Fresh Budget Fights Brewing [WSJ]
The completion of a tax deal between the White House and Congress sent stocks soaring Wednesday, but the sense of relief belied the fact that more tax-and-spending brinkmanship is expected as soon as February. […] There was muted satisfaction that Congress had sent to President Barack Obama legislation to avoid sudden tax increases and spending cuts that threatened to provoke a recession. The president signed the legislation into law on Wednesday. Moody's Investors Service, one of the firms that rate government debt, said Wednesday that the agreement didn't do enough to reduce the deficit. If Congress doesn't do more in the coming months, Moody's warned, the company could follow Standard & Poor's in downgrading U.S. debt. "Further measures that bring about a downward debt trajectory over the medium term are likely to be needed to support the AAA rating," Moody's said Wednesday.
Good Riddance to Rottenest Congress in History [Bloomberg]
What’s the record of the 112th Congress? Well, it almost shut down the government and almost breached the debt ceiling. It almost went over the fiscal cliff (which it had designed in the first place). It cut a trillion dollars of discretionary spending in the Budget Control Act and scheduled another trillion in spending cuts through an automatic sequester, which everyone agrees is terrible policy. It achieved nothing of note on housing, energy, stimulus, immigration, guns, tax reform, infrastructure, climate change or, really, anything. It’s hard to identify a single significant problem that existed prior to the 112th Congress that was in any way improved by its two years of rule.
A U.S. federal judge dismissed claims against seven former directors of Satyam Computer Services Ltd (SATY.NS) in shareholder lawsuits stemming from the massive fraud at the heart of India's largest corporate scandal. U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones in New York ruled on Wednesday the lawsuits failed to allege that the ex-directors recklessly failed to discover the fraud, which came to be known as "India's Enron." The lawsuits center on the revelation by Satyam's founder and former chairman, Ramalinga Raju, that what had been India's fourth-largest outsourcing firm had for several years inflated its revenue, income and cash balances by more than $1 billion. In her decision Wednesday, Jones said the allegations primarily focused on the actions of a small group of insiders, reinforcing an inference the audit committee's members "were themselves victims of the fraud."
Putin gives tax exile Depardieu Russian citizenship [Reuters]
Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted citizenship to Gerard Depardieu, the French movie star who is quitting his homeland to avoid a tax hike on the rich, the Kremlin said on Thursday. The "Cyrano de Bergerac" actor bought a house across the border in Belgium last year to avoid a new tax rate for millionaires in France planned by Socialist President Francois Hollande but said he could also seek tax exile elsewhere. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Depardieu had applied for citizenship after Putin told reporters last month that he would be welcome in Russia. "The citizenship could not have been granted to him without (such an) appeal," Peskov said. Putin told a news conference last month: "If Gerard really wants to have either a residency permit in Russia or a Russian passport, we will assume that this matter is settled and settled positively."
If you're curious to know.
That would be: deferral of foreign corporate income.
Ho Chi Minh City will be your saving grace should you be caught in the area.