China to Raise Tariffs On Clothing Exports, from the Washington Post:
If the Chinese government must reduce the amount of the world textile trade that their country is taking, or face retaliation from other countries, this is a very smart move. Essentially China gets to tax the United States, Europe, etc. and be thanked for doing so by the governments of those countries. Such is the odd nature of international trade these days.
The Chinese government is going to tax textiles being exported by China. Therefore when an American picks up a shirt at the mall it will include a new tax to the Chinese government and this is seen as a good thing by the American government. An alternative would be for the American government to tax imports. Then the tax paid by the American consumer would go to the United States government instead. It seems odd that the American government thinks it is better to pay a tax to the Chinese government than to the American government but that seems to be what their policy and statements support.
The annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway is being held this weekend in Omaha (cnn article). Recently the 2004 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report (by Warren Buffett) was published. The report is excellent reading for anyone interested in investing. Some quotes from the annual report:
- In one respect, 2004 was a remarkable year for the stock market, a fact buried in the maze of numbers on page 2. If you examine the 35 years since the 1960s ended, you will find that an investor’s return, including dividends, from owning the S&P has averaged 11.2% annually (well above what we expect future returns to be – [bold added]). But if you look for years with returns anywhere close to that 11.2% – say, between 8% and 14% – you will find only one before 2004. – page 3