Monday, November 12, 2012 – Render Unto Caesar, and Don’t Forget Interest

Render Unto Caesar, and Don’t Forget InterestBy Sinclair Noe DOW – 0.31 = 12,815SPX + 0.18 = 1380NAS -0.62 = 290410 YR YLD = 1.60%OIL – .50 = 85.57GLD – 2.00 = 1729.80SLV – .21 = 32.52 British lawmakers have criticized executives of Starbucks, Google and Amazon on Monday for not paying more tax in Britain and Amazon said it had received a $252 million demand for back taxes from France. Britain and Germany last week announced plans to push the Group of 20 economic powers to make multinational companies pay their “fair share” of taxes following reports of large firms exploiting loopholes to avoid taxes. One of the members of Parliament explained the problem: “You’re either running the business badly, or there’s some fiddle going on.” Starbucks seems to be selling a lot of coffee in the UK; over the past 3 years they’ve sold more than 3 billion pounds (weight) of coffee but they haven’t paid any tax. (fiddle) Amazon just refuses to answer questions by the British tax authorities.(fiddle) And Google has apparently been playing the game. Google’s filings show it had $4 billion of sales in the UK last year, but despite having a group-wide profit margin of 33 percent, its main UK unit reported a loss in 2011 and 2010. It had a tax charge of just 3.4 million pounds in 2011. (fiddle) The search engine provider books European sales via an Irish unit, an arrangement that allowed it to pay taxes at a rate of …

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012 – To Your Health; Spanish Junk; Barclays Bad; Falcone Flunks; Bhopal Veggie Garden; Goodnight Stockton

To Your Health; Spanish Junk; Barclays Bad; Falcone Flunks; Bhopal Veggie Garden; Goodnight Stockton – by Sinclair NoeDOW + 92 = 12,627SPX + 11 = 1331NAS + 21 = 287510 YR YLD -.01 = 1.62%OIL +.27 = 80.48GOLD + 1.60 = 1575.20SILV – .17 = 27.04PLAT – 18.00 = 1415.00According to the Centers for  Medicare and Medicaid Services, health spending accounts for about 18% of the GDP of the United States. So, tomorrow’s ruling by the Supreme Court on President Obama’s health care plan is pretty important, but so far the economists can’t seem to figure out the implications. This is not to say I have any advance info on the Supreme Court decision. They might say the Act is fine as it is, they might say they will eliminate the mandate but leave the rest unchanged, they might throw out the whole thing.  If they vote against Obamacare it will be seen as a highly partisan act. What better way to show the Court’s impartiality than to affirm the constitutionality of legislation that may be unpopular? That might be a stretch; I think I’ll stick with the idea that we’ll have to wait till tomorrow.The only safe bet is that there will be unintended consequences. For example, what if the Supremes strike down the mandate portion but leave the rest intact? The Obama administration put a mandate in the Affordable Care Act because the law requires insurers to charge the same premium regardless of health status. Without a mandate, it would …

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