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Bezos calls on Disinformation Board to fact-check Biden"s own inflation tweet

Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has called on President Joe Biden's own Disinformation Board to fact-check the president's latest inflation tweet......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsMay 14th, 2022

Bezos calls on Disinformation Board to fact-check Biden"s own inflation tweet

Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has called on President Joe Biden's own Disinformation Board to fact-check the president's latest inflation tweet......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsMay 14th, 2022

Futures, Yields Rise On Ceasefire Hopes As Ukraine-Russia Talks Resume

Futures, Yields Rise On Ceasefire Hopes As Ukraine-Russia Talks Resume Following yesterday's surge in stocks following an FT report that Russia has eased on its Ukraine demands and the Russian ceasefire document no longer contains any discussion of three of Russia’s initial core demands - “denazification”, “demilitarisation”, and legal protection for the Russian language in Ukraine - overnight futures have extended their "feel good" rise as peace negotiations which resumed on Tuesday in Turkey between Russia and Ukraine stoked a rally in global equities, and hit session highs after Ukrainian negotiator Podoliak noted that a ceasefire is being discussed with Russia adding a press conference is to be expected later. Ukraine is striving for a cease-fire agreement in talks with Russian negotiators that started Tuesday in Turkey, setting a “minimum” goal of an improvement in the humanitarian situation. Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.6% while S&P 500 futures gained 0.5% and Dow futures 0.4%. Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index also advanced, with auto and consumer stocks outperforming. Oil fluctuated as investors weighed the impact of China’s mobility curbs against a Covid resurgence on demand; the dollar dropped. Treasuries bear flattened, outperforming bunds and gilts as haven demand continues to be unwound; the 10Y TSY yield rose to 2.50%. Apple headed higher in premarket trading and was set for its longest winning streak since 2003, in which the iPhone maker has added about $407 billion in market capitalization. A revival in the so-called meme stock rally also set GameStop on course for its 11th straight day of gains as retail traders bid up OTM calls sparking yet another gamma squeeze and proving that the market remains hopelessly broken. Here are some other notable premarket mvoers: Dave & Buster’s (PLAY) shares drop 7.2% after the dining and entertainment venue operator reported earnings per share for the fourth quarter that missed the average analyst estimate. While analysts pointed to the impact of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus on the company’s fourth-quarter, they saw reassuring signs in the firm’s margins and recent improvements. Progenity (PROG US) falls 20% in U.S. premarket trading after the firm late on Monday reported a wider annual loss for 2021 than expected. Small biotech and pharma companies rally in U.S. premarket trading, rebounding from this year’s declines, as investor appetite for riskier assets and so-called meme stocks grows. Brooklyn Immunotherapeutics (BTX US) +8.7%, Alaunos Therapeutics (TCRT US) +6.5%. CVS Health (CVS US) shares drop 1.7% in U.S. premarket trading after Deutsche Bank downgrades the pharmacy health care provider to hold from buy amid rising risks. U.S. stocks have rebounded in March as the Federal Reserve issued an upbeat outlook on economic growth, with investors also looking past surging inflation and a historic rout in Treasuries. Paradoxically, technology-heavy stocks, which tend to sell off when interest rates are rising, have in fact outperformed the benchmark S&P 500 as traders focused instead on differentiating between profitable and unprofitable firms.  Even more paradoxically as a new cold war rages, the Nasdaq 100 is on track for its biggest monthly gain since October 2021. "The resilience of global stocks given the cocktail of risks facing the global economy is truly impressive, but this stoicism is likely to face continuing tests as the impact of mounting prices and the actions of central banks continue to feed through, not to mention the ongoing geopolitical concerns,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell Ltd., said in emailed comments. Meanwhile, government bond yields rose, with bets on aggressive U.S. monetary tightening hurting shorter maturity Treasuries. Inversions along the curve, where some short-term rates exceed longer tenor yields, point to concerns about a looming economic downturn as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates to quell high inflation. Hopes of a cease-fire in Ukraine-Russia talks also bolstered European equities. The Stoxx 600 jumped 1.3%, with automakers, consumer products and services and technology shares leading gains. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Carlsberg shares advance as much as 4.5% as analysts welcomed the brewer’s decision to exit Russia, with Credit Suisse seeing potential for a re-rating for a stock battered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Adyen shares gain as much as 6% after JPMorgan said the company could boost its outlook for long-term margin to more than 70% from 65%, placing the firm on “positive catalyst watch.” Currys Plc shares rise as much as 12% following a so-called uncooked mention in a Betaville blog post regarding potential takeover interest in the electrical goods retailer. Euromoney shares climb as much as 4.9% after Investec raises its recommendation to buy from hold, citing a disconnect between the share price and the media firm’s operational performance. Schibsted shares rise as much as 6.6%, the most since March 16, after its largest shareholder, Blommenholm Industrier, buys 1 million Class A shares at NOK222.5 each. Nordex shares rise as much as 8.3% after the wind-turbine maker’s new FY22 guidance is ahead of expectations, Jefferies says; wind power peers Vestas and Orsted gain, too. Barclays falls as much as 5.7% in London following news that an unnamed investor sold about 575m shares at a discount. Stock is also downgraded to neutral from overweight at JPMorgan. Maersk, Kuehne + Nagel and Hapag-Lloyd all drop after Deutsche Bank downgrades several logistics and container stocks due to the indirect consequences of the war in Ukraine. Sanofi shares fall as much as 2.5% after the firm provided a new sales forecast for its drug Dupixent, with both Morgan Stanley and Citi noting guidance is slightly behind expectations. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced after a three-day loss, as a decline in oil prices eased concerns over corporate earnings and Chinese tech stocks extended gains into a second day. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7% with Tencent, Toyota Motor, and Alibaba among the biggest contributors to the advance. Apart from Hong Kong, where gains in tech and health names drove gauges higher, equities in Japan and Australia outperformed, with the former benefiting from a weaker yen and the latter rising ahead of a budget release after markets closed. Investors are waiting to see how the cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine proceed, while assessing the repercussions to businesses from the lockdown in Shanghai. The risk of Chinese firms, especially those in the property sector, facing trading halts is weighing on sentiment as a key earnings deadline looms.  Oil Extends Losses on China Demand Concerns Ahead of OPEC+ Meet “A V-shaped recovery in stock markets looks difficult,” said Kim Kyung Hwan, a strategist at Hana Financial Investment in Seoul.  “The worst is behind in terms of investor sentiment, but issues like Covid lockdowns and the war in Ukraine aren’t resolved, traders are just getting used to them.” Despite Tuesday’s gain, the benchmark Asian measure is poised for a third straight monthly loss. It’s also lagging behind the S&P 500 index in recent performance Japanese equities rose, powered by exporters after the yen plunged by the most since March 2020 against the U.S. dollar on the Bank of Japan’s easing measures. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which rose 0.9%. Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group were the largest contributors to a 1.1% gain in the Nikkei 225. The yen was slightly higher after weakening 1.5% against the greenback on Monday. “Makers of export-related products like automobiles should rise with the BOJ’s continuous bond-purchase operations expected to continue weakening the yen,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a strategist at Nomura Asset Management. The drop in oil prices is a “relief” for Japan as an importer, and growth stocks should benefit from the slowing rise in long-term U.S. interest rates, he added Indian stocks rose as a drop in crude prices along with prospects of more cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine supported buying sentiment. The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.6% to 57,943.65, in Mumbai, a second day of gains, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index also advanced by a similar magnitude. Housing Development Finance Corp. advanced 3.1% and was the biggest boost to the Sensex, which had 20 of the 30 shares trading higher.   Fifteen of 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. rose, led by a gauge of healthcare stocks. Price of Brent crude, a major import for India, hovered around $113 a barrel, down about 6% this week.  Lower oil is supporting gains across economies as a lockdown in parts of China after a resurgence in Covid cases raised possibilities of lower demand, Mitul Shah, head of research at Reliance Securities, wrote in a note. “The Russia-Ukraine conflict and inflationary pressures continue to keep the market wavered,” he said.    In rates, Treasuries extended bear-flattening move with yields cheaper by ~5bp across front-end of the curve, following wider losses for bunds and gilts in early European session. U.S. 10-year yields around 2.49%, higher by ~3bp on the day with bunds and gilts trading cheaper by 6bp and 4bp in the sector; Treasury curve-flattening persists with 2s10s spread tighter by 4.5bp as front-end continues to underperform. The week's auction cycle concludes with $47b 7-year note sale at 1pm ET, following Monday double supply of 2- and 5-year notes; WI 7-year around 2.60% is above auction stops since 2019 and ~69.5bp cheaper than February’s stop-out. IG dollar issuance slate includes two 3Y SOFR deals; two deals priced $4b Monday, and early calls for April are for around $100b of issuance. In Europe, fixed income trades heavy in the risk-on environment. Bund and Treasury curves bear-flatten with U.S. 5s30s remaining inverted and 2s10s flattening a further ~5bps near 7bps. Germany’s 2y yield trades ~3bps shy of a 0% yield. Gilts bear-steepen, cheapening 7-8bps across the back end. Peripheral spreads tighten modestly. In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot drops 0.3%, CHF is the weakest in G-10 sending EUR/CHF 0.6% higher on to a 1.03-handle. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index hovered as the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers; Scandinavian currencies were the best performers while the Swiss franc and the pound were the worst. The yen inched up after posting is biggest drop in over a year Monday; the currency may be heading for its worst monthly performance versus the dollar since November 2016, yet trading in the options space is much more balanced. Super-long Japanese government bonds dropped while benchmark 10-year notes were supported by the central bank’s purchase operations; The Bank of Japan offered to buy an unlimited amount of 5- to 10-year government notes for a second time on Tuesday Cable gave up an early advance to fall to an almost two-week low; gilts fell. London’s Metropolitan Police are set to issue at least 20 fines to government officials close to the prime minister who broke U.K. lockdown rules, although this tranche of fines is unlikely to touch Prime Minister Boris Johnson Australia’s three-year bonds dropped after retail sales beat economists’ estimates, with the gap over 10-year notes narrowing to the least since March 2020 In commodities, crude futures hold in the green, recouping Asia’s weakness. WTI regains a $106-handle, Brent trades near $113. Spot gold extends losses, dropping ~$13 before stalling near $1,910/oz. Base metals trade poorly with LME nickel underperforming Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the FHFA house price index for January, the Case-Shiller home price index for January, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence indicator for March, and the JOLTS job openings for February. Over in Europe there’s also French consumer confidence for March, Germany’s GfK consumer confidence reading for April and UK mortgage approvals for February. Lastly, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.5% to 4,590.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 459.14 MXAP up 0.7% to 179.73 MXAPJ up 0.6% to 586.67 Nikkei up 1.1% to 28,252.42 Topix up 0.9% to 1,991.66 Hang Seng Index up 1.1% to 21,927.63 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,203.94 Sensex up 0.2% to 57,724.92 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 7,464.26 Kospi up 0.4% to 2,741.07 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.63% Euro little changed at $1.0995 Brent Futures up 1.3% to $113.95/bbl Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,916.02 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 99.04 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said the U.S. and its allies will tighten the sanction screws on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, singling out industries integral to Moscow’s war effort As NATO allies discuss the terms of any potential peace deal to be struck between Russia and Ukraine, signs of strategic splits are emerging from within their ranks Policymakers in Japan on Tuesday sought to balance a commitment to ultra-loose monetary policy in a world of rising interest rates without letting the yen tumble further toward a 20-year low Japan’s Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki highlighted the need to check if a weaker yen is harming the economy, as he indicated heightened government concern over the currency’s recent slide The additional increase in energy prices resulting from the war in Ukraine pushed inflation significantly higher in March, European Central Bank Governing Council member Pablo Hernandez De Cos says Key OPEC members said oil prices would be even more volatile if not for the group’s strategy and that the U.S. must trust what it’s doing, as calls from major importers for higher production grow Russia has made a $102 million interest payment as the world’s biggest energy exporter continues to service its foreign bonds despite financial isolation after the invasion of Ukraine North Korea looks set to detonate its first nuclear bomb in more than four years, as the U.S.’s sanctions disputes with Russia and China make further United Nations penalties against the country unlikely More detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia Pac stocks traded mostly higher following the gains in the US where growth stocks spearheaded a recovery and with a decline in oil prices conducive for risk. ASX 200 was led by strength in tech and consumer stocks heading into the Budget announcement. Nikkei 225 gained with Japan to compile economic measures by the end of next month. Hang Seng and traded mixed with the mainland index faltering amid the ongoing lockdown inShanghai Comp. Shanghai and despite the announcement of supportive measures by the local government. Top Asian News Australia’s Budget Pitches Cash to Key Voters Ahead of Election Samsung to Offer More Credit in India to Boost Smartphone Sales Modern Land Joins List of Earnings Delays: Evergrande Update Iron Ore Edges Lower in China as Virus Controls Dent Demand European bourses, Euro Stoxx 50 +2.2%, are firmer across the board in a continuation of the APAC/US handover as Russian-Ukraine talks begin. Upside that has been exacerbated by remarks from both Ukraine and Russian officials. US futures are firmer across the board, ES +0.4%, though magnitudes more contained with Fed speak and supply ahead Top European News U.K. Consumer Credit Surges at Strongest Pace in Five Years U.K. Faces Crypto Exodus as Firms Sound Off Before FCA Deadline European Banks Could Earn $6.6 Billion a Year Greening Economy Inflation Rose Sharply in March on Energy Shock: ECB’s de Cos Commodities: Crude benchmarks have experienced an erosion of earlier upside amid multiple, but generally constructive, updates from Ukraine and Russia. Specifically, Ukrainian negotiator Podoliak noted that a ceasefire is being discussed with Russia adding a press conference is to be expected later. Albeit, the morning's action has not been sufficient to spark a test of the overnight parameters for WTI and Brent. Spot are pressured once more, generally speaking in-fitting with other havens, exacerbated by thegold/silver aforementioned risk-on move. In FX, Euro elevated as EGB yields ramp up again and hopes rise regarding a Russia-Ukraine peace resolution, EUR /USD above 1.1000 and a series of decent option expiries stretching between 1.0950 and the round number. Buck caught amidst buoyant risk sentiment and hawkish Fed vibe, DXY sub-99.000 after narrowly missing test of 2022 peak on Monday. Yen maintains recovery momentum amidst more MoF verbal intervention and demand for month/fy end, USD /JPY under 124.00 vs 125.00+ peak yesterday. Franc flounders as SNB ponders direct repo indexing to main policy rate, USD/CHF around 0.9360 and EUR /CHF over 1.0300. US Event Calendar 09:00: Jan. S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. 1.50%, prior 1.46% 09:00: Jan. FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 1.2%, prior 1.2% 10:00: March Conf. Board Present Situation, prior 145.1 10:00: March Conf. Board Expectations, prior 87.5 10:00: Feb. JOLTs Job Openings, est. 11m, prior 11.3m 10:00: March Conf. Board Consumer Confidenc, est. 107.0, prior 110.5 Central Bank Speakers 09:00: Fed’s Williams Makes Opening Remarks at Bank Culture... 10:45: Fed’s Harker Discusses Economic Outlook 21:30: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Economic Leadership DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A mixed medical report from the Reid family today. I have a nerve root block injection and a diagnostic test on my back tomorrow to battle my sciatica. I managed to stretch for an hour before attempting to play golf on Saturday thinking there was no hope. Miraculously it must have helped me get round but I then suffered for the rest of the weekend as I seized up as soon as I stopped. I told my wife I should have just carried on playing. She despaired at me. On the more positive side my 6-yr old Maisie had her latest 3-4 month scan yesterday. Regular readers will remember she's been in a wheelchair since November after an operation to help her battle a rare hip disorder called Perthes. There are no guarantees as to the long-term outcome with Perthes but the latest scan was encouraging and suggested that while her hip ball is fragmenting (disintegrating), it's not collapsing and getting out of shape largely due to no weight bearing. That suggests a decent chance that when it regrows (assuming it does) it will regrow relatively normally. The nightmare is if the hip ball gets squashed as it disintegrates. She'll still need to keep the weight off for most of the rest of the year but there's hope that by the end of it she can come out of her wheelchair and start the rehab towards a manageable hip. There are some horror stories with this disease in terms of pain and constant discomfort through the entirety of childhood so fingers crossed it's going in the right direction due to her discipline in spite of missing out on all the running about that she's desperate to do. Also helping is that she continues to swim 3-4 times a week and is remarkably good now. This has been the one blessing that's come out of a year and a half where we tried to get her problem diagnosed and then treated. Fingers crossed that the next scan in July will continue to move her in the right direction. Bond markets continued to be as volatile as my back yesterday with big swings in yields but with the front end sell-off being durable. This helped push a number of yield curves ever closer to inversion, meaning we have multiple recessionary signals starting or continuing to flash. The one we always look most closely at is the 2s10s curve, which has inverted prior to every one of the last 10 US recessions. Yesterday this flattened by -7.3bps to 12.5bps and this morning it’s currently just above 6bps with more flattening plus a new on the run 2yr note to blame. Could we invert today? Regardless it's likely to happen soon. A key factor behind this curve flattening has been monetary policy expectations, and over the last 24 hours we’ve seen investors continue to ratchet up their bets on how much tightening we’re likely to see this year. By the close yesterday, Fed Funds futures were pricing in a further 211bps of tightening by the end of 2022, on top of the 25bps a couple of weeks back, which if realised would be the largest move tighter in a calendar year since 1994, back when the Fed raised the target range for the Federal Funds by 250bps. On top of that, it’s clear that investors are also reappraising what the terminal rate is likely to be, and at one point yesterday investors were pricing in a move above 3% by the second half of 2023. We’re not talking much about the terminal rate at the moment, but as we move deeper into the hiking cycle, that’s likely to grab increasing attention, since the destination will have big implications for a wide variety of financial assets. Whilst the all-important 2s10s curve is still (just about) in positive territory, increasing numbers of curves have been inverting across different maturities, with the 3s30s curve becoming the latest to do so around the time we went to press yesterday, eventually closing down -10.4bps at -2.9bps. Similarly, the 3s10s that had already inverted went even deeper into inversion territory to close at -11.5bps, which is the most inverted it's been since 2006. The 5s30s was another to invert yesterday, falling as low as -7.1bps at one point before it steepened to close at -0.9bps. Clearly they are all a bit flatter this morning. If you’re interested in reading more on the yield curve, DB’s US economics team put out a piece last Friday (link here) looking at the value of these various measures for predicting recessions. The Fed have played down the usefulness of the 2s10s curve, and have argued that the Fed forward spread (18-month forward, 3-month yield minus the spot 3-month yield) is more valuable when it comes to explaining recessions risks over the next 12 months. But our economists find that traditional curve slope metrics like the 2s10s provide useful information over a longer horizon, like the next 2 years, and they point out that the 2s10s slope is consistent with a probability greater than 60% of a recession at some point over the next 2 years. Even with the latest round of flattening though, the truth is that the trend has been nearly all one-way for basically a year now. In fact, it was a year ago tomorrow that the slope of the 2s10s curve saw its intraday peak for this cycle, when it hit 162bps. Yesterday’s flattening also coincided with a healthy dose of Treasury volatility. 2yr yields ultimately wound up +5.8bps higher at 2.33%, after trading as much as +13.8bps higher during London trading. 10yr yields fell -1.5bps to 2.46%, but were as much as +8.0bps higher during London trading, and -6.1bps lower during the New York morning. This pushed the MOVE index of Treasury volatility +4.0pts higher to 129.3, just below levels realised in early March. In spite of all the volatility, equities were mostly positive yesterday, with the S&P 500 (+0.71%) staging a steady second half rally to start another week off in the green. The decline in longer-dated yields from their early London peak helped spur tech outperformance, with the NASDAQ gaining +1.31%. Europe also started the week on the front foot, with the STOXX 600 (+0.14%) advancing, alongside the DAX (+0.78%) and the CAC 40 (+0.54%). There were pockets of relative weakness however, with the small-cap Russell 2000 in the US closing flat. Energy stocks were left behind in the otherwise broad rally on both sides of the Atlantic given the large decline in oil discussed below, with the S&P 500 energy sector down -2.56% and the STOXX 600 energy sector down -2.10%. Indeed, Oil prices did fall back yesterday, with Brent crude down -6.77% to $112.48/bbl, but that reflected the lockdown in Shanghai and the prospect of a further release from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve rather than more positive developments out of Ukraine. It's down another -0.8% this morning. On the other hand European natural gas (+1.26%) rose to €102.55/MWh, which occurred as German Economy minister Habeck said that the G7 had rejected the proposal from President Putin that natural gas contracts be paid in Rubles, with Habeck saying it was a “one-sided and clear breach of contracts”. Back to sovereign bonds, and there were some major moves in European sovereign bonds as well as the US yesterday, with yields on 10yr bunds moving to a fresh high above 0.6% after the open before modestly retreating -0.6bps to 0.58%. That pattern was common across core European sovereigns, with yields on 10yr gilts (-7.9bps) and OATs (-1.2bps) eventually also moving lower following their increases that morning. Similarly to the US, this has come as investor conviction has grown about the chances of tighter ECB policy in the coming months, with 48bps of hikes priced by year-end. Nevertheless, there’s still a wide policy divergence between the Fed’s and the ECB’s trajectory, and we saw this in the widening spread between 2yr US and Germany yields, which closed at 246.1bps yesterday, the most since September 2019. Asian equity markets are trading higher outside of China this morning with the Nikkei (+0.60%), Hang Seng (+0.40%) and Kospi (+0.31%) up. Stocks in mainland China are wavering with the Shanghai Composite (-0.44%) and CSI (-0.11%) both trading in negative territory as I type. Meanwhile, contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.04%) are fractionally higher while Nasdaq futures are down -0.11%. Early morning data showed that Japan’s industrial output rebounded +0.5% m/m in February after January’s contraction of -0.8%. Separately, Japan’s jobless rate inched down to 2.7% in February from 2.8% in January while the jobs-to-applicants ratio improved to 1.21 in February from 1.20 in the prior month. Elsewhere, Australia reported retail sales for February, advancing +1.8% m/m and beating market expectations for a +0.9% gain. It followed a downwardly revised +1.6% m/m increase in January. The Japanese Yen weakened to its lowest level against the US Dollar since 2015, depreciating -1.48% to 123.86 per dollar, and at one point surpassing 125 per dollar. It's moved nearly 8% in four weeks - a substantial move historically. The latest move came as the Bank of Japan announced they would purchase 10yr JGBs in unlimited quantities over three sessions today, tomorrow and the day after, which followed their move above 0.25% at one point, which we haven’t seen since 2016. The Yen is trading at 123.31 as we go to press so a continued reversal from the close and the lows yesterday morning. Elsewhere today, there’s set to be another round of in-person talks taking place in Turkey between Russia and Ukraine as the war continues into its second month. Investors have grasped at positive headlines in recent weeks and more sensitive assets such as energy prices have reacted accordingly, but the reality has been few signs of concrete progress towards any ceasefire, even if there has been a moderation in some of the demands from either side as to any potential settlement. Finally on Europe, we’re now just 12 days away from the first round of the French presidential election, and there are signs the race is tightening up slightly as the official campaign period began yesterday. Politico’s polling average puts President Macron in the lead still, but his 1st round polling has dipped to 28%, having been at 30% a couple of weeks earlier following the bounce he saw after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Behind him is Marine Le Pen on 19%, who he also faced in the second round back in 2017, and her average is up from 18% a couple of weeks earlier. The far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon is also gaining, now in 3rd place with 14% (up from 12% a couple of weeks ago), but he’s still 5 points behind Le Pen, and only the top 2 candidates go through to the run-off two weeks later. Behind them are also the far-right Eric Zemmour (11%), as well as the conservative Valérie Pécresse (11%). To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the FHFA house price index for January, the Case-Shiller home price index for January, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence indicator for March, and the JOLTS job openings for February. Over in Europe there’s also French consumer confidence for March, Germany’s GfK consumer confidence reading for April and UK mortgage approvals for February. Lastly, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker. Tyler Durden Tue, 03/29/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 29th, 2022

Sunday Collum: 2021 Year In Review, Part 3 - From "Insurrection" To Authoritarianism

Sunday Collum: 2021 Year In Review, Part 3 - From 'Insurrection' To Authoritarianism Authored by David B. Collum, Betty R. Miller Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology - Cornell University (Email: dbc6@cornell.edu, Twitter: @DavidBCollum), I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance. ~  Carl Sagan, 1995, apparently having invented a time machine Every year, David Collum writes a detailed “Year in Review” synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year’s is no exception. Read Part 1 - Crisis Of Authority & The Age Of Narratives here... Read Part 2 - Heart Of Darkness & The Rise Of Centralized Healthcare here... So, here we are at the third and final part of the 2021 Year in Review and it’s no longer 2021. Sorry about that pfuck-up. Think of it as not in 2021 but from 2021. You may have noticed that the first 200 pages (parts 1 and 2) were laced with a recurring catchphrase, “WTF is happening?” It was a literary device for noting that the events ceased to make sense within a conventional worldview, suggesting it is time to torch the old model and start anew. Our response to a disease that was killing a very small slice of the population was to sequester and vaccinate the entire population with an experimental drug of real but unquantified fatality rate. The apparent scientific illiteracy was not some mass psychosis. Y’all just got suckered by America’s Most Trusted Psychopathic Mass Murderer assisted by an epic media blitz sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry that had a distinct authoritarian quality. Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. ~ Albert Einstein During the brief period after uploading part 2 while grinding on this last portion, the Supreme Court took on the vaccine mandate issue, ruling that the only people forfeiting control of their own healthcare are the healthcare workersref 2 The court also illustrated their profound ignorance of the pandemic and what they were even charged to assess—the Constitutionality of mandates, not the efficacy.ref 3 The CEO of a major insurer reported a 40% spike in fatalities within the 18–65 age bracket that was not from Covid.ref 4 He said 10% would be a 3-sigma, once-every-200-year event: 40% is unheard of. Although he refrained from identifying a cause—deaths of despair, neglected healthcare, or a toxic vaccine—he knows precisely what did them in. They have been studying this stuff for centuries. I suspect his real message was that the insurance industry is about to contribute to inflation with rising premiums. Meanwhile, the pathological liars running the covid grift decided after two years the masks you’ve been wearing served no medical purpose and that the vaccines don’t work either. Wait: who said the masks and vaccines don’t work? We have known for many months that COVID-19 is airborne and therefore, a simple cloth mask is not going to cut it…Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations. ~ Leana Wen, MD, CNN medical expert with no admitted ties to the CCPref 5 Two doses of the vaccine offers very limited protection, if any. Three doses with a booster offer reasonable protection against hospitalization and deaths. Less protection against infection. ~ Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEOref 6 Here is my most heartfelt response to them: You psychopathic lying sacks of shit. You had us wear rags across our faces and put rags across the kids’ faces when clinical studies that could be read by people with half your IQs showed they were worthless. Suicide rates and other deaths of despair soared while you petty tyrants played your little games and generated billions of dollars of profits while destroying the middle class. You have maimed or killed an unknown number of gullible victims with your lockdowns, vaccines, remdesivir, and oppression of Ivermectin. You jammed a vaccine that bypassed animal trials into the fetuses of pregnant women, assuring them it was safe. If we spoke up, we got muzzled. If we refused the vaccine, we got fired. You should all hang from your necks until dead. I will piss on your graves. I feel better already. Very refreshing. Meanwhile, many of my friends and colleagues look at the same data and say, “Oh. I guess I better get the booster and a KN95 mask.” You have got to unfuck yourselves. You’ve been duped. It will get worse. The tactics used to oppress us would have made Stalin smirk. Australia was a beta test for what is to come in the rest of the west if we don’t wake up soon. They are gonna keep coming for one simple reason: we accepted it. We got bent over and squealed like pigs. What normalization does is transform the morally extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have always been. ~ Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works A person is considered ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ by the community simply because he accepts most of its social standards and behavioral patterns; which means, in fact, that he is susceptible to suggestion and has been persuaded to go with the majority on most ordinary or extraordinary occasions. ~ William Sargant, in Battle of the Mind Meanwhile, the financial world became even more dominated by central bankers who haven’t the slightest understanding of free-market capitalism. These twits or criminals—maybe both—have blown the most colossal bubble in history if you account for both price and breadth across the spectrum of asset classes. For the layperson, that means they have set us up for a colossal failure. Go back and re-read Valuations if you cannot picture the epic financial carnage lying dead ahead. The gap between the Fed funds rate and headline inflation has never been this large. These pinheads believe that if the markets do not coincide with their world views, the markets must be wrong. I am not an economist, but it appears that none of them are either. The notion that a dozen nitwits should set the most important price of them all—the price of capital—rather than letting the markets set it through price discovery is financial authoritarianism or what some call State Capitalism. I am angry in case it doesn’t show. Meanwhile, in 2020–21 the Fed contributed to destroying upwards of a half-million mom ’n’ pop businesses—they gutted the middle class—while giving BlackRock credit at 0.15% interest rates to buy up all their houses. Here is my advice to those day trading criminals: look both ways as you enter crosswalks. What I believe the response of society to a severe downturn given the current political climate will be epic. Big downturns come after euphorias. We have never entered a downturn with society at large this grumpy. We are in the early stages of The Fourth Turning.ref 7 The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded. ~ Charles-Louis De Secondat When a State has mortgaged all of its future revenues the State, by necessity, lapses into tranquility, langor, and impotence. ~ David Hume, 1752 So, WTF is going on here? In this final part, I address geopolitics. It begins with a relatively benign analysis of Biden’s first year in office, culminating with what I think Afghanistan is really about. The second section addresses my view of what may prove to be the most important day in US History—January 6, 2021. Although it is my best shot—Dave’s Narrative—I will not attempt to nor will I inadvertently spread the love to both sides of the political spectrum. It is a right-wing view that most right-wing politicians and pundits are too cowardly to state in polite company. The final section addresses the Rise of Global Authoritarianism. For a topic covered by thousands of treatises to call my knowledge skeletal is a reach. I have merely created an intellectual foundation—a chalk outline—to ponder why authoritarianism is here and what could stop it. (Plot spoiler: I do not believe it can be stopped.) They know where we are, they know our names, they know from our iPhones if we’re on our way to the grocery store or not. But they haven’t acted on that to put people in camps yet. They could do it. We could be East Germany in weeks, in a month. Huge concentration camps and so forth. ~ Daniel Ellsberg (@DanielEllsberg), author of The Pentagon Papers and Secrets Before moving on, let me give a plug for a book.ref 8 I have not even finished it yet, but it will change your worldview. Look at those ratings! I can guarantee none of those readers enjoyed it. Kennedy will curdle your bone marrow describing 35 years of atrocities commited by America’s Most Trusted Madman. It is emblematic of a much larger problem. Evil is powerless if good men are unafraid – Americans don’t realize what they have to lose. ~ Ronald Reagan The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ~ H. L. Mencken Biden – Freshman Year Scorecard Let’s go, Brandon! ~ Cheers across America Most presidents begin their reign with a calling. Reagan raised our national self-esteem after a period of economic and political malaise. Bush Sr. took on the Gulf War, for better or worse. Clinton oversaw the economic boom and bank deregulation, again for better or worse. Bush Jr. was handed 9/11 and, in my opinion, boned it badly. Obama had to wrestle with the Great Financial Crisis. Trump was charged with disturbing the peace—drain the swamp if you will. Biden undeniably needed to begin healing the social discord that, regardless of its source, left the country wounded and divided. Maybe that was not Biden’s calling, but I wanted to see him become the president of all the people. This is not revisionist history of my failing memory: Biden’s the last of the Old Guard, which is probably why he was slipped into the office by the DNC old guard. I am guessing there will be no Supreme Court stacking; that was just rhetoric (I hope). There will be wars just like every president (except Trump, who brought troops home.) Congress is more balanced again and, at the time of this writing, the Senate is still in Republican hands. Hopefully, the gridlock will usher in some garden-variety dysfunction. I have subtle concerns about a Harris presidency. Admittedly, my opinion is based on precious few facts, but Harris displays a concerning shallowness of character, a lack of a moral compass, and the potential to slide to the left of Bernie. (I sometimes reflect on what it must have been like raising the teenaged Kamala.) I am trying to reserve judgment because first impressions scavenged from the digital world are sketchy if not worthless. ~ 2020 Year in Review By this description, Biden tanked his GPA. He ushered in a Crusade to erase the Trump era and its supporters. The weaponizing of social media and censorship against one’s opponents was probably unavoidable, but the downside will be revealed when the wind changes. Team Biden took banishing of political opponents on social media to new levels by, as noted by Jen Psaki, flagging “problematic posts” and the “spread of disinformation” for censorship. NY Timeslapdog Kevin Roose called for a “reality Czar,” not noticing the Russian metaphor problem. The War on Domestic Terror may prove to be a turning point in American history, one that risks extinguishing the flame of the Great American Experiment. Significant erosions of Constitutionally granted civil liberties discussed throughout the rest of this document may not have been Biden’s fault, but they occurred on his watch. If you see an injustice and remain silent, you own it. I can’t remain silent. Biden is the epitome of the empty, amoral creature produced by our system of legalized bribery. His long political career in Congress was defined by representing the interests of big business, especially the credit card companies based in Delaware. He was nicknamed Senator Credit Card. He has always glibly told the public what it wants to hear and then sold them out. ~ Chris Hedges, right-wing hatchet man Team Biden. Books have been written about Trump’s fumbles in the first months (or four years) of his presidency. See Josh Rogin’s Chaos Under Heaven in Books or Michael Lewis’ less balanced The Fifth Risk reviewed in last year’s YIR. The Cracker Jack team assembled for Joe reveals a glob of feisty alt-left activists and omnipresent neocons. According to Rickards, two dozen players on Biden’s roster were recruited from the consulting firm WestExec Advisors (including Psaki and Blinken.)ref 1 That’s power and groupthink. David Axelrod: You must ask yourself, ‘Why are we allowing him to roll around in the hallways doing impromptu interviews?’ Jen Psaki: That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions.’ Young black entrepreneurs are just as capable of succeeding given the chance as white entrepreneurs are, but they don’t have lawyers; they don’t have accountants. ~ Joe Biden Joe Biden, President – Joe is the Big Guy. In an odd sense, he is immunized from criticism because he is visibly losing his marbles. His cognitive decline is on full display; this 52 seconds of gibberish about inflation is emblematic.ref 2 He’s 80 years old, for Cripes sake. I read a book this year entitled, When the Air Hits Your Brain, which derives from a neurosurgical aphorism that finishes with “you ain’t never the same.” Wanna guess who had two brain aneurysms (one rupturing) years ago leading to a miraculous recovery?ref 3 You’re the most famous African-American baseball player. ~ Joe Biden to the Pope, context unknown (possibly even a deep fake)ref 4 I am neither reveling in Joe’s problems nor do I believe he is calling the shots. Claims that the puppet master is Harris are, no offense, on the low side of clueless. Obama seems like a better guess but Barrack was a front man too. Having an impaired leader of a superpower, however, is disquieting and potentially destabilizing, especially with Taiwan in play. Biden’s energy policy that clamped down on fossil fuel production only to ask OPEC to open the spigots is one for the ages. The covid policies bridging both administrations were catastrophic, but throwing workers out of jobs into the teeth of unprecedented labor shortages makes zero sense. The nouveau inflation—Bidenflation—may stick to him like it stuck to Jimmy Carter, but that is unfair to both presidents. Look to the Fed in both cases for blame. Troubles at the southern border and the Afghanistan pullout are a couple of serious logs for a raging inferno that represents Biden’s first year in office. As discussed in a later section, demonizing “white supremacists”—not just political opponents but opponents labeled by their race—will not be viewed well by historians unless history is at a serious fork and Joe is ultimately protrayed as the founder of some new Fatherland. Kamala Harris, Vice President – Whenever situations heat up, Harris is off like a prom dress. During the crisis at the border that she was charged with overseeing, she took off to Europe, cackling about never even visiting the border. Kamala endorsed and claimed credit for the Kabul evacuation.ref 5,6 Realizing she had pulled yet another boner she pulled out before they renamed it Kamalabad. (Hey: At least I had the decency to pass on the Kamalatoe joke.) In a moment of surreal comedy, Harris hosted a public chat with Bill Clinton on “empowering women.”ref 7 She can even serve up semi-reasonable ideas with dollops of cringe. If the Democrats nominate her in 2024, may God have mercy on their souls—she is unelectable—or maybe on our souls—I could be wrong. Jen Psaki, Press Secretary – The role of any press secretary is to calm the press down with nuggets of insight—to feed the birds. When that fails, lie your ass off, all with a cold, calculating sociopathy. I would say she did the best job imaginable given the hand she was dealt. Disagree? I’ll just have to circle back with you on that. Ron Klain, Whitehouse Chief of Staff – This guy might be the rainmaker, but I haven’t quite figured him out. He has the durability of Andrei Gromyko, maintaining a central role through three democratic administrations. Keep an eye on him. Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury – We have yet to find out Yellen’s role because she has not been pressed into service by a crisis. To resolve the minor “meme stock” bruhaha, which did not call for a resolution, she needed an ethics waiver owing to the soft corruption of her bank-sponsored million-dollar speaking tour. My expectations of her are quite low, and I imagine she will meet them. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State – He has a good resume. Like Psaki, he is forced to play a weak hand. He lacks Psaki’s skills. Jennifer Mulhern Granholm, US Energy Secretary – In a press conference she was asked how many barrels of oil a day the US consumes and said, “I do not have those numbers in front of me.” ‘Nuff said. Get her out of there. Merrick Garland, Attorney General – The press will tear anybody a new one so snippets with bad optics are always dangerous. I would say, however, ordering the FBI to investigate parents who get irate at school boards—even those who seem rather threatening—is over the top. Leave that to the local and state police. His role in the January 6th event and push into domestic terrorism is potentially sinister and moves him onto my shitlist. Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency – This one blows my circuits. She is what in the vernacular is called “a commie” straight from Kazakhstan with a thesis on Marxism—a devout believer that the State should run the show. She also hails from Cornell Law School. (Yeah. I know. STFU.) Matthew Continetti of the National Review noted she is, “an activist intellectual who is—and I say this in the kindest way possible—a nut.”ref 8 There will be no more private bank deposit accounts and all of the deposit accounts will be held directly at the Fed. ~ Saule Omarova, Cornell Law Professor   We want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change. ~ Saule Omarova, on oil and gas companies For those who have seen the horror movie The Ring, Cornell tried to exorcise the demon by sending “the VHS tape” to Washington, D.C., but it came back stamped “Return to Sender.” She withdrew. Hey Team Biden: you could want to snatch up MIT’s Venezuelan-derived president who is already on the board of the World Economic Forum and was instrumental in pushing Aaron Swartz to off himself.ref 9 John Kerry, Climate Czar – Don’t we have enough Czars? John is charged with flying around the world in his private jet, setting the stage for a 30-year $150 trillion push to make many bank accounts much My disdain for the climate movement catches Kerry in the splash zone. Pete Buttegieg, Transportation Secretary – I must confess to liking Mayor Pete and would have been happier if he had gotten the crash course in the oval office rather than Joe. The one criticism I would make is that taking two months of paternity leave during the nation’s greatest transportation crisis seemed odd. I think when you are in such an important position you find a way. Get a nanny. Bring the twins to your office. Leave them with your spouse. For Pete’s sake (sorry), stay at your post. For the record, after my youngest son was born my wife had health problems. I used to bring him to work and lecture with him in a Snugly and changed a shitload of diapers. You could have done it too, Pete. Samantha Power, Head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) – Sam is a garden-variety neocon, having served as ambassador to the UN and on the National Security Council, both under Obama. She was central to the planning behind destabilizing Libya,ref 10 which sure looks like a bad idea unless destabilizing the Middle East is our foreign policy. Please just don’t fuck up too much. Cass Sunstein, Homeland Security employee. This is not really an appointment, per se. Cass is the Harvard-employed husband of neocon Samantha Powers. In his 2008 book, Conspiracy Theories, Cass declared “the existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories” to be our greatest threat, outlining five possible solutions, and I quote, “(1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might engage in counter-speech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counter-speech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help.” Guys like Cass who come out of Harvard’s CIA training camps are menaces to society. Marvelous hire, Joe. Victoria Nuland, Undersecretary for Political Affairs – She is famous for her hot mic “Fuck the EU” comment and for engineering the coup in Ukraine—a Wonder Bread neocon. William J. Burns, Head of the CIA – I’ve got nothing on Bill, not even a fingerprint. It would be difficult for me to grade him poorly on a curve with the likes of John Brennan, William Casey, and Alan Dulles. (I once had dinner with a former CIA head John Deutch. What a dick.) Christopher Wray, Head of the FBI – As the FBI increasingly looks like the Praetorian Guard for the power elite (both in and out of public office), Wray has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors like J. Edgar Hoover and James Comie to be both top cop and dubious scoundrel. Wray’s fate might be dictated by the ongoing Durham investigation, but I have not seen any heads roll inside the Beltway since Watergate a half-century ago. Tony Fauci, Director of NIAID – That bipartisan, power-hungry authoritarian—The Most Trusted Madman in America—is a recurring theme. He doesn’t know any science. He is a political hack—a chameleon—who survived 35 years multiple administrations by being able slither out of anybody’s claws and regrow his tail. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC – She got serious attention in part 2. I am horrified by her sociopathy. I think she is evil. Amy Gutmann, Ambassador to Germany – Guttman was given the job after giving the Big Guy more than $900,000 in speaking fees and an honorary degree from UPenn when she was the University’s president. I am sure every ambassador pays market rates for the job.  Cathy Russell, Biden’s Director of Presidential Personnel–She is married to Tom Donlin, Chairman of the gargantuan multinational investment firm, BlackRock. Their daughter made it into the Whitehouse National Security Council. A talented family enjoying the political respect accorded to billionaires. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Head of the Office of Science – Despite scientific chops as a climate-change-supporting agronomist, she has no administrative experience and is inexperienced in the scientific programs that she is overseeing. Of course, everything is now about the $150 trillion climate grift, so she’s our girl. Jared Bernstein, Whitehouse Economic Advisor – He is highly educated, with a bachelor’s degree in music, master’s degrees in social work and philosophy, and a Ph.D. in social welfare. His greatest strength may be his complete lack of training in economics. Shalanda Baker, Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Department of Energy – Is that a salaried position? ‘Nuff said. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Mark transitioned from the Trump administration. It caused a stir when he went more “woke” than Chelsea Manning. We will no longer defeat our enemy but assign them pronouns and include them. This was followed by a scandal outlined in Bob Woodward’s book in which he instructed military leaders in a secret meeting to bypass Trump on important military decisions.ref 11 He then unilaterally told his peer in the Chinese military that he would drop a dime if there was an impending military conflict. He tried to hang it on the Secretary of Defense, but the Secretary spit the bit fast.ref 12 My theory is that the sudden wokeness was to commandeer allies on the far left knowing that scandal was coming. It worked. He looks like he is right out of Dr. Strangelove without the lip gloss and eye shadow. Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services. He refuses to acknowledge the merits of natural Covid-19 immunity. That puts him near the top of my shitlist. Becerra has no medical or scientific training. He’s a lawyer, but at least he is from an underrepresented group. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services – I know little about her. She might be the most qualified candidate, certainly more so than her boss Becerra. Call me skeptical of a purely merit-based appointment. Hunter Biden. I was going to place Hunter in the bullets and call him Head of the DEA and National Association of the Arts, but I had reservations. There are sad, heartwarming, and troubling roles played by Hunter Biden. His addiction is a highly personal problem that is difficult for the first family to deal with, especially given other tragedies in their lives. Joe Rogan succinctly explained Hunter’s remarkably odd behavior: “he is a crackhead.” They are part and parcel of being dopesick. Leaked emails from the laptop show Dad to be a compassionate and loving father struggling to save his son. Ironically, old footage surfaced of Joe ranting about how we have to deal with crackheads severely no matter whom they know.ref 13 It did not age well. It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious. If these emails are false, this is a major story. If they are true, this is a major scandal. ~ Jonathan Turley Before you start blubbering, however, recall that Hunter’s laptop revealed that he was playing critical roles in Russian and Chinese dealings for the Biden family. The Kleenex gets tossed and the gloves now come off. Hunter’s business partner stepped forward admitting nefarious deals were made with Joe involved. Joe denied knowing the clown, but a then photo of the two surfaced.ref 14 This year Hunter also began selling his artwork for up to $500,000 a pop behind a “Chinese Wall”—a veil that ensures we cannot find out who bought the art.ref 15,16,17 The money might literally be from behind a Chinese wall. That buys a lot of crack even after the Big Guy’s 10% cut. Figure 1 shows two paintings, one by a Hunter and the other by two elephants. (No joke, elephants have been painting brilliant pictures free-trunk for decades.) Figure 1. Biden art (left) brought $500,000. The elephant painting (shown being painted) brought $39,000. We are a democracy…there are things you can’t do by executive order unless you are a dictator. ~ Joe Biden, several years ago Executive Orders. Before the first week of his presidency was over, Biden had signed 37 of those beauties. Some, such as the order extending rent moratoria, were overtly unconstitutional. Some merely unwound Trump’s orders that had unwound Obama’s orders. This is dodge ball. While Yale was battling a civil rights case for discriminatory admissions practices, the Biden DOJ dismissed it without comment.ref 18 Yale is said to have promptly destroyed the evidence, which shows they have good lawyers. Transgender athletes were reinstated in women’s sports, ensuring that longstanding records will be shattered.ref 19 It got surreal when UPenn’s transgender swimmer was beaten by Yale’s transgender swimmer.ref 19a An executive order giving the IRS direct access to our bank accounts seems both sinister and inevitable…death and taxes as they say.ref 20 There are a lot of Republicans out there giving speeches about how outraged they are about the situation at the border. Not many who are putting forward solutions. ~ Jen Psaki, forgetting about the wall idea Crisis at the Border. The mainstream press covered this one exhaustively. There are parallels here with the North Africans crossing into Europe several years back. It looks intentional, but why? Don’t tell me about building a democratic base. That is too far in the future and too simplistic. It is far easier to control the elections at the server level. Baffling details include the administration’s suggestion that border agents should be empowered to authorize the immigration of “climate migrants.”ref 21 That could boost a few agents salaries. Rumors of US military planes transporting illegals into the US suggests somebody could punk the elite: load up a boat and drop a couple hundred on Martha’s Vineyard. On further thought, rather than offering Vineyardians more gardeners, drop off some Afghans.ref 22Whoever is calling the shots, this is neither about civil rights nor climate change. Attorney General Merrick Garland clarified the immigration challenge: Today marks a step forward in our effort to make the asylum process fairer and more expeditious. This rule will both reduce the caseload in our immigration courts and protect the rights of those fleeing persecution and violence. If you do that, that will set off a mass migration that’s like nothing that we have ever seen in this country because the entire world will then come on through to get their asylum, essentially legalizing illegal immigration, in a very clever way. ~ Attorney General Merrick Garland WTF did Garland just say? Both his meaning and intent are unclear. The immigrants, of course, were all unvaccinated, which would have been OK by me had the administration not gone Third Reich to vaccinate US citizens. The administration also wanted to offer $450,000 to every immigrant family separated from their loved ones: why?ref 23They seemed to walk that third-trimester idea back and then walked it forward again. A half-billion-dollar, no-bid contract to manage the immigrants went to friends of the administration.ref 24 Your tax dollars at work. At least we are back to business as usual. By the way, where is Border Czar Kamala Harris while all this is going on? Making creepy videos.ref 25,26 People who like quotes love meaningless generalizations. ~ Graham Greene Miscellaneous issues surfaced that either went away or are still festering quietly. On the positive side, stacking the Supreme Court—increasing the number of justices to get a left-leaning majority—seems to have been only a political football. Granting Washington DC statehood, while to a plebe like me doesn’t seem nuts, has the trappings of a massive powershift to the left in national elections. Joe invaded the legal process by declaring Chauvin guilty and Kyle Rittenhouse a white supremacist. Would Obama have done this? I don’t think so. Rittenhouse may get his “10% for the Young Guy” in defamation suits against Joe and every media outlet on the planet. Joe checking his watch five times at the funeral of dead marines didn’t play well,ref 27 but if you put a camera on me I wouldn’t make it to lunchtime without serving up Jim Acosta fresh meat. The main drama of Biden’s first year, however, played out in a distant land.   Afghanistan—where empires go to die. ~ Mike Malloy Afghanistan. I’ve been groping for nomenclature — Afghazi, Afghazistan, Benghanistan, Benghazistan, Saigonistan, Clusterfuckistan, and Bidenistan—to describe this odd moment in history. That 20-year skirmish cost an estimated $2.3 trillion.ref 28 The idea that it was only a few thousand troops with no fatalities in the last year or two makes me question my wisdom, but I can’t start revising history. Whether for right or wrong, I was glad we were getting out. The ensuing Crisis in Kabul looked like the graveyard of a presidency—a combination of the Bay of Pigs and the Iran Hostage Crisis that would dog us for years. They are chanting “Death to America”, but they seemed friendly at the same time. ~ CNN reporter wearing a burka looking for a husband Even before the evacuation started we were hearing about huge caches of weapons that would be abandoned.ref 29 In an eat-and-dash that would make an IHOP waiter wince, we bugged out at 2:00 AM without telling anybody.ref 30Jalalabad Joe had assured us repeatedly the 300,000-strong Afghan army would hang tough. They were defeated in time to chow down on some goat stew for dinner. Images of desperate Afghan’s clinging to transport planes brought up images of the Saigon Embassy rooftop. We left service dogs in cages.ref 31 Marines would never do that. Stranded Americans and Afghan collaborators were begging for help to get to the airport and even to get into the airport.ref 32The administration used a drone to strike on some kids and their dads loading water into a truck to change the news cycle briefly.ref 33 The Afghan who is credited with saving Joe Biden and John Kerry in a disastrous excursion to Afghanistan years earlier got left behind pleading for help:ref 34 Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family. Don’t forget me here. Mercenaries like Blackwater’s Erik Prince tried to prevent Americans from taking The Final Exit,ref 35 only to get stonewalled by the Whitehouse. Meanwhile, the top commander and four-star Wokie, Mark Milley, was too mired in scandal.ref 36 Retired generals were calling for the active-duty generals to resign.ref 37 The withdrawal could not be botched worse if you tried. The populace are now facing a winter of profound famine.ref 38 Rural Afghanistan has been rocked by climate change. The past three decades have brought floods and drought that have destroyed crops and left people hungry. And the Taliban — likely without knowing climate change was the cause — has taken advantage of that pain. ~ CBS News, sticking it like a Russian gymnast This vexing story was from the Theater of the Absurd. Starting with the caches of military equipment left behind, I have two simple solutions that a group of teenagers could have concocted: Announce Blow Shit Up Friday (BSUF). Provide the military personnel with some grenade launchers and a few kegs of beer, grill up some goat burgers, and start blowing shit up. That would be a blast. If that is too unprofessional, you gather all armaments and anything of else of value into an open space. Once the wheels go up on the last troop transport, drop a MOAB—Mother of All Bombs.ref 39 Tough luck for those who were trying to hotwire the stuff when the MOAB arrives. It will take a year to get them out…If you use those billions of dollars of weapons behind I promise they’ll be using them against your grandchildren and mine someday. ~ Joe Biden, Presidential Candidate, 2007ref 40 The collapse of the Afghan Army also couldn’t have come as a surprise. The military and CIA certainly knew that those troops wouldn’t withstand a West Side Story-level brawl.ref 41 The soldiers were paid by the US for their service COD, and there was no C left. Shockingly, most of the payroll booty had long-since been snarfed up by the politicians and top military brass from the only swamp in Afghanistan.ref 42 Whocouldanode? Taliban can murder as many people as they want. But if they keep trolling Biden like this they’re gonna get kicked off of social media. ~ Jesse Kelley, noting the Taliban has an active Twitter feed Here is a script playing out in my noggin. The Crisis in Kabul was an arms deal—Fast and Furious 2.0. One of our top diplomats called the Taliban and said, “We are pulling out in a month. We’ll leave the keys in the ignition and pallets of $100 billsref 43 to help pay for upkeep. If you guys let us sneak out unmolested, you can party like it’s 999—an authentic Taliban-themed fraternity party. We will leave you guns, money, nice facilities, and even a few wives. If you fuck this up, however, we will be right back here.” The Whitehouse also lent a legitimizing tone to the regime when speaking about “working with the Taliban” as part of the deal. In return, the State Department called on the Taliban to form an “inclusive and representative government,”ref 44 so there’s that bit of risible nonsense. Neville Chamberlain couldn’t have done any better. The bottom line: 90% of Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan were able to leave Afghanistan. ~ Jalalabad Joe Biden That might be a great poll number or inflated final exam grade at a college Joe erroneously claimed to attend, but I am not sure “90%” is impressive in this context. The actual evacuation was ineptly executed from the get-go. Mr. Rogers, with the help of his viewing audience of toddlers, could have Kabuled together a better plan based on the simple precept, “pull out the civilians then the military.” Baffling claims the Whitehouse was obstructing evacuations of charter flights containing Americans was not right-wing propaganda: Where are they going to land? A number of these planes have a handful of Americans, but they may have several hundred individuals who do not have proper documentation of identity….we don’t have manifests for them, we don’t know what the security protocols are for them, we don’t know what their documentation is…hard choices you face in government. ~ Jen Psaki, press conference WTF actually happened? When nothing makes sense your model is wrong. Glenn Greenwald got the scent that withdrawal was intentionally mishandled, suggesting this is “fully within the character of the deep-state operatives.”ref 45We also forgot to destroy our sophisticated FBI-derived software and a complete database containing the biometrics of Friends of the USA,ref 46,47,48 enabling the Taliban to find potential detractors for an attitude correction. Think of it as Afghanistan’s high-tech War on Domestic Terror. The stonewalling of help from other countries also makes no sense using a conventional model.ref 49 Biden’s CIA Director met with Taliban leadership covertly—so covertly we all knew about it—to concoct a “deal”, but what kind of deal?ref 50 During the evacuation, we gave the Taliban names of American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies supposedly to let them pass through the militant-controlled perimeter of the city’s airport.ref 51 They would never abuse this list, right? A large number of Afghan refugees—possibly as many as 100,000 according to Tucker Carlson—entering the US are consistent with our open border policy along the Mexican border, but what is that all about? Afghans, by the way, are reputed to be always recalcitrant to assimilate in Europe just in case you’re thinking of renting out your basement as an Airbnb.ref 52 What happened in Afghanistan is not incompetence. We are not that incompetent. ~ General George Flynn The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the US and Europe through Afghanistan and back into the hands of a transnational security elite. The goal is an endless war, not a successful war. ~ Julian Assange, 2011ref y I have no doubt that blood was shed after we left. More than a few US sympathizers surely lost their heads. As to the stranded Americans, why were they still there? China had evacuated their citizens months earlier.ref 53(Hmmm…Chinese citizens were there?) Two dozen students from the Cajon Valley Union School District and 16 parents there for an enriching summer trip were stranded.ref 54 How did they get visas? That field trip will generate a few college essays that will beat any written about dead grandparents, although Kabul State College may be their only option. This is now on-track, Peter, to be the largest airlift in U.S. history. I would not say that is anything but a success. ~ Jen Psaki to Peter Doucy The media can create, steer, or smother narratives at will. I have a question: Where are all the dead Americans—thousands of them—said to be left behind? Horror stories should be surfacing daily, but they’re not. We shit a mudbrick when One Dead Kashoggi (ODK) got fed to the camels in Saudi Arabia. Three thousand fatalities on 9/11 got us into Afghanistan in the first place. We supposedly left behind “thousands of Americans” but without generating a single headline? So much for that Bay of Pigs­–Iran Hostage Crisis analogy. So here are my next questions and I am deadly serious: Did we get duped? Was the whole thing more sham than farce? There is no such thing as a true account of anything. ~ Gore Vidal Here is Dave’s Narrative. We installed the Taliban as the rulers of Afghanistan as the best of many bad options. The winners are the Taliban and China. The two are inking deals for mineral rights as I type. The chaos was intentional. But why accept such a profound humiliation and dashed hopes of future alliances in global hotspots? I think that the Taliban winning the war in Afghanistan, and then the way our exit happened, has absolutely inspired jihadists all over the world. The Taliban is saying, we just didn’t defeat the United States, we defeated NATO. We defeated the world’s greatest military power, ever. I think, not only will the jihadists be inspired, but a lot of them are going to come to Afghanistan to be part of the celebration, to be part of jihadist central. We are more at risk, without a doubt. ~ Michael Morell, former CIA Director under Obama Maybe China has way more than just Hunter’s laptop to blackmail us and is about to take possession of Taiwan soon. While we await the next Kyle Rittenhouse trial to preoccupy ourselves, take a peek at this video. Skip over the election stuff since we all have rock-hard opinions on that and go to minute 55:30. Xi Jinping’s right-hand man, Di Dongsheng, publicly explained the extent Beijing controls US politics:ref 55 There is nothing in the world that money can’t fix, right? If one wad of cash can’t handle it, then I’ll have two wads. (laughter) Of course this is how I do things. In fact, to be a bit blunt, in the past 30 years or past 40 years, we manipulated the core power circle in the United States, right? I mentioned earlier that Wall Street started to have a very strong influence on U.S. domestic and foreign affairs in the 1970s. So we figured out our path and those we could be dependent on. But the problem is that Wall Street’s status has declined after 2008. More importantly, starting in 2016 Wall Street has no influence on Trump. Why? It is awkward. Trump had a soft breach of contract on Wall Street once, so the two sides had conflicts. They tried to help during the Sino-US trade war. As far as I know, friends from the U.S. told me that they tried to help, but they were too weak. But now we see that Biden has come to power. (crowd laughs) The traditional elites, political elites, and the establishment have a very close relationship with Wall Street. You all see it: Trump talked about Biden’s son, “You have investment funds around the world.” Who helped him build the funds? You understand? There are transactions involved. (laughter) So at this point in time, we use an appropriate way to express a certain kind of goodwill. (applause) ~Di Dongsheng, Vice Director and Secretary of the Center for Foreign Strategic Studies of Chinaref 55 January 6th Capitol Insurrection Alec Baldwin killed more people in 2021 than did the January 6th insurrectionists. Anybody reading this far knows that the January 6th riots stemmed from the right-wing voters who doubted the veracity of the 2020 election. Twitter polls show that view is not as partisan or as rare as the media would lead you to believe. I happen to doubt U.S. election integrity but have for quite a few election cycles. ref 1 Hacked Stratfor emails show the democrats rigged the vote in ’08 ref 2 and Republicans rigged it in ’04.ref 3 It is bipartisan Capture the Flag with red and blue pinnies.ref 4 In any event, Trump’s Green Goblin strategy was to beckon the MAGA faithful to the Capitol to protest the Electoral College signing off on the results. It was not so different than the mobs outside the courthouses trying to subvert the Rittenhouse and Chauvin trials, but the scale of January 6th was much larger and the optics were Biblical. It got out of hand and, at times, even a little Helter Skelter. Mob psychology elicits dramatic changes in brain chemistry and has been the topic of many laboratory studies.”ref 5 Temporary insanity is not a crazy defense. My Tweet got some hysterically hateful responses from the Right who missed the sarcasm and the Left who did not. I think I squandered more of my valuable time left on this planet burrowing through the January 6th story than on the Covid-Vaccine combo platter. I should preface this section by noting that I was praised by a thoughtful long-time reader for being “balanced and measured and carefully worded, even on edgy topics.” I may be on the cusp of disappointing him. It’s impossible to peer at the The Great Insurrection through a non-partisan lens. Both sides may find common ground in the belief that January 6th is a profound fork in the road of the American Experiment. The sock-starching Left will celebrate it as a national holiday every year while the bed-wetting Right will try to ignore it. Both are wrong. Look at that photo and pause to ponder its implications. Put a funny caption to it. Let’s hear from some Republicans first: We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House — every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during, and after the attack. ~ Liz Cheney I think Lizard nailed it. We’re on the same page. Let’s keep going… January 6 was worse than 9/11, because it’s continued to rip our country apart and get permission for people to pursue autocratic means, and so I think we’re in a much worse place than we’ve been. I think we’re in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War. ~ Michael Dowd, former Bush strategist I would like to see January 6th burned into the American mind as firmly as 9/11 because it was that scale of a shock to the system. ~ George Will, syndicated columnist Mike and George are as unhinged as I am but on different hinges. I think they are delusional and offensive. Edging forward… The 1/6 attack for the future of the country was a profoundly more dangerous event than the 9/11 attacks. And in the end, the 1/6 attacks are likely to kill a lot more Americans than were killed in the 9/11 attacks, which will include the casualties of the wars that lasted 20 years following. ~ Steve Smith, Lincoln Project co-founder Now I’m getting the heebie-jeebies if for no other reason than the Lincoln Project is filled with Democratic operatives (or at least neocons) pretending to be Republicans—as authentic as the Indians at the Boston Tea Party or stepmoms on PornHub. We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within…There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home… But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. ~ George W. Bush, a thinly veiled allusion to January 6 George got some serious guff from more than a few of the 80 million Fox-watching extremists including the Grand Wizard: So interesting to watch former President Bush, who is responsible for getting us into the quicksand of the Middle East (and then not winning!), as he lectures us that terrorists on the ‘right’ are a bigger problem than those from foreign countries that hate America. ~ Donald Trump He nailed it. I have stated previously that Bush committed war crimes. Of course, the National Security Machine chimed in… The No. 1 national security threat I’ve ever seen in my life to this country’s democracy is the party that I’m in — the Republican Party. It is the No. 1 national security threat to the United States of America. ~ Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Dude! You just tarred about 80 million asses with that brushstroke. Let’s move further left to find some middle ground: They swooned for him on 9/11 because he gave them what they most crave: the view that Al Qaeda is comparable to those who protested at the Capitol on 1/6. ~ Glenn Greenwald, on George Bush’s comments Glenn is part of a growing cadre of liberals including Matt Taibbi, Tim Pool, Bill Maher, The Weinstein Brothers, and Joe Rogan who are unafraid to extend olive branches across The Great Partisan Divide at risk of being labled white supremacists and Nazis, but they are hardly emblematic of the Left. From the elite Left… I think we also had very real security concerns. We still don’t yet feel safe around other members of Congress.  ~ AOC AOC’s comment prompted one pundit to tell her to “get a therapist”, which seems correct given her moment of maximum drama was when a security guard was screaming outside her door, “Are you OK, Ma’am?” #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett began trending on social media when it was disclosed that she was not even in the building when Ragnar and his buddies showed up.ref 6 They will have to decide if Donald J. Trump incited the erection…the insurrection. ~ Chuck Schumerref 7 What ya thinking about Chuckie? We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole. Since the Civil War. The Confederates back then never breached the Capitol as insurrectionists did on Jan. 6. ~ Joe Biden Joe may be on the A-Team, but he hasn’t found his way out of the locker room. The blue-check-marked liberals did not mince words… The 9/11 terrorists and Osama bin Laden never threatened the heart of the American experiment. The 1/6 terrorists and Donald Trump absolutely did exactly that. Trump continues that effort today. ~ S.V. Dáte, Huffington Post’s senior White House correspondent The only effective way for the government to respond to an act of war by domestic terrorists is to be prepared to meet them with machine guns and flamethrowers and mow them down. Not one of those terrorists who broke through police lines should have escaped alive. ~ a Washington Post commenter Moving as far left as you can by tuning into the most cunning commie who can outfox any Western leader… Do you know that 450 individuals were arrested after entering the Congress? They came there with political demands. ~ Vladimir Putin The Cast of this Drama. This Kafkaesque narrative will be scrutinized by historians and democratic operatives for years to come. The Left will cast this event as a truly unique moment in US history, but it was precedented. I see parallels with the 1920’s Bonus Army in which World War I veterans were pissed off about unpaid post-war benefits.ref 8 In the saddest of ironies, many were killed by Army regulars. Some authorities, including a young Dwight Eisenhower, thought it was a benign protest while others thought it was an assault on America. Grumpy crowds appear at the Capitol only on days of the week that end in “y.” Recently, f.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 6th, 2022

Mainstream Economists Are Struggling To Hide The Incoming Economic Collapse

Mainstream Economists Are Struggling To Hide The Incoming Economic Collapse Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, For many years now there has been a contingent of alternative economists working diligently within the liberty movement to combat disinformation being spread by the mainstream media regarding America’s true economic condition. Our efforts have focused primarily on the continued devaluation of the dollar and the forced dependence on globalism that has outsourced and eliminated most U.S. manufacturing and production of raw materials. The problems of devaluation and stagflation have been present since 1916 when the Federal Reserve was officially formed and given power, but the true impetus for a currency collapse and the destruction of American buying power began in 2007-2008 when the Financial Crisis was used as an excuse to allow the Fed to create trillions upon trillions in stimulus dollars for well over a decade. The mainstream media’s claim has always been that the Fed “saved” the U.S. from imminent collapse and that the central bankers are “heroes.” After all, stock markets have mostly skyrocketed since quantitative easing (QE) was introduced during the credit crash, and stock markets are a measure of economic health, right? The devil’s bargain Reality isn’t a mainstream media story. The U.S. economy isn’t the stock market. All the Federal Reserve really accomplished was to forge a devil’s bargain: Trading one manageable deflationary crisis for at least one (possibly more) highly unmanageable inflationary crises down the road. Central banks kicked the can on the collapse, making it far worse in the process. The U.S. economy in particular is extremely vulnerable now. Money created from thin air by the Fed was used to support failing banks and corporations, not just here in America but also banks and companies around the world. Because the dollar has been the world reserve currency for the better part of the past century, the Fed has been able to print cash with wild abandon and mostly avoid inflationary consequences. This was especially true in the decade after the derivatives crunch of 2008. Why? The dollar’s global reserve status means dollars are likely to be held overseas in foreign banks and corporate coffers to be used in global trade. However, there is no such thing as a party that goes on forever. Eventually the punch runs out and the lights shut off. If the dollar is devalued too much, whether by endless printing of new money or by relentless inflationary pressures at home, all those overseas dollars will come flooding back into the U.S. The result is an inflationary avalanche, a massive injection of liquidity exactly when it will cause the most trouble. We are now close to this point of no return. The difference between a crisis and a real crisis As I have said for some time, when inflation becomes visible to the public and their pocketbooks take a hit, this is when the real crisis begins. A Catch-22 situation arises and the Fed must make a choice: To continue with inflationary programs and risk taking the blame for extreme price increases Taper these programs and risk an implosion of stock markets which have long been artificially inflated by stimulus Without Fed support, stock markets will die. We had a taste of this the last time the Fed flirted with tapering in 2018. My position has always been that the Federal Reserve is not a banking institution on a mission to protect American financial interests. Rather, I believe the Fed is an ideological suicide bomber waiting to blow itself up and deliberately derail or destroy the American economy at the right moment. My position has also long been that the bankers would need a cover event to hide their calculated economic attack, otherwise they would take full blame for the resulting disaster. The Covid pandemic, subsequent lockdowns and supply chain snarls have now provided that cover event. Two years after the pandemic started and the Fed has pumped out approximately $6 trillion more in stimulus (officially) and helicopter money through PPP loans and Covid checks. On top of that, Biden is ready to drop another $1 trillion in the span of the next couple years through his recently passed infrastructure bill. In my article ‘Infrastructure Bills Do Not Lead To Recovery, Only Increased Federal Control‘, published in April, I noted that: “Production of fiat money is not the same as real production within the economy… Trillions of dollars in public works programs might create more jobs, but it will also inflate prices as the dollar goes into decline. So, unless wages are adjusted constantly according to price increases, people will have jobs, but still won’t be able to afford a comfortable standard of living. This leads to stagflation, in which prices continue to rise while wages and consumption stagnate. Another Catch-22 to consider is that if inflation becomes rampant, the Federal Reserve may be compelled (or claim they are compelled) to raise interest rates significantly in a short span of time. This means an immediate slowdown in the flow of overnight loans to major banks, an immediate slowdown in loans to large and small businesses, an immediate crash in credit options for consumers, and an overall crash in consumer spending. You might recognize this as the recipe that created the 1981-1982 recession, the third-worst in the 20th century. In other words, the choice is stagflation, or deflationary depression.” It would appear that the Fed has chosen stagflation. We have now reached the stage of the game in which stagflation is becoming a household term, and it’s only going to get worse from here on. Lies, damned lies and statistics According to official consumer price index (CPI) calculations and Fed data, we are now witnessing the largest inflation surge in over 30 years, but the real story is much more concerning. CPI numbers are manipulated and have been since the 1990’s when calculation methods were changed and certain unsavory factors were removed. If we look at inflation according to the original way of calculation, it is actually double that reported by the government today. In particular, necessities like food, housing and energy have exploded in price, but we are only at the beginning. To be clear, Biden’s infrastructure bill and the pandemic stimulus are not the only culprits behind the stagflation event. This has been a long time coming; it is the culmination of many years of central bank stimulus sabotage and multiple presidents supporting multiple dollar devaluation schemes. Biden simply appears to be the president to put the final nail in the coffin of the U.S. economy (or perhaps Kamala Harris, we’ll see how long Biden maintains his mental health facade). But how bad will the situation get? “Collapse” is not too strong a word I think most alternative economists have called the situation correctly in predicting a “collapse.” This is often treated as a loaded term, but I don’t know what else you could call the scenario we are facing. The covid lockdowns and the battle over the vax mandates have perhaps distracted Americans from an even larger danger of financial instability. That fight is important and must continue, but stopping the mandates does not mean the overarching threat of economic chaos goes away, and both serve the interest of central bankers and globalists. Some of the key policies within the literature for the “Great Reset” and what the World Economic Forum calls “The 4th Industrial Revolution” includes Universal Basic Income (UBI), the “Sharing Economy” and eventually a global digital currency system using the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket as a foundation. Essentially, it would be a form of global technocratic communism, and if you enjoy individual freedom, being forced into total reliance on the government for your very survival does not sound appealing. To obtain such a system would require a catastrophe of epic proportions. The Covid pandemic gets the globalists part of the way there, but it’s obviously not enough. Covid has not convinced many hundreds of millions of people around the world to give up their freedoms for the sake of security. But maybe a stagflationary collapse will accomplish what Covid has not? Accelerated price spikes in necessities including housing and food will generate mass poverty and homelessness. There is no chance that wages will keep up with costs. The government might step in with more stimulus to help major corporations and businesses increase wages, but this would basically be the beginning of a universal basic income (UBI, or free money for everyone) and it would only cause more dollar devaluation and more inflation. They could try to freeze prices as many communist regimes have in the past, but this only leads to increased manufacturing shut downs because the costs of production are too high and the profit incentives too low. I suspect that the establishment will bring back regular checks (like the Covid checks) for the public now struggling to deal with ever increasing expenses and uncertainty, but with strings attached. Don’t expect a UBI check, for example, if you refuse to comply with the vax mandates. If you run a business, don’t expect stimulus aid if you hire non-compliant workers. UBI gives the government ultimate control over everything, and a stagflationary crisis gives them the perfect opportunity to introduce permanent UBI. The mainstream can no longer deny the fact that stagflation is happening and it is a threat, so hopefully those people that have not been educated on the situation will learn quickly enough to complete the preparations necessary to survive. Countering stagflation will require localized production, decentralization and a move away from reliance on the global supply chain, the institution of local currency systems, perhaps using state banks like the one in North Dakota as a model, barter markets and physical precious metals that rise in value along with inflationary pressures. There is a lot that needs to be done, and very little time to do it. At bottom, the fight against economic collapse and the “Great Reset” starts with each individual and how they prepare. Each person caught by surprise and stricken with poverty is just another person added to the hungry mob begging the establishment for draconian solutions like UBI. Each properly-prepared individual is, as always, an obstacle to authoritarianism. It’s time to choose which one you will be. *  *  * With global tensions spiking, thousands of Americans are moving their IRA or 401(k) into an IRA backed by physical gold. Now, thanks to a little-known IRS Tax Law, you can too. Learn how with a free info kit on gold from Birch Gold Group. It reveals how physical precious metals can protect your savings, and how to open a Gold IRA. Click here to get your free Info Kit on Gold. Tyler Durden Tue, 12/07/2021 - 08:16.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 7th, 2021

Futures Rebound Fizzles On Slowing iPhone Demand, Omicron Fears

Futures Rebound Fizzles On Slowing iPhone Demand, Omicron Fears U.S. index futures regained some ground alongside Asian markets while European stocks slumped to session lows in a delayed response to yesterday's late Omicron-driven US selloff, as markets remained volatile following the biggest two-day plunge in more than a year, spurred by concern about the omicron coronavirus variant and Federal Reserve tightening. Investors await data for unemployment claims, as well as earnings from companies including Dollar General and Kroger. Tech is the weakest sector, dropping in sympathy after Apple warned its suppliers of slowing iPhone demand. Nasdaq futures pared earlier gains of up to 0.8% to trade down 0.1% while S&P futures are only 0.2% higher after rising as much as 0.9%. While the knee-jerk reaction of stock investors may “continue to be to take profits before the end of the year,” there is “plenty of liquidity available to drive stock prices higher as dip-buyers enter the market,” Ed Yardeni wrote in a note. The U.S. economy grew at a modest to moderate pace through mid-November, while price hikes were widespread amid supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book survey Tuesday. Cruise-ship operator Carnival jumped 3.8% in premarket trading, while Pfizer and Moderna fell as the World Health Organization said that existing vaccines will likely protect against severe cases of the variant. Boeing contracts gained 3.4% after a report that the flagship 737 Max aircraft has regained airworthiness approval in China. With lots of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and Fed policy, the size of potential market swings is still considerable.  Here are some other notable premarket movers today: Apple (AAPL US) shares fell 1.8% in premarket trading after the iPhone maker was said to tell suppliers that demand for its flagship product has slowed. Wall Street analysts, however, remained bullish. U.S. stocks tied to former President Donald Trump rise in premarket trading following a report his media group is in talks to raise new financing. Digital World Acquisition (DWAC US) +24%, Phunware (PHUN US) +38%. Katapult (KPLT US) shares sink 14% in premarket after the financial technology firm said its gross originations over a two-month period were lower than 2020 levels. Vir (VIR US) shares jump 8.1% in premarket trading after its Covid-19 antibody treatment, co-developed with Glaxo, looked to be effective against the new omicron variant in early testing. Snowflake (SNOW US) is up 17% premarket following quarterly results that impressed analysts, though some raise questions over the data software company’s valuation. CrowdStrike (CRWD US) shares jumped 5.1% in premarket after it boosted its revenue forecast for the full year. Square’s (SQ US) shares are 0.4% higher premarket. Corporate name change to Block Inc. indicates “a symbolic rebirth,” according to Barclays as it shows a broader set of possibilities than those of a pure payments company. Okta’s (OKTA US) shares advanced in postmarket trading. 3Q results show the cybersecurity company is well- positioned to deliver growth, even if some analysts say its guidance looks conservative and that its growth was not as strong as in prior quarters. The Omicron variant also hurt risk appetite, making the safe-haven bonds more attractive to investors, pushing yields down - although yields picked up again in early European trading. Volatility in equity markets as measured by the Vix hit its highest since February on Wednesday, before easing on Thursday, but remained well above this year’s average and almost twice as high as a month ago. Investors are braced for volatility to continue through December, stirred by tightening central-bank policies to fight inflation just as the omicron variant complicates the outlook for the pandemic recovery. The recent market turmoil may offer investors a chance to position for a trend reversal in reopening and commodity trades, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. "Investors will need to maintain their calm during a period of uncertainty until the scientific data give a clearer picture of which scenario we face," said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management in Zurich. “This, in turn, will help shape the reaction of central bankers." Also weighing on stock markets, and flattening the U.S. yield curve, were remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said that he would consider a faster end to the Fed's bond-buying programme, which could open the door to earlier interest rate hikes. In his second day of testimony in Congress on Wednesday, Powell reiterated that the U.S. central bank needs to be ready to respond to the possibility that inflation does not recede in the second half of next year. read more "In this past what we’ve seen is central banks using COVID as an excuse to remain dovish, and what we're seeing is central banks turn hawkish despite rising concerns around COVID, so it is a bit of a shift in communication," said Mohammed Kazmi, portfolio manager at UBP.  That said, the market is now so oversold, this is where we usually see aggressive dip-buying. In Europe, tech companies were the worst performers after Apple warned its component suppliers of slowing demand for its iPhone 13, the news dragged index heavyweight ASML Holding NV more than 4%. Meanwhile, travel shares were among the worst performers as the omicron variant continued to pop upin countries around the world, including the U.S., Norway, Ireland and South Korea. The Euro Stoxx 50 dropped as much as 1.7% while the Stoxx 600 Index fell 1.5%, extending declines to trade at a session low, with all sectors in the red and led lower by technology and travel stocks. The Stoxx 600 Technology Index slumped as much as 3.9%, the most in two months. Vifor Pharma surged by a record 18% following a report that Australia’s CSL is in advanced talks to acquire Swiss drugmaker. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Vifor Pharma shares rise as much as 18% on a report that Australia’s CSL is in advanced talks to acquire the Swiss-based drug maker and developer while working with BofA on a A$4 billion funding package. Argenx jumps as much as 9.5% after Kepler Cheuvreux upgrades the stock to buy, saying the biotech company is on the brink of launching its first commercial product. Duerr gains as much as 7.2%, most since Aug. 10, after Deutsche Bank upgrades to buy and sets aa Street-high PT of EU60 for the German engineering company, citing the digitalization of the industry. Daily Mail & General Trust rises as much as 3.9% after Rothermere Continuation raised its bid for all DMGT’s Class A shares by 5.9% to 270p a share in cash. Klarabo surges as much as 54% as shares start trading on Nasdaq Stockholm after the Swedish property company raised SEK750m in an IPO. Eurofins Scientific declines for a fourth session, falling as much as 3.2%, as Goldman Sachs downgrades the company to neutral from buy “following strong outperformance YTD.” Deliveroo drops as much as 6.4% after an offering of 17.6m shares by CEO Will Shu and CFO Adam Miller at a price of 278p a share, representing a 4.2% discount to the last close. M&S falls as much as 3.4% after UBS cut its rating to neutral from buy, citing limited upside to its new price target as well as “little room for meaningful upgrades.” Earlier in the session, Asian stocks erased an earlier loss to trade slightly up, as traders continued to assess the potential impact of the omicron virus strain and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep inflation in check.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2% after falling 0.4% in the morning. South Korea led regional gains, helped by large-cap chipmakers, while Japan was among the worst performers after the government dropped a plan for a blanket halt to all new incoming flight reservations. Asia’s equity benchmark is still down about 4% so far this year after rebounding in the past two sessions from a one-year low reached earlier this week. Despite the region’s underperformance against the U.S. and Europe, cheap valuations and foreign-investor positioning have prompted brokerages including Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura Securities Co. Ltd. to turn bullish on Asia’s prospects next year. “Equity markets continue to play omicron tennis and traders looking for short-term direction should just wait for the next virus headline and then act accordingly,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda Corp. “Volatility, and not market direction, will be the winner this week.” Chinese technology shares including Alibaba Group Holding slid after Beijing was said to be planning to close a loophole used by the sector to go public abroad, fueling concern over existing overseas listings. Japanese equities declined, following U.S. peers lower after the first American case of the omicron coronavirus variant was confirmed. Electronics makers and telecoms were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 0.5%. SoftBank Group and TDK were the largest contributors to a 0.7% loss in the Nikkei 225.  The S&P 500 posted its worst two-day selloff since October 2020 after the first U.S. case of the new strain was reported. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that officials should consider a quicker reduction of monetary stimulus amid elevated inflation. “Truth is, there’s probably a lot of people who are wanting to buy stocks at some point,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management. “But, with omicron still an unknown, people are responding sensitively to news development, and that’s keeping them from buying.” India’s benchmark equity index climbed for a second day, led by software exporters, on an improving economic outlook and as investors grabbed some beaten-down stocks after recent declines. The S&P BSE Sensex Index rose 1.4% to close at 58,461.29 in Mumbai, the biggest advance since Nov. 1. Its two-day gains increased to 2.5%, the most since Aug. 31. The NSE Nifty 50 Index also surged by a similar magnitude. All of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. were up, led by a gauge of utilities companies. “India underperformed the global markets in recent weeks. Investors are now going for value buying in stocks at lower levels,” said A. K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital Market Services. The Sensex gained in three of the past four sessions after plunging 2.9% on Friday, the biggest drop since April. The rally, however, is in contrast to most global peers which are witnessing volatility on worries over the spread of the omicron variant. High frequency indicators in India, such as tax collection and manufacturing activities, have shown robust growth in recent months, while the country’s economy expanded 8.4% in the quarter ended in September, according to an official data release on Tuesday. Mortgage lender HDFC contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 3.9%. Out of 30 shares in the index, 27 rose and three fell. In rates, trading has been relatively quiet as bunds and gilts bull steepen a touch with risk offered, while cash TSYs bear flatten, cheapening ~5bps across the curve.Treasuries retraced part of yesterday’s rally that sent the benchmark 30-year rate to the lowest since early January. A large buyer of 5-year U.S. Treasury options targets the yield dropping around 17bps. 5s10s, 5s30s spreads flattened by ~1bp and ~2bp to multimonth lows; 10-year yields around 1.43%, cheaper by more than 3bp on the day while bunds and gilt yields are richer by ~1bp. Front-end and belly of the curve underperform vs long-end, while bunds and gilts outperform Treasuries. With little economic data slated, speeches by several Fed officials are main focal points. Peripheral spreads tighten with 10y Spain outperforming after well received auctions, albeit with a small size on offer. U.S. economic data slate includes November Challenger job cuts (7:30am) and initial jobless claims (8:30am) In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell to a day low in the European session and the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers as most crosses consolidated in recent ranges. Two-week implied volatility in the major currencies trades in the green Thursday as it now captures the next policy decisions by the world’s major central banks. Euro- dollar on the tenor rises by as much as 138 basis points to touch 8.22%, highest in a year; the relative premium, however, remains below parity as realized has risen to levels unseen since August 2020. The pound rose along with some other risk- sensitive currencies following the British currency’s three-day slump against the dollar. Long-end gilts underperformed, leading to some steepening of the curve. The yen fell for the first day in three while the Swiss franc fell a second day. The Hungarian forint rose to almost a three-week high after the central bank in Budapest raised the one-week deposit rate by 20 basis points to 3.10%. Economists in a Bloomberg survey were evenly split in predicting a 10 or 20 basis point increase. The Turkish lira resumed its slump after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan abruptly replaced his finance minister amid deepening rifts in the administration over aggressive interest-rate cuts that have undermined the currency and fueled inflation. Poland’s central bank Governor Adam Glapinski sent the zloty to a three-week high against the euro on Thursday with his changed rhetoric on inflation, which he no longer sees as transitory after prices surged at the fastest pace in more than two decades. Currency market volatility also rose, with euro-dollar one-month volatility gauges below Monday's one-year peak but still at elevate levels . "Liquidity in some areas of the market is still quite poor as people grapple with this news and as we head towards year-end, a lot of it is really liquidity driven, which is leading to some volatility," said UBP's Kazmi. "Even in the most liquid market of the U.S. treasury market we've seen some fairly large moves on very little newsflow at times." In commodities, crude futures extend Asia’s gains. WTI adds 2.2% near $67, Brent near $70.50 ahead of today’s OPEC+ meeting. Spot gold finds support near Tuesday’s, recovering somewhat to trade near $1,774/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME aluminum drops as much as 1.1%, nickel, zinc and tin hold in the green Looking at the day ahead now, and central bank speakers include the Fed’s Quarles, Bostic, Daly and Barkin, as well as the ECB’s Panetta. Data releases include the Euro Area unemployment rate and PPI inflation for October, while there’s also the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 4,540.25 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.0% to 466.37 MXAP up 0.2% to 192.07 MXAPJ up 0.7% to 629.36 Nikkei down 0.7% to 27,753.37 Topix down 0.5% to 1,926.37 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 23,788.93 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,573.84 Sensex up 1.3% to 58,436.52 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 7,225.18 Kospi up 1.6% to 2,945.27 Brent Futures up 2.4% to $70.53/bbl Gold spot down 0.6% to $1,771.73 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 96.03 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.35% Euro little changed at $1.1320 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said she’s “very open” to scaling back the Fed’s asset purchases at a faster pace so it can raise interest rates a couple of times next year if needed A United Nations gauge of global food prices rose 1.2% last month, threatening to make it more expensive for households to put a meal on the table. It’s more evidence of inflation soaring in the world’s largest economies and may make it even harder for the poorest nations to import food, worsening a hunger crisis Germany is poised to clamp down on people who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19 and drastically curtail social contacts to ease pressure on increasingly stretched hospitals Some investors buffeted by concerns about tighter monetary policy are turning their sights to China’s battered junk bonds, given they offer some of the biggest yield buffers anywhere in global credit markets Pfizer Inc. says data on how well its Covid-19 vaccine protects against the omicron variant should be available within two to three weeks, an executive said GlaxoSmithKline Plc said its Covid-19 antibody treatment looks to be effective against the new omicron variant in early testing A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded tentatively following the declines on Wall St where all major indices extended on losses and selling was exacerbated on confirmation of the first Omicron case in the US, while the Asia-Pac region also contended with its own pandemic concerns. ASX 200 (-0.2%) was subdued amid heavy losses in the tech sector and with a surge of infections in Victoria state, although downside in the index was cushioned amid inline Retail Sales and Trade Balance, as well as M&A optimism after Woolworths made a non-binding indicative proposal for Australian Pharmaceutical Industries. Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) weakened after the government instructed airlines to halt inbound flight bookings for a month due to fears of the new variant and with auto names also pressured by declines in monthly sales amid the chip supply crunch. KOSPI (+1.6%) showed resilience amid expectations for lawmakers to pass a record budget today and recouped opening losses despite the record increase in daily infections and confirmation of its first Omicron cases, while the index also shrugged off the highest CPI reading in a decade which effectively supports the case for further rate increases by the BoK. Hang Seng (+0.6%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) were choppy following another liquidity drain by the PBoC and with tech pressured in Hong Kong as Alibaba shares extended on declines after recently slipping to a 4-year low in its US listing. Beijing regulatory tightening also provided a headwind as initial reports suggested China is to crack down on loopholes used by tech firms for foreign IPOs, although this was later refuted by China, and the CBIRC is planning stricter regulations on major shareholders of banks and insurance companies, as well as confirmed it will better regulate connected transactions of banks. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher as prices tracked gains in global counterparts and amid the risk aversion in Japan, although prices are off intraday highs after hitting resistance during a brief incursion to the 152.00 level and despite the marginally improved metrics from 10yr JGB auction. Top Asian News Asia Stocks Swing as Investors Weigh Omicron Impact, Fed Views Apple Tells Suppliers IPhone Demand Slowing as Holidays Near Moody’s Cuts China Property Sales View on Financing Difficulties Faith in Singapore Leaders Hit by Record Covid Wave, Poll Shows Bourses across Europe have held onto losses seen at the cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.4%; Stoxx -1.2%), as the region plays catchup to the downside seen on Wall Street – seemingly sparked by a concoction of hawkish Fed rhetoric and the discovery of the Omicron variant in the US. Nonetheless, US equity futures are firmer across the board but to varying degrees – with the cyclical RTY (+1.1%) and the NQ (+0.3%) the current laggard. European futures ahead of the cash open saw some mild fleeting impetus on reports GlaxoSmithKline's (-0.3%) COVID treatment Sotrovimab retains its activity against Omicron variant, and the UK MHRA simultaneously approved the use of Sotrovimab – but caveated that it is too early to know whether Omicron has any impact on effectiveness. Conversely, brief risk-off crept into the market following commentary from a South African Scientist who warned the country is seeing an exponential rise in new COVID cases with a predominance of Omicron variant across the country – with the variant causing the fastest ever community transmission - but expects fewer active cases and hospitalisations this wave. Back to Europe, Euro indices see broad-based losses whilst the downside in the FTSE 100 (-0.7%) is less severe amid support from its heavyweight Oil & Gas sector – the outperforming sector in the region. Delving deeper, sectors see no overarching theme nor bias – Food & Beverages, Autos and Banks are towards the top of the bunch, whilst Tech, Telecoms, and Travel &Leisure. Tech is predominantly weighed on by reports that Apple (-2% pre-market) reportedly told iPhone component suppliers that demand slowed down. As such ASML (-5.0%), STMicroelectronics (-4.4%) and Infineon (-3.6%) reside among the biggest losers in the Stoxx 600. Deliveroo (-5.3%) is softer following an offering of almost 18mln at a discount to yesterday's close. In terms of market commentary, Morgan Stanley believes that inflation will remain high over the next few months, in turn supporting commodities, financials and some cyclical sectors. The bank identifies beneficiaries including EDF (-1.5%), Engie (-1.2%), SSE (-0.2%), Legrand (-1.3%), Tesco (-0.5%), BT (-0.8%), Michelin (-1.6%) and Sika (-0.9%). Top European News Shell Kicks Off First Wave of Buybacks From Permian Sale Omicron Threatens to Prolong Pain in Bid to Vaccinate the World Apple, Suppliers Drop Premarket After Report Demand Slowed Valeo, Gestamp Gain After Barclays Raises to Overweight In FX, currency markets are still in a state of flux, or limbo bar a few exceptions, and the Greenback is gyrating against major peers awaiting the next major event that could provide clearer direction and a more decisive range break. Thursday’s agenda offers some scope on that front via US initial jobless claims and a host of Fed speakers, but in truth NFP tomorrow is probably more likely to be influential even though chair Powell has effectively given the green light to fast-track tapering from December. In the interim, the index continues to keep a relatively short leash around 96.000, and is holding within 96.138-95.895 confines so far today. JPY/CHF - Although risk considerations look supportive for the Yen, on paper, UST-JGB/Fed-BoJ differentials coupled with technical impulses are keeping Usd/Jpy buoyant on the 113.00 handle, with additional demand said to have come from Japanese exporters overnight. However, the headline pair may run into offers/resistance circa 113.50 and any breach could be capped by decent option expiry interest spanning 113.60-75 (1.5 bn). Similarly, the Franc has slipped back below 0.9200 on yield and Swiss/US Central Bank policy stances plus near term outlooks, and hardly helped by a slowdown in retail sales. GBP/CAD/NZD - All firmer vs their US counterpart, though again well within recent admittedly wide ranges, and the Pound perhaps more attuned to Eur/Gbp fluctuations as the cross retreats to retest 0.8500 and Cable rebounds to have another look at 1.3300 where a fairly big option expiry resides (850 mn). Indeed, Sterling has largely shrugged off the latest BoE Monthly Decision Maker Panel release that in truth did not deliver any clues on what is set to be another knife-edge MPC gathering in December. Elsewhere, the Loonie is straddling 1.2800 with eyes on WTI crude ahead of Canadian jobs data on Friday and the Kiwi is hovering above 0.6800 after weaker NZ Q3 terms of trade were offset to some extent by favourable Aud/Nzd headwinds. AUD/EUR - Both narrowly mixed against US Dollar, with the Aussie pivoting 0.7100 in wake of roughly in line trade and retail sales data overnight, but wary about the latest virus outbreak in the state of Victoria, while the Euro is sitting somewhat uncomfortably on the 1.1300 handle amidst softer EGB yields and heightened uncertainty about what the ECB might or might not do in December on the QE guidance front. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are firmer intraday as traders gear up for the JMMC and OPEC+ confabs at 12:00GMT and 13:00GMT, respectively. The jury is still split on what the final decision could be, but the case for OPEC+ to pause the planned monthly relaxation of output curbs by 400k BPD has been strengthening against the backdrop of Omicron coupled with the coordinated SPR releases (an updating Rolling Headline is available on the Newsquawk headline feed). As expected, OPEC sources have been testing the waters in the run-up, whilst yesterday's JTC/OPEC meetings largely surrounded the successor to the Secretary-General position. Oil market price action will likely be centred around OPEC+ today in the absence of any macro shocks. WTI Jan resides around USD 66.50/bbl (vs low USD 65.41/bbl) whilst Brent Feb briefly topped USD 70/bbl (vs low USD 68.73/bbl). Elsewhere, spot gold has eased further from the USD 1,800/oz after failing to sustain a break above the 50, 100 and 200 DMAs which have all converged to USD 1,791/oz today. LME copper is on the backfoot amid the cautious risk sentiment, with the red metal back under USD 9,500/t but off overnight lows. US Event Calendar 7:30am: Nov. Challenger Job Cuts -77.0% YoY, prior -71.7% 8:30am: Nov. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 240,000, prior 199,000; 8:30am: Nov. Continuing Claims, est. 2m, prior 2.05m 9:45am: Nov. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 52.2 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap With investors remaining on tenterhooks to find out some definitive information on the Omicron variant, yesterday saw markets continue to see-saw for a 4th day running. Following one of the biggest sell-offs of the year on Friday, we then had a partial bounceback on Monday, another bout of fears on Tuesday (not helped by the prospect of faster tapering), and yesterday saw another rally back before risk sentiment turned sharply later in the day as an initial case of the Omicron variant was discovered in the US. You can get some idea of this by the fact that Europe’s STOXX 600 (+1.71%) posted its best daily performance since May, whereas the S&P 500 moved from an intraday high where it had been up +1.88%, before shedding all those gains and more to close -1.18% lower. In fact, that decline means the S&P has now lost over -3% in the last two sessions, marking its worst 2-day performance in over a year, and this heightened volatility saw the VIX index close back above 30 for the first time since early February. In terms of developments about Omicron, we’re still in a waiting game for some concrete stats, but there was positive news early on from the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, who said that they think vaccines “will still protect against severe disease as they have against the other variants”. On the other hand, there was further negative news out of South Africa, as the country reported 8,561 infections over the previous day, with a positivity rate of 16.5%. That’s up from 4,373 cases the day before, and 2,273 the day before that, so all eyes will be on whether this trend continues, and also on what that means for hospitalisation and death rates over the days ahead. Against this backdrop, calls for fresh restrictions mounted across a range of countries, particularly on the travel side. In the US, it’s been reported already by the Washington Post that President Biden could today announce stricter testing requirements for arriving travellers. Meanwhile, France is moving to require non-EU arrivals to show a negative test before arrival, irrespective of their vaccination status. The EU Commission further said that member states should conduct daily reviews of essential travel restrictions, and Commission President von der Leyen also said that the EU should discuss the topic of mandatory vaccinations. There was also a Bloomberg report that German Chancellor Merkel would recommend mandatory vaccinations from February 2022, according to a Chancellery paper that they’d obtained. That came as Slovakia sought to incentivise vaccination uptake among older citizens, with the cabinet backing a €500 hospitality voucher for residents over 60 who’ve been vaccinated. As on Tuesday, the other main headlines yesterday were provided by Fed Chair Powell, who re-emphasised his more hawkish rhetoric around inflation before the House Financial Services Committee. Notably he said that “We’ve seen inflation be more persistent. We’ve seen the factors that are causing higher inflation to be more persistent”, though yields on 2yr Treasuries (-1.4bps) already had the shift in stance priced in. New York Fed President Williams echoed that view in an interview, noting it would be germane to discuss and decide whether it was appropriate to accelerate the pace of tapering at the December FOMC. 10yr yields (-4.1bps) continued their decline, predominantly driven by the turn in sentiment following the negative Omicron headlines. That latest round of curve flattening left the 2s10s slope at its flattest level since early January around the time of the Georgia Senate race that ushered in the prospect of much larger fiscal stimulus. In terms of markets elsewhere, strong data releases helped to support risk appetite earlier in yesterday’s session, with investors also looking forward to tomorrow’s US jobs report for November that will be an important one ahead of the Fed’s decision in less than a couple of weeks’ time. The ISM manufacturing release for November saw the headline number come in roughly as expected at 61.1 (vs. 61.2 expected), and also included a rise in both the new orders (61.5) and the employment (53.3) components relative to last month. Separately, the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November likewise came in around expectations, with a +534k gain (vs. +526k expected). Staying on the US, one thing to keep an eye out over the next 24 hours will be any news on a government shutdown, with funding currently set to run out by the weekend as it stands. The headlines yesterday weren’t promising for those hoping for an uneventful, tidy resolution, as Politico indicated that some Congressional Republicans would not agree to an expedited process to fund the government should certain vaccine mandates remain in place. An expedited process is necessary to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the week, so one to watch. After the incredibly divergent equity performances in the US and Europe, we’ve seen a much more mixed performance in Asia overnight, with the KOSPI (+1.09%), Hang Seng (+0.23%), and CSI (+0.23%) all advancing, whereas the Shanghai Composite (-0.05%) and the Nikkei (-0.60%) are trading lower. In terms of the latest on Omicron, authorities in South Korea confirmed five cases, which came as the country also reported that CPI in November rose to its fastest since December 2011, at +3.7% (vs +3.1% expected). Separately in China, 53 local Covid-19 cases were reported in Inner Mongolia, whilst Harbin province reported 3 local cases. Looking forward, futures are indicating a positive start in the US with those on the S&P 500 (+0.64%) pointing higher. Back in Europe, sovereign bonds lost ground yesterday, and yields on 10yr bunds (+0.5bps), OATs (+1.1bps) and BTPs (+4.2bps) continued to move higher. Interestingly, there was a continued widening in peripheral spreads, with the gap between both Italian and Spanish 10yr yields over bunds reaching their biggest level in over a year, at 135bps and 77bps, respectively. Another factor to keep an eye on in Europe is another round of increases in natural gas prices, with futures up +3.42% to their highest level since mid-October yesterday. Lastly on the data front, the main other story was the release of the manufacturing PMIs from around the world. We’d already had the flash readings from a number of the key economies, so they weren’t too surprising, but the Euro Area came in at 58.4 (vs. flash 58.6), Germany came in at 57.4 (vs. flash 57.6), and the UK came in at 58.1 (vs. flash 58.2). One country that saw a decent upward revision was France, with the final number at 55.9 (vs. flash 54.6), which marks an end to 5 successive monthly declines in the French manufacturing PMI. One other release were German retail sales for October, which unexpectedly fell -0.3% (vs. +0.9% expected). To the day ahead now, and central bank speakers include the Fed’s Quarles, Bostic, Daly and Barkin, as well as the ECB’s Panetta. Data releases include the Euro Area unemployment rate and PPI inflation for October, while there’s also the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 07:57.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

Futures Under Water As Tech Selloff Spreads, Yields Spike, Lira Implodes

Futures Under Water As Tech Selloff Spreads, Yields Spike, Lira Implodes US equity futures continued their selloff for the second day as Treasury yields spiked to 1.66%, up almost 4bps on the day, and as the selloff in tech shares spread as traders trimmed bets for a dovish-for-longer Federal Reserve after the renomination of Jerome Powell as its chair. At 8:00am ET, S&P futures were down 2.75 points or -0.05%, with Dow futures flat and Nasdaq futures extended their selloff but were off worst levels, down 41.25 points or 0.25%, after Monday’s last-hour furious rout in technology stocks. As repeatedly covered here in recent weeks, the Turkish currency crisis deepened with the lira weakening past 13 per USD, a drop of more than 10% in one day.  Oil rebounded - as expected - after a panicking Joe Biden, terrified about what soaring gas prices mean for Dems midterm changes, announced that the US, together with several other countries such as China, India and Japan, would tap up to 50 million barrels in strategic reserves, a move which was fully priced in and will now serve to bottom tick the price of oil. In premarket trading, Zoom lost 9% in premarket trading on slowing growth. For some unknown reason, investors have been reducing expectations for a deeper dovish stance by the Fed after Powell was selected for a second term (as if Powell - the man who started purchases of corporate bonds - is somehow hawkish). The chair himself sought to strike a balance in his policy approach saying the central bank would use tools at its disposal to support the economy as well as to prevent inflation from becoming entrenched. “While investors no longer have to wonder about who will be leading the Federal Reserve for the next few years, the next big dilemma the central bank faces is how to normalize monetary policy without upsetting markets,” wrote Robert Schein, chief investment officer at Blanke Schein Wealth Management. Following Powell’s renomination, “the market has unwound hedges against a more ‘dovish’ personnel shift,” Chris Weston, head of research with Pepperstone Financial Pty Ltd., wrote in a note. Not helping was Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic who said Monday that the Fed may need to speed up the removal of monetary stimulus and allow for an earlier-than-planned increase in interest rates European stocks dropped with market focusing on potential Covid lockdowns and policy tightening over solid PMI data. Euro Stoxx 50 shed as much as 1.7% with tech, financial services and industrial names the hardest hit. Better-than-forecast PMI numbers out of Europe’s major economies prompted money markets to resume bets that the ECB will hike the deposit rate 10 basis points as soon as December 2022, versus 2023 on Monday. As Goldman notes, the Euro area composite flash PMI increased by 1.6pt to 55.8 in November — strongly ahead of consensus expectations — in a first gain since the post-July moderation. The area-wide gain was broad-based across countries, and sectors. Supply-side issues continued to be widely reported, with input and output price pressures climbing to all-time highs. In the UK, the November flash composite PMI came in broadly as expected, and while input costs rose to a new all-time high, pass-through into output prices appears lower than usual. Forward-looking expectations remain comfortably above historical averages across Europe, although today's data are unlikely to fully reflect the covid containment measures taken in a number of European countries over recent days. Key numbers (the responses were collected between 10 and 19 November (except in the UK, where the survey response window spanned 12-19 November). Euro Area Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 55.8, GS 53.6, consensus 53.0, last 54.2. Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (Nov, Flash): 58.6, GS 57.7, consensus 57.4, last 58.3. Euro Area Services PMI (Nov, Flash): 56.6, GS 53.9, consensus 53.5, last 54.6. Germany Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 52.8, GS 52.1, consensus 51.0, last 52.0. France Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 56.3, GS 54.4, consensus 53.9, last 54.7. UK Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 57.7, GS 57.7, consensus 57.5, last 57.8. And visually: Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell toward a three-week low as Jerome Powell’s renomination to head the Federal Reserve boosted U.S. yields, putting downward pressure on the region’s technology shares. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 0.5%, as the reappointment sent Treasury yields higher and buoyed the dollar amid concerns monetary stimulus will be withdrawn faster. Consumer discretionary and communication shares were the biggest drags on Asia’s benchmark, with Tencent and Alibaba slipping on worries over tighter regulations in China. “Powell’s renomination was generally expected by the market,” said Chetan Seth, an Asia-Pacific equity strategist at Nomura. The market’s reaction may be short-lived as traders turn their attention to the Fed’s meeting in December and Covid’s resurgence in Europe, he added. Asia shares have struggled to break higher as the jump in yields weighed on sentiment already damped by a lackluster earnings season and the risk of accelerating inflation. The region’s stock benchmark is down about 1% this year compared with a 16% advance in the MSCI AC World Index. Hong Kong and Taiwan were among the biggest decliners, while Australian and Indian shares bucked the downtrend, helped by miners and energy stocks. India’s benchmark stock index rose, snapping four sessions of declines, boosted by gains in Reliance Industries Ltd.   The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.3% to close at 58,664.33 in Mumbai, recovering after falling as much as 1.3% earlier in the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index gained 0.5%. Of the 30 shares on the Sensex, 21 rose and 9 fell. All but one of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by a gauge of metal stocks.  Reliance Industries Ltd. gained 0.9%, after dropping the most in nearly 10 months on Monday following its decision to scrap a plan to sell a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemicals unit to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Shares of One 97 Communications Ltd., the parent company for digital payments firm Paytm, climbed 9.9% after two days of relentless selling since its trading debut. In rates, Treasuries dropped, with the two-year rate jumping five basis points, helping to flatten the yield curve. Bunds and Treasuries bear steepened with German 10y yields ~5bps cheaper. Gilts bear flatten, cheapening 1.5bps across the short end. 10Y TSY yields rose as high as 1.67% before reversing some of the move. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after earlier advancing to the highest level since September 2020 as markets moved to price in a full quarter-point rate hike by the June Fed meeting, with a good chance of two more by year-end; Treasury yields inched up across the curve apart from the front end. The Japanese yen briefly fell past 115 per dollar for the first time since 2017. The euro advanced after better-than-forecast PMI numbers out of Europe’s major economies prompted money markets to resume bets that the ECB will hike the deposit rate 10 basis points as soon as December 2022, versus 2023 on Monday. Sterling declined versus the dollar and the euro; traders are taking an increasingly negative view on the pound, betting that the decline that’s already left the currency near its lowest this year has further to run New Zealand’s dollar under-performed all G-10 peers as leveraged longs backing a 50 basis-point hike from the central bank were flushed out of the market; sales were mainly seen against the greenback and Aussie. The yuan approached its strongest level against trade partners’ currencies in a sign that traders see a low likelihood of aggressive official intervention. The Turkish lira (see above) crashed to a record low on Tuesday, soaring more than 10% and just shy of 14 vs the USD, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended his pursuit of lower interest rates to boost economic growth and job creation. In commodities, crude futures rebounded sharply after Biden announced a coordinated, global SPR release which would see the US exchange up to 32mm barrels, or a negligible amount. Brent spiked back over $80 on the news after trading in the mid-$78s. Spot gold drops ~$8, pushing back below $1,800/oz. Base metals are well supported with LME nickel outperforming. Looking at the day ahead, the main data highlight will be the flash PMIs for November from around the world, and there’s also the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for November. Finally from central banks, we’ll hear from BoE Governor Bailey, Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Haskel, as well as ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Makhlouf. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,667.75 Brent Futures down 0.9% to $78.95/bbl Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,796.86 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.17% to 96.39     Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The volatility term structures in the major currencies show that next month’s meetings by monetary policy authorities are what matters most. Data galore out of the U.S. by Wednesday’s New York cut off means demand for one-day structures remains intact, yet it’s not enough to bring about term structure inversion as one-week implieds stay below recent cycle highs Lael Brainard, picked to be vice chair of the Federal Reserve, is expected to be a critical defender of its commitment to maximum employment across demographic groups at a time when other U.S. central bankers are more worried by inflation ECB Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel said there’s an increasing threat of inflation taking hold, as she played down the danger that resurgent coronavirus infections might impede the euro zone’s recovery Regarding latest pandemic restrictions, “when it comes to the impact, I would say that while it will surely have a moderating impact on economic activity, the impact on inflation will actually be more ambiguous because it might also reinforce some of the concerns we have around supply bottlenecks,” ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot says in Bloomberg Television interview with Francine Lacqua European Union countries are pushing for an agreement on how long Covid-19 vaccinations protect people and how to manage booster shots as they try to counter the pandemic’s fourth wave and safeguard free travel Germany’s top health official reiterated a warning that the government can’t exclude any measures, including another lockdown, as it tries to check the latest wave of Covid-19 infections The State Council, China’s cabinet, released three documents in the past several days, outlining measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises weather the downturn: from encouraging local governments to roll out discounts for power usage to organizing internet companies to provide cloud and digital services to SMEs A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed following a similar performance in the US where participants digested President Biden’s decision to nominate Fed Chair Powell for a second term and Fed’s Brainard for the Vice Chair role. This resulted in bear flattening for the US curve and underpinned the greenback, while the major indices were choppy but with late selling heading into the close in which the S&P 500 slipped beneath the 4,700 level and the Nasdaq underperformed as tech suffered the brunt of the higher yields. ASX 200 (+0.8%) was positive with sentiment encouraged after stronger PMI data and M&A developments including BHP’s signing of a binding agreement to merge its oil and gas portfolio with Woodside Petroleum to create a global top 10 independent energy company and the largest listed energy company in Australia, which spurred outperformance for the mining and energy related sectors. KOSPI (-0.5%) was lacklustre and retreated below the 3k level amid broad weakness in tech which was not helped by concerns that South Korea could take another aim at large tech through a platform bill and with the government said to be mulling strengthening social distancing measures. Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) continued to diverge amid a neutral liquidity effort by the PBoC and with the Hong Kong benchmark conforming to the tech woes, while the mainland was kept afloat after the State Council pledged to strengthen assistance to smaller firms and with Global Times noting that China will likely adopt another RRR cut before year-end to cope with an economic slowdown. Finally, Japanese participants were absent from the market as they observed Labor Thanksgiving Day, while yields in Australia were higher as they tracked global counterparts and following a Treasury Indexed bond offering in the long-end. Top Asian News Tiger Global Leads $210 Million Round by India Proptech Unicorn China’s Slowdown Tests Central Bank Amid Debate Over Easing Kuaishou Defies China Crackdown as Revenue Climbs 33% Evergrande Shares Jump in Afternoon Trading as Group Units Rally Major bourses in Europe are lower across the board, but off worst levels (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.1%; Stoxx 600 -1.3%) following on from the mixed APAC performance, but with pandemic restrictions casting a shower over the region. US equity futures are mostly lower but to a lesser extent than European peers, with the YM (+0.1%) the relative outperformer vs the ES (-0.1%), NQ (-0.3%) and RTY (-0.8%). Back to Europe, the morning saw the release of Flash PMIs which failed to spur much action across market given the somewhat stale nature against the backdrop of a worsening COVID situation in Europe. Losses in the UK’s FTSE 100 (-0.1%) are more cushioned vs European counterparts, with heavyweight miners doing the heavy lifting, and as the basic resources sector outpaces and resides as the only sector in the green at the time of writing amid a surge in iron ore prices overnight. Sticking with sectors, there is no clear or overarching theme/bias. Tech resides at the foot of the pile, unaided by the intraday rise in yields. Travel and Leisure also reside towards the bottom of the bunch, but more a function of the “leisure” sub-sector as opposed to the “travel” component, with Evolution Gaming (-3.7%) and Flutter (-3.5%) on the back foot. In terms of individual movers, Thyssenkrupp (-7.0%) tumbles after the Co. announced a secondary offer by Cevian of 43mln shares. Meanwhile, Telecom Italia (-3%) is softer following yesterday’s run, whilst Vivendi (-0.5%) said the current KKR (KKR) offer does not reflect Telecom Italia's value and it has no intention of offloading its 24% stake. Top European News U.K. PMIs Show Record Inflation and ‘Green Light’ for BOE Hike Kremlin Says New U.S. Sanctions on Nord Stream 2 Are ‘Illegal’ ECB’s Knot Says New Lockdowns Won’t Delay Wind-Down of Stimulus Telefonica Drops, Berenberg Cuts on Spain Margin Problems In FX, the Buck had already eased off best levels to relieve some pressure from its rivals, but the Euro also derived encouragement from the fact that a key long term Fib held (just) at 1.1225 before getting a rather unexpected fundamental fillip in the form of stronger than forecast flash Eurozone PMIs plus hawkish-sounding comments from ECB’s Schnabel. Eur/Usd duly rebounded to 1.1275 and the Dollar index retreated to 96.308 from a fresh y-t-d peak of 96.603, while the Yen and Franc also took advantage to varying degrees against the backdrop of deteriorating risk sentiment and in thinner trading volumes for the former due to Japan’s Labor Day Thanksgiving holiday. Usd/Jpy recoiled from 115.15 to 114.49 at one stage and Usd/Chf to 0.9301 from 0.9335 before both pairs bounced with the Greenback and a rebound in US Treasury yields ahead of Markit’s preliminary PMIs and Usd 59 bn 7 year note supply. TRY - Simply no respite for the Lira via another marked pull-back in oil prices on heightened prospects of SPR taps, the aforementioned Buck breather or even a decent correction as Usd/Try extended its meteoric rise beyond 11.5000 and 12.0000 towards 12.5000 irrespective of an ally of Turkish President Erdogan urging a debate on CBRT independence. Instead, the run and capital flight continues as talks with the IMF make no progress and an EU court condemns the country for detaining 400+ judges after the coup, while the President rules out a snap election after recent calls for an earlier vote than the scheduled one in 2023 by the main opposition party. NZD/CAD/GBP/AUD - It remains to be seen whether the RBNZ maintains a 25 bp pace of OCR normalisation overnight, but weak NZ retail activity in Q3 may be a telling factor and is applying more downside pressure on the Kiwi across the board, as Nzd/Usd hovers under 0.6950 and the Aud/Nzd cross tests 1.0425 on relative Aussie strength or resilience gleaned from another spike in iron ore that is helping to keep Aud/Usd above 0.7200. Conversely, the latest downturn in crude is undermining the Loonie and the Pound hardly derived any traction from better than anticipated UK PMIs even though they should provide the BoE more justification to hike rates next month. Usd/Cad has now breached 1.2700 and only stopped a few pips short of 1.2750 before fading ahead of comments from BoC’s Beaudry, while Cable topped out just over 1.3400 awaiting BoE Governor Bailey, whilst Haskel reaffirmed his stance in the transitory inflation camp, although suggested that if the labour market remains tight the Bank Rate will have to rise. SCANDI/EM - Hardly a shock that Brent’s reversal has hit the Nok alongside broader risk-aversion that is also keeping the Sek defensive in advance of the Riksbank, but the Zar is coping well considering Gold’s loss of Usd 1800+/oz status and test of chart support at the 100 DMA only a couple of Bucks off the 200. Similarly, the Cnh and Cny are still resisting general Usd strength and other negatives, with help from China’s State Council pledging to strengthen assistance to smaller firms perhaps. In commodities, WTI and Brent Jan'22 futures remain under pressure with the former back under USD 76/bbl (vs USD 76.59/bbl high) and the latter around USD 79/bbl (vs USD 79.63/bbl high). The WTI contract is also narrowly lagging Brent by some USD 0.30/bbl at the time of writing. Participants are keeping their eyes peeled for reserve releases from the US, potentially in coordination with other nations including China, Japan, and India – with inflation concerns being the common denominator. The move also comes in reaction to OPEC+ flouting calls by large oil consumers, particularly the US, to further open the taps beyond the group’s planned 400k BPD/m hikes. A source cited by Politico caveated that a final decision is yet to be made, and US officials are hoping that the threat of an SPR release would persuade OPEC+ to double their quotas at the Dec 2nd meeting. As it stands, Energy Intel journalist Bakr noted that she has not heard anything from OPEC+ officials about changing production plans, but delegates yesterday suggested that plans may be tweaked. Click here for the full Newsquawk analysis piece. Aside from this, US President Biden is also poised to give a speech on the economy, whilst the weekly Private Inventories will also be released today. Elsewhere, spot gold and have been drifting lower in what is seemingly a function of technical, with the yellow metal dipping under USD 1,800/oz from a USD 1,812/oz current high, with a cluster of DMAs present to the downside including the 100 DMA (around USD 1,793/oz), 200 DMA (around USD 1,791/oz) and 50 DMA (around USD 1,789/oz). Turning to base metals, LME copper holds a positive bias with prices on either side of USD 9,750/t, whilst Dalian iron ore surged overnight - with reports suggesting that steel de-stockpiling accelerated last week, and analysts suggesting that the market is betting on steelmakers in December. US Event Calendar 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 57.6 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Services PMI, est. 59.0, prior 58.7 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 59.1, prior 58.4 10am: Nov. Richmond Fed Index, est. 11, prior 12 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that yesterday we published our 2022 credit strategy outlook. See here for the full report. Craig has also put out a more detailed HY 2022 strategy document here and Karthik a more detail IG equivalent here. Basically we think spreads will widen as much as 30-40bps in IG and 120-160bps in HY due to a response to a more dramatic appreciation of the Fed being well behind the curve. This sort of move is consistent with typical mid-cycle ranges through history. We do expect this to mostly retrace in H2 as markets recover from the shock and growth remains decent and liquidity still high. We also published the results of our ESG issuer and investor survey where around 530 responded. Please see the results here. Today is the start of a new adventure as I’m doing my first overseas business trip in 20 months. It took me a stressful 2 hours last night to find and fill in various forms, download various apps and figure out how on earth I travel in this new world. Hopefully I’ve got it all correct or I’ll be turned back at the Eurostar gates! The interesting thing about not travelling is that I’ve filled the time doing other work stuff so productivity will suffer. So if I can do a CoTD today it’ll be done on an iPhone whilst racing through the French countryside. Actually finishing this off very early in a long taxi ride on the way to the train reminds me of how car sick I get working on my iPhone! The delights of travel are all coming flooding back. After much anticipation over recent weeks, we finally heard yesterday that President Biden would be nominating Fed Chair Powell for another four-year term at the helm of the central bank. In some ways the decision had been widely expected, and Powell was the favourite in prediction markets all along over recent months. But the Fed’s staff trading issues and reports that Governor Brainard was also being considered had led many to downgrade Powell’s chances, so there was an element of uncertainty going into the decision, even if any policy differences between the two were fairly marginal. In the end however, Biden opted for continuity at the top, with Brainard tapped to become Vice Chair instead. Powell’s nomination will require senate confirmation once again, but this isn’t expected to be an issue, not least with Powell having been confirmed in an 84-13 vote last time around. Further, Senate Banking Committee Chair Brown, viewed as a progressive himself, noted last week there should be no issue confirming Powell despite rumblings from progressive lawmakers. More important to watch out for will be who Biden selects for the remaining positions on the Fed Board of Governors, where there are still 3 vacant seats left to fill, including the position of Vice Chair for Supervision. In a statement released by the White House, it said that Biden intended to make those “beginning in early December”, so even with Powell staying on, there’s actually a reasonable amount of scope for Biden to re-shape the Fed’s leadership. A potential hint about who may be considered, President Biden noted his next appointments will “bring new diversity to the Fed.” President Biden, flanked by Powell and Brainard, held a press conference following the announcement. He noted maintaining the Fed’s independence and leadership stability informed his decision, and that Chair Powell assured the President he would focus on fighting inflation. He was apparently also assured that the Chair would work to combat climate change, perhaps an olive branch to those in his party that wanted a more progressive nominee. Powell and Brainard both followed up with remarks of their own, but didn’t stray from the recent Fed party line. In response to the decision, investors moved to bring forward their timing of the initial rate hike from the Fed, with one now just about priced by the time of their June 2022 meeting, whilst the dollar index (+0.54%) strengthened to a fresh one-year high. This reflects the perception among many investors that Brainard was someone who’d have taken the Fed on a more dovish trajectory. Inflation breakevens fell across the curve as well in response. Indeed the 4-year breakeven, which roughly coincides with the term of the next Fed chair, was down -3.8bps after yesterday’s session, with the bulk of that dive coming immediately after the confirmation of Powell’s nomination. Nevertheless, that decline in breakevens was more than outweighed by a shift higher in real rates that sent nominal yields noticeably higher. By the close, yields on 2yr (+7.8bps) and 5yr (+9.5bps) Treasuries were at their highest levels since the pandemic began, and those on 10yr Treasuries were also up +7.7bps, ending the session at 1.62%. 2yr yields were a full 14.1bps higher than the intra-day lows on Friday after the Austria lockdown news. We had similar bond moves in Europe too, with yields on 10yr bunds (+4.0bps) moving higher throughout the session thanks to a shift in real rates. Another noticeable feature in the US was the latest round of curve flattening, with the 5s30s (-4.4bps) reaching its flattest level (+64.1bps) since the initial market panic over Covid-19 back in March 2020. The S&P 500 took a sharp turn heading into the New York close after trading in positive territory for most of the day, ultimately closing down -0.32%. Sector performance was mixed, energy (+1.81%) and financials (+1.43%) were notable outperformers on climbing oil prices and yields, while big tech companies across different sectors were hit by higher discount rates. The NASDAQ (-1.26%) ended the day lower, having pared back its initial gains that earlier put it on track to reach a record of its own. The other main piece of news yesterday came on the energy front, where it’s been reported that we could have an announcement as soon as today about a release of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, potentially as part of a joint announcement with other nations. Oil prices were fairly resilient to the news, with Brent crude (+1.03%) and WTI (+0.85%) still moving higher, although both are down from their recent peaks as speculation of such a move has mounted. This could help put some downward pressure on inflation, but as recent releases have shown, price gains have been broadening out over the last couple of months to a wider swathe of categories, so it remains to be seen how helpful this will prove, and will obviously depend on how much is released along with how the OPEC+ group react. For their part, OPEC+ members noted that the moves from the US and its allies would force them to reconsider their production plans at their meeting next week. Looking ahead now, one of the main highlights today will come from the release of the flash PMIs for November, which will give us an initial indication of how the global economy has fared into the month. As mentioned yesterday, the Euro Area PMIs have been decelerating since the summer, so keep an eye out for how they’re being affected by the latest Covid wave. It’ll also be worth noting what’s happening to price pressures, particularly with inflation running at more than double the ECB’s target right now. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mixed with Shanghai Composite (+0.43%), CSI (+0.20%), KOSPI (-0.44%) and Hang Seng (-1.01%) diverging, while the Nikkei is closed for Labor Thanksgiving. The flash manufacturing PMI release from Australia (58.5 vs 58.2 previous) came in close to last month while both the composite (55 vs 52.1 previous) and services (55 vs 51.8 previous) accelerated. In Japan the Yen slid past an important level of 115 against the Dollar for the first time in four years after Powell was confirmed. This marks an overall slide of 10% this year making it the worst performer amongst advanced economy currencies. S&P 500 (-0.01%) and DAX futures (-0.31%) are flat to down with Europe seemingly catching up with the weak U.S. close. Before this, in Europe yesterday, equities continued to be subdued, with the STOXX 600 down -0.13% after trading in a tight range, as the continent reacted to another surge in Covid-19 cases. The move by Austria back into lockdown has raised questions as to where might be next, and Bloomberg reported that Chancellor Merkel told CDU officials yesterday that the recent surge was worse than anything seen so far, and that additional restrictions would be required. So the direction of travel all appears to be one way for the time being in terms of European restrictions, and even a number of less-affected countries are still seeing cases move in an upward direction, including France, Italy and the UK. So a key one to watch that’ll have big implications for economies and markets too. Staying on Germany, there was some interesting news on a potential coalition yesterday, with Bloomberg obtaining a preliminary list of cabinet positions that said that FDP leader Christian Lindner would become finance minister, and Green co-leader Robert Habeck would become a “super minister” with responsibility for the economy, climate protection and the energy transition. The report also said that both would become Vice Chancellors, whilst the Greens’ Annalena Baerbock would become foreign minister. It’s worth noting that’s still a preliminary list, and the coalition agreement is yet to be finalised, but it has been widely suggested that the parties are looking to reach a conclusion to the talks this week, so we could hear some more info on this relatively soon. There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, though the European Commission’s advance November consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area fell back by more than expected to -6.8 (vs. -5.5 expected), which is the lowest it’s been since April. Over in the US, there was October data that was somewhat more positive however, with existing home sales rising to an annualised rate of 6.34m (vs. 6.20m expected), their highest level in 9 months. Furthermore, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index was up to 0.76 (vs. 0.10 expected). To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the aforementioned flash PMIs for November from around the world, and there’s also the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for November. Finally from central banks, we’ll hear from BoE Governor Bailey, Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Haskel, as well as ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Makhlouf. d Tyler Durden Tue, 11/23/2021 - 08:31.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 23rd, 2021

Futures At All Time High On Evergrande Reprieve Despite Intel, Snapchat Collapse

Futures At All Time High On Evergrande Reprieve Despite Intel, Snapchat Collapse S&P 500 futures traded to within 2 points of their September all time high, rising 0.12% to 4547, just shy of their 4549.5 record after China's Evergrande unexpectedly made a last minute coupon payment, averting an imminent weekend default and boosting risk sentiment. But while spoos were up, Nasdaq futures edged -0.18% lower after Intel warned of lower profit margins, while Snap crashed 22%, leading declines among social media firms after flagging a hit to digital advertising from privacy changes by Apple. Intel plunged 10% in premarket trading as it missed third-quarter sales expectations, while its Chief Executive pointed to shortage of other chips holding back sales of the company's flagship processors. 10Y yields dropped 2bps, the dollar slumped and bitcoin traded above $63,000. Fed Chair Powell is scheduled to speak at 11am ET.  The Chinese property giant’s bond-coupon payment has boosted sentiment because it reduces risks to the broader financial system, according to Pierre Veyret, technical analyst at ActivTrades. “However, this optimistic trading mood may be short-lived as investors’ biggest concern remains inflation,” he said. “Traders will listen intently to Jerome Powell today as the Fed chairman is expected to give more clues about monetary policy.” Not everything was roses, however, and Facebook fell 3.7%, while Twitter lost 4.1% after Snap said privacy changes by Apple on iOS devices hurt the company's ability to target and measure its digital advertising Snap plunged 20.9% on the news and cast doubts over quarterly reports next week from Facebook and Twitter, social media firms that rely heavily on advertising revenue. Meanwhile supply chain worries, inflationary pressures and labor shortages have been at the center of third-quarter earnings season, with analysts expecting S&P 500 earnings to rise 33.7% year-on-year, according to Refinitiv data. Some analysts, however, said such worries will only have a temporary impact on earnings from mega-cap technology and communications companies this reporting season. "Intel also produced less than stellar results. Shorting big-tech has been a good way to lose money in the past two years, and I expect only a temporary aberration," wrote Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA in a client note. Elsewhere, Apple rose 0.2%. Other giga tech stocks including Tesla, Microsoft and Netflix also rose, limiting declines on Nasdaq 100 e-minis. Here are some more premarket movers: Mattel (MAT US) rose 6.7% after the firm known for its Barbie and Fisher-Price toys lifted its full-year guidance amid a sales rebound, even as it grapples with a global logistics crunch ahead of Christmas. Digital World Acquisition (DWAC US) jumped 67% after more than quadrupling on Thursday after news that the blank-check company would merge with former President Donald Trump’s media firm. Phunware (PHUN US) soared 288% as the company, which runs a mobile enterprise cloud platform, is plugged by retail traders on Reddit. Whirlpool (WHR US) fell 2% as the maker of refrigerators reported sales that fell short of Wall Street’s estimates, citing supply chain woes. Investors were more upbeat about Europe, where consumer and tech companies led a 0.6% gain for the Stoxx 600 Index which headed for a third week of gains with cosmetics maker L’Oreal SA jumping more than 6% after reporting sales that were significantly higher than analysts expected. Euro Stoxx 50 and CAC gain over 1%, FTSE 100 and IBEX lag but hold in the green. Tech, household & personal goods and auto names are the strongest sectors. On the downside, French carmaker Renault SA and London Stock Exchange Group Plc were the latest companies to report supply-chain challenges. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: L’Oreal shares rise as much as 6.8% after its 3Q sales beat impresses analysts, with Citi praising the French beauty-product maker’s capacity to re-balance growth between different geographies at a time of worry over China. The stock posted its biggest gain in almost a year. Essity shares are the biggest gainers in the OMX Stockholm 30 large cap index after 3Q EPS beat consensus by 10%, with Jefferies citing lower financing costs as among reasons for the improved earnings. Thule shares rise as much as 6.7%, most since July 21, after the company reported earnings for the third quarter. Klepierre shares gain as much as 4.8%, hitting the highest since Sept. 30, after the French mall owner boosted its net current cash flow per share view amid an ongoing recovery in its markets and stronger-than- expected rent collection. Wise shares fell as much as 5.4% after co-founder Taavet Hinrikus sold a stake worth GBP81.5m in the digital-payments provider to invest in early-stage businesses. Boliden shares declined as much as 6.1%, most since May 2020, after 3Q earnings missed estimates. London Stock Exchange declines as much as 4.2% following third-quarter earnings, with Citi (neutral) describing the revenue mix as “marginally disappointing” amid underperformance in the data and analytics division. Shares in holding company Lifco fell as much as 8% after reporting disappointing sales numbers in its dental business, missing Kepler Cheuvreux’s revenue estimates by 18%. European stocks ignored the latest warning print from the continent's PMIs, where the composite flash PMI declined by 1.9pt to 54.3 in October—well below consensus expectations—continuing the moderation from its July high. The area-wide softening was primarily led by Germany, although sequential momentum slowed elsewhere too. In the UK, on the heels of a succession of downside surprises, the composite PMI surprised significantly to the upside for the first time since May. Supply-side constraints continue to exert upward price pressures, with both input and output prices rising further and reaching new all-time highs across most of Europe. Euro Area Composite PMI (October, Flash): 54.3, GS 54.9, consensus 55.2, last 56.2. Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (October, Flash): 58.5, GS 57.1, consensus 57.1, last 58.6. Euro Area Services PMI (October, Flash): 54.7, GS 54.8, consensus 55.4, last 56.4. Germany Composite PMI (October, Flash): 52.0, GS 54.5, consensus 54.3, last 55.5. France Composite PMI (October, Flash): 54.7, GS 54.3, consensus 54.7, last 55.3. UK Composite PMI (October, Flash): 56.8, GS 53.6, consensus 54.0, last 54.9. Earlier in the session, Asian equities climbed, led by China, as signs that Beijing may be easing its property policies and a bond interest payment by Evergrande boosted sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2%, on track to take its weekly advance to almost 1%. Chinese real estate stocks, including Seazen Group and Sunac China, were among the top gainers Friday, after Beijing called for support for first-home purchases, adding to recent official rhetoric on property market stability. China Evergrande Group pulled back from the brink of default by paying a bond coupon before this weekend’s deadline. The payment “brings some near-term reprieve ahead of its official default deadline and presents a more positive scenario than what many will have expect,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte. The Asian measure was also bolstered by tech shares, including Japan’s Tokyo Electron and Tencent, while the Hang Seng Tech Index capped a 6.9% rise for the week in its biggest climb since August. The gains in the sector offset declines for mining shares as coal futures in China extended a price collapse to more than 20% in three days. Unlike in the U.S., where stocks are trading at a record high, Asian shares have been mixed in recent weeks as traders try to assess the impact on earnings of inflation, supply chain constraints and China’s growth slowdown. Falling earnings growth forecasts, combined with rising inflation expectations, are continuing to cast “a stagnation shadow over markets,” Kerry Craig, a global markets strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said in a note. In rates, Treasuries resumed flattening with long-end yields richer by more than 2bp on the day, while 2-year yield breached 0.46% for the first time since March 2020, extending its third straight weekly increase. 2-year yields topped at 0.464% while 10-year retreated from Thursday’s five-month high 1.70% to ~1.685%, remaining higher on the week; 2s10s is flatter by 2.5bp, 5s30s by ~1bp. In 10-year sector bunds cheapen by 3.5bp vs Treasuries as German yield climbs to highest since May; EUR 5y5y inflation swap exceeds 2% for the first time since 2014. In Europe, yield curves were mixed: Germany bear-flattened with 10-year yields ~2bps cheaper near -0.07%. Meanwhile, measures of inflation expectations continue to print new highs with EUR 5y5y inflation swaps hitting 2%, the highest since 2014, and U.K. 10y breakevens printing at a 25-year high. In FX, AUD and NZD top the G-10 scoreboard. The Bloomberg dollar index Index fell and the greenback traded weaker against all its Group-of-10 peers apart from the pound; risk-sensitive Scandinavian and Antipodean currencies led gains. The pound inched lower after U.K retail sales fell unexpectedly for a fifth month as consumer confidence plunged, adding to evidence that the economic recovery is losing momentum. The cost of hedging against inflation in the U.K. over the next decade rose to the highest level in 25 years amid mounting concern over price pressures building in the economy. The Aussie dollar climbed as positive sentiment was boosted by the news about Evergrande Group’s bond payment; it had earlier fallen to a session low after the central bank announced an unscheduled bond-purchase operation to defend its yield target. The yen held steady following two days of gains as a rally in Treasuries narrows yield differentials between Japan and the U.S. In commodities, crude futures recover off Asia’s worst levels, settling around the middle of this week’s trading range. WTI is 0.5% higher near $82.90, Brent regains a $85-handle. Spot gold adds ~$10 to trade near $1,792/oz. Most base metals trade well with LME nickel and zinc outperforming. Looking at the day ahead, the main data highlight will be the aforementioned flash PMIs from around the world, on top of UK retail sales for September. From central banks, Fed Chair Powell will be speaking, in addition to the Fed’s Daly and the ECB’s Villeroy. Earnings releases will include Honeywell and American Express. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,538.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 471.82 MXAP up 0.2% to 200.16 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 661.40 Nikkei up 0.3% to 28,804.85 Topix little changed at 2,002.23 Hang Seng Index up 0.4% to 26,126.93 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,582.60 Sensex down 0.2% to 60,775.00 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,415.48 Kospi little changed at 3,006.16 Brent Futures up 0.2% to $84.81/bbl Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,792.58 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.18% to 93.60 Euro up 0.2% to $1.1645 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The Bank of England will likely defy investors’ expectations of a sudden interest-rate increase next month because it rarely shifts policy in such dramatic fashion, according to three former senior officials. The ECB will supercharge its regular bond-buying program before pandemic purchases run out in March, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Euro-area businesses are reporting a sharp slowdown in activity caused by an aggravating global supply squeeze that’s also producing record inflation. French manufacturing output declined at the steepest pace since coronavirus lockdowns were in place last year, while growth momentum deteriorated sharply in Germany, purchasing managers report. Private-sector activity in the euro area slowed to the weakest since April, though it remained above a pre-pandemic average. China continued to pull back on government spending in the third quarter even as the economy slowed, with the cautious fiscal policy reflecting the desire to deleverage and improve public finances. President Joe Biden said the U.S. was committed to defending Taiwan from a Chinese attack, in some of his strongest comments yet as the administration faces calls to clarify its stance on the democratically ruled island. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded with a positive bias but with gains capped following the temperamental mood on Wall St amid mixed earnings results and although a late tailwind heading into the close lifted the S&P 500 to a record high and contributed to the outperformance of the NDX, futures were then pressured after hours as shares in Intel and Snap slumped post-earnings with the latter down as much as 25% on soft guidance which subsequently weighed on tech heavyweights including social media stocks such as Facebook and Twitter. ASX 200 (Unch.) was subdued amid weakness in mining names and financials but with downside cushioned after the recent reopening in Melbourne and with the RBA also conducting unscheduled purchases to defend the yield target for the first time since February. Nikkei 225 (+0.3%) recovered from opening losses with risk appetite at the whim of a choppy currency and with some encouragement heading into the easing of restrictions in Tokyo and Osaka from Monday. News headlines also provided a catalyst for individual stocks including Nissan which was subdued after it cut planned output by 30% through to November and with Toshiba pressured as merger talks between affiliate Kioxia and Western Digital stalled, while SoftBank enjoyed mild gains after a 13.5% increase in WeWork shares on its debut following a SPAC merger. Hang Seng (+0.4%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.3%) traded, initially, with tentative gains after another respectable liquidity injection by the PBoC and news of Evergrande making the USD-bond interest payment to avert a default ahead of tomorrow’s grace period deadline. This lifted shares in Evergrande with attention now turning to another grace period deadline for next Friday, although regulatory concerns lingered after the PBoC stated that China will continue separating operations of banking, securities and insurance businesses, as well as signed an MOU with the HKMA on fintech supervision and cooperation in the Greater Bay area. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower on spillover selling following a resumption a resumption of the curve flattening stateside where T-note futures tested the 130.00 level to the downside amid inflationary concerns and large supply from AerCap which launched the second largest IG dollar bond issuance so far this year. In addition, the gains in Japanese stocks and absence of BoJ purchases in the market today added to the lacklustre demand for JGBs, while today also saw the RBA announce unscheduled purchases valued at AUD 1bln to defend the yield target for the first time since February, although the impact on yields was only brief. Top Asian News Tencent Blames WeChat Access for Search Engines on Loophole JPM’s Yang Joins Primas Asset Management’s Credit Trading Team Gold Rises on Weaker Dollar to Head for Second Weekly Gain Interest Payment Made; Junk Bonds Rally: Evergrande Update A choppy start to the session has seen European equities extend on opening gains (Stoxx 600 +0.8%) with the Stoxx 600 on course to see the week out relatively unchanged. After a marginally positive lead from Asia, European stocks picked up after the cash open with little in the way of clear catalysts for the surge. Macro focus for the region has fallen on flash PMI readings for October which painted a mixed picture for the Eurozone economy as the EZ-wide services metric fell short of expectations whilst manufacturing exceeded forecasts. Despite printing north of the 50-mark, commentary from IHS Markit was relatively downbeat, noting that "After strong second and third quarter expansions, GDP growth is looking much weaker by comparison in the fourth quarter.” Stateside, futures are mixed with the ES relatively flat whilst the NQ (-0.3%) lags after shares in Intel and Snap slumped post-earnings with the latter down as much as 25% on soft guidance which subsequently weighed on tech heavyweights including social media stocks such as Facebook (-4% pre-market) and Twitter (-4.5% pre-market). Elsewhere in the US, traders are awaiting further updates in Capitol Hill, however, moderate Democrat Senator Manchin has already tempered expectations for a deal being reached by today’s goal set by Senate Majority Leader Schumer. Back to Europe, sectors are mostly firmer with outperformance in Personal & Household Goods following earnings from L’Oreal (+6.2%) who sit at the stop of the Stoxx 600 after Q3 earnings saw revenues exceed expectations. To the downside, Telecom names are lagging amid losses in Ericsson (-3.1%) after the DoJ stated that the Co. breached obligations under a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. Elsewhere, Vivendi (+3.1%) is another notable gainer in the region as Q3 earnings exceeded analyst estimates. LSE (-3.3%) sits at the foot of the FTSE 100 post-Q3 results, whilst IHG (-3.5%) is another laggard in the index post-earnings as the Co.’s fragile recovery continues. Top European News U.K.-France Power Cable Has Unplanned Halt: National Grid Banks Prepare to Fight Basel Over Carbon Derivatives Rule Wise Slumps After Founder Hinrikus Offloads $112 Million Stake London Stock Exchange Says Supply Chains to Delay Tech Spend In FX, the Greenback has topped out yet again, and partly in tandem with US Treasury yields following their latest ramp up, but also against the backdrop of improved risk appetite that emerged during APAC hours when reports that China’s Evergrande made an overdue interest payment helped to lift sentiment after a late tech-led downturn on Wall Street. The index may also have lost momentum on technical grounds following a minor extension to 93.792, but still not enough impetus to reach 94.000 or test a couple of resistance levels standing in the way of the nearest round number (Fib resistance at 93.884 and 21 DMA that comes in at 93.948 today compared to 93.917 on Thursday), and a fade just shy of yesterday’s best before the aforementioned drift back down to meander between a narrow 93.789-598 corridor. Ahead, Markit’s flash PMIs and a trio of Fed speakers including Williams, Daly and chair Powell feature on Friday’s agenda alongside today’s batch of earnings. AUD/NZD/CAD - Honours remain pretty even down under as the Aussie and Kiwi both take advantage of the constructive market tone that is weighing on their US counterpart, while assessing specifics such as RBA Governor Lowe reiterating no target rate for Aud/Usd, but the Bank having to intervene in defence of the 0.1% 3 year yield target for the first time in 8 months overnight in wake of upbeat preliminary PMIs. Meanwhile, NZ suffered another record number of new COVID-19 cases to justify PM Adern’s resolve to keep restrictions tight until 90% of the population have been vaccinated and keep Nzd/Usd capped under 0.7200 in mild contrast to Aud/Usd hovering just above 0.7500. Elsewhere, some traction for the Loonie in the run up to Canadian retail sales from a rebound in WTI to retest Usd 83/brl from recent sub-Usd 81 lows, as Usd/Cad retreats towards the bottom of a 1.2375-30 range. EUR/CHF/GBP/JPY - All marginally firmer or flat against the Dollar, but the Euro easing back into a lower band beneath 1.1650 and not really helped by conflicting flash PMIs or decent option expiry interest from 1.1610-00 (1.4 bn) that could exert a gravitational pull into the NY cut. The Franc is keeping afloat of 0.9300, but under 0.9250, the Pound has bounced to probe 1.3800 on the back of considerably stronger than expected UK prelim PMIs that have offset poor retail sales data and could persuade more of the BoE’s MPC to tilt hawkishly in November, especially after the new chief economist said the upcoming meeting is live and policy verdict finely balanced. Conversely, the BoJ is widely tipped to maintain accommodation next week and as forecast Japanese inflation readings will do little to change perceptions, putting greater emphasis on the Outlook Report for updated growth and core CPI projections and leaving the Yen tethered around 114.00 in the meantime. SCANDI/EM - The Sek and Nok are on a firm footing circa 9.9800 and 9.7000 against the Eur respectively, and the former may be acknowledging an upbeat Riksbank business survey, while the latter piggy-backs Brent’s recovery that is also underpinning the Rub in the run up to the CBR and anticipated 25 bp hike. The Cnh and Cny are back in the ascendency with extra PBoC liquidity and Evergrande evading a grace period deadline by one day to compensate for ongoing default risk at its main Hengda unit, but the Try is still trying in vain to stop the rot following Thursday’s shock 200 bp CBRT blanket rate cuts and has been down to almost 9.6600 vs the Usd. In commodities, WTI and Brent are marginally firmer this morning though reside within overnight ranges and have been grinding higher for the duration of the European session in-spite of the lack of newsflow generally and for the complex. Currently, the benchmarks are firmer by circa USD 0.40/bbl respectively and reside just off best levels which saw a brief recapture of the USD 83/bbl and USD 85/bbl handles. Given the lack of updates, the complex remains attentive to COVID-19 concerns where officials out of China reiterated language issues yesterday about curbing unnecessary travel around Beijing following cases being reported in the region. Elsewhere, yesterday’s remarks from Putin continue to draw focus around OPEC+ increasing output more than agreed and once again reiterating that Russia can lift gas supplies to Europe; but, as of yet, there is no update on the situation. Finally, the morning’s European earnings were devoid of energy names, but updated Renault guidance is noteworthy on the fuel-demand front as the Co. cut its market forecast to Europe and anticipates a FY21 global vehicle loss of circa 500k units due to component shortages. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver are firmer but have been fairly steady throughout the session perhaps aided by the softer dollar while elevated yields are perhaps capping any upside. Base metals remain buoyed though LME copper continues to wane off the closely watched 10k mark. US Event Calendar 9:45am: Oct. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 55.0 9:45am: Oct. Markit US Services PMI, est. 55.2, prior 54.9 9:45am: Oct. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 60.5, prior 60.7 10am: Fed’s Daly Discusses the Fed and Climate Change Risk 11am: Powell Takes Part in a Policy Panel Discussion DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Hopefully today is my last Friday ever on crutches but with two likely knee replacements to come in the next few years I suspect not! 6 days to go until the 6 weeks of no weight bearing is over. I’m counting down the hours. Tomorrow I’ll be hobbling to London to see “Frozen: The Musical”. I’ve almost had to remortgage the house for 5 tickets. There is no discount for children which is a great business model if you can get away with it. Actually given the target audience there should be a discount for adults as I can think of better ways of spending a Saturday afternoon. The weekends have recently been the place where the Bank of England shocks the market into pricing in imminent rate hikes. Well to give us all a break they’ve gone a couple of days early this week with new chief economist Huw Pill last night telling the FT that the November meeting was “live” and that with inflation was likely to rise “close to or even slightly above 5 per cent” early next year, which for a central bank with a 2% inflation target, is “a very uncomfortable place to be”. Having said that, he did add that "maybe there’s a bit too much excitement in the focus on rates right now" and also talked about how the transitory nature of inflation meant there was no need to go into a restrictive stance. So the market will probably firm up November hike probabilities today but may think 1-2 year pricing is a little aggressive for the moment. However, it’s been a volatile ride in short sterling contracts of late so we will see. Ultimately the BoE will be a hostage to events. If inflation remains stubbornly high they may have to become more hawkish as 2022 progresses. This interview capped the end of a day with another selloff in sovereign bond markets as investors continued to ratchet up their expectations of future price growth. In fact by the close of trade, the 5yr US inflation breakeven had risen +10.0bps to 2.91%, and this morning they’re up another +3.5bps to 2.95%, which takes them to their highest level in the 20 years that TIPS have traded. 10y breakevens closed up +4.7bps at 2.65%, their highest level since 2011. Bear in mind that at the depths of the initial Covid crisis back in 2020, the 5yr measure fell to an intraday low of just 0.11%, so in the space of just over 18 months investors have gone from expecting borderline deflation over the next 5 years to a rate some way above the Fed’s target. Those moves weren’t just confined to the US however, as longer-term inflation expectations moved higher in Europe too. The 10yr German breakeven rose +5.4bps to a post-2013 high of 1.87%, and its Italian counterpart hit a post-2011 high of 1.78%. And what’s noticeable as well is that these higher inflation expectations aren’t simply concentrated for the next few years of the time horizon, since the 5y5y inflation swaps that look at expectations for the five year period starting in five years’ time have also seen substantial increases. Most strikingly of all, the Euro Area 5y5y inflation swap is now at 1.95%, which puts it almost at the ECB’s 2% inflation target for the first time since 2014. The global increase in inflation compensation drove nominal yields higher, with the yield on 10yr US Treasuries up +4.4bps yesterday to a 6-month high of 1.70%, as investors are now pricing in an initial hike from the Fed by the time of their July 2022 meeting. And in Europe there was a similar selloff, with yields on 10yr bunds (+2.4bps), OATs (+2.1bps) and BTPs (+2.7bps) all moving higher too. Interestingly though, the slide in sovereign bonds thanks to higher inflation compensation came in spite of the fact that commodity prices slid across the board, with energy, metal and agricultural prices all shifting lower, albeit in many cases from multi-year highs. Both Brent Crude (-1.41%) and WTI (-1.63%) oil prices fell by more than -1% for the first time in over two weeks, whilst the industrial bellwether of copper (-3.72%) had its worst daily performance since June. Even with high inflation remaining on the agenda, US equities proved resilient with the S&P 500 (+0.30%) posting a 7th consecutive advance to hit an all-time high for the first time in 7 weeks. Consumer discretionary and retail stocks were the clear outperformer, in line with the broader reflationary sentiment. Other indices forged ahead too, with the NASDAQ (+0.62%) moving to just -1.04% beneath its own all-time record, whilst the FANG+ index (+1.11%) of megacap tech stocks climbed to a fresh record as well. In Europe the major indices were weaker with the STOXX 600 retreating ever so slightly, by -0.08%, but it still remains only -1.29% beneath its August record. Looking ahead, the main theme today will be the release of the flash PMIs from around the world, which will give us an initial indication of how various economies have fared through the start of Q4. Obviously one of the biggest themes has been supply-chain disruptions throughout the world, so it’ll be interesting to see how these surface, but the composite PMIs over recent months had already been indicating slowing growth momentum across the major economies. Our European economists are expecting there’ll be a further decline in the Euro Area composite PMI to 55.1. Overnight we've already had some of those numbers out of Asia, which have showed a recovery from their September levels. Indeed, the Japanese service PMI rose to 50.7 (vs. 47.8 in Sep), which is the first 50+ reading since January 2020 before the pandemic began, whilst the composite PMI also moved back into expansionary territory at 50.7 for the first time since April. In Australia there was also a move back into expansion, with their composite PMI rising to 52.2 (vs. 46.0 in Sep), the first 50+ reading since June. Elsewhere in Asia, equity markets have followed the US higher, with the Hang Seng (+0.92%), CSI (+0.87%), Hang Seng (+0.42%), KOSPI (+0.27%) and Shanghai Composite (+0.09%) all in the green. That also comes as Japan’s nationwide CPI reading moved up to +0.2% on a year-on-year basis, in line with expectations, which is the first time so far this year that annual price growth has been positive. In other news, we learnt from the state-backed Securities Times newspaper that Evergrande has avoided a default by making an $83.5m interest payment on a bond whose 30-day grace period was going to end this weekend. Separately, the state TV network CCTV said that 4 Covid cases had been reported in Beijing and an official said that they would be testing 34,700 people in a neighbourhood linked to those cases. Looking forward, equity futures are pointing to a somewhat slower start in the US, with those on the S&P 500 down -0.08%. Turning to the pandemic, global cases have continued to shift higher in recent days, and here in the UK we had over 50k new cases reported yesterday for the first time since mid-July. New areas are moving to toughen up restrictions, with Moscow moving beyond the nationwide measures in Russia to close most shops and businesses from October 28 to November 7. In better news however, we got confirmation from Pfizer and BioNTech that their booster shot was 95.6% effective against symptomatic Covid in a trial of over 10,000 people. Finally, there was some decent economic data on the US labour market, with the number of initial jobless claims in the week through October 16 coming in at 290k (vs. 297k expected). That’s the lowest they’ve been since the pandemic began and also sends the 4-week average down to a post-pandemic low of 319.75k. Alongside that, the continuing claims for the week through October 9 came down to 2.481m (vs. 2.548m expected). Otherwise, September’s existing home sales rose to an annualised rate of 6.29m (vs. 6.10m expected), and the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook survey fell to 23.8 (vs. 25.0 expected). To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the aforementioned flash PMIs from around the world, on top of UK retail sales for September. From central banks, Fed Chair Powell will be speaking, in addition to the Fed’s Daly and the ECB’s Villeroy. Earnings releases will include Honeywell and American Express. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/22/2021 - 08:07.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 22nd, 2021

Futures Surge As Banks Report Stellar Earnings; PPI On Deck

Futures Surge As Banks Report Stellar Earnings; PPI On Deck US equity futures, already sharply higher overnight, jumped this morning as a risk-on mood inspired by stellar bank earnings, overshadowed concern that supply snarls. a China property crunch, a tapering Fed and stagflation will weigh on the global recovery. Nasdaq futures jumped 1%, just ahead of the S&P 500 which was up 0.9%. 10-year Treasury yields ticked lower to about 1.5%, and with the dollar lower as well, oil jumped. Bitcoin and the broader crypto space continued to rise. Shares in Morgan Stanley, Citi and Bank of America jumped as their deal-making units rode a record wave of M&A. On the other end, Boeing shares fell more than 1% after a Dow Jones report said the plane maker is dealing with a new defect on its 787 Dreamliner. Here are some of the biggest other U.S. movers today: Occidental (OXY US) rises 1.6% in U.S. premarket trading after it agreed to sell its interests in two Ghana offshore fields for $750m to Kosmos Energy and Ghana National Petroleum Plug Power (PLUG US) rises 3.3% premarket, extending gains from Wednesday, when it announced partnership with Airbus SE and Phillips 66 to find ways to harness hydrogen to power airplanes, vehicles and industry Esports Entertainment (GMBL US) shares rise 16% in U.S. premarket trading after the online gambling company reported its FY21 results and reaffirmed its FY22 guidance Perrigo  (PRGO US) gains 2.8% in premarket trading after Raymond James upgrades to outperform following acquisition of HRA Pharma and recent settlement of Irish tax dispute AT&T (T US) ticks higher in premarket trading after KeyBanc writes upgrades to sector weight from underweight, saying it seems harder to justify further downside from here Avis Budget (CAR US) may be active after getting its only negative rating among analysts as Morgan Stanley cuts to underweight with risk/reward seen pointing toward downside OrthoPediatrics (KIDS US) dipped 2% Wednesday postmarket after it said 3Q revenue was hurt by the surge in cases of Covid-19 delta variant and RSV within children’s hospitals combined with staff shortage Investors continue to evaluate the resilience of economic reopening to supply chain disruptions, a jump in energy prices and the prospect of reduced central bank support. In the earnings season so far, executives at S&P 500 companies mentioned the phrase “supply chain” about 3,000 times on investor calls as of Tuesday -- far higher than last year’s then-record figure. “Our constructive outlook for growth means that our asset allocation remains broadly pro-risk and we continue to be modestly overweight global equities,” according to Michael Grady, head of investment strategy and chief economist at Aviva Investors. “However, we have scaled back that position marginally because of growing pains which could impact sales and margins.” Europe's Stoxx 600 index reached its highest level in almost three weeks, boosted by gains in tech shares and miners. The Euro Stoxx 50 rose over 1% to best levels for the week. FTSE 100 rises 0.75%, underperforming at the margin. Miners and tech names are the strongest sectors with only healthcare stocks in small negative territory. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: THG shares advance as much as 10%, snapping a four-day losing streak, after a non-executive director bought stock while analysts at Goldman Sachs and Liberum defended their buy recommendations. Steico gains as much as 9.9%, the most since Jan., after the insulation manufacturer reported record quarterly revenue, which Warburg says “leaves no doubt” about underlying market momentum. Banco BPM climbs as much as 3.6% and is the day’s best performer on the FTSE MIB benchmark index; bank initiated at buy at Jefferies as broker says opportunity to internalize insurance business offers 9%-16% possible upside to 2023 consensus EPS and is not priced in by the market. Hays rises as much as 4.3% after the recruiter posted a jump in comparable net fees for the first quarter. Publicis jumps as much as 3.7%, the stock’s best day since July, with JPMorgan saying the advertising company’s results show a “strong” third quarter, though there are risks ahead. Kesko shares rise as much as 6.1%. The timing of this year’s third guidance upgrade was a surprise, Inderes says. Ubisoft shares fall as much as 5.5% after JPMorgan Cazenove (overweight) opened a negative catalyst watch, citing short-term downside risk to earnings ahead of results. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced, boosted by a rebound in technology shares as traders focused on the ongoing earnings season and assessed economic-reopening prospects in the region. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.7%, as a sub-gauge of tech stocks rose, halting a three-day slide. Tokyo Electron contributed the most to the measure’s climb, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. closed up 0.4% ahead of its earnings release. India’s tech stocks rose following better-than-expected earnings for three leading firms in the sector. Philippine stocks were among Asia’s best performers as Manila began easing virus restrictions, which will allow more businesses in the capital to reopen this weekend. Indonesia’s stock benchmark rallied for a third-straight day, as the government prepared to reopen Bali to tourists. READ: Commodities Boom, Tourism Hopes Fuel Southeast Asia Stock Rally Ilya Spivak, head of Greater Asia at DailyFX, said FOMC minutes released overnight provided Asian markets with little direction, which may offer some opportunity for recouping recent losses. The report showed officials broadly agreed last month they should start reducing pandemic-era stimulus in mid-November or mid-December. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields stayed below 1.6%, providing support for tech stocks.  “Markets seemed to conclude the near-term narrative is on pause until further evidence,” Spivak said. Shares in mainland China fell as the country reported factory-gate prices grew at the fastest pace in almost 26 years in September. Singapore’s stock benchmark pared initial losses as the country’s central bank unexpectedly tightened policy. Hong Kong’s equity market was closed for a holiday In rates, Treasuries were steady to a tad higher, underperforming Bunds which advanced, led by the long end.  Fixed income is mixed: gilts bull steepen with short dates richening ~2.5bps, offering only a muted reaction to dovish commentary from BOE’s Tenreyro. Bunds rise with 10y futures breaching 169. USTs are relatively quiet with 5s30s unable to crack 100bps to the upside. Peripheral spreads widen slightly. In FX, the Turkish lira was again the overnight standout as it weakened to a record low after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired three central bankers. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell and the greenback slipped against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen, with risk-sensitive and resource-based currencies leading gains; the euro rose to trade above $1.16 for the first time in a week.  The pound rose to more than a two-week high amid dollar weakness as traders wait for a raft of Bank of England policy makers to speak. Sweden’s krona temporarily came off an almost eight-month high against the euro after inflation fell short of estimates. The euro dropped to the lowest since November against the Swiss franc as banks targeted large option barriers and leveraged sell-stops under 1.0700, traders said; Currency traders are responding to stagflation risks by turning to the Swiss franc. The Aussie advanced to a five-week high versus the greenback even as a monthly jobs report showed employment fell in September; the jobless rate rose less than economists forecast. The kiwi was a among the top performers; RBNZ Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand said inflation pressures were becoming more persistent China’s yuan declined from a four-month high after the central bank signaled discomfort with recent gains by setting a weaker-than-expected reference rate. In commodities, crude futures extend Asia’s gains with WTI up ~$1 before stalling near $81.50. Brent regains a $84-handle. Spot gold drifts through Wednesday’s highs, adding $4 to print just shy of the $1,800/oz mark. Base metals are well bid with LME copper and aluminum gaining as much as 3%.  Looking at the day ahead, we’ve got central bank speakers including the Fed’s Bullard, Bostic, Barkin, Daly and Harker, the ECB’s Elderson and Knot, along with the BoE’s Deputy Governor Cunliffe, Tenreyro and Mann. Data releases from the US include the September PPI reading along with the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, earnings releases will include UnitedHealth, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, US Bancorp and Walgreens Boots Alliance. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.6% to 4,382.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.9% to 464.38 MXAP up 0.7% to 196.12 MXAPJ up 0.6% to 642.66 Nikkei up 1.5% to 28,550.93 Topix up 0.7% to 1,986.97 Hang Seng Index down 1.4% to 24,962.59 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,558.28 Sensex up 0.7% to 61,190.63 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,311.73 Kospi up 1.5% to 2,988.64 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $83.98/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,796.13 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.25% to 93.84 German 10Y yield fell 1.5 bps to -0.143% Euro little changed at $1.1615 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $84.13/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg A flattening Treasury yield curve signals increasing concern Federal Reserve efforts to keep inflation in check will derail the recovery in the world’s largest economy China’s factory-gate prices grew at the fastest pace in almost 26 years in September, potentially adding to global inflation pressure if local businesses start passing on higher costs to consumers. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired monetary policy makers wary of cutting interest rates further, driving the lira to record lows against the dollar with his midnight decree Singapore’s central bank unexpectedly tightened its monetary policy settings, strengthening the local dollar, as the city-state joins policymakers globally concerned about risks of persistent inflation Shortages of natural gas in Europe and Asia are boosting demand for oil, deepening what was already a sizable supply deficit in crude markets, the International Energy Agency said A tropical storm that’s lashing southern China mixed with Covid-related supply chain snarls is causing a ship backlog from Shenzhen to Singapore, intensifying fears retail shelves may look rather empty come Christmas A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk A constructive mood was seen across Asia-Pac stocks with the region building on the mild positive bias stateside where the Nasdaq outperformed as tech and growth stocks benefitted from the curve flattening, with global risk appetite unfazed by the firmer US CPI data and FOMC Minutes that suggested the start of tapering in either mid-November of mid-December. The ASX 200 (+0.5%) traded higher as tech stocks found inspiration from the outperformance of US counterparts and with the mining sector buoyed by gains in underlying commodity prices. The Nikkei 225 (+1.5%) was the biggest gainer amid currency-related tailwinds and with the latest securities flow data showing a substantial shift by foreign investors to net purchases of Japanese stocks during the prior week. The KOSPI (+1.5%) conformed to the brightening picture amid signs of a slowdown in weekly infections, while the Singapore’s Straits Times Index (+0.3%) lagged for most of the session following weaker than expected Q3 GDP data, and after the MAS surprisingly tightened its FX-based policy by slightly raising the slope of the SGD nominal effective exchange rate (NEER). The Shanghai Comp. (U/C) was initially kept afloat but with gains capped after slightly softer than expected loans and financing data from China and with participants digesting mixed inflation numbers in which CPI printed below estimates but PPI topped forecasts for a record increase in factory gate prices, while there was also an absence of Stock Connect flows with participants in Hong Kong away for holiday. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher after the recent curve flattening stateside and rebound in T-notes with the US longer-end also helped by a solid 30yr auction, although gains for JGBs were capped amid the outperformance in Tokyo stocks and mostly weaker metrics at the 5yr JGB auction. Top Asian News Chinese Developer Shares Fall on Debt Crisis: Evergrande Update Japan’s Yamagiwa Says Abenomics Fell Short at Spreading Wealth China Seen Rolling Over Policy Loans to Keep Liquidity Abundant Malaysia’s 2020 Fertility Rate Falls to Lowest in Four Decades Bourses in Europe have modestly extended on the upside seen at the European cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1%; Stoxx 600 +0.9%) in a continuation of the firm sentiment experienced overnight. US equity futures have also conformed to the broader upbeat tone, with gains seen across the ES (+0.7%), NQ (+0.8%), RTY (+0.8%) and YM (+0.7%). The upside comes despite a lack of overly pertinent newsflow, with participants looking ahead to a plethora of central bank speakers. The major indices in Europe also see a broad-based performance, but the periphery narrowly outperforms, whilst the SMI (Unch) lags amid the sectorial underperformance seen in Healthcare. Overall, the sectors portray somewhat of a cyclical tilt. The Basic Resources sector is the clear winner and is closely followed by Tech and Financial Services. Individual moves are scarce as price action is largely dictated by the macro picture, but the tech sector is led higher by gains in chip names after the world's largest contract chipmaker TSMC (+3.1% pre-market) reported strong earnings and upgraded its revenue guidance. Top European News German 2021 Economic Growth Forecast Slashed on Supply Crunch U.K. Gas Shipper Stops Supplies in Another Blow to Power Firms Christmas Toy Shortages Loom as Cargo Clogs a Major U.K. Port Putin Is Back to Building Financial Fortress as Reserves Grow In FX, the Dollar and index by default have retreated further from Tuesday’s 2021 peak for the latter as US Treasury yields continue to soften and the curve realign in wake of yesterday’s broadly in line CPI data and FOMC minutes that set the schedule for tapering, but maintained a clear differential between scaling down the pace of asset purchases and the timing of rate normalisation. Hence, the Buck is losing bullish momentum with the DXY now eying bids and downside technical support under 94.000 having slipped beneath an early October low (93.804 from the 5th of the month vs 93.675 a day earlier) and the 21 DMA that comes in at 93.770 today between 94.090-93.754 parameters before the next IJC update, PPI data and a heavy slate of Fed speakers. NZD/AUD - No real surprise that the Kiwi has been given a new lease of life given that the RBNZ has already taken its first tightening step and put physical distance between the OCR and the US FFR, not to mention that the move sparked a major ‘sell fact’ after ‘buy rumour’ reaction. However, Nzd/Usd is back on the 0.7000 handle with additional impetus via favourable tailwinds down under as the Aud/Nzd cross is now nearer 1.0550 than 1.0600 even though the Aussie is also taking advantage of the Greenback’s fall from grace to reclaim 0.7400+ status. Note, Aud/Usd may be lagging somewhat on the back of a somewhat labour report overnight as the employment tally fell slightly short of expectations and participation dipped, but the jobless rate fell and full time jobs rose. Moreover, RBA Deputy Governor Debelle repeated that circumstances are different for Australia compared to countries where policy is tightening, adding that employment is positive overall, but there is not much improvement on the wage front. CAD/GBP/CHF - The next best majors in terms of reclaiming losses vs their US counterpart, with the Loonie also encouraged by a firm bounce in oil prices and other commodities in keeping with a general recovery in risk appetite. Usd/Cad is under 1.2400, while Cable is now over 1.3700 having clearly breached Fib resistance around 1.3663 and the Franc is probing 0.9200 for a big figure-plus turnaround from recent lows irrespective of mixed Swiss import and producer prices. EUR/JPY - Relative laggards, but the Euro has finally hurdled chart obstacles standing in the way of 1.1600 and gradually gathering impetus to pull away from decent option expiry interest at the round number and just above (1.5 bn and 1 bn 1.1610-20), and the Yen regrouping around the 113.50 axis regardless of dovish BoJ rhetoric. In short, board member Noguchi conceded that the Bank may have little choice but to extend pandemic relief support unless it becomes clear that the economy has returned to a pre-pandemic state, adding that more easing may be necessary if the jobs market does not improve from pent-up demand, though he doesn't see and immediate need to top up stimulus or big stagflation risk. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are continuing the grind higher seen since the European close yesterday as the risk tone remains supportive and in the aftermath of an overall bullish IEA oil market report. The IEA upgraded its 2021 and 2022 oil demand forecasts by 170k and 210k BPD respectively, which contrasts the EIA STEO and the OPEC MOMR – with the former upping its 2021 but cutting 2022 forecast, whilst the OPEC MOMR saw the 2021 demand forecast cut and 2022 was maintained. The IEA report however noted that the ongoing energy crisis could boost oil demand by 500k BPD, and oil demand could exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2022. On this, China has asked Russia to double electricity supply between November-December. The morning saw commentary from various energy ministers, but perhaps the most telling from the Russian Deputy PM Novak who suggested Russia will produce 9.9mln BPD of oil in October (in-line with the quota), but that Russia has no problem in increasing oil output which can go to 11.3mln BPD (Russia’s capacity) and even more than that, but output will depend on market situation. Long story short, Russia can ramp up output but is currently caged by the OPEC+ pact. WTI Nov extended on gain about USD 81/bbl to a current high of USD 81.41/bbl (vs 80.41/bbl low) while its Brent counter topped USD 84.00/bbl to a USD 84.24/bbl high (vs 83.18/bbl low). As a reminder, the weekly DoEs will be released at 16:00BST/11:00EDT on account of the Columbus Day holiday. Gas prices have also moved higher in intraday, with the UK Nat Gas future +5.5% at the time of writing. Returning to the Russian Deputy PM Novak who noted that Nord Stream 2 will be ready for work in the next few days, still expects certification to occur and commercial supplies of gas via Nord Stream 2 could start following certification. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver have been drifting higher as the Buck wanes, with spot gold topping its 200 DMA (1,7995/oz) and in striking distance of its 100 DMA (1,799/oz) ahead of the USD 1,800/oz mark. Over to base metals, LME copper is again on a firmer footing, owing to the overall constructive tone across the market. Dalian iron ore meanwhile fell for a second straight day in a continuation of the downside seen as Beijing imposed tougher steel output controls for winter. World Steel Association also cut its global steel demand forecast to +4.5% in 2021 (prev. forecast +5.8%); +2.2% in 2022 (prev. forecast 2.7%). US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. PPI Final Demand MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.7%; YoY, est. 8.6%, prior 8.3% 8:30am: Sept. PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.6%; YoY, est. 7.1%, prior 6.7% 8:30am: Sept. PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.3%; YoY, est. 6.5%, prior 6.3% 8:30am: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 320,000, prior 326,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.67m, prior 2.71m 9:45am: Oct. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 53.4 Central Banks 8:35am: Fed’s Bullard Takes Part in Virtual Discussion 9:45am: Fed’s Bostic Takes Part in Panel on Inclusive Growth 12pm: New York Fed’s Logan Gives Speech on Policy Implementation 1pm: Fed’s Barkin Gives Speech 1pm: Fed’s Daly Speaks at Conference on Small Business Credit 6pm: Fed’s Harker Discusses the Economic Outlook DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Inflation dominated the conversation yet again for markets yesterday, after another upside surprise from the US CPI data led to the increasing realisation that we’ll still be talking about the topic for some time yet. Equities were pretty subdued as they looked forward to the upcoming earnings season, but investor jitters were evident as the classic inflation hedge of gold (+1.87%) posted its strongest daily performance since March, whilst the US dollar (-0.46%) ended the session as the worst performer among the G10 currencies. Running through the details of that release, headline US consumer prices were up by +0.4% on a monthly basis in September (vs. +0.3% expected), marking the 5th time in the last 7 months that the figure has come in above the median estimate on Bloomberg, though core prices were in line with consensus at +0.2% month-over-month. There were a number of drivers behind the faster pace, but food inflation (+0.93%) saw its biggest monthly increase since April 2020. Whilst some pandemic-sensitive sectors registered soft readings, housing-related prices were much firmer. Rent of primary residence grew +0.45%, its fastest pace since May 2001 and owners’ equivalent rent increased +0.43%, its strongest since June 2006. These housing gauges are something that Fed officials have signposted as having the potential to provide more durable upward pressure on inflation. The CPI release only added to speculation that the Fed would be forced to hike rates earlier than previously anticipated, and investors are now pricing in almost 4 hikes by the end of 2023, which is over a full hike more than they were pricing in just a month earlier. In response, the Treasury yield curve continued the previous day’s flattening, with the prospect of tighter monetary policy seeing the 2yr yield up +2.0bps to a post-pandemic high of 0.358%, whilst the 10yr decreased -4.0bps to 1.537%. That move lower in the 10yr yield was entirely down to lower real rates, however, which were down -7.4bps, suggesting investors were increasingly concerned about long-term growth prospects, whereas the 10yr inflation breakeven was up +3.3bps to 2.525%, its highest level since May. Meanwhile in Europe, 10yr sovereign bond yields took a turn lower alongside Treasuries, with those on bunds (-4.2bps), OATs (-4.0bps) and BTPs (-2.3bps) all falling. Recent inflation dynamics and issues on the supply-side are something that politicians have become increasingly attuned to, and President Biden gave remarks last night where he outlined efforts to address the supply-chain bottlenecks. This followed headlines earlier in the session that major ports in southern California would move to a 24/7 schedule to unclog delivery backlogs, and Mr. Biden also used the opportunity to push for the passage of the infrastructure plan. That comes as it’s also been reported by Reuters that the White House has been speaking with US oil and gas producers to see how prices can be brought lower. We should hear from Mr. Biden again today, who’s due to give an update on the Covid-19 response. On the topic of institutions that care about inflation, the September FOMC minutes suggested staff still remained optimistic that inflationary pressures would prove transitory, although Committee members themselves were predictably more split on the matter. Several participants pointed out that pandemic-sensitive prices were driving most of the gains, while some expressed concerns that high rates of inflation would feed into longer-term inflation expectations. Otherwise, the minutes all but confirmed DB’s US economists’ call for a November taper announcement, with monthly reductions in the pace of asset purchases of $10 billion for Treasuries and $5 billion for MBS. Markets took the news in their stride immediately following the release, reflecting how the build-up to this move has been gradually telegraphed through the year. Turning to equities, the S&P 500 managed to end its 3-day losing streak, gaining +0.30% by the close. Megacap technology stocks led the way, with the FANG+ index up +1.13% as the NASDAQ added +0.73%. On the other hand, cyclicals such as financials (-0.64%) lagged behind the broader index following flatter yield curve, and JPMorgan Chase (-2.64%) sold off as the company’s Q3 earnings release showed muted loan growth. Separately, Delta Air Lines (-5.76%) also sold off along with the broader S&P 500 airlines index (-3.51%), as they warned that rising fuel costs would threaten earnings over the current quarter. European indices posted a more solid performance than the US, with the STOXX 600 up +0.71%, though the sectoral balance was similar with tech stocks outperforming whilst the STOXX Banks index (-2.05%) fell back from its 2-year high the previous session. Overnight in Asia equities have put in a mixed performance, with the KOSPI (+1.17%) and the Nikkei (+1.01%) moving higher whilst the Shanghai Composite (-0.25%) and the CSI (-0.62%) have lost ground. Those moves follow the release of Chinese inflation data for September, which showed producer price inflation hit its highest in nearly 26 years, at +10.7% (vs. +10.5% expected), driven mostly by higher coal prices and energy-sensitive categories. On the other hand, the CPI measure for September came in slightly below consensus at +0.7% (vs. +0.8% expected), indicating that higher factory gate prices have not yet translated into consumer prices. Meanwhile, equity markets in the US are pointing to a positive start later on with S&P 500 futures up +0.32%. Of course, one of the drivers behind the renewal of inflation jitters has been the recent surge in commodity prices across the board, and we’ve seen further gains yesterday and this morning that will only add to the concerns about inflation readings yet to come. Oil prices have advanced yet again, with Brent Crude up +0.69% this morning to be on track to close at a 3-year high as it stands. That comes in spite of OPEC’s monthly oil market report revising down their forecast for world oil demand this year to 5.8mb/d, having been at 5.96mb/d last month. Elsewhere, European natural gas prices were up +9.24% as they continued to pare back some of the declines from last week, and a further two energy suppliers in the UK collapsed, Pure Planet and Colorado Energy, who supply quarter of a million customers between them. Otherwise, copper (+4.4x%) hit a 2-month high yesterday, and it up a further +1.01% this morning, Turning to Brexit, yesterday saw the European Commission put forward a set of adjustments to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is a part of the Brexit deal that’s caused a significant dispute between the UK and the EU. The proposals from Commission Vice President Šefčovič would see an 80% reduction in checks on animal and plant-based products, as well as a 50% reduction in paperwork by reducing the documentation needed for goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It follows a speech by the UK’s David Frost on Tuesday, in which he said that Article 16 of the Protocol, which allows either side to take unilateral safeguard measures, could be used “if necessary”. Mr. Frost is due to meet with Šefčovič in Brussels tomorrow. Running through yesterday’s other data, UK GDP grew by +0.4% in August (vs. +0.5% expected), and the July number was revised down to show a -0.1% contraction (vs. +0.1% growth previously). The release means that GDP in August was still -0.8% beneath its pre-pandemic level back in February 2020. To the day ahead now, and on the calendar we’ve got central bank speakers including the Fed’s Bullard, Bostic, Barkin, Daly and Harker, the ECB’s Elderson and Knot, along with the BoE’s Deputy Governor Cunliffe, Tenreyro and Mann. Data releases from the US include the September PPI reading along with the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, earnings releases will include UnitedHealth, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, US Bancorp and Walgreens Boots Alliance. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/14/2021 - 08:29.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 14th, 2021

Futures Rebound As Yields Drop

Futures Rebound As Yields Drop U.S. index futures rebounded on Tuesday from Monday's stagflation-fear driven rout as an increase in Treasury yields abated and the greenback dropped from a 10 month high while Brent crude dropped from a 3 year high of $80/barrel after API showed a surprise stockpile build across all products. One day after one of Wall Street’s worst selloff of this year which saw the S&P's biggest one-day drop since May, dip buyers made yet another another triumphal return to global markets, with Nasdaq 100 futures climbing 130 points or 0.9% after the tech-heavy index tumbled the most since March on Tuesday as U.S. Treasury yields rose on tapering and stagflationconcerns. S&P 500 futures rose 28 points or 0.6% after the underlying gauge also slumped amid mounting concern over the debt-ceiling impasse in Washington. A key catalyst for today's easing in financial conditions was the 10-year yield shedding four basis points and the five-year rate falling below 1%. In the past five sessions, the 10Y yield rose by a whopping 25 basis point, a fast enough move to trigger VaR shocks across risk parity investors. "We think (10-year treasury yields) are likely to around 1.5% to 1.75%, so they obviously still have room to go," said Daniel Lam, senior cross-asset strategist at Standard Chartered, who added that the rise in yields was driven by the fact that the United States was almost definitely going to start tapering its massive asset purchases by the end of this year, and that this would drive a shift from growth stocks into value names. Shares of FAAMG gigatechs rose between 1% and 1.3% in premarket trading as the surge in yields eased. Oil firms and supermajors like Exxon and Chevron dipped as a rally in crude prices petered out. The S&P energy sector has gained 3.9% so far this week and is on track for its best monthly performance since February. Among stocks, Boeing rose 2.5% after it said 737 MAX test flight for China’s aviation regulator last month was successful and the planemaker hopes a two-year grounding will be lifted this year. Cybersecurity firm Fortinet Inc. led premarket gains among S&P 500 Index companies. Here are some of the other big movers this morning: Micron (MU US) shares down more than 3% in U.S. premarket trading after the chipmaker’s forecast came in well below analyst expectations. Co. was hurt by slowing demand from personal-computer makers Lucid (LCID US) shares rise 9.7% in U.S. premarket trading after the electric-vehicle company said it has started production on its debut consumer car EQT Corp. (EQT US) shares fell 4.8% in Tuesday postmarket trading after co. reports offering by certain shareholders who received shares as a part of its acquisition of Alta Resources Development’s upstream and midstream units PTK Acquisition (PTK US) rises in U.S. premarket trading after the blank-check company’s shareholders approved its combination with the Israel-based semiconductor company Valens Cal-Maine (CALM US) shares rose 4.4% postmarket Tuesday after it reported net sales for the first quarter that beat the average analyst estimate as well as a narrower-than-estimated loss Sherwin-Williams (SHW US) dropped 3.5% in Tuesday postmarket trading after its forecasted adjusted earnings per share for the third quarter missed the average analyst estimate Boeing (BA US) and Spirit Aerosystems (SPR US) climb as much as 3% after being upgraded to outperform by Bernstein on travel finally heading to inflection point The S&P 500 is set to break its seven-month winning streak as fears about non-transitory inflation, China Evergrande’s default, potential higher corporate taxes and a sooner-than expected tapering of monetary support by the Federal Reserve clouded investor sentiment in what is usually a seasonally weak month. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are seeking a vote Wednesday on a stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown, but without a provision to increase the federal debt limit. On Tuesday, Jamie Dimon said a U.S. default would be “potentially catastrophic” event, in other words yet another multibillion bailout for his bank. “Many things are in flux: the pandemic is not over, the supply chain bottlenecks we are seeing are affecting all sorts of prices and we’ll need to see how it plays out because the results are not clear in terms of inflation,” Belita Ong, Dalton Investments chairman, said on Bloomberg Television. Europe’s Stoxx 600 gauge rebounded from a two-month low, rising 0.9% and reversing half of yesterday's losses. Semiconductor-equipment company ASM International posted the biggest increase on the index amid positive comments by analysts on its growth outlook. A sharp rebound during the European session marked a turnaround from the downbeat Asian session, when equities extended losses amid concerns over stagflation and China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis. Sentiment improved as a steady flow of buyers emerged in the Treasury market, ranging from foreign and domestic funds to leveraged accounts.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Academedia shares rise as much as 6.9% in Stockholm, the most since June 1, after the company said the number of participants for its higher vocational education has increased 25% y/y. ASM International jumps as much as 7.3%, rebounding from a three-day sell-off, boosted by supportive analyst comments and easing bond yields. GEA Group gains as much as 4.7% after the company published new financial targets through 2026, which Citigroup says are above analysts’ consensus and an encouraging signal. DSV bounces as much as 4.4% as JPMorgan upgrades to overweight, saying the recent pullback in the shares presents an opportunity. Genova Property Group falls as much as 10% in Stockholm trading after the real estate services company placed shares at a discount to the last close. ITM Power drops as much as 6.4% after JPMorgan downgrades to neutral from overweight on relative valuation, with a more mixed near-term outlook making risk/reward seem less compelling. Royal Mail slides as much as 6.2% after UBS cuts its rating to sell from buy, expecting U.K. labor shortages and wage inflation pressures to hurt the parcel service company’s profit margins. Earlier in the session, Asian equities slumped in delayed response to the US rout. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.43% with Australia off 1.5%, and South Korea falling 2.06%. The Hong Kong benchmark shed 1.2% and Chinese blue chips were 1.1% lower. Japan's Nikkei shed 2.35% hurt by the general mood as the country's ruling party votes for a new leader who will almost certainly become the next prime minister ahead of a general election due in weeks.  Also on traders' minds was cash-strapped China Evergrande whose shares rose as much as 12% after it said it plans to sell a 9.99 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) stake it owns in Shengjing Bank. Evergrande is due to make a $47.5 million bond interest payment on its 9.5% March 2024 dollar bond, having missed a similar payment last week, but it said in the stock exchange filing the proceeds of the sale should be used to settle its financial liabilities due to Shengjing Bank. Chinese real estate company Fantasia Holdings Group is struggling to avoid falling deeper into distress, just as the crisis at China Evergrande flags broader risks to other heavily indebted developers. In Japan, the country's PGIF, or Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest pension fund, said it won’t include yuan- denominated Chinese sovereign debt in its portfolio. In rates, as noted above, Treasuries lead global bonds higher, paring large portion of Tuesday’s losses with gains led by intermediates out to long-end of the curve. Treasury yields richer by up to 4bp across long-end of the curve with 10s at around 1.50%, outperforming bunds and gilts both by 2bp; front-end of the curve just marginally richer, flattening 2s10s spread by 3.2bp with 5s30s tighter by 0.5bp. Futures volumes remain elevated amid evidence of dip buyers emerging Tuesday and continuing over Wednesday’s Asia hours. Session highlights include a number of Fed speakers, including Chair Powell.     In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after earlier advancing, and the dollar slipped versus most of its Group-of-10 peers. The yen was the best G-10 performer as it whipsawed after earlier dropping to 111.68 per dollar, its weakest level since March 2020. The Australian dollar also advanced amid optimism over easing of Covid-related restrictions while the New Zealand dollar was the worst performer amid rising infections. The euro dropped to an 11-month low while the pound touched its weakest level since January against the greenback amid a bout of dollar strength as the London session kicked off. Confidence in the euro-area economy unexpectedly rose in September as consumers turned more optimistic about the outlook and construction companies saw employment prospects improve. The yen climbed from an 18-month low as a decline in stocks around the world helps boost demand for the currency as a haven. Japanese bonds also gained. In commodities, oil prices dropped after touching a near three-year high the day before. Brent crude fell 0.83% to $78.25 per barrel after topping $80 yesterday; WTI dipped 1.09% to $74.47 a barrel. Gold edged higher with the spot price at $1,735.6 an ounce, up 0.1% from the seven-week low hit the day before as higher yields hurt demand for the non interest bearing asset. Base metals are under pressure with LME aluminum and copper lagging. Looking at the day ahead, the biggest highlight will be a policy panel at the ECB forum on central banking featuring ECB President Lagarde, Fed Chair Powell, BoJ Governor Kuroda and BoE Governor Bailey. Other central bank speakers include ECB Vice President de Guindos, the ECB’s Centeno, Stournaras, Makhlouf, Elderson and Lane, as well as the Fed’s Harker, Daly and Bostic. Meanwhile, data releases include UK mortgage approvals for August, the final Euro Area consumer confidence reading for September, and US pending home sales for August. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 4,371.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.8% to 455.97 MXAP down 1.2% to 197.38 MXAPJ down 0.7% to 635.17 Nikkei down 2.1% to 29,544.29 Topix down 2.1% to 2,038.29 Hang Seng Index up 0.7% to 24,663.50 Shanghai Composite down 1.8% to 3,536.29 Sensex down 0.4% to 59,445.57 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.1% to 7,196.71 Kospi down 1.2% to 3,060.27 Brent Futures down 0.7% to $78.53/bbl Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,740.79 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.81 German 10Y yield fell 1.1 bps to -0.210% Euro down 0.2% to $1.1664 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China’s central bank governor said quantitative easing implemented by global peers can be damaging over the long term and vowed to keep policy normal for as long as possible China’s central bank injected liquidity into the financial system for a ninth day in the longest run since December as it sought to meet a surge in seasonal demand for cash China stepped in to buy a stake in a struggling regional bank from China Evergrande Group as it seeks to limit contagion in the financial sector from the embattled property developer The Chinese government is considering raising power prices for industrial consumers to help ease a growing supply crunch Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest pension fund, said it won’t include yuan-denominated Chinese sovereign debt in its portfolio. The decision comes as FTSE Russell is set to start adding Chinese debt to its benchmark global bond index, which the GPIF follows, from October Fumio Kishida is set to become Japan’s prime minister, after the ex-foreign minister overcame popular reformer Taro Kono to win leadership of the country’s ruling party, leaving stock traders feeling optimistic ECB Governing Council member Gabriel Makhlouf said policy makers must be ready to respond to persistently higher inflation that could result from lasting supply bottlenecks Inflation accelerated in Spain to the fastest pace in 13 years, evidence of how surging energy costs are feeding through to citizens around the euro-zone economy Sterling-debt sales by corporates exceeded 2020’s annual tally as borrowers rushed to secure ultra-cheap funding costs while they still can. Offerings will top 70 billion pounds ($95 billion) through Wednesday, beating last year’s total sales by at least 600 million pounds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets were pressured on spillover selling from global peers which saw the S&P 500 suffer its worst day since May after tech losses were magnified as yields climbed and with sentiment also dampened by weak data in the form of US Consumer Confidence and Richmond Fed indexes. ASX 200 (-1.1%) was heavily pressured by tech and with mining-related stocks dragged lower by weakness in underlying commodity prices, with the mood also clouded by reports that Queensland is on alert for a potential lockdown and that Australia will wind down emergency pandemic support payments within weeks. Nikkei 225 (-2.1%) underperformed amid the broad sell-off and as participants awaited the outcome of the LDP leadership vote which saw no candidate win a majority (as expected), triggering a runoff between vaccine minister Kono and former foreign minister Kishida to face off in a second round vote in which Kishida was named the new PM. KOSPI (-1.2%) was heavily pressured by the tech woes and after North Korea confirmed that yesterday’s launch was a new type of hypersonic missile. Hang Seng (+0.7%) and Shanghai Comp. (-1.8%) conformed to the broad risk aversion with tech stocks hit in Hong Kong, although the losses were milder compared to regional peers with Evergrande shares boosted after it sold CNY 10bln of shares in Shengjing Bank that will be used to pay the developer’s debt owed to Shengjing Bank, which is the Co.’s first asset sale amid the current collapse concerns although it still faces another USD 45.2mln in interest payments due today. In addition, the PBoC continued with its liquidity efforts and there was also the absence of Stock Connect flows to Hong Kong with Southbound trading already closed through to the National Holidays. Finally, 10yr JGBs were slightly higher as risk assets took a hit from the tech sell-off and with T-notes finding some reprieve overnight. Furthermore, the BoJ were also in the market for nearly JPY 1tln of JGBs mostly in 3yr-10yr maturities and there were notable comments from Japan’s GPIF that it is to avoid investments in Chinese government bonds due to concerns over China market. Top Asian News L&T Is Said in Talks to Merge Power Unit With Sembcorp India Prosecutors Seek Two Years Jail for Ghosn’s Alleged Accomplice Japan to Start Process to Sell $8.5 Billion Postal Stake Gold Climbs From Seven Week Low as Yields Retreat, Dollar Pauses Bourses in Europe are attempting to claw back some ground lost in the prior session’s global stocks rout (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.9%; Stoxx 600 +0.8%). The upside momentum seen at the cash open has somewhat stabilised amid a lack of news flow and with a busy agenda ahead from a central bank standpoint, with traders also cognizant of potential month-end influence. US equity futures have also been gradually drifting higher since the reopen of electronic trade. As things stand, the NQ (+1.0%) narrowly outperforms the ES (+0.7%), RTY (+0.8%) and YM (+0.6%) following the tech tumble in the prior session, and with yields easing off best levels. Back to European cash, major regional bourses see broad-based gains with no standout performers. Sectors are mostly in the green; Oil & Gas resides at the foot of the bunch as crude prices drift lower and following two consecutive sessions of outperformance. On the flip side, Tech resides among today’s winners in what is seemingly a reversal of yesterday’s sector configuration, although ASML (+1.3%) may be offering some tailwinds after upping its long-term outlook whilst suggesting ASML and its supply chain partners are actively adding and improving capacity to meet this future customer demand – potentially alleviating some concerns in the Auto sector which is outperforming at the time of writing. Retail also stands strong as Next (+3.0%) upped its guidance whilst suggesting the longer-term outlook for the Co. looks more positive than it had been for many years. In terms of individual movers, Unilever (+1.0%) is underpinned by source reports that the Co. has compiled a shortlist of at least four bidders for its PG Tips and Lipton Iced Tea brands for some GBP 4bln. HeidelbergCement (-1.4%) is pressured after acquiring a 45% stake in the software firm Command Alko. Elsewhere, Morrisons (+1.3%) is on the front foot as the takeover of the Co. is to be decided via an auction process as touted earlier in the month. Top European News Makhlouf Says ECB Must Be Ready to Act If Inflation Entrenched ASML to Ride Decade-Long Sales Boom After Chip Supply Crunch Spanish Inflation at 13-Year High in Foretaste of Regional Spike U.K. Mortgage Approvals Fall to 74,453 in Aug. Vs. Est. 73,000 In FX, the yield and risk backdrop is not as constructive for the Dollar directly, but the index has posted another marginal new y-t-d best, at 93.891 compared to 93.805 yesterday with ongoing bullish momentum and the bulk of the US Treasury curve remaining above key or psychological levels, in contrast to other global bond benchmarks. Hence, the Buck is still elevated and on an upward trajectory approaching month end on Thursday, aside from the fact that hedge rebalancing flows are moderately positive and stronger vs the Yen. Indeed, the Euro is the latest domino to fall and slip to a fresh 2021 low around 1.1656, not far from big barriers at 1.1650 and further away from decent option expiry interest at the 1.1700 strike (1 bn), and it may only be a matter of time before Sterling succumbs to the same fate. Cable is currently hovering precariously above 1.3500 and shy of the January 18 base (1.3520) that formed the last pillar of support for the Pound before the trough set a week earlier (circa 1.3451), and ostensibly supportive UK data in the form of BoE mortgage lending and approvals has not provided much relief. AUD/JPY - A rather odd couple in many ways given their contrasting characteristics as a high beta or activity currency vs traditional safe haven, but both are benefiting from an element of corrective trade, consolidation and short covering relative to their US counterpart. Aud/Usd is clinging to 0.7250 in advance of Aussie building approvals on Thursday and Usd/Jpy is retracing from its new 111.68 y-t-d pinnacle amidst the less rampant yield environment and weighing up the implications of ex-Foreign Minister Kishida’s run-off win in the LDP leadership contest and the PM-in-waiting’s pledge to put together a Yen tens of trillion COVID-19 stimulus package before year end. CHF/CAD/NZD - All relatively confined vs their US rival, as the Franc continues to fend off assaults on the 0.9300 level with some impetus from a significant improvement in Swiss investor sentiment, while the Loonie is striving to keep its head above 1.2700 ahead of Canadian ppi data and absent the recent prop of galloping oil prices with WTI back under Usd 75/brl from Usd 76.67 at best on Tuesday. Elsewhere, the Kiwi is pivoting 0.6950 pre-NZ building consents and still being buffeted by strong Aud/Nzd headwinds. SCANDI/EM - Not much purchase for the Sek via upgrades to Swedish GDP and inflation forecast upgrades by NIER as sentiment indices slipped across the board, but some respite for the Try given cheaper crude and an uptick in Turkish economic confidence. Conversely, the Cnh and Cny have not received their customary fillip even though the PBoC added liquidity for the ninth day in a row overnight and China’s currency regulator has tightened control over interbank trade and asked market makers to narrow the bid/ask spread, according to sources. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures have been trimming overnight losses in early European trade. Losses overnight were seemingly a function of profit-taking alongside the bearish Private Inventory Report – which showed a surprise build in weekly crude stocks of 4.1mln bbls vs exp. -1.7mln bbls, whilst the headline DoE looks for a draw of 1.652mln bbls. Further, there have been growing calls for OPEC+ to further open the taps beyond the monthly 400k BPD hike, with details also light on the White House’s deliberations with OPEC ahead of the decision-making meeting next week. Despite these calls, it’s worth bearing in mind that OPEC’s latest MOMR stated, “increased risk of COVID-19 cases primarily fuelled by the Delta variant is clouding oil demand prospects going into the final quarter of the year, resulting in downward adjustments to 4Q21 estimates. As a result, 2H21 oil demand has been adjusted slightly lower, partially delaying the oil demand recovery into 1H22.” Brent Dec dipped back under USD 78/bbl (vs low 763.77/bbl) after testing USD 80/bbl yesterday, whilst WTI Nov lost the USD 75/bbl handle (vs low USD 73.37/bbl). Over to metals, spot gold and silver have seen somewhat of divergence as real yields negate some effects of the new YTD peak printed by the Dollar index, whilst spot silver succumbs to the Buck. Over to base metals, LME copper trade is lacklustre as the firmer dollar weighs on the red metal. Shanghai stainless steel meanwhile extended on losses, notching the fourth session of overnight losses with desks citing dampened demand from the Chinese power crunch. US Event Calendar 7am: Sept. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 4.9% 10am: Aug. Pending Home Sales YoY, est. -13.8%, prior -9.5% 10am: Aug. Pending Home Sales (MoM), est. 1.3%, prior -1.8% Central Bank speakers 9am: Fed’s Harker Discusses Economic Outlook 11:45am: Powell Takes Part in ECB Forum on Central Banking 11:45am: Bailey, Kuroda, Lagarde, Powell on ECB Forum Panel 1pm: Fed’s Daly Gives Speech to UCLA 2pm: Fed’s Bostic Gives Remarks at Chicago Fed Payments DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap The main story of the last 24 hours has been a big enough rise in yields to cause a major risk-off move, with 10yr Treasury yields up another +5.0bps to 1.537% yesterday, and this morning only seeing a slight -0.3bps pullback to 1.534%. At the intraday peak yesterday, they did climb as high as 1.565% earlier in the session, but this accelerated the risk off and sent yields somewhat lower intraday as a result, which impacted the European bond closes as we’ll see below. All told, US yields closed at their highest level in 3 months and up nearly +24bps since last Wednesday’s close, shortly after the FOMC meeting. That’s the largest 4-day jump in US yields since March 2020, at the outset of the pandemic and shortly after the Fed announced their latest round of QE. This all led to the worst day for the S&P 500 (-2.04%) since mid-May and the worst for the NASDAQ (-2.83%) since mid-March. The S&P 500 is down -4.06% from the highs now – trading just below the Evergrande (remember that?) lows from last week. So the index still has not seen a -5% sell-off on a closing basis for 228 days and counting. If we make it to Halloween it will be a full calendar year. Regardless, the S&P and STOXX 600 remain on track for their worst monthly performances so far this year. Those moves have continued this morning in Asia, where the KOSPI (-2.05%), Nikkei (-1.64%), Hang Seng (-0.60%), and the Shanghai Comp (-1.79%) are all trading lower. The power crisis in China is further dampening sentiment there, and this morning Bloomberg have reported that the government are considering raising prices for industrial users to ease the shortage. Separately, we heard that Evergrande would be selling its stake in a regional bank at 10 billion yuan ($1.55bn) as a step to resolve its debt crisis, and Fitch Ratings also downgraded Evergrande overnight from CC to C. However, US equity futures are pointing to some stabilisation later, with those on the S&P 500 up +0.49%. Running through yesterday’s moves in more depth, 23 of the 24 industry groups in the S&P 500 fell back yesterday with the lone exception being energy stocks (+0.46%), which gained despite the late pullback in oil prices. In fact only 53 S&P constituents gained on the day. The largest losses were in high-growth sectors like semiconductors (-3.82%), media (-3.08%) and software (-3.05%), whilst the FANG+ index was down -2.52% as 9 of the 10 index members lost ground – Alibaba’s +1.47% gain was the sole exception. Over in Europe it was much the same story, with the STOXX 600 (-2.18%) falling to its worst daily performance since July as bourses across the continent fell back, including the German DAX (-2.09%) and France’s CAC 40 (-2.17%). Back to bonds and the rise in 10yr Treasury yields yesterday was primarily led by higher real rates (+2.1bps), which hit a 3-month high of their own, whilst rising inflation breakevens (+2.3bps) also offered support. In turn, higher yields supported the US dollar, which strengthened +0.41% to its highest level since November last year, though precious metals including gold (-0.92%) fell back as investors had less need for the zero-interest safe haven. Over in Europe the sell-off was more muted as bonds rallied into the close before selling off again after. Yields on 10yr bunds (+2.4bps), OATs (+3.0bps) and BTPs (+6.1bps) all moved higher but were well off the peaks for the day. 10yr Gilts closed up +4.2bps but that was -6.6bps off the high print. And staying with the UK, sterling (-1.18%) saw its worst day this year and fell to its lowest level since January 11 as sentiment has increasingly been knocked by the optics of the fuel crisis here. Given this and the hawkish BoE last week many are now talking up the stagflation risk. On the petrol crisis it’s hard to know how much is real and how much is like an old fashion bank run fuelled mostly by wild speculation. Regardless it doesn’t look good to investors for now. All this came against the backdrop of yet further milestones on inflation expectations, as the German 10yr breakeven hit a fresh 8-year high of 1.690%, just as the Euro Area 5y5y forward inflation swap hit a 4-year high of its own at 1.789%. Meanwhile 10yr UK breakevens pulled back some, finishing -6bps lower on the day after initially spiking up nearly +5bps in the opening hours of trading. This highlights the uncertainty as to the implications of a more hawkish BoE last week. As we’ve discussed over recent days, part of the renewed concerns about inflation have come from a fresh spike in energy prices, and yesterday saw Brent crude move above $80/bbl in regards intraday trading for the first time since 2018. Furthermore, natural gas prices continued to hit fresh highs yesterday, with European futures up +2.69% to a fresh high of €78.56 megawatt-hours. That said, oil prices did pare back their gains later in the session as the equity selloff got underway, with Brent crude (-0.55%) and WTI (-0.21%) both closing lower on the day, and this morning they’ve fallen a further -1.49% and -1.54% respectively. Yesterday, Fed Chair Powell and his predecessor Treasury Secretary Yellen appeared jointly before the Senate Banking Committee. The most notable moment came from Senator Warren who criticized Chair Powell for his track record on regulation, saying he was a “dangerous man” and then saying on the record that the she would not support his re-nomination ahead of his term ending in February. Many senators, mostly Republicans, voiced concerns over inflationary pressures, but both Yellen and Powell maintained their stances that the current high level of inflation was temporary and due to the supply chain issues from Covid-19 that they expect to be resolved in time. Lastly, both Powell and Yellen warned the Senators that a potential US default would be “catastrophic” and Treasury Secretary Yellen said in a letter to Congress that the Treasury Department now estimated the US would hit the debt ceiling on October 18. So we’ve got an important few days and weeks coming up. Last night, Senate Majority Leader Schumer tried to pass a vote that would drop the threshold from 60 to a simple majority to suspend the debt limit, but GOP Senator Cruz amongst others blocked this and went forward with forcing Democrats to use the budget reconciliation measure instead. Some Democrats have pushed back saying that the budget process would take too long and increases the risk of a default. While this is all going on we’re now less than 48 hours from a US government shutdown as it stands, though there seems to be an agreement on the funding measure if it were to be raised as clean bill without the debt ceiling provisions. There is also other business in Washington due tomorrow, with the bipartisan infrastructure bill with $550bn of new spending up for a vote. While the funding bill is the higher short-term priority, there was news yesterday that progressive members of the House of Representatives may try and block the infrastructure bill if it comes up ahead of the budget reconciliation vote. That was according to Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Jayapal who said “Progressives will vote for both bills, but a majority of our members will only vote for the infrastructure bill after the President’s visionary Build Back Better Act passes.” The infrastructure bill could be tabled once again as there is no real urgency to get it voted on until the more pressing debt ceiling and funding bill issues are resolved. Democratic leadership is trying to thread a needle and the key sticking point appears to be if the moderate and progressive wing can agree on the budget quickly enough to beat the clock on the US defaulting on its debt. Shifting back to central bankers, ECB President Lagarde warned against withdrawing stimulus too rapidly as a response to inflationary pressures. She contested that there are “no signs that this increase in inflation is becoming broad-based across the economy,” and continued that the “key challenge is to ensure that we do not overreact to transitory supply shocks that have no bearing on the medium term.” Similar to her US counterpart, Lagarde cited higher energy prices and supply-chain breakdowns as the root cause for the current high inflation data and argued these would recede in due time. The ECB continues to strike a more dovish tone than the Fed and BoE. Speaking of inflation, DB’s chief European economist, Mark Wall, has just put out a podcast where he discusses the ECB, inflation and the value of a flexible asset purchase programme. He and his team have a baseline assumption that the ECB will double the pace of their asset purchases to €40bn per month to smooth the exit from the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme, but the upward momentum in the inflation outlook and the latest uncertainty from recent supply shocks puts a premium on policy flexibility. You can listen to the podcast "Focus Europe: Podcast: ECB, inflation and the value of a flexible APP" here. In Germany, there weren’t a great deal of developments regarding the election and coalition negotiations yesterday, but NTV reported that CSU leader Markus Söder had told a regional group meeting of the party that he expected the next government would be a traffic-light coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP. Speaking to reporters later in the day, he went onto say that the SPD’s Olaf Scholz had the best chance of becoming chancellor, and that the SPD had the right to begin coalition negotiations. Running through yesterday’s data, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading in the US for September fell to 109.3 (vs. 115.0 expected), which marks the third consecutive decline in the reading and the lowest it’s been since February. Meanwhile house prices continued to rise, with the FHFA’s house price index for July up +1.4% (vs. +1.5% expected), just as the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index saw a record +19.7% increase in July as well. To the day ahead now, and the biggest highlight will be a policy panel at the ECB forum on central banking featuring ECB President Lagarde, Fed Chair Powell, BoJ Governor Kuroda and BoE Governor Bailey. Other central bank speakers include ECB Vice President de Guindos, the ECB’s Centeno, Stournaras, Makhlouf, Elderson and Lane, as well as the Fed’s Harker, Daly and Bostic. Meanwhile, data releases include UK mortgage approvals for August, the final Euro Area consumer confidence reading for September, and US pending home sales for August. Tyler Durden Wed, 09/29/2021 - 07:42.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 29th, 2021

California Poised To Adopt "Medical Misinformation Bill" Targeting Alternative COVID-19 Protocols

California Poised To Adopt 'Medical Misinformation Bill' Targeting Alternative COVID-19 Protocols Authored by Patricia Tolson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The California Legislature is poised to pass Assembly Bill 2098, described as a “medical misinformation bill.” If passed, the new law would prohibit doctors from freely providing medical advice and treating their patients if those practices run counter to the official state sanctioned position. A doctor holds his stethoscope in this file photo. (Dirk Waem/Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images) In April 2020, the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, the California State Board of Pharmacy, and the Medical Board of California issued a statement (pdf) regarding the “improper prescribing of medications related to treatment of Novel Coronavirus,” such as hydroxychloroquine, warning that “inappropriately prescribing or dispensing medications constitutes unprofessional conduct in California.” On June 29, 2021, the Federation of State Medical Boards issued a warning, stating that “Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license.” In August 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci said there was no evidence that ivermectin works, and that it’s more likely to cause harm. In December 2021, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning headlined, “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.” In an updated April 29, 2022, report, the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel said it “recommends against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, except in clinical trials.” Should AB 2098 become law, doctors who prescribe medications not approved by the state or who claim unsanctioned drugs are effective would see their licenses revoked and face strict penalties and disciplinary actions by the Medical Board of California. In short, AB 2098 would designate the dissemination of information not approved by the state related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes “COVID-19,” as misinformation or disinformation, which constitutes unprofessional conduct. One physician, Dr. Syed Haider, has already been reported to four state medical boards by pharmacists he says “don’t like filling ivermectin prescriptions.” He has also been forced to retain a lawyer to protect his medical license. Dr. Syed Haider (Courtesy of Haider) Since December 2020—after realizing that the United States had offshored almost all prescription drug manufacturing to unfriendly nations like China—Haider has focused on the prevention and treatment of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus through his online initiative mygotodoc.com, by providing easy online access to off-label prescriptions such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, budesonide, and protocols for COVID, long COVID, and vaccine injuries. “There was such a huge demand for it, it just took over my life,” Haider, who used to be “a hospital doctor,” told The Epoch Times. “Then, the pandemic hit.” In early February 2020, Haider contracted the CCP virus at a hospital that he was working in. His work as a temporary traveling physician across many different medical practices and hospitals was coming to an end and he thought that, with the pandemic outbreak, there would be plenty of work. However, although he had applied for a position at a hospital in New York, Haider had begun to hear about online prescribing, and he started to work through an unnamed online telemedicine provider in the United States. “Once I heard about ivermectin and off-label prescribing, people would show up on the online website looking for help with COVID and I would try to tell them about off-label medications,” Haider recalled. “And they would just give me a blank stare. Aside from hydroxychloroquine, they had never heard about drugs like ivermectin. They thought I was crazy. I think the thought was, ‘If this stuff works, why haven’t I heard about it on CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC?” According to Haider, what really changed things for him was when he saw the Dec. 8, 2020, testimony of Dr. Pierre Kory (pdf) before Sen. Ron Johnson and the Homeland Security Committee Meeting regarding early treatment of COVID-19, “not only as an individual physician,” but also on behalf of his non-profit organization, the Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. “Although we, like many, are extremely encouraged by the apparent successes in developing effective vaccines,” Kory said, “we also are dismayed at the near complete absence of guidance and research on effective early, at-home, or preventative treatment options apart from vaccines—a reality we find unconscionable.” It was “with great pride as well as significant optimism” that Kory reported that his group, “led by Professor Paul E. Marik,” had “developed a highly effective protocol for preventing and early treatment of COVID-19,” and that “emerging publications” had provided “conclusive data on the profound efficacy of the anti-parasite, anti-viral drug, anti-inflammatory agent called ivermectin in all stages of the disease.” “It was real clear in his face and in his demeanor that he was really upset and very sincere and it went viral on the internet,” Haider recalled. “Then, people started hearing from family and friends that they had used ivermectin and it made a difference for them, and people went online to find doctors who would prescribe it. At that point, things got very busy and I had to basically start my own website and prescribing it online to patients. Over the next year and a half, things really ramped up. More and more people had begun hearing about ivermectin, so more and more people were looking for it.” According to the website, “mygotodoc makes it easy to safeguard you and your family, serving three important needs the wider medical community tends to ignore: (1) emergency antibiotics to have on hand in case disaster strikes and prescription drugs are unavailable, (2) 1-month backup supplies of your regular medication, and (3) safe off-label COVID protocols designed for prevention and treatment.” “Myself and other doctors from all over the world have had incredible results with off-label protocols including ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, budesonide, and a number of other protocols,” Haider explained. “What you hear over and over again is about the successful treatment of 5,000, 7,000, or 10,000 patients and maybe one death. They are shocking numbers compared to what you’re hearing with conventional treatments the CDC or FDA are recommending and what hospitals and other doctors are doing that are not using off-label protocols.” Personally, Haider has treated over 50,000 COVID-related patients, many of them elderly. He said that among his patients, there have been zero deaths and only five hospitalizations. Despite his success, under California’s proposed Bill AB 2098, doctor’s using similar methods would have the state interfere and persecute them for providing independent care. “Like a lot of other doctors around the world, I’ve just been trying to raise awareness of this,” Haider explained. “But, like a lot of doctors in America, I’ve gotten letters from the American Medical Association, the Federal State Medical Board warning me that my license is at risk if I speak out about vaccines or if I spread misinformation or if I prescribe ivermectin. I’ve had pushback from pharmacists, insurance companies, from medical boards in multiple states, that have sent me complaints and asked me to explain why I am conducting experimental trials on patients and why I am prescribing ivermectin.” Prior to all of this, Haider had worked for over 10 years as a trained hospital physician in internal medicine and had “never had a single complaint from anyone on anything.” “So, it was a very strange experience over the past couple of years to see what has happened to medical providers, including pharmacists,” Haider explained. “Pharmacists were pushing back at us because they were getting letters from their pharmacist boards warning them not to dispense it. ” According to Haider, dissenting voices have been muzzled and censored from the very onset of the pandemic and they are now being threatened with the loss of their medical licenses. Because of this, Haider has had to retain an attorney. “It’s very stressful to have to reply to a medical board,” he explained, adding that it’s a “very opaque process.” “You don’t know who is going to see it or review it. You don’t know whether or not they’re friendly to what you are doing or if they disagree with what you are doing, and it’s not like a court of law where you can bring in witnesses in your defense. They just make a decision and sometimes they don’t even explain to you the reason behind it.” Worse than that, Haider said his experience felt like they were trying to get doctors like himself to “get tripped up and to say the wrong things” and to incriminate themselves. “One of the medical boards accused me of conducting medical experimental trials,” he said. “It’s not like they don’t know I’m prescribing off-label. We do off-label prescribing all the time in medicine. About 40 percent of prescribing is off-label and it doesn’t fall under the classification of ‘experiment.’ It’s not an unauthorized experimental medical trial. But they use that wording to try to get me to defend myself against that attack. If I had foolishly replied to them and tried to defend myself against their terminology, I would have incriminated myself because I can’t run an experiment without having a review board, authorization, and specific consent forms for experimental drug trials.” Haider reflected on how during the current shift to vilify ivermectin that “everyone seems to forget that, during the past six months, they had the same problems with prescribing hydroxychloroquine.” “I can send a hydroxychloroquine prescription to any pharmacist and they’ll fill it without question,” he said. “But now, they won’t fill ivermectin. It almost seems political rather than medical. It’s not scientific. There’s something else going on and it’s very strange. We can now prescribe things through pharmacies they used to vilify. But because our entire medical establishment has now decided that ivermectin must be killed, pharmacists now have a problem with ivermectin.” According to Haider, the purpose of what he described as the “medical misinformation bill” in front of the California Legislature is to prevent doctors from saying things that the state deems to be disinformation. “That,” he said, “begs the question of who decides what is the truth?” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Jan. 11, 2022 (Shawn Thew/Getty Images) “In any scientific field or endeavor, there is no absolute truth,” he explained, asserting that “Dr. Fauci is not science, like he claims to be.” “He does not have the last word on what scientific truth is. We’re always getting closer to the truth, but we have never arrived at a final truth in medicine. So, there always has to be room for debate. Doctors have to be able to take multiple different sides of an argument. So physicians have to be able to hash things out among themselves and to prescribe off-label. You can’t single out one disease and say, ‘This is off limits for the way we’ve conducted medicine for the past 100 years.’ Patients should be able to consult with their physician, discuss treatments and risks, and make decisions without the interference of the government. “In nearly every hospital and clinic in the United States right now, it’s considered to be some form of misinformation or disinformation to say anything other than the vaccines are safe and effective,” Haider noted. “To say there are any risks associated with the vaccines is claimed to be misinformation or disinformation, and the working definition of misinformation or disinformation seems to be anything that would prevent someone from submitting to or doubting the FDA and CDC guidelines and recommendations.” This bill would affect any doctor licensed in California, including Haider. If AB 2098 becomes law, any doctor who prescribes ivermectin—even at the request of their patient—can lose their license to practice medicine in California. “Once you lose your license in one state and you have licenses to practice in other states, you have to report that you lost your license in California to every other state you are licensed in, and then every medical board will start asking questions like, ‘Why did you lose your license in California.’ Once the snowball starts rolling, depending on what the medical board thinks about the reasoning behind the loss of your license in California, you can lose all of your licenses.” In the wake of the pandemic, Haider noted how the country has been further compromised by unprecedented delays in supply lines. We no longer have domestic manufacturing of almost any medications, including and especially antibiotics. In fact, China has captured over 97 percent of the U.S. market for antibiotics. In the setting of runaway inflation, food shortages, and soaring gas prices, it’s easy to imagine an America where pharmacy shelves are bare, or with limited stock and huge price increases. If AB 2098 becomes law, the precedent that would be set is California gets to become the proving grounds for new legislation, not just in medicine, but in everything, Haider said. “Once you make this inroad in violation of physician autonomy on how to treat COVID for their patients, that could just be the beginning,” Haider warned. “What about after that? Do you go after a doctor’s ability to prescribe off-label for anything? Do we have to be restricted to what has been FDA approved for any indication? What happens when we don’t have an on-label drug for the treatment of an indication? What then? How do we treat our patients then?” The Epoch Times has reached out to California Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Cupertino), sponsor of the Assembly version of the bill, as well as the Medical Board of California. Tyler Durden Sat, 05/28/2022 - 20:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt8 hr. 19 min. ago

The wild life of billionaire Twitter founder and "Block Head" Jack Dorsey, who"s officially left the social network"s board, eats one meal a day, and takes ice baths

Jack Dorsey, famous for his unusual life of luxury, stepped down as Twitter CEO in 2021 but continues to lead Block as its "Block Head." Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Jack Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006 and the company made him a billionaire. He's famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine and regular ice baths. He stepped down as Twitter CEO in November 2021 but continues to lead Block as its "Block Head." Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. From fighting armies of bots to quashing rumors about sending his beard hair to rapper Azealia Banks, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey leads an unusual life of luxury.Dorsey has had a turbulent career in Silicon Valley. After cofounding Twitter on March 21 2006, he was booted as the company's CEO two years later, but returned in 2015 having set up his second company, Square — which he rebranded as Block in 2021.He led Twitter through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, testifying before Congress multiple times.And Dorsey announced on November 29, 2021, he had stepped down as the CEO of Twitter. He continues to lead Block, where in April 2022 he changed his title from "CEO" to "Block Head." And on Wednesday, Dorsey officially stepped down from Twitter's board of directors amid Elon Musk's bid for the company, a move that has been expected since fall 2021.Dorsey has provoked his fair share of controversy and criticism, extolling fasting and ice baths as part of his daily routine. His existence is not entirely spartan, however. Like some other billionaires, he owns a stunning house, dates models, and drives fast cars.Scroll on to read more about the fabulous life of Jack Dorsey.Rebecca Borison and Madeline Stone contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.VineAt age 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxi companies.Source: Bio. When he wasn't checking out specialty electronics stores or running a fantasy football league for his friends, Dorsey frequently attended punk-rock concerts. @jackThese days Dorsey doesn't favour the spiky hairdo.Source: The Wall Street JournalLike many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.edyson / FlickrHe briefly attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and transferred to New York University before calling it quits.Source: Bio.In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.joi / FlickrNobody else really seemed interested, so he put away the idea for a bit.Source: The Unofficial Stanford BlogFun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.Getty Images/Bill PuglianoHe got his license in about 2002, before exploding onto the tech scene.Sources: The Wall Street JournalHe got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams took home the prize in the blogging category at SXSW in 2007.Flickr via Scott Beale/LaughingSquidOdeo went out of business in 2006, so Dorsey returned to his messaging idea, and Twitter was born.On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.Jack Dorsey's first tweet.Twitter/@jackDorsey kept his Twitter handle simple, "@jack."Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $7,000.Khalid Mohammed / AP ImagesDorsey took out his nose ring to look the part of a CEO. He was 30 years old.A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter. Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey.Wikimedia CommonsBy 2008, Williams had taken over as CEO, and Dorsey transitioned to chairman of Twitter's board. Dorsey immediately got started on new projects. He invested in Foursquare and launched a payments startup called Square that lets small-business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.Sources: Twitter and Bio.In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.President Obama talks to the audience next to Jack Dorsey during his first ever Twitter Town Hall.ReutersDorsey had to remind Obama to keep his replies under 140 characters, Twitter's limit at the time.Source: TwitterTwitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.APIn 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. On the day it was reported he was expected to resign, Bloomberg's Billionaires Index calculated his net worth at $12.3 billion.Source: Bio. and ForbesIt was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $1.40 for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey, who doesn't earn anything from his primary day job.David Becker / GettyThe $1.40 salary actually represented a pay rise for Dorsey, who in previous years had refused any payment at all.He's far from the only Silicon Valley mogul to have taken a measly salary - Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 a year as CEO of Facebook.Source: Insider He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.Jack Dorsey with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, Veronica Smiley, and Kate Greer at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort in 2013.ReutersThis helped Square employees, giving them more equity and stock options. It was also helpful in acquiring online food-delivery startup Caviar.Sources: Insider and CaviarWith his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly didn't drive it often.Alex Davies / Business Insider"Now he's able to say, like, 'The BMW is the only car I drive, because it's the best automotive engineering on the planet,' or whatever," Twitter cofounder Biz Stone told The New Yorker in 2013.Source: The New YorkerHe also reportedly paid $9.9 million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.The Real Estalker via Sotheby'sThe house has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Dorsey views as a marvel of design.Source: InsiderBefore the pandemic, Dorsey said he worked from home one day a week.Jack Dorsey's home setup.Twitter/@jackIn an interview with journalist Kara Swisher conducted over Twitter, Dorsey said he worked every Tuesday out of his kitchen.He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favorite Twitter user.Elon Musk is a prolific tweeter.PewDiePie/YouTubeDorsey said Musk's tweets are, "focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly."He added that he enjoys all the "ups and downs" that come with Musk's sometimes unpredictable use of the site. Musk himself replied, tweeting his thanks and "Twitter rocks!" followed by a string of random emojis.Both Musk and Dorsey are crypto enthusiasts, and appear to have developed a good public relationship.Source: InsiderFacebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.Gene KimDorsey told Rolling Stone about the meal, which took place in 2011. Dorsey said the goat was served cold, and that he personally stuck to salad.Source: Rolling StoneHis eating habits have raised eyebrows.Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25Appearing on a podcast run by a health guru who previously said that vaccines caused autism, Dorsey said he eats one meal a day and fasts all weekend. He said the first time he tried fasting it made him feel like he was hallucinating."It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down," he said.The comments drew fierce criticism from many who said Dorsey was normalizing eating disorders.In a later interview with Wired, Dorsey said he eats seven meals a week, "just dinner."Sources: Insider, The New StatesmanIn the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.Cindy Ord / Getty Images, Franck MichelDorsey would regularly don leather jackets and slim suits by Prada and Hermès, as well as Dior Homme reverse-collar dress shirts, a sort of stylish take on the popped collar.More recently he favors edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favored by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.Sources: CBS News and The Wall Street JournalHe also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.GettyDorsey seems to care less about looking the part of a traditional executive these days.Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey's beard hair to fashion into a protective amulet, although Dorsey denied this happened.Azealia Banks.GettyIn 2016, Banks posted on her now-deleted Twitter account that Dorsey sent her his hair, "in an envelope." Dorsey later told the HuffPo that the beard-posting incident never happened.Sources: Insider and HuffPoDorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 6 million Twitter followers.Jack Dorsey meeting Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe.Twitter/@JPN_PMOOn his travels, Dorsey meets heads of state, including Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.Source: TwitterTweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.Bagan, Myanmar.Shutterstock/Martin M303Dorsey tweeted glowingly about a vacation he took to Myanmar for his birthday in December 2018. "If you're willing to travel a bit, go to Myanmar," he said.This came at the height of the Rohingya crisis, and Dorsey was attacked for his blithe promotion of the country — especially since social media platforms were accused of having been complicit in fuelling hatred towards the Rohingya.Source: InsiderHowever, Dorsey says he doesn't care about "looking bad."FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump welcomes South Korea’s President Moon to the White House in WashingtonReutersIn a bizarre Huffington Post interview in 2019, Dorsey was asked whether Donald Trump — an avid tweeter — could be removed from the platform if he called on his followers to murder a journalist. Dorsey gave a vague answer which drew sharp criticism.Following the interview's publication, Dorsey said he doesn't care about "looking bad.""I care about being open about how we're thinking and about what we see," he added.In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesDorsey and Sandberg were asked about election interference on Twitter and Facebook as well as alleged anti-conservative bias in social media companies.Source: InsiderDuring the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaDorsey was in the hot seat for several hours. His heart rate peaked at 109 beats per minute.Source: InsiderDorsey testified before Congress once again on October 28, 2020.Jack Dorsey tuning into the hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation/Handout via REUTERSDorsey appeared via videoconference at the Senate hearing on Section 230, a part of US law that protects internet companies from legal liability for user-generated content, as well as giving them broad authority to decide how to moderate their own platforms.In prepared testimony ahead of the hearing, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 would "collapse how we communicate on the Internet," and suggested ways for tech companies to make their moderation processes more transparent. During the hearing, Dorsey once again faced accusations of anti-conservative biasJack Dorsey appearing virtually at the hearing.Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty ImagesThe accusations from Republican lawmakers focused on the way Twitter enforces its policies, particularly the way it has labelled tweets from President Trump compared to other world leaders.Dorsey took the brunt of questions from lawmakers, even though he appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Source: ProtocolDuring the hearing, the length of Dorsey's beard drew fascination from pundits.Dorsey had to address accusations of censorship.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERSSome users referred to Dorsey's facial hair as his "quarantine beard," while others said it made him look like a wizard.—rat king (@MikeIsaac) October 28, 2020—Taylor Hatmaker (@tayhatmaker) October 28, 2020"Jack Dorsey's beard is literally breaking Twitter's own face detection," posted cybersecurity blogging account @Swiftonsecurity.—SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 28, 2020 Dorsey also addressed the way Twitter dealt with a dubiously sourced New York Post story about Hunter Biden.Jack Dorsey appearing on-screen at the hearing.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYWhen the New York Post published a report about Hunter Biden on October 14 that threw up red flags about sourcing, Twitter blocked users from sharing URLs citing its "hacked materials" policy.Dorsey subsequently apologized publicly, saying it was wrong of Twitter to block URLs.—jack (@jack) October 16, 2020During the Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz accused Twitter of taking the "unilateral decision to censor" the Post.Dorsey said the Post's Twitter account would remain locked until it deleted its original tweet, but that updated policies meant it could tweet the same story again without getting blocked.Source: InsiderDorsey had to appear before another hearing on November 17 2020 — this time about how Twitter handled content moderation around the 2020 presidential election.U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee via REUTERS/File PhotoDorsey was summoned alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Republicans who were displeased with how the platforms had dealt with then-President Donald Trump's social media accounts. Both CEOs defended their companies, saying they are politically neutral.When he's not in Washington, Dorsey regularly hops in and out of ice baths and saunas.This is not Dorsey's sauna.ShutterstockDorsey said in the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast that he started using ice baths and saunas in the evenings around 2016.He will alternately sit in his barrel sauna for 15 minutes and then switch to an ice bath for three. He repeats this routine three times, before finishing it off with a one-minute ice bath.He also likes to take an icy dip in the mornings to wake him up.Source: CNBCDorsey's dating life has sparked intrigue. In 2018, he was reported to be dating Sports Illustrated model Raven Lyn Corneil.Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / YouTube / GettyPage Six reported in September 2018 that the pair were spotted together at the Harper's Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week. Page Six also reported that Dorsey's exes included actress Lily Cole and ballet dancer Sofiane Sylve.Source: Page SixHe's a big believer in cryptocurrency, frequently tweeting about its virtues.Teresa Kroeger/Getty ImagesIn particular, Dorsey is a fan of Bitcoin, which he described in early 2019 as "resilient" and "principled." He told the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast in March that year that he was maxing out the $10,000 weekly spending limit on Square's Cash App buying up Bitcoin.In October 2020 he slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for forbidding employee activism at the company, saying cryptocurrency is itself a form of activism.—jack (@jack) September 30, 2020 Source: Insider, Insider and CNBC Dorsey said Square was launching a new bitcoin business in summer 2021.Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference held on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey announced the new venture in a tweet on July 15, 2021 and said its name was "TBD." It wasn't clear whether that was its actual name, or Dorsey hadn't decided on a name yet.—jack (@jack) July 15, 2021 Dorsey said he hopes bitcoin can help bring about "world peace."Jack Dorsey on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference in Miami.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey appeared alongside Elon Musk and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood during a panel called "The B Word" on July 2021. He said he loves the bitcoin community because it's "weird as hell.""It's the only reason that I have a career — because I learned so much from people like who are building bitcoin today," Dorsey said.At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.AP Photo/Francois MoriDorsey's announcement followed a tour of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. "Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I'll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020," he tweeted. Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management.REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoBoth Bloomberg and CNBC reported in late February 2020 that major Twitter investor Elliott Management — led by Paul Singer — was seeking to replace Dorsey. Reasons given included the fact that Dorsey split his time between two firms by acting as CEO to both Twitter and financial tech firm Square, as well as his planned move to Africa.Source: InsiderTesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.Tesla CEO Elon Musk.REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke"Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO," Musk tweeted, adding that Dorsey has a good heart, using the heart emoji.Source: InsiderDorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaTwitter announced on March 9, 2020 that it had reached a deal with Elliott Management which would leave Jack Dorsey in place as CEO.The deal included a $1 billion investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and partners from both Elliott Management and Silver Lake joined Twitter's board.Patrick Pichette, lead independent director of Twitter's board, said he was "confident we are on the right path with Jack's leadership," but added that a new temporary committee would be formed to instruct the board's evaluation of Twitter's leadership.In April 2020, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.Dorsey.Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty ImagesDorsey said he would pour $1 billion of his own Square equity into the fund, or roughly 28% of his total wealth at the time. The fund, dubbed Start Small LLC, would first focus on helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said.Dorsey said he would be making all transactions on behalf of the fund public in a spreadsheet.In July 2020, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.TwitterThe accounts of high-profile verified accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian West, and others were hacked, with attackers tweeting out posts asking users to send payment in bitcoin to fraudulent cryptocurrency addresses.As a solution, Twitter temporarily blocked all verified accounts — those with blue check marks on their profiles — but the damage was done.  Elon Musk said he personally contacted Dorsey following the hack.Elon Musk (left) and Dorsey.Susan Walsh/AP; Getty ImagesDuring a July 2020 interview with The New York Times, Musk said he had immediately called Dorsey after he learned about the hack."Within a few minutes of the post coming up, I immediately got texts from a bunch of people I know, then I immediately called Jack so probably within less than five minutes my account was locked," said Musk.Source: The New York TimesIn March 2021 Dorsey put his first-ever tweet up for auction.Jack Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, off camera, testify during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Dirksen Building where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallAs the craze for Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gathered momentum, Dorsey announced he was auctioning his first tweet for charity. It was bought for $2.9 million by Hakan Estavi, chief executive at at Bridge Oracle. Dorsey said proceeds from the auction would go to Give Directly's Africa response.Twitter announced on November 29 Dorsey had stepped down as CEO.Jack Dorsey co-founder and chairman of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of Square.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesCNBC was the first to report on Dorsey's expected resignation, citing unnamed sources.Twitter confirmed the story the same day, announcing Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal would take over as CEO with immediate effect.Dorsey posted on his Twitter account saying: "Not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter."In his tweet he included a screenshot of the email he sent to Twitter staff announcing his resignation.—jack⚡️ (@jack) November 29, 2021And in May 2022, his time on the board of directors officially came to an end, an anticipated move that coincides with the company's stockholder's meeting. Two days after Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO, Square changed its name to Block.Block's revamped logo.Block"The name change creates room for further growth," the company said in a statement."Block references the neighborhood blocks where we find our sellers, a blockchain, block parties full of music, obstacles to overcome, a section of code, building blocks, and of course, tungsten cubes," it added.The line about tungsten cubes was an apparent reference to a craze among crypto enthusiasts of paying as much as $3,500 for novelty tungsten cubes.In April 2022, Dorsey changed his official title at Block from CEO to "Block Head."Jack Dorsey's official job description on the Block website was changed to say Block Head.BlockThe title change was made official in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 20, 2022."There will be no changes in Mr. Dorsey's roles and responsibilities," the filing said.Block's website was also updated to list his new title as Block Head.Musk tweeted in response to the news using fire emojis to signal his approval for Dorsey's title.—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2022 Musk officially added the title of "Technoking" to his role at Tesla in March 2021.Dorsey said in an April 2022 tweet his "biggest regret" was Twitter shutting down Vine.Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and co-founder & CEO of Square, attends the crypto-currency conference Bitcoin 2021 Convention at the Mana Convention Center in Miami, Florida, on June 4, 2021.Marco Bello/AFP/Getty ImagesDorsey replied to a Twitter user lamenting Vine's demise saying: "I know. Biggest regret," accompanied by a sad face emoji.Twitter acquired short-form video app Vine in 2012 but shut it down in 2016.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2022

Here Is Why I’m Still Bullish On Gold Miners

The medium-term outlook for the precious metals remains bearish, but does this mean we can’t profit on shorter-term moves? Quite the opposite! Precious metals declined yesterday, and so did the general stock market. Is the rally already over? When I wrote about this rally on May 12, which took place at the same time when […] The medium-term outlook for the precious metals remains bearish, but does this mean we can’t profit on shorter-term moves? Quite the opposite! Precious metals declined yesterday, and so did the general stock market. Is the rally already over? When I wrote about this rally on May 12, which took place at the same time when I took profits from the short positions and entered the long ones, I mentioned that I planned to hold these long positions for a week or two. Since that was exactly a week ago, the question is: is the top already in? .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); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more In short, it probably isn’t. As always, it’s useful to check what happened in the past in similar situations to verify whether what we see is normal or some kind of an outlier that cannot be explained by something that has already happened. Let’s start with a quote from yesterday’s analysis: Of course, there will be some back-and-forth movement on an intraday basis, but it doesn’t change anything. Junior miners are likely to rally this week nonetheless. And perhaps not longer than that, as the next triangle-vertex-based reversal is just around the corner – on Friday/Monday. The previous few days were the “forth” and yesterday was the “back” movement – so far, my comments remain up-to-date. However, comparing the market action with what I wrote previously isn’t what I meant by analogies to past situations. I meant this: The areas marked with green rectangles are the starting moments of the previous short-term rallies. Some were bigger than others, and yet they all had one thing in common. They all included a corrective downswing after the initial post-bottom rally. Consequently, what we saw yesterday couldn’t be more normal during a short-term rally. This means that yesterday’s decline is not bearish at all and the profits from our long positions are likely to increase in the following days. Besides, the general stock market declined by over 4%, while the GDXJ (normally moving more than stocks) ETF – a proxy for junior mining stocks – declined by only about 2%. If the general stock market continues to decline, junior miners could get a bearish push even if gold prices don’t decline. However, let’s keep in mind the fact that miners tend to bottom before stocks do – in fact, we saw that in early 2020. This means that even if the S&P 500 moves to new yearly lows shortly and then bounces back up, the downside for miners could be limited, and the stocks’ rebound could trigger a profound immediate-term rally. If stocks decline, then they have quite strong support at about 3815 – at their 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level. Let’s keep in mind that junior miners have triangle-vertex-based reversal over the weekend, so they might form some kind of reversal on Friday or Monday. Ideally, miners would be after a quick rally that is accompanied by huge volume on Friday. This would serve as a perfect confirmation that the top is in or at hand. However, we can’t tell the market what it should do – we can only respond to what it does and position ourselves accordingly. Consequently, if stocks take miners lower, it could be the case that Friday or Monday will be the time when they bottom. This seems less likely to me than the previous (short-term bullish) scenario, but I’m prepared for it as well. In this case, we’ll simply… wait. Unless we see some major bearish indications, we will wait for the rally to end, perhaps sometime next week. Again, a nearby top appears more likely than another bottom, in particular in light of what I wrote about the common post-bottom patterns in the GDXJ. Naturally, as always, I’ll keep my subscribers informed. Having said that, let’s take a look at the markets from a fundamental point of view. The Chorus Continues While investors still struggle with the notion that the Fed can’t bail them out amid soaring inflation, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite suffered another reality check on May 18. Moreover, with Fed officials continuing to spread their hawkish gospel, I warned on Apr. 6 that demand destruction does not support higher asset prices. I wrote: Please remember that the Fed needs to slow the U.S. economy to calm inflation, and rising asset prices are mutually exclusive to this goal. Therefore, officials should keep hammering the financial markets until investors finally get the message. Moreover, with the Fed in inflation-fighting mode and reformed doves warning that the U.S. economy “could teeter” as the drama unfolds, the reality is that there is no easy solution to the Fed’s problem. To calm inflation, it has to kill demand. And as that occurs, investors should suffer a severe crisis of confidence. To that point, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite plunged on May 18, Fed officials didn't soften their tones. For example, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said: "Going forward, if there are no significant changes in the data in the coming weeks, I expect two additional 50 basis point rate hikes in June and July. After that, I anticipate a sequence of increases in the funds rate at a measured pace until we are confident that inflation is moving toward the Committee’s inflation target." For context, "measured" rate hikes imply quarter-point increments thereafter. Please see below: Source: Reuters Likewise, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans delivered a similar message on May 17. He said that by December, "we will have completed any 50 [basis point rate hikes] and have put in place at least a few 25 [basis point rate hikes]." Moreover, "given the current strength in aggregate demand, strong demand for workers, and the supply-side improvements that I expect to be coming,” he added that “I believe a modestly restrictive stance will still be consistent with a growing economy." Therefore, while their recent rhetoric had Fed officials “expeditiously” marching toward neutral, now the prospect of a “restrictive stance” has entered the equation. For context, a neutral rate neither stimulates nor suffocates the U.S. economy. However, when the federal funds rate rises above neutral (restrictive), the goal is to materially slow economic activity and consumer spending. As such, the medium-term liquidity drain is profoundly bearish for the S&P 500 and the PMs. Please see below: Source: Reuters Making three of a kind, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari (a reformed dove) said on May 17 that “My colleagues and I are going to do what we need to do to bring the economy back into balance…” “What a lot of economists are scratching their heads and wondering about is: if we really have to bring demand down to get inflation in check, is that going to put the economy into recession? And we don’t know.” For context, Fed officials initially thought inflation was “transitory,” so don’t hold your breath waiting for that “soft landing.” However, while Kashkari is ~16 months too late to the inflation party, he acknowledged the reality on May 17: Source: Bloomberg As a result, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite sell-off in their search for medium-term support, Fed officials haven’t flinched in their hawkish crusade. As such, I’ve long warned that Americans’ living standards take precedence over market multiples. To that point, the U.K. headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) hit 9% year-over-year (YoY) on May 18. For the sake of objectivity, the results underperformed economists’ consensus estimates (the middle column below). Source: Investing.com However, while investors may take solace in the miss, they should focus on the fact that the U.K. output Producer Price Index (PPI) materially outperformed expectations and often leads the headline CPI. As a result, the inflation story is much more troublesome than it seems on the surface. Please see below: Source: Investing.com In addition, British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak warned of a cost of living crisis on May 18, saying that “as the situation evolves our response will evolve” and “we stand ready to do more.” Please see below: Source: Reuters Even more revealing, I’ve noted on numerous occasions that Canada is the best comparison to the U.S. due to its geographical proximity and its reliance on the U.S. to purchase Canadian exports. Therefore, with Canadian inflation outperforming across the board on May 18, the data paints an ominous portrait of the challenges confronting North American central banks. Please see below: Source: Investing.com To that point, the official report stated: “Canadians paid 9.7% more in April for food purchased from stores compared with April 2021. This increase, which exceeded 5% for the fifth month in a row, was the largest increase since September 1981. For comparison, from 2010 to 2020, there were five months when prices for food purchased from stores increased at a rate of 5% or higher…. “Basics, such as fresh fruit (+10.0%), fresh vegetables (+8.2%) and meat (+10.1%), were all more expensive in April compared with a year earlier. Prices for starchy foods such as bread (+12.2%), pasta (+19.6%), rice (+7.4%) and cereal products (+13.9%) also increased. Additionally, a cup of coffee (+13.7%) cost more in April 2022 than in April 2021.” Moreover, “in April, shelter costs rose 7.4% year over year, the fastest pace since June 1983, following a 6.8% increase in March.”  Therefore, the data is nearly synonymous with the U.S., and I’ve been warning for months that rent inflation would prove much stickier than investors expected. Please see below: Source: Statistics Canada Finally, the investors awaiting a dovish pivot from the Fed assume that growth will overpower inflation. In a nutshell: the U.S. economy will sink into a deep recession in the next couple of months (some believe that we are already in one), and the Fed will resume QE. Moreover, they assume that the inflationary backdrop has left consumers destitute and that we’re a quarter away from famine. However, I couldn’t disagree more. With Home Depot – which primarily sells discretionary items – noting that consumers are showing no signs of slowing down, I warned on May 18 that investors don’t realize that the Fed’s war with inflation would be one of attrition. Please see below: Source: Home Depot/The Motley Fool For context, the National Retail Federation (NRF) listed Home Depot as the fourth-largest retailer in the U.S. in its 2021 report. As a result, the company's performance is a reliable indicator of U.S. consumer spending. Source: NRF To that point, The Confidence Board released its U.S. CEO Confidence survey on May 18. The report revealed: CEO confidence “declined for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q2 2022. The measure now stands at 42, down from 57 in Q1. The measure has fallen into negative territory and is at levels not seen since the onset of the pandemic. (A reading below 50 points reflects more negative than positive responses.)” Please see below: However, the devil is in the details and the details are what matter to the Fed. For example: “More than half (54%) of CEOs said they were effectively managing rising input costs by passing along costs to customers, while 13% said they had no major issues with input costs.” Source: The Confidence Board Second: “More than two-thirds of CEOs said they are increasing wages across the board in response to labor market conditions and managing rising labor costs through different means.” Source: The Confidence Board More importantly, though: Source: The Confidence Board Therefore, while consolidated CEO confidence has crashed to “levels not seen since the onset of the pandemic,” nearly two-thirds of CEOs plan to increase their workforce and more than nine out of 10 plan to increase wages. As a result, would major U.S. corporations be adding employees and paying them more if demand has fallen off a cliff? Of course not. Moreover, when considering the 15-point drop in consolidated CEO confidence, the three-point decline in employment expectations is largely immaterial. The bottom line? While investors keep using the post-GFC script as their roadmap for when the Fed turns dovish, they don’t realize that 1970s/1980s-like inflation is a completely different animal. Thus, what I wrote on May 18 should prove prescient in the coming months: While Powell keeps warning investors of what’s to come, a decade of dovish pivots has a generation of investors believing that the central bank is all talk and no action. However, with inflation at levels unseen in 40+ years, Powell is not out of ammunition, and the Fed followers should suffer profound disappointment as the drama unfolds. In conclusion, the PMs declined on May 18, as risk-off sentiment returned to the financial markets. However, since fits and starts are always expected along the way, the GDXJ ETF should have more upside in the coming days, and profits from our long position should increase. The medium-term outlook for the mining stocks remains bearish, though. Thank you for reading our free analysis today. Please note that the above is just a small fraction of today’s all-encompassing Gold & Silver Trading Alert. The latter includes multiple premium details such as the targets for gold and mining stocks that could be reached in the next few weeks. If you’d like to read those premium details, we have good news for you. As soon as you sign up for our free gold newsletter, you’ll get a free 7-day no-obligation trial access to our premium Gold & Silver Trading Alerts. It’s really free – sign up today. Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA Founder, Editor-in-chief Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care All essays, research and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and Sunshine Profits' associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses are based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are deemed to be accurate, Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Radomski is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Przemyslaw Radomski's, CFA reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA, Sunshine Profits' employees and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice. Updated on May 19, 2022, 11:28 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: valuewalkMay 19th, 2022

A timeline of Jeff Bezos" messy inflation feud with Biden

Biden said making the wealthiest corporations pay more taxes would help tame inflation. Bezos, founder and chairman of Amazon, doesn't agree. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; President Joe BidenCliff Owen, File/Associated Press; Susan Walsh/Associated Press Bezos and the Biden administration have feuded for days over US economic problems. Biden said making the wealthiest corporations pay more taxes would help tame inflation. Bezos, founder and chairman of Amazon, accused Biden of "misdirection." The days-long Twitter feud between the Biden administration and Jeff Bezos started last week over who is to blame for skyrocketing inflation.President Joe Biden said making the wealthiest corporations pay more in taxes would help. Spoiler alert: Bezos, founder and chairman of Amazon and one of the richest people in the world, doesn't agree.Things went south from there.Amazon paid no federal income taxes in 2018 and 2017, and according to a 2021 ProPublica report, Bezos has previously avoided paying income taxes for at least two years, as well.Here's a timeline of the spat:May 13: Biden gets things rolling with a tweet asking, "You want to bring down inflation? Let's make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share."May 13: Bezos retweets Biden, saying the president's statement should be reviewed by Homeland Security's recently announced Disinformation Governance Board. He disagrees that corporate taxes and inflation are intertwined.—Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 14, 2022May 14: Biden boasted that the administration was lowering the deficit, thereby easing inflation.—President Biden (@POTUS) May 14, 2022 May 15: Bezos shares a tweet criticizing Biden's claim, and says Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia "saved them from themselves" by preventing them from injecting "more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy." He appears to be referring to Biden's "Build Back Better" plan, which the administration says would be fully paid for through savings and "by asking more from the very largest corporations and the wealthiest Americans."—Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 15, 2022May 15: White House spokesman Andrew Bates blasted Bezos' critique in a statement to a reporter from the Washington Post, which Bezos owns. The Washington Post's newsroom leadership has repeatedly said Bezos does not influence their coverage. Bates implied that Bezos was angry at the White House for meeting with Amazon warehouse employees who wanted to unionize.May 16: Bezos goes on offense, tweeting a reply to Bates' statement implying that the White House is trying to deflect attention from inflation. —Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 16, 2022May 16: Bates responds to Bezos by citing a statement from Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a critic of the administration on the economy. Summers called Bezos "mostly wrong."—Andrew Bates (@AndrewJBates46) May 16, 2022 May 16: Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre whether she'd be "okay" with the social media disinformation board reviewing Biden's tweet.—NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 16, 2022May 17: Longtime Bezos foe, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has long called for a wealth tax, came to Biden's defense — and called Bezos a "thin-skinned billionaire."—Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 17, 2022 Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

3 Transportation Stocks With a Dividend Hike in May to Watch

Stocks like Union Pacific (UNP), Werner Enterprises (WERN) and Expeditors (EXPD) announce dividend hikes in the current month. The U.S. equity markets are hard hit by a tough operating landscape in 2022. Headwinds ranging from the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war, high oil price, spread of the coronavirus, especially in China, the sky-high domestic inflation and the resultant Fed Rate hike (with the possibility of more) rendered volatility to the stock market, characterized by a high degree of uncertainty.Evidently, the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 lost 4.6% and 4.8%, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 8.9% of value in the first quarter. What is worse is that this downside shows no signs of ending or subsiding. However, such an unpredictable scenario in no way means that investors should dodge parking their money in equities. In fact, they should now be more on the lookout for stocks that offer a steady flow of income (in the form of dividends), irrespective of the surrounding market conditions.In this write-up, we focus on the widely-diversified transportation sector. With oil price being northbound, this sector too has not escaped the overall market downturn. Now, as the dividend-paying companies are usually in high demand, particularly amid the current market volatility, investors interested in the said category would do well to keep stocks with a solid payout trend on their radar.  Stocks like Union Pacific Corporation UNP, Werner Enterprises WERN and Expeditors International of Washington EXPD should fit the bill and stay on their watchlist.Key Challenges Confronting This SectorAs stated earlier, the oil price upsurge (up 33% in first-quarter 2022) is a huge blow to the bottom lines of the sector participants. Notably, fuel expenses represent a major input cost for any transportation player. Consequently, the Zacks Transportation sector has declined 14.4% year to date.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThis spike in oil price was induced by supply concerns emanating from the Russia-Ukraine war. Supply-chain woes and the associated issues like congestion at the ocean ports due to labor and equipment shortages arealso hurting this sector as reflected in the recently released March-quarter results.Dividend-Growth Stocks to the RescueGiven the above downsides, which are unlikely to die out any time soon, having dividend-paying stocks in one’s portfolio appears prudent. As investors prefer an income-generating stock, a high dividend-yielding one is much coveted. Needless to say, they are always on the lookout for companies with a consistent and incremental dividend history.Below, we present three transportation stocks, each presently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and announcing a dividend hike this month. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Union Pacific is an Omaha, NE-based railroad operator. Strong freight demand is supporting growth at UNP. However, supply-chain issues are a bother.In a shareholder-friendly move, UNP’s board cleared a 10% hike in its dividend payout on May 12. The move underscores its sound financial health as it utilizes free cash flow for enhancing its shareholders’ returns. Union Pacific raised its quarterly cash dividend to $1.30 per share ($5.20 annually) from $1.18. The new dividend will be paid out on Jun 30, 2022, to its shareholders of record as of May 31, 2022. Notably, UNP hiked dividend twice in 2021.Werner, based in Omaha, NE, is primarily focused on transporting the truckload shipments. Improvement in the freight scene in the United States is a positive for WERN.Werner has a consistent track record of paying out quarterly dividends since Jul 1987. WERN, like UNP, hiked quarterly dividends twice in 2021. Maintaining its pro-shareholder stance, on May 13, WERN’s board announced an 8% increase in its quarterly dividend to 13 cents per share. The hiked dividend will be paid out on Jul 19, 2022, to its stockholders of record at the close of business on Jul 5, 2022.Expeditors is a Seattle, WA-based freight forwarder. EXPD is being aided by upbeat airfreight revenues. Despite the cyber-attack in February, Airfreight Services revenues increased 20.6% year over year to $1.59 billion in the first quarter of 2022.Highlighting its shareholder-friendly approach, on May 3, Expeditors’ board approved a 15.5% increase in semi-annual cash dividend to 67 cents per share. The amount is payable Jun 15 to its shareholders of record as of Jun 1. EXPD has an impressive history of paying out dividends to its shareholders. Investor Alert: Legal Marijuana Looking for big gains? Now is the time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $13.5 billion in 2021 to an expected $70.6 billion by 2028. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could kick start an even greater bonanza for investors. Zacks Investment Research has recently closed pot stocks that have shot up as high as +147.0%. You’re invited to immediately check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Union Pacific Corporation (UNP): Free Stock Analysis Report Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD): Free Stock Analysis Report Werner Enterprises, Inc. (WERN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 16th, 2022

Transcript: Boaz Weinstein

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Boaz Weinstein, Saba Capital, 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. ~~~ RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast,… Read More The post Transcript: Boaz Weinstein appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Boaz Weinstein, Saba Capital, 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. ~~~ RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast, I have an extra special guest. Boaz Weinstein is the founder of Saba Capital, a $5 billion hedge fund that specializes in some really interesting types of trading, credit default swaps, tail protection, volatility trading. Saba is one of the five largest investors globally in SPACs, but not in the way you think. They’ve done really well with it despite all of the troubles that SPACs have seen. Previously, he was co-head of Global Credit Trading at Deutsche Bank. And ultimately, he and Deutsche just spun out Saba, along with his whole team, as a standalone fund. Man, I don’t even know where to begin. This was just an absolutely fascinating conversation. Not only is he a quant with some real insight into capital market structures and valuation and mispricing, but he has put together an amazing track record on not just in terms of his trading, but his consistent ability to find parts of the markets that are completely mispriced because people fundamentally misunderstand what’s going on there. Really just a fascinating guy, an amazing conversation. With no further ado, my conversation with Boaz Weinstein of Saba Capital. WEINSTEIN: Hi, Barry. It’s great to be here. RITHOLTZ: And am I pronouncing your first name correctly, Boaz? WEINSTEIN: It depends where you’re from. In these parts, that would work. And it’s really a typical Israeli name, and it would be Boaz. RITHOLTZ: Boaz. All right. So — so let’s start with your background, beginning with you started to play chess when you were 5 and eventually became pretty highly ranked. How did you get into chess, and how long did it take to become a ranked player here in the U.S.? WEINSTEIN: Sure. So I had those parents that would drive us on weekends. My — I have a sister who actually has been — been on Bloomberg many times, Ilana. But we — my parents would take us to Saturday morning workshops to learn about model rocketry or chess, or what have you. But I didn’t actually play in tournaments till I was 13. I got to junior high school and I was interested in the game. And there was a kid a year above me and I saw that he was ranked in the Top 50 in the United States, and I thought, “That’s amazing. How do I — how do I get there?” RITHOLTZ: And so how long did it take you from when you started playing in tournaments to becoming ranked? WEINSTEIN: So I — I became really obsessed with it. And so in three years, I went from a beginner to number 2 in the country for age 15, 16. RITHOLTZ: Wow. That’s pretty — pretty impressive. And that’s thousands and thousands of hours. WEINSTEIN: Yeah, at least. RITHOLTZ: And — and so from chess, you moved to poker and blackjack, which seems more of a fit with — with finance. What led you from poker and blackjack to credit and derivatives? WEINSTEIN: I knew I wanted to be on Wall Street well before I knew how to play poker. In fact, I didn’t really learn poker until I was in my mid 20s. Blackjack I learned a bit earlier, maybe we’ll get there. But Wall Street was always something I was interested in. I — my parents would listen to — watch Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser. I can tell you the postcode for Owings Mills, Maryland. It’s 21117 because that’s — they would always do that right in the middle of the show. And so I was able to parlay that interest into getting an after-school job when I was a high school student in New York City, at Merrill Lynch, and then summer internships at Goldman Sachs, which were really among the most fun times in my career on Wall Street. RITHOLTZ: We’ll — we’ll talk a little bit about Goldman in a bit. You mentioned blackjack, I understand you got pretty good at blackjack, eventually getting kicked out of the Bellagio as a card counter. WEINSTEIN: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Tell us about that. WEINSTEIN: So it’s — they’re very polite. It’s — you know, kicked out is more of the 1960s. But you know, Ed Thorp is a — is a hero. RITHOLTZ: Sure. WEINSTEIN: And — RITHOLTZ: Beats the dealer. WEINSTEIN: And “A Man for All Markets” also is, I think, a fantastic book. And so I learned how to count cards when I was a summer intern on the risk arb desk at Goldman from the partner in charge Frank Brosen, (Amos Marrone), some of these legendary hedge fund managers. And — and I got pretty good at it. And — and I went — I was sent over to London when I graduated college, with Merrill Lynch. And I found that the games in London had a weakness that the games in the U.S. didn’t. They had a certain side bet that was very crackable, and I had to kind of figure it out. There was no Internet, you know, to look up everything back then. And I became quite a skilled card counter. RITHOLTZ: That’s really — that’s really quite fascinating. So — so from counting cards, how do you end up at Deutsche Bank? WEINSTEIN: So the — the people at Merrill Lynch that I first worked with out of college had moved really in mass to — to Deutsche. Edson Mitchell, legendary Merrill Lynch’s head of Global Markets, wanted to recreate that at Deutsche Bank without having the deep institutional capital markets relationships. And so, he really wanted to build up trading quickly, and credit derivatives was a new market. And he had someone named Anshu Jain, who’s really been an amazing mentor to me — RITHOLTZ: Sure. WEINSTEIN: — pour a huge amount of resources into making Deutsche if not the best, the Top 2 year in and year out. RITHOLTZ: And at Deutsche Bank, you become the youngest person to be a managing director. Tell us about that path. WEINSTEIN: Yeah. So I — I think it’s either youngest or second youngest, let me — let me not overstep it. But still, I was 27 and usually it’s not until you’re in your 30s. And I have to say there’s so many aspects to one’s career that have to do with luck and timing, that have to go along with skill almost all the time. Sometimes you can even avoid the skill part, just be ultra-lucky. But my — my luck was that this, market credit derivatives, basically started when I started and even a year or two after. And I was waiting for it. It was like I was waiting for it to be created because I was never going to be the credit investor that can read through the 10-K and do the deep, you know, fundamental work and accounting work that was going to — I was not going to make my mark in credit that way. I needed something more quantitative, more tactical, and credit derivatives started really in ‘97. And — and so there was no one — there were no adults to learn from. I got to — I got to learn — learn from experience. In ‘98 with Russia defaulting and LTCM blowing up, gave an incredible path to that — those lessons. And so, Deutsche Bank kept giving me more and more responsibilities. And so, each year they promoted me. And I think another bit of luck was not just being at a place that wanted to expand in this new area, but also Goldman Sachs had hired away my boss, an amazing guy, Ron Tanemura. And I think Deutsche was a little afraid that — that I might move over to Goldman. And so, you know, earlier than — than one would have expected, they made me an MD. RITHOLTZ: So — so good timing, right place, right time, plus the right set of skills in — in derivatives trading. Before we move to spinning out Saba from Deutsche Bank, I have to follow up your conversation about being an intern at Goldman Sachs. You’ve kind of worked with a murderers’ row there, and you said it was the most fun you’ve ever had. Tell us about your time at Goldman, who did you work for? And what did they have you doing? WEINSTEIN: Sure. So, look, anyone who comes to Wall Street needs to read “Liars Poker.” It doesn’t matter we’re talking now, 10 years ago, or 50 years from now. And there was a minor character in that book, David Delucia, who Goldman hired from Salomon to set up the junk bond desk. And he had an incredible love of chess. He actually is the world’s greatest — I’m going to say something that’s not going to sound so great, world’s greatest chess book collection. Hopefully, no one is gasping at that. But he has, you know, 15 century books in busts of the hand of the world champion from the 18th century. And so, he was obsessed with chess. I had met him at a — at a chess club. And I came to Goldman Sachs to interview for a summer internship, and I had a very perfunctory meeting with the HR person. They’ve even met me, I think, only because my sister was working in Private Client Services then. So they — so I have this 25-minute meeting. The woman says, “Thanks for coming. You’re a college freshman. Why don’t you come back in three years,” and shows me to the door. And I said, “OK, can I use the men’s room?” And on my way out, I went into the men’s room and who’s standing washing his hands at the sink is David Delucia. He says, “What are you doing here? Come on back.” And that began five rounds, five interviews per round. And finally, after 25 interviews, he calls me back and he says, “We tried to do everything we could. There’s no program for you. There’s a — there’s a program called SEO to give minorities a chance to come to Wall Street. There’s a program for sons and daughters. We just couldn’t fit you in.” And I said, it’s — you know, one thing is never give up. So I said to him, “It’s really too bad you have a program for sons and daughters, but not brothers or sisters.” And he said, “Let me try that one.” And he came back and I had another two — two sets of meetings. And they — they — they jammed me in with the summer MBA. So I’m a college freshman and I’m there with the HBS and Wharton MBAs doing training, and then all sorts of things. And the desk I was assigned to, his desk was — we had a 3 by 2 row, so six seats. He was directly facing me and it was a murderers’ row. On my — on my left was a Bill Troy, who was really an amazing mentor to me. He was a co-founder of a fund called Greywolf Capital. RITHOLTZ: Sure. WEINSTEIN: Next to him was Jim Zelter, who’s one of the heads of Apollo. And then on the other side, Jonathan Kolatch, the founder of Redwood. And then last but not least, a guy who was named David Tepper. But he was not the David Tepper we all know and love now, larger than life. He was — he was a distressed analyst that was working for — for a group. He wasn’t this — I can’t even imagine him, you know, the way he was then versus now. He’s — he’s an incredible superstar, one of the greatest investors of all time, and I got to work with the five of them every day for — you know, for months. RITHOLTZ: And what sort of work did they give you? Because I’ve read that Tepper used to bust your chops a little bit, WEINSTEIN: A lot, not a little bit. So he would say, “What are we paying you for? You’re here to play chess with Delucia. That’s why Goldman Sachs is paying you?” as if it was any of his business. So what — what did he do? He didn’t teach me much about the market. That I learned from some of the other guys on the desk. But I would have to get broker quotes in the morning, Murphy and Durieu or (Garvin). I’d write down where all the bond prices were. And I barely knew anything at the time. But what he would do during the course of the day, and remember this was Wall Street in the early ‘90s, he — they would make bets. So he would yell over at Jim Zelter, “How many — how many synagogues do you think there are in Montana?” And Zelter would say, “Not more than three.” And he would say, “I’m — I’m going to buy three. Boaz, go to the library and figure it out.” And this was — this was pre-Internet. So you want to know how many synagogues there are in Montana, it’s going to be a lot of work. And so I would settle that bet. I would settle where interest rates ever negative. They were briefly during World War II. I would settle, you know, bets of all kinds. And in the meantime, I would also learn a lot through osmosis and by asking questions. So it was just a marvelous experience. And I have a million stories about it, so we’ll see if we have time for it. RITHOLTZ: So — so the Salomon Brothers version of gambling was “Liar’s Poker” played with dollar bills. At Goldman, it was a trivia contest for random, unknown facts? WEINSTEIN: You know, traders like to bet and — RITHOLTZ: Sure. WEINSTEIN: And some of the obscure bets need to be settled, and there was no Internet. So — RITHOLTZ: And you were the final word. They — they trusted you to say — what — what Boaz says, that’s what goes. WEINSTEIN: I — I don’t even remember if I had to show evidence or not. But I was — I was asked to do all sorts of things. And along the way, I asked dozens of questions a day. And I think that’s really important for anyone who was going to have an internship on Wall Street is that there are things you can do to annoy the people around you. But one of them is not asking too many decent questions about markets. That’s — that’s the only way you’re going to get to where you want to be. And actually, I think it will impress the people around you. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about your time trading at Deutsche Bank. Before the great financial crisis, you allegedly made profits in 40 out of 44 quarters. How did you manage to be so consistent? WEINSTEIN: I think there are a lot of investors who if you look at how they did in that timeframe, so let’s say the late ‘90s to the Lehman Brothers, the markets really were a lot easier than they — and less competitive. There were thousands of fewer hedge funds. And we were — we were relatively consistent because there also was a lot of edge in credit derivatives, credit derivatives being synthetic bonds or insurance contracts. You can refer to them any number of ways. But how to think about how to price them, mispricing in credit derivatives against equity derivatives, some of those things were really again not well understood. And I think Deutsche allowing me to trade those relationships trading out of the money puts on a stock, compared to hedging them with a bond, which is not as crazy as it sounds, is something that I think gave us a big leg up and an ability to look across markets and find relative value. And so, we were — we were consistent. We were particularly profitable when markets were volatile, up until Lehman Brothers, which is where we had two of our four down quarters. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: That’s volatility writ large. So you’re looking for medium — low to medium amount of volatility. Once it spikes to very high levels, suddenly, all the correlations start to fail. Or why does that degree of volatility affect trading? WEINSTEIN: It was really so specific to Lehman failing as a counterparty. So because I was inside of a bank, if you were — whether it’s interest rate swaps, or credit swaps, you were part of a daisy chain, where you buy protection on General Electric or IBM from Morgan Stanley, who buys it from Lehman. And these hundreds of thousands of swaps would remain on the books. So even if you bought and sold something, instead of being out of the trade, you would have two swaps on. And so, when Lehman Brothers failed, we had enormous exposure to them as a counterparty, just like all the other desks at Deutsche Bank. So that made it more challenging than being at a hedge fund. But the more volatility for our strategy is really the better. And we saw that in 2020 and we’ve seen it again this year. But Lehman Brothers was very specific because if you couldn’t trust not just Lehman to pay you — RITHOLTZ: On anybody, right? WEINSTEIN: — Merrill Lynch, you know. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEINSTEIN: And — and Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were trading like, you know, nearly bankrupt entities, trading at credit spreads that were a thousand basis points or higher. So — so that was very specific. And I think the market has done a great job to reduce counterparty risk in the intervening 15 years. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about the strategies that Saba employs. One of your funds is a closed-end fund arbitrage, where companies were either trading at a substantial discount or premium to NAV, to net asset value. Tell us a little bit about trading closed-end funds. WEINSTEIN: Yeah. This is an amazing space. It’s one where the product has been around a hundred years. Berkshire Hathaway, in a sense, is a closed-end fund. And Warren Buffett, in particular, has talked to me and showed me how enamored he was with them right before he took Benjamin Graham’s class. So we’re going back to 1950, where he had two-thirds of his holdings in closed-end funds. Why are they interesting? Because you get to buy a dollar of assets for less than a dollar, and there are ways to turn it back into a dollar. So the there’s 500 of them on the New York Stock Exchange. The most venerable managers all have tons of them, whether it’s Blackrock or Blackstone or PIMCO, and Templeton. And they — sometimes because they’re not cared for, because the fees are high, because the manager is not thinking about the investor, they can slip into trading for – at discounts to NAV. So objective dollar of assets valued properly in the same way that ETFs and mutual funds are valued. You can buy a dollar for at 80, 85 cents. And if you accumulate enough of it, and if you take on an institutional approach to reading the documents, understanding the rules, as a shareholder, your rights to — to vote for a board of trustees and/or overthrow the board if they’re not doing the right thing for investors, if you buy up enough of the shares, you have a chance to make change. And we only started doing that in 2013, when they started to go to deep discounts. Some of these, Barry, had been at discounts seven, eight, nine years. They never had a day where they were not at a discount. And we’ve been able in dozens of cases to – for thousands and thousands of investors, tens of thousands, to get the discount to converge back to NAV. RITHOLTZ: So — so let’s talk about that approach. When I think of activist campaigns, I think of investors like Carl Icahn or Dan Loeb or Bill Ackman, how is your approach similar or different to their sort of activist investing campaigns? WEINSTEIN: Right. So they’re finding a company where they can make change. And that change, maybe on average, is — is quite valuable. But you can debate it. And certainly, there are examples where the impact of the activist was terrible. It may, in some cases, even led to the bankruptcy of the — of the company. In closed-end funds, it’s totally different because the medicine, the plan for how to get the fund trading to NAV works every single time. And I’ll tell you why. Because we’re not trying to remake JCPenney in the image of Apple Computer, which might or might not work or, you know, we could pick some that were fantastic successes, General Growth, to follow on with one of Ackman’s amazing longs. On the close-end fund side, if the managers were just thinking about the investor, they could literally press a button, turn it into an ETF, which they also — those same managers, Blackrock is selling ETFs by the cartload. If they change their closed-end fund into an open-ended fund, because it didn’t give investors an exit at NAV for five, six, seven years, it would immediately go to NAV, just like all ETFs are arbitrageable if they’re trading different than NAV. So they could change it to an open-ended fund. They could tender for shares at no discount. They could liquidate the fund and offer investors the chance to go into almost the exact same products, whether it’s New York munis or — or junk loans or — or energy equities, MLPs. There’s 500 closed-end funds. And there’s thousands of mutual funds and thousands of ETFs. So the ability to go from 84 to 100, you’re talking about a 20% return and maybe it’s the recapture of a loss that the investor, of course, if they knew enough, would want it every time. And the only thing standing in your way is the manager that feels like they have some God-given right for that capital to be permanent capital. And if they tender for shares, that means less AUM and less fees for them. And so there’s a huge — there’s really a huge problem where the manager is putting their own interests and the board is putting the manager’s interests ahead of the shareholders, and that’s where we come in. RITHOLTZ: So why can’t close-end funds be arbitraged the same way ETFs can? WEINSTEIN: So ETFs have a mechanism where you can create new shares if — or redeem old shares. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEINSTEIN: And so if it’s ever trading below, you could buy it and then redeem it. If it’s trading above, you could sell it and then create it and add — always add NAV. So there’s that mechanism that tethers ETFs to NAV. Closed-end funds, it’s like a stock. You know, you may think IBM is worth $200 a share. But you’ve got to find somebody to sell to you. You can’t call Armonk, New York and ask IBM to give you the 200 bucks. So — so the — things can trade at a big discount for very, very long time and even at a big premium. And so — but there’s a very simple fix, which is they don’t have to figure out some newfangled way to run the company. They just need to offer liquidity like a mutual fund or an ETF that would get it back to NAV. And so, we’ve basically won all of the challenges we’ve had because we’re on the side of right. We get letters from octogenarian saying, “I was in this fund for 15 years. I never thought I would see the light of day to get out in NAV.” And we’re not doing it for them, but at the same time we’re doing it for our investors. It is a great joy to be able to, in certain market environments, pick through the closed-end fund space and find literally dollars trading for 82 cents, that you can pick up the 82 cents and turn it back into a dollar. And that’s true even today. RITHOLTZ: So markets are efficient, they’re just not that efficient. WEINSTEIN: Well, yeah, you need someone to come along and say, “I’m going to change that.” And the closed-end fund space really was lacking an institutional manager to do that in size. Because institutions are also – that our activists are also beholden to those same managers. They need BlackRock’s votes when they’re an activist. So they — so they might say, “I’m not going to upset the Apple Cart and annoy BlackRock to the benefit of thousands of investors. And our investors, if I need to come to BlackRock on my regular way, activism, when they’re a big shareholder. So you have a little bit of, you know, people don’t necessarily want to fight the big asset managers, but we were very happy to. We’re not — we’re not activist in any other place. And this is one of the best arbs that — that you can find. And there’s only one entity that suffers. It’s the asset manager that goes from managing $7 trillion to managing $6.99 trillion. Thousands of investors get to make 15%, 20% gains that they would never otherwise get. RITHOLTZ: Really, really interesting. Let’s talk about one of the most popular investment vehicles out there, SPACs, Special Purpose Acquisition Companies. Saba has about $5.5 billion in that space, is that right? That sounds like a lot of money. You’re the fifth largest SPAC holder, along with peers like Citadel, Millennium. D.E. Shaw. Your approach is different than how retail investors look at SPACs. Tell us a little bit about what you guys do. WEINSTEIN: Yeah. SPACs are this amazing thing and that it’s all over the press whenever there’s an acquisition. It’s also critiqued, sometimes maligned for being a product that — that ought not to exist in the — in the number of offerings that exist. So — so in the last year, there’s generally been a negative 10 tinge to the — to the coverage about SPACs. And they’ve performed poorly. They’ve performed poorly when they de-SPAC. So what’s important to understand with SPAC is the lifecycle, that they start by being extraordinarily safe. And by that, I mean, when the IPO happens, the money is taken into trust. The manager doesn’t touch it. And the trust must buy U.S. T-bills. So from time zero to the day that they are converting into the company that they’re taking public, you have the risk of T-bills, but you have some mark-to-market risk as sentiment goes up and down. That sometimes that $10 that you pay for at IPO, you know, back in the heady days of, let’s say, ARK, when ARK was trading at 150, and flying cars were — you know, were exciting people’s imaginations. Even before the SPAC manager would find someone, that $10 traded $11 or $12, or even higher. Today, you can find — and for the last year, you can find many billions offered at a discount. Instead of $10, you get to pay something like $9.75. And one year later, or even 10 months later, that $9.75, for certain, will be worth $10. So on top of that, you also get the yield that is in T-bills, which right now is another 140 basis points. And so you could put together something, where if you screened for SPACs and you looked for high quality managers, you can still find a 4.5% return, which is a certain return. But on top of that, in case they find a company to buy, and the market gets very excited about it, whether it’s electric vehicles, or media companies, or whatever it may be, you are a stockholder and you don’t have to take only $10 back if it goes to $15, or to the moon. That’s — that’s your profit. And so I — I really look at SPACs like an incredibly valuable product in these times we’re worried about inflation, because it’s a guaranteed return in the fours, plus an equity option for free. And it’s really hard to find something that’s safe. In the history of SPACs, back way before, you know, the environment today where they’re actually quite a bit safer, not one time in history could you not get back trust value. You always have trust value to look to, and trust value is U.S. T-bills. RITHOLTZ: What happens if the announcement comes out of the acquisition and the public doesn’t like it, and the SPAC trades at a discount? There is a subsequent vote about that eventually, isn’t there? WEINSTEIN: There is a vote. You can vote for the SPAC to — to do the deal or against, but that is even a separable question from can you vote to get your money back? So you could say, “I support the deal, but give me my trust value back,” which would be your $10, let’s say, plus the yield that you made on the T-bills. So you always have the ability to get your money back. And so then, as an investor, I have to think about, well, how – the market is not just driven by the way things ought to be. Even though it’s T-bills, if there’s 600 of these running around trying to find companies to buy, there can be a period where because of losses one is suffering in their portfolio, you might dump your SPACs and put pressure on that market. So you to think about how cheap could SPACs get. Even if they’re basically the safest investment I know of, T-bills in a box and with a 10 — 10-month, 11-month average life, you know you’re going to get your money back. But in the meantime, you have to be ready for some mark-to-market pain. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about tai.....»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureMay 16th, 2022

Jeff Bezos once again criticizes Biden for high inflation rates, saying in a tweet "misdirection doesn"t help the country"

The tweet marks the second time in just a few days that Bezos has taken to the social media platform to air grievances with the Biden administration. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; President Joe BidenCliff Owen, File/Associated Press; Susan Walsh/Associated Press Jeff Bezos is once again criticizing President Biden for inflation, which is still near a 40-year high. "The administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy," Bezos tweeted Sunday. Biden proposed taxing big corporations more can bring down inflation, which Bezos took issue with earlier this week.  Jeff Bezos is once again taking to Twitter to criticize President Joe Biden for his handling of high inflation rates.In a tweet posted Sunday, Bezos said stimulus was partly to blame for inflation, which slowed in April for the first time in eight months but remains near 40-year highs. The billionaire Amazon founder's critique came just days after he took issue with a separate tweet from Biden that called for raising taxes on large corporations to help ease inflation."In fact, the administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy and only Manchin saved them from themselves," Bezos said Sunday. "Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent. Misdirection doesn't help the country."Bezos's remarks came after Biden tweeted on Saturday that reducing the US deficit will help ease inflation."Under my predecessor, the deficit increased every single year," Biden wrote. "This year, we're on track to cut the deficit by $1.5 trillion – the biggest one-year decline ever. It matters to families, because reducing the deficit is one of the main ways we can ease inflationary pressures."Bezos's tweet on Sunday marked the second time in just a few days that he has spoken out against Biden on the social platform. On Friday, he accused Biden of spreading disinformation after the president took to Twitter to propose reducing inflation by ensuring "the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share." "The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead," Bezos responded. "Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection."Both Amazon and Bezos have long been criticized for not paying taxes, including by Biden. Amazon didn't pay any federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018, while Bezos himself paid nothing in federal income taxes in 2007 and 2011, ProPublica reported last year. He is worth $137 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.In 2019, Biden tweeted, "I have nothing against Amazon, but no company pulling in billions of dollars of profits should pay a lower tax rate than firefighters and teachers. We need to reward work, not just wealth."Amazon responded at the time to say it had paid $2.6 billion in corporate taxes since 2016."We pay every penny we owe," the company said on Twitter. "Congress designed tax laws to encourage companies to reinvest in the American economy. We have. $200B in investments since 2011 & 300K US jobs. Assume VP Biden's complaint is w/ the tax code, not Amazon."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 15th, 2022

Jeff Bezos said the new "disinformation board" should review Biden"s tweet that tied high inflation to low corporate taxes, calling it "misdirection"

Biden said making "sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share" could lower inflation, but Amazon's Bezos said the issues weren't connected. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; President Joe BidenCliff Owen, File/Associated Press; Susan Walsh/Associated Press President Joe Biden tweeted that taxing wealthy corporations could help bring down inflation. Amazon's Jeff Bezos said "mushing together" inflation and raising corporate taxes was "misdirection." Inflation in the US has reached its highest levels since the 1980s. Amazon Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos went after President Joe Biden on Friday over the latter's tweet about bringing down inflation by taxing large corporations."You want to bring down inflation? Let's make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share," Biden said in a tweet Friday evening.The Amazon billionaire retweeted the president and suggested the tweet could be considered disinformation."The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead," Bezos said, apparently referring to Homeland Security's recently announced Disinformation Governance Board."Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection," Bezos continued.—Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 14, 2022 Inflation in the US has reached its highest levels since the 1980s, affecting the price of essential goods like gas, food, healthcare, and housing. In April the rate of inflation slowed for the first time in eight months.As Insider previously reported, some of the most common causes of inflation are excess demand for goods and services, rising costs of wages and materials, currency devaluation, and policies and regulations.Amazon, the company Bezos founded, has long been accused of not paying its share fair of taxes. The company paid no federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018.Bezos, one of the world's richest people, personally paid nothing in federal income taxes in 2007 and 2011, ProPublica reported last year.The White House did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 14th, 2022

38 perfect college graduation gifts for her, from sentimental decor to splurgy items she"d never buy herself

The ideal college graduation gifts cover a range of interests and budgets. Here are our favorites, from the latest tech to useful home gadgets. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.The ideal college graduation gifts cover a range of interests and budgets. Here are our favorites, from the latest tech to useful home gadgets.Milk Bar; GrafomapGraduations are often bittersweet; they're the end of one big chapter and the start of another. The best graduation gift ideas are practical, sentimental, or highly specific to the graduate's tastes. Some graduates will love a healthier cereal that tastes just like their childhood; others appreciate the office-appropriate blazer or financial guidebook.No matter what's next for her — a gap year, a new job — we think you'll find something she'll enjoy below.The 38 best college graduation gift ideas for her in 2022:Delicious sweets from a famous NYC bakeryMilk BarBirthday Cake, from $58 on Milk BarMilk Bar cakes are one of our go-to gifts to send to friends and family. We love their classic flavors as well as the limited-edition stuff, too. You can find a review of the Milk Bar cakes here. It's also one of the Insider Reviews All-Time Best products.Nice noise-canceling headphonesSonySony Headphones, $348 on AmazonOur favorite noise-canceling headphones, Sony's WH-1000XM4, balance sound quality, noise cancellation, and comfort, and they're perfect for long commutes, focusing during work, or relaxing. This is also one of the items featured in our list of the All-Time Best products we've tested.A framed photo of their friendsFramebridgeQuick Ship Gifts, from $45 on FramebridgeMost of us appreciate some nostalgia; frame a photo of the graduate's friends or some of their favorite memories from school to take anywhere they call home.A nice bottle of ChampagneDrizlyVeuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne, $62.70 on DrizlySend them a nice bottle of bubbly to celebrate their big achievement — they deserve it. An air fryer that cooks everythingAmazonPhilips Premium Twin TurboStar Air Fryer, $349.95 on PhilipsIf she's like me, college didn't quite give her time to hone her cooking skills. That's why gifting them an air fryer that can cook almost anything is the best addition to her kitchen. It can whip up everything from salmon and veggies to french toast sticks.Shop our pick for the best air fryer, which heats up within seconds and turns out evenly crispy food with greater efficiency than an oven.A monogrammed jewelry box she’ll keep foreverMejuriJewelry Box, $148 on MejuriA monogrammed jewelry box is exactly the type of thing you love to own but rarely think about splurging on for yourself. It's beautiful, she'll own it forever, and it's personalized. Plus, it takes the pressure off of you; you don't need to worry about picking out jewelry she'll actually like.A great streaming deviceRokuRoku 3, $179.99 on AmazonThe Roku Ultra 3 stands out from other streaming device options thanks to its 4K and HDR support, speed, reliability, and large library of streaming services (Netflix, HBO Max, Rakuten Viki, etc.). Plus, if she wants to watch TV on the big screen without disturbing anyone, it comes with headphones for private listening.Read the full review of the Roku Ultra 2020 here.A beautiful bouquetUrbanStemsClassic Flower Subscription, $55 on UrbanStemsSend flowers if you can't be there in person or if you're supplementing a digital gift such as a gift card. We're fans of UrbanStems; the company's bouquets are one of the best items we've ever tested. If you're looking for something that won't be gone after a couple of weeks, you'll also find options for potted plants and low-maintenance, decor-friendly dried bouquets.A must-read financial guidebookAmazon"I Will Teach You To Be Rich", $12.87 on Amazon Libby Kane, our Executive Editor for Personal Finance Insider says she regularly buys a new copy of this book just to give it away. It's an excellent introduction to making the most of your personal finances — especially if your graduate is young or new to managing money. (Great news: if they follow the advice in this book, they can keep buying as many lattes as they want and still save money).A more pleasant way to wake up every dayNordstromRestore Reading Light, Sound Machine & Sunrise Alarm Clock, $129.99 on NordstromHelp them transition to earlier mornings with an alarm clock that wakes them up by mimicking sunlight.An office-ready blazerOf MercerPrince Blazer, $245 on Of MercerA nice, reliable blazer that she can wear for everything from interviews to days in the office (if that's what her next chapter includes) is a classic wardrobe staple.If you'd rather leave the decision-making up to her, give her a gift card to a store like Everlane, Banana Republic, J. Crew, or Universal Standard so she can shop for her own post-graduate clothing. A travel-friendly speaker for listening to musicBest BuyMove Smart Speaker, $399 on Best BuyWe think the Sonos Move is one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy. It has excellent sound quality, a good battery life that can last up to 11 hours on the go, and convenient smart features such as connecting to smart assistants from Amazon and Google. It'll be useful for travel or for listening to music at home with her friends.A monogrammed passport cover and luggage tag for her future travelsLeatherologyGift the Leatherology Deluxe Passport Cover + Luggage Tag Set, $65 on LeatherologyHopefully, post-graduation life brings with it plenty of opportunities for travel and new adventures. This leather passport cover and matching luggage tag can be functional, stylish, and sentimental pieces they travel with for a long time — especially because you can have it monogrammed, too.Cereal that feels like childhood but is responsible like adulthoodMagic Spoon cerealMagic SpoonMagic Spoon Variety Pack, $39 on Magic SpoonA childlike cereal for grown-ups is a nice transition into adulthood. Magic Spoon tastes like the sugary cereal some of us still crave since we were kids, but it's high in protein and low in carbohydrates. You can find a full Magic Spoon review here.An excellent cookbook that’s tailored to beginnersAmazon"How To Cook Everything", $18.97 on AmazonLots of graduates enter this new chapter with little cooking know-how. Mark Bittman's cookbook, which teaches the basics of everything in a fun, digestible way for newcomers is one of the best gifts you can give to people who don't want to solely rely on takeout but could use some extra help. It even has a list of ingredients they might have in their fridge already.We're also personally fans of the "How to Cook Everything" cookbook.A Blue Apron gift cardBlue ApronGift a Blue Apron gift card, from $70 on Blue ApronIn case that cookbook isn't always the first thing they turn to after a long day, Blue Apron is one of the most helpful subscriptions to have.The service delivers the ingredients for a meal with detailed step-by-step instructions on how to make it. Depending on how many people the subscriber notes in their order, Blue Apron will also send the right portion size.It works directly with farmers and cuts out the middlemen, so their foods are higher and fresher quality for less money on average. Plus, your grad can learn how to make healthy, delicious meals by doing it themselves with fresher ingredients and in a more convenient way.An Amazon Echo to play music, answer questions, and coordinate with other techAmazonEcho Dot, $49.99 on Amazon From music and the radio to trivia and weather updates, your graduate will have ample distractions and helpful, hands-free info while they're busy running around their place.If Amazon isn't their thing, we have other smart speaker recommendations from other brands here.Our most recommended French pressAmazonBodum French Press, $25.99 on AmazonCoffee is a crucial part of many an adult's mornings. We love the Bodum Chambord French Press for a good cup; it's about as timeless as they come, and it's unfussy and seamless to operate. It's also affordable.You can find all our favorite French presses here, though this is our number one pick.The perfectly designed work bagSenreveGift the Senreve Maestra, from $895 on MaestraThe Senreve Maestra is not a cheap work bag. In fact, we thought the price was ridiculous before trying it. But, if you're looking for a big gift and possibly have people you can split the cost with, this is one is worth an investment.Its design is distinctive and sharp, its organization system excellent, and it can be worn in a few different ways — as a backpack, handbag, or crossbody. The leather is stain- and water-resistant and the bag also comes with a lifetime warranty. It also comes in three sizes: the Mini, Midi, and the Maestra, but the largest size is the only one that holds a 13-inch laptop.Apple AirPods Pro for when she's on the moveAmazonAirPods, $174.99 on AmazonWe love Apple's AirPods Pro for Apple users. They're no-hassle, work with Apple products, have decent sound and noise cancellation, are water-resistant, have a wireless charging case, and feel more comfortable than standard AirPods.You'll find more wireless earbuds we love here.A Brooklinen gift card for really nice new sheets for her adult apartmentBrooklinenGift a Brooklinen gift card, from $50 on BrooklinenYour graduate may appreciate an upgrade in bedding to match their new chapter or their new space. Brooklinen is one of our favorite bedding brands — you get premium, cant'-wait-to-go-to-bed bedding at relatively affordable prices. Read our Brooklinen sheets review here.A powerful facial cleansing brushAmazonFOREO Luna 2, $169 on ForeoThis facial cleansing brush has left both female and male reporters on our team with clear, smooth skin. This particular model works as a state-of-the-art, waterproof cleansing and anti-aging device. Supporting the "fewer, better" mentality, the FOREO Luna 2 has a lifespan and level of quality that justify the price tag — so they can make great use of your gift for years to come.Cooking essentialsPotluckGift the Potluck Utensil Set, $80 on GoldilocksTake care of at least 12 things she'll need in her post-college life with a set of nice but no-frills utensils with the Utensils Set from Potluck, an up-and-coming cookware startup. This set includes mixing bowls, a colander, peeler, ladle, and measuring cups.A commemorative map of their college townGrafomapGift a customized Grafomap poster, from $49 on GrafomapCommemorate their college town, hometown, or favorite place in the world with this customizable graphic map so they can keep it with them wherever life takes them.Timeless gold jewelry from an up-and-coming jewelry companyMejuriTwin Hoops, $275 on MejuriRight out of college, she may not have the budget to treat herself to some of the things that have a long lifespan in the adult world. A delicate pair of 14K yellow gold hoops ($275) can elevate an outfit (be it for work or the weekends), and it's nice to introduce a recent grad to an up-and-coming company they can return to in the future.You can also find small yellow gold hoops for $58 on Mejuri and find more spots to shop for fine, affordable jewelry here.A planner that helps her map out how to achieve a long term goalBestSelf CoSelf Journal, $31.99 on AmazonThe Best Self Co. Journal helps people map out their five- or 10-year plans in a tangible, easily managed way. It's a nice way to provide growth and direction after graduation, whether they're on their way to college, a new job, traveling, or anything else.A savvy suitcaseAwayThe Carry-On, $275 on AwayAn Away suitcase is a particularly thoughtful gift for grads living far from home or planning future travel. The cult-favorite luggage has an ejectable external battery that charges devices easily on the go, 360-degree wheels for no-hassle travel, and weighs only 7.6 pounds. Read our full review of Away suitcases here.Packing cubes for future travelAwayThe Insider Packing Cubes, $65 on AwayIf their next step might include travel, they'll call you and thank you for the packing cubes in a few months. They can group their items together by genre, outfit, or day and speed up the packing, travel, and unpacking process.A Kindle for post-grad readingBest BuyGift a Kindle Paperwhite, $129.99 on Amazon Learning is an ongoing process, and graduation shouldn't be the end of it. Giving them a Kindle means they'll have the tools to keep being curious in their lives by having both the device that makes it an easy and affordable process. Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof and has a no-glare screen even in direct sunlight. If you can spend a bit more, the Kindle Oasis is our top overall pick.If they've already got a Kindle or they read on their phone or iPad, you might look into gifting them a Scribd membership (6 months for $59.99 or 1 year for $99.99). It's lesser-known than apps like Audible, but it's typically a better deal and will give them access to hundreds of thousands of books and audiobooks. A subscription to designer clothesRent the RunwayGift a month of Rent the Runway, from $69 on Rent the RunwayWhat's better than a never-ending closet of designer clothes you could otherwise never afford? Rent the Runway allows her to cycle out tons of styles over the course of the month. Read a personal review of the service here.Advice on how to lead a compassionate lifeAmazon"This is Water," $8.69 on AmazonDavid Foster Wallace's "This is Water" is a 2005 commencement speech he gave to graduates at Kenyon College. In it, he discusses life's many inconveniences, challenges, and irritations — and how we might adopt a perspective that allows us to lead compassionate, meaningful lives.A cheese board for when she hosts friendsWest ElmMarble & Wood Board, $60 on West ElmUpgrade her kitchen with a nice cheese board for the next time she hosts friends. If she's more likely to make everyone a cocktail, give her a mixology kit.Or, if she's really more likely to bring out a board game and a bowl of chips, give her a new game she'll get hours of enjoyment out of — we recommend Settlers of Catan.Access to the best studio fitness in her cityClassPassGift a ClassPass Gift Card, from $19 on ClassPassBoutique fitness classes are typically a great gift for anyone who loves staying active. They can be easier to commit to in the busy post-grad adjustment period than a gym membership. ClassPass lets her try studio fitness classes in her city for lower-than-normal prices, so she can test-drive a good variety without breaking her budget. A reusable Hydro Flask that keeps drinks at the perfect temperatureHydro FlaskHydro Flask Wide Mouth Bottle, $32.o0 on AmazonWe love Hydro Flask's insulated, dishwasher-safe bottles — they'll keep hot drinks hot or cold drinks ice-cold for hours. This is also one of the items featured in our list of the All-Time Best products we've tested. A nice business card holderLeatherologyGift the Leatherology Business Card Case, $45 on LeatherologyHer company will probably give out business cards, but she's less likely to already own a business card holder she can feel good about pulling out at work, internships, or networking events. This looks polished, and Leatherology delivers orders in beautiful boxes, which doesn't hurt for gifting. You can even get the holder monogrammed.A tile tracker that will help her find lost itemsTileTile Mate, $17.99 on AmazonThe Tile Mate attaches to stuff you may want to track and the stuff you may lose, like your keys or luggage. If you misplace something (and it has a Tile attached to it), you can just check the Tile app to locate it. As a bonus, if you lose your phone, you can press your Tile Mate to make it ring. A toolkit they will undoubtedly need in "real life"AmazonCartman General Household Hand Tool Kit with Plastic Toolbox Storage Case, $29.99 on AmazonAfter graduation, you enter the "real world," and the real world will include putting together furniture, Googling how to fix leaky faucets when your landlord avoids your calls, and enticing your friends with pizza to get them to help you mount your living room TV. It's not the most "fun" gift, but it will absolutely be necessary. Gift cards for every conceivable needTarget and The Container StoreIf she just graduated and is dealing with moving, starting a career, and furnishing a new apartment — or other trappings of a new, adult life stage — she will have more expenses than funds. Here's how to take the edge off and make sure she builds in some necessary fun. Everything: Visa Gift Card / Amazon Gift Card / Amazon Prime Membership / Target Gift CardCoffee: Starbucks Gift CardEntertainment: Netflix Gift Card / Hulu Gift Card / Sling Gift Card / StubHub gift cardTransportation: Uber Gift CardDecoration: Framebridge Gift Card / The Container Store Gift CardFurniture: Amazon Gift Card / Wayfair Gift Card Music: Spotify Gift CardSheets: Brooklinen Gift CardGroceries and food: Whole Foods Gift Card / Chipotle Gift CardClothes: Nordstrom Gift Card / Everlane Gift CardTech: Best Buy Gift CardTravel: Southwest Airlines Gift CardRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 11th, 2022

10 Good Reasons To Use Your 401k RIGHT NOW

A 401(k) account is an instrumental part of your financial future. Because of this, it’s strongly advised that you never touch these founds. What’s more, if you make withdrawals before the age of 59 ½, then you can expect a 10 percent penalty from Uncle Sam. Nevertheless, there are times when you should use your […] A 401(k) account is an instrumental part of your financial future. Because of this, it’s strongly advised that you never touch these founds. What’s more, if you make withdrawals before the age of 59 ½, then you can expect a 10 percent penalty from Uncle Sam. Nevertheless, there are times when you should use your 401(k). In fact, even the IRS is well aware of these financial hardships. As a result, there are specific situations when you can access your retirement plan before age 59 ½ without being penalized. 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); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more With that in mind, here are 10 good reasons to use your 401 (k) right now. You’ve changed jobs. Did you know that the average American worker has 12 jobs throughout a lifetime? Even if you don’t switch jobs that frequently, there’s still a very good possibility that you will change jobs at some point. And, that means you have several options with your 401(k). Let the assets in your former employer’s 401(k) plan grow tax-free if allowed. Changing jobs allows you to roll over your old 401(k) account assets to your new employer’s plan — if you’re permitted. Consider rolling over your old 401(k) into an individual retirement account (IRA) to increase your retirement investment options. As a result, you’ll both maintain tax benefits and have more flexibility in accessing your savings. Cash-out your assets. If you need to tap into these assets immediately, this is your best option. It is important to understand that cashing out your old 401(k) can have considerable financial implications. In addition to the fact that those funds are considered taxable income and subject to an immediate tax withholding, you may also face a 10% penalty for early withdrawals if you cash out before turning 59 ½ withdrawals will also kill any tax-deferred growth you might have previously enjoyed. It’s also worth noting that you can use most of the above if you’ve retired or been terminated from your job. If you’re laid off or fired, you’re able to transfer the money from your 401k to an IRA without having to pay any income taxes. Unreimbursed medical expenses. Looking for a way to pay for out-of-pocket deductible medical expenses? Well, if these medical bills exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), the 10% tax penalty is waived For the hardship withdrawal to be exempt from the fee, it must be made in the same calendar year as the medical treatment. Since 2019, your elective contributions can no longer be subtracted from the distributions you took in the past. Permanent disability. In the event that you become “totally and permanently” disabled, you will be able to access your retirement account earlier than planned. In this situation, the government allows the withdrawal of funds before age 59 ½ without penalizing you. However, you must demonstrate that you are incapable of working. Usually, disability payments from Social Security or an insurance carrier will suffice, though you will likely need a doctor’s note confirming your disability. Also, those who are permanently disabled may need their 401(k) accounts even more than the average investor. As such, depleting your 401(k) should be a last resort — even if you can no longer work. Purchasing your first home. Although you can use money from your 401(k) to make a down payment, you will pay a penalty of 10 percent. Tax-free withdrawals from your IRA are possible, though. These withdrawals are not just available for first-time IRA holders. However, the homebuyer must not own a home in the last two years. Furthermore, you can withdraw from your home-buying account more than once without incurring penalties, but there is a lifetime limit of $10,000. An example would be two withdrawals of $5,000. A 401(k) can be more challenging to use for a down payment though. Why? Because the participant must use the loan provision before resorting to hardship withdrawal if the 401(k) has both a loan provision and a hardship withdrawal provision. Also, since you’re a homeowner, just know that you can use your 401 (k) to pay for certain repairs to your principal residence. For instance, if you’re an area designated as a diseaster zone, your retirement money be used to repair for any damages without being penalized. Expenses to prevent being foreclosed on or evicted. 401(k) hardship withdrawals can also be made when you have an immediate need for money that cannot be met by any other means. And, this certainly falls into this category. Although the IRS allows 401(k) hardship withdrawals for preventing eviction, such as from an apartment, a withdrawal for a security deposit does not qualify. Also, you will need a notice of Eviction or Foreclosure in writing from the landlord or mortgage holder. The amount that must be paid in arrears to avoid eviction or foreclosure should also be included. College tuition and education fees for the next 12 months. If your 401(k) plan permits hardship withdrawals, you can generally make withdrawals to cover higher education expenses. FYI, the 10 percent penalty will apply. However, IRA withdrawals for qualified expenses are not subject to a penalty. Whether it is for yourself, your spouse, your children, grandchildren, or your immediate family, a qualified plan can cover higher education expenses. For post-secondary education, this usually includes room and board, books, tuition, supplies, and supplies. 72(t) distributions. Taking a 72t early distribution is an option if none of the exceptions above applies to your particular circumstances. It’s named for the tax code that allows you to take some payments annually — aka substantially equal periodic payments. Payment amounts are determined by the size of your retirement account and your age. After you begin taking periodic payments, you must continue to do so for five years or until you turn 59 ½ years old, whichever is longer. Moreover, even if you do not need the money, you cannot take more or less than the calculated distribution. So, tread lightly if you go this route. Unpaid taxes. Unless you pay your tax bill in full by April 15, the IRS will charge interest on any outstanding balance. Typical interest rates are 5% or 6% per year. Late-payment penalties can also add up to 25%, with a maximum of 0.5% per month. As a result, accessing the funds in your 401(k) to pay off an IRS levy may seem like a good idea, and if you have nowhere else to turn, it can be a great option. In order to avoid penalties, you must know a few things. You will need to pay taxes and possibly a penalty if you withdraw from your 401(k) before 59 1 2 years of age. If you are over the age of 59 ½ at the time of withdrawal or your employer permits 401(k) loans, you may be able to use your 401(k) to pay off an IRS levy without being penalized. Burial or funeral expenses. While inevitalbe, this isn’t a topic that most of us think about. As a consequence, you might not have enough set aside to cover this expense. In case you’re curious, the average funeral costs between $7,000 and $12,000. However, taking money out of your 401k to pay for funeral expenses is an option. To find out if you can withdraw your 401k due to hardship, contact your 401k administrator. Again, in emergency situations, some 401k plans permit hardship withdrawals. You may request a hardship withdrawal form from your plan administrator if you are eligible for hardship withdrawals. The Rule of 55. In some instances, people who lose their jobs or retire at 55 but not yet 59 ½, can take distributions from their 401(k) without incurring an early withdrawal penalty of 10%. A former employee can receive a penalty-free distribution from the qualified plan after being separated from their employer. Distributions made after separation from your company’s service are not subject to the early withdrawal tax penalty if the separation occurred during or after the calendar year in which the participant turned age 55. The rule applies only to your 401(k) at your former employer, not to those at any previous employers, nor to your individual retirement accounts (IRAs). But, your other accounts will not be eligible for penalty-free distributions until you reach age 59 ½. The funds in your current 401(k) are eligible for penalty-free distributions, however, if you transfer your IRA funds from your previous employer before your retirement at age 55. Additionally, you should check with your retirement plan administrator since not all defined contribution plans allow withdrawals before 59 ½. Frequently Asked Questions About Using Your 401(k)? Do you actually need the money now? When it comes to your 401(k), you’re actually “paying it forward” as opposed to putting money “away.” As such, if you’re young and don’t have financial responsibilities like a home or family, you may have the financially flexibility to replenish your 401(k). Those things may or may not be true for you in the future. In short, continue to pay it forward. Be careful not to let lifestyle inflation place a financial burden on your future self. This means not using a 401(k) loan for elective expenses like entertainment or gifts. Your retirement savings would be better left fully invested and you should find another source of income. In contrast to what we’ve talked about so far, borrowing from your 401(k) might be beneficial long term and might even help your finances in general. You may be able to lower your interest payments to lenders if you use a 401(k) loan to pay off high-interest debt, like credit cards. The best part is that 401(k) loans aren’t subject to a credit check, and they don’t appear on your credit report as debt. Can I cash out my 401(k) while still employed? While still employed, you can’t cash out your 401k account, since the company that sponsors the 401k does not permit this. It is possible to take out a loan against it, but the money can’t be simply withdrawn. As mentioned above, if you resign or get fired, you can withdraw the money from your account, but again, there are costs involved that should make you reconsider your decision. The 10% early withdrawal penalty and regular income tax will apply. For tax purposes, your employer must also withhold 20% of your cash out. Penalties don’t apply in all cases, but there are a few exceptions: You’re older than 55 The disability you suffer is permanent Your medical expenses need to exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income in order to receive this money You plan to cash out over the course of your life through a series of substantially equal payments You have been called to active duty as a qualified military reservist What’s better: 401(k) loans or 401(k) distributions? In some cases, it can be difficult to distinguish between 401(k) loans and withdrawals. But, there are minor differences to be aware of. 401(k) withdrawals. You may be eligible for a traditional withdrawal, such as a hardship withdrawal, depending on your situation. In addition to medical expenses and foreclosure, IRS considers tuition, funeral, and purchase and repair of primary residence costs (excluding mortgage payments) as immediate and heavy financial needs. Also, some plans allow for non-hardship withdrawals, but all are unique, so ask your employer for more information. Withdrawals have the advantage that no repayment is required. A hardship withdrawal from a 401(k) account will not give you the full amount since ordinary income is taxed on withdrawals from these accounts. Unless you qualify for one of the IRS exceptions, early withdrawals before age 59 ½ are subject to a 10% penalty. 401(k) loans. You borrow money from your retirement savings account when you take out a 401(k) loan. Within a 12-month period, you may be able to withdraw as much as 50% of your retirement savings, up to a maximum of $50,000, depending on what your employer’s plan allows. In most cases, you will need to pay back your loan. As well as interest within 5 years from the date you took it out. You are also limited in the number of loans outstanding from your plan by its rules. To take out a loan, you may also need your spouse’s or domestic partner’s consent. When you take a loan from your 401(k), no taxes or penalties are imposed, which is a major advantage. As an added bonus, the loan interest goes into your retirement account. Furthermore, defaulted 401(k) loans do not affect your credit score since they are not reported to credit bureaus if you miss a payment or default. Unfortunately, if you leave your job, you might have to reimburse your loan in full within a very short period of time. Defaults will result in both taxes and a 10% penalty if you are under 59 ½ if you are unable to repay the loan for any reason. Also, you could lose out on potential growth by not investing the money you borrow in a tax-favored account, so you could miss out on more than what you would have to pay in interest. If I stop making contributions to my 401(k), what happens? You would be better served to simply suspend contributions to a 401k instead of stopping them. Your retirement fund will slow down while you are suspended, but it will grow regardless. By doing so, the temptation to withdraw all funds will be reduced. And, that means retirement savings will be less likely to be wiped out. What are my alternatives? The following alternatives are worth considering: If the expense is a qualified medical expense, you can use HSA savings Access your emergency savings Credit card balances with a higher interest rate can be transferred to a new card with a lower interest rate You can use other savings accounts or a brokerage account to save for retirement An equity line of credit or a personal loan can be used Tax- and penalty-free withdrawals from a Roth IRA: contributions can be withdrawn at any time Article by Albert Costill, Due About the Author Albert Costill graduated from Rowan University with a History degree. He has been a senior finance writer for Due since 2015. His financial advice has been featured in Money Magazine, Fool, The Street, Forbes, CNBC and MarketWatch. He loves to give personal finance advice to millennials. Updated on May 11, 2022, 2:30 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: valuewalkMay 11th, 2022

The Six Most Common Financial Myths People Believe

The Six Most Common Financial Myths People Believe Authored by Bruce Wilds via Advancing Time blog, It is time to revisit six of the most common financial myths we have come to believe. Accepting any of these as a reflection of reality could lead us down the path to ruin. Unfortunately, belief in them is so widespread most people no longer even question them and are putting their economic future in peril. A myth is often defined as any invented story, idea, concept, or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution. With this in mind, it is understandable those in the government and financial systems would crank out such yarns to keep us docile. The six favorite financial myths are easier to believe when financial fears are low and times are good.  Over the last few years, a slug of freshly printed liquidity being pumped into the global financial system and stock markets has caused many asset bubbles to expand sending the wealth effect into overdrive. An increase in liquidity results in people feeling comfortable to take on more risk and this tends to cause people to "leverage up." During such a time true price discovery has a way of being greatly diminished. Changes made to the rules and financial engineering have made many comparisons to the past obsolete. Sometimes, it is a question of people just being too lazy to question what they see, at other times, it is because they simply can't face the truth. It should be noted that the entertainment industry has flourished as society seeks any diversion to pull our attention away from the sharp edges of reality and into the soft comfort of escape. In some ways, it could be said that our culture has become obsessed with avoiding what is real. Regardless of the reason why people fail to view the myths below as lies the point is they will result in the financial ruin of those counting on them in time of need. Over the years, extraordinary efforts have been made to keep the economy afloat. The most noticeable is the massive amount of new money and credit released into the financial system by central banks. This has been interpreted by many people as confirmation the current trend of never-ending growth will continue. Rather than considering it is time for a reality check it is both easier and more comforting to adopt an "all is well" attitude and ignore the signs of danger lurking around the corner. The crux of this article is about some of society's favorite myths. These feed directly into the economy and our feelings about our financial security. While it could be argued the myths below have more to do with how we feel about life than about money, it cannot be denied that most people make many of their financial decisions based on the assumption the below statements are true. As a society, we rapidly choose to embrace and often choose not to question them because of the discomfort it would undoubtedly create. The six below permeate society and should be enough to remind you and even shed a bit of light upon the fact we as  individuals are vulnerable at any time if reality raises its' ugly head. Believing Myths Is A Head In Sand Approach #1 Government is for the people and by the people - Seriously? After the dog and pony show, we experienced during the last presidential primary all illusions of that should have been erased. After often being forced to choose between the least of two evils it is difficult to praise our political system. After all the talk about "we the people," the fact is the average "person" is far removed from the power to decide important issues. #2 Financial planning means you only have to start saving a little money each year to guarantee an easy retirement.  - The fact is life is a casino where our future is tenuous at best. Much of our circumstances and lives revolve around money and the number of options it gives us when we possess it. I intentionally used the term "casino" to conjure up the image of financial fortune. Which you can lose in a blink of an eye if things go against you. This myth extends deeply into the promises made by the government and others such as pension plans and financial institutions. Many of these promises will not be honored. #3 You have rights and that we are not slaves - I defer to a few lines from a blog by Gerry Spence who has spent his lifetime representing and protecting victims of the legal system from what he calls The New Slave Master: big corporations and big government. In his blog, Spence wrote; The Moneyed Master has closed its doors against the people and sits on its money like an old hen on rotten eggs. The people will not prevail. With its endless propaganda, the Moneyed Master has caused its slaves to believe they are free. #4 Your life will progress and move along pretty much as you have planned - When you think back over the years of your life if you are like most people things have not unfolded as you had planned. You may not be in the occupation you trained for or with your true love. Throughout our life watershed events occur that we have little control over, this holds true when it comes to your finances as well. Having an investment or pension plan go south can completely alter your life. #5 Those in charge or above you care about you and will make an effort to protect you - Sadly, more than one person has been sliced and diced by the people and institutions he or she trusted most. History shows when push comes to shove it is not uncommon for a person to look out for the person they treasure the most and that is often him or herself. Politicians and those in power have a long history of throwing the populace under the bus rather than taking responsibility for the problems they create. #6 It could be argued the biggest myth of all is the idea that inflation is reflected in the Consumer Price Index. Those making financial decisions have masked their failings. This is done by heavily skewing the CPI to give the impression there is little inflation. This dovetails with a theory I continue to expound on, that inflation would be much higher if people were not willing to invest in intangible assets such as stocks and Bitcoin. This removes a lot of demand for tangible items people use in their everyday life.  The fact is inflation is soaring and acts as a wealth transfer mechanism that hurts far more people than it helps. My apologies if this post has been a downer or seems overly negative, however, it is what it is and it was written for a reason. Best stated by a comment I read on another site; These myths add up to where "This is not a can of worms but a warehouse stacked with pallets of cans of worms."  Believing the above myths will impact your life, that is why it is important to recognize them for what they are, lies. This is not to say that by making good and reasonable choices we cannot eliminate some of the risks we encounter when we get out of bed each morning. Developing the habit of being skeptical while pressing on to reach solid and reasonable goals is the best medicine to combat a deck that is often stacked against us. Be careful out there! *  *  * Mentioned above is the fact economists and analysts seem oblivious to the point that so many people willing to invest in intangible assets have helped to minimize inflation. This is a very important part of the inflation puzzle. This is a very important part of the inflation puzzle. The link below is to an article that delves deeper into why this is true. Tyler Durden Tue, 05/10/2022 - 18:45.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 10th, 2022