The cum-ex scam stole $60b from European tax authorities: it's monumentally boring, complicated, and very, very important

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This is what Im going to think of, next time a true believer waxes philosophic on the importance of liquidity in the market.


The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from off the goose.

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched don’t escape
If they conspire the law to break;
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back.


Among those is Hanno Berger, a former German state tax auditor who switched sides and became a key player in the theft.

I am an auditor, first I did defense contracts for the feds, and now I do goverment entities for the state I’m in. So I say whole heartedly, fuck that guy.

We are aggressively head hunted because of what we do. I get paid less by the state, but I feel I am doing good work putting my accounting skills to work to make sure tax payer dollars are not misused or stolen.

Ex auditors often go work for the other side, because of the pay difference, and some are good, and keep their institutions on the straight and narrow, others “go to the dark side” and use everything they learned to fuck the system, and misuse funds. My coworkers and I hate those folks because the sheer lack of ethics on display.

If I recall the tax rules in Europe are IFRS? Quick and dirty, the US tax laws are like old DnD rules. They are encyclopedic and try to cover every loop hole. Yet, there are always loopholes because you can’t nail down everything. Their tax laws are professional standards based, and they don’t nail down everything, and don’t deal with loopholes like we do.


a socially useless financial engineering marvel that makes staggeringly rich people much richer

This is 21st century finance. From what I’ve read, the purpose of markets is to allocate capital to its most efficient use, yet today, 90% of market action is completely useless except to skim from and bamboozle market participants (that’s pretty much all of us, to greater and lesser degrees).

It is a criminal enterprise made legal.

Keynes:“When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done,”

Ok, ill-done means inefficient and ALSO corrupt. That’s our financial system. It’s made even worse through bailouts, Fed monetization (we are currently under a regime of QE4 which is barely being reported), and criminal fines where the penalty is far less than the ill-gotten gain.

I have always been against capital punishment, but it seems the only thing that will stop this TRILLION + dollar outright theft is a legitimate lethal outcome for those involved.

The institutionalized corruption seems at present, unstoppable.



Post cannot be empty…but these two quotes really say it all. Betsy DeVos, I’m looking at you. And your four yachts.


Banks and all other corporate entities were created and embodied by legal fiat, and can be destroyed the same way. we sorely need a government that is prepared to pull the trigger in self defence.


What makes Sanjay Shah the biggest asshole on the planet is how he then built himself up as a notable philanthropist in Dubai.


No doubt dropping a few, oh, billion dollars into political campaigns that overtly or covertly make it harder for the EU to prosecute Cum-exers, is billions well spent! Sigh. Just this amount of money, with these motivations, is no doubt plenty of resources to skew EU democracy . . .


Ha gotta have grudging respect for people who are straight up about their sociopathy. Or at least I do.


I can never resist the urge to point out that cholera also provides liquidity.

People who think of the financial sector as less sordid and more respectable than enfeebled children defecating themselves to death amid abject squalor seem to find this comparison crude; but frankly that’s a virtue.


Meanwhile, the money my government demands from me in the form of taxes, rates & licenses continues to increase at a rate that far exceeds wage growth; both average and mine personally.

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Join a union and fight for better wages.


The Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. – Anatole France


I didn’t get around to watching that Will Smith movie, The Pursuit of Happyness until after the 2008 crash. It struck me as the worst kind of happy crappy horseshit, dressed up to be an inspiring example of can-do American ambition.

But these days, what would make this film really relevant again, would be some rifftraxx or equivalent, hopefully written by some cynics who’ve left the industry.


Hot Take:
Government should pass a law doubling or trebling the criminal penalty for a financial crime if you were formerly employed in the regulation of that industry.


I would be totally down for that.

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Another reason why some people want the UK out of Europe as fast as possible.

Tax havens was probably the first reason. And shorting the entire UK for profit.

I notice I am seeing a lot of Estate Agents ads all of a sudden on my phone, on this site, and elsewhere. Papers are saying property prices are soaring when they aren’t selling. Someone is trying to start a property price war.

I can’t wait for Money 2.0 to come out, with a patch for these obvious bugs.

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I am not sure that’s the case though. I think some of it was ideology rather than self aware sociopathy. As free market enthusiasts, they “liberated” the money from inefficient governments to be redeployed into the markets where it would trickle down etc.

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