perich + one_percent   14

There's a Small, Elite Group of Companies That Basically Controls the Global Environment, Study Finds
The report's authors reel off a list of disconcerting—or impressive, depending on your worldview—list of stats. Approximately 10 percent of the world's corporations reap 80 percent of global profits. Around 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions pumped into the Earth's atmosphere each year can be attributed to 100 companies.

The world pesticide market is essentially monopolized by four companies.

This is a predictable feature of economic development, they say.
environmentalism  pollution  corporations  investor_capitalism  one_percent 
26 days ago by perich
Poor and middle-class Americans are much less likely to survive into their 70s than the wealthy, federal report says - The Washington Post
Poorer Americans are much less likely to survive into their 70s and 80s than rich Americans, a stark life-expectancy divide compounded by the nation’s growing disparities in wealth, according to a federal report.

Over three-quarters of the richest 50-somethings in 1991 were still alive in 2014, the report found. But among the poorest 20 percent of that cohort, the survival rate was less than 50 percent, according to the analysis by the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan congressional research agency.

The report finds that while average life expectancy increased over that period, it “has not increased uniformly across all income groups, and people who have lower incomes tend to have shorter lives than those with higher incomes.”
life_expectancy  healthcare  wealth_gap  one_percent 
5 weeks ago by perich
The IRS Tried to Take on the Ultrawealthy. It Didn’t Go Well. — ProPublica
But ProPublica was able to reconstruct the key points in the Schaeffler case. The billionaire’s lawyers and accountants first crafted a transaction of unusual complexity, one so novel that they acknowledged, even as they planned it, that it was likely to be challenged by the IRS. Then Schaeffler deployed teams of professionals to battle the IRS on multiple fronts. They denied that he owed any money, arguing the agency fundamentally misunderstood the tax issues. Schaeffler’s representatives complained to top officials at the agency; they challenged document requests in court. At various times, IRS auditors felt Schaeffler’s side was purposely stalling. But in the end, Schaeffler’s team emerged almost completely victorious.
taxes  tax_evasion  billionaires  wealth  one_percent  irs  brainfood 
april 2019 by perich
The Inside Story Of How The Ricketts Family Schemed And Feuded Their Way To Owning The Chicago Cubs
What’s being described here is a leveraged partnership. Under this plan, the Tribune wouldn’t technically sell the Cubs to the Ricketts, but would instead partner with them to form a new limited liability corporation which would own the Cubs and in which the Ricketts would have a controlling stake. Then, the LLC would load itself down with as much debt as possible and funnel the borrowed cash to the Tribune. The Tribune would get cash-rich but remain in debt without ever actually technically selling the Cubs, and the Ricketts would get control of the Cubs without ever actually buying them from the Tribune. Only when the partnership was safely clear of the 10-year window would the Tribune officially sell its remaining stake in the Cubs to the Ricketts.
baseball  chicago  ricketts  tax_evasion  one_percent  chicago_cubs 
march 2019 by perich
Corporations Are Swimming in Cash
In determining how much cash can be returned to the owners of a company’s stock in a given year, free cash flow offers insights that other measures, like net income (the typical earnings reported by a company) cannot. Net income is easier for companies to game (for tax purposes, for example) because net income allows companies to spread out expenditures on capital investments over a multi-year period. Free cash flow is harder to fake, as it is simply the cash generated through operations in a given year minus the expenditures on capital — plants, property, and equipment — made in the same year.

The distribution of free cash flow in 2017, for non-financial companies in the S&P 500, shows that the vast majority, more than 87 percent, had cash left over after capital expenditures. The first quartile (the level at which one quarter of companies performed worse) free cash flow in 2017 was $338 million in 2017. The third quartile free cash flow in 2017 was $1.8 billion.
corporations  profitability  cash_flow  income_inequality  wealth  one_percent 
january 2019 by perich
The bad behavior of the richest: what I learned from wealth managers | US news | The Guardian
Many even present themselves as homeless – for tax purposes – despite owning multiple residences. For the ultra-rich, having no fixed residence provides major legal and financial advantages; this is exemplified by the case of the wealthy businessman who acquired eight different nationalities in order to avoid taxes on his fortune, and by the UK native I interviewed in his Dubai apartment building:

“I am not tax resident anywhere. The tax man says ‘show me a utility bill’, and the only utility bill I can present is for the house I own in Thailand, and it’s in a language that the European authorities aren’t familiar with. With all the mobility going on in the world, international marriages, governments can’t keep up with people.”

Meanwhile, the poor can end up being “resident nowhere” because no one will allow them to stay in one place for very long
one_percent  wealth  poverty  tax_evasion 
october 2018 by perich
How BlackRock Rules the World
The opportunity was indeed huge, if you happened to be BlackRock. The firm benefited from the controversial opening of PEMEX, the state-run oil monopoly, to private investment. Within seven months, BlackRock had secured $1 billion in PEMEX energy projects. In June 2015, BlackRock acquired a scandal-ridden Mexican private equity firm called I Cuadrada for $71 million. A month later, Sierra Oil and Gas, a year-old portfolio company of I Cuadrada that had never drilled an oil well, won two major exploration contracts from PEMEX. Sierra was the only bidder.

In another suspicious deal, a contractor named Grupo Tradeco continually missed deadlines for building a private prison in Coahuila state, with accusations of 2.5 billion pesos in waste. But right before BlackRock bought the project, Peña Nieto increased the construction payments for the prison by 18 percent. A third deal involved BlackRock purchasing a contract to build a toll road between Toluca and Naucalpan. A month later, Peña Nieto signed an executive order to resolve a legal dispute over siting the road through what indigenous groups consider sacred land, expropriating 91 acres for the project.
blackrock  investor_capitalism  one_percent  brainfood  infrastructure  mexico  r_vs_g 
september 2018 by perich
How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People
When you’re superrich, you can be forgetful in this way. Which is maybe why no one thought much of the instances in which Anna did things that seemed odd for a wealthy person: calling a friend to have her put a taxi from the airport on her credit card, or asking to sleep on someone’s couch, or moving into someone’s apartment with the tacit agreement to pay rent, and then … not doing it. Maybe she had so much money she just lost track of it.
fraud  true_crime  brainfood  one_percent  new_york_city  conspicuous_consumption 
may 2018 by perich
Reward Work, Not Wealth - Oxfam Briefing on Poverty - Jan 2018
In 2017, the wealth of the world's two thousand and forty-three billionaires increased by $762bn, enough to end extreme poverty seven times over. In the period between 2006 and 2015, ordinary workers saw their incomes rise by an average of just 2% a year, while billionaire wealth rose by nearly 13% a year – almost six times faster.
oxfam  poverty  globalization  income_inequality  one_percent 
january 2018 by perich
The Secretive Family Making Billions From the Opioid Crisis
To a remarkable degree, those who share in the billions appear to have abided by an oath of omertà: Never comment publicly on the source of the family’s wealth.

That may be because the greatest part of that $14 billion fortune tallied by Forbes came from OxyContin, the narcotic painkiller regarded by many public-health experts as among the most dangerous products ever sold on a mass scale. Since 1996, when the drug was brought to market by Purdue Pharma, the American branch of the Sacklers’ pharmaceutical empire, more than two hundred thousand people in the United States have died from overdoses of OxyContin and other prescription painkillers. Thousands more have died after starting on a prescription opioid and then switching to a drug with a cheaper street price, such as heroin. Not all of these deaths are related to OxyContin—dozens of other painkillers, including generics, have flooded the market in the past thirty years. Nevertheless, Purdue Pharma was the first to achieve a dominant share of the market for long-acting opioids, accounting for more than half of prescriptions by 2001.
opioid_epidemic  oxycontin  pharma  wealth  sacklers  one_percent  harvard 
october 2017 by perich
Why New York Real Estate Is the New Swiss Bank Account -- New York Magazine
Behind a New York City deed, there may be a Delaware LLC, which may be managed by a shell company in the British Virgin Islands, which may be owned by a trust in the Isle of Man, which may have a bank account in Liechtenstein managed by the private banker in Geneva. The true owner behind the structure might be known only to the banker. “It will be in some file, but not necessarily a computer file,” says Markus Meinzer, a senior analyst at the nonprofit Tax Justice Network. “It could be a black book.” If an investor wants to sell the property, he doesn’t have to transfer the deed—an act that would create a public paper trail. He can just shift ownership of the holding company.
real_estate  money_laundering  corruption  one_percent 
july 2017 by perich
How to Hide $400 Million - The New York Times
This didn’t just threaten Oesterlund’s fortune. It also had the potential to carve open a portal into the world of offshore finance, a place that the global elite has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build and defend. In the offshore archipelago, their interests are hidden behind shell companies and trusts, their anonymity guaranteed under the law, from Delaware to the Bahamas to the South Pacific. James S. Henry, a former chief economist at McKinsey, calls the offshore financial world the “economic equivalent of an astrophysical black hole,” holding at least $21 trillion of the world’s financial wealth, more than the gross domestic product of the United States.
offshore_banking  one_percent  corruption  money_laundering 
july 2017 by perich
Has the Democratic Party Gotten Too Rich for Its Own Good? - The New York Times
In the 2016 election, the economic elite was essentially half Democratic, according to exit polls: Those in the top 10 percent of the income distribution voted 47 percent for Clinton and 46 percent for Trump. Half the voters Sanders would hit hardest are members of the party from which he sought the nomination.

The problem for the Democratic Party is that “them” has become “us.”

In the past, Democrats could support progressive, redistributive policies knowing that the costs would fall largely on Republicans. That is no longer the case. Now supporting these policies requires the party to depend on the altruistic idealism of millions of supporters who, despite being relatively well off, often feel financially pressed themselves.

[...]

Reeves himself points to the Democratic uproar when President Obama proposed a relatively modest change in a tax-based mechanism to help pay college costs. The change in what are called 529 College Savings Plans was designed to make the program more advantageous to people with moderate incomes and less so for those with high incomes. An estimated 70 percent of the tax benefits of 529 plans currently go to families with incomes above $200,000.

The moment Obama suggested the reform, prominent Democrats from both the House and Senate were inundated with angry complaints from affluent constituents. They pressured Obama to drop the proposal. In less than a week, he did.
democrats  income_inequality  one_percent  nimby  education 
june 2017 by perich
Michael Hudson on Junk Economics: Highlights from our interview - The Next System Project
"If you’re looking at how wealth is accumulated, people think of it in the way textbooks describe: as earning income and saving it up to get rich. That’s all most wage earners can do. But that’s not how it happens at the top of the pyramid. Most wealth takes the form of capital gains. They’re inflated on credit, so it’s really asset price inflation that’s financed by debt leverage. Most of the gains end up being paid out as interest, so the bankers – that is, the bank owners and bondholders – end up with most of the rise in wealth."

Also some good stuff about the 2008 credit crisis, the history of debt in Mesopotamia and ancient Rome, and other stuff.
capitalism  capital_gains  one_percent  counterpoint  wealth  housing-bubble  credit_crisis  banking  real_estate  economic_history 
march 2017 by perich

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