Wednesday, February 07, 2007

In addition, it is vital that there be a set of financial intermediaries, who are at least as competent and sophisticated at receiving, processing, and interpreting financial information . . . as the companies are at delivering it.” Puzzles are “transmitter-dependent”; they turn on what we are told. Mysteries are “receiver dependent”; they turn on the skills of the listener, and Macey argues that, as Enron’s business practices grew more complicated, it was Wall Street’s responsibility to keep pace.

Ancient history or not … Warsaw's new archbishop has resigned amid a scandal over his involvement with the communist-era secret police that has shaken the deeply Roman Catholic country. Archbishop resigns over spying

Can we change the heart of politics? Moral dilemma sharpens: now it's 'rat' or run dry
Dobbing, throughout history, has been seen as a despicable act — perhaps nowhere so much as in Australia, which has harboured a deep distrust of authority since convict days and adhered to a code of mateship demanding that citizens protect each other at all costs.

“I want to know what were the steps by which men passed from barbarism to civilization”. This query raised by Voltaire, the eighteenth century French philosopher may have numerous responses and answers. One thing is, however, quite clear that evolving the taxation system has been an important step taken by the organised societies while moving up the ladder of civilization.

Testy Lines; [ Taxation and civilisation ; This month, Siemens, the Germany-based global engineering and electronics company, informed the United States Securities and Exchange Commission that prosecutors investigating the company for corruption have seized bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, two leading "offshore" banking centres. One hand launders the other ]
• · Even if little else can be said for it, Little Chef is a British institution. So the company's turbulent week - when, a year after being ditched by one private-equity group, it was plunged into administration and then pulled back out by another - was noticed by many who normally pay no attention to such dealings. It was further evidence of the way private equity, that is shares in any company not listed on public stock exchanges, is increasingly important to British business. Where the traditional pattern is for private companies to grow before being floated on the stock market, there is now increasing traffic in the other direction, as new year figures from Thomson Financial confirmed. Companies worth a record £77bn globally were taken private in 2006 Business in the dark ; Democracy in Britain is in a dangerous state. Faith in politicians has sunk to an all-time low. But is the public image fair? Cash for questions, lobbying, political favours, patronage, party funding, whipping, indiscretions, secrecy, half-truths...What lies behind these issues? The Truth About Westminster
• · The decision by Bill Gates to give all his time in future to his foundation, and then by Warren Buffett to add $37bn to the fund, will together trigger a series of events of truly lasting significance. Warren Buffett gives $37bn to Bill Gates' Foundation and Gates to leave Microsoft to run it all ; Gates and windows
• · · All great men of the calibre of Marcus Einfeld, who devote their lives to worthy causes, deserve to be rescued by a blonde angel. Angela Liati has come forward to assist the former judge in his hour of need because, as she explained: "The man has given his life to good causes Jeff Shaw needs his own bombshell from a blonde ; Is there a politician or a judge left who's not in trouble?
• · · · Former ABBA star Bjorn Ulvaeus is accused of tax evasion, with officials believing Ulvaeus siphoned his royalty payments into a Netherlands-based construction company. Money, Money, Money was the title of one of former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus' hits … The tax office agreed to reduce its claim to around $9.5 million, but Ulvaeus appealed the case. It wasn't clear when the court would consider the appeal. Money, Money, Money ; Dancing Queen
• · · · · Every part of the story on its own seems to be the same old, worn-out thing: appointing cronies, political intrigue, pressure, a case of one hand washing the other. Is there anyone left who's not corrupt? ; The national-security expert Gregory Treverton has famously made a distinction between puzzles and mysteries. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts are a puzzle. We can’t find him because we don’t have enough information. The key to the puzzle will probably come from someone close to bin Laden, and until we can find that source bin Laden will remain at large OPEN SECRETS
• · · · · · 'No ifs, no buts': the government will turn a blind eye if you are rich You are rich … so am I; Communicating with Congress: How Capitol Hill is Coping with the Surge in Citizen Advocacy