instead seem obsolete? With more than ten million active players worldwide—and with Microsoft and Sony pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into video game development—online games have become too big to ignore. Synthetic Worlds spearheads our efforts to come to terms with this virtual reality and its concrete effects. “Illuminating. . . . Castronova’s analysis of the economics of fun is intriguing. Virtual-world economies are designed to make the resulting game interesting and enjoyable for their inhabitants. Many games follow a rags-to-riches storyline, for example. But how can all the players end up in the top 10%? Simple: the upwardly mobile human players need only be a subset of the world's population. An underclass of computer-controlled 'bot' citizens, meanwhile, stays poor forever. Mr. Castronova explains all this with clarity, wit, and a merciful lack of academic jargon.”—The Economist “Synthetic Worlds is a surprisingly profound book about the social, political, and economic issues arising from the emergence of vast multiplayer games on the Internet. What Castronova has realized is that these games, where players contribute considerable labor in exchange for things they value, are not merely like real economies, they are real economies, displaying inflation, fraud, Chinese sweatshops, and some surprising in-game innovations.”—Tim Harford, Chronicle of Higher Education

The Foundations and Future of Financial Regulation

Governance for Responsibility

Author: Mads Andenas,Iris H-Y Chiu

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113504337X

Category: Law

Page: 544

View: 9803

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Financial regulation has entered into a new era, as many foundational economic theories and policies supporting the existing infrastructure have been and are being questioned following the financial crisis. Goodhart et al’s seminal monograph "Financial Regulation: Why, How and Where Now?" (Routledge:1998) took stock of the extent of financial innovation and the maturity of the financial services industry at that time, and mapped out a new regulatory roadmap. This book offers a timely exploration of the "Why, How and Where Now" of financial regulation in the aftermath of the crisis in order to map out the future trajectory of financial regulation in an age where financial stability is being emphasised as a key regulatory objective. The book is split into four sections: the objectives and regulatory landscape of financial regulation; the regulatory regime for investor protection; the regulatory regime for financial institutional safety and soundness; and macro-prudential regulation. The discussion ranges from theoretical and policy perspectives to comprehensive and critical consideration of financial regulation in the specifics. The focus of the book is on the substantive regulation of the UK and the EU, as critical examination is made of the unravelling and the future of financial regulation with comparative insights offered where relevant especially from the US. Running throughout the book is consideration of the relationship between financial regulation, financial stability and the responsibility of various actors in governance. This book offers an important contribution to continuing reflections on the role of financial regulation, market discipline and corporate responsibility in the financial sector, and upon the roles of regulatory authorities, markets and firms in ensuring the financial health and security of all in the future.