MULTINATIONALS'  NEWS
Many Multinational Corporations (= Transnational Corporations = TNCs) use Transfer Pricing, Financial Instruments, Tax Havens, Charitable Trusts, Family Trusts, Sovereign Trusts, and other unethical methods of avoiding Company and other Taxation, then use the surplus funds to outbid and outsell competitors, thus gaining both windfall profits, regular "super profits," and effective access to the political leaders, according to some critics of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). News snippets and other documentation give evidence that the predatory Transnational Corporations (TNCs) use their political donations and statements that they might cut employment levels if they do not get 'proper consideration,' and so actually induce governments to give them MORE privileges, tax concessions, and tax-funded government payments than most ordinary people (the real taxPAYERS) would even dream of requesting for themselves unless there was a regional calamity like a flood. Links are also listed to find ethical multinational corporations.

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Many Multinational Corporations (= Transnational Corporations = TNCs) use Transfer Pricing, Financial Instruments, Tax Havens, Charitable Trusts, Family Trusts, Sovereign Trusts, and other unethical methods of avoiding Company and other Taxation, then use the surplus funds to outbid and outsell competitors, thus gaining both windfall profits, regular "super profits," and effective access to the political leaders, according to some critics of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI).

News snippets and other documentation give evidence that the predatory Transnational Corporations (TNCs) use their political donations and statements that they might cut employment levels if they do not get "proper consideration," and so actually induce governments to give them MORE privileges, tax concessions, and tax-funded government payments than most ordinary people (the real taxPAYERS) would even dream of requesting for themselves unless there was a regional calamity like a flood.

Links are also listed on this Website to find ethical multinational corporations.

A MULTINATIONAL CORPORATION ATTACKS A NATIONAL BROADCASTER for the second time, using a powerful international forum to attack!!! The European Commission is investigating claims that Rupert Murdoch's Sky News channel is suffering unfair competition from the BBC's new 24-hour news service. See "News 24 under EU scrutiny," by Martin Walker in Brussels and Simon Beavis, in The Guardian, Wednesday April 8, 1998, United Kingdom, at: http://reports.guardian.co.uk/papers/19980407-18.html

SPECULATION, DEPENDENCE, AND COLLAPSE IN S-E ASIA: Speculation, Foreign Capital Dependence and the Collapse of the Southeast Asian Economies at http://www.essential.org/monitor/mm1998/mm9801.05.html

EXPORT OF JOBS, General Motors to Mexico: The Australian Broadcasting Commission's (ABC's) Foreign Correspondent programme on 23 June and 26 June 1998 had a piece on a factory in the US which basically moved to Mexico as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) -- understood to be a model for or precursor of the MAI. The journalist Mark Bannermann interviewed American workers who had lost their jobs, then looked at the working and living conditions endured by the Mexicans who had displaced them.
Jim Miller used to earn $18 an hour at the General Motors plant in Bloomington Indiana. He's now unemployed, and travelled with ABC Washington correspondent, Mark Bannerman, to Juarez in Mexico where his job had been transported. His Mexican counterparts are paid 53 cents an hour and don't enjoy the same conditions and safety standards as the Bloomington plant. The influx of jobs has made Juarez, just across the border from Texas, a third world "boom town," where the grinding poverty and inhuman working conditions yield a harvest of degradation, vice, murder, and hopelessness. The American worker is impressive in his compassion and understanding of who's really responsible for the plight of both workforces.
WWW: Foreign Correspondent web page at http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/, Episode 39, Series 7 -- 23.6.98

GLOBALISATION, MEXICAN WORKERS EXPLOITED: Toy Factory:This is a good illustration of the actual outcomes of globalization. It's the story of Mattel's takeover and subsequent closure of the Fischer-Price toy factory, and the export of the jobs to Mexico, and the conditions for the workers there. http://www.thenation.com/issue/961230/1230pres.htm

INVESTMENT ADVISER WARNS OF INEQUITY TENDING TO A RECESSION: Some articles citing Marc Faber, the Investment Advisor interviewed by George Negus on Foreign Correspondent (?) this week, who warns of the danger of a global recession, especially based on globalisation and the inequity between rich and poor countries, and the rich and poor within countries, can be read at: http://netserve.aim.edu.ph/homepage/action/amca/dmf.htm
Brief biography: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing/stories/s10506.htm ABC Background Briefing's "Crying Tigers"
http://www.iht.com/IHT/MONEY/110197/my110197.html International Herald Tribune's Money Report Q&A with Marc Faber
http://www.smh.com.au/daily/archive/960924/business/960924-business2.html Max Walsh SMH article of September '96 re Faber and Hong Kong
http://www.adtrading.com/adt10/faber.hts Applied Derivatives Trading (also interesting for its beginners' guide)

DICTATORS GIVING DONATIONS TO U.S. LEADERS: Have people with links to dictatorships lobbied and given donations to the top U.S. leaders?
"We should not reward China with improved trade status when it has continued to trade goods made by prison labor and has failed to make significant progress on human rights since the Tiananmen massacre." -- Bill Clinton & Al Gore, in their 1992 book Putting People First. Wonderful what some campaign donations can achieve!
For an amazing guide to how international crooks like Jiang Zemin manage to lobby Washington, see "So you want to trade with a dictator", http://www.mojones.com/mother_jones/MJ98/silverstein.html
A Reader's Digest article on how people with links to the Beijing and Jakarta dictatorships allegedly made donations to a U.S. electoral campaign was entitled: "The White House: Was It Really For Sale?" -- A behind-the-scenes look at the Asian money scandal, by Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, archived on RD website 5 June 97 at http://www.readersdigest.com/:ed35o5*TEMPLATE=/rd/magazine/htp/rdm_sf.htp@session=g1ehq5

TAXPAYERS TO GUARANTEE MULTINATIONALS: The Australian Federal Parliament has helped to establish an international fund to guarantee, that is, to use taxpayers' funds to pay, multinational investors who suffer losses arising from civil war, currency transfer restrictions, a government takeover, or breach of contract by a government. This agreement binds for three years.
This is in the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency Act, No. 126, 1997. To view Australia's MIGA Act in full (for those with Acrobat Reader), go to the Parliamentary search page http://www.aph.gov.au/simpsrch.asp and type "Titles beginning with M" (must be in quotes). Then click on Bills Starting with M and scroll down until the Multilateral . . . item appears.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if small traders, farmers, and professionals could be recouped by the taxpayer for the similar problems they face, such as grafitti, vandalism, riotous parties, union or company bans, takeover or harmful change of policy by any level of government, or broken government promises?

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DEVASTATING IMPACT OF BIG CORPORATIONS ON PEOPLE AND THE EARTH: Al Anderson, of USA, in his MAI Page, writes: "Worldwide, the super-rich and their multinational corporate empires are inflicting a devastating impact on the rest of the earth's residents, and on their environment. So, while an elite few live in luxury, increasing millions are either homeless in their 'home' countries or unwanted refugees in foreign countries, often under life-threatening conditions." See his arguments in A Critique of the MAI at http://www.efn.org/~andersen/paine.html
And see A MAI-Day Alert   Why is Globalization Bad? MAI, Part 2   How To Make Globalization Work -- MAI, Part 3

CORPORATE "WELFARE" for the big banks. Hanno Beck of the Progress Report and Economic Justice Update in the U.S.A. asks: Will the U.S.A. give $18 billion in handouts to the IMF (International Monetary Fund)? The final showdown vote in the House of Representatives has not yet occurred. Please contact your representative to find out their opinion on the $18 billion handout, and either urge him/her to oppose it, or thank them if they already oppose it. But note -- although the Senate resumes business on July 6, the House is still on July 4th recess all the way until the 13th. And for more information on the IMF bailout issue, look near the foot of the Progress Report Archive at: http://www.progress.org/archive

"WORLD BANK TO BILL ITS VICTIMS", by Abid Aslam. "The World Bank, found by its own inspection panel to have botched one of the world's most ambitious hydroelectric projects, is offering to correct some of its mistakes - if its Paraguayan victims foot the bill.
"The Bank is drafting proposals to help resettle tens of thousands of Paraguayans whose homes and livelihoods have been or will be flooded by the 67-km Yacyreta dam, according to officials here. The proposals would involve 'a mix of new loans and redirected revenues' from sales of the dam's electricity, said Tony Gaeta, spokesman for the Bank's Latin America department.
"Under such a scheme, 'the Paraguayan people will be paying for damage wrought by Bank loans to Argentina,' warned Dana Clark, senior attorney at the Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL)." Click the Progress Report's page: http://www.progress.org/imfwb.htm

CORPORATE "WELFARE" (2): Ford gets tax cut, but it sought more, Cleveland Plain Dealer©, Saturday, May 02, 1998, By V. David Sartin, Plain Dealer reporter: BROOK PARK - County tax officials have granted a $111,000 tax cut to the aging Engine Plant No. 1 at the Ford Motor Co. complex. However, members of the Board of Revision denied a request from Ford for reductions that would have brought an additional savings of about $650,000 to the firm. See: http://www.cleveland.com:80/news/pdnews/metro/c3ford.htm

CORPORATE "WELFARE" (3): Mettler/ Toledo Scales and McGraw-Hill: LEWIS CENTER, Ohio -- The Olentangy Local Board of Education, which was known for its opposition to a proposed Polaris mall, is welcoming two companies that will open offices in the Polaris complex. The school board this week approved two resolutions in support of tax-abatement agreements made by the city of Columbus with Mettler/ Toledo Scales and McGraw-Hill. Under the agreement, Mettler/ Toledo Scales will get a 10-year, 65 percent tax abatement, realizing $617,026 in property-tax savings over 10 years. The school district will receive $252,953 annually in additional property taxes from Mettler/Toledo Scales. McGraw-Hill will receive a 10- year, 75 percent tax abatement, reaping $1.56 million in tax savings over 10 years. See The Columbus Dispatch ©, Ohio, report by Jane Hawes: http://www.dispatch.com:80/pan/localarchive/olennws.html

FOREIGN FIRMS PAY 9% OF AUSTRALIA'S TAX"Then we were provided with a printout from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (Document No. 5506.0 [1995-96]) that further confirmed that the foreigners were paying little or no tax.
"This showed that total tax revenue stood at $115 billion, while it further confirmed little or no tax was paid by the foreigners. According to our calculations the country could not possibly survive on a tax income of $115 billion.
"(Obviously there is a great deal of tax avoidance involved, affecting this figure.) It is interesting to note that Australians paid $105 billion (91%) and the foreigners paid only $10 billion (9%). And yet they own an estimated ninety per cent of the corporate sector, which embraces almost all of the large companies in Australia."   The Great Australian Swindle Mk II -- Austand, at: http://www.gwb.com.au/gwb/news/mai/austand.html

TRANSFER PRICING: "Transfer pricing" links, General, UK, and USA at: http://www.tax.org.uk/html/transfer_price.htm
United Kingdom trying to change law on Transfer Pricing, at: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/users/law/intlaw/ibuslaw/docs/ir-tp.htm
REDUCING TAXATION: A Canadian book list on reducing taxation for small business and families at: http://fedpubs.com/taxation.htm

TRANSFER PRICING AFFECTS TAXATION: "Transfer pricing -- the prices established for transferring goods and services across national borders within the same group of companies -- is a major issue today for both multinational and national tax administrations. Many factors influence the profitability of multinationals, but transfer pricing is significant for both taxpayers and tax administration because it affects the allocation of profits from intra-group transactions between the different tax jurisdictions in which a multinational group operates." This is the wording of an OECD Webpage that advertised a 1996 symposium in Sydney. Click: http://www.oecd.org/news_and_events/release/nw96-96a.htm

ATTEMPT TO GET CORPORATIONS TO PAY MORE: A 1995 U.S. attempt to gather more taxation from multinationals, under the Senate's "Kohl amendment," which seems to have failed to pass then (no more recent information available), attempted to charge taxes on share sales of foreign entities, and to override foreign treaties before or after the passage of the bill, can be studied at: http://www.pmstax.com/intl/bull9511.html

HIGHER TAX RATES SELDOM PRODUCE MUCH REVENUE: "The history of tax-rate increases shows that they seldom produce much revenue. Their principal effect is to make higher taxes on the poor and the middle class more palatable. In fact, because of inflation and real growth of the economy, in just a few years tax rates originally imposed on the rich often apply to those with middle incomes. The rich, meanwhile, often evade higher rates by making increased use of deductions and other legal tax shelters." So wrote Bruce Bartlett, former U.S. deputy assistant treasury secretary for economic policy, and a visiting fellow at the Cato Institute, in Policy Analysis No. 192, April 8, 1993. There is an interesting chart showing what percentage of taxation the super-rich and others pay in the U.S.   Click: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-192.html

EVADING TAX; AND BENEFIT TO THE HOME COUNTRY: "A much more mundane example of international capital movements is the cross-border flows of bank deposits within Europe by individuals who are seeking to evade tax on their interest income. Although I have seen no estimates of the amount of capital that evades the tax authorities in this way, the high levels of tax rates on domestic interest income makes me believe that these amounts of illicit deposits might well be quite large."
"When a U.S. subsidiary borrows abroad at an after-tax cost of funds that is substantially less than the real return on capital, the process confers a net benefit to the United States." Both quotes are from a speech by Martin Feldstein in Kiel at the Institut fur Weltwirtschaft, during a Savings Conference on 14 January 1997. It is long and difficult, but shows how some economists think. Click: http://www.skandia.se/group_sparsem/tax_policy_a.htm

BENEFIT PRINCIPLE, RATHER THAN ABILITY TO PAY -- AUSTRALIAN INQUIRY: "The Committee came to the conclusion that the benefit principle rather than ability-to-pay was the most equitable and rational basis of public revenue-raising. In other words, the Committee resolved not to equate revenue-raising with simply taxing wealth. It was reinforced in this view by its belief that the redistribution of income and wealth was not a primary function of local government. It was moreover impressed with the view that - in any community - the legitimate generation of income and wealth through labour, skill and enterprise should be encouraged rather than penalised.
"By contrast, the ability-to-pay principle related levels of taxation primarily to levels of income. It explicitly provided for redistribution from upper to lower income groups in the community. Carried to its logical conclusion, it implied equality of sacrifice, which ultimately meant taxing all wealth and incomes down to the lowest common denominator of sacrifice - a proposition which the Committee was not disposed to endorse." These paragraphs come from the 1989 Brisbane City Council's Committee of Inquiry into Valuation and Rating. A Summary of the Committee's two-volume Report on its Deliberations and Findings is at: http://www.landvaluetax.org/fbrisbne.htm

$1.5Bn SUBSIDIES FOR TIMBER INDUSTRY, U.S.A.: Ben Russell, of The Council for Economic Inquiry in the U.S.A. http://www.mtncom.com/cip/econinqu.htm has exposed the cost to the citizens of the subsidies to the timber industry there. In response to an article entitled "Time to End Subsidies for Timber Industry," by Laura Ephraim (Arkansas' Campaign Coordinator for the US Public Interest Research Group) and published in The Baxter Bulletin on June 21 1998, Mr. Russell wrote a letter to the editor, which appeared on June 29, appropriately headed "End Taxation by Sharing Nature's Worth." He wrote: "In the Geonomist 1998 Spring/Summer issue, we read that The Forest Service spends over $2 billion a year building logging roads, burning slash, trying to control erosion, and performing other timber related activities. Meanwhile revenues from these companies amount to less than $400 million each year which means it annually provides over $1.5 billion worth of services to the industry. This cost does not include the price of losing the forests themselves whose existence and life-sustaining processes are beyond any conceivable monetary value." Read the rest at: http://www.progress.org/progs/wwwboard/messages/2562.html

"WELFARE STATE" FOR THE BETTER OFF: "In the special conditions of capitalism -- the enclosure of land and the rapid increase of a materially progressive population -- this rent grows more rapidly than earnings, making society more and more unequal and unstable. At the same time the pursuit of rent by land monopolisation brings about an unstable economy by artificially high land prices, depressed earnings, and periodic business cycles (as land speculation waxes and wanes). Since [Henry] George's time [died 1897] the welfare state has mitigated those conditions somewhat by a `social wage'. At the same time an immense welfare state for the rich has grown up by countless awards of economic privilege to the wealthy." -- Article "Henry George's Teaching," in Good Government, Sydney, December 1997, p. 2, reproduced at: http://www.multiline.com.au/~georgist/good97dec1.htm

THERE ARE ETHICAL CORPORATIONS: Not all TNCs (Transnational Corporations = Multinational Corporations) are predatory and solely driven by greed. Check these links (but e-mail us if you have facts suggesting they are not truly ethical): http://www.ccmadvisers.com/   http://www.citizenstrust.ca/efunds.html   http://www.heartsandminds.org/links/respbizlinks.htm   http://www.investorama.com/features/oswald1.shtml   http://www.betterworld.com/BWZ/9606/opkinder.htm

CORRUPTION by certain TNCs exposed and discussed, with references, at Novartis Foundation's Webpage: http://foundation.novartis.com/corrupt.htm

DICTATORSHIP'S ARMY COMPANIES INVESTING OVERSEAS: Some of the Multinational Corporations or TNCs that have already made overseas investments, according to news media reports this week, are companies run by a dictatorship's army. The People's Liberation Army of Peking China, following its road away from classical Marxism, has formed corporations which have invested overseas.
"Some of the firms are owned by individual units, others belong to one of China's seven military districts and still others are controlled directly by China's central military establishment -- such as the General Logistics Department or the army's General Political Department. Some firms owned by the army have a toehold in the United States and other foreign countries. During the 1990s, army-owned firms sold millions of assault weapons to American gun collectors and thousands of kilograms of whitefish to American fish-finger manufacturers.
"Companies controlled by the Chinese army own big chunks of property in Thailand and Hong Kong and, at one time, had property holdings around Atlanta and Dallas." -- The West Australian, July 24 1998, p 16

MOVING PRODUCTION TO LOW-WAGE COUNTRIES: "As proposed, the MAI would force countries to treat foreign investors as favourably as domestic companies; laws violating this principle would be prohibited. Under these conditions, transnational corporations would find it easier and more profitable to move investments, including production facilities, to low-wage countries." -- Social Justice webpage about MAI at: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/6980/mai.html

WORLD DEVELOPMENT MOVEMENT'S EXPOSÉS: "... multinational companies ... have more power and influence over the lives of the world's population than most governments
* Of the world's 100 largest economic entities, 51 are multinational companies and 49 are nation states. * Shell, the world's most profitable company, has annual sales of £68 billion, two and a half times the income of Nigeria's 110 million people. * Multinationals account for two-thirds of world trade and an entire industry the world over can be dominated by a handful of companies. ...
"Many of the world's largest companies such as Shell, Nestlé and BP are the targets of international campaigns. WDM's campaigns on companies behaving badly in someone else's backyard include: * Rio Tinto for its refusal to recognise indigenous people's land rights in West Papua, Indonesia. * Poor working conditions in factories in Thailand and China which make toys like Barbie dolls for companies such as Mattel and Hasbro. * Victimisation of trade union members on plantations in Costa Rica which grow bananas for Del Monte, Chiquita and Dole.
"WDM is campaigning to make multinational companies put people before profits. We want: * Companies to agree to voluntary codes of conduct on working conditions and to have their operations independently monitored. * Companies to accept free trade unions. * Government and international regulation which promotes the positive benefits of multinationals and limits their harmful impacts. * The withdrawal of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment [MAI], currently under negotiation, which would increase the power of multinationals but not their responsibilities."
For links to Armaments sold to dictatorships subsidised with taxpayers' money, Tied "Aid" to impoverished nations, International Debts, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the MAI (direct link given above), Banana Monopolies trampling human rights, Mining Corporations in Australia's near north stomping on indigenous people and the environment, Toy Businesses exploiting workers, and WDM's publications, click: World Development Movement of 25 Beehive Place, London, SW9 7QR, UK; Tel: 0800 328 2153, Fax: 0171 738 6098, at: http://www.wdm.org.uk/background/multinat.htm

MONEY MARKET OVERWHELMING OUR SOCIAL IMMUNE SYSTEM: Book The Cancer Stage of Capitalism. "Our social immune system is being overwhelmed by growing out-of-control money market cancer. In this bold new look at the recent uncontrolled spread of global capitalism, John McMurtry, professor of philosophy at the University of Guelph [Canada], develops the metaphor of modern capitalism as a cancer. Its invasive growth, he argues, threatens to break down our society's immune system and -- if not soon restrained -- could reverse all the progress that has been made toward social equity and stability. This essay is a condensed version of an article Prof. McMurtry wrote for the American journal Social Justice [22(4): 1-25, 1995.]." Click: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/articles/article58t.html or for fuller details, including the title of another recent book Unequal Freedoms: The Global Market as an Ethical System, Toronto: Garamond, 1998, click the link given above at his name, which is: http://www.uoguelph.ca/philosophy/McMurtry.html

"FREE MARKET" FALLACIES: John McMurtry also wrote "Free Market" Fallacies. "The corporations, in other words, are assumed not only to have the right to a free ride on costly services and infrastructures paid for by the citizens of free-trade countries, but the right to be held non-liable for any costs and damages they inflict within these countries." John McMurtry's work in social and political philosophy, political science and sociology has been widely published internationally in journals, textbooks and public forums. His latest book, The Invisible Prison: The Global Market as an Ethical System, will be published by Garamond Press this fall [1998 northern autumn]. The article at the above-linked Webpage was excerpted from a longer essay he wrote for the Journal of Business Ethics.

NEWS EMPIRE AVERAGES ABOUT 5.7% TAXATION: Kylie Morris: "Pulling together the global threads of Murdoch's business is an art practised by Washington Post journalist, Paul Farhi. His work culminated in an article in December, titled 'A Global Reach Keeps Taxman at Arm's Length'. In it, he described how little tax Murdoch pays. ...
Paul Farhi: "In the most recent fiscal year reported, Murdoch's company, News Corp, paid taxes at a rate of 7.8% on operating income. That compares with companies like Walt Disney which had a tax rate of about 28%, Viacom, which owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, paid 22%; Time-Warner, which is a US-based company that is about the same size as News Corp, paid at about a 17% rate. This was not an unusual year for News Corp in terms of its taxation, in fact if anything it was a high year. Throughout the 1990s the company averaged about 5.7% taxation on its operating income, and the other three companies that I just mentioned, averaged anywhere from about 27% to more than 32%. So he is clearly way, way under his peer group."
Kylie Morris: "Murdoch's success in minimising his worldwide tax bill means more ready cash to service debt, and more to grow new business. Ironically, investment-hungry governments sometimes encourage those new ventures by offering tax breaks. For example, the New South Wales Government is lightening Murdoch's tax load by $7-million to aid the Fox Studios developments at the Sydney Showground." And there's more, all revealed on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Background Briefing "Not Shaken, Not Stirred: Murdoch, Multinationals and Tax," of 22 March 1998, at: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing/stories/s10609.htm
And check the staff list of the Taxation Law and Policy Research Institute, at: http://www2.deakin.edu.au/Research/research_centres/TLPRI/members.htm

MOVING MONEY AROUND TO AVOID TAX: Rick Krever [Professor, Director, Taxation and Policy Research Institure, Deakin University]: "In the last decade there's just been an absolute explosion in types of derivatives, and derivatives based on derivatives, ... governments worldwide have been struggling to keep up [with] this explosion of new financial instruments, and nowhere have they done it successfully, the Canadians, the Americans, the New Zealanders have all brought in legislation to try to recognise some of these things for tax purposes. ... "
Kylie Morris: "Tim Edgar ... says there's no question cross-border companies ... use the new tricks of the finance markets ... to lower the tax bill in the country where they make their money. ..."
Tim Edgar [Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario]: "We have this silly convention internationally that multinational corporations operate as separate units within different countries. ... Financial instruments are just one particular way ... to stuff all the income in the low [tax] rate countries and keep all the expenses in the high tax rate countries."
Kylie Morris: "Tim Edgar says multinationals can stage-manage transactions to legitimise them, and at the same time, minimise tax. ... Despite two sophisticated reports that represent eight year[s] work by Treasury and the Tax Office, we haven't acted on their proposals."
Tim Edgar: "... Merton Miller, from the University of Chicago, a Nobel Prize winning economist, has written extensively in this area, says that tax avoidance is one of the driving forces underlying financial innovation." -- Extracts from another important part of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Background Briefing, of 22 March 1998, at: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing/stories/s10609.htm   and at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/features/tax/page6.htm
Background on Rick Krever is on: http://www.law.deakin.edu.au/Staff/krever/default.htm
Publications of Merton Miller include: Financial Innovations And Market Volatility;   Macroeconomics; A Neoclassical Introduction Miller, Merton H./Upton, Charles W.;   Merton Miller On Derivatives;   Preliminary Study Of The Pueblo Of Taos New Mexico

DICTATORS GIVING DONATIONS TO U.S. LEADERS (2): In a recent article, Greg Poulgrain wrote about the aftermath of the 1998 Indonesian riots, rapes, burning, and looting, which concentrated on businesses and homes of certain wealthy Indonesians, including members of the Soeharto family and associates, and Chinese-Indonesians. Listing some of the premises destroyed, he wrote around mid-1998: "So too was Bank Lippo on Jalan Gajah Madah, owned by Riady who achieved notoriety by donating half a million dollars to assist in the re-election of President Clinton."
Dr Greg Poulgrain is a Lecturer in the Department of Asian Languages and Societies at the University of New England, Australia.

CENTRALISING AND RAISING PRICES IN THE 19TH CENTURY: Standard Oil, railroads, steel, etc: Reformers in the 19th century were opposing the monopolisers, centralisers, and consolidators in the railroad, steel, oil and other industries. See The Robber Barons, The Great American Capitalists, 1861-1901, by Matthew Josephson, New York, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1934 edition. The book was republished by Harvest/ Harcourt Brace & Co in 1995. ISBN 0-15-676790-2.
See part of the publisher's description: "Originally published in 1934. ... The book looks at this phenomenon through the eyes of the men that came out on top in the frenzied and unstructured rush for development, and it becomes in part the biographies of Rockefeller (oil), Carnegie (steel), Gould and Vanderbilt (railways) and Morgan (banking) among others. ... For example Rockefeller's switch from being the largest to the only oil refiner came in secret agreements with the Erie, Pennsylvania, and New York Central railroad "pools" whereby he and refiners invited to join the Standard Oil Trust (they received half the real value of their assets) had freight rates reduced by up to 50% whereas competing refiners had their rates increased by 100% with half of this being paid straight back to Standard Oil (drawback) by the railroads. Within three months his remaining 25 competitors surrendered to him and he fixed all U.S. oil sales at a new high price."

STANDARD OIL, JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, INCOME, POLITICAL DONATIONS AND THE TAX-FREE FOUNDATIONS: A book review in The Weekend Australian, August 8-9, 1998, "Review" section, p 14, includes a note that the author Ron Chernow is also the author of award-winning books on J.P.Morgan and the Warburgs. "By 1877, about 49 years before the car displaced more stately forms of transportation, John D. Rockefeller controlled 90 per cent of the refined oil in the US. ... By 1902, he had an untaxed income of $US58 million. ... Rockefeller created the organic unity known as the trust, which would be emulated by all the great industrial enterprises -- steel, copper, tobacco and rubber. ...
Rockefeller, and Standard, hated the government no less than the trust-busters hated them, and they treated it with supreme contempt -- by bribing it. There were big-time pay-offs to key senators and countless small-time corruptions. John D. gave campaign contributions to John Sherman and Teddy Roosevelt. But ... both took his money and turned on him. ... ... his great journalistic nemesis was Ida Tarbell, whose 19-part series from 1902-05 ... led the president to bring down the trust. ... all the break-up of Standard did was unlock the wealth in its components ... he was enriched many times over as a result.
Rockefeller's voice is still driving the tax agenda in the US. ...Although John D. is long gone, what is alive is his astounding array of philanthropic projects: the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research, Rockefeller University, the Johns Hopkins Medical School, the University of Chicago and the Rockefeller Foundation." -- review by Bruce C. Wolpe of Titan, The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr, by Ron Chernow; Little, Brown; 774pp, $25.

NEWS EMPIRE'S LOW TAXES (2): "Murdoch's tax holiday. Tax investigators from Britain, the US, Canada and Australia have launched a secret joint inquiry to examine why Rupert Mordoch's global media empire pays hardly any tax. last year, while other international media groups, such as Walt Disney, paid up to28 per cent of their income in tax, Murdoch's News Corporation reported paying only 7.9 per cent -- only $103 million from an operating profit of $1.3 billion. In 1989 an Australian investigation found that News Corporation had routed its profits through subsidiaries in low-tax countries such as the Cayman Islands. World Press Review, Vol 45 No 5, reprinted in New Internationalist, August 1998, p 6

BRIBERY OF POLITICIANS (again): "Quote. 'The White House is like a subway: You have to put in coins to open the gates.' Johnnie Chung, who pleaded guilty to making illegal donations to US President Bill Clinton's election campaign." -- New Internationalist, August 1998, p 6

MULTINATIONALS RELY ON GOVERNMENTS, PAY NO TAX: "But despite their brash free-enterprise ethos, TNCs [=Transnational Corporations = Multinational Corporations] rely very heavily indeed on the state. When a TNC thinks of setting up a plant it holds an auction, commanding competitive bids from nation states with ofrings of tax-breaks, grants, roads, power supplies, a compliant, 'flexible' labour force, a 'sympathetic' regime. Huge public subsidies prop up TNCs everywhere.
"... finance houses and banks ... so much surplus cash now sloshes around that they're becoming richer and more powerful than TNCs. ...
Because these institutions have grown so bloated, and because globalization is all about paying no taxes, states are becoming virtually bankrupt. ...
... alternatives... the globalizers are opposed to every single one of them ... The simplest would be to impose a tax on the transactions of foreign-exchange markets, which could generate two-and-a-half trillion (thousand billion) dollars a year.
... the state bureaucracy ... has, by and large, aligned itself with globalization, set itself against the people and lost all political credibility." -- David Ransom, "Globalization -- an alternative view", in New Internationalist, November 1997, pp 7-10.

PREACHING "FREE MARKET" WHILE ARRANGING TAX-FUNDED AID AND BAIL-OUTS: Noam Chomsky, in "Free Market Fantasies" which can be heard online from http://www.worldmedia.com/archive/ or from http://206.9.170.150/archive/audio/fmf.html, said that all of the top 100 transnational corporations in the world had benefitted from government assistance in their alleged "home" country, and 20 of them had been saved from collapse. Yet these companies were strongly advocating "free market" theory, while receiving government subsidies or being baled out. He covers the reasons for over-fishing through government subsidies while "free" trade was introduced. Newt Gingrich was one of the most successful politicians in obtaining government help for his electorate's industries, while preaching the "market."
Chomsky wrote World Orders, Old and New: 1994: Pluto Press, London; 312pp, Paperback, ~$32.00. This Website has a little more on this book and mentions others at: Links and Contacts. For a wide review of his writings and speeches up to recent months, including audio and video online, try: http://www.worldmedia.com/archive/.

SELLOUT TO OVERSEAS BUYERS: Are the minor parties right or wrong? -- AND A PLUG FOR M.A.I.: Although overseas people own more than a quarter of Perth office land area, and over 30% of the buildings, a newspaper writer reports that xenophobic anxiety about selling large portions of Australia to foreigners is rooted deep in Australians' collective psyche. There was a pie chart of the breakdown with the article, which was by Dan Minchin in "Foreign buyers: facts defy fiction," The West Australian, August 12 1998, p 45. This anxiety was tied in to racism, but was possibly tied to an ancient drive to defend one's territory, according to Associate Professor Kevin Durkin from the University of Western Australia's psychology department. Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Lyndon Rowe was quoted as saying the choice was foreign investment or lower investment, and Colliers Jardine research analyst David Cresp agreed. "Mr Cresp says that in the Property Council of Australia's list of Perth CBD [Central Business District] office stock, Australian-controlled companies own 74 per cent by area and 67 per cent by number of buildings." Mr Rowe criticised Australia's minor political parties for wanting to cut back on foreign investment and ownership. And the end of the article had two paragraphs supporting the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI).
COMMENT: The accepted wisdom of the elites is distilled in this article. According to this article's interviewees, people who object to overseas ownership are possibly racist, and/or acting from urges to defend territory, and/or don't understand the need for investment. One wonders if the minor parties actually realise that the foreign ownership of the dearest land in Perth has actually passed the 25% mark? One also wonders why the State Government, defying a referendum of the citizens of Perth, broke up the Perth City Council into four councils, thus getting rid of the surrounding suburbs which included many thousands of ordinary citizens, and making the central council itself subject to more than 25% of overseas voting power? And one could wonder how much these companies actually contribute to Federal and State taxes. See other Webpages on this Website for possible answers to that question.

"FREE MARKET" GOVERNMENT'S GIFT TO COMPANY of $2.7m for unnecessary abattoir: Fletcher International Exports, a company based in New South Wales, Australia, is to receive a grant of $2.7 million from the Western Australian Government for an abattoir at Narrikup, near Albany on the south coast. The region already has an ample supply of meatworks. The WA Government will also lend $2.5 m INTEREST-FREE. (Dear, oh dear! And the public has been told that a politician who said that a people's bank ought to lend money at 2% interest had a "puerile" policy. The honest taxpayers will actually stand the loss on this cosy arrangement!) A Labor Party spokesman Mr Kim Chance said that it was untenable to help one business while placing others at a disadvantage. He said that the government had caused chaos and lack of competition [oh, blessed word!] by closing the Robb Jetty [government-owned] abattoir in 1993. Competing company Metro Meats International's managing director Sandy Murdoch was quoted as saying that the government's aid package might come at the expense of smaller abattoirs which might be forced to close, and he said the government had acted unfairly by distorting the market. The abattoir is already in low-level production.
COMMENT: "The market" was being distorted! And small abattoirs would be forced to close! The WA Government is supposedly a conservative-type help-the-battler Liberal-National Coalition, and preaches the "free market" and the "level playing field" at various times. And the opposition party, Labor, while in office both in WA and the Australian capital, spent quite a lot of taxpayers' funds assisting huge corporations. One wonders how Western Australia and the world managed from 1993 to l998 without the Robb Jetty abattoir and the competition!!! Did anyone go without meat because of this lack? Read this Webpage and search the WWW to learn how Big Business arranges for politicians' co-operation.

MERGERS SET A CRACKING PACE -- $23,500,000,000 IN SIX MONTHS: By Clive Mathieson, in The Australian, August 24 1998: "Corporate Australia is heading towards a record year for company takeovers, with $23.5 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions handled in the first six months." American-based companies are handling a large share of the advisory work. Companies and figures quoted are: Goldman Sachs $7.05 bn worth of deals (mainly from the $5.3 billion sale of BTR Plc's worldwide packaging division); Salomon Smith Barney ($5.9 bn); Morgan Stanley ($5.49 bn); JP Morgan ($2.78 bn); Deutsche Bank $2.59 bn.
The takeover companies ranked by number of deals are: ABN AMRO 22 ($1.949bn), KPMG 22 ($0.0468bn), Macquarie 12 ($2.062bn), Salomon Smith Barney 11 ($5.898bn), Warburg Dillon Read 10 ($2.268bn). [The names behind a few of these firms have been actively consolidating economic power since at least last century.]
Almost half of all takeover activity from January to June 1998 involved foreign predators, with US companies buying $6.5 bn worth of corporate Australia, Dutch buying $1.6 bn, and South Africa buying $1 bn. Australia was now the fourth most active country in terms of merger and acquisition activity behind the US, the UK and Canada. In 1997 the top company on Australian mergers was Credit Suisse First Boston, $12.3 billion, including the Telstra float and four Victorian energy privatisations.
Even the ADVICE on the foreign march of takeovers is more and more falling into the hands of giant American investment banks, according to corporate adviser Securities Data. Read the original "Mergers set a cracking pace" By Clive Mathieson, The Australian, August 24 1998, p 33, or a summary at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/finance/4124882.htm   Copyright ©  News Limited 1998

ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE SCANDAL -- AGAIN: The collection of election campaign funds from the top end of town and from the predatory segment of multinationals (see headings about Dictatorship above) has been exposed in the news media, so we suggest that Australians (facing an unnecessary federal election) and others ask themselves if this is happening in their own countries.
"Campaign Finance Reform
"The current campaign finance system is a scandal. Moneyed interests control the legislative agenda of the Congress because they control the purse strings of the campaigns. Only the rich, or the friends of the rich, can afford to run for office. Incumbents accumulate massive war chests to scare off potential challengers merely be holding out their hands at fund-raisers attended by representatives of special interests. The public is outraged by this system and frustrated with Congress's failure to change it.
"Parties and candidates spent more than $2 billion on the 1996 elections, the most ever. Outside groups spent hundreds of millions more on independent expenditures and so-called issue advocacy. Tales of fundraising scandals and abuses were daily occurrences during the last few months of the campaign, and investigations and recriminations will likely occupy the Congress for months to come. And for what? The end result of this spending orgy was an election in which less than half of the eligible electorate turned out to vote, and 95% of incumbent members of the House (and all but one Senator) who sought reelection were successful." See more in Public Citizen's Webpage at: http://www.citizen.org/congress/reform/refhome.html

ELECTORAL FUNDS (4) -- VICIOUS CIRCLE OF POLITICIANS BEHOLDEN TO COMPANIES: "It's a vicious circle: To challenge corporate power, citizen groups have to use democratic institutions, which are too often beholden to corporate interests. That's why for [Jim] Price, making corporations accountable has to start with overhauling our current campaign-finance system. In the short run, corporate-accountability campaigns give citizen groups a new tool. In the long run, how sharp and effective that tool is will depend on our success in addressing the bigger issue of corporate influence on public policy." Sierra Club members in the U.S.A. have been attending company meetings to protest at poisoning a river in the U.S.A. and other abuses around the world. Read the article "Making Corporations Accountable" in a July/August 1998 Webpage at: http://www.sierraclub.org/planet/199806/corp.html

"HANDOUT" OF BILLIONS -- GOVERNMENT LETTING TELEVISION CHANNELS OFF: The Liberal-National Australian Federal Government is letting the four commercial Television companies off paying billions of dollars in fees that could have been obtained by auctioning the airwaves for the government-induced costly changeover of free-to-air channels to digital transmission. The federal Treasury Department was upset by this, and the federal Department of Finance and Administration took issue with the anti-competitive (Oh, blessed word!) flavour of the so-called handout. "Even Mr Howard's own Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet lined up firmly against giving the free-to-air networks the digital advantage. ... The [federal] Department of Industry, Science and Commerce thought the Government had failed to come to grips with the situation and was closing the door on future options. ... The Office of Asset Sales was upset that a valuable public resource was being given away -- not sold. The Office of Regulation Review said in the leaked reports that complex and important new technology that could have far-reaching impacts on Australia's communications system and society was inadequately dealt with. ... Telecommunications companies, pay-TV operators, newspapers, Internet service providers, information industry bodies and consumer groups all lined up against the [Alston] plan." COMMENT: So, competition and the level playing field, so beloved by some leading directors and politicians, is essential in some matters, but not for this matter! Read the article by David Utting in The West Australian, May 14 1998, p 15.

__ THE END __

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