Monkey business

In its relentless efforts to clean us all up, the Israeli Tax Authority has just thrown another spanner in the works of the well-greased black market. Meek householders faced by odd-job men  demanding cash as they flex their bulging muscles, not to mention seasoned mafiosi and disgraced politicians, will be questioning my timing. Surely,  the…

Bad Cumpany

If, like me, you have been wondering for decades what the European Parliament is there for, wonder no more. Following a recent vote, the august institution is considering  setting up an investigations unit to tackle two humongous European fraud schemes  named improbably  'cum-cum' and 'cum-ex'. The first warning that something was afoot came in 1992,…

Cry for Argentina

Any professional Opinion Letter writer knows that the invention of the footnote was a godsend. Enabling the eternally cautious tax lawyer or accountant to throw caution to the wind in the main body of his document, the footnote can be stuffed with endless bits of what the paying client calls 'fudge' and the expert refers to…

Crime and Punishment

Of all the words that have made it across the much-trampled terrain of Western Europe and the inhospitable waters of the Channel into the welcoming arms of the English language, one of the most improbable must be "Schadenfreude". Adopted into the language after the defeat of Germany in the First World War and the imposition of punitive reparations, it…

What a wonderful world

Although we are a family of fairly avid readers, other than a few coffee-table staples, books do not  feature in our living room. Well-leafed and generally abused volumes are neatly filed on bookshelves in bedrooms and on our upstairs landing, or unceremoniously dumped in unlikely corners of the house (I stumbled on a haphazard pile on the staircase…

Risks of the import/export/import business

Back in the sixties when my all-time superhero,  Batman,  used to dress like he was going to a neighbourhood Halloween party, actors Adam West and Burt Ward would issue warnings to stupid children not to try any of their stunts at home. That was sound advice. While they had the full attention of the little weirdos…