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Bomb

No jobs in America: U.S. corporations hold over $2 trillion In untaxed profits overseas

General Electric
© Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The General Electric Co. (GE) logo is seen on a refrigerator displayed for sale at a Lowe's Cos. store in Torrance, California, U.S, on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. General Electric Co. is scheduled to release earnings figures on Oct. 18.
* U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Wyden calls for reform

* Total of profits stashed abroad up 93 percent 2008-2013

* GE tops list, followed by Microsoft, Pfizer, Merck, Apple (Adds comments from Merck, Microsoft and Apple)

Foreign profits held overseas by U.S. corporations to avoid taxes at home nearly doubled from 2008 to 2013 to top $2.1 trillion, said a private research firm's report, prompting a call for reform by the Senate's top tax law writer.

"The new numbers ... certainly highlight what is one of the key challenges for tax reform. I do think there need to be some reforms in this area," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden told reporters on Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

Under U.S. law, corporations do not have to pay income tax on most of their overseas profits until they are brought into the United States. These earnings can be held offshore for years if they are classified as indefinitely invested abroad.
Folder

The tax man cometh...unless you're a big corporation

caterpillar company
© unknown
At long last, tax season has arrived! While most Americans dread having to get their records in order and input numerous fields only to be capped by brief euphoria or anger (depending on whether we get any money back), for many corporations, it's a much different experience. For some of them, it's like Christmas.

Many corporations have lower effective tax rates than individuals. While corporate profits have soared, Americans' incomes have staggered and yet we're the ones carrying the tax burden. Not only do many U.S. companies keep their overseas profits in foreign countries, about $2.1 trillion in all, double what it was in 2008, they also spend tens of millions of dollars on lawyers and auditors who help identify possible loopholes. We're overdue for a tax overhaul that is both unjust and overly complex.
Chart Pie

Facebook targets providing financial services

Facebook headquarters
© Harriet Taylor/CNBC
Facebook headquarters
Not content with being just a platform to host cat photos and status updates, Facebook is readying itself to provide financial services in the form of remittances and electronic money.

The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process.

The authorisation from Ireland's central bank to become an "e-money" institution would allow Facebook to issue units of stored monetary value that represent a claim against the company. This e-money would be valid throughout Europe via a process known as "passporting".

Facebook has also discussed potential partnerships with at least three London start-ups that offer international money transfer services online and via smartphones: TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo, according to three people involved in the discussions.

In the case of Azimo, Facebook offered to pay the company $10 million to recruit one of its co-founders as a director of business development, according to people familiar with the situation. A Facebook spokesperson said the company did not comment on "rumour and speculation".
Yoda

Jesters speaking truth to power: Lewis Black praises socialism as 'enforced Christianity', decries lack of action on job creation in National Press Club speech

Lewis Black
Comedian Lewis Black on Monday explained why he considered himself a socialist, and mocked those who accused President Barack Obama of being one.

"I do say that I'm a socialist, and I am a socialist, and that is about as powerless a position as you can be in the United States," he said at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C.

"And I really just wanted to start with that because the idea of calling anyone, outside of maybe Bernie Sanders, a socialist - to call Obama a socialist, you have got to be out of your godd*mn mind. There are seven socialists left in the country, and if you really want to see the leadership of the socialist party you can go to cemetery and find them."

"We have no effect," Black said. "As a matter of fact, when I was a kid you actually read about them, and I can't imagine in many of the history books, which have also kind of forgotten evolution is a real thing, that socialism is even really discussed historically."

Cell Phone

Illinois driver chastised for infraction through unsolicited text message from police

No Texting While Driving sign
© Police State USA
No Texting While Driving sign.
A man was startled to receive a text message from a strange number chastising him for using his cell phone while driving.

After admittedly taking a phone call during his daily commute, the driver received an unsolicited text message from a number he had never seen before. It read: "Get off the phone when you are driving!"

The sender then provided an identity of "Illinois State Police Officer Robinson #54367."

Police State USA was alerted to this strange new enforcement technique directly from the driver, who wished to remain anonymous. After interviewing the driver and seeing the message directly on his phone, there is little to doubt about his story.
Pistol

US Postal Service joins in federal ammo purchases

UPS Logo
© Wikimedia Commons
Add the U.S. Postal Service to the list of federal agencies seeking to purchase what some Second Amendment activists say are alarmingly large quantities of ammunition.

Earlier this year, the USPS posted a notice on its website, under the heading "Assorted Small Arms Ammunition," that says: "The United States Postal Service intends to solicit proposals for assorted small arms ammunition. If your organization wishes to participate, you must pre-register. This message is only a notification of our intent to solicit proposals."

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Washington-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said: "We're seeing a highly unusual amount of ammunition being bought by the federal agencies over a fairly short period of time. To be honest, I don't understand why the federal government is buying so much at this time."

Jake McGuigan, director of state affairs and government relations for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said widely reported federal ammunition purchases have sparked conspiracy-type fears among gun owners, who worry that the federal government is trying to crack down on Second Amendment rights via the back door by limiting the ammo available to owners.

It's not just the USPS that is stocking up on ammo.

A little more than a year ago, the Social Security Administration put in a request for 174,000 rounds of ".357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow-point" bullets.
No Entry

Germany forced to shut down jobs program due to overwhelming demand from jobless foreigners

job training
© DPA
Germany said on Monday it would no longer accept applications for a programme to attract young Europeans to its job market due to overwhelming demand from crisis-ravaged countries.

The labour ministry said it had been flooded with interest from job-seekers particularly from struggling Spain and Hungary for the scheme offering subsidized job training, apprenticeships and work in fields lacking manpower.

"Currently we cannot meet the demand" for the programme, called "The Job of My Life", a labour ministry spokeswoman told reporters.

Germany, Europe's top economy, faced criticism from its EU partners for an approach to the eurozone debt crisis that placed a strong emphasis on fiscal discipline, which has been blamed for exacerbating the economic impact among ts weakest members.

Berlin responded with initiatives to fight youth unemployment, both to help a "lost generation" out of work and to fill shortages in its own labour market in fields such as care for the elderly and gastronomy.
Stock Down

The slow-motion collapse of the West

banking collapse
© unknown
Many analysts outside the mainstream herd have been making dire predictions about the collapse of the economies of the Western bloc for the past several years, myself included. Those predictions have not come to pass. Does this mean that we were wrong, or at best woefully premature in our thinking? Simply, no.

Analysis (and prediction) is based upon the rational assessment of data. It is (or at least is supposed to be) a purely logical extrapolation based upon existing trends and parameters. Part of this "rational assessment" is the presumption that the various actors and authorities in our markets and economies will respond to these trends and parameters in a rational manner.

This is not merely a reasonable basis for engaging in analysis, it is the only basis. The only option to expecting rational behavior from these various participants would be to expect irrational/arbitrary behavior. However, by definition, irrational/arbitrary behavior is unpredictable. Thus such an approach is no longer "analysis" at all. It devolves into a mere guessing-game.

So we expect rational behavior and rational responses to various economic/market stimuli because we have no other choice, and when we don't see such behavior this inevitably skews all analysis based on such rational expectations. What is important to note, however, is that irrational/arbitrary behavior (and thinking) does not invalidate such rational assessments and predictions - at least not those based upon Big Picture trends/parameters - it merely alters the time-horizon.
X

Russia bans import of GMO products, decides to go organic instead

© RIA Novosti / Maksim Bogodvid
Russia will not import GMO products, the country's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that the nation has enough space and resources to produce organic food.

Moscow has no reason to encourage the production of genetically modified products or import them into the country, Medvedev told a congress of deputies from rural settlements on Saturday.

"If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don't need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food," he said.
Heart - Black

Calgary stabbings: 4 male youths, 1 female dead


A suspect is in custody after five young people - four males and one female in their teens to 20s - died following early-morning stabbings in northwest Calgary.

The stabbings happened around 1:20 a.m. MT on Tuesday at an address in the 100 block of Butler Crescent N.W., police said.

Five people - four males and one female - are dead after a house party in Calgary's northwest. A neighbour says the university-aged people had a BBQ earlier in the day to celebrate the last day of classes.

Comment: Last week 14 people were hurt in a Texas college stabbing spree. Two days ago there was another mass shooting. Back in 2010 there was a very odd rash of stabbings Things are heating up, the social and psychological pressure in a world severely out of balance because of the influence of psychopaths in power is proving too much for some people. Things can only get worse.

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