US billionaire Malone buys Playmobil villa in Florida

The US media entrepreneur and multi-billionaire John Malone bought the villa of the late Playmobil patriarch Horst Brandstätter on Jupiter Island in Florida for $ 38 million. It is the “by far highest price” that has been paid on the island for a property so far, as manager-magazin.de learned from Ken Meierling, head of the local brokerage branch Engel & Völkers Jupiter.

The seller of the villa was one of the big names in the German economy: Horst Brandstätter, who died a few weeks ago, was the sole owner of the Playmobil manufacturer geobra Brandstätter and was one of the richest Germans.

The 81-year-old Brandstätter had the Florida residence in the early 1990s mainly to be able to play golf in the winter months. At the end of 2014, however, he put the property up for sale because, according to his own information, he wanted to be close to his German doctors due to age. Brandstätter originally wanted 45 million dollars – about 40 million euros – for the property.

US media tycoon Malone was awarded the contract for a little less. However, according to the US magazine “Forbes”, the $ 8.6 billion Malone has a lot to offer: The luxury villa on Jupiter Island, about 30 kilometers north of Palm Beach, is located on the beach, slightly elevated. According to Engel & Völkers, the property with around 38,040 square meters is one of the largest private properties on the peninsula.

The ensemble consists of a main house, a spacious guest house with two bedrooms and a beach house, according to Engel & Völkers. There is also a putting green for golf players and a par-3 hole with various tees.

An impressive property – but only one of many in John Malone’s portfolio. The media entrepreneur, who shares in News Corp. with his Liberty Media group. and Charter Communications, is not only one of the richest Americans, but also one of the largest private landowners in the United States, with properties in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico, among others.

Image gallery: Tour of Malone’s new property

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The small state of Delaware, the irritating American tax haven

On June 17, the European Commission presented its action plan to reform corporate taxation with Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, in charge of the project. In the rostrum, the Frenchman said that it was no longer acceptable “that certain companies pay almost no tax because someone carries a very heavy tax burden for them”. Its objective is simple: that each company, no matter how small, pays its share of tax in the country where it is present. In the wake of the announcements, the Commission presented a blacklist of tax havens. But strangely, no American entity appears there. Yet Delaware, the second smallest state in the United States, is known to be a popular destination for tax evasion.

More registered businesses than inhabitants

Reading the official site of the State of Delaware (United States), located at the gates of Washington, it seems to open a manual. One of the documents proposed is entitled: “Why do companies choose Delaware”. The figures are final. In 2014, more than 950,000 businesses worldwide registered in Delaware, more than the state’s population (935,600). In total, two thirds of the 500 largest American groups listed on the stock market are present. Often it is just a simple mailbox. At number 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, the most populous city in Delaware, there are even nearly 200,000, as shown in theHumanity in 2013. Apple, Coca-Cola, Ford, Google, General Eletric … all the economic gratin has a place of choice there.

“We installed in Delaware a system capable of being legally diverted. It is a place that everyone knows but that we let live. It is this drift of the American face which pushes the OECD to classify the country among the States which provide information against tax fraud but with still efforts to be made on its territory “, explains Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the Center for tax policy and administration of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). For almost twenty years, local authorities have implemented a system to change the state, transforming it into a place where it is possible to domicile a business or a subsidiary., without having neither employee nor activity, nor even general assembly, and where the tax is minimal.

It takes more documents to register at the library than to set up a company

John Kowalko, elected Democrat from Delaware.

An established business pays no local tax and only has to pay US federal tax. After calculation, the annual cost of a company based in Delaware is estimated at 400 dollars per year, the only costs being the installation of a “head office” where an agent must be able to handle the mail (250 dollars) and some costs administrative (about 150 dollars). The installation of thousands of groups brings the enclave nearly 30% of its annual budget. Starting a business is very fast. John Kowalko, a local Democrat, recently said that “it takes more documents to join the library than to start a company.”

Securing identity secrecy

The key to the Delaware system is actually anonymity. A newly registered company is under no obligation to identify its beneficiary. As a result, no investigation into tax practices succeeds because the mounted shell companies do not have human names in their organizational chart. Pascal Saint Amans believes that it is actually “very difficult to judge the extent of the money illegally earned”. The problem has become an issue for the country which is trying to redeem itself from a conduct in tax matters. If some states like Wyoming or Nevada have applied an almost similar model but on a smaller scale, others like Pennsylvania have decided to denounce these practices: in recent years, companies have come to exploit shale gas in the state and the latter cannot profit, the companies being registered … in Delaware.

After numerous studies and works such as the work “These rich people who do not pay tax” by the Quebec tax expert Brigitte Alepin, the United States has advanced slightly. “Things have changed, today the United States is open to the transmission of information monitored by the World Forum,” says Pascal Saint-Amans. The fact remains that global legislation can only move after passage of a law before Congress. The democratic jurist Carl Levin worked in this direction, without real support of the presidency, nor of the vice-presidency, Joe Biden was besides senator of Delaware from 1973 to 2009. The local democratic party, as the Humanity reported it in 2013, it would even push for hateful communication: “The companies choose our State and we are proud of it. We spend a lot of time traveling abroad to let people know that Delaware is a great place to do business. ”

In 2009, the London NGO Tax Justice Network listed Delaware in first place in its ranking of tax havens ahead of Luxembourg or Switzerland. During the months following publication, Jean-Claude Juncker, then Prime Minister of Luxembourg and president of the Eurogroup, will even use it as an argument against the absence of the United States from the black lists presented by the G20: The G20 has no credibility or consistency, if on the so-called “black” list of tax havens, there is no Delaware, there is no Wyoming, there is no Nevada ” If the European Union has always been careful not to show its American ally in its publications, Delaware was denounced by another tax haven, the Cayman Islands, who admitted that the American state was much more opaque than they . Yet today, nothing has changed yet.

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In Honolulu, we transform old buses into housing for homeless people

To keep the homeless away from the city centers, many municipalities do not skimp on resources: urban furniture homeless, foul-smelling repellents, removal of public toilets, masked anti-begging bylaws: ban on alcohol consumption, automatic watering, inclined surfaces …

In Hawaii, Honolulu is no exception. After the municipal council, in September, adopted a measure prohibiting homeless people from relieving themselves on the sidewalks of the tourist district of Waikiki, a committee simply suggested the forced exile of 4,700 homeless on an isolated island. An initiative carried out under pressure from the tourism industry.

In response to this move away from the homeless, Jun Yang, an official in charge of housing in the municipality of Honolulu, announced in early June a project to redevelop old municipal buses. Transformed into alternative dwellings to reception centers and other overcrowded social housing, they will be scattered in several districts of the city.

To lead this project, the official was inspired by the association Lava Mae , in San Francisco, which has set up a mobile bus transformed into sanitary facilities. In Honolulu, it is not one, but 70 buses donated by the Department of Transportation of the State of Hawaii that will be redeveloped, thanks to the help of the firm’s architects Group 70 International .

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Berrien town hall is selling off its land to save the village

The Telegram tells the story. The elected representatives of Brittany focus all their attention on the municipal development of Liorz an ti, which adjoins the school. The town hall has decided to sell land at a price of € 1 m². She hopes that this will attract families whose children will be able to attend nursery and primary school. This challenge is not a first in France. A municipality of Calvados, Champ-du-Boult, in the Pays d’Auge, and a municipality of Cantal have managed to raise the glove lately, while closer to Berrien, the municipality of Moustoir, in Côtes-d’Armor , had already tried it in the 80s, with relative success.

Key figures

The city of Berrien is selling ten serviced land at 1 € / m² (800 m² on average) against 9.50 euros usually.

Berrien, a Breton town full of assets

The city of Berrien has plenty to seduce its future inhabitants. Despite falling financial means, the town has a multifunctional room, a leisure center, a library and games library, a multisport playground or a house of nursery assistants, who s ‘will move into a new building next year to accommodate up to 16 children. Parents are also mobilizing on another issue, the safeguarding of their class, by providing the town with a wild class with retired teachers, to take care of students injured by the announced abolition of the class.

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Poppy Montgomery (Reef Break): Who’s her darling, Shawn Sanford?

Mother hen and renowned actress, Poppy Mongomery had to move away from her family for a while for the needs of her new series Reef Break Australia tour in Queensland. The opportunity for the young woman to return to her country of origin (Poppy being born in Sydney) and to rediscover the paradisiacal landscapes of the island-continent. A filming nevertheless very difficult for the actress and producer who explained to West France : “It is very complicated to shoot in the ocean, most series or films that take place in the water have their scenes in tanks or swimming pools of gigantic size. We were the ocean and it’s unpredictable. Suddenly the wind picks up and you’re in the middle of a mini-storm! We had some very intense moments.

Series Reef Break with Poppy Montgomery is to be discovered from 9:05 pm on M6.

Lamberta Cave – Bas-Vully – Friborg

The Mont-Vully caves are also known as the Lamberta caves or Roches grises. What was once an infantry fortification intended to receive machine guns and defend the plateau during the First World War has now become a paradise for children. Cheerfulness has resumed its rights in this corner of the Friborg region which has become one of the best places for a game of hide and seek that Romandie can offer. Enough to enhance any family outing and satisfy both small adventurers and great historians.

In Atlanta, the musical instruments of the future have their world championship

The D-Box, developed by Londoners Victor Zappi and Andrew McPherson, is the hacker's dream instrument. Emitting electrical sounds, it is fully modular. (Photo credit: We Demain)

The D-Box, developed by Londoners Victor Zappi and Andrew McPherson, is the hacker’s dream instrument. Emitting electrical sounds, it is fully modular. (Photo credit: We Demain)

Twenty of them are meeting this February at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, USA. A competition unique in the world begins. In 2009, an attentive millionaire gave his wife, a pianist emeritus, the organization of a competition that presented completely new musical instruments, electronic or acoustic, from around the world. The mission of the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition is to select and reward designers. And they should be able to play it!

Real instruments

This year, the jury is made up of Joe Paradiso, director of the Media Lab of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Graham Marsh, producer honored with four Grammy awards, the highest music awards in the United States; and DJ Hurricane, who has performed with rap groups Run-DMC and Beastie Boys. Far from laboratory curiosities, the instruments presented are all really usable in scholarly music as in popular music … Find the rest of the article in We Demain n ° 10

Luigi Marfaing

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