March 26, 2020

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking at a coronavirus news conference, announced that individuals who owe taxes to the IRS can defer up to $1 million, and corporations can defer up to $10 million in payments, for a period of 90 days from the April 15th deadline. At this point, the deferral applies to the income taxes owed, and there does not appear to be a similar automatic extension for filing a return.

Between January 21 and March 12th of this year, COVID-19 has affected multiple continents, with over 3,500 deaths out of over 120,000 confirmed cases according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Confirmed cases have doubled in the last 25 days.

March 11, 2020

As a Swiss citizen and voter, I cherish the privilege of open discourse on political issues and problems. Having heated political discussions and arguments is part and parcel of Switzerland’s direct democracy. However, in business, as in my contributions to this blog, I generally shy away from politics. In the increasingly polarized environment we live in, I have learned that one’s words can easily be taken out of context or m...

No one knows the future. I only know a few things: first, that the market hates uncertainty, and the advent of a plague about which too little is known. It is probably true that the panic is all out of proportion to the eventual damage it will do. But the markets spent all of recent days panicking, as have most people.

Modern Monetary Theory, or “MMT”, has been getting a lot of attention lately, often celebrated as a revolutionary breakthrough. However, there is absolutely nothing new about it. The very basis of the theory, the idea that governments can finance their expenditures themselves and therefore deficits don’t matter, actually goes back to the Polish Marxist economist, Michael Kalecki (1899 – 1970).

February 26, 2020

Trump-bashing appears “in vogue” in most parts of the world – and certainly in the U.S. Democrat constituencies and mainstream press. However, whether you like the man’s hairdo or not, some of the factual economic statistics produced during this administration can be considered impressive, or at least promising.

The past year was exceptional from an investing point of view. After a very difficult fourth quarter in 2018, with heavy losses in global equity markets, the rebound that started early in 2019 lasted much longer than many expected. In fact, despite the recent volatility caused by increasing fears of the coronavirus spread and the political tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the killing of Qassem Suleimani, the bull run in...

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