02.04.08

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The Game of Economics

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lesser-known facts at times of recession

The following article has just been cited by Slashdot. It addresses an important issue which we raised in the past. Microsoft’s habits when it comes to taxation (never mind the kickbacks) are quite irregular, but this tends to go unnoticed or unheard of. Here is the opening paragraph from the new article.

When I heard that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates had invoked the phrase “creative capitalism” at last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, it reminded me how Microsoft avoids paying taxes on Washington-made software by selling it through Nevada. Since 1997, I estimate, the company has avoided paying more than $528 million in state taxes while racking up $92 billion in profit and distributing more than $42 billion in dividends to shareholders. Microsoft’s creative capitalism has deprived Washington state a lot of tax revenue it needs to pay for critical infrastructure such as replacing the aging 520 bridge that many of its employees use to get to and from corporate headquarters in Redmond.

We recently wrote quite a lot about the Gates Foundation [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and at times also alluded to its aspect which involves tax evasion.

Additionally, Microsoft’s apparent bluffing when it comes to its financial results [1, 2] received a great deal of attention. To avoid repeating old references, the reader is urged to read those previous posts. Another fine addition to the list of previous citations is this one from yesterday:

Microsoft and the American way

An interesting side-note on the potential Yahoo-Microsoft deal: Microsoft has only $17B in cash/liquid reserves, but has bid $44.6B for Yahoo.

A lot of money appears to have vanished. According to one source, Microsoft reserves used to top $60 billion. It appears as though someone continues to hide the full story from us, or simply moves money between different buckets in order to please shareholders and analysts. Again, you are encouraged to read the previous external references which make a compelling case. This is merely an update.

Related (older) article:

Microsoft’s man in Europe carries communist-era baggage

That report sparked a flurry of speculation in Czech media and online chat rooms about Muehlfeit’s role under the communist regime, and it elicited a public statement at the time from Microsoft, which supported Muehlfeit’s integrity.

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2 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    February 20, 2008 at 12:19 am

    Gravatar

    I don’t follow MS financials, but they did commit to paying out huge dividends (a one time shot plus another chunk spread over time). Also, I imagine they buy companies or “assets” or whatever. In this way they trade cash for something else of value. Sure there is room here for manipulation, but as I said, I haven’t followed closely and I am not an accountant.

    Has Bill Parish written anything recently on Microsoft that might shed light?

    Oh, and yes, the Foundation should get turned over by the feds at some point I hope; however, Microsoft/Gates are the supreme leaders of our time in taking advantage of “interpretations” and loopholes. Here’s hoping they go too far so that they see some justice. It might be good for their souls.

    Of course, the best way to get caught is to make enemies. If only they would really screw over their major investors.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 20, 2008 at 12:26 am

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    Hi Jose,

    For the latest from Parish (very little) and some more details, start here. You’ll need to follow the links from there because we hardly ever repeat references and evidence (we link to this instead). I’ve been watching Microsoft’s financial news very closely for almost 2 years. I was not surprised to find out that Yahoo would have them in debt. They hypnotise people using paid analysts and press which they influence heavily (or practically own).

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