You might never expect that the biggest threat to the economy would have to do with having too much money in the bank, but according to this financial expert that is just the case. Find out why he believes that the excess reserves in the US banking system could be the undoing of our economy.
Why Excess Reserves Are Bad For The US Economy
Is keeping loanable money in the Federal Reserve really hurting us in the long run? What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.
US Vows 100% Tariffs on French Champagne, Cheese, Handbags Over Digital tax
The US government on Monday said it may slap punitive duties of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion in imports from France of Champagne, handbags, cheese and other products, after concluding that France’s new digital services tax would harm US tech companies.
The US Trade Representative’s office said its “Section 301” investigation found that the French tax was “inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy, and is unusually burdensome for affected US companies,” including Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.com.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the government was exploring whether to open similar investigations into the digital services taxes of Austria, Italy and Turkey.
“The USTR is focused on countering the growing protectionism of EU member states, which unfairly targets US companies,” Lighthizer said. His statement made no mention of proposed digital taxes in Canada or Britain.
The US trade agency said it would collect public comments through Jan. 14 on its proposed tariff list as well as the option of imposing fees or restrictions on French services, with a public hearing scheduled for January 7.
It did not specify an effective date for the proposed 100% duties.
CHAMPAGNE, ROUGE AND GRUYERE
The list targets some products that were spared from 25 percent tariffs imposed by the United States over disputed European Union aircraft subsidies, including sparkling wines, handbags and make-up preparations – products that would hit French luxury goods giant and cosmetics maker L’Oreal hard.
Gruyere cheese, also spared from the USTR aircraft tariffs levied in October, featured prominently in the list of French products targeted for 100 percent duties, along with numerous other cheeses.
The findings won favor from US lawmakers and US tech industry groups, who have long argued that the tax unfairly targets US firms.
“The French digital services tax is unreasonable, protectionist and discriminatory,” Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Wyden, the top Republican and Democrat, respectively, on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a joint statement.
Spokespeople for the French embassy and the European Union delegation in Washington could not immediately be reached for comment.
But prior to the release of the USTR’s report, a French official said that France would dispute the trade agency’s findings, repeating Paris’ contention that the digital tax is not aimed specifically at US technology companies.
“We will not give up on taxation” of digital firms, the official said.
France’s 3 percent levy applies to revenue from digital services earned by firms with more than €25 million ($27.86 million) in French revenue and €750 million (£644 million) worldwide.
The USTR’s report and proposed tariff list follow months of negotiations between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over a global overhaul of digital tax rules.
The two struck a compromise in August at a G7 summit in France that would refund US firms the difference between the French tax and a new mechanism being drawn up through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
But Trump never formally endorsed that deal and declined to say whether his French tariff threat was off the table.
Andrew Yang Wants You to Make Money Off Your Data by Making it Your Personal Property
Andrew Yang, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, plans to regulate the tech industry by prioritizing in giving people the right to own their personal data (“data as a property right”), thus allowing them to make money by sharing it with companies. Currently, companies entirely own users’ data – users do not have much control over it.
Yang said, “our data is now worth more than oil” and gave emphasis to the great amount of data people create and how companies make money over it. “By implementing measures to increase transparency in the data collection and monetization process, individuals can begin to reclaim ownership of what’s theirs,” he said.
He also cited a report saying that the collection and use of Americans’ personal data has become a $198 billion industry. Yang believes that people should have more control over their data, such as being able to see how their data is being used and having the freedom to opt out if they choose.
Yang added that we need politicians “who understand technology and a modern way to regulate it,” as reported by Engadget. “In order to regulate technology effectively, our government needs to understand it. It’s embarrassing to see the ignorance some members of Congress display when talking about technology, and anyone who watched Congress question Mark Zuckerberg is well aware of this,” said Yang.
Never Underestimate the Power of Your “Little Enemies”: Wal-Mart and Whole Foods Learned that lesson Big Time as Their Stocks dropped Last Quarter
Aldi’s, a successful discount supermarket chain, has been around for a long time and with multiple locations throughout the country. Since they opened their doors in 1910, not too much has changed for the company other than growth and more revenue. The company recently announced their plans to expand their organic food department, by adding more gluten-free foods, organic food brands, and get rid of some artificial ingredients from their products in an attempt to attract more consumers who want shop for healthy alternatives.
Consumers love going to Aldi’s because of their competitive low prices, in direct competition with other big chains like Wal-Mart. According to a recent price check, Aldi’s products are about 30% cheaper than Wal-Mart’s. Another company that Aldi’s may be a threat to is 365 by Whole Foods Market, which is expected to open later this year.
Whole Foods understands that if they are going to make such a change, now is as great of a time as any. The company has already started to get rid of partially dehydrogenated oil, synthetic colors, and MSG’s from all of their private-label products — which accounts for about 90% of their total revenue.
Aldi is also planning on expanding a selection of organic meats, including their “Never Any” brand which has no added hormones, animal by-products, antibiotics, or other additives. Their SimplyNature line, which is completely free of over 125 ingredients, will also see more products, since it’s already so popular. Their dairy section will also see more products, with products such as sour cream, cottage cheese and yogurt.
The company is truly taking the “go big or go home” saying quite seriously since they began to offer “fancier” or higher classed foods like quinoa, coconut oil, and smoked salmon. All of these little yet big changes will enable the company to not only go head to head with Whole Foods, but Kroger’s. They too have started to step up and expand their organic product line, Simple Truth.
Altogether, Aldi’s has over 1,500 stores based in the US, but they plan on increasing it to 2,000 over the next two years as a part of a $3 billion expansion.
Both Aldi’s and their company’s foreign rival discounter, Lidl, has started to seize the grocery market in a similar fashion in the United Kingdom. The pair is forcing a lot of the nation’s biggest supermarkets to reduce their prices dramatically and cut off many employees in an attempt to remain in the game and stay relevant in the competition for customers. Andy Clarke, CEO of Asda, UK’s second biggest grocery chain, called this new game of fresh competition, created by Lidl and Aldi’s, “the worst storm in the history of retail.” It was not too long after Aldo and Lidl joined forces that the Wal-Mart owned company reported its worst drop in sales for the quarter to ever occur.
Aldi’s believes that keeping all their products at an affordable and low price is the best edge they have. They can keep their prices so low by limited inventory to a lean selection of private-label items. They do the opposite from the traditional supermarkets which tend to carry a multitude of brands, even on just a single product. Aldi’s also invests far less in both merchandising and customer service compared to their counterparts. A lot of Aldi’s products are displayed in their shipping cartons as a way to make restocking simpler and more efficient. Doing that translates as fewer workers those companies needed on the sales floor. Aldi’s also asks that their customers bring their own shopping bags with them and bag their own products, further reducing need for more staff.
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