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Got a topic for our next Whiteboard video? Submit your ideas!

Help us break down complex financial topics into easy-to-understand analogies. Post a comment below with an idea for the topic of our next Whiteboard video and you could win a signed copy of Paddy Hirsch's new book "Man vs. Markets"

People who know me know I love two things: Explaining stuff to people and getting stuff for free. So it gives me great pleasure to combine these two loves by explaining to you how you how you can get something from me for free.

And that free thing is... a copy of my new book, Man vs. Markets. It explains all the basics and some of the not-so-basics about the financial system. Think of it as one of my Whiteboard videos on paper – with a fancy cover.

Post a comment and you could get free stuff
All you have to do is post a comment on this page suggesting an idea for an upcoming episode of the Whiteboard. Each week starting Friday Sept. 1 and continuing for the next few months, I’ll pick one person at random who left a comment and send them a signed copy of my book. And I’ll use your best ideas for future Whiteboard videos.

So post your comments with ideas – we need them, because without ideas, there’ll be no Whiteboards, and that could leave us all very badly needing a drink!

About the author

Paddy Hirsch is a Senior Editor at Marketplace and the creator and host of the Marketplace Whiteboard. Follow Paddy on Twitter @paddyhirsch and on facebook at www.facebook.com/paddyhirsch101

Help us break down complex financial topics into easy-to-understand analogies. Post a comment below with an idea for the topic of our next Whiteboard video and you could win a signed copy of Paddy Hirsch's new book "Man vs. Markets"

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Tax reform: What does it mean to "broaden the base"? What is the "effective tax rate?" What is "transfer pricing" and when is does it become a problem?

Can you demonstrate on the white board the effect of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (Banking act of 1933)/passage of Gramm-Leach-Bliley? Generally, did it effect a shift of risk from financial speculators to depositors? Did the repeal of Glass-Steagall/enactment of Gramm-Leach-Bliley contribute to the 2008 financial crisis, and if so, how? I think, whenever legislation promises long range salutary effect it is important to revisit the promise and the outcome at some remove of time.

This may seem elementary, but what is it with Swiss bank accounts anyway? Romney's got one and it's apparently making him look like a schmuck to a bunch of people. What's the history behind them and behind wealthy folks wanting to have them? What's the tax advantage; how to they stack up against US bank accounts?

I've always thought the reason for a Swiss bank account is to hide money. The implication is that a Swiss bank account hides wealth from tax collectors; the Swiss don't file a form 1099 with the IRS. Of course, the account holder could want to keep wealth secret from any number of entities for any number of reasons. Nothing about keeping money in a Swiss bank acount precludes the account owner from reporting to the IRS anything the tax code requires a U.S. citizen to report. In the context of a U.S. presidential campaign, though, Mr. Romney must weigh the consequences of revealing the actual reason he has the accounts against the consequences of telling the electorate it's none of our business, against the consequences of failing to disabuse voters of the impression he has them to dodge taxes (and that his declaired over-all tax rate of 15% is not even on all of his income).

How is the initial IPO share price set, and how close to its opening can it be changed?

How and why are Investment Advisers and Broker/Dealers regulated differently? Which regulator oversees each, and to what fiduciary standards are they held? Do they each have similar conflict of interest standards?

How does "free trade" work when it isn't actually "free"? (I.e., the softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the US.)

Why would a US company need an offshore corporation based in the British Virgin Islands? So, why would a company need HUNDREDS of offshore companies based in, for example, the BVI? It was said that ENRON had over 200 BVI corporations.

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