quarta-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2009

Perguntas a Mr. Geithner

Timothy Geithner, indicado para Secretário do Tesouro pelo presidente Obama, irá passar por uma sabatina no Senado. O New York Times publicou uma lista de perguntas de sete experts em finanças e economia que eles gostariam que Geithner respondesse. Desta lista, as minhas favoritas são:

1. Ordinary taxpayers would like an answer to this question: Why have they been billed more than $45 billion to rescue Citigroup from failure when, as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, you were its primary supervisor? Three major problems led to Citigroup’s downfall: bad investment policy; overexpansion, which overwhelmed Citigroup’s management; and an inadequate capital base. Why was Citigroup’s supervision inadequate to deal with these problems?
— ANNA JACOBSON SCHWARTZ, an economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the author, with Milton Friedman, of “A Monetary History of the United States, 1867 to 1960”

2. The American financial regulatory system is highly fragmented, with authority divided among federal and state governments, the Federal Reserve, the comptroller of the currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, etc. Do you favor an overhaul of the system and, if so, what should the new system look like?

— JOHN STEELE GORDON, the author of “An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power”

3. Should debt securities that are held by regulated banks and pension funds be rated by multiple independent credit reports that have been commissioned by a federal agency, or should we continue to let the issuers of debts decide who will rate their risks?

— ROGER B. MYERSON, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a winner of the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

E uma fantástica pegadinha: (Geithner não pagou alguns impostos quando funcionário do FMI, tributaristas americanos dizem que o sistema tributário é tão complexo que mesmo especialistas podem se confundir.....)

4. The American tax code is so complex that even Treasury secretary nominees can easily make mistakes on their returns. Furthermore, while income tax rates are 10 percent to 35 percent for individuals and 35 percent for corporations, because of the proliferation of deductions, credits, exclusions and loopholes, the revenue from income tax amounts to only 10 percent of gross domestic product. Should you give priority to simplifying the code and enforcing compliance before raising rates?

— CHARLES O. ROSSOTTI, the commissioner of internal revenue from 1997 to 2002

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