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Macro chatter: Apple, Bush tax cuts and glowing quarters

Around the world today in business and economics. Need to know, want to know, and strange but true.
Canada glow in the dark quarterEnlarge
Canada plans to release a glow-in-the-dark quarter in mid-April. The mint is selling the coins for about $29.95 on its website, where you can flip the coin and see what it looks like when its glowing skeleton bones. (Screengrab/Screengrab)

Need to know:
France is no Spain, but its economy isn’t growing either.

France isn’t technically in a recession, but the Euro zone’s second largest economy didn’t grow at all from January through March, Reuters said. There’s no sign of a rebound on the horizon.

Of course, that’s not the only bad news in Europe today. Spain is freaking out about how much it has to pay to borrow money, and Bloomberg reported voters in one town outside Barcelona rejected a plan to raise money by growing marijuana. 

Want to know:

Apple is worth even more money.

Apple shares soared high enough Tuesday to make the company worth $600 billion. But they didn’t stay there. By the time the market closed, Apple's value had slid to a mere almost $600 billion.

Apple is only the second company ever to be worth that much money. Apple's arch nemesis Microsoft was once worth around that much. Microsoft is now worth around $300 billion. Word on the street is Apple could become the world's first $1 trillion company.

Dull but important:
European companies are swapping bank loans for the corporate bond market.

Europe’s corporate giants borrowed more from the bond market than from banks in the first three months of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It’s a big deal because banks usually do most of the lending in Europe. But with Europe in a financial crisis, banks haven’t been as willing to lend as bond markets have been.

Just Because:
Former US President George W. Bush feels bad for the tax cuts bearing his name.

The Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of this year. President Barack Obama wants to replace them with the Buffett rule, which would make super rich people like billionaire investor Warren Buffett pay higher taxes.

“If they’re called some other body’s tax cuts, they’re probably less likely to be raised," Bush said at an event in New York. 

The event was sponsored by the Bush Institute, which Bush opened after leaving the Oval Office.  

Strange but true:
If you’re still crying about Canada getting rid of its penny, quit. There’s a glow-in-the-dark quarter coming next week.

Seriously.

But it will cost you about $29.95. And there are only 25,000 available.

The glow-in-the-dark quarters are part of a Canadian effort to raise a little extra money. In the light, they feature a friendly looking dinosaur. But crawl under the covers, and you’ll see a glow-in-the-dark dino skeleton.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/macro-chatter-apple-bush-tax-cuts-and-glowing-quarters