Good morning

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The headlines:

  1. Everyone is all back up in Romney’s grille.

    Link: what’s all this about taxes.

    So the Romney-Ryan party line is that they won’t be cutting taxes per se because they will be removing deductions and exemptions at the same time as lowering the tax rates, which will have a tax neutral effect.

    But they won’t say which because they don’t want the Democrats to launch a program with a special focus on the particular deductions/exemptions that will be removed. You know, the kind of disallowed deduction that might result in the loss of three jobs in Kentucky with one of the affected three appearing on a nationwide ad to talk about how Romney hates the middle-class working American.

    In a moment of Monday morning despondency, I want to say that none of this really matters – as the American solution probably won’t rest on the reliability of the tax code. No political party seems even remotely close to taking the “let’s balance the budget” approach. So they’re really just arguing about how high to raise the debt ceiling.

    The only non-partisan solutions to big debt are big bankruptcy and/or big inflation.

    I think we might get to see one or both happen.

  2. At least one billionaire applies to leave France.

    Link: “but I’ll remain a fiscal resident”.

    When you start talking about tax rates of 75%…

    But LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault is only applying for Belgian residency as a “personal action”. And he says that he will remain a fiscal resident.

    Maybe so. But the real issue is: will his estate?

    Billionaires à la Warren Buffett are notorious for $1 per year salaries that earn a government very little in tax. I think that one’s personal status as “fiscal resident” is probably not the biggest issue.

    And Hollande can talk about “patriotism” all he likes – the crux is that patriotism is a luxury; it comes at a price; and if you ask some people to pay more for it than others, there are easy and available substitutes.

  3. All the Glenstrata drama.

    Link: jousting for an ousting.

    People Bloomberg is calling it “more of a hostile takeover”. The original “scheme of arrangement” had Xstrata CEO Mick Davis coming in as CEO of the combined company. But on Friday, Glencore delayed the various shareholder-voting meetings for its new offer; which effectively raised the bid by 9%, but insisted that Glencore CEO Glasenberg lead the new company.

    Apparently, the events leading up to the new offer included a negotiation session between Mr Glasenberg and the Qatari Premier, arbitrated by Tony Blair, who is now a senior advisor to JP Morgan*.

    Still waiting to hear more.

    *Now isn’t that interesting?

  4. South Africa lifts moratorium on shale gas exploration.

    Link: Energy Minister says “let’s go and do it”.

    SA has about 7.3% of the world’s shale gas reserves, according to various studies. The ban was imposed last year while the government investigated the environmental implications of hydraulic fracking.

    Apparently, they completed those investigations?

  5. The Greeks haven’t agreed on spending cuts required for the next support package.

    Link: delaying the next tranche.

    It’s all up in the air. According to coalition partner Evangelos Venizelos, the talks are in “their final stages” because the troika hasn’t accepted the proposed package of 11.5 billion worth of cuts, and so the coalition has to present counter-proposals.

    Doesn’t sound anywhere near final, does it?

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.