Money Daily Brief: US crackdown on tax havens causes scramble

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    The latest US move to track down Americans' foreign assets was an agreement announced Tuesday with Monaco that allows for the exchange of information on tax matters. Monte Carlo (pictured here) is the wealthiest of Monaco's administrative areas.
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– Updated 2:35 p.m. UTC (10:35 a.m. EDT)

US taxman cometh overseas: Ahead of the Sept. 23 deadline to disclose their undeclared offshore assets, thousands of expatriate Americans are scrambling for tax advice in foreign shores from London to Hong Kong. The move comes amid concerted US efforts to trace citizens' assets in tax havens, most recently Monaco.

US services: Revenues for the sector – the largest part of the US economy – fell in the second quarter,  but the seasonally adjusted drop was less than in the previous quarter. The declines from the first to the second quarter ranged from 0.4 percent for the information sector to 1.6 percent for professional, scientific, and technical services.

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Oil and gold: OPEC is likely to leave output unchanged when it meets on Wednesday, Algeria's oil minister said. At midday, oil hovered near $71 a barrel after soaring overnight when the US dollar dropped to its lowest value of the year against the euro. Inflation fears were behind the surge in gold prices, which on Tuesday traded above $1,000 an ounce for the first time since February.

International air travel is showing signs of stabilizing but may not recover until 2011, according to Boeing and Airbus executives. Boeing estimates this year's traffic will fall 6 to 8 percent.

Easy business: For the third consecutive year, Singapore emerged as the “easiest place for business,” according to the World Bank. Of the 131 countries surveyed, more than 70 percent reformed their business regulations amid the downturn, led by Rwanda.

My backyard: Unemployment figures may be high in much of the developed world, but a bumper recruiting season is expected in India between October and December, according to a survey. One in four Indian companies expected to be hiring, up from one in five earlier. The strongest sector for new jobs: wholesale and retail trade.

Anuj Chopra is a Monitor correspondent in Pune, India.

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