Posted on

How Private Equity Firms Avoid Taxes

There were two weeks left in the Trump administration when the Treasury Department handed down a set of rules governing an obscure corner of the tax code.Overseen by a senior Treasury official whose previous job involved helping the wealthy avoid taxes, the new regulations represented a major victory for private equity firms. They ensured that executives in the $4.5 trillion industry, whose leaders often measure their yearly pay in eight or nine figures, could avoid paying hundreds of millions in taxes.The rules were approved on Jan. 5, the day before the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Hardly anyone noticed. …

Read More

Posted on

In Leak Investigation, Tech Giants Are Caught Between Courts and Customers

On Feb. 6, 2018, Apple received a grand jury subpoena for the names and phone records connected to 109 email addresses and phone numbers. It was one of the more than 250 data requests that the company received on average from U.S. law enforcement each week at the time. An Apple paralegal complied and provided the information.This year, a gag order on the subpoena expired. Apple said it alerted the people who were the subjects of the subpoena, just as it does with dozens of customers each day.But this request was out of the ordinary.Without knowing it, Apple said, it …

Read More

Posted on

May 2021 Consumer Price Index Shows Fastest Inflation Since 2008

The discussion could shape the path ahead for economic policy, helping to determine how much support President Biden has for infrastructure spending proposals and how patient the Fed can be in removing emergency monetary policy supports.“This is the largest year-over-year increase in prices since the Great Recession, and massive stimulus spending is a contributing factor,” Senator Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho, wrote on Twitter. “Proposals for further federal spending, coupled with job-killing tax hikes, are not the remedy for economic recovery.”The White House has been focused on alleviating bottlenecks where it can, reviewing the supply chain for semiconductors …

Read More

Posted on

ProPublica Report Has Congress Rethinking How to Tax Superrich

WASHINGTON — A jaw-dropping report by ProPublica detailing how America’s richest men avoided paying taxes has intensified interest in Congress, even among some Republicans, in changing the tax code to ensure that people like Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett pay their fair share.For Republicans, the idea that the tax code should give preferential treatment to investment has been sacrosanct, ostensibly to promote economic growth and innovation that could benefit everyone. But the news this week showed how the treatment of stocks, bonds, real estate and huge loans taken off those assets has sent the tax bills of the richest …

Read More

Posted on

Biden Revokes and Replaces Trump Order That Banned TikTok

TikTok’s woes subsided with Mr. Trump’s election defeat. Though the company is still under scrutiny with the Biden administration’s new executive order, analysts say the dramatic ups and downs for the company will significantly dwindle.Updated June 9, 2021, 7:03 p.m. ETJames Lewis, a senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Biden administration had shown no easing of the government’s strong stance against China. But the new order lays out much more precise criteria for weighing risks posed by TikTok and other companies owned by foreign adversaries like China.“They are taking …

Read More

Posted on

Senate Passes Bill to Bolster Competitiveness With China

WASHINGTON — The Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation on Tuesday that would pour nearly a quarter-trillion dollars over the next five years into scientific research and development to bolster competitiveness against China.Republicans and Democrats — overcoming their traditional partisan differences over economic policy — banded together to endorse what would be the most significant government intervention in industrial policy in decades. It includes federal investments in a slew of emerging technologies as well as the semiconductor industry.The 68-32 vote reflected the sense of urgency about the need to counter Beijing and other authoritarian governments that have poured substantial resources into bolstering their …

Read More

Posted on

Biden Administration Moves to Unkink Supply Chain Bottlenecks

Most of the world’s lithium, a key ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles, is mined in Australia, China, Chile and Argentina. China dominates global production of rare earth minerals such as neodymium, used to make magnets in wind turbines. It has also largely cornered the market in lithium-ion batteries, accounting for 77 percent of the world’s capacity for producing battery cells and 80 percent of its raw-material refining, according to BloombergNEF, an energy research group.Updated June 8, 2021, 12:31 p.m. ETThe United States lags far behind other countries in manufacturing many clean energy technologies, leaving it heavily reliant on …

Read More

Posted on

Offshore Wind Farms Show What Biden’s Climate Plan Is Up Against

A constellation of 5,400 offshore wind turbines meet a growing portion of Europe’s energy needs. The United States has exactly seven.With more than 90,000 miles of coastline, the country has plenty of places to plunk down turbines. But legal, environmental and economic obstacles and even vanity have stood in the way.President Biden wants to catch up fast — in fact, his targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions depend on that happening. Yet problems abound, including a shortage of boats big enough to haul the huge equipment to sea, fishermen worried about their livelihoods and wealthy people who fear that the …

Read More

Posted on

Anthony Weiner’s Not Coming Back. But He Has Nowhere to Go.

But the sort of media and social media storm he was in the middle of felt new then. “We didn’t know what we were working with at the time, and I was lying to everyone around me,” he said.And after he left public life in 2013, he slipped from compulsion into crime, and the saga broadened from damage to his own life to the nation’s. In January 2016, he began exchanging explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl. After the texts were reported in September 2016, prosecutors seized his laptop computer. And then, 11 days before the presidential election, the F.B. …

Read More

Posted on

Yellen Won a Global Tax Deal. Now She Must Sell It to Congress.

To determine if inflation is more than a temporary matter, Ms. Yellen is monitoring two key metrics: inflation expectations and wage increases for low-paid workers. Rising pay for the lowest-wage workers could potentially lead to “an inflationary trend” if there is broad excess demand for workers in the labor market, she warned.“We don’t want a situation of prolonged excess demand in the economy that leads to wage and price pressures that build and become endemic,” Ms. Yellen said. “Looking at wage increases, you can have a wage price spiral, so you need to be careful.”She added: “I …

Read More