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Here’s YOUR share of 5.9 billion dollars

No really, you’ve done great work, you deserve this…

The Spark
Here’s YOUR share of 5.9 billion dollars

No really, you’ve done great work, you deserve this…

… if you work at Trafigura. The commodity giant paid out record dividends after another year of record profits.

Here’s a Bloomberg chart to put that into context:

“The payout is shared among ~1,200 top traders & executives who own the company”


The world of commodities is notoriously opaque & consistently intriguing.

There’s all kinds of dodgy deals going on, corruption, bribery. You name it, the giants like Glencore & Trafigura have been accused, or prosecuted for it.

The thing that’s always missed is the quiet but vital role these companies play in our lives.

Their focus is always on “finding a way”.

Minimal tolerance for politics. All business.

Matching buyer and seller. Make sure consumers get what they demand.

Obviously by the time the final product reaches us it’s been turned into something else entirely. 

Anyhow, there’s two things to note here.

Although the headline is eye-catching, most of the profits were generated in the first half of the year, when energy prices were still volatile and elevated.

Governments enacted windfall taxes to try and capture excess profits generated from the Ukraine War.

Not for Trafigura:

Trafigura’s effective tax rate dropped to just 8%, from 12% a year earlier, which Salmon said reflected “a one-off benefit from the recognition of historic tax losses and higher earnings in lower taxation jurisdictions.”

In the UK, the windfall tax was applied to power generating firms too, many of which are far smaller than the energy giants we all know.

Turns out a 75% tax rate is prohibitive to business. Who woulda thunk it?

Which leaves an uncomfortable dichotomy.

On one side, the companies doing things ‘by the book’ and getting absolutely violated by a maniacal government (many of whom won’t survive because excess profits don’t last forever, but tax burdens do)

On the other, the commodity houses operating on the fringes of society and profiteering in a time of war.

One group survives a downturn, the other doesn’t.

Read More: One year in, the Energy Profits Levy is causing considerable harm to the North Sea oil and gas industry – while consumers are seeing little benefits and investment is shrinking, threatening everything from jobs to decarbonization initiatives.

Read Even More: The King Of Oil is a superb account of how commodity trading was revolutionised. Marc Rich & Co was the seed that both Glencore & Trafigura grew from.

🧠 The Big Brain
93 BILLION went into cash this week!

And an international Yuan? OK

Loadsa money heading into cash, what does it mean for broader markets.

Plus another insanely ridiculous article from journos that refuse to understand things.

Bring on David’s benevolent dictatorship!

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💡 The Lightbulb
We didn’t mean it like that

Bank of Japan walks back the chat

After yesterday’s monster move in JPY, BoJ ‘sources’ are trying to calm the market down…

From Reuters:

  • Yen rallies on expectations BOJ will exist loose policy soon

  • But Gov Ueda's remark not signal of imminent shift - sources

  • BOJ eyes exit from negative rate but timing up in air - sources

  • Weakening domestic consumption a concern - sources

  • Tankan, branch managers' meeting among key events for BOJ


Mentioned to the premium guys yesterday that this wasn’t a trend to fade.

That was before the entire (550+ pip) move played out in a single day!

After the bounce from the lows, this central bank (sources) commentary, and the stronger than expected US NFP number, it’d be no surprise to see USDJPY push back up to 146.50, at least.

Ultimately, the consumption weakness comes down to the wage situation.

If the unions can drive wages higher, consumption should increase too.

Then the BoJ might finally do the deed…