Business & Economics

Confidence Games

Lawyers, Accountants, and the Tax Shelter Industry

Author: Tanina Rostain,Milton C. Regan, Jr.

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262323176

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 424

View: 923

For ten boom-powered years at the turn of the twenty-first century, some of America's most prominent law and accounting firms created and marketed products that enabled the very rich -- including newly minted dot-com millionaires -- to avoid paying their fair share of taxes by claiming benefits not recognized by law. These abusive domestic tax shelters bore such exotic names as BOSS, BLIPS, and COBRA and were developed by such prestigious firms as KPMG and Ernst & Young. They brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in fees from clients and bilked the U.S. Treasury of billions in revenues before the IRS and Justice Department stepped in with civil penalties and criminal prosecutions. In Confidence Games, Tanina Rostain and Milton Regan describe the rise and fall of the tax shelter industry during this period, offering a riveting account of the most serious episode of professional misconduct in the history of the American bar.Rostain and Regan describe a beleaguered IRS preoccupied by attacks from antitax and antigovernment politicians; heightened competition for professional services; the relaxation of tax practitioner norms against aggressive advice; and the creation of complex financial instruments that made abusive shelters harder to detect. By 2004, the tax shelter boom was over, leaving failed firms, disgraced professionals, and prison sentences in its wake. Rostain and Regan's cautionary tale remains highly relevant today, as lawyers and accountants continue to face intense competitive pressure and regulators still struggle to keep pace with accelerating financial risk and innovation.
History

American Tax Resisters

Author: Romain D. Huret

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674369394

Category: History

Page: 381

View: 9790

American Tax Resisters gives a history of the anti-tax movement that, for the past 150 years, has pursued limited taxes on wealth and battled efforts to secure social justice through income redistribution. It explains how a once-marginal ideology became mainstream, elevating individual entrepreneurialism over sacrifice and solidarity.
Political Science

A Republic No More

Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption

Author: Jay Cost

Publisher: Encounter Books

ISBN: 1594038686

Category: Political Science

Page: 408

View: 9418

After the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin’s response: “A Republic—if you can keep it.” This book argues: we couldn’t keep it. A true republic privileges the common interest above the special interests. To do this, our Constitution established an elaborate system of checks and balances that disperses power among the branches of government, which it places in conflict with one another. The Framers believed that this would keep grasping, covetous factions from acquiring enough power to dominate government. Instead, only the people would rule. Proper institutional design is essential to this system. Each branch must manage responsibly the powers it is granted, as well as rebuke the other branches when they go astray. This is where subsequent generations have run into trouble: we have overloaded our government with more power than it can handle. The Constitution’s checks and balances have broken down because the institutions created in 1787 cannot exercise responsibly the powers of our sprawling, immense twenty-first-century government. The result is the triumph of special interests over the common interest. James Madison called this factionalism. We know it as political corruption. Corruption today is so widespread that our government is not really a republic, but rather a special interest democracy. Everybody may participate, yes, but the contours of public policy depend not so much on the common good, as on the push-and-pull of the various interest groups encamped in Washington, DC.
History

Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel

Author: Assaf Likhovski

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 131682019X

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 6155

This book describes how a social-norms model of taxation rose and fell in British-ruled Palestine and the State of Israel in the mid-twentieth century. Such a model, in which non-legal means were used to foster compliance, appeared in the tax system created by the Jewish community in 1940s Palestine and was later adopted by the new Israeli state in the 1950s. It gradually disappeared in subsequent decades as law and its agents, lawyers and accountants, came to play a larger role in the process of taxation. By describing the historical interplay between formal and informal tools for creating compliance, Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel sheds new light on our understanding of the relationship between law and other methods of social control, and reveals the complex links between taxation and citizenship.
Social Science

The Palgrave Handbook of Australian and New Zealand Criminology, Crime and Justice

Author: Antje Deckert,Rick Sarre

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319557475

Category: Social Science

Page: 916

View: 5775

This handbook engages key debates in Australian and New Zealand criminology over the last 50 years. In six sections, containing 56 original chapters, leading researchers and practitioners investigate topics such as the history of criminology; crime and justice data; law reform; gangs; youth crime; violent, white collar and rural crime; cybercrime; terrorism; sentencing; Indigenous courts; child witnesses and children of prisoners; police complaints processes; gun laws; alcohol policies; and criminal profiling. Key sections highlight criminological theory and, crucially, Indigenous issues and perspectives on criminal justice. Contributors examine the implications of past and current trends in official data collection, crime policy, and academic investigation to build up an understanding of under-researched and emerging problem areas for future research. An authoritative and comprehensive text, this handbook constitutes a long-awaited and necessary resource for dedicated academics, public policy analysts, and university students.
Business & Economics

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

Author: Erik Brynjolfsson,Andrew McAfee

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393241254

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 1778

A New York Times Bestseller. A “fascinating” (Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times) look at how digital technology is transforming our work and our lives. In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies—with hardware, software, and networks at their core—will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human. In The Second Machine Age MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee—two thinkers at the forefront of their field—reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives. Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds—from lawyers to truck drivers—will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar. Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape. A fundamentally optimistic book, The Second Machine Age alters how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.
Business & Economics

Introduction to Industrial Organization

Author: Luis M. B. Cabral

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262338947

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 440

View: 8330

The study of industrial organization (IO) -- the analysis of the way firms compete with one another -- has become a key component of economics and of such related disciplines as finance, strategy, and marketing. This book provides an issue-driven introduction to industrial organization. Although formal in its approach, it is written in a way that requires only basic mathematical training. It includes a vast array of examples, from both within and outside the United States. This second edition has been thoroughly updated and revised. In addition to updated examples, this edition presents a more systematic treatment of public policy implications. It features added advanced sections, with analytical treatment of ideas previously presented verbally; and exercises, which allow for a deeper and more formal understanding of each topic. The new edition also includes an introduction to such empirical methods as demand estimation and equilibrium identification. Supplemental material is available online.
Games

Persuasive Games

The Expressive Power of Videogames

Author: Ian Bogost

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262261944

Category: Games

Page: 464

View: 6388

Videogames are an expressive medium, and a persuasive medium; they represent how real and imagined systems work, and they invite players to interact with those systems and form judgments about them. In this innovative analysis, Ian Bogost examines the way videogames mount arguments and influence players. Drawing on the 2,500-year history of rhetoric, the study of persuasive expression, Bogost analyzes rhetoric's unique function in software in general and videogames in particular. The field of media studies already analyzes visual rhetoric, the art of using imagery and visual representation persuasively. Bogost argues that videogames, thanks to their basic representational mode of procedurality (rule-based representations and interactions), open a new domain for persuasion; they realize a new form of rhetoric. Bogost calls this new form "procedural rhetoric," a type of rhetoric tied to the core affordances of computers: running processes and executing rule-based symbolic manipulation. He argues further that videogames have a unique persuasive power that goes beyond other forms of computational persuasion. Not only can videogames support existing social and cultural positions, but they can also disrupt and change these positions themselves, leading to potentially significant long-term social change. Bogost looks at three areas in which videogame persuasion has already taken form and shows considerable potential: politics, advertising, and learning.
Business & Economics

The Design of Everyday Things

Revised and Expanded Edition

Author: Don Norman

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465072992

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 384

View: 5025

The ultimate guide to human-centered design Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious-even liberating-book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization. The Design of Everyday Things shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time. The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how--and why--some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.
Computers

Introduction to Information Retrieval

Author: Christopher D. Manning,Prabhakar Raghavan,Hinrich Schütze

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139472100

Category: Computers

Page: N.A

View: 9877

Class-tested and coherent, this textbook teaches classical and web information retrieval, including web search and the related areas of text classification and text clustering from basic concepts. It gives an up-to-date treatment of all aspects of the design and implementation of systems for gathering, indexing, and searching documents; methods for evaluating systems; and an introduction to the use of machine learning methods on text collections. All the important ideas are explained using examples and figures, making it perfect for introductory courses in information retrieval for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in computer science. Based on feedback from extensive classroom experience, the book has been carefully structured in order to make teaching more natural and effective. Slides and additional exercises (with solutions for lecturers) are also available through the book's supporting website to help course instructors prepare their lectures.
Mathematics

Once Upon an Algorithm

How Stories Explain Computing

Author: Martin Erwig

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262341700

Category: Mathematics

Page: 336

View: 4698

Picture a computer scientist, staring at a screen and clicking away frantically on a keyboard, hacking into a system, or perhaps developing an app. Now delete that picture. In Once Upon an Algorithm, Martin Erwig explains computation as something that takes place beyond electronic computers, and computer science as the study of systematic problem solving. Erwig points out that many daily activities involve problem solving. Getting up in the morning, for example: You get up, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. This simple daily routine solves a recurring problem through a series of well-defined steps. In computer science, such a routine is called an algorithm. Erwig illustrates a series of concepts in computing with examples from daily life and familiar stories. Hansel and Gretel, for example, execute an algorithm to get home from the forest. The movie Groundhog Day illustrates the problem of unsolvability; Sherlock Holmes manipulates data structures when solving a crime; the magic in Harry Potter's world is understood through types and abstraction; and Indiana Jones demonstrates the complexity of searching. Along the way, Erwig also discusses representations and different ways to organize data; "intractable" problems; language, syntax, and ambiguity; control structures, loops, and the halting problem; different forms of recursion; and rules for finding errors in algorithms. This engaging book explains computation accessibly and shows its relevance to daily life. Something to think about next time we execute the algorithm of getting up in the morning.
Science

Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062316109

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 7682

New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Understanding Media

The Extensions of Man

Author: Marshall McLuhan

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 9781537430058

Category:

Page: 396

View: 2935

When first published, Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media made history with its radical view of the effects of electronic communications upon man and life in the twentieth century.
Social Science

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Author: Jane Jacobs

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 052543285X

Category: Social Science

Page: 480

View: 9532

Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.
Business & Economics

Nudge

Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Author: Richard H. Thaler,Cass R. Sunstein

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101655097

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 2403

From the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: a revelatory look at how we make decisions—for fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow New York Times bestseller Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and the Financial Times Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones. Using dozens of eye-opening examples and drawing on decades of behavioral science research, Nobel Prize winner Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein show that no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way, and that we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions. But by knowing how people think, we can use sensible “choice architecture” to nudge people toward the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our society, without restricting our freedom of choice. More than 750,000 copies sold
Social Science

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093566

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 7193

In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.
Business & Economics

Political Standards

Corporate Interest, Ideology, and Leadership in the Shaping of Accounting Rules for the Market Economy

Author: Karthik Ramanna

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022621074X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 277

View: 3131

Assembling compelling and unprecedented evidence, "Political Standards: Accounting for Legitimacy" documents how in subtle ways the rules of corporate accounting a critical institution in modern market capitalism have been captured to benefit industrial corporations, financial firms, and audit firms. In what is perhaps the only independent overview of the accounting industry, Karthik Ramanna begins with a history of corporate accounting and an accessible explanation of how it works today, including the essential roles it plays in defining the fundamental notion of profitability, facilitating asset allocation, and ensuring the accountability of corporations and their managers. From the evidence, Ramanna shows how accounting rule-makers selectively co-opt conceptual arguments from academia and elsewhere to advance the views of the special-interest groups. From this, Ramanna moves on to develop more broadly a new type of regulatory challenge that of producing public policy in a thin political market. His argument is that accounting rules cannot be determined without the substantial expertise and experience of groups that by definition also have strong commercial interests in the outcome." Political Standards" concludes with an exploration of possible solutions to the problem in accounting and that of thin political markets in general, charting avenues for scholarship and practice. Certain to be an eye-opening account of a massive industry central to the modern business world, "Political Standards "will be an essential resource in understanding how the rules of the game business are set, whom they inevitably favor, and how they can be changed for the better of society."
Computers

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

A Comprehensive Introduction

Author: Arvind Narayanan,Joseph Bonneau,Edward Felten,Andrew Miller,Steven Goldfeder

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400884152

Category: Computers

Page: 336

View: 7213

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies provides a comprehensive introduction to the revolutionary yet often misunderstood new technologies of digital currency. Whether you are a student, software developer, tech entrepreneur, or researcher in computer science, this authoritative and self-contained book tells you everything you need to know about the new global money for the Internet age. How do Bitcoin and its block chain actually work? How secure are your bitcoins? How anonymous are their users? Can cryptocurrencies be regulated? These are some of the many questions this book answers. It begins by tracing the history and development of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and then gives the conceptual and practical foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network as well as to integrate ideas from Bitcoin into your own projects. Topics include decentralization, mining, the politics of Bitcoin, altcoins and the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the future of Bitcoin, and more. An essential introduction to the new technologies of digital currency Covers the history and mechanics of Bitcoin and the block chain, security, decentralization, anonymity, politics and regulation, altcoins, and much more Features an accompanying website that includes instructional videos for each chapter, homework problems, programming assignments, and lecture slides Also suitable for use with the authors' Coursera online course Electronic solutions manual (available only to professors)
Business & Economics

Why Nations Fail

The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

Author: Daron Acemoglu,James A. Robinson

Publisher: Crown Books

ISBN: 0307719227

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 529

View: 4174

An award-winning professor of economics at MIT and a Harvard University political scientist and economist evaluate the reasons that some nations are poor while others succeed, outlining provocative perspectives that support theories about the importance of institutions. Reprint.
Business & Economics

The Nobel Factor

The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn

Author: Avner Offer,Gabriel Söderberg

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400883415

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 344

View: 2869

Economic theory may be speculative, but its impact is powerful and real. Since the 1970s, it has been closely associated with a sweeping change around the world—the "market turn." This is what Avner Offer and Gabriel Söderberg call the rise of market liberalism, a movement that, seeking to replace social democracy, holds up buying and selling as the norm for human relations and society. Our confidence in markets comes from economics, and our confidence in economics is underpinned by the Nobel Prize in Economics, which was first awarded in 1969. Was it a coincidence that the market turn and the prize began at the same time? The Nobel Factor, the first book to describe the origins and power of the most important prize in economics, explores this and related questions by examining the history of the prize, the history of economics since the prize began, and the simultaneous struggle between market liberals and social democrats in Sweden, Europe, and the United States. The Nobel Factor tells how the prize, created by the Swedish central bank, emerged from a conflict between central bank orthodoxy and social democracy. The aim was to use the halo of the Nobel brand to enhance central bank authority and the prestige of market-friendly economics, in order to influence the future of Sweden and the rest of the developed world. And this strategy has worked, with sometimes disastrous results for societies striving to cope with the requirements of economic theory and deregulated markets. Drawing on previously untapped Swedish national bank archives and providing a unique analysis of the sway of prizewinners, The Nobel Factor offers an unprecedented account of the real-world consequences of economics—and its greatest prize.