Apple, Ireland, and the EU: First Steps Towards Self-Regulated Competition in Corporate Tax Rates Among Nations (Part 1)

“Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.” ––Lord Acton FACTS The EU has requested that Apple Inc. pay €13.5 billion to the Irish Treasury, citing back taxes unpaid during the past 10 years as the reason behind it. Understandably, Apple is going to appeal the EU’s request, arguing not having broken any law and regulation in Ireland. Apple opened its first Irish office in Cork, Ireland in 1992, based on the very attractive incentives for new investments, including lower corporate tax rates than the rest of the developed world. It didn’t take much time for Apple to headquarter all of its European operations in Ireland. If … [Read More...]

Brexit: What’s Next?

Very few international events throughout both, mankind’s history and the history of financial markets have achieved a cause/effect reaction so unmistakably clear as the one produced by the Brexit vote on June 23rd, and the effect it had over the next couple of days, after 43 years of having been a most prominent member of the EU. Friday 24th and Monday 27th’s reaction throughout global financial markets was unequivocal: stark disapproval of the result (record fall in Sterling –to a 30-year low–, a strong fall in most currencies –except the US dollar, and the Japanese yen–, a sizeable fall in the world’s equity markets –particularly acute in the UK and the EU–, flight to safety –a strong … [Read More...]

The EU, Greece, and the Perfection Syndrome

During the past few months, and particularly during the past few days, an avalanche of articles have been published about the most likely future for Greece and especially of the European Union, if Greece gets out of the EU and of the Euro Zone. The Greek crisis has resurfaced this week as a result of the abandonment of negotiations between the Greek government, the EU, the IMF, and the ECB, and the call for a referendum on the EU membership by the Tsipras administration. The most likely wording of the question to vote on will not be as clear as previously stated. However, at the end of the day, the fundamental question that Greek citizens will reply to is a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ to the … [Read More...]

FIFA’s Scandal: Death by Corruption?

FIFA, the international football federation (soccer), has been shaken to the core by the recent indictment of the US Department of Justice, where 9 high-ranking officers of FIFA (the chairman isn’t one of them) and 7 of them were arrested with charges of racketeering, wire fraud and paying bribes worth more than $150m. On a parallel note, it was also disclosed that the government of Switzerland is also investigating the procedure whereby Qatar was awarded the World Cup in 2022. Granted, the aforementioned indictments are just a preliminary stage of a most probably long judicial process. No sentence has been issued. Nonetheless, the US Department of Justice, despite its human limitations, … [Read More...]