It is common knowledge that American corporations avoid taxes by running U.S. profits through off shore “tax havens” like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, but a recent Bloomberg Business Week investigation traced the specific steps that the pharmaceutical company Forest Labs takes to short the U.S. Treasury.
Although Forest’s anti-depressant Lexapro is sold only in the U.S., the company’s patent is held by an Irish subsidiary.
And since 2005, shared with a Bermuda subsidiary in a tax-code hocus-pocus that insiders call the “Double Irish,” which allows the vast majority of the $2 billion Forest earns a year on Lexapro to be taxed at Ireland’s low rate
And at Bermuda’s rate of zero.
Bloomberg estimates that the U.S. Treasury loses at least $60 billion annually by corporations’ “transfer pricing” — enough to pay for the entire Department of Homeland Security for a year.
A July Illinois law requires that all hospital “rape kits” on victims be tested for blood and DNA, in that finding a rapist, and certainly convicting him, without such evidence is often hopelessly difficult.
Until now, 80 percent of the rape kits taken in the state had sat, untested.
As TV police dramas emphasize, many rape victims are reluctant to submit to the indignity of swabbing and photographing so soon after being violated and comply only because detectives assure them of the rape kit’s importance.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Fla. 33679 or go to www.newsoftheweird.com.)