Trump and the IRS
As for compensation cuts the vampire squid is making, a reader writes…
“Wow. Maybe we should be crying for the average Goldman Sachs employee — ONLY $90,000 for the first 3 months. Most people do not make that in a year.”
Still good work if you can get it, right?
Your opinions on Trump’s tax returns:
“Does it really matter? Just another political football for the disenchanted to use for nefarious purposes.”
Another reader agrees…
“I couldn’t care less about the President’s tax returns. That is for Trump and the IRS to work out.
“Once again, Trump haters want to try everything in the press where facts don’t matter.
“Trump did not make the tax laws, he just complies with them as best he can like the rest of us — without paying any more than is necessary.
“Let he who willingly pays more taxes than is necessary cast the first stone.”
Last, a reader’s prediction about the state of the market this year:
“If 2019 stock buybacks are on pace to set another record, it could be another banner year [for the stock market], assuming no black swans.
“Also coincides with the third year of presidential term, which are generally good ones.”
All fair points. One question: should we always assume “black swan” events? Any black swans you’ve got in the crosshairs?
Read below for what we’ve got our eye on…
Your Rundown for Monday, April 22, 2019:
“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”?
“Argentina looks like it’s headed, once again, for the misery of economic chaos and sovereign default,” says Dion Rabouin at Axios.
One reason — and there are several to choose from — is the probable re-election of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner come Oct. 27. CFK, as she’s known, was Argentina’s president from 2007 through 2015.
And let’s just says CFK’s no stranger to scandal, culminating in 2018 with an indictment on corruption, charging her administration with pocketing bribes in return for government contracts.
CFK’s re-election was inconceivable when businessman Mauricio Macri was elected president in 2015. He was going to be the white knight who rescued Argentina’s economy.
Rather, a few unnerving stats:
- Inflation’s at 55%
- Unemployment’s at 9.1%
- GDP is down 6.2% over last year
- The Argentine peso is trading at 42 to the U.S. dollar — roughly triple what it traded when Macri entered office
And in a wrongheaded effort to slow inflation, the central bank has raised interest rates as high as 65%. Not to mention Argentina bond yields are preposterously high — we’re talking 10.6%.
In sum, Argentina could be in for some serious macroeconomic shocks on the horizon. All of which means IMF intervention. Which means Big Banks lose money and, in turn, take bigger risks elsewhere that jeopardize the world’s economy.
Remember Greece? Now imagine that at 10-times the scale.
Still looking for the next black swan?
Market Rundown for Mon. April 22, 2019
S&P 500 futures are down 10 points to 2,900.
Oil is up $1.39 to $65.39 for a barrel of West Texas crude.
Gold’s added $3.40 to is price of $1,279.40 per ounce.
Bitcoin is up $13.56 to $5,319.64.
Have a good day. We’ll talk tomorrow.
For the Rundown,