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# Barclays tax claims (article)

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SVP
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26 Mar 2009, 10:33
Interesting:

Quote:
The sources say this management culture has been integral to creating what is in effect a tax avoidance factory at Barclays headquarters at Canary Wharf. Avoiding tax by exploiting legal loopholes was not seen as something questionable but rather the raison d'etre of the Structured Capital Markets department. "There's such a macho culture in SCM and the deals are so big you never say billion or million, you just say 16 bucks or 16 quid which meant billion," one source said. "The tax avoidance was so big it became the engine of growth for the whole of the investment banking arm."

VP
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Re: Barclays tax claims (article) [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2009, 15:32
There is a huge difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Avoidance is using perfectly legal means to reduce tax liabilities (so-called loopholes), while evasion is a crime resulting from failure to pay taxes legally due. Just about every law firm and accounting firm will help clients avoid taxes while following the letter of the tax law.
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Re: Barclays tax claims (article) [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2009, 18:11
The argument is whether it is reasonable for the UK Government to use funds from HM Treasury to bail out Barclays, when Barclays' SCM desk had been trying its darndest (albeit legally) to make sure its clients' money did not reach the coffers of the Treasury. The same coffer that is now providing the werewithal for Barclays to "survive."

Jerz wrote:
There is a huge difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Avoidance is using perfectly legal means to reduce tax liabilities (so-called loopholes), while evasion is a crime resulting from failure to pay taxes legally due. Just about every law firm and accounting firm will help clients avoid taxes while following the letter of the tax law.
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Re: Barclays tax claims (article) [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2009, 04:29
I don't really see how that changes things. Either it's so critically important to the country for Barclays to survive that the government must provide bailout money to keep it in business or its not that important to the national interest and the government lets the market decide Barclays fate. I'm sure HM Government, in its infinite wisdom, took account of Barclays tax advisory practice when deciding whether saving Barclays was in the national interest </sarcasm>

I guess my opinion is colored by the fact that I find it just a bit disingenuous when politicians start wringing their hands over the bad corporations/rich people who use tax loopholes to reduce their tax liabilities. After all, it's the politicians who wrote the tax laws in the first place and put the loopholes there.
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Re: Barclays tax claims (article) [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2009, 07:57
solaris1 wrote:
The argument is whether it is reasonable for the UK Government to use funds from HM Treasury to bail out Barclays, when Barclays' SCM desk had been trying its darndest (albeit legally) to make sure its clients' money did not reach the coffers of the Treasury. The same coffer that is now providing the werewithal for Barclays to "survive."

Hey sol, but Barclay's hasn't taken any government funds yet. So the argument then seems unreasonable.
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Re: Barclays tax claims (article) [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2009, 08:32
Yes, that's true - I was not correct in claiming that Barclays is "surviving" thanks to the Treasury (RBS is).

However, jb32 - in my defense, my post above was not my personal judgment on what has been happening. It was merely an attempt at an explanation behind why this is turning out to be such an issue in the UK.

Clearly, the public across the pond too is vilifying every financial institution as being somehow directly responsible for this crisis. They see no difference between say Barclays, or Lloyds or RBS. Just that the government is bailing out banks that are trying to "cheat" the Treasury of revenues it deserves.

jb32 wrote:
Hey sol, but Barclay's hasn't taken any government funds yet. So the argument then seems unreasonable.
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Re: Barclays tax claims (article) [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2009, 09:02
I apologize for not actually reading the article before my prior post, but now that I have - WHAT A LOAD OF COMPLETE HORSESQUEEZE!!!! I mean really, people were playing poker and drinking red wine at lunch!!! Oh the humanity!!! What is this world coming to when guys get together and eat steak and drink red wine?!?!?!? Dear god, that is the most laughable bit of crap I have ever read. I only wish I could have worked at that company. I bet they also had this in the back room: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1ZZreXEqSY. Just wait till the public finds out about the Heineken closet.

Here were some of my favorite quotes with my commentary below it:
Quote:
On several occasions, the sources allege, staff have come in to work to find an email from Jenkins saying a colleague no longer worked there.
You mean people were fired and it wasn't announced beforehand? I mean what kind of business practices are these animals following?!?!?!

Quote:
According to one whistleblower, a secretary was fired by another executive for booking a taxi that was a Volvo rather than an S class Mercedes.
I feel like I'm the last guy in a huge game of telephone, where what actually happened is so different than what The Gaurdian reported.

Quote:
The most lurid tales come from team-building away-days. Free cigars and champagne would apparently flow and at night poker tables would be set up. "There's a babies' table and a big boys' table. The big boys' table was all about showing who has got the biggest dick.
So they played poker? Wow, that is so outrageous. And then there was an element of machoism because guys were competing against each other? Geez, that's never happened before... I do have to question that 'Champagne' was flowing. No guy in a dick measuring contest would be drinking champagne. Period.

Quote:
Abrahams, according to one whistleblower, was also responsible for running projects that were kept completely under wraps, even from other members of the team.
And to think that not every deal was made public to every team memeber?!?!? Well, I guess they should have thought to pull the janitors and secretaries into the strategy meetings. Whoops!!
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Re: Barclays tax claims (article) [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2009, 08:16
Interesting post
Senior Manager
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Re: Barclays tax claims (article) [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2009, 19:14
jb32,

Re: Barclays tax claims (article)   [#permalink] 28 Mar 2009, 19:14
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