Ah, that’s where it comes from

his apparent adoption of Claud Cockburn’s dictum on the correct attitude to be adopted whenever one talked to a politician — which was to ask oneself, “Why is this bastard lying to me?” —

Or as I’ve been known to copy it: “Why is this bastard bastard bastard lying to me? The bastard.”

Labour’s planning an FTT

As the IMF says about FTTs:

How much overall investment would fall as a result of the STT would depend on the relative
elasticities of capital supply and demand. In a small, open economy, the after-tax return on
capital is determined on the world market. In response to imposition of the STT, capital
would flow out until its after-tax return was restored to the world market level. In the long
run, capital owners would therefore not bear the burden of the STT; it would fall on workers,
who as a result of the smaller capital stock would be less productive and receive lower
wages. If, however, the capital supply is less than perfectly elastic, the STT will lower the
return on capital, and capital owners will share the burden of the tax with workers.26

That is, the FTT is paid by the workers. And that initial part? That’s an awful lot of pensioners you’ve just made poorer too.

How excellent, we’ve a Brexit test

Extinction Rebellion protesters have blocked a primary exit road for the Port of Dover causing “carnage” and delays for holidaymakers arriving from Europe.

Climate change activists are understood to have glued themselves to the A20 road near the busy harbour to “highlight the vulnerability of the UK’s food supply in the face of the ecological and climate emergency”.

Ferry companies have reduced the number of ships they disembark passengers from at one time in order to stagger the flow of traffic.

The impact upon the price of tomatoes in the supermarket has been what?

The vulnerability of the food supply system is therefore what?

Let’s just rewrite this story

Hundreds of children with cancer being denied potentially lifesaving drugs

Where the Hell’s Mengele when you need him? For we’ve got to start doing medical experiments on sick kids.

That being what the actual problem is. We don’t test drugs on kids. Therefore they either not approved or we’re not sure they will work on kids. Thus they don’t get them.

The solution is to test drugs on kids.

It’s going to make a hell of a bang…..

Wework has 527,000 members in 528 locations across 27 countries, having expanded rapidly since it was founded in New York nine years ago. It is the largest corporate occupier of office space in London and New York.

…..when it hits the floor.

And it’s probably going to, isn’t it?

Yes, from the comments:

New business model: rent office space with free booze on tap to journos. What could possibly go wrong?

I find this cum-ex difficult to believe

Cum-ex and its variant cum-cum were highly complex share deals with no economic purpose other than to receive tax ‘reimbursements’ from the state – but for tax that had never in fact been paid. This is how it went. The participants would lend each other shares of major corporations, creating the appearance for the tax authorities that there were two owners of the shares when in fact there was only one. The bank which settled the trades would then issue a ‘confirmation’ to the investor that tax on the dividend payment had been paid to the tax office – when in fact it had not. With this confirmation in hand, the investors were then ‘reimbursed’ by the state. It’s a bit like parents claiming a child benefit for two – or more – children when there is only one child in the family.

I always seriously doubt the ability of journalists to understand financial markets. So I’m not sure I believe this.

The trick seems to be that because the shares were traded on the ex-dividend date then there are two owners of record? Is that right?

Then someone who is righteously dividend tax free – a pension fund say – applies for a rebate?

Is that it? That simple?

Or is it actually not quite that simple. Is it more like dividend washing into tax exempt recipients?

According to Frey, an equity trader at a US investment bank came across the trade accidentally. He had bought shares that were delivered four days later. This interval covered the dividend payment day of the company whose shares he had purchased. This profit is taxed in the domicile of the company (say, Germany). German shareholders can ask for this tax to be reimbursed because they have already paid corporation tax.

The report is long on who went where, who was disguised as what and all that. And very short on actual descriptions of the deals being done. Look at that. That make sense? A dividend isn’t a profit. A shareholder can’t ask for it to be repaid because they’ve paid corporation tax.

A shareholder that is a corporation might gain a credit against a dividend, maybe. But that’s the sort of crucial detail that is important, no?

The trader suddenly realised he had this tax payable in his book without actually owning the shares. The amount was £50 million. It was a very large trade.

The trader wanted to get rid of these funds that were not his. He approached the seller of the shares who had also been reimbursed his tax. The bank’s legal department sought professional tax advice to find out how to return the money to the tax office. The answer came back: “You can keep it.”

If he owes tax then how can he keep it?

I’m just not getting it.

What really worries is that the reporting on how the deal worked is so confused that I’m not sure those doing the reporting grasp it. Which means, well, if they don’t understand it well enough to explain then how can we be sure of what happened?

The general tenor seems to be that if there are two owners on the ex-div date then two tax refunds can be applieed for and they’ll be paid. If so, whose fault is that?


 Investor A (e.g. an asset manager) owns shares worth 20m in listed company X.
 Investor B now buys shares worth 20m from company X as well, just a few days prior to
company X paying out dividend to its shareholders. The shares bought by investor B are
characterized as cum-dividend shares, because these shares will provide the buyer with
dividend. Investor B buys these shares from investor C, who- critically- does not own these
shares himself yet. Investor C is ‘short-selling’, and promises investor B to deliver the shares
at an agreed time.
 Now company X pays out the dividend- worth 1m- to investor A, who receives €750.000,-
directly from company X and a certificate from his own bank to reimburse €250.000,- worth
of dividend tax which has been collected by the German tax authority. As a result, investor
A’s shares are now worth 19m (20m – 1m dividend).
 Investor A now sells these reduced-value shares, characterized as ex-divided shares, to
investor C.
1) Simplified figure representing the German cum-ex scheme
 As agreed before, investor C now delivers these shares to investor B. However, because they
are worth 1m less, investor C pays investor B a dividend compensation worth €750.000,- and
investor B’s bank provides him with a certificate to reimburse €250.000,- of dividend tax.
 Finally, investor B sells his shares (worth 19m) back to investor A. As a result, both investor
A and investor B now own a certificate to reimburse the dividend tax, even though the
German tax authority collected the tax only once.
 The additional reimbursed dividend tax is shared between investors A, B and C.

That does make sense. And now the lovely question – is it illegal?

Not that I’m a lawyer or anything but I would have thought in a common law jurisdiction then yes. But in a Roman Law one? Where they’re not working from general principles but only from the details written down?

During and after the cum-ex scandal was exposed, a so-called cum-cum scheme was used by investors
in Germany and beyond as well. For a cum-cum scheme, a minimum of two parties is needed,
although the traders cooperating in the scheme are often supported by a bank. Below a simplified
example how the cum-cum scheme works in practice.
 Investor A owns 20m in shares in company X but has no legal right to reimburse dividend
tax, e.g. because he is resident in a different country.
 Investor A temporarily sells his cum-dividend shares to investor B who does have the right to
reimburse the dividend tax. Such a temporary sale is known as a ‘loan’.
 Investor B then receives €750.000,- in dividend payments from company X and a certificate
to reimburse €250.000,- worth of dividend tax.
 Investor B sells the shares ex-dividend, now worth 19m, back to investor A, who retained the
contractual right to buy back his shares. Through this construction, investor A retains his
shares, without suffering the negative consequence of losing €250.000,- on the total value of
his shares because he cannot reimburse the dividend tax. Investor A pays investor B a
compensation for his help.

And can’t see that as being illegal at all. Nor even immoral to be honest.

Libruls is different because reasons

Justin Trudeau’s brownface scandal is bad. But voting him out isn’t the solution
Moustafa Bayoumi

Obvious, innit?

Why? Because racial pantomimes are not really about costumes or humor but are about power, the power to degrade the people of another race, the power to ridicule the manners of another ethnicity, and the power to make racism look like it’s all just good fun.

So hang him, right? The answer, amazingly, being no. Because different, see?

What’s that coppery, steely, thing?

Countess of Wessex urges Commonwealth to secure gender equality as Queen awaits report of ‘full and productive outcomes’

Bird whose social position and income relies entirely on who she spreads her legs for demands gender equality?

So, what? He provides a title, a palace and an income and he still has to do the washing up?

The Green New Deal learnt nothing from the 20th century, did they?

You know, that experiment conducted between directed and market based economies? The one we tested as we looked east from the Brandenburg Gate in 1989?

From the Green New Deal report:

First, we need to transform the way
the economy is managed, so that our democratically elected government, not the ‘invisible
hand of the market’, set our future direction. With government back in the driving seat,

Cretinous fuckers.

The Green New Deal we proposed in 2008 has the same fundamental structure as
the Green New Deal that we propose now, although it has evolved. The challenges
we face have shape-shifted, but the fundamental issues remain the same:

That the problem has changed but the solution remains the same is a certain signifier of Woo, is it not?

The way our financial system is currently structured means that government
has given away the ability to make big decisions about the availability and
mobilisation of finance.

We must stop allowing people to spend their own money as they themselves wish.

Yes, they’re cretins:

To make that possible, we will need to do
what governments do in war time and bring offshore capital back onshore to
make sure that government, not markets, can make the big economic decisions
we need.

The UK’s net balance sheet position is that foreigners have already invested more in the UK then Brits have invested in foreign.

We’ve already got more than our own capital onshore that is. You twats.

Since the introduction of austerity, monetary policy has been expansionary,
and has enriched the 1%. Fiscal policy, which benefits the public, has been

Taxing people more benefits the public? Increasing the national debt does? Sure, some sorts of fiscal policy might benefit the majority at the expense of the minority. But seriously, this as a bald statement of fact?

This requires greater coordination between the Bank of England, the
treasury and the debt management office

Abolish the independence of the Bank of England so as to make sure there’s no voice questioning the policies we’re going to enact.

The most important point
is that there is no excuse, economic or political, not to invest in a Green New Deal.

That it’s a ghastly waste of money suggested by idiots is apparently not an economic reason these days.

Agro-ecological farming
methods deliver multiple benefits. They are rich in employment,

A translation – more peasants will have to work in the fields.

Once, unearned income was
enjoyed by the minority in Britain who had significant assets which went up in value, it was a case of ‘to those
who have shall be given’. But trials of a version of basic income scheme revealed a wide range of benefits that
made economic and social sense. It released an entrepreneurial spirit

The entrepreneurs then recreating inequality you useless, stupid, toads.


‘N’ you can bugger off ‘n’all Honeybuns

including nationalising the endowments of the hugely wealthy public schools.

Theft, pure and simple.

Not that it will work of course, because nationalisation requires full compensation at market value. So government has to go buy those endowments. Which, given that they’re piles of cash and investments means just swapping one pile for another. But then lefties and even basic sums, eh?

Georgie Laddie

George Monbiot rather fell for one. The original:

The most expensive yacht in the world, costing £3bn, is a preposterous slab of floating bling called History Supreme. It carries 100 tonnes of gold and platinum wrapped around almost every surface, even the anchor.

The corrected:

Perhaps to visit one of their superhomes, constructed and run at vast environmental cost, or to take a trip on their superyacht, which might burn 500 litres of diesel an hour just ticking over, and which is built and furnished with rare materials extracted at the expense of beautiful places.

With the footnote:

This article was amended on September 19 to remove an inaccurate reference to the world’s most expensive superyacht.

George can get taken in by odd claims…..

We know the solution here

Child sex abuse victims are being retraumatised by fighting a “futile” battle for compensation, government-ordered inquiry has found.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published its report on the Accountability and Reparations strand of its wide-ranging investigations on Thursday.

The researchers concluded that survivors are often retraumatised during what can prove to be a “frustrating, hostile and ultimately futile” legal battle for justice through the courts.

Just give the cash to anyone who claims.

What? You want to retraumatise them? And of course no one would claim without there being merit to the claim, would they?

Just don’t mention Nick….

Entirely missing the point

Essay-writing firms claim that they use a service offered by Turnitin, a plagiarism detection tool used by universities, to provide their customers with reassurance that the work they purchase will not be flagged as suspicious.

OK. Tool to detect p[algiarism exists. So, people wanting to avoid plagiarism will use tool to do so.

And, obviously, those selling the essays will use the tool to ensure that the tool used to try to find them doesn’t.

All obvious enough.

When a student or staff member at a subscribing institution runs a Turnitin check using that institution’s subscription, the article that they are assessing is often added to the Turnitin “student database” so that future submissions can be checked for plagiarism against its content. However, when an individual uses the WriteCheck service, essays are not added to the main database.

Access to the WriteCheck service costs $7.95 (£6.40) for one paper, $19.95 for three papers or $29.95 for five papers. HE registered with the service and had one article checked. At no point in the process were we required to verify our identity or say why we were using the service.

The essay mills aren’t paying to have stuff checked individually, don’t be stupid. They’re employing a student with access to an institutional account to do it.


Why not find out then?

The blunt fact is that the US market has run out of overnight security available within what is called the repo markets (see those explainers for details).

The official line is that US corporations owed tax this week, and $78bn of cash for a bond sale had to be settled at the same time.

Let me be clear, I have no better clue on this issue than anyone else: no one seems sure whether these excuses are good or not. But I am goi9ng to take a punt and say I suspect not: this has not happened in the last decade and tax settlement and bond sales have happened before, and I can be fairly sure coincidentally.

Perhaps the duty of an academic is to try and find out?

The WSJ article also contains other sobering information. Specifically, post-crisis regulatory “reforms” have made the funding markets more rigid/less-flexible and supple. This would tend to exacerbate non-linearities in the market.

We’re from the government and we’re here to help you! The law of unintended (but predictable) consequences strikes again.

Hopefully things will normalize quickly. But the events of the last two days should be a serious wake-up call. The funding markets going non-linear is the biggest systemic risk. By far. And to the extent that regulatory changes–such as mandated clearing–have increased the potential for demand surges in those markets, and have reduced the ability of those markets to respond to those surges, in their attempt to reduce systemic risks, they have increased them.

The cause being the fuck ups by the know nothings attempting to regulate markets last time around.

Increase the propaganda Comrades and all will be well!

Greenhouse gas emissions could be halved in the next decade if a small number of current technologies and behavioural trends are ramped up and adopted more widely, researchers have found, saying strong civil society movements are needed to drive such change.

If Greenpeace can get the hippies out protesting then unicorn farts really will power the world!

Sadly, the analysis really isn’t any more sophisticated than that.

Mistakes and accidents do actually happen

Three former executives at the company that runs the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been acquitted of failing to take action in anticipation of the March 2011 nuclear meltdown, in the only criminal action resulting from the disaster.

Tsunehisa Katsumata, a former chairman of Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) and former vice presidents Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro, had apologised for the triple meltdown at the plant, but said they could not have foreseen the disaster.

AKA hindsight is 20/20.