Friday, April 15, 2016

Tax Inversions

A savvy businessman once told me “it’s important to know what problem you are trying to solve”.

Let’s ignore for the moment whether or not Treasury or the IRS had the power to change the rules on so-called tax inversions without Congressional action. (The power they said they didn’t have only a few months ago.)

Rather, let’s focus on what problem we are trying to solve. That is, why is the greatest country on earth chasing companies away? Shouldn’t the U.S. be the place that companies want to locate their headquarters?

Imagine this: the U.S. legal structure and tax regime was so attractive that Mercedes, Toyota, Astra Zeneca, Samsung, Total, Singapore Air, Banco Santander, Petrobras, Fujitsu, Nokia, SAP, Audi, Tata Group, Lenovo, Pirelli, Deutsche Bank, Honda, LG, Hyundai, Roche, Credit Suisse, Four Seasons, Siemens, Phillips, Bridgestone, Anglo-America, DeBeers, Volkswagen, Canon,  L’Oréal, Swatch, Armani, LVMH, Toshiba, H&M, Mahindra, Aldi, Kubota, Onex, Ducati, Pemex, Saudi-Aramco, Hudson Bay, Panasonic, Nestle, Unilever, Tesco, Nissan, Royal Dutch Shell, Michelin, Rolex, Sony, Axis Group, Swiss Re, Barclays, DBS, Ikea, Uniqlo, Ferrari, Maersk, Carrefour, Rio Tinto Zinc, Mittel, Reliance Group, HSBC, BP, BMW, Richemont, Zara, Canadian Pacific, all rushed to move their headquarters here. Wouldn’t that help income inequality?

Wouldn’t that set off a wave of prosperity?

Wouldn’t it be a good thing?

What problem are we trying to solve?


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