Showing posts from March, 2020

The Economy before the Pandemic - Focus on SE Asia

To write a chapter on Global GDP trends would be ambitious.  What I am doing instead is focusing on SE Asia.  An area where I have spent much of the past 7 years.

Asia accounts for 42 percent of global GDP in purchasing power parity; this number was expected to rise to more than 50 percent by 2040Its share of global consumption grew from 23 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2017, and was expected to increase to nearly 40 percent by 2040. Asian corporations now account for 43 percent of the world’s largest 5,000 companies (G5000), contributing $19 trillion in revenue to the world economy every year. Asia was the destination for $1 of every $2 in new investment in the past decade; 43 percent of the world’s top 5,000 firms by revenue are headquartered in the region.
Throughout much of 2019 there were indicators of an economic slowdown across Asia.  Referencing a Bloomberg report from July 2019, it was reported that gross domestic product in export-reliant Singapore shrank an annualiz…

The Rise of Nationalism - Before the Pandemic

When someone says Economic Nationalism? We think of Donald Trump, Brexit, Marine Le Pen, Norbert Hoffer, Nigel Farage, Geert Wilders.

I am aware of the alleged role of technology companies in manipulating voter behavior.  But I believe that these firms manipulated forces that already existed.  Again, they did not create the factors - just manipulate the behavior of social media users.  They fanned the flames - they did not necessarily start the fire.

The electoral fortunes of populist personalities / parties are often grouped into
1. the demand-side of public opinion,  2. the supply-side of party strategies, and  3. constitutional arrangements governing the rules of the elections
In this chapter, I will explore one theory under the demand-side.  The economic inequality perspective.  As explained in the previous chapter, income and wealth inequality is rising.  Blame is often placed on the rise of the knowledge economy, technological automation, the collapse of manufacturing, global f…

High Tax Rates and Social Equality - Before the Pandemic

The objective of this book is to help international entrepreneurs prepare for the post pandemic world.  The point being made in this Chapter is that the pandemic has not necessarily created anything new.  Rather it accelerated changes that were already in motion.
A key social change is income inequality.  To explain trends in social inequality I quote extensively from the genius that is Thomas Piketty.  He is arguably among the world's experts when it comes to social inequality.  You should refer to his books and his videos to understand this area in more detail.  He has written on it extensively and references the data collected in the World Inequality Database ( This project represents the combined effort of more than a hundred researchers in eighty countries around the world. It is currently the largest database available for the historical study of wealth and income inequality both within and between countries.  I was born in London in the 70s.  Growing up in the 1…

Modifications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 in the CARES Act

I'm just going to summarize what was explained in more detail here -

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act cleared the House vote and was signed into law. As the most expensive legislation ever passed, the CARES Act includes tax relief and incentives designed to help both businesses and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the CARES Act modifies certain provisions that were previously amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). These changes include:

Modifications for Net Operating Losses (NOLs) - The TCJA eliminated the prior two-year carryback of NOLs but provided an indefinite NOL carryforward period. The CARES Act now allows for a five-year carryback of NOLs arising in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 tax years. Businesses may amend or modify tax returns for years dating back to 2013 to take advantage of the expanded carryback.The CARES Act …

Congress Passes the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

Woke up here in South East Asia to find this email in my inbox.  The House passed the bill so it is on its way to POTUS.
Full bill is here -
IRS details on the Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments are here -

If you don’t file taxes, use the "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" application to provide simple information so you can get your payment. -
Filers: Get Your Payment - Use the "Get My Payment" application to:
- Check your payment status
- Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check
- Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if we don't have your direct deposit information and we haven't sent your payment yet

Change Your Address – How to Notify the IRS -

Cayman Islands and the EU Black List

On 18 February 2020 the EU Finance Ministers updated the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. Four countries or territories -Cayman Islands, Palau, Panama and Seychelles- have been added to the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. These jurisdictions join US Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Samoa, Oman, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and US Virgin Islands that were already on the list.
On February 18, the EU Council confirmed that the Cayman Islands had been added to the EU's official list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, commonly referred to as the “EU blacklist”. This is a significant development, but generally speaking in the short term it is not expected to give rise to any immediate adverse tax consequences. Any longer term impact will depend both on ·whether this turns out to be a temporary or more permanent status and ·investor perceptions, particularly for EU based investors.

Q. What is the EU blacklist? A. The stated purpose of the EU blacklist is to assi…