Thursday, June 26, 2014
The horrible winter and early spring are still exacting their price re. one my favorite parts of the summer - fresh produce at the Union Square Farmers' Market. Generally you get strawberries by mid-May, then by the start of June it goes full Technicolor. Blueberries, red and black raspberries, apricots, soon after that peaches and blackberries, etcetera. This year is different. Blueberries and red raspberries were both 2 + weeks late, no black raspberries yet, and apricots and peaches may simply not happen in the Northeast this year. That's a shame as they're way better than the stuff that gets shipped here from far away. So I am still waiting for full Technicolor, and may have to wait until June 2015 (assuming the next winter is less awful).
OK, back to the summer positives. Weeks that aren't jammed full with appointments are one nice feature - even leaving aside classes, my calendar is never so open during the rest of the year. And as it happens my summer travel (in the school calendar sense) has been scheduled just for May and August, so open time yawns in front of me. But that's a good thing, and I wish there were more.
On the work front, I've just finished a draft of an article entitled "Multiple Myopia, Multiple Selves, and the Under-Saving Problem." The piece will end up being the headline piece in a spring 2015 "Commentary Issue" of the Connecticut Law Review, where there will also be invited commentators. I will post a draft of the article in SSRN at some point well before that, but I want to sit on it at least briefly first. After all, while there are second bites at the apple (aka revisions before publishing), I suspect that the first SSRN draft is the one that gets read by the greatest number of people.
I've now started work on a piece that I will be co-authoring with a friend that addresses Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. More on that in due course, including on the underlying event at which we'll be presenting the paper.
In the fall, I'll be writing a short Tax Notes piece for a conference to which I've been invited concerning certain of the perennial tax reform issues that are always on the table. More on that in due course, after that event has been publicly announced.
And after that, I guess I'll have to see, though there are several possible candidates. But I don't think I'll be writing much in international tax in the immediate future (as I like doing new things and changing my focus as needed to feel fresh).
Monday, June 23, 2014
There's also a recent paper suggesting that high-paid CEOs tend to perform worse than other CEOs through an entirely different mechanism. According to the abstract:
"CEO pay is negatively related to future stock returns for periods up to three years after sorting on pay. For example, firms that pay their CEOs in the top ten percent of excess pay earn negative abnormal returns over the next three years of approximately -8%. The effect is stronger for CEOs who receive higher incentive pay relative to their peers. Our results appear to be driven by high-pay induced CEO overconfidence that leads to shareholder wealth losses from activities such as over-investment and value-destroying mergers and acquisitions."
Some are born narcissistic, others achieve narcissism, and yet others have narcissism thrust upon them. And no doubt, to paraphrase Joseph Heller's line in Catch-22 about Major Major Major and mediocrity, for some CEOs it is all three.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Monday, June 16, 2014
The talk has been published in today's International Tax Notes (June 16, 2014; 74 Tax Notes International 1027-1031), and its full text is available here.
Definitely written as a talk not an article - e.g., no footnotes, and the main literary references are to Aesop's Who Will Bell the Cat? and Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. In brief, I'm skeptical about the EU capital levy proposals despite sympathy with their underlying goals.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Thursday, June 12, 2014
This change has of course received legislative consideration in recent years but gotten nowhere, in part due to opposition from Republicans - apart from departing Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, who would have eliminated the carried interest tax break as part of his ambitious tax reform plan. (It's only fair to note, however, that not all Congressional Democrats are wildly enthusiastic about the change either.)
Vic argues that, as a matter of regulatory authority, there is "plenty of room" for the Treasury to issue regulations making this change. He closes by noting that, while doing so might be contrary to common tax regulatory practice in recent decades, which has tended to defer to Congress when hot-button changes are on the table, perhaps we are in a new era:
"Out of deference to Congress, the Treasury Department has traditionally avoided making policy in areas where the legislative branch may act. 'But when the legislative process is as broken as it has become today,' said Daniel N. Shaviro, a law professor at New York University, 'it's simply inevitable that Administrations will care less about such comity, and be more willing to advance their policy views in controversial areas through the unilateral exercise of regulatory authority.'"
Yes, I recognize that Nook devices are not quite as numerous out there as Kindle readers. But the Nook app is generally available, at least for iPads, iPhones, and the like.
UPDATE: I sent Amazon an email noting that the Nook price is lower - and, lo and behold, Amazon has now lowered the Kindle price for Fixing U.S. International Taxation to the same $27.99. See the link here.
That's definitely a hurrah, from my standpoint. Though this is up to you not me, I am hoping that it prompts some sales.
Our presenters, listed for convenience in alphabetical order, will be as follows:
As a whole, our speaker list for next year, as compared to this past year, is weighted a little bit more on the "law" as opposed to the "economics" side of the interdisciplinary spectrum. This is partly a byproduct of the vagaries of rotating through various people whom I have wanted to invite, but it is also partly deliberate, in terms of what I think is the best fit for our students and audience.
I should have the actual schedule, with speakers assigned to particular dates, available shortly.
Monday, June 09, 2014
Meanwhile the OECD's BEPS project has been going on, reflecting efforts at the achievement of broad multilateral cooperation that, as I am careful to say in the book, both (a) can change the relevant policy calculus and (b) is great if it can be pulled off. But I do admittedly express a bit of mild skepticism on the latter score.
Today's Reuters has an article by Tom Bergin that throws a bit of cold water on cooperative hopes, at least in one particular setting. Bergin notes that the UK's recent shift towards engaging in tax competition, and perhaps even towards competing with Ireland for popularity with US companies as an appealing tax haven, has not gone unnoticed by those companies.
As a small country, the UK certainly has good reason to consider approaching international tax policy in this way. And the US, if inclined to complain, does not have entirely clean hands itself. (Thus, consider how our check-the-box rules have helped US companies reduce their tax liabilities in EU countries, leading to a bit of finger-pointing by people in the EU but accompanying US reluctance to do anything about it.) But the UK's taking this approach is certainly not great for the US, in particular if we want to rein in tax planning by our multinationals on either a unilateral or a multilateral basis, given that the UK is one of the best substitutes out there for US legal activity (common language, similar legal systems, geographically closer to us than most countries outside of the Americas, etc.).
Thursday, June 05, 2014
I gather that the book should also be showing up soon on other platforms for electronic download.