Business

Where Should POTUS Get His/Her Data From?

My view is that we pay hundreds of millions of dollars per year (we should probably spend more) on collecting and analyzing economic data. Yet, when Mr. Trump debates trade policy with the Canadian prime minister, by his own admission he makes up numbers. Does he not trust the numbers provided by the U.S. government? Apparently not. But there is a White House agency (not one located in some distant cabinet department), called the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Mr. Trump has a policy level officer in place, Robert E. Lighthizer, so you would think Mr. Trump could trust USTR. And the USTR states explicitly that the US has a trade surplus with Canada of 12.9 billion (USD). People can argue (disingenously) that the merchandise bilateral trade balance is in deficit, so Mr. Trump was “right”....

Think twice before moving your business to a low-tax state

If you’re looking to save big on taxes by packing up your small business and shipping it to a friendlier state, it may be time to hit the brakes. The new federal tax law grants special breaks for owners of businesses — there’s the 20 percent deduction on qualified business income and lower tax rates for C-corporations — and entrepreneurs are searching for additional ways to save on state and local levies as well. That’s especially valuable because on individual returns, filers can only deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes, which include income and property taxes. “Companies are determining whether they can move their business to low tax jurisdictions,” said Lance D. Christensen, partner at accounting firm Margolin Winer & Evens. “It’s ...

Exclusions from US tariffs may take 90 days: Documents

Steel and aluminum users that depend on imported products not available from U.S. producers may have to wait up to 90 days for an exclusion from the Trump administration’s new metals tariffs, according to a Commerce Department document. The draft Federal Register notice, which is expected to be published later on Friday evening and was seen by Reuters, outlines procedures for companies to seek such exclusions. The review period for such requests “normally will not exceed 90 days, including adjudication of objections submitted on exclusion requests,” it said. The exclusion rules have been anxiously awaited by manufacturing companies since President Donald Trump announced the tariffs on March 7 to protect domestic steel and aluminum producers on national security grounds. U...

Nike executives’ departures reflect a larger cultural issue in Me Too era: Retail analyst

The departure of two top executives at Nike speaks to a larger cultural issue, said Liz Dunn, founder and chief executive officer of Pro4ma, a forecasting and analytics firm for retailers. “We’re seeing it all over corporate America,” Dunn told CNBC on Friday, referring to issues of workplace misconduct in the era of the Me Too and Times Up movements. “In some instances it seems it’s almost part of the culture.” On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Jayme Martin, vice president and general manager of global categories for Nike, was removed from his post. Martin has been with the company since 1997. The news came only a day after Nike President Trevor Edwards announced he was resigning and would retire in August. While Nike has been hush-hush a...

Qualcomm says Paul Jacobs will not be renominated to board as he pursues possible buyout of chipmaker

Qualcomm said Friday that Paul Jacobs will not be renominated to the chipmaker’s board of directors at its annual shareholder meeting on March 23. The company said the decision was made after Jacobs informed the board that he is exploring the possibility of taking the $88 billion company private. But Jacobs said in a statement that the board’s decision to not renominate him is “unfortunate and disappointing.” The longtime Qualcomm executive said that the chipmaker has “real opportunities” but that perhaps these would be easier to pursue as a private company. “These opportunities are challenging as a standalone public company, and there are clear merits to exploring a path to take the company private in order to maximize the company’s long-ter...

Mountain Dew Appears To Have A Troubling Case Of March Madness

If you’ve seen the bracket that I filled out for the Dealbreaker Tournament Challenge, which followed the “advice” given in the introduction to the contest this week, you might be able to tell that this was not the college basketball season to which I paid the most attention in my life, and that the bracket was filled out primarily for the purpose of being able to monitor the progress of the competition and write occasional updates on the race for the grand prize of a banker’s bag. Having not watched college basketball leading up to the NCAA Tournament, I not only had no expertise to offer with regard to this year’s brackets, but also had not seen the commercial that had been airing with Grant Hill, actual likable Duke player turned Final Four announcer. In the spot for Mountain Dew, Hill ...

For first time ever, top GE execs earn no cash bonuses

The year 2017 was a tough one for General Electric Co., and its top executives’ bonuses reflected that — though there was still plenty of compensation doled out. The Boston-based company awarded only one of its senior executives a cash bonus in 2017, according to a proxy filing Monday. Neither current CEO John Flannery nor former CEO Jeff Immelt received such a bonus, nor did GE’s current and former chief financial officers, vice chairs, general counsel and human resources directors, GE said. The firm also reduced a payout for an incentive that had been awarded in 2015. It’s the first time in GE’s more than 120 years of existence that no cash bonuses were paid out, said Lead Director John Brennan in a letter to shareholders. “While our compensation programs di...

Steve Mnuchin Spent $1 Million Of Taxpayer Money To Avoid Flying Commercial, Water Ramains Wet

(Getty Images) Thanks to some hard work from the folks over at the [previously] non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the American public is now aware that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has spent $1 million of taxpayer money by refusing to fly commercial. Based on what CREW has found by FOIA’ing and then suing to obtain Mnuchin’s travel records, it seems that Mnooks has pulled every possible bureaucratic lever available to him to avoid getting on anything other than a private government plane while traveling for business or pleasure in his 15 months running Treasury.  Mnuchin’s travel has eviscerated modern norms of travel expenses for any federal employee who is not the president and reflects an almost pathological refusal to not get exactly what he wants. ...

More than 100 ex-employees sue CSX after being fired or suspended for taking family medical leave

More than 100 CSX Corp. employees who were fired or suspended for their use of federally-protected medical leave filed suit Tuesday in Maryland. The suit comes on the heels of a suit that 46 fired employees filed in West Virginia in February, which also alleged CSX disciplined employees for fraud and dishonesty without evidence. “While CSX employees understand that working on weekends and holidays comes with the territory, they did not anticipate having to work through serious illnesses, miss their children’s births, or choose between caring for their sick loved ones and losing their jobs,” reads the newly filed suit. More from Jacksonville Business Journal: Here’s where Florida is cutting $550M in taxes this year‘Just a dinosaur’ — An analyst delv...

Puerto Rico lures blockchain industry to help fund its comeback

Nearly six months after Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico, thousands of crypto enthusiasts have descended upon San Juan for a string of blockchain and crypto conferences that the island’s government is hoping will finally give the struggling economy the boost it needs. Puerto Rico’s financial woes have been well-telegraphed. After a decade of recession, it is restructuring a large portion of its $73 billion in outstanding debt in the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy. The storm, a nearly Category 5 hurricane, dealt the commonwealth another massive blow in September, and the damage threatened to set the island back even more. But many blockchain companies are now looking at Puerto Rico as a viable hub for the rapidly growing crypto industry. The island’s government has...

Unlike Stormy Daniels, Low Income Americans Thrilled With Trump’s Performance

Broke Americans are apparently feeling pretty goddamn good about President David Dennison and his policies, which are definitely aimed primarily at helping Joe Jack-Off escape from globalization-related impoverishment. “Believe me.” The headline print on the preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index for March was 102, well ahead of estimates and a 14-year high. The current conditions index rose to 122.8, which is a record. The survey notes that “consumers continued to adjust their expectations in reaction to new economic policies,” including “favorable mentions of the tax reform legislation.” Here’s the punchline from the report: All of the gain in the Sentiment Index by March 15th was among households with incomes in the bottom third (+15.7), while the economic assessmen...

Tim Sloan Is Feeling Himself Way Too Hard

All cards on the table, we admit to having grown weary of Elizabeth Warren’s predictably intractable negative stance on the finance sector. At a some point, Warren’s political campaign to safeguard the American public against the greed of “Big Banks” turned into an orthodox crusade against the financial sector. The whole thing has become so one-note and monotonous that Warren now seems incapable of recognizing anything positive in the industry as a whole. It makes her appear obstinate and unfair, stubborn and angry. For instance, this is the time of year when many banks disclose bonus and salary changes, reflecting the internal performance of said institutions. And things went very well on Wall Street last year, so it stands to reason that money would be flowing from the payroll department...