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15 декабря 2016, 05:07

Fit for kings

The most iconic restaurant in Bangalore is the 92-year-old MTR, or the Mavalli Tiffin Room.

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01 ноября 2016, 08:58

Implied marginal tax rates

For the elderly: Consider, for example, the implications for those 60-64 of earning $20,000 more for one year.  Among the lowest quintile, 51 percent will lose more than 80cen ts of every extra dollar earned, 8 percent will lose between 61 and 80cent s, and 7 percent will lose between 51 and 60 cents…Among those […] The post Implied marginal tax rates appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

31 октября 2016, 16:22

Trends in Cumulative Marginal Tax Rates Facing Low-Income Families, 1997-2007 -- by Gizem Kosar, Robert A. Moffitt

We present new calculations of cumulative marginal tax rates (MTRs) facing low income families participating in multiple welfare programs over the period 1997-2007, the period after 1996 welfare reform but before the program expansions of the Great Recession. Our calculations are for nondisabled, nonelderly families who pay federal and state income taxes and the payroll tax but receive benefits from up to four different transfer programs--Medicaid, Food Stamps, subsidized housing, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The results show enormous variation in MTRs across families who participate in different combinations of welfare programs, who have different family structures, and who have earnings in different ranges. For families who participate in either no or fewer than two welfare programs, which constitutes the large majority of low income families, MTRs are either negative or positive but modest in magnitude. But families participating in two or more programs, while still facing negative or modest positive rates at low earnings, usually face considerably higher MTRs at higher earnings ranges, often up to 80 percent and even occasionally over 100 percent. While the fraction of families in this category is not large, they constitute about one-fifth of single parent families.

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07 сентября 2016, 14:02

Dividends: U.S. Economy Slipped Somewhat in August 2016

After posting their best two consecutive months since 2014, our monthly sampling of the number of U.S. firms acting to cut their dividends in August 2016 rose significantly. The biggest change is that the number of firms in the oil production sector of the U.S. economy has declined significantly in recent months, thanks largely to the rebound in crude oil prices since they bottomed in February 2016. Where they once dominated the count of the number of dividend cutting firms, oil and gas firms now only make up a third of the total of our sample of 17 dividend cutting firms for the month. The following chart gives an idea of where the level of distress in the U.S. economy appears to be increasing, but since it has been drawn from a small sample, we recognize that it may only represent a statistical blip that would hopefully not be sustained. The table below lists the U.S. firms that announced dividend cuts during August 2016. Publicly Traded U.S. Companies Cutting Dividends in August 2016 Date Company Old Dividend New Dividend 2-Aug-2016 Ardmore Shipping (NYSE: ASC) $0.16000 $0.11000 3-Aug-2016 Medallion Financial (NASDAQ: MFIN) $0.25000 $0.05000 4-Aug-2016 Nordic American Offshore (NYSE: NAO) $0.08000 $0.05000 4-Aug-2016 Computer Programs and Solutions (NASDAQ: CPSI) $0.64000 $0.34000 5-Aug-2016 Apollo Investment (NASDAQ: AINV) $0.20000 $0.15000 9-Aug-2016 Textainer Group (NYSE: TGH) $0.24000 $0.03000 9-Aug-2016 DHT Holdings (NYSE: DHT) $0.25000 $0.23000 10-Aug-2016 Medley Capital (NYSE: MCC) $0.30000 $0.22000 11-Aug-2016 Houston Wire & Cable (NYSE: HWCC) $0.06000 $0.03000 15-Aug-2016 Magic Software (NASDAQ: MGIC) $0.09000 $0.08500 18-Aug-2016 Communications Systems (NASDAQ: JCS) $0.16000 $0.04000 19-Aug-2016 Marine Petroleum Trust (NASDAQ: MARPS) $0.07328 $0.04351 21-Aug-2016 Mesa Royalty Trust (NYSE: MTR) $0.06440 $0.04130 22-Aug-2016 San Juan Basin Royalty Trust (NYSE: SJT) $0.02783 $0.01845 22-Aug-2016 Williams Cos (NYSE: WMB) $0.64000 $0.20000 22-Aug-2016 Medley Capital (NYSE: MCC) $0.30000 $0.22000 29-Aug-2016 San Juan Basin Royalty Trust (NYSE: SJT) $0.02783 $0.01845 These are primarily firms with relatively small market capitalizations, where even the large dividend cuts announced by Medallion Financial, Textainer Group, Communication Systems and the Williams Companies did little to move the major stock market indices during August 2016. Data SourcesSeeking Alpha Market Currents Dividend News. [Online Database]. Accessed 1 September 2016. Wall Street Journal. Dividend Declarations. [Online Database]. Accessed 1 September 2016.

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01 июня 2016, 19:26

The infrastructure illusion, by Scott Sumner

In recent years, progressives have increasing advocated more spending on infrastructure as part of a broader strategy of fiscal stimulus. I've argued that their proposals are not well thought out, for a variety of reasons: 1. Fiscal stimulus would not be expansionary; it would simply lead the Fed to tighten money more aggressively, leaving the expected inflation rate in 2018 unchanged. 2. Keynesians often engage in "reasoning from a price change", wrongly claiming that low interest rates are a justification for higher investment spending. 3. Keynesians overlook the fact that the US is not very good at building infrastructure and that our ability to do so is declining rapidly. Larry Summers has been on the other side of this issue, a big proponent of more spending on infrastructure. Now he seems to be becoming more aware of the drawbacks: I have an op-ed in the Boston Globe today on infrastructure, addressing the issue of quality rather than quantity of investment. Rachel Lipson, a graduate student at Harvard, and I describe the fiasco that has emerged from what should have been a routine maintenance project on the Anderson Memorial Bridge over the Charles River next to my office in Cambridge. Though the bridge took only 11 months to build in 1912, it will take close to five years to repair today at a huge cost in dollars and mass delays. Investigating the reasons behind the bridge blunders have helped to illuminate an aspect of American sclerosis -- a gaggle of regulators and veto players, each with the power to block or to delay, and each with their own parochial concerns. All the actors -- the historical commission, the contractor, the environmental agencies, the advocacy groups, the state transportation department -- are reasonable in their own terms, but the final result is wildly unreasonable. At one level this explains why, despite the overwhelming case for infrastructure investment, there is so much resistance from those who think it will be carried out ineptly. The right response is to advocate for reforms in procurement policies, regulatory policies and government procedures to make the investment process more efficient and effective. This is all clear enough. Because we are increasingly inept at building infrastructure, the investment schedule shifts to the left, and this reduces market interest rates. Low rates would only be an argument for more investment (public or private) if the low rates were caused by more saving. In the past I've argued that we need to remove regulatory barriers to building infrastructure, and also allow the private sector to become much more involved (as in Europe.) Alex Tabarrok has a new post advocating the abolition of historical preservation laws, and I'd argue the same for environmental impact statements. Instead, I'd suggest a 6-week period for any project that formerly required an environmental impact statement, a window of time where the government could purchase the property to protect whatever species was endangered, under the eminent domain laws. Requiring the government to actually compensate property holders explicitly, rather than simply taking away their property rights through regulation, would force policymakers to think much more clearly about the costs and benefits of environmental policies. I'd also completely deregulate labor markets, including laws that favor unions. Thus the new East Side subway being built in New York should be constructed by Chinese firms using migrant Chinese labor that sleep in those crummy blue and white metal sheds they use in China for worker dorms, and paid Chinese wages. New York would then be able to build up a world-class transport system, on the cheap. Of course none of this will happen, which is why I'm opposed to massive new fiscal stimulus programs aimed at infrastructure. The most likely outcome in the current environment would be white elephants like the proposed high speed rail in California, which will not be very effective, and will cost so much that other needed infrastructure in California will not be built. I'm glad to see Summers coming around to the view that the public sector many not be the right people to build infrastructure: At another level, though, our story may illustrate phenomena that go way beyond infrastructure. I'm a progressive, but it seems plausible to wonder if government can build a nation abroad, fight social decay, run schools, mandate the design of cars, run health insurance exchanges, or set proper sexual harassment policies on college campuses, if it can't even fix a 232-foot bridge competently. Waiting in traffic over the Anderson Bridge, I've empathized with the two-thirds of Americans who distrust government. Perhaps Summers could look at how they do things in Hong Kong, where a private company runs one of the most successful subway systems in the world: The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong. Opened in 1979, the system now includes 218.2 km (135.6 mi) of rail[3] with 155 stations, including 87 railway stations and 68 light rail stops.[1] The MTR system is operated by MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL). It is one of the most profitable systems in the world, with a high farebox recovery ratio of 186%. Under the government's rail-led transport policy, the MTR system is a common mode of public transport in Hong Kong, with over five million trips made in an average weekday. It consistently achieves a 99.9% on-time rate on its train journeys. As of 2014, the MTR has a 48.1% market share of the franchised public transport market, making it the most popular transport option in Hong Kong.The integration of the Octopus smart card fare-payment technology into the MTR system in September 1997 has further enhanced the ease of commuting on the MTR. . . . As a successful railway operation, the MTR has served as a model for other newly built systems in the world, particularly in mainland China. Hmm, I wonder why the Chinese don't look to New York City for inspiration? PS. Unlike New Yorkers, Singaporeans are smart. They use those cheap blue and white dorms for migrant workers building Singapore's wonderful infrastructure: This sort of "exploitation" also improves global equality, as Summers understood back in the days when he suggested dumping polluting industries on Africa. Ahhh, the good old days of 1990s neoliberalism. When will it return? (14 COMMENTS)

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19 мая 2016, 13:13

Трутнев : гонконгская MTR обсудит с РЖД совместные инвестиции в ж/д инфраструктуру в ДФО

Полпред президента в ДФО добавил, что в свете развития экономики Дальнего Востока речь прежде всего может идти о таких проектах, как реконструкция БАМа и Транссиба

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16 мая 2016, 17:19

Deutsche Bank наконец озаботился ландшафтом

Финансовый монстр из Германии решил последовать примеру конкурентов и заявил, что сворачивает финансирование угольной промышленности. Пока речь идет лишь об одном, но зато самом вредоносном для природы способе открытой разработки угольных месторождений, говорится в публикации Бена Уолша на сайте The Huffington Post. По-английски он называется Mountaintop removal (удаление горной поверхности) или сокращенно MTR. И применяется главным образом в горах Аппалачи в северо-восточной части США.

12 апреля 2016, 20:31

The "cost" of sloppy thinking, by Scott Sumner

The Atlantic, one of America's more respectable publications, has an article entitled "The Pillaging of America's State Universities". Here's the second paragraph: According to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' recently completed Lincoln Project report, between 2008 and 2013 states reduced financial support to top public research universities by close to 30 percent. At the same time, these states increased support of prisons by more than 130 percent. New York City's budget office reported in 2013 that incarcerating a person in a state prison cost the city roughly $168,000 a year. California apparently does it on the cheap: It costs roughly $64,000 annually for each prisoner--a bit more than the cost of a year at an Ivy League university (average tuition is $50,000) and far more than at the University of California, Berkeley, ($13,000) or at CUNY ($8,000). I had to read this twice, before realizing that it was utter gibberish. We are supposed to be impressed that the numbers for prisons are bigger than for Ivy League schools, which in turn are far bigger than for those poor unsupported state universities. In fact, the numbers show exactly the opposite. Before explaining why, let's review the term 'cost', which has two quite different meanings. Sometimes 'cost' means the opportunity cost of producing something, as when we talk about the cost of building a new highway, or a school. At other times, the term 'cost' is used synonymously with "price" as when we say, "Gas costs only 2 dollars a gallon at the nearby Mobil station." Cole has mixed these meanings together, all within the same paragraph. The cost of prisons refers to the first meaning, the resources used to incarcerate prisoners. The price is of course zero, as prisoners are generally not charged for room and board. In contrast, Cole uses the 'cost' of a public education to refer to the price. The actual cost or providing the service is far higher, with the difference made up by public subsidies. Thus the lower the number associated with the "cost" of going to Berkeley, the higher the state subsidy. When I read Cole's paragraph, I drew the opposite implication from what Cole intended. I ended up being very surprised at the size of the public subsidy (plus donations from alums), which picks up most of the cost of education at Berkeley and CUNY. This isn't just a small point; it makes the rest of the article almost total gibberish. What we really need is a graph showing public support for higher education (state and federal combined) as a share of GDP, over a long period of time. Because that graph is not provided, it's impossible for the reader to know whether there has been a significant cutback in public support, or not. And it gets even worse: The United States currently has one of the lowest marginal tax rates in the industrial world. Transferred resources from the very rich (less than 1 percent of nation's population controls more than 25 percent of its wealth), corporations, and from lower-priority institutions could build a more robust educational system in our country. The first sentence is gibberish, as the US has hundreds of marginal tax rates. In context, he seems to be referring to corporate tax rates and the top MTR on income taxes (as he refers to corporations and wealthy individuals.) If so, then the claim is absurd. The US doesn't have the lowest MTR, we have the very highest MTR on corporate income, and an above average top tax rate on personal income if you include state taxes (the Federal top rate is 43.4%, and with state taxes included the top rate is closer to 50%). The Socialist government in France recently tried a 75% top rate on income, and had to quickly abandon that rate. The US had 90% top rates in the 1950s, but the law was so riddled with loopholes that it collected very little revenue. The 43.4% top rate is more effective in actually collecting revenue. Progressives don't seem to realize that there's actually very little revenue left on the table, as higher rates tend to reduce GDP. That's one of the reasons why GDP in Western Europe is far below US levels. And to the extent that they do collect more revenue, it's almost entirely due to regressive taxes like VAT and gasoline taxes. Even worse, progressives keep forgetting that the money that they wrongly think they can be extracted from the rich, has already been promised 10 times over. Remember that it was going to be used to prop up Social Security, and even expand benefits? And that it's going to be used to provide universal pre-school for free? And that it's going to be used to repair infrastructure and build high-speed rail? And that it's going to be used to pay reparations to African-Americans? Oh, and how about single-payer health care in a system costing 18% of GDP (the current entire federal budget is about 22% of GDP.) Every time progressives find another "unmet need" they keep designating the exact same pot of gold from the rich for that purpose, a pot of gold that's already been spent many times over, and that (as the French socialists recently learned) is probably not available in the first place. Oh, and they also want to make income more equal, which would further reduce tax revenue. Even worse, when progressives actually have to face the opportunity cost of their decisions, they get cold feet. Consider New York City, one of America's wealthiest urban centers, with a tax base that places like Detroit and Cleveland can only envy. They just elected a very progressive mayor, and thus you might expect that "infrastructure" will finally be addressed. Exactly the opposite seems to be true: Mayor Bill de Blasio has postponed work to finish New York's third water tunnel, a project that for more than half a century has been regarded as essential to the survival of the city if either of the two existing, and now aged, tunnels should fail. The new tunnel has already been completed and is carrying water into Manhattan and the Bronx. But segments that would supply Brooklyn and Queens, home to five million people, though also virtually finished, still await the building of two deep shafts. If calamity or age forced the shutdown of City Water Tunnel No. 2, which is 80 years old, the primary water supply to much of Brooklyn and Queens would be lost for at least three months, city engineers said, the time it would take for an emergency activation of the sections of Tunnel No. 3 in Brooklyn and Queens that have already been finished. The entire Brooklyn-Queens leg of the new tunnel was scheduled to be finished by 2021, with $336 million included in the capital budget in 2013 by Mr. de Blasio's predecessor, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, for whom completion of the third tunnel was the most urgent and expensive undertaking of his tenure. So the infrastructure that we supposedly need is started by a Republican, and abandoned by a progressive. The real "unmet need" is not infrastructure; it's higher pay and fatter pensions for public employees. Even California, which spends "only" $64,000 on each prisoner, hires prison psychiatrists at $400,000/year: Mohammad Safi, a graduate of a medical school in Afghanistan, began working as a psychiatrist at a California mental hospital in 2006, making $90,682 in his first six months. Last year, he took home $822,302, all of it paid by taxpayers. Safi benefited from what amounted to a bidding war after a federal court forced the state to improve inmate care. The prisons raised pay to lure psychiatrists, the mental health department followed suit to keep employees, and costs soared. Last year, 16 California psychiatrists, including Safi, made more than $400,000, while only one did in the other 11 most populous states, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. After life in Afghanistan, Safi must be pinching himself to make sure he's not dreaming. And now imagine what the public employees make in the New York system, where it costs $168,000 per prisoner. That's about $500/day. I'm tempted to make a joke about the "cost" of a room at the Four Seasons in Bali, or Phuket, but I'd better stop before I end up becoming the sort of demagogue that I normally despise. HT: Lorne Smith (14 COMMENTS)

03 апреля 2016, 14:30

West Indies beat England to win World Twenty20 – live!

Over-by-over updates from the final in Eden Gardens, KolkataEmail [email protected] | Tweet @DanLucas86Vic Marks: Strauss the inspiration for England’s Eden project 6.22pm BST Our own Rob Smyth writes: “You were using superlatives in the preamble. Well that’s the greatest finish to a limited-overs match. You could write an entire book on that last over alone.” 6.21pm BST Here’s your hot off-the press match report. If you’re not too emotionally drained to read it. Related: West Indies win World T20 final as Carlos Brathwaite sinks England Continue reading...

21 марта 2016, 06:13

Модульная тактическая винтовка MTR SX-1

Сегодня современный рынок тактических высокоточных винтовок буквально переполнен различными предложениями от огромного числа производителей. По этой причине занять свою нишу на нем довольно непросто. Для этого необходимо предложить потребителям что-то необычное и новое. Именно это и постаралась сделать молодая компания из Австрии Ritter & Stark, которая представила на выставке IWA & OutdoorClassics 2016 свою новинку — модульную тактическую винтовку MTR SX-1.