December 12, 2017

Max Clifford, Celebrity Publicist and Sex Offender, Dies After Collapsing in Prison

As a publicist, Mr. Clifford represented a roster of world-famous clients, including Muhammad Ali and O.J. Simpson. But he made his name from scandal, shepherding exposés of extramarital affairs that brought down at least one British government minister and filled the pages of tabloid newspapers in Britain and elsewhere for decades.

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At least one of those newspapers, the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World, hacked into his cellphone voice mail in search of further secrets. The newspaper was later shuttered over its use of such hacking.

“For every story I break, there’s 10 I stop,” Mr. Clifford told The New York Times in a 2006 interview, explaining that his rule for celebrities seeking his help to avoid a scandal was that they had to tell him everything.

“I say, ‘Look, if I don’t know more about you than your wife, your husband, your mistress, your lover, I can’t do what you want me to, so there’s no point in your paying me fortunes and wasting your money and my time.’ ”

Mr. Clifford grew up in Surrey, in southern England, the son of an electrician and a former maid, and he started his own company at the age of 27. Before that, he said, he worked as a newspaper reporter and then at the record label EMI, where he helped to promote the Beatles, though the extent of his role with the band has been disputed.

“I’ve created false images for people all my life,” he told The Times in 2006. “I’m quite happy to make up stories about someone to create an image.”

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/world/europe/uk-max-clifford-dead.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Louis C.K. Will Buy Back ‘I Love You, Daddy’


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The premiere of Louis C.K.’s film “I Love You, Daddy” at the Paris Theater was canceled after allegations of sexual misconduct. Credit Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images North America

Louis C.K. will buy back the rights to his film “I Love You, Daddy” after sexual misconduct allegations led to the movie’s shelving.

The Orchard, an independent distribution company, bought the film for $5 million after it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September to some applause and some revulsion. The movie waded into uncomfortable territory, including sexual predation and public masturbation: “I made a movie that totally walks all over that electric fence,” Louis C.K. said in an interview.

But last month, The Times published a report in which five women accused Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct. He confirmed the allegations were true, and the Orchard subsequently suspended its distribution plans.

According to Deadline, Louis C.K. will buy the rights to the movie back in full and pay for any additional marketing costs, so that the Orchard will not incur a loss from the movie.

There are no current plans for the movie’s distribution. Louis C.K. previously self-released the series “Horace and Pete” on his website.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/movies/louis-ck-will-buy-back-i-love-you-daddy.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Holdover Films Chug Away at the Box Office as ‘Last Jedi’ Looms


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Dave Franco, left, and James Franco star in “The Disaster Artist,” which had strong ticket sales in relatively limited release. Credit Justina Mintz/A24, via Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — To paraphrase Gandalf by way of J.R.R. Tolkien, early December is the box office’s deep breath before the plunge. New films are held back as Hollywood waits to capitalize on Christmas.

The major studios served up nothing for the second weekend in a row, allowing “Coco” to remain the top draw at North American theaters. But eight big movies are scheduled to arrive in wide release over an 11-day stretch that starts Friday, when “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” touches down.

Playing in 3,748 theaters, “Coco” (Disney-Pixar) took in an estimated $18.3 million, for a three-week total of $135.5 million, according to comScore, which compiles box office data. “Justice League” (Warner Bros.) collected about $9.6 million, for a four-week domestic total of $212.1 million — a not-very-superheroic sum that has Warner rethinking its management of DC Comics films yet again.

Third place went to the tear-jerker “Wonder” (Lionsgate), which nosed across the $100 million mark in North America by selling about $8.5 million in tickets in its fourth weekend. With backers that include Participant Media and Walden Media, “Wonder” has connected with audiences in part because of its #ChooseKind promotional campaign.

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Failing to go anywhere was “Just Getting Started,” a poorly reviewed comedy released by the upstart film company Broad Green Pictures and starring Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo and Tommy Lee Jones. It cost about $22 million to make and arrived to an estimated $3.2 million in ticket sales at 2,161 locations.

Among low-budget Oscar hopefuls, “The Disaster Artist” (A24) had a very strong weekend, taking in $6.4 million in relatively limited release (840 theaters), for a two-week total of about $8 million. “The Disaster Artist,” a well-reviewed movie about a movie, stars James Franco, Dave Franco and Seth Rogen.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/movies/box-office-coco-justice-league-wonder.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Wary of bitcoin? Top 5 rival cryptocurrencies worth a bet

READ MORE: Another day, another record: Bitcoin juggernaut smashes $18,000

Bitcoin fever shows no sign of receding with rivals of the first digital asset gaining traction to become the main agents of a cashless environment. Here are the top five of major bitcoin competitors, commonly called altcoins, as a blend of bitcoin alternative, whose market value has exceeded $5 billion, according to crypto-market data leader CoinMarketCap.

Ethereum (ETH)

The second biggest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, ethereum was launched in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian computer programmer born in Russia. As of Friday, this relatively young cryptocurrency was trading at more than $445 with a market cap of about $43 billion. It is up over 5,000 percent this year.

Ethereum differs from bitcoin in application. Its platform is open and decentralized, and the digital currency is used there to pay for transaction fees and services.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

A spinoff of the original, bitcoin cash was created on August 1, 2017, and has become the third largest digital currency. The cryptocurrency was born as a result of a solution dubbed SegWit2x, which led to the split of the world’s most popular digital asset into two.

Bitcoin cash has implemented an increased block size of 8mb, to accelerate the verification process, with an adjustable level of difficulty to ensure the chain’s survival and transaction verification speed, regardless of the number of miners supporting it.

Bitcoin cash is trading around $1,500 with a market value of $25.5 billion.

IOTA (MIOTA)

Unlike its rivals, IOTA uses a system called Tangle as a distributed ledger technology. Tangle is claimed to be next-generation blockchain. IOTA was founded by David Sonstebo, Sergey Ivancheglo, Dominik Schiener, and Dr. Serguei Popov in 2015.

One of the youngest virtual currencies demonstrated a bullish rally earlier this month when the price of an IOTA token more than tripled from roughly $1.40 to $5.45 before facing a correction. It was trading at a modest $4.25 per token with its market cap climbing to $12 billion on Friday.

Ripple (XRP)

Released in 2012 in California, ripple is listed on 30 exchanges and is currently in the fifth place by market capitalization. The cryptocurrency is winning popularity among banks as a worldwide payment and transmission system.

Unlike bitcoin, ripple is not just a currency, but a system through which any currency can be transferred or traded. On Friday, ripple was trading at $0.25 with a market cap of around $9.6 billion.

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin is the second oldest cryptocurrency in the world along with Namecoin and SwiftCoin. All the three virtual currencies were launched in 2011, but litecoin became the first to be mined using the so-called scrypt algorithm, which is entirely different from work algorithm of bitcoin.

Litcoin was created by former Google engineer Charlie Lee and is commonly referred to as “silver to bitcoin’s gold.” The digital currency is seen as a faster alternative to bitcoin due to its speedier block processing time: 2.5 minutes to bitcoin’s 10.

The market value of the cryptocurrency climbed over $5.4 billion with one token trading at $100 as of Friday.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412622-top-bitcoin-rivals-value-rise/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Russia may turn to cryptocurrencies in oil trade to challenge sanctions & the petrodollar

Russia, Iran and Venezuela have more than one thing in common. All three are major oil producing nations dependent on the dollar since the global crude market is traditionally dominated by contracts denominated in US currency.  

Petrodollar end looming as China allies dump it in oil trading – Jim Rogers

Moscow, Tehran and Caracas are also facing US sanctions; penalties which are proving effective since the sanctioned countries are dependent on the US dollar to sell their crude.

READ MORE: Iran suggests Russia help ‘isolate the Americans’ by ditching dollar

A decentralized currency – allowing anonymous transactions along with blockchain technology support to facilitate oil contracts – may be the ideal tool to allow the oil producing trio to turn their back on the greenback.

“The advent of cryptocurrencies, therefore, represents a fresh catalyst for commodity-producing countries wishing to abandon the dollar as a means of payment for oil,” said Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, in a research note seen by CNBC.

Several oil producers have already voiced plans to ditch the dollar in oil trading. Last week, Venezuela announced it will launch its own cryptocurrency, the “Petro,” which will be backed by the country’s vast natural resource reserves.

Venezuela to launch ‘Petro’ cryptocurrency to fight Trump’s ‘financial blockade’

Russia, China and Iran are currently pursuing currency swap agreements to eliminate the US dollar from trade. One of the world’s biggest crude importers, China, has also announced the launch of the petro-yuan to replace the greenback in oil transactions.

READ MORE: Ruble-yuan trade between Russia China makes dollar odd man out

While currency swaps are being considered, cryptocurrencies, once they become less volatile, offer several advantages. Instead of using various national currencies, they provide a common currency for countries seeking to avoid using the dollar. They are also universal and flexible, easily convertible back to national currencies.

Cryptocurrencies provide yet another advantage to countries facing international sanctions. They are anonymous and decentralized, which limits the effect of US economic sanctions on trade deals for countries like Russia, Iran and Venezuela.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412619-russia-cryptocurrencies-oil-trade/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

France endorses blockchain for trading unlisted securities

The changes were announced by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and will come into force in July next year. It will only apply to non-listed securities that aren’t required to be traded using a broker. The market, which is potentially worth up to three trillion euro, includes shares in hedge funds as well debt securities.

READ MORE: Bitcoin bubble not fatal because value could ‘not be permanently lost’ – expert

“The use of this new technology will allow fintech firms and other financial actors to develop new ways of trading securities that are faster, cheaper, more transparent and safer,” said Le Maire, according to Reuters. The finance minister added that he believes the new rules will help make Paris an attractive place to set up business for new financial technology firms.

Acting as an encrypted ledger, blockchain technology records transaction as ‘blocks’ that are updated immediately and in real time using a shared network of computers on the internet rather than a central authority. The blocks are considered the most secure way of carrying out transactions as all changes occur simultaneously, eliminating the need for a trusted third party.

READ MORE: Bitcoin is a ‘dangerous speculative bubble’ – Yale economist warns

There has been much debate about the future of bitcoin and the blockchain technology underpinning it in recent months. On Tuesday, Yale economist Stephen Roach declared the bitcoin buying frenzy to be a “dangerous, speculative bubble by any shadow or stretch of the imagination.” The cryptocurrency reached an all-time high of more than $18,000 earlier this month.

Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz rejected claims that bitcoin is a bubble and dangerously hyperinflated. “The world is in a blockchain speculative phase… Not close to the end of the speculative phase,” Novogratz said.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412593-france-blockchain-nonlisted-securities/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Janet Yellen Didn’t Set Out to Be a Feminist Hero

Despite his unorthodox decision to replace her, even Mr. Trump has agreed that Ms. Yellen has performed well in the job. In the Rose Garden announcing Mr. Powell’s nomination, the president called Ms. Yellen an “absolutely spectacular person” and said she had “done a terrific job.”

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Janet L. Yellen on Capitol Hill last month. During her single term as the Federal Reserve chief, unemployment has plummeted and inflation has been consistently low. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

So, why, many women wondered, replace her with a man?

“Janet should’ve been renominated, as every past Fed chair has been renominated for nearly the last 40 years,” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said in an interview. “But it’s not the first time and certainly not the last a highly qualified woman is passed over for a job she clearly deserves.”

It’s a funny thing Americans have about powerful women. Voters haven’t always responded to women who ask for the big jobs (see: Hillary Clinton), but when they see a woman simply doing the job — and a good one, at that — they seem happy to give her rock star status.

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It’s true of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court justice who has become known to many young women simply as “the Notorious RBG.” And it was true of Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state, traveling the world and negotiating with world leaders in a scrunchie and glasses while basking in 70 percent approval ratings. (When Mrs. Clinton was asked about her in-the-toilet favorability numbers during the 2016 presidential campaign, she said, “Once I’m doing the job, we’ll be back to people viewing me as the person doing the job instead of the person seeking the job.”)

To protest Ms. Yellen’s departure, liberal activists have worn “Yellen wigs” in support of the economist’s signature floppy white bob (as well as her affinity for keeping interest rates low). Supporters describe her in terms more suited to Taylor Swift than a 71-year-old academic shaping monetary policy.

“I’m the biggest Janet fangirl,” said Julia Coronado, founder of the economic research firm MacroPolicy Perspectives.

Emily Eisner, a doctoral student a the University of California, Berkeley, and editor of the school’s Women in Economics at Berkeley blog, echoed the sentiment, saying, “I don’t want to use the word idol, but symbolically, she has meant a lot to me.”

Kaivan Shroff, a former campaign aide to Mrs. Clinton, wrote on Twitter, “Janet Yellen is such a BOSS.”

Mr. Powell, the incoming chairman, studied closely under Ms. Yellen and is largely expected to continue the economic path she has laid. “They appointed the apprentice instead of the master,” Heidi Hartmann, the president and chief executive of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said.

The change, Ms. Hartmann added, speaks to the broader problem of a lack of women represented in finance and economic policymaking. “I think men have a fair amount of loyalty to other men, and the other people Trump consulted would’ve been more open to a man,” she said.

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The White House shunned any accusations of sexism playing into the decision. “The mere suggestion is an affront to Chair Yellen,” the press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Described as even-keeled and soft-spoken, but fierce (“People underestimate her at their peril,” Ms. Warren said), Ms. Yellen has never inserted herself into the gender wars but by virtue of that “large I.Q.,” she has inadvertently found herself in the cross hairs.

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The Brooklyn-born Ms. Yellen was the only woman among those earning a Ph.D. in economics at Yale in 1971. For years, she was known in academic circles as “the trailing spouse,” overshadowed by her husband, George Akerlof, a Nobel-prize winning economist. The couple has a son, Robert Akerlof, who is also a highly regarded economist.

This trailing spouse, however, went on to be a top economic adviser to President Bill Clinton, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and a member of the central bank’s board of governors. Then, in 2013, 100 years after the Federal Reserve was founded, she made history as its first woman chair.

But history making is often a messy matter. And even with her low profile, Ms. Yellen managed to kick up a central-banking storm.

Mr. Obama’s initial choice to steer the nation’s shaky economy through the recession had been the economist Lawrence H. Summers, who had served as an adviser. But many Democrats in the Senate, including Ms. Warren, protested the move. They argued that Ms. Yellen, who had worked closely with the outgoing chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, was the obvious choice.

Then there was the issue of Mr. Summers, who during his time as president of Harvard had caused controversy and a suitable backlash when he argued that inherent differences between the sexes were a possible reason for the lack of female science professors.

Theories abound that Ms. Yellen has been accepted — and even beloved — in a high-powered role because she has not made being a woman a central theme of her career. In contrast to Mrs. Clinton who made gender a significant part of her 2016 candidacy, Ms. Yellen has inserted the issue more subtly.

“You try to make the economy better and reflect priorities of the nation, and there isn’t a woman’s budget,” said Alice M. Rivlin, who served as director of the Office of Management and Budget and as vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Board during the Clinton administration. “I felt the same way about the Federal Reserve.”

In May, Ms. Yellen delivered a speech at Brown University on the impact of women in the labor force, one of only a handful of times she has directly addressed gender issues.

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Women in the workplace have been “hampered by barriers to equal opportunity and workplace rules and norms that fail to support a reasonable work-life balance,” Ms. Yellen said, adding that “if these obstacles persist, we will squander the potential of many of our citizens and incur a substantial loss to the productive capacity of our economy.”

Considering her tenure at the Federal Reserve, economists said that having a woman in that role had brought about a more representative approach to monetary policy, even if Ms. Yellen did not emphasize an agenda intended to advance the interests of women. Several academic studies, for example, show that women economists are more likely to address inequality than their male counterparts.

“The economic profession as a whole has a terrible white male problem,” Ms. Coronado, said. “Are you even going to ask the right questions if you have a lot of privileged people setting the agenda?”

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/09/business/janet-yellen-didnt-set-out-to-be-a-feminist-hero.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Tax Plans May Give Your Co-Worker a Better Deal Than You

So a decorator, an artist or a plumber would have a higher tax rate than an owner of a decorating business, an art shop or a plumbing supply store. A corporate accountant could have a higher rate than a partner in an accounting firm. And under the House bill, which differentiates between active and passive investors, the head of a family business who works 60-hour weeks would have a higher rate than her brother, who gets an equal share of the profits but spends his days playing Call of Duty.

The proposals’ impact rises steeply as paychecks grow. High-income earners — roughly the upper 10 percent — who can take advantage of the new distinctions would be rewarded with substantial gains compared with those who can’t.

Supporters argue that the revised tax regime is an attempt to update the code to reflect changes in the economy. Rather than depend primarily on individual rate cuts to further power the economy, the Republican plans focus on cutting taxes on certain types of business income. The idea is that these businesses will reinvest those higher returns and stimulate growth.

“This is a radically different approach,” said Fred Goldberg, commissioner of internal revenue under President George Bush.

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A decorator, an artist or a plumber would have a higher tax rate than an owner of a decorating business, an art shop or a plumbing supply store. Credit Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Corporations and other types of businesses get the biggest cuts. Employees don’t.

“Theoretically, this makes a certain amount of sense in a vacuum,” said Jared Walczak, a senior policy analyst at the conservative Tax Foundation. “It’s just difficult to define what constitutes wage income compared to business income.”

Indeed, economists and tax experts across the political spectrum warn that the proposed system would invite tax avoidance. The more the tax code distinguishes among types of earnings, personal characteristics or economic activities, the greater the incentive to label income artificially, restructure or switch categories in a hunt for lower rates.

Expect the best-paid dentists to turn into corporations so that they can take advantage of the new 20 percent corporate tax rate, instead of having to pay a top marginal rate of nearly 40 percent on some of their income. Individual income taxes can be deferred on profits left inside a corporation instead of deposited in a personal account. What’s more, corporations can deduct local and state taxes, which individual filers can’t.

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Look for a wave of promotions as staff lawyers on salary suddenly turn into partners to qualify for the 23 percent deduction the Senate bestowed on pass-through businesses.

Pass-throughs, which range from an ice cream stand to multibillion-dollar operations like Georgia-Pacific (a Koch Industries subsidiary) and Fidelity Investments, don’t pay corporate taxes. Instead they pass through income to their owners or shareholders, who pay taxes at the ordinary rate on their individual returns.

The Republican provisions applying to pass-throughs have been singled out for some of the greatest scorn. Writing about the House version, Dan Shaviro, a professor of taxation at New York University Law School who worked on the 1986 tax overhaul, said it “might be the single worst proposal ever prominently made in the history of the U.S. federal income tax.”

Uneven treatment is compounded by other rules that unintentionally introduced preferences.

To prevent certain professionals and specialists like investment managers, doctors, athletes, performers and others from reorganizing themselves as pass-throughs, the Senate excluded households with joint incomes of $500,000 or more (and $250,000 for single taxpayers). But the peculiar way the income scale is phased out means that solo practitioners and partners who earn roughly $529,000 to $624,000 could face a tax of up to 85 percent on income between those two thresholds, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

Some Pass-Throughs Would Pay a Steep Tax on Service Income

The Senate bill would tax pass-through business income earned by those who provide a service at a much higher rate from $529,000 to $624,000 in income.

By Lindsey Cook | Source: Tax Policy Center

A graph of the rate increase looks as if a skyscraper were plopped in the middle of an open field. That is a powerful incentive to search for tax shelters.

At the same time, an unrelated rule that closes a loophole affecting highly paid corporate executives will have the effect of allowing pass-through corporations — but not traditional corporations — to deduct compensation over $1 million.

“The more you look at any of the major rules, the more ambiguities, glitches, clearly unintended consequences and tax planning opportunities you see,” said Michael L. Schler, a lawyer in the tax department of Cravath, Swaine Moore. He has written a 50-page summary of the more glaring problems, scheduled to be published soon in Tax Notes.

Contract Employees Get a Break in the Tax Bill

Employees who earn more than $24,000 could be taxed at a higher marginal rate than a contractor who earns the same wages in the Senate tax plan.

By Lindsey Cook | Source: Tax Policy Center

The proposed classification system is unusual. Although the gains on long-term investment have generally been taxed at lower rates for most of America’s tax history, all other income was taxed at the same rate since the federal income tax was instituted in 1909.

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That included both earned income — money generated by a day’s labor — and what is called unearned income, which includes dividends, interest on bonds, alimony, rent, royalties, licensing fees and pension checks.

If anything, wage earners, at least in the popular imagination, were elevated above the original “coupon cutters” — not thrifty housewives but those who lazed on the couch and collected income generated by securities, which they clipped at the corners to redeem. In the 1920s, steely capitalists worried that such indolent fat cats would undermine entrepreneurship while fiery radicals ridiculed their only work as picking up a ticket at the opera box office.

But despite countless loopholes, exemptions and special breaks in the tax code, there was never a move to single out employee compensation from other earned income.

Efforts to simplify the system and move closer to uniform rates were most successfully championed by President Ronald Reagan and congressional Democrats when they sharply lowered individual rates in the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Earnings and even long-term investment gains were briefly taxed at the same rate for the top bracket.

“There was a simple notion there,” said C. Eugene Steuerle, a deputy assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy during Mr. Reagan’s second term and now an economist at the Urban Institute. “We said, ‘Let’s create a top rate that is as even as we can get it across all sorts of structures and most types of capital income.’” The source didn’t matter.

Long-term capital gain rates were again lowered in the 1990s. And the tax code took a major step away from the reform act in 2003 under President George W. Bush when short-term capital gains, like dividends, were taxed at a lower rate than wages.

Relative to the Reagan approach, Mr. Steuerle said, the latest Republican bills are “moving in the opposite direction.”

In some eyes, the message contained in the bills is as disturbing as the practical impediments. Tax codes are as much about values as they are about accounting. And rates and breaks are deployed to encourage or discourage various types of activities.

“Wage income will be the highest taxed income,” said John L. Buckley, a chief of staff for Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation in the 1990s. “I think it’s grossly unfair. Somebody working for a wage gets a higher tax rate than somebody doing the same job under a different legal structure.”

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/09/business/economy/tax-plans-may-give-your-co-worker-a-better-deal-than-you.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

For Older Venezuelans, Fleeing Crisis Means ‘Starting From Zero,’ Even at 90

This was not what she had in mind when, as a younger woman, she looked toward retirement in Venezuela.

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“You work toward your golden years, you save,” she said, “and then everything goes toward survival.”

There was no alternative, she said, but to leave: “To stay is to die.”

In October, Carmen María González de Álvarez reversed her parents’ journey from Europe. They were born in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands of Spain, and in 1953 migrated to Venezuela, where Ms. González was born.

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On the return to her familial homeland, she was accompanied by her husband, Nelson Álvarez, 64, and their son, Nelson Luis, 30.

The family was compelled to leave everything it had built in Venezuela because caring for Nelson Luis, who has catastrophic epilepsy, had become too trying in Venezuela’s collapsed health care system. They had run through their savings to pay for their son’s costly array of medicines.

Furthermore, Mr. Álvarez’s work as a real estate agent had dried up: He went a year without selling a property. “We were bleeding out,” he said. “If we waited six months, we’d be down to nothing.”

Ms. González, 58, and her son arrived with Spanish citizenship, which offered key advantages, like access to social services. But even so, it has been a rough transition for the family.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/09/world/americas/venezuela-crisis-migration-nicolas-maduro.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

New bitcoin billionaire Winklevoss sees cryptocurrencies heading much higher

Cameron Winklevoss (L) and his brother Tyler Winklevoss © Andrew Burton / Getty Images North AmericaZuckerberg’s twin rivals become 1st bitcoin billionaires

“We’ve always felt that bitcoin, given its properties, is gold 2.0 — it disrupts gold. Gold is scarce, bitcoin is actually fixed. Bitcoin is way more portable and way more divisible. At a $300 billion market cap, it’s certainly seen a lot of price appreciation, but gold is at $6 trillion and if bitcoin disrupting gold is true and it plays out… then you can see 10 to 20 times appreciation because there is a significant delta still,” Cameron Winklevoss told CNBC on Friday.

“Long term, directionally, it is a multitrillion-dollar asset — I don’t know how long it takes to get there,” he added. Winklevoss disputed suggestions by some analysts that the rapid rise of cryptocurrencies in recent months is a massive bubble.

“We’ve seen the bubble term thrown around and it’s just not the right way to look at this,” he explained. “Social networks grow in value exponentially based on the number of users and participants. The difference between one and 100 is dramatic — 100 and a million is that much more dramatic and exciting. As more people join it gains more value.”

When asked whether people should invest in something they do not understand, Winklevoss said that it is not a problem. “Most people don’t know how the internet works but they are comfortable using it,” he pointed out.

In 2008, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss famously settled with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg over the claim that he stole their idea for the Facebook social network. The brothers used their payout to invest in bitcoin and recently made headlines by becoming the world’s first bitcoin billionaires.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412568-first-bicoin-billionaire-winklevoss-predicts/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS