Good morning

The headlines:

  1. Global Economic Distress 3.0.Link: the faltering/rage of emerging markets.

    This was the IMF take on growth in 2010:

    Then, in 2011, the IMF actually revised its global growth estimates upwards.

    But since then, China has gone through a bit of a growth slowing. And South Korea and Brazil have both been actively stimulative toward growth.

    I’m just not sure why there is so much surprise around this. A large number of the developing economies are dependant on the consumer demand (and credit) out of the US and Europe. So given the recessions in those countries, it’s not really surprising that emerging market growth rates are slowing…

  2. The differing opinions on Greece.Link: will she, won’t she, will she, won’t she, will she join the stance.

    German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble:

    “It will not happen that there will be a ‘Staatsbankrott’ in Greece”.

    Which I think means that there won’t be a default. At least, before October 18th (the date of the next in a long line of seemingly unsuccessful EU Leader Summits). There was also some commentary about Greece having to stay in the Euro as it would be less costly both for Greece and the region (read here).

    On the other hand, the Swedish finance minister, Anders Borg (on the topic of Greece leaving the Euro):

    “It’s most probable that they will leave. We shouldn’t rule out this happening in the next half-year.”

    The point (I think) he’s making is that Greece can’t promote growth without being able to devalue an exchange rate and/or print money. How very Keynesian.

    But at least the Germans are committed.

  3. Wait – the EU won what?Link: absurd.

    The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize?

    Isn’t that a little, like, shamefully obvious?

    An analogy: it’s like a sitcom winning an Oscar for Best Actor. Firstly, you’re surprised to discover that they were even eligible for nomination. And secondly, even if they were, does it say something good about the sitcom, or does it really says something about the quality/bias of the Academy’s selection committee?

  4. Mitt Romney’s tax plan.Link: the lack of math.

    A summary: the Romney principle is to give a tax cut to the rich (a tax decrease), but to equally offset that by removing allowable deductions and exemptions (a tax increase), so that at the end of the day, there is no change in tax payable. So in theory, this should be impossible:

    And/or the red should be a flat-line at zero.

    The Romney campaign has come out and said that the above is inaccurate (ie. it’s before the impact of the deduction decrease), and that they have 6 independent “studies” to support this.

    When I read this article, I suddenly discovered that 4 of the 6 independent “studies” were actually, well, blog posts. Come now, Mr Romney. Honestly.

    The article was a bit dense on the tax calculations, but interesting.

  5. Someone sues William Koch.Link: held captive on a remote Colorado estate.

    Mr Koch (below) is being sued for holding a former VP of Oxbow Carbon & Minerals LLC hostage on a remote Colorado estate for two days. According to the ex-employee, Kirby Martensen, this was because he had raised concerns about a plan to avoid US taxes on $200 million in profit.

    Oxbow rejects the allegations. And then said this:

    “In the spring of 2011, Oxbow initiated a yearlong investigation culminating in the dismissal of several executives and a civil complaint being filed last March. Martensen states in a lawsuit that we investigated him for participating in a wide-ranging scheme to defraud, accept bribes and diverting business from our company. He is right. We absolutely investigated Martensen.”

    And there’s a(nother) lawsuit between Oxbow and Martensen that was filed in Florida alleging that Mr Martensen did all of the above. Which makes his whole kidnapping suit a bit convenient. And also, um, understandable if true.

    You don’t steal stuff from billionaires and get away with it, right?

    I bring up the Koch brothers since they were recently made more-famous-outside-of-America after being the subject on investigation on the TV series “The Newsroom”. But interestingly, the “Koch brothers” refers to David and Charles Koch, the big tea party supporters. William Koch is a brother of the Koch Brothers.

    But all of them are well wealthy.


That’s all for now.

Have a good day.