Following a couple of weeks of public uproar after the French government said it was going to scrap a wealth tax that applies to personal assets of more than $1.5 million, Emmanuel Macron’s administration will propose a tax on luxury yachts, supercars and precious metals in France’s 2018 budget. Macron, a former Rothschild banker, has been trying to shake off the label of “president of the rich,” but the September proposal of replacing the tax on high-end assets such as jewellery with just a real estate tax didn’t help his cause.
Bitcoin's future is undoubtedly tough to predict. The pundits either believe it will go to the moon or collapse. The latest to join the league of those predicting the demise of Bitcoin is Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard University. In a blog post in the Guardian, Ken Rogoff writes: "Is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin the biggest bubble in the world today, or a great investment bet on the cutting edge of new-age financial technology? My best guess is that in the long run, the technology will thrive, but that the price of Bitcoin will collapse."
IKEA plans to test “open-source” design and full-range town-centre showrooms as part of the furniture retailer’s efforts to adapt to rapidly changing consumer shopping habits. The budget furniture retailer’s strategy will still be based on its out-of-town warehouse stores, where shoppers pick up their purchases, but it also wants to become more accessible, physically and digitally. It has launched trial store formats such as smaller city centre stores, order and pickup-points and – the latest test format – a kitchen showroom in Stockholm’s financial district.
Most big eurozone banks are well braced for possible future interest rate rises, the European Central Bank said Monday after running dozens of them through a stress test. On a scale running from a top mark of 1 to the lowest of 4, 60 out of 111 banks scored 1 or 2 in the test, the ECB said. For the first time, the stress test examined how sudden changes in interest rates will affect banks’ income and the value of their assets. Of the other banks, 34 received a mark of 3 and 17 scored a 4.
The US stock markets have been hitting new highs recently with the result that it seems as if there is hardly any risk involved in investing in US dollar equities. Even if the FAANGs account for most of the north-bound movement and large numbers of companies have seen their quotations headings southwards, Wall Street hype glorifies the advances made so far and the presstitutes follow along like lemmings.
U.S. economist Richard Thaler won the 2017 Nobel Economics Prize for his contributions in the field of behavioral economics, showing how human traits affect supposedly rational markets, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on Monday. His “Nudge” theory, outlined along with former White House adviser Cass Sunstein, suggests small incentives can prod people into making certain decisions. His work has informed politicians looking for ways to influence voters and shape societies at a time when budget deficits limited their scope to spend. Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron both appointed teams to study if behavioral economics could be used to save their governments money.
For the third straight year, Luxembourg has held on to its position atop UNCTAD's ranking of 143 countries' capacity to support online shopping and other business-to-consumer e-commerce. Among the top 10 economies in the 2017 UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index, seven are European while three are from the Asia-Pacific region. The index, first published in 2015, draws on data on Internet use, secure servers, use of financial accounts (including mobile money accounts) and the reliability of postal deliveries, and shows that e-commerce readiness varies by region.
With initial coin offerings getting attention from regulators around the world, European Central Bank governing council member Ewald Nowotny has disclosed that the European Central Bank is looking at putting regulation on the books regarding ICOs. "Bitcoin is not a currency, it is highly speculative and volatile, it is not subject to any supervision either, and the stock market movements of the recent period make it clear,” explains Nowotny speaking in an interview with the Austrian weekly magazine Trend as covered by Bloomberg.
Following their retracement down during the Spring, China and Industrial metals have been moving up since May. Oil has followed with a lag, and from late June, it has been rallying strongly. Again, following China and Industrial Metals by a few weeks, oil topped out late September. We believe that this is an intermediate top and that from November, at the latest, it should resume up towards year-end.
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