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  • With companies looking to avoid paying taxes on their profits, 83 of the largest firms kept $1.46T overseas in 2012, up 14.4% from the previous year, Bloomberg calculates. GE (GE) again had the most with $108B held offshore, up from $102B in 2011; Pfizer was second with $73B, after which came Microsoft (MSFT), Merck (MRK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and IBM (IBM). [View news story]
    I run a small retail company, and am delighted to pay taxes every year. It means that we operated succesfully, and we can help ouf communities and our country by supporting our schools, building our roads and infrastructure, protecting our environment, and making a world where all our children can grow up successfully, and compete internationally. Would we all not be better off if GE and Google and Goldman all felt that way, and acted that way? Is it intelligent to choose intense wealth in a country with increasing poverty? A better world for all of us is clearly a better world for ALL of us.
    Mar 10 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With companies looking to avoid paying taxes on their profits, 83 of the largest firms kept $1.46T overseas in 2012, up 14.4% from the previous year, Bloomberg calculates. GE (GE) again had the most with $108B held offshore, up from $102B in 2011; Pfizer was second with $73B, after which came Microsoft (MSFT), Merck (MRK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and IBM (IBM). [View news story]
    Good idea if the dividends were taxed at the same rate as earnings.
    Mar 10 12:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Swiss are voting in a referendum today on an "anti-fat cat" initiative that would allow investors to hold binding votes on executive pay at listed companies and allow them to block large payouts at the start or end of a manager's employment. The measure is expected to pass. Companies that will be affected include Novartis (NVS), Nestle, UBS, Credit Suisse (CS), ABB, Roche, Transocean (RIG) and Weatherford (WFT). [View news story]
    Democracy and large wealth divides are mutually exclusive. It's great to see the taking the lead in preserving democracy, and having a society that has mutual common interest. Go, Switzerland!

    When does the USA get that smart?
    Mar 4 12:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Credit in the U.S. ($56T and counting) is a supernova star, says Bill Gross - its expansion produces less and less heat and ultimately causes the star to consume itself. In the 1980's, it took $4 of new credit to create another $1 of GDP; over the last decade it's taken $10, and since 2006, $20. The comparison ends there, says Gross, as inflation rather than implosion lies ahead. Shorten duration, buy TIPs, look offshore for positive real rates of return. [View news story]
    The first question is when, not whether. Bill Gross' investment advice is always right. I hope we avoid a Geithner appointment to replace Benanke.

    The second question, and more important one, is how will our society adapt. It will be tough for all, but terrible for "the working class." Will they be treated with proper concern, or will they be relegated to a Dickensian life? If so, colleges and hospitals and many agencies that we view as critical now will disappear.
    Jan 31 01:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The yield on JGBs falls to 0.815%, the lowest level since 2003. Folks of a certain age will remember that summer and remember the seeming impossibility of that level. We're not only back, but the rest of the world is headed there too. German 10-year Bunds, 1.43%, U.S. 10-years, 1.71%. At the short end, Germany has gone even further, its 2-years yielding 0.05% vs. Japan at 0.10%.  [View news story]
    China's home values have dropped in some 2/3 of the cities surveyed, and maybe Jim Chanos is right. Finding upside momentum is difficult. And without that, there is no place to invest except Facebook (or maybe not!), and in a very stagnant, sick economic world, yield is return of capital. However, I still expect that the growing population, despite our worldwide efforts to reduce the economic ability of all but the top, will lead to more inflation. And that will change things to a return of most of capital. Bonds will then be less attractive than most commodities, and even some equities. Not everyone will do poorly. Our private company is doing quite well. Yields will go up. "When" is tougher". What does Jim Chanos think?
    May 18 03:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The yield on JGBs falls to 0.815%, the lowest level since 2003. Folks of a certain age will remember that summer and remember the seeming impossibility of that level. We're not only back, but the rest of the world is headed there too. German 10-year Bunds, 1.43%, U.S. 10-years, 1.71%. At the short end, Germany has gone even further, its 2-years yielding 0.05% vs. Japan at 0.10%.  [View news story]
    A majority of Chinese cities surveyed showed declining home prices. Jim Chanos is right. If China does not provide investment opportunity, few places will. That would indicate persistent world wide low interest rates, if someone wants a return of capital. However, if the growing world population, despite the fact that most have less economic leverage on a cyclical basis, is able to satisfy their needs to some degree, inflation is inevitable. And that must lead to inflation (another way of saying "currency depreciation".). My long standing bets on gold have been very positive, other commodity bets mixed, and TMV and TBT quite negative. There is an internal steady drain on these instruments. But if we are not headed for long-term poverty, rates must rise. What does Jim Chanos think?
    May 18 03:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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