While You Were Working - January 17

Apple is bringing A LOT of its cash back home

Apple plans to pay a $38 billion one-time tax on a portion of its overseas cash stockpile to bring the funds back to the United States. The company also announced its intention to build a second US headquarters as part of a plan to spend $350 billion in the US over the next 5 years.

Apple didn’t say if the moved was linked to recent tax reforms, but it is hard not to see the announcement as anything less than a huge win for the Trump administration.

Bloomberg does some central bank data crunching

I love this. Bloomberg crunched data for the decade from 2006 to 2016 to see which central banks were the most accurate with the economic outlooks. The Bank of England did poorly in many regards, while the relatively quiet Bank of Canada was spot on in many instances. Maybe that is why England stole Mark Carney from the Canadians?

Analysis like this is great because it seems like the track record of a central bank – or other financial institution – is something that should be more readily available. A month or so ago, all kinds of firms came out with their predictions for what lies ahead across various markets in 2018. If there was an analysis available for how right or wrong each firm’s predictions have been historically, it seems like that might be a valuable piece of intel. I am sure someone is out there crunching that data, but it should be released with much pomp and circumstance. Perhaps as "Fake Forecasts" awards ceremony?

Prelude to Davos

With the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos just days away, it looks like we have a sneak peek at one of the hot topics. The WEF is set to propose a new measure of economic growth that focuses on living standards and average earnings instead of GDP.

“If the bottom line of the way societies evaluate economic success is whether median living standards – people's’ livelihoods and economic security – improve, then GDP is not a sufficient measure of that.” Explains WEF’s Richard Samans.

A particularly tasty nugget is that the WEF will publish a ranking of countries based on this measure. Considering the size of the delegation the Trump administration is sending to Davos, I reckon it will be interesting to see how Trump et al respond to the ranking of the US… whatever that might be.

Ode to Ronnie

Ronaldinho announced his retirement yesterday. Sid Lowe is in today with his tribute to the footballer who was the epitome of juga bonito. People sometimes forget how Ronaldinho was almost singularly responsible for the revival of FC Barcelona in the mid-2000s. The club has always been successful, but before Ronnie arrived they weren’t world-beaters and they certainly weren’t cool.

I attended a match at the Camp Nou in 2001 and the ground was maybe ¼ full. Maybe. A ¾ empty Camp Nou is unimaginable today. By the time I moved to Barcelona in 2006, Ronaldinho (and Eto’o, Deco, Iniesta, Puyol, et al) were en route to the treble. Ronnie was the face of the franchise. His face and his “hang loose” hand gesture were EVERYWHERE in Barcelona. The Blaugrana were fun to watch and Ronnie made them that way. He made them cool. And when the team needed a goal out of nothing, Ronnie usually delivered … with a smile.

WYWW Appetizers

  • API boss Jack Gerard will drop the mic at the end of August.
  • Many would say that this scenario has now flip-flopped completely.
  • Hard to believe this guy was allowed to retire on his own terms.