The top­ics you have to be able to dis­cuss this week

Financial Mail - - BETWEEN THE CHAINS -

1. Macron makes tax move

France will pro­pose a tax on lux­ury yachts, su­per­cars and ex­pen­sive jew­ellery in its 2018 bud­get. Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron ce­mented his rep­u­ta­tion as a “pres­i­dent of the rich” when he scrapped the coun­try’s wealth tax, which was in­tro­duced in the 1980s to tar­get those with as­sets above €1.3m. His ad­min­is­tra­tion says the new tax tar­gets lux­ury goods that do not con­trib­ute to a pro­duc­tive econ­omy. The pre­vi­ous tax, it says, de­terred in­vest­ment by driv­ing mil­lion­aires abroad.

“Vi­sio would pre­fer for PPC’S man­age­ment . . . to walk away from the Fair­fax con­di­tional of­fer and to stop wast­ing valu­able man­age­ment time and com­pany re­sources to­wards an un­cer­tain and most likely messy out­come.” Vi­sio Cap­i­tal’s Dou­glas Wal­lace on a merger of­fer for ce­ment maker PPC

2. Blame gassy cows

Global con­cen­tra­tions of green­house gases have been ris­ing for more than a decade. A new study sug­gests the spike can be traced back to gas pro­duc­tion — from live­stock, not fos­sil fu­els.

Re­vised cal­cu­la­tions of meth­ane pro­duced show that live­stock emis­sions in 2011 were 11% higher than es­ti­mates based on data from the UN In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change. Cows aren’t the big­gest source of meth­ane — the oil and gas in­dus­try is — but the study sug­gests an­i­mal farm­ing could be re­spon­si­ble for the re­cent in­crease in meth­ane con­cen­tra­tion.

3. Wings clipped

Zim­bab­wean vice-pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa was de­moted from the post of jus­tice min­is­ter and moved to tourism this week, and news me­dia in the coun­try have re­ported that he may soon be stripped of the vice-pres­i­dency, as well as the vice-pres­i­dency of the rul­ing Zanu-pf. All this be­cause Mnan­gagwa has fallen out of favour with — or be­come a stum­bling block to the am­bi­tions of — first lady Grace Mu­gabe.

Pa­trick Chi­na­masa was also de­moted from fi­nance min­is­ter to the newly cre­ated post of cy­ber-se­cu­rity min­is­ter.

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