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Fri, 23rd June 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “February 17, 2017” Day

European Indices closed in Red

European stock market close 17 February 2017

  • FTSE +0.3% day +0.57% week
  • Cac -0.6% day +0.81% week
  • Dax flat day +0.77% week
  • Ibex -0.6% day +1.30% week
  • FTSE Mib -0.4% day +0.77% week

European bonds

  • Italy 2.19% +3bp
  • Spain 1.64% +3bp
  • Portugal 4.03% +4bp
  • Germany 0.302% -5bp
  • Greece 7.84% +6bp

 

Bill Gates talks about a robot tax

A main problem is that income tax is the single most-effective government invention. It’s almost impossible to avoid. It’s taken away by the government before workers even get it. If they’re owed money, they have to petition the tax authorities to get it back after year end.

Contrast that with corporate taxes. The money is accumulated in the company first and it can be hidden and shuffled and offset or offshored to keep it away from the government.

That gets to the crux of the automation problem. If the taxes balanced out, it would be no net difference for the government. The money would come from corporate profit taxes.

But even if it did net out, you could make the argument that the robot should be taxed at a much higher rate. First, you now have to support or retrain the worker when he used to support himself. That’s a major disruption.

Spot The Megamerger Leak, Kraft-Unilever Edition

while the story was first leaked by the FT Alphaville blog, there was immediate speculation how widely this morning’s megamerger was leaked first.

Sure enough, volume of bullish Unilever options rallied in the past two days.

As Bloomberg points out, on Unilever’s U.S. ticker, 10,909 calls traded on Feb. 15, the most since 2011 and compared with 232 puts; 5,186 bullish contracts changed hands on Feb. 16 versus 31 bearish bets. March $45 and $40 calls were the most active on Feb. 15; March and May $45 calls were the most traded on Feb. 16.  On the Dutch ticker, call volume jumped to 24,649 on Feb. 16, the most since September and more than double put trades. March EU40 calls were the most traded on Feb. 16.

Kraft also saw a surge in options activity…

Some ‘lucky’ trader just made a killing…

Uniliever has issued a statement on The FT ‘leak’…

 

Tony Blair leaves door open to second referendum on EU membership

Former British prime minister Tony Blair has hinted at his support to have a second referendum if a “significant part” of those who voted for Brexit change their mind.

Speaking to launch his campaign to “persuade” people not to leave the EU, Mr Blair said:

If a significant part of that 52 per cent show real change of mind, however you measure it, we should have the opportunity to reconsider the decision.

Whether you do it through another referendum, or another method, that’s a second order question.

The former leader of the Labour party also invoked the “propensity for revolt” seen across the developed to call on pro-EU supporters to convince people who “voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit”.

Mr Blair said he wanted to “strengthen the hand of the MPs who are with us and let those against know they have serious opposition to Brexit At Any Cost”, adding:

This is not the time for retreat, indifference or despair; but the time to rise up in defence of what we believe – calmly, patiently, winning the argument by the force of argument; but without fear and with the conviction we act in the true interests of Britain.

Eurozone current account surplus hits all-time record high

The eurozone current account surplus has hit its highest level since the start of economic and monetary union in 1999, likely emboldening critics who have accused the bloc’s largest economy of “exploiting” a weak exchange rate.

Latest figures from the European Central Bank estimate the surplus hit 3.4 per cent of GDP in 2016 – a climb from around 3.1 per cent from 2015. The current account, which measures the eurozone’s balance in goods and income, has swung dramatically into surplus since the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis calmed around 2012 (see chart above).