Why doesn’t Ritchie actually read the stuff he posts?

Ritchie’s all excited over the polling result that 59% of CEOs asked supported country by country reporting.

There was another question asked:

“Government tax policy and the competitiveness of local tax regimes are key factors in any organisation’s decisions about where to operate.”

This was supported by some 62% of those CEOs polled.

Something of a problem for Ritchie as he vehemently denies that corporate taxation makes any difference at all to where companies do their business. So, either the CEOs are sadly deluded on such matters because they disagree with the Lord High Tax Denouncer or they’re remarkably perceptive types because they support Ritchie’s pet project.

Tough question really. I suspect that the solution that will be found is that Ritchie will clip this little image so that the dissonance isn’t quite so noticeable.


11 thoughts on “Why doesn’t Ritchie actually read the stuff he posts?”

  1. We know that CEOs don’t support CBCR in the way Ritchie intends CBCR to be implemented. Because, let’s face it, they’re the CEO. They can get their company to do whatever they want. Up to and including sticking full CBCR disclosures in their audited financial statements.

    Therefore, the fact that they don’t do this proves that they don’t actually want it. Revealed preferences ‘n’ all that.

    I did wonder whether the responses were dominated by banks, forestry and extractive industries CEOs who are already required to report CBCR. They might have been voting in favour as part of a “We’re required to do it and therefore we want every other bugger to report it too” campaign, but I recall the oil company CEOs opposed CBCR in the survey.

    As an aside, Vodafone did report CBCR disclosures on their website. Unaudited, but with an assurance report from EY covering the data. Ritchie whined that they hadn’t done it properly.

  2. I once asked Ritchie on his blog why the headline figures on one post were garbage (he’d multiplied two unrelated figures from an exec summary, then accused me of not reading the report when I pointed out their origins in different tables in the body text). His answer roughly translated as ‘I’m too busy to do research’, which I guess would explain why he felt happy writing a front page piece for The Times claiming to analyse a High Court judgment which he subsequently conceded he hadn’t read either.

  3. A perfectly sensible reading would be that 60-odd% of CEOs read ‘multinationals should be required to publish the revenues, profits and taxes paid for each territory where they operate’ as meaning that you should file your statutory accounts everywhere you have to, rather than being a reference to country by country reporting, and so agreed with it as being a bit of a no-brainer.

    The implication could then be that the other 40-odd% read it is referring to country-by-country reporting and rejected it 🙂

    Perhaps an overly cynical view; but my first reading of the question posed was that it only talked about routine accounts currently required, not about extending reporting requirements. The requirement “Publish your results where you operate” can be perfectly well satisfied by publishing country A results in country A and country B results in country B; telling country A about country B’s results (and vice versa) is a step beyond that.

  4. Especially if you then look at the next question about tax authorities sharing information. If the suggestion is that what you tell country A publically is going to be shared with country B’s authorities as a matter of course, why should you be thinking about needing to publish A’s result in B? Needless duplication of effort.

  5. In other news, 78% of turkeys polled voted against Christmas…

    Ritchie has spent years telling us that CEOs are venal, money-grubbing (Jhooish) evildoers who will do almost anything (except move tax jurisdiction) to avoid paying taxes. If they support CBCR, the clear implication, given what Ritchie has claimed, is that it’s a tax-dodger’s dream.

  6. All questions of the form “why does/doesn’t Murphy do X?” can be answered thus: because he is a twat.

  7. “Why doesn’t Ritchie actually read the stuff he posts?”

    i’d be more inclined to ask questions of the people who *do* read the stuff he posts.

    unless the answer is ‘for teh lolz’, or a variant thereon, page the nurse.

  8. I read it for the same reason I read the Fortean Times – it’s interesting to see what other people believe. If you don’t spend some time trying to understand the worldviews other people have (whether or not you think they’re nutters, like some of the people who write to the FT), how can you make sense of your own?

  9. @ Pellinor

    I guess read it because it’s interesting to see what other people read. I’ve no more interest in the people that believe it than I have in the people that believe Fox News.

    Yes, it’s good to keep an eye on things. I happen to think that Fox News is an absolute hoot. But I view these things through a haze of bemusement, and the people who take their likes seriously are beyond hope.

  10. Oh, I’m interested in the people that believe it, too. After all, I meet them day to day. With things like tax avoidance, it’s good to know what myths people are hearing so I can do my own little part in dispelling them – even if I suspect that people listen to me politely then go back to believing the Guardian… 🙂

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