Monday, May 10, 2010

The VAT In Europe Today And Other Monday Links.

The future is now in Europe on how the VAT works.

After almost two months of waiting for the iPad to arrive in their country of residence, international users are now complaining about the inflated price some of them must pay for the tablet, compared to the U.S. prices. For example, in the U.K., the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad costs £429, which equates to almost $150 more than in the U.S.. In Canada, the price difference is of almost $40 for this model, while in the Euro currency area, the difference can reach $150 as well.
[. . .]
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has once again taken to his iPhone to respond to complaints. Jobs reportedly said in an e-mail to an obfuscated U.K. customer that he needs to educate himself, explaining that U.K. prices must by law include VAT (17.5 percent), while U.S. price do not include tax -- hence the difference

There's some more nuances than that but the VAT is the big difference so far.

Shocker! Fannie Mae has lost even more money. $13.1 billion in the first quarter of this year. For perspective, the court has estimated that Bernie Madoff has lost about $18 billion of investor's money with his ponzi scheme. Piker's work compared to Fannie and Freddie.

And after the Federal Government's handling of FM/FM, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and their soon to be mishandled ObamaCare, why not put everyone's 401K's in their hands?

One way they might do this is to confiscate the cash on hand in exchange for a promise to make future payments in the form of an "annuity." An involuntary annuity, in that scenario.

Sounds like how Social Security is treated. Cash will go into a "lockbox" (The general fund) and IOU's will be paid out later. What could possibly go wrong?

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