Category Archives: War on Commerce

Chinese millionaire sues himself through an offshore shell company to beat currency export controls

China’s millionaires, having looted their country, are anxious to get their money out of reach of the Politburo, to guard against confiscation should the political tides turn. Only one problem: the government will only let Chinese nationals move $50K/year out of the country.

The majority of China’s new super-rich are prepped to leave the country, but getting their cash out is a serious problem. Much of the volatility in Bitcoin can be ascribed to Chinese elites using the cryptocurrency to smuggle cash out of the PRC. With the Chinese Yuan tanking, the race is on to convert Chinese wealth to other currencies and get out while the getting is good.

But there’s a better way: for a small sum, you can just set up an offshore shell company, direct it to sue a Chinese company you own, throw the lawsuit, and then, oh well, I guess there’s nothing for it but to send a bunch of cash to your shell company, exempted from export controls, in the form of court-ordered damages.

http://boingboing.net/2016/02/18/chinese-millionaire-sues-himse.html

How did superrich Americans become superrich Americans? (they took a risk)

Of the Forbes 400 from 1987, 327 people have dropped off the list. Of the remaining 73 people, those with the highest annual rates of return are generally self-made entrepreneurs and investors—not heirs—with an average annual real rate of return of 5.6 percent over the last 26 years.

– The rate of return for the Forbes 400 as a whole, 2.4 percent, is roughly equal to Piketty’s estimated returns for the entire population.

– Wealth today is largely generated by entrepreneurial skill, with the number of entrepreneurs on the Forbes 400 list rising from 40 percent in 1982 to *****69 percent in 2011*****.

– The role of inheritance has diminished over the last generation; the share of the Forbes 400 that grew up wealthy has fallen from 60 percent in 1982 to 32 percent today.

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/08/how-did-superrich-americans-become-superrich-americans/

Sheldon Adelson vs online gambling

open quote . . . . There’s just one problem with all of this: Sheldon Adelson. The very week that Caesars’ online gambling play started trading on the Nasdaq, Adelson, the nation’s fifth-richest man–and one of the country’s biggest political donors–thanks to his vast casino holdings, unleashed an army of lawyers and lobbyists on Washington and state capitals, telling FORBES he will “spend whatever it takes” to stop online gambling in America. . . .

So while Adelson’s limitless money–and his willingness to spend it–may slow the momentum for online gambling by blocking its spread into big states like California and Florida, the odds of him stopping it or bullying his rivals out of the game are slim. He’s got lots of chips, but all the other players at the table do, too.close quote (Read more)

Swiss Reject Pay Cap, Seattle Town Tries $15 minimum wage

I’ve become a real fan of the Swiss. Seriously. First they rejected the Olympics, and now a high-pay cap. Amen. Europe needs more of this.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304011304579217863967104606

Meanwhile, a town in Seattle, just passed a $15/hour minimum wage law. I’ll watch with measured amusement:

http://www.businessinsider.com/ballot-measure-to-enact-15-minimum-wage-near-seattle-wins-narrow-victory-2013-11

ObamaCare and the ’29ers’

open quoteHere’s a trend you’ll be reading more about: part-time “job sharing,” not only within firms but across different businesses.

It’s already happening across the country at fast-food restaurants, as employers try to avoid being punished by the Affordable Care Act. In some cases we’ve heard about, a local McDonalds has hired employees to operate the cash register or flip burgers for 20 hours a week and then the workers head to the nearby Burger King or Wendy’s to log another 20 hours. Other employees take the opposite shifts.close quote (Read more)

Microsoft, Apple summonsed in Australia to explain high prices

open quoteTechnology giants Microsoft and Apple have been summonsed to appear before a federal parliamentary committee to explain why Australians are forced to pay more for some of their products compared with other countries.

The committee has also issued a summons to Adobe, with all three companies to appear before a public hearing on March 22.

If they fail to turn up they could be held in contempt of Parliament, which carries a range of possible penalties including fines or jail time.

The companies have provided written submissions to the committee but have declined several requests for them to appear in person.

The investigation was set up after a long campaign by Labor backbencher Ed Husic, who has accused some information technology companies of “ripping off” Australian consumers.close quote (Read more)

State regulators crack down on grocery chain for selling cheap milk

open quoteLouisiana state regulators recently cracked down on a supermarket chain’s weekly promotional deal because it was selling milk too cheaply — which violates state law.

The upscale Fresh Markets was selling gallons of milk for $2.99 as part of a weekly promotional deal. Louisiana requires that retailer price markups be at least six percent above the invoice and shipping costs of the product.close quote

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/26/state-regulators-crack-down-on-grocery-chain-for-selling-cheap-milk/#ixzz2JANvA0Ax

INTRADE forced to boot US clients

open quoteWe are sorry to announce that due to legal and regulatory pressures, Intrade can no longer allow US residents to participate in our real-money prediction markets.

Unfortunately this means that all US residents must begin the process of closing down their Intrade accounts. We strongly urge you to begin this process immediately:

Step 1: Close out open predictions

You must close out all open predictions before 8:00am GMT (3:00am ET) on December 23, 2012. Instructions on how to close out an open prediction can be found HERE.

If this is not done then by the deadline noted above, Intrade will close out your predictions for you at what we consider to be fair market value as of the daily session close of December 23, 2012. close quote (Read more)