Panic-stricken bank depositors in Cyprus emptied ATM machines across the nation after the surprise announcement Saturday that, as part of an extremely controversial European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout deal, authorities would seize up to 10 percent of all savings deposited in Cypriot banks. Markets across Europe plunged as fears of contagion or even a large-scale bank run in the region plagued investors, with the single euro currency falling to multi-month lows and gold rising back above $1,600 following news of the $13 billion scheme.
In a stunning depiction of how bad our tax code has become, the Wall Street Journal on March 10 found that 60 major U.S. companies parked a total of $166 billion abroad last year, enabling them to avoid almost $100 billion in taxes. Otherwise put, around 40 percent of these companies’ aggregate total earnings were shielded from taxes — and also made unavailable for paying dividends or making investments in the United States.
According to Friday's Labor Department report, the economy generated 236,000 new jobs in February, dropping the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent. But these number do not reflect some unsettling facts: Part-time jobs increased while full-time jobs fell, and the labor force itself continued to shrink.
Despite much speculation that huge government agency orders for billions of rounds of ammunition are deliberately designed to result in "de facto" gun control, a more reasoned response is that demand is outstripping supply and it will eventually inevitably come back into balance.