FIG Topics of Interest

 

07/28/17

Republican leaders billed their decision to abandon a controversial plan to tax companies’ domestic sales and imports as an essential step toward uniting their efforts to overhaul the U.S. tax code -- but its death adds new complications to an already intricate task.
Though the so-called border-adjusted tax had circled the drain for months, its last gasp on Thursday greatly increased the chances that any tax cuts Congress delivers will be shallower than President Donald Trump and other GOP leaders want, or shorter-lived, experts said. Without the proposal’s estimated $1 trillion in new revenue, a resulting bill may look more like the temporary tax cuts of 2001 than the once-in-a-generation overhaul of 1986 on which Trump and lawmakers have set their sights.

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07/27/17

"So this is an issue that we've been looking at very carefully within the administration and we expect to come out with a position shortly," Mnuchin said. "I am encouraged that Amazon is now charging tax, I believe, on their own sales but not the marketplace. I'm not sure I understand the consistency on that, but I respect the states' ability that there's an awful lot of money that's not being collected."

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07/26/17

“It seems like they would like to get the process started in the Fall -- some type of open-ended language, like Yellen’s language ‘relatively soon,’ would suffice,” said Steven Friedman, senior economist at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in New York. “I don’t think they’ve done sufficient groundwork to prep the markets to start the process after the July meeting.”
"If the Fed does adjust the inflation language, as we suggest, it just would acknowledge further softness in inflation...That's a little bit dovish," said Mark Cabana, head of U.S. short rate strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Cabana said BofA expects core PCE inflation to be 1.5 percent at year end.

 

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07/25/17

Up for discussion is whether it should change that strategy as drawdown begins and allocate more of its maturing money to shorter-dated Treasury securities. The aim would be to speed up the eventual return of its balance sheet to more normal levels, both in terms of size and duration, thus reducing the Fed’s footprint in the bond market.
The trouble is that would also restrict its ability to act as a market backstop because it would not have longer-dated, on-the-run Treasuries to lend out from its System Open Market Account, which is the Fed’s name for its portfolio of assets.

 

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07/24/17

Investors continued to buy less commercial real estate in both the second quarter and the first half of 2017 compared to the same periods a year ago, a trend that started in 2016 as steady fundamentals that have resulted in generally robust occupancies and rental rate gains have boosted valuations across most property types.
However, CRE investment sales are still running about 10% above the historical sales volume average over the past 10 years, according to preliminary U.S. investment sales data collected by CoStar's nationwide research team. In the second quarter, preliminary volume fell to $106.7 billion compared with $129.2 billion in second-quarter 2016.
 

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07/21/17

For the first time ever, Asia's economic giant will allow imports of American rice, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday. That comes as a welcome signal after annual trade talks between the two nations broke down this week without a concrete outcome. And although it is just a small part of an expansive trade relationship, the rice deal signals that, at least for now, the threat of a trade war is tabled as each side is still engaging the other.

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07/20/17

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives took a new step toward tax reform legislation on Wednesday by approving a fiscal 2018 budget resolution that would allow the Senate to pass a sweeping tax code overhaul without Democratic support.

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07/19/17

“People say ICOs are great for ethereum because, look at the price, but it’s a ticking time-bomb,” Charles Hoskinson said in an interview. “There’s an over-tokenization of things as companies are issuing tokens when the same tasks can be achieved with existing blockchains. People are blinded by fast and easy money.”

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07/18/17

House Republicans on Tuesday are unveiling a 2018 budget that ignores Trump’s request for $54 billion in cuts to departments and agencies such as State and the National Institutes of Health. Instead, spending outside of defense would be reduced by $5 billion. The GOP proposal would boost funding for the nation’s defense by $72 billion, $18 billion more than Trump sought.

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07/17/17

Some 33 states reported lower revenues than initially projected in the latest fiscal year, the highest number of states to come up short since the recession blew a giant hole in state budgets in 2010, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. 
States are also bracing for the potential impact of new policies out of Washington that threaten to put great financial strain on their budgets.

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