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November 22, 2013

A Trading Tactic Is Foiled, and Banks Cry Foul

What country are you in? Where is your business located? In what country did your trade take place?

Those were once questions whose answers were so obvious that no one asked them. Now they are questions that can drive financial regulators and tax collectors to distraction. Lawyers can get rich proving that under one definition or another, the person, company or transaction was somewhere with more convenient rules.

Earlier this year, we learned about Apple’s disappearing subsidiary, an extremely profitable one that had no employees and — for tax purposes — was located nowhere. Under United States tax law, it was based in Ireland. Under Irish law, it was based in the United States. So it paid taxes to no one. Presumably, if Congress ever overhauls the tax code, that will be dealt with.

Now we learn of the vanishing swaps market.”


Read full New York Times article here

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