Because I'm the Tax Man ....ohhhh.. the Tax Mannnnnnn....
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the "Trump Tax" cases. The two cases seek to force banks to turn over information in cases involving President Trump's former tax returns. At issue, whether the standing policy that a sitting President cannot be indicted protects Trump from an investigation by the NY Attorney General. Second, can the Congress demand this information from a sitting President. They say they can. The President says there is no reason they need them. So, Separation of Powers and should a President be immune from prosecution by a State while in office so that he is not distracted from his official duty. I think yes. Short of murder, I think the prosectors can wait. Otherwise, you'll have Republican States suing Democratic Presidents and vice versa for the rest of time. ... Having said that ..
I think what the investigation will eventually show is potential tax fraud. I'll bet what you'll see is that he values his properties on IRS forms at a lower value to reduce taxes.. and at a higher value on bank loan forms to getting bigger loans with better terms. It happens all the time ... and you rarely see prosecutions .. but signing and swearing a valuation is accurate and then signing a DIFFERENT contract with a DIFFERENT valuation is not kosher ...
The President informed the World Health Organization that it the USA wants to withdraw. Many are screaming about how crazy this is, especially in a pandemic. Trump is angry with the WHO over their pandering to China and the mishandling of the Coronavirus.
Speaking of Coronavirus, it still dominates the news with spiking cases in Florida, Texas and Arizona. (By the way, it's going to be 118 Degrees in Phoenix. Isn't heat supposed to kill the Coronavirus?). People in Arizona are complaining that testing is taking too long (10 days) and are angry that officials are scrambling now to get better, faster testing. "What were they doing for the three months we were in isolation. Why are they 'working on getting more tests', NOW??? "
Another big debate is when and how schools re-open. President Trump wants schools open in the Fall for a myriad of reasons and claims some states want to hold up until after the election for political reasons. NY Gov. Cuomo says it's not up to the President. The decision is up to States and Localities. Which is true. Trump says he will look to cut Federal Funding to States that do not re-open their schools.
The Trump haters were using the "he should follow the doctors and not decide on his own" line. But, the doctors are pushing for kids to be in school. So, the Trump haters have moved on to arguments OTHER than the experts and doctors..
The American Academy of Pediatrics' guidance "strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school." The guidance says "schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being." The AAP cites "mounting evidence" that transmission of the coronavirus by young children is uncommon, partly because they are less likely to contract it in the first place.. If you want to read an apolitical (but long) article on schools around the world being open and safe.. HERE.. This is from Science Magazine.
Personally, I say send them all back. The kids will be fine. Let elderly or sick teachers apply for other jobs at the school or retirement if they feel unsafe. The downside, especially in poor communities, of not returning is devastating. In many poor area the kids get breakfast and lunch at school and no food at home. Single parents will not be able to work because they cannot afford daycare. The health effects of going to school are minor to the kids.
The Supreme Court YESTERDAY ruled in favor of a seven year issue for the Little Sisters of the Poor. At issue was Obamacare forcing all organizations to provide birth control free of charge to all employees. The SCOTUS held that religious exemption took precedent over the ACA rule.
Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented saying the court ignored health rights in favor or religious exemption. .. I gotta say .. NO ONE is saying the women that work for religious organizations cannot use birth control. They are just saying the religious organization cannot be forced to PAY for it. No right or healthcare has been denied...and as you know, I think RBG is a very smart Justice but she said a REALLLY stupid thing in this case.. She pointed out that around 100,000 women would lose their "no-cost contraceptive services". WHAT?? WHAT!?!??!!??! NO COST???? NOTHING is no cost!!!! SOMEONE PAYS. So, pay a few dollars for your own contraception. It's a fair trade off for all those extra days off you get for religious holidays ..
In Da Swamp: I predicted about a year ago that the 2020 Presidential election was gonna be UGGGG LEEEEE with some of the worst mudslinging and insults ever. So, far it's been fairly tame with the COVID-19 pandemic grabbing most of the headlines. It looks like that is about to change and the Trump side will be first to shovel the muck.
A PAC that backs Trump has made a multi-million dollar "ad buy" in Wisconsin and the ads are "historical Biden gaffes and scandals". The ad shows Biden claiming he finished top of his college class and earned three degrees. Then went to law school on a full scholarship. All of that is not true and he was called out on it at the time and had to recant. Also, he plagiarized speeches and assignments in Law School. Expect this stuff to get worse and worse. The one thing that will be interesting is, "the Women" thing. Biden has a slew of women alleging "sexual assault and unwanted touching" but I don't think EITHER campaign wants to "go there". Do you???
Biden is becoming a little more visible after spending months in his basement and was out yesterday slamming Trump for his handling of the Covid crisis. That will certainly hit home to many as the new cases continue to spike.. Biden also jumped into the "Defund the police" arena by saying that money should, "definitely be redirected away from police". This will probably be a hot campaign topic..
NHL: Hockey fans around the globe cheered yesterday as the NHL announced the plan for the August 1 re-start. The two "hub cities" (Edmonton and Toronto) will host three games a day at 12pm, 4pm, and 8pm. Given the time difference of two hours you'll have 12, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10:00 games. 12 straight hours of hockey. ...Every day... Wives and Girlfriends of hockey fans are horrified..
NFL: "ALL OF THEM" ... Tampa Bay Buc coach Arians told reporters that, at 67, he will be taking extra precautions against Covid. They asked about the players and coach said, "They're all gonna get it. All of them.... It's just a matter of how sick they get" .. Wow.. Ill bet THAT is a little more honest than the NFL wants him to be..
PGA: James "Bones" MacKay was Phil Mickelson's caddy for 25 years, most of his victories and all five majors. Bones retired from Mickelson two years ago and has been working as an on course reporter for Golf Channel and NBC. With the Covid precautions golf Matt Fitzpatrick's caddy is staying in England. Fitzpatrick was shocked when he got a text from Bones asking, "You want me on the bag for these two weeks at Muirfield". Fitzpatrick accepted and you're gonna see Bones out there on the bag, again. Think he can help get a win?
CELEBRIDIOTS: We all know it's not happening but Kanye West saying he is running for President is just too funny to ignore. He says since Trump is running as a Republican that he will run under a NEW party. "The Birthday Party" because when he wins it's gonna be everybody's birthday. He says Elon Musk is going to be an advisor. You GO Kanye.. You GO !!!
WOKE Left wing news organization Vox is having an online meltdown after one of its co-founders signed the "Cancel Culture has to stop and people need to respect free speech" petition. This is the problem with the Radicals. They only believe in Free Speech if THEY like what you're saying. Sorry, Boys and Girls. If you do not believe in free speech for people you hate, you do not believe in Free Speech...
Madonna. GO AWAY .. No one wants to see a topless 61 year old former dancer. (Except maybe a dirty 90 year old .. ) .. so STOP posting stuff.. I'm NOT going to show my readers links to that and make them choke on their coffee ..
Black Wonder Years .. Looks like ABC is picking up a version of Wonder Years from Lee Daniels about a black family. .. Hmmm.... Who are they going to get to play Winnie Cooper? Chose carefully, producers and casting directors. You want her to turn out like Danica, eventually... HERE .. ..and by Turn out like Danica I want to make clear.. not only is she HOT .. she is WAYYYYYYYYYY smarter than me .. She wrote a book about Math Theory and graduated top of her class at UCLA. She helped DESIGN the Raj Tub .. unfortunately she's been making me social distance from her in it for three months, now!!! COME OVER DANICA !!! It's nice on this side of the tub !!!
Walt Disney World opens to annual passholders today and tomorrow, with the Magic and Animal Kingdom areas opening to the general public on Saturday, followed by Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios four days later. New safety requirements from the theme park operator will include temperature checks, face coverings and extra sanitation efforts, though Disney (NYSE:DIS) is facing a petition from some workers asking for a reopening delay due to increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Florida. SeaWorld (NYSE:SEAS), Cedar Fair (NYSE:FUN) and Six Flags (NYSE:SIX) have all seen moderate traffic at their reopened parks over the past week amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Tech stock love saw Nasdaq futures rise overnight, while Dow and S&P 500 futures inched lower, following a turnaround on Wednesday that saw all three indexes close back in the green. More than 60,000 new daily COVID-19 infections were recorded in the U.S. yesterday to mark the single-largest total of any country since the coronavirus outbreak began in early January. Today's session will be highlighted by earnings from Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA), as well as jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. ET, which analysts expect will show 1.3M Americans filing for weekly unemployment benefits.
Sentiment also got a boost on Wednesday after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said that the jobless rate could fall substantially by the end of 2020. "I think we're tracking very well right now," the central bank official told CNBC. "Seems to me like by the end of the year you can get down certainly to single digits, probably even below 8%, maybe 7% by the end of the year." It's been quite a run for the unemployment rate, which was at a 50-year low of 3.5% just five months ago before spiking up to 14.7% in April (it currently stands at 11.1%).
Add Brooks Brothers to the recent retail bankruptcy list that includes Neiman Marcus, J.Crew and J.C. Penney (OTCPK:JCPNQ). The storied apparel brand, founded in 1818, will be looking for a buyer as it goes through reorganization, and has decided to close 51 stores, a decision it attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. One reason for Brooks Brothers' struggle was its big rent obligations, but the company was also feeling some effects of a change in traditional business dress and shift towards casual, despite its own efforts in activewear. That loss in demand will only become more pronounced as people continue to work from home.
Echoing similar moves by Target (NYSE:TGT), Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Nike (NYSE:NKE), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is removing Washington Redskins merchandise from its online store, adding to pressure on the NFL team to change its name. Sellers have 48 hours to review and remove items flagged by Amazon, including jerseys, t-shirts and jewelry. The decision comes after the Washington Redskins announced last week it would review its name after several big sponsors - FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Nike, PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) - called on the team to rebrand itself following pressure from investors.
More than 170 nonprofit groups are asking Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) to stop selling its talc-based baby powder worldwide after the company said in May that it would discontinue the product in the U.S. and Canada. "Decades of independent scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder," according to the company. "We continue to offer this product in many other regions around the world where there is higher consumer demand." Johnson & Johnson still faces thousands of lawsuits from consumers and their survivors claiming its talc products were contaminated with asbestos and caused cancer.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is "very close" to achieving level 5 autonomous driving capabilities, CEO Elon Musk said by video at the opening of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai. "I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level 5 autonomy complete this year," he added, as the company competes against Google's Waymo (GOOG, GOOGL), GM's Cruise (NYSE:GM), Amazon's Zoox (AMZN) and Uber (NYSE:UBER) in the self-driving arena. Level 5 is typically referred to as "full automation," where all roads and environmental conditions can be managed without a driver and steering wheels are optional.
Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is scrapping plans for a new major cloud service in China due to concerns over political tensions and the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reports. The initiative was known as "Isolated Region" and sought to address the desires of China and other countries to control data within their own borders (via a local business or government agency). Google Cloud brought in $8.9B for Alphabet last year, but the cloud platform lags behind market leaders Amazon Web Services (AMZN) and Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Following in the footsteps of Canada, Australia has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, as the country moves to offer a path to citizenship for those who wish to leave the city. Australia also updated its travel advisory, warning that China's new "vague" national security law could lead to foreign nationals being arbitrarily detained in Hong Kong. The law is the biggest change in Hong Kong's freedoms and autonomy since Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997 and could endanger the city's appeal as a financial hub.
What else is happening...
Wednesday's Key Earnings
In Asia, Japan +0.4%. Hong Kong +0.3%. China +1.4%. India +1.2%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.7%. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt +1.2%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq +0.4%. Crude -0.3% to $40.77. Gold +0.1% to $1822.70. Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 0.66%
Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims 10:00 Wholesale Trade 10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory 12:00 PM Fed's Bostic: "The Prescription: Fiscal Policy for the COVID-19 Economy" 1:00 PM Results of $19B, 30-Year Note Auction 4:30 PM Money Supply 4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet
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