Accountability reports on housing corporations

On 1 July 2009 the foundation for the reviewing of Dutch (social) housing corporations was created. The (Dutch language) official name is: Stichting Visitatie Woningcorporaties Nederland (SVWN). Its purpose is to create, develop and maintain an objective and independent accountability review system. The purpose of the external accountability review (Visitatie) is, that it allows (social) housing corporations to objectively report on their social responsibilities. All social housing corporations are required by (Dutch) law to have an external organisation conduct an accountability review every 4 years.

Information on the SVWN website is in the Dutch language only. You can find information on the organisation, accountability methodology, external organisations that write the accountability reports on the housing corporations, and accountability reports (visitatierapporten) themselves.

Starting from 2007 more than 350 reports are available on the SVWN website. I am not sure how complete the archive is. It may therefore be a good idea to use the website of the Centraal Fonds Volkshuisvesting (Central Foundation for Public housing) to find websites of housing corporations. Many of these also publish the latest accountability report on their own website. The CFV website also contains sector and market information on housing corporations in the Netherlands.


World Bank Commodity Prices – updates July/Aug

New and updated information on commodities have been published in the monthly pink sheets. The last three pink sheets can be downloaded through the website on commodity markets. They are available as PDF files. The World Bank also offers an updated complete historical monthly commodity price series starting from 1960. The overview can be downloaded as an excel file and has the new monthly price data up until July 2011.

The monthly pink sheets include monthly numbers on precious metals like Gold, Silver and Platinum. New is that the pink sheets now also include an index on Precious Metals!


Historical tax rates

A while ago I needed to find information on tax rates for a couple of countries and had some difficulty finding them in general commercial financial or economic databases. In the end even national bank websites or websites like the those of ministries of finance or the European Union, etc. usually only list the last tax rates or aggregated figures. Wikipedia examples of overviews are:

The World Bank also has information on taxes (no free access!) on their website: World Bank Total Tax rates. The US also has a nice website on taxes in different states, called: US Capital Gains Tax Rates.

What I wanted to find, however, were historical overviews of rates by type for several years. For instance: corporate and capital income taxes. After searching a bit further I finally found the following source for this type of information: the OECD Tax Database.