Death and Taxes…and a $10 Billion Scandal

This week's selection of our editors’ favourite stories and reading recommendations.

This week, our editors have taken their usual time out to catch up on some interesting stories that have featured in the global media. From the US elections to Deutsche Bank, not to mention in-car banking, read on and find out what they think. Here are their recommended articles of the week…

Victor Golovtchenko kicks off with his contribution which reflects on Deutsche Bank’s woes…

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A $10 Billion Scandal

While the markets are focused on the present woes of Deutsche Bank, an investigative report by The New Yorker magazine is delving into one of the numerous occasions on which senior bank executives have ignored or failed to spot numerous warning signs.

Victor Golovtchenko Senior Editor
Victor Golovtchenko
Senior Editor

In what is a typically Russian story of deception and corruption, the report is exploring the depths of wrongdoings which have gone around the Russian embargo and helped oligarchs funnel money outside of the country at a critical time.

Deutsche Bank in the meantime continues to be too big to fail, too big to bail and seemingly too big to jail…

I wonder when will we see big banks get subjected to the same levels of scrutiny to which retail brokerages have been subjected by some national regulators for years.

Death and Taxes

Jeff Patterson, Senior Editor
Jeff Patterson, Senior Editor

We all want to be a genius, or perhaps some of us already think we are – it turns out all you need to do is lose a billion dollars in a fiscal year to achieve such accolades, according to Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee.

This week marked an unexpected revelation that threatened to shake up the contours of the 2016 electoral race in the US, shining light on one of the most mercurial string of documents in recent memory, Donald Trump’s tax returns.

News broke earlier this week that the New York Times had acquired several pages of Donald Trump’s taxes from 1995. The documents had shown Trump to declare approximately $917 million in losses on his 1995 income tax return, which could not have come at a worse time for the businessman turned GOP nominee.

The issues raised with the filings are manifold, notwithstanding an erosion of the narrative that Trump is a successful businessman – nobody is doubting his prowess in deal making and his name still elicits one of the most widely recognized brands in the world.

However, losing almost a billion dollars in the midst of a historic economic expansion could leave a bitter taste in voters’ mouths, with Hillary Clinton already going on the offensive.

Perhaps of greater concern is the revelation that such losses could have prevented Trump from paying any Federal Income tax – a perfectly legal and feasible outcome – for up to 18 years.

This leak comes during a time when the nominee is presently traversing Rust Belt cities this week, a region unlikely to accept the ramifications of billion dollar tax right offs, losses, or $0 paid in taxes for almost two decades.

Trump is still holding strong with his refusal to release his taxes to the public. At this rate it is unlikely the full tranche of documents in any year will be released ahead of November, especially given the fate that befell Mitt Romney’s losing campaign in 2012.

Until then tax sleuths, voters, and avid readers will need to be placated by a litany of reasons put out by the Trump campaign for the documents being hidden from the public eye.

Bank in Your Car

I was interested in an article I read earlier this week about a partnership between Emirates NBD and Visa Connect that could result in your self-driving car driving you directly to an ATM which automatically dispenses cash.

Rosie Barnes
Rosie Barnes, Editor

The in-car banking system is a new technology being shown within the Emirates NBD Future Lab at Emirates Towers in Dubai. Apparently, cars can already communicate directly with service depots and call centres run by their manufacturers, but with new technology including biometric security, a driverless car could take you immediately to an ATM that will dispense cash as you approach it.

The ‘bank in your car’ is estimated to be less than two years away and the fact that all Dubai government entities are moving so quickly into the future API (Application Programming Interface – a way of getting different software programs to talk to each other) suggests integration will not be that difficult.

I for one will be keeping an eye on what innovative developments are around the corner for banking and whether the ‘bank in your car’ concept will actually become a reality.

We conclude another week of stories that our editors are reading. Feel free to share your views in the comment section and any recommendations of your own. We look forward to hearing your opinions!

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