A Creative Way to Expense Kickbacks?

Many companies, willingly or unwillingly, will have to deal with corrupt entities. The corrupt entity may be from the government or a private firm. To facilitate a deal, get favorable contracts, or secure the necessary permits, kickbacks will have to be given at some point. Though most jurisdictions outlaw the giving of kickbacks, this practice continues to be a way of life for many businesses. Obviously, the cost of the kickbacks is less than the benefit from the deal, or else, there is no point in handing them out. For these companies that give kickbacks, the money is treated as cost of doing business.

To deter this unsavory practice, tax agencies obviously don’t allow kickbacks to be expensed for tax purposes. The practice of giving kickbacks is also a criminal offense. However, for the financially creative, they’ll find ways to go around the restrictions.

A corruption scandal is currently making headlines. One party (OP) is alleging impropriety in a land deal that involved a high ranking official (HO). According to OP, this was how the kickbacks to HO were disbursed. Continue reading A Creative Way to Expense Kickbacks?

What Did Obama Say During His State of the Nation Address? What’s Your Say?

On the 20th of January 2015, President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union Address.

“Tonight, we turn the page”, Obama said.

Clap! Clap! President Obama during his State of the Union Address on January 20, 2015. Image from AFP/Getty Images

 

Below are some excerpts from the President’s speech. I made my own comments. How about you? What’s your say?

Continue reading What Did Obama Say During His State of the Nation Address? What’s Your Say?

Overpriced Swiss Watches Become Even Pricier

Switzerland is the home of many watch brands, and of most of the luxury ones.

Breguet Tourbillon watch in Rose Gold priced at around GBP 88K. The owner will probably still look at his smartphone to tell time though. Image from thewatchgallery.com

 

On January 15 2015, the Swiss National Bank (SNB), decided to remove the currency cap on the Swiss Franc (CHF) which kept the CHF artificially low against the Euro (EUR). Investors buy CHF because they consider it as safe haven currency. Because the SNB suddenly will cease the practice of “printing” CHF to buy Euros to support the cap, the CHF appreciated significantly. Before the move by the SNB, CHF:EUR was hovering around 0.80. On January 15, CHF:EUR went past 1.17. As of the writing of this post (January 21 Manila time), CHF:EUR is trading at around 1.0. See CHF:EUR quotes here

This is bad news for the Swiss since exports comprise around 70% of their GDP. Swiss made watches, who many people think are already expensive, will now even be more expensive. Continue reading Overpriced Swiss Watches Become Even Pricier

The Blues on the First Workday After a Long Holiday

We are all familiar with the Monday blues. But there is something much worse than Mondays — It is the first workday after a long holiday. What makes this day specially bad?

  • There’s a lot of work to do – because tasks didn’t just miraculously accomplish themselves during the holidays.
  • Long lines in banks and government offices. It’s permit and licensing season in the Philippines as well, so expect mayhem in queues everywhere.
  • A lot more shoulda woulda coulda from people who just slept through the break and didn’t make any plans
  • For those who actually made plans, a hoilday mood that will take longer to shift to work mood.
  • Specifically for the Papal visit, a lot of people got drenched in the rain during the record breaking mass. They may be ill now. Those who are not ill will have more work to do, since the ill ones will call in sick.
  • Specifically for the Papal visit, a lot of people were on their best behavior while the Pope was here. Your co-worker may suddenly unleash the nasty side that he’s been suppressing all week long.

 

What about the markets? Do they do well after a long break or did they also get the blues? — or since this is finance related — the reds? Continue reading The Blues on the First Workday After a Long Holiday

Papal Visit Philippines 2015 Special: Investing in the Haiyan – Ravaged City of Tacloban

This is a post, a part of a series, to commemorate the Pope’s visit to the Philippines on January 15-19 2015.

 

The highlight of the Pope’s visit in the Philippines was his trip to Tacloban, otherwise known as ground-zero of the Haiyan devastation. On the day the Pope visited Tacloban, another storm hit the city. Interestingly, the storm was named locally as “Amang”, which translates to Father in English. The storm cut the Pope’s Tacloban visit short, killed a woman volunteer, and caused a plane carrying government officials to skid off the runway.

The Pope in a raincoat, as he waves to a crowd after holding a mass in an airport in Tacloban City, Philippines on January 17, 2015. Image from Damir Sagolj/Reuters

 

The Pope’s visit gives residents of Tacloban hope and inspiration as they continue to rebuild their city.

There’s another thing that Tacloban needs — Investment. As the parable goes (and I am paraphrasing here), the people of Tacloban don’t only need fish, they also need the means to fish. On the 20th of November 2014, another event gave the people in Tacloban hope. It was the opening of a large mutli-level grocery store. Continue reading Papal Visit Philippines 2015 Special: Investing in the Haiyan – Ravaged City of Tacloban

Papal Visit Philippines 2015 Special: Invest in the Pope and Earn Big Returns

This is a post, part of  a series, to commemorate the Pope’s visit to the Philippines on January 15-19, 2015.

 

Since this website is about investments, don’t you know that you can invest in the Pope and earn big returns. When I say returns, I am not talking about those of the spiritual nature (that would be too obvious), but financial ones. Do you know someone who had done it?

I did. Here’s how I earned by investing in the Pope. Continue reading Papal Visit Philippines 2015 Special: Invest in the Pope and Earn Big Returns

The Pope is Coming!

The Pope is coming to the Philippines on January 15-19. You might be thinking what the Pope’s visit to the Philippines has to do with investment in finance. Nothing really, except for the fact that it will be holiday during the Pope’s visit. Trading, banking and business activities will be limited.

 

The Pope’s Visit. Original image from papalvisit.ph

 

FinanceMD will be posting Pope related investment information during the Papal visit.