Laundromat Conflation

I just saw a poignant document-drama on Netflix about the Panama papers, Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio a Andreas, Steven Sodernberg. What a power packed short episode on a serious matter!

The issues seems conflated and leaves way too much for speculation. The Chinese episode, again, the Sichuan accent here wasn’t very convincing, is pure speculation. The senior leaders of China, if we are to believe American propaganda, operate for the country–if they bought a house on the Rivera, it was probably following the party’s direction. If a plastic factory was installed, it was probably the party’s intention. Okay, yes, Bo Xilai apparently headed the party for Chongqing. But given how much monitoring happens in the world, I feel that his actions were probably not that extraordinary for people of his peers.

That is of course pure speculation from me.

But to mix it into a story about American taxes… it’s just not right. American public companies has stringent reporting requirements. Yes, everyone probably cheats a little tax here too, but in the case of Amazon, it seems believable for them to not pay corporate tax some years. Amazon is famous for breaking the PE ratio because it had very high stock market capitalization but zero profit for many many years. It earned no money because it invested in growths for decades. Okay, so that may be my speculation too… But have you ever seen Ex-Amazon employees? They are caffeine driven fiends that work crazy long hours at neck braking speeds. Their core values

* customer obsession

* frugality

* bias for action

* ownership

* high bar for talent

* innovation

(And more on their leadership page.)

It is commonly agreed upon that they live to their mottos.

For all those in Hollowood who wants to attack something, can you think of all the poor creatures who slaved under Bezos all those years to finally get your organic face peel, and, what was that expression used in WSJ, the rainbow fart fuel you guzzle, how they got it to you next day or today?

That took real work! That took a lot of real hard work and sacrifice to get it there. That took a lot of money investment to make it happen. And according to US laws, you can carry forward losses to deduct from earnings before computing taxes. I mean it used to be you can carry-back losses too, but not any more since 2018.

For other examples, you may find a lot of unicorns like Ubar, Luft, Teslo,…, Swuare, etc. etc. that is well in debt and losses but is committed to eventually making a kick-ass products or service. They’ll get to deduct their accrued losses too when they get there.

I can’t find myself hating them for making that deduction. I do find myself hating that I can’t deduct enough of my own misspent money, but that’s just not how our law works. If I buy an ice cream and it tastes like vomit, and I lose half a day of work, I cannot personally deduct that from my income. But if a company does it and loses half a day of work day, they get a lot of deductions.

The show, however does not clarify that this was the problem they are complaining about. It also doesn’t complain about expensive luxury office items like… new office buildings, which can be seen as extravagant and gratuitous, are also completely deducted from income. Amazon, and all these other growing and innovating companies are not bad, this show is bad.

Gary Oldman always does creeps so well. And Streep, of course. But this talent seem wasted on a wrong cause imho… or a good cause but hidden in a lot of awfulness.

Perhaps the team will work together and produce a sequel that explains the position a bit more. I do enjoy the onscreen drama.

Ps here is an idea for a new drama: the intricate story of the stories told by new content coming online at streaming media companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime streaming, Disney+, AppleTV, etc., to defame each other. That would be fun to watch.

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