Category Archives: Economy
The thrill of victory was followed by the agony of debate last night.
Thrill of Victory
The Cleveland Indians won the American league pennant, shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0. Rookie Ryan Merritt went 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his second major league start.
Merritt got the nod because starting pitcher Trevor Bauer was the victim of a drone strike. A strike of his own drone. Bauer has always done things his own way, and this came as no surprise to anyone around here. So they sewed up his finger and sent him out to the mound for game three.
Bauer’s a gamer, but his sutured pinkie opened up like the elevator doors in The Shining. He never made it out of the first inning. No problem. Mad Manager Tito Franco stitched together a bullpen game and the Tribe won 4-2.
Back to Ryan Merritt, hero of Northeast Ohio. Someone found out he’s getting married, so fans bought everything on his wedding registry. But you could still get him a pillow last I checked.
Agony of Debate
Unfortunately all good things come to an an end and the final presidential debate was about to begin.
Moderator Mike Wallace asked about Supreme Court nominees. Hillary Clinton said the court should stand up for women and transgender bathrooms but not late term babies about to be aborted. She also said the court should overturn Citizen’s United (a Supreme Court case that said it’s okay for a company to make a movie critical of Hillary).
Trump said, “The Supreme Court – it’s what it’s all about.”
The clear winner … Chris Wallace.
Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf resigned on Wednesday and Elizabeth Warren finally got the scalp she wanted. Bank employees opened about two million unauthorized customer accounts on Chairman Stumpf’s watch. The scam led to bonuses for the employees and extra fees and overdraft charges for the unsuspecting customers.
Stumpf will get no severance package and he has forfeited $41 million in unvested equity. Also, the bank has fired 5,300 employees and agreed to pay a $185 million dollar fine.
Additionally the former CEO will be tied down naked in the desert over a termite hill.
I made up that last one. Stumpf’s not exactly losing the shirt off his back. He earned about $120 million during his career at Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo Thrived After 2008 Crisis
A WSJ editorial says that, despite the scandal, Stumpf has been “one of the most successful American CEOs of recent times:”
Our colleague Dennis Berman reports that in nine years he produced some $149 billion in profits and saw an increase in market cap of $124 billion. Wells Fargo tried to turn down the government’s rescue funds during the 2008 financial panic because it didn’t need the help, only to be forced by Treasury to take the money.
Donald Trump reached out to African American voters last week while visiting inner city churches in Detroit and Philadelphia. His message was, “Democrats aren’t helping you, why not give me a try?”
This enraged liberals who called his Philadelphia visit an “offensive gimmick.” The mayor of Detroit asked if Trump was just there “to use Detroiters as props in a re-imagining campaign?”
African American Voters
Jason Riley in the WSJ thinks Trump is finally on to something. He believes Democrat leaders are holding back minorities in the cities they run:
Democrats are calling Trump names because they can’t defend their record. Homicides in Philadelphia rose last year and are up 6% this year. In 2015 Detroit students scored the lowest among big-city school districts on national math and reading tests. Minority children with access to school vouchers and charter schools are narrowing the achievement gap, while Democrats and teachers unions are working hand in glove to limit school choice.
Meanwhile, Chicago logged its 500th murder of the year over Labor Day weekend.
Ireland has a 12.5% corporate tax rate. The US has a 39.5% rate.
So Apple moved its Intellectual Property operations to Ireland. And, due to a complicated 1990s agreement, the company doesn’t even pay the 12.5% rate. It’s more like .005%. (Apple did pay $3 billion in U.S. income taxes in the third quarter.) You can read how it works here, complete with a chart.
Ireland is happy with the arrangement. Apple has $200 billion parked there and employs lots of people.
EU Bite Of Apple
The U.S. is unhappy because it’s not able to take its full 39% bite out of Apple. The European Union is unhappy too.
So unhappy that it has ordered Ireland to collect $14 billion in taxes from Apple.
Now the U.S. is unhappy with the EU. The Treasury Department says the money grab damages U.S. – EU economic relations.
Reuters reports that Mylan will produce “the first generic version of its allergy auto-injector EpiPen.” The generic version will sell for $300. That’s half the price of the “branded product.”
This will be the first generic EpiPen because the FDA has dragged its feet approving any other generic version. So Mylan has a near monopoly on a life saving product. Now it also has a monopoly on the generic version.
That monopoly enabled Mylan to increase the list price of an EpiPen two pack from $100 in 2008 to $600 today. The company is offering the generic version in response to criticism of its price hikes.
Here’s a WSJ editorial blaming the FDA for the Mylan monopoly.