Explainer: Democrats Warren and Sanders want wealth tax; economists explain how it works | Reuters


From 1982 to 2018 the share of U.S. wealth held by the 400 richest Americans is estimated to have grown from 1% to around 3.5%, or probably around $3 trillion.

According to Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the University of California at Berkeley economists who developed that estimate, that’s in part because the wealthiest American families declare only a small portion of their actual economic gains in any given year as income, while leaving the rest invested in stocks and other assets, to grow in value.

Taxing wealth, not income, became a hot-button topic during the Democratic debate in Ohio on Oct. 15, with several of the other 10 candidates on the stage rejecting it as too radical.

Warren and Sanders, however, have pitched it as a solution to the U.S.’s social and economic woes.

Source: Explainer: Democrats Warren and Sanders want wealth tax; economists explain how it works – Reuters

What is Palantir and How Does it Make Money? | Fortune


Named after an all-seeing magical artifact with the power to scry into the past and future of the Lord of the Rings universe, Palo Alto-based Palantir raised $2.75 billion earlier this month for a valuation of $28 billion.

That has allowed the secretive company to stay secret for a while longer. While Palantir, backed and founded by President Donald Trump advisor Peter Thiel, has hinted an initial public offering, it’s now not likely to happen until 2023, per a Bloomberg report.

Source: What is Palantir and How Does it Make Money? | Fortune

What’s Driving the Protests in Haiti? | Council on Foreign Relations

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Violent protests have engulfed Haiti, with citizens taking to the streets over government corruption and fuel shortages. Observers worry the unrest, including calls for President Jovenel Moise’s resignation, could cause a humanitarian crisis.

Protests began in early September and have since killed at least seventeen people and injured nearly two hundred others around the country. Demonstrators have ransacked and burned businesses and government buildings, blocked roads, attacked officials, and clashed with police. The violence is the latest in a string of protests since July 2018.

Corruption, economic mismanagement, and charges of fraudulent elections have driven discontent. Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, has seen sluggish growth and rising inflation since Moise took office in 2017 after elections that much of the opposition refused to accept.

Experts say the immediate spark is a worsening fuel shortage.

Source: What’s Driving the Protests in Haiti? | Council on Foreign Relations

Central America’s Turbulent Northern Triangle | Council on Foreign Relations


A surge of migrants from a region known as the Northern Triangle—comprised of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—has cast a spotlight on a long-suffering part of the world and pushed governments in the region and beyond to reexamine relevant policies.

Recent U.S. administrations have varied widely in the way they have framed the Northern Triangle challenge and in their responses, which have included changes to trade relations, foreign aid, and immigration enforcement.

Certain actions by the Donald J. Trump administration in recent months, including separating migrant families and deploying the military to the border, have stirred significant controversy.

Source: Central America’s Turbulent Northern Triangle | Council on Foreign Relations

Brexit’s Stickiest Point: The Irish Backstop | Council on Foreign Relations

The Irish backstop is an attempt to avoid renewed instability in Northern Ireland, but opponents say it could keep the United Kingdom trapped in the European Union’s customs union forever. The dispute could determine the future of Brexit.

The backstop is an effort to avoid a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another country.

Source: Brexit’s Stickiest Point: The Irish Backstop | Council on Foreign Relations

Roughly $240 Billion in Corporate Tax Goes Unpaid. There’s a New Plan to Fix That | Fortune


The global corporate tax system looks set for its most far-reaching overhaul in a century as pressure builds for a radical change to rules that permit tech giants, among others, to channel profits to low-tax locations.

For years, government officials and consumer activist groups have singled out the likes of Apple, Amazon and Facebook for the relatively meager amount of tax they pay in foreign markets where revenues are brisk.

The issue has turned into a political hot potato in countries like Britain and France, even after some of the firms reformed their business practices to pay more in local tax.

Source: Roughly $240 Billion in Corporate Tax Goes Unpaid. There’s a New Plan to Fix That | Fortune

Even if Direct Listings Don’t Take Flight, IPOs Are in for a Restructuring | Fortune


.. now, conversation around direct listings—or at least modifying the IPO—appears to be gaining traction even in the investment banking community.

Goldman Sachs held a panel featuring Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy, Latham & Watkins Partner Greg Rodgers, and William Connolly, head of technology equity capital markets at Goldman. Morgan Stanley too has set up its own direct listing conference on Oct. 21, sources confirm.

Indeed there is no great break up between Silicon Valley and the traditional Wall Street firms, at least not yet. Even in direct listings, the usual suspects in the tech banking space—Morgan Stanley, Allen and Co., and Goldman Sachs—are still emerging as the go-to lead advisors. The trio worked as financial advisors in both the Slack and Spotify listings.

Source: Even if Direct Listings Don’t Take Flight, IPOs Are in for a Restructuring: Term Sheet | Fortune

Leaked recording shakes Slovak politics, confirms high-level political corruption | EURACTIV.com


Slovakia has been shaken by a recording from 2014, which attests that the former Prosecutor General Dobroslav Trnka was corrupt and intimidated by the controversial businessman Marian Kocner.

Trnka is still a prosecutor at the Office of the General Prosecutor, while Kocner is being detained over allegations of large-scale financial frauds and the 2018 contract killing of the journalist Jan Kuciak. The recording was released on Monday (14 October) by the daily Dennik N and came allegedly from Kocner’s cell phone confiscated by the police.

In the 70-minute conversation, the businessman treats prosecutor Trnka as his subordinate and issued death threats against him. The reason is that after his mandate as Prosecutor General ended in 2011, Trnka attempted to blackmail Jaroslav Hascak, the CEO of the oligarchic group Penta, with the recording of the eavesdropping known in Slovakia as ‘Gorilla’. Gorilla is supposed to prove that Penta corrupted public officials in the 2000s.

Source: Leaked recording shakes Slovak politics, confirms high-level political corruption – EURACTIV.com

Status Anxiety. The 6 million people at the heart of Brexit | EURACTIV.com


While EU and UK negotiators are still deadlocked over a Brexit deal, and the UK just weeks from leaving the bloc, it is easy to ignore the human cost of Brexit, deal or no deal. Around 6 million people – EU nationals living in the UK and Britons leaving elsewhere in the EU – face an uncertain and confusing future.

Although both sides have promised to safeguard their rights in a no deal scenario, there are many unanswered questions around healthcare and pensions.

With migration control having been one of the key drivers of the vote to leave the EU, many Europeans in the UK fear that they will become unwelcome in the country and face the so-called ‘toxic environment’ themselves.

Source: Status Anxiety. The 6 million people at the heart of Brexit – EURACTIV.com

Visions for Europe: ‘The Euro’s journey is far from finished’ | EURACTIV.com


This essay is published as part of the project “20 Visions for Europe”, gathering unique visions from public officials, intellectuals, artists, diplomats, athletes, civic actors and business representatives. The project is part of EURACTIV’s celebration of 20 years of free, independent reporting with European values at its core.

EURACTIV was born shortly after the introduction of the euro. Twenty years ago, exchange rates between 12 EU member states disappeared and their national currencies were replaced with one single, European currency. Now, the first generation to know only the single currency has grown up.

Imagine how surprised young people today would be if they had to change currency three times while traveling from Lisbon to Berlin. The euro is the most tangible symbol of European unification, and it is here to stay and prosper.

Source: Visions for Europe: ‘The Euro’s journey is far from finished’ – EURACTIV.com