U.S. President Obama yesterday closed a tax loophole that drug makers Pfizer and Allergan were counting on for their mega-merger. They planned to move headquarters from New York to Ireland to slash income taxes from 35 percent to 12.5 percent.
But Obama blew the whistle, calling the trick “one of the most insidious loopholes out there.” That just goes to show that, even in times of globalization, government can still be a strong player. And companies are learning a deal is only good if society benefits too.
The results of the German motor vehicle authority’s investigation into Dieselgate have been seen by our newspaper – and there’s no doubt about it: Only Volkswagen – not other automakers – manipulated emissions data to pull one over on U.S. and other regulators.
But strangely, Germany’s transport minister, Alexander Dobrindt, has gone mute, promising only to “carefully review and scrutinize the findings.” Now, there may be reason for restraint, but the Bavarian is no shrinking violet when it comes to beefing about refugees or the E.U. When it comes to the powerful German auto industry, Dobrindt has lost his bully pulpit.