5 December 2018 FT — Articles to Read

5 December 2018


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are nine (9) IRS audit red flags for retirees?


Opec Meeting – Pg. 7

–          The shaleboom has not only transformed rundown towns deep in the west Texas desert; it is increasingly reshaping the landscape of international politics.  The emergency of the US as a born-again energy superpower – one of the key factors in the recent fall in oil prices – has led politicians in Washington to weigh how that might reshape some of the country’s oldest alliances, raising uncomfortable questions for the oil producers in the Middle East

–          …how to respond to the 30% fall in oil prices over the past two months to around $60 a barrel

–          Lower oil prices mean cheaper petrol, providing a boost for consumers

–          The stakes for Saudi Arabia are higher than just a single decision on output.  Its alliance with the US has long been underpinned by oil supplies, with the resultant petrodollars recycled back into the American economy through the purchase of military hardware

–          The shale boom is eroding the foundations of one of the pillars of the alliance.  US net oil imports, which peaked at about 13m b/d in 2005, have dropped to about 2.4m b/d this year.  By the end of next year, they could be running at just 330,000 b/d…

–          Legislation that would allow the US to impose criminal penalties on members of Opec and their allies for acting as a cartel has also been making progress.  For Saudi Arabia, which has extensive assets in the US including the largest refinery in North America, that legislation is a genuine threat


Flattening yield curve stirs recession fears as traders prepare for Fed chair to react – Pg. 19

–          A widely followed bond market barometer of economic sentiment stirred fears of slowing economic growth yesterday as traders braced for the Federal Reserve raising interest rates at its forthcoming meeting this month

–          The yield curve – which reflects the difference between shorter- and longer-term US borrowing rates – fell to an 11-year low.  When short-term bond yields rise above long-term ones, it is seen by some investors as an indicator that monetary policy is too tight

–          The difference between two- and 10-year Treasury yields fell to below 12 bps yesterday, its lowest level since June 2007

–          Other measures are also showing warning signs.  The spread between three-month and 10-year yields fell more than 10bp yesterday to just 52bp, and the difference between five- and 30-year yields dropped back to below 40bp, having edged higher in recent weeks


Answer: (1) Making a lot of money; (2) Failing to report all taxable income; (3) Taking higher-than-average deductions; (4) Claiming large charitable deductions; (5) Not taking required minimum distributions; (6) Claiming rental losses; (7) Failing to report gambling winnings or claiming big losses; (8) Writing off a loss for a hobby; (9) Neglecting to report a foreign bank account