Saturday, October 7, 2017

Lagarde: The revival of the world economy is lasting

"The long-awaited global revival of the economy is lasting," and three-fourths of countries around the world enjoy economic recovery within the broadest acceleration of growth since the beginning of the decade, Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said. This means more jobs and improved living standards in many areas of the world, Lagarde said in a speech to students at Harvard University, quoted by AFP. IMF Managing Director assumed that the financial agency, which has 189 member countries, is likely to improve its prospects for global growth when it publishes its next forecast next week. 
"We see that such an expected world revival is a well-established fact," Lagarde said. In July, the IMF predicts global economy growth of 3.5 per cent this year and 3.6 per cent in 2018 - the fastest growth since 2011. 
But at the same time, Lagarde stressed that last year, in 47 countries, Gross Domestic Product per capita has decreased and the gap between the rich and the poor has continued to increase. It has urged countries to take advantage of the improved opportunities to generate reforms that can to promote prosperity. In her view, the key question now is how to make use of the opportunity offered by this revival to ensure the revival and to create an economy that benefits more people. 

Donald Trump is about to cancel Obama's "clean energy"

US President Donald Trump's government will overturn the cornerstone in his predecessor Barack Obama's measures to slow down global warming. This will be done by alleviating greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, the Associated Press reports. The new government plan is expected to be presented within days.
It provides for the US Environmental Protection Agency to declare that the rules of the Obama era contradict federal legislation, imposing emission standards for which there is no reasonable reason to believe that they can be met. The Associated Press has obtained a copy of the 43-page document. It also shows the efforts of the US government to revive the troublesome coal industry, BTA writes. With this new proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency, Tramp's election promise to put an end to Obama's measures to curb global warming is in practice. It also emerges after the current US president has promised to pull out his country from the Paris climate treaty, the Associated Press reports. The Environmental Protection Agency will not immediately propose new rules to replace those of Obama's time, but will want to initiate public debates on the issue of reducing emissions from coal and natural gas plants. 
A spokeswoman for the agency refuses to comment on the authenticity of the leaked document, but says the Obama administration has exceeded its powers too much by introducing its rules. These standards from the time of the previous US president are known as the Clean Energy Plan

Over 90% of the Catalans supported the province's independence

About 90.18 percent of voters in the referendum voted on the independence of Catalonia on October 1, Reuters reports, referring to the final census results released by the government of the Spanish Autonomous Region.
Against the separation with Madrid, 7.83 percent of respondents in the referendum declared themselves. A total of 2.28 million people out of a total of 5.3 million voted in Catalonia. Catalan leader Carles Puccademon will address the regional parliament on Tuesday in connection with "the current political situation," a government spokesman said. The plenary session is scheduled to begin at 18:00 local time, despite the ban on the Spanish Constitutional Court. The Spanish Interior Ministry has meanwhile decided to extend the stay of Civil Guard and National Police officers in Catalonia by October 18, according to BTA. Force troops were sent to the Autonomous Region as part of an operation to solve the separatist problem. Initially, they were supposed to stay in Catalonia until October 11, but the leadership of the police and the Civil Guard now consider it necessary to extend their deployment in the area, the newspaper said. The Spanish Interior Ministry sent about 6,000 guards and police officers to Catalunya as part of the operation. There are still 6,000 people on a regular basis.

The S & P 500 ended the 8-day winning streak

US stock indices recorded mainly declines on Friday after disappointing labor market data, which revealed a drop in employment in the country for the first time in seven years. The blue Dow Jones industrial average index fell by 6 points, while Chevron and Boeing contributed most to the losses. 
The broader S & P 500 index shrank 0.1%, with the losers in the primary consumer goods and telecommunications sector. Thus, the index ended the eight-day winning series - the longest four-year series - and a series of six consecutive record-breaking closures, the longest series since 1997. 
The Nasdaq composite tech index managed to see a slight increase of 0.07%. 
The US labor market has lost 33,000 jobs in September, largely due to the two major hurricanes that hit the country in the month. This is the first drop in US employment since 2010. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected an increase of 90,000 jobs. Despite the decline in employment, average hourly wage increased at an annual rate of 2.9%. The unemployment rate has shrunk to a 16-year low of 4.2 percent. Return on US Treasury bills jumped after data were released. This 10-year paper reached 2.362%, and two-yearly - 1.51%, the highest level since 2008. 
"We all knew the report would be confusing for the distortions of hurricanes Harvey and Irma," said Richard Pickirllo, managing director of PGIM Fixed Income, to CNBC. "Despite the distortions, the average hourly wage is rising and unemployment is shrinking, and I think the bond market is reacting to that."
The main US indices recorded strong increases for the week, rising by more than 1%.

Kaplan: I'm open to raising interest rates in the US in December

Federal Reserve Chairman Dallas Robert Kaplan told CNBC on Friday he was "open" to raise interest rates in December, but is still not entirely convinced of it, the media said. Kaplan, who has voted in the Federal Open Market Commission this year, said the labor market is tightening despite weak employment figures in September, which showed a monthly decline for the first time in seven years. "We knew the September figures would be affected by Hurricane Harvey and, to some extent, Irma. And they really are, "Kaplan said.
"I prefer to look at three- to six- to nine-month trends. I think that much of the decline in jobs will, in my opinion, be temporary, "he said. The consensus estimate among economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters showed employment growth of 90,000 jobs in September. Unemployment has fallen to 4.2%. The next Fed meeting is October 31 and November 1, but markets do not expect interest rates to rise then. According to the market, however, the chances of a third rises in interest rates in 2017 are about 90% for the Fed's last Fed meeting scheduled for December 12-13, according to CME FedWatch. 
"I'm open for December, but I'm not sure," Kaplan said. As for the following year, however, he said: "We can afford to be patient."
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Patrick Harker, Fed Chairman of Philadelphia, said he expects interest rates to rise in December and three more in the next year, depending on how dynamics turns out to be. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Four scenarios for the crisis between the United States and North Korea

The first is a military collision. Everyone hopes, at least in words, to be avoided, yet hypotheses and scenarios are not missing. And probably preparation. The presumed likely beginning is a US preemptive strike on Korean military bases. The end - Chinese troops entering the ravaged country. The second is to regulate the problem through concessions, reflecting in particular the Chinese position, but also the Russian point of view: only diplomatic actions and forced bilateral de-sessions.
The third attempts to "sever the sanctions" of the North Korean regime, for which the United States is already taking the "maximum pressure" campaign and enjoying relatively broad international support. This time can be continued, but at risk of Pyongyang pressing against the wall to provoke the "man-rocket". The fourth scenario is "freezing", keeping calm, despite the tension, expecting tides of new provocations and outflows of relative lull without everything seeming like a continuing escalation. Obviously, you can only be certain "to time". Despite unusually radical statements, there is room for maneuvering. Two examples. The threats from the North Korean side that there is a blow to Guam have been revised and de facto withdrawn. And the extremely risky move, claiming that the United States had already started the war, received a US rebuttal, which showed that Washington is not yet ready to go all the way. We have also recently learned that Washington also has a direct connection channel with Pyongyang.

The United States is investing another $ 440 million in defense for North Korea

The Pentagon has demanded a reallocation of funds from the current US budget so as not to wait until the new one is adopted. The US is also investing $ 440 million in missile defense, including the increase in missile interceptors, The Hindu newspaper reported.
The information comes amid strong North Korea's efforts to develop a nuclear missile capable of reaching US territory. Because of the urgency of the situation, the Pentagon has asked Congress to allow a reallocation of funds from the current budget rather than waiting for the next defense budget. Prior to the financial injection, the US Department of Defense already had $ 8.2 billion for missile defense in its budget. On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced a $ 367m redeployment, with the remaining $ 73m expected to be announced in the coming days. Meanwhile, Pyongyang is advancing with its missile and nuclear program development programs, and analysts ask whether the Pentagon has developed missile defense capabilities that can handle the North Korean threat.

Who are the richest Germans

Bilanz magazine publishes the ranking of the richest 1000 people in the country. There are a total of 195 billionaires in Germany, according to Bilanz magazine. For the first time, it publishes a ranking of the richest 1000 Germans, reports Deutsche Welle. See who's taking the first six places and how they've grown their wealth.

The Empire of Dieter Schwarz

The wealth of the 77-year-old founder of the German chain Lidl supermarket, which has become a global player, is estimated at 37 billion euros. This makes Dieter Schwarz the richest German of all time. He opened his first store in the 1970s in Ludwigshafen, and then gradually expanded the chain around the world. This year in the United States, where Lidl competes with Walmart.

Reimen's family

Bilanz Magazine ranks second with the Reiman family - a 30 billion-euro state. She owns a number of brands, including the Wella hair cosmetics series, Clearasil acne preparations, Jimmy Choo shoes, and many others. Its business started in the 19th century as a chemical company, and today it is a conglomerate of companies.
They are the owners of the Sheffler Group - one of the major suppliers to the automotive industry. Elizabeth Sheffler-Thumen and her son Georg (right) hold the controlling stake in the German Continental tire manufacturer. Their wealth is valued at around 25.5 million euros, giving them the third place among the richest German families.

Karl Albrecht and a family

Aldi is one of Germany's most powerful dishonest chains of supermarkets. The family of Carl Albrecht, who died in 2014, heads the southern branch of the company (Aldi Süd). With a fortune of 23 billion euros, the family ranks fourth in the ranking of the "Bilanz" magazine. Not only in Germany, Aldi is one of the main competitors of Lidl.

The heirs of Theo Albrecht

The heirs of Aldi co-founder Theo Albrecht are owners of the Aldi Nord chain and are involved in the global operations of the concern. It also includes Trader Joe in the United States. Their state is valued at 18.5 billion euros - fifth in the ranking of the richest German families.
Automobile giant BMW, pharmaceutical and chemical company Alatana, producer of carbon products SGL - only three of the crown jewelery of Susanne Clinton, daughter of the former largest BMB shareholder, Herbert Quant. Her fortune is estimated at 18.5 billion euros

Canada facilitates the acquisition of citizenship for permanent residents

The changes provide for a reduction in the length of stay in Canadian territory. Canada plans to facilitate access to Canadian citizenship for permanent residents in the country by amending the Immigration Act. It is due to come into force on October 11, the Canadian government quoted AFP and BGNES as saying. Ю
The changes provide for a reduction in the length of stay in Canadian territory in order for a person to have the right to apply for citizenship, as well as a possibility for temporary residents such as foreign students. In its current form, the law requires permanent residents to live on the territory of the country for four consecutive years of the six, after which they have the right to file citizenship documents. Now, with the changes, this period falls three consecutive years out of five in order to get a Canadian passport. For this period, residents must also have income tax returns. "The aim of these changes is to remove restrictions and obstacles to people with permanent residency status," said Minister of Immigration Affairs Ahmed Hussein. He specified that the government wants all permanent residents in Canada to become Canadian citizens. 

The speech of the Spanish King has stepped up supporters of independent Catalonia

The Spanish Supreme Court has called for the head of the Catalonian police to be the witness. The Catalan leaders who declare independence continue to pursue their goal despite the unequivocal warning of King Felipe VI of Spain.
Catalunya Spanish President Carles Puccémon told the BBC that he would declare independence "at the end of this week or the beginning of the next." King Felipe VI described the referendum on Sunday as illegal and undemocratic. According to correspondents in Spain, the monarch's refusal to recognize the repressive violence on the part of the Madrid authorities against voting has annoyed supporters of independence rather than discouraging them. At the same time, the Spanish Supreme Court summoned the head of the Catalan regional police to testify as a suspect in an investigation into alleged unrest, including a rebellion against the state.

The Commission has made a major change to the VAT system

The tax will already be paid in the country where the item is sold. The European Commission is preparing the biggest changes in value-added tax for a quarter of a century. VAT is also proposed for cross-border trade in the European Union (EU) and companies will be able to submit one-stop-shop declarations via an online portal in their own language.
"Twenty-five years after the creation of the single market, companies and consumers still face 28 different VAT regimes in cross-border operations. Criminals and possibly terrorists have long used these omissions by organizing fraud, "said Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Commissioner Pierre Moscovis.
"This anachronistic system based on national borders must end. Member States should consider cross-border VAT transactions as domestic operations on our domestic market by 2022. This will make life easier for EU companies doing cross-border trade, reduce bureaucracy and simplify VAT procedures, "the EU commissioner . Four amendments are proposed to enter into force as from 2019. These measures are explicitly requested by Member States to improve the day-to-day operation of the current VAT system until the final regime is fully negotiated and implemented.
They include:Tackling fraud: VAT will be charged on cross-border trade between businesses. This kind of trade is currently exempt from VAT, providing a simple loophole for unscrupulous companies to collect VAT and then disappear without transferring government money.
One-way shop: For companies that sell across borders, it will be easier to handle their VAT obligations through a one-stop shop. Merchants will be able to make declarations and payments using a single online portal in their own language and according to the same rules and administrative templates as in their home country. Next, Member States will pay directly to VAT, as is true for all sales of electronic services. Greater consistency: a transition to the 'destination' principle, where the final VAT is always paid to the Member State of the final consumer and is charged at the rate of that Member State. This is a long-standing commitment of the European Commission, supported by the Member States. It is already in force for the sale of electronic services.Less bureaucracy: simplification of billing rules, which allows vendors to draw invoices according to their own country rules, even when doing cross-border trading. Companies will no longer need to produce a list of cross-border transactions for their tax authorities (the so-called Recapitulative Statement). Today's proposal also introduces the notion of "certified taxable person" - a category of trusted business that will benefit from much simpler and time-saving rules. Four "quick fixes" were also proposed to enter into force by 2019. These short-term measures were explicitly requested by the Member States to improve the day-to-day operation of the current VAT system until the definitive regime has been fully negotiated and implemented. According to the EC estimates, over € 150 billion of VAT is lost each year, meaning that Member States omit revenue that could be used for schools, roads and healthcare. Of these, around € 50 billion - or € 100 per EU citizen each year - is expected to be due to cross-border VAT fraud. This money can be used to fund criminal organizations, including terrorism. It is estimated that this amount will be reduced by 80% thanks to the proposed reform.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Amazon has to return 250 million euros to Luxembourg

The Commission did not fine the company, but ordered it to return about 250m euros to Luxembourg, as well as interest. The European Commission (EC) said the US online merchant Amazon has received tax breaks from Luxembourg for a total of about 250 m euros. According to the European Union rules on state aid, this is illegal and the country is told that the sum should be reimbursed, writes Engadget. Amazon has agreed to pay the simplified taxes to interest. Jeff Bezos's company has managed to pay considerably less taxes. "Following an in-depth investigation commenced in October 2014, the Commission found that a tax decision issued by Luxembourg in 2003 and extended in 2011 has lowered the tax paid by Amazon there without any valid justification", commented EU Commissioner Margrete Vestagger.
Although the Commission does not fine Amazon, it has ordered the company to reimburse the simplified amount "in order to eliminate the distortion of competition created by the aid provided". The Commission has calculated the difference between what the company has paid and what Amazon actually owes to Luxembourg. The amount is about 250 million euros ($ 294 million), and the interest is also due. The Tax Administration of the Kingdom is obliged to determine the exact amount of unpaid tax. Recall that at the end of June this year, the EC fined another major US technology company - Google - 
with EUR 2.42 billion after a seven-year investigation of allegations that the technology giant has abused the monopoly used in internet search. The fine remains the largest imposed so far by the EU executive. 
Today, the EC has announced that the European Court will consider another case related to tax concessions granted by states to large companies. This is the technology giant Apple, which has received preferences from Ireland, and has thus managed to avoid tax payments of 13 billion euros.

The European Commission is sending Ireland to court for Apple

According to the EC, the state provides the technology giant with unlawful aid. .The European Commission has given court to Ireland for the tax relief it has given Apple, Reuters reports. In 2016, the Commission ordered Dublin to return the 13 billion-euro simplified tax, as this constitutes unlawful State aid. So far, however, this has not happened. "More than a year after the Commission has adopted this decision, Ireland has not yet recovered the money, even in part," EU competition commissioner Margret Vestagger said in a statement today. "We understand that recovery in some cases may be more complicated than in others, and we are always ready to help, but Member States need to make enough progress to restore competition," she added.
The Commission said Ireland's deadline for returning money was January 3, 2017. It was also clear that Apple is still benefiting from special tax breaks in Ireland.