Money, Money, Money

PryorIt was Richard Pryor who gave us that rapid, vehement battle cry: “Money, Money, Money!!!” It was Time Magazine who recommended Money by Martin Amis as one of the one-hundred greatest novels of the last century.  Put your money on Richard Pryor.

I enjoy reading Martin Amis. He’s a good writer with a lot of erudition behind his work. He often uses his craftsman-like writing skills to extend, manipulate, experiment with fiction, and that is good. Perhaps when Money was first published, this cutesy schtick was popular but now it just seems silly and unbelievably trite. Still, coming out at the beginning of the Reagan era, I suppose it’s understandable if the editors of Time were as delusional about Money as they were about Reaganomics. But John Self is no Gordon Gekko. He is, however, at best a cartoonish version of Patrick Melrose.

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Tax Havens 101

There has been a lot of interest in Wikileaks and the notorious and brave individuals who have risked it all to bring some of the secrecy of international politics out into the light, but have you heard of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists? Here is their website:  take a look and keep an open mind … ICIJ (Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze).

I ran into the ICIJ when an article online caught my eye and suggested that secret offshore tax havens and questionably legal tactics to avoid taxes might have been exposed by the ICIJ.

Here is the article from Slate:

The Secret World of Tax Havens Just Got a Whole Lot Less Secret
By Abby Ohlheiser | Posted Thursday, April 4, 2013, at 4:02 PM

Anyone who’s looking for an in-depth and more than a little disturbing look into how the rich and powerful use offshore tax havens need look no further than a new report from the Center for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists out today. (That’s a long-name, but the nonpartisan group earned every letter for all the work they poured into the project over the last 15 months.)

The study—which will be updated with additional findings as reporters continue to dig in—centers around a trove of 2.5 million leaked financial documents from around the world. To put that in perspective, the leak is 160 times larger than Wikileaks’ State Department database that kept reporters busy for weeks. The offshore effort took one the biggest collaborations in journalism history to sort through: more than 80 journalists from more than 40 countries worked together for more than a year to extract meaning from the documents.

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