Going After the Bigs

From Australia:

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey has said the government will introduce a new tax crackdown against 30 multinational corporations.

Without identifying the targets, Mr Hockey said the big corporations were “diverting profits earned in Australia away from Australia to no-tax or low-tax jurisdictions”.

He described the crackdown as “the first of its kind in the world”.

The legislation will be introduced to Parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Hockey said it was “pretty evident” which companies would be targeted.

Big multinational firms such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have been accused of moving their profits to countries with lower rates of tax.

BBC

From Bloomberg News: Elizabeth Warren is the Real Deal

Warren is a problem the financial industry didn’t expect to have right now. With the Republicans in control of Congress, this should be the time for Wall Street to soften regulators and their rules. The financial crisis is over, the housing market is recovering, and the economy is stable. A year ago, the sense of urgency about keeping a close watch over the financial industry seemed to be subsiding. Not anymore. Warren has re-sounded the alarm.

“There is a lot of talk coming from Citigroup about how Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect,” Warren continued. “So let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi. I agree with you, Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect.” She paused, then spoke very slowly and emphatically: “It should have broken you into pieces.”

“More than any of the senators, she is making Wall Street nervous,” says Dick Durbin, a Democratic senator from Illinois and a fellow financial reformer. This spring, news broke that bank executives had told Democrats they were unhappy about the anti–Wall Street rhetoric coming from Warren and others. In some conversations, executives reportedly suggested they might withhold donations. Warren used the news as an opportunity to remind the public once again how banks wield power in Washington. “The big banks have issued a threat, and it’s up to us to fight back,” she promptly e-mailed supporters, asking for donations.

Bloomberg News — including a nice graphic of friends and enemies.

And Krugman at the Times weighs in, calling out the Wall Street Vampires:

…. let’s just note that these days Wall Street, which used to split its support between the parties, overwhelmingly favors the G.O.P. And the Republicans who came to power this year are returning the favor by trying to kill Dodd-Frank, the financial reform enacted in 2010.

And why must Dodd-Frank die? Because it’s working.

…. Republicans would love to undo Dodd-Frank, but they are, rightly, afraid of the glare of publicity that defenders of reform like Senator Warren — who inspires a remarkable amount of fear in the unrighteous — would shine on their efforts.

Does this mean that all is well on the financial front? Of course not. Dodd-Frank is much better than nothing, but far from being all we need

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