Monday, March 12, 2007

Halliburton takes the money and runs

Halliburton is moving its corporate headquarters to the foreign business friendly, tax free haven of Dubai. I posted on this yesterday at my Detroit News blog and curiously, Karen Tumulty at Time and I put up almost identical posts at virtually the same moment. But the questions that arose in our mind have been echoed all over Blogtopia this morning.

The timing of this surprise announcement is interesting and one would have to assume the move will relieve the corporation from significant tax obligations to the US. How nice, after they have just about bled our treasury dry with their profiteering on the wars abroad and the natural disasters at home, that rather than trickle down the wealth, they're taking it out of the country.

Of course, there's a strong possibility they're also positioning themselves to avoid the jurisdiction of our courts. Considering "[f]ederal investigators last month alleged Halliburton was responsible for $2.7 billion of the $10 billion in contractor waste and overcharging in Iraq," and that "the company is being investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegations of improper dealings in Iraq, Kuwait and Nigeria," one assumes it will be more difficult to serve subpoenaes in Dubai than it would be in Houston.

They might also be wanting to hide from their shareholders. The corporation reports profits are down despite their brisk business. Certainly suggests to me that some at the top are lining their pockets instead of returning the profits to the company coffers for the benefit of all. One can't help but wonder if there's an Enron style scandal in the works.

In any event, this move reveals the misguided approach to building the economy but giving all the tax breaks to corporations and the top tier income earners. They're not trickling the wealth down to the working class. They're leaving and taking the cash with them.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe you will be neighbors. You are going to retire there still aren't you?

2:11:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL. I was thinking about that. I'm not sure I'm going to retire there but I wouldn't mind taking a trip and checking it out. It seems like now's the time to get in on the ground floor of the development.

2:39:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

You're correct in saying this story is all over Blogtopia, but I've seen only cursory coverage in the MSM. I can't believe they're not making a big deal out of this. Halliburton gets $20 billion in taxpayer funded contracts and now they're moving out of the country.

Free market wheeling and dealing my ass. This will cost our country tax revenue that we sorely need and it puts them out of the reach of the long arm of the law. I think all of their contracts should be pulled immediately.

5:54:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

The MSM is covering it but only in the most neutral of terms. It's the blogs that are connecting the dots. You're right though. They should pull their contracts.

7:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't there something of a time differential between when something of interest gets robust coverage in the blogsphere and only then msm coverage jumps in?
You could just keep peppering msm blogs until they notice, I suppose, but, yes, I agree, this should be getting much more coverage on msm . Maybe they're just on overload right now.

There should be a name for this blog-to-msm lag phenom and maybe even some sort of predictable equation - not unlike the "leading economics indicators" of Wall St.

I just stumbled across your blog by clicking the 'next blog' link and I find this a good clearing house for condensed coverage of topical issues. Detroit, no less. Whodda thunk! It's now in my fave list. Thanx.

12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Welcome to my little world Alan and thanks for your kind encouragement. I think you're right about the blog to MSM time lapse but someone more clever than me will have to come up with a term and an equation for it.

Btw, what's your connection to Detroit?

3:19:00 PM  

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