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By David Brodwin
Posted on: October 12, 2016
This week, Americans learned that they had likely given Donald Trump a nearly 20-year break from income taxes, as a consolation prize for his losing nearly a billion dollars on real estate investments. His supporters called him a genius for legally avoiding so much in taxes, while his detractors wondered what kind of businessman can singlehandedly lose that much money.This particular use of tax laws to subsidize private business gets headlines. But meanwhile, out of the headlines, cities and towns give away tax dollars every day. The gifts are made in the guise of job creation, and the voters... read more
By John O'Neill
Posted on: October 4, 2016
When House Republicans released their “Built for Growth” policy paper on June 20, they provided an opening for serious tax reform. In particular, their paper included a proposal for a destination-based corporate tax. This includes a destination tax based on sales, whose implementation could end our self-inflicted penalty on U.S. exports.The tax-reform opening lies not just in the House proposal, but also with how it matches up to the international tax framework which the Senate Finance Committee released on July 25, 2015. That framework favors a territorial tax system, but one with rules to... read more
ASBC David Brodwin, Wells Fargo
By David Brodwin
Posted on: September 26, 2016
Wells Fargo got caught misbehaving again recently, but many commentators are drawing exactly the wrong conclusion. Wells Fargo's internal control system did not fail. It worked exactly as it was probably intended to work – and that's the real problem.First let's recap the facts, and then we can see why what looks like a failure is actually a success for Wells Fargo. The facts are that Wells Fargo created 1.5 million unauthorized retail bank accounts and 565,000 unauthorized credit applications. To put it bluntly, bank employees faked applications to open accounts that customers didn't ask for... read more
By Manisha Paralikar
Posted on: September 21, 2016
As I plugged away at reviewing a dozen company greenhouse gas emissions CDP reports these past few months, Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate saddled my brain.  One could bet that most of the thousands of company and city representatives reporting their climate abatement strategies and greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets had not read Klein’s book. Even if they did, it would still be no small feat to kick start the collaborative movement needed to implement Klein’s proposed solution to climate change: replace capitalism with a new economic model that... read more
ASBC David Brodwin, Climate Change
By David Brodwin
Posted on: September 2, 2016
Whether you love them or hate them, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have shown Americans the downsides of trade deals like Trans-Pacific Partnership and its trans-Atlantic counterpart. These deals, like NAFTA before them, aim to take down barriers to trade globally and encourage economic growth. But they also take down factories and jobs in many parts of the U.S. The economic pain they cause has become a big election year issue.Proponents of these treaties say that economies grow stronger when companies everywhere compete on a global market. They say that this will cause inefficient and... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: August 29, 2016
If you work hard and play by the rules you will get ahead, according to the American Dream. But working hard and playing by the rules now feels like running in place to a lot of Americans. The past few years of economic data justify their complaint: Most of the productivity gains in the U.S. economy have been captured by the top 1 percent, and most working Americans have seen their standard of living plateau rather than rise.Economic stratification has spurred politically explosive resentments. And these resentments have encouraged economists to seek a better understanding of economic... read more
By Claudia Viek
Posted on: August 29, 2016
Online alternative lenders offer a variety of advantages from their use of automation, big data and crowdfunding to reach small businesses. They offer quick loan decisions with a stripped-down application process. These firms assess risk immediately with efficient use of algorithms and technology. Money can be distributed in days, not months.But for too many small businesses, getting financing from one of these lenders is like the Wild West.Advertisements for quick cash — once the domain of those lending to individual consumers — are more and more promising the same to small businesses.... read more
By John O'Neill
Posted on: August 19, 2016
As the election season heats up, we need to remember how much tax policy can help fix some of the country’s largest problems. Done right, tax law changes can help create a more sustainable economy -- an economy that delivers broad prosperity now and in the near term, without hurting growth down the road.Worker OwnershipWorker ownership can help us to tackle two of our largest looming crises. First, there’s the retirement-savings crisis. As many as nine in ten households save too little for retirement, and millions have saved nothing at all. Second, there’s a business-succession crisis. Over... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: August 15, 2016
CEOs of financial services firms are deeply conflicted when it comes to corporate governance. On one hand, like most CEOs, they resist having anyone look over their shoulders. On the other hand, as sophisticated investors they know that effective and empowered boards usually elicit better financial performance. The tension leads to some strangely conflicted behavior.The conflict manifested itself two weeks ago when a small group of CEOs leading financial and industrial firms proposed principles for better corporate governance. Legendary investor Warren Buffet (head of Berkshire Hathaway)... read more
By John O'Neill
Posted on: August 3, 2016
Rebuilding the post-recession economy will require more than just finding people jobs or ensuring they earn a living wage. We must support business models that will enable workers to own a piece of the company that employs them. For many people, worker ownership will be essential to restoring the American Dream.Worker ownership benefits the company, the worker, and the community. The company benefits from greater worker commitment. The worker benefits from better compensation and greater job security, skills growth, and advancement opportunities. The community benefits from a source of more... read more