Many expect a big investment boom thanks to Trump tax cuts. A few charts will show why they are mistaken.
The Financial Times reports Multinationals Pay Lower Taxes Than a Decade Ago. The article notes ” Effective rates have fallen 9 percent since the financial crisis.”
Brad Setser has a string of Tweets.
Excellent reporting on global tax by the FT. Recommended. https://t.co/mmIplrYhy6
— Brad Setser (@Brad_Setser) March 11, 2018
I am interested in the widespread belief the tax cuts will spur investment. That’s an angle the article did not cover.
Here’s another pertinent chart from the article, anecdotes again mine.
Trapped Cash Unleashed?
Trapped Cash Myth
For starters, none of that cash was “trapped” in the first place.
For discussion, please see Trapped Funds Myth: Foreign Cash Repatriation Boom in Reverse.
Moreover, history shows where repatriation holidays go: share buybacks, not investment.
Here’s the real deal: Record Buybacks at Worst Possible Time.
JPMorgan estimates $800 billion in buybacks this year, a new record. Companies will squander money in an obvious bubble.
Goldman sees dividends expanding to $515 billion.
Any company that says it will increase investment because of the cuts is likely outright lying (plans were already in place), is exaggerating the amount of the increase, or the amount of the increase is too insignificant to matter.
There will not be a trump investment boom. Instead, Trump’s foolish tariff war will provide the exact opposite. For further discussion, please see Trump Provides Clarity to EU: “Big Deficit We Tax Cars”.