The world’s richest man might be the first human to break the $1 trillion personal wealth barrier, over the course of the next 25 years, according to a report by Oxfam, an international group of charity organizations. Bill Gates, the co-founder of tech giant Microsoft, could reach a $1-trillion wealth mark by 2042, becoming the world’s first trillionaire.
Gates, whose net worth is currently estimated at some $75 billion, according to Forbes magazine’s list of world billionaires, will celebrate his 84th birthday in 2042, and his earnings are projected to breach that boundary at around that time.
Oxfam, an international organization that fights poverty worldwide, bases its predictions on measurements showing that Gates’s wealth has grown at an average rate of 11 percent annually since 2009.
“If billionaires continue to secure these returns, we could see the world’s first trillionaire in 25 years,” the Oxfam report said.
“In such an environment, if you are already rich you have to try hard not to keep getting a lot richer.”
The report claims that the sum total of net worth attributed to the top eight wealthiest people in the world is larger than the financial resources of the world’s poorest 3.6 billion.
On Friday news reports surfaced indicating that Moscow would deport whistleblower Edward Snowden as ‘a gift’ to US President Donald Trump.
NBC news cited a senior US official who said that handing over the former National Security Agency contractor is one of several ways to “curry favor” with the White House.
Ben Winzer, Snowden’s ACLU attorney, told reporters that he and his client are unaware of any such plans, telling NBC, “Team Snowden has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern.”
Snowden himself fired back on the reports on Twitter saying, “Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next.”
Trump has called Snowden a “traitor” and a “spy” and would undoubtedly gladly accept the gesture. Snowden leaked documents in 2013 detailing the massive surveillance capabilities of the US government. He fled the country and was granted asylum in Russia.
Rumors spread that President Barack Obama would pardon Snowden before he left office, but that never happened.
With two months left until the French election, analysts and political experts find themselves in a quandary: on one hand, political polls show that while National Front’s Marine Le Pen will likely win the first round, she is virtually assured a loss in the runoff round against either Fillon, or more recently Macron, having between 20 and 30% of the vote; on the other, all those same analysts and political experts were dead wrong with their forecasts about both Brexit and Trump, and are desperate to avoid a trifecta as being wrong 3 out of 3 just may be result in losing one’s job.
Meanwhile, markets are taking Le Pen’s rise in the polls in stride, and French spreads over Germany are moving in lockstep with Le Pen’s rising odds. In fact, as noted earlier in the week, French debt is now the riskiest it has been relative to German in four years.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s semiannual testimony takes the spotlight next week as investors watch for clues on US monetary policy and her take on the current political climate.
Here’s what to watch in the coming days.
Ms Yellen will deliver her “Humphrey Hawkins” testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, followed by an appearance before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
The Fed has signalled three interest rate rises this year. Sticking to its mantra that all meetings are ‘live’, investors will watch for closely watch “how forceful she is in promoting the notion that March is still on the table,” said Tom Porcelli of RBC Capital Markets.
Indeed, federal fund futures currently imply a 13.3 per cent chance of a rate rise next month, according to CME data.
“Given the uncertainty of timing on the fiscal agenda and the relatively modest uptick in inflation thus far this year, we think it will be difficult for the committee to get enough members on board for a hike in March (not to mention that the French election in late April/early May looms large as a potential catalyst for global volatility),” Mr Porcelli said. “But Yellen could certainly move the “perception” needle on this.”
In the Q&A session, Ms Yellen will likely be grilled on Fed independence, the central bank’s economic outlook and its view on Mr Trump’s planned proposals.
Trump will reveal tax plan in 2-3 weeks
Today Trump talked about a tax plan that will be “incentive-based policy, much more so than we have right now.”
Details are beginning to leak out and the most important one is that former Goldman Sachs CEO Gary Cohn is writing the plan. He stepped down from the investment bank to join Trump’s team.
The thinking is that Cohn will be kind to the financial industry.
Cohn said cutting corporate and individual taxes were the two main goals and he told Fox Business that he was focusing on tax cuts for low earnings.
“We’re not spending a lot of time with the high earners,” Cohn said during that interview.
You can be sure that the loophole that allowed another Goldman CEO (Henry Paulson) to avoid $200 million in taxes when he joined the Treasury will also be left in by Cohn, who will have chased in nearly $300m in his Goldman departure to join Trump’s team.
A big question is how likely it is to be implemented. Trump said that Senate and House leaders were being consulted but they may see that as a slight. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have floated their own plans in the past and they won’t want to be dictated something by Trump.
After the details are released, look for initial enthusiasm but it could be tempered quickly if it doesn’t have the support of Congress.
Verbatim on what Trump said on currencies in his press conference with Abe
Exactly what Donald Trump said regarding currency devaluation.
“As far as currency devaluations, I’ve been complaining about that for a long time. I believe that we will all eventually and probably very much sooner than a lot of people understand or think; we will be all at a level playing field. Because that’s the only way it’s fair. That’s the only way you can fairly compete on trade and other things. And we will be on that field and we will all be working very hard to do great for our country. But it has to be fair and we will make it fair. I think the United States is going to be an even bigger player than it is right now, by a lot, when it comes to trade. A lot of that will have to do with our tax policy, which you’ll be seeing in the not-too-distant future. We’ll have an incentive-based policy, much more so than we have right now. Right now nobody even knows what policy we have. We’re working with Congress, we’re working with Paul Ryan, we’re working with Mitch McConnell and I think people are going to be very, very impressed.”
Trump on his call with President of China
- It was a very, very warm conversation
- I think the relationship will also be very-much a benefit to Japan
- It was a long talk
- Promises to honor ‘one china’ policy
Abe hinted of a greater US presence around the disputed Senkaku islands. Trump said the US will defend all areas under Japanese ‘administrative control’.
What this looks like is that Trump backed off on supporting Taiwan in exchange for China backing off on the disputed islands and perhaps something regarding North Korea. In the early days of Trump’s win, he promised to review Taiwan’s status but he’s quickly backed down.
Tump and Abe at the White House
- Calls Japan a ‘steadfast ally’ and says committed to security of Japan
- Defending against North Korean nuclear threat is a “very, very, very” high priority
- We thank Japan for hosting our military
- Trump is an excellent businessman
- I would like to celebrate and congratulate Donald being sworn in
- The US has more opportunities than anywhere else
- Japanese and US cooperation is mutually beneficial
- I’m sure the US will make major investments, including high speed trains
- New York to Washington maglev train would take one hour
- Expanding free trade offers a big chance for both US and Japan
- Free trade must be done in a fair manner
- Agreed to wide range of talks with Aso and Pence
- My golf game isn’t up to Trump’s
Stocks closed out the week in a strong fashion Friday as the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all jumped to new all-time highs in the market’s push further into record territory.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 96.97, or 0.5%, to close at a record 20,269.37, according to preliminary calculations. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 8.23 points, or 0.4%, to 2316.10 and the Nasdaq composite index added 18.95, or 0.3%, 5734.13. Both the S&P and Nasdaq were up for a fourth straight day.
Miners and other raw materials companies led the market rally and rising crude oil prices also gave energy companies a big boost. Investors kept their focus on strong company earnings and corporate deal news.
Investors have focused on companies quarterly results lately as they size up corporate America’s growth prospects. Earnings are on track to mark the second-consecutive quarter of growth after a losing streak of five straight quarters. Beyond earnings, investors are also eying Washington D.C. for signs the Trump administration will deliver on the promised business-friendly policy proposals that helped drive a market rally last fall, including slashing government regulations and taxes.
Benchmark U.S. crude was up 91 cents, or 1.7%, at $53.91 a barrel in New York. The contract rose 66 cents on Thursday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, was up $1.05, or 1.9%, at $56.68 a barrel in London.