Tag: Regulation

A horse. A zebra. Or maybe it’s a fish?

Until a few days ago, I had never heard the expression: “When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras”. A visiting US professor used it in conversation with me. Then I heard it again, last night. This time spoken by Patterson, an FBI agent (sort of).

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Regulatory dreams and economic nightmares

In the early days of my career, I occasionally dreamed that I had failed my professional exams and was being summoned back for a re-sit. Since I never actually practised in the discipline in which I qualified, I’m not sure what game my subconscious was playing with me. But last week I dreamed I was back at university… only to wake up and find that I was.

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Journalists in a tiz at Supreme Court’s win-win decision

I’m not sure quite how to say this. So I’ll say it twice:

Yesterday, a young graduate won her claim against the government’s back-to-work scheme. She argued that the regulations and the manner of their implementation were unlawful. Despite taking its case all the way to the Supreme Court, the government lost on three separate grounds. 

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Leveson – Is the battle already lost?

What are the chances of being able to write a 2,000 page report on press regulation and walk away with all-party support (or even all-Party support)? Plainly, not very high. This final stage of the inquiry could have been – should have been – handled differently.

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Harry’s Bottom and the Right to Privacy

Today’s big argument is said to be about privacy and the public interest. I think there must be more to it that that. Most commentators seem to be going round in circles.

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Accountants in a tangle with Webb

Regular readers of this blog must be sick to death by now of me repeating how much damage accounting standards are doing to pension schemes (here, here, here and, even on video, here). So I’ll be brief this time – very, very brief. There is finally light at the end of the accounting tunnel.

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You mean we’re NOT supposed to avoid tax?

Tax avoidance has become a hot topic. The Times newspaper has recently unmasked a scheme in which income tax is avoided by the ludicrously simple means of saying the salary is only a loan which might have to be repaid (but never actually is). One of the newspaper’s columnists, David Aaronovitch, has been writing about the immorality of tax avoidance (both links behind a paywall).

I used to think it was easy to spot the moral dividing line when it came to tax avoidance. If our government had created the exemption, that meant they positively wanted us to take advantage of it. Anything else was almost certainly a loophole and morally objectionable, even if it was legal. But does that distinction still apply? 

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