Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Books Worth Reading: TAX INCENTIVES IN THE BEPS ERA by Madalina COTRUT and Kennedy MUNYANDI (Editors)

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This book analyses selected tax incentives that are commonly promoted by both developed and developing states, particularly those tax incentives that are of relevance to corporate income taxation.

Why this book?

Recent tax developments aimed at mitigating the possibilities of base erosion and profit shifting are expected to increase the importance and popularity of tax incentives. This is due to the fact that states will want to remain competitive on the international stage and multinational enterprises will look for other opportunities to minimize their tax liabilities.

This book seeks to answer the following essential questions, from both a practical and an academic perspective:

•Will tax incentives be the 21st century tool for tax planning structures?

•Will states need to introduce more tax incentives in the future in order to be more competitive?

•What are the effects of the anti-abuse measures adopted by the EU Member States and recommended by the OECD on tax incentives?

•What are the challenges of securing the use of tax incentives?

•What new tax policy challenges will tax incentives bring about?

This book answers these questions by analyzing selected tax incentives that are commonly promoted by both developed and developing states, particularly those tax incentives that are of relevance to corporate income taxation. This analysis is performed with the objective of presenting the expected new role of tax incentives in the changing international tax arena, assessing whether – and, if so, which – tax incentives can be used or will be prone to abuse for tax planning purposes and examining the impact of the measures developed and/or adopted by the OECD and the European Union on tax incentives.

Tax Incentives in the BEPS Era is essential reading for anyone working with tax incentives, tax planning tools and anti-abuse measures in their activities, including tax advisers, tax lawyers, tax administrators and tax policy makers.

Books Worth Reading: INTERNATIONAL TAXATION AND THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES by Philip DANIEL, Michael KEEN, Artur SWISTAK, and Victor Thuronyi (Editors)

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From Amazon:

The taxation of extractive industries exploiting oil, gas, or minerals is usually treated as a sovereign, national policy and administration issue. This book offers a uniquely comprehensive overview of the theory and practice involved in designing policies on the international aspects of fiscal regimes for these industries, with a particular focus on developing and emerging economies.

International Taxation and the Extractive Industries addresses key topics that are not frequently covered in the literature, such as the geo-political implications of cross-border pipelines and the legal implications of mining contracts and regional financial obligations. The contributors, all of whom are leading researchers with experience of working with governments and companies on these issues, present an authoritative collection of chapters. The volume reviews international tax rules, covering both developments in the G20-OECD project on ’Base Erosion and Profit Shifting’ and more radical proposals, identifying core challenges in the extractives sector.

This book should become a core resource for both scholars and practitioners. It will also appeal to those interested in international tax issues more widely and those who study environmental economics, macroeconomics and development economics.


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From the beginning of The Book of Jargon  Project Finance:

The Book of Jargon® – Project Finance is one in a series of practice area and industry-specific glossaries published by Latham & Watkins. The definitions provide an introduction to each term and may raise complex legal issues on which specific legal advice is required. The terms are also subject to change as applicable laws and customary practice evolve. As a general matter, this glossary was drafted from a US practice perspective. The information contained herein is not legal advice and should not be construed as such.



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Excerpt from the “Foreword to the United Nations Handbook on Carbon Taxation for Developing Countries,”

The United Nations Handbook on Carbon Taxation for Developing Countries is a new publication developed through the work of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (“the Committee”) and its Subcommittee on Environmental Taxation Issues (“the Subcommittee”).

Environmental taxes are an important part of the portfolio of economic instruments that countries have at their disposal to address climate change and environmental degradation. These instruments provide the dual benefit of expanding revenues needed for public investments towards a green transition, while incentivizing the reduction in emissions and pollution by giving economic actors a market signal. Evidence also shows that environmental taxation and expenditure have the potential to promote a range of macroeconomic benefits, such as increased employment, economic diversification and improved competitiveness of domestic industries.

For these reasons, well-designed and implemented environmental taxes can play an important role in building fairer, more resilient societies. Although tax is only part of the solution, there is significant scope to make better use of fscal policy to reach climate and environmental goals and to contribute to sustainable development.

Environmental taxes are on the agenda of many developing countries, both for generating revenues and for meeting countries’ commitments on climate change and sustainable development. These taxes figure prominently in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda1 and have a key role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Further, the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change requires all parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to undertake efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the years ahead.

The Covid-19 pandemic has renewed the urgency to shape more resilient societies and to accelerate the fight against climate change with the goal of building a more inclusive and sustainable future. To establish more equitable systems within and among countries, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has repeatedly called for aligning all recovery efforts with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.

To make progress towards achieving these commitments, the Secretary-General has also called for efforts to shift the tax burden from income to carbon, and from taxpayers to polluters. Some of the actions that countries can take to move in this direction are putting a price on carbon, eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, and fast-tracking renewable energy and green infrastructure projects. Such approaches will increase the ability of countries to raise the necessary revenues to respond to the climate and development crises and build more resilient societies. …

Books Worth Reading: EU TAX LAW: AN INTRODUCTION by Wolfgang SCHÖN

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From Social Science Research Network (SSRN):

This introductory text is meant to give students of tax law around the world an overview of how EU law impacts domestic taxation. While the main focus of this text concerns the interaction between the fundamental freedoms of the Internal Market and national tax legislation, other areas like the current state of European tax legislation (directives) and the role of state aid law in the field of taxation are covered as well. It is based on courses given at NYU Law School (2009) Columbia Law School (2014), University of Pennsylvania School of Law (2015), UBC Allard School of Law (2016) and Munich University Law School (2015, 2016 and 2019). The author is grateful to Caroline Heber who – given her expertise – has written Part XIV on VAT and indirect taxation.


Books Worth Reading: THE PROJECT FINANCE LAW REVIEW by David F. ASMUS (Editor)


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From the Law Reviews:

The Project Finance Law Review provides a living guide to project finance worldwide. Updated on a regular basis, it tackles the core project finance concepts that every practitioner needs to understand – covering the most salient legal and commercial issues while also addressing key emerging trends and topics.

In this book:

·        Editor's Preface
David F Asmus, 
Sidley Austin LLP

Part I Overviews

·        What is Project Finance?
David F Asmus, 
Sidley Austin LLP

Part II Project Components

·        Project Finance Arrangements in General

·        Government Investment Agreements, Concessions and Permits

·        Core Project Agreements

·        Lenders’ Relationships with Project Counterparties

Part III Financing Sources

·        Bond Markets and Debt Placements

·        Commercial Lenders

·        Government Funding

·        Multilateral Lenders and Regional Development Banks

·        Export Credit Agencies and Insurers

Part IV Collateral and Guarantees

·        Typical Security Arrangements for A Single-Source Project Financing: A Spanish Perspective

·        Completion Guarantees

Part V Selected Risk Considerations and Mitigation

·        Counterparty Risk

·        Construction Risk

·        Dispute Resolution and Conflict of Laws Risks

·        Social Responsibility Risk

Part VI Other Specialised Topics

·        Tax-equity Financing

·        Islamic Finance


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From the World Bank’s Open Knowledge Repository:

Recent years have seen renewed and growing interest in carbon taxes that put a price on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This resurgence in interest has come as over three-quarters of the world have developed Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement and are looking for cost-effective ways to achieve these emission reduction goals. It has also developed alongside a gradual shift toward taxes on goods and services, with many jurisdictions seeking to use the tax system to achieve greater economic efficiency and to pursue a range of policy goals beyond raising revenue. Experience has shown carbon taxes to be versatile instruments that are capable of being adapted to a wide range of policy goals and national contexts. This Guide provides a practical tool to help policymakers determine whether a carbon tax is the right instrument to achieve their policy goals and to support them in designing and implementing a tax that is best suited to their specific needs, circumstances and objectives. The guide provides both conceptual analysis and important practical lessons learned from implementing carbon taxes around the world.


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From Amazon:

Author and attorney Paul Swegle has spent much of his career working closely with business colleagues in companies across several industries to negotiate and document commercial arrangements - contracts that have supported the design, development, launch, distribution and marketing of countless products and services.

In doing so, Paul has witnessed and celebrated countless successful commercial relationships, some lasting more than a decade. He has also learned important lessons from myriad ill-fated relationships, tripped up by poorly written agreements, under-performing commercial partners and unexpected surprises of nearly every variety.

Paul's book presents practical insights accumulated and shared with business colleagues over a 20-year period. Its purpose is to help business persons negotiate agreements that achieve their business goals without creating unexpected and unnecessary risks and liabilities. Paul’s guidance emphasizes mindfulness of the balance between protecting key interests while still getting important deals done.

Paul has served as in-house general counsel to sixteen different companies across many industries. He is also the author of Startup Law and Fundraising for Entrepreneurs and Startup Advisors, a leading business law and finance text used in law and MBA schools across the U.S. Paul worked previously in the SEC’s Enforcement Division and its Division of Corporation Finance, and also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Paul gives talks around the country on startup law and fundraising, guest lectures regularly at law and MBA schools, and writes on a range of law, governance and finance topics.


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From Amazon:

This Nutshell, which provides an introduction to U.S. international taxation useful to both U.S. and non-U.S. students and practitioners interested in the topic, has been revised and updated to address the fundamental changes to the U.S. international tax rules introduced by the 2017 tax act, including interpretive regulatory guidance. It also includes discussion of interaction between US tax rules and global tax changes brought about by recent OECD developments as they affect US taxpayers. In addition to providing a survey of the technical rules, the book also offers insight into tax planning considerations and how these have been altered by recent U.S. and global developments. Both the U.S. activities of foreign taxpayers, as well as the foreign activities of U.S. taxpayers are explored. In today’s world, it is crucial for those involved in business and investment activities to understand the tax consequences that impact cross-border flows. The authors’ careers span both the academic and private sectors, and they have used their experiences to distill the complexities of real-world tax considerations into a clearly written, straight-forward presentation of the key international tax concepts.


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From Amazon:

Elgar Advanced Introductions are stimulating and thoughtful introductions to major fields in the social sciences and law, expertly written by the world's leading scholars. Designed to be accessible yet rigorous, they offer concise and lucid surveys of the substantive and policy issues associated with discrete subject areas. This second edition of the Advanced Introduction to International Tax Law provides an updated and succinct, yet highly informative overview of the key issues surrounding taxation and international law from Reuven Avi-Yonah, a leading authority on international tax. This small but powerful book surveys the nuances of the varying taxation systems, offering expert insight into the scope, reach and nature of international tax regimes, as well as providing an excellent platform for understanding how the principles of jurisdiction apply to tax and the connected tools that are used by countries in imposing taxes. New to this edition: * New material on the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project * Coverage of the EU's Anti Tax Avoidance Package * Analysis of the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Key features include: * defines and discusses the main types of jurisdiction to tax * explains in depth both inbound and outbound taxation on both passive and active income * delineates the source of income that is crucial for taxing non-residents and foreign tax credit * discussion of transfer pricing, a variant of source-based taxation that lies at the heart of modern efforts to tax corporations at source * explains how the above elements are influenced by tax treaties and looks at the future of the international tax regime. Composed of concise but insightful chapters, this revised second edition will prove to be a key resource for students of international tax law, as well as for scholars within the fields of tax law, international business law and international commercial law.

Books Worth Reading: SERGIO MARCHIONNE by Tommaso EBHARDT



From Amazon:

The leadership, the impossible challenges, the strategies, the secrets of the manager who transformed Fiat into a global group

In fourteen years, Sergio Marchionne increased the value of the group on the stock exchange more than ten times. He transformed Fiat from an Italian company on the verge of bankruptcy to a powerful global company. He attacked the markets. He thought big. His choices, never taken for granted, exalted investors, but they attracted him accusations such as that of having moved the center of gravity of the company away from Italy and that of having trampled on the rights of workers. Who was Sergio Marchionne, a visionary and divisive leader, and what does it remain of his legacy? Tommaso Ebhardt — who chased him for ten years from one end of the world to the other — portrays in this book a complex figure, who gradually reveals himself to the journalist in swift jokes, several professional occasions, and precious two-people meetings, with microphones turned off. The story begins in December 2008 with the Chrysler operation; the journalist reconstructs the historic milestones, the failed projects, Mr. Marchionne’s leadership ... And he looks at what remains of FCA after Mr. Marchionne’s tragic death. But above all, Mr. Ebhardt investigates the beliefs, interests, and private feelings of a very reserved man, who nevertheless had sometimes entrusted him with his thoughts, publicly recognizing him as "his most affectionate stalker," and he tries to understand the secret of Mr. Marchionne, who as an unknown outsider, became one of the most successful managers on the international markets.


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From Amazon:

With over a million copies sold, Economics in One Lesson is an essential guide to the basics of economic theory. A fundamental influence on modern libertarianism, Hazlitt defends capitalism and the free market from economic myths that persist to this day.

Considered among the leading economic thinkers of the "Austrian School," which includes Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich (F.A.) Hayek, and others, Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993), was a libertarian philosopher, an economist, and a journalist. He was the founding vice-president of the Foundation for Economic Education and an early editor of The Freeman magazine, an influential libertarian publication. Hazlitt wrote Economics in One Lesson, his seminal work, in 1946. Concise and instructive, it is also deceptively prescient and far-reaching in its efforts to dissemble economic fallacies that are so prevalent they have almost become a new orthodoxy.

Economic commentators across the political spectrum have credited Hazlitt with foreseeing the collapse of the global economy which occurred more than 50 years after the initial publication of Economics in One Lesson. Hazlitt's focus on non-governmental solutions, strong -- and strongly reasoned -- anti-deficit position, and general emphasis on free markets, economic liberty of individuals, and the dangers of government intervention make Economics in One Lesson every bit as relevant and valuable today as it has been since publication.

Books Worth Reading: THE OPTIONS PLAYBOOK by Brian OVERBY

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From Amazon:

Get ready to sharpen your options game with the Options Playbook.

The Options Playbook was created to demystify options trading and teach all types of investors different plays for all market conditions.

Written by Brian Overby, Senior Options Analyst at Ally Invest, he'll give you clear, easy-to-understand explanations of more than 40 of the most popular option strategies broken down into a play-by-play format.

If you're new to options, head over to the Rookie's Corner for the basic definitions and concepts, common beginner mistakes to avoid and introductory plays to get your feet wet.

For more experienced traders, Brian dives into an expanded section on implied volatility explaining how this handy variable can be used to find the potential range of the stock over the options life. He provides a detailed section on pricing variables (Greeks) to help you understand how an option's price is affected by changes in market conditions. Plus, you'll learn how time decay and change in implied volatility can affect your trade after it's in place and how to recover if things don't go according to plan.

Like any good coach, Brian Overby's handy insights help you put theory into successful real-world trading without the confusing jargon and any unnecessary mumbo-jumbo.

Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options that accompanies The Options Playbook and available at: Options investors may lose more than the entire amount invested in a relatively short period of time.

Securities products and services are offered through Ally Invest Securities LLC, member FINRA ( and SIPC ( View Security Disclosures at 

Ally Invest Securities LLC, Ally Invest Advisors Inc. Ally Invest Group Inc., P.O. Box 30248, Charlotte, NC 28230

Books Worth Reading: THE DAO OF CAPITAL by Mark SPITZNAGEL

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From Amazon:

As today's preeminent doomsday investor Mark Spitznagel describes his Daoist and roundabout investment approach, “one gains by losing and loses by gaining.” This is Austrian Investing, an archetypal, counterintuitive, and proven approach, gleaned from the 150-year-old Austrian School of economics, that is both timeless and exceedingly timely.

In The Dao of Capital, hedge fund manager and tail-hedging pioneer Mark Spitznagel—with one of the top returns on capital of the financial crisis, as well as over a career—takes us on a gripping, circuitous journey from the Chicago trading pits, over the coniferous boreal forests and canonical strategists from Warring States China to Napoleonic Europe to burgeoning industrial America, to the great economic thinkers of late 19th century Austria. We arrive at his central investment methodology of Austrian Investing, where victory comes not from waging the immediate decisive battle, but rather from the roundabout approach of seeking the intermediate positional advantage (what he calls shi), of aiming at the indirect means rather than directly at the ends. The monumental challenge is in seeing time differently, in a whole new intertemporal dimension, one that is so contrary to our wiring.

Spitznagel is the first to condense the theories of Ludwig von Mises and his Austrian School of economics into a cohesive and—as Spitznagel has shown—highly effective investment methodology. From identifying the monetary distortions and non-randomness of stock market routs (Spitznagel's bread and butter) to scorned highly-productive assets, in Ron Paul's words from the foreword, Spitznagel “brings Austrian economics from the ivory tower to the investment portfolio.”

The Dao of Capital provides a rare and accessible look through the lens of one of today's great investors to discover a profound harmony with the market process—a harmony that is so essential today.

Books Worth Reading: ANTIFRAGILE by Nassim TALEB

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From Amazon:

Antifragile is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.

Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.

Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.

Praise for Antifragile

“Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.”—The Economist

“A bold book explaining how and why we should embrace uncertainty, randomness, and error . . . It may just change our lives.”—Newsweek

Books Worth Reading: THE BLACK SWAN by Nassim TALEB

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From Amazon:

The Black Swan is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.

Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the “impossible.”

For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and this second edition features a new philosophical and empirical essay, “On Robustness and Fragility,” which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.

Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book—itself a black swan.

Praise for Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“The most prophetic voice of all.”—GQ

Praise for The Black Swan

“[A book] that altered modern thinking.”—The Times (London)

“A masterpiece.”—Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of The Long Tail

“Idiosyncratically brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times

“The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate

“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne. . . . We eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias [and] narrative fallacy.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Hugely enjoyable—compelling . . . easy to dip into.”—Financial Times

“Engaging . . . The Black Swan has appealing cheek and admirable ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review