AMERICA'S federal budget is less an exercise in accountancy and more a piece of political showmanship, especially when, as now, opposing parties control the presidency and Congress. This year's budget, released on February 2nd, was no different. President Barack Obama presented a long financial wish-list to Congress, calling for higher domestic and military spending, paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy and by borrowing more. It is time to "replace mindless austerity with smart investments that strengthen America", Mr Obama proudly declared. The budget also includes plans to tax companies' overseas profits in order to plough $478 billion into repairing America's crumbling roads and bridges. Little of this has gone down well with the Republicans who control Congress. Mr Obama's plans to raise taxes and raise spending by 7% above the limits Mr Obama agreed with them in 2011 went down particularly... Continue reading
A curate's egg
The corporate taxman cometh
ON JANUARY 21st the Ukrainian government and the IMF announced that Ukraine would be seeking a new, bigger bail-out . They also announced that they would start negotiating with foreign creditors, in an attempt to reduce the amount of money the Ukrainian government owes.
Capital Economics, a consultancy, had an interesting take: the economy…created more than 1,000,000 additional jobs in the last three months…the strongest pace of job growth since 1997 This continues the labour market’s strong performance during 2014. By December there were 3m more people in work than a year earlier. Unemployment was 1.1 percentage points lower. The ratio of jobseekers to openings fell from a peak of seven to one in 2009 to two to one in November 2014.