Repatriation Of The Dollar

When Trump was running as a GOP candidate he made a few promises that I thought I could get behind (that does not mean that I would have voted for him just that I thought they were good policies)……most of these policies were in the field of diplomacy and international relations….but there was one that I thought was excellent but did not think he could accomplish…..the promise of the return of funds held by American corporations in offshore accounts…..

But I was mistaken….there seems to be a bunch of cash returning to our shores……

U.S. companies have sent home over half a trillion dollars of cash they held overseas in 2018 to take advantage of tax changes, but data suggest the pace is slowing, potentially removing a key source of support for Wall Street.

Dollar repatriation in the July-September period fell to $93 billion, around half of second-quarter volumes and less than a third of the $300 billion or so sent home from January to March, U.S. current account data shows.

The repatriation bonanza followed new regulations that allowed the U.S. government to tax profits accumulated overseas, regardless of where the money was held. Prior rules allowed companies to “defer” U.S. tax on worldwide profits unless they repatriated the money.

The change offered a powerful incentive to bring home some of the $3 trillion U.S. firms were believed to hold in jurisdictions ranging from Ireland to Switzerland, either in cash or in securities such as U.S. Treasuries.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-us-repatriation-companies-idUSKCN1OU0ME

A good start but I still do not see all that offshore cash coming home……do you?  Plus I have not heard a plan to stop this practice, have you?

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New Years Day News–2019

Before I shut it down for the day…..let us look into the year, 2019…..

First, you heard that GM was shutting down plants and laying off people, right?  Well 2019 will see the end of several models of cars that have become sort of iconic….

  • Cadillac ATS
  • Cadillac CTS
  • Cadillac XTS
  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Ford C-Max
  • Ford Focus
  • Ford Taurus
  • Honda CR-Z
  • Hyundai Azera
  • Nissan Juke
  • Toyota Prius V
  • Volkswagen Beetle
  • Volkswagen Touareg

See what other cars are leaving the production line here. (The “surprise” among GM’s discontinued vehicles.)

I own a Ford Focus and it is a great car it has been reliable for 15 years…..but I guess they are not profitable in the SUV generations….I hate fads and trends.

Since I am a international relations geek there are some conflicts that need watching so that the US will not be drawn in (some we are already ass deep)……

Instruments of collective action, such as the UN Security Council, are paralysed; those of collective accountability, including the International Criminal Court, are ignored and disparaged.

Nostalgia can be deceptive. Too fond a portrayal of the era of Western hegemony would be misleading. Iraq’s chemical weapons use against Iran in the 1980s; the 1990s bloodletting in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Somalia; the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; Sri Lanka’s brutal 2009 campaign against the Tamils; and the collapse of Libya and South Sudan: all these happened at a time of – in some cases because of – U.S. dominance and a reasonably coherent West. A liberal and nominally rules-based order hardly stopped those setting the rules from discarding them when they saw fit. The erosion of Western influence, in short, looks different from Moscow, Beijing, and the developing world than it does from Brussels, London, or Washington.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/global/10-conflicts-watch-2019

This will be overlooked I fear….but not to worry someone will pick up the coverage when it is too late to stop it.

Every American knows that National Security is primary to any president or Congress…..these are the 5 NatSec concerns for 2019…..

Trouble with Russia and China top the list.

Winston Churchill once wisecracked that the politician’s job is to predict what will happen—then explain why it didn’t. More to the point, George Orwell mocked “the unsinkable Military Expert” who keeps venturing strong predictions about martial affairs, keeps getting forecasts wrong, and keeps drawing “fat salaries” despite repeated failures as a soothsayer. Be humble when prophesying—lest the ghosts of wars past appear before you and terrify you!

In that spirit of humility, my Five National Security Predictions for 2019:

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/12/31/5_big_national_security_predictions_for_2019_114068.html

2019 will be an interesting year but more so on the international stage than any other…..we will be watching and reporting….

**********A parting thought……2019–the Dems take control of the House…and now DEFICITS will matter.*********

One more thing……

Have a day and a good day of rest and hangover remedies…..

The Markets Made Me Do It!

Christmas is in the rear view mirror…..shopping has replaced religious thoughts with the dreams of “deals”….so what has this world wrought?

In case you were too busy trying to decide what to buy for Uncle Cletus…..the financial markets have taken a beaten…..down 1600+ points just last week….and the news does not look any better for this week….

So much for the Santa rally on Wall Street. The stock market tanked again Monday in a short trading day, making for one of its worst Christmas Eves on record, per the Washington Post. The Dow fell 653, or 2.9%, to 21,792; the S&P 500 fell 65, or 2.7%, to 2,351; and the NASDAQ fell 140, or 2.2%, to 6,192. The day’s selloff worsened after President Trump took to Twitter to blast the Fed as “the only problem our economy has,” notes the Wall Street Journal. The bleak numbers also came after Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin tried to soothe the markets before they opened, but his reassurance might have backfired.

Our dynamite Sec Treasury….that Mnuchin dude tried to soothe the savage economic beast by calling around…..

Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin made an unusual move over the weekend in an attempt to soothe rattled financial markets. But based on the stock market’s open, it appears that Mnuchin’s call to the CEO of the six largest US banks didn’t help. In fact, one financial analyst tells CNN that the call—meant to reassure the banks that all was well—might have actually spooked markets even more. Whatever the reason, the Dow plunged more than 400 points in the first hour of trading, threatening to dip below 22,000. As of 10:20am, the Dow was down 332, or 1.5%, and the S&P 500 (1.5%) and Nasdaq (1.1%) were similarly in the red. (The market woes reportedly have President Trump wondering about firing the Fed chief.)

It appears that the blame is Fed Chair and now the Sec Treas Trump is ranting that these people are to blame…..

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could become the latest White House official to get the boot. President Donald Trump has been souring on Mnuchin for some time now and the continued decline in the stock markets could be the final straw, reports Bloomberg. One source told Bloomberg that the president has considered firing Mnuchin while another said that whether he stays on or not will depend in large part on what happens to the markets.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/12/trump-is-reportedly-considering-firing-mnuchin-over-stock-market-declines.html

Mnuchin is not someone that I would ever support but in this case this toad is NOT to blame…..it is the disgusting economic policies of a person that tells everyone he is a genius…..and the markets do not trust him either……his attempt to calm things cost the markets another 600 points.

And if that does not work then he is considering firing the Fed Chair…..another person that did not create a terrible market atmosphere…..

I love when egocentric slugs blame people around him for the problems the fool created…..

The markets will be a telling story….

How fast can Mr. Trump tap dance?

Chipping The Workers!

I am a dog person and I love my friends so I have them micro-chipped so they can be quickly identified and they can be returned home in the shortest space of time safely.

Look at that face!

It is wonderful technology……but only it used properly.

But would you consider being micro-chipped by your employer?

The prospect of UK firms implanting their staff with microchips in order to improve security and efficiency has raised concerns among trade unions.

Several legal and financial firms in the UK are reportedly in discussions with a company responsible for fitting thousands of people with chips in Scandinavia.

The chips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, are usually implanted beneath the skin between the thumb and forefinger and use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to allow people to replace physical key cards, IDs and even train tickets.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/microchip-uk-workers-employees-privacy-bioteq-biohax-cbi-tuc-trade-union-a8629656.html

Personally, I do not want my employer chipping me….that would give they way too much control over my life….a control that they want to possess.

Anyone else have a thought on this?

Then I shall say TTFN…be well. be safe……chuq

Shop Local Sunday

I have been thinking about stuff….not important stuff….just stuff in general……Mo has been NO help she keeps thinking my planters are play toys…..

I watch MSNBC and on weekends they have a show about your business and how to make it succeed.  They are big supporters of the “shop locally” movement….this is where people go out on weekends and shop in only Mom and Pop stores….showing them support.

But these days is there truly any way to save those Mom and Pop stores?

Probably not!

If you want to understand “retail death” — and I’m using quotes here because the concept of buying and selling things is very much alive — all you have to do is look at one very specific street.

In the ’90s, the stretch of Bleecker Street that snakes north through New York City’s Greenwich Village was home to dozens of independently owned bookshops, sex shops, antique stores, and framing galleries. But the death knell rang when the luxury fashion house Marc Jacobs decided to settle there in 2001, the year after the nearby Magnolia Bakery was featured in an episode of Sex and the City.

Within the next 10 years, 44 of those original neighborhood businesses would close to make space for the chains and luxury boutiques that followed. By now, the big brands have moved on, leaving nearly a quarter of storefronts sitting vacant for months on end and asking sky-high rents that small businesses can’t afford. The only ones that can are major developers.

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/10/16/17980424/shop-local-jeremiah-moss

Sad for I remember my area and the stores and restaurants that have disappeared and replaced with corporate  crap…..bars, neighborhood bars, are all but gone from the area…..great eateries gone because they could not compete with Pizza Crap all you can eat for 5 bucks…..people did this!

Time to let Mo do her thing and me to try and figure out where to put the radishes….

Peace out guys…..see you tomorrow…..chuq

Saturday–20Oct18

My weekend begins with some well needed cooler weather…..MO, my new pup, is having a blast with the cooler temps…..she cannot stop running….I am spending some time in the garden planting radishes, carrots and green onions…..with her help.

Sad News!

I heard the news the other day…Sears is going bankrupt…..

Sears filed for bankruptcy Monday morning, marking what might be the beginning of the end of one of the most remarkable business stories in American history. As the AP explains, the big question is whether the chain will go away for good or emerge as a smaller version of itself. One tangible result that consumers can expect to see soon: liquidation sales at the 142 unprofitable stores set to be closed by the end of this year—in addition to the 46 closures previously announced.

This news made me wax nostalgic.

These days everyone shops on-line and then waits for the mailman to deliver their item…..the sign of the times, right?

Well, you do realize that Sears and Montgomery Ward pretty much invented mail order merchandise, right?

When I was young and living in Spain we ordered damn near everything from Sears…clothes, kitchen items, etc…….our internet buying is nothing new….just the techniques of how the merchandise is ordered….we still depend on the mail for our delivery.

Some are asking what went wrong at Sears…..Business Insider tackles the question……

https://www.businessinsider.com/sears-failing-stores-closing-edward-lampert-bankruptcy-chances-2017-1

Too many these days forget the service that Sears delivered (no pun intended) to American society.

Many today do not remember or even know he anticipation of the wait for that cherished item in delivery….now we take all that for granted.

Sad to see them, Sears, go the way of the dodo.

In closing….have you heard the excuse from the Saudis over the death of the journalist?  If you want a good laugh…….they finally have a story that makes them look like the victim and the man in pieces in a bag is at fault.  LYING TOADS!

The Promise Of Wages

I follow Speaker Ryan on Twitter because his daily Tweets can get a real person laughing for most of the day.  His Tweets since the tax cuts of 2017 are about how much better off the economy is at this point and occasionally he offers some vague promise of wages.

The truth is these cuts have done little to raise the wages of the working class but did everything to raise the wealth of the already wealthy.

The real truth is that all the tax cuts for the last couple of decades have done nothing to raise the wages of the average working stiff.

The graph on wages is flat and has been that way for many decades……follow the graphs on wages……there are 9 of them that prove my point…..https://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

After checking out the graphs……read this report from the Pew Research……

On the face of it, these should be heady times for American workers. U.S. unemployment is as low as it’s been in nearly two decades (3.9% as of July) and the nation’s private-sector employers have been adding jobs for 101 straight months – 19.5 million since the Great Recession-related cuts finally abated in early 2010, and 1.5 million just since the beginning of the year.

But despite the strong labor market, wage growth has lagged economists’ expectations. In fact, despite some ups and downs over the past several decades, today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago. And what wage gains there have been have mostly flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/

So to taunt the tax cuts as working for the working class is a damn lie….a lie that the GOP has become master at selling to the unwitting public.

To fight this growing story…the public is starting to see just how much of a lie the GOP is spreading…..the Right needs a theory to explain the lagging wages…..

Once upon time, when the GOP was still attempting to dress itself up as a party of ideas, Yuval Levin was considered one of its star intellectuals. As editor of the conservative policy journal National Affairs, he was a wonkish prophet of fiscal doom, who argued that the U.S. would soon face a reckoning over its national debt, and that the only way to avert catastrophe was to radically curtail the modern welfare state. Levin was once described as Paul Ryan’s own “personal philosopher,” and was the sort of guy who could get David Brooks hot and bothered by writing a long-winded argument for slashing entitlement spending.

If a politician like Sen. Marco Rubio or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had become president in 2016, Levin might still be playing a starring role in Washington’s policy discourse. But of course, Donald Trump is president, and Republicans have dropped the charade that they sincerely care about the deficit, or whatever the heck got written about in ponderous thinky policy rags. Levin still gets cited by columnists like Brooks, but his star is a bit fallen.

https://slate.com/business/2018/09/wage-stagnation-new-conservative-theory.html

An interesting read and very eye opening……

The GOP has always been a party for liars and when it comes to screwing the public they are masters at making the public smile while getting humped.