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Trump promises massive tax cut

Trump under fire over ‘huge tax cut for the rich’

The Trump administration unveiled what it called the biggest tax cuts “in history” on Wednesday, in a move that will simplify the US tax system, slash taxes for businesses large and small – including Trump’s own – eliminate inheritance taxes and set the president on a collision course with Congress over the likely $2tn-plus cost of the proposal. Critics immediately called it “basically a huge tax cut for the rich”.

The plan would cut the US’s individual income tax brackets from seven to three (10%, 25% and 35%) and slash US corporate tax rates from 35% to 15%. “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do something really big,” said Gary Cohn, chief economic adviser to Donald Trump. “This is about growing the economy, creating jobs.”

http://www.theguardian.com…  Fri.,  28 April 2017

White House: Trump will not immediately bolt NAFTA

Trump wants to renegociate NAFTA

President Donald Trump on Wednesday told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will not immediately pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, just hours after administration officials said he was considering a draft executive order to do just that.

The White House made the surprise announcement in a read-out of calls between Trump, Mexican President Enrique Pe?a Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

http://www.abcnews.go.com…  Thu.,  27 April 2017

Russia-linked hackers target Macron campaign

Centrist politician is being singled out for electronic eavesdropping by the Kremlin

Researchers with the Japanese anti-virus firm Trend Micro say the campaign of French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron has been targeted by Russia-linked hackers, adding more details to previous suggestions that the centrist politician was being singled out for electronic eavesdropping by the Kremlin. The campaign’s digital chief, Mounir Mahjoubi, confirmed the attempted intrusions in a telephone interview late Monday but said they had all been thwarted.

http://www.usatoday.com…  Wed.,  26 April 2017

Insurance fintech offers diabetes life & disability cover

Insurance tech company help ‘uninsurable’ diabetics

A South African insurance technology company supported by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is launching a life insurance product for diabetics in the UK. AllLife has partnered with Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual insurer, to offer a new product to diabetics previously regarded as “uninsurable” because of their condition. AllLife uses an algorithmic pricing platform called Kaliber to deliver a cost-effective life insurance product.

http://www.businessinsider.com…  Tue.,  25 April 2017

French Election: Macron’s Victory Provides Europe a Ray of Hope

European markets rally after Macron’s victory

European markets started the week on a positive footing after the centrist Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French election.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 1.6 percent higher in early deals with all sectors trading on positive ground. The benchmark rose 1.8 percent to its highest level since early December 2015. The French CAC 40 bourse jumped nearly 4 percent at the start of trading. Stocks of French banks dominated the top of the European benchmark with Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas all up by around 10 percent. Natixis, Axa and Vinci were also higher in early deals. The rally in french stocks supported the entire sector, which outperformed its peers on Monday morning, up by 4.2 percent.

http://www.cnbc.com…  Mon.,  24 April 2017

The world’s 100 largest banks

23 banks with more than a $1 trillon of assets

China’s largest banks kept growing in 2016, but the currency turmoil unleashed by Brexit battered European companies in S&P Global Market Intelligence’s latest global bank rankings.

China’s “Big Four” — Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China Construction Bank Corp., Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. and Bank of China Ltd. — all maintained their rank as the four largest banks in the world with a combined $11.910 trillion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2016. Tokyo-based Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. retained its place as the world’s fifth largest bank at $2.590 trillion in assets.

Brexit was not kind to European currencies in 2016 — the euro bought $1.055 at the end of 2016, compared to $1.086 a year earlier, while the British pound fell to $1.235 from $1.474 over the same period. The drop in the pound alone knocked $289.53 billion off of the asset value for London-based Barclays Plc, which fell two spots in the ranking to No. 17 with $1.496 trillion in assets; the bank’s assets would have been $1.785 trillion if converted to U.S. dollars using the year-end 2015 exchange rate.

http://www.snl.com…  Fri.,  21 April 2017

General Motors says Venezuela illegally seizes auto plant

The seizure comes amid a deepening economic crisis

General Motors said on Wednesday that Venezuelan authorities had illegally seized its plant in the industrial hub of Valencia and vowed to “take all legal actions” to defend its rights.

The seizure comes amid a deepening economic crisis in leftist-led Venezuela that has already roiled many US companies.

http://www.moneycontrol.com…  Thu.,  20 April 2017

Augmented Reality, The FaceBook’s Next Frontier

Mix the physical and digital in whole new ways

At the company’s annual developer conference on Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the wraps off his plans to “mix the physical and digital in whole new ways” using AR, the nascent and potentially revolutionary technology being worked on by Apple, Microsoft, Snap, Magic Leap, and others. Starting Tuesday, Facebook will give developers the ability to build their own AR effects for the Facebook app’s camera. The effects will be relatively basic initially and function similarly to Snapchat’s lenses, which can place puppy dog ears or a flower crown on your face.

But eventually, Facebook plans to use AR through its app’s camera to show things like menu information at a restaurant, virtual steam rising from a real coffee cup, and virtual, 3D art that cascades from a blank wall.

http://www.businessinsider.com…  Wed.,  19 April 2017

What Do Startup Insurtech Companies Do?

8 different business

The global insurance industry is worth nearly $5 trillion, and insurance companies are at risk of losing a share of this valuable market to new entrants. That’s because these legacy players have been even slower to modernize than their counterparts in other financial services industries.

This has created an opportunity for a group of firms known as insurtechs. These startups are leveraging new technology and a better understanding of consumer expectations to increase efficiencies in the insurance industry. Some are helping incumbents deliver better end products, while others are directly competing with legacy players.

http://www.leadersedgemagazine.com…  Tue.,  18 April 2017

China to post solid, steady first-quarter growth

Building booms, but debt risks loom

China is expected to report on Monday that its economy grew 6.8 percent in the first quarter, well above Beijing’s full-year target, buoyed by surging government infrastructure spending and a gravity-defying property market that is showing signs of overheating. A strong reading could help wobbly global financial markets but add to worries that China’s government is still relying too heavily on old growth engines like stimulus and not doing enough to tackle risks from an explosive build-up in debt.

Though policymakers have pledged repeatedly to push reforms to head off financial risks and asset bubbles, the government is seeking to keep the world’s second-largest economy on an even keel ahead of a major leadership transition later this year.

http://www.reuters.com…  Mon.,  17 April 2017