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State Tax

Maryland general fund revenues top $16.7 billion for FY 2017

September 2, 2017
Baltimore Maryland by Bob Burkhard via Unsplash

Maryland closed the fiscal year on a high note with comptroller Peter Franchot announcing Friday that the state’s general fund revenues totaled about $16.7 billion in fiscal year 2017, which is over $90 million above estimates. However, it appears that state leaders aren’t exactly going on a spending spree with the extra money — Franchot “emphasized the need for fiscal caution during these uncertain economic times.”…

Law

The dangers of cheap foreclosures

April 18, 2017
An image of a home by 'Inspiration de' via Unsplash

Last night I decided to look at home prices while half-watching a bad reality show. I wasn’t just looking at houses here in Dallas — I wanted to see what the markets in other cities were like. One thing that struck me when I randomly decided to look up Detroit real estate was how many dirt-cheap houses there are. Sure, many of the homes appeared to be in…

Banking

Shadow Banking

April 11, 2017
Man in suit by Matthew Henry, Toronto, Ontario, via Unsplash

Yesterday, I mentioned how some art auction houses have become highly attractive to money launderers for anonymous sales and lax lending policies. This is part of a global trend called “shadow banking” which poses significant systemic risks to markets in the U.S. and abroad. What is it? Shadow banking is a catch-all phrase for financial services that occur outside of the regular banking and investment system (and typically…

Law

Art and Money Laundering

April 10, 2017
A photo of a man in a gallery by Igor Miske, Dresden, Germany - via Unsplash.

It’s arts month here in Dallas, which means that art collectors and investors from all over the world are in town. Although art collectors will pay hefty sums for aesthetic reasons, high art prices and secretive auction sales have also become a prime money laundering vehicle. Money laundering in the high-end art world happensΒ in two primary ways:…