FIG Topics of Interest



The emerging framework includes a proposal to cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent -- a costly move in revenue terms that Trump and Republicans say is necessary to create job growth. But its provisions for individual taxes may hit closer to home for many Americans.
Three tax lobbyists familiar with those changes said they include cutting the top individual tax rate to 35 percent and creating a 25 percent rate for certain “pass-through” business owners -- both down from the current top rate of 39.6 percent. Such changes would cut taxes substantially for the top 1 percent of earners, said Kyle Pomerleau, an expert with the Tax Foundation, a right-leaning Washington policy group.
An analysis by Washington’s Tax Policy Center last year found that half of the business income earned by all pass-through businesses, such as partnerships and limited liability companies, goes to those making $693,000 or more annually -- placing them well within the top 1 percent of taxpayers by income.

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Here are eight takeaways from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting that took place on Sept. 19 and 20.

1.Balance-sheet reduction will be as unexciting as possible, and for good reason.

2.Quantitative easing is no longer an active policy tool, but it remains in the toolbox.

3.The possibility of a December rate hike is higher than markets had priced in.

4.The Fed is more comfortable about the state of the labor market.

5.It’s less worried about global risks.

6.The inflation puzzle remains.

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“China’s prolonged period of strong credit growth has increased its economic and financial risks,” S&P said. “Although this credit growth had contributed to strong real gross domestic product growth and higher asset prices, we believe it has also diminished financial stability to some extent.”

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China’s riskiest borrowers are ramping up sales of short-term dollar debt again, reigniting speculation the authorities will clamp down on what has become a way to raise cash under the radar.

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The U.S. Senate passed its version of a $700 billion defense policy bill on Monday, backing President Donald Trump’s call for a bigger, stronger military but setting the stage for a battle over government spending levels later this year.

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Powerful lawmakers are promising at least a framework for the overhaul by the end of the month. The broad goals are lower rates for corporations and individuals, a simpler tax code with fewer brackets, and the elimination of the estate tax and the alternative-minimum tax.
If you save for retirement or itemize your tax deductions, you could end up paying thousands of dollars more after tax reform than you do now. To help pay for promised cuts, President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are trying to raise revenue elsewhere. 
And the best place to get this money may be the millions of Americans who use deductions and other such strategies to lower their tax bills. 

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Verified high-limit credit cards from countries including the U.S., Japan, and South Korea are selling on the dark web for the bitcoin equivalent of about $10 to $20, according to an annual report on cybercrime by Secureworks, a unit of Dell Inc.

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Hurricane Harvey took aim at one of the nation’s most industrial regions, releasing a stream of toxic pollutants from chemical plants, refineries and Superfund sites in Texas. But when its bigger sister Irma slammed into Florida, environmental alarms rang over a different kind of discharge: raw sewage.
Millions of gallons of poorly treated wastewater and raw sewage flowed into the bays, canals and city streets of Florida from facilities serving some of the nation’s fastest-growing counties. More than 9 million gallons of releases tied to Irma have been reported as of late Tuesday as inundated plants were submerged, forced to bypass treatment or lost power.
Such overflows, which can spread disease-causing pathogens, are happening more often, as population shifts and increasingly strong storms strain the capacity of plants and decades-old infrastructure. The Environmental Protection Agency estimated last year that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater pipes, treatment plants and associated infrastructure.

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“This minimal growth projection is a result of slowing revenue growth overall, a return to higher levels of inflation in 2017 (2.1 percent) and the typical conservative approach that finance officers take for revenue estimates,” it said.
U.S. cities’ revenue growth in fiscal 2017 is projected to contract for a second consecutive year, the first time this has happened since the recession, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National League of Cities.The report, based on a survey of finance officers from 261 cities, found that General Fund revenues are slowing. Revenue growth for the fiscal year ended June 30 is projected to “stagnate” to a rate of 0.9 percent, down from fiscal 2016’s growth rate of 2.61 percent, the survey said.

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"Those effects tend to be pretty transitory," Dudley said in a live interview with CNBC. "The long-run effect of these disasters unfortunately is it actually lifts economic activity because you have to rebuild all the things that have been damaged by the storms."

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