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Showing posts from April, 2010

Tax Code Favors the Wall Street Gamblers, Not the Race Track Kind

With the Kentucky Derby coming up and with the overpaid and largely unrepentant thieves from Goldman Sachs in the Congressional hot seat, it seems an appropriate time to renew a question that I initially raised some 15 years ago, in an article in that well-known handicapping publication, The Tax Lawyer. Namely, why does the Internal Revenue Code treat the ordinary schlub’s horse racing and casino gambling winnings and losses so much less favorably than it does the much more dubious gains and losses that those Wall Street’s masters of the universe receive from trading in billion dollar derivative bets?
[For those who want to explore the legal arguments, the full text is at 49 Tax Lawyer 1 (1995), available on Lexis and Westlaw or in your favorite law library.]That tax treatment is hugely different. Just for a start:
● Gambling losses cannot be deducted against any other income, only against gambling winnings. In contrast, net losses from Wall Street trading are deductible against the tr…

SEARCH FOR ALTERNATIVE MEDIA BUSINESS MODELS HAMPERED BY NARROW THINKING

Media executives around the globe are clamoring for new and alternative business models and industry associations everywhere are holding seminars and conferences on how to create and discover them. There is just one problem: They don’t know what business models are.

When you cut through the rhetoric, you find that most executives are merely interested in finding new revenue streams. Even when you consider firms touted as having best practices in that regard, none have been very successful in establishing them. The reason is simple: The dominant thought about business models is highly limited and far too narrow to solve the contemporary challenges of media industries.

Business models are not merely about the revenue streams. Instead, they establish the underlying business logic and elements. They involve the foundations upon which businesses built, such as companies’ competences, value created, products/services provided, customers served, relationships established with customers and par…

The Business: Fantasy Basketball League Spectacular

On March 31st, The Business was down three members, with Alex Koll, Chris Garcia, and Bucky Sinister all working elsewhere. To address the lack of manpower, we invited all of the members of the about-to-conclude SF Comedians Fantasy League to perform. We welcomed Jeff Cleary, Joey Devine, Eliot Langford, Julien Rodriguez, Chris Remmers, and the great W. Kamau Bell, along with Businessman and host, Sean Keane.

Some comics discussed basketball extensively, both their fantasy teams' generally woeful performances or the woeful performances of their favorite team, if that team was the Golden State Warriors. Joey Devine told a touching story about receiving the Most Inspirational Player Award at Tim Hardaway's basketball camp, an honor usually given to a kid with a disability or a fatal disease. Joey was neither; he was simply terrible at basketball, and prone to skipping wind sprints in order to sneak upstairs and eat hamburgers.

Eliot Langford mentioned the disappointing Warrio…