This is rather old fashioned isn’t it?

In an interesting turn of events, a 19-year-old villager named Himalaya Mohanty from Odisha hacked into a Hyderabad-based company, causing a loss of Rs 60 lakh.

According to a report by The Times of India, a native of Shibapura village in Balasore district managed to hack the EPABX toll-free number of Lloyd Electricals and Engineering Ltd using his 3-inch mobile phone, and later, uploaded the code along with the toll-free number of Lloyd on a website. This hack allowed him to make free calls via toll-free number.

Wasn’t that the origin of hacking itself, that 30 or 40 years ago? Hacking the telephone exchanges to get free calls?


The two worst times for dicks on the New York subway: when the train car is empty or when it’s crowded. As a teenager, if I found myself in an empty car, I would immediately leave – even if it meant changing cars as the train moved, which terrified me. Because, if I didn’t, I just knew the guy sitting across from me would inevitably lift his newspaper to reveal a semihard cock, and even if he wasn’t planning on it, I sure wasn’t going to sit there and worry about it for the whole ride.

I have a feeling that Ms. Valenti might be slightly over egging matters here.

That there are flashers is entirely true. That every New York subway car either contains one or is likely to is probably not.

Quite apart from the fact that an empty subway car will contain no flashers at all.

But I do think we’ve got a good explanation for Ms. Valenti in general here. As above, there are no doubt flashers out there. I would reckon it’s odds on that most (all?) women have been subject to such indignity at some point. But it’s a very very large leap from the occasional nutter flashing numerous women over the years to women believing that men in general are going to do this given the chance. And it’s that leap which I think explains much of Ms. Valenti.

No. This. Is. Not. Funny.

Really, it isn’t:

ORLEANS — A man has drowned during lifeguard tryouts in a Cape Cod lake.
The Cape Cod Times reports the man slipped beneath the surface of Pilgrim Lake just before 9 a.m. Saturday.
Rescue crews brought him to shore about a half an hour later and tried to resuscitate him. He was taken to Cape Cod Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police haven’t yet released the man’s age or identity.
Police say the man was taking part in annual lifeguard fitness tests for summer lifeguard positions at Nauset Beach.

Guess he didn’t pass then.


Apple is the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, but when it comes to CEO pay, Tim Cook is conspicuously absent on the latest list of top 200 paid CEOs in the US.

Based on a study ran by the New York Times, the average compensation among top executives in 2015 actually dropped 15% in 2015 down to a cool $19.3 million if you work at a company that brings in at least $1 billion in annual revenue. Cook has made much more than that in the past, but this year he didn’t even make cut.


The calculation is salary this year plus stock awards this year. But it’s stock awards in the year they are announced, not stock awards in the year they vest. Thus Cook’s $400 million in RSUs a couple of years back are not being counted. But the 5 year stock award to the Expedia chief this year is.

Seems fair

Privately, the National Obesity Forum (NOF) is in disarray over recommendations last week that people should eat more fat, reduce carbohydrates and stop counting calories.

The influential group is facing a growing backlash from a range of eminent experts on food and obesity, who fear its new guidelines will deepen public confusion over what to eat, set back the fight against expanding waistlines, and even be dangerous to those with type 2 diabetes.

Internal NOF emails seen by the Observer reveal anger among board members that none of them was given the chance to approve the incendiary report before publication, except its chair, Dr David Haslam, who co-wrote it with Dr Aseem Malhotra, an outspoken heart doctor who is the NOF’s cardiological adviser, and others, including Robert Lustig, an American expert on sugar. Haslam, a GP, told them on 12 May that he would seek their advice before publishing but did not do so, it is claimed.

Because as Chris Snowdon has been pointing out, the report is complete bollocks.

So Ritchie sees an IMF report

The appreciation that neoliberalism is not just failing but has failed is growing, and I welcome that.

And what does the report itself say?

There is much to cheer in the neoliberal agenda. The expansion of global trade has rescued millions from abject poverty. Foreign direct investment has often been a way to transfer technology and know-how to developing economies. Privatization of state-owned enterprises has in many instances led to more efficient provision of services and lowered the fiscal burden on governments.­

They seem to like it quite a lot actually.

However, there are aspects of the neoliberal agenda that have not delivered as expected. Our assessment of the agenda is confined to the effects of two policies: removing restrictions on the movement of capital across a country’s borders (so-called capital account liberalization); and fiscal consolidation, sometimes called “austerity,” which is shorthand for policies to reduce fiscal deficits and debt levels. An assessment of these specific policies (rather than the broad neoliberal agenda) reaches three disquieting conclusions:

Ah, they’re not talking about neoliberalism at all then. Rather these two specific policies. And that capital account liberalisation which Ritchie insists is really all about tax havens:

This indeed turns out to be the case. The link between financial openness and economic growth is complex. Some capital inflows, such as foreign direct investment—which may include a transfer of technology or human capital—do seem to boost long-term growth. But the impact of other flows—such as portfolio investment and banking and especially hot, or speculative, debt inflows—seem neither to boost growth nor allow the country to better share risks with its trading partners (Dell’Ariccia and others, 2008; Ostry, Prati, and Spilimbergo, 2009). This suggests that the growth and risk-sharing benefits of capital flows depend on which type of flow is being considered; it may also depend on the nature of supporting institutions and policies.­

In fact, that FDI through a tax haven is beneficial.


The definition of tax avoidance

Ritchie attempts to come back and insist that Oxfam weren’t tax avoiding but Amazon were. There’s a couple of fun points, for example, “Did they take the risk of their arrangements being challenged by HMRC when adopting this structure?”. Well, yes, Oxfam did. Because HMRC used to routinely deny those very arrangements. Which is why the use of them is quite modern.

But the really fun one is:

“Has what they did been subject to mainstream political criticism?”

That is, if Margaret Lady Hoxja accuses you of tax avoidance this is then to be used as proof that you are tax avoiding.

Or, as we might put it, tax avoidance is you paying less tax than Richard Murphy thinks you should be paying.

Think tank warns that wages will rise on Brexit

It’s an odd thing to worry about to be sure:

Leaving the EU could cause catastrophic staff shortages in some sectors, as 88% of EU workers in Britain would not qualify for a visa under the current rules, remain campaigners have warned.

A report from the Social Market Foundation thinktank has found that the majority of the 1.6 million EU workers in the UK do not meet the skills and earnings criteria that those from outside the bloc need in order to qualify for a work visa.

There could be a severe impact on the UK labour market if freedom of movement were to end and workers from all countries were treated according to current rules, the study found.

Thus wages will rise. And the problem with this is?


Sad, angry men sitting in their bedsits in underpants, hating women unattainable to them? Yes, there are plenty of those. But the shock is that most abuse comes from very young women, directed at other women. This is playground behaviour taken to another level, where all the world can see on Facebook or Twitter the petty malice and spite young girls spit out at one another and at other women they envy or resent.

Why? Like the sad angry men, girls lashing out express all their own insecurities and lack of self-esteem. If you hate yourself and your body, if you can’t match the impossible ideal woman imagery all around you, then you lash out to make yourself feel better.

Could be Polly, could be.

Could also be just how us humans are. Absolutely every society has some form of social policing. That’s how we end up with things like the result of the ultimatum game. People are willing to punish others even at cost to themselves for violating social norms. And it just could be that that’s how societies work.

Did Ritchie ever work with Ruth Kelly?

I was intrigued to note that PWC are offering part of a course on creating an ethical environment
within a company at the Lismullin Institute in Ireland tomorrow.

Now don’t get me wrong: I am delighted that PWC is interested in such issues. And the issues they say they will address are fair.

But would I offer such opinion at this Institute which is run by Opus Dei? I am not sure. For a start, offering a discussion of ethics with an organisation that has some difficulties with the role of women does require some pretty big caveats to be offered at the outset. There are some other dimensions that might also need to be explored, in depth.


Richard Murphy says:
May 25 2016 at 10:18 am
If parliament intended to tax the company why did it provide an arrangement so it did not need to be taxed?

Parliament has provided that the UK will not levy tax on profits made by an Irish company in Ireland.

Google is therefore not tax avoiding.

This makes *me* wince and I’m male

A mother in India has given birth to a 15-pound baby girl, believed to be the heaviest female infant ever born.

The child weighs the same amount as the average six-month-old and is reportedly twice the size of the average baby.


The baby, who is unnamed, was delivered by cesarean section

Oh, phew.

The great Donald Trump tax evasion story

The Telegraph has an exclusive. They worked on this for three months.

Exclusive: US presidential hopeful Donald Trump signed off on a controversial business deal that was designed to deprive the American government of tens of millions of dollars in tax, the Telegraph can disclose.

The billionaire approved a $50 million investment in a company – only for the deal to be rewritten several weeks later as a ‘loan’.

Experts say that the effect of this move was to skirt vast tax liabilities, and court papers seen by the Telegraph allege that the deal amounted to fraud.

Independent tax accountants and lawyers said that the documents Mr Trump signed – copies of which were obtained by this newspaper as part of a three-month investigation – contained “red flags” indicating the deal was irregular.

But the Republican presumptive presidential nominee signed nonetheless.

A real estate deal that used Trump’s name but was actually between other companies. If it is structured this way then the tax position is this. If it’s structured that way then the tax position is this other.

The documents were signed, they thought about that tax position and decided to run it again using the other structure.

Big Scandal, eh? And of course, you’ll not be surprised to know that this story was brought to you with the assistance of the Tax Justice Network, would you?