Amazon

Amazon Reportedly Has Lord of the Rings Writers in a Locked Office with a Guard and Fingerprint Scanner

20 February 2019

From Gizmodo:

Amazon has a lot riding on its secretive, $250 million deal with The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate, publisher HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema to produce a streaming show in the franchise’s Middle-Earth setting, with expectations that the budget could cross one billion dollars.

LOTR fans still don’t know an awful lot about the show—initial reports in 2017 suggested that Amazon’s production would primarily deal with “previously unexplored stories,” of which there is a lot to find in Tolkien’s massive fantasy universe. Later in 2018, other reports indicated that the show had signed a deal could use “material” from Peter Jackson’s film series, but it wasn’t clear what that meant. Amazon onboarded talent from Star Trek 4, and rumors proliferated it would involve fan favorite Aragorn. Unsurprisingly, the lack of info is probably due to Amazon’s efforts to keep details from leaking—and Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke said as much in a interview this week with the Hollywood Reporter.

Salke told THR that she, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Senior Vice President of Business Development Jeff Blackburn had scheduled a meeting with members of Tolkien’s estate in New York to “see some art, some creative work that they haven’t shown the world yet.” She added that the room where the writers are working is kept under “lock and key,” with windows kept taped closed and a security guard manning a checkpoint outside with some kind of fingerprint-based security system:

There’s a fantastic writers room working under lock and key. They’re already generating really exciting material. They’re down in Santa Monica. You have to go through such clearance, and they have all their windows taped closed. And there’s a security guard that sits outside, and you have to have a fingerprint to get in there, because their whole board is up on a thing of the whole season.

Link to the rest at Gizmodo

PG notes that stories like the OP are a wonderful way of gaining the attention of a large LOTR fanbase and stirring up interest in the project.

If the story hadn’t happened by accident, Amazon should have started it on purpose. 😉

Bentonville, Arkansas

19 February 2019

Responding to a comment in the Amazon/New York City post, PG was reminded of Bentonville, Arkansas, and did a bit of research to catch up on his recollections of the community.

Bentonville, Arkansas, is the headquarters of Walmart.

When PG first visited Bentonville many years ago, it was a small town (about 8,000 people) in a low-income part of the state. Walmart was the biggest thing in town, but Walmart was still pretty small.

At that time, Walmart was growing fast, but had difficulty recruiting executives to work in its headquarters because, for someone from Chicago or New York or Los Angeles, Bentonville was a dump, a backwater, and a hard sell for spouse and children.

Today, Bentonville is a much larger, much nicer city of over 50,000. The median income for households in Bentonville is $79,259, while the mean household income is $106,626. For the state of Arkansas as a whole, the median household income is $43,813 and the mean household income is $61,330.

If you drive around Bentonville, you’ll see some large office complexes filled with offices of Walmart suppliers. You’ll also see a great many large and attractive homes in the Bentonville area. Some are owned by Walmart executives and others are owned by people who provide goods and services to Walmart and its employees.

The Bentonville public schools are the best in the area. Participation in AP exams is very high. Bentonville schools also include a significant number of underserved students and can afford excellent programs for this particular group.

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Bentonville was opened in 1998 and has been expanded substantially since that time. It offers daily nonstop jet service (with first class seats included) to major cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., Atlanta, and San Francisco. PG isn’t aware of any other city of 50,000 people with such excellent commercial air service and believes Walmart deserves the credit.

On the cultural side, The Walton Family Foundation (Sam Walton was the founder of Walmart) built the 200,000 square foot Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which opened in 2011. The museum is located in a 120-acre park which is connected to downtown Bentonville by sculpture and walking trails. General admission is free, funded by Walmart, and the museum hosts about 45,000 school children each year. A related foundation, created by an early employee of Walmart and his wife,  reimburses schools for out-of-pocket expenses associated with a school field trip, including transportation costs, substitute teachers, and lunch.

At the University of Arkansas, located about 30 miles from Bentonville, you will find an institution that, in 2002, received a $300 million pledge from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, the largest gift ever made to a public university in the United States, to establish and support an honors college for undergraduates and endow the university’s graduate school. At the University, you will also find the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

In 2017, the University received a $120 million Walton grant to establish Arkansas’ first School of Art. In 2018, the Waltons gave the University $23.7 million to boost research and commercialization efforts and “to attract five ‘star’ scientists.”

In 2017, the Walton family foundation provided over $500 million in grants to recipients around the world, including almost $200 million for programs to improve K-12 education.

If you’re considering the ancillary benefits of having the headquarters of a large and successful company like Amazon nearby, you might want to remember Northwest Arkansas and Walmart.

Amazon’s Tax, Financial and Moral Obligations

18 February 2019

Per the furor over tax breaks Amazon has received or was promised in connection with negotiations over the location of its new headquarters in Northern Virginia and New York City (now canceled).

First, some foundational principles about taxation in the United States:

1. Each person or taxable entity is required to pay all taxes due under applicable tax laws, including taxes payable to federal, state and local governments.

2. No one is legally obligated to pay any additional taxes other than those described in paragraph 1. Paying twice as much as the amount due doesn’t make anyone a better taxpayer than someone who pays the exact amount of taxes due.

3. If anyone wishes to make a gift or donation in any amount to a federal, state or local government, they are free to do so. The United States Bureau of Fiscal Service is authorized to receive gifts presented to the federal government (click here for details). PG is not an expert on the laws of every state and local government, but suspects there is a way to give a gift to most, if not all, of them as well.

4. Any person or entity is entitled to organize their financial affairs in a manner to reduce their tax obligations to a smaller amount as permitted under the applicable tax law. For example, donations to charitable organizations are deductible from taxable income under federal tax law, so if a person with an income of $50,000 per year wishes to give $10,000 to The American Red Cross, that person’s federal income taxes will be lower than if the person had not made that gift. Ditto for a gift to Harvard University or the Presbyterian Church. Perhaps donors to the Red Cross have been criticized as tax cheats by some critics, but PG is unaware of that having ever happened. A corporation can deduct charitable contributions of up to 10% of its taxable income for a given tax year.

5. Various states and cities have widely-varying tax structures. Some state lawmakers, democratically elected by the residents of the state, craft state tax legislation to encourage the inmigration (not a typo) of individuals and businesses. For example, Florida, the third most populous state in the U.S., has no personal income tax. An individual moving from New York City to Miami will be escaping the New York state income tax (maximum rate – 8.82%) and the New York City city income tax (maximum rate – 3.876%). New York State has had a net outmigration of its residents (more New York residents moved to other states than residents of other states moved into New York State) for nearly 20 years. Florida is the most popular destination for those who are leaving New York. PG is unaware of large groups of people picketing New Yorkers who are leaving the state for lower-taxed states because their departure will decrease taxes collected by New York. The second most populous state, Texas, is the inmigration leader among all states. Like Florida, Texas has no state income tax.

PG could go on, but that would be even more boring.

His point is that, at least in the United States, it is common practice for individuals and businesses to adjust their activities and select the location of their residences/headquarters based upon tax considerations.

Why should Amazon be any different?

Is anyone claiming that the financial inducements the officials of both the state and city of New York offered to Amazon were illegal? That those officials broke the law?

If the government officials acted legally in offering such financial inducements, did Amazon act illegally in accepting those inducements?

Should Amazon have acted in ways harmful to its financial interests (and the financial interests of its shareholders)?

From SCC Insight (Independent news and analysis of the Seattle City Council):

[W]ho owns Amazon? In a sense, everyone does: the stock is so widely held by mutual funds and ETFs, and especially index funds, that tens of millions of people own a slice of the company whether they are aware of it or not. Amazon stock is paying for kids to go to college and older Americans to live comfortably in their retirement; and yes, it’s also helping lots of rich people get even richer. By the way, the Seattle City Employees Retirement System is heavily invested in a Russell 1000 index fund (about $610 million as of last December), so Amazon’s success is contributing to our city employees’ future retirement as well.

Link to the rest at SCC Insight

PG is not an expert on the topic, but he would bet that every major public employees’ pension fund has a stake in Amazon’s financial well-being. Plus every major college or university endowment fund and employee pension fund. Plus the savings and investments of tens of millions ordinary Americans. And more than a few ordinary Canadians and Japanese. The list for a company the size of Amazon goes on and on.

Let’s assume Jeff Bezos wakes up one morning and decides he’s made enough money and Amazon has made enough money too.

The new Amazon is not only going to build its second headquarters in New York, it’s going to refuse to accept any government inducements it’s been offered. Instead of paying the amount of tax legally due to New York City and the state of New York, Amazon will voluntarily double those tax payments.

The new Amazon will double its tax payments to Seattle and the State of Washington and to the federal government. Instead of paying the amount it withholds from its employees’ paychecks for state and federal income taxes, Amazon is going to double that payment and pay the additional cost itself.

Amazon’s new policy is that it’s going to give money to federal, state and local governments to help fund the good works they do until the money runs out.

What’s that going to do to Amazon’s stock price and the investments of all of its shareholders (including the individuals who benefit because an institutional investor has purchased Amazon stock on their behalf). What about the future prospects of all of Amazon’s employees (over 600,000 and growing), including its warehouse employees and people who staff customer service?

Do the interests of those New Yorkers who think the city and state were giving too much away to Amazon trump the interests of all the people who benefit from the continuing health of Amazon’s business?

End of rant. PG will go lay down and take deep breaths for a few minutes.

 

 

Amazon Will Pay a Whopping $0 in Federal Taxes on $11.2 Billion Profits

16 February 2019

From Fortune:

Those wondering how many zeros Amazon, which is valued at nearly $800 billion, has to pay in federal taxes might be surprised to learn that its check to the IRS will read exactly $0.00.

According to a report published by the Institute on Taxation and Economic (ITEP) policy Wednesday, the e-tail/retail/tech/entertainment/everything giant won’t have to pay a cent in federal taxes for the second year in a row.

This tax-free break comes even though Amazon almost doubled its U.S. profits from $5.6 billion to $11.2 billion between 2017 and 2018.

To top it off, Amazon actually reported a $129 million 2018 federal income tax rebate—making its tax rate -1%.

. . . .

ITEP notes that its non-existent federal tax payment is a result of the Trump Administration’s corporation-friendly tax cuts. The think tank writes that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act not only decreased corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%, but it also didn’t close “a slew of tax loopholes that allow profitable companies to routinely avoid paying federal and state income taxes on almost half of their profits.”

Link to the rest at Fortune

PG apologizes for the annoying auto-play video with an accompanying audio track in the OP.

PG also notes that Amazon doesn’t write the federal or state tax codes and PG hasn’t seen any reports that Amazon has violated any of those laws.

As far as tax “loopholes” are concerned, one person’s loophole is another person’s reasonable provision for calculating a fair tax rate.

One of the most commonly-used deductions for individual taxpayers is the mortgage interest deduction. If an individual or couple purchased a home and borrowed money to help fund that purpose, the interest they pay on that loan is deductible from their gross income.

The rationale for this loophole is a belief by the elected representatives of the people that a great many benefits arise when citizens are able to purchase and own their homes. Community stability and the encouragement of civic virtues due to lower rates of transience within a community, encouragement for couples to have children, the benefits to those children (and future taxpayers) that arise from being able to grow up in a single home and attend neighborhood schools as compared to moving to a new location every one-two years due to rent increases on a rented residence, etc., etc., etc.

While there are counter-arguments, PG suggests the home mortgage deduction is highly-valued by a large majority of the adult population of the United States.

When dinosaurs walked the earth, PG took a couple of income tax law classes in law school and several of his classmates earned their Masters of Law in Taxation after completing regular law school.

The complexity and weirdness of the US tax laws cannot be overstated. There are tax attorneys in the United States who earn a good living for their entire careers by specializing in the application and avoidance of taxes imposed under a couple of provisions in the tax law that most people have never heard of and would have difficulty in understanding without extensive prior tutoring in the nearly impenetrable language and concepts and conflicting interpretations of such underlying those laws.

Each of the 50 states have their own individual tax laws and the potential number of unintended interactions between state and federal tax laws probably cannot be calculated.

Speaking only of the US tax laws, there are disagreements about how long they are. In 2015, the Tax Foundation said the Federal Tax Laws and Regulations total more than ten million words.

This figure includes the federal internal revenue code (2,412,000 words long) and federal tax regulations (7,655,000 words long). It does not include the substantial body of tax-related case law that is often vital to understanding the tax code.

The length of the federal tax code and regulations has grown steadily over the past sixty years. In 1955, the two documents were 1.4 million words in length. Since then, they have grown at a pace of about 144,500 words a year. Today, the federal tax code is roughly six times as long as it was in 1955, while federal tax regulations are about 2.5 times as long.

. . . .

Americans spend 6.1 billion hours and $233.8 billon complying with the tax code. Due to increasing tax complexity, over 90 percent of taxpayers now hire professional tax preparers or use tax preparation software.

Why is the federal tax code so complex? In part, it’s because politicians have used the tax code to administer dozens of areas of federal policy – from healthcare to energy to education. In part, it’s because defining income and determining tax liability are inherently difficult tasks. And, in part, it’s because politicians have not made any serious effort to simplify the federal tax code for at least thirty years, instead adding on new provisions on top of one another.

The federal tax laws are so lengthy that there are disputes about how long it actually is. Again, from The Tax Foundation in 2014:

Andrew Grossman, the legislation counsel for the Joint Committee on Taxation that helps write tax laws, attacked us in Slate yesterday for saying that the tax code runs 70,000 pages, countering that it’s “only” 2,600 pages.

. . . .

There’s the literal statutes that Congress has passed (Title 26 of the U.S. Code). The Government Printing Office sells it spread over two volumes, and according to them, book oneis 1,404 pages and book two is 1,248 pages, for a total of 2,652 pages. At perhaps 450 words per page, that puts the tax code at well over 1 million words. (By way of comparison, the King James Bible has 788,280 words; War and Peace runs 560,000 words; and the Harry Potter series is just over 1 million words.)

. . . .

However, a tax practitioner who relies just on the tax statutes will go to jail, because so much of federal tax law is in IRS regulations, revenue rulings, and other clarifications. Congress will set down a policy and leave it to the IRS to write all the rules to implement it. These regulations aren’t short: the National Taxpayer Advocate did a Microsoft Word word count of the tax statutes and IRS regulations in 2012, and came up with roughly 4 million words. Again at roughly 450 words per page, that comes out to around 9,000 pages. The National Taxpayer Advocate also noted that the tax code changed 4,680 times from 2001 to 2012, an average of once per day.

. . . .

But, a lawyer who relies just on cases and regulations isn’t a very good lawyer, because most court decisions are made on the basis of previously decided cases. The respected legal publisher Commerce Clearing House (CCH) puts out such a compilation, the Standard Federal Tax Reporterof 70,000 pages, with notations after each statute containing relevant cases and other information. CCH itself considers this volume to be representative of “the tax code,” since an expert needs to know all 70,000 pages to understand the tax code in full.

So, has Amazon paid its “fair share” of income taxes? PG is highly confident that Amazon has used well-qualified tax experts to prepare its tax returns and calculate its tax liabilities.

For a long time, Amazon had no taxable profits at all. Indeed, it had losses. One of the concepts contained in various parts of the federal income tax laws is a “tax loss carry-forward”. Investopedia describes this as follows:

A tax loss carryforward is a provision that allows a taxpayer to carry over a tax loss to future years to offset a profit. The tax loss carryforward can be claimed by an individual or a business in order to reduce any future tax payments.

Amazon operated at a loss for the first several years of its existence and very thin profits for a lengthy period of time thereafter. To the best of PG’s knowledge, Amazon received no material payments from the US government to help it survive during those years.

Absent the benefits of loss carryforwards during the first years of lean profits, it’s possible that Jeff Bezos would have given up on the possibility that Amazon was ever going to be worth the very hard work he was putting into the company and closed it down so he could spend time working in another more financially-rewarding business.

Amazon currently reports it has 613,300 employees. PG suspects Amazon pays far better wages than McDonald’s does and each of those employees pays individual federal income taxes. From the standpoint of federal government tax revenues, is it a good thing for a company to employ over half a million people who each pay taxes? Would the country be better off if Amazon paid some corporate income taxes, but only employed 50,000 people?

PG will also note that, for its US employees, the company pays a huge amount of money into Social Security and Medicare as its employer’s share of those taxes, which are based upon the wages of its employees.

Romance Bestsellers and Hot New Releases

14 February 2019
Comments Off on Romance Bestsellers and Hot New Releases

Kindle Romance Bestsellers

Here are Amazon’s Hot New Romance Releases Print/Kindle Combined), Updated Hourly:

Romance

Amazon Cancels HQ2 Plans in New York City

14 February 2019

From The Wall Street Journal:

Amazon.com Inc. is abandoning its plans to build a new headquarters in New York City after the company faced stiff resistance from some local politicians who objected to giving one of the world’s most valuable companies billions of dollars in tax incentives.

The company said in a blog post Thursday that its commitment to a new headquarters required supportive elected officials and collaboration.

“While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City,” the company said.

The decision to abandon its new headquarters in Long Island City marks a stunning reversal. Amazon spent a year conducting a public search for a second headquarters, in which hundreds of locations vied for a shot at a promised 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment.

. . . .

Amazon said it won’t reopen its headquarters search. It will continue to add jobs at its other headquarters location in Northern Virginia, as well as offices in Nashville and other tech hubs around the country, the company said.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal

Jeff Bezos chose Medium for possibly the most important blog post of his life

10 February 2019

From Mashable:

When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos dropped a bombshell blog post saying the National Enquirerwas attempting to blackmail him with nude photos, it immediately set the internet ablaze.

The lengthy post is full of scandalous details: not only does the National Enquirer have Bezos’ nudes (which are described in excruciatingly vivid detail), but the company allegedly used said photos to blackmail him into ending a Washington Post investigation into the tabloid. On Friday, AMI issued a statement claiming it had “acted lawfully” in pursuing the story and would investigate Bezos’ allegations.

Bezos’ post also notes the connections between Enquirer-publisher David Pecker, Donald Trump, and the Saudi government.

It’s enough to make anyone’s head explode.

But nearly as surprising is the fact that Bezos, a billionaire who owns The Washington Post, opted to self-publish on Medium.

. . . .

Though Medium has hosted a number of famous authors, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, it’s not exactly the place you’d expect the richest man in the world to air his blackmail-fueled dirty laundry.

Billionaire tech moguls tend to favor the op-ed pages of prestigious papers or their own websites, where they can ramble on as long as they like, without the nuisance of an outside editor. Yet Bezos turned to the free platform whose goal is to “fix” the media industry.

. . . .

The fallout from Bezos’ decision to make his Enquirer emails public is potentially huge. Legal experts are already speculating it could trigger a new round of investigations into parent company AMI. And while we don’t know what the consequences of Bezos’ disclosures will be yet, the fact is, whatever ends up happening: it all started on Medium.

Link to the rest at Mashable

What Happens When Billionaires Battle Gossipmongers?

9 February 2019

From The Washington Post:

Both men have gobs of money.

They didn’t make it the old-fashioned way, with steel and brick, but instead with big, disruptive, life-changing ideas.

After they got rich, after they’d achieved a titan status imaginable only in the digital age, that’s when the tabloids came for them.

And that’s when they went to war.

Theirs is a tale of two billionaires — Jeffrey P. Bezos of Amazon.com fame and Peter Thiel, who birthed PayPal. So different in style and temperament, the two men have each found their sex lives splashed in public against their wills in separate tabloid “gotchas.” But they have tangled with the merchants of salacity in completely opposite ways.

Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, blasted his disdain into the maw of the Internet, essentially delivering the equivalent of a lawyer’s opening statement with the entire planet sitting in the jury box. Thiel operated in sotto voce fashion, secretly maneuvering to exact revenge and not surfacing until he had triumphed.

Bezos is locked in a conflict with the National Enquirer, which last month published intimate text messages he’d sent to Lauren Sanchez, with whom he was having an extramarital affair, and photos of them together. In a Medium post Thursday, Bezos accused the supermarket tabloid, which is owned by American Media Inc., of blackmail and extortion for threatening to publish additional intimate photographs if he and his representatives did not agree to stop their investigation of the how the material was obtained. Bezos suggested that the tabloid, whose parent company is run by a friend of President Trump, had political motives to run stories about his affair. Trump has frequently attacked Bezos over his ownership of The Post.

Thiel’s battle took place against Gawker, the sassy and sometimes raunchy website that earned his eternal enmity by outing him as gay in 2007. He got back at the site in 2016 when he surreptitiously funded a successful lawsuit by Terry Bollea, better known as the wrestler Hulk Hogan, over the site’s 2012 publication of a tape depicting Bollea having sex. Gawker went out of business after a jury awarded $140 million in damages.

“They are two fundamentally different approaches to similar problems,” said Ryan Holiday, author of “Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue.”

When Thiel’s involvement in the Bollea case was revealed, Bezos was less than enthusiastic about his fellow tech titan’s actions. At a conference in June 2016, Bezos was asked about the Thiel-Gawker slugfest. He responded with an old saying: “Seek revenge and you should dig two graves, one for yourself.”

“Is that really how you want to spend your time?” Bezos went on to say. “As a public figure, the best defense to speech that you don’t like is to develop a thick skin.”

Those remarks came to mind for Bezos watchers after his posting on Medium, a self-publishing website.

. . . .

In the first paragraph of Bezos’s post, he frames his decision to publicize letters he had received from the National Enquirer as evidence of wrongdoing — a step beyond berating the tabloid for publishing details of his private life.

“Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten,” Bezos wrote.

The saga is drenched in a hailstorm of theories and counter-theories. Bezos’s team, headed by famed security consultant Gavin de Becker, has cast a suspicious eye on Michael Sanchez regarding the leak of the texts and photos. Sanchez is the brother of Bezos’s girlfriend, former TV host Lauren Sanchez. Michael Sanchez is a Trump supporter, and his potential involvement is part of a theory that the leak is a political hit.

. . . .

Both Sanchez and de Becker have, at times, explored the possibility that the text messages were obtained by a foreign government or a business competitor, according to interviews and a Post review of emails and text messages. Sanchez has even posited that Israel’s Mossad, British intelligence or the U.S. National Security Agency might be involved. (De Becker ultimately concluded that hacking was not involved.)

Link to the rest at The Washington Post

PG hopes he is wrong, but, more than once, he has had the feeling that, a few years down the road, we may look back on this series of events as a turning point for Amazon.

From the beginnings of Amazon, Bezos has put his distinctive personal stamp on the company in the same way that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates built very large companies which seemed to be reflections of their very different personalities.

Jobs, of course, was forced to give up his management position due to cancer while Gates retired from Microsoft in an orderly fashion, but neither company has been the same since the person with the dominant vision that drove its tremendous growth departed.

For PG, Microsoft has become the most boring large tech company in the world. Windows continues. MS Office continues. Like a power utility company, each relies primarily upon its quasi-monopoly position to keep the dollars rolling in.

New Microsoft products seem to be lame derivatives of products originated elsewhere. Microsoft Surface is an iPad wannabe. Why does Edge even exist? MS is into producing products and services that are derivative of its own ancient good ideas or the ideas of others.

On the other hand, Apple is much less boring because post-Jobs management has made the mistake of believing it can continue to raise prices without doing anything really new. Now it’s in the process of cutting prices on its iPhones and iPads to stem a significant decline in sales and the new ideas in mobile phones are all coming out of China.

So what do we make of Bezos and Amazon?

Has Bezos lost his mind? He’s supposed to be reliably brilliant.

The year is 2019 and intelligent people don’t take nude selfies and text them to other people. That’s a mistake that any intelligent sixteen-year-old who wants to get into a good college will not make.

Additionally, intelligent people haven’t gotten into big fights with The National Enquirer for decades. Bezos already bought The Washington Post. He should have purchased The National Enquirer and fired everybody he didn’t like.

When he spent a lot of his time in court, PG had to talk more than one client out of suing someone because the collateral damage to the client’s reputation would far exceed any monetary benefit the client would derive. On such occasions, he would sometimes quote George Bernard Shaw.

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

~ George Bernard Shaw

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