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Tax changes in the US to substantially boost the economy

The US National Retail Federation (the world’s largest retail trade association ) commented that the recently legislated tax changes will boost the US economy more than any other initiative in decades.  Retailers will benefit as employment grows and wages increase.  The NRF expects up to 1.5 million new jobs to be created as a result of the new tax regime.  Congressional estimates show a family on the average income of $73,000 pa will see a tax cut of over $2,000 in 2018.

Will Bitcoin boom or burn?

The main stream media continues to comment about Bitcoin and other emergent ‘crypto-currencies’, referring to it as ‘boom’, ‘investment’ and ‘currencies’.  Pity they didn’t take the time to read Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.  Published in 1841, the book describes precisely what’s happening and what WILL happen.  Bitcoin is not a legal tender, it’s not represented via coins or banknotes, it is not supported by even a single nation, so the question arises whether it actually could be called a ‘currency’.  Anyone who put money into this pyramid scheme will get burnt, sooner rather than later.

Solid Christmas trading period for retailers

The Australian Financial Review commented on the Christmas trading period, which was quite solid for Australian retailers.  The AFR expressed surprise that Amazon’s Australian operations didn’t make any noticeable impact, which actually didn’t surprise us.  Every country has its specific environment, which leads to its own mix of over the counter vs. delivered retail sales.  The entry of another online player may alter the mix within the segment that sells via deliveries, but it was unlikely to move more sales away from brick and mortar stores.  We think that most of the shift from over the counter sales to delivered sales has already occurred.  Regrettably (for retailers) there is much less profit in a sale if delivery is required…