By David Meyer
December 7, 2018

Good morning. David Meyer here, filling in for Alan one more time this year before I take a few weeks off to enjoy the South African sunshine.

After yesterday’s tumultuous day on Wall Street—a 785-point drop in the Dow before a whiplash recovery that saw the day close a mere 79 points down—there could be more good news on the horizon.

The Labor Department will be issuing its latest monthly employment report, and a Reuters survey suggests the figures will be pleasing, with a likely increase of nonfarm payrolls by around 200,000 jobs. Asian indices today were flat to positive (the Nikkei 225 was up 0.8%) and Europe’s Stoxx 600 is up 1.3%. U.S. futures suggest a modest pop at the start of today’s trading.

Now, as it’s Friday, let’s look at some feedback.

In Wednesday’s newsletter I said a failure to establish cohesive new tax rules for digital giants on an international level could quickly make things “very complicated for the multinationals.” Here’s M.C.’s take on the matter: “Would that really be such a bad thing? These companies need to be slowed down. Growth Über Alles is the disease that’s killing Capitalism.”

As I noted in my piece, I believe individual countries are justified in wanting to get more tax out of the likes of Google and Amazon. However, I still think a coordinated international approach would be preferable to a patchwork of tax regimes complicated by mismatched ideas about jurisdiction. Complexity breeds loopholes.

And as for slowing the giants down, again I think the goal is probably a necessary one, in order to protect consumers and give smaller players a chance, but the means should be fair and appropriate. I am particularly intrigued by the approach being taken by EU antitrust regulators, who see sweetheart tax deals as a competition matter and are also starting to frame data hoards as a market-fairness issue.

On quite another subject, B.S. asks when I will “stop being the mouth piece of foreign countries,” while J.O. praises my inclusion in the newsletter of more news from outside the U.S., saying it is “very informative.”

Well, I’m a South African and British guy who lives in Germany, so I can’t help but provide more of an external perspective. I hope most of you appreciate it—and on that note, I slightly prematurely wish you all a wonderful festive season.

More news below.

David Meyer


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