Posts belonging to Category taxation



The UK would vote to stay in the European Union by 53% to 47% if asked again.

45% of people support a People’s Vote on the final deal, while 34% do not

UK voters would back remaining in the European Union by 53% to 47% if a referendum was held now, according to a comprehensive new poll published today.

A YouGov survey for the ‘pro-remain People’s Vote campaign’ found that 45% want a say on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations with 34% opposed.

Exactly half of respondents said the final decision over whether to leave the EU without a deal should be taken by the public in a second referendum, while a quarter said the British parliament should decide.

Opponents of the UK’s exit from the bloc said the YouGov study of more than 10,000 adults showed public opinion was shifting.

https://www.rte.ie/

Berkshire Hathaway profit surges

Economy gives Buffett a boost

Berkshire Hathaway Inc, the conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett, on Saturday said quarterly operating profit rose 67 percent, as insurance underwriting rebounded and several business units benefited from a growing economy.

Results easily topped analyst forecasts. Underwriting profit at the Geico auto insurance unit more than quintupled, the BNSF railroad benefited from demand to ship consumer products, grain, petroleum and steel, and the Berkshire Hathaway Automotive car dealership financed more vehicle purchases.

“Good results across the board,” said Doug Kass, who runs the hedge fund Seabreeze Partners Management Inc in Palm Beach, Florida. He has previously sold Berkshire shares short, betting on a decline, but is not doing so now.

http://www.reuters.com

China Dethroned by Japan as World’s Second-Biggest Stock Market

Losing the ranking to Japan is the damage caused by the trade war

China just lost its ranking as the world’s number two stock market. After a Thursday slump, Chinese equities were worth $6.09 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with $6.17 trillion in Japan. The U.S. has the world’s largest stock market at just over $31 trillion.

China’s stock market overtook Japan’s in late 2014, then soared to an all-time high of more than $10 trillion in June 2015. Chinese equities and the nation’s currency have taken a beating this year amid a trade spat with the U.S., a government-led campaign to cut debt and a slowing economy.

http://www.bloomberg.com

Trump, EU agree to work on lowering tariffs

Averting a potential trade war

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the United States and the European Union had launched a “new phase” in their relationship, saying that the two major economies would start negotiations immediately on a number of areas that include working toward “zero tariffs” on industrial goods, and further cooperation on energy issues.
“We agreed today, first of all, to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies for the non-auto industrial goods,” Trump said at a joint press conference in the White House Rose Garden with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Trump did not address whether the two leaders had reached an agreement on car tariffs, though Juncker said that no new tariffs would be assessed as negotiations proceed. Economists have said that, among the major issues under discussion, tariffs on cars could be the biggest threat to the U.S. economy.

http://www.cnbc.com

Venezuela’s inflation rate may hit 1,000,000 percent

Hyperinflation in Venezuela

 When the International Monetary Fund predicted this year that hyperinflation in Venezuela could top 13,000 percent, it seemed as if the South American country’s economic outlook could not get any worse.

It just did. With the situation in the country deteriorating faster than expected, the IMF has unveiled a far more severe prognosis, saying that Venezuela’s hyperinflation is poised to reach an annualized rate of 1 million percent by year’s end. That inflation rate is set to catapult socialist Venezuela into a rogue’s gallery of nations that have suffered the worst inflation rates in history.

Venezuela’s “is one of the most severe hyperinflation situations that we’ve known about since the beginning of the 20th century,” said Robert Rennhack, deputy director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department.

http://www.washingtonpost.com

All-out trade war would lower earnings for US companies by 15%

60% probability that the U.S. imposes tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China

The acceleration of U.S. trade actions poses a risk to S&P 500 earnings through falling export revenues and rising input costs for American companies, according to Goldman Sachs. A 10 percent tariff on all imports from China would lower Goldman’s 2019 S&P 500 earnings per share estimate by 3 percent, Goldman Sachs chief U.S. equity strategist David Kostin wrote. If “tensions spread” and a 10 percent tariff were imposed on all U.S. imports, Goldman said, it would lower its 2019 EPS estimate by 15 percent to $145 a share.

“Tariffs benefit some domestic industries, but pose a risk to S&P 500 earnings through reduced revenues (lower exports) and weaker margins (higher input costs),” Kostin wrote. “Our economists now assign a 60 percent probability that the U.S. imposes tariffs on the recently targeted $200 billion of imports from China.” President Donald Trump and his administration have defended an initiative of “fair and reciprocal” trade in recent months, demanding that some of the nation’s economic allies offer the U.S. a better deal in an effort to curb Washington’s trade deficit and promote American exports.

http://www.cnbc.com

The City of London just suffered a major defeat from the EU over plans for Brexit

Major blow to the UK’s financial services sector

The European Union late last week dealt a major blow to the UK’s financial services sector in the lead up to Brexit, after negotiators rejected the plans for the sector laid out by the British government in Prime Minister Theresa May’s controversial white paper. According to a report from the Financial Times, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, last Friday told EU ministers that the financial services elements of May’s Brexit plans could not be accepted as they threatened to rob the bloc’s “decision-making autonomy” when it comes to finance.

The UK, earlier in July, proposed a new relationship between the highly interconnected financial services sectors of the UK and the EU that would involve a system of so-called “equivalence.” Under the plans in the white paper, the government said i t will seek to improve on existing requirements for equivalence of rules between the EU and outside countries.

Equivalence is a framework whereby the EU acknowledges that the legal, regulatory and supervisory regime of a non-EU country is as good as its own, and therefore allows that state access to the financial services sector within the bloc. Countries like Singapore and the USA already use a similar system to trade financial services with the EU.

http://www.businessinsider.com

BREXIT: Prepare for the worst

Brussels and Westminster run out of time

Even with the current heatwave and hosepipe ban, there is a chill in the air when it comes to Brexit. Repeat after me in a gravelly, Northern accent: “Winter is coming.” Britain is sweating under the pressure of a loud ticking countdown, and the EU is nervously glancing at its watch, looking away, and then frantically checking the time once again. Project Fear is becoming Project Reality as both Brussels and Westminster run out of time. Since Theresa May triggered Article 50 in March 29 last year, formally notifying the EU of Britain’s exit, the prime minister started a two-year process. In just two years, Britain would have to negotiate both its divorce and future relationship with the bloc.

In many ways, the British government has only got the ball rolling, producing its starting position on trade post-Brexit. And even then, it caused cabinet disarray, resulting in resignations from ministers including Brexit secretary David Davis and foreign secretary Boris Johnson. As time runs out, there are those who bracing themselves for the worst case scenario. Britain will leave the EU on March 29, 2019 (and with a transition period until December 31, 2020), but they could be doing so without completing a deal with the bloc.

EU fines Google a record $5 billion

Google’s practices restrict competition

European regulators came down hard on another U.S. tech giant Wednesday, fining Google a record $5 billion for forcing cellphone makers that use the company’s Android operating system to install Google search and browser apps.  The European Union said Google’s practices restrict competition and reduce choices for consumers.

While Google can easily afford the fine, the ruling could undermine the company’s business model, which relies on giving away its operating system in return for opportunities to sell ads and other products. Google immediately said it will appeal, arguing that its free operating system has led to lower-price phones and created competition with its chief rival, Apple.

Android has “created more choice for everyone, not less,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted .

Google has 90 days to put remedies in place regardless of its appeal — which could involve unbundling key apps and allowing Android handset manufacturers to sell devices using altered versions of Android.

Japan/EU trade agreement, ignoring Trump

The deal eliminates nearly all tariffs

The European Union and Japan are signing a widespread trade deal that will eliminate nearly all tariffs, seemingly defying the worries about trade tensions set off by President Donald Trump’s policies. The signing in Tokyo on Tuesday for the deal, largely reached late last year, is ceremonial. It was delayed from earlier this month because Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled going to Brussels over a disaster in southwestern Japan, caused by extremely heavy rainfall. More than 200 people died from flooding and landslides.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who arrived Monday, will also attend a gala dinner at the prime minister’s official residence.