U.S. call for global corporate tax rate and Musk's rise up the rich list
"It is important to work with other countries to end the pressures of tax competition and corporate tax-base erosion."
This was how U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pitched a global corporate income tax. The policy is being promoted, in part, to mitigate against any disadvantages that may occur after the Biden administration proposed an increase to the U.S. corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%.
"Competitiveness is about more than how U.S.-headquartered companies fare against other companies in global merger and acquisition bids," said Yellen. Adding: "It is about making sure that governments have stable tax systems that raise sufficient revenue to invest in essential public goods."
Citing a "30-year race to the bottom," during which countries have slashed corporate tax rates in an effort to attract multinational businesses, Yellen said the Biden administration would work with other advanced economies in the Group of 20 to set a minimum.
An international agreement of this kind is unprecedented, leading to some critics doubting its viability.
Forbes announced its annual rich list, which includes a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos topped it for the fourth consecutive year, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk was hot on his heels – jumping into second spot, up from 31st last year.
Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury goods firm LVMH, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg round out the top five of the world's richest people.
Elsewhere in today's newsletter we have a video documenting the struggles of UK musicians touring in the European Union following Brexit, as well as the latest figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the global economy and the prospects of a COVID-19 recovery.
Credit Suisse said it will take a $4.7 billion hit from dealings with Archegos Capital, prompting it to overhaul the leadership of its investment bank and risk division.
Energy group BP said it expects to have hit its $35 billion net debt target in the first quarter of this year, sooner than expected and paving the way for it to deliver on its promise of buying back shares.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell lashed out at corporate America, warning CEOs to stay out of the debate over a new voting law in Georgia that has been criticized for restricting votes among minorities and the poor.
Facebook's acquisition of customer service start-up Kustomer may be subjected to EU antitrust scrutiny after Austria asked the bloc's enforcers to take over the task, the European Commission stated.
The CEO of airline easyJet criticized some of the UK government's plans to restart travel, saying COVID-19 tests should not be required for passengers traveling to low-risk destinations.
A U.S. auto industry group urged the government to help as it warned the global semiconductor shortage could result in 1.28 million fewer vehicles built this year and disrupt production for another six months.
Vietnam has allowed Boeing 737 Max planes to transit in the country after they were suspended in 2019 over safety concerns, according to the country's state media.
United Airlines wants women and people of color to make up at least half of the 5,000 pilots it plans to train this decade at its new flight school, a push to diversify a career traditionally dominated by white men.
WATCH: There are growing calls for visa-free travel for musicians traveling between the EU and the UK. This is because no arrangements were made for them and other artists during Brexit negotiations. The band Cult With No Name explains how the new rules will make touring Europe almost impossible. Read more here.
This video is part of BREXITED: THE FIRST 100 DAYS – a digital show by CGTN Europe. Sign up to the event via the link to watch it on our Facebook page on April 11 at 12 p.m. GMT.
Atilla Yesilada, Turkey analyst at GlobalSource Partners, spoke to CGTN Europe about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ambitious canal project that would cut eastern Istanbul in half. The project has faced opposition from senior military figures, worried that the canal may offer military vessels from Black Sea ports passage to the Marmara and Mediterranean.
Why has the canal project proved to be such a contentious issue over the years?
Well, for three reasons. First, even the engineers aren't sure whether it's going to work from a mechanical or water dynamics viewpoint. Second, we don't know whether any tankers will use it. Third, given Turkey's credit rating and the very long payback period of this project, it's not clear how it's going to be financed.
As we've seen with the Suez Canal in recent weeks, there is similar concern about shipping volumes on the Bosphorus. It's an important global thoroughfare, isn't it?
It certainly is, and I'm deathly afraid of not only blockage, but also a tanker blowing up. But the funny thing is, the Montreux treaty says no tanker can be banned from traversing the Bosphorus Straits for just a minimal fee. So how is Erdogan going to force any tankers to divert to Kanal Istanbul, where the passage fees are estimated to be anywhere between $50,000 to $60,000? Currently, the same tanker would pay only $3,000 for a guidance ship and other administrative costs.
And finally... The IMF released its global outlook, suggesting economies, following the economic devastation caused by the pandemic, will bounce back throughout 2021, though the pace of the recovery will slow the following year. The IMF cites the speed of the COVID-19 vaccination process as the chief reason behind the strong recovery, although it warned that significant regional differences, due to vaccine availability, will emerge.