“Apple, Capitalizing on New Tax Law, Plans to Bring Billions in Cash Back to U.S.” (nytimes) says that Apple is going to pay $ 38 billion in tax to the U.S. Treasury on money that it has been stuffing overseas. Here’s the confusing part to me:
Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement, “We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible.”
It makes sense that Apple is bringing the money in before the next Congress comes up with a new tax scheme that is less favorable. But why brag about the company’s “deep sense of responsibility”? It wasn’t quite deep enough to pay taxes at the old rates? But it is deep enough to pay some U.S. taxes at the new lower rates? Apple assumes that nobody will ask these (to me) obvious questions?
Maybe they can use some of the repatriated money to sit down with Honda and create a working version of Apple CarPlay?
Philip Greenspun’s Weblog
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Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich’s Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets:
I will never forget the war… The Germans invaded our village… Young and cheerful. With so much noise! They arrived in huge vehicles and their three-wheeled motorcycles. I’d never even laid eyes on a motorcycle before. All we had at the collective farm were these one-and-a-half-ton trucks with wooden beds, these machines that were low to the ground. You should have seen those German trucks! They were as tall as houses! Their horses—not horses, but mountains. They painted a message on the wall of our schoolhouse: “The Red Army has abandoned you!” We started living under German rule… There were a lot of Jews in our village: Avram, Yankel, Morduch… They rounded them all up and took them out to the shtetl. They’d brought their pillows and blankets, but they were all killed right away. They rounded up every Jew in the district and shot them all in a single day. Tossed them into a pit… thousands of them… thousands… People said that for three days afterward, their blood kept rising to the top of the pit… like the ground was breathing… it was alive… Now there’s a park there. A place of recreation. You can’t hear anyone from beyond the grave. No one can scream… So, that’s what I think…[ She cries.] I don’t know… How did it happen? Did they come to her, or did she find them in the forest? Our neighbor hid two little Jewish boys in her barn—adorable kids. Real cherubs! Everyone was shot, but they hid. They managed to run away. One was eight, and the other one was ten. My mother would bring them milk…“ Children, hush,” she told us. “Not a word of this to anyone.” In my neighbor’s family, there was an old, old grandfather, he remembered the other war with the Germans, the first one… He’d feed the boys and weep: “Oh, children, they’ll capture you and torture you. If I could stand to do it, you’d be better off if I killed you myself.” Those were his words… And the devil hears everything…[ She crosses herself.] Three Germans showed up on a black motorcycle with their big black dog. Someone had informed on them… There are always people willing to do things like this, people whose souls are black. They’re alive, but it’s like they are soulless… Their hearts are just medical, not human hearts. They have no pity for anyone. The kids ran into the field, into the grain… The Germans sent their dog in after them… Afterward, their remains had to be gathered up shred by shred… There were nothing but rags left of them… nothing to bury, no one even knew their last names. Then the Germans tied our neighbor to their motorcycle and made her run until her heart burst…[ She no longer wipes her tears.] In times of war, people fear one another.
I went to apply to the teacher training college like I had dreamed. I had to go there and fill out an application. I answered all of the questions and then I got to the one that said, “Were you or any of your relatives prisoners of war or under occupation?” I answered that yes, of course we were. The director called me into his office: “Young lady, please take your documents and go.” He’d fought at the front and lost one of his arms. He had an empty sleeve. That’s how I learned that we… everyone who’d survived the occupation… were unreliable elements. We were now under suspicion. No one was calling us brothers and sisters anymore… It took forty years for them to remove that question from the application form. Forty years! By the time they took it out, my life was already over.
At the front, we were afraid of speaking openly with one another. A lot of people had been arrested before the war… and during the war… My mother worked at a bread factory, and one day, during an inspection, they found breadcrumbs on her gloves. That was enough to constitute sabotage. They sentenced her to ten years in prison. I was at the front, my father was at the front, so my younger brothers and sisters had to go live with my grandmother. They’d beg her, “Granny, don’t die before Papa and Sashka (that’s me) come back from the war.” My father went missing in action. —What kind of heroes are we? No one ever treated us like heroes. My wife and I raised our kids in barracks and after that, all we got was a room in a communal apartment. Today, it’s kopecks… Tears instead of pensions. On television, they show us the Germans. They’re doing pretty well for themselves! The defeated are living one hundred times better than the victors.
More: read Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets
Philip Greenspun’s Weblog
Another month is in the books. Stock markets around the world are at record highs. And what is the lead story I read this morning? […]
I was amused last night to discover that I was pointed out by no less a person than Peter Schiff on no less a network than Reuters as to being “totally wrong” about my grim views of gold. Well, as almost always seems to be the case, just about the only asset in the red […]
Slope of Hope
Oil and Energy stocks have been an obsession of the market since oil started falling. It is no wonder, as some of these stocks have fallen 70 or 80 or 90%. Everyone wants to be there when they turn around. Of course there is no guarantee that they won’t just move sideways for a long time, but a rebound of only 30% of the down move could make your portfolio look great.
It is with that backdrop that it is worth studying the movement in the Energy ETF ($ XLE). It has moved in a tight range since the beginning of the month. The chart below shows the 15 minute, very short term, price action over that period. And it reveals a Cup and Handle pattern. This pattern would give a target of 63 if the price moves out of the Handle.
Examining that Handle shows a lot of positives despite also being a downward channel. The Momentum is ticking up and turning Bullish. The MACD is crossing up and the RSI bounced off of the 40 level. The 50 period SMA is moving up towards a Golden Cross, through the 200 period SMA. A continued move higher would trigger a buy through the channel which would also break that 200 period SMA.
So why does this potential $ 1.50 move look so important? The broader scale explains. The daily chart below also contains a Cup and Handle pattern. Some may also see an Inverse Head and Shoulders pattern. Either way both would give a target price objective of $ 80. And when does the target become active on the Cup and Handle? It just happens to be at the same place the 15 minute chart shows, over 61.25.
The momentum in the daily chart is in bullish ranges but fading. So the longer time frame needs the help of the shorter time frame to reverse it higher. This is why it makes sense to watch both handles in the Energy ETF.
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