Because Sit Down, and Shut Up

Apple Inc’s aggressive response to a €13 billion ($14.5 billion) tax ruling by the European Commission shows the U.S. technology company doesn’t understand the moral obligation on big companies to pay taxes, according to the leader of the eurozone’s finance ministers.

Because it’s terrible that a company which has played by all the rules should see its money confiscated—or the attempt made—anyway.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem [President of the Eurogroup, the collection of Eurozone finance ministers] said Apple had “failed to grasp” the public outcry over tax avoidance by large companies.

Central Banks’ Unconventional Policies

Richard Barley had a piece in Monday’s The Wall Street Journal concerning the confidence gap that’s growing between Central Banks’ unconventional policies and the realities of the market place and the economy that underlies both.  He closed his piece with this:

But there are more valid worries. One is that while central bank efforts are proving enough to keep the economic show on the road, they aren’t doing more than that; the persistent downgrading of growth expectations and the constant refrain from policy makers themselves for politicians to take measures to boost growth sustainably are testament to that.

A Propos Missing Devices

A report from cloud access security firm Bitglass analyzing all breaches of financial services firms since 2006 found lost and stolen devices [behind a registration wall] accounted for 25.3% of breach events

These missing devices only emphasize the incredible “excessive carelessness” of Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s utter negligence in her handling of her own devices.  The damage to which we’re exposed and the damage done by…careless…handling isn’t limited to national secrets or even to politics.

Employment and Interest Rates

The US economy added 151,000 net new jobs in August, below consensus expectations for 180,000. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate remained stable at 62.8%, as did the jobless rate at 4.9%, though it was expected to tick slightly lower to 4.8% for the month. The closely-watched U6 rate, or “underemployment” rate, which measures unemployed workers and those working part time for economic reasons, remained stuck at 9.7%.

The EU and Tax Invasion

Notice that: invasion.

EU antitrust regulators ordered Apple on Tuesday to pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in taxes plus interest to the Irish government after ruling that a special scheme to route profits through Ireland was illegal state aid.

The problem, in the EU’s eyes, is that Apple headquartered its European operations in Ireland, which has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the EU (and which EU Know Betters keep hammering on the Irish to “correct” because its tax rates are, somehow, unfairly low), and then Apple funneled most of its European revenue through that Irish branch so as to pay—legally in their and Irish eyes—low taxes.

Pay to Play Variant

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband aren’t the only Democrats engaged in this.  Here’s a variant being employed by Democrat Attorneys General, as described in The Wall Street Journal, by Andy Koenig, a senior policy adviser at Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce.

The administration’s multiyear campaign against the banking industry has quietly steered money to organizations and politicians who are working to ensure liberal policy and political victories at every level of government. The conduit for this funding is the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, a coalition of federal and state regulators and prosecutors created in 2012 to “identify, investigate, and prosecute instances of wrongdoing” in the residential mortgage-backed securities market. In conjunction with the Justice Department, the RMBS Working Group has reached multibillion-dollar settlements with essentially every major bank in America.

Construction Union Vig

In California last week, legislators and interest groups declared dead a measure…to allow certain apartments with some low-income units to sidestep the state’s environmental review process. That followed a failed effort by state lawmakers in New York earlier this year to renew a widely used tax break for rental housing in New York City….

For both measures, construction unions were key to the defeat, as they won over key allies with their argument that the government shouldn’t be aiding apartment development without also guaranteeing union-level wages.

Let’s see, low income housing, union wages.  Union wages, low income housing.

A Question of Cash

Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and ex-Chief Economist of the IMF, thinks we should get rid of most of the cash—paper currency—we have in circulation.  Rogoff claims to not want to do away with cash altogether, but regardless of his goal, it’s clear that eliminating a particular cash instrument can only be a first step and not a last one.

[P]aper currency lies at the heart of some of today’s most intractable public-finance and monetary problems. Getting rid of most of it—that is, moving to a society where cash is used less frequently and mainly for small transactions—could be a big help.

What’s Scaring Her So Much?

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, with the active support of the State Department which she used to lead, is refusing to release all of her State Department daily schedules until after the elections this fall.  These schedules would reveal with whom she met, for how long, and on what (claimed) subjects.  While some of those schedules have been released already (not voluntarily, but only under court order pursuant to an AP FOIA request that had to be satisfied via AP’s lawsuit), she—and State—are slow walking the release of the rest.  Now why would that be?

Clintons, Clinton Foundation, and Donations

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is making the claim, through her campaign staff, that the Clinton Foundation will stop taking donations from foreign countries or from corporations in the event she’s elected President.

Republican Party Presidential candidate Donald Trump and his campaign organization are pointing out a loophole in that Clinton commitment: the promised ban carefully does not include smaller Clinton-tied charities like Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), among others.

There’s another loophole in Clinton’s commitment, though.  The Clinton Foundation would be permitted to accept donations (only) from