Investment

Huawei Founder Sees ‘Live or Die Moment’ From U.S. Uncertainty

Huawei Founder Sees ‘Live or Die Moment’ From U.S. Uncertainty

Ren Zhengfei warned in an internal memo the company is at a “live or die moment” and advised underutilized employees to form “commando squads” to explore new projects. Workers who fail will have their salaries cut every few months and may lose their jobs, the billionaire said yesterday.

Should you max out your 401(k) or IRA at the beginning of the year?

Should you max out your 401(k) or IRA at the beginning of the year?

The idea is that more time in the market can potentially lead to higher returns over time. This is especially true for a Roth IRA, an investment account that is funded with money that has already been taxed, because its main benefit to investors is tax-free growth.

Investors ramp up pressure on Exxon over climate change

Investors ramp up pressure on Exxon over climate change

Investors on both sides of the Atlantic are pushing ExxonMobil to disclose targets that would drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris climate agreement.

U.S. farm country pins hopes on China trade deal

From Reuters.com

Corn and soybean farmer Lorenda Overman from North Carolina has been selling her crops at a loss and delaying paychecks to her workers since the U.S. trade war with China tanked agriculture prices, and her farm’s debt recently topped $2 million.

If the Trump administration fails to clinch a deal with Beijing soon to end the trade dispute, she says, her operation may have a hard time staying afloat.

“We need some stability, we need some action and we need it now,” Overman, who farms in Goldsboro, said via telephone.

Her desperation reflects the mounting urgency across U.S. farm country over ongoing talks aimed at ending Washington’s trade dispute with China and pulling the U.S. agriculture industry out of its worst crisis since the 1980s. 

U.S. trade negotiators currently locked in talks with their Chinese counterparts are demanding Beijing change the way it does business with the United States, providing more access for U.S. companies, enforcement of intellectual property protection and an end to industrial subsidies.

While the talks mark the closest point yet to an end to the nine-month trade war, the two sides are yet to agree on the core issues which are essential for a deal that would reopen a critical market for U.S. farm goods like soybeans, sorghum and corn-based ethanol.

So far, the American rural heartland that helped carry President Donald Trump to victory in 2016 remains largely supportive of his hard line on trade, saying unfair Chinese practices had to be addressed for longer-term economic gain.

But it has also taken the brunt of the dispute, losing a massive export market. With credit conditions eroding in the agrarian economy and total debt hitting levels unseen for decades, the pain has deepened and patience is wearing thin.

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Why new tax rules make Roth accounts better than ever

Why new tax rules make Roth accounts better than ever

Many people retire in their late 50s or early 60s, years before RMDs begin, which creates a window of time where tax planning opportunities abound. […] Actively engaging in tax planning can boost your after-tax income in retirement by a meaningful amount.

With lower rates now, you can engage in tax arbitrage.

Trade Deals & Latin America

Trade Deals & Latin America

Chile, Mexico and Peru in March became members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The agreement reduces tariffs between 11 countries, including Japan and Canada, which amount to 13% of the global economy.

The Tax Treatment Of Bitcoin And Other Cryptocurrencies

The Tax Treatment Of Bitcoin And Other Cryptocurrencies

The IRS classifies all cryptocurrencies as property. Buying Bitcoin is not a taxable event. But using Bitcoin to buy something else is considered a sale of Bitcoin and selling property for more than you purchased it for is a taxable event. If you "sell" some Bitcoin at a profit that you purchased within the last year, you will have to report short term capital gains on your tax return and pay ordinary income tax rates.

US Dollar as the Global Currency

US Dollar as the Global Currency

The best thing the dollar has going for it is that its challengers are weak. The euro represents a monetary union, but there’s no central taxing and spending authority. Italy’s recent woes are only the latest challenge to the euro zone’s durability. China is another pretender to the throne. But China’s undemocratic leadership is wary of the openness to global trade and capital flows that having a widely used currency requires. In a December interview with Quartz news site, Eichengreen said, “Every true global currency in the history of the world has been the currency of a democracy or a political republic, as far back as the republican city-states of Venice, Florence, and Genoa in the 14th and 15th centuries.”

Emerging Markets May Be Forecasting An Emerging Disaster

Emerging Markets May Be Forecasting An Emerging Disaster

Investors are starting to notice that the stock indexes covering the so-called “Emerging Markets” have been declining steadily.  There can always be many reasons for such a development, but the leading culprits these days are slowing growth in the Chinese economy (and China is a dominant customer of businesses in the developing world) and tariff/trade war concerns between China and the U.S.