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Incorporation Standards in Banking: A Race to the Bottom
April 10th, 2014
Sometimes—even usually—competition is a good thing. It lowers market prices; it sent a man to the moon; and it’s responsible for thousands of Olympic medals. In many cases, competitions–or races–are responsible for innovation, efficiency, and better performance. In these cases, an individual actor’s pursuit of victory leads to the betterment of society, a market, or a generation of athletes. However, sometimes competitions—or races—instead lead to worse outcomes for society. Often called a “race to the bottom,” these kinds of competitions include, for example, international degradations of environmental and labor standards. This kind of race also happens in...
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A bill to end secrecy surrounding shell companies
November 2nd, 2012
Did you know that it can take more information to obtain a driver’s license than to start your very own anonymous shell company with which you can use and abuse the U.S. financial system? In a matter of minutes, and with minimal documentation, you can own a company without disclosing that you are, in fact, the owner. These opaque entities are a favorite tool of terrorists, drug traffickers, arms dealers, corrupt government leaders, tax evaders and other criminals to launder money into the U.S.
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Why We Need the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act
May 16th, 2012
An anonymous shell company is a corporation where it is impossible to know who the beneficial owners are. Beneficial owners are those people who ultimately benefit from, and are responsible for, the operations of the company. The result is a new corporate entity that can open bank accounts, sign contracts, receive payments, and perform all sorts of business without anyone knowing who they are actually doing business with.
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Incorporation with limited liability is a privilege. It should not include anonymity
January 20th, 2012
I’ve long argued for the contention in the title of this blog. I am convinced legal limited liability is a privilege - after all, if people sign a piece of paper to form a company they no longer have to accept full responsibility for their debts. That’s an extraordinary state of affairs, and a massive privilege. But I have said that, like all responsibilities, this one comes at a price. The price is to say who you are i.e. to disclose who really owns the company and who really runs it, as well as to say what you do...
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