"I think we should avoid that temptation to do something now just because it feels good to do something," Desai says. According to him, the inversions we're seeing now are simply the unanticipated effects of the legislation passed in 2004. Increasing the requirements on foreign ownership, then, might be a salve that not only would be temporary, but would also open up problematic possibilities down the line.
In recent years, a number of U.S.-based corporations with significant international holdings have shifted their headquarters overseas in an attempt to lower their tax bills. Harvard Business School's Mihir Desai is an expert on tax policy, international finance, and corporate finance.
"While it is tempting to characterize corporate tax reform as a sop to big business, we know that the burden of the corporate tax is borne by shareholders, workers, or customers. And much of the available evidence points to the majority of the burden being borne by workers, a result that is intuitive when one compares the relative mobility of capital, labor, and products," Desai said.
Securing a bank loan isn't as difficult for small businesses today as it was during the recession. However, it's still not as easy as it was prior to the collapse — and that appears to be holding back the broader economic recovery.
In a nutshell, that's the takeaway from a pair of research articles recently penned by Karen Mills, the former head of the Small Business Administration and now a senior fellow at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Critics calling for regulation of alternative lenders have pointed to high borrowing costs, which often top 50 percent on an annualized basis, and lack of transparency, especially among the brokers many lenders rely on to bring in business. On the other hand, "there are some who say the marketplace is solving the problem," said Karen Mills, former head of the Small Business Administration, in a recent interview. "You have innovators and entrepreneurs coming in, and you don't want to get in the way of this too soon."
Karen Mills' Harvard report on the state of small business lending paints a bleak picture, with the exception of technology.
This working paper by Karen Mills examines the small business credit environment during the recession and in the recovery-focused years since, as well as the impact persistent lending gaps may be having on job creation as a whole. Last, Mills takes a look at the dynamic and fast growing online lending market that has ignited since the recession and how the technology and innovation those entities are driving may change how small businesses and entrepreneurs finance their growth in the future.
Some tax experts testifying at Tuesday's hearing cautioned that narrow legislation could prove counterproductive even if it successfully deters some companies from reincorporating overseas. For instance, raising the threshold of a foreign company's ownership for inversions could prompt bigger foreign companies to get involved in the transactions. That could result in the U.S. portion of the company shifting more of its jobs overseas, including high-paying headquarters jobs, said Mihir Desai, finance professor at Harvard Business School.
Mihir A. Desai, a professor of law at Harvard University, said punitive legislation could be counterproductive.
"Legislation that is narrowly focused on preventing inversions or specific transactions runs the risk of being counterproductive," he said. "For example, rules that increase the required size of a foreign target to ensure the tax benefits of an inversion can deter these transactions but can also lead to more substantive transactions."
Mihir Desai, Harvard Business School professor, shares his thoughts on corporate tax reform ahead of Tuesday morning's Senate hearing.
Robert Pozen, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and former chairman of MFS Investment Management, talks about the U.S. corporate tax system and its impact on the economy. Pozen speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, chief executive officer of C.V. Starr & Co., also speaks.
The boom in domestic shale oil and gas production has increased U.S. prosperity and economic competitiveness. But the potential for this to enhance our national security remains largely unrealized.
The US shale gas boom has revived the US chemical industry, which is becoming increasingly competitive globally, with access to guaranteed supplies of gas and cost-efficient processes. The question now: will there also be a shale gas boom in China and Europe? And would that undermine the global competitiveness of the GCC chemicals industry?
Abusive patent litigation is a drag on our economy. This may seem like a complex issue, but the fact of the matter is this is a problem impacting businesses and industries of all types and the jobs of the people who work for them.
From New York to Silicon Valley, more and more large American corporations are reducing their tax bill by buying a foreign company and effectively renouncing their United States citizenship.
The United States has the highest combined corporate tax rate in the developed world, standing at 40 percent. Tax rates are only one of many factors considered in the WEF rankings, but they become exponentially more important in mature, open economies.
When it comes to the economy, one thing that most Americans can agree on is that we don't want policies that drive jobs out of the United States. Eliminating "accelerated depreciation" does just this.
Replacing corporate tax revenues with consumption tax revenues is the most straightforward way to improve America's tax competitiveness. Everything else is just nibbling around the edges.
The United States needs a modern tax code that unleashes the power of America's economy to create jobs, increase growth, encourage businesses to invest in the U.S., and let American companies large and small compete in today's global economy.
Competition from China and other low-wage rivals, coupled with fallout from the 2007-'09 financial crisis, has put American wages under such unprecedented strain that they have shifted into reverse -- not merely stagnating, but falling.
Reforming our international tax system should include modern tax laws to provide a level playing field for American workers; permanent simplification of the tax code; a lower corporate tax rate to increase competitiveness; and provisions to protect the U.S. tax base and prevent abuse.
The US has an international tax system that puts American companies and workers at a disadvantage as they try to compete in a new world.
The U.S. economy will be between 1.5 and 2.6 percent smaller over the long-term because other nations' corporate tax rates are considerably more competitive, according to a new study by Ernst & Young and the RATE Coalition, a group lobbying for lower corporate tax rates.
According to a new report titled "U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative: Dialogue on Next Generation Supply Networks and Logistics," manufacturing in the U.S. is growing stronger. However, maintaining and strengthening America's competitiveness in the global market will require a tremendous measure of planning, effort, and focused financial investment.
What policies, if any, should the United States pursue to encourage high-tech manufacturers like Apple to build their products in America rather than largely in Asia?
With the dollar clearly strengthening, and with the economy in the U.S. softening, many are wondering if the U.S. is losing the currency war.
It's not surprising that large multinational corporations strongly support a territorial tax system, which, they say, would make them more competitive with foreign rivals. What they don't say, and what President Obama stresses, is that eliminating federal taxes on foreign profits would create a powerful incentive for companies to shift even more jobs and investment overseas.
Aside from generating U.S. jobs, global trade in the clothing manufacturing industry drives competitiveness, brings value to American families, and harnesses opportunities for U.S. companies to sell their products to customers all around the world, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association.
Harvard's Michael Porter and the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson join Morning Joe to discuss job creation in the U.S. and how to keep the country competitive. Some of Porter's suggestions include simplifying the tax code and creating a sustainable federal budget. "The solutions are not difficult--it's political will," says Porter.
We need a tax and regulatory structure that creates strong incentives for businesses to flourish. The thing is, we already have one.
The new satellite U.S. Patent and Trademark Office planned for the region is expected to streamline the process of protecting innovative ideas that once again have turned this region into a job-creating powerhouse.
The Global Investment in American Jobs Act -- introduced in the Senate last week -- calls for an assessment of U.S. policies that influence decisions by foreigners about investing in the United States.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday are calling for action to boost the US share of global foreign investment, which has fallen 50 per cent over the past decade as companies pour money into faster-growing economies.
Governments in most industrial countries have stepped up their promotion of clean energy technology in recent years, and the US is no longer a laggard in this area.
Professor Michael Porter discusses potential changes to U.S. tax policies and regulations, and how they could boost competitiveness. "We are not confronting and solving problems," Porter says in this video interview.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $9.98 million in grants to 15 small shipyards throughout the United States to pay for modernizations which will increase productivity and help the country's small shipyards compete in the global marketplace.
Why are big companies not investing more in the United States? Findings from Harvard Business School's U.S. Competitiveness Project were discussed at a fascinating meeting of business leaders in New York Monday evening.
The last three decades have seen American capitalism transformed by a simple idea—that the evaluation and compensation of managers and investors should be outsourced to financial markets, says Professor Mihir A. Desai.