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Baby Shark Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo: YouTube Video Hits Huge Milestone Bigger Than Entire World Population

If the song “Baby Shark” was finally out of your head, the bad news is it could be coming back: the song hit a new YouTube milestone and is going to get some news coverage, including this article. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaJan 14th, 2022

2021 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead

2021 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead One year ago, when looking at the 20 most popular stories of 2020, we said that the year would be a very tough act to follow as there "could not have been more regime shifts, volatility moments, and memes than 2020." And yet despite the exceedingly high bar for 2021, the year did not disappoint and proved to be a successful contender, and if judging by the sheer breadth of narratives, stories, surprises, plot twists and unexpected developments, 2021 was even more memorable and event-filled than 2020. Where does one start? While covid was the story of 2020, the pandemic that emerged out of a (Fauci-funded) genetic lab team in Wuhan, China dominated newsflow, politics and capital markets for the second year in a row. And while the biggest plot twist of 2020 was Biden's victory over Trump in the presidential election (it took the pandemic lockdowns and mail-in ballots to hand the outcome to Biden), largely thanks to Covid, Biden failed to hold to his biggest presidential promise of defeating covid, and not only did he admit in late 2021 that there is "no Federal solution" to covid waving a white flag of surrender less than a year into his presidency, but following the recent emergence of the Xi, pardon Omicron variant, the number of covid cases in the US has just shattered all records. The silver lining is not only that deaths and hospitalizations have failed to follow the number of cases, but that the scaremongering narrative itself is starting to melt in response to growing grassroots discontent with vaccine after vaccine and booster after booster, which by now it is clear, do nothing to contain the pandemic. And now that it is clear that omicron is about as mild as a moderate case of the flu, the hope has finally emerged that this latest strain will finally kill off the pandemic as it becomes the dominant, rapidly-spreading variant, leading to worldwide herd immunity thanks to the immune system's natural response. Yes, it may mean billions less in revenue for Pfizer and Moderna, but it will be a colossal victory for the entire world. The second biggest story of 2021 was undoubtedly the scourge of soaring inflation, which contrary to macrotourist predictions that it would prove "transitory", refused to do so and kept rising, and rising, and rising, until it hit levels not seen since the Volcker galloping inflation days of the 1980s. The only difference of course is that back then, the Fed Funds rate hit 20%. Now it is at 0%, and any attempts to hike aggressively will lead to a horrific market crash, something the Fed knows very well. Whether this was due to supply-chain blockages and a lack of goods and services pushing prices higher, or due to massive stimulus pushing demand for goods - and also prices - higher, or simply the result of a record injection of central bank liquidity into the system, is irrelevant but what does matter is that it got so bad that even Biden, facing a mauling for his Democratic party in next year's midterm elections, freaked out about soaring prices and pushed hard to lower the price of gasoline, ordering releases from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve and vowing to punish energy companies that dare to make a profit, while ordering Powell to contain the surge in prices even if means the market is hit. Unfortunately for Biden, the market will be hit even as inflation still remain red hot for much of the coming year. And speaking of markets, while 2022 may be a year when the piper finally gets paid, 2021 was yet another blockbuster year for risk assets, largely on the back of the continued global response to the 2020 covid pandemic, when as we wrote last year, we saw "the official arrival of global Helicopter Money, tens of trillions in fiscal and monetary stimulus, an overhaul of the global economy punctuated by an unprecedented explosion in world debt, an Orwellian crackdown on civil liberties by governments everywhere, and ultimately set the scene for what even the World Economic Forum called simply "The Great Reset." Yes, the staggering liquidity injections that started in 2020, continued throughout 2021 and the final tally is that after $3 trillion in emergency liquidity injections in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic to stabilize the world, the Fed injected almost $2 trillion in the subsequent period, of which $1.5 trillion in 2021, a year where economists were "puzzled" why inflation was soaring. This, of course, excludes the tens of trillions of monetary stimulus injected by other central banks as well as the boundless fiscal stimulus that was greenlighted with the launch of helicopter money (i.e., MMT) in 2020. It's also why with inflation running red hot and real rates the lowest they have ever been, everyone was forced to rush into the "safety" of stocks (or stonks as they came to be known among GenZ), and why after last year's torrid stock market returns, the S&P rose another 27% in 2021 and up a staggering 114% from the March 2020 lows, in the process trouncing all previous mega-rallies (including those in 1929, 1938, 1974 and 2009)... ... making this the third consecutive year of double-digit returns. This reminds us of something we said last year: "it's almost as if the world's richest asset owners requested the covid pandemic." A year later, we got confirmation for this rhetorical statement, when we calculated that in the 18 months since the covid pandemic, the richest 1% of US society have seen their net worth increase by over $30 trillion. As a result, the US is now officially a banana republic where the middle 60% of US households by income - a measure economists use as a definition of the middle class - saw their combined assets drop from 26.7% to 26.6% of national wealth as of June, the lowest in Federal Reserve data, while for the first time the super rich had a bigger share, at 27%. Yes, the 1% now own more wealth than the entire US middle class, a definition traditionally reserve for kleptocracies and despotic African banana republics. It wasn't just the rich, however: politicians the world over would benefit from the transition from QE to outright helicopter money and MMT which made the over monetization of deficits widely accepted in the blink of an eye. The common theme here is simple: no matter what happens, capital markets can never again be allowed to drop, regardless of the cost or how much more debt has to be incurred. Indeed, as we look back at the news barrage over the past year, and past decade for that matter, the one thing that becomes especially clear amid the constant din of markets, of politics, of social upheaval and geopolitical strife - and now pandemics -  in fact a world that is so flooded with constant conflicting newsflow and changing storylines that many now say it has become virtually impossible to even try to predict the future, is that despite the people's desire for change, for something original and untried, the world's established forces will not allow it and will fight to preserve the broken status quo at any price - even global coordinated shutdowns - which is perhaps why it always boils down to one thing - capital markets, that bedrock of Western capitalism and the "modern way of life", where control, even if it means central planning the likes of which have not been seen since the days of the USSR, and an upward trajectory must be preserved at all costs, as the alternative is a global, socio-economic collapse. And since it is the daily gyrations of stocks that sway popular moods the interplay between capital markets and politics has never been more profound or more consequential. The more powerful message here is the implicit realization and admission by politicians, not just Trump who had a penchant of tweeting about the S&P every time it rose, but also his peers on both sides of the aisle, that the stock market is now seen as the consummate barometer of one's political achievements and approval. Which is also why capital markets are now, more than ever, a political tool whose purpose is no longer to distribute capital efficiently and discount the future, but to manipulate voter sentiments far more efficiently than any fake Russian election interference attempt ever could. Which brings us back to 2021 and the past decade, which was best summarized by a recent Bill Blain article who said that "the last 10-years has been a story of massive central banking distortion to address the 2008 crisis. Now central banks face the consequences and are trapped. The distortion can’t go uncorrected indefinitely." He is right: the distortion will eventually collapse especially if the Fed follows through with its attempt rate hikes some time in mid-2020, but so far the establishment and the "top 1%" have been successful - perhaps the correct word is lucky - in preserving the value of risk assets: on the back of the Fed's firehose of liquidity the S&P500 returned an impressive 27% in 2021, following a 15.5% return in 2020 and 28.50% in 2019. It did so by staging the greatest rally off all time from the March lows, surpassing all of the 4 greatest rallies off the lows of the past century (1929,1938, 1974, and 2009). Yet this continued can-kicking by the establishment - all of which was made possible by the covid pandemic and lockdowns which served as an all too convenient scapegoat for the unprecedented response that served to propel risk assets (and fiat alternatives such as gold and bitcoin) to all time highs - has come with a price... and an increasingly higher price in fact. As even Bank of America CIO Michael Hartnett admits, Fed's response to the the pandemic "worsened inequality" as the value of financial assets - Wall Street -  relative to economy - Main Street - hit all-time high of 6.3x. And while the Fed was the dynamo that has propelled markets higher ever since the Lehman collapse, last year certainly had its share of breakout moments. Here is a sampling. Gamestop and the emergence of meme stonks and the daytrading apes: In January markets were hypnotized by the massive trading volumes, rolling short squeezes and surging share prices of unremarkable established companies such as consoles retailer GameStop and cinema chain AMC and various other micro and midcap names. What began as a discussion on untapped value at GameStop on Reddit months earlier by Keith Gill, better known as Roaring Kitty, morphed into a hedge fund-orchestrated, crowdsourced effort to squeeze out the short position held by a hedge fund, Melvin Capital. The momentum flooded through the retail market, where daytraders shunned stocks and bought massive out of the money calls, sparking rampant "gamma squeezes" in the process forcing some brokers to curb trading. Robinhood, a popular broker for day traders and Citadel's most lucrative "subsidiary", required a cash injection to withstand the demands placed on it by its clearing house. The company IPOed later in the year only to see its shares collapse as it emerged its business model was disappointing hollow absent constant retail euphoria. Ultimately, the market received a crash course in the power of retail investors on a mission. Ultimately, "retail favorite" stocks ended the year on a subdued note as the trading frenzy from earlier in the year petered out, but despite underperforming the S&P500, retail traders still outperformed hedge funds by more than 100%. Failed seven-year Treasury auction:  Whereas auctions of seven-year US government debt generally spark interest only among specialists, on on February 25 2021, one such typically boring event sparked shockwaves across financial markets, as the weakest demand on record hit prices across the whole spectrum of Treasury bonds. The five-, seven- and 10-year notes all fell sharply in price. Researchers at the Federal Reserve called it a “flash event”; we called it a "catastrophic, tailing" auction, the closest thing the US has had to a failed Trasury auction. The flare-up, as the FT put it, reflects one of the most pressing investor concerns of the year: inflation. At the time, fund managers were just starting to realize that consumer price rises were back with a vengeance — a huge threat to the bond market which still remembers the dire days of the Volcker Fed when inflation was about as high as it is today but the 30Y was trading around 15%. The February auaction also illustrated that the world’s most important market was far less liquid and not as structurally robust as investors had hoped. It was an extreme example of a long-running issue: since the financial crisis the traditional providers of liquidity, a group of 24 Wall Street banks, have pulled back because of higher costs associated with post-2008 capital requirements, while leaving liquidity provision to the Fed. Those banks, in their reduced role, as well as the hedge funds and high-frequency traders that have stepped into their place, have tended to withdraw in moments of market volatility. Needless to say, with the Fed now tapering its record QE, we expect many more such "flash" episodes in the bond market in the year ahead. The arch ego of Archegos: In March 2021 several banks received a brutal reminder that some of family offices, which manage some $6 trillion in wealth of successful billionaires and entrepreneurs and which have minimal reporting requirements, take risks that would make the most serrated hedge fund manager wince, when Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management imploded in spectacular style. As we learned in late March when several high-flying stocks suddenly collapsed, Hwang - a former protege of fabled hedge fund group Tiger Management - had built up a vast pile of leverage using opaque Total Return Swaps with a handful of banks to boost bets on a small number of stocks (the same banks were quite happy to help despite Hwang’s having been barred from US markets in 2013 over allegations of an insider-trading scheme, as he paid generously for the privilege of borrowing the banks' balance sheet). When one of Archegos more recent bets, ViacomCBS, suddenly tumbled it set off a liquidation cascade that left banks including Credit Suisse and Nomura with billions of dollars in losses. Conveniently, as the FT noted, the damage was contained to the banks rather than leaking across financial markets, but the episode sparked a rethink among banks over how to treat these clients and how much leverage to extend. The second coming of cryptos: After hitting an all time high in late 2017 and subsequently slumping into a "crypto winter", cryptocurrencies enjoyed a huge rebound in early 2021 which sent their prices soaring amid fears of galloping inflation (as shown below, and contrary to some financial speculation, the crypto space has traditionally been a hedge either to too much liquidity or a hedge to too much inflation). As a result, Bitcoin rose to a series of new record highs that culminated at just below $62,000, nearly three times higher than their previous all time high. But the smooth ride came to a halt in May when China’s crackdown on the cryptocurrency and its production, or “mining”, sparked the first serious crash of 2021. The price of bitcoin then collapsed as much as 30% on May 19, hitting a low of $30,000 amid a liquidation of levered positions in chaotic trading conditions following a warning from Chinese authorities of tighter curbs ahead. A public acceptance by Tesla chief and crypto cheerleader Elon Musk of the industry’s environmental impact added to the declines. However, as with all previous crypto crashes, this one too proved transitory, and prices resumed their upward trajectory in late September when investors started to price in the launch of futures-based bitcoin exchange traded funds in the US. The launch of these contracts subsequently pushed bitcoin to a new all-time high in early November before prices stumbled again in early December, this time due to a rise in institutional ownership when an overall drop in the market dragged down cryptos as well. That demonstrated the growing linkage between Wall Street and cryptocurrencies, due to the growing sway of large investors in digital markets. China's common prosperity crash: China’s education and tech sectors were one of the perennial Wall Street darlings. Companies such as New Oriental, TAL Education as well as Alibaba and Didi had come to be worth billions of dollars after highly publicized US stock market flotations. So when Beijing effectively outlawed swaths of the country’s for-profit education industry in July 2021, followed by draconian anti-trust regulations on the country's fintech names (where Xi Jinping also meant to teach the country's billionaire class a lesson who is truly in charge), the short-term market impact was brutal. Beijing’s initial measures emerged as part of a wider effort to make education more affordable as part of president Xi Jinping’s drive for "common prosperity" but that quickly raised questions over whether growth prospects across corporate China are countered by the capacity of the government to overhaul entire business models overnight. Sure enough, volatility stemming from the education sector was soon overshadowed by another set of government reforms related to common prosperity, a crackdown on leverage across the real estate sector where the biggest casualty was Evergrande, the world’s most indebted developer. The company, whose boss was not long ago China's 2nd richest man, was engulfed by a liquidity crisis in the summer that eventually resulted in a default in early December. Still, as the FT notes, China continues to draw in huge amounts of foreign capital, pushing the Chinese yuan to end 2021 at the strongest level since May 2018, a major hurdle to China's attempts to kickstart its slowing economy, and surely a precursor to even more monetary easing. Natgas hyperinflation: Natural gas supplanted crude oil as the world’s most important commodity in October and December as prices exploded to unprecedented levels and the world scrambled for scarce supplies amid the developed world's catastrophic transition to "green" energy. The crunch was particularly acute in Europe, which has become increasingly reliant on imports. Futures linked to TTF, the region’s wholesale gas price, hit a record €137 per megawatt hour in early October, rising more than 75%. In Asia, spot liquefied natural gas prices briefly passed the equivalent of more than $320 a barrel of oil in October. (At the time, Brent crude was trading at $80). A number of factors contributed, including rising demand as pandemic restrictions eased, supply disruptions in the LNG market and weather-induced shortfalls in renewable energy. In Europe, this was aggravated by plunging export volumes from Gazprom, Russia’s state-backed monopoly pipeline supplier, amid a bitter political fight over the launch of the Nordstream 2 pipeline. And with delays to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, analysts say the European gas market - where storage is only 66% full - a cold snap or supply disruption away from another price spike Turkey's (latest) currency crisis:  As the FT's Jonathan Wheatley writes, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was once a source of strength for the Turkish lira, and in his first five years in power from 2003, the currency rallied from TL1.6 per US dollar to near parity at TL1.2. But those days are long gone, as Erdogan's bizarre fascination with unorthodox economics, namely the theory that lower rates lead to lower inflation also known as "Erdoganomics", has sparked a historic collapse in the: having traded at about TL7 to the dollar in February, it has since fallen beyond TL17, making it the worst performing currency of 2021. The lira’s defining moment in 2021 came on November 18 when the central bank, in spite of soaring inflation, cut its policy rate for the third time since September, at Erdogan’s behest (any central banker in Turkey who disagrees with "Erdoganomics" is promptly fired and replaced with an ideological puppet). The lira recovered some of its losses in late December when Erdogan came up with the "brilliant" idea of erecting the infamous "doom loop" which ties Turkey's balance sheet to its currency. It has worked for now (the lira surged from TL18 against the dollar to TL12, but this particular band aid solution will only last so long). The lira’s problems are not only Erdogan’s doing. A strengthening dollar, rising oil prices, the relentless covid pandemic and weak growth in developing economies have been bad for other emerging market currencies, too, but as long as Erdogan is in charge, shorting the lira remains the best trade entering 2022. While these, and many more, stories provided a diversion from the boring existence of centrally-planned markets, we are confident that the trends observed in recent years will continue: coming years will be marked by even bigger government (because only more government can "fix" problems created by government), higher stock prices and dollar debasement (because only more Fed intervention can "fix" the problems created by the Fed), and a policy flip from monetary and QE to fiscal & MMT, all of which will keep inflation at scorching levels, much to the persistent confusion of economists everywhere. Of course, we said much of this last year as well, but while we got most trends right, we were wrong about one thing: we were confident that China's aggressive roll out of the digital yuan would be a bang - or as we put it "it is very likely that while 2020 was an insane year, it may prove to be just an appetizer to the shockwaves that will be unleashed in 2021 when we see the first stage of the most historic overhaul of the fiat payment system in history" - however it turned out to be a whimper. A big reason for that was that the initial reception of the "revolutionary" currency was nothing short of disastrous, with Chinese admitting they were "not at all excited" about the prospect of yet one more surveillance mechanism for Beijing, because that's really what digital currencies are: a way for central banks everywhere to micromanage and scrutinize every single transaction, allowing the powers that be to demonetize any one person - or whole groups - with the flick of a switch. Then again, while digital money may not have made its triumphant arrival in 2021, we are confident that the launch date has merely been pushed back to 2022 when the rollout of the next monetary revolution is expected to begin in earnest. Here we should again note one thing: in a world undergoing historic transformations, any free press must be throttled and controlled, and over the past year we have seen unprecedented efforts by legacy media and its corporate owners, as well as the new "social media" overlords do everything in their power to stifle independent thought. For us it had been especially "personal" on more than one occasions. Last January, Twitter suspended our account because we dared to challenge the conventional narrative about the source of the Wuhan virus. It was only six months later that Twitter apologized, and set us free, admitting it had made a mistake. Yet barely had twitter readmitted us, when something even more unprecedented happened: for the first time ever (to our knowledge) Google - the world's largest online ad provider and monopoly - demonetized our website not because of any complaints about our writing but because of the contents of our comment section. It then held us hostage until we agreed to implement some prerequisite screening and moderation of the comments section. Google's action was followed by the likes of PayPal, Amazon, and many other financial and ad platforms, who rushed to demonetize and suspend us simply because they disagreed with what we had to say. This was a stark lesson in how quickly an ad-funded business can disintegrate in this world which resembles the dystopia of 1984 more and more each day, and we have since taken measures. One year ago, for the first time in our 13 year history, we launched a paid version of our website, which is entirely ad and moderation free, and offers readers a variety of premium content. It wasn't our intention to make this transformation but unfortunately we know which way the wind is blowing and it is only a matter of time before the gatekeepers of online ad spending block us again. As such, if we are to have any hope in continuing it will come directly from you, our readers. We will keep the free website running for as long as possible, but we are certain that it is only a matter of time before the hammer falls as the censorship bandwagon rolls out much more aggressively in the coming year. That said, whether the story of 2022, and the next decade for that matter, is one of helicopter or digital money, of (hyper)inflation or deflation: what is key, and what we learned in the past decade, is that the status quo will throw anything at the problem to kick the can, it will certainly not let any crisis go to waste... even the deadliest pandemic in over a century. And while many already knew that, the events of 2021 made it clear to a fault that not even a modest market correction can be tolerated going forward. After all, if central banks aim to punish all selling, then the logical outcome is to buy everything, and investors, traders and speculators did just that armed with the clearest backstop guarantee from the Fed, which in the deapths of the covid crash crossed the Rubicon when it formally nationalized the bond market as it started buying both investment grade bonds and junk bond ETFs in the open market. As such it is no longer even a debatable issue if the Fed will buy stocks after the next crash - the only question is when. Meanwhile, for all those lamenting the relentless coverage of politics in a financial blog, why finance appears to have taken a secondary role, and why the political "narrative" has taken a dominant role for financial analysts, the past year showed vividly why that is the case: in a world where markets gyrated, and "rotated" from value stocks to growth and vice versa, purely on speculation of how big the next stimulus out of Washington will be, the narrative over Biden's trillions proved to be one of the biggest market moving events for much of the year. And with the Biden stimulus plan off the table for now, the Fed will find it very difficult to tighten financial conditions, especially if it does so just as the economy is slowing. Here we like to remind readers of one of our favorite charts: every financial crisis is the result of Fed tightening. As for predictions about the future, as the past two years so vividly showed, when it comes to actual surprises and all true "black swans", it won't be what anyone had expected. And so while many themes, both in the political and financial realm, did get some accelerated closure courtesy of China's covid pandemic, dramatic changes in 2021 persisted, and will continue to manifest themselves in often violent and unexpected ways - from the ongoing record polarization in the US political arena, to "populist" upheavals around the developed world, to the gradual transition to a global Universal Basic (i.e., socialized) Income regime, to China's ongoing fight with preserving stability in its gargantuan financial system which is now two and a half times the size of the US. As always, we thank all of our readers for making this website - which has never seen one dollar of outside funding (and despite amusing recurring allegations, has certainly never seen a ruble from the KGB either, although now that the entire Russian hysteria episode is over, those allegations have finally quieted down), and has never spent one dollar on marketing - a small (or not so small) part of your daily routine. Which also brings us to another critical topic: that of fake news, and something we - and others who do not comply with the established narrative - have been accused of. While we find the narrative of fake news laughable, after all every single article in this website is backed by facts and links to outside sources, it is clearly a dangerous development, and a very slippery slope that the entire developed world is pushing for what is, when stripped of fancy jargon, internet censorship under the guise of protecting the average person from "dangerous, fake information." It's also why we are preparing for the next onslaught against independent thought and why we had no choice but to roll out a premium version of this website. In addition to the other themes noted above, we expect the crackdown on free speech to accelerate in the coming year when key midterm elections will be held, especially as the following list of Top 20 articles for 2021 reveals, many of the most popular articles in the past year were precisely those which the conventional media would not touch out of fear of repercussions, which in turn allowed the alternative media to continue to flourish in an orchestrated information vacuum and take significant market share from the established outlets by covering topics which the public relations arm of established media outlets refused to do, in the process earning itself the derogatory "fake news" condemnation. We are grateful that our readers - who hit a new record high in 2021 - have realized it is incumbent upon them to decide what is, and isn't "fake news." * * * And so, before we get into the details of what has now become an annual tradition for the last day of the year, those who wish to jog down memory lane, can refresh our most popular articles for every year during our no longer that brief, almost 11-year existence, starting with 2009 and continuing with 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. So without further ado, here are the articles that you, our readers, found to be the most engaging, interesting and popular based on the number of hits, during the past year. In 20th spot with 600,000 reads, was an article that touched on one of the most defining features of the market: the reflation theme the sparked a massive rally at the start of the year courtesy of the surprise outcome in the Georgia Senate race, where Democrats ended up wining both seats up for grabs, effectively giving the Dems a majority in both the House and the Senate, where despite the even, 50-seat split, Kamala Harris would cast the winning tie-breaker vote to pursue a historic fiscal stimulus. And sure enough, as we described in "Bitcoin Surges To Record High, Stocks & Bonds Battered As Dems Look Set To Take Both Georgia Senate Seats", with trillions in "stimmies" flooding both the economy and the market, not only did retail traders enjoy unprecedented returns when trading meme "stonks" and forcing short squeezes that crippled numerous hedge funds, but expectations of sharply higher inflation also helped push bitcoin and the entire crypto sector to new all time highs, which in turn legitimized the product across institutional investors and helped it reach a market cap north of $3 trillion.  In 19th spot, over 613,000 readers were thrilled to read at the start of September that "Biden Unveils Most Severe COVID Actions Yet: Mandates Vax For All Federal Workers, Contractors, & Large Private Companies." Of course, just a few weeks later much of Biden's mandate would be struck down in courts, where it is now headed to a decision by SCOTUS, while the constantly shifting "scientific" goal posts mean that just a few months later the latest set of CDC regulations have seen regulators and officials reverse the constant drone of fearmongering and are now even seeking to cut back on the duration of quarantine and other lockdown measures amid a public mood that is growing increasingly hostile to the government response. One of the defining political events of 2021 was the so-called "Jan 6 Insurrection", which the for America's conservatives was blown wildly out of proportion yet which the leftist media and Democrats in Congress have been periodically trying to push to the front pages in hopes of distracting from the growing list of failures of the Obama admin. Yet as we asked back in January, "Why Was Founder Of Far-Left BLM Group Filming Inside Capitol As Police Shot Protester?" No less than 614,000 readers found this question worthy of a response. Since then many more questions have emerged surrounding this event, many of which focus on what role the FBI had in organizing and encouraging this event, including the use of various informants and instigators. For now, a response will have to wait at least until the mid-term elections of 2022 when Republicans are expected to sweep one if not both chambers. Linked to the above, the 17th most read article of 2021 with 617,000 views, was an article we published on the very same day, which detailed that "Armed Protesters Begin To Arrive At State Capitols Around The Nation." At the end of the day, it was much ado about nothing and all protests concluded peacefully and without incident: perhaps the FBI was simply spread too thin? 2021 was a year defined by various waves of the covid pandemic which hammered poor Americans forced to hunker down at home and missing on pay, and crippled countless small mom and pop businesses. And yet, it was also a bonanza for a handful of pharma companies such as Pfizer and Moderna which made billions from the sale of "vaccines" which we now know do little if anything to halt the spread of the virus, and are instead now being pitched as palliatives, preventing a far worse clinical outcome. The same pharma companies also benefited from an unconditional indemnity, which surely would come in useful when the full side-effects of their mRNA-based therapies became apparent. One such condition to emerge was myocarditis among a subset of the vaxxed. And while the vaccines continue to be broadly rolled out across most developed nations, one place that said enough was Sweden. As over 620,000 readers found out in "Sweden Suspends Moderna Shot Indefinitely After Vaxxed Patients Develop Crippling Heart Condition", not every country was willing to use its citizens as experimental guniea pigs. This was enough to make the article the 16th most read on these pages, but perhaps in light of the (lack of) debate over the pros and cons of the covid vaccines, this should have been the most read article this year? Moving on to the 15th most popular article, 628,000 readers were shocked to learn that "Chase Bank Cancels General Mike Flynn's Credit Cards." The action, which was taken by the largest US bank due to "reputational risk" echoed a broad push by tech giants to deplatform and silence dissenting voices by literally freezing them out of the financial system. In the end, following widespread blowback from millions of Americans, JPMorgan reversed, and reactivated Flynn's cards saying the action was made in error, but unfortunately this is just one example of how those in power can lock out any dissenters with the flick of a switch. And while democrats cheer such deplatforming today, the political winds are fickle, and we doubt they will be as excited once they find themselves on the receiving end of such actions. And speaking of censorship and media blackouts, few terms sparked greater response from those in power than the term Ivermectin. Viewed by millions as a cheap, effective alternative to offerings from the pharmaceutical complex, social networks did everything in their power to silence any mention of a drug which the Journal of Antibiotics said in 2017 was an "enigmatic multifaceted ‘wonder’ drug which continues to surprise and exceed expectations." Nowhere was this more obvious than in the discussion of how widespread use of Ivermectin beat Covid in India, the topic of the 14th most popular article of 2021 "India's Ivermectin Blackout" which was read by over 653,000 readers. Unfortunately, while vaccines continue to fail upward and now some countries are now pushing with a 4th, 5th and even 6th vaccine, Ivermectin remains a dirty word. There was more covid coverage in the 13th most popular article of 2021, "Surprise Surprise - Fauci Lied Again": Rand Paul Reacts To Wuhan Bombshell" which was viewed no less than 725,000 times. Paul's reaction came following a report which revealed that Anthony Fauci's NIAID and its parent, the NIH, funded Gain-of-Function research in Wuhan, China, strongly hinting that the emergence of covid was the result of illicit US funding. Not that long ago, Fauci had called Paul a 'liar' for accusing him of funding the risky research, in which viruses are genetically modified or otherwise altered to make them more transmissible to humans. And while we could say that Paul got the last laugh, Fauci still remains Biden's top covid advisor, which may explain why one year after Biden vowed he would shut down the pandemic, the number of new cases just hit a new all time high. One hope we have for 2022 is that people will finally open their eyes... 2021 was not just about covid - soaring prices and relentless inflation were one of the most poignant topics. It got so bad that Biden's approval rating - and that of Democrats in general - tumbled toward the end of the year, putting their mid-term ambitions in jeopardy, as the public mood soured dramatically in response to the explosion in prices. And while one can debate whether it was due to supply-issues, such as the collapse in trans-pacific supply chains and the chronic lack of labor to grow the US infrastructure, or due to roaring demand sparked by trillions in fiscal stimulus, but when the "Big Short" Michael Burry warned that hyperinflation is coming, the people listened, and with over 731,000 reads, the 12th most popular article of 2021 was "Michael Burry Warns Weimar Hyperinflation Is Coming."  Of course, Burry did not say anything we haven't warned about for the past 12 years, but at least he got the people's attention, and even mainstream names such as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey agreed with him, predicting that bitcoin will be what is left after the dollar has collapsed. While hyperinflation may will be the endgame, the question remains: when. For the 11th most read article of 2021, we go back to a topic touched upon moments ago when we addressed the full-blown media campaign seeking to discredit Ivermectin, in this case via the D-grade liberal tabloid Rolling Stone (whose modern incarnation is sadly a pale shadow of the legend that house Hunter S. Thompson's unforgettable dispatches) which published the very definition of fake news when it called Ivermectin a "horse dewormer" and claimed that, according to a hospital employee, people were overdosing on it. Just a few hours later, the article was retracted as we explained in "Rolling Stone Issues 'Update' After Horse Dewormer Hit-Piece Debunked" and over 812,000 readers found out that pretty much everything had been a fabrication. But of course, by then it was too late, and the reputation of Ivermectin as a potential covid cure had been further tarnished, much to the relief of the pharma giants who had a carte blanche to sell their experimental wares. The 10th most popular article of 2021 brings us to another issue that had split America down the middle, namely the story surrounding Kyle Rittenhouse and the full-blown media campaign that declared the teenager guilty, even when eventually proven innocent. Just days before the dramatic acquittal, we learned that "FBI Sat On Bombshell Footage From Kyle Rittenhouse Shooting", which was read by over 822,000 readers. It was unfortunate to learn that once again the scandal-plagued FBI stood at the center of yet another attempt at mass misinformation, and we can only hope that one day this "deep state" agency will be overhauled from its core, or better yet, shut down completely. As for Kyle, he will have the last laugh: according to unconfirmed rumors, his numerous legal settlements with various media outlets will be in the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.  And from the great US social schism, we again go back to Covid for the 9th most popular article of 2021, which described the terrifying details of one of the most draconian responses to covid in the entire world: that of Australia. Over 900,000 readers were stunned to read that the "Australian Army Begins Transferring COVID-Positive Cases, Contacts To Quarantine Camps." Alas, the latest surge in Australian cases to nosebleed, record highs merely confirms that this unprecedented government lockdown - including masks and vaccines - is nothing more than an exercise in how far government can treat its population as a herd of sheep without provoking a violent response.  The 8th most popular article of 2021 looks at the market insanity of early 2021 when, at the end of January, we saw some of the most-shorted, "meme" stocks explode higher as the Reddit daytrading horde fixed their sights on a handful of hedge funds and spent billions in stimmies in an attempt to force unprecedented ramps. That was the case with "GME Soars 75% After-Hours, Erases Losses After Liquidity-Constrained Robinhood Lifts Trading Ban", which profiled the daytrading craze that gave an entire generation the feeling that it too could win in these manipulated capital markets. Then again, judging by the waning retail interest, it is possible that the excitement of the daytrading army is fading as rapidly as it first emerged, and that absent more "stimmies" markets will remain the playground of the rich and central banks. Kyle Rittenhouse may soon be a very rich man after the ordeal he went through, but the media's mission of further polarizing US society succeeded, and millions of Americans will never accept that the teenager was innocent. It's also why with just over 1 million reads, the 7th most read article on Zero Hedge this year was that "Portland Rittenhouse Protest Escalates Into Riot." Luckily, this is not a mid-term election year and there were no moneyed interests seeking to prolong this particular riot, unlike what happened in the summer of 2020... and what we are very much afraid will again happen next year when very critical elections are on deck.  With just over 1.03 million views, the 6th most popular post focused on a viral Twitter thread on Friday from Dr Robert Laone, which laid out a disturbing trend; the most-vaccinated countries in the world are experiencing  a surge in COVID-19 cases, while the least-vaccinated countries were not. As we originally discussed in ""This Is Worrying Me Quite A Bit": mRNA Vaccine Inventor Shares Viral Thread Showing COVID Surge In Most-Vaxxed Countries", this trend has only accelerated in recent weeks with the emergence of the Omicron strain. Unfortunately, instead of engaging in a constructive discussion to see why the science keeps failing again and again, Twitter's response was chilling: with just days left in 2021, it suspended the account of Dr. Malone, one of the inventors of mRNA technology. Which brings to mind something Aaron Rogers said: "If science can't be questioned it's not science anymore it's propaganda & that's the truth." In a year that was marked a flurry of domestic fiascoes by the Biden administration, it is easy to forget that the aged president was also responsible for the biggest US foreign policy disaster since Vietnam, when the botched evacuation of Afghanistan made the US laughing stock of the world after 12 US servicemembers were killed. So it's probably not surprising that over 1.1 million readers were stunned to watch what happened next, which we profiled in the 5th most popular post of 2021, where in response to the Afghan trajedy, "Biden Delivers Surreal Press Conference, Vows To Hunt Down Isis, Blames Trump." One person watching the Biden presser was Xi Jinping, who may have once harbored doubts about reclaiming Taiwan but certainly does not any more. The 4th most popular article of 2021 again has to do with with covid, and specifically the increasingly bizarre clinical response to the disease. As we detailed in "Something Really Strange Is Happening At Hospitals All Over America" while emergency rooms were overflowing, it certainly wasn't from covid cases. Even more curiously, one of the primary ailments leading to an onslaught on ERs across the nation was heart-related issues, whether arrhytmia, cardiac incidents or general heart conditions. We hope that one day there will be a candid discussion on this topic, but until then it remains one of the topics seen as taboo by the mainstream media and the deplatforming overlords, so we'll just leave it at that. We previously discussed the anti-Ivermectin narrative that dominated the mainstream press throughout 2021 and the 3rd most popular article of the year may hold clues as to why: in late September, pharma giant Pfizer and one of the two companies to peddle an mRNA based vaccine, announced that it's launching an accelerated Phase 2/3 trial for a COVID prophylactic pill designed to ward off COVID in those may have come in contact with the disease. And, as we described in "Pfizer Launches Final Study For COVID Drug That's Suspiciously Similar To 'Horse Paste'," 1.75 million readers learned that Pfizer's drug shared at least one mechanism of action as Ivermectin - an anti-parasitic used in humans for decades, which functions as a protease inhibitor against Covid-19, which researchers speculate "could be the biophysical basis behind its antiviral efficiency." Surely, this too was just another huge coincidence. In the second most popular article of 2021, almost 2 million readers discovered (to their "shock") that Fauci and the rest of Biden's COVID advisors were proven wrong about "the science" of COVID vaccines yet again. After telling Americans that vaccines offer better protection than natural infection, a new study out of Israel suggested the opposite is true: natural infection offers a much better shield against the delta variant than vaccines, something we profiled in "This Ends The Debate' - Israeli Study Shows Natural Immunity 13x More Effective Than Vaccines At Stopping Delta." We were right about one thing: anyone who dared to suggest that natural immunity was indeed more effective than vaccines was promptly canceled and censored, and all debate almost instantly ended. Since then we have had tens of millions of "breakout" cases where vaccinated people catch covid again, while any discussion why those with natural immunity do much better remains under lock and key. It may come as a surprise to many that the most read article of 2021 was not about covid, or Biden, or inflation, or China, or even the extremely polarized US congress (and/or society), but was about one of the most long-suffering topics on these pages: precious metals and their prices. Yes, back in February the retail mania briefly targeted silver and as millions of reddit daytraders piled in in hopes of squeezing the precious metal higher, the price of silver surged higher only to tumble just as quickly as it has risen as the seller(s) once again proved more powerful than the buyers. We described this in "Silver Futures Soar 8%, Rise Above $29 As Reddit Hordes Pile In", an article which some 2.4 million gold and silver bugs read with hope, only to see their favorite precious metals slump for much of the rest of the year. And yes, the fact that both gold and silver ended the year sharply lower than where they started even though inflation hit the highest level in 40 years, remains one of the great mysteries of 2021. With all that behind us, and as we wave goodbye to another bizarre, exciting, surreal year, what lies in store for 2022, and the next decade? We don't know: as frequent and not so frequent readers are aware, we do not pretend to be able to predict the future and we don't try despite endless allegations that we constantly predict the collapse of civilization: we leave the predicting to the "smartest people in the room" who year after year have been consistently wrong about everything, and never more so than in 2021 (even the Fed admitted it is clueless when Powell said it was time to retire the term "transitory"), which destroyed the reputation of central banks, of economists, of conventional media and the professional "polling" and "strategist" class forever, not to mention all those "scientists" who made a mockery of the "expertise class" with their bungled response to the covid pandemic. We merely observe, find what is unexpected, entertaining, amusing, surprising or grotesque in an increasingly bizarre, sad, and increasingly crazy world, and then just write about it. We do know, however, that after a record $30 trillion in stimulus was conjured out of thin air by the world's central banks and politicians in the past two years, the attempt to reverse this monetary and fiscal firehose in a world addicted to trillions in newly created liquidity now that central banks are freaking out after finally getting ot the inflation they were hoping to create for so long, will end in tears. We are confident, however, that in the end it will be the very final backstoppers of the status quo regime, the central banking emperors of the New Normal, who will eventually be revealed as fully naked. When that happens and what happens after is anyone's guess. But, as we have promised - and delivered - every year for the past 13, we will be there to document every aspect of it. Finally, and as always, we wish all our readers the best of luck in 2022, with much success in trading and every other avenue of life. We bid farewell to 2021 with our traditional and unwavering year-end promise: Zero Hedge will be there each and every day - usually with a cynical smile - helping readers expose, unravel and comprehend the fallacy, fiction, fraud and farce that defines every aspect of our increasingly broken system. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/02/2022 - 03:44.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 2nd, 2022

The 5 best gaming monitors of 2021 from budget screens to 4K displays

These are the best gaming monitors of 2021 from brands like Acer, BenQ, Dell, and Samsung across categories like ultra-wide, curved, and more. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.Amazon; Acer; Alyssa Powell/Insider The best gaming monitors deliver outstanding image quality and high refresh rates.  Though marketed to gamers, many gaming monitors are great for content creation and general use. The Acer XV282K KV is a superb 4K monitor for modern game consoles or a top-tier gaming PC. Gaming monitors have matured over the past decade. Once a niche that relied more on marketing fluff than actual performance, modern gaming monitors deliver outstanding image quality, smooth motion, solid build quality, and attractive pricing.Today's best gaming monitors occupy a sweet spot between basic office monitors and the top-tier professional monitors. They bring visual quality close to high-end professional displays to a more affordable price. This is paired with an enhanced refresh rate that provides smooth motion and a speedy response to user input.Acer's fantastic Nitro XV282K KV is a cutting-edge monitor with outstanding image quality. It packs 4K resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate, and HDMI 2.1 support that can handle 4K/120 FPS gameplay from modern PCs and game consoles. It also has a vibrant, punchy image that looks great in games and is ideal for content creators.Also, if you have any questions about terms used in this article, we have a glossary of terms at the end for reference.Here are the best gaming monitors of 2021Best gaming monitor overall: Acer Nitro XV282K KVBest budget gaming monitor: Dell 2721HGFBest gaming monitor for competitive gaming: Acer Predator XB253Q GwbmiiprzxBest ultrawide gaming monitor: BenQ Mobiuz EX3415RBest 32-inch gaming monitor: Samsung Odyssey G7The best Cyber Monday deals on gaming monitors from this guideEven if you mostly work on your gaming computer these days, getting a sharp monitor that's easy to look at should be a priority. Like most gaming peripherals, monitors are currently enjoying post Cyber Monday sales.Dell 2721HGF Gaming Monitor$219.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $262.99 | Save 16%Acer Predator XB3$332.86 FROM AMAZONOriginally $379.99 | Save 12%BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R$949.99 FROM B&HOriginally $999.99 | Save 5%$925.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $999.99 | Save 7%Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.Best gaming monitor overallAcerAcer's Nitro XV282K KV delivers 4K resolution and HDMI 2.1 with color performance that will make your favorite games look jaw-dropping.Size: 28-inchResolution: 3,840 x 2,160 (4K)Panel technology: In-Plane SwitchingInputs: 2x HDMI 2.1, 1x DisplayPort 1.4Refresh rate: 144HzNvidia G-Sync: Tested compatibleAMD FreeSync: Certified compatibleHDR: VESA DisplayHDR 400 certifiedPros: Sharp 4K resolution; vibrant, accurate color performance; great contrast ratio for a gaming monitor; ideal for content creators; supports HDMI 2.1 Cons: Only DisplayHDR 400 CertifiedThe Acer Nitro KX282K KV is a superb 4K, 144Hz gaming monitor with good motion clarity and tack-sharp image quality. It has two HDMI 2.1 ports that can handle a modern game console's 4K/120FPS output. You'll also enjoy its vibrant color performance. Pairing 4K resolution with a refresh rate of up to 144Hz provides a crisp experience in every game you play. Modern, demanding games will look detailed and rich, while older titles play at maximum pace. A pair of HDMI 2.1 ports support 4K resolution at up to 120Hz when connected to the Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, or a PC. Alternative monitors stuck on HDMI 2.0 are restricted to 4K/60Hz when connected to modern game consoles. The Nitro XV282K KV also has a DisplayPort input with support for 4K/144Hz when connected to a PC.The Nitro XV282K KV is also great for content creators. It has superb color accuracy, good contrast, and can be used to edit 4K content at its native resolution. It's ideal for gamers who make content on YouTube, Twitch, and other video platforms. It's not flawless, however. The monitor is VESA DisplayHDR 400 certified but not bright enough to make HDR content look its best. We've also heard complaints from PlayStation 5 owners that 4K/120Hz doesn't always work. This may be an issue with the PS5, as we've heard of similar stories from owners of other HDMI 2.1 displays.The Acer Nitro XV282K KV is priced at $899, placing it among the least expensive HDMI 2.1 monitors currently available. It's a good bet for gamers seeking a future-proof display with jaw-dropping visuals.Stock of the Acer Nitro XV282K is currently extremely limited, but we continue to recommend it for its quality. We'll update this page with stock information as soon as possible as it becomes available.$899.99 FROM ACERBest budget gaming monitorMatthew S Smith/Business InsiderDell's 2721HGF is a great all-around monitor with surprisingly attractive visuals at an entry-level priceSize: 27-inchResolution: 1,920 x 1,080Panel technology: Vertical AlignmentInputs: 2x HDMI 1.4, 1x DisplayPort 1.2Refresh rate: 144HzNvidia G-Sync: Certified compatibleAMD FreeSync: Certified compatibleHDR: NonePros: Punchy image with good dark scene performance; officially supports AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync; solid build quality with height adjustable stand; plenty of inputsCons: Only 1080p resolution; no built-in speakersDell's 2721HGF is a simple, straightforward monitor that makes the right compromises to deliver an excellent gaming experience at a low price.The screen has a punchy image with bold color. It also hits a higher contrast ratio than many alternatives, providing a strong illusion of depth and excellent detail in dark scenes. It's perfect for realistic games, horror games, and other titles that use shadows or darkness for dramatic effect.Despite its price, the 2721HGF has a 144Hz refresh rate and good motion performance. More expensive monitors, like the BenQ EX2780Q, look sharper in motion and will show less blur behind fast objects, but the 2721HGF is a huge upgrade over a run-of-the-mill office monitor with a 60Hz refresh rate. The monitor's resolution tops out at 1080p, which is low for a 27-inch display. Games don't look sharp on this monitor. You may see distracting saw-tooth edges around fine details. This, however, is unavoidable on a budget. 1440p monitors like the BenQ EX2780Q are much more expensive.This is a solid, handsome monitor that includes a height-adjustable stand and a VESA mount for attaching third-party monitor arms. The monitor is curved, but the curve is subtle enough that it doesn't significantly change gameplay. $219.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $262.99 | Save 16%Best gaming monitor for competitive gamersMatthew S Smith/Business InsiderAcer's Predator XB3 has an absurdly high 280Hz refresh rate for lightning-quick reaction times in competitive gamesSize: 24.5-inchResolution: 1,920 x 1,080Panel technology: In-Plane SwitchingInputs: 1x DisplayPort 1.4Refresh rate: 280HzNvidia G-Sync: Certified compatibleAMD FreeSync: Not certifiedHDR: DisplayHDR 400Pros: Excellent motion clarity; 280Hz refresh rate; precise color accuracy; sturdy design; good value for moneyCons: Only one video inputAcer's Predator XB253Q Gxbmiiprzx, also known as the Predator XB3, is an outstanding 24.5-inch gaming monitor built for competitive gamers. It has remarkable motion clarity and doesn't sacrifice image quality.The monitor has a 240Hz refresh rate that can overclock to 280Hz. This leads to excellent motion clarity that helps you pick out details in small, moving objects. The monitor also has low input lag, making it feel almost wired to your brain.A few competitors have an even higher 360Hz refresh rate. They're also excellent for competitive gaming but are nearly twice as expensive. It's hard to justify spending so much when this more affordable Acer can deliver most of their gains. The Predator XB3 has excellent image quality. It displays accurate, vibrant color and has enough contrast and brightness to achieve a convincing illusion of depth. HDR is supported and works well in bright scenes, though the monitor doesn't support the extended range of color required for proper HDR. A pair of two-watt speakers are included along the monitor's rear. They provide usable, if not impressive, audio. You'll want a headset or desktop speakers for most gaming, but the speakers are passable for short sessions and when audio quality is not important. Connectivity is a downside, as the monitor has just one DisplayPort 1.4 input. Its design is divisive, thanks to a large chin on the display's bottom edge, but the monitor is built like a tank and includes a robust stand with height adjustment. $332.86 FROM AMAZONOriginally $379.99 | Save 12%Best ultrawide gaming monitorMatthew S Smith/Business InsiderBenQ's Mobiuz EX3415R is a huge, immersive display with few downsidesSize: 34-inchResolution: 3,440 x 1,440Panel technology: In-Plane SwitchingInputs: 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4Refresh rate: 144HzNvidia G-Sync: Not certified, tested compatibleAMD FreeSync: Certified compatibleHDR: DisplayHDR 400Pros: Expensive, immersive screen; highly accurate color; great built-in speakers; sturdy build quality Cons: Disappointing HDR for the price; expensiveBenQ's Mobiuz EX3415R is a bigger, more expensive take on BenQ's EX2780Q. It has most of the qualities that make the EX2780Q our top pick. This includes extremely accurate, vibrant color, good shadow detail, and attractive sharpness, all alongside a 144Hz refresh rate that shows great motion clarity. Upgrading to a 34-inch ultrawide monitor leads to a more immersive gaming experience. This is perfect for simulation, open-world, and strategy games, where a wider display often lets you see more at once. It can be a downside in competitive games, which are rarely optimized for ultrawide monitors.HDR performance is the monitor's only notable quality flaw. It's not bad; in fact, it's better than most displays on this list. But the Mobiuz EX3415R is an expensive display, and that puts it in a different league. Alienware and Samsung monitors have better HDR at this price point.BenQ's Mobiuz monitor line, which is new, embraces an eye-catching design that combines the angular lines of a stealth fighter with modern contrasting colors. The sturdy height-adjustable stand keeps the monitor stable. The Mobiuz EX3415R has a built-in sound system that includes a subwoofer. It's loud and enjoyable, which is great if you don't want external speakers cluttering your desk. $949.99 FROM B&HOriginally $999.99 | Save 5%$925.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $999.99 | Save 7%Best 32-inch gaming monitorAmazonSamsung's Odyssey G7 is a massive, beautiful monitor with attractive design and a surprisingly high refresh rateSize: 34-inchResolution: 3,440 x 1,440Panel technology: Vertical AlignmentInputs: 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x DisplayPort 1.4Refresh rate: 240HzNvidia G-Sync: Certified compatibleAMD FreeSync: Certified compatibleHDR: DisplayHDR 600Pros: Excellent color accuracy; 240Hz refresh rate; striking curved design; good HDR supportCons: Curve will look too extreme for some; no built-in speakersSamsung's monstrous 32-inch Odyssey G7 is all about extremes. It's extremely large, extremely curved, and has an extremely high refresh rate. These traits make it easy to recommend to gamers looking to go large.The Odyssey G7 has exceptionally accurate and vibrant color that's nearly a match for BenQ's EX2780Q. That is paired with a slightly better contrast ratio, which provides an immersive illusion of depth. These traits, together with the monitor's sheer size, make the Odyssey G7 a great pick for simulation games, role-playing games, and other titles with attractive, expansive scenery. The monitor is bright in HDR mode, providing an above average HDR experience.Yet the Odyssey G7 also has a 240Hz refresh, which is rare for a 32-inch display. The monitor isn't as clear in motion as some competing 240Hz monitors, but most gamers will be pleased. This monitor has a dramatic 1000R (smaller means more) curve, which means it could complete a full circle if it were 1000 millimeters wide. Most curved monitors land between 1900R and 1500R. A curve this aggressive is obvious whether the monitor is off or on. Fans of curved screens will adore it, but gamers unconvinced by curved screens will find it too extreme. The curve is paired with an aggressive design that will stand out on any gamer's desk.$559.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $792.04 | Save 29%What else we consideredThe monitors in this list are the best for most gamers, but we tested several additional gaming monitors that stand out as honorable mentions. Acer Nitro XV340CK ($397.99): This is a solid mid-range ultrawide monitor with good color accuracy and a 144Hz refresh rate. It falls short in maximum brightness and can show hazy, bright spots in dark scenes, but many gamers will excuse these flaws because of the monitor's low price. Acer Nitro XV252Q ($379): This 280Hz monitor is an alternative to Acer's Predator XB253Q but takes a big cut in image quality. The two are solid at similar pricing, providing little reason to buy the Nitro XV252Q instead.Alienware 2521H ($379.99): This 1080p/360Hz gaming monitor is a good choice for competitive gamers. It has great motion clarity, good image quality, and attractive design. Like other 360Hz monitors, however, it's sold at a steep price.Alienware AW2721D ($749.99): Want a 27-inch monitor with a refresh rate and motion performance nearly as good as the best 24-inch displays? Alienware's AW2721D is for you – if you're willing to pay for the privilege of owning it. Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX ($2,899.99): This outrageously expensive 32-inch monitor from Asus is one of the first to embrace Mini-LED technology. It's currently the best HDR gaming monitor money can buy, but its high price puts it out of reach for most gamers. BenQ EX2780Q ($319.99): Our former top pick, the BenQ EX2780Q remains a solid mid-range option that delivers outstanding image quality. It's still a great option for gamers who don't need 4K resolution or HDMI 2.1.Dark Matter by Monoprice 24-inch Gaming Monitor ($229.99): This basic 1080p/144Hz monitor provides great color performance and a good contrast ratio for just $230. Budget gamers who care about motion clarity should give it a serious look.Dell S3222DGM ($329.99): This 32-incher is a more affordable alternative to Samsung's Odyssey G7. It performs similarly in many respects, though it has a lower refresh rate. Some gamers may prefer its less dramatic curve. MSI Oculux NXG253R ($499.99): This 24-inch 1080p/360Hz gaming monitor is a solid choice for competitive gamers, though its higher refresh rate is of limited use compared to our top competitive pick, the 280Hz Acer Predator XB253Q. Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 ($1,999.99): Samsung's absurdly large Odyssey G9 makes every other monitor look tiny. It has a Mini-LED backlight that provides good HDR performance and the best contrast ratio of any gaming monitor available right. It's extremely expensive, however, and the Mini-LED backlight has issues with fast motion in high-contrast scenes.How we test gaming monitorsThe monitors recommended in this guide were tested using a Datacolor Spyder X colorimeter. This calibration tool can generate a report that objectively gauges the quality of a monitor based on numerous factors including brightness, contrast, color accuracy, image uniformity, and more. Test results were entered into a database that includes over 600 laptop and desktop displays going back over a decade. Gaming monitor FAQsWhat size is best for a gaming monitor? Gaming monitors typically come in 24-inch, 27-inch, and 32-inch widescreen options. While it's tempting to go big, a 24-inch or 27-inch monitor is often best because most players sit fairly close to the monitor (within three feet or less). 32-inch monitors are ideal as a television substitute in small spaces, like a studio apartment, a bedroom, or a dorm room. Ultrawide monitors are a special case; a 34-inch monitor is roughly as tall as a 27-inch widescreen. What resolution is best for a gaming monitor?2,560 x 1,440 resolution, often called 1440p, is the sweet spot for PC gaming. It's sharper than 1080p but not so pixel-dense that you need an absurdly expensive video card for acceptable frame rates in modern games. 1080p is still adequate, however, especially in 24-inch monitors. 4K looks fantastic but can severely tax all but the most expensive gaming PCs, and there's a slim selection of 4K displays that also support a refresh rate of 120Hz or better. What refresh rate is best for a gaming monitor?A monitor's refresh rate is the number of times it can display a new image every second. Cranking up the refresh rate improves perceived smoothness, increases the clarity of objects in motion, and shortens the time between player input and on-screen response. A 144Hz refresh rate is the current sweet spot between performance and price, but gamers who play competitive games that demand quick reactions will prefer a 240Hz refresh rate.GlossaryAMD FreeSync: FreeSync compatible monitors can synchronize their refresh rate to match the framerate of games played on an AMD video card. This improves perceived smoothness during gameplay.In-Plane Switching: Often abbreviated as IPS, In-Plane Switching is a common LCD panel technology found in computer monitors. Monitors that use an IPS panel have great color accuracy, high brightness, and outstanding viewing angles, but can look hazy in dark scenes. A majority of gaming monitors use an IPS panel.High Dynamic Range: Usually abbreviated as HDR, High Dynamic Range describes content packed with added color and luminance information. This leads to brighter whites, deeper blacks, and a greater range of colors across the entire spectrum. HDR content must be viewed on an HDR capable display to see an improvement over standard content. Nvidia G-Sync: G-Sync compatible monitors can synchronize their refresh rate to match the framerate of games played on an Nvidia video card. This improves perceived smoothness during gameplay.Refresh rate: This describes how many times a monitor can refresh its image each second. A higher refresh rate leads to smoother motion and improved clarity for fast-moving objects. It can also reduce input lag because less time passes between each refresh.  Resolution: This describes a monitor's pixel count in terms of the number of pixels found on one line along its horizontal and vertical axis. For example, any single horizontal line on a monitor with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution will have 1,920 pixels, while any single vertical line will have 1,080 pixels. More pixels will improve a monitor's sharpness and clarity. VESA DisplayHDR: DisplayHDR is a set of standards laid out by VESA, an industry organization behind a variety of standards (including DisplayPort). DisplayHDR sets quality minimums that a monitor must reach to be certified. It's more specific than HDR which, in the case of gaming monitors, doesn't promise anything aside from the ability to accept an HDR signal. VESA mount: This is a standard mount for computer monitors laid out by VESA that uses four screws spaced 100 millimeters apart in a square pattern. Nearly all monitors and monitor arms use this mount.Vertical Alignment: Often abbreviated as VA, Vertical Alignment is a common LCD panel technology found in computer monitors. It's known for reaching deep, inky shadows in dark scenes and good color performance, but tends to show less clarity in motion. VA panels are the second most popular choice for gaming monitors.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021

How 1.5 million aloe vera leaves are harvested a week

Some aloe vera products don't contain any aloe. But at the world's largest aloe farm in the Dominican Republic, they're slicing up the legit stuff. Aloe vera products are growing in popularity, and the industry is now worth $625 million. But some aloe vera products have been found to contain no traces of aloe. We visited the world's largest aloe farm in the Dominican Republic to find out how they harvest, slice up, and juice the legit stuff. Following is a transcription of the video:Narrator: Making aloe products takes quick hands.Rudy Colón: The leaf has thorns. As it grows, it develops more thorns.Narrator: A good knife ...Ruben Martinez: Daily, each of the employees has to fillet about 3,000 to 3,500 leaves.Narrator: ... and lots of plants. It takes about 20 aloe leaves to make just one gallon of aloe vera juice. But some aloe products have been found to contain no aloe at all.Tod: It's so easy to put out a fake aloe product. So there are all kinds of synthetic gels.Narrator: So how are real aloe vera products made? And can we spot the legit stuff in a $625 million industry? We visited the largest aloe farm in the world to find out.Universal Aloe's farm covers 5,000 acres here in the Dominican Republic. While there are hundreds of types of aloe plants, this farm chose Aloe barbadensis Miller because it has 20 amino acids.Jason: Minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, hormones, and other bioactive substances.Narrator: Once the baby plants are in the ground, it takes about eight months for them to mature. About 750 people harvest these fields. They're dispatched in groups, harvesting section by section.Rudy: You always remove the leaf that is full and cut and remove the tip. Then you remove the thorns at the bottom. We cut the mature leaf, going leaf by leaf not to hurt the plant that is going to remain.Narrator: The cut leaves won't grow back, but the plants will grow new ones. It will take them about a week to harvest just this one area.Rudy: The sun hits very hard here. And that's the tough thing about this job, but we are used to it. We need to work.Narrator: One by one, workers pick up all the harvested leaves and toss them into a truck. Those leaves head to a processing plant 2 miles up the road.Leonel Mesa: Every day, we get 260,000 pounds of fresh leaves here. And that's converted into 20,000 gallons of fresh juice for export daily. The process starts with the washing and disinfecting of the leaves.Narrator: The leaves go through a bath of chlorinated saltwater to kill off any little critters from the field that may be hanging around. Then they get trimmed.Leonel: They remove both the head and the tail of the leaf so that it is easier to extract the gel in the extraction area. And then we wash them a second time.Narrator: This jiggly fillet is the gel inside the aloe leaf. That's what's used in real aloe vera juice, gel, or skincare products.Leonel: We manually fillet the aloe vera leaves to remove the gel.Narrator: To do it, They need a really good knife.Ruben: I call him Lightning, because when I put him in, I feel like I'm going fast with him. It practically does the work for me.Narrator: They might make it look easy, but filleting takes precision.Ruben: It has to be placed exactly on the right spot to get the gel out of the leaf. It varies according to what sizes the leaves come in. When the leaves are bigger, it's good, because we are more productive. But when we get small leaves, it takes us longer to fillet them, and we get tired. We want to stop working.Narrator: And they have to move fast, filleting 3,500 leaves a day.Ruben: The fastest filleter? There are a lot. Sometimes we start to hold competitions to see who is faster. To sum it up, we are good.Narrator: Many aloe companies use machines for filleting.Leonel: Our production process is very artisanal. Around 80% of our entire process is manual because it produces less waste and because the leaves come in very different sizes.Narrator: The leftover leaf bits go back out into the field as compost. And the buckets of filets? Those get weighed, then poured onto this big table. Workers here will inspect them for any leftover leaf bits, which they'll then slice off. Once it's all clear, the fillets head to the shredder, which grinds them into a pure aloe gel.Leonel: From here, they pass to these pasteurization tubes. Any type of impurities and bacteria that could have been in the juice are removed.Narrator: At this point, ascorbic acid is added to extend the shelf life.Leonel: Our product is 99.9% pure aloe vera, and the other 0.1% is ascorbic acid.Narrator: The gel flows into this spill-proof bag.Leonel: These two robotic devices take the lid off the metallic bag, open it, fill it up, and seal it automatically so that there is no contact with the exterior.Narrator: This bag is then vacuum-sealed and put into a bigger metal box. The whole process from leaf to this container takes only about three hours. But before the shipment can leave the factory, its contents have to be tested for quality assurance.Leonel: We take about 20 to 25 samples daily.Jesus Santiago Jaquez: The chemical-physical test analyzes the pH, the viscosity, the color, texture, and everything concerning the appearance of the juice.Rafaelina Taveras: It takes me about an hour to do this kind of test.Narrator: Only when a container passes the lab tests can it be released for shipment. These ones are bound for Rotterdam in the Netherlands. There, the gel will be pumped into bottles for Forever Living products. But not every bottle of aloe is made like this. In 2015, ConsumerLab.com tested 10 aloe products for ingredients.Tod: Half of them failed our test.Narrator: A 2016 Bloomberg investigation found that Walmart, CVS, and Target's aloe products contain no evidence of aloe at all.Tod: It's so easy to put out a fake aloe product. So there are all kinds of synthetic gels. Often you'll see a word like carbomer. It's a synthetic gel. And if you see a clear gel, you have no idea if it's really aloe or carbomer.Narrator: Most aloe products aren't closely regulated by the FDA. That's because they're considered supplements, or cosmetics, not drugs. So a product can say it contains aloe, but it could mean a range of things: It really does contain aloe fillet, or it's the whole leaf ground up and not just that inner fillet. Or it's a synthetic gel, and there's actually no aloe - which won't hurt you, but doesn't have any of the supposed benefits of aloe.Tod: There's not a lot of regulation or oversight of aloe products.Narrator: It's also hard to regulate because aloe grows naturally all over the Americas, and its gel has been used for thousands of years to heal burns and reduce inflammation.Jason: The challenge is translating that history to our current rigorous medical examination.Narrator: Another problem is there isn't clear scientific proof of aloe's healing powers. Some studies have shown it helps soothe burns and speed up healing, while others show no effect on burns.Tod: So it's not that aloe doesn't help. The evidence isn't there right now.Narrator: The outer rind of the leaf has been found to have a laxative compound called aloin. One study found that it caused cancer in rats, while another found it helped with constipation. But the FDA has banned aloe from being sold as an over-the-counter laxative drug.Tod: There's no patent on aloe, and so there isn't a lot of incentive for companies to be putting lots of money into clinical studies. They don't really need to do those studies to get these products on the shelf.Narrator: Still, consumers worldwide are flocking to aloe as they embrace more natural products. Universal Aloe saw a 30% increase in demand in 2020. As consumers navigate this growing market, how can we identify the products made with real aloe vera? Well, Todd says it's actually really tricky, but he did have a few suggestions. First, you should always check the ingredient list.Tod: You want to see aloe. You want to see it's first. You really need to be super careful on the wording, because if it just says "leaf," it could be any part of the leaf. You could be getting the latex, which you don't want, unless you want a laxative effect.Narrator: Look out for tricky wording like "100% gel." That could mean there is 100% gel, but not all of it is aloe fillet.Jason: So you really need to know what part of the leaf is being made. When they "aloe gel," is it a gel that's made from blending up the whole leaf, or is it truly just pure aloe gel?Narrator: Despite these uncertainties, experts don't expect the demand for aloe to dip anytime soon.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 2nd, 2021

66 gifts under $50 for everyone on your list that still feel thoughtful and personal

We found great gift ideas under $50 that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to get just the right gift for any occasion. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Hollis Johnson/Crystal Cox/Alyssa Powell/Business Insider You don't need to spend a fortune to find a thoughtful gift they'll love. We found 66 of the best gifts under $50 to suit the interests and tastes of everyone on your list. With best friends' birthdays, anniversaries with your significant other, celebratory moments with coworkers, or even just to tell a loved one you're thinking about them, it's easy for your gifting list to fill up quickly. But you don't have to spend a fortune to get everyone on your list a gift that feels made for them. There are plenty of great gift ideas under $50 to be found if you know where to look.We've done the hard work for you and sifted through hundreds of options to find affordable gifts to suit a wide range of tastes and interests.Our picks for the best gifts under $50 still feel unique and personal. And whether these gifts are complements to a bigger present or are the star of the show, we know your recipient will love them.Keep reading for 66 gifts under $50 that work for anyone on your list.This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Under Armour. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.* A hatch decanter to sophisticatedly store alcohol Crate & Barrel Hatch Decanter, available at Crate & Barrel, $44.95If their barware collection bares a sophisticated flair, they'll appreciate this elegant hatch decanter. This 32oz decanter is a more affordable price than others thanks to its beautiful molded diamond pattern that resembles cut crystal. A spice and herb kit packed with international flavors Uncommon Goods Gourmet Oil Dipping Spice Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $42Whether it's a dash of Italian oregano or za'atar from the Middle East, any cook will appreciate this international spice kit that lets them cook with various tastes of the world.  A skincare set for combination and oily skin types Sephora Clinique Great Skin, Great Deal Set, available at Sephora, $32.50This Clinique set for combination and oily skin types is a great addition to any skincare routine. This three-step regimen includes a facial soap, an exfoliating lotion, and a moisturizing gel make this three-step routine an easy and quick way for a fresh face.   A DIY recipe book Amazon My Recipes Cookbook, available at Amazon, $8.99Whether they're a huge foodie or want to preserve a favorite family meal, this DIY cookbook offers 120 blank pages to fill with their favorite recipes. The notebook's table of contents and additional note space at the end will help keep them extra organized.Taking the time to add in your own savory vodka sauce pasta dish or having their loved ones fill in grandma's homemade sweets recipe will make this gift feel extra special. Snacks for movie night Knack Popcorn Snack Medley, available at Knack, $44Help them take their next Netflix marathon to the next level with this popcorn mix set. The mix includes two microwavable Pop on The Cob popcorn cobs, toffee pretzels, dark chocolate-covered cherries, and Virginia peanuts. If they have a particular favorite treat, each snack can also be added in extra quantities at an additional cost. A carafe that helps preserve wine Grommet Glass Wine Saver Carafe, available at Grommet, $42.95Wine lovers will surely appreciate this elegant gift that will allow them to savor and sip their favorite bottle for longer. This glass carafe preserves non-sparkling wine in the refrigerator for up to one week. Simply, pour wine into the carafe, insert the float at an angle, then seal it with the top and serve. Farm-to-skin lip balms Etsy Beekman 1802 Ten Piece Lip Balm Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $48This farm-to-skin lip balm set is just right for the green beauty obsessive. All 10 lip balms are made from natural goat's milk and essential oils. Beautifully packaged and scented, the fragrances include Ylang Ylang and Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Fig Leaf, Sweet Grass, Grapefruit, Oak Moss, Apricot and Honey, Vanilla, and an unscented balm. A monogrammed clutch Mark & Graham Palm Leaf Rounded Clutch, available at Mark and Graham, from $49You can get your giftees initials embroidered on this cute roll-up clutch for a personal touch. The bag is woven from natural palm leaves for a beachy vibe, and the blue and white striped interior adds to the fun coastal feel. A sand-free, quick-dry towel Sand Cloud Sand Cloud towel, available at Sand Cloud, $48Not only are these thin towels easy to roll up and throw in your beach bag or picnic basket, but they also easily shake off sand and dry three times faster than classic beach and pool towels. Choose from a wide array of vibrant patterns and colors, from a navy blue whale shark print to tie-dye options. An easy way to make their own bubble tea Uncommon Goods Bubble Tea Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $38For the bubble tea lover in your life, this kit comes with two flavors of loose-leaf tea, tapioca pearls, and two reusable stainless steel straws. All they'll have to do is add a little milk (if they like!) and sip on this delicious brew. A personalized video message from their favorite celebrity Cameo Cameo video, available on Cameo, from $1Whether they have a favorite musician, reality TV star, comedian, or actor, there's a good chance their favorite celebrity is on Cameo. You can even choose from pre-recorded video messages with a personal shoutout, or opt to give them a super special one-on-one video call. Of course, the price will depend on who the star is. Notepads chock full of affirmations Amazon Knock Knock Notepads, available at Amazon, from $9.13Whether you want to give them a quick pep talk or celebrate them just because, these notepads from Knock Knock provide a creative and encouraging way of doing so. Each comes with 50 sheets, so they'll make plenty of use of these witty notes. A small but mighty smart assistant Google Google Nest Mini (2nd Generation), available at Best Buy, $49.99Give the gift of a virtual helper. Currently on sale for under $25, the Google Nest Mini offers a compact, affordable smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in. Friends and family members will love being able to dim lights, control the volume on their TV, check the weather, and more, all with just the sound of their voice.Read our full review of the Google Nest Mini here A face mask designed for working out Under Armour UA Sportmask, available at Under Armour, $15Under Armour's Sportmask was designed with athletes in mind, as reflected in its breathability, water resistance, and UPF 50+ sun protection. Thanks to the Sportsmask, they won't have to sacrifice their workout routine or their comfort.*Sponsored by Under Armour A 52-piece art kit Amazon 52-Piece Watercolor Art Set, available at Amazon, $12.34Encourage them to pick up a new hobby (or take advantage of an existing one) with this watercolor set that's built for both beginners and experts. The set includes various cakes and paints, watercolor pencils, paintbrushes, a paint palette, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener — all within a pre-packaged case that can save you the pain of gift wrapping.  A streaming stick that turns any TV into a smart one Amazon Roku Streaming Stick +, available at Amazon, $39Upgrade their Netflix binge marathons without actually buying them a whole new TV. The Roku Streaming Stick + offers 4K, HD, and HDR streaming in a portable package and affordable price.  A meal kit from their favorite restaurant Goldbelly/Facebook Goldbelly Restaurant Meal Kits, available at Goldbelly, from $25Bring a bit of their favorite restaurant right to their door. From bagels to barbeque, Goldbelly ships food gifts nationwide from iconic eateries in major cities.  A Disney+ subscription Alyssa Powell/Business Insider One-year gift subscription to Disney Plus, $79.99It gives them unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream. A cult-favorite candle Otherland Otherland Candles, available at Otherland, $36We love Otherland's candles, whether seasonally inspired or from the classic collection. Notable scent combinations such as champagne, saffron, and leather, gorgeous packaging, and a 55 hour burn time have deemed Otherland's candles as a foolproof gift among the Insider Reviews team. A set of loose-leaf teas that even Oprah loves Amazon Vadham Chai Tea Reserve Set, available at Amazon, $34.99This classy set of loose-leaf teas made it into Oprah's Favorite Things back in 2018. It's filled with three variations of chai tea that any tea lover will appreciate.  A smooth olive oil that'll instantly elevate any dish Brightland Alive Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37If they spend a lot of time in the kitchen, they probably already know the merits of high-quality olive oil. A drizzle of Alive from Brightland adds a vibrant, zesty flavor to any dish, plus the beautiful bottle will look great on display in their kitchen.  An affordable electric toothbrush subscription Quip Toothbrush Starter Set, available at Quip, from $25Help them upgrade their oral care routine with a Quip toothbrush. Not only is it a great electric toothbrush at a reasonable price, but Quip will send them a refill every three months with a new brush head and toothbrush.  Delicious mini cupcakes Baked by Melissa Facebook Cupcake Gift Boxes, available at Baked by Melissa, from $32Who doesn't love getting a sweet surprise? With delicious flavors ranging from Cookie Dough to Pink Frosted Donut, these bite-size treats are sure to please. You can also add a special gift box to complete the gift.  Useful cable clips Amazon Shintop Cable Clips (six-pack), available at Amazon, $5.79Whether their phone charger is always falling under their desk or they simply have too many cables to keep track of, these affordable and efficient clips will allow them to simplify their workspace. Plus, the pink, orange, and green shades contribute a fun pop of color. A head-to-toe mini care kit Sephora Drunk Elephant The Littles Head to Toe, available at Sephora, $49Give this mini set for head-to-toe care they can take on the road or just to test out some new products. The set is packed with Drunk Elephant minis, including a glossing shampoo, cream conditioner, scalp scrub, detangler, body cleanser, lotion, deodorant, and a comb. It also comes neatly packaged in a fun, neon bag. An at-home spa kit Uncommon Goods Eucalyptus Spa Gift Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $40Let's face it, 2020 has been a hard year. Give them the gift of soothing relaxation with this at-home kit that includes pampering botanical bath salts and natural jute body scrubber. The recipient will also be able to grow their own eucalyptus in the bamboo pot so they can continue to breathe deep and say ahh. A set of magnets that are fun to play with and can boost concentration Speks Speks Magnet Balls, available at Speks, $27.95Almost everyone on the Insider Reviews team has a set of Speks at their desk. The little magnetic balls can be mashed, molded, and built into fun shapes and are a fun fidget toy that even adults will love.  A personalized pillow of their favorite fur baby aurespaces/Etsy Custom Pet Pillow, available at Etsy, from $23.99If there's nothing they love more than their cat or dog, this pillow — featuring a blown-up picture of their pet — is sure to make them smile.  A cute kitchen gadget that makes breakfast in a flash Amazon Dash Mini Waffle Maker, available at Target, $9.99This compact waffle maker makes a great addition to any college dorm or small kitchen. All they have to do is plug it in and they can make their favorite breakfast treat in a flash. A sugary and fun snack Neiman Marcus Sugarfina Champagne Bears, available at Neiman Marcus, $20Elevate their next sugar fix with these fun champagne gummy bears. Don't worry if they're under 21, despite the name and flavor, these gummies are non-alcoholic. They also have rosé options too.     A taste of Japan by way of snacks Bokksu Bokksu Tasting Gift, 3-month box, available at Bokksu, $44.95Adventurous foodies will love the chance to taste test a curated box of gourmet Japanese snacks. In this Bokksu box, they can expect to find between 10-14 snacks, a tea pairing, and an in-depth guide that details every product included. A best-selling face mask for clear skin Aztec Secret Aztec Secret Indian Healing Mask, available at Target, $7.99Anyone in on the latest skincare trends will know about this mask. Many claim it has helped clear their skin, and it has over 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. The best part is that this powerful facial is just $10. A soft pair of socks made from sustainable fabric United by Blue SoftHemp Sock, available at United by Blue, $16With cold weather approaching, there's nothing better than slipping on cozy socks. Made from soft, sustainable hemp fabric, this pair is sure to do the trick.  A luxurious exfoliator to keep skin smooth Necessaire Necessaire The Body Exfoliator, available at Sephora, $30Necessaire's clean beauty products come in beautiful, minimalist packaging that looks as good in their bathroom as it feels on their skin. This gentle exfoliator will help them slough off dry winter skin for good. Cruelty-free nail polish in a range of fun colors Smith & Cult Nail Polish, available at Smith & Cult, $18Smith & Cult's polish is vegan, cruelty-free, and chip-resistant. With 46 fun colors to choose from, you're sure to find one (or two, or three) they'll love.  A sheet mask that'll hydrate dry, stressed skin Sephora Dr. Jart+ Soothing Hydra Solution, available at Sephora, $6Fall and winter skin tends to be dry and dull. While you can't change the weather, you can throw on a hydrating face mask to stay moisturized. This one will add lots of soothing hydration to their skin to keep it feeling fresh. Makeup towels that make washing their face less of a chore Weezie Makeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40If they've never thought of washcloths as anything special, Weezie towels will change their minds. The adorable towels are embroidered with either hearts, winky eyelids, or the words "stain me." Plus, the dark navy blue color will conceal makeup stains. A silky-smooth sleep mask to block light Nordstrom Slip Pink Marble Sleep Mask, available at Nordstrom, $50If there's nothing they appreciate more than a good night's sleep, they'll love Slip's silk sleep mask. It's made from 100% pure Mulberry silk for a luxe, light feel on their skin.  A simple necklace that reminds them of their intentions Bando Good Intentions Necklace, available at Amazon, $38A sweet necklace with an even sweeter mission. Choose from a selection of positive intentions like "optimism," "strength," or "gratitude," which they can carry with them throughout the day. For every necklace sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Girls Inc. A lip gloss that has all the benefits of a balm Sephora Tower28 Beauty Jelly Lip Gloss, available at Sephora, $14This clean-beauty favorite delivers the glossy sheen they'd expect from a lip gloss, but it's loaded with nourishing oils to keep lips hydrated, too.  A beautiful way to store olive oil Uncommon Goods Handblown Glass Olive Oil Pourer, available at Uncommon Goods, $44These stunning handmade jars can hold up to 12 ounces of olive oil or vinegar. Plus, they look beautiful sitting out on the kitchen counter. A bold lip color that'll last all day long Sephora Lancome L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick, available at Sephora, $32Whether it's a pale peach or a deep-red look they crave, they'll love this long-lasting lipstick with its saturated colors and hydrating formula. A set of playing cards inspired by music's greats Amazon Music Genius Playing Cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $10Whether they love game night, music, or are equal fans of both, they'll surely get a kick out of these playing cards. The pack features illustrations of all the big names in pop, rock, country, and R&B. A spray that any sneakerhead needs in their collection Amazon Jason Markk Repel, available at Amazon, $17If they love shoes, they should have the right products to take care of their favorite footwear. This spray protects shoes from stains caused by water and oil, and there are multiple people on our team who swear by it for every new pair of shoes they get. A set of colorful silicone straws that reduce plastic waste Food52 Five Two Silicone Straws Single Pack, available at Food52, $25Bendable, sustainable, and portable (thanks to the set of carrying cases), these fun straws are the accessory any eco-conscious person should have. An elevated hand sanitizer that fends off germs Touchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9A lightweight, spray formula and refreshing scents make Touchland's hand sanitizer one they'll actually want to use. It dries quickly and doesn't leave residue or stickiness behind. A book subscription Book of the Month Book of the Month 3-month plan, available at Book of the Month, $49.99A subscription box that sends them an exciting new read catered to their tastes each month is the perfect gift for a bookworm. A unique case that protects their phone Casetify Casetify phone case, available at Casetify, starting from $39Our phones are our lifelines these days and if you know someone who's always glued to theirs, consider giving them a unique case that's as protective as it is pretty thanks to being drop-tested and shock-absorbent. They have options ranging from watercolor forest scenes to cute sayings to cuddly animals. You can even do a customized option and put their initials on it.   A coffee mug that keeps their drinks hot or cold for hours Amazon Hydro Flask Travel Coffee Mug, available at Amazon, $45.55Hydro Flask's Travel Coffee Mug is a team favorite. It combines the classic shape of a mug with Hydro Flask's TempShield insulation to keep beverages hot, or cold, for hours— a great gift for the coffee or tea lover who's always on the move.  Unisex House Slippers Etsy Japanese Waffle Linen Slipper Slides, available at Etsy, $28.23Clean space enthusiasts who enjoy a no outdoor shoe policy at their homes will appreciate these unisex house slippers. The waffle cloth pattern, platform bottom, and cushioned sole makes for a cute and cozy fit. These snug slippers are available in yellow, pink, gray, or coffee colors.  A cute reusable tote that can fit tons of stuff BAGGU Standard Baggu, available at Baggu, $12It's no wonder these bags are bestsellers — they can hold up to 50 pounds of stuff and come in a range of fun colors and patterns. Plus, at just $12, they're a great deal.  A portable straw that makes water drinkable Amazon LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, available at Amazon, $14.83This portable, personal water filter was one of the bestselling products on Prime Day. It filters water from creeks and rivers, making it perfect for hiking, camping, and travel. A classy carrying case to stash chargers Mark & Graham Leather Charger Roll-Up, available at Mark & Graham, from $29.99After they fill the three pockets with cables and chargers, all they have do is roll everything up and they're good to go. The soft, supple leather comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns.  A cult-favorite cast-iron skillet Amazon Lodge 12-inch Cast-Iron Skillet and Handle Holder, available at Amazon, $45.47Every cook needs a cast-iron skillet in their kitchen. Lodge makes some of the best out there, but at prices that won't break the bank.  A fitting vehicle for their post-run brews Uncommon Goods Etched Marathon Pint Glass, available at Uncommon Goods, $20If they like to celebrate a long run with a big pint, they'll appreciate these pint glasses etched with famous marathon routes.  A candle that reminds them of their favorite place Amazon Homesick Scented Candle, available at Amazon, $34This is a great gift that's sure to make anyone sentimental. Whether it's their hometown, college town, or favorite spot to vacation, a Homesick candle, with scents inspired by all sorts of locations, will bring them back to that favorite place.  A cold brew coffee maker to keep up with their iced coffee habit Amazon Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $24.99If their morning ritual includes a cup of cold brew, they'll appreciate this convenient cold brew maker. All they have to do is fill it with their favorite coffee grinds, add water, let it sit, and they've got a glass of delicious cold brew on the way.  An easy-to-care-for plant The Sill Snake Plant, available at The Sill, $43Bring some life to their space with this cute snake plant that comes in a nice planter with multiple color options. With little attention needed, it's a great gift for amateur plant parents and experienced ones alike.  A luxury wallet perfect for daily use or travel Italic Albee Leather Zip Card Case, available at Italic, $30By partnering with the same manufacturers that make high-end pieces for brands like Celine, Burberry, and Prada, but ditching the designer labels and opting for a direct-to-consumer model, Italic is able to sell luxury goods at a fraction of the price. This sleek and simple leather card case would go for over $300 with a designer label, but at Italic it's a steal at just $35.  A rocks glass etched with a city map Uncommon Goods Urban Map Glass, available at Uncommon Goods, $18Whether you want to bring back fond memories of a place you visited together or just want a gift that highlights their favorite stomping grounds, you can cheers to these rocks glasses intricately etched with a city map and interspersed street names. Over 30 major US cities are available to choose from.To really up the ante, consider pairing the glass with a nice bottle of bourbon.  A dainty pair of gold hoops that go with everything Mejuri Midi Hoops, available at Mejuri, $50Jewelry always makes a great gift, though it's typically pricey. These dainty hoops from Mejuri are the perfect pair for every day, and they're only $50. An apron loaded with plenty of clever features Food52 Five Two Ultimate Apron, available at Food52, $45Anyone who spends a good amount of time in the kitchen will appreciate this durable apron with its sturdy fabric, clever pockets made to hold the essentials, and pot-holders built right in.  A lifetime of perks with an REI membership REI REI Membership, available at REI, $20A one-time, $20 payment will get them lifetime access to REI's membership program. The outdoorsy types in your life will appreciate the special offers, 10% back on purchases, member-pricing on REI classes and events, and the host of other membership perks. Learn more about the REI membership program here.  A simple and elegant photo calendar Artifact Uprising Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $30All of Artifact Uprising's customized photo gifts are simple, beautiful, and made from eco-friendly materials. This simple calendar is an easy choice for anyone on your list. Just pick 12 photos (one for each month) of the people and places they love most to add a special sentiment to their desk setup. A cozy, slouchy beanie Neff Instagram Neff Beanie, available at Amazon, $15.95Cold-weather accessories make a great gift for anyone who will be braving the cold come winter. Neff beanies come in a wide variety of colors and are the perfect combination of cute and cozy.  An easy way to grill kabobs Uncommon Goods Kabob Grilling Baskets, available at Uncommon Goods, $17Forget needing to spend time sticking every piece of meat or sliced veggie on a kebob stick. These baskets make it easy to perfectly grill you food and the basket makes for easy flipping. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 28th, 2021

The Brain Drain That Is Killing America’s Economy

Each spring I get antsy WhatsApp messages from friends across the U.S., as well as London, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Their high school senior kids have just been admitted to colleges in America, Canada, Britain, and elsewhere, and they want my opinion on the best option. Over the past decade I’ve been tracking these… Each spring I get antsy WhatsApp messages from friends across the U.S., as well as London, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Their high school senior kids have just been admitted to colleges in America, Canada, Britain, and elsewhere, and they want my opinion on the best option. Over the past decade I’ve been tracking these late teens’ decisions and the trend has been unmistakeable: Less America, more Canada. Canadian education is as good as America’s and more affordable. Universities such as Waterloo have blended apprenticeships into their curricula as a requirement for graduation, and McGill has established itself as a global innovation hub. The next beneficiary of America’s reputational fall from grace is Europe, especially universities in England, Scotland, and Ireland. The Netherlands is also very much in vogue as many countries switch to English instruction. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Global teen talent choosing non-American higher education—and some of America’s best and brightest doing the same— couldn’t come at a worse time. The country’s demographics have been deteriorating since before the 2008 financial crisis, with economic insecurity leading to a sharp drop-off in fertility. The “baby bust” that followed the financial crisis implied that America would have fewer 18-year olds entering college by 2026—and thus many colleges would have to shutter. But thanks to COVID-19, that reckoning has come much sooner. Not only have dozens of colleges closed since 2008 (particularly across the South), but poor finances and unpreparedness for the pandemic remote shift have led to double-digit declines in applicant numbers across the collegiate heartland from the Northeast to the Mid-Atlantic through the Midwest. College enrollment is plummeting as never before across all categories, from community colleges to private four-year universities. The recession has forced many youth to choose between education and employment, with many choosing the latter, leaving educators uncertain as to whether they will ever go to college. Now, the COVID-19 “baby bust” is far more severe than even that of the 2008 financial crisis, meaning even under a roaring economic rebound scenario, many more colleges will go belly up by 2038. Demographic forecasting is a generational exercise, and America’s shrinking youth base is the result not only of lower fertility and rising economic uncertainty, but also because the country has failed to maintain what used to be a huge edge in attracting young talent from around the world. America launched the “War on Terror” over twenty years ago, invading Afghanistan and soon after Iraq. Even as President Obama sought to rebuild America’s prestige, the annual inflow of Chinese and Indian students began to taper and decline during the latter years of his administration. Then came Donald Trump’s visa bans, border walls, and immigration restrictions. Taken together, as the startling data from the latest Census reveals, American immigration has plummeted to an all-time low of only 0.1% between mid-2020 and mid-2021, which amounts to barely 200,000 new migrants. At this rate, America’s population may well soon decline. Even with sanity restored to the White House, America’s reputation remains at a nadir. More than half the world’s population is under the age of forty. From Colombia to Morocco to Afghanistan, they’ve grown up watching America flail militarily and disgrace itself politically. From 9/11 to the war on terror, the financial crisis and rising inequality, all have diminished America in the eyes of the younger generation. Today’s most important battleground is people, not places. There is a global war for young talent to recruit young students, professionals, taxpayers, caregivers, entrepreneurs, investors, and others to ensure healthy demographics, tax base, industry, and innovation. But the young people America needs are a slippery target. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the number of American expats has doubled, many of them young professionals seeking opportunity across fast growing economies from Eastern Europe to the Far East. Now comes the remote revolution. COVID-19 has been a “great reset” in our lifestyles, workplace habits, and other aspects of social and professional life. It will be for global talent migration as well. According to research firm IDC, more than forty percent of the global workforce—at least 1.5 billion people—is “location independent.” The capacity for remote work has graduated from latent to actual. Professionals are moving as never before, both within and across borders—and this is only the immediate mid-pandemic phase. Now imagine the pace of relocation once borders have actually reopened and corporate culture fully adapts to digital platforms. At the moment, asynchronous collaboration is Google Docs and Slack, but soon enough it will be more Github and Metaverse. Many people are quitting their jobs due to burn-out but promising that their next job will be remote. According to the Y-combinator funded Hacker News, the number of job posts featuring remote work have quadrupled since 2017. American tech companies have been the most progressive in embracing remote work. That alone will drive many to seize the moment to relocate abroad. But they’ve also said they plan to hire the best people anywhere for each new position. Suddenly the Bay Area coder may be competing with talent in Kenya. As Simon Kuper wryly warned in the Financial Times, “If you can do your job from anywhere, then someone anywhere can do your job.” Even though the Biden administration is encouraging companies to “buy American” or “hire American,” their DNA guides them to constantly arbitrage the world for taxes, technology and talent. A friend from a major tech company recently flew to Portugal to recruit Europeans and Americans who have planted roots there and corral them into a new co-working space. From Tulum, Mexico, to Athens, Greece, to Phuket, Thailand, entire colonies have sprung up catering to mobile youth in search of sunny, low-tax hubs. Digital nomads are geographically mercenary, using websites like Expatistan and nomad-themed message boards to calculate where to find the best balance between cost of living and quality of life. And those websites are steering them towards Berlin, Prague, Tbilisi, and Bali—not New York and Los Angeles. And according to VanHack, one of the largest platforms of digital nomads in the software industry, Canada, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Spain all rank ahead of the U.S. as top destinations for relocating among the more 600,000 developers surveyed. Americans are making Europe great again. A generational shift has occurred that Boomers and even older Gen-X don’t quite grasp: Today’s young professionals don’t identify themselves by their nationality—they identify as talent. Millennial and Gen-Z are content with portfolio careers and working abnormal hours, even for less pay, in exchange for less work and more time for travel and passion projects. Business degrees are a particularly powerful agent of mobility. For all intents and purposes, an MBA is a passport. The world’s eight hundred business schools spread across fifty countries are perhaps the leading agents in stirring the pot in the global war for talent. They recruit worldwide for students and compete fiercely to feed their graduates into multinationals, which then circulate them around the world. Corporate executives may no longer control where employees want to be, but still determine who gets to rise to the top. Executives cluster near headquarters, and human resource departments are starting to emphasize longitude to avoid the inefficiencies of asynchronous coordination. For the same reason, venture capital funds will often have board members in two out of the three—America, Europe, or Asia—but rarely all three. The end-state for global companies might resemble the “Twenty hubs but no HQ” model business guru CK Prahalad prophesied nearly two decades ago. Dozens of countries want to be those hubs. Smart governments are rolling out the red carpet for this new global nomadic class. Before Covid, almost no nation had special “nomad visas” save for Estonia. Now almost 70 countries do. Dubai’s Golden Visa program has attracted hundreds of young entrepreneurs who are given grants and other perks to innovate the country’s AI and drone programs. Sweden and Singapore have “tech pass” programs that actively give grants to start-ups. More broadly, many governments have adopted more clearly tiered migration systems, ladders that residents climb on the pathway from migrant and stakeholder to resident and citizen. America is history’s greatest winner in the war for talent, but the competition is heating up. A decade ago, the U.S. still took in as many migrants as the rest of the rich world combined. But as of 2019, according to a recent CATO Institute study, that gap had narrowed to zero—and that was before COVID-19 travel restrictions. Continued suspicions over Chinese espionage have turned off many Chinese students and scholars. Universities are losing billions of dollars in tuition, property owners are losing tenants, and the cottage industry of language tutors and professional coaches have far fewer clients to assimilate into American life. As Stanford professor and Nobel laureate Steven Chu put it, “We’re shooting ourselves not in the foot but in something close to the head.” Until foreign students are guaranteed a green card with their degree, talented foreign youth may take their brains elsewhere. Don’t be surprised if many of them move over the border and work remotely instead. After all, Canada appears to be the new home of the American Dream. Canada’s points-based immigration policy is luring young people from around the world with the promise of a pathway to citizenship. Even better, the vast majority of new jobs created are full-time rather than just temp work. Meanwhile, only ten percent of America’s immigration application forms are available online. For the cash-rich Asians who represent the majority of global millennials and Gen-Z, Europe is even closer than North America. The U.K. capitalized on Trump’s odious image, admitting a record number of foreign students in 2020. Aging Europe has few children and needs to fill its classrooms with foreigners. Across Europe’s IT sector one finds Indian software engineers and data scientists with degrees from Manchester or Amsterdam, and they’re snapping up EU blue cards instead of American green cards. The Biden Administration has its work cut out for it to attract the world’s best and brightest to America in anything like the numbers it used to. It has managed to let Trump’s H1-B visa restrictions expire, and plans to allow spouses of H1-B holders to work, a boost for would-be two-income households. But immigration reform remains an epic mess, held up by Congressional inaction on the Build Back Better Act whose provisions include a massive overhaul of green card processing that would immediately affect nearly one million current foreign workers. If those workers leave, there won’t be enough skilled Americans to take their place. We need to forecast scenarios for the future distribution of talent from the perspective of Gen-Y and Gen-Z. Hundreds of millions of young people are becoming geography-free. But where they physically go matters. America’s national debt has exploded (100 percent of GDP and climbing), and young workers and taxpayers are needed to power a real recovery beyond today’s artificial stimulus. An aging country with a declining population and crumbling infrastructure isn’t fit to prevail over China, much less outlast its 1.4 billion people in the long run. Despite record-low unemployment, there are still millions of job vacancies. Even after stimulus cheques are spent and wages rise, people aren’t going to rush back into menial labor unless they have to. Furthermore, as hundreds of billions of dollars are deployed on infrastructure across the country, far more workers will be needed to get it all done in any meaningful timeframe. America will need an army of migrants to truly build back better. Demographic renewal requires vigorously competing to attract the next generation. Collecting people is collecting power. The war on terror lasted twenty years. The war for talent should be America’s main mission for the next twenty......»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 21st, 2022

69 gifts under $50 perfect for any occasion or holiday

We found great gift ideas under $50 that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to get just the right gift for any occasion. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Hollis Johnson/Crystal Cox/Alyssa Powell/Business Insider You don't need to spend a fortune to find a thoughtful gift they'll love.  We found 69 of the best gifts under $50 to suit the interests and tastes of everyone on your list. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. With best friends' birthdays, anniversaries with your significant other (or Valentine's Day), celebratory moments with coworkers, or even just to tell a loved one you're thinking about them,  it's easy for your gifting list to fill up quickly. But you don't have to spend a fortune to get everyone on your list a gift that feels made for them. There are plenty of great gift ideas under $50 to be found if you know where to look.We've done the hard work for you and sifted through hundreds of options to find affordable gifts to suit a wide range of tastes and interests.Our picks for the best gifts under $50 still feel unique and personal. And whether these gifts are complements to a bigger present or are the star of the show, we know your recipient will love them.Keep reading for 69 gifts under $50 that work for anyone on your list.This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Under Armour. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*A bluetooth microphone to make events more funAmazonBonaok Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone, available at Amazon, $30.99This Bluetooth karaoke microphone is the perfect accessory to gift the one who's the life of the party. They can sing along to their favorite songs with this gift that offers premium sound and noise reduction. A cozy knit beanieAsosStormlock Rip Knit Cap, available at Jack Wolfskin, $29.95Cold-weather accessories make a great gift for anyone braving the cold this winter and the Jack Wolfskin's Stormlock Rip Knit Cap is exactly what they need. Built of a blend of wool and acrylic, this beanie also features Stormlock fleece which just about guarantees a warm noggin. It's even available in two different colors to match a variety of outfits.  A set of spa-worthy shower bombsAmazonEuka Wellness Shower Bombs 6-Pack, available at Amazon, $18No bathtub? No problem. With these shower bombs, anyone can transform their bathroom into a makeshift spa, and they don't even need a bathtub to do it. These come in a variety of options including Calm, Detox, Breathe, and Happy (and come 6 in a pack). A sampler box of wineVineboxBe Mine... Wine, available at Vinebox, $45Who doesn't love a sample pack of wine? With the Be Mine... Wine box from Vinebox, you can gift the special person in your life a selection of wine that'll tickle their tastebuds. The box includes three different tubes of wine, two reds and one white, each from a vineyard in Europe. A tracker for lost itemsAppleAirTag, available at Apple, from $29Whether you lose track of your keys or a bag, Apple's AirTag is a sure way to find any lost item. This water-resistant tracker plays a sound or uses its precise distance findings to lead you straight to the item regardless of the distance on the Find My app.An at-home tie dye kitNordstromRit x Thompson Street Studio Dye at Home Upcycling Kit, available at Nordstrom, $11.4oInstead of buying something new, this dye kit can refurbish old clothes from your wardrobe with playful prints. The Dye-at-home kit includes power dyes rubber bands gloves, and an instruction booklet to begin making your closet more sustainable.A pair of stylish wearable weightsBandierBala Bangles, available at Amazon, from $49Incorporate fitness into your daily life with these wearable weights that fit on your wrist or ankles. At one to two pounds, these stylish weights intensify any movement and build strength whether it's a workout or running errands.A hatch decanter to sophisticatedly store alcoholCrate & BarrelHatch Decanter, available at Crate & Barrel, $44.95If their barware collection bares a sophisticated flair, they'll appreciate this elegant hatch decanter. This 32oz decanter is a more affordable price than others thanks to its beautiful molded diamond pattern that resembles cut crystal.A spice and herb kit packed with international flavorsUncommon GoodsGourmet Oil Dipping Spice Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $42Whether it's a dash of Italian oregano or za'atar from the Middle East, any cook will appreciate this international spice kit that lets them cook with various tastes of the world. A skincare set for combination and oily skin typesSephoraClinique Great Skin, Great Deal Set, available at Sephora, $32.50This Clinique set for combination and oily skin types is a great addition to any skincare routine. This three-step regimen includes a facial soap, an exfoliating lotion, and a moisturizing gel make this three-step routine an easy and quick way for a fresh face.A DIY recipe bookAmazonMy Recipes Cookbook, available at Amazon, $8.99Whether they're a huge foodie or want to preserve a favorite family meal, this DIY cookbook offers 120 blank pages to fill with their favorite recipes. The notebook's table of contents and additional note space at the end will help keep them extra organized.Taking the time to add in your own savory vodka sauce pasta dish or having their loved ones fill in grandma's homemade sweets recipe will make this gift feel extra special.Snacks for movie nightKnackPopcorn Snack Medley, available at Knack, $40.99Help them take their next Netflix marathon to the next level with this popcorn mix set. The mix includes two microwavable Pop on The Cob popcorn cobs, toffee pretzels, dark chocolate-covered cherries, and Virginia peanuts. If they have a particular favorite treat, each snack can also be added in extra quantities at an additional cost.A carafe that helps preserve wineGrommetGlass Wine Saver Carafe, available at Grommet, $42.95Wine lovers will surely appreciate this elegant gift that will allow them to savor and sip their favorite bottle for longer. This glass carafe preserves non-sparkling wine in the refrigerator for up to one week. Simply, pour wine into the carafe, insert the float at an angle, then seal it with the top and serve.Farm-to-skin lip balmsEtsyBeekman 1802 Ten Piece Lip Balm Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $48This farm-to-skin lip balm set is just right for the green beauty obsessive. All 10 lip balms are made from natural goat's milk and essential oils. Beautifully packaged and scented, the fragrances include Ylang Ylang and Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Fig Leaf, Sweet Grass, Grapefruit, Oak Moss, Apricot and Honey, Vanilla, and an unscented balm.A monogrammed clutchMark & GrahamPalm Leaf Rounded Clutch, available at Mark and Graham, from $34.99You can get your giftees initials embroidered on this cute roll-up clutch for a personal touch. The bag is woven from natural palm leaves for a beachy vibe, and the blue and white striped interior adds to the fun coastal feel.A sand-free, quick-dry towelSand CloudSand Cloud towel, available at Sand Cloud, from $28Not only are these thin towels easy to roll up and throw in your beach bag or picnic basket, but they also easily shake off sand and dry three times faster than classic beach and pool towels. Choose from a wide array of vibrant patterns and colors, from a navy blue whale shark print to tie-dye options.An easy way to make their own bubble teaUncommon GoodsBubble Tea Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $40For the bubble tea lover in your life, this kit comes with two flavors of loose-leaf tea, tapioca pearls, and two reusable stainless steel straws. All they'll have to do is add a little milk (if they like!) and sip on this delicious brew.A personalized video message from their favorite celebrityCameoCameo video, available on Cameo, from $1Whether they have a favorite musician, reality TV star, comedian, or actor, there's a good chance their favorite celebrity is on Cameo. You can even choose from pre-recorded video messages with a personal shoutout, or opt to give them a super special one-on-one video call. Of course, the price will depend on who the star is.Notepads chock full of affirmationsAmazonKnock Knock Notepads, available at Amazon, from $5.25Whether you want to give them a quick pep talk or celebrate them just because, these notepads from Knock Knock provide a creative and encouraging way of doing so. Each comes with 50 sheets, so they'll make plenty of use of these witty notes.A small but mighty smart assistantGoogleGoogle Nest Mini (2nd Generation), available at Best Buy, $24.99Give the gift of a virtual helper. Currently on sale for under $25, the Google Nest Mini offers a compact, affordable smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in. Friends and family members will love being able to dim lights, control the volume on their TV, check the weather, and more, all with just the sound of their voice.Read our full review of the Google Nest Mini here.A face mask designed for working outUnder ArmourUA Sportmask, available at Under Armour, $25Under Armour's Sportmask was designed with athletes in mind, as reflected in its breathability, water resistance, and UPF 50+ sun protection. Thanks to the Sportsmask, they won't have to sacrifice their workout routine or their comfort.*Sponsored by Under ArmourA 52-piece art kitAmazon51-Piece Watercolor Art Set, available at Amazon, $21.98Encourage them to pick up a new hobby (or take advantage of an existing one) with this watercolor set that's built for both beginners and experts. The set includes various cakes and paints, watercolor pencils, paintbrushes, a paint palette, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener — all within a pre-packaged case that can save you the pain of gift wrapping. A streaming stick that turns any TV into a smart oneAmazonRoku Streaming Stick +, available at Amazon, $34.99Upgrade their Netflix binge marathons without actually buying them a whole new TV. The Roku Streaming Stick + offers 4K, HD, and HDR streaming in a portable package and affordable price. A meal kit from their favorite restaurantGoldbelly/FacebookGoldbelly Restaurant Meal Kits, available at Goldbelly, from $25Bring a bit of their favorite restaurant right to their door. From bagels to barbeque, Goldbelly ships food gifts nationwide from iconic eateries in major cities. A Disney+ subscriptionAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderOne-year gift subscription to Disney Plus, $79.99It gives them unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.A set of loose-leaf teas that even Oprah lovesAmazonVadham Chai Tea Reserve Set, available at Amazon, $24.99This classy set of loose-leaf teas made it into Oprah's Favorite Things back in 2018. It's filled with three variations of chai tea that any tea lover will appreciate. A smooth olive oil that'll instantly elevate any dishBrightlandAlive Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37If they spend a lot of time in the kitchen, they probably already know the merits of high-quality olive oil. A drizzle of Alive from Brightland adds a vibrant, zesty flavor to any dish, plus the beautiful bottle will look great on display in their kitchen. An affordable electric toothbrush subscriptionQuipToothbrush Starter Set, available at Quip, from $25Help them upgrade their oral care routine with a Quip toothbrush. Not only is it a great electric toothbrush at a reasonable price, but Quip will send them a refill every three months with a new brush head and toothbrush. Delicious mini cupcakesBaked by Melissa FacebookCupcake Gift Boxes, available at Baked by Melissa, from $32Who doesn't love getting a sweet surprise? With delicious flavors ranging from Cookie Dough to Pink Frosted Donut, these bite-size treats are sure to please. You can also add a special gift box to complete the gift. A head-to-toe mini care kitSephoraDrunk Elephant The Littles Head to Toe, available at Sephora, $49Give this mini set for head-to-toe care they can take on the road or just to test out some new products. The set is packed with Drunk Elephant minis, including a glossing shampoo, cream conditioner, scalp scrub, detangler, body cleanser, lotion, deodorant, and a comb. It also comes neatly packaged in a fun, neon bag.An at-home spa kitUncommon GoodsEucalyptus Spa Gift Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $40Let's face it, 2020 has been a hard year. Give them the gift of soothing relaxation with this at-home kit that includes pampering botanical bath salts and natural jute body scrubber. The recipient will also be able to grow their own eucalyptus in the bamboo pot so they can continue to breathe deep and say ahh.A set of magnets that are fun to play with and can boost concentrationSpeksSpeks Magnet Balls, available at Speks, $34.95Almost everyone on the Insider Reviews team has a set of Speks at their desk. The little magnetic balls can be mashed, molded, and built into fun shapes and are a fun fidget toy that even adults will love. A personalized pillow of their favorite fur babyaurespaces/EtsyCustom Pet Pillow, available at Etsy, from $29.99If there's nothing they love more than their cat or dog, this pillow — featuring a blown-up picture of their pet — is sure to make them smile. A cute kitchen gadget that makes breakfast in a flashAmazonDash Mini Waffle Maker, available at Target, $10This compact waffle maker makes a great addition to any college dorm or small kitchen. All they have to do is plug it in and they can make their favorite breakfast treat in a flash.A sugary and fun snackNeiman MarcusSugarfina Champagne Bears, available at Neiman Marcus, $20Elevate their next sugar fix with these fun champagne gummy bears. Don't worry if they're under 21, despite the name and flavor, these gummies are non-alcoholic. They also have rosé options too.    A taste of Japan by way of snacksBokksuBokksu Tasting Gift, 3-month box, available at Bokksu, $44.95Adventurous foodies will love the chance to taste test a curated box of gourmet Japanese snacks. In this Bokksu box, they can expect to find between 10-14 snacks, a tea pairing, and an in-depth guide that details every product included.A best-selling face mask for clear skinAztec SecretAztec Secret Indian Healing Mask, available at Target, $9.99Anyone in on the latest skincare trends will know about this mask. Many claim it has helped clear their skin, and it has over 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. The best part is that this powerful facial is just $10.A soft pair of socks made from sustainable fabricUnited by BlueSoftHemp Socks 2 Pack, available at United by Blue, $30With cold weather approaching, there's nothing better than slipping on cozy socks. Made from soft, sustainable hemp fabric, these are sure to do the trick (and why not get them two pairs?).A luxurious exfoliator to keep skin smoothNecessaireNecessaire The Body Exfoliator, available at Sephora, $30Necessaire's clean beauty products come in beautiful, minimalist packaging that looks as good in their bathroom as it feels on their skin. This gentle exfoliator will help them slough off dry winter skin for good.Cruelty-free nail polish in a range of fun colorsSmith & CultNail Polish, available at Smith & Cult, $18Smith & Cult's polish is vegan, cruelty-free, and chip-resistant. With 46 fun colors to choose from, you're sure to find one (or two, or three) they'll love. A sheet mask that'll hydrate dry, stressed skinSephoraDr. Jart+ Soothing Hydra Solution, available at Sephora, $6Fall and winter skin tends to be dry and dull. While you can't change the weather, you can throw on a hydrating face mask to stay moisturized. This one will add lots of soothing hydration to their skin to keep it feeling fresh.Makeup towels that make washing their face less of a choreWeezieMakeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40If they've never thought of washcloths as anything special, Weezie towels will change their minds. The adorable towels are embroidered with either hearts, winky eyelids, or the words "stain me." Plus, the dark navy blue color will conceal makeup stains.A silky-smooth sleep mask to block lightNordstromSlip Pink Marble Sleep Mask, available at Nordstrom, $50If there's nothing they appreciate more than a good night's sleep, they'll love Slip's silk sleep mask. It's made from 100% pure Mulberry silk for a luxe, light feel on their skin. A lip gloss that has all the benefits of a balmSephoraTower28 Beauty Jelly Lip Gloss, available at Sephora, $14This clean-beauty favorite delivers the glossy sheen they'd expect from a lip gloss, but it's loaded with nourishing oils to keep lips hydrated, too. A beautiful way to store olive oilUncommon GoodsHandblown Glass Olive Oil Pourer, available at Uncommon Goods, $45These stunning handmade jars can hold up to 12 ounces of olive oil or vinegar. Plus, they look beautiful sitting out on the kitchen counter.Useful cable clipsAmazonShintop Cable Clips (six-pack), available at Amazon, $5.59Whether their phone charger is always falling under their desk or they simply have too many cables to keep track of, these affordable and efficient clips will allow them to simplify their workspace. Plus, the pink, orange, and green shades contribute a fun pop of color.A bold lip color that'll last all day longSephoraLancome L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick, available at Sephora, $32Whether it's a pale peach or a deep-red look they crave, they'll love this long-lasting lipstick with its saturated colors and hydrating formula.A set of playing cards inspired by music's greatsAmazonMusic Genius Playing Cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $10Whether they love game night, music, or are equal fans of both, they'll surely get a kick out of these playing cards. The pack features illustrations of all the big names in pop, rock, country, and R&B.A spray that any sneakerhead needs in their collectionAmazonJason Markk Repel, available at Amazon, $17If they love shoes, they should have the right products to take care of their favorite footwear. This spray protects shoes from stains caused by water and oil, and there are multiple people on our team who swear by it for every new pair of shoes they get.A set of colorful silicone straws that reduce plastic wasteFood52Five Two Silicone Straws Single Pack, available at Food52, $25Bendable, sustainable, and portable (thanks to the set of carrying cases), these fun straws are the accessory any eco-conscious person should have.A book subscriptionBook of the MonthBook of the Month 3-month plan, available at Book of the Month, $49.99A subscription box that sends them an exciting new read catered to their tastes each month is the perfect gift for a bookworm.A unique case that protects their phoneCasetifyCasetify phone case, available at Casetify, starting from $40Our phones are our lifelines these days and if you know someone who's always glued to theirs, consider giving them a unique case that's as protective as it is pretty thanks to being drop-tested and shock-absorbent. They have options ranging from watercolor forest scenes to cute sayings to cuddly animals. You can even do a customized option and put their initials on it.  A coffee mug that keeps their drinks hot or cold for hoursAmazonHydro Flask Travel Coffee Mug, available at Hydro Flask, $24.95Hydro Flask's Travel Coffee Mug is a team favorite. It combines the classic shape of a mug with Hydro Flask's TempShield insulation to keep beverages hot, or cold, for hours— a great gift for the coffee or tea lover who's always on the move. Unisex House SlippersEtsyUnisex Comfy Linen Slippers Slides, available at Etsy, $27.46Clean space enthusiasts who enjoy a no outdoor shoe policy at their homes will appreciate these unisex house slippers. The waffle cloth pattern, platform bottom, and cushioned sole makes for a cute and cozy fit. These snug slippers are available in yellow, pink, gray, or green colors. A cute reusable tote that can fit tons of stuffBAGGUStandard Baggu, available at Baggu, $12It's no wonder these bags are bestsellers — they can hold up to 50 pounds of stuff and come in a range of fun colors and patterns. Plus, at just $12, they're a great deal. A portable straw that makes water drinkableAmazonLifeStraw Personal Water Filter, available at Amazon, $12.99This portable, personal water filter was one of the bestselling products on Prime Day. It filters water from creeks and rivers, making it perfect for hiking, camping, and travel.A classy carrying case to stash chargersMark & GrahamLeather Charger Roll-Up, available at Mark & Graham, from $39After they fill the three pockets with cables and chargers, all they have do is roll everything up and they're good to go. The soft, supple leather comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns. A cult-favorite cast-iron skilletAmazonLodge 12-inch Cast-Iron Skillet and Handle Holder, available at Amazon, $29.99Every cook needs a cast-iron skillet in their kitchen. Lodge makes some of the best out there, but at prices that won't break the bank. A fitting vehicle for their post-run brewsUncommon GoodsEtched Marathon Pint Glass, available at Uncommon Goods, $20If they like to celebrate a long run with a big pint, they'll appreciate these pint glasses etched with famous marathon routes. A candle that reminds them of their favorite placeAmazonHomesick Scented Candle, available at Amazon, $34This is a great gift that's sure to make anyone sentimental. Whether it's their hometown, college town, or favorite spot to vacation, a Homesick candle, with scents inspired by all sorts of locations, will bring them back to that favorite place. A cold brew coffee maker to keep up with their iced coffee habitAmazonTakeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $19.99If their morning ritual includes a cup of cold brew, they'll appreciate this convenient cold brew maker. All they have to do is fill it with their favorite coffee grinds, add water, let it sit, and they've got a glass of delicious cold brew on the way. A rocks glass etched with a city mapUncommon GoodsUrban Map Glass, available at Uncommon Goods, $18Whether you want to bring back fond memories of a place you visited together or just want a gift that highlights their favorite stomping grounds, you can cheers to these rocks glasses intricately etched with a city map and interspersed street names. Over 30 major US cities are available to choose from.To really up the ante, consider pairing the glass with a nice bottle of bourbon. A dainty pair of gold hoops that go with everythingMejuriMidi Hoops, available at Mejuri, $50Jewelry always makes a great gift, though it's typically pricey. These dainty hoops from Mejuri are the perfect pair for every day, and they're only $50.An apron loaded with plenty of clever featuresFood52Five Two Ultimate Apron, available at Food52, from $25Anyone who spends a good amount of time in the kitchen will appreciate this durable apron with its sturdy fabric, clever pockets made to hold the essentials, and pot-holders built right in. A lifetime of perks with an REI membershipREIREI Membership, available at REI, $20A one-time, $20 payment will get them lifetime access to REI's membership program. The outdoorsy types in your life will appreciate the special offers, 10% back on purchases, member-pricing on REI classes and events, and the host of other membership perks. Learn more about the REI membership program here. A simple and elegant photo calendarArtifact UprisingWalnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $35All of Artifact Uprising's customized photo gifts are simple, beautiful, and made from eco-friendly materials. This simple calendar is an easy choice for anyone on your list. Just pick 12 photos (one for each month) of the people and places they love most to add a special sentiment to their desk setup.A simple necklace that reminds them of their intentionsBandoGood Intentions Necklace, available at Amazon, $38A sweet necklace with an even sweeter mission. Choose from a selection of positive intentions like "optimism," "strength," or "gratitude," which they can carry with them throughout the day. For every necklace sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Girls Inc.A cult-favorite candleOtherlandOtherland Candles, available at Otherland, $36We love Otherland's candles, whether seasonally inspired or from the classic collection. Notable scent combinations such as champagne, saffron, and leather, gorgeous packaging, and a 55 hour burn time have deemed Otherland's candles as a foolproof gift among the Insider Reviews team.An elevated hand sanitizer that fends off germsTouchlandPower Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9A lightweight, spray formula and refreshing scents make Touchland's hand sanitizer one they'll actually want to use. It dries quickly and doesn't leave residue or stickiness behind.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 21st, 2022

65 thoughtful gifts for Mom, from a personalized photo calendar to a customizable pendant necklace

If you're looking for a thoughtful gift for Mom, we've put together a list for all budgets that has plenty of things she's sure to love. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Getty Images Show Mom your appreciation with any of these 65 thoughtful gifts. From loungewear to jewelry to tech gadgets, there's a gift for all tastes and budgets. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Although mothers may be challenging to shop for — humbly resigning to the phrase "you don't have to get me anything" — we can safely say she'll love any of the gifts in this guide. This list can help you find what you're looking for or, at the very least, spark some inspiration. Whether she's into the latest and greatest tech, loves to read, or wants to update her work-from-home wardrobe with comfortable loungewear, there's a unique gift for Mom, below.See all our gift ideas below, or use these links to jump to products that suit your mother's particular gift needs.Home gifts for MomFashion gifts for MomBeauty gifts for MomTech gifts for MomFood gifts for MomWellness gifts for MomHere are 65 of the best gifts for Mom:This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Leesa. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*Home gifts for MomA cocktail maker that mixes drinks in secondsBartesianBartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine, available at Amazon, $349.85Summer's here, which, for some moms, means it's time to break out refreshing cocktails. This cocktail maker will make Mom's life a whole lot easier, since all she has to do is pop in a cocktail capsule, choose her preferred strength, and press mix. She'll be sipping a margarita, cosmopolitan, or gin martini in seconds.Read our full review of the Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine here.  An incredibly comfortable mattressLeesaLeesa Hybrid Mattress, available at Leesa, starting at $1,614 (Queen)The Leesa Hybrid is one of our favorite mattresses because of its comfortable memory foam and motion transfer. It's soft, breathable, and supportive, so we're confident that Mom would love it, too. Read our review of the Leesa Hybrid here.*Sponsored by LeesaA digital picture frame for remembering the good timesAuraCarver Digital Picture Frame, available at Aura, $169It's hard to find a mom who isn't obsessed with taking photos and displaying them all around the house. But instead of buying tons of picture frames, she can show off all her family photos using this digital picture frame. You can upload an unlimited amount of pictures to the Aura app, connect the frame to Wi-Fi, and she's all set. Read our full review of Aura here.A personalized photo calendar for her deskArtifact UprisingWalnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, starting at $35A desk calendar can add a decorative touch to her desk, but one that displays photos of her and her family makes for an even better gift for mom. She'll love glancing at her calendar and being reminded of her favorite memories with you.A fancy candle setOtherland/Alyssa Powell/InsiderOtherland Candles The Threesome, available at Otherland, $89Candles make any home smell great, and this fancy candle set from Otherland will look gorgeous in any room in her house. It includes three coconut and soy wax blend candles in beautiful glass vessels. Each candle burns for 55 hours — that's a lot of time that your mom can spend enjoying this gift. We named candles by Otherland one of the All-Time Best products we've tested.Read our full review of Otherland candles here.A coffee table book for the mom who loves photographyAmazon"Women: The National Geographic Image Collection", available at Amazon, $27.05You can't go wrong with a coffee table book gift for Mom, and this one is a true standout. The photography is sure to be top-notch, since National Geographic created this book. Moms often serve as constant sources of inspiration, so why not pass along this book of powerful women to your mom.Soft, crisp sheets and beddingBrooklinenBrooklinen Queen Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, starting at $198Brooklinen Queen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, starting at $240Brooklinen's luxe sheets are the ones we always recommend to friends, family, and readers, for their affordable price, sophisticated look, and comfort.The Hardcore Sheet Bundles have everything she needs to completely makeover her bed — and stay nice and cozy all year long. Each bundle includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, duvet cover, and four pillowcases. Brooklinen also sells comforters, pillows, candles, and blankets. This is another item that features in our list of the All-Time Best products we've tested.Read our full review of Brooklinen sheets here.A custom map posterGrafomap InstagramGrafomap Custom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, starting at $49Grafomap is a website that lets you design map posters of any place in the world. You can make one of your mom's hometown, her college town, her favorite travel destination, or the place where she got engaged or married — you're only limited by your imagination.Read our full review of the Grafomap Custom Map Poster here.A cute potted plant instead of flowersThe SillShop The Sill's selection of plants starting at $14The Sill is a relatively new startup that's making the process of choosing and buying house plants much easier. This gift set is just one of many options you can choose from — you can even shop based on which plants are pet-safe. Read our full review of The Sill here.A Le Creuset Dutch ovenAmazonLe Creuset Round Dutch Oven, available at Williams-Sonoma, starting at $230At $160, this Le Creuset Dutch oven is the most expensive piece of cookware in my kitchen, but it is also my most used. It comes in tons of colors, so you can choose Mom's favorite. We've even ranked it as the best overall in our guide to the best Dutch ovens. It's one of the best products we've ever tested.Read our full review of the Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven here.A hardcover photo book for any mother figureArtifact UprisingHardcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising, starting at $72Honor any mother figure with a custom hardcover photo album that commemorates their best life moments. You can tie in her life story with a display-worthy dust jacket that puts her front and center. Choose from 11 fabric binding colors to complement her bookshelf or coffee table.A cutting board in the shape of the state she calls homeAmazonTotally Bamboo State Cutting & Serving Board, available at Amazon, $29.99Available for all 50 states as well British Columbia, Puerto Rico, Long Island, and Ontario, this uniquely shaped cutting and serving board doubles as kitchen decor. It's a great gift for the mom who loves spending time in the kitchen. A weighted blanket to help her sleep betterBearabyBearaby 15-pound Cotton Napper, available at Bearaby, $249Made of soft organic cotton just like her favorite T-shirt, this weighted blanket can help her fall asleep faster and its buttery softness is perfect for wrapping up in. We ranked it as the best weighted throw blanket in our guide to the best weighted blankets. A sous vide for making tender, perfectly cooked meatAmazonAnova Nano Sous Vide Bluetooth Precision Cooker, available at Amazon and Target, from $99The Anova sous vide is a reasonably priced investment that just might change Mom's life for the better. Not only will it boil and poach eggs with ease, but it'll also produce tender, perfectly cooked meat every time. You can hear more about why we love this product in our guide to the best sous vide machines. An alarm clock that uses light to wake her up gentlyAmazonPhilips Light Alarm Clock, available at Amazon, $99.99Moms work hard and they often have to wake up early. Just because she has to wake up before the sun rises that doesn't mean she has to awaken to the blaring of an obnoxious alarm clock.Philips makes a lovely alarm clock that gradually lights up to mimic the sunrise and wake her up naturally. The light alarm clock also displays the time and has customizable sounds so she can wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. You can find out why we recommend this alarm clock in our guide to the best sunrise alarm clocks. Read our full review of the Philips Wake-Up Light.An indoor herb garden that requires zero effortClick & GrowClick & Grow Smart Garden 3 Indoor Gardening Kit, available at Click & Grow, $139.95Every chef knows that cooking with fresh ingredients like basil can make a big difference. The Click & Grow Smart Garden is a self-watering system that allows even the most amateur gardeners to quickly and effortlessly grow herbs and vegetables. We tried it and were impressed with how well it worked, and the truly effortless process. Read our full review of the Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 Indoor Gardening Kit here.A retro-inspired electric kettleNordstromSMEG 50's Retro Style 7-Cup Electric Kettle, available at Williams-Sonoma, starting at $169.95With this retro-inspired electric kettle in her kitchen, she'll spend much less time making tea and more time enjoying a cup. It comes in 10 fun colors, like pastel green, pastel blue, and bright red. You can learn more about this kettle in our guide to the best electric kettles. Fashion gifts for MomA recycled fleece to stay warmGirlfriend CollectiveTeddy Recycled Half-Zip Fleece, available at Girlfriend Collective, $109Moms love effortless comfort and this super soft fleece delivers just that for her. Not only will she enjoy the warmth, but she'll feel good knowing she's helping the environment with this recycled pullover.A gold square watch to keep track of timeNordstromMVMT Signature Square Bracelet Watch, available at Nordstrom, $128For the mom who's always running late, this elegant square watch bares a minimalist and luxurious design that elevates any look. The gold watch is so impossible to miss that she'll now be on time to every occasion with it as a reminder.A lovely silk scarf for any outfitNordstromPaisley Square scarf, available at Nordstrom, $49.99You can't go wrong with a silk scarf if her style embraces a refined, ladylike taste. The elegant floral print adds gorgeous detail to an outfit that gives it a more polished and soft feminine appearance.A jewelry cleaner for all of her precious piecesMagnasonicMagnasonic Professional Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner, available at Amazon, $39.99Your mom's soft spot might be jewelry, but taking care of each piece is a must. This jewelry cleaner removes dirt and grime in minutes using water only. She'll appreciate this little machine that will take great care of her jewelry. A passport cover and luggage tagLeatherologyDeluxe Passport Cover + Luggage Tag Set, available at Leatherology, starting at $85 + monogram $20Mom might be planning her next trip out of town, and what better travel accessory to have than a personalized passport cover and luggage tag? She'll be less likely to lose her passport or suitcase thanks to these colorful accessories that also sport her initials. A chic purse that can turn into a backpackSenreveAlunna, available at Senreve, starting at $645A purse is an obvious gift for Mom if she has an eye for handbags. You can mix things up by giving her one that's both a purse and a backpack. The Alunna by Senreve is versatile and stylish, and it can be worn on her back, hand, over the shoulder, or across her body. Plus, it can organize all of Mom's essentials with its two interior pockets and exterior cardholder.A pair of sunglasses to block the sun in styleGlassesUSACheck out GlassesUSA's selection of sunglasses, starting at $29Sunglasses are spring and summer essentials and a perfect gift for Mom. GlassesUSA carries a wide variety of popular brands, including Ray-Ban, Oakley, Muse, Prada, and more. Through June 15, get 30% off your entire order for sunglasses and eyeglasses with free Rx lenses and shipping, if you enter code USA30 at checkout. Also through June 15, use code DEAL60 to save 60% off frames for sunglasses and eyeglasses with free Rx lenses and shipping. Read our full review of GlassesUSA here.A leather wallet that can be monogrammed with her initialsLeatherologyKlyde Continental Wallet, available at Leatherology (+ $10 for monogram), $120A sophisticated leather wallet instantly elevates a busy woman's everyday style and keeps her organized when she's constantly moving from place to place. You can get this leather wallet from Leatherology in 11 colors and three different personalization options. A luxurious bathrobeParachuteParachute Classic Bathrobe, available at Parachute, $99A plush bathrobe will make every shower feel like a trip to the spa. Parachute's soft Turkish cotton robe comes in four great colors: white, mineral, blush, and stone. This cozy gift for Mom will become her go-to pick. Read our full review of the Parachute Classic Bathrobe here.Luxe slippers with a cozy cashmere blendMargauxSlippers, available at Margaux, $158Made from a soft wool-cashmere blend and cushiony foam padding, Margaux slippers feel like stepping into a cloud. She'll enjoy wearing any of the three styles — Slide, Ballet, or Cozy — around the house.The gift of comfortable loungewearTommy JohnShop all women's loungewear and sleepwear, available at Tommy JohnTommy John E-Gift Card, available at Tommy John, starting at $25The Insider Reviews team is positively smitten with Tommy John's loungewear and underwear — so much so, we named the latter one of the best women's underwear brands in our buying guide, so you can be sure Mom will love it too.Alexa-enabled glassesAmazonEcho Frames Smart Glasses, available at Amazon, $154.99If your mom loves tech, she'll think these smart glasses are from the future. Amazon's Echo Frames allow for open-ear audio, hands-free calling, and access to thousands of Alexa's skills.Read our full review of the Amazon Echo Frames.A roomy work bag with tons of pocketsDagne DoverDagne Dover Allyn Tote, available at Dagne Dover, from $239Dagne Dover's Allyn Tote is a sophisticated and spacious work bag with a padded laptop sleeve, water bottle holder, and other thoughtful interior pockets that will keep her organized and always ready to go. A jewelry holderCatbirdCatbird Swan Ring Holder, available at Catbird, $32This ornate swan is a subtle jewelry holder that'll dress up any bathroom countertop or nightstand.Pearl hoop earringsMejuriMejuri Pearl Hoops, available at Mejuri, $65Get your mom a beautiful pair of earrings or a necklace with her zodiac sign that she can wear every day. Mejuri is a favorite jewelry startup of ours, so your Mom will likely enjoy this Canadian company's delicate jewelry, too.Read our full review of Mejuri here.A personalized T-shirtKnown SupplyKnown Supply Personalized Women's Fitted Crew, available at Known Supply, $32You can personalize this comfortable Pima cotton tee with "mom" or "mama" — or any other name that's under nine characters — in cute, loopy cursive. A crossbody bag with a hand-painted monogramClaire V.Claire V. Midi Sac, avaliable at Claire V., starting at $335 (+ $50 for hand-painted monogram)This leather crossbody bag comes in tons of colors and is great for travel and daytime outings — for an extra $50, you can customize it with a gold foil or hand-painted monogram. Popular leggings with a no-slip fitVuoriDaily Legging, available at Vuori, $84Vuori is well-known for its super-soft fabrics and flattering cuts, and the Daily Leggings are just another example. This style looks like a pair of joggers but fits like a pair of leggings. The high waistband and drawstring allow for a snug feel while the brand's smoothing technology gives an airbrushed appearance.Read more about the Daily Legging here.A pendant necklaceSet & StonesSet & Stones Cheyenne Mama Necklace, available at Nordstrom, $198Your mom will want to keep this pendant necklace very close to her heart. It'll sit lightly around her neck and be a subtle reminder of her special bond with you. Beauty gifts for MomA luxurious facial treatment deviceZIIPZIIP GX Series, available at ZIIP Beauty, $495Switch up her facial appointments with the ZIIP experience that beautifully improves your skin beyond your imagination with every use. The ZIIP devices employ energy from tiny electrical currents with a conductive gel to sculpt and tighten the skin for a radiant glow. A floral fragrance with a pear and white freesia scentJo MaloneEnglish Pear & Freesia Cologne, available at Jo Malone, $144If she prefers a light yet luscious fragrance, this Jo Malone perfume makes for a lovely layer. This floral perfume accentuates her style with a smell of autumn from the freshness of the pear and freesias along with the subtle woodsy scents.A face mask set for at-home spa daysfreshMini Loves Mini Masks Set, available at fresh, $56Moms need time to themselves, too, and these face mask minis will have her and her skin feeling rejuvenated. She can kick back and relax with one of the black tea masks, the clay mask, the rose mask, or even the sugar exfoliator.The weighted sleep mask that's the ticket to instant sleepAnthropologieNodpod Weighted Eye Mask, available at Anthropologie, $23.80Move over, weighted blankets. These eye masks have gentle weights with just the right amount of pressure to lull her to sleep. The four equally weighted pods let her rest easy no matter her sleep position. Custom haircare products that cater to her hair goalsFunction of Beauty/InstagramPersonalized 8 oz. Shampoo and Conditioner Set, available at Function of Beauty, $29.99Function of Beauty revolutionizes haircare by creating a custom line of shampoo and conditioner that's based on her hair type and goals. She can choose the formula's color and fragrance as well as add personalized details like her name on the bottle.Read our full review of Function of Beauty here.Tech Gifts for MomA voice-assisted remote for all her streaming needsAmazonFire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, available at Amazon, $24.99She can access hundreds of streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and more, with this affordable entertainment hub. Plus, Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV episodes with Amazon Prime Video. This model supports up to 4K Ultra HD. You can read more in our guide to the best streaming devices.The Amazon EchoAmazonAmazon Echo (4th Generation), available at Amazon, $54.99There's an ever-so-slight learning curve in figuring out what Amazon's Alexa can and can't do, but once that's passed, the Echo can forecast the weather, read an audiobook, order a pizza, tell jokes, or any number of things moms should find charming. Read our full review of the Amazon Echo (4th Generation) here.A waterproof Kindle PaperwhiteAmazonAmazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $129.99On the other hand, if she's tired of lugging around heavy hardcovers, the Kindle Paperwhite is an extremely thoughtful and practical gift for Mom. The latest version is waterproof, too, which is a huge bonus.Read our full review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite here.A heated massager to melt the day awayAmazonInvoSpa Shiatsu Back, Neck, and Shoulder Massager, available at Amazon, $49.97After a long day, all she wants is some true relaxation to melt away the tension that's built up. While she can't get a real massage every day, you can give her this at-home shiatsu massager, which can give her a quality massage for much less.Read our full review of the InvoSpa Shiatsu Back, Neck, and Shoulder Massager here.A personalized video message from her favorite celebrityCameoPersonalized video message, available at Cameo, starting at $1When trying to think of a unique gift for Mom, one that might not immediately come to mind is Cameo. The online service has tons of famous people she might want a personalized video message from, like her favorite actor from "The Office" or most-loved musician. Whether it's for her birthday, Mother's Day, or a different milestone, there's something for everyone on Cameo, with all types of categories and price points to choose from.Read more about Cameo and how to use Cameo. Food gifts for MomA tasty baking cookbookAmazonDessert Person cookbook, available at Amazon, $22.24For the mom who adores baking, this dessert cookbook has plenty of baking recipes to satisfy the family's sweet tooth.  This cookbook offers recipes and guidance on how to bake sweet and savory treats whether it's a caramelized honey pumpkin pie or English muffins.  A delicious treat from Milk BarMilk Bar/Alyssa Powell/InsiderCheck out all the goodies in Milk Bar's Gift Shop starting at $39Milk Bar's treats will definitely satisfy her sweet tooth. Choose from a limited-edition Strawberry Shortcake Cake, the bestselling B'Day Truffles, and plenty more. We break down how to shop for Milk Bar online, here. Milk bar cakes topped our list of the All-Time Best things we've tested. Read our full review of Milk Bar.A wooden gift crate with 2 pounds of cheese insideMurray's CheeseMurray's Cheese Greatest Hits Gift Box, available at Murray's Cheese, $95Cheese lovers will find a lot to like in this wooden gift crate (yes, crate) from Murray's Cheese, which includes 2 pounds of English cheddar, brie, cave-aged Gruyere, and one-year-aged Manchego along with snacks to pair with each cheese: spiced cherry preserves, sea salt and olive oil crackers, and Marcona almonds. It's a mouthwatering gift for Mom that'll surely satisfy her cheese cravings. For more of the best from Murray's Cheese, check out our guide to the best cheeses you can buy online.Read our review of Murray's Cheese gift boxes.A cookbook for 'Girl Meets Farm' fansAmazon"Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm" by Molly Yeh, available at Amazon, $19.54Not only does this cookbook contain more than 120 delicious recipes, you'll also find tons of personal stories and beautiful photos of Food Network star and award-winning blogger Molly Yeh and her family.A gift subscription to a popular coffee clubAtlas Coffee ClubAtlas Coffee Club 3-Month Gift Subscription, available at Atlas Coffee Club, $60If her veins run dark roast, a coffee gift won't go unused. We recommend a gift subscription to the Atlas Coffee Club, which curates a global selection of single-origin coffee that gets freshly roasted and shipped to your house from $9 per bag. Read our full review of the Atlas Coffee Club Subscription here.Wellness gifts for MomA water bottle that solves all pain pointsHydro Flask/Alyssa Powell/InsiderHydro Flask Wide Mouth Watter Bottle (32 oz), available at Hydro Flask, from $32.93Hydo Flask's products have a cult following for a number of reasons: The double-walled vacuum seal keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours on end, many products come with a lifetime warranty, and the bright colors add a bit of fun to something that's otherwise thought of as ordinary. You can hear more about why we love this water bottle, in our guide to the best travel mugs. Hydro Flask water bottles are one of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested.* Free shipping on all orders with code INSIDER at checkout. Code expires 1/31/22.A year-long MasterClass membership to learn new thingsMasterClassAnnual Membership, available at MasterClass, $180/yearMasterClass, unlike many competitors, follows a format that feels like a one-sided conversation with your favorite icons rather than a traditional academic setting. It's interesting — and you can go as deep (into reading materials) or shallow (listening to their insight while running errands) as you like to. An Unlimited Membership will give them access to all the site's classes for the year.The site hosts classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders — from Neil deGrasse Tyson teaching Scientific Thinking and Communication to Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership.Read our full review of MasterClass here.A DNA test kit23andme23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA Test, available at 23andMe, $129This genetic test kit from 23andMe is a unique and cool gift idea for any mom who's interested in learning more about her family history.A 'book of the month' membershipBook of the MonthBook of the Month Monthly Membership, available at Book of the Month, $49.99If she loves to read and isn't ready to go 100% digital, a Book of the Month membership is the perfect gift. This gift membership gets Mom her pick of the best new books for $12.50 to $15 a month depending on the length of subscription you choose to give her (three, six, or 12 months). She can also request extra books if she reads more than one book a month. Barack Obama's bestselling bookJamie McCarthy/Getty Images"A Promised Land" by Barack Obama on Kindle, available at Amazon, $17.99If Mom likes to read, Barack Obama's bestselling book 'A Promised Land' is probably on her reading list. Instead of risking having a hard copy arrive late, you can gift her the Kindle version. A daily planner for the busy momAmazonPanda Planner Daily Planner 2021, available at Amazon. $19.97 Even the most organized mom could use the help of a trusty planner. This one from Panda Planner has monthly, weekly, and daily sections for all of her needs. She'll have her schedule, tasks, goals, and projects all in one place. We like the layout of this planner so much that we include it in our guide to the best planners.A yoga mat for the fitness enthusiastMandukaProLite Yoga Mat, available at Manduka, $99For the mom who doubles as a yogi, this mat has just the right amount of padding, is made of eco-friendly materials, and has a no-slip grip texture. It has even earned the title of best yoga mat overall in our guide to the best yoga mats.A fresh flower bouquetUrban StemsUrbanStems bouquets, available at UrbanStems, $40 and upWe've ordered bouquets from UrbanStems and it offers gorgeous flower arrangements, potted plants, and even dried bouquets, and they're delivered quickly, too. A bouquet of flowers is a classic gift for Mom that she'll love on any given day. Its bouquets are one of the best things we've ever tested.Read our full review of UrbanStems.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 23rd, 2021

Galleon’s Raj Rajaratnam Speaks Out After 7 Years In Prison For Insider Trading

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Galleon Group Founder and “Uneven Justice: The Plot to Sink Galleon” Author Raj Rajaratnam on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Wednesday, December 8th. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Galleon Group’s Rajaratnam Speaks […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Galleon Group Founder and “Uneven Justice: The Plot to Sink Galleon” Author Raj Rajaratnam on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Wednesday, December 8th. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Galleon Group's Rajaratnam Speaks Out After 7 Years In Prison For Insider Trading ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Welcome back to “Squawk Box” this morning. In 2011, billionaire and Galleon Group Founder Raj Rajaratnam was convicted of 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors accused him of making tens of millions of dollars by trading illegally and stocks like eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), then known as Google. Now he’s spent seven years in prison, paid more than $150 million in fines and this morning, we have his first interview since he was released from prison two years ago. Joining us this morning is Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group and author of a new book, “Uneven Justice: The Plot to Sink Galleon,” which is out next week. Good morning. RAJ RAJARATNAM: Good morning. SORKIN: Thank you for being with us. It has been quite some time and quite a, quite a story that you have lived. You have paid as we just said $150 million. You've been in prison for seven years and you haven't spoken throughout all of it and now you are. Why? RAJARATNAM: Well, excuse me. I had a firsthand view of how the process works. I believe that law and order is extremely important for any civic society. But my experience is something that should concern every American citizen and let me elaborate. Number one, people who care about civil liberties should understand what I went through. Number two, I believe strongly that there should be checks and balances and a small group of prosecutors, for whatever reason, bend the rules to win at all costs. And as your newspaper this Sunday, the New York Times editorial said, there needs to be balances for prosecutors who overreach and that's the reason. I want to talk about this social justice issues. I think it's extremely important. I don't necessarily want to relitigate the case. SORKIN: Let me ask you this. You've maintained your innocence throughout this, but you were convicted by a jury. You appealed the case. The appeals court effectively reaffirmed the decision. Do you believe in the justice system? RAJARATNAM: Overall I do. When I decided to become a United States citizen in 1983, I accepted the rules of this country and so I accept the verdict of the jury because that's the bedrock of American judicial system. But let me step back. The the, the jury, another jury, in the case of a coconspirator, the same Southern District, the same charges with the same witnesses found the defendant not guilty. And you might ask me why? And because the star witness in my case, reversed his testimony totally and said he didn't give me any information that he thought was important. Then you might again ask me why? Because he was already sentenced to two years probation and he was no longer under the leash of the prosecutor. Let me explain further. Five years after my conviction, yes, I did lose the appeal. The second circuit rejected Mr. Bharara’s theory of insider trading— SORKIN: Preet Bharara RAJARATNAM: Preet Bharara. And said that the downstream tippee should not be held guilty. My contention is this, go after the original tipper, the insider who gave the information. So what is interesting to me is that in 2020 when Preet Bharara was no longer under the publicity, public light and glare, he assembled a taskforce and the conclusion, he called it the Bharara taskforce, and the conclusion was that insider trading laws are murky. It needs to be defined, and they feel sorry for the market participants. So, my question is, if you thought it was murky in 2020, how did you convict any people in 2010? Now, let me explain. I do accept the verdict of the jury as an American citizen. It's the bedrock of American justice. But what I'm trying to convey here is there needs to be checks and balances. SORKIN: But are you suggesting that being a quote, unquote “tippee” in an insider trading case effectively, that being the tippee should be considered legal and are you suggesting you, you were the tippee? RAJARATNAM: No, you have a tipper. What I’m merely saying what the Second Circuit affirmed that the tippee should know of that an insider violated his fiduciary responsibility and gave a benefit. That's not my, it's how the Second Circuit ruled five years after my conviction. SORKIN: I understand that. What I'm asking is today, are you now saying or accepting that you were provided with information by a tipper as the tippee? RAJARATNAM: I didn't understand at that time. You know, think about as a hedge fund manager, a large hedge fund manager, you get hundreds of calls a week with bits of information of varying degrees of reliability. You listen to them because you want to know what's in the market. Nobody said, “Hey, Raj, I just got this from somebody.” I didn't. I didn't know 90% of the source, the people who may or may not have violated. Plus, a lot of people in this business puff. They just say things. I want to make one point. 100% of my trades were based on the written analysis of my 35 analysts. We were in deep research. I spent 40 million a year on research. SORKIN: What do you say to the critics who say two things. One is they say, look, you could have testified under oath and perhaps should have, so it's hard to speak now when you don't necessarily have to be under oath, I hope you're telling the truth, to speak out now, but not then. RAJARATNAM: Well, as you know, my lawyer was a very seasoned veteran lawyer, John Dowd and our strategy was to show that every one of the conversations in the wiretap was in the public domain. And if it was in the public domain, his question to juries, why are we here? So, we were prepared to testify but he told me, “Raj, we won this case.” SORKIN: He told you that you won the case. RAJARATNAM: Prior to the jury's verdict. Now— SORKIN: Do you believe, do you believe going into the verdict that you had won? RAJARATNAM: Correct because he was expert. And I sat there and the former counsel of the SEC showed numerous articles, and numerous reports that showed that everything that was on the wiretap was in the public domain. So, I decided based on his advice, not to testify. SORKIN: Let me ask you about this though because one of the issues is there is lots of things in the public domain and that was a huge part of your defense which is to say that there was written documentation of either analysts’ reports or news reports about speculation and whatnot, but isn’t it possible that that could exist at the same time and this is what the prosecutors contended that that could exist at the same time that these phone calls existed? In fact that the phone calls ultimately actually carried more weight than the documents. RAJARATNAM: Okay, let me answer it this way. We had an existing position in each of these stocks prior to the phone calls. Now, I would maintain that the phone calls were illegally wiretapped. The affidavit by Agent Kang was full of lies and the judge ruled that the wiretaps had a reckless disregard for the truth. Yet he allowed the wiretaps and a lot of legal experts were alarmed that if this happened, other Americans could be wiretapped. I think that's a big, big issue. So, when you look at the wiretap through dirty people, what do you see? You see dirt. When you give snippets of wiretaps in the courtroom, you don't give the full picture. And so, I mean, the judge himself said, “If you call your mother and say you're coming for dinner, it could be seen criminal in a courtroom setting.” SORKIN: So just take a step back, which is to say, and I accepted that you're suggesting that the wiretaps were illegal. But what I'm asking is, if we could put that aside for a second, the influence of those phone calls on your decision to make the trades. How important were those phone calls? RAJARATNAM: Zero. As I said, I had a prior position in every one of these stocks. I listen to my analysts and these analysts, it wasn't that they came and talk to me. They had to write reports. SORKIN: Can you tell us what I mean because we've never heard your side of the story. Very famously, Rajat Gupta who ran McKinsey was on the board of Goldman Sachs, apparently made this phone call to you in the middle of the financial crisis, right when Warren Buffett was about to make an investment in Goldman Sachs. RAJARATNAM: Yes. SORKIN: Do you remember all of that? And do you remember what he effectively told you? RAJARATNAM: Yes, I know Rajat told you that he didn't remember it. It was a 16 second call. And I remember every second of that call. SORKIN: So, what did he say? RAJARATNAM: He was calling at about 3:54 or 3:50, just before the market closed to ask about the, his investment in Voyager, which was housed at Lehman Brothers. And Lehman had gone under and he wanted some documentation. So he called me when he got out of the – as I now found out, out of the Goldman Sachs board meeting. I had no idea that he was at a Goldman Sachs board meeting, I had no access to his calendar. And he said, “I'm calling about my investment in Voyager.” I said, Rajat, I think TARP is about to be passed. We had a consultant in Congress, sending us reports about where the TARP would be best. At 3:25, I got an email from the Cyprus Group – that was our consultant – saying it looks likely that TARP would be passed. So I said, “Rajat, I’m in the middle of a big trade, looks like TARP’s going to be passed. I'm going to buy a whole bunch of financial stocks.” And he said “that would be good for Goldman.” I said, “Thank you. I'll call you back later.” After that morning I bought Goldman Sachs, it wasn't like I bought Goldman Sachs from September. The morning I bought Goldman Sachs, I was buying Goldman Sachs and these are in my records. I bought Morgan Stanley, I bought the XLF, which was a financial index. But when you look at it through people, you say, oh, Rajaratnam bought Goldman Sachs. Obviously, I increased my position in all these stocks when my consultant said TARP is going to be passed. Warren Buffett never entered into my mind when I bought it. SORKIN: I want to ask you a broader question. Just about the way trading happens and the way the public oftentimes thinks about Wall Street. They think that the whole business is unfair. That there's some kind of insider trading ring, that the access to information that you have, possibly, by the way, even from a consultant, for example, is different than the access that my mother might have. What do you think about that? RAJARATNAM: Well, you know, we spent maybe 10 or 12 hours a day doing deep research. There's a theory called the Mosaic theory on Wall Street where you take little dots of information and connect it. And that's perfectly legal. Now, your mother might not spend 10 hours a day on Wall Street. What I would tell her is to give your money to Fidelity or a professional money manager, because we spend a lot of effort and time analyzing, reading research reports, analyzing 10Ks and 10Qs. We get access to the reports of brokerage firms like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. So yeah, it is the public. They don't spend enough time. Now I am so heartened that with Robin Hood and Covid, a lot of people are participating in the market. There's tremendous amount of information available and hopefully, lots of people will participate in the capital markets. SORKIN: But let me ask you about this. In your book you wrote, “If I am guilty, then the entire investment business should be declared illegal.” What do you mean by that? RAJARATNAM: I mean that if innocent chit chat – you can ask me, “Why do you chit chat?” Because you want to know what's in the market. Innocent chit chat where no granular information of mergers and acquisitions or earnings per share are considered guilty. Right? But that's what we do. I want – one of the reasons I wrote this book was to not necessarily litigate my case, but to talk about this bigger social issue. This is bigger than Raj Rajaratnam. But I do want my peers to read the book and judge me. SORKIN: You were a billionaire before this began. Can I ask how much money you have right now? RAJARATNAM: Well, you know, from where I come we don't advertise how much you have or how much you don't have. But let me say this. I'm comfortable. And since coming from prison, I have a clean canvas. My father when I was growing up, told me one thing that stuck with me. He said, “Raj, you should spend the first third of your life learning, the second third of your life earning and the last third of your life giving.” I'm 64 years old, I'm in the last third of my life. And I plan –and I’m fortunate enough that I can give to the less fortunate. Now, I didn't wait till the last third of my life to give. My father gave his entire estate to charity. I have given money to charity and I just want to correct you on one thing. I did not make a single cent. If everything I did was illegal, the money went to the investors. Right? It didn’t come to Raj Rajaratnam’s pocket. I gave more to charity than what was alleged that I was made. So how can you call me greedy? Do you understand what I’m trying to say? SORKIN: I understand what you are trying to say, but – RAJARATNAM: My point is this. I want to now give – and since coming out of prison, I have given to charity both in the United States and in the country that I was born. SORKIN: You've said that the experience of being in prison changed you and change you for the better. Why? RAJARATNAM: Well, I had a deeper appreciation for my friends who visited me not once, not twice, but many times. I had 110 people on my visitors list, which they tell me is a record. I had a deeper appreciation for my family, my wife and children who worked every step of this journey with me. I learned patience. You know, as a hedge fund manager you go from one adrenaline filled moment to another constantly. Short of time. I had time. So I think I became and I reflected more and so I think I became a bigger and better person. SORKIN: If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do differently? And I will say that I believe that the last sentence on the final page of the book says that you have no regrets and that surprised me. RAJARATNAM: So let me tell you a little story. A year or two before I was released, my daughter who's a lawyer came to visit me with my family. And she said, ‘’Dad, we'd love to have you back home sooner or never go to prison. But we're so proud of you that you stood on principles and fought them despite understanding there's a trial penalty in this country.’’ Studies have shown that if you go to trial, they punish you and you get 2x the sentence that you would have gotten if you— SORKIN: If you made a deal. RAJARATNAM: If you made a deal. And if you became a cooperating witness, you get parole. That was the only time in this entire episode that tears came to my eyes. I looked at my other two children and they nodded. My wife was passive. But I knew what she was thinking. I had no regrets. I have had a charmed life. And as a first generation immigrant, I realize how lucky I am to live in this country. 5% of the world's people live in this country. I have no regrets. I am lucky. I don't see people lining up to emigrate to China, Russia, Japan, India. But they want to come to this country. And the reason they want to come to this country is you can speak out without being penalized. SORKIN: Raj Rajaratnam, we appreciate you being here. Thank you. It's a fascinating book. It's a fascinating story. Insisting on your innocence. We appreciate it. The book is called Uneven Justice. And we look forward to following your progress. Becky, back to you. Updated on Dec 8, 2021, 11:37 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 8th, 2021

David Solomon: Inflation Could Be Above Trend For A Period Of Time

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Chairman & CEO David Solomon on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Tuesday, December 7th. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon Says Inflation Could Be […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Chairman & CEO David Solomon on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Tuesday, December 7th. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon Says Inflation Could Be Above Trend For A Period Of Time ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Joining us right now to talk all about all of this and the market risk, vaccine mandates, return to work and so much more. David Solomon is here, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and thank you for having us. We are here now, this is the 12th floor, you guys just redid this place. DAVID SOLOMON: Well first of all, Andrew, thank you for coming down to, to our office this morning. I'm delighted to be here with you this morning. We did redo this over the course of the last couple years. We started before COVID and then we paused for a little while but we've moved our executive team down here into the sky lobby on the 12th floor just so we can be more present, be more visible and I must say, we've been here about six months and we're really enjoying it. It just it keeps us much more connected to what's going on in the building. It's SORKIN: It’s pretty cool. I got a little tour early, early morning tour. Let's talk markets though and try to just understand where we are and what's going through your brain as we're dealing with both the Fed on one side and this variant on the other and then the markets and the valuation as you see them. SOLOMON: Well, there's a lot of uncertainty. And you know, I know that we're all looking for answers, but I think we need more time to see how this all plays out. I'm encouraged by what I'm hearing around the variant and the trajectory of that, but I think it's still uncertain. Yet the market certainly, the market certainly and this morning is another indication is kind of looking past the variant as something that's going to be slowing down economic activity. But we're still not completely out of the pandemic. There's uncertainty that comes from that and that uncertainty is going to affect economic activity and we're going to have to deal with that in some way. Against that, we clearly have real inflation in the economy. We've got a variety of problems, headwinds, issues that have occurred because we went into a pandemic, we shut the economy down, and we're now, we're turning it back on. That's really unprecedented. And, you know, on top of that, we have shifts going on in fiscal and monetary policy to try to balance that. And so there's no, there's no question that this has been an unprecedented period and so it's very hard to predict how we're going to come out of this. SORKIN: So, one of the singular questions we've been asking on the program this past week or so, given the emergence of this variant is if the variant is mild and it's not something that we're, we need to be as concerned about as I think the worst case outcomes would have been, does that mean that the market rifts, if you will, or is the Fed on the other side going to keep that from happening, meaning what's more important right now? SOLOMON: My, my base case, Andrew, is we're going to continue to find a path past the, past the pandemic broadly. This will be endemic in society, we're gonna have to live with it, but we're going to find a way to live with it effectively and economic activity will flourish. I don't believe we're in a new paradigm where the world will be fundamentally different, but it's going to take some time to move forward. In the context of that, I think that monetary and fiscal policy on a go forward basis, while the bigger impact on the trajectory of markets than the pandemic will from this point forward. That doesn't mean there won't be periods of time where in the short term, the variant can flare up. There's, there's news that affects markets in the short term but the bigger issue to focus now is we've had unprecedented monetary and fiscal policy for a meaningful period of time and we're going to emerge from that and unwind that and that's going to have an impact. It's had a big impact on asset prices, market activity, and a variety of things. It's going to have an impact on those things as we unwind it and find the balance and the thing that I don't have the answer to, none of us have the answer to, is can that be done in a smooth way where we take a little bit of the air out with, with not a lot of bumps in volatility, are we gonna have some bumps in volatility along the way? SORKIN: Okay. You spend a lot of time talking to the CEOs of corporate America and around the world. And so, when you talk to them about this and really talk to them about the issue of valuation, oftentimes about their own stocks because they're thinking about whether they should be pursuing different transactions, what their own values are, what are you telling them at this point? Is this a fairly valued market? Do you say look, things are, you're, you're valued very highly, take advantage of the currency now? I mean, what's the thought? SOLOMON: Well, there's no question that that looking at the market broadly, valuations are full in any historical context. And so, if you're talking to companies that have a very, very strong currency, you're certainly encouraging them if they have aspirations to deploy capital and put that capital to work. This is an interesting time to think about it. Also, for most companies, borrowing rates and the ability to access capital through debt finance has never been cheaper. And so, it's been a very, very good time to think about investing in business and deploying capital. I think it depends on the company and the particular company that you're talking to. I think the market has been very enamored with growth at all costs and I think we're seeing a little bit of the momentum come out of that over the course of the last couple of weeks. A lot of these businesses that have very, very strong top line growth, but haven't yet proven whether or not the business model really generates earnings over the long term, I think those are going to be a tougher slog, and I, you know, I'd encourage those companies to make sure they have the capital in place to execute on their growth plans while that capital is available. I think some of that can rebalance in the coming months, you know, over time, but it's not one size fits all. And you can look through the spectrum of the market and you can see different valuations for different businesses. SORKIN: When you look though at what's happening for example in the IPO market or frankly the SPAC market, is that something that persists and continues at pace? Do you feel it's slowing down? Do you feel it's speeding back up again? I mean, we've sort of had this, this, this undulating roller coaster. SOLOMON: It's, there's, there's been some undulation to use your word. But there's no question SPAC activity has come way off its peaks. SPACs are good capital markets innovation, they're not perfect. There's been an evolution in disclosure and the process around SPACs. I think SPACs are here to stay but I don't think we're going to regularly see the volume of activity and the surplus of activity that we saw in the early part of this year. SORKIN: And when you talk about inflation again with clients, are you in the category of cash is trash and inflation is gonna make that cash, you know, not just worthless but worth less, or you in the category of you might actually want to keep a little bit because there might be an opportunity coming? SOLOMON: Well, once again, not black and white. I do think that we've lived for a long time with inflation below trend. And I think one of the things that I'm concerned about or I think about a lot is people have kind of lost a historical perspective on what markets look like and what is normal. From a, from a monetary policy perspective, what we've had over the last decade is truly unusual. And I remember and I know historically, I've been around doing this, you know, since the 1980s, I remember when we had a very, very different environment and we could have a different environment again. And so, I do think that while we've had inflation below trend for quite a significant period of time, there's a reasonable chance that we're going to have inflation above trend for a period of time. Doesn't mean it has to be like the 1970s, could be, doesn't have to be, but when you think about periods where there's inflation, inflation hurts asset prices, and it slows down your ability to make money with almost any asset. From 1970 to 1980, there was almost nothing you could own where you made money. Basically, during that 10-year period, oil and gold, cash you lost money. If you owned US equities during that 10-year period, you lost nearly 50% of the value of your holdings. So, people forget the historical perspective. It wasn't too long ago in 2004 to 2006 I think it was June 2004 to June 2006, that as the Fed normalized rates, they hiked 17 times in that two-year period. Now I'm not saying that's going to happen, but I think we're living in a world where people are forgetting the history and this might be, you know, a period that's different. We could go back to another period that looks materially different from this. And so, I think you've got to be cautious and manage your risk appropriately for the distribution or the chance that that might happen. SORKIN: What do you think about bank valuations? Your bank’s done quite well recently. SOLOMON: Like any other CEO, you know, I think that my company and my stock is underappreciated and undervalued. There's no question there's been a, there's been a mark up in bank valuations. I think the earnings power of the traditional financial services sector is quite powerful and we get a very, very low multiple on those earnings. I think there's a perception because of the last 10 to 15 years, that there's greater volatility in that earnings stream than I think there is at this point, that doesn't mean that there can't be volatility in those earnings streams. But I think that as a group, there is much, much more fee based, durable, recurring revenue. I think, you know, that we're working on shifting our mix to continue to increase that and I think at some point in time, there's still upside because the earnings power of these institutions, the franchises that they, that they hold is really quite powerful. SORKIN: What do you think about FinTech valuations on the other hand? SOLOMON: I think that FinTech valuations at the moment project a view of the future because there are very few FinTechs that actually make money at this point in time to the degree that some of these platforms turn out to be sustainable platforms that really have business models where they can make a lot of money, some of them will look to be cheap over a period of time. To the degree that they can't convert to a business model that can actually make money, they'll be absorbed or they'll go away, but I think it's, I think it's a, it's a mixed bag. And what's clear to me is some of them will be a huge success, some of them won’t, but I also think the incumbent players, there’s a big disruption going on in the digitization of financial services and how they're delivered, whether it's the institutions, or to individuals, and I think the incumbents are going to play a big role in that and I think upstart FinTechs are going to play a big role in that. Not everybody's going to be a winner in every way, but the market’s probably ahead on some but not ahead on others. SORKIN: I want to talk crypto in just a moment, but Becky's got a question. Becks? BECKY QUICK: Hey David, great to see you this morning. Thanks for joining us. We had a big debate in the last hour just about back to work and whether getting back to work or working from home is going to be the future. There's differing opinions out there. I know you have been somebody who thinks it's really important to be in the office so I'd like to ask where you think the majority of office places are going to be, let's say a couple of years from now, maybe when the job market shifts a little bit and it's not quite as competitive and will those offices be in places like New York City? SOLOMON: So, first Becky it's great to see you and appreciate you having me on. I think this is a complex question and my view on this and I talked to Andrew about this a couple of months ago when we were together at an event. I've been very focused on Goldman Sachs and what's right for Goldman Sachs and what Goldman Sachs needs to do to continue to serve its clients and be super competitive in our business. For our organization, which is an organization where 50% of the people who work at Goldman Sachs are in their 20s, we need to come together. We're an apprenticeship culture, we collaborate and we need to come together. That doesn't mean that there can't be flexibility. That doesn't mean that technology can't lever that flexibility but generally speaking for our organization, we need to come together. I think in most businesses, collaboration is important but every business has to determine what's best for that business to serve their clients or their customers, to compete, to retain their talent. I'm talking to a lot of, you know, our employees are in their 20s. They don't want to be sitting at home in a small apartment. They want to be with other people their age, they want to be collaborating, they want to be learning, they want to be in touch and so every company is going to choose its journey along a path to how to get back to work. I'm not good. I don't have a crystal ball to say where everyone comes out. But generally speaking, we're social creatures and I'd be, you know, I'd be cautious about interpolating forward, you know, a permanent state based on what we see at the moment. QUICK: What about New York City? SOLOMON: Well, I think in New York City, one of the reasons why I'm an advocate here in New York City, I think it's very important for the economic vitality of New York City to get people back into the city and get people back working. If you go through Midtown during the day, it's getting a little bit better but think about all the small businesses and all the organizations that are still, you know, under enormous pressure because we don't have that economic ecosystem where people come during the day. So I think for big urban centers, they have to be attractive, you have to bring people in. There's got to be a balance. I think technology allows more flexibility, but generally speaking, you know, I think it's important for New York to continue to bring people together and I think one of the strengths in New York is that young people want to be here. And I don't think young people want to be locked in their apartments. I think they want to be here. They want to participate, go out at night. The city's very, very busy and so, I think we're in a transition to getting people back engaged, and hopefully we'll make more progress over the next six months. But I think it's very, very important for economic vitality in the city. SORKIN: By the way, what do you think of Eric Adams? SOLOMON: I'm excited about Eric Adams and, you know, very, very hopeful that he’s going to— SORKIN: I know you were worried about the city though. SOLOMON: Lead the city forward. Well, I'm concerned, and I said this, you know, publicly, you know, recently, you know, history will tell you that no city’s place in the world is permanent and it's important that, that all cities are attractive for business and for people to live and cost of living, the vitality of the city, you know, what the city offers, taxes, all those things go into an equation that either attracts and retains and sustains people or at times put pressure on that. And so safety— SORKIN: What’s your bet on New York? SOLOMON: Well, my bet on New York and I said this clearly when I was interviewed about this, New York is not going away. But there's no question that safety, security, cleanliness, these things matter and I'm really hopeful and I've heard from, from the mayor elect directly that, you know, he's gonna be focused on these things. I think these things matter in any urban center. SORKIN: Before when we were talking about FinTech, I said I’d get to crypto. Has the Solomon family changed its view on crypto? Do you own Bitcoin or Ethereum personally? SOLOMON: I don't, I don't personally own Bitcoin or Ethereum and I don't, I don't have a strong view. When you say I've changed my view, I don',t I don't know what you think my view is. My view on, on Bitcoin for example is I really don't know but it's really not something, you know, individually that's important to me. I'm a big believer in the digitization that is occurring and the disruption that's occurring in the way financial services are delivered as I said to you both for institutions and for individuals. I think it's a massive shift. We're trying to participate in it based on what we're doing around Goldman Sachs, Marcus and our digital banking platform— SORKIN: But do you want your clients in it? SOLOMON: I'm sorry? SORKIN: Do you want your clients in it? SOLOMON: I want our clients to, to, to do what they think they want to do. As a speculative asset, is it interesting and are some of our clients participating? Absolutely. But whether it goes up or down, my guess is, look at the last week it's going to go up, it's going to go down. I don't know what the permanent state of Bitcoin is. But I think Bitcoin is really not the key thing. The key thing is how can blockchain or other technologies that are not developed yet accelerate the pace of the digitization of the way financial services are delivered? And I, you know, I just talked to you about our digital bank, you know, that we just made an announcement out of AWS re:Invent about a platform, the financial cloud that we're building in partnership with AWS for institutional clients. All of that is the changing of the digital processes that kind of lubricate the way financial services are delivered and I think that's a big opportunity and we're excited about that. SORKIN: And that gives your clients almost direct access through APIs and such into the dataset that is Goldman Sachs. Joe’s got a question for you. JOE KERNEN: Andrew, I know you got a lot of places you want to go, we could. David it's good to see you. We could do this for probably longer than an hour but just real quickly, so rates are probably after years of what we've seen, they're probably headed the other way, someday. Is Goldman Sachs factoring in a lower average return for equities over the next three or four years than we've seen for the past three or four. It's just a simple question. Do you think it has to be that way? Are we back to like mid-single digits, maybe? SOLOMON: So, so, Joe, I would never say it has to be because has to be as is, is stronger than I would make it but it's certainly we would expect that we're not going to see the same rate of returns in equities and many other assets over the next few years that we've seen over the last couple of years. It's been an extraordinary disruption in markets and in the context of that you've seen some skewed results. And so, I'm not a believer that double digit equity returns compounding in perpetuity is something as an investor you should expect. My, I've been involved in a number of investment committees and, you know, charitable foundations, college board, etc. And certainly, my mindset is the returns we've received over the course the last three to five years are different than what we should expect as we go forward from here. SORKIN: What we have here also wanted to ask you a little bit about China because it's a controversial topic. Goldman Sachs has spent a lot of time trying to build a business and you're committed to building a business in China. And yet we're at this moment where a lot of people are looking at the human rights issues that are taking place in that country and thinking about what is the role of an American business, oftentimes vocal American businesses here when it comes to ESG or voting rights or, or all sorts of other issues? You've been very outspoken about gender equality, for example, and yet doing business in China at the same time. SOLOMON: So the geopolitical relationship between the US and China is, is very complex and that's going to continue for sure. We've been investing in our business in China for a long time because China's a very important part of the economic vitality of our world broadly. And we have clients that we serve around the world that are clearly exposed to economic activity all over the world and we want to continue to serve them. I think when you think about policy actions, it's not our job as a private enterprise to set policy actions, but we watch appropriately, and we obviously will respond to policy actions as I've said. I obviously don't like the human rights violations that I see in that part of the world. But I think that from a policy perspective, we have to strike a balance across this because we're very economically entwined and it's not simple. There are places where I think we have to cooperate and I would point to climate as a great example and I can highlight, for example, a green finance working group that were involved in establishing that's got both public and private sector leaders coming together with a particular focus on China's transition and then there are places like human rights violation where we have to confront and try to get a different result. But if people are looking for a black and white answer, I think that's that's going to be a very, very hard execution. But we've got to continue to focus on this because we're very economically entwined. SORKIN: What do you think the role though of business is to speak out or not? Can they speak, can a business leader speak out on a human rights issue for example in China? I think, you know, for example, Adam Silver at the NBA has tried to thread this needle. Ray Dalio was on our air last week trying to thread the needle and it didn't work. Elon Musk was speaking at a Wall Street Journal event last night, very pro-China. And I think there were a lot of people critiquing him saying, does he feel he can't say something critical of China because he has so much business in China? SOLOMON: So, I can't speak for everybody else, but I generally try to stick to business, and I leave policymakers to set policy. And, you know, I just commented, I said to you, I don't approve of the, of the human rights violations that are going on. And so that's a point of view, but it's not my job to set policy. We need government to set policy, we need them to legislate, we need them to interact in that geopolitical relationship, and it's our job to balance and run business based on the parameters that are set up. And I think, you know, I think Joe said this, or somebody said this on your show earlier this week, if we got into a debate of everything that goes wrong somewhere in the world every day and how businesses responsible for that we got ourselves to a very complex place. I don't think any of you are advocating that's where we want to go. SORKIN: We gotta let you go. I know you’ve got a big conference today. SOLOMON: We do. We've got our Financial Services Conference here where we've got a broad group of financial services companies here with, with investors and so that should be an interesting day and a lot of discussion about some of the things you and I were talking about, digitization, crypto, changes in disruption to the way those services are delivered so we're looking forward to that. SORKIN: They're playing the music out. You're a better DJ, I do, Barry Manilow that's what I listened to the podcast. He did a podcast last week guys, and Barry Manilow is your— SOLOMON: No, my dad loved Barry Manilow and unfortunately my dad's not with us and so sometimes when I hear Barry Manilow, I think about my dad. It’s a great memory. SORKIN: David Solomon, thank you for joining us this morning. SOLOMON: Thanks a lot. Good to be with you all. Thank you very much. Updated on Dec 7, 2021, 10:45 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 7th, 2021

Transcript: John Doerr

   The transcript from this week’s, MiB: John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This… Read More The post Transcript: John Doerr appeared first on The Big Picture.    The transcript from this week’s, MiB: John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have, yes, an extra special guest, John Doerr of the famed venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins is here to discuss all things venture capital and climate related. He has a new book out that’s really quite interesting. We talk about everything from crypto to Tesla to beyond me, to all of the opportunities that exist in order to help moderate and reduce carbon in the atmosphere and the potential climate crisis that awaits us if we don’t change our ways. So, Doerr is a venture capitalist. He invests money in order to generate a return. These aren’t just finger-wagging-be-green-for-green sake. He describes their venture fund which they put nearly a billion dollars into it 10 years ago and now, it’s worth over three billion. That’s how successful the returns have been. He describes the climate crisis as a multitrillion dollar opportunity. Yes, we need to do something in order to make sure we leave our children and grandchildren a habitable Earth. At the same time, there is a massive opportunity in everything from food to electrical grid, to transportation, on and on and on. It really is quite fascinating somebody like him sees the world from both perspectives, from the, hey, we want to make sure we have a habitable place to live but he can’t take off his VC hat and he sees just massive opportunities to do well by doing good. Really, a fascinating conversation. With no further ado, my interview with Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr. ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My extra special guest this week is John Doerr. He is the famed venture capitalists known for his work at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The venture capital firm operates 32 funds. They’ve made more than 675 investments, including such early-stage funding for companies like Google, Twitter, Amazon and too many others to list. Doerr still holds a substantial stake in his initial investment in Google. His most recent book is “Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving our Climate Crisis Now.” John Doerr, welcome to Bloomberg. JOHN DOERR, CHAIRMAN, KLEINER PERKINS: It’s thrilled to be here with you, Barry. Thank you. RITHOLTZ: And I’m thrilled to talk to you. Let’s go back to the early parts of your career before we start to get current. You originally joined Intel because you couldn’t land a gig as a venture capitalist. Tell us a little bit about that. DOERR: I came to Silicon Valley with no job, no place to live and incidentally, no girlfriend. The lady I’ve been dating decided I was too persistent and dumped me. So, I — my real goal was to win my way back into her heart and to join with some friends to start a company. I wanted to start a company and I heard that venture capital had something to do with that. So, I cold called all the venture capitalists and some of them returned my call in the mid-70s and they looked at my experience and uniformly included that I should go get a real job. That was their advice. I remember Dick Gramley (ph) said, we just backed a small new chip company called Intel, why don’t you interview for a job there, and I did. And lo and behold, unbeknownst to me, my former girlfriend, Ann Howland, now Ann Howland Doerr, has gotten a job at Intel. I got a job there and when I arrived that first summer day, I was surprised to see her there and she was not happy to see me. So, it took the rest of the summer to put our relationship back together again. But I love Intel, it was a dynamic place. They just invented the microprocessor and I’ve seriously considered abandoning my graduate education in business as it turns out to just stay at Intel. But I returned there after graduating and worked for, I guess, four or five years helping democratize computing as to get microprocessors used in everything from traffic lights to defibrillators, to nuclear resonance magnetic imaging systems, and it was all because I wanted to be part of new rapidly growing companies. RITHOLTZ: How did you work your way from Intel to venture investing? How did you find your way to Kleiner Perkins? DOERR: I got a phone call one day from a friend who said, hey, John, I just finished interviewing for job at a venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. It sounded to me like a law firm. I really didn’t know them. But he said, you should go interview there because what they want to add to their team is someone younger professional with a strong technical background, a good network in Silicon Valley, and a passion for startups. I think you and they would make a great fit. So, I didn’t — they ran an ad actually in the “Wall Street Journal” for this position which I didn’t see. But I called up, I interviewed and got a job there as an entry level professional, a gofer, I did everything. I carried people’s bags. I read business plans. But there was one important condition that I had and that is I made them promise that they would back me with my friends in starting a company. I went to work there because, honestly, I wasn’t interested in venture capital. I wanted to be an early ’80s entrepreneur. And they had — they agreed to that and pointed out that they had backed other young partners at Kleiner in writing business plans. Bob Swanson had written a business plan for Genentech that led to the whole biotech industry and Jimmy Treybig had done the same thing with Tandem Computers. My current partner, Brook Byers as the young partner at Kleiner wrote the business plan for hybrid tech. So, Eugene Kleiner and Tom Perkins were unusual and I’d even say mythic or epic figures in that they had technical backgrounds. They started their own companies and they felt that was part of what their venture capital firm ought to do. RITHOLTZ: So, here’s the key question, how come you never left Kleiner Perkins? Why didn’t you launch your own startup? DOERR: Well, I did. They backed me in doing it. The first was one called Silicon Compilers. I became the full-time CEO and founder of that with a Cal Tech professor, Carver Mead. RITHOLTZ: Sure. DOERR: Then as I worked with companies like Compaq, Sun Microsystems, they were growing really rapidly, I realized I was not at all qualified to advise these entrepreneurs. So, I took another 18-month leave of absence from Kleiner to run the desktop division of Sun and almost left Kleiner permanently to do that. But Ann and I wanted to start a family and she said, you know, you’re doing this Sun thing and keeping involved in Kleiner, it’s just not going to work, we have to make some choices here. And so, I left my operating role at Sun. But never gave up an interest in starting new companies and did that again at a later time with a company called @Home. You may remember that they … RITHOLTZ: Sure. DOERR: … standardized and commercialized the cable modem to access the Internet. Before the @Home venture, access to the Internet was really very slow and cable modem swept the United States and our company was key in making that happen. RITHOLTZ: So, I like this quote from you, “If you can’t invent the future, the next best thing is to fund it.” And so, I guess that helps to explain your move from Sun over back to Kleiner Perkins. DOERR: Exactly. It was Alan Kay, the Chief Scientist at Apple, who said the best way to predict the future is to invent it and while I’ve made some inventions, they’re modest, my better fortune has been to find amazing entrepreneurs, identify them and then help fund and accelerate their success. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. Amazon, Netscape, Applied Materials, Citrix, Intuit, Genentech, EA Sports, Compaq, Slack, Uber, Square, Spotify, Robinhood, that is just an amazing, amazing list of startups that you guys were fairly early investors in. Any of them stand out as uniquely memorable to you? DOERR: Well, two of the standouts got to be Amazon and Google, now, Alphabet, because, what are they, they’re two of the four or five most valuable companies in the world and I think both of them have profoundly changed the way that we live, communicate, educate, inform, conduct commerce, see the world. They both — what they both have in common is exceptional founders and really strong management teams who have a sense of urgency and a focus on either large new markets or large existing markets that deserved and have benefited from disruption. So, I remember when I was first offered a position at Kleiner Perkins, I told them that I thought it was kind of unfair that they would pay me to do the job. I would pay them for the privilege of working with these amazing entrepreneurs and founders. RITHOLTZ: So, when you’re thinking about putting money into the Amazon in the mid ’90s or Google in the late ’90s, at any point in that process, are you thinking, sure, these can become $2 trillion companies soon? DOERR: Well, I had no really good idea how big they could be. So, I put the question to Jeff Bezos and his response was, well, John, I don’t know but we’re going to get big fast. At that time, I kicked up something of a firestorm by proclaiming that the Internet had been under hyped and it might be the largest legal creation of wealth in our lifetimes. But I was more clear and explicit with Larry Page when I met with him and Sergey and I asked Larry, how big Google would get. I’ll never forget this, Barry. He responded to me without missing a beat, 10 billion, and I said, just to test myself, I said, surely, you mean market capitalization, don’t you, and he said, no, John, I mean revenues. We’re just beginning in the field of search and you cannot imagine how much better it’s going to get over time. And sure enough, he was, he was more than right. RITHOLTZ: To say the very least. So, let’s talk a bit about Google. You are known for introducing to both Larry and Sergey your concept of, OKRs, objectives and key results. What was the impact of that on Google? How did they respond to your suggestion on come up with objectives and come up with ways to measure your progress? DOERR: So, for everyone in your audience, objectives and key results or OKRs is a goalsetting system that Andy Grove invented at Intel and that’s because in the semiconductor industry, I’m a refugee from the semiconductor industry, you got to get tens of thousands of people to get lines that are a millionth of a meter, one micron wide, exactly right or nothing works, the chips fail. So, you need exceptional discipline, attention to detail, focus and execution. And so, Andy came up with the system. I was so enamored of it. When I left Intel, I took it everywhere I went from nonprofits to startups to large companies. The Gates Foundation in the nearly days, for example, how — they were — I mean, they were a very large nonprofit startup and an important one for the planet. So, I took Andy Grove’s system to Larry and Sergey, the founders of Google, in the very early days and I went through it with them and at the end of it asked them, so, guys, what you think, would you use this in growing Google, and Larry was — had no comment whatsoever. But Sergey, he was more like brilliant. I’d like to tell you, Barry, that he said, we love this, we’re going to adopt it wholeheartedly. Well, the truth of the matter is what he said was, we don’t have any better way to manage this Google company. So, we’ll give it a try, which I took as a ringing endorsement because what’s happened since then to this day, every Googler, every quarter, writes down her objectives and key results and publishes them for the entire company to see and interestingly, they never leaked. So, there’s 140,000 Googlers who are doing this four times a year. They’re graded. But at the end of each quarter, they’re swept aside because they’re not used for bonuses or promotions. They serve a higher purpose and that’s a collective social contract to get everybody focused and aligned and committed in tracking their progress to stretch for almost impossible to achieve goals. And I’m telling you this story because the same system that Andy Grove invented has now spread pretty broadly through the technology and other sectors of the economy and it’s at the heart of this plan that we have called speed and scale to deal with climate crisis. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. I want to stick with some of the early investments that you made and ask a really broad general question, how likely is it that a company you made in early stage investment in ends up looking like the company you thought you were investing in, meaning, how often do companies iterate or pivot into something totally different from what you thought you were getting involved with? DOERR: Well, I was going to say not often if it’s totally different. But if it’s meaningfully different, that happens all the time. And that’s why in the venture capital work that we do, it’s so important to back — to find fund and build a relationship with the right people because the people and the quality of the team is going to affect how they pivot, how they adapt their business plan to changing markets, changing technologies, changing opportunities. RITHOLTZ: Very interesting. So, you mentioned Amazon and Google as just uniquely memorable startups. What about some memorable ones that you thought would work out that didn’t or I know VCs love to talk about look how silly we are, we had an opportunity to invest in X and we passed and now X is fabulously successful, what stands out in that space? DOERR: Well, the standout in that space is the bad decision we made to invest in Fisker instead of in Tesla and at that time, they had similar strategies, which was to enter the electric vehicle market with high-end luxury, pretty expensive car and then to drive the cost of that vehicle down over time. Both companies were struggling to raise money. One of them had experienced executive from the automobile industry, fundamentally a designer by the name of Henrik Fisker as its founder and CEO. The other had Elon Musk who had no automobile industry experience but was determined to reinvent every part of the automotive car doing it more as a machine to run software than a collection of subsystems procured from the automobile industry. We made the wrong call and the rest is history. RITHOLTZ: That Fisker, that first Fisker car was just a gorgeous design and at that time, Tesla was taking old Lotus convertibles and filling them with laptop batteries. Between the two, it’s pretty easy to see how the Fisker opportunity really looked more intriguing than Tesla did way back when. How typical is that for the world of venture? DOERR: It happens all the time. RITHOLTZ: All the time. DOERR: That’s what makes the job of finding funding and accelerating the success of entrepreneurs hard. RITHOLTZ: To say the very least. So, there was just a new report that came out. It said, renewable energy in the U.S. has quadrupled over the past decade. So, we’re all good, right? There’s nothing else to worry about with the climate? DOERR: I wish that was true. I came to this project, this passion back in 2006 when Al Gore’s movie, you remember “An Inconvenient Truth” appeared. RITHOLTZ: Sure. DOERR: And I took my family and friends to see it and we came back for a dinner conversation and went around the table to see what people thought. When it came turn for my 16-year-old daughter Mary Doerr, she said, I’m scared and I’m angry. She said, dad, your generation created this problem, you better fix it. And, Barry, I was speechless, I had no idea what to say. So, I set out with partners at Kleiner Perkins to understand the extent of the climate crisis, even hired Al Gore as a partner and over time, over three funds, invested a third up to a half of the funds, total about $1 billion in some 70 climate ventures, most of which failed and, in fact, it’s hard, it’s very hard to grow a climate tech or green tech venture. It’s pretty lonely in the early days of doing that. And we almost lost all of our investments but we stood by these entrepreneurs and they produced companies like Beyond Meat or Enphase or the NEST smart thermostats and today are worth some $3 billion. But that was then, this is now. I think what’s important about now is we need way greater ambition and speed to avert catastrophic, irreversible climate crisis. I mean, the evidence is all around us. We’ve got devastating hurricanes and floods and wildfires and 10 million climate refugees. The IPCC says that if we don’t reduce our carbon emissions by 2030 by 55 percent, we will see global warming overshoot by more than 2°C, nearly 4°F. And the Paris accords, which were agreed to in 2015, if we were achieving them, it would still cause us to land at around 2°C. The bad news is we’re not close to achieving any of those goals. So, the latest report from the UN said this is a code red problem and I also see all problems as opportunities. Barry, I think this is going to be the greatest opportunity, human opportunity, social opportunity, economic opportunity for the 21st century. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk a little bit about that opportunity. You talked in the book about cutting emissions in half by 2030 and net zero by 2050 and you referenced six main areas of attack, transportation, the electrical grid, food, protecting nature, cleaning up industry, and then removing carbon from the atmosphere. Let’s talk a little bit about each of those because they’re all quite fascinating. We were talking about Tesla, how quickly do we think that we’re going to be past internal combustion engines with a fully electrified transportation network? DOERR: Well, that’s a great question and we can — I want to put this in context. Every year, we dump 59 gigatons of carbon, greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere as if it’s some kind of free and open sewer. And so, the book and the research behind it has built a plan in electrifying transportation and the other five for which each of the objectives has three to five key results. These are Andy Grove Intel style, very measurable specific steps in transportation. It says that electric vehicles will achieve parity, price performance parity with combustion engines in the U.S. by 2024. It says one of two new personal vehicles purchased worldwide are electric vehicles by 2030. So, what I’m trying to say is this is a global plan. RITHOLTZ: Right. DOERR: We’ve seen some nations of the world, some states like California say they’re going to ban the sale of internal combustion vehicles. And there’s also key results for buses, for trucks, for miles driven, for airplanes and maritime and this whole plan is available for free. You can download it at the website speedandscale.com. So, it’s pragmatic, it’s ambitious, it’s almost unachievable. It’s a total of 55 key results for the world, numeric time bound, and we’ve got to get after them all at once. We can’t take turns. We’re not going to achieve all of these, Barry. It’s — but if we fall short on one, we can make ground faster in others. Now, I don’t want to intimidate people by how big — how tall an order this is. The book also includes 35 stories from entrepreneurs and policymakers and leaders and innovators, leaders of indigenous tribes that describe in their own words their struggle, their successes, their journey to change the world. One of my favorites is of a cross-country team who got together to petition their school district to go to cleaner busses. They were sick and tired of running behind diesel buses with polluted air and it shows that something that I deeply believe and that is we’re fast running out of time. And so, yes, we need individuals to take individual action to eat less meat, use photovoltaic solar and buy an electric vehicle if you can afford it. But I’ve really written this book for the leader inside of everyone, their inner leader, and that’s their ability to influence others to act as a group like this cross-country team of runners in Maryland who got their school district to adopt electric buses. What the book shows is that we can get this job done but, as I said, we’re fast running out of time. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk a little bit about — by the way, the bus discussions in the book are quite fascinating not just because China leapt out to a big lead and have been very aggressively replacing diesel buses with electric buses but you helped fund an entrepreneur in the U.S. that’s gone around and has done a great job getting cities to purchase electric buses. The transportation grid is clearly an issue but as you point out, that’s only six gigatons. A bigger issue is the grid, the electric grid, which produces 21 gigatons of emissions. Tell us about what we need to do to decarbonize the electrical grid. DOERR: 100%, you’re right. If we move to electric vehicles but we still use coal to generate electricity, we won’t have reduced emissions. And the biggest opportunity is to decarbonize the grid and that’s to take today’s 24 gigatons of emissions mostly from goal, also natural gas to generate electricity. Take that 24 down to three gigatons. So, the first key result, the biggest of them, is to get 50 percent of our electricity from zero emission sources globally by 2025 and get it down to 38 percent — get a 90 percent by 2035. That would save us 16.5 gigatons. Simply put, we need to move to renewable sources like wind and solar and invest in longer-term durable storage so that we have reliable energy when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk about that battery technology a little bit. We’ve seen a series of incremental improvements over time but nothing has been like an order of magnitude improvement. Will we be able to get there soon enough? Do we need a Manhattan project for batteries or are all those incremental improvements compounding and we’ll get there eventually? DOERR: Much of the improvement that is needed in all of these technologies is lowering their costs. And so, batteries today are still too expensive for electric vehicles in India and in China. They’re barely affordable in the U.S. marketplace. RITHOLTZ: Right. DOERR: And so, the book tells the story of QuantumScape, I’ll disclose, a public company that I’ve invested in and served on the board of, an entrepreneur by the name of Jagdeep Singh and he is going for a quantum improvement in batteries to more than double their energy density. The energy density of a battery is how much energy you’ll get out of it for a pound of weight of a battery and it’s especially important in electric vehicles because the most expensive part of the vehicle is the battery and it’s the heaviest part and you got use energy to move the weight around. So, if you double the energy density of a battery, you can get a three or four times systems improvement in the vehicle itself. I’m not expecting, I don’t think anyone is forecasting an order of magnitude improvement. We’ve seen considerable lowering costs of batteries over time. But the QuantumScape innovation, which is an all solid-state battery, would be a genuine breakthrough. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk a little bit about food, another key source of emissions. How can we become more efficient in growing the food affecting the menu of what we eat and reducing enough food waste to make a difference? DOERR: There’s three big things t to do about food. The first is to reduce the meat and dairies in our diet and I’m not saying cut them out entirely but to replace some of that with delicious, healthy plant-based proteins. And the book tells a story of Beyond Meat and the crusade of its founder. He struggled and mortgaged his house to lead the revolution in plant-based protein. It turns out that there’s a billion cows on the planet. The book tells you their story as well. If they were a nation, it would be the third largest country in terms of the emissions. The second big thing to do about food is to reduce food waste. Globally, 30 percent of the food that we produce is wasted and taking some straightforward measures we think that can be reduced. Our goal is to reduce it to 10 percent of the food that we produce, particularly when you consider the population will grow to 10 billion by the end of the century. Finally, we got to get more efficient with how we grow food and we can, for example, apply fertilizer much more precisely with new technologies. All in all, the food sector is a way for us to reduce nine gigatons of emissions to two gigatons by 2050 or a net gain of seven out of the 59 gigatons that we got to drive to zero. RITHOLTZ: So, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about beef and agriculture generally. But let’s talk about commercial fishing, what’s the impact of our fishing practices on the health of the oceans and its ability to absorb carbon and reflect heat? DOERR: Well, over fishing together with over drilling and over development have released huge amounts of carbon from the ocean floor and life and if we prevented the destruction of mangroves and other ocean life, we could prevent a gigaton of emissions from entering the atmosphere every year. Our plan calls to eliminate deep sea bottom trawling, which is an especially destructive practice. Bottom trawling releases one and a half gigatons of CO2 equivalent emissions. It also calls for increasing the protection of oceans to 30 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050. I want to call out, this is an area of climate ambition that Walmart is staking out an important and powerful leadership position. Not only that they said they’re going to have their supply chain be carbon neutral by 2040 but they are going to preserve, protect millions of acres of land and ocean water in the effort to become the first scale regenerative company. RITHOLTZ: Really, really interesting. So, very often, the average person listening to a conversation like this thinks, well, what can I do, I’m just one person. What’s the balance of responsibility between individuals on one side and government and institutions on the other? DOERR: We need all the forces in our economy, in our society to come together and work on this. We need innovators. We need entrepreneurs. We need policymakers. We need investors. We need to hear more from impassioned youth. In 2018, Greta Thunberg was a single high school student skipping school on Fridays. A year later, in 2019, in December, she organized a million-person march in a hundred cities around the world and specifically, she made the climate crisis atop two voting issue in the nations in Europe. Barry, it is not a top voting issue in the U.S. It is not a top issue in China or even in India. So, we have work to do and that’s one of our accelerants, the ways we get all this done faster and that’s to turn movements into specific actions. We really need individuals to lead others in powerful ways. That’s, for example, employees, pushing your employers to make net-zero commitment or shareholders and investors demanding changes in the board rooms. It turns out that changing the lightbulbs and eating less meat is important but we’ve got to go further. We’ve got to change our laws or even our lawmakers in order to avert this climate crisis. RITHOLTZ: Quite fascinating. I want to talk about some of the things you’ve said in the book that apply everywhere but are especially applicable to the climate crisis. Let’s start with, quote, “It seems every dozen years we witness magical ever-exponentially larger waves of innovation.” So, let’s start first with climate, how and where are those waves of innovation coming that’ll help ameliorate the climate crisis? DOERR: Well, the innovations are happening on many fronts, the material sciences, electrochemistry, biology. The opportunity that the climate transition to a clean energy the economy represents is the largest of our lifetime. It’s a bigger mobilization than even the effort of the allies to defeat the Nazi Axis in World War II. You’ll remember then, we shut down for four years all manufacturing of automobiles and appliances and instead, created 268,000 fighter aircrafts, 20,000 battleships. It was a monumental effort dealing with an existential threat. And that same level of innovation and ambition is required to win in this climate campaign. Other areas of breakthroughs or innovations, I’m even becoming a believer that we’ll see nuclear fusion. That’s the kind of clean energy that comes from the sun, practical within a decade. Concrete and steel that’s carbon free, long duration storage, the opportunities to reimagine and reinvent how we create, share, transmit and use energy in every facet of our lives is as big an opportunity as we’ll see in our lifetime. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s stay focused on that opportunity for a minute. This isn’t a charity or a foundation that’s doing this for free. When we look around, there are actual venture investments that you’ve been making successfully. So, you past on Tesla but somebody put money into Tesla. Wind turbines, solar, Beyond Meat is now public company. You are an early investor into that. You’re looking at this as more than just, hey, we have to do this in order to make sure that we don’t have a runaway greenhouse effect and Earth turns into Venus and becomes uninhabitable. But there are also very legitimate economic opportunities here also. Expound on those a little bit. DOERR: Well, there’s no better example than Tesla which had gone from a struggling company reliant on loans, thank you, United States taxpayers, to the sought most valuable company in the world. And by some measures, Elon Musk is the most — is the richest individual in the world. He took on huge risks and he delivered for his customers and shareholders, his country and his planet. And the best of the work that Elon has done is inspire, perhaps, through fear but certainly by example the rest of the automobile industry to accelerate their shift to clean and electric vehicles. So, this is, how I like to say, the mother of all markets. It’s a monster market. Batteries alone, the batteries to move from internal combustion vehicles to electric vehicles, are estimated to be $400 billion per year, Barry, for 20 years. We are going to — we must recreate all the infrastructure that we use to power out planet. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about something we haven’t gotten to when we were talking about those larger waves of innovation. Lots of folks are excited about blockchain and crypto and Web 3.0. But when we look at things like Bitcoin, it’s a big energy hog, how do we reconcile all the wealth that’s being created there with its massive electricity consumption? DOERR: Its electricity consumption is sustainable and so, we’re going to have to move to clean Bitcoin, green Bitcoin and we’ll get there by regulation, if not, by other market forces I would predict. Today, I believe that Bitcoin uses as much energy as the entire nation of Sweden. So, Bitcoin, I believe, is here to stay but it — we can’t fuel it through dirty electricity. RITHOLTZ: You mentioned concrete earlier and I also read in the book that you want to end single-use plastics. What does the world of material science promised us for replacing things in those spaces? How do you replace concrete? How do you replace single-use plastic? DOERR: Concrete is probably the hardest problem of all because in the production of the concrete, you almost must create carbon emissions. We can reduce the energy use to make concrete. There are some concrete innovations that absorb the CO2 into the material. But that’s an area where we need more innovation. What was your second area? RITHOLTZ: Single-use plastics. DOERR: Single-use plastics. The plan calls for the banning and really the replacement of single-use plastics. The banning of single-use plastics and in general to replace plastics with compostable materials that can be recycled and I am confident that with investment and entrepreneurial work, we can get that done. RITHOLTZ: So, we haven’t really talked about pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. I get the sense from some people that they’re expecting some technological magic bullet that’s going to solve climate change. Tell us about how we can remove carbon from the atmosphere and is there a magic bullet coming. DOERR: The speed and scale plan calls for us to remove 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. I emphasize remove. This will be gigatons of CO2 emissions that we were not able to eliminate, we were not able to cut, we were not able to slash. They’ll be some uses of aviation fuel as an example or other stubborn carbon. Two approaches to this, one of which is to innovate around nature-based ways of removing CO2. For example, growing greater kelp forest in the oceans. But the other that has captured a lot of attention is called direct air capture or that’s engineered removal of carbon. Think of them as kind of mechanical trees and this technology works today but only at small scale. It sucks the CO2 out of the air. It requires a lot of electricity in order to do that. And so, it’s very expensive today, some $600 per ton. If we’ve got to remove five gigatons per year at $600 per ton, that’s $3 trillion a year and it’s hard to see how that’s affordable. So, entrepreneurs are hard at work to lower those costs and I hope they do. RITHOLTZ: So, there’s a quote I like from another venture capitalist who said venture capital properly deployed can solve the biggest problems, filling the void left by shrinking scientific ambitions of governments, foundations and international organizations. What are your thoughts on that approach? How crucial is venture capital to our future and can it replace these other entities? DOERR: Venture capital is crucial and it’s stepping up to the challenge. There will be an estimated $30 billion invested venture capital in climate technologies this year. Our plan calls for 50 billion this year. But venture capital is not going to get this job done on its own. We need government-funded research and development to grow in the U.S. alone to 40 billion a year. Other countries have got to triple their funding. We need project financing. We need philanthropic investing. Jeff Bezos’ commitment of $10 billion to the Bezos Earth Fund is the largest philanthropic commitment to climate crisis that we’ve ever witnessed or enjoyed. There’s really four accelerators that will get this job done. One of them is investing. Another is innovation, the work of entrepreneurs. But I think the hardest are going to be to turn our movements into actions so we get the politics and the policy correct because it’s going to take a massive, collective, coordinated effort to achieve our ultimate OKR and that’s to take 59 gigatons of emissions to net zero by 2050. RITHOLTZ: That’s an ambitious target and if we miss that target, what are the ramifications? DOERR: We’ll leave our kids and our grandkids an uninhabitable planet. We’ll see the Arctic sea ice surely melts away. We’ll have — estimates are up to a billion climate refugees. There’s 10 million of them already. Hundreds of millions of people will starve. It’s unthinkable. And so, we must get this done. RITHOLTZ: So, let me turn this back to what’s going on in the world of venture now. When the early decades of you work at Kleiner Perkins was into a very friendly IPO market, how much does timing matter broadly, meaning, hey, if there’s an exit available, if there’s a big IPO market that makes it more likely people are going to invest in these companies and have a successful exit. Tell us a little bit about timing. DOERR: Well, investors, myself included, will stop at nothing to copy success. So, the timing of today’s markets for climate technologies whether it’s Tesla or Rivian or better batteries or Beyond Meat, it’s good and I would say in the long run, it’s going to continue to be good because the size of the markets and the need, the economic need, the opportunity, and the planetary pressures. RITHOLTZ: So, if a younger venture capitalist or a newfound venture fund came to you and ask for advice, what would you tell them about this opportunity? DOERR: There’s so many different venture firms and strategies. I would say to them that this is the greatest opportunity with 21st century that they should be strategic about their contribution. Is it to work with early-stage entrepreneurs and removing technical risks or at the other extreme, is it to be smart and sharp about project financing? But the overall costs of the transition from a dirty fossil economy to a clean new energy economy is $4 trillion per year, per year. That sounds like a big number until you compare it with the cost of dirty energy, the social cost, the disruption, the premature deaths. One in five deaths are premature due to carbon pollution. Those come in at about $10 billion per year. So, it’s literally cheaper to save the Earth than it is to ruin it. RITHOLTZ: And there’s just seems to be endless amounts of cash pouring into the venture capital sector. Arguably, it’s never been higher. What are your thoughts on this? Does it worry you? What’s the driver of all this money sloshing around? DOERR: Some people say that we’re experiencing a bubble, a bubble in fintech or Bitcoin or climate technologies. I see it very differently. I think it’s a boom and historically, whether it was the advent of transcontinental railroads or the automobiles, we saw booms which led to full employment, overinvestment, rapid innovation. And, no, not all those car companies survive. But I think the same will be true of the other fields of innovation. I think one of the things that gives me great hope is the power of human ingenuity. We got ourselves into these specs and, Barry, I’m betting, we’re going to figure our way out. RITHOLTZ: So, what do you say to people who sort of posture Silicon Valley’s best days are behind it? Do you have a response to any of those folks? DOERR: I think they’re wrong. I think provided we deal with this existential threat, the climate crisis, and that is not guaranteed, but provided we do that and we get a 50% reduction in the next decade, I think we’re on track for a wonderful, prosperous, healthy planet. RITHOLTZ: Can I tell you and I should have mentioned this earlier but I read a ton of books for the show and I found the book really quite fascinating and it’s pretty obvious to me that an engineer was behind this. There’s just a lot of great slides and charts and graphs and it’s not just all texts. Parts of it are narrative and parts of it are historical and it reminds me of a well-made slide deck. So, nice job on the book. DOERR: Well, thanks for sharing that. I want to send you a bound version of the book if you’ll email me your physical mailing address. There’s one other thing — other story I might tell you about the book. RITHOLTZ: Sure. DOERR: I was talking the other day with a reader, a mom who told me that every night, she takes two or three pages of the book and she reads them together with her daughter and then they talk about together what that means for the world her daughter is going to inherit, and I thought, wow, that’s the use of the book I never imagined and one that I’m honestly proud of. RITHOLTZ: How — it looks like this was the work of a lot of different people. How did you end up researching and writing this? DOERR: We talked to hundred different leaders in the field, policymakers, researchers, modelers, activists and from those, selected some 35 stories. We ended up with a thousand different data points that we needed to verify and collected those into 500 end notes, which are in the book. And I did it with an amazing small team of three or four on research and writing stuf. I’m an engineer as you know and so I’m not so good with words and I had the benefit of a writing team that helped make this much more readable. RITHOLTZ: Well, it shows, you can see the book is a fast read. I sat down with a bunch of stickies and highlighter and found myself just plowing through chapter after chapter. It was a relatively quick read and very easy to put down and then pick back up again. Each chapter is very distinct and you’ve really laid out a plan to prevent climate catastrophe from taking place. So, thank you for that. DOERR: One thing I want to make sure your audience know is this, they can get a free infographic, it’s a single poster-sized piece of paper that has on both sides of it all the objectives, all the key results, all the measures. And it’s reassuring for people who are fearful that there is a plan and that if we do these things, we can find a way to a habitable planet. That’s what we’ve got to do. RITHOLTZ: So, I know I only have you for a limited amount of time. Let me jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of my guests starting with tell us what you’ve been streaming these days, give us your favorite Netflix or Amazon Prime or whatever podcast you’re listening to. DOERR: So, I haven’t had time for streaming on Netflix. I’ve been doing research, reading books and papers on the climate crisis itself. But getting this word out, I’ve listened to a — I’ve started listening to a couple of new podcast, John Heilemann’s Hell & High Water … RITHOLTZ: Sure. DOERR: … and Tim Ferriss Show, both of which, I think, have a distinctive imprint from their hosts (ph). RITHOLTZ: Tell us about your mentors who helped to shape your career. DOERR: So, the biggest influence on my life was my dad Lou Doerr, an engineer, entrepreneur and hero and I’ve been blessed by a number of mentors, perhaps most notable of them, Andy Grove, and what I learned from him at Intel prompted me to write a first book called “Measure What Matters” and that tells stories of a dozen different organizations using OKRs, which is what then I applied to the climate crisis. I would tell you Al Gore is a hero of mine. He’s wonderfully resolute man who’s impassioned, effective and funny. He and I talked regularly about the climate crisis. RITHOLTZ: Tell us about some of your favorite books, what are your all-time favorites and what are you reading right now. DOERR: So, my current reading, no surprise, is largely around the climate crisis. I love Elizabeth Colbert’s “Under a White Sky” which described climate futures. And two other books are “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” by Bill Gates, very accessible book, and a profile — a new profile of Winston Churchill called “The splendid and the Vile.” RITHOLTZ: Two good recommendations. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who wanted to pursue a career in venture investing? DOERR: I would say to her gain experience as an entrepreneur. I’d repeat the advice that I was given early in my career which was go get a real job in a real growing tech company and sharpen your skills in the real hard world of business economics and then take that experience to help other entrepreneurs succeed. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of venture investing today that you wish you knew 40 years ago? DOERR: I wish I knew 40 years ago how important the team is, the leadership of the team, the recruiting of the team, the growing of the team because in the end, it’s more than large market, it’s more than compelling technologies. It’s teams who know how to execute well. RITHOLTZ: Really, really fascinating stuff. Thanks, John, for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with John Doerr. He is a partner at famed venture firm Kleiner Perkins and the author of the new book, “Speed and Scale: An Action Plan for Solving our Climate Crisis Now.” If you enjoy this conversation, be sure and check out all of our previous discussions. You can find those wherever you find your favorite podcast, iTunes, Spotify, Acast, wherever. We love your comments, feedback and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. Sign up for my daily reads @ritholtz.com. Follow me on Twitter, @Ritholtz. I would be remiss if I do not thank our crack staff that helps with these conversations together each week, Michael Batnick is my head of research, Atika Valbrun is our project manager, Paris Wald is our producer, I’m Barry Ritholtz, you’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~   The post Transcript: John Doerr appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureDec 6th, 2021

Leapfrogging Legacy Banking To A Bitcoin Standard

Leapfrogging Legacy Banking To A Bitcoin Standard Authored by Mitch Klee via BitcoinMagazine.com, How looking at the history of technological adoption can give us insights into where Bitcoin could be embraced the fastest... INTRO Throughout time, technology has proven to change our lives by leveraging efficiencies in energy. New ways in how we hunt have saved time and energy for innovation and to live more intentionally. Currently, Bitcoin presents an immense opportunity to change the lives of those who are burdened by old forms of manipulated money and preserve their time and energy. It is the first self-sovereign, programmable money that is proving to destroy expectations of every “expert” imaginable. At the intersection of money and technology, Bitcoin's network effect is spreading like a mind virus to all corners of the globe. This is not a coincidence but the manifestation of a zero to one moment; a radical new technology that will change nearly everything it touches. This article explores the idea that some regions and nations have a higher susceptibility to adoption in new monetary networks. Specifically, I will outline how the unbanked populations of emerging countries can leapfrog legacy systems, straight into a new monetary standard. But first, let's lay the groundwork for understanding how this can happen with some concepts. DEMOCRATIZATION OF TECHNOLOGY To understand leapfrogging, let’s first look into something that naturally happens when humans produce technology: the democratization of technology. As we make technology, the cost reduces, while the ease of production increases. Our tools get better, people’s skills improve, securing the material for production gets easier, logistics improve, and everything is less costly as humans continue increasing the output/yield over time. Simply put, cost goes down, while production goes up. Figure 1. A great example is the printing press. Before this innovation, each book had to be typed out or written one by one and distributed almost by osmosis. This means books were more expensive and were only in the hands of the few. After the printing press, people were able to automate a portion of the process by creating blueprints of the books. This cut down labor costs, and there was a huge explosion in printed material. This may have put people out of work; but it also introduced better dissemination of information to a wider group of people and new opportunities to produce more books for less cost and effort. Another example is photography. Historically, taking photos on film took hours to produce in a dark room. The film had to be brought to a local expert and it would take several days to get back the finished product. Smartphones and photoshop technology made this essentially free. It was then possible to download an app or use the built-in app on smartphones, take pictures, and immediately process them. Democratization of technology has been happening across every single aspect of human society since the beginning of time. Humans create tools to make it easier and cheaper to survive. Each tool becomes better, we then expand and evolve with less energy improving the quality of life. Fast-forward to the internet age. Emerging countries are just now tapping into the power of the internet. Although there are many factors underlying the reasons for expansion, one thing that is known is that technology builds on itself, making each successive technology easier to produce. Not only is there growth, but there is exponential growth. Certain times throughout history, technology has made such a large leap forward that it allows extremely poor countries to skip the legacy technology and quickly adopt the new one. This is called leapfrogging. LEAPFROGGING EXPLAINED Leapfrogging is when the cost to produce one technology is too great for a population, so when a new, drastically cheaper technology is created it’s quickly adopted and the old tech is skipped. This is the coexistence and benefit of separate populations within society. Let's look at the mobile phone revolution as a way to explain leapfrogging. Some societies did not have the wealth or infrastructure to adopt landlines and phone communication when it was brand new, but when the mobile phone was introduced, this gave mostly everyone around the world the ability to opt-in. Figure 2. Landlines in the U.S., 1900–2019. Figure 2 shows the number of landlines in the U.S. population from the 1900s to 2019. Throughout the entirety of the 20th century, the landline was being adopted in the U.S. Consequently it only took a decade to dethrone this old technology. The decline started when the benefit of cell phones outweighed the cost compared to landlines. This is where democratization hit the tipping point and we saw a huge jump from one technology to the next. Now it’s extremely cheap to use technology that is 100 times or even 1,000 times more advanced than the previous. Mobile phones usurped landlines because they were more affordable, easier to use and more mobile. Figure 2 shows how quickly a society can adopt a technology that has significantly more benefits than the previous, even in an advanced society. A similar thing is happening with television and the internet. Netflix came out and disrupted how people consume media on the television. As more platforms emerged, and people realized they could pay a fraction of the cost for a Netflix subscription rather than $100 for cable and a bunch of commercials, the switch was easy. Legacy systems were bogged down by all of the brick-and-mortar stores and overhead costs. They could not compete and pivot quickly enough, so they lost their seat at the table. Figure 3. Number of telephone subscriptions in the U.S. versus worldwide. When comparing fixed telephone subscriptions to other countries, the U.S. was way ahead of most. Many factors were contributing to this. Wealth played a huge part, but much of it was the production and first movers’ advantage. The U.S. was the first country to set up telephone lines from Boston to Somerville Massachusetts and expanded from there. Other countries did not have this opportunity, so they were laggards in the technology simply by default. It also made it easy to have a grid to run on top of, being a technologically advanced country with a power grid. Because it was so resource-heavy to set up this grid, this took over 30 years to build up the infrastructure. Figure 4. Landline subscriptions compared to GDP per capita, 2019. One of the main reasons why it was so hard to increase telephone subscriptions in other countries is because of the initial cost. You can’t just tap into a telephone line, there needs to be a large grid, infrastructure and companies/governments willing to build out this grid. Figure 4 shows that there is a rough line at a GDP per capita of $5,000 to get off zero and start communicating via landline. As the GDP per capita grows in a country, it is more likely they adopt fixed landlines. This is a huge barrier to entry as they try and compete to be a part of the 21st century. With telephones, it brings an easier flow of information across long distances quickly. These are important technologies that helped first-world countries advance quicker than their counterparts. This technology could mean the difference between surviving and thriving in the modern era. Figure 5. Mobile phone subscriptions versus GDP per capita, 2019. Things get much different when you start looking at mobile phones in Figure 5. To have a mobile phone is drastically cheaper than having a landline, all costs considered. Before, you needed the infrastructure and everything that came with installing a landline phone. But with mobile phones, even at a GDP per capita of less than $1,000, you get ~50% penetration of adoption within the population. All of the countries that were left out of communication with landlines, now have leapfrogged the old technology, right into a new standard of mobile phones. People benefit, businesses benefit and countries benefit immensely from these technologies. With mobile communication, people have higher leverage over their energy output. Businesses and life in general are more efficient, in turn creating a higher GDP for the country. It is a feedback loop that is good for all of humanity. When one group of people creates new technology, everyone benefits at one point or another. FROM LANDLINES TO MOBILE PHONES TO INTERNET-CONNECTED SMARTPHONES Not only are poorer countries leapfrogging into mobile phone communication, but they are, in turn, jumping right into the internet age. On top of that, (Android) smartphone costs are dropping significantly every year, with the average cost down by 50% from 2008 to 2016. With the growing ability to connect with the rest of the world comes more opportunities to learn and grow with the rest of the world. An incredible amount of information is available on the internet, and the benefit of being on the network is immeasurable. Figure 6. Mobile versus landline subscriptions, worldwide, 1960–2019. When comparing the numbers of mobile phone users to the numbers of landlines, you get a huge disparity in the pace at which they were adopted. Fixed landlines were around for almost 50 years before they started to see some real competition. Thinking back to our Figure 5, this makes sense, because the cost to build infrastructure is drastically higher than that of mobile phones. The opportunity a landline brought to civilization was immense, but the cost-effective mobility of cell phones transcends previous communication technology by a longshot. As of September 2021, the world’s population was ~7.89 billion people. Of that, there are 10.5 billion cell phones with network connections. That is 2.52 billion more activated phones than there are people. This becomes thought-provoking when adoption data starts to reveal where mobile phones are headed next. As people adopt mobile phones, smartphones are becoming cheaper and more abundant. The cost of production for smartphones is less and less each year, and soon there will be little reason to have a cell phone without internet connection because the cost difference will be so minuscule. Smartphone abundance is allowing people around the world to tap into the internet and it is estimated that “by 2025, 72% of all internet users will solely use smartphones to access the web.” Figure 7. Share of the population using the internet, 1990–2019. Currently, the world is in a transitionary period of communication. Not all of the world has access to the internet, only 65%, with an increasingly rapid pace of adoption. Because it is so inexpensive to get a mobile phone, and the benefits are immense, the world is being onboarded at an incredible rate. To answer the question “What is Leapfrogging?” we can look directly at mobile phones. But it’s not just one leapfrog, it’s more of a continuous onboarding to the digital revolution for the entire human population. Things are getting cheaper, and technology is moving exponentially forward, toward a more connected future. Soon, everyone will have access to the internet and will bring about new and exciting opportunities for the world to grow. With the high rate of adoption in communication technology, mobile phones swept across low-GDP countries allowing information to spread. Smartphones are a small hop away from mobile phones. With smartphones comes all sorts of opportunities not to mention the connection to the world's internet. In developing countries, the internet is starting to hit its hockey stick moment. Adoption continues to grow and as smartphones get cheaper, more people in the world have access to the internet, connecting them to their local and global economies and new innovations will come about in unforeseen ways. This begs the question, what monetary network will they use to transact in the digital age? It's taken years to get the legacy banking system up to speed. We’ve bootstrapped and “Frankensteined” many different ways to connect the internet to a centuries-old banking infrastructure, but these newly onboarded countries have the opportunity to skip that altogether. With no legacy banking infrastructure rooted within the nation, this leaves the door wide open for a new legacy. LEAPFROGGING ONTO A BITCOIN STANDARD It seems the stage is set for a paradigm shift. A perfect storm is brewing in populations that lack bank accounts and access to store their wealth. Coupling this with connection to the internet, and 21st-century e-commerce and monetary system, it is impossible for countries not to adopt it. Because bitcoin is a global asset with no intermediaries, its infrastructure is inherently global. Any improvements to the network, the entire world will benefit automatically without having to update the old tech. Unlike landlines, there is no infrastructure to build, and the barrier to entry is almost zero. You just opt in with a bit of hardware and an internet connection. As of 2017, according to the World Bank, there are 1.7 billion adults in the world without a basic transacting account. Most of these countries with higher rates of unbanked are poor, have high rates of inflation and lower currency stability, not to mention a disconnected state government ripe with problems. This is extremely common when looking at currencies in other low-GDP countries. So, what are some of the biggest factors in which people would want or need to adopt Bitcoin? If we can answer this question, then maybe we can quantify and pinpoint which countries have the biggest opportunity and most to gain from adopting a Bitcoin standard. Figure 8. World’s most unbanked countries (Source). Figure 8 shows the top-10 most unbanked countries as of February 2021. The Oxford dictionary defines “unbanked” as “not having access to the services of a bank or similar financial organization.” Much like building the infrastructure for landlines, it’s expensive to build banks and serve the local economy. Not to mention, many of the people living in these countries don't have the amount of money that would warrant the cost of owning a bank account. Some even share bank accounts with members of their families to save on costs. There is a huge opportunity to solve the problem of banking in low-GDP countries, but many of the digital banking companies around the world are constrained by regulation and geographical jurisdiction. It may be hard to grasp the importance of a bank account having never lived without one, but without a bank, citizens cannot secure funds safely. Without secure funds, the future is uncertain. This is where Bitcoin can solve some of the problems in these less developed and emerging countries. There are three specific ways in which these problems could be solved. 1. Bank the Unbanked Bitcoin gives everyone the ability to be their own bank with something as little as a cell phone. All that's needed is to be connected to the network and accept funds. The smartphone does all of this. It allows people to download a bitcoin wallet, connect to the internet and start transacting. There are many ways in which one can use this wallet. Coincidentally, the countries above who have low banking numbers within their population, also have mobile phones and high internet penetration. This is an open door from a technological standpoint, allowing people to opt into Bitcoin and secure their funds digitally. In addition to using the Bitcoin network to transact on your phone, you can also use it as a cold storage solution. Cold storage is similar to a savings account. This savings account or cold storage is disconnected from the internet, making it harder for people to steal your funds. With the old technology of banks, you would have to pay for this solution, but with Bitcoin, it's free, just download the software and/or buy a hardware wallet. There are some cold storage solutions where you can pay for a hardware device, but creating a phone wallet and securing your keys, gives the people an entry point and on-ramp to storing their wealth in a digital bank. 2. Securely Store Value Over Time The second opportunity is the store of value function. Many of the countries that have unbanked populations and poverty issues are a result of a currency problem. In my previous article, “Bitcoin As A Pressure Release Valve,” I wrote that certain countries have hyperinflated currencies with no option but to turn to the black market. Most of the time, these countries use the U.S. dollar to transact since it holds its value better relative to their currency. Strictly from a monetary standpoint, bitcoin is scarce. It is the most scarce form of money there is. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoin in existence and when the value rises, the production does not increase. This is called elasticity or the lack of elasticity in bitcoin’s case. Unlike fiat money, no government, central bank or agency can print more. And unlike gold, silver or any other commodity, when the demand rises, the amount that is mined stays the same. The first completely inelastic asset in existence is a result of preprogrammed architecture, with consensus in the network that’s default is to not change the protocol. People that live in countries where the money is known to be manipulated, understand Bitcoin almost immediately. When the idea of something that can't be manipulated is presented, the concept of scarcity and 21 million is understood. With the reality of incorruptible money, the current regime in power can't stuff their pockets without alienating the population through force. These people understand this idea because they have experienced it firsthand. When food prices rise faster than people can spend a weekly budget on groceries, it is immediately apparent the importance of a completely scarce, un-manipulatable asset. In developed countries with low levels of unbanked, people have ways of storing their wealth. They have a 401k and IRA, and most people own property. This is a way of storing value over time. It may not be completely efficient, but it is sufficient enough to escape some level of inflation. The alternative would be to keep your dollars in a savings account, and the real yield of that is negative and not a smart way to store money. These countries put money in financial devices, because it is the smart thing to do and it preserves time and energy. Unbanked countries have no way of storing long-term value. It is degraded and evaporated through manipulation and high levels of money printing. Emerging countries cannot store time and value into financial instruments. There is no Apple stock or S&P 500 to put money into. They are stuck with low levels of wealth that are stolen away on an ever-moving treadmill. There is no way of truly saving value or energy spent over time. For the first time, Bitcoin gives the world, particularly those in emerging countries, the ability to hold their value in a closed system that cannot be inflated. Much like the opportunity the mobile phone brought to change communication, bitcoin is the first “store of value'' that is available for low-GDP countries to buy and hold. It allows them to securely transfer their wealth over time, without fear of inflation or confiscation. Add on top of that, if they need to transfer wealth out of the country and flee an oppressive regime, bitcoin is the first asset that gives the ability to do so. Large amounts of gold cannot be taken on a plane or property and homes cannot be transferred to another country. Bitcoin gives people the freedom to do what they want with their earned value, without fear of a centralized power removing it. Bitcoin preserves the fundamental human right of property. 3. Connection to the Digital Economy The third problem Bitcoin solves is connecting and transacting digitally. Being a digitally native asset, bitcoin smooths the rails of commerce allowing low-GDP countries to join the 21st century of commerce. This is huge, and what cell phones did for communication, digital commerce will do the same. It immensely increases our ability to transact and exchange value. Bitcoin allows anyone, anywhere, to join a digital transacting network and exchange value natively over the internet, whether in person or without knowing them at all. Digital economies move at the speed of light, while old-school economies move at the speed of osmosis. This brings more time and efficiency for people on both ends of the transaction. Businesses spend less time on transactions, widen their addressable market, and start putting more time and effort into other things that can improve their work. It is the difference between transacting daily in cash and using a preprogrammed point of sales system. It is simply better. Not only does Bitcoin make things easier and frees up more time, but it is programmable money. Like the internet, Bitcoin can be built in layers. Each layer brings a new way to use it that widens the possibilities and use cases. What the internet did for communication, Bitcoin will do for money. Combining all three of these factors, you get a massive magnetic pull toward adoption of the new technology. It is hard to slow the movement of technological adoption and impossible to stop. Like throwing a match on a tinder-filled hillside, years of opportunity build up in countries that lack technology where innovation and adoption prepare to explode at the right moment. QUANTIFYING BITCOIN ADOPTION IN LOW-GDP COUNTRIES Figure 9. LocalBitcoins and Paxful Vietnamese dong (VND) combined volume in Vietnam (Source). Looking at every one of the top-10 countries from Figure 8, they all have meaningful adoption in Bitcoin and it is growing every week. Not only is Vietnam number two on the unbanked list, but it is also number one on the “Chainalysis 2021 Global Adoption Ranking.” In fact, looking at Figure 10 of adoption through LocalBitcoins and Paxful, USD volume shows that every one of the countries in the top-10 list of unbanked have meaningful adoption. Figure 10. LocalBitcoins and Paxful Vietnamese dong (VND) combined volume. What does this tell us about Bitcoin adoption in unbanked countries? It tells us that it's working. Continuing to see these trends improve will be good for Bitcoin adoption and not to mention the countries in which they are adopting it. All the ingredients are there. Most are unbanked with high internet access and an unreliable currency that isn't natively digital. All you need is time for the adoption to take hold. There are also some concerns that come up when thinking about Bitcoin adoption. Like, “How can they adopt bitcoin when it is so volatile?” Well, there are a few solutions to this problem. The first is that when a population has no choice, something as volatile as bitcoin could mean the difference between losing 30% or losing 90% over the span of one year. Keep in mind that bitcoin is already solving three of the major problems listed above, we are just remedying the problem of volatility. First, look at just bitcoin and its use cases today. For some countries, their currency is just as volatile if not more volatile than bitcoin. Not only that, but it is volatile to the downside, continuing to lose value as the government steals and prints away spent time and energy. If bitcoin were to be used, sure it might be volatile, but this volatility is either short lived, or it’s to the upside. Now look at bitcoin while using it for everyday transactions through Strike, as a more technical solution. This solution is currently available now in El Salvador as a test case and is starting to roll out to more and more countries. People use the Bitcoin and Lightning rails every single day but transact in USD, choosing to either save in bitcoin or not. This solution gives the best of both worlds. One, a population has the ability to transact short term in a currency that isn't volatile, like other emerging countries. Two, this gives access to the payment rails of Bitcoin and the ability to save in the most scarce asset in existence. Looking back historically, bitcoin has grown at a 200% compound annual growth rate and this has the opportunity to conserve and grow wealth immensely. For someone in a developing world, this is life changing. As this trend of adoption in underbanked countries continues, new and exciting ways where Bitcoin is used will emerge. For the first time in history, countries have the ability to store wealth in something that cannot be stolen. It gives the opportunity to transact freely without the permission of the state or government, and it allows people to break free from imposed serfdom. Bitcoin is here and it is only getting bigger. There is a change in the tides of time, and Bitcoin is a once-in-a-millennia technology that is pulling the shores. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 18:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2021

What leaders can learn from Shopify founder Tobias Lütke, who turned his side hustle into a platform powering more than 1 million businesses

Tobias Lütke formed Shopify after people reached out about the infrastructure of his snowboard website. He's now a formidable leader and innovator. Tobias Lütke thinks of trust like a battery. It starts at 50% when he meets someone, and then every interaction charges or depletes the battery a little bit.Lucas Jackson/Reuters; Marianne Ayala/Insider Tobi Lütke created Shopify after businesses became interested in the infrastructure of his site.  He uses a "fly on the wall" technique to learn, piecing bits of information together like a puzzle.  He deconstructs his decisions to see the assumptions he made to better understand his choice.  You may be surprised to learn that e-commerce platform Shopify would never exist if founder Tobias Lütke didn't have an obsession with snowboarding.In 2004, he was working as a programmer, but he wanted to make some extra cash. He decided to team up with a friend and start his own business: an online snowboard store called Snowdevil. They thought the process would be simple: create an online store and start selling snowboards.But it was way harder than they imagined."I tried to find the right software to use for this business, and I was stunned that I couldn't find anything," Lütke said. "It's not that there wasn't e-commerce software, but it was just all basically user-hostile database editors, at best. It was so clear that no one who's ever run a retail business had had any part in building these pieces of software."As a programmer, the natural solution to this problem was to build his own software from scratch. He used a programming language called Ruby on Rails and successfully launched his store. He was working out of a coffee shop in Canada called Bridgehead when he received an email with his first order."I came in, I got my coffee, I sat down, and I was scanning through my emails," he said. "While I was doing that, another email came in. It said, 'new order.' It was an insane moment."Lütke said this was one of the most important moments in his life because it made him realize something: He suddenly went from programmer to entrepreneur."I remember it, I remember exactly where I was sitting, what I was eating that day," he said. "It was something that I just fell in love with, and I wanted to share that."Snowdevil took off, but then something unexpected happened: People were less interested in buying snowboarding gear and more interested in the backend infrastructure for their own online stores.Lütke listened to the feedback — he decided to pivot Snowdevil into the company that would ultimately become Shopify. He became obsessed with the idea that his company would empower small business owners to have the same experience he had in that coffee shop that day when he made his first sale."There's a huge global demand for people reaching for their own independence," he said.Today, Shopify powers more than a million online shops, and Lütke is obsessed with using systems to automate repetitive tasks and incrementally improve the customer experience."I'm always trying to think of ways to make something more efficient," he said. "If I have to do something once, that's fine. If I have to do it twice, I'm kind of annoyed. And if I have to do it three times, I'm going to try to automate it."Here's what we can learn from Lütke about efficiency, optimization, and leadership.ReadOn becoming an original thinker: Lütke has a fascinating mind. He's developed mental models around creativity, product creation, and learning. "I find that going wide and learning the best lessons from the people who have dedicated their entire lives to a certain pursuit gets you really, really close to mastery," he said. (I happen to believe the same!) This is a fascinating deep dive into Lütke's approach to leadership.On his hiring strategy: When Lütke hires an employee on his team, he doesn't ask traditional interview questions. Instead, he prefers to hear the candidate's life story in their own words to better understand how they think. He listens for the moments where they had to make important decisions, and he goes deep on those by asking more probing questions. "I find the strongest predictor of people who do well at Shopify is whether they see opportunity as something to compete for, or do they see opportunity as essentially everywhere and unlimited," he said.ListenOn staying disciplined in business: Lütke has built Shopify into a behemoth powering so much of the internet's digital commerce. In this conversation, Lütke discusses business focus, why video games can help you learn the power of attention, what design means for products and organizations, and how he uses mental models to stay disciplined. (Check out this Twitter thread on the mental models Lütke uses.)On scaling Shopify into a global business: Putting small things together to act big is at the heart of platform thinking. In this episode, Lütke explains that the secret to gaining massive scale is to be a platform. It goes like this: Build a virtuous cycle where everyone wins, and you'll emerge the biggest winner of all. Here's how Lütke built Shopify and why he decided to open it up to the world.On building trust: Lütke believes that trust is actually a much more complicated concept than people think. It's not black-and-white, he said, it's more of a gradient. For instance, he said, the so-called "trust battery" is charged at 50% when you are first hired with a fellow coworker. And then every time you work with that person, the battery that exists between the both of you gains or loses charge based on whether each of you delivers on your promises. This one is filled with interesting thought experiments you can implement in your everyday life.On transforming into a CEO: Lütke could have been pigeonholed as an introverted computer programmer, not a public-facing CEO. But he was eager to learn, and that became his superpower. In this podcast, Lütke discusses his learning style, how he's cultivated a culture of curiosity, and why he's obsessed with the book "The Courage to Be Disliked."WatchOn how he solves problems: Lütke said the biggest advantage he had as an entrepreneur is starting out as a programmer. "You think in systems," he said. "By default, most people think about cause and effect, but the world doesn't work like that. The world actually works in systems — it is loopy, not linear." This is a fascinating interview that gives us a peek into Lütke's systems-based mind.On the power of starting small: During the pandemic, Lütke noticed that shops centered around decorative tapestries and wall art were doing very well. Why? Because in an era of endless Zoom calls, people wanted better backgrounds when they appeared on video. So if you're about start a company or a product, Lütke recommends asking yourself: "How does this product I'm creating fit into the story of the times?"On lessons from the pandemic: Lütke isn't afraid to admit when he's wrong. Before the pandemic, he believed that there is nothing more powerful for productivity than physical proximity. But then he changed his mind. "If you can actually get a small team together where everyone has the right kind of setup and the software is there to support it, then you can put some really high-fidelity team together that works really, really well," he said. Here's how he's constantly updating his beliefs.Polina's takeawaysUse a color-coding system to gain control of your schedule: Lütke uses a color-coding technique to manage his calendar. He labels anything product-related as red, investor and board of director-related business as teal, and so on. The thing he's looking for is a balanced week — "a week where, ideally, I manage to devote about 30% of the time — at least — to the product and then as much as possible to things like recruiting, bigger picture projects, and one-on-ones." Color-coding your calendar is a great way to do an audit and see exactly where you're spending most of your time.Improve decision-making by poking holes: How do you know if you're about to make the right decision? Deconstruct it, poke holes in it, and look at the elements that went into making it. "When you're discussing an idea or a decision, I want to know what has been considered," Lütke said. "I find myself more interested in the inputs of an idea than the actual decision." Here's how he does it: Look at the possible outcome of a decision, and ask yourself, What assumptions have I made? What inputs did I use to come to this conclusion? Are my fundamentals shaky? "The decision being discussed could be the perfect decision according to the various assumptions that everyone came into the room with," Lütke said. "But if those assumptions are faulty, the seemingly perfect decision is faulty, too." Whenever he makes a decision, he keeps a small log file with one paragraph explaining what information he used to make that decision and then reviews it every six months.Gain knowledge quickly by using Lütke's "fly on the wall" technique: Before podcasts were big, it wasn't easy to listen in on a conversation between two experts. But Lütke found a way. He enjoyed situations in which he played the role of "a fly on the wall." Here's how he did it: Let's say he wanted to learn about some esoteric 3D-rendering algorithm. He would join a chat room where people talked about this topic, but he didn't understand anything because it would be so specific and technical. "But then, I chip away at it, and I would come into the knowledge," he said. Because he had no background in business, he replicated this exact process when he was meeting with investors. They would ask him about things like "attrition rates," "conversion rates," and "funnels," and Lütke would write down the terms, look up their definitions, and find the answers. In other words, he starts with the details and then pieces together the puzzle of the foundation. (This is the opposite of Elon Musk's approach.)Reframe failure to promote experimentation: At Shopify, the word "failure" doesn't exist. That's because Lütke believes that "almost every good decision starts as a bad one first." It was important to him that he build a culture unafraid of experimentation at his company. So failure was reframed as "the successful discovery of something that did not work." But he discovered that this approach only works if everyone is on the same page about giving and receiving direct feedback about their work. "Feedback is a gift because it is. It clearly is," he said. "It's not meant to hurt. It's meant to move things forward, to demystify something for you."Build systems that help in times of uncertainty: Lütke has a great piece of advice: "Always understand the system of how you got to where you are." Entrepreneurship, he said, is about the ability to step back and look at the whole picture. "It's a beautiful thing as an early company — if you have 10 people and one product and one potential market, you can actually draw the entire systems diagram on one blackboard," he said. "Once you have that modeled out, try to reason about the whole situation and pick out how you got to the point. That's what the trick is." Systems act like a map that can you guide you out of moments of adversity.Remember that trust starts at 50%: Lütke said it's not useful to think that trust is mostly binary — you either trust someone or you don't. It's much more complex than that, and he uses the metaphor of a "trust battery" to explain it. When you enter into a personal or professional relationship with someone, your trust battery starts at roughly 50% and every interaction you have with the person either charges or discharges the battery a little bit. "Just like with your phone, if the battery is low, you think all the time about the battery," he said. "It's the same with people. Those who are low on trust, you think of all the time. The people who are high on trust, you don't worry about as much." Aim to be a person whose trust battery stays consistently charged at over 80%.Quotes to remember"Amazon is trying to build an empire, and Shopify is trying to arm the rebels.""I believe the secret to massive scale is compressed in three words: Be a platform.""I have an unbroken track record of underestimating the potential of my own company, which I hope will continue.""Just give me the raw feedback without all the shit sandwich around it.""Entrepreneurship is precious and needs to be celebrated."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

The 100+ best early Cyber Monday deals to shop now: AirPods Pro, Instant Pot, Apple Watch, and more

Black Friday has ended, but you can shop early Cyber Monday deals now. Save big at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and more. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Alyssa Powell/InsiderWe're hours away from Cyber Monday — the even more explicitly online-focused version of Black Friday — and it's historically fetched some of the sales weekend's lowest prices. While it officially begins November 29, many retailers are holding early Cyber Monday sales or continuing Black Friday deals right now.Cyber Monday is a particularly great time to shop for tech, smart home, and gift cards — though stock is typically much more limited than Black Friday. Acting fast is key to getting a good deal, so it's important to know what you're shopping for ahead of time. Don't worry if you see the dreaded "out of stock" symbol — other retailers might have the product you wanted in stock with a similar deal, and we've seen discounts come back throughout the event, sometimes on the same day. To keep up with discounts without spending all day sleuthing, bookmark this page and check back throughout the day; we'll do the heavy lifting for you.At Insider Reviews, we test products all year and track their price history so we can give you solid buying advice during big shopping events like Cyber Monday. Tons of deals are available now on products we love and trust, and we're highlighting the best ones below.Best Cyber Monday 2021 tech dealsBeats Solo ProIf you’re a fan of the vibrant light blue these Solo Pro headphones come in, this is a nice price for a brand new pair. Down to $170, this isn’t a rare price for them by any means, but it’s a great value for what you’re getting.$184.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $299.95 | Save 38%$99.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $149.00 | Save 34%Apple AirPods ProThe Apple AirPods Pro look and sound better than previous-generation AirPods. Plus, they have noise cancellation built right into them and integrate perfectly with other Apple devices. $179.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $249.99 | Save 28%$189.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $249.99 | Save 24%$189.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $249.99 | Save 24%$159.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $249.00 | Save 36%$209.00 FROM B&HOriginally $249.00 | Save 16%Roku Streambar 2020Too much clutter under the TV? The interesting Roku Streambar combines all of the features of a Roku 4K player with a compact soundbar.$79.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $129.99 | Save 38%$79.98 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $129.99 | Save 38%$79.98 FROM TARGETOriginally $129.99 | Save 38%$99.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $129.99 | Save 24%Google Nest Hub (2nd gen)The Google Nest Hub is a smart display with a unique Sleep Sensing feature to help you monitor your sleep habits. $49.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $99.99 | Save 50%$49.98 FROM WALMARTOriginally $99.98 | Save 50%$49.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $99.99 | Save 50%Apple Watch Series 7Much more than a timepiece, the Apple Watch can also be used for keeping track of workouts, making phone calls, sending text messages, setting timers and alarms, counting calories, and more.$379.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $399.00 | Save 5%$379.99 FROM WALMARTOriginally $399.00 | Save 5%$399.00 FROM APPLEApple Watch SE (40mm, GPS)With a recent Apple processor and many of the same features as the Series 7, the Apple Watch SE is a great budget-friendly option.$219.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $279.00 | Save 21%$279.00 FROM APPLESamsung Galaxy Watch 4 (40mm)The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the obvious choice for Android users looking for a comprehensive, quality, premium smartwatch experience. However, it's a shame that the ECG feature is limited specifically to Samsung phone owners. $199.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $249.99 | Save 20%$199.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $249.99 | Save 20%$199.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $249.99 | Save 20%MasterClass 2-for-1 membershipGet two MasterClass subscriptions for the price of one! Each subscription gets you access to all of MasterClass, so you can watch or sample unlimited celebrity and expert-led classes across a wide range of topics.$180.00 FROM MASTERCLASSOriginally $360.00 | Save 50%Sony WH-1000XM4Sony's WH-1000XM4 are our go-to pair of headphones when we look for a balance of sound quality and noise-cancelling performance.$248.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $349.99 | Save 29%$248.00 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $349.99 | Save 29%$249.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $349.99 | Save 29%Bose QuietComfort 45The QuietComfort 45 have a refreshed design with improved noise cancelling and better battery life.$279.00 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $329.00 | Save 15%$279.00 FROM BOSEOriginally $329.00 | Save 15%$279.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $329.00 | Save 15%$279.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $329.00 | Save 15%Apple AirPods (3rd Gen)Apple's third-generation AirPods offer longer battery life, a MagSafe charger, water resistance, and support for spatial audio. $169.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $179.00 | Save 5%$179.00 FROM APPLE$179.00 FROM BEST BUY$174.98 FROM WALMART$154.99 FROM MICRO CENTEROriginally $179.99 | Save 14%Apple Airpods (2nd Generation)You’ll need to pick up your pair from your local Micro Center, but this is a solid deal price for the second-generation Apple AirPods. You can often find them discounted as low as $120, making this extra $5 drop noteworthy. $104.99 FROM MICRO CENTEROriginally $129.99 | Save 19%$114.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $129.99 | Save 12%$114.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $129.99 | Save 12%$119.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $129.99 | Save 8%Apple MacBook Air (M1)The latest MacBook Air released in late 2020 gains Apple's new M1 processor, which brings impressively fast performance and long battery life, for under $1,000, making it the best Apple laptop overall.$899.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $999.99 | Save 10%$999.00 FROM APPLE$899.00 FROM B&HOriginally $999.00 | Save 10%Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Processor (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB)Apple's latest MacBook Pro with the M1 processor is leaps and bounds beyond its predecessor, but the Intel MacBook Pro still has some tricks.$1199.00 FROM B&HOriginally $1299.00 | Save 8%$1299.00 FROM APPLELG 65-inch C1 OLED 4K TVLG’s C1 is one of the best 4K TVs you can buy. The OLED panel delivers incredible image quality with an infinite contrast ratio. This deal price matches the lowest we’ve seen so far.$1796.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $2499.98 | Save 28%$1796.99 FROM WALMARTOriginally $2499.98 | Save 28%Samsung 65-inch Q60A QLED 4K TVSamsung's Q60A is the company's less expensive lineup of premium QLED TVs. $849.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $999.99 | Save 15%Amazon Fire TV 50" Omni SeriesAmazon launched its own smart TVs in fall 2021 and the Omni Series boasts features like hands-free Alexa support and video calling along with the latest Fire TV software.$359.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $509.99 | Save 29%Amazon Echo (4th Gen)The latest Echo speaker from Amazon takes on a spherical design for more effective room-filling audio. $59.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $99.99 | Save 40%$59.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $99.99 | Save 40%$59.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $99.99 | Save 40%Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K MaxThe Fire TV Stick 4K is designed to be 40% more powerful than Fire TV Stick 4K. It also adds Wi-Fi 6 support.$34.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $54.99 | Save 36%$34.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $54.99 | Save 36%$34.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $54.99 | Save 36%Ring Video Doorbell (2020)The latest affordable Video Doorbell model from Ring features 1080p recording and improved motion tracking. It's a great deal if you're looking to start adding smart devices to your home. Orders made now will be fulfilled in 6 to 7 weeks.$79.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $99.99 | Save 20%Google Nest Cam Outdoor Battery (2021) Elegant design, reliable performance, and wireless battery power make the Nest Cam Outdoor a tempting option to add peace of mind and checking in on your home's exterior when you're away. $149.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $179.99 | Save 17%$149.99 FROM GOOGLEOriginally $179.99 | Save 17%$149.99 FROM BED BATH & BEYONDOriginally $179.99 | Save 17%$149.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $179.99 | Save 17%$198.00 FROM AMAZONAmazon All-New KindleThe Kindle allows users to download hundreds, if not thousands, of books straight to the device. This model has a front light that makes it better-suited for night time reading.$49.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $89.99 | Save 44%Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 SoundbarVizio's Elevate soundbar offers a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos experience with performance that rivals many full-fledged home theater systems.$798.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $1099.99 | Save 27%$799.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $1099.99 | Save 27%Yamaha YAS-209 SoundbarYamaha's YAS-209 offers great sound, Amazon Alexa support, and well-balanced functionality for a reasonable price. $299.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $349.99 | Save 14%$299.95 FROM AMAZONOriginally $349.95 | Save 14%Logitech C922x Pro Stream WebcamYou'll also want a decent webcam and mic if you want to be seen on screen, and provide commentary for your gaming.$74.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $99.99 | Save 25%$79.98 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $99.99 | Save 20%GoPro Hero 10 BlackThis video and still camera has similar capabilities to larger variants, while maintaining the small go-anywhere form-factor it's known for.$349.98 FROM GOPROOriginally $499.99 | Save 30%Best Cyber Monday 2021 kitchen dealsNespresso Vertuo Next Deluxe Coffee and Espresso MakerA truly versatile machine, the Nespresso Vertuo Next uses capsules to make both coffee and espresso in a variety of cup or carafe sizes.$126.75 FROM TARGETOriginally $169.99 | Save 25%Breville Joule Sous VideThis nimble, compact machine heats water quickly, can work in a wide range of vessels, and is operated entirely through a helpful app.$159.94 FROM AMAZONOriginally $199.95 | Save 20%$159.96 FROM BREVILLEOriginally $199.95 | Save 20%Instant Pot Air Frying Lid, 6 QuartsIf you already own an Instant Pot and are looking to add air fryer functionality, this lid will do the trick. It's compatible with Smart Wi-Fi 60, Smart Bluetooth, Duo Evo Plus 6, Duo Evo Plus 60, Duo SV 60 or Max 60 models. $49.95 FROM AMAZONOriginally $89.99 | Save 44%KitchenAid KFC3516ER 3.5 Cup Food ChopperThe KitchenAid KFC3516ER 3.5 Cup Food Chopper is ideal and convenient for small prepping needs. The size makes it easy to store away or keep on your counter, and the Cyber Monday price makes it easy on your wallet. $39.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $54.99 | Save 27%$39.99 FROM KITCHENAIDOriginally $54.99 | Save 27%Ninja Professional Plus Food ProcessorThe Ninja Professional Plus makes food prep fast and easy with presets for chopped vegetables, shredded cheese, more.$79.98 FROM KOHLSOriginally $119.99 | Save 33%DrinkMate Beverage Carbonation MakerIf you'd like to add fizz to more than just water, consider the Drinkmate Beverage Carbonation Maker, which can carbonate everything from juice to wine.$79.95 FROM AMAZONOriginally $95.93 | Save 17%Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with Air Fryer, Roast, Bake & DehydrateThe Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 has five functions, including grill, bake, and dehydrate. Its temperatures range between 105°F to 500°F, giving it a lot of versatility in cooking options. Many of the parts are dishwasher safe for easier cleanup. $169.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $229.99 | Save 26%$199.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $249.99 | Save 20%Vitamix Explorian BlenderThe renewed Vitamix Explorian is pre-owned, but every bit as good as new and comes with a 90-day Amazon Renewed Guarantee on top of a 3-year full warranty.$289.95 FROM TARGETOriginally $449.99 | Save 36%$289.95 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $345.99 | Save 16%Instant Pot Duo Plus Pressure Cooker BundleThis bundle is a Target exclusive, and it includes an extra silicone egg rack and stainless steel steam rack for your pressure cooking needs. It’s only $60 right now — an excellent value for such a multifunctional kitchen appliance.$59.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $129.99 | Save 54%Our Place Always PanOur Place's Always Pan is multi-functional nonstick pan that's taken the internet by storm. It promises to replace eight different pieces of cookware in your kitchen. It can function as a steamer, saute pan, frying pan, and more. $99.00 FROM OUR PLACEOriginally $145.00 | Save 32%Cuisinart Chef's Classic 17-Piece Hard-Anodized Cookware SetThis nonstick set includes nine different pans, lids to match, and a steamer for a total of 17 pieces. $219.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $399.99 | Save 45%Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee MakerThe slim 6- to 12-ounce coffee maker will fit neatly on any kitchen counter and save energy with the auto-off feature after brewing.$49.99 FROM THE HOME DEPOTOriginally $79.98 | Save 37%$89.99 FROM TARGETBest Cyber Monday 2021 home dealsEva-Dry Wireless Mini DehumidifierThis Eva-Dry dehumidifier measures 9 x 8.25 x 2.88 inches and works well for spaces up to 48 square feet. It uses silica beads to absorb moisture and has an absorbing capacity of six ounces. It’s also convenient because you only need to recharge it every four weeks. (It plugs into a wall outlet.)$14.97 FROM AMAZONOriginally $24.95 | Save 40%Molekule Air PurifierThis unit is popular among expert reviewers with its simple, portable design and quiet operation. We previously included the Molekule Air in our guide because it has multiple operation modes and can eradicate pollutants down to the nanoscopic level. However, at almost $800 plus $130 per year for filters, it's more than most people want to pay for an air purifier that isn't particularly powerful. We think there are better models at a lower price point.$479.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $799.00 | Save 40%$799.00 FROM MOLEKULEAeroGarden SproutA smaller option from AeroGarden's lineup, the Sprout lets you grow up to three plants in its narrow footprint. It's down to $70 with promo code SUMMER20 through May 31, a rare and excellent deal direct from AeroGarden.$49.95 FROM AEROGARDENOriginally $99.95 | Save 50%$49.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $99.95 | Save 50%Chewy Pet ProductsFor Cyber Monday, Chewy is offering $30 off purchases of $100 or more. This is only for select products, including food, treats, beds, and more.$70.00 FROM CHEWYOriginally $100.00 | Save 30%Dyson Outsize Absolute+The Dyson Outsize Absolute+ is ideal for whole home, deep cleaning with its full-size dustbin and large cleaner head. $799.99 FROM DYSONOriginally $899.99 | Save 11%Dyson V8 AbsoluteBuilt with a soft roller head for hard floors and a motorized cleaner head for carpets, the Dyson V8 Absolute handles all surfaces efficiently.$399.99 FROM DYSONOriginally $449.99 | Save 11%Dyson Cyclone V10 AbsoluteEquipped with a sensor to detect the difference between carpets and hard floors, the Cyclone V10 Absolute is the perfect vacuum cleaner for any room in the house. We've seen it go for as low as $350 before (it's usually $550), but during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you'll get it for $400 while supplies last.$499.99 FROM DYSONOriginally $549.99 | Save 9%Drinkwell Two-Gallon Pet FountainThis two gallon pet drinking fountain is the perfect accessory to make sure your dog or cat (or both) are drinking enough water.$59.95 FROM AMAZONOriginally $74.95 | Save 20%Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 15C MAXQuiet, slim, and powerful, the eufy RoboVac 15C Max is a solid investment if you're looking for a robot vacuum. It's already very affordable at retail price, but you can also often find it on sale, making it an even better deal.$169.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $279.99 | Save 39%$169.99 FROM EUFYOriginally $249.99 | Save 32%iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550) Robot VacuumThe i3+ costs considerably more than your average robot vacuum, but it also does a lot more than the average robot vacuum. It develops personalized cleaning schedules and empties itself. $399.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $599.00 | Save 33%$399.99 FROM IROBOTOriginally $599.99 | Save 33%$399.99 FROM THE HOME DEPOTOriginally $565.47 | Save 29%$399.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $599.99 | Save 33%Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot VacuumThe  Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo Pro Mopping System thoroughly cleans floors as opposed to pushing a wet cloth around. When paired with the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot Vacuum, the two make easy work of time-consuming chores.$499.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $749.99 | Save 33%$799.99 FROM BEST BUYBissell SpinWave Robot VacuumThe Bissell SpinWave Robot Vacuum picked up all the pet hair on carpet in our tests and has a great assortment of mop attachments and accessories. The company is also committed to helping homeless pets and helps them find loving homes. $249.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $399.99 | Save 38%$299.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $399.99 | Save 25%Dewalt Atomic 20-Volt Max Compact Drill/Impact Combo Kit This 20-Volt MAX Brushless Compact 2-Tool Combo Kit includes 1 cordless Drill/Driver, 1 cordless Impact Driver, two 20-Volt MAX Lithium Ion Batteries, 1 charger, and a carrying bag. $149.00 FROM THE HOME DEPOTOriginally $229.00 | Save 35%Best Cyber Monday 2021 gaming dealsNintendo Switch Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Digital Download)The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released for the Nintendo Switch in 2017, but still remains one of the best Switch games out there. Right now, a physical copy is selling for $40, which is a solid price on this rarely discounted game.$35.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $59.99 | Save 42%Nintendo Switch Fire Emblem: Three Houses"Fire Emblem: Three Houses" is a turn-based war strategy game that encourages you to build relationships with your soldiers and master your tactics on the battlefield. $35.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $59.99 | Save 42%$35.00 FROM GAMESTOPOriginally $59.99 | Save 42%$35.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $59.99 | Save 42%$59.99 FROM BEST BUYNintendo eShop $50 Gift CardThe Nintendo eShop is the best place to shop for digital copies of Nintendo's games. This gift card is the perfect gift or investment for anyone with a Nintendo Switch. Better still, Nintendo's eShop offers several sales throughout the year. This means, patient shoppers can double their savings.$45.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $50.00 | Save 10%$50.00 FROM BEST BUY$45.00 FROM NEWEGGOriginally $50.00 | Save 10%Xbox Game Pass for PC (3-Month Membership)Typically, you can get a 3-month Game Pass subscription for $30. Right now, it's only $20, a solid deal. This is the PC version, which gets you EA Play, exclusive member discounts, and unlimited to access to over 100 games. $1.00 FROM MICROSOFTOriginally $29.99 | Save 97%$19.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $29.99 | Save 33%$19.98 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $29.99 | Save 33%PlayStation Plus 12-Month SubscriptionPlayStation Plus allows gamers to play online, nets them special discounts in the PlayStation Network store, and subscribers get free games each month that remain available as long as the PlayStation Plus subscription is active. $36.99 FROM CDKEYSOriginally $59.99 | Save 38%$39.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $59.99 | Save 33%$39.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $59.99 | Save 33%Microsoft Xbox Series S|X Wireless ControllerThis latest-gen Xbox gamepad is the best Microsoft has ever made, and during Cyber Monday, shoppers can save $20 on this recently released controller.$49.99 FROM MICROSOFTOriginally $59.99 | Save 17%$54.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $59.99 | Save 8%$49.00 FROM GAME STOPOriginally $54.99 | Save 11%$52.99 FROM WALMARTOriginally $59.99 | Save 12%Death Loop for PlayStation 5“Death Loop” is an unusual first-person shooter that challenges players to escape a day-long time loop by assassinating specific targets. The game is a great pick for fans of spy movies, sci-fi, and creative gunplay.$29.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $59.99 | Save 50%Call of Duty Vanguard for PlayStation 4The latest Call of Duty game is now on sale for $20 off, just a few weeks after its release.$39.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $59.99 | Save 35%$44.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $59.99 | Save 25%Call of Duty Vanguard for PlayStation 5The latest Call of Duty game is now on sale for $15 off for PlayStation 5 just a few weeks after its release.$54.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $69.98 | Save 21%Nintendo Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Nintendo Switch Set EditionYou can use a Nintendo Switch to control this real-life Mario Kart toy, and watch Mario or Luigi’s perspective as they zoom around your home.$88.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $99.99 | Save 11%$99.99 FROM BEST BUYLogitech G305 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming MouseCompact and portable, the Logitech G305 is great to take on the go. It's best if you prefer smaller mice and right now it's only $40, a great price drop from a typical selling price of $50.$29.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $59.99 | Save 50%$29.99 FROM WALMARTOriginally $48.97 | Save 39%Nintendo Switch Ring Fit Adventure"Ring Fit Adventure" for the Nintendo Switch uses the exclusive "Ring-Con" attachment and a leg strap to track movement and provide resistance for workouts. The game also includes an adventure mode. Right now, it's selling for $55 at Target and Amazon, $25 off its usual price and the lowest price we've ever seen on this game.$54.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $79.98 | Save 32%$54.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $80.00 | Save 33%$79.98 FROM BEST BUY$79.98 FROM TARGETBest Cyber Monday 2021 streaming dealsHulu Monthly Subscription (Deal)Save a huge 85% on an ad-supported Hulu subscription for an entire year. That amounts to just 99 cents per month. This deal is live until Monday, November 29. $0.99 FROM HULUOriginally $6.99 | Save 86%Philo TVIf you want your streaming service to cost less per month than a single trip for the family to Starbucks, Philo TV is made with you in mind.$5.00 FROM PHILOOriginally $25.00 | Save 80%Disney Plus Free Trial with Amazon Music UnlimitedNew Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can get six months of Disney Plus for free when they sign up. Current Music Unlimited members can get three months of Disney Plus. Music Unlimited costs $8 a month for Prime members or $10 a month without Prime.$0.00 FROM AMAZONAmazon Prime Video Channel Add-OnsPrime Video subscribers can choose from a variety of channel-add ons including Starz, Showtime, Paramount+, AMC+, Discovery+, and more.$0.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $10.99 | Save 91%YouTube PremiumYouTube Premium lets you stream videos and music on YouTube without any ads. The service also features exclusive programs.FREE FROM YOUTUBEOriginally $11.99 | Save 100%Best Cyber Monday 2021 health & fitness dealsTheragun PROThe Theragun Pro is our top pick: a powerful, customizable, and durable massager that's worth every bit of its $600 price tag. $399.00 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $599.00 | Save 33%$399.00 FROM THERABODYOriginally $599.00 | Save 33%$399.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $599.99 | Save 33%Fitbit LuxeThe Fitbit Luxe is the company's latest fitness band that comes with a sleek design and advanced health features like stress management and the ability to measure heart rate variation.$99.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $149.99 | Save 33%$99.95 FROM FITBITOriginally $149.94 | Save 33%$99.95 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $149.94 | Save 33%Fitbit Charge 4The Charge 4 hits a budget-friendly price point while offering stellar activity tracking in a smaller footprint than a smartwatch.$135.94 FROM AMAZONOriginally $149.94 | Save 9%$69.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $149.94 | Save 54%Mirror from lululemonThis isn't just a mirror. It's a cardio class, it's a yoga studio, it's a boxing ring, it's your new personal trainer, and it's so much more. For Cyber Monday, Mirror is on sale for $500 with the code "CYBERMONDAY20"$995.00 FROM MIRROROriginally $1495.00 | Save 33%Hydro Flask 32-Ounce Wide Mouth This bottle has all the hallmark features of a Hydro Flask water bottle — 12-24 hours of temperature retention, powder color coating that won't chip or fade with time, a silicone twist top — with the very convenient wide mouth for easy pouring and drinking.$33.71 FROM HYDRO FLASKOriginally $44.95 | Save 25%Amazon HaloAmazon's Halo fitness tracker can analyze the tone of your voice to help you understand how you sound to others.$54.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $99.99 | Save 45%LifeSpan TR1200i Folding TreadmillThe TR1200i is the baby sister of our top pick for a folding treadmill, the TR300i, with fewer built-in training programs and fewer fancy features like manual instead of digital buttons. But it's nearly the same size, has the same motor, and the same shock absorption — but for significantly cheaper.$899.00 FROM LIFESPANOriginally $1199.00 | Save 25%Best Cyber Monday 2021 style & beauty dealsDyson Airwrap Complete StylerDyson Airwrap Complete Styler is engineered for multiple hair types and styles. Featuring Coanda air styling and propelled by the Dyson digital motor, users can curl, wave, smooth and dry with no extreme heat.$399.99 FROM NEW EGGOriginally $499.99 | Save 20%$549.95 FROM DYSON$549.99 FROM BEST BUY$549.00 FROM AMAZONL.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers - Men'sThis shearling-lined, leather-bottom slipper is one of the best men's slippers we've ever tried.$75.65 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $89.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Wicked Good Shearling-Lined Slides - Women'sThese ridiculously-cozy, shearling-lined slides are easy to slip on and off, and keep your feet toasty around the house.$67.15 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $79.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Toddlers' Wicked Good SlippersEverything we love about L.L.Bean's Wicked Good Slippers — but mini. These shearling-lined, leather-soled booties will keep kid's feet, sizes 3-10, toasty around the house and in a stroller.$33.96 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $39.95 | Save 15%Lululemon Hooded Define JacketA fan-favorite, now with a hood. Between the technical fabric and a do-anything fit, it's easy to see why this one's a hit. Right now you can save up to 50% on this versatile piece, but sizes are selling out quickly. $64.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $128.00 | Save 50%Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise TightLululemon is, in many ways, the genesis of athleisure, so it's not surprising that the company has an edge in the space.$69.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $98.00 | Save 30%Lululemon Metal Vent Breathe Short SleeveLululemon Metal Vent Breathe Short Sleeve $49.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $78.00 | Save 37%Bombas Women's Gripper Slipper (Sherpa Lined) 2-PackA mix between socks and slippers, Bombas' Gripper Slippers include a cozy sherpa lining and sole grippers to prevent slips. $72.95 FROM BOMBASOriginally $96.00 | Save 24%Columbia Men's Lake 22 Down Hooded JacketThis water-resistant jacket is stocked with 650-fill power down insulation, zippered hand pockets, and a structured hood to keep you zipped up and toasty through any winter weather.$69.98 FROM COLUMBIAOriginally $140.00 | Save 50%Adidas Climacool VentoThe Adidas Climacool Vento features a highly breathable mesh upper to help keep your feet cool.$98.00 FROM ADIDASOriginally $140.00 | Save 30%Nike Adapt Auto MaxThe Nike Adapt Auto Max uses advanced technology to automatically form to your foot without laces.$259.98 FROM NIKEOriginally $400.00 | Save 35%Nike Space Hippie 01The Nike Space Hippie 01 is made from 50% recycled materials and features a lightweight, track-inspired look.$77.56 FROM NIKEOriginally $130.00 | Save 40%Crocs Classic Clog (Unisex)The shoe that really started it all, the Classic Clog is comfortable, breathable, and easy to slip on whenever. With over 20 fun colors to choose from, you can’t go wrong.$39.99 FROM CROCSOriginally $49.99 | Save 20%$27.55 FROM AMAZONDagne Dover Indi Diaper BackpackDagne Dover's Indi Diaper Backpack adds a stylish neutral flair while holding every basic essential.$160.00 FROM DAGNE DOVEROriginally $200.00 | Save 20%Everlane Glove Boot ReKnitEverlane's Glove Boot is a sleek boot made with stretchy, sustainable knit fabric and a walkable heel for all-day comfort. $46.00 FROM EVERLANEOriginally $115.00 | Save 60%OutdoorVoices The Exercise DressOutdoorVoices makes a few of our favorite athleisure items, and they're another example of a company that can balance form and function.$75.00 FROM OUTDOORVOICESOriginally $100.00 | Save 25%Rough Linen St. Barts Linen RobeThe Rough Linen St. Barts Robe is made from top-notch linen that offers a light feel and a cool, casual look.$131.93 FROM ROUGH LINENOriginally $167.00 | Save 21%Kiehl's Since 1851 Avocado Nourishing Hydration MaskWinter is coming, and Kiehls' Avocado Mask is here to provide your skin with hydration all season long. This nourishing treatment infuses your face with avocado and evening primrose oils, offering sumptuous moisture after just one use. Plus, it's green tint is a total throwback. You can save 50% on a jar during Black Friday sale. $21.50 FROM MACY'SOriginally $45.00 | Save 52%Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet Liquid LipstickA liquid lip color that gives you a super matte look, but it's so light it feels like a lip stain. The formula is highly pigmented, smudge-resistant, and comfortable on your lips.$19.00 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $38.00 | Save 50%Nike Sportswear Essential Fleece PantsMade from soft fleece material, these sweats are perfect for everyday comfort.$48.00 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $60.00 | Save 20%Thread & Supply Double Breasted PeacoatThis peacoat from Thread & Supply is a classic with a twist. The oversized buttons extend up the lapel to the collar, giving you the option to bundle up if necessary. And if you don't love it in black, never fear — you can save 31% on this coat in black, camel, or light gray. $39.90 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $58.00 | Save 31%True & Co. True Body Triangle Convertible Strap BraletteThe convertible straps on this wireless bra can be worn either straight or crisscrossed, and the smooth material appears invisible under clothes.$30.80 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $44.00 | Save 30%Spanx Faux Leather LeggingsMade with the same level of support as its signature shapewear but with a little extra stretch, these leggings are designed to not only make you look great but feel great, too. $78.40 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $98.00 | Save 20%$78.40 FROM SPANX Originally $98.00 | Save 20%Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise TightLululemon is, in many ways, the genesis of athleisure, so it's not surprising that the company has an edge in the space.$69.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $98.00 | Save 30%Chaps Mens Long Sleeve Button DownMade from an easy-to-care-for cotton blend and a dose of stretch, this men's button-down shirt will keep you looking polished all day.$19.98 FROM WALMARTOriginally $60.00 | Save 67%Nine West Car Coat CardiganThi cozy topper is part coat, part cardigan, and will keep you warm all winter. Save an extra 15% on this cardigan with the code ENJOY15 at checkout.$35.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $60.00 | Save 40%When is Cyber Monday?Cyber Monday falls on the Monday after Black Friday every year. In 2021, the shopping event will land on November 29.As a continuation of sorts to Black Friday, Cyber Monday gives shoppers another opportunity to save on tech, home goods, clothing, and more that you might've missed while digesting Thanksgiving dinner. Unlike Black Friday, though, Cyber Monday is entirely online.What time does Cyber Monday start?Cyber Monday officially begins at 12 a.m. ET on November 29. That said, the event is expected to carry over many deals from Black Friday, so some discounts are already available.What is Cyber Monday?Cyber Monday began as the online version of Black Friday, where online retailers offered big discounts to match their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Now, Cyber Monday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, often surpassing even Black Friday in terms of revenue and sales. Previously, the main distinction between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was that Black Friday focused on in-store sales and Cyber Monday on online sales. But as shopping habits have increasingly favored the internet, shoppers can look forward to a very online-focused Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Cyber Monday offers a great opportunity to save on all your holiday gifts. How long do Cyber Monday sales last? Though Cyber Monday sales once took place on Monday only, we've seen them extend to longer and longer durations, with a handful lasting through the rest of the week. However, the best discounts we see are in limited supply and expire soon after they become available.What's better, Black Friday or Cyber Monday?With more and more buyers shopping online, the debate over which shopping holiday wins, is practically moot. Both events will be held predominantly online, and more than a few deals overlap. In fact, many Black Friday deals become Cyber Monday deals when the dates change. If possible, buyers should shop on both holidays. We've seen different products receive better discounts on each day, and the deals that each retailer offers will vary. Generally speaking, consumers shopping for big-ticket items, such as laptops, TVs, and kitchen appliances, can expect more opportunities on Black Friday. Shoppers looking for last year's models, smart home gadgets, digital subscriptions, and gift cards will likely find more luck during Cyber Monday.What should I buy during Cyber Monday?If a retailer offers Black Friday deals, it's a near guarantee that it will offer Cyber Monday deals, too. Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart are some noteworthy retailers that we know will participate in the shopping event, with deals across many product categories.We will likely see massive discounts on some of our favorite direct-to-consumer products during Cyber Monday, such as retail startups like Leesa and Brooklinen. For some online stores, Cyber Monday (or Cyber Week) will be one of the few times of the year when their products see major markdowns.Will there be Cyber Monday shipping delays?Shipping delays and shopping holidays are inextricably linked, so there's always a risk of late deliveries.To help you avoid the shipping crunch and get your stuff sooner, several retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, offer in-store pickup and contactless curbside pickup. This means shoppers can grab their orders at a nearby location, provided that the retailer has it in stock. Best Cyber Monday deals we saw last yearLast year, we saw a lot of great sales on Cyber Monday ranging from sitewide discounts to specific products. Everything from home and kitchen, to subscription services were on sale during last year's annual savings event.Here are a few of the best Cyber Monday deals from 2020.  Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Classic Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush was $179 from Kohl's, originally $229.FujiFilm Instax Mini 11 Camera Bundle was $70 from Kohl's on Cyber Monday last year, originally $120.Keurig K-Supreme Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker was $84 from Target on Cyber Monday last year, originally $140.How we select the best Cyber Monday dealsWe only choose products that meet our high standard of coverage, and that we've either used ourselves or researched carefully.We compare the prices among top retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart and only include the deals that are better than all others offered (not including promotional discounts that come from using certain credit cards).All deals are at least 20% off, with the occasional exception for products that are rarely discounted or provide an outsized value.Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 28th, 2021

A President Betrayed by Bureaucrats: Scott Atlas Exposes The Real COVID Disaster

A President Betrayed by Bureaucrats: Scott Atlas Exposes The Real COVID Disaster Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Brownstone Institute, I’m a voracious reader of Covid books but nothing could have prepared me for Scott Atlas’s A Plague Upon Our House, a full and mind-blowing account of the famed scientist’s personal experience with the Covid era and a luridly detailed account of his time at the White House. The book is hot fire, from page one to the last, and will permanently affect your view of not only this pandemic and the policy response but also the workings of public health in general.  Atlas’s book has exposed a scandal for the ages. It is enormously valuable because it fully blows up what seems to be an emerging fake story involving a supposedly Covid-denying president who did nothing vs. heroic scientists in the White House who urged compulsory mitigating measures consistent with prevailing scientific opinion. Not one word of that is true. Atlas’s book, I hope, makes it impossible to tell such tall tales without embarrassment.  Anyone who tells you this fictional story (including Deborah Birx) deserves to have this highly credible treatise tossed in his direction. The book is about the war between real science (and genuine public health), with Atlas as the voice for reason both before and during his time in the White House, vs. the enactment of brutal policies that never stood any chance of controlling the virus while causing tremendous damage to the people, to human liberty, to children in particular, but also to billions of people around the world.  For the reader, the author is our proxy, a reasonable and blunt man trapped in a world of lies, duplicity, backstabbing, opportunism, and fake science. He did his best but could not prevail against a powerful machine that cares nothing for facts, much less outcomes.  If you have heretofore believed that science drives pandemic public policy, this book will shock you. Atlas’s recounting of the unbearably poor thinking on the part of government-based “infectious disease experts” will make your jaw drop (thinking, for example, of Birx’s off-the-cuff theorizing about the relationship between masking and controlling case spreads).  Throughout the book, Atlas points to the enormous cost of the machinery of lockdowns, the preferred method of Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx: missed cancer screenings, missed surgeries, nearly two years of educational losses, bankrupted small business, depression and drug overdoses, overall citizen demoralization, violations of religious freedom, all while public health massively neglected the actual at-risk population in long-term care facilities. Essentially, they were willing to dismantle everything we called civilization in the name of bludgeoning one pathogen without regard to the consequences.  The fake science of population-wide “models” drove policy instead of following the known information about risk profiles. “The one unusual feature of this virus was the fact that children had an extraordinarily low risk,” writes Atlas. “Yet this positive and reassuring news was never emphasized. Instead, with total disregard of the evidence of selective risk consistent with other respiratory viruses, public health officials recommended draconian isolation of everyone.” “Restrictions on liberty were also destructive by inflaming class distinctions with their differential impact,” he writes, “exposing essential workers, sacrificing low-income families and kids, destroying single-parent homes, and eviscerating small businesses, while at the same time large companies were bailed out, elites worked from home with barely an interruption, and the ultra-rich got richer, leveraging their bully pulpit to demonize and cancel those who challenged their preferred policy options.” In the midst of continued chaos, in August 2020, Atlas was called by Trump to help, not as a political appointee, not as a PR man for Trump, not as a DC fixer but as the only person who in nearly a year of unfolding catastrophe had a health-policy focus. He made it clear from the outset that he would only say what he believed to be true; Trump agreed that this was precisely what he wanted and needed. Trump got an earful and gradually came around to a more rational view than that which caused him to wreck the American economy and society with his own hands and against his own instincts.  In Task Force meetings, Atlas was the only person who showed up with studies and on-the-ground information as opposed to mere charts of infections easily downloadable from popular websites. “A bigger surprise was that Fauci did not present scientific research on the pandemic to the group that I witnessed. Likewise, I never heard him speak about his own critical analysis of any published research studies. This was stunning to me. Aside from intermittent status updates about clinical trial enrollments, Fauci served the Task Force by offering an occasional comment or update on vaccine trial participant totals, mostly when the VP would turn to him and ask.” When Atlas spoke up, it was almost always to contradict Fauci/Birx but he received no backing during meetings, only to have many people in attendance later congratulate him for speaking out. Still, he did, by virtue of private meetings, have a convert in Trump himself, but by then it was too late: not even Trump could prevail against the wicked machine he had permissioned into operation.  It’s a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington story but applied to matters of public health. From the outset of this disease panic, policy came to be dictated by two government bureaucrats (Fauci and Birx) who, for some reason, were confident in their control over media, bureaucracies, and White House messaging, despite every attempt by the president, Atlas, and a few others to get them to pay attention to the actual science about which Fauci/Birx knew and care little.  When Atlas would raise doubts about Birx, Jared Kushner would repeatedly assure him that “she is 100% MAGA.” Yet we know for certain that this is not true. We know from a different book on the subject that she only took the position with the anticipation that Trump would lose the presidency in the November election. That’s hardly a surprise; it’s the bias expected from a career bureaucrat working for a deep-state institution. Fortunately, we now have this book to set the record straight. It gives every reader an inside look at the workings of a system that wrecked our lives. If the book finally declines to offer an explanation for the hell that was visited upon us – every day we still ask the question why? – it does provide an accounting of the who, when, where, and what. Tragically, too many scientists, media figures, and intellectuals in general went along. Atlas’s account shows exactly what they signed up to defend, and it’s not pretty.  The cliche that kept coming to mind as I read is “breath of fresh air.” That metaphor describes the book perfectly: blessed relief from relentless propaganda. Imagine yourself trapped in an elevator with stultifying air in a building that is on fire and the smoke gradually seeps in from above. Someone is in there with you and he keeps assuring you that everything is fine, when it is obviously not.  That’s a pretty good description of how I felt from March 12, 2020 and onward. That was the day that President Trump spoke to the nation and announced that there would be no more travel from Europe. The tone in his voice was spooky. It was obvious that more was coming. He had clearly fallen sway to extremely bad advice, perhaps he was willing to push lockdowns as a plan to deal with a respiratory virus that was already widespread in the US from perhaps 5 to 6 months earlier.  It was the day that the darkness descended. A day later (March 13), the HHS distributed its lockdown plans for the nation. That weekend, Trump met for many hours with Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and only a few others. He came around to the idea of shutting down the American economy for two weeks. He presided over the calamitous March 16, 2020, press conference, at which Trump promised to beat the virus through general lockdowns.  Of course he had no power to do that directly but he could urge it to happen, all under the completely delusional promise that doing so would solve the virus problem. Two weeks later, the same gang persuaded him to extend the lockdowns.  Trump went along with the advice because it was the only advice he was fed at the time. They made it appear that the only choice that Trump had – if he wanted to beat the virus – was to wage war on his own policies that were pushing for a stronger, healthier economy. After surviving two impeachment attempts, and beating back years of hate from a nearly united media afflicted by severe derangement syndrome, Trump was finally hornswoggled.  Atlas writes: “On this highly important criterion of presidential management—taking responsibility to fully take charge of policy coming from the White House—I believe the president made a massive error in judgment. Against his own gut feeling, he delegated authority to medical bureaucrats, and then he failed to correct that mistake.” The truly tragic fact that both Republicans and Democrats do not want spoken about is that this whole calamity is that did indeed begin with Trump’s decision. On this point, Atlas writes: Yes, the president initially had gone along with the lockdowns proposed by Fauci and Birx, the “fifteen days to slow the spread,” even though he had serious misgivings. But I still believe the reason that he kept repeating his one question—“Do you agree with the initial shutdown?”—whenever he asked questions about the pandemic was precisely because he still had misgivings about it. Large parts of the narrative are devoted to explaining precisely how and to what extent Trump had been betrayed. “They had convinced him to do exactly the opposite of what he would naturally do in any other circumstance,” Atlas writes, that is  “to disregard his own common sense and allow grossly incorrect policy advice to prevail…. This president, widely known for his signature “You’re fired!” declaration, was misled by his closest political intimates. All for fear of what was inevitable anyway—skewering from an already hostile media. And on top of that tragic misjudgment, the election was lost anyway. So much for political strategists.” There are so many valuable parts to the story that I cannot possibly recount them all. The language is brilliant, e.g. he calls the media “the most despicable group of unprincipled liars one could ever imagine.” He proves that assertion in page after page of shocking lies and distortions, mostly driven by political goals.  I was particularly struck by his chapter on testing, mainly because that whole racket mystified me throughout. From the outset, the CDC bungled the testing part of the pandemic story, attempting to keep the tests and process centralized in DC at the very time when the entire nation was in panic. Once that was finally fixed, months too late, mass and indiscriminate PCR testing became the desiderata of success within the White House. The problem was not just with the testing method: “Fragments of dead virus hang around and can generate a positive test for many weeks or months, even though one is not generally contagious after two weeks. Moreover, PCR is extremely sensitive. It detects minute quantities of virus that do not transmit infection…. Even the New York Times wrote in August that 90 percent or more of positive PCR tests falsely implied that someone was contagious. Sadly, during my entire time at the White House, this crucial fact would never even be addressed by anyone other than me at the Task Force meetings, let alone because for any public recommendation, even after I distributed data proving this critical point.” The other problem is the wide assumption that more testing (however inaccurate) of whomever, whenever was always better. This model of maximizing tests seemed like a leftover from the HIV/AIDS crisis in which tracing was mostly useless in practice but at least made some sense in theory. For a widespread and mostly wild respiratory disease transmitted the way a cold virus is transmitted, this method was hopeless from the beginning. It became nothing but make work for tracing bureaucrats and testing enterprises that in the end only provided a fake metric of “success” that served to spread public panic.  Early on, Fauci had clearly said that there was no reason to get tested if you had no symptoms. Later, that common-sense outlook was thrown out the window and replaced with an agenda to test as many people as possible regardless of risk and regardless of symptoms. The resulting data enabled Fauci/Birx to keep everyone in a constant state of alarm. More test positivity to them implied only one thing: more lockdowns. Businesses needed to close harder, we all needed to mask harder, schools needed to stay closed longer, and travel needed to be ever more restricted. That assumption became so entrenched that not even the president’s own wishes (which had changed from Spring to Summer) made any difference.  Atlas’s first job, then, was to challenge this whole indiscriminate testing agenda. To his mind, testing needed to be about more than accumulating endless amounts of data, much of it without meaning; instead, testing should be directed toward a public-health goal. The people who needed tests were the vulnerable populations, particularly those in nursing homes, with the goal of saving lives among those who were actually threatened with severe outcomes. This push to test, contact trace, and quarantine anyone and everyone regardless of known risk was a huge distraction, and also caused huge disruption in schooling and enterprise.  To fix it meant changing the CDC guidelines. Atlas’s story of attempting to do that is eye-opening. He wrestled with every manner of bureaucrat and managed to get new guidelines written, only to find that they had been mysteriously reverted to the old guidelines one week later. He caught the “error” and insisted that his version prevail. Once they were issued by the CDC, the national press was all over it, with the story that the White House was pressuring the scientists at the CDC in terrible ways. After a week-long media storm, the guidelines changed yet again. All of Atlas’s work was made null.  Talk about discouraging! It was also Atlas’s first full experience in dealing with deep-state machinations. It was this way throughout the lockdown period, a machinery in place to implement, encourage, and enforce endless restrictions but no one person in particular was there to take responsibility for the policies or the outcomes, even as the ostensible head of state (Trump) was on record both publicly and privately opposing the policies that no one could seem to stop.  As an example of this, Atlas tells the story of bringing some massively important scientists to the White House to speak with Trump: Martin Kulldorff, Jay Bhattacharya, Joseph Ladapo, and Cody Meissner. People around the president thought the idea was great. But somehow the meeting kept being delayed. Again and again. When it finally went ahead, the schedulers only allowed for 5 minutes. But once they met with Trump himself, the president had other ideas and prolonged the meeting for an hour and a half, asking the scientists all kinds of questions about viruses, policy, the initial lockdowns, the risks to individuals, and so on.  The president was so impressed with their views and knowledge – what a dramatic change that must have been for him – that he invited filming to be done plus pictures to be taken. He wanted to make it a big public splash. It never happened. Literally. White House press somehow got the message that this meeting never happened. The first anyone will have known about it other than White House employees is from Atlas’s book.  Two months later, Atlas was instrumental in bringing in not only two of those scientists but also the famed Sunetra Gupta of Oxford. They met with the HHS secretary but this meeting too was buried in the press. No dissent was allowed. The bureaucrats were in charge, regardless of the wishes of the president.  Another case in point was during Trump’s own bout with Covid in early October. Atlas was nearly sure that he would be fine but he was forbidden from talking to the press. The entire White House communications office was frozen for four days, with no one speaking to the press. This was against Trump’s own wishes. This left the media to speculate that he was on his deathbed, so when he came back to the White House and announced that Covid is not to be feared, it was a shock to the nation. From my own point of view, this was truly Trump’s finest moment. To learn of the internal machinations happening behind the scenes is pretty shocking.  I can’t possibly cover the wealth of material in this book, and I expect this brief review to be one of several that I write. I do have a few disagreements. First, I think the author is too uncritical toward Operation Warp Speed and doesn’t really address how the vaccines were wildly oversold, to say nothing of growing concerns about safety, which were not addressed in the trials. Second, he seems to approve of Trump’s March 12th travel restrictions, which struck me as brutal and pointless, and the real beginning of the unfolding disaster. Third, Atlas inadvertently seems to perpetuate the distortion that Trump recommended ingesting bleach during a press conference. I know that this was all over the papers. But I’ve read the transcript of that press conference several times and find nothing like this. Trump actually makes clear that he was speaking about cleaning surfaces. This might be yet another case of outright media lies.  All that aside, this book reveals everything about the insanity of 2020 and 2021, years in which good sense, good science, historical precedent, human rights, and concerns for human liberty were all thrown into the trash, not just in the US but all over the world. Atlas summarizes the big picture: “in considering all the surprising events that unfolded in this past year, two in particular stand out. I have been shocked at the enormous power of government officials to unilaterally decree a sudden and severe shutdown of society—to simply close businesses and schools by edict, restrict personal movements, mandate behavior, regulate interactions with our family members, and eliminate our most basic freedoms, without any defined end and with little accountability.” Atlas is correct that “the management of this pandemic has left a stain on many of America’s once noble institutions, including our elite universities, research institutes and journals, and public health agencies. Earning it back will not be easy.”  Internationally, we have Sweden as an example of a country that (mostly) kept its sanity. Domestically, we have South Dakota as an example of a place that stayed open, preserving freedom throughout. And thanks in large part to Atlas’s behind-the-scenes work, we have the example of Florida, whose governor did care about the actual science and ended up preserving freedom in the state even as the elderly population there experienced the greatest possible protection from the virus.  We all owe Atlas an enormous debt of gratitude, for it was he who persuaded the Florida governor to choose the path of focussed protection as advocated by the Great Barrington Declaration, which Atlas cites as the “single document that will go down as one of the most important publications in the pandemic, as it lent undeniable credibility to focused protection and provided courage to thousands of additional medical scientists and public health leaders to come forward.” Atlas experienced the slings, arrows, and worse. The media and the bureaucrats tried to shut him up, shut him down, and body bag him professionally and personally. Cancelled, meaning removed from the roster of functional, dignified human beings. Even colleagues at Stanford University joined in the lynch mob, much to their disgrace. And yet this book is that of a man who has prevailed against them. In that sense, this book is easily the most crucial first-person account we have so far. It is gripping, revealing, devastating for the lockdowners and their vaccine-mandating successors, and a true classic that will stand the test of time. It’s simply not possible to write the history of this disaster without a close examination of this erudite first-hand account.  Tyler Durden Sun, 11/28/2021 - 12:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 28th, 2021

Lego had such a huge year that it"s giving employees extra vacation days and bigger bonuses

With millions of people around the world stuck indoors, Lego had one of its biggest ever years — and it's passing some of that on to employees. The Lego Titanic.Lego Lego is having a great year: Consumer sales as of September were up over 35% and operating profits "more than doubled." As a result, the toy production company is giving its entire staff additional days off and bonus pay. The Lego Group employs more than 20,000 people, and is the world's largest toy maker. The world's largest toy maker, Lego, had a huge first half of 2021: Consumer sales were up over 35% and operating profits "more than doubled," the company said in September.Now, Lego is passing on some of that success to its over 20,000 employees: The company is giving staff three additional days off and annual bonuses "will get a top-up in April," Bloomberg reported.Lego did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, but spokesperson Benjamin Hjorth told Bloomberg the move is intended as a token of appreciation for employees who have worked throughout "an extraordinary year" and during the coronavirus pandemic. Though many business sectors faced significant declines during lockdown, companies like Nintendo and The Lego Group experienced major sales spikes across the last 18 months.That's due in part to major releases, like "Animal Crossing" from Nintendo, which spurred sales. But that sales success is primarily due to the nature of their businesses: With so many people stuck indoors, looking for something to do, playing video games and building Lego sets was more attractive than ever.The Lego Group has a history of awarding companywide bonuses based on earnings, and a previous bonus was a full month's salary, according to Bloomberg. It's unclear how large of a bonus employees will get this time around.Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 22nd, 2021

John Malone: Equity Markets Are In A ‘Land Rush’ Similar To ’90s Bubble

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Liberty Media Chairman John Malone on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Thursday, November 18th for Liberty Media Day in NYC. Following are links to video on CNBC.com: Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more John Malone: Equity Markets Are […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Liberty Media Chairman John Malone on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Thursday, November 18th for Liberty Media Day in NYC. Following are links to video on CNBC.com: if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more John Malone: Equity Markets Are In A 'Land Rush' Similar To ’90s Bubble Liberty Media Chair John Malone: I Would Like To See CNN Evolve Back To The Journalism It Started With Part I DAVID FABER: Well, you know it’s funny you mention that because of course I did have my annual sit down with Malone. He is not here at the conference. But we were able to speak as we did last year as well remotely in an interview that we did the other day, and we did talk about the markets love of growth, guys. Now we did it in the context of a conversation that began about how do you go about valuing all the direct-to-consumer platforms that are out there, in particular Netflix, and will the market ultimately move perhaps from sub metrics to actual profitability? Take a listen. We talked about the results from Netflix, or any number of the other companies, Viacom even. We look at the sub numbers that's all we look at right now. We're not really looking at, to your point, profitability. I don't know when that's going to start to change. I mean with Netflix, it's more so but to your point, when do we sort of make that pivot or when do investors make that pivot and say, well, you know what, the overall number may not be nearly as important as to what the margin looks like and to your point, the stickiness, and the value of that customer over time. JOHN MALONE: Every investor has a different time horizon, a different perspective. To me, I've always been a long-term investor and so I'm much more interested in, in building this business brick by brick, making it solid and sticky, and how can you grow and how can you grow pricing power and how can you defend the franchises that you're building. It's that kind of, that kind of a thing. It's too early. I really think it's too early to assess. The market is obviously putting huge market valuations on Netflix and frankly, Netflix relative to Disney. And, you know, I mean, hell there's a car company that I guess is just going public that has $130 billion market cap— FABER: There is. MALONE: And hasn't built a car yet. FABER: That’s true. Rivian. MALONE: So really, there's no question that the equity markets right now are so interested in growth above all other criteria, and this is like the bubble in the late 90s, up through 2000. It's all about growth. This is a land rush. Part II FABER: Alright, let’s talk a little bit more about my sit down with John Malone. Of course, we do spend a lot of time here talking about direct-to-consumer, all the different platforms that are out there that are emerging and their importance to so many of these companies, whether it be what will be the combination of Warner Brothers and Discovery and Discovery Plus and HBO Max, whether it is Netflix, whether it's Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, our parent company Comcast, Peacock, we can go on and on right? Apple, Amazon. I asked Malone what he thinks will ultimately be the arbiter here in terms of success. MALONE: I think the real issue, David, that that you'd have to start thinking through is, is what is going to be the profitability profile of these businesses, you know, as, as they increasingly go global, as they achieve various levels of scale and, and, and various levels of stickiness or content cost and to me, it's almost looking back at the history of our business, the cable business, where we learned how to deal with bundling and pricing and end up with a hybrid service offering that was ad supported but also had something presumably for everybody in the household. So, I think that those, those are the lessons that these direct-to-consumer companies are going to be learning and competing over and that will ultimately determine things like profitability, growth in economic value of the enterprise, the appropriate mix of ad and, and, and direct-to-consumer and the level of bundling. FABER: So, John, what, what do you need to see from your opinion? What still needs to sort of develop for you to be able to begin to answer the question you originally posed which is, you know, what is the profitability? MALONE: Yeah, well, I think it's early in the game still and I think what you're going to find is that there will be a broad set of services provided to the consumer, some of which will be entirely ad supported, some of which will be hybrid, and some of which will be subscriber funded only. FABER: I'm curious what you think about Disney because of course they also seem to establish themselves as the number two player if we can call it that. They still have a goal of what some 230 million worldwide subs at some point, but there are some wonder whether they've hit a bit of a wall. MALONE: Disney at some point has to decide to choose between profitability and scale. And though it may well be that that they could have a much more profitable business by focusing on the people who have young families and really want their intellectual property, I mean, or do they put it all in a bucket and say you buy the whole, the whole bucket at a higher price point but your satisfaction may not be as high because you're buying a lot of things that that you don't necessarily value. So, you know, Disney has a lot of, has a lot to work with in that space. But they also have a lot of legacy commitments, and how they morph from a very profitable linear sports world into a hybrid world of direct consumer with some advertising. These are the, the evolutionary things that I think will determine the ultimate outcome. FABER: To your point to how this evolves, do you have a sense when you talk to David what and how it should be thought about in terms of what the direct-to-consumer offering from Warner Brothers, Discovery will look like? MALONE: Yes, we've had many discussions and, you know, I don't know that I would say there's a conclusion at this point. I'm a believer that there will be many offerings, not just one gigantic offering. FABER: John, you seem to be of the belief that one size doesn't necessarily fit all for these kinds of offerings. MALONE: Totally. I'm totally on that page because I think trying to satisfy every taste and every interest in one omnibus offering is going to turn out to be unprofitable. I don't think that, that going 100% consumer or subscriber paid as a model is going to leave an awful lot of people on the sidelines who would be content with something that was less expensive or free, but much more ad supported. Part III FABER: Yeah, of course, a lot of talk here as you might imagine about well, all of liberties businesses, including Liberty Broadband, you know, they own that large stake in Charter Communications, which has been a great performer over a longer period of time, in fact, the best of the Liberty sort of entities over the last five years. But when you take a look at Comcast and Charter stock over the last couple of months, well, our viewers know of course, there's been continued or increased concern perhaps about what it's going to mean in terms of competition from these so called overbuilders, you know, a recent downgrade from Deutsche Bank saying it's a new environment one that in our view has to be characterized by lower returns because the business is transitioning to a more competitive environment. I asked John Malone about that environment. MALONE: If you have capital that's willing to settle for, for very low returns, okay, it's a big threat. I mean, the biggest threat has always been the guy, the stupid guy with a lot of money coming into your business because they may not end up with much profitability, but they sure as hell can damage the profitability of the incumbent and I believe the vulnerability of incumbents varies very much from market to market depending on specifics, depending on just how cheap it is to overbuild and just how cheap it is for the incumbent to upgrade. So, you could well be in a situation where the incumbent is forced to expend capital that it otherwise wouldn't or does it early in order to repel a competitive overbuilder. The whole, the long experience of overbuilders in our cable industry was quite negative. The ultimate returns were very poor. Part IV FABER: Well, we're here at the Liberty Investor Day, of course, and even though Discovery is not one of the participants here because of course it was owned personally by John Malone, it's certainly on the minds of many of the attendees here. The deal in which Discovery will combined with, with Warner is still moving along, in fact, many expected perhaps it will close sooner than perhaps had been anticipated, which is still said to be the first half of next year. I think we're going to get a proxy on the deal very soon as well. But Discovery shares and AT&T shares have not been good performers since the deal was announced. And that's where I began a conversation with John Malone who was so key to helping this deal along by giving up his super voting shares for no premium, started on asking him about the deal itself and investor concerns. There's a lot of investors though concerned when it comes to Warner Brothers, Discovery about being five times levered and still having a lot of cash flow come from the good old linear TV business. How do you reassure them? MALONE: Well, my, my understanding is first of all that that it has been indicated that right out of the box. Well, first of all, the deal may happen sooner than people think. Number two is right out of the box, the leverage, the initial leverage is going to be lower than people think. Number three is the free cash flow characteristics of this combined business and then enhanced by synergies, operating synergies generated fairly quickly will take that leverage down quite fast. And number four, this is investment grade debt. Long-term, cheaper interest rates, right? Higher cash flow through synergy and a rapid pay down of anything that is regarded as excess leverage, I think it's, it's, that shouldn't really be the focus. I think the focus should be the creativity whether or not these engines of creativity can make stuff that's unique that the public really wants to see. FABER: You know, they've stated cost synergies that around 3 billion, You, we talked a little bit about this previously, but you certainly seem to think there are going to be some significant revenue synergies there and I wonder why that is and where you see those coming from? MALONE: Well, I think just the ability to bolster service offerings with library that exists, you know, in the, deep in the Time Warner vaults is going to be an interesting revenue, synergy opportunity. So, I would guess that you put the two together and you start launching these direct-to-consumer offerings outside the US, where you already have Discovery, in place, in language, and on TV screens. You've got a major benefit there in terms of lower marketing cost and higher probability of consumer acceptance. FABER: How about news John? Is there any place for news in a streaming world? You know, I obviously see it as part of this company but I don't know how to view that. I would assume there's any number of potential suitors for that property. Should Mr. Zaslav and the board decide that it really doesn't fit. MALONE: I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with and, you know, actually have journalists which would be unique and refreshing. I think a coward's way out would be to sell it or spin it off and then sell it, do it in some tax efficient way. There's, there isn't a lot of tax basis, David, in CNN so a straight sale would probably be a little bit leaky, let's call it but doable. I do believe that good journalism could have a role in this future portfolio that Discovery, Time Warner is going to represent but, you know, I'm just one, one voice here. FABER: You know, I get this question sometimes and obviously, you know, I’m very personally fond of David Zaslav. I know you have great respect for him. You pay them a lot of money and over a 10-year period Discovery stock has not really done that much other than the crazy Archegos move. How do you answer those critics who say well, he's done really well, but we haven't? MALONE: I mean, he's the kind of guy that can deliver a Scripps merger or a Time Warner deal. Without the Scripps deal, Discovery would really be in the third tier today. Okay. You know, what if you hadn't had David Zaslav there delivering the Scripps deal. Okay. What would Discovery be worth today if you hadn't had that? So, I always look at the glass as at least half full. FABER: I do want to take a minute to just ask you about the performance. You know, you mentioned earlier you’re a long-term investor. You have a certainly in your history shows that. The five-year performance of a lot of the Liberty entities other than Liberty Broadband, which obviously has been charter. Over the last five years, I don't think any of the others have outperformed the S&P and I wonder, are you disappointed by some of that performance at this point? Or you know— MALONE: You got to look at, look at the pieces though, David, look at Formula One. Look at Live Nation. Look at look at Sirius. Liberty, Sirius with this recent transaction with, with Berkshire Hathaway. FABER: Berkshire, yup. Take it above 80%, yup. MALONE: Some of these, yeah, some of these structural discounts are, are starting to go away which we knew they would with time, but patience in order to be able to structure things properly, you know, some of these things have taken, have taken a period of time. If you took the Big Techs out of the, out of the indexes, I don't think you would see the indexes have performed all that well. So, you should be asking me, John, why didn't you invest more heavily in Google or Facebook or Amazon? Why did you stay with the old, these old businesses you were in? You know, and I plead guilty to that, you know, I tried to buy Netflix when from Robert Reed Hastings when the stock was eight bucks, but he wouldn't sell it to me. You know, damn that bad luck. The other thing you really have to ask when you're looking at the indexes is how did you miss those massive oligopolistic tech companies? I mean, there, there is the challenge. They are big, they are highly profitable, they're getting bigger, their market powers are growing, not shrinking and if you compare anything to that, it's not, it's not going to look good. FABER: But my old libertarian friend here, you know, what do you want? You want them to get regulated somehow? MALONE: I think they are natural monopolies, and they need to be regulated in some way. I'm not sure, I'm not sure that I understand the right way that they should be regulated. But they shouldn't use their market power to, to prevent competition. But there's no look, Jeff Bezos is a genius with what he's created. You know, Steve Jobs and Tim Cook have been masterful at what, these have been brilliant business create, Reed Hastings, these are brilliant businessmen who have seized an opportunity, seeing the power of global scale and have exploited it. Updated on Nov 18, 2021, 12:35 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 18th, 2021

The 7 best rice cookers we tested in 2021

If you eat rice often, a rice cooker is an invaluable tool, since cooking rice on the stove can be finicky. Here are the best rice cookers of 2021. Su-Jit Lin/InsiderTable of Contents: Masthead Sticky I researched 30 and tested 15 rice cookers to find the seven best. A lesser-known product by Yum Asia delivered flawless results across all four tests, besting well-loved brands. Read more about how the Insider Reviews team tests kitchen products.  If you've ever tasted "plain" rice and thought it was boring, I have a revelation for you: it may not be the rice. It might just be how you cooked it. Rice a staple food for countless cultures around the world, and not for nothing. It's inexpensive, filling, nutritious, and rich with subtle nuances, layers of flavor, and lovely distinctive fragrances — when prepared properly. And for that, you need a good rice cooker.Growing up in a Chinese-American family, rinsing rice for the family cooker was probably the first kitchen task I was ever given, even before I ever stirred cake batter. And having been raised in my parents' Chinese restaurant, where commercial rice cookers were an integral part of the business, it's no surprise I grew up sensitive to what constitutes good, acceptable, and bad rice. The princess and the pilaf, essentially; a pickiness I've leveraged as a food writer, product reviewer, and author of several rice cooker references and guides.However, none I've written have been as comprehensive as this one right here, for which I researched 30 rice cookers, home-tested a whopping 15, and distilled it down to the seven best based on grain type, preparation, and other factors important to both Eastern and Western rice aficionados.Here are the best rice cookers you can buy in 2021Best rice cooker overall: Yum Asia Panda 3.5-Cup Mini Rice CookerBest budget rice cooker: Aroma ARC-1126SBL 20-Cup SmartCarb MulticookerBest mini rice cooker: Black + Decker 3-Cup Rice CookerBest large capacity rice cooker: Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice CookerBest rice cooker for long-grain rice: Zojirushi UMAMI Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10Best rice cooker for brown rice: Cuckoo CR-0632F 6-Cup Multifunctional Micom Rice CookerBest rice cooker for porridge: Aroma MTC-8008 Professional 8-Cup ChampagneBest rice cooker overallSu-Jit Lin/InsiderThe Panda 3.5-Cup Mini Rice Cooker from lesser-known brand Yum Asia blew me away with flawless rice through every test.Rice capacity (uncooked): 3.5 cupsRice capacity (cooked): about 7 cupsFuzzy Logic: YesPros: Detachable power cord, clear easy-view display, straightforward operation, sleek design, compact footprint, precision settings, 24-hour keep warm setting, included extra accessoriesCons: Top doesn't detach for cleaning, strong spring-back in the lid, inner pot markings are not high-contrast, only one set of water lines, quick rice setting is only for white riceThere's so much to love about this unassuming little powerhouse, it's hard to know where to start. Right out of the box, its tidy design and thoughtful details — like an included steamer basket and ladle; a handle on the measuring cup; and glossy magazine-style guide — earned immediate points. A detachable cord for neat self-storage, built-in carrying handle, minimal but easy-to-understand display, built-in spatula holder, and well-considered cook settings made it clear that functionality was a focus. The fact that it had different programs for long- or short-grain rice as well as brown rice, porridge, quick and slow cooking, steam, and even cake functions spoke to precision, which it delivered during my testing.  It cooked all four rice types perfectly — a remarkable feat. Every grain was well defined and evenly cooked all the way through. Every batch was moist but not wet; gemmy but not dry; sweet and aromatic. The only test in which the rice lost structure was as a porridge, which is to be expected, as you trade texture for extruded flavor. I loved that the countdown timer for the Keep Warm setting began right away by the minute, while most others only track time by the hour. The Keep Warm setting was gentle and the rice resisted developing any hard crustiness. Even better, as a small- to medium-capacity cooker, it's quick about its job, taking around half an hour for white rice, just under an hour for brown, and an hour and a half for porridge.Best budget rice cookerSu-Jit Lin/InsiderDespite being an older model (and one I've used for years), the Aroma SmartCarb Multicooker outperformed more expensive models in texture and taste.Rice capacity (uncooked): 10 cupsRice capacity (cooked): 20 cupsFuzzy Logic: NoPros: SmartCarb feature, large capacity, many included accessories, sauté-then-simmer capability, Keep Warm countdown begins immediately, eight one-touch programs, available in smaller 12-cup sizeCons: Non-removable lid is hard to clean, components like steamer vent and condensation catcher tend to pop off, condensation catcher eventually leaks, inner pot prone to scratching and denting, stainless steel SmartCarb basket is not nonstick, big for smaller householdsThis jack-of-all-trades multicooker has certainly mastered one: chewy, toothsome rice that retains its fragrance and flavor. It boasts a variety of other capabilities, including the Aroma brand's trademarked sauté-then-simmer technology and its headlining SmartCarb ability, which elevates the rice above the cooking water after boiling, preventing the starchy water from being reabsorbed and therefore cutting the carbohydrate content. (This feature sounds too good to be true, and unfortunately, it is. The rice texture ends up being too soft and grains blown out on this setting.)This model earned its ranking as the best budget workhorse for the quality and taste of its regularly cooked rice, a task at which it aces. This is even more notable as it's a more old-fashioned cooker, a "dumb" one despite having "smart" in the name. Unlike the other advanced cookers ruling this list, it's not a micom (microcomputerized) appliance. By relying on sensors that trigger "done" via the sudden temperature spike as the last of the water evaporates, rice (especially brown rice) comes out on just the right side of al dente. On the other hand, the fluctuations of the Fuzzy Logic micom cookers, which dynamically adjust the temperature as the rice cooks, actually have a tendency to overcook brown rice.White rice is ready to eat as soon as you crack open the lid, sweet and steam-cooked rather than boiled. And if you want to wait a bit, its 12-hour Keep Warm function does its job well for about three hours before the steam catcher traps more moisture than it returns to the rice.Best mini rice cookerSu-Jit Lin/InsiderIf you just need a cheap monotasker for one or two people, this bargain buy from Black + Decker is just right.Rice capacity (uncooked): 1.5 cupsRice capacity (cooked): 3 cupsFuzzy Logic: NoPros: Really inexpensive, detachable clip-on lid, just the basics, cooks quicklyCons: Looks flimsy, design creates boil-over and burn risk, hard to read water markings, outer body gets very hot, rice hardens quickly and is hard to scoop out, no Keep Warm timer, no display at all, no audible notificationsBeating out much pricier and much more advanced mini models, this child's toy-looking, basic one-setting, one-button, entry-level rice cooker resulted in surprisingly acceptable rice. The quality of its results came nowhere near any of the others on this list, but for a household of one that's short on storage space and long on thrift, this utilitarian mono-tasker does its job cheerfully and quickly. It relies on an old-fashioned temperature trip sensor to determine when the rice is done; the only audio cue you'll get is the flip of the switch as it changes from Cooking to Keep Warm settings. Like with other "dumb" rice cooker models, it's important to be patient and give the rice at least 15 minutes of resting time before it really is ready. If you try to eat the rice right away, you'll find it still quite wet and undercooked. Give it that rest, though, and your patience will be rewarded with sweet, chewy medium-grain rice that offers that lovely semi-translucent, gemmy look. We had less successful results with other types of rice: long-grain rice got soft but at least avoided mushiness; and brown rice was flavorful but on the under-done side. Its minuscule size also comes with natural cons. It accommodates only a mere 1.5-cup maximum of raw rice, which doesn't give you a whole lot of room to maneuver, especially while rinsing the rice since the inner pot was roughly the size of my (small) fist. There are also a few burn risks in the design: the lightweight inner pot makes it unstable, forcing you to grip it when scooping out rice, and the vent in the lid concentrates the steam in a sharp plume. However, I did appreciate the clip-on feature of the detachable lid, and the fun of being able to monitor the status of the rice visually through the glass top. Its ease of cleaning and the end taste of the rice is how it won over other small options.Best large capacity rice cookerSu-Jit Lin/InsiderThe gold standard of rice cookers, the legendary Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy is now available in double its original capacity.Rice capacity (uncooked): 10 cupsRice capacity (cooked): 20 cupsFuzzy Logic: YesPros: Precision settings for nearly every type of rice, detachable inner lid and rounded nonstick inner pot for easy cleaning, well-marked guidelines, choice of textures for customizable riceCons: Looks dated with its huge buttons, so many choices can feel overwhelming for inexperienced users, brown rice cooks too soft Though we tested the 5.5 cup version, the larger 10 cup model of this classic cooker is identical in everything but size, with thoughtful design and usability details that make it incredibly intuitive.The retractable cord, for instance, is such a simple but brilliant solution, as is the dual-sided rice paddle holder, soft-open lid, and easy-grip handles on the sides of the inner pot. In fact, I could devote an entire paragraph to this inner pot, which has a rounded bottom that makes rinsing the grains, scooping the cooked rice, and cleaning up a breeze. The pot also features high-contrast water markings for different types of rice to ensure precision.Most importantly, though, is how good the rice comes out and how it maintains that level of quality for hours after the rice is done. Rice porridge emerged glistening in a thick, pleasantly tacky suspension, soft but retaining a hint of a bite. Medium-grain rice comes out absolutely beautifully — chewy, polished, pearly, fully formed, uniformly cooked, and with a lovely enhanced sweetness few other cookers could match. The long-grain rice was fragrant, fully distinct, evenly cooked, but fluffy with unmatched airiness.In both white rice tests, the rice was better after 24 hours on Keep Warm than fresh-cooked rice from some of the other cookers, with minimal deterioration and no clumping or crust. The brown rice setting was its only underperformer due to the program's long cook time, which made the rice soft and blown out.Best rice cooker for long-grain riceSu-Jit Lin/InsiderThe Zojirushi UMAMI Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10 is a stylish cooker and a bit of a splurge, but you assuredly get what you pay for, especially if you primarily cook long-grain rice.Rice capacity (uncooked): 5.5 cupsRice capacity (cooked): 11 cupsFuzzy Logic: YesPros: Sleek design, easy to read display, easy to use, clearly marked water lines for nearly all programs, hyper-specific settings, compact footprint, removable inner lid, extended Keep Warm, sturdy handle, detachable cord, included steamer basket, ambidextrous spatula holderCons: Keep Warm countdown doesn't start right away, so many choices can feel overwhelming for inexperienced users, brown rice cooks too soft This microcomputerized (micom) cooker has incredibly precise and detailed cooking settings. I appreciated the jasmine rice setting, a nod to the delicate structure of this long-grain cultivar. The batch I made on this setting was perfect from the get-go, with distinct, intact grains that were chewy and only got sweeter with time on the Keep Warm setting. The batch even held strong for over 66 hours without any significant degradation. It also performed remarkably with medium grains, too. They came out flawless: chewy, gem-like, moist, airy, and with no soggy or wet spots, retaining their character for 14 hours. The UMAMI setting that gives this model its name extends soaking and steaming to coax out more sweetness and subtleties in the rice. However, I do not advise using it on brown rice. The extended cook made it soft, wet, and blown out.Best rice cooker for brown riceSu-Jit Lin/InsiderSmart rice cookers tend to overthink and therefore overcook brown rice, but the Cuckoo CR-0632F 6-Cup Multifunctional Micom Rice Cooker nailed the cook on this tough grain.Rice capacity (uncooked): 6 cupsRice capacity (cooked): 12 cupsFuzzy Logic: YesPros: Keep Warm timer starts immediately, My Mode features for personalized flavor and textures, attractive coffee-colored inner pot, longer power cord, built-in spatula holder, cleans easilyCons: Overcooks white rice, significant bounce-back in lid operation, water line markings are hard to read, no handle, condensation catcher can leakWith all this talk of soaking brown rice, you'd think that the cookers who do it longest would make the best. I did. But after extensive testing, I found that extended soaking broke down the bran a bit too much, resulting in a mushier bite rather than the firm, gemmy one that comes with perfect rice. Plus, you lose the popcorn element that's so distinctive to brown rice — one of the greatest pleasures of it.  With this cooker, though, a propensity for cooking softer, mushier white rice benefited its brown rice execution. Although there's a hint of hot-heat scorch to the rice if you eat it as soon as it's done, it mellows after a few minutes of resting to a pleasant toasted nutty richness. This cooker blooms the grains visibly, but stops short of any blow-out. It breaks down the bran just enough to make it more easily digestible without compromising the chew. Every bite of brown rice from this cooker showcased the best qualities of this type of rice. Grains remained fully distinct, avoiding any kind of clumping, crusting, or wetness for a shocking 50 hours on Keep Warm. Plus, it also has a setting for GABA rice, a sprouted variety of brown rice with purported nutritional benefits. Get this cooker if brown rice is your primary pick, and just use less water than marked on the occasions you make white rice.Best rice cooker for porridgeSu-Jit Lin/InsiderIf you're partial to a thick, pureed porridge with country-style lumps, the low and slow cook of the Aroma MTC-8008 Professional 8-Cup Champagne model will give you what you want. Rice capacity (uncooked): 8 cupsRice capacity (cooked): 16 cupsFuzzy Logic: YesPros: Elegant design, thick inner pot, reheat feature, cake and soup features, turbo convection, detachable inner lid, many accessories, high-contrast markings, two-year warrantyCons: Drips and holds onto a lot of condensation, lid rebounds heavily, rice dries out faster than most on Keep Warm settingIn this cooker, soft lumps of broken down rice grains settle at the bottom and reattach to one another if undisturbed, providing pleasant glutinous bites reminiscent of underdeveloped mochi. Working this bottom layer back results in a creamy finished product in a luxuriously thick liquid suspension, which formed as the starches were gradually extruded into the rice water. While the grains broke down significantly, the nuances of the high-quality short-grain rice used weren't lost. All of the flavor elements become concentrated into what became not a mush, but a smooth slurry.  Porridge is best slightly cooled, in my opinion, getting sweeter and more textured, and the near suctioning power of the condensation and steam catcher of this cooker keeps it from getting watered down. Unfortunately, this characteristic is what caused it to perform very poorly in keeping other rice types warm. It catches and holds onto a lot of moisture, which gathers annoyingly in the inner lid and pours into the channel around the inner pot. This is likely why all of the batches of solid rice cooked very wet and patchily, and needed to be tossed after cooking to better distribute the remaining water. Its turbo convection power is supposed to help it cook more evenly, but we didn't find that to be the case. However, the rice is decent and this is the best pick if you prioritize porridge or congee.What else we testedSu-Jit Lin/InsiderWe tested more than a dozen rice cookers, and while many were able to do an adequate job, there were inherent design or performance flaws that made them less recommended. What else we recommend and why:GreenLife Go Grains Rice Cooker ($49.99): It's hard not to like a cooker this cartoon-cute, plus it's one of the only tiny rice cookers featuring micom Fuzzy Logic. Unfortunately, it consistently cooked every type of rice too dry and condensation puddled up around the rim, which made for a bothersome cleanup. It was a close call between this and the Black & Decker for best small capacity rice cooker, but ultimately, the cleanup decided it. Instant Pot Zest 8-Cup Rice Cooker ($39.00): Powered by a cult-favorite brand but using the traditional boil-and-steam method as opposed to pressure, this multicooker seemed initially promising. It yielded wet rice, which is a quirk folks can learn to work with by customizing their water fill, but the nuances of sweetness were lost in a flat boiled taste. However, it's a great size and a budget buy for entry-level cookers.What we don't recommend and why:Tiger JAX-S18U-WY 10-Cup Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer ($139.95): White rice cooked in this oversized model quickly degraded in structure. Obvious hot spots made results even more inconsistent. Minor inconveniences such as a freestanding rice spatula holder that created clutter and a fixed inner lid showed inadequate attention to detail. Hamilton Beach Advanced Multi-Function Fuzzy Logic 37570 ($109.99): Unlike the others, this micom rice cooker had a great visual chart that allowed you to track the progress of your rice. A shame, then, that the machine had the most uneven, haphazard cook of all of the products tested, yielding a soggy lower layer, dry and crusty top layer, and mushy grains in the center of the bowl. JINGTIEDA Small Rice Cooker Portable ($79.99): A tidy design with more digital features than most cookers of similar size, this rice cooker performed acceptably with long-grain rice but undercooked medium-grain rice. Its biggest flaw was a Keep Warm setting that made the rice hard, dehydrated, and inedible in mere hours. COMFEE Asian Style Programmable Multi-Cooker ($57.09): There was no getting away from having to constantly stir and manipulate the rice in this cooker; it cooked to various textures in layers, making for incredibly inconsistent batches. The bottom was always soggy and the top too dry, while the opposite was true for brown rice, which scalded. Our rice cooker testing methodologySu-Jit Lin/InsiderOver the course of over a month, I tested 13 rice cookers and evaluated them using the criteria:Cooking riceRegardless of the type of rice or preparation, I tested one measure above the minimum. For example, if the lowest marker was for 1 cup of raw rice, I tested with 2 cups; if it was for 2 cups, I tested with 3. I chose these measurements since cooking the minimum would increase the likelihood of a dry batch and maxing out the capacity would result in a wetter one.White rice: I used each rice cooker to prepare medium-grain Nishiki white rice to test liquid penetration and Thai jasmine rice to test flavor and structural preservation. Every batch was hand-rinsed five times and none were soaked prior to cooking. Brown rice: Rice cookers that performed well at white rice advanced to a final round where I tested mixed grain brown rice, a blend of brown medium-grain and brown jasmine, using the default brown rice setting.Porridge: For the rice cookers that offered this specific setting, I tested authentic Koshihikari short-grain rice for porridge/congee.Cook timeAlthough some rice cookers were equipped with Quick Rice functions, I ignored these in favor of the traditional preparation time to keep the test results fair. The faster the rice cooker could do its job on a standard setting without compromising the structure of the grains, the better.Keep Warm functionI taste-tested each batch of rice immediately after cooking, 30 minutes after cooking, then longer intervals of hours — up to 66 hours after cycle completion — to investigate how well the cooker protected the rice against crusting, yellowing, or hardening.DesignIn this all-encompassing criterion, I took note of everything from overall aesthetic to user experience, including controls, ease of use and cleaning, and overall look and feel. Functional necessities such as a carrying handle, delay timer, rice spatula holder, and bonus accessory materials were also major plusses.What to consider when buying a rice cookerSu-Jit Lin/InsiderAll rice cookers will cook rice, plain and simple. But the best rice cookers will have certain default features that will extract the most out of every grain. Here's what to look for in a rice cooker:Lid: Airtight, sealed tops help the aroma of fragrant rice types like jasmine and basmati bloom, as well as prevent rice from drying out on the Keep Warm setting.Smart functions: Micom, or microcomputerized rice cookers, are best for those who don't limit their pantries to just one type or preparation of rice. These smart rice cookers have different settings for each type of rice, so that you get consistent results each time. All Fuzzy Logic-marked rice cookers are equipped with this technology.Features: In an advanced rice cooker, audible indicators and digital countdowns make cooking even more effortless. Removable inner lids are also a great feature for easy cleaning. A spatula holder minimizes mess, and easy-to-grip handles simplify clean up even further. Finally, high contrast, water line markers will save a lot of frustration and help to guarantee success. Extras: Some rice cookers only come with a rice cup and paddle. Others include steamer baskets, ladles, spatula holders, scrapers, and other extras. If you're planning to use your rice cooker as an all-in-one cooking device, you may want to look for a model that contains extras.Capacity: A mere half rice cup of raw rice, three ounces, is considered one serving, with a yield of a full cup of cooked rice. A tiny, single-serving rice cooker might be fine if you're cooking for just one, but if you're cooking for a family, you'll want a rice cooker that makes at least 5 cooked cups of rice.Rice cooker safety tipsRice cookers are immensely easy to operate and even safer than cooking rice on a stovetop. That said, as with all small electronic appliances, you'll want to play it safe with some basic guidelines:"Dishwasher safe" typically only applies to the inner pot and accessory items. Never, ever immerse the outer electronic casing of the cooker in water.When grabbing the lid or standing near an active rice cooker, never put your hand or face over the steam vent. The concentrated direct blast can cause real injury.Remember that the inner pot is meant to retain heat. When you're done cooking, give it time to cool down before you handle it, and approach it with hand protection to avoid burn risk.If the cooker doesn't come with a spatula holder, it might be tempting to leave the rice paddle in with the rice. Don't. Rce paddles and accessories are often made of plastic, which can melt or leach plastics with extended and direct contact with heat.Because rice cookers work with so much moisture, it's important to keep them clean to avoid mold and bacterial breeding. Clean out the steam vent and condensation catchers after every use or prepare to be grossed out in the not very distant future. Wash out the inner pot right away and let it fully dry before storing it back in the cooker. And while that's airing out, leave the lid open to let any trapped or pooled moisture evaporate. Guaranteed that even if you wipe the moats, there will be some droplets hiding in the seams and linings you'll want to provide a chance to dissipate.Rice cooker FAQsSu-Jit Lin/InsiderIs a rice cooker worth it? What are its benefits?According to millions of Asians around the world: yes. It's more of a necessity to most Asian households than even a blender or toaster oven, saving significant time, labor, and babysitting over what for many families is a daily chore.It also saves even more time with cleanup, since the nonstick interiors take scrubbing out of the equation, and scorching, too. And while its name might hint at uni-tasking, digital rice cookers take on many uses with aplomb. Even the most basic ones can boil and steam simultaneously. With the more advanced, you can cook yogurt, oatmeal, stew, baby food, and even cake.What is the benefit of using a rice cooker instead of my stove?Rice is extremely absorbent and therefore sensitive to even minuscule variation in water-to-grain proportions, plus sticky to boot, so making rice on a stovetop can be tricky and requires more hands-on work. A rice cooker fully automates the process, so you can just add rice and water, press the cook button, and come back whenever you like to perfectly cooked rice.Can a rice cooker be used as a slow cooker?If it has a slow cooker function, absolutely! Just mind that because those models tend to be airtight; the lining might hold onto the flavor of what you're making, so be sure to clean and air it out thoroughly. We don't recommend attempting to slow cook in a rice cooker without a slow cooker function, however. Can I use a regular measuring cup?It's not recommended. Measuring cups that come with rice cookers are usually 2 ounces less than a standard one cup measure, and typically sized to match the markings on the inner pot of the rice cooker.Incremental measurements can make a noticeable difference when it comes to cooking rice, and if you use a conventional cup measure, the ratios will be off and affect the success of your end result. Hold onto the one that comes with your cooker, and just store it in the inner pot with its accessories to keep it on hand. But if you do happen to misplace it, a standard ¾-cup measure should do the trick with comparable results.How long can I keep rice in a rice cooker?Generally, rice is best consumed 15-45 minutes after cooking. However, that eating window may not work for everyone (or you might have extra you want to save and keep ready for the next meal). Most rice cookers — even the most elementary one-button ones — come equipped with a Keep Warm function that keeps your rice at a food safe temperature for hours after cooking.Ideally, cooked rice should be kept at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher on the Keep Warm setting. Different models can maintain that temperature for different amounts of time. The best rule of thumb is to use a thermometer to confirm that the rice is, in fact, being held above 140 degrees.However, keep in mind that the higher the temperature, the higher the risk of dry-out. Many hours spent on Keep Warm causes flavors to dissipate, too. Most manufacturers report 12 hours as the maximum rice should be kept in a rice cooker on the Keep Warm setting.What is the best way to store cooked rice?Allow it to cool and store in an airtight container, then consume it within six days; the extended shelf life if it's stored properly.To buy more time, you can also freeze it, but make sure you cool, package, and freeze it within an hour after cooking to avoid bacterial growth. Bacteria can live through the freezing process, living in suspension only to multiply once you heat back up, picking up right where it left off.What is the best way to reheat cooked rice?When reheating, reconstitute the grains with a sprinkle of water, then cover and microwave. One serving in a bowl will take as little as 35 seconds this way. For bigger batches, some advanced rice cookers have a "reheat" function (many of our top picks do). If not, you can also choose to steam the rice. Can I make rice in an Instant Pot or multicooker?If your household eats rice regularly, it's worthwhile to invest in a dedicated rice cooker that will last you for years. However, rice cookers can be quite expensive and may not be the best option if you only cook or eat rice occasionally. Multicookers like the Instant Pot can be a good alternative if you want a foolproof way to make rice once in a while. They provide excellent value and help maximize storage space by doing the job of more than one small appliance. Most usually have at least one setting for rice and can produce acceptable results.What is Fuzzy Logic?Fuzzy Logic-equipped rice cookers are microcomputerized (micom, for short) rice cookers that have smart settings that allow them to make micro-adjustments dynamically to the temperature and humidity during the cooking process. The most basic rice cookers rely on a one-button switch to cook and will automatically flip via spring mechanism to Keep Warm once the inner plate detects that all water has been absorbed into the rice grains. Fuzzy Logic, on the other hand, allows for more flexibility so that you can set preferences and programs for specific textures and functions. For example, jasmine rice cooks differently than medium-grain rice, which cooks differently than porridge. Fuzzy Logic allows for this variability.These presets are not perfect for all types of rice and preferences (see our note on brown rice in our best budget recommendation), but they're ideally suited for folks who like to change up their grains.Check out our other comprehensive kitchen appliance guidesJames Brains/InsiderThe best Instant Pot and electric pressure cookersThe best toaster ovensThe best air fryersThe best vacuum sealersThe best food processorsThe best ice cream makersThe best Crock-Pot slow cookersRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 18th, 2021

The Real Reason Facebook Just Went “All In” On The Metaverse

Imagine if McDonald’s Corp (NYSE:MCD) started selling cars… Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Or Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) got out of the movie business to deliver burritos… Or Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) said it was developing a new cancer drug… Facebook’s Big Pivot To many investors, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s big pivot is just as big a head-scratcher. […] Imagine if McDonald’s Corp (NYSE:MCD) started selling cars… if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Or Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) got out of the movie business to deliver burritos… Or Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) said it was developing a new cancer drug… Facebook's Big Pivot To many investors, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)'s big pivot is just as big a head-scratcher. As you’ve probably heard by now, the social media giant announced it’s becoming a metaverse company. The metaverse is the new “3D internet” we first introduced you to in February. Facebook changed its name to Meta. It’ll change its stock ticker from “FB” to “MVRS” on December 1. And it plans to spend $10 billion and hire 10,000 people to build out the infrastructure of the metaverse. You may be thinking… Facebook? Metaverse? Why? It makes perfect sense when you consider the business Facebook’s really in. See, Facebook doesn’t make its money being a social media company. Facebook grew into the 5thlargest company in America because it’s an advertising powerhouse. 97% of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising sales. Advertising has been a lucrative business for Facebook. It’s made CEO Mark Zuckerberg the 5th richest guy on Earth. It’s made shareholders rich, too… Facebook has handed investors 10X their money since 2012… by selling ads on the internet. At this point, the “regular” internet is saturated with advertising. That’s why Facebook has its sights on bigger things. Back in June, Facebook quietly made a genius move… As I showed you, Facebook announced it would start testing ads in its Oculus VR platform. Facebook acquired VR headset company Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion. It was Facebook’s first major move in the virtual reality space. As I said in June, there’s a huge pot of gold waiting for the company that figures out how to profitably advertise on VR and augmented reality: both key technologies needed to access the metaverse. In short, Facebook is gearing up to dominate this entirely new world of advertising. And please understand… advertising in the metaverse isn’t some outlandish prediction. It’s already happening. Brands Are Entering Metaverse The world’s biggest brands are entering the metaverse in droves… If you’ve been following my work, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Luxury brands Gucci and Louis Vuitton are already marketing inside the metaverse. A virtual Gucci bag sold for more money in the game Roblox than its physical version did in real life. And Louis Vuitton has made virtual outfits for League of Legends characters. Warner Bros. and Hyundai have built their own virtual worlds in the metaverse. Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO), Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (NYSE:BUD) and Crockpot have started selling their own non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or digital goods. Coca-Cola’s first NFT auctioned off for $575,884. At the same time, Sephora and HBO are experimenting with how to use augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). NASCAR also partnered with metaverse platform Roblox Corp (NYSE:RBLX) to brand itself in front of younger audiences. Players will be able to outfit their video game characters in custom NASCAR uniforms. A couple weeks ago, Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) filed seven trademark applications as it prepares to enter the metaverse. The company will make and sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel. The metaverse is jam-packed with innovative marketing potential. There’s marketing opportunity in virtual stores, fashion shows, product launches, content production, live flagship events, enhanced social media platforms, Zoom calls, and NFTs. The possibilities in this hybrid digital/physical world are endless. There’s a ton of money up for grabs as advertising migrates from the “regular” internet to the metaverse. One easy way to profit is by buying the metaverse fund META. It holds a basket of companies that have a presence in the metaverse, including Facebook, chip maker NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). You can see that META recently broke out to new all-time highs. Since then, it’s been on an absolute tear. This is incredibly bullish for metaverse stocks as a whole. But let’s face it… Facebook, Nvidia, and Microsoft aren’t metaverse pure plays. They operate huge, heavily diversified businesses. So, I suggest focusing on smaller metaverse stocks. The Great Disruptors: 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money" Get our latest report where we reveal our three favorite stocks that will hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here. Article By Justin Spittler, Mauldin Economics Updated on Nov 16, 2021, 12:01 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 16th, 2021

Elon Musk just lost $50 billion in 2 days, but he"s still the world"s richest person. Here"s how the Tesla and SpaceX CEO makes and spends his $288 billion fortune.

Elon Musk's net worth has soared since onset of the pandemic. And even when he loses billions, he's still significantly wealthier than Jeff Bezos. Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images Elon Musk just lost $50 billion in just two days, but he's still the richest person in the world. A notorious workaholic, Musk doesn't spend his money on lavish vacations or expensive hobbies. Here's how Musk makes and spends his $288 billion fortune. Decades before becoming a father of six and amassing an $288 billion fortune, Musk taught himself to code as a child growing up in South Africa. By the time he was 12, he sold the source code for his first video game for $500. SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk works at his desk in 2008. OnInnovation/Flickr Source: MONEY Just before his 18th birthday, Musk moved to Canada and worked a series of hard labor jobs, including shoveling grain, cutting logs, and eventually cleaning out the boiler room in a lumber mill for $18 an hour - an impressive wage in 1989. OnInnovation/Flickr Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Musk got a pay cut to $14 an hour when he started a summer internship alongside his brother, Kimbal, at the Bank of Nova Scotia after cold-calling - and impressing - a top executive there. Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017. Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future After he arrived for his freshman year at Queens University in 1990, Musk quickly picked up a side hustle selling computer parts and full PCs to other students. "I could build something to suit their needs like a tricked-out gaming machine or a simple word processor that cost less than what they could get in a store," Musk said. Elon Musk. Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The New York Times Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Within two years, Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania on a partial scholarship. f11photo/Shutterstock Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future To cover the rest of his tuition, Musk and a buddy would turn their house into a speakeasy on the weekends, charging $5 at the door. "I was paying my own way through college and could make an entire month's rent in one night," Musk said. Tesla Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, reacts to a reporter's question following the electric automaker’s initial public offering on Nasdaq, Tuesday, June, 29, 2010 in New York. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan Sources: MONEY, Esquire - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Musk graduated with a bachelor's degree in physics and an economics degree from the Wharton School and moved on to Stanford to pursue his PhD. REUTERS / Phil McCarten Source: MONEY He left the program within days to build an internet startup with his brother. They started Zip2, a city guide software for newspapers, with $28,000 in seed money from their father. Kimbal Musk, Elon's brother. Fred Prouser/Reuters Source: MONEY Four years later, in 1999, they sold Zip2 for $307 million, earning Musk $22 million. He invested more than half of his earnings to cofound X.com, an online banking service. Elon Musk at SpaceX Hyperloop Pod II competition in Hawthorne, California Reuters/Mike Blake Source: MONEY The company quickly merged with its rival and became PayPal, with Musk as the majority shareholder. In 2002, eBay bought PayPal and Musk walked away with $180 million. Paypal CEO Dan Schulman (C) celebrates with employees during the company's relisting on the Nasdaq in New York. Reuters/Lucas Jackson Source: MONEY Musk turned his attention to his new space exploration company, SpaceX, after leaving PayPal. A few years later he cofounded electric-car maker, Tesla, and then SolarCity, a solar power systems provider. The success of these companies eventually launched him into the billion-dollar club - but not before he went broke. Reuters Source: VentureBeat In late 2008, Musk divorced his first wife and it took a toll on his finances. A year later, Musk said he "ran out of cash" and had been living off loans from friends while trying to keep his companies afloat. Brendan McDermid/Reuters Sources: VentureBeat, Forbes, TechCrunch But when Tesla debuted on the stock market in 2010, Musk's fortune skyrocketed. By 2012, he appeared on Forbes' richest list for the first time with a net worth of $2 billion. Tesla Source: Forbes Nearly a decade later, Musk has amassed an $288 billion fortune - but it's not very liquid. Remarkably, Musk made his billions without ever taking a paycheck from Tesla, because the CEO refuses his minimum salary every year. By 2020, Tesla cut his paycheck down to zero. Getty/Kevork Djansezian Source: Bloomberg, Insider Musk's complicated salary structure means that he's awarded stock options when Tesla hits challenging performance metrics. When Tesla does well, Musk's wealth soars. Maja Hitij/Getty Images Source: Insider But Musk has said himself that he's cash-poor. "Some people think I have a lot of cash," Musk told investor Cathie Wood on a podcast last year. "I actually don't." Like a lot of other high-powered executives, Musk relies on mortgages and credit day-to-day. Elon Musk Pool Source: Insider Over the years, the CEO has purchased more than $100 million in residential property in California. He has since offloaded much of his real estate after vowing to sell it all and "own no house" last year. Google Maps Source: The Real Deal, Variety, Insider As the leader of one of the preeminent auto-makers, it's no surprise Musk has an affinity for cars. Back in 2013, he paid $920,000 at an auction for the Lotus Esprit submarine car used in a James Bond movie. AP Source: MONEY, CNBC In addition to driving Teslas, Musk has owned a few gas-powered cars including a Ford Model T, a Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster, a McLaren F1 (which he later totaled), an Audi Q7, a Hamann BMW M5, and a Porsche 911. Not Elon Musk's Jaguar. DeFacto/Wikimedia Commons Source: Insider Despite having funds to spare, Musk isn't a fan of lavish vacations - or any vacations for that matter. In 2015, he said he'd only taken two weeks off since founding SpaceX about 12 years earlier. Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images Sources: Inc, Quartz Musk has five children with his first wife, Justine Musk. In a 2014 tweet, Musk said he takes the kids on an annual camping trip. "I'm a pretty good dad," he said. "I have the kids for slightly more than half the week and spend a fair bit of time with them. I also take them with me when I go out of town." Elon Musk with two of his sons and now ex-wife Talulah Riley. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan Sources: Twitter, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Musk and Canadian musician Grimes welcomed a baby boy in May 2020 named X Æ A-Xii Musk - they appear to call the baby "X" for short. (Musk and Grimes have since broken up.) Musk and Grimes. Jason Kempin/Getty Images Source: Insider, Insider At the end of the day, the multibillionaire says he enjoys inexpensive hobbies like listening to music, playing video games, and reading books. "Hang out with kids, see friends, normal stuff," he said. "Sometimes go crazy on Twitter. But usually it's work more." REUTERS/Stephen Lam Source: Quartz In August 2018, Musk told The New York Times that he had taken to working 120 hours a week. "There were times when I didn't leave the factory for three or four days - days when I didn't go outside," he told The Times. "This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends." Engineer and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk of The Boring Company listens as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about constructing a high speed transit tunnel at Block 37 during a news conference on June 14, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Getty Images/Joshua Lott Source: The New York Times Musk said on an earnings call in 2017 that he doesn't have a desk at the Tesla factory: "I always move my desk to wherever - I don't really have a desk actually - I move myself to wherever the biggest problem is in Tesla. I really believe that one should lead from the front lines, and that's why I'm here." Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider Sources: Insider, Fortune Musk admitted to spending "many late nights" at Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory re-writing software during a production sprint for the Model 3. Elon Musk showing YouTuber Marques Browne around the Gigafactory 1 Marques Browne/YouTube Source: Fortune For a story published in August 2018, Insider reporters spoke with 42 Tesla employees who said Musk is a visionary, but also unpredictably demanding. Tesla Motors Source: Insider Musk said in June 2019 that he even planned to spend his 48th birthday on June 28 at work, improving the company's "global logistics." Tesla CEO Elon Musk walks onto the stage to introduce the Model Y at the company's design studio Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Hawthorne, Calif. AP Source: Insider Musk told CBS' "60 Minutes" that he is, in fact, "somewhat impulsive" and doesn't "really want to try to adhere to some CEO template." Getty Source: Insider Not only does Musk spend a ton of time at Tesla, he also spends a lot of his money on the company. In the first six months of 2018, he bought more than $35 million worth of shares in Tesla. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Source: CNN Musk also invests a lot of time, energy, and resources into SpaceX. John Raoux / AP Images Source: Insider SpaceX has raised billions to develop, build, and launch Starlink - an effort to cover Earth in ultra-fast broadband internet - and build the prototype of Starship, a gargantuan reusable space vehicle designed to bring people to Mars. The company was valued at $100 billion as of October 2021. The Es'hail-2 mission launches toward space aboard one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets on November 15, 2018. SpaceX/Flickr (public domain) Source: Insider, CNBC Musk also helms The Boring Company, which he founded in 2016 to develop and construct underground tunnels in an effort to mitigate traffic. The Boring Company's Hawthorne, California, Tunnel. Robyn Beck/Pool via REUTERS Source: Insider According to The New York Times, The Boring Company raised over $112 million in 2018 - and more than 90% of it came from Musk. In 2019, the company raised outside funding for the first time to the tune of around $120 million. The Boring Company Source: The New York Times, Insider In 2012, Musk signed The Giving Pledge, vowing to donate the majority of his wealth during his lifetime. Though he's already in the business of improving our environment and the future during his day job, Musk has made sizable donations to causes he cares about, including a $10 million gift to the Future of Life Institute to regulate artificial intelligence. jurvetson / Flickr Sources: Twitter, Insider Musk found himself in legal trouble with the SEC in 2018 after he tweeted that he had obtained the funding to take Tesla private, which moved the company's stock price. Musk reached a settlement with the SEC in April 2019 in which he and Tesla both agreed to pay a $20 million penalty. Spencer Platt/Getty Images Source: Insider Musk moved Tesla share price again in May 2020, sending it down 13% after tweeting "Tesla stock price is too high imo." FILE PHOTO: Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk speaks at an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai Reuters Source: Markets Insider Musk's Twitter habits once again got him into legal trouble in 2019 after he called the British cave diver who helped rescue a Thai soccer team a "pedo guy"; the diver sued Musk, claiming defamation, but a jury ruled in Musk's favor. A courtroom sketch of British cave diver Vernon Unsworth during his defamation suit against Elon Musk. REUTERS/Mona Shafer Edwards Source: Insider Musk's net worth soared in 2020 amid the pandemic, increasing by 197% between March and August, according to an analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies. By December 2020, Musk had become the world's second-richest person behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Jeff Bezos, left, and Elon Musk. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts Source: Insider Only a few months later, Musk became the world's richest person and his net worth has only grown since: Just last month, Musk's wealth increased by $36 billion in a single day, the largest gain ever recorded by Bloomberg's Billionaires Index. Elon Musk. Steve Nesius/Reuters Source: Insider But after shares of Tesla plunged by 16%, Musk lost $50 billion in just two days. Tesla's share price dipped after a string of headlines, including a tweet from Musk asking if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock. Still, Musk remains $82 billion richer than Bezos. Tesla CEO Elon Musk Britta Pedersen / POOL / AFP via Getty Images Source: InsiderTanza Loudenback and Taylor Nicole Rogers contributed to an earlier version of this story. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 10th, 2021

Futures Flat As Yields, Dollar Slide On Speculation Demo-Dove Brainard Will Replace Powell

Futures Flat As Yields, Dollar Slide On Speculation Demo-Dove Brainard Will Replace Powell For the second session in a row, S&P 500 futures reversed earlier losses and traded flat after falling as much as 0.3% earlier in the run-up to today's PPI report - the first of a couple of readings on inflation this week - as investors weighed the Federal Reserve’s warning that stock prices are "vulnerable to significant declines should investor risk sentiment deteriorate, progress on containing the virus disappoint, or the economic recovery stall." US Treasury yields fell and the dollar index slipped for a third consecutive day following a late Monday report that Joe Biden interviewed uber-dove and Hillary Clinton fan Lael Brainard for the central bank’s top job, although prediction markets were not impressed. European stocks advanced for a ninth day, the longest streak since June while Asian shares drifted. Some more stats from DB's Jim Reid There wasn’t an awful lot of newsflow for investors yesterday as they looked forward to tomorrow’s US CPI release, but the astonishing equity advance showed no signs of relenting just yet, with the S&P 500 (+0.09%) up for an 8th consecutive session to another record high. For reference, that’s the longest winning streak since April 2019, and if we get a 9th day in the green today, that would mark the longest run of consecutive gains since November 2004, back when George W. Bush had just beaten John Kerry to win a second term. It's also 17 out of 19 days up, which hasn’t happened since December 1971. At 715am S&P futures were up 1 point or 0.02% to 4,965. If, or rather when, the S&P closes green today, it will be up 9 consecutive sessions, the longest such streak since Nov 2004. Nasdaq futures rose another 33.25 points; If the nasdaq index is up today, it will be 12 days in a row, a feat it last achieved in 2009 and which hasn't been topped since 1992. “U.S. indexes continue flirting with all-time high levels following a surprise NFP read, the approval of Biden’s $550 billion spending bill and the discovery of an oral Covid treatment from Pfizer,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote. “But inflation worries come to overshadow the Monday optimism.” Sysco and DoorDash are among companies reporting earnings. Rivian Automotive is scheduled to price its initial public offering, seeking to raise as much as $10 billion in a listing that could give the producer of electric trucks a fully diluted valuation of more than $70 billion. “The company is seen as the most serious competitor to Tesla in the EV race,” Ozkardeskaya said. “The company will be worth more than Honda and Ferrari." Paypal Holdings fell 4.5% in U.S. premarket trading with analysts saying the payments firm’s full-year guidance was a disappointment and that the shares are likely to remain under pressure near-term despite announcing a new Venmo deal with Amazon, while General Electric surged 11.6% in premarket after the U.S. conglomerate said it would split itself into three companies focused on aviation, healthcare and power. Tesla Inc shares rose 1.4%, rebounding from a nearly 5% fall on Monday after Chief Executive Elon Musk’s Twitter poll proposing to sell a tenth of his holdings garnered 57.9% vote in favor of the sale. The proposal also raised questions about whether Musk may have violated his settlement with the U.S. securities regulator again. Zynga Inc jumped 6.6% after the “FarmVille” creator beat quarterly net bookings estimates, while Tripadvisor Inc fell 7.4% after reporting downbeat quarterly earnings and announcing the departure of Chief Executive Stephen Kaufer. Here are some of the other notable premarket movers today: TripAdvisor (TRIP US) shares fall as much as 7% in U.S. premarket trading with analysts saying the company’s 3Q results and outlook are a disappointment given the travel recovery being seen across the board. Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks rise in U.S. premarket trading on Tuesday, set to extend Monday’s gains after the global crypto market hit the $3 trillion milestone Roblox (RBLX US) shares jump as much as 27% in U.S. premarket trading after the video-game platform firm’s quarterly bookings topped estimates even after the easing of Covid restrictions Naked Brand (NAKD US) shares rise as much as 45% in U.S. premarket trading, after the company said it will acquire commercial EV technology company Cenntro Automotive in a stock-for-stock deal Robinhood Markets (HOOD US) slides 3% in premarket trading after it said personal information of millions of customers was compromised in a data breach last week and that the culprit demanded a payment. Arrival (ARVL US) plunged 19% in extended trading after the electric-vehicle maker says previous long-term forecasts from the merger with the CIIG special purpose acquisition company should no longer be relied upon SmileDirectClub (SDC US) slumps 21% in U.S. premarket trading after its 3Q revenue and 4Q forecast missed the lowest analyst estimates Aterian (ATER US) shares jumped 24% in postmarket trading on Monday, after third-quarter revenue and gross margin topped analysts’ estimates Five9 (FIVN US) shares rose 8.8% in extended trading on Monday, after the software company reported third-quarter results that beat expectations RealReal (REAL US) shares jumped 5.5% in Monday extended trading, after the online marketplace reported third- quarter revenue that beat expectations Invitae (NVTA US) shares tumbled 14% postmarket after the genetics company cut its full- year revenue forecast 3D Systems (DDD US) fell 8.5% postmarket after reporting third-quarter results. The 3D printing firm narrowed its 2021 adjusted gross margin guidance to 41% to 43% from an earlier range of 40% to 44% Data from the Labor Department due at 8:30 a.m. ET is expected to show that its producer price index for final demand rose 0.6% in October, with accelerating inflation and tighter monetary policy becoming a bigger concern for investors than the COVID-19 pandemic. Global equities hovered near all-time highs as investors weigh strong earnings, easing travel curbs and U.S. infrastructure spending against the risk of persistent inflation that may lead to tighter monetary policy.  A better-than-expected earnings season, positive developments around COVID-19 antiviral pills and the loosening of travel curbs have recently helped the market continue its record run. European equities faded small opening losses in otherwise quiet trade, with Euro Stoxx 50 little changed and other major indexes adding ~0.2%. Retailers traded well, insurance and financial services are under pressure but ranges are relatively narrow. Bayer jumped 3% after the German producer of healthcare and agricultural products raised its earnings forecast. In the latest positive development in uranium, Rolls-Royce surged 4.9% after the British engineering company raised an equivalent $617 million to fund the development of small modular nuclear reactors. Investor sentiment in Germany rose unexpectedly in November on expectations that price pressures will ease at the start of next year and growth will pick up in Europe’s largest economy, a survey showed on Tuesday. The ZEW economic research institute said its economic sentiment index increased to 31.7 from 22.3 points in October. A Reuters poll had forecast a fall to 20.0. “Financial market experts are more optimistic about the coming six months,” ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement. “For the first quarter of 2022, they expect growth to pick up again and inflation to fall both in Germany and the euro zone,” Wambach added. A fall in a current conditions index to 12.5 from 21.6 - compared with a consensus forecast for 18.0 - showed investors expected that supply bottlenecks and inflationary pressures would hold back the economy in the current quarter, he said. Supply bottlenecks for raw and preliminary materials have weighed down industrial production here in Germany. Exports fell here for a second consecutive month in September. Asian equities were mixed, struggling to follow a positive lead from Wall Street as traders weighed economic optimism and Covid treatments against virus outbreaks across China. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 0.1% on Tuesday, trimming an earlier 0.4% gain. SoftBank surged 11% after the company said it would buy back as much as 1 trillion yen ($8.8 billion) of its own stock. Wuxi Biologics rebounded from the previous day’s tumble, after the U.K. government said it will add some of China’s shots to approved vaccines for visitors.  Taiwan and the Philippines had the region’s top-performing benchmarks, with those in Japan and Malaysia slipping. While Asian markets attempted to follow increases seen on Wall Street overnight, “paring back of initial gains suggest that several factors including China’s Covid-19 situation and its property sector remain of concern,” said Jun Rong Yeap, market strategist with IG Asia Pte. in Singapore.  Investors are also awaiting news from China on the Communist Party’s meeting this week, its first major convention in more than a year. “The sixth plenum will quite possibly be a manifesto from Xi Jinping as he adopts the mantle of effective leader for life,” said Kyle Rodda, an analyst at IG Markets Ltd. “His agenda and rhetoric will be important, with investors nervous about what comes out about China’s strategic and economic direction.”  Over in Japan, a morning rally in Japanese stocks gave way to profit-taking for a second day, even as SoftBank Group surged on its latest buyback announcement. Electronics and chemical makers were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 0.8%, reversing an early 0.7% gain. Fast Retailing was the biggest contributor to a 0.8% decline in the Nikkei 225. The yen was up 0.4% against the dollar, in its forth day of advance. SoftBank jumped more than 10% after it said it will repurchase as much as 1 trillion yen ($8.8 billion) of its stock. Its climb helped drive Japanesestocks higher in early trading, after the S&P 500 rose to a new record high. “Futures were sold after the open as investors moved to book profits with the Nikkei 225 approaching 30,000,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a strategist at Nomura Asset Management in Tokyo. “There is a lack of catalysts for further gains, and the stronger yen is also limiting the upside.” Australian stocks edged lower, weighed down by bank. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.2% to close at 7,434.20, with banks contributing the most to its drop. Eight of the benchmark’s 11 subgauges declined, while miners rallied. Inghams tumbled to its lowest price since May 27. Chalice Mining surgend after reporting its maiden Mineral Resource Estimate for the Gonneville Deposit at Julimar. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to 13,090.58. In rates, USTs bull steepened, returning to Asia’s richest levels after speculation about a dovish change in leadership at the Fed. Treasuries advance across the curve, following wider gains across bunds; a bull-flattening move during Europe session was extended after Netherlands 2038 auction. Gilts long-end also well bid, adding support for Treasuries. Focal points for U.S. session include Fed’s Powell speaking at 9am ET, 10-year note auction at 1pm. Treasury yields were richer by 2bp-3bp across the curve, with curve spreads broadly within 1bp of Monday’s close; bunds outperform by ~1bp in the 10-year sector while long-end gilt yields are ~5bp lower on the day. Long-end Germany outperforms gilts and USTs, richening ~4bps. Peripheral spreads tighten with 10y Bund/BTP near 112bps. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell to its lowest level this month and Treasuries rallied following the report that Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard was interviewed for the top job at the central bank, with speculation that a Brainard-led Fed would be more dovish than that of current Chair Jerome Powell. The dollar was weaker against most of its Group-of-10 peers while the yen was among the top performers as traders wound back bets on higher global central- bank interest rates; the euro briefly rose above the $1.16 level before erasing gains. JPY tops the leaderboard with USD/JPY remaining sub-113. Cable briefly regains a 1.36-handle. In commodities, Crude futures push higher after a subdued Asia session. WTI adds 0.9% to trade near $82.60, Brent regains a $84-handle. Spot gold is range bound near $1,825/oz. Base metals hold modest gains with LME zinc the marginal outperformer Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases includethe US PPI reading for October, along with that month’s NFIB small business optimism index. Over in Germany, there’s also the ZEW survey for November and the trade balance for September. Central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde, BoE Governor Bailey and PBoC Governor Yi Gang, along with the ECB’s Panetta, Rehn, Knot and Schnabel, the Fed’s Bullard, Daly and Kashkari, and BoE Deputy Governor Broadbent. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,693.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.1% to 484.28 MXAP little changed at 198.97 MXAPJ up 0.3% to 649.50 Nikkei down 0.8% to 29,285.46 Topix down 0.8% to 2,018.77 Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 24,813.13 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,507.00 Sensex down 0.3% to 60,381.61 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.2% to 7,434.20 Kospi little changed at 2,962.46 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.26% Euro little changed at $1.1588 Brent Futures up 0.7% to $83.99/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,824.68 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.96 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Just weeks ago, Wall Street analysts and central bankers were quick to assure investors that a collapse by China Evergrande Group wouldn’t be a Lehman moment. Regulators in Beijing said that the crisis would be “contained.” Now that a bond selloff has spread to China’s entire real estate sector and beyond, concern is growing about the potential risk to the global financial system The Federal Reserve warned that fragility in China’s commercial real-estate sector could spread to the U.S. if it deteriorates dramatically, as investor focus turns to China Evergrande Group’s next bond payment deadlines Japan ruling Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner Komeito agree to give 50,000 yen in cash and 50,000 yen in coupons for every child 18 or younger, Kyodo reports, without attribution Boris Johnson is struggling to repress the U.K. backlash over his defense of a ruling party lawmaker who broke lobbying rules, as his government was openly accused of corruption in Parliament and even typically friendly newspapers took aim at his ruling Conservative Party Bitcoin jumped past $68,000 for the first time to a new all-time high, part of a wider recent rally in the cryptocurrency sector. The climb in cryptocurrencies overall has taken their combined value above $3 trillion. Bitcoin hit its October record following the launch of the first Bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund for U.S. investors A more detailed look at global markets from Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded indecisively as focus centred on earnings and despite the positive handover from Wall St where the S&P 500 notched an 8th consecutive record close amid a lack of catalysts to derail the momentum in stocks. ASX 200 (-0.2%) began marginally higher amid strength in the tech and mining sectors but with upside eventually reversed by losses in the top-weighted financial industry as NAB shares declined despite posting a 77% jump in FY cash earnings and its FY net more than doubled to AUD 6.4bln, although this was still short of some analysts’ forecasts and the Co. also noted that competitive pressures are expected to continue in FY22. Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) was choppy amid a slew of earnings releases with outperformance in SoftBank following its H1 results in which net income declined by more than 80%, but revenue increased and it confirmed a JPY 1tln share buyback. It was also reported that PM Kishida instructed COVID measures to be compiled this week and economic measures by next Friday, while a government panel recommended tax breaks for companies that increase wages, although Tokyo stocks have failed to benefit with early momentum offset by recent flows into the JPY. Hang Seng (-0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) lacked firm direction amid mixed developer related headlines with Kaisa Group said to be taking several measures to solve liquidity issues and have pleaded for more time and patience from investors, while China Evergrande reportedly scraped together more cash by offloading a 5.7% stake in HengTen Networks for USD 145mln. Furthermore, the PBoC continued with its liquidity efforts but recent source reports noted that chances of a PBoC rate cut looks slim and that the PBoC is expected to be cautious in easing monetary policy amid stagflation concerns. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat amid the indecisive mood in stocks and was only briefly supported from the improvement across most metrics at the latest 30yr JGB auction. Top Asian News Gold Rally Pauses as Focus Turns to Upcoming Inflation Data Indonesia Bonds Risk Losing Key Support as Outflows Surge Nissan Raises Profit Outlook Despite Supply Disruptions Fed Warns of Woes Spreading as Deadline Looms: Evergrande Update After a soft open, European equities trade in close proximity to the unchanged mark (Eurostoxx 50 +0.1%) with incremental newsflow relatively light thus far with a mixed German ZEW report unable to shift the dial. The handover from the Asia-Pac session was a mixed one with the region unable to benefit from the positive tailwinds on Wall St. Stateside, futures are near-enough unchanged with participants tentative ahead of tomorrow’s US CPI release which is expected to see Y/Y CPI rise to 5.8% from 5.4%. For the Stoxx 600, UBS’ announced today that its end-2022 target is at 520 which would mark around 8% of upside from current levels. In terms of a regional breakdown, UBS upgraded Italy to overweight from underweight whilst holding Germany and the UK as overweight. Sectors in Europe are a mixed bag with Autos outperforming peers as Renault (+4.6%) sits at the top of the CAC in the wake of Nissan earnings, which the Co. says will have a positive impact on its Q3 earnings. Basic Resources, Retail and Media names are also faring well. To the downside, Insurance names are on a softer footing following earnings from Munich Re (-3.4%) with the Co. warning of further COVID-related losses, whilst results have also hampered the performance of Direct Line (-2.6%). Bayer (+2.6%) is one of the better performers in Germany after beating revenue and EBITDA expectations and guiding FY EPS higher. Associated British Foods (+6.5%) is the best performer in the Stoxx 600 after announcing a special dividend alongside results. Finally, other strong stocks in the UK include Rolls Royce (+5.4%) after confirming it has received funding for small modular nuclear reactors, whilst BT (+2.9%) is seen higher after being upgraded to buy from hold at Berenberg. Top European News UniCredit to Take $1.9 Billion Charge From Yapi Kredi Sale Russia’s Gazprom Says Gas Will Flow Into EU Storage This Month European Gas Prices Slide on Some Signs of Higher Russian Flows Polish Key Rate Hikes Past 1.5% May Be Needed, MPC’s Sura Says In FX, the Yen and Dollar are locked around the 113.00 mark after the former extended its mainly technical rally to around 112.73 before running out of steam, and this has given the Greenback in general some breathing space as the index claws back declines from a slightly deeper 93.872 post-NFP low to retest resistance at the psychological 94.000 level. However, Usd/Jpy and Yen crosses are still trending lower following clear breaches of several key chart supports that will now form upside barriers, such as Fibs in the headline pair spanning 113.20-30, while the Buck and DXY retain a bearish tone following their sharp retracement from a new y-t-d high in the case of the former last Friday. Ahead, US PPI data provides a timely inflation gauge for CPI on Wednesday, while there is another array of Fed speakers and more supply to absorb as Usd 39 bn 10 year notes are up for auction. GBP - Sterling continues to regroup in wake of the BoE shock, with Cable cresting 1.3600 and even Eur/Gbp unwinding gains towards 0.8520 amidst ongoing Brexit angst that could reach another critical stage by the end of this week given reports that the EU is formulating a package of short/medium-term retaliatory measures which might be presented by Sefcovic to Frost on Friday, to dissuade the UK from triggering Article 16, according to Eurasia Group's Rahman. Note, however, the cross may be underpinned by decent option expiry interest at the 0.8500 strike (1 bn), if not mere sentimentality. AUD/NZD - Some reasons for the Aussie to reverse recent underperformance vs the Kiwi down under, as NAB business confidence and conditions both improved markedly in October, while consumer sentiment ticked up as a counterweight to an acceleration in NZ electronic card consumption, with Aud/Usd firmly back on the 0.7400 handle, Aud/Nzd rebounding from sub-1.0350 and Nzd/Usd hovering midway between 0.7148-74 parameters. CAD/EUR/CHF - All narrowly divergent vs their US counterpart, as the Loonie gleans traction from a Usd 1/brl rebound in WTI to bounce through 1.2450 and away from 1.1 bn option expiries at 1.2460 in advance of another speech from BoC Governor Macklem, while the Euro is weighing up a mixed ZEW survey against expectations in close proximity to 1.1600 and also ‘comfortably’ above 1.8 bn expiry interest down at 1.1550. Elsewhere, the Franc is keeping its head afloat of 0.9150 and 1.0600 vs the Euro awaiting remarks from the SNB via Maechler and Moser about the changing FX market and implications for the Swiss Central Bank on Thursday. In commodities, WTI and Brent are firmer this morning though the benchmarks have drifted off earlier highs as we approach the entrance of US participants. At best, Brent has surpassed the USD 84.00/bbl mark, a figure which eluded it yesterday, and WTI has been within reach of the USD 83.00/bbl mark. Fresh newsflow explicitly for the complex has been slim but we are, more so than usual, looking to the EIA STEO due at 17:00GMT/12:00EST today. Heightened attention on this stems from US Energy Secretary Granholm commenting earlier in the week that President Biden may make an announcement in relation to crude and the SPR this week; as such, administration officials will be scrutinising the STEO report. For reference, the OPEC+ MOMR and IEA OMR are due on November 11th and 16th respectively. October’s STEO upgraded world 2021 oil demand growth forecasts by 90k but cut the 2022 view by 150k while highlighting that US crude output is to fall 260k vs prev. 200k fall in 2021. As usual, we do have the Private Inventory report due today as well with expectations set for a headline build of 1.9mln. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver are once again lacklustre and remain comfortably within overnight ranges and the upside seen in the metals at the tail-end of last week means we are circa, for spot gold, USD 30/oz from a cluster of DMAs. Elsewhere, base metals are firmer given the support for industrial names on the US infrastructure bill, but the likes of LME copper remain within familiar ranges. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Oct. PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.1% 8:30am: Oct. PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade YoY, est. 6.2%, prior 5.9% 8:30am: Oct. PPI Ex Food and Energy YoY, est. 6.8%, prior 6.8% 8:30am: Oct. PPI Final Demand YoY, est. 8.6%, prior 8.6% 8:30am: Oct. PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.2% 8:30am: Oct. PPI Final Demand MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.5% Central Banks 7:50am: Fed’s Bullard Takes Part in Virtual Event 9am: Powell to Speak at Joint Fed, ECB and BoC Diversity Conference 9am: ECB’s Knot, Fed’s Bullard on UBS Panel 11:35am: Fed’s Daly Speaks at NABE Conference 1:30pm: Fed’s Kashkari Takes Part in Moderated Discussion DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Thanks for all your well wishes yesterday. It was very kind to have a few hundred take the time to email. If you missed it, see yesterday’s EMR to understand why my responsibilities have mounted this week. The latest is that I’ve now got two perfect night’s sleep while my wife who is sleeping by my daughter’s side at hospital on a camp bed all week got hardly any the first night. Nurses coming in every hour, lots of machines beeping, it being too hot and no privacy. A look at my WhatsApp this morning shows she was last seen at 3.58am, so I’m worried I’m going to hear about a repeat. Although I will want to know who she’s whatsApping at that time of the night! There wasn’t an awful lot of newsflow for investors yesterday as they looked forward to tomorrow’s US CPI release, but the astonishing equity advance showed no signs of relenting just yet, with the S&P 500 (+0.09%) up for an 8th consecutive session to another record high. For reference, that’s the longest winning streak since April 2019, and if we get a 9th day in the green today, that would mark the longest run of consecutive gains since November 2004, back when George W. Bush had just beaten John Kerry to win a second term. It's also 17 out of 19 days up, which hasn’t happened since December 1971. All these records for various equity indices might seem jarring when you consider that there are still strong inflationary pressures in the pipeline, and with them the prospect of a renewed hawkish shift by central banks. However, the prevalent view among economists (which continues to influence investors) remains that those pressures will prove transitory and we’ll see price pressures diminish as we move through next year, hence enabling a steady lift-off in rates from central banks. Obviously it remains to be seen if that proves correct, but that’s still the prevailing view. And even though Covid-19 cases have begun to rise again in many countries, not least in Europe, the positive news from both Merck and Pfizer about a new pill that reduces hospitalisations and deaths offers societies another tool alongside vaccines to help prevent the overwhelming of healthcare systems going forward. And on top of all that, we’ve had a further dose of optimism from the latest payrolls data on Friday, which saw an above-consensus print along with positive revisions to previous months. With that in mind, it was another day of records across the board yesterday, with the NASDAQ (+0.07%), the Dow Jones (+0.29%), and Europe’s STOXX 600 (+0.04%) all ascending to fresh highs of their own. Cyclicals tended to outperform, and the small-cap Russell 2000 (+0.23%) was yet another index that hit an all-time high. Not even Tesla declining -4.84% after Elon Musk’s weekend Twitter poll over whether he should sell 10% of his stake was enough to derail things. Materials led the pack (+1.23%) with energy (+0.88%) close behind thanks to a fresh boost in commodity prices. By the close of trade, Brent Crude was up another +0.83% to $83.43/bbl, so still beneath its peak from a couple of weeks ago, but very much remaining in the range above $80/bbl that we’ve seen since the start of October. For sovereign bonds, however, the rally from late last week reversed, 5yr US Treasuries increased +6.1bps, bringing them back above last Thursday’s close, while yields on 10yr US Treasuries were up +3.8bps to 1.49%. Both were entirely driven by higher inflation breakevens, as 5yr and 10yr breakevens both increased +7.1bps. 10yr real yields sank -3.4bps to -1.13%, putting them less than 10bps away from their intraday low back in August of -1.220%. Over in Europe, it was much the same story of higher nominal yields thanks to rising inflation expectations, with yields on 10yr bunds (+3.7bps), OATs (+3.6bps) and BTPs (+1.7bps) all ending the session higher. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading in the red with the Shanghai Composite (-0.02%), Hang Seng (-0.07%), CSI (-0.30%), KOSPI (-0.29%) and the Nikkei (-0.66%) all down. In Japan, wages grew at +0.2% year-on-year in September (vs +0.6% consensus) and real wages actually fell -0.6% as prices rose faster. The new Prime Minister Kishida is expected to announce a stimulus package to boost Japan's recovery in an effort to shore up wages. Staying in Asia, strains on global supply chains continue with Bangladeshi truckers continuing their strike from Friday over a 23% hike in diesel prices. Protests are intensifying as diesel shortages have already sent prices upwards of 64% this year. Futures are indicating that the winning streak in the US and Europe might be under threat with S&P 500 futures (-0.25%) and DAX futures (-0.28%) both down. With all eyes on when we might get some news about the various Fed positions, another place opened up on the Board yesterday after Randal Quarles said that he would be resigning his position as a Governor at the end of December. Quarles had also been Vice Chair for Supervision, though his four-year term for that post came to an end last month. Quarles’ departure from the Fed Board means that there’s now another position at the Fed for President Biden to fill, with Jay Powell’s term as chair concluding in February, Vice Chair Clarida’s position on the board concluding at the end of January, and an additional vacant post on the Board on top of those. Staying on the Fed, yesterday we had the latest Survey of Consumer Expectations from the new York Fed, which showed that one-year inflation expectations hit a series high of 5.7%, while the 3-year inflation expectations remained at a joint-series high of 4.2%. Separately, we also heard from Vice Chair Clarida, who reiterated his belief that the necessary conditions “for raising the target range for the federal funds rate will have been met by year-end 2022.” The Fed also released its bi-annual Financial Stability Report after the closing bell last night. Timely, considering the record run equities have been on, the report noted that “asset prices remain vulnerable to significant declines should investor risk sentiment deteriorate, progress on containing the virus disappoint, or the economic recovery stall.” Other key risks the report mentions include stablecoins, retail-fuelled volatility, and structural vulnerabilities in money market funds. While on structural vulnerabilities, the Inter-Agency Working Group, five key US regulators, also released a progress report on potential Treasury market reforms. There are a number of reforms being considered; what is ultimately adopted will have a sizable impact on the shape of the Treasury market and demand for Treasury securities. To the day ahead now, and data releases includethe US PPI reading for October, along with that month’s NFIB small business optimism index. Over in Germany, there’s also the ZEW survey for November and the trade balance for September. Central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde, BoE Governor Bailey and PBoC Governor Yi Gang, along with the ECB’s Panetta, Rehn, Knot and Schnabel, the Fed’s Bullard, Daly and Kashkari, and BoE Deputy Governor Broadbent. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/09/2021 - 08:08.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 9th, 2021