Mel Brooks and the bankers

Thorvaldur Gylfason 18 August 2010

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In Mel Brooks’ brilliant film and Broadway musical The Producers, an over-the-hill Broadway producer, Max Bialystock and his hapless accountant, Leo Bloom recognise two great truths. It is very hard to produce a hit and very easy to produce a flop – and they can make more money by producing a flop than by producing a hit. Max uses his expertise to ensure that the play flops. He selects the worst play ever written (Springtime for Hitler) – an ode to Hitler, a terrible director, and an awful male lead.

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Topics:  Financial markets Global crisis

Tags:  fraud, subprime crisis, bankers

Iceland’s special investigation: The plot thickens

Thorvaldur Gylfason 30 April 2010

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The recently published nine-volume, 2,400-page report from the Icelandic Parliament‘s Special Investigation Commission (SIC, appropriately pronounced sick) is not an attempt at whitewash as many had feared. Those fears arose from the government’s unwillingness to appoint an international commission of enquiry as proposed by Professor Robert Aliber (see Aliber and Zoega, forthcoming) and others, including myself. Rather, the report confirms, and documents in detail, what many of us thought we already knew (Gylfason et al., 2010, Ch. 7).

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Topics:  Financial markets Global crisis

Tags:  fraud, Iceland, banks

EU VAT fraud part 1

Richard Baldwin 14 June 2007

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Here’s a quiz. Suppose organised criminals were stealing €100 billion a year from EU governments and the problem could be fixed with deeper cooperation among EU member states. Do you think EU leaders would solve the problem?

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Topics:  Taxation

Tags:  VAT, fraud

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