Cecilia Malmström, the EU trade commissioner, speaks at a press conference in Brussels, 1 June 2018. Photo credit: European Commission/Georges Boulougouris
Study finds “phantom” investment flows add up to $12trn, including $3trn in Luxembourg. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Steel safeguards possible in July
The EU could introduce preliminary countermeasures against higher US steel and aluminum tariffs as soon as July, Cecilia Malmström, the European trade commissioner, said in an interview with Reuters. While a full investigation will take 9 months, there is “already anecdotal evidence of steel intended for the US market being diverted to Europe by US tariffs,” she told news agency.
Github got by Microsoft
Microsoft is buying the software development site Github, used by 28m coders, for $7.5bn, reported the Financial Times. The move strengthens Microsoft’s bet on open source software, said the FT. “Github, based in San Francisco, is an online platform that allows coders to collaborate with each other on their work,” explained the BBC.
Trillions in “phantom investment” go to tax havens
More than a third of global investment flows end up in “empty corporate shells” for tax purposes, according to a recent study, as reported by the Telegraph. “A stunning $12 trillion--almost 40 percent of all foreign direct investment positions globally--is completely artificial: it consists of financial investment passing through empty corporate shells with no real activity,” said the researchers at the International Monetary Fund, University of Copenhagen and National Bank of Denmark. “They found $3.2 trillion of FDI entering the Netherlands via special purpose entities, $3 trillion Luxembourg and $1 trillion Hong Kong,” wrote the newspaper.
Hurricane Maria death count
The death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria is officially 64, but a Harvard University study “estimates the total number of deaths at 4,645,” as reported by PRI.
Schultz quits Starbucks
Howard Schultz will step down as executive chairman of Starbucks later this month, reported the New York Times. He led the coffee chain for three decades before giving up the CEO seat in April 2017. Schultz may run for public office, possibly for US president. “For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country--the growing division at home and our standing in the world,” he told the newspaper. “But I’m a long way from making any decisions about the future.”
EU interior ministers will meet in Luxembourg to discuss an overhaul of the bloc’s so-called Dublin asylum rules, according to the AFP.