confidence games lawyers accountants and the tax shelter industry mit press

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Confidence Games

Author : Tanina Rostain
ISBN : 9780262323178
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 44. 44 MB
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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.

A Republic No More

Author : Jay Cost
ISBN : 9781594038686
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 60. 94 MB
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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.

American Tax Resisters

Author : Romain D. Huret
ISBN : 9780674369399
Genre : History
File Size : 88. 38 MB
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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.

Tax Law And Social Norms In Mandatory Palestine And Israel

Author : Assaf Likhovski
ISBN : 9781316820193
Genre : History
File Size : 52. 5 MB
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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.

Entrepreneurial Finance And Accounting For High Tech Companies

Author : Frank J. Fabozzi
ISBN : 9780262336901
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 50. 94 MB
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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.

Cybernetic Revolutionaries

Author : Eden Medina
ISBN : 9780262016490
Genre : Computers
File Size : 62. 11 MB
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A historical study of Chile's twin experiments with cybernetics and socialism, and what they tell us about the relationship of technology and politics.

In The Bubble

Author : John Thackara
ISBN : 0262250373
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 70. 32 MB
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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.

Paths To A Green World

Author : Jennifer Clapp
ISBN : 9780262294621
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 56. 7 MB
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This comprehensive and accessible book fills the need for a political economy view of global environmental politics, focusing on the ways international economic processes affect environmental outcomes. It examines the main actors and forces shaping global environmental management, particularly in the developing world. Moving beyond the usual emphasis on international agreements and institutions, it strives to capture not only academic theoretical debates but also views on politics, economics, and the environment within the halls of global conferences, on the streets during antiglobalization protests, and in the boardrooms of international agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and industry associations. The book maps out an original typology of four contrasting worldviews of environmental change -- those of market liberals, institutionalists, bioenvironmentalists, and social greens -- and uses them as a framework to examine the links between the global political economy and ecological change. This typology provides a common language for students, instructors, and scholars to discuss the issues across the classical social science divisions.The second edition of this popular text has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect recent events, including the food crisis of 2007-2008, the financial meltdown of 2008, and the Copenhagen Climate Conference of 2009. Topics covered include the environmental implications of globalization; wealth, poverty, and consumption; global trade; transnational corporations; and multilateral and private finance.

Political Standards

Author : Karthik Ramanna
ISBN : 9780226210742
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 89. 11 MB
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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."

Introduction To Information Retrieval

Author : Christopher D. Manning
ISBN : 9781139472104
Genre : Computers
File Size : 35. 68 MB
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Class-tested and coherent, this textbook teaches classical and web information retrieval, including web search and the related areas of text classification and text clustering from basic concepts. It gives an up-to-date treatment of all aspects of the design and implementation of systems for gathering, indexing, and searching documents; methods for evaluating systems; and an introduction to the use of machine learning methods on text collections. All the important ideas are explained using examples and figures, making it perfect for introductory courses in information retrieval for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in computer science. Based on feedback from extensive classroom experience, the book has been carefully structured in order to make teaching more natural and effective. Slides and additional exercises (with solutions for lecturers) are also available through the book's supporting website to help course instructors prepare their lectures.

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