(May 2013) Apple in its fiscal year 2012 accounts revealed an effective corporate tax rate on foreign income of 2% - - see page 61 of the Securities and Exchange Commissions 10- filing. On Monday, the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed the story behind Apple's massive tax avoidance and while Apple claims to be the biggest US corporate taxpayer, it is also "among America's largest tax avoiders," said Senator John McCain, the panel's senior Republican. A report from the subcommittee says: "Apple told the Subcommittee that, for many years, Ireland has provided Apple affiliates with a special tax rate that is substantially below its already relatively low statutory rate of 12 percent. Apple told the Subcommittee that it had obtained this special rate through negotiations with the Irish government."
(December 2012) Transparency International's 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, released in Berlin this week, highlighted increased corruption in Greece. In light of its economic collapse and looming threat of state bankruptcy, corruption among state officials and members of the government was the highest in all of Europe, according to the report. Ireland slipped 11 places in two years and ranks behind Uruguay and the Bahamas in 25th place.
(November 2012) Euro Debt Crisis: Two reports published this week claim some glimmers of light amidst the gloom in peripheral economies. One report says "fiscal results drive home one fundamental point: austerity is a potent medicine. It has to be applied in the right dose. A lack of the necessary medicine can kill a patient. But so can an overdose." Meanwhile, in September 2012, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, there were 5.5m young persons (under 25) unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.49m were in the Eurozone. Compared with September 2011, youth unemployment rose by 164,000 in the EU27 and by 275,000 in the Eurozone. In September 2012, the youth unemployment rate was 22.8% in the EU27 and 23.3% in the Eurozone, compared with 21.7% and 21.0% respectively in September 2011. In September 2012 the lowest rates were observed in Germany (8.0%), the Netherlands (9.7%) and Austria (9.9%), and the highest in Greece (55.6% in July 2012) and Spain (54.2%). However, while the situation in both Greece and Spain is very bad, the statistics makes the reality look even worse. Spain's more realistic rate is in the low 20s and Greece's is about 15%.
(September 2012) House prices in the United States have started to pick up a little recently, but at a global level, prices are still on a down trend in 2012. Price trends vary widely between countries, with Ireland, Greece, Portugal, and Spain seeing the biggest falls in the past year and Brazil and Germany, substantial increases.
World Economic Forum 2012: Switzerland again tops world competitiveness rankings; Ireland rises to 27th rank from 29
(September 2012) World Economic Forum 2012: Switzerland, for the fourth consecutive year, tops the overall rankings in The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, released today by the World Economic Forum. Singapore remains in second position and Finland in third position, overtaking Sweden (4th). These and other Northern and Western European countries dominate the top 10 with the Netherlands (5th), Germany (6th) and United Kingdom (8th). The United States (7th), Hong Kong (9th) and Japan (10th) complete the ranking of the top 10 most competitive economies. Ireland moved up to 27th rank from 29. In the Middle East, Qatar has an leads the region with an 11th rank while Saudi Arabia remains among the top 20 at 18th.
Tax Havens: Global rich had at $21tn+ hidden in tax havens - the size of United States and Japanese economies combined - at end of 2010 -- Part 6
(July 2012) Tax Havens: The global rich had at least $21tn of unreported private financial wealth hidden in tax havens at the end of 2010. This sum is equivalent to the size of the United States and Japanese economies combined.
(July 2012) The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) - - a composite index produced by JPMorgan and Markit in association with ISM (US Institute of Supply Management) and IFPSM (International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management) - - fell to three-year low of 48.9 in June, a reading below the neutral 50.0 mark for the first time since November 2011.
(June 2012) The list of quotes in the picture was compiled by Alex Banbury of Hamilton Capital.
(June 2012) Euro Crisis: With one week to go to another summit of leaders of the Eurozone, scrambling again for solutions to the debt crisis, there are many proposals on banking unions, deposit insurance across the single currency area, mutualisation of debt and so on. On the one side led by France, are demands for radical moves while President Hollande has no mandate for domestic reform. Resisting demands is Germany, unless there are moved to a closer union between the member countries of the euro area. Meanwhile there is evidence that the impact of new stop-gap measures is waning over time. The dilemma for leaders is: What could work is impossible and what is possible doesn’t work
(June 2012) We have highlighted for some time that Europe has faced a growth crisis from before the launch of the euro when unemployment in countries such as Spain and Italy were also big problems. The credit and property bubbles masked the structural problems in many economies including in Ireland. From a long-term perspective, Eurozone growth has fallen behind its best performing peers. From 1960, Eurozone GDP (gross domestic product) per person of working age increased rapidly toward the United States’ level and overtook the United Kingdom. However, starting in the early 1980s, this and other GDP measures have lost ground relative to both the United States and the United Kingdom. Within the Eurozone, there has been substantial divergence as the convergence of Southern Eurozone countries (Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) to the richer Northern Eurozone countries has stagnated. While Eastern Europe grew relatively fast, almost all Southern Eurozone countries have expanded in the last decade much less than what expected convergence - - convergence explained by initial income differences -- would predict.