30 July 2019 FT — Articles to Read

30 July 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are five (5) mind-blowing statistics about the richest Americans?


Sterling tumbles to two-year low as market fears grow over hard Brexit – Pg. 1

  • Sterling tumbled to its lowest level in two and a half years yesterday as markets became increasingly worried over the possibility of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal in three months
  • The pound dropped as much as 1.3% to $1.2230, a level not touched since mid-March 2017 when the UK triggered Article 50 and began the formal process of leaving the union


Japan cuts growth forecast on export worries – Pg. 4

  • Japan has cut its growth forecast for the year amid mounting expectations of a slowdown in export growth, as the fallout of the US-China trade war takes its toll in Asia
  • The economy is forecast to increase by 0.9% year-on-year in the 12 months to March 2020, ….that is down from the 1.3% growth forecast in January
  • Export growth is expected to slow to 0.5% from the 3% increase forecast in January
  • Japan’s economy grew 2.2% in the first quarter, compared with a year ago, thanks to improvements in capital spending
  • But the US-China trade tensions and slowing global growth have disrupted supply chains across Asia, knocking exports. Japan’s recent restrictions on the export of materials critical to the manufacture of computer chips to South Korea – part of a diplomatic stand-off- have also compounded the uncertainty


Global economy – Pg. 7

  • This is the future of tax administration – digital, real-time and with no tax returns
  • The new system is directed more at shopkeepers than oligarchs
  • …reducing tax evasion among ordinary Russians and high-lighting corrupt tax officials have helped raise revenues and clean up the system
  • With an overdependence on oil and gas revenues and serious concerns over evasion and corrupt officials, Russia’s tax system was ripe for reform
  • VAT was his first target. This tax has taken the world by storm since France introduced it in the 1950s.  It is now levied in more than 165 countries accounting for more than 20% of annual global tax revenue and raising more than $3tn in advanced economies alone.  VAT’s two principal advantages are in the amount of revenue it can raise for governments and its perceived robustness to fraud compared with sales taxes such as those still levied in the US
  • As it is collected along the supply chain with companies able to claim a refund of tax they have paid on their inputs and charging tit on their sales, it has an inbuilt self-enforcing element
  • …there are two areas where VAT has been subject to significant fraud in most countries. First, where some traders do not pay the tax they owe on their sales and then disappear, so the authorities lose the tax owed.  Second, where retail customers collude with sellers to buy goods and services – generally services – without seeking a receipt and VAT is not charged


US healthcare loans tumble as politicians target patients bills – Pg. 17

  • The proposed law, seen as having broad bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, would prohibit providers from hitting patients with large and unexpected costs for treatment (Prof Note: I just had two implants and a bone graft. The dentist, in writing, the day prior, provided me with the EXACT cost of the treatment.  I had never experienced such professionalism from a medical professional.  I always have had to ask and then am put on hold and finally provided a price.  When I walk into medical offices, randomly, ask for pricing of a particular procedure everyone gets upset.  Why?)


Answer: (1) It takes an annual income of $421,926 to join the 1% in the US; (2) The richest earn 26.3 times more than the rest of us; (3) The richest hold 42.5% of nation’s wealth; (4) They earn a fifth of the nation’s income each year but pay 37% of the taxes; (5) You might be among the richest in the world (It only takes an annual income of $32,400 to join the world’s richest 1%)