The week began with a homemade Brexit debacle and ended with what many commentators saw as real progress towards a constructive future relationship building between the exiting UK and the EU. Despite the Northern Ireland hiccup, we had sensed that, following last week’s exit bill compromise, there was a breakthrough in the air. I personally couldn’t believe Northern Ireland’s luck of being offered the tremendous business opportunity of being allowed to remain member of both the UK and the EU. I was already envisaging Belfast becoming a weightier European financial hub than Dublin! Alas, smaller minded nationalist interests prevailed and put an end to that pipe dream
US Tax Reform and the anniversary of the ‘Trump trade’
Friday is the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s surprise election win and, to mark the occasion, the wheels appear to be finally turning on his flagship tax reform bill. Last Saturday, the US Senate passed a version of the bill which proposed cutting the corporate tax rate to 20%. This followed the other chamber of Congress, the House of Representatives, passing a version in midNovember which cut the corporate tax rate to the same amount. Given the boost that the reform was expected to bring for US companies, the Senate’s vote garnered much attention in the press. Both chambers of congress have now voted and passed their respective bills, so it’s plain sailing for the legislation, right?
Brexit Softening on the Horizon?
Last week, we wrote about a breakthrough in the Brexit ‘divorce bill’ negotiations, and how this could clear the way forward in most other areas. After another – more painful week of negotiations than expected – on Friday the Prime Minister announced that an historic deal had been reached with EU negotiators, where guarantees on Irish border issues and the rights of EU citizens – as well as the divorce bill that made headlines last week – have been secured.
Japan consensus growth forecast revisions
Our forecasts are not always perfect, as regular readers will attest. Global growth has been stronger, taking global equity markets higher than we thought likely this year. On balance though, we feel we’ve had good calls than bad. For example, regions we were positive on have gone on to do very well, such as Japan.
Insight article Bitcoin and Blockchains – what are they?
Bitcoin (BTC) have continued their meteoric rise in price this week, smashing through $16,000 per coin just a week after surpassing $10,000 for the first time – and gaining plenty of media attention in the process. This is thought to have accrued on the back of speculation about the impact of a launch of futures contracts for the digital currency. This would increase the availability of investing in Bitcoin for a broader set of the investing public.
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