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Interview with Task Force Director Raymond Baker: The Failures Of Our Economic System

GFI in the News

World Bank Lauded for Publishing Sanctions Decisions
IPS News, June 3, 2012

By Carey L. Biron

This week, for the first time, the World Bank began publishing decisions by the institution’s sanctions board on cases involving fraud or corruption.

The move was heralded by several watchdog and advocacy groups as a victory for transparency.

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Anti-graft activists press Indian gov’t for action
Associated Press, June 3, 2012

By Katy Daigle

Two Indian anti-corruption campaigners drew thousands of cheering supporters to a protest Sunday to press the government to act against graft and bring back billions of dollars stashed overseas.

Yoga celebrity Baba Ramdev, wrapped in his trademark saffron robes, said he and social activist Anna Hazare would hold more protests through August “to bring back black money stashed abroad.”

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Blank paper on black money
India Monitor, June 3, 2012

By Virendra Parekh

The Indian government’s white paper on black money is a huge disappointment. It was expected to be a focused policy response to a chronic scourge.

Many thought it would contain official estimates of the size of India’s parallel economy and measures to deal with it. Instead, the white paper is blank on essential information, evasive about action and, while talking about many things, skirts real issues.

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Capital Flight

Development is SA’s weak spot
Mail & Guardian (South Africa), June 1, 2012

By Lynley Donnelly

South Africa remains the dominant economic powerhouse in Africa, but other countries, most notably Nigeria, are fast catching up and could overtake us.

The fierce competition between South Africa and Nigeria is well documented.

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Tax Avoidance and Evasion

U.S. Multinationals Lobby to Alter Tax Rules They Sought
Businessweek, June 4, 2012

By Richard Rubin

U.S. multinational companies have been seeking a tax break on overseas income for years, and the top Republican tax writer in Congress is proposing to give it to them. There’s a catch they don’t like.

Businesses and trade groups are lobbying House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp to loosen rules in his draft plan that would make it harder for companies to shift income from the U.S. to lower- taxed foreign countries. Among those groups is the National Foreign Trade Council, whose board includes officials of Oracle Corp. (ORCL) (ORCL), Pfizer Inc. (PFE) (PFE) and PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) (PEP)

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Enter at your own risk
Business Today (India), June 10, 2012

By Sanjiv Shankaran

Sudhir Kapadia, National Tax Leader at Ernst & Young, cannot remember a Union Budget as tough as the one Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presented on March 16. “Just the sweep of (the) changes is amazing,” says Kapadia, referring to proposals on direct taxes.

The most far-reaching proposal was introduction of General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR). The measure, aimed at curbing tax avoidance, would give revenue officials the right to look into transactions that do not currently attract tax. It was eventually postponed to 2013/14 , but not before generating much drama.

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UK Launches New Tax Taskforces
Tax-News, June 4, 2012

By Robert Lee

The UK tax authority HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched another six taskforces targeting tax avoidance across a diverse range of businesses in various parts of the country.

Launched last week, the new task forces are expected to recover GBP23m (USD35m) in unpaid tax from indoor and outdoor markets, taxi firms, property rentals and restaurants.

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Terrorist Financing

Senate OKs Anti-Terrorist Financing Act on 2nd reading
GMA News (Philippines), June 4, 2012

By Kimberly Jane Tan

The Senate on Monday approved on second reading two bills seeking to amend the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).

Approved on second reading were Senate Bills 3009 and 3127.

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Corruption

Wal-Mart Re-Elects All of its Board Members
Dow Jones Newswires, June 4, 2012

Shareholders voted for all 16 Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s (WMT) board members, dealing a blow to disgruntled stockholders that wanted to see some of them gone because of their connection to allegations of bribery at Wal-Mart’s Mexican operation.

Stakeholders that are among the biggest U.S. public pension funds had called for Wal-Mart Chief Executive Mike Duke, former Wal-Mart Chief Executive Lee Scott and Chairman Rob Walton to be removed from the board given the situation involving Mexico.

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