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The Justice Department is sending UBS bankers to prison:
Former UBS banker, Bradley Birkenfeld of Weymouth, Mass., has been sentenced to 40 months incarceration by Judge William J. Zloch in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. On June 19, 2008, Birkenfeld pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States, the Justice Department announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court today, Birkenfeld worked as a private banker in Geneva, Switzerland, for UBS AG, one of the country’s largest banks. While at UBS, Birkenfeld assisted an American billionaire real estate developer evade paying $7.2 million in taxes by assisting the developer conceal $200 million of assets hidden offshore in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. While at UBS, Birkenfeld routinely traveled to and had contacts within the United States in an effort to assist wealthy Americans conceal their ownership in assets held offshore and therefore evade the payment of taxes on the income generated on the money hidden offshore.
The President is playing golf with them:
MARTHA’S VINEYARD, Mass. — The First Duffer hit the links Monday, on the first full day of his vacation, after a morning workout and a game of tennis with his wife at the 28-acre waterfront estate he has rented for the week. South Carolina Rep. James E. Clyburn (D), UBS Investment Bank president Robert Wolf and White House aide Marvin Nicholson joined President Obama for a round of golf…”You know, he’s on vacation. So everything is a little bit loose,” spokesman Bill Burton said at the elementary school gymnasium that is serving as the island briefing room.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”