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Trump vs. Amazon: Tax Em

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(Via Zerohedge)

President Donald Trump just sent a chill down the spine of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his fellow techno-plutocrats by reiterating his support for an Internet tax.

“The internet – they’re going to have to start paying sales tax because it’s very unfair what’s happening to our retailers all over the country that are put out of business,” Trump said Wednesday.

In a veiled shot at Washington Post-owner Bezos, Trump repeated skepticism that he first expressed in a tweet late last year about Amazon’s impact on the US Postal Service as it struggles to keep up with all the online orders while sinking into financial insolvency.

According to one technology analyst who spoke with CNBC, the prospect of an an internet tax has long been an object of tech industry lobbying efforts.

“There’s always been a fear for players like an Amazon or a Google that something like this could actually get through,” Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights, told CNBC. “We believe it’s more noise than a real threat.”

As we’ve pointed out in the past, several tech companies and industry lobbying groups rank among the biggest spenders in Washington.

Amazon collects sales tax on products it sells directly to consumers, but is more lax when it comes to sales made on its platform by third party merchants.

Indeed, the trend has already started at the state level.

In June, South Carolina filed a complaint against the online retailer, and Amazon agreed in November to take on additional third-party tax burden in its home state of Washington.

To be sure, America’s “retail apocalypse” is expected to accelerate this year. With that in mind, Trump might be pushing to preserve American companies and jobs. However, Amazon isn’t the only reason for the flood of retail company bankruptcies: Massive excess capacity, perpetually over-levered capital structures and a constant lack of
capital investment have undoubtedly helped accelerate the decline.

Trump made his remarks during the signing of the Interdict Act, which seeks to reduce drug smuggling through the purchase of opioid sensors.

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Politics

Soros Newest Investor Of Tesla Bonds

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Tesla looks to have a new bond holder and it’s none other than George Soros. Whatever this mean, Soros has also taken a stake in Crypto-Currencies .

Zerohedge Reports: Amid Elon Musk’s darkest hour in late March – as his stocks and bonds tumbled in price – it seems there was at least one other billionaire willing to buy the ‘blood on the street’.

According to the latest 13Fs, George Soros’ investment firm took a $35 million stake in Tesla’s convertible bonds during the first three months of the year.

As a reminder, convertibles are hybrid securities, either bonds or preferred stock, that can be exchanged for a predetermined number of common shares. That effectively lets an investor participate in stock-price changes, but with the yield and greater security of a fixed-income instrument.

The March 2019 Converts bounced handsomely off those lows – tracking the stock’s divergent bounce – but in recent days has fallen back towards the lows, catching down to the straight bonds record low price.

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Culture

“Racial Bias Education Day” To Close Down Starbucks Nationwide

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Starbucks is going to the illogical extreme by taking an entire day to put their employees through what they call “Racial Bias Education Day”. Coming after a viral videos showed two men being arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia. Starbucks almost instantly gave into calls to do ‘something’ but will this really fix anything in a culture where ‘racism’ is more of a political talking point than an actual substantive conversation or debate.

CNBC Reports: Starbucks said Tuesday it will be closing all of its company-owned restaurants in the U.S. during the afternoon of May 29 to conduct a racial-bias education program.

“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, said in a statement Tuesday. “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”

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Business

Soros Now Investing In Crypto-Currencies

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(Via Zerohedge)
By TD


After a historic drop in cryptocurrency prices in the first quarter, one which deflated much of the euphoria that surrounded the sector in late 2017 and the start of this year, the space is about to get exciting again because none other than 87-year-old billionaire George Soros is reportedly preparing to trade cryptocurrencies as prices plunge.

According to Bloomberg, Adam Fisher -who oversees macro investing at New York-based Soros Fund Management – has received internal approval to trade virtual coins in the last few months, “though he has yet to make a wager.”

The question, of course, is whether Bloomberg’s leak is accurate, and if indeed Soros is only now getting started in the space or if he has quietly loaded up already.

What is ironic, is that just three months ago when speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Soros said digital coins cannot function as actual currencies because of their volatility, “but he didn’t predict the hard tumble that some observers had forecast at the time.”

“As long as you have dictatorships on the rise you will have a different ending, because the rulers in those countries will turn to Bitcoin to build a nest egg abroad,” Soros, 87, said on Jan. 25.

With Bitcoin tumbling below $7000 recently…

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