All posts by James Cannon

James Cannon

About James Cannon

James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]businessdistrict.com

Japan Tagging on Tourist Tax to All Departing Persons

Japan

As of January 7, 2019, all those leaving Japan will be required to cough up an additional 1,000 yen (US$9). The money will be collected to improve tourism infrastructure in the country.


The levy, known as the International Tourist Tax, will be obligatory and all nationalities, regardless of the reason they are leaving the Japan. Tourists, businessmen, and any other traveler, as long as he or she is beyond 2 years old, will have the surcharge added to the price of their plane ticket.


Japanese authorities expect to raise about 50 billion yen. With the new money they plan to improve tourism infrastructure, including making the immigration process at the airport smoother, and encouraging visitors to go beyond the usual Tokyo and Kyoto stops during their stays in Japan.


The Asian democracy has been stepping up its marketing to the international tourist sector as a new source for its economic growth. In 2018 it is estimated that about 30 million foreigners visited Japan, the most ever. Many of the growth in tourism comes from Asian visitors, especially those arriving from China, South Korea and Taiwan. Japan is hoping that the coming Olympics will get the number of visitors to Japan up to 40 million by the year 2020.

New and Unusual Ways to Show the World You’ve Made It


Some people like yachts, others like watches. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and a luxury sports car can compensate for a lot. But what if you’ve got the money, but you are also looking to assert your unique, individual, crazy rich self? Here are a few bizarre ways you can flaunt your success.

A 1960 Michigan, USA, license plate. Courtesy
Absecon 49


Out in Silicon Valley the high-techies have taken to adopting chickens, which they keep as pets in their backyards. There’s a rumor that some even come in the house, with diapers on, of course, and are fed gourmet chicken feed. Go figure.


We know it can get bone-chilling cold in Chicago, so we do expect the outerwear to be high-quality, warm, and water-proof, too. Lucky for those with a few extra thousand dollars laying around, it is possible to purchase a $1,000 Canada Goose parka and keep your buns warm while telling the world you are ready for a vacation at the North Pole.


In Washington DC it seems it is trendy to wait on lines, most notably to visit overpriced restaurants and bars that serve boutique cocktails.


Americans are quite fond of their vanity license plates, but in New England this fad has been taken to a whole new level. Massachusetts is the first state in the USA to issue license plates for cars, back in 1903, with, of all things, Number 1. As you might imagine, low numbered plates are quite the rarity, and if its dear, the filthy rich will pay for the privilege of driving around with a low numbered plate. It has been estimated that some people will pay upwards of $100,000 for a low-numbered plate, and the much-desired plates are being passed down to the generations to come.


In Texas the filthy rich are going for luxury pick-up trucks, while in New York City big families have become a trend. And what could be pricier than several tuitions for private school?

Christmas Eve Trading in 2018 Worst in US History

The Dow Jones plunged 640 points on Monday, December 24 during shorter than normal hours due to the Christmas holiday. The sell-off was prompted by an unstable White House which reacted poorly to one of the worst trading weeks in ten years.


The S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Dow Jones all fell at least 2.2%, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.85%, 640 points. These numbers declare the historic, harrowing losses experienced on Christmas Eve, pushing the stock market for a yearly decline of about 11%. If the year ends with such a decline it will be the worst year since the beginning of the financial crisis.


Investors are struggling to understand the forces that prompted the retreat, speculating on several possibilities all coming together to sow chaos and concern.


Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called on six bank CEOs to try and reassure them and fragile financial markets after an historically poor week. It was a highly unusual move, which only made matters worse.


There is concern that President Trump is seeking to fire Federal Reserve head Jerome Powell. Trump is angry that the Fed has raised interest rates four times already and inquired of his aids if he had the authority to fire the Chairman of the independent Federal Reserve.


This might just be the end of the decade-long bull market which was helped to a great extent by loose monetary policy. From the 2009 low to the high of this past September, US stocks have climbed by 280%. But global growth is losing some steam, a trade war with China and others, and interventionist Fed policy are all coming together to accompany a new kind of stock market.


“Markets still under pressure from last week’s more hawkish Fed update, exacerbating fears about slowing growth and more expensive refinancing following years of stimulus,” said Michael van Dulken, the head of research at Accendo Markets.

Canadian and US Businessmen Fretful of Trips to China


North American businessmen have long been aware that traveling to China had its risks: executives with cellphones and laptops feared the theft of intellectual property and cyber attacks when in the biggest of all Asian nations.


But now the level of fear has been notched up to the next level.


Ever since the arrest of Meng Wanzhou on December 1st, traveling to China for business people hailing from the West, and especially North America, has been a nail-biting experience. Wanzhou, the head of giant cellphone maker Huawei, was arrested in Canada and her extradition was requested by the USA. She is charged with fraud because her company has allegedly had business dealings with Iran, a violation of US sanctions against the middle eastern country. Then the atmosphere intensified when Chinese officials stopped two Canadians, saying the pair was suspected of national security violations.


It is supposed by observers that the self-destructive mutual suspicions will not spiral out of control since neither side has any interest in provoking the people they want to do business with, and therefore will not publicly change their travel policies.


Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes are made. Last week the US tech company Cisco sent an email to their employees telling them that all non-essential trips to China would be suspended. The company caught the mistake and issued an apology stating that their travel policy to China had not changed.


American diplomats and businessmen will say in private that the two Canadians being held in China now is in retaliation for Meng’s detention, according to Craig Allen, the president of the US-China Business Council.


“If we don’t recognize that as a possible signal to American interests and to American businesses, then we would be willfully blind,” he says.

US Demands Extradition of Huawei Exec for Violating Sanctions Against Iran


In an unusual and controversial move, the Canadian government detained Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer to electronics giant Huawei. The arrest took place as Meng was changing planes on December 1st, in Vancouver, at the request of the United States.

Washington is requesting the extradition of Meng so she can face charges of Huawei using a shell company to sell electronic equipment to Iran, against the terms set forth by the US sanctions against Iran. The US also alleges that Huawei, under Meng’s leadership, misled American banks about the business it conducts with Iran.

The Chinese government called the US ambassador to Beijing to register its anger over the detention, insisting that Canada release Weng and the US cancel the order for her arrest.
The official Chinese news agency Xinhua News Agency said that Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng “lodged solemn representations and strong protests” with Ambassador Terry Branstad. The Chinese government also summoned the Canadian Ambassador John McCallum, telling him that there would be “grave consequences” if Meng is not released.
One of Canada’s provinces, British Columbia, said it was cancelling a trade mission

scheduled to visit China due to the detention of Meng. There is a fear that the Chinese will retaliate against Canada and arrest Canadians in kind.