💰 The Big Tech tax

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_The mood at Dublin tech pubs [mihailomilovanovic/E+ via GettyImages]_

The mood at Dublin tech pubs [mihailomilovanovic/E+ via GettyImages]

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Hey Snackers,

Some buy a sports car or a house in Boca when they retire. Jeff Bezos is going to space.

While Bezos and his brother packed to board a Blue Origin rocket (Hawaiian shirt optional), stocks barely budged yesterday.

Taxy
1. The G7's historic global tax agreement: corporate giants should pay at least 15%

Fly like a G7... and drop bad news on Big Tech. The Group of Seven = the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The G7 met in London over the weekend — and left with some tea to spill: the countries agreed that multinational companies should pay a minimum tax rate of at least 15% in each country in which they operate.

  • For a long time, companies like Google and Amazon have been plopping their international headquarters in countries with low corporate tax rates.
  • Think: Ireland, which has a 12.5% tax rate, hosts the European HQs of many tech and pharma giants. That's created beef with Germany, France, and other EU countries where these companies also operate (they want more tax money).

The luck of the Irish... may end. The deal marks a big step toward potentially adopting a 15% global minimum corporate-tax rate. That Dublin office = not so clutch anymore. Companies would have to pay the minimum rate regardless of where they're based. The agreement aims to stop large multinationals from seeking out tax havens —  and force them to pay more of their income to governments. But it still has to go through the G20, which includes China, India, and other developing economies.

THE TAKEAWAY

This could level the playing field... and end the "race to the bottom." For decades, countries have been competing with each other to attract corporate investment for economic growth. The main way to do that: lower companies' taxes. In 2000, more than 55 countries had corporate tax rates above 30% — now, fewer than 20 do. President Biden wants to raise corporate taxes in the US to fund government programs. The admin is backing a 15% global minimum to help keep the US competitive.

Drugs

Not vax-related... for once. The Food and Drug Administration has made headlines for another reason. Yesterday, the FDA approved Biogen's Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab (rolls off the tongue). Biogen shares soared 38% on the news. It's a big deal — so big that the Nasdaq halted trading of Biogen shares ahead of the FDA's decision.

  • #1: It's the first new therapy for Alzheimer's in 20 years. It's also the first FDA-approved drug to slow mental decline in people living with Alzheimer’s.
  • 6M people are affected by Alzheimer's in the US, where the disease is the sixth-leading cause of death.
  • $56K: The drug's list price per year. It's expected to generate billions in sales for Biogen.

There's a catch... The FDA approved it on the condition that Biogen conduct another clinical trial. Many Alzheimer’s experts aren't happy with the approval and its mixed supporting data. Some aren't convinced the clinical trial data was enough to prove the drug works.

THE TAKEAWAY

Drug stocks depend on drug pops... Which is why Biogen's five-year stock chart looks like a rollercoaster. In March 2015, Biogen stock was trading even higher than it was yesterday after it dropped positive early-stage data from an aducanumab trial (yep, the same Alzheimer's drug). Then in July 2015, Biogen released additional data about the trial that disappointed investors — and lost $20B in market value as its stock plunged. The results of Biogen’s next aducanumab trial could impact the stock again.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Historic: Google agreed to change its global advertising practices after France's competition watchdog slapped it with an unprecedented $268M fine.
  • Corona: A US government report found it plausible that Covid-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab, according to WSJ's sources.
  • WWDC: Apple unveiled new iOS 15 features at its annual developers conference, including IRL-style FaceTime calls and digital keys in Apple Wallet.
  • Ready: The Senate is poised to pass a $200B+ industrial policy bill to counter China — and for once, the bill has broad bipartisan support.
  • Payback: US law-enforcement officials recovered $2.3M in crypto that was paid as ransom to the Colonial Pipeline hackers.
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Tuesday
  • Earnings expected from Casey's General Stores and Thor Industries

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