Courtesy of LM (spy that beard) who is writing and reading trends and patterns on the hot Mekong River: We have the very surprising news that Apple has made a tax settlement with Italy. A large one too: to the extent of $348 million (€318 million). Given that almost all of the tech giants, and many other companies as well, use much the same arrangements that Apple does and has done this doesn’t bode well for the Googles, Facebooks and Microsofts of this world. For if one European Union government has been able to do this then given the extreme similarity of the basic structure of the tax laws governing inter-EU trade then it’s highly likely that the same can be done to all of them and in all the different countries. That would also be rather a blow to Apple itself of course. Bad Biblical Apple in Italy
Finance people are conditioned to see finance as more important than it is….although financiers have done a remarkable job over the last three decades of making finance more important than it ought to be. It’s noteworthy when someone who does not see themselves as a finance person to predict that the big story of the upcoming year will be deflation. And that’s more a finance story than a macroeconomic story. It is the result of central banks playing a large role in weakening labor bargaining power, of aggrandizing their role by playing to the fantasy that monetary policy can do more to stimulate growth than it really does, and by backing themselves into the ZIRP/QE corner in their effort, as much as possible, to restore status quo ante in the banking system. Stephen Roach came to similar grim conclusions about how the Fed is choosing to back its way out of ZIRP
However, Roach thinks the Fed might be able to prevent a train wreck if it weans investors of the Greenspan/Bernanke/Yellen put. Even if he were right, I can’t imagine this Fed ever doing that.
By Raúl Ilargi Meijer, editor-in-chief of The Automatic Earth. Originally published at Automatic Earth: Ilargi: 2016 Is An Easy Year To Predict
2016 predictions: the emoji edition Wired. With translations.*My prediction for 2016
The 2016 Fortune Crystal Ball Fortune
Five Tech Predictions for the Year Ahead WSJ
Cybersecurity predictions for 2016 USA Today
2016 Predictions: A Look Ahead at the Future of War Defense One
China’s economy: Seven predictions for 2016 Los Angeles Times
For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions New York Times “She sells Seychelles sea shells by the sea shore”
The Money Network of Malaysian Politics Wall Street Journal
Dancing With Wolves: Why Chinese Traders Love Manipulated Stocks Bloomberg
Normally, in December, the women of Japan can be found huddled around cafe and 居酒屋 (izakaya, pub) tables, wondering aloud why our fellow countrymen are so unlovable, undateable and impossible to live with for longer than five years without losing our minds...
You know that boy from high school you’ll always love, no matter how old he gets or what else goes on in your life? Masaharu Fukuyama, aka “Masha,” is that boy. When he — at 46 — announced his marriage to 33-year-old actress Kazue Fukiishi in September, much of the female populace of Japan broke down and wept.
The phenomenon known as 福山ロス (Fukuyama rosu, “Fukuyama loss”) swept across the archipelago, and I know of no less than five women who went into mourning and ditched their 家事 (kaji, household chores) duties, thereby throwing their menfolk into utter consternation. One of them was my sister-in-law, and though she professes to be recovering, her husband (my oldest brother) says dinner still consists of チンした肉団子 (chin-shita nikudango, microwaved meatballs). Bear with it, bro. Remembering men we loved (and one we ‘lost’) in 2015 AMEN