Category Archives: Wall St.

Fed Up


The Fed has kept the stock market and, so it claims, the U.S. economy afloat with low interest rates. The Dow lost 1500 points in the past week. World economic growth is stuck in the mud.

And with interest rates near zero, the Fed is low on flotation devices.

If income inequality is your thing, cheer up. Jeff Bezos lost $2.6 billion on Monday. Bloomberg has the fat cat score card here.

Gas War

141217-gas-warThe world wide gas war is leading to the biggest decline in inflation in 6 years according to WSJ.

Business Insider says Tesla is Tanking.

Conspiracy Theory


It must be a conspiracy. The stock market lost all its gains for the year this past week. So naturally as I post this the markets are soaring.

Ben Bernanke’s Money


What good is quantitative easing if Ben Bernanke can’t get a loan? The former Fed chairman confided last week that he was unable to refinance his $850,000 home mortgage. It’s true he’s out of a job but ex-government swells are never out of the money. Bernanke is still making the stuff from thin air (or hot air) by cranking out speeches at more than $200,000 a pop.

Helicopter Ben Bernanke

IBD notes that even Barney Frank now lays some blame on the government for the 2008 banking crisis. It forced banks to lend to risky home buyers and now Dodd Frank is overcorrecting by putting the clamps on the banking industry. Banks have been forced to close branches to pay penalties. They’re sitting on piles of free money but they’re reluctant to lend, even to Helicopter Ben.

In that same speech he also discussed how the government can always avoid deflation by printing more dollars and referred to a statement made by Milton Friedman, a Nobel Prize winning economist, about using a helicopter drop of money to fight deflation. Since then, Bernanke has had the nickname of “Helicopter Ben.”



Economic Patriotism


President Obama’s favorite billionaire is making a run for the border. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway will finance Burger King’s purchase of Canadian donut dynamo, Tim Hortons.

Economic Patriotism

As a Canadian operation, Burger King will still have to pay US corporate taxes on earnings inside the United States. But earnings outside the US will only be taxed at the rate of the country where they occur. US companies have to pay taxes in the countries where they operate and also must pay IRS the difference between those rates and the US rate. The Obama administration calls this economic patriotism.

Burger King’s move is called a tax “inversion”. Matt Levine gives a great explanation in this Bloomberg article.

The US corporate rate, including state and local taxes comes to about 40%. That’s the highest in the world outside the Islamic State jizya. Roberto A. Ferdman provides a nice chart in the Washington Post showing the tax rates of the 34 OECD countries.

The nominal corporate tax rate in the U.S., which combines national, state, and city-level tax rates, is nearly 40 percent—the highest across all 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. Canada’s, by comparison, is just over 26 percent.