• Tag Archives Norway
  • “This Is A Tax Bomb”: Norway Considers Massive “Tesla Tax”

    Elon Musk can’t seem to catch a break lately with cash burn rates surging to new highs every quarter and embarrassing rumors suggesting that the company, one that was supposed to be the most technologically sophisticated auto manufacturer in the world, has been making parts by hand to try to get Model 3s on the road.
    Now, after being one of the largest contributors to Musk’s taxpayer-funded enrichment scheme for years, the country of Norway may have just decided that enough is enough with legislators considering a new tax for buyers of electric cars that weigh over two tons…which, as of now, would pretty much only include Teslas. As the Financial Times notes today, the proposal could tack on a massively punitive $10,500 tax to the purchase of every Tesla in Norway.
    Norway is proposing a ‘Tesla tax’ that would hit owners of the heaviest electric cars in a move that critics say will undermine the Scandinavian country’s standing as a pioneer of zero-emission vehicles. Sales of electric cars and hybrids accounted for 60 per cent of new vehicle sales in Norway last month, fuelled by extensive subsidies in taxes, tolls and parking fees.
    But the centre-right minority government in Oslo is now proposing a one-off tax on all electric cars that weigh more than two tonnes – something that at present would predominantly target Teslas and potentially add up to NKr82,800 ($10,500) to the cost of buying one.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 13, 2017.


  • Spike In Airborne Radioactivity Detected In Europe, Source Located In Southern Urals

    In late February, concerns about a potential nuclear “incident”, reportedly in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, emerged when trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin were detected in January over large areas in Europe, according to a report by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks. And while Norway was the first to measure the radioactivity, France was the first to officially inform the public about it.
    “Iodine-131 a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January”, the IRSN wrote in a press release.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 6, 2017.


  • Another Potential Game Changer for Gold Supply: Chinese Oil Imports Convertible to Gold

    There are clear supply pressures coming to the gold market, so the last thing it needed was a new source of demand. But that’s exactly what it’s about to get, and as you’ll see, it could potentially push supply into a strained predicament. If this new development catches on it could lead to some fireworks in the gold market.
    This source of demand comes from China’s announcement that oil exporters to China will accept yuan as payment. This is normally done in dollars (hence known as the petrodollar system). The yuan is not well established internationally yet, so as an incentive, China will offer its exporters the option to convert their yuan into gold. This will essentially result in a new source of gold demand, one not currently present in the market.
    So how much gold are we talking about? Let’s run the numbers…
    China’s imports in 2017 have averaged 8.55 million barrels of oil per day. This is already 14% more than last year, and has made them the world’s largest crude oil importer. Every report I’ve read says imports will continue to grow by double digits. A launch date for the program hasn’t been finalized, but let’s assume 9 million barrels per day starting next year.
    The one-year forecast for a barrel of crude oil is $60 (it’s $59 as I write). That equates to $540,000,000 per day. At a $1,300 gold price, that means 415,384.6 ounces of gold per day could potentially be converted. That’s a whopping 151,615,384 ounces per year.
    Not all of that would be converted, of course. But consider that many of the countries that export oil to China aren’t exactly friends of the US, and some are outright enemies, so the conversion rate would probably be greater than if it were all coming from Canada or Norway, or countries that already have a lot of gold. Further, conversions would almost certainly rise in a crisis, especially if Mike is right about the coming monetary shift.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on Friday, 29 September 2017.


  • Traders Yawn After Fed’s “Great Unwind”

    One day after the much anticipated Fed announcement in which Yellen unveiled the “Great Unwinding” of a decade of aggressive stimulus, it has been a mostly quiet session as the Fed’s intentions had been widely telegraphed (besides the December rate hike which now appears assured), despite a spate of other central bank announcements, most notably out of Japan and Norway, both of which kept policy unchanged as expected.
    ‘Yesterday was a momentous day – the beginning of the end of QE,’ Bhanu Baweja a cross-asset strategist at UBS, told Bloomberg TV. ‘The market for the first time is now moving closer to the dots as opposed to the dots moving towards the market. There’s more to come on that front. ‘
    Despite the excitement, S&P futures are unchanged, holding near all-time high as European and Asian shares rise in volumeless, rangebound trade, and oil retreated while the dollar edged marginally lower through the European session after yesterday’s Fed-inspired rally which sent the the dollar to a two-month high versus the yen on Thursday and sent bonds and commodities lower. Along with dollar bulls, European bank stocks cheered the coming higher interest rates which should help their profits, rising over 1.5% as a weaker euro helped the STOXX 600. Shorter-term, 2-year U. S. government bond yields steadied after hitting their highest in nine years.
    ‘Initial reaction is fairly straightforward,’ said Saxo Bank head of FX strategy John Hardy. ‘They (the Fed) still kept the December hike (signal) in there and the market is being reluctantly tugged in the direction of having to price that in.’
    The key central bank event overnight was the BoJ, which kept its monetary policy unchanged as expected with NIRP maintained at -0.10% and the 10yr yield target at around 0%. The BoJ stated that the decision on yield curve control was made by 8-1 decision in which known reflationist Kataoka dissented as he viewed that it was insufficient to meeting inflation goal by around fiscal 2019, although surprisingly he did not propose a preferred regime. BOJ head Kuroda spoke after the BoJ announcement, sticking to his usual rhetoric: he stated that the bank will not move away from its 2% inflation target although the BOJ “still have a distance to 2% price targe” and aded that buying equity ETFs was key to hitting the bank’s inflation target, resulting in some marginal weakness in JPY as he spoke, leaving USD/JPY to break past FOMC highs, and print fresh session highs through 112.70, the highest in two months, although it has since pared some losses.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 21, 2017.


  • Norway Wealth Fund Assets Surge To Over $1 Trillion On Massive 70% Allocation To Equities

    Last December we joked that the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund had responded to sinking returns and withdrawals required to fund budget deficits by allocating another $130 billion in assets to what appeared to be an already massively overpriced equity bubble in return for an extra 40bps of “expected average annual real returns.” (see: Norway Buying $130 Billion In Global Equities As Sovereign Wealth Fund Continues To Bleed Cash). The extra equity purchases pushed the fund’s total equity allocation to a staggering 70% of their $860 billion in assets under management.
    After being forced to withdraw at least $15 billion to fund 2017 budget deficits, the $860 billion Norwegian sovereign wealth fund has announced that it will change it’s portfolio allocations to try to make up the difference. The change will result in 75% of the fund’s capital being allocated to global equities, up from the current 60%. Sure, because funneling another $130 billion to the global equity bubble is just the prudent thing to do for an extra 40bps of “expected average annual real returns.”
    The central bank’s board, which oversees the fund, on Thursday recommended an increase in the equity share to 70 percent from 60 percent. That will raise the expected average annual real return to 2.5 percent over 10 years and to 3.5 percent over 30 years, compared with 2.1 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, under the current setup.
    The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund said that it expects an annual return of only 0.25 percent on bonds over the next decade and that the expected ‘equity risk premium,’ or return on stocks over government bonds, will be just 3 percentage points in a cautious estimate.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 20, 2017.


  • Norway’s Big Fish Story

    Submitted by Nick Kamran – Letters from Norway
    Decision Season
    With Parliamentary elections looming, more Norwegians than usual are asking themselves the tough questions. It is now apparent that the slump in oil is not a temporary one. What will the country do now? Time for the lottery winner, after receiving the last annuity, to get a job before burning out the savings. Many are looking towards the sea, fishing and exploiting underwater natural resources. Others are looking to blast open the mountains to do the same.
    However, commodity based economies, third-world in nature, are subject to mother nature’s whims, innovation, and ruthless competition. Moreover, it creates complacency, catching the nation off guard when there is a shift in the supply curve (instead of hitting peak oil, the opposite happened). Hence, the decisions or lack thereof, made during the next four years will impact future generations. Two generations of Norwegians grew up on the delusion that their society, built on pre-socialist values and high oil prices, can endure any challenge.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 4, 2017.


  • Why Houston Doesn’t Need Federal Flood Relief – In Four Charts

    In his article today, Christopher Westley noted that Texas’s economy – when measured by GDP – is larger than Canada’s. In other words: If Texas were an independent country, it would be the world’s 10th largest economy (totaling $1.6 trillion), and its citizens would be more than capable of addressing natural disasters of the magnitude of a major flood. Texas’s economy is also larger than those of Russia and Australia.
    By why stop our analysis at the state of Texas? Indeed, if we look at the GDP of the Houston metropolitan area, we find it comes in at $503 billion. This total is similar to the GDPs of Poland, Belgium, and Austria. It’s significantly larger than the GDPs of Norway and Denmark.1

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Aug 31, 2017.


  • It Begins, China Pulls West Investment Dollars & Redirects It East – Episode 1361a

    The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 22, 2017
    US workers wages collapse, people will now accept less for work. The NY Times is reporting that there is a housing crisis in Silicon Valley. Chicago’s national activity index went to zero unexpectedly. Mnuchin visited Fort Knox and lets the people know that the gold is safe without showing any proof. Norway government is purchasing more global stocks with the idea that the returns will help the government. China is now pulling investment dollars from the West and redirecting to the east.


  • Crazy Train: Norway’s Wealth Fund Ordered To Increase Its Stock Holdings

    All aboard the Central Bank Crazy Train!
    (Bloomberg) – As many investors question a global stock-market rally that’s now in its eighth year, the world’s biggest wealth fund is prepared to splurge.
    Norway’s $970 billion wealth fund has been ordered to raise its stock holdings to 70 percent from 60 percent in an effort to boost returns and safeguard the country’s oil riches for future generations. Any short-term view on growing risks will play little part, according to Trond Grande, the fund’s deputy chief executive.
    ‘We don’t have any views on whether the market is priced high or low, whether bonds and stocks are expensive or cheap,’ he said in an interview after presenting second-quarter returns in Oslo on Tuesday. The decision to add stocks ‘was made at a strategic level, on a long-term expected excess return that we’re willing to take risk to achieve. And parliament has said that they wish to spend some time to phase in that increase.’
    The fund has doubled in value over the past five years and is continually adding risk to its portfolio. It returned 202 billion ($26 billion) kroner in the second quarter, and 499 billion kroner in the first half, the best on record for the period.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 22, 2017.


  • Repsol, Statoil Pull Foreign Oil Workers From Venezuela

    One day after Venezuela allegedly squashed a “military rebellion“, in anticipation of further political and social turmoil in the socialist nation, energy giant Repsol SA pulled all foreign workers from its fields in Venezuela, Bloomberg reports adding that Norway’s Statoil ASA also removed all expat staff.
    According to Bloomberg, Repsol field workers left the country in the past few weeks, with a skeleton expatriate staff remaining at the company’s offices in Caracas. Separately, Statoil withdrew its last three foreign workers before the July 30 election to ensure their safety, Erik Haaland, a company spokesman, told Bloomberg by phone.
    The immediate result of the departures will be an even bigger decline in Venezuela’s oil output – the only remaining asset which Maduro can readily exchange for dollars – further exacerbating the country’s financial crisis as the inflow of hard currency slows further.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.


  • Apple Now Owns $51.5 Billion In Treasurys, More Than Mexico, Turkey Or Norway

    Every quarter, Apple manages to impress with its gargantuan cash hoard, which in Q2 rose to $262 billion (which however is $153 billion net of debt), a new all time high as shown in the chart below.

    While it is widely known that of this $262 billion, the vast majority, or $246 billion is held offshore, what is less appreciated is that Apple’s actual cash is just $18.6 billion. The rest is held in various securities, both short- and long-term, something we first reported back in September when we introduced readers to Braeburn Capital, the firm that actually manages Apple’s quarter trillion in asset holdings.
    In the five years that have passed since then, Apple’s AUM have grown. Substantially.
    As the company reported in its latest 10Q, as of June 30, AAPL now owns enough assets to not only put even the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater with less than $200Bn in assets to shame, but some of the world’s largest holders of Treasurys. Of its total $243 billion in Short and Long-Term securities, Apple owned a whopping $51.5 billion in Treasurys, split between $20.1 billion in T-Bills and $31.3 billion in Treasury Bonds.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 3, 2017.


  • Oslo Housing & Trade Balance Say: Tipping Point in Norway

    Traditionally, July is a slow month in Norway. Receiving sizable vacation pay in June, most Norwegian take three to four weeks off in July, enjoying most of their five-week annual vacation. If you worked overtime, you could add a few extra weeks, taking back those extra hours worked, turning that holiday into a sabbatical. However, while Norwegians live it up in Spain, Thailand, Croatia, and even America, trouble awaits them when they return home this fall.
    While housing prices may have finally reached the long-anticipated tipping point and the monthly trade balance posted a deficit for the first time since December 1998, the Norwegian Krone gained substantial strength, closing at 8.07 against the US Dollar. Going against the wishes and needs of exporters, that is well below the USDNOK=8.45 YTD average (July 23, 2017).
    However, Norges Bank indicated that rate cuts are over, following the ECB’s and US Federal Reserve Bank’s lead. Considering the importance of housing in the Norwegian economy and the need to boost exports, compensating for a fading oil sector, we can expect new and more exotic policies to push the NOK back down are already on the way.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Jul 24, 2017.


  • Norway’s “Voluntary” Tax Collects A Paltry $1,325

    It’s too bad for Norway’s ruling center-right party that Warren Buffett isn’t a resident. After becoming the object of unceasing criticism by their politicized slashing of taxes and funding a profligate spending program with the country’s oil wealth, Norway’s center-right party hit upon a novel idea: Impose a ‘voluntary’ tax, according to Bloomberg.
    However, when it came time to tally the total for this past fiscal year, the great northern policy ploy failed to evoke in the country’s 5.3 million citizens a patriotic fervor: When it was all said and done, the government collected $1,325.
    Launched in June, the initiative has received a lukewarm reception, with the equivalent of just $1,325 in extra revenue being collected so far, according to the Finance Ministry. That’s not much for a country of 5.3 million people, many of whom are already accustomed to paying some of the highest taxes in the world (the top rate of income tax is 46.7 percent).
    ‘The tax scheme was set up to allow those who want to pay more taxes to do so in a simple and straightforward way,’ Finance Minister Siv Jensen said in an emailed comment. ‘If anyone thinks the tax level is too low, they now have the chance to pay more.’
    Left-of-center opposition parties claimed the tax cuts would benefit the richest and boost inequality. Jonas Gahr Store, the wealthy Labor Party contender who is leading in the polls ahead of the September 11 elections, has so far refused to take up the government’s offer.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2017.


  • Norway’s Housing Market Downturn Gathers Pace Amid Bubble Fears

    One of the world’s hottest housing markets is now cooling fast, sparking concern that a bubble is bursting after the rapid price increases over the past years.
    Average nationwide house prices fell seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in June, declining for a second month, Real Estate Norway, Eiendomsverdi and Finn.no said Wednesday in Oslo. Annual nationwide gains slowed to 6.3 percent from 8.3 percent in May and to 11.5 percent from 16.5 percent in Oslo. In the month, prices in the capital plunged 3.1 percent.
    ‘This is one of the weakest June months on record,’ Christian Vammervold Dreyer, the head of Real Estate Norway, said at a press conference. ‘The uncertainty is bigger than in a very long time.’
    The housing market, which has been an economic bulwark against a crash in the nation’s oil industry, is cooling after the government tightened lending standards, specifically targeting speculative buying in Oslo. Spurred by record low rates and surging home prices, households have amassed debt of more than twice their disposable income, making Norwegians among the most indebted in the western world.

    This post was published at bloomberg


  • “Markets Have A Mind Of Their Own” But One Trader Warns “Nothing Lasts Forever”

    Despite new record highs in stocks, Bloomberg’s former FX trader Richard Breslow fears other markets (the dollar’s downfall, collapsing rates/curves, crashing commodities) have become too “fatalistic” amid the summer doldrums.
    Let’s start with some of the things we know with certainty. Yield curves will keep on flattening. Probably invert and drive home the point to everyone that the Fed committed a dreadful policy mistake. The dollar will never rally again. Just look at the numbers and you have to be a U. S. bear. And look how efficiently the latest European bank bailouts were handled this weekend. They really have their act together. Oil? It’s going to single digits, of course. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it or the carnage it will cause in places like Norway and Canada.
    It’s summer, markets have a mind of their own and there’s no percentage in fighting the tape.
    In fact it’s odd how fatalistic people seem to be. We used to furiously debate where and when we’d find the canary in the coal mine warning of an imminent market reversal to pounce on. Now, there seems to be blanket resignation that the trend is your master.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 26, 2017.


  • US Is A “Second Tier” Country, According To Social Progress Index

    Most Americans’ idea of happiness involves lounging by the water or on a beach somewhere. But it turns out, human happiness can flourish even in freezing climates far from the equator.
    To wit, the Social Progress Imperative, a US-based nonprofit, released the results of its annual Social Progress Index report, which purports to rank countries based on the overall wellbeing of their citizens. Four Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway claimed the top spots, while the US placed 18th out of 128, leaving it in what the SPI defines as the ‘second-tier’ of countries based on citizens’ wellbeing, according to Bloomberg.
    Luckily, being ‘second-tier’ doesn’t seem that bad, according to a definition found in the report.
    ‘Second-tier countries demonstrate ‘high social progress’ on core issues, such as nutrition, water, and sanitation. However, they lag the first-tier, ‘very high social progress’ nations when it comes to social unity and civic issues. That more or less reflects the U. S. performance. (There are six tiers in the study.)’
    ‘We want to measure a country’s health and wellness achieved, not how much effort is expended, nor how much the country spends on healthcare,’ the report states.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 21, 2017.


  • The Treasonous Secession Of Climate Confederacy States

    After President Trump rejected the Paris Climate treaty, which had never been ratified by the Senate, the European Union announced that it would work with a climate confederacy of secessionist US states.
    Scotland and Norway’s environmental ministers have mentioned a focus on individual American states. And the secessionist governments of California, New York and Washington have announced that they will unilaterally and illegally enter into a foreign treaty rejected by the President of the United States.
    The Constitution is very clear about this. ‘No state shall enter into any treaty.’ Governor Cuomo of New York has been equally clear. ‘New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions.’
    Cuomo’s statement conveniently comes in French, Chinese and Russian translations.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 16, 2017.


  • Key Events In The Coming Quiet Week: US Industrial Production In Focus

    It is a relatively quiet week for economic news in the and Eurozone with focus turning to UK data, Japan 1Q GDP, inflation in Canada & Australia’s employment report. Norway GDP should show continued improvement and the Riksbank proposal on a new policy target will also draw interest. In EM there are monetary policy meetings in Chile, Indonesia, Mexico and Poland.
    The start to the week is even more quiet today with no significant data to highlight, while in the US the May empire manufacturing reading is due along with the NAHB housing market index for May.
    On Tuesday, with little of note in Asia it’ll be straight to Europe where the final April CPI revisions are due in France along with the April CPI/RPI/PPI data docket in the UK. Euro area Q1 GDP and March trade data follows, while the May ZEW survey is also due in Germany. In the US tomorrow we’re due to receive April housing starts, building permits and industrial production data.
    We’re kicking off Wednesday in Japan where the March industrial production print is due. In the UK we’ll get March and April employment data, while April CPI for the Euro area is also due.
    There is no data of note in the US on Wednesday.
    Thursday kicks off in Japan again with the Q1 preliminary GDP report, while in China we’re also due to get April property prices data. In France on Thursday we’ll get Q1 employment data while in the UK we’ll get April retail sales. In the US on Thursday the data includes initial jobless claims, Philly Fed business outlook for May and Conference Board’s leading index for April.
    It’s a quiet end to the week on Friday. In Germany we get April PPI while in the afternoon session we get the flash consumer confidence reading for the Euro area in May. There is no data in the US on Friday.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 15, 2017.


  • ‘WE ARE SEEING NO SELLING OF PHYSICAL GOLD OR SILVER’

    Time and time again we are seeing fraud taking place in the precious metals’ market. Thousands of tonnes of paper silver and paper gold are being dumped over just a few hours or days. For anyone who doesn’t understand what is happening, let me categorically state that this has nothing to do with the real physical market in gold and silver. No, this is blatant manipulation by governments and bullion banks as well as speculators. And since governments are involved, it is sanctioned by them with no consequences for the traders who are rigging the market.
    BULLION BANKS FEAR THE DAY THEY MUST TURN PAPER GOLD INTO PHYSICAL What is happening has nothing to do with real markets or real supply and demand. What we are seeing is governments trying to obfuscate their total mismanagement of the economy and the currency. So far, the bullion banks have been fortunate that gold and silver paper holders haven’t called their bluff and asked for physical delivery. Because we know and the banks know that the day they will need to come up with the real gold and silver bars, it is game over. Because they haven’t got physical gold or silver to cover even a fraction of their paper shorts. Between futures exchanges, bullion banks, including precious metals derivates contracts, there are hundreds of ounces of paper gold and silver outstanding for every ounce of physical backing.
    The problem is that it is not only the bankers that are the culprits in this game. No, governments are just as culpable. Western banks officially hold 30,000 tonnes of gold. Virtually no Western central bank has ever had a physical audit of their gold. The US had their last audit during Eisenhower’s reign in 1953?
    Western central banks have in the last few decades been liquidating a major part of their gold holdings. For example, he UK sold half of their gold holdings at the end of the 1990s and Switzerland sold over half. Norway sold ALL their holdings in the early 2000s.

    This post was published at GoldSwitzerland on May 12, 2017.