DINNER PARTY INTEL...
The topics you have to be able to discuss this week
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.