Daily Archives: July 17, 2017

Trump’s tax proposal would push US below Greece on inequality index

United States is ranked 23. Sweden is #1.

  • Researchers say tax reform plan would increase gap between rich and poor
  • US already does ‘very badly’ on global inequality index

Donald Trump’s tax reform plans would, if enacted, increase the gap between rich and poor Americans and see the US slip below Greece on a new global index of inequality.

According to the Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) index, developed by researchers at Oxfam and Development Finance International, the US already distinguishes itself among wealthy countries by doing “very badly” at addressing inequality.

But it would fall a further six places from its ranking of 23rd overall if Trump’s tax reform effort is successful, with the US’s specific rating on tax policies plummeting 33 places from 26th to 59th – just below Peru, Chile and Sri Lanka.

“When you already have countries like Portugal and Slovenia ranking higher than the United States on the overall index, we think that’s a concern considering the wealth of the US,” Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s vice-president for policy and campaigns, told the Guardian.

If the White House passes its budget, which would slash social service spending and could leave millions of Americans without health insurance, the US would fall behind Greece, which is crippled by a debt crisis; Spain, which for 10 months in 2016 did not have a government; and Argentina, which has been plagued by high inflation, according to the report.

Read on.

Here’s why Wall Street has a hard time being ethical

This article was a few years ago but nothing has changed today…

A new report finds 53% of financial services executives say that adhering to ethical standards inhibits career progression at their firm. A former Wall Street trader describes why

My first year on Wall Street, 1993, I was paid 14 times more than I earned the prior year and three times more than my father’s best year. For that money, I helped my company create financial products that were disguised to look simple, but which required complex math to properly understand. That first year I was roundly applauded by my bosses, who told me I was clever, and to my surprise they gave me $20,000 bonus beyond my salary.

The products were sold to many investors, many who didn’t fully understand what they were buying, most of them what we called “clueless Japanese.” The profits to my company were huge – hundreds of millions of dollars huge. The main product that made my firm great money for close to five years was was called, in typically dense finance jargon, a YIF, or a Yield Indexed Forward.

Read on.