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Transcript: Edward Chancellor

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Edward Chancellor on the Real Story of Interest, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, and YouTube. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This… Read More The post Transcript: Edward Chancellor appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Edward Chancellor on the Real Story of Interest, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, and YouTube. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have another extra special guest. Edward Chancellor is a legend amongst financial journalists and historians. His book on the history of speculation and manias and bubbles, “Devil Take the Hindmost” is just legendary. It is the full history of financial speculation. His latest book could not be more timely, “The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest,” it’s all about the history of interest rates, money lending, investing speculation, funded by banks and loans and credit. According to Chancellor, interest is the single most important feature of finance, both ancient and modern. And it’s how we allow transactions to take place across time. I found this conversation to be fascinating, informative. He is one of a kind, and I’m confident you will find this to be fascinating also. With no further ado, my conversation with Edward Chancellor. Let’s start with your background in academia. So you study history at Trinity College. What is a Master of Philosophy in Enlightenment and History from Oxford? Am I mangling that in the American — EDWARD CHANCELLOR, AUTHOR, FINANCIAL HISTORIAN & INVESTMENT STRATEGIST: Well, we call it MPhil. It’s the shorter version of a doctorate or DPhil. I read a research paper and had exams at the same time, and it was originally created as a sort of academic teaching degree, but then got somewhat usurped by the PhD. RITHOLTZ: And that was where I was going to go, it looks like you’re setting yourself up for a career as an academic. CHANCELLOR: I thought about it. And then I was invited with the other graduate students to my History professor’s house on the outskirts of Cambridge. And I thought, well, if this is where — this is where — the guy who’s got to the top at Oxford list, I’m going to go and get a job in the city of London. So that’s what I did. And I sort of didn’t — my thinking on leaving academia is that if I need to earn a living, I might as well make money from money, which is what Aristotle disapproved per se. It was the sort of an anti-Aristotelean act of going into the city. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. So you go into the city of London, and is that where you began at Lazard Brothers or how did your career start? CHANCELLOR: Yes, I started at Lazard’s. RITHOLTZ: No relationship to the U.S. Lazard? CHANCELLOR: Yes. They’re all — they call it Lazard Brothers in London, Lazard Freres in Paris, and Lazard probably here. So they’ve now all been drawn together. Though, when I was there, there were sort of interconnected shareholdings that were joining the different branches together. I went into what’s called corporate finance, what people would see now as sort of M&A department. RITHOLTZ: In the 1990s in London, that had to be pretty busy time. CHANCELLOR: Well, I was actually in a sort of subgroup there, which was called corporate strategy. We were sort of doing our job. Our job was basically to give sort of strategic advice to Lazard clients, which would generate capital-raising mergers and debt financing. First, these companies, they were sort of self-interested advice. But I didn’t last very long there because I thought I didn’t like corporate finance. I sort of — I felt they were sort of ruthless, cynical, always looking for a deal. I remember once, one of my colleagues says that a friend, one of the French Lazard Frerers partners was asked by a sort of junior, “How much should we tell our client to bid?” And the French partner said, “The price is right which hurts our client.” There’s sort of cynicism in corporate finance. I didn’t find it intellectually interesting. You had all those deal books you can imagine and — but it was — RITHOLTZ: Tedious, not thrilling. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And I was sort of grunt level. RITHOLTZ: Sure. CHANCELLOR: And I came to the point where I thought, well, I’d sooner be driving a bus if I continue this work. RITHOLTZ: Right. So how did you transition from Lazard to GMO. CHANCELLOR: So it wasn’t a straight path. When I was at Lazard, you can’t work in finance without people talking about the great speculative bubbles of the past. So people would mention this British Railway Mania in the 1840s and Tulip Mania and so forth. And I left with no more money than I had when I came in, and I decided I would write a history of financial speculation of my own bat. I’ve read the other stuff, Kindleberger got rate [ph] and that sort of stuff. And I still felt there was room to write a new book. RITHOLTZ: The space had not been mined through exhaustion. CHANCELLOR: I think Kindleberger is very good. If you’re me, he’s writing a sort of taxonomy of the bubble. And then as an historian, I wanted to write the narrative of the bubble. Now, you’re probably aware of Charles Mackay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions.” RITHOLTZ: Sure. CHANCELLOR: I mean, that’s your 1840s narrative and it’s highly inaccurate and — RITHOLTZ: Really? CHANCELLOR: Yes. It is full of sort of legend. He talks about the black tulip and stories that people bite — people biting — with the tulip bulb, he talked about a sailor coming along and mistaking a tulip bulb for an onion and eating it, and it turning out to be a rare tulip bulb worth the value — RITHOLTZ: Hundreds of thousands of dollars. CHANCELLOR: — of an Amsterdam townhouse. And (inaudible) from a sort of investment perspective, you don’t really get a proper picture of what’s going on. So in some ways, I was sort of right. And then, obviously, Mackay writing, he only covered tulip mania, South Sea bubble and Mississippi bubble. So I thought I want to write the sort of arch of financial speculation up to the current day. And then in the course of writing it, the dot-com bubble started to form. So that made it more pressing, and in a way, more interesting, because you could — RITHOLTZ: You’d see it in real time. CHANCELLOR: Exactly. But also, you could see these parallels. So I was writing about the British Railway Mania of the 1840s. Railways were this revolutionary technology that was going to change the world, going to change civilization, the speed with which people — roughly at the same time, remember Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley — RITHOLTZ: Sure. CHANCELLOR: — in light with the Internet report that was being sold at Barnes & Noble in ‘96. And I wrote the book, but also journalism in ’96 and the FT saying, “Hey, this Internet stuff looks a lot like the railway mania of the 1840s,” and ‘96 hadn’t really started getting and going for — RITHOLTZ: As a reminder, Alan Greenspan’s infamous irrational exuberance speech was late in ‘96. CHANCELLOR: Yes, December. RITHOLTZ: Yes. And we were really just ramping up for the next couple of years. CHANCELLOR: Yes. RITHOLTZ: So the book comes out, I think, June 1999, is that right? CHANCELLOR: Yes, correct. RITHOLTZ: That’s fairly auspicious timing. CHANCELLOR: So it came out with Farrar Straus. I’m sure you’re aware. And I said to Jonathan Glass [ph], the editor, “You’ve got to get this out quickly. And FSG, to their credit, reduced publication time from their normal one year to six months. RITHOLTZ: You still had 15 months so — well, let’s see, June, you had nine months before things really topped out. CHANCELLOR: Yes. As you know bearish messages oftentimes — I’d say even — was it better to have left the publication date later? I don’t know. I mean, you remember a bit later, Robert Shiller’s “Irrational Exuberance” came out. RITHOLTZ: 2000, right? CHANCELLOR: Yes. So I was probably a sort of eight, nine months before Shiller. RITHOLTZ: But it’s a book. It’s not — you’re not picking the top or bottom. A book is multi-year process and it’s — it could have been “Dow 36,000” which came out around the same time. So — CHANCELLOR: Well, yes. No, I — the first thing I spoke at was a Goldman Sachs Asset Management conference, strange enough in a place called Carefree, Arizona. And the “Dow 36,000” people were there. And I was saying there’s a great bubble, which is about — this would have been in late ‘99. And I said, “We’re here in Carefree, Arizona, but around the corner is a place called truth or consequences. And perhaps we should really be meeting there.” You can imagine, you give a bearish message at a bullish investment conference, and no one listens to you. Not a single one of the partners or anyone like that thanked me or — RITHOLTZ: Really? CHANCELLOR: — for the talk. It was completely — I felt completely blank. But actually, I’m later met, one of the “Dow 36,000” people, Kevin Hassett. I met him there. He’s actually a very nice fella. And he did — when I met him, let’s say in 2010, he acknowledged that they’ve got things wrong. RITHOLTZ: James Glassman, and Kevin — CHANCELLOR: Kevin Hassett. RITHOLTZ: –Hassett. Now, not too long ago, just before the pre-pandemic period, like late 2010s, they kind of came out when Dow first crossed 36,000. Maybe it was ‘21. They kind of came out and said, “See, we told you.” And it’s like if you write a book Dow 100,000, well, I guess you just got to come back in 60 years to say, “I told you so.” But 23 years later, you don’t get credit for saying you could buy stocks right here, right before they collapse. CHANCELLOR: Yes. But the other point is that when people say, “Oh, well,” and I think Wall Street Journal had an editorial opinion about “Dow 36,000.” RITHOLTZ: That’s how you know it’s going to be low? CHANCELLOR: And look — yeah, but then if you look at the valuation of the market at that time, the market was — the U.S. market at the end of last year, so probably we’re on what we call the Shiller P/E ratio, the cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio, which is the sort of most reliable long-term valuation, where it was at its highest level at the end of last year than at any point apart from the last stages of dot-com bubble that’s higher than in 1929 and higher during the 1950s when the market is very expensive. And what we will also know, those of us who work in investment, is that your future returns are inversely related to the valuation. So perhaps every time we get to Dow 36,000, you can expect a long period of decline. I mean, in the end, inflation will — and accrued earnings will mean that we’ll get to 36,000 one day on a sustained basis. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: But just probably not the next decade or so. RITHOLTZ: That’s interesting. So you write the book, gets published to great acclaim. How did you go from that and other writings to GMO? CHANCELLOR: So ’99, the quant shops, Jeremy Grantham in GMO; Rob Arnott’s First Quadrant, now Research Affiliates; Cliff Asness — RITHOLTZ: AQR? CHANCELLOR: — AQR. They were in trouble. They were not buying into the TMT bubble. They were buying their beloved value stocks. And everyone was just saying they were idiotic quants and that that approach would no longer work. So then they found that — they saw this book came out, saying, “Look, the — RITHOLTZ: You’d be right eventually? CHANCELLOR: And then they looked through the dot-com bubble, it looks a lot like these historical bubbles. So all of them, independently, Jeremy, Rob, Cliff read the book and got in touch with me. And Jeremy became more of a friend, but I didn’t go straight to GMO. I then was doing journalism for Breakingviews, which was the sort of dot-com startup, FX FT people known by Reuters, and started doing some — and then I did some research for Crispin Odey, London hedge fund guy. And so, Crispin and I were having lunch in late 2003. Crispin said — we were talking about what was going on in the markets and in world. And Crispin said, “It’s really all about credit.” And I said, “Yes, I agree.” And he said, “Well, why don’t I just pay you to write a report and to analyze what’s going on?” So I spent next sort of nine months looking at what was going on in the U.S. and the U.K. in the credit boom, in real estate boom, and development of securitized lending and subprime, so forth. And then I put that out as I — I did that for Crispin, but I also sold it as a report, but not for wide distribution, sort of $1,000 a shot. And that went to sort of a few people. I gave a copy to Jeremy as a present. And then I was having lunch with Jeremy in Boston. I was working for Breakingviews in New York, and we were returning to England after a couple of years. I was having lunch with Jeremy in the summer of 2007, just after the Bear Stearns hedge fund started blowing up. And Jeremy said, “Well, at least there’s enough structural redundancy in the banking system.” And I said, “What the hell makes you think that?” RITHOLTZ: And what was his response? CHANCELLOR: Well, he sort of — yeah, he thought about it. And then I went home, I went — we have a house in Cape Cod and I went out. Jeremy called and said, “Would you like to join the asset allocation team?” And — RITHOLTZ: That’s a hard thing to say no to. CHANCELLOR: Well, I said no initially. And then went back to England, then he called again. And because these investors sometimes say, like, throw job offers around then never serious. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: And then he called a couple of months later, and then I decided, yes, I would take it. And Jeremy wanted a — obviously I’ve done a lot of work on the credit boom. But he also wanted sort of — I said to Jeremy, “I’m not a quant.” And look, GMO is, so to speak, a quant shop. RITHOLTZ: It’s filled with quants. Right. CHANCELLOR: Filled with quants. Yes. And Jeremy said, “I’m not a quant, either.” So he wanted a sort of non-quanty view input into the asset allocation process. RITHOLTZ: And I assume that worked out pretty well. CHANCELLOR: Yes and no. RITHOLTZ: They did well during the financial crisis. CHANCELLOR: Yes. RITHOLTZ: It’s relatively — CHANCELLOR: They were well positioned. RITHOLTZ: Positioned already. Yes. CHANCELLOR: They had the equity allocation. I mean, I didn’t want to blow my own trumpet up too much because most of the positions were in place, the quality funds, which more defensive and less leveraged, and low allocation to — a relatively low allocation to equities, and then the hedge funds sort of long/short positions that benefited in the financial crisis. My only real contribution that year was right at the beginning, when I hit the first week I joined GMO, I’ve written a piece in an FT column I had at the time saying, “Don’t believe the story that emerging markets can decouple from the rest of the world.” And GMO was still sitting on a massive emerging market position in the asset allocation team. And I tried to sort of chip away at that with Jeremy, and not having much success. And then the CLSA Asian economists called Jim Walker. I don’t know if you ever came to know. RITHOLTZ: No. CHANCELLOR: He’s sort of Scotsman with sort of voice like a Presbyterian minister. He was also on the sort of anti-decoupling story and he was bearish on EM. I dragged Jeremy to Jim Walker. And he said that this Scotsman with his gloomy voice is more effective and persuasive than I with my language, English drawl. And then Jeremy went out and sold all the emerging position. RITHOLTZ: Wow. Really? CHANCELLOR: Several billion dollars. And within, I don’t know, two months, he bought them back at half the price. RITHOLTZ: So you earn your keep then? CHANCELLOR: Yeah, only by — I think it was Jim Walker who did the thing, but at least I got Jeremy — RITHOLTZ: You got him in front of him. That’s what I’ll say. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And that sort of — I suppose I used to tell that sort of paid my way while I was there. RITHOLTZ: Absolutely fascinating. So let’s talk about what’s with this quote that I like from a 19th century trader, James Keene, “All life is speculation. The spirit of speculation is born with men.” Tell us about that? CHANCELLOR: Well, I mean, the act of speculation is to look out into the future. The word speculator is Latin and was a Roman military guard whose job was to look out and see whether the — RITHOLTZ: Speculate on danger. CHANCELLOR: — the gulfs [ph]were (inaudible) over the hills. In particular, when you get into what — financial market’s capitalist world, you’re always trying to anticipate what’s going on. In that sense, even people who describe themselves as investors are also necessarily speculators. But when we talk about speculation, we often talk about sort of unfounded, or irrational, or dangerous gambling- type tendencies. RITHOLTZ: So that leads me to the question, what is the actual difference between speculation and investing? Clearly, they’re both a gamble on the future. Is it about the amount of risk taken and the psychology of the person involved? Or is it something a little more quantitative? CHANCELLOR: You read threads where all the customers (inaudible). And you remember there he says, “The difference between speculation and investment is that speculation is an attempt, normally unsuccessful to turn a little amount of money into a lot. Whereas an investment is an attempt, normally successful to make sure a lot of money — RITHOLTZ: Doesn’t turn — CHANCELLOR: — doesn’t become a little.” RITHOLTZ: Fred Schwed, right? Is that who wrote the — CHANCELLOR: Fred Schwed. Yes, that’s right. So embedded in that is the idea — is the speculator is going to be taking more risk. RITHOLTZ: And not concerned with preservation of capital, the way an investor might be, is that what’s embedded in that? CHANCELLOR: I’d say the speculator now called in the book, “Devil Take the Hindmost.” And that is really a reflection of what they call the greater fool theory of investment is via a Shiba Inu coin or an NFT, and sell it to you, Barry. Well, then I buy because I think Barry is a bigger sucker than I am., and that he’ll take it off me from a bigger price. That’s a sort of Ponzi scheme or pyramid chain letter dynamic to a speculative bubble. And the other aspect of the speculator is he often gets lured into envisioning how the world will be and gets drawn into these new technologies, whether it’s radios or cars in the 1920s, or Internet stocks in the 1990s, and various types of — well, think of all those specs and electric vehicles the last couple of years. And the speculator — the trouble is that they look into the future and they draw — they imagine the future is actually much closer than it turns out to be. And so you could say that they’re operating with a sort of hyperbolically discounting the future, or just say they have too low discount rates. So they’re drawing everything forward. And even with the Internet, which we know, established and changing one’s life within a very short period of time. Even then, it didn’t stop the NASDAQ coming down by more than 75%. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: A lot of these dot-com businesses flaming out. RITHOLTZ: By the way, everybody talks about the Internet happening so quickly. It began in the 1980s as a way to survive a nuclear attack and be able to launch the retaliatory codes through DARPA. CHANCELLOR: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: So it took decades to be commercialized and more decades to become more broadly adopted. So if you are an Internet investor in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, most of those companies didn’t do well. CHANCELLOR: What I didn’t say the “Devil Take the Hindmost” was some research from a guy. I think he was at Bell Labs at that time, called Andrew Odlyzko. He’s now at University of Minnesota. And he and a colleague worked out in ’98, ‘99 that the projections for Internet traffic growth that the likes of WorldCom and big telecoms company was saying that Internet traffic growth was doubling every couple of months. And Odlyzko found out that actually the rate of growth was slower than that. Still doubling, but I think once every six months or so. And the result was getting — in the mania, people get overfixated on growth. They have growth projections –overoptimistic growth projections, then you get the overinvestment, you get speculative companies raising money over investment. And then if you remember after the dot-com, bust, you had these miles and miles of so-called dark fiber because you had excess capacity in fiber optic cable, which is, I mean, so commonly cited about, some 95% excess capacity. And that ran for several years, a bit like the sort of — if you think about it, the excess U.S. homebuilding during the real estate bubble which took — RITHOLTZ: A couple years to work out. CHANCELLOR: When they’re more than — I think it really took from 2006 to 2012. Before that, access build had really just worked its way out the system. RITHOLTZ: And then the hangover from that is we were under building houses for the rest of the decade because once bitten, twice shy. And then when suddenly there was demand for houses, there’s no inventory. There’s a shortage. CHANCELLOR: Yes, that’s it. I mean, given now, we’re going to get right into later. Now, first year mortgage rates have doubled. I think the Americans going to be grateful that they didn’t do that much building in the last few years because otherwise, we would really have a replay of 2007 and ’08. RITHOLTZ: That’s really quite fascinating. So I mentioned earlier, the book comes out in June ’99, pretty auspicious timing. But it raises the question with the publication of your new book, how often does history repeat itself? Are all of these bubbles and manias and collapses, is it pretty much the same playbook that just substitute Internet for railroads, substitute houses for telegrams? Do all these things just follow the same sort of cycle just forward in history? CHANCELLOR: Well, Jim Grant has a comment there. He says, “We’re always stepping on the same rake.” And I have a — a friend of mine, a financial strategist, lives in Edinburgh called Russell Napier runs a — has a — RITHOLTZ: Oh, I know the name. He wrote a book on — CHANCELLOR: He wrote a book called the “Anatomy of the Bear.” RITHOLTZ: Of the bear, that’s right. CHANCELLOR: An excellent book. He has a financial library in Edinburgh called the Library of Mistakes. And the idea is that you can learn everything you need to know in finance and for an investment career by actually working out the mistakes people have made. And that does seem to be, yes, as sort of similar pattern. Although, I should add that certainly it doesn’t help you on the short side, betting against speculative bubbles. When I was at GMO, we — a colleague and I ran a sort of quantitative analysis of speculative bubbles and we crunched, produced my system date 10,000 years of data of various commodity markets, and real estate markets, and stock markets around the world. And what we found is that bubbles are indeterminate in length. And they’re also indeterminate as to how high they can go. So if you don’t know how long the bubble is going to last and how high it’s going to rise, then you might be able to identify a bubble. And I don’t think that’s, frankly, that hard. And I think that’s useful if you’re just a long-only investor, you can stay out of the bubble market. RITHOLTZ: Right. But the timing on the downside is really difficult. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And I think what we’ve been — look, the last decade, we had — people were talking about dot-com 2.0 back in sort of 2012. RITHOLTZ: Yes. CHANCELLOR: And I actually — one of my last projects at GMO was to do a sort of — to look at what was going on from economic sentiment perspective, looking at various different measures in a bull bear ratio, amount of margin loans in system. I can’t quite remember what they were. But anyway, I put them all together and it looked — that speculative sentiment was very inflated in 2013. And actually, I presented this to (inaudible) and Jeremy got up afterwards and said, “I think the bull market has looked good to run.” And the other day, he was sort of tweaking my notes by saying — reminding me that I had been bearish and that he’d been relatively bullish. But clearly, there was another seven years to go and it got pretty — what happened in 2020 was nothing like — it was– RITHOLTZ: That’s a one-off. Yes, for sure. CHANCELLOR: Yes. I mean — RITHOLTZ: By the way, I have a — my partner Michael Batnick wrote a book that your colleague Russell Napier would really appreciate, called “Big Mistakes: The Best Investor and Their Worst Investments.” And he went through the history of George Soros and Warren Buffett, and all these legendary investors, and their giant mistakes and what they learned from them. I’ll send you guys a copy, you’ll appreciate it. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And that definitely belongs to the Library of Mistakes. RITHOLTZ: Yes, for sure. It’s literally exactly what he was discussing. So again, we see auspicious timing on your part to put out a book on interest rates in the middle of 2022, the most rapid increase in inflation since the 1980s, the fastest rising set of rates from central banks. I think you could say they ever from zero to 3.5% on the way to 4%, 4.5%. Your timing is quite auspicious. When did you first start thinking about, hmm, maybe it’s time to write a book about interest rates? CHANCELLOR: Well, quite a long time ago. I think I got interested in those subjects about a decade ago. And when I did this work on the credit boom, before the financial crisis, I belong to the school that thought that when the Greenspan Fed took U.S. Fed funds rate down to 1%, after the dot-com bust, that ignited, in my mind, the real estate bubble. RITHOLTZ: Obviously, a giant factor, has anyone actually made a case to say, “No, no, keeping rates under 2% for three years and under 1% for a year had no impact on real estate?” I mean, it’s not the only factor. But it’s pretty hard to say, “Oh, no, not relevant.” CHANCELLOR: Whether the Fed under Nobel laureate Bernanke — RITHOLTZ: Yes. Saving squad, we all know that’s nonsense. CHANCELLOR: Yes. I mean, I used to write about that in this new book where money flows off to the emerging markets when dollar rates are low. And then it comes back because these guys, they’re not saving. They’re actually just buying long dollars, treasuries. RITHOLTZ: And then investing. Right. CHANCELLOR: They’re buying them to manipulate the currency of China, most of all. But then I suppose difference between Bernanke and me is that Bernanke has a sort of abstract view of economics, whilst I try and look at what’s going on in the real financial world. RITHOLTZ: Although, to be fair, for an academic, he actually got to put his theories into practice as Fed chair. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And that’s problematic. I mean, do you remember, it was in ‘99 Milton Friedman’s 90th birthday. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: When they passed 2002, Friedman’s 90th birthday party in the Fed, Bernanke says facetiously to Friedman, “Apologizing for the Great Depression on behalf of the Federal Reserve, and ensuring that it won’t happen again.” And then five years later, we get meltdown. Bernanke and the Fed had — in particular, Bernanke had no inkling of what was about to happen. And then we didn’t get a Great Depression. But we then got into this era of extremely low interest rates and of quantitative easing, and that was associated with a period of what they call secular stagnation or extremely low growth. And we never really got out of that. We — RITHOLTZ: Until the pandemic. CHANCELLOR: Well, we didn’t get out — I mean, the pandemic was just the last gasp when they went back to quantitative easing. And they really came — the House of Lords, which the House of Lords wrote a report on quantitative easing last year which they called a dangerous addiction. And as Ben Bernanke introduced this financial dope, and I went off to work for hedge funds, or whatever he does, that is. RITHOLTZ: He’s a consultant. CHANCELLOR: He’s consultant. RITHOLTZ: Right. They consult. So let’s bring this back to the book, which is really quite fascinating. You start in Babylon with the origins of interest, and you go straight through the most recent boom and bust. How did the concept of paying interest on money begin? CHANCELLOR: Well, what we know is that interest is a very old phenomenon, five millennia, at least. RITHOLTZ: Before Babylon? I mean — CHANCELLOR: Well, if you look at the words in the ancient languages, including Assyrian, and Greek, and Latin, Egyptian, all the words for interest are linked to calves and lambs and kid goats. So there is this sense that interest must have existed in prehistoric societies. And the idea was I’ll lend you my cow. But a year later, I want the cow and a calf back, and you can keep if it has male. You can keep the male. Now, you can keep the extra cow. And as I cite in the book, the Americans were still — in the beginning of the 20th century, they’re out in the Midwest or whatever, people were still lending livestock and demanding interest payments in the offspring of the livestock. That I think is the origin. And then as I say, in ancient Mesopotamia, which had large cities and trading quite in a way, quite capitalistic, and you can see that interest was used on loans. It contains a sort of risk factor that people were using, borrowing and paying interest to finance, shipping ventures to finance local businesses and trade crafts, and also for financing the purchase of houses. So, you’ll see that in this sort of what you might call a proto capitalistic society, interest is serving a number of different important functions. And my reason for getting back to that point is to try and underline how important the function of interest is. That the Yale historian, William Goetzmann says that the invention of interest is the most important invention in the history of finance because it allows people to transact across time. And my thought, when I was doing this work, is we’re at a moment of zero interest and of negative interest in many countries, and that the zero negative interest was the sort of second most important development in the history of finance, and possibly the most, to my mind, worrying development. RITHOLTZ: We’re going to talk more about negative interest rates in a moment. But I have to reference the title of the book, “The Price of Time,” interest and interest rates are all about being able to engage in commercial transactions over time. Essentially, that’s what interest rates allow. CHANCELLOR: Yes. So time, as Ben Franklin says, is money. Time is valuable. Time is our most precious possession. And we must use time well. All our economic actions are taking place across time. And we need to sort of coordinate those actions. How much are we going to save? How much are we going to invest? What type of investments we’re going to make? What valuations will we place upon the house that we’re purchasing? Whether — should we invest in this country? How much risk should we take? All these factors have an interest rate embedded in them. And the American economist, Irving Fisher says that interest is an omnipresent phenomenon. And really what I’m trying to do with this book is to take this oldest of financial institutions, this omnipresent phenomenon, that to my mind, had been neglected by modern economists who really just see interest as a lever to control inflation and ignore these other functions. And thrust to the argument, the second half of the book is that the — when the central banks focused only on using the interest to prevent the price level from falling after the global financial crisis. They neglected the impact the saving has on valuations, on the allocation of capital, on savings and pensions, on the amount of risk-taking, and on capital flows, and the direction of capital flows. And in each of these other areas, we see a chronicle in the book, problems building up. And so if you take, for instance, valuation and we just discussed earlier how valuation of the U.S. stock market was very high last year, but aggregate household wealth that the Fed actually gathers — RITHOLTZ: Record highs. CHANCELLOR: Six times GDP against an average of 3.5 times GDP. And what you can see if you chart and I showed a chart in the book, is I showed the household wealth with the Fed funds rate. And each time the Fed funds rate goes down, the household wealth sort of pushes higher and higher and higher. So that’s obviously a source of instability because then when you raise rates, hey, presto, the markets come down in tandem with the bond stocks. Everything bubble gives way to the everything bust. RITHOLTZ: So clearly, the cover of the book has an hourglass showing time slowly seeping away. How important is time to those of us working in finance and engaging in transactions, where capital is put at risk? CHANCELLOR: Well, I mean, it’s likely. But, first of all, I’d say time is important to all human beings. And what’s called time preference, people’s tendency to prefer the present to the future to what we call discount the future, it appears to be a universal phenomenon. Some people are — another way to talk about is impatience. Some people are more impatient than others. So everyone has their own internal interest or discount rate. In finance, all finance is about transacting across times, lending, investing and so forth. It’s absolutely essential. There’s no activity in finance that doesn’t involve an interest rate. I mean, I cite a description of the failure of the Soviet economy. Even if you have a Soviet planned economy, you need to allocate resources across time. And if you’re not guided by the interest rates, as which the Soviets weren’t, you’re going to have these misallocations of capital that eventually clog up the system. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about that. I love this quote, “Interest rates are the most important signal in a market-based economy and the universal price affecting all others.” You’re suggesting, because that signal was missing from the Soviet economy, it eventually crashed and burned? CHANCELLOR: Yes. I mean, among other reasons. What I’m saying is that every — because it’s innate to human, because all humans are constrained by their mortality. All actions take place. Economic actions take place across time. But even if you didn’t have a capitalist or market economy, suddenly would need to rational to direct your resources or direct your behavior across that. In a way, it’s more explicit in a capitalist economy because you’re paying a certain rate of interest on your loan, or you have a certain required hurdle rate on your investment, or you’re applying a certain discount in the valuation of an asset. So in that sense, the time value of money is sort of first thing one learns in finance. RITHOLTZ: So prior to the financial crisis, I never thought about zero interest rates and I certainly never thought about negative interest rates. The decade that followed that seem to have created all of these negative rates. How do they affect economies? How do they affect trade? And how do they affect the consumer? CHANCELLOR: So the zero rate leads to these buildups of financial instability, and at the same time contributes to a misallocation of capital. RITHOLTZ: You’re not getting any yield on fixed income, so you tend to go to more speculative — CHANCELLOR: Exactly. RITHOLTZ: The whole TINA, there is no alternative. CHANCELLOR: Exactly. Yes. I say the English 19th century finance writer Walter Bagehot, where he says, “John Bull, the eponymous Englishman, John Bull can stand many things, but he cannot stand 2%.” And when people — we talk about yield chasing or carry trading when rates are very low. With the negative rates, you remember the argument negative rates was that they were going to turbocharge the economy. This was a phrase used by Ken Rogoff, the Harvard economist who wrote a book called “The Curse of Cash” in I think 2016, where he argued that you need to get rid of cash so that we could have properly negative rates. Well, the way I see negative rate is it’s a tax on capital, which is instituted by an unelected — RITHOLTZ: Central bank. CHANCELLOR: — central bank, or policymaker, without any one voting for it. He said these people who wanted us all to have accounts with the central bank, with the central bank having an authority, just takes much of our capital weight, seem to undermine property rights. But leaving aside that, while we see you in a place like Japan and Europe, there was no turbocharging of the economies. In fact, as you know, banks can’t make money at negative rates, and they are reluctant to lend. This is a point the Bill Gross, PIMCO’s former sort of Bond King, was making very early on in the era of zero rates. He says it’s sort of created — it was like sort of leukemia in the financial system, the negative rates, that destroyed the vitality of the banking system. But he said — he says that you need positive carry for the financial system to carry on making loans. Now, negative rates may seem a lot worse. I mean, what you saw when the Japanese went over to negative rates in 2016, articles in the newspaper about Japanese buying safes to store their money. And one of the large German banks also announced that it was going to be storing cash. And then you get these absurdities. So to note, I think it’s the impetus to credit growth, but you had these absurdities like Danish homebuyers actually receiving payments on their mortgages. So you’re having a transfer of wealth from savers to borrowers. And then they — RITHOLTZ: Which makes no sense. CHANCELLOR: No. I mean, we’ve been living in Alice in Wonderland world. I mean, I think it’s just the Lewis Carroll world. But I mentioned some of the long-dated Japanese bonds at negative yields, that some Japanese life insurance guy who I cited said, “Yields state matter.” And people were buying long-dated bonds at negative yields in anticipation — RITHOLTZ: Of them going lower? CHANCELLOR: — of yields going lower. And therefore, you could get capital gains from bonds with negative yields. And if you wanted income, you had to buy equities. RITHOLTZ: How is that any different than the people buying some of the coins you mentioned or the NFTs? You’re buying a negative yielding instrument. I’ll give you $100 for a century, and in 100 years, give me back $98. How is that any different than buying an NFT? CHANCELLOR: Well, I mean, you’re right. It’s — RITHOLTZ: Other than you get your $98. CHANCELLOR: Yes. I mean, well, credit of the government. But look what happened in the gilts market. RITHOLTZ: Recently or — CHANCELLOR: In the U.K. quite recently. So you had these long-dated index-linked gilts. The one I say is a 2073 linker, RITHOLTZ: So equivalent of a 50-year bond here in the U.S.? CHANCELLOR: Yes. But actually trading on a negative yield last year, 2.5%, been trading down for a long time. This year, that bond has lost 85% of its value at the trough before the Bank of England intervened to try and sort of stop the gilts market completely blowing apart. It was yielding to redemption 1.1%. So you blew 85% of capital to end up with an asset, with an expected real return held to redemption of just over 1%. RITHOLTZ: It doesn’t sound like a great trade to make. CHANCELLOR: It was A trade that, as you know, the U.K. pension funds engaged in to the tune of hundreds of billions of pounds. And to make things more interesting, they use leverage too. So there is sort of really a story for our times of pension funds induced too, because of the low interest rates and because that may have affected the present value of their liabilities as your discount rate. Again, they’re forced to go in and do sort of Walter Bagehot-type stupid things of leveraging up these long-dated bonds, while at the same time owning stuff that would have had a higher return, but then getting into a mess. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about what’s been going on around the world. And here in the United States, we have inflation at its highest level in 40 years. How much blame do you assign to central banks for the current circumstances? How significant were those quantitative easing and zero interest rate policies to the current state of inflation? CHANCELLOR: What do you think? I mean, pretty significant. RITHOLTZ: I think it’s one of many things, but obviously a very big one. CHANCELLOR: Yes. I mean, the inflation is complex phenomenon. RITHOLTZ: Right. But we had massive fiscal stimulus in U.S. CHANCELLOR: Yes. RITHOLTZ: And then the closing and reopening. But within the long-standing environment of zero for a decade. CHANCELLOR: Yes. So I think I mentioned quantitative easing becoming a dangerous addiction. Initially, that quantitative easing after the financial crisis, was a time where the sort of financial system was deleveraging. The money wasn’t really making its way to Main Street, besides Main Street was high unemployment, and so on and so forth. It’s different when by 2020, with the lock downs, and not just U.S., Britain and — RITHOLTZ: Around the world. CHANCELLOR: — around the world. You had I think $8 trillion of central bank QE or balance sheet expansion, and roughly, dollar-for-dollar increase in government spending. And then, obviously, people were just staying at home with their stimulus checks. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: And they were going out and buy meme stocks, having looked up on Wall Street bets, which stocks to be targeting, and borrowing at 2% from Robinhood. And — RITHOLTZ: So here’s the question, if artificially low rates helped get us into this mess, will raising rates help get us out of this mess? CHANCELLOR: No. I’ll tell you why. I mean, the thrust of the book is that you’ve got yourself into a perilous position, too much debt, too much risk-taking, overinflated valuations, too little real savings, too much financial engineering, and too little real investment. And once you’re in that position, it’s very difficult to get out of it. Do you remember after the financial crisis that was commonly used this phrase “kicking the can.” And really for the last — you could say for the last 25 years or so, we’ve been kicking the can. And now, we’ve reached the point where we have inflation, as we say, and it’s more difficult for the central banks to come in and kick the can any further because they’re in danger of losing credibility. RITHOLTZ: The can is kicking back. CHANCELLOR: The can got bigger. It’s like sort of quantum. Every time you kick it, it gets bigger and bigger, and bigger. So we’re now sort of sitting under a massive can. RITHOLTZ: So I want to roll back to the financial crisis because I suspect I’m reading between the lines a little bit or maybe not so much. When we rescued a lot of the banks and then kept rates very low for the next seven, eight years, we ignored some of the things we had learned previously, when we go back to Walter Bagehot. Shouldn’t we have taken these banks and allowed them to go to that lovely building with the columns downtown, the bankruptcy court, and allow all these banks to wipe out the equity holders, give the bondholders a haircut, and clean up their balance sheets and send them back into the world revitalized? Like, the zombie banks we kept on life support of low rates, wasn’t fixing one problem, eventually setting us up for the next problem. RITHOLTZ: Yes. I think so. Well, the policymakers said — and central banks, they say there was no alternative. And if you criticize that, you were wishing another Great Depression. But, in fact, actually, I cite right towards the end of the book, the case of Iceland as a counterfactual. Because what happened in Iceland, Iceland went completely crazy. RITHOLTZ: Yes. CHANCELLOR: Their debt, foreign debt was 10 times GDP. The current guide deficit was 25% of GDP. They’ve completely given up fishing. They’ve all turned into bankers. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: And then it blew. But Iceland was not part of the EU, so no one was really coming to their rescue. The Fed didn’t offer either credit lines, dollar swaps to the Iceland central bank. And so poor Iceland was just left on its own. And what’s interesting is they sort of followed that course that you described. The big banks went bust. They were put into receivership. Domestic depositors were protected. The mortgage borrowers who — interest rates went up, but mortgage borrowers were protected by giving taxation relief on their interest payments. And the foreign debt was defaulted on. And currency declined with capital controls. But after a few years, capital controls were taken off. And this is what’s most interesting is that the Icelandic economy transformed away from finance towards tourism, and technology as well. So you had this Schumpeterian creative destruction. The government debt relative to GDP came down. The economy, within six or seven years, Iceland was growing, had recovered all its losses, and was growing faster than any other European country. So making the creditors take a haircut, forcing them take that, goes back to these ancient Mesopotamian practices of debt jubilee, such they originated the debt jubilee, the giving up the writing off of debt, which also the Egyptians and the Israelites did. So — and that’s seen as a sort of left-wing idea, but I don’t think it necessarily has to be. If you’ve made loans that have bad loans, then it’s right that the creditor should take a haircut. RITHOLTZ: Right. And hence, bankruptcy courts exist for a reason, right? They shouldn’t — they are not just there to show off the architecture of those columns. CHANCELLOR: I’ve never been — as I mentioned in the book, insolvency rates was sort of absurdly low. We talked about the Great Depression. The new headlines were “Oh, another worst financial — the worst crisis since the Great Depression, it was called the Great Recession.” And then, actually, if you look at insolvencies, they were lower than the insolvencies after the dot-com bust — RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: — or the insolvencies after the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s. So you didn’t get your bankruptcy, you said you get the zombies. And the zombies are sort of living dead, which is sort of death to a capitalist economy because they — RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: — they don’t — they discourage entrepreneurs. They discourage investment. They discourage productivity growth. RITHOLTZ: No doubt about that. And there are ramifications and unanticipated consequences that we’re still living with till this day, whether it’s a very low growth rate that begot the rise of authoritarianism, both here and abroad. You can trace that back to not allowing the banks to go through that process. CHANCELLOR: Yes. Well, I do — I mean, my chapter — the book ends with a — called The New Road to Serfdom, and the argument — RITHOLTZ: Channeling Hayek. CHANCELLOR: Yes. Friedrich Hayek, the Austrian economist, philosopher, and he wrote a book in the Second World War, thinking that the advance of the state during the war into the economy and into people’s lives was not going to retreat. And it wasn’t really right. There was sort of retreat. But my argument, drawing on Hayek, is that if you take away the universal price, the price of interest that guides the capitalist system, then the system will fail. And the more system fails, the more the authorities have to come in to prop things up until you get to a position where you no longer, in a way, have a capitalist society. And I suppose that’s the juncture we are today. Are we going to sort of go through the problems of adjusting from the low rates to normal rates, whatever that takes, or are we going to just shift into a sort of a different type of paradigm in which the state allocates capital and controls over that? I’m not saying that we’re going down that route. I’m just raising the question that I talked about people sort of stumbling, progressing without really — no real intention, blind progression. And one sense is that this has sort of been a blind progression. And no one, I mean, it’s absolute clear to me that no one in any position of authority considered the actual ramifications of monetary policy of these low rates. RITHOLTZ: Quite fascinating. I only have you for a few more minutes before we have to send you off to the airport. So let’s blow through these five questions in a few minutes, starting with, tell us what kept you entertained during the pandemic. What were you listening to or watching? CHANCELLOR: Well, we watched “Succession.” RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: And we watched then the other HBO, the — RITHOLTZ: “White Lotus?” CHANCELLOR: I watched “White Lotus.” I watched the TV — the series, “A Game of Thrones.” RITHOLTZ: Oh, okay. CHANCELLOR: I watch a lot of “Game of Thrones.” RITHOLTZ: Right. Tell us about some of your mentors who helped to shape your career. CHANCELLOR: Well, when I was writing “Devil Take the Hindmost,’ I went see Charles Kindleberger outside Cambridge, Massachusetts. Crispin Odey, who I mentioned, commissioned me to do that work on credit, which been very useful to me. Another investment from Marathon Asset Management, a friend called Charles Carter. I edited a couple of books for them called “Capital Cycle Theory of Investment,” which has been sort of quite important to me. And then Jeremy Grantham at GMO has been my mentor, I’d say. RITHOLTZ: That’s an impressive list. Let’s talk about other books in addition to what you’ve written. What are some of your favorites, and what are you reading now? CHANCELLOR: My wife and I get into Indie quite a lot. And my favorite novelist is R.K. Narayan, who Graham Greene said was the best writer in the English language. And I actually — I start that book with an epigraph from Narayan’s “The Financial Expert.’ On sort of Indian theme, I’ve been reading these colonial thrillers set in 1920s Calcutta by an Indian-Scottish writer called Mukherjee. I can’t quite remember his first name. They’re pretty good. And Vaclav Smil, Doctor Smil is the Canadian scientist who writes about energy and civilization, and has written — and last year, I read a book called “The Great Transition.” And this year, he’s written a book about — called “How the World Really Works.” And Smil’s argument is to look at how mankind has moved from one energy source to another. RITHOLTZ: I’ll definitely — I’ll definitely look at that. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And Bill Gates says he’s his favorite. I don’t know if that’s a recommendation. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. Our last two questions, what sort of advice would you give to a recent college graduate who is interested in a career in either history, journalism or finance? CHANCELLOR: Sort of almost think again. I mean, I don’t think academia is a place to go into now. Journalism is much less — and my grandfather worked at Reuters. He was Shanghai Bureau Chief in the 1930s. And in those days, you could earn a decent living and have a decent career in — it’s harder, where in Bloomberg, the guys here are paid reasonable. Financial journalism pays, most other journalism doesn’t pay. So I’d probably say if you’re going to go into journalism, do financial journalism. And in finance, again, in my view, I went into finance, as I say, almost cynically. It actually then became a calling for me because I actually turned out to be genuinely interested in finance and finance history. People are drawn into finance because people are paid better. And we’ve had the financial sector growing and the markets rising. If we’ve reached a cusp, and the market is going to be not raising in the future, then actually that sort of (inaudible) that you earn from finance is perhaps not going to be there. And I suppose if I was sort of recommending, so when I said they want to get into investment finance, I would say, are you sure your talents can’t be used more beneficially elsewhere? Because if you think you’re just going to enter into this sector because you’re going to be paid 5 to 10 times more than anyone else, than the average, then I wouldn’t be sure that that’s going to be the case going forward. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of speculation, bubbles, interest rates today you wish you knew 30 or 40 years or so ago when you were first starting out? CHANCELLOR: Like, I didn’t know any. I mean, I didn’t know anything then. I mean, it’s — look, we’ve been living through the most extraordinary period. I used to think the dot-com bubble was amazing. RITHOLTZ: It was until we supersized. CHANCELLOR: No. And then I thought why wasn’t the security, subprime securities? That was extraordinary. And then we had the pandemic, everything, bubble. And we have lived through the most extraordinary period in the history of finance. I had no idea that that was going to be the case when I started my career. RITHOLTZ: Absolutely fascinating. Thank you, Edward, for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with Edward Chancellor, author of “Devil Take the Hindmost” and “The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest.” If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure to check out any of the 450 or so conversations we’ve had previously. You can find those at Spotify, iTunes, Bloomberg, YouTube, wherever you feed your podcast fix. We’d love your comments, feedback and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. Sign up for my daily reading list @ritholtz.com. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack team that helps us put these conversations together each week. Sarah Livesey is my audio engineer. Atika Valbrun is my project manager. Sean Russo runs our Research. Paris Wald is my producer. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio. END   ~~~   The post Transcript: Edward Chancellor appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureNov 9th, 2022

Spooky Torts: The 2022 List Of Litigation Horrors

Spooky Torts: The 2022 List Of Litigation Horrors Authored by Jonathan Turley, Here is my annual list of Halloween torts and crimes. Halloween of course remains a holiday seemingly designed for personal injury lawyers around the world and this year’s additions show why. Halloween has everything for a torts-filled holiday: battery, trespass, defamation, nuisance, product liability and more. Particularly with the recent tragedy in South Korea, our annual listing is not intended to belittle the serious losses that can occur on this and other holidays. However, my students and I often discuss the remarkably wide range of torts that comes with All Hallow’s Eve. So, with no further ado, here is this year’s updated list of actual cases related to Halloween. In October 2021, Danielle Thomas, former exotic dancer known as “Pole Assassin” (and the girlfriend of Texas special teams coach Jeff Banks), found herself embroiled in a Halloween tort after the monkey previously used in her act bit a wandering child at the house of horror she created for Halloween. Thomas considers the monkey Gia to be her “emotional support animal.” Thomas goes all out for the holiday and converted her home into a house of horrors, including a maze. She said that the area with Gia was closed off and, as for petting, “no one is allowed to touch her!”  She publicly insisted “No one was viciously attack this a lie, a whole lie! She was not apart of any haunted house, the kid did not have permission to be on the other side of my property!” She even posted a walk-through video of the scene to show the steps that a child would have to take to get to the monkey. Don’t worry folks I got the #MonkeyGate video pic.twitter.com/TAy6leBqDS — Christian Sykes (@ctsykes13) November 2, 2021 She insists in the video that she knows all of the governing legal rules and shows the path in detail. It is not helpful on the defense side: it is not a long path and easy to see how a child might get lost. She later deleted her account (likely after her attorney regained consciousness). The case raises an array of torts including animal liability, licensee liability, negligence, and attractive nuisance claims. In 2022, we often added conversion to the usual torts where multiple versions of the new giant skeleton were stolen, including one particularly ham-handed effort in Austin, Texas caught on video tape: * * * In Berea, Ohio, the promoters of the 7 Floors of Hell haunted house at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds appreciate realism but one employee took it a bit too far. An actor brandished this real bowie knife as a prop while pretending to stab an 11-year-old boy’s foot. He then stabbed him. The accident occurred when the actor, 22, approached the boy and stabbed at the ground as a scare tactic. He got too close and accidentally cut through the child’s shoe, piercing a toe. The injury was not serious since the boy was treated at the scene and continued through the haunted house. The case raises an interesting question of “respondeat superior” for the negligent acts by employees in the course of employment. The question is what is in the scope of employment.  The question is often whether an employee was on a “detour” or “frolic.”  A detour can be outside of an employer’s policies or guidelines but will be the basis for liability as sufficiently related to the employment.  A frolic is a more serious deviation where the employee is acting in his own capacity or for his own interests. In this case, the actor was clearly within his scope of employment in trying to scare the visitors. However, he admitted that he bought the knife in his personal capacity and agreed it “was not a good idea” to use it at the haunted house, according to FOX 8. That still does not negate the negligence — both direct and vicarious liability. There was a failure to monitor employees and safeguard the scene. His negligence is also likely attributable to the employer. Finally, this would constitute battery as a reckless, though unintended, act. * * * In 2020, parents in Indiana were given a warning in a Facebook post that the Indiana State Police seized holiday edibles featuring packaging that resembles that of actual name brands — but with the word “medicated” printed on the wrapper along with cannabis symbols. The packaging makes it easy for homeowners to confuse packages and give out drugged candy.  Indeed, last year, two children were given THC-infused gummies while trick-or-treating, according to police in Waterford, Conn.. Such candies include the main active ingredient linked to the psychedelic effects of cannabis – the plant from which marijuana is derived. Even an accidental distribution of such infused candies would constitute child endangerment and be subject to both negligence and strict liability actions in torts. * * * I previously have written how the fear of razor blades in apples appears an urban legend. Well, give it enough time and someone will prove you wrong. That is the allegation of Waterbury, Connecticut police who say that Jason A. Racz, 37, put razor blades in candy bags of at least two trick-or-treaters. Racz’ razor defense may not be particularly convincing to the average juror. According to police, “Racz explained that the razor blades were accidentally spilled or put into the candy bowl he used to hand out candy from.” However, police noted that he “provided no explanation as to how the razor blades were handed out to the children along with the candy.” The charge was brought soon after Halloween in 2019. Racz is now charged with risk of injury to a minor, reckless endangerment and interfering with a police officer. He could also be charged with battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, but it is not clear if any children were injured. *  *  * Steven Novak, an artist from Dallas, Texas, believes that Halloween should be a bit more than a traditional plastic pumpkin and a smiling ghost.  Police were called to his home in Texas over a possible murder. They found a dummy impaled on a chainsaw with fake blood; another dummy hanging from his roof; a wheelbarrow full of fake dismembered body parts and other gory scenes.  Neighbors called the display too traumatizing.  Police responded by taking pictures for their families. A tort action for intentional infliction of emotional distress is likely to fail. There must be not just outrageous conduct but conduct intended to cause severe emotional distress. Courts regularly exclude injuries associated with the exercise of free speech or artistic expression . . . even when accompanied by buckets of fake blood. *  *  * The Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Pennsylvania tells customers that, if they come to their Halloween Haunt, “Fear is waiting for you.” In 2019, a new case was filed by Shannon Sacco and her daughter over injuries sustained from “unreasonable scaring.” They are seeking $150,000. The Allentown Morning Call reported that “M.S.” went with friends to the amusement park and was immediately approached by costumed characters. She said that she told them that she did not want to be scared and backed away. A little further on into the park however a costumed employee allegedly ran up behind her and shouted loudly. The startled girl fell forward and suffered what were serious but unspecified injuries. She alleges ongoing medical issues and inability to return to fully functioning activities. The lawsuit also alleges that the park failed to inform Sacco or her daughter that they could buy a glow-in-the-dark “No Boo” necklace to ward off costumed employees. The obvious issue beyond the alleged negligence of the Park is the plaintiffs’ own conduct. Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state so contributory negligence by the plaintiffs would not be a bar to recovery. See Pennsylvania General Assembly Statute §7102. However, it is a modified comparative negligence state so they must show that they are 50 percent or less at fault. If they are found 51 percent at fault, they are barred entirely from recovery. Even if they can recover, their damages are reduced by the percentage of their own fault in going to a park during a Halloween-themed event. *  *  * In 2019, there is a rare public petition to shutdown a haunted house that has been declared to be a “torture chamber.” The move to “shut down McKamey Manor” that has been signed by thousands who believe Russ McKamey, the owner of McKamey Manor, has made his house so scary that it constitutes torture, including an allegation of waterboarding of visitors. The haunted house requires participants to get a doctor’s note and sign a 40-page waiver before they enter. People are seeking the closure of the houses located in Summertown, Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama. McKamey insists that it is just a “crazy haunted house” and stops well short of the legal-definition of torture. The question is whether consent vitiates any extreme frights or contacts. He is also clear in both the waiver and the website that the house is an “extreme haunted attraction” for legal adults who “must be in GREAT HEALTH to participate.” Not only do people enter with full knowledge but there is no charge. McKamey owns five dogs and only requires a bag of dog food for entry. Presumably the food is cursed. *  *  * An earlier case was recently made public from an accident on October 15, 2011 in San Diego. Scott Griffin and friends went to the Haunted Trail in San Diego. The ticket warns of “high-impact scares” along a mile path with actors brandishing weapons and scary items. Griffen, 44, and his friends went on the trail and were going out of what they thought was an exit. Suddenly an actor jumped out as part of what the attraction called “the Carrie effect” of a last minute scare. While Griffen said that he tried to back away, the actor followed him with a running chain saw. He fell backwards and injured his wrists. The 2013 lawsuit against the Haunted Hotel, Inc., in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, alleged negligence and assault. However, Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal granted a motion to dismiss based on assumption of the risk. She noted that Griffin “was still within the scare experience that he purchased.” After all, “Who would want to go to a haunted house that is not scary?” Griffen then appealed and the attorney for the Haunted Hotel quoted Hunter S. Thompson: “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” Again, the court agreed. In upholding the lower court, Justice Gilbert Nares wrote, “Being chased within the physical confines of the Haunted Trail by a chain saw–carrying maniac is a fundamental part and inherent risk of this amusement. Griffin voluntarily paid money to experience it.” *  *  * In 2018, a case emerged in Madison, Tennessee from the Nashville Nightmare Haunted House.   James “Jay” Yochim and three of his pals went to the attraction composed of  four separate haunted houses, an escape room, carnival games and food vendors.  In the attraction, people are chased by characters with chainsaws and other weapons.  They were not surprised therefore when a man believed to be an employee in a Halloween costume handed Tawnya Greenfield a knife and told her to stab Yochim.  She did and thought it was all pretend until blood started to pour from Yochim’s arm. The knife was real and the man was heard apologizing “I didn’t know my knife was that sharp.” It is not clear how even stabbing with a dull knife would be considered safe. The attraction issued a statement: “As we have continued to review the information, we believe that an employee was involved in some way, and he has been placed on leave until we can determine his involvement. We are going over all of our safety protocols with all of our staff again, as the safety and security of all of our patrons is always our main concern. We have not been contacted by the police, but we will cooperate fully with any official investigation.” The next scary moment is likely to be in the form of a torts complaint.  Negligence against the company under respondeat superior is an obvious start. There is also a novel battery charge where he could claim that he was stabbed by trickery or deceit of a third person. There are also premises liability issues for invitees.  As for Greenfield, she claims to have lacked consent due to a misrepresentation.  She could be charged with negligence or a recklessness-based theory of battery, though that seems less likely.  Finally, there is an interesting possible claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress in being tricked or misled into stabbing an individual. *  *  * Last year, a 21-year-old man surnamed Cheung was killed by a moving coffin in a haunted house in Hong Kong’s Ocean Park.   The attraction is called “Buried Alive” and involves hopping into coffins for a downward slide into a dark and scary space. The ride promises to provide people with the “experience of being buried alive alone, before fighting their way out of their dark and eerie grave.” Cheung took a wrong turn and went backstage — only to be hit by one of the metal coffins.  The hit in the head killed Cheung who was found later in the haunted house. While there is no word of a tort lawsuit (and tort actions are rarer in Hong Kong), the case is typical of Halloween torts involving haunted houses.  The decor often emphasizes spooky and dark environs which both encourage terror and torts among the participants.  In this case, an obvious claim could be made that it is negligence to allow such easy access to the operational area of the coffin ride — particularly in a dark space.  As a business invitee, Cheung would have a strong case in the United States. *  *  * A previous addition to the Spooky torts was the odd case of Assistant Prosecutor Chris White. White clearly does not like spiders, even fake ones. That much was clear given his response to finding fake spiders scattered around the West Virginia office for Halloween. White pulled a gun and threatened to shoot the fake spiders, explaining that he is “deathly afraid of spiders.” It appears that his arachnophobia (fear of spiders) was not matched by a hoplophobia (fear of firearms). The other employees were reportedly shaken up and Logan County Prosecuting Attorney John Bennett later suspended White. Bennett said “He said they had spiders everyplace and he said he told them it wasn’t funny, and he couldn’t stand them, and he did indeed get a gun out. It had no clip in it, of course they wouldn’t know that, I wouldn’t either if I looked at it, to tell you the truth.” It is not clear how White thought threatening the decorative spiders would keep them at bay or whether he was trying to deter those who sought to deck out the office in a Halloween theme. He was not charged by his colleagues with a crime but was suspended for his conduct. This is not our first interaction with White. He was the prosecutor in the controversial (and in my view groundless) prosecution of Jared Marcum, who was arrested after wearing a NRA tee shirt to school. *  *  * Another new case from the last year involves a murder. Donnie Cochenour Jr., 27, got a seasonal break (at least temporarily) on detecting his alleged murder of Rebecca J. Cade, 31. Cade’s body was left hanging on a fence and was mistaken by neighbors as a Halloween decoration. The “decoration” was found by a man walking his dog and reported by construction workers. A large rock was found with blood on it nearby. Donnie Cochenour Jr., 27, was later arrested and ordered held on $2 million bond after he pleaded not guilty to murder. Cade apparently had known Cochenour since he was a child — a relationship going back 20 years. Cochenour reportedly admitted that they had a physical altercation in the field. Police found a blood trail that indicates that Cade was running from Cochenour and tried to climb the fence in an attempt to get away. She was found hanging from her sleeve and is believed to have died on the fence from blunt force trauma to the head and neck. Her body exhibited “defensive wounds.” When police arrested Cochenour, they found blood on is clothing. *  *  * In 2015, federal and state governments were cracking down on cosmetic contact lenses to give people spooky eyes. Owners and operators of 10 Southern California businesses were criminally charged in federal court with illegally selling cosmetic contact lenses without prescriptions. Some of the products that were purchased in connection with this investigation were contaminated with dangerous pathogens that can cause eye injury, blindness and loss of the eye. The products are likely to result in a slew of product liability actions. *  *  * Another 2015 case reflects that the scariest part of shopping for Halloween costumes or decorations may be the trip to the Party Store. Shanisha L. Saulsberry sued U.S. Toy Company, Inc. after she was injured shopping for Halloween costumes and a store rack fell on her. The jury awarded Saulsberry $7,216.00 for economic damages. She appealed the damages after evidence of her injuries were kept out of the trial by the court. However, the Missouri appellate court affirmed the ruling. *  *  * The case of Castiglione v. James F. Q., 115 A.D.3d 696, shows a classic Halloween tort. The lawsuit alleged that, on Halloween 2007, the defendant’s son threw an egg which hit the plaintiff’s daughter in the eye, causing her injuries. The plaintiff also brought criminal charges against the defendant’s son arising from this incident and the defendant’s son pleaded guilty to assault in the third degree (Penal Law § 120.00 [2]). However, at his deposition, the defendant’s son denied throwing the egg which allegedly struck the plaintiff’s daughter. Because of the age of the accused, the case turned on the youthful offender statute (CPL art 720) that provides special measures for persons found to be youthful offenders which provides “Except where specifically required or permitted by statute or upon specific authorization of the court, all official records and papers, whether on file with the court, a police agency or the division of criminal justice services, relating to a case involving a youth who has been adjudicated a youthful offender, are confidential and may not be made available to any person or public or private agency [with certain exceptions not relevant here]” (CPL 720.35 [2]). This covers both the physical documents constituting the official record and the information contained within those documents. Thus, in relation to the Halloween egging, the boy was protected from having to disclose information or answer questions regarding the facts underlying the adjudication *  *  * We discussed the perils of pranks and “jump frights,” particularly with people who do not necessarily consent. In the case of Christian Faith Benge, there appears to have been consent in visiting a haunted house. The sophomore from New Miami High School in Ohio died from a prior medical condition at the at Land of Illusion haunted house. She was halfway through the house with about 100 friends and family members when she collapsed. She had an enlarged heart four times its normal size. She also was born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which prevents the lungs from developing normally. This added stress to the heart. In such a case, consent and comparative negligence issues effectively bar recovery in most cases. It is a terrible loss of a wonderful young lady. However, some fatalities do not always come with liability and this appears such a case. Source: Journal News *  *  * As discussed earlier, In Franklin County, Tennessee, children may want to avoid the house of Dale Bryant Farris, 65, this Halloween . . . or houses near him. Bryant was arrested after shooting a 15-year-old boy who was with kids toilet-papering their principal’s front yard. Bryant came out of his house a couple of houses down from the home of Principal Ken Bishop and allegedly fired at least two blasts — one hitting a 15-year-old boy in the right foot, inner left knee, right palm, right thigh and right side of his torso above the waistline. Tennessee is a Castle Doctrine state and we have seen past cases like the notorious Tom Horn case in Texas where homeowners claimed the right to shoot intruders on the property of their neighbors. It is not clear if Bryant will argue that he was trying to stop intruders under the law, but it does not appear a good fit with the purpose or language of the law. Farris faces a charge of aggravated assault and another of reckless endangerment. He could also face civil liability from the boy’s family. This would include assault and battery. There is a privilege of both self-defense and defense of others. This privilege included reasonable mistaken self-defense or defense of others. This would not fit such a claim since he effectively pursued the boys by going to a neighbor’s property and there was no appearance of a threat or weapon since they were only armed with toilet paper. The good news is that Farris can now discard the need for a costume. He can go as himself at Halloween . . . as soon as he is out of jail. *  *  * As shown below, Halloween nooses have a bad record at parties. In 2012, a club called Pink Punters had a decorative noose that it had used for a number of years that allowed party goers to take pictures as a hanging victim on Halloween. Of course, you guessed it. A 25-year old man was found hanging from the noose in an accidental self-lynching at the nightclub in England. The case would appear easy to defend in light of the assumption of the risk and patent danger. The noose did not actually tighten around necks. Moreover, this is England where tort claims can be more challenging. In the United States, however, there would remain the question of a foreseeable accident in light of the fact that patrons are drinking heavily and drugs are often present at nightclubs. Since patrons are known to put their heads in the noose, the combination is intoxication and a noose is not a particularly good mix. *  *  * Grant v. Grant. A potential criminal and tort case comes to us from Pennsylvania where, at a family Halloween bonfire, Janet Grant spotted a skunk and told her son Thomas Grant to fetch a shotgun and shoot it. When he returned, Janet Grant shined a flashlight on the animal while her son shot it. It was only then that they discovered that Thomas Grant had just shot his eight-year-old cousin in her black and white Halloween costume. What is amazing is that authorities say that they are considering possible animal gaming charges. Fortunately, the little girl survived with a wound to the shoulder and abdomen. The police in Beaver County have not brought charges and alcohol does not appear to have been a factor. Putting aside the family connection (which presumably makes the likelihood of a lawsuit unlikely), there is a basis for both battery and negligence in such a wounding. With children in the area, the discharge of the firearm would seem pretty unreasonable even with the effort to illuminate “the animal.” Moreover, this would have to have been a pretty large skunk to be the size of an eight-year-old child. Just for the record, the average weight of a standard spotted skunk in that area is a little over 1 pound. The biggest skunk is a hog-nosed skunk that can reach up to 18 pounds. *  *  * We also have a potential duel case out of Aiken, South Carolina from one year ago. A 10-year-old Aiken trick-or-treater pulled a gun on a woman who joked that she wanted take his candy on Halloween. Police found that his brother, also ten, had his own weapon. The 28-year-old woman said that she merely joked with a group of 10 or so kids that she wanted their candy when the ten-year-old pulled out a 9 mm handgun and said “no you’re not.” While the magazine was not in the gun, he had a fully loaded magazine in his possession. His brother had the second gun. Both appear to have belonged to their grandfather. The children were released to their parents and surprisingly there is no mention of charges against the grandfather. While the guns appear to have been taken without his permission, it shows great negligence in the handling and storage of the guns. What would be interesting is a torts lawsuit by the woman for assault against the grandfather. The actions of third parties often cut off liability as a matter of proximate causation, though courts have held that you can be liable for creating circumstances where crimes or intentional torts are foreseeable. For example, a landlord was held liable in for crimes committed in his building in Kline v. 1500 Massachusetts Avenue. Here the grandfather’s negligence led to the use of the guns by these children. While a lawsuit is unlikely, it would certainly be an interesting — and not unwarranted — claim. *  *  * Tauton High School District The Massachusetts case of Smith v. Taunton High School involves a Halloween prank gone bad. A teacher at Taunton High School asked a 15-year-old student to answer a knock on the classroom door. The boy was startled when he came face to face with a man in a mask and carrying what appeared to be a running chainsaw. The student fell back, tripped and fractured a kneecap. His family is now suing though the state cap on such lawsuits is $100,000. Dussault said the family is preparing a lawsuit, but is exploring ways to avoid a trial and do better than the $100,000 cap when suing city employees. This could make for an interesting case, but would be better for the Plaintiffs as a bench versus a jury trial. Many jurors are likely to view this as simply an attempt at good fun by the teacher and an unforeseeable accident. Source: CBS *  *  * In Florida, a woman has sued for defamation, harassment and emotional distress after her neighbor set up decorations that included an insane asylum sign that pointed to her yard and a fake tombstone with an inscription she viewed as a reference to her single status. It read, “At 48 she had no mate no date/ It’s no debate she looks 88.” This could be a wonderful example of an opinion defense to defamation. As for emotional distress, I think the cause of the distress pre-dates Halloween. *  *  * Pieczonka v. Great America (2012) A family is suing Great America for a tort in 2011 at Great Falls. Father Marian Pieczonka alleged in his complaint that his young daughter Natalie was at the park in Gurnee, Illinois for the Halloween-themed Fright Fest when a park employee dressed in costume jumped out of a port-a-potty and shot her with a squirt gun. He then reported chased the screaming girl until she fell and suffered injuries involving scrapes and bruises. The lawsuit alleges negligence in encouraging employees to chase patrons given the tripping hazards. They are asking $30,000 in the one count complaint but could face assumption or comparative negligence questions, particularly in knowingly attending an event called “Fright Fest” where employees were known to jump out at patrons. *  *  * A lawsuit appears inevitable after a tragic accident in St. Louis where a 17-year-old girl is in a critical condition after she became tangled in a noose at a Halloween haunted house called Creepyworld. The girl was working as an actress at the attraction and was found unconscious. What is particularly chilling is that people appeared to have walked by her hanging in the house and thought she was a realistic prop. Notably, the attraction had people walk through to check on the well-being of actors and she was discovered but not for some time after the accident. She is in critical condition. Creepyworld employs 100 people and can expect a negligence lawsuit. *  *  * Rabindranath v. Wallace (2010) Peter Wallace, 24, was returning on a train with fellow Hiberinian soccer fans in England — many dressed in costumes (which the English call “fancy dress.”) One man was dressed as a sheep and Wallace thought it was funny to constantly flick his lighter near the cotton balls covering his body — until he burst into flames. Friends then made the matter worse by trying to douse the flames but throwing alcohol on the flaming man-sheep. Even worse, the victim Arjuna Rabindranath, 24, is an Aberdeen soccer fan. Rabindranath’s costume was composed of a white tracksuit and cotton wool. Outcome: Wallace is the heir to a large farm estate and agreed to pay damages to the victim, who experienced extensive burns. What is fascinating is the causation issue. Here, Wallace clearly caused the initial injury which was then made worse by the world’s most dim-witted rescue attempt in the use of alcohol to douse a fire. In the United States, the original tortfeasor is liable for such injuries caused by negligent rescues. Indeed, he is liable for injured rescuers. The rescuers can also be sued in most states. However, many areas of Europe have good Samaritan laws protecting such rescuers. Notably, Wallace had a previous football-related conviction which was dealt with by a fine. In this latest case, he agreed to pay 25,000 in compensation. The case is obviously similar to one of our prior Halloween winners below: Ferlito v. Johnson & Johnson *  *  * Perper v. Forum Novelties (2010) Sherri Perper, 56, of Queens, New York has filed a personal injury lawsuit due to defective shoes allegedly acquired from Forum Novelties. The shoes were over-sized clown shoes that she was wearing as part of her Halloween costume in 2008. She tripped and fell. She is reportedly claiming that the shoes were dangerous. While “open and obvious” is no longer an absolute defense in such products cases, such arguments may still be made to counter claims of defective products. In most jurisdictions, you must show that the product is more dangerous than the expectations of the ordinary consumer. It is hard to see how Perper could be surprised that it is a bit difficult to walk in over-sized shoes. Then there is the problem of assumption of the risk. *  *  * Dickson v. Hustonville Haunted House and Greg Walker (2009) Glenda Dickson, 51, broke four vertebrae in her back when she fell out of a second story window left open at the Hustonville Haunted House, owned by Greg Walker. Dickson was in a room called “The Crying Lady in the Bed” when one of the actors came up behind the group and started screaming. Everyone jumped in fright and Dickson jumped back through an open window that was covered with a sheet — a remarkably negligent act by the haunted house operator. She landed on a fire escape and then fell down some stairs. *  *  * Maryland v. Janik (2009) Sgt. Eric Janik, 37, went to a haunted house called the House of Screams with friends and when confronted by a character dressed as Leatherface with a chainsaw (sans the chain, of course), Janik pulled out his service weapon and pointed it at the man, who immediately dropped character, dropped the chainsaw, and ran like a bat out of Halloween Hell. Outcome: Janik is charged with assault and reckless endangerment for his actions. Charges pending. *  *  * Patrick v. South Carolina (2009) Quentin Patrick, 22, an ex-convict in Sumter, South Carolina shot and killed a trick-or-treater T.J. Darrisaw who came to his home on Halloween — spraying nearly 30 rounds with an assault rifle from inside his home after hearing a knock on the door. T.J.’s 9-year- old brother, Ahmadre Darrisaw, and their father, Freddie Grinnell, were injured but were released after being treated at a hospital. Patrick left his porch light on — a general signal for kids that the house was open for trick and treating. The boy’s mother and toddler sibling were in the car. Patrick emptied the AK-47 — shooting at least 29 times through his front door, walls and windows after hearing the knock. He said that he had been previously robbed. That may be so, but it is unclear what an ex-con was doing with a gun, let alone an AK-47. OUTCOME: Charges pending for murder. *  *  * Kentucky v. Watkins (2008) As a Halloween prank, restaurant manager Joe Watkins of the Chicken Ranch in Paris, Kentucky thought it was funny to lie in a pool of blood on the floor. After seeing Watkins on the floor, the woman went screaming from the restaurant to report the murder. Watkins said that the prank was for another employee and that he tried to call the woman back on her cell phone. OUTCOME: Under Kentucky law, a person can be charged with a false police report, even if he is not the one who filed it. The police charged Watkins for causing the woman to file the report — a highly questionable charge. *  *  * Mays v. Gretna Athletic Boosters␣95-717 (La.App. 5 Cir. 01/17/96) “Defendant operated a haunted house at Mel Ott Playground in Gretna to raise money for athletic programs. The haunted house was constructed of 2×4s and black visqueen. There were numerous cubbyholes where “scary” exhibits were displayed. One booster club member was stationed at the entrance and one at the exit. Approximately eighteen people participated in the haunted house by working the exhibits inside. Near and along the entrance of the haunted house was a bathroom building constructed of cinder blocks. Black visqueen covered this wall. Plaintiff and her daughter’s friend, about 10 years old, entered the haunted house on October 29, 1988. It was nighttime and was dark inside. Plaintiff testified someone jumped out and hollered, scaring the child into running. Plaintiff was also frightened and began to run. She ran directly into the visqueen-covered cinder block wall. There was no lighting in that part of the haunted house. Plaintiff hit the wall face first and began bleeding profusely from her nose. She testified two surgeries were required to repair her nose.” OUTCOME: In order to get the proper effect, haunted houses are dark and contain scary and/or shocking exhibits. Patrons in a Halloween haunted house are expected to be surprised, startled and scared by the exhibits but the operator does not have a duty to guard against patrons reacting in bizarre, frightened and unpredictable ways. Operators are duty bound to protect patrons only from unreasonably dangerous conditions, not from every conceivable danger. As found by the Trial Court, defendant met this duty by constructing the haunted house with rooms of adequate size and providing adequate personnel and supervision for patrons entering the house. Defendant’s duty did not extend to protecting plaintiff from running in a dark room into a wall. Our review of the entire record herein does not reveal manifest error committed by the Trial Court or that the Trial Court’s decision was clearly wrong. Plaintiff has not shown the haunted house was unreasonably dangerous or that defendant’s actions were unreasonable. Thus, the Trial Court judgment must be affirmed. *  *  * Powell v. Jacor Communications␣ UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT 320 F.3d 599 (6th Cir.2003) “On October 15, 1999, Powell visited a Halloween season haunted house in Lexington, Kentucky that was owned and operated by Jacor. She was allegedly hit in the head with an unidentified object by a person she claims was dressed as a ghost. Powell was knocked unconscious and injured. She contends that she suffered a concussion and was put on bed rest and given medications by emergency-room physicians. Powell further claims that she now suffers from several neuropsychological disorders as a result of the incident.” OUTCOME: Reversed dismissal on the basis of tolling of statute of limitations. *  *  * Kansas City Light & Power Company v. Trimble␣ 315 Mo. 32; 285 S.W. 455 (1926) Excerpt: “A shapely pole to which, twenty-two feet from the ground is attached a non-insulated electric wire . . Upon a shapely pole were standard steps eighteen inches apart; about seventeen feet from the ground were telephone wires, and five feet above them was a non-insulated electric light wire. On Halloween, about nine o’clock, a bright fourteen-year-old boy and two companions met close to the pole, and some girls dressed as clowns came down the street. As they came near the boy, saying, “Who dares me to walk the wire?” began climbing the pole, using the steps, and ascended to the telephone cables, and thereupon his companions warned him about the live wire and told him to come down. He crawled upon the telephone cables to a distance of about ten feet from the pole, and when he reached that point a companion again warned him of the live wire over his head, and threatened to throw a rock at him and knock him off if he did not come down. Whereupon he turned about and crawled back to the pole, and there raised himself to a standing position, and then his foot slipped, and involuntarily he threw up his arm, his hand clutched the live wire, and he was shocked to death.” OUTCOME: Frankly, I am not sure why the pole was so “shapely” but the result was disappointing for the plaintiffs. Kansas City Light & Power Company v. Trimble: The court held that the appellate court extended the attractive nuisance doctrine beyond the court’s ruling decisions. The court held that appellate court’s opinion on the contributory negligence doctrine conflicted with the court’s ruling decisions. The court held that the administrator’s case should never have been submitted to the jury. The court quashed the appellate opinion. “To my mind it is inconceivable that a bright, intelligent boy, doing well in school, past fourteen years of age and living in the city, would not understand and appreciate the fact that it would be dangerous to come in contact with an electric wire, and that he was undertaking a dangerous feat in climbing up the pole; but even if it may be said that men might differ on that proposition, still in this case he was warned of the wire and of the danger on account of the wire and that, too, before he had reached a situation where there was any occasion or necessity of clutching the wire to avoid a fall. Not only was he twice warned but he was repeatedly told and urged to come down.” *  *  * Purtell v. Mason␣ 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49064 (E.D. Ill. 2006) “The Purtells filed the present lawsuit against Defendant Village of Bloomingdale Police Officer Bruce Mason after he requested that they remove certain Halloween tombstone “decorations” from their property. Evidence presented at trial revealed that the Purtells placed the tombstones referring to their neighbors in their front yard facing the street. The tombstones specifically referred to their neighbors, who saw the language on the tombstones. For instance, the tombstone that referred to the Purtells’ neighbor James Garbarz stated: Here Lies Jimmy, The OlDe Towne IdioT MeAn As sin even withouT his Gin No LonGer Does He wear That sTupiD Old Grin . . . Oh no, noT where they’ve sent Him! The tombstone referring to the Purtells’ neighbor Betty Garbarz read: BeTTe wAsN’T ReADy, BuT here she Lies Ever since that night she DieD. 12 feet Deep in this trench . . . Still wasn’T Deep enough For that wenches Stench! In addition, the Purtells placed a Halloween tombstone in their yard concerning their neighbor Diane Lesner stating: Dyean was Known for Lying So She was fried. Now underneath these daises is where she goes crazy!! Moreover, the jury heard testimony that Diane Lesner, James Garbarz, and Betty Garbarz were upset because their names appeared on the tombstones. Betty Garbarz testified that she was so upset by the language on the tombstones that she contacted the Village of Bloomingdale Police Department. She further testified that she never had any doubt that the “Bette” tombstone referred to her. After seeing the tombstones, she stated that she was ashamed and humiliated, but did not talk to Jeffrey Purtell about them because she was afraid of him. Defense counsel also presented evidence that the neighbors thought the language on the tombstones constituted threats and that they were alarmed and disturbed by their names being on the tombstones. James Garbarz testified that he interpreted the “Jimmy” tombstone as a threat and told the police that he felt threatened by the tombstone. He also testified that he had concerns about his safety and what Jeffrey Purtell might do to him.” OUTCOME: The court denied the homeowners’ post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to and motion for a new trial. Viewing the evidence and all reasonable inferences in a light most favorable to Officer Mason, a rational jury could conclude that the language on the tombstones constituted threats, that the neighbors were afraid of Jeffrey Purtell, and that they feared for their safety. As such the Court will not disturb the jury’s conclusion that the tombstones constituted fighting words — “those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” *  *  * Goodwin v. Walmart 2001 Ark. App. LEXIS 78 “On October 12, 1993, Randall Goodwin went to a Wal-Mart store located on 6th Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He entered through the front door and walked toward the sporting goods department. In route, he turned down an aisle known as the seasonal aisle. At that time, it was stocked with items for Halloween. This aisle could be observed from the cash registers. Mr. Goodwin took only a few steps down the aisle when he allegedly stepped on a wig and fell, landing on his right hip. As a result of the fall, Mr. Goodwin suffered severe physical injury to his back, including a ruptured disk. Kelly Evans, an employee for appellee, was standing at the end of her check-out stand when Mr. Goodwin approached her and informed her that he had fallen on an item in the seasonal aisle. She stated that she “saw what he was talking about.” OUTCOME: Judgment affirmed because the pleadings, depositions, and related summary judgment evidence did not show that there was any genuine issue of material fact as appellant customer did not establish a plastic bag containing the Halloween wig which allegedly caused him to slip and fall was on the floor as the result of appellee’s negligence or it had been on the floor for such a period of time that appellee knew or should have known about it. *  *  * Eversole v. Wasson␣ 80 Ill. App. 3d 94 (Ill. 1980) Excerpt: “The following allegations of count I, directed against defendant Wasson, were incorporated in count II against the school district: (1) plaintiff was a student at Villa Grove High School which was controlled and administered by the defendant school district, (2) defendant Wasson was employed by the school district as a teacher at the high school, (3) on November 1, 1978, at approximately 12:30 p.m., Wasson was at the high school in his regular capacity as a teacher and plaintiff was attending a regularly scheduled class, (4) Wasson sought and received permission from another teacher to take plaintiff from that teacher’s class and talk to him in the hallway, (5) once in the hallway, Wasson accused plaintiff of being one of several students he believed had smashed Wasson’s Halloween pumpkin at Wasson’s home, (6) without provocation from plaintiff, Wasson berated plaintiff, called him vile names, and threatened him with physical violence while shaking his fist in plaintiff’s face which placed plaintiff in fear of bodily injury, (7) Wasson then struck plaintiff about the head and face with both an open hand and a closed fist and shook and shoved him violently, (8) as a result, plaintiff was bruised about the head, neck, and shoulders; experienced pain and suffering in his head, body, and limbs; and became emotionally distraught causing his school performance and participation to be adversely affected . . .” OUTCOME: The court affirmed that portion of the lower court’s order that dismissed the count against the school district and reversed that portion of the lower court’s order that entered a judgment in bar of action as to this count. The court remanded the case to the lower court with directions to allow the student to replead his count against the school district. *  *  * Holman v. Illinois 47 Ill. Ct. Cl. 372 (1995) “The Claimant was attending a Halloween party at the Illinois State Museum with her grandson on October 26, 1990. The party had been advertised locally in the newspaper and through flier advertisements. The advertisement requested that children be accompanied by an adult, to come in costume and to bring a flashlight. The museum had set up different display rooms to hand out candy to the children and give the appearance of a “haunted house.” The Claimant entered the Discovery Room with her grandson. Under normal conditions the room is arranged with tables and low-seated benches for children to use in the museum’s regular displays. These tables and benches had been moved into the upper-right-hand corner of the Discovery Room next to the wall. In the middle of the room, there was a “slime pot” display where the children received the Halloween treat. The overhead fluorescent lights were turned off; however, the track lights on the left side of the room were turned on and dim. The track lights on the right side of the room near the tables and benches were not lit. The room was dark enough that the children’s flashlights could be clearly seen. There were approximately 40-50 people in the room at the time of the accident. The Claimant entered the room with her grandson. They proceeded in the direction of the pot in the middle of the room to see what was going in the pot. Her grandson then ran around the pot to the right corner toward the wall. As the Claimant followed, she tripped over the corner of a bench stored in that section of the room. She fell, making contact with the left corner of the bench. She experienced great pain in her upper left arm. The staff helped her to her feet. Her father was called and she went to the emergency room. Claimant has testified that she did not see the low-seating bench because it was so dimly lit in the Discovery Room. The Claimant was treated at the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a fracture of the proximal humeral head of her left arm as a result of the fall. Claimant returned home, but was unable to work for 12 to 13 weeks.” OUTCOME: “The Claimant has met her burden of proof. She has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the State acted negligently in placing furnishings in a dimly-lit room where visitors could not know of their location. The State did not exercise its duty of reasonable care. For the foregoing reasons, the Claimant is granted an award of $20,000.” *  *  * Ferlito v. Johnson & Johnson 771 F. Supp. 196 “Plaintiffs Susan and Frank Ferlito, husband and wife, attended a Halloween party in 1984 dressed as Mary (Mrs. Ferlito) and her little lamb (Mr. Ferlito). Mrs. Ferlito had constructed a lamb costume for her husband by gluing cotton batting manufactured by defendant Johnson & Johnson Products (“JJP”) to a suit of long underwear. She had also used defendant’s product to fashion a headpiece, complete with ears. The costume covered Mr. Ferlito from his head to his ankles, except for his face and hands, which were blackened with Halloween paint. At the party Mr. Ferlito attempted to light his cigarette by using a butane lighter. The flame passed close to his left arm, and the cotton batting on his left sleeve ignited. Plaintiffs sued defendant for injuries they suffered from burns which covered approximately one-third of Mr. Ferlito’s body.” OUTCOME: Ferlito v. Johnson & Johnson: Plaintiffs repeatedly stated in their response brief that plaintiff Susan Ferlito testified that “she would never again use cotton batting to make a costume.” Plaintiffs’ Answer to Defendant JJP’s Motion for J.N.O.V., pp. 1, 3, 4, 5. However, a review of the trial transcript reveals that plaintiff Susan Ferlito never testified that she would never again use cotton batting to make a costume. More importantly, the transcript contains no statement by plaintiff Susan Ferlito that a flammability warning on defendant JJP’s product would have dissuaded her from using the cotton batting to construct the costume in the first place. At oral argument counsel for plaintiffs conceded that there was no testimony during the trial that either plaintiff Susan Ferlito or her husband, plaintiff Frank J. Ferlito, would  have acted any different if there had been a flammability warning on the product’s package. The absence of such testimony is fatal to plaintiffs’ case; for without it, plaintiffs have failed to prove proximate cause, one of the essential elements of their negligence claim. In addition, both plaintiffs testified that they knew that cotton batting burns when it is exposed to flame. Susan Ferlito testified that she knew at the time she purchased the cotton batting that it would burn if exposed to an open flame. Frank Ferlito testified that he knew at the time he appeared at the Halloween party that cotton batting would burn if exposed to an open flame. His additional testimony that he would not have intentionally put a flame to the cotton batting shows that he recognized the risk of injury of which he claims JJP should have warned. Because both plaintiffs were already aware of the danger, a warning by JJP would have been superfluous. Therefore, a reasonable jury could not have found that JJP’s failure to provide a warning was a proximate cause of plaintiffs’ injuries. The evidence in this case clearly demonstrated that neither the use to which plaintiffs put JJP’s product nor the injuries arising from that use were foreseeable. But in Trivino v. Jamesway Corporation, the following result: The mother purchased cosmetic puffs and pajamas from the retailer. The mother glued the puffs onto the pajamas to create a costume for her child. While wearing the costume, the child leaned over the electric stove. The costume caught on fire, injuring the child. Plaintiffs brought a personal injury action against the retailer. The retailer filed a third party complaint against the manufacturer of the puffs, and the puff manufacturer filed a fourth party complaint against the manufacturer of the fibers used in the puffs. The retailer filed a motion for partial summary judgment as to plaintiffs’ cause of action for failure to warn. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the actions against the manufacturers. On appeal, the court modified the judgment, holding that the mother’s use of the puffs was not unforeseeable as a matter of law and was a question for the jury. The court held that because the puffs were not made of cotton, as thought by the mother, there were fact issues as to the puffs’ flammability and defendants’ duty to warn. The court held that there was no prejudice to the retailer in permitting plaintiffs to amend their bill of particulars. OUTCOME: The court modified the trial court’s judgment to grant plaintiffs’ motion to amend their bill of particulars, deny the retailer’s motion for summary judgment, and reinstate the third party actions against the manufacturers. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/31/2022 - 19:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 31st, 2022

Meet the union leaders powering a wave of organizing at Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and more

Unions are booming in the US and enjoying their highest support since the '60s. But the ordinary people leading them have their work cut out. Alycee Byrd/Simon Simard/Meron Menghistab/Erika Ramirez/Joe Martinez for InsiderDerrick Palmer's campaign base was a Staten Island bus stop.For nearly a year, he would pitch up at the stop day and night with two tables and a tent, along with other leaders of the Amazon Labor Union.They held bonfires, toasted marshmallows, and waited up at 4 a.m. with breakfast sandwiches to catch workers coming off the night shift nearby at JFK8, Amazon's main New York distribution center, where Palmer works as a packer, and encourage them to sign up to support a trade union.On windy winter nights, the tent would often blow away.Their efforts were rewarded in April this year when JFK8, which has more than 8,000 workers, became the first and only Amazon warehouse in the US to unionize following a vote — the process to formally establish a union by showing enough workers support it.This year has seen a wave of union activism after decades of declining membership. A flurry of workers have won elections to form unions in industries that have never had them, including at more than 200 Starbucks stores and at Apple, Trader Joe's, and the outdoor store REI.Union-representation petitions filed with the National Labor Relations Board jumped almost 60% in the nine months that ended in June. A Gallup poll last year found support for unions to be at its highest since the '60s.But the ordinary people leading this workers-rights revival have their work cut out.American corporations often fiercely resist union efforts. A 2019 report by the Economic Policy Institute estimated that US companies spend nearly $340 million a year on "union avoidance" consultants, and illegal firings are alleged to happen in up to 30% of union-election campaigns.Insider spoke with people organizing workers at Amazon, Trader Joe's, Target, Wells Fargo, and Starbucks, in conversations spread over several weeks, about what drives them to try to unionise in America today. Some have had their unions recognised, others are still campaigning.Derrick Palmer at the bus stop near the JFK8 warehouse.Erika Ramirez/InsiderDerrick Palmer, Amazon, New YorkDerrick Palmer and his best friend led a strike at Amazon's Staten Island warehouse in March 2020 in protest at the company's safety measures after a worker contracted COVID-19.His friend, Chris Smalls, was fired after the strike, though he remains the president of the Amazon Labor Union they then founded together. (Amazon says it fired Smalls for violating its quarantine policy. Smalls disputes this.)But Palmer, who is now 33, kept his job.He told Insider he felt no sense of direction before unionizing, going through a string of temporary warehouse roles before he joined Amazon."I've been in their shoes," he says of finding purpose in supporting his Amazon colleagues. "I know what it's like to be unmotivated — I know what it's like to not be taken seriously."Palmer told Insider the union started small, with money from a GoFundMe page. He said he spent up to eight hours a day, on top of his 40-hour workweek, working on the campaign ahead of the vote."I had a lot of sleepless nights," he said, later adding: "We were building a community, and I felt like the last thing we wanted to do was let them down."Erika Ramirez/InsiderSpeaking with Insider while heating up some chicken and rice during his shift at JFK8, Palmer said Amazon created a "climate of fear" after the strike. He later added that Amazon engaged in "union-busting" including sending text messages to workers encouraging them to vote against joining the ALU and posting anti-union messages in bathroom stalls.An Amazon representative told Insider that "it's important that everyone understands the facts about joining a union and the election process itself."Amazon has since tried to overturn the vote with objections, including taking issue with organizers' handing out marijuana during campaigning. The Amazon representative said the company has filed evidence that the ALU "improperly suppressed and influenced the vote."Palmer said he believed the company was monitoring his actions and tweets. But "fear is the last thing on my mind," he told Insider.The union is trying to secure a contract with Amazon to bargain for things like higher wages, increased job security, and cutting back on mandatory overtime.Tensions are said to be high at the warehouse, and the two sides have yet to engage. No other Amazon centers have unionized despite efforts around the US.But for the organizers, it's still a time to celebrate. Palmer's co-leader, Smalls, met President Joe Biden in May at an event where the president called him "my kind of trouble."Palmer's mother raised him by herself. He says he's changed a lot since childhood. "I was a very small kid, very soft-spoken. I used to walk with my head down. I didn't have the confidence that I do now," he said."I feel like that relates to Amazon workers now."It's like I'm talking to my old self saying, 'You've got to keep your head up, you've got to fight back, you've got to stand your ground.'You've got to let your presence be known.'"Adam Ryan in the trailer park where he heard the rumour that would lead him to work at Target.Alycee Byrd for InsiderAdam Ryan, Target, Virginia"I've always had the itch to organize" Adam Ryan told Insider. "If I'm not doing it, I don't feel okay about myself."Ryan started working at Target because of a rumor he heard in a trailer park.He was asking the park's residents about housing issues as part of a workers-rights campaign when one told him about a manager at Target who was widely accused of abusive behavior, including sexual harassment.He got a job at the store in his hometown of Christiansburg, Virginia, in 2017 with the goal of forcing the manager out. Four months later, he organized a strike that he says triggered an internal investigation into the claims. The accused manager was later fired.Ryan, 34, is a serial campaigner. He was trained in organizing in 2011 and has pushed to unionize at every job since then.He grew up in a conservative, working-class family as the youngest of four brothers in what he describes as a "small, ranch-style house." His father worked at an Army ammunition plant, and his mother was a school cafeteria worker for over 20 years.He told Insider he "didn't feel poor per se" but felt an expectation that "if you want anything, you're going to have to get a job and work for it."Things were tense between Ryan and his family from his teenage years into his 20s. But his involvement in unions has helped them reconnect."We're in a common struggle, and we're dealing with a lot of the same issues," he said, adding that his efforts had inspired his brother to push for unionization in his job as a wildland firefighter.He calls unionizing "the only power working-class people have."Alycee Byrd for InsiderRyan's job involves unloading stock deliveries and putting products on the sales floor. He said Target began monitoring workers more closely after the strike he organized, including by bringing in managers from other stores to surveil workers and question them individually. He has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board over this.Ryan said management had grilled him too: He said after he invited coworkers to labor-rights meetings, he was pulled into a meeting with management and told not to do that. "It's definitely anxiety-inducing — it's stressful," he later said.Target did not respond to Insider's request for comment.He started calling for a union election with the wider campaign Target Workers Unite in 2019. "I don't want to see something I've invested a number of years in just like dissipate overnight if I happen to leave," he said.He filed a petition for a union election in May of this year, but it didn't have enough signatures, which he blames on confusion over "on-demand workers," which he says the organizers didn't realize counted as employees.He is pushing for benefits like hazard pay for workers who get sick with COVID-19 and seniority pay to reward long-term employees.Campaigning has taken an emotional toll. Ryan moved to the countryside two years ago and says he finds comfort in the quiet of his garden. He said he felt drained by what he described as "constant infighting" in labor organizing.He describes himself as "a disgruntled person" who struggles with "how to motivate people when I'm generally very frustrated and upset with how things are in the world."But he argues the changes at his store so far have exposed "cracks" at Target. "It shows that even if you're small, you can still pack a punch," he said, "and you can punch above your weight."Jessie McCool on her diving board, where she took a call which resulted in an informal warning.Joe Martinez for InsiderJessie McCool, Wells Fargo, MissouriLike many Americans in office jobs, Jessie McCool worked from home during the coronavirus pandemic. She's a senior compliance officer at Wells Fargo, the US's third-biggest bank.She told Insider she took one meeting while sitting on the diving board of her backyard pool last year so she could keep an eye on her child who was swimming.She said she asked her manager whether she could have her camera switched off on the call but was told to switch it on. She said she was later given an informal warning, without her manager being present, accusing her of "disruptive behavior that could have diverted attention" on the call.McCool describes this as an example of remote-working policies being applied inconsistently, saying she saw someone on a comparable Zoom call running on a treadmill in a bathrobe weeks later. (McCool said her manager at the time confirmed this other employee received no warning.)McCool said she wanted to lead union efforts to try to "take back some of the control" that she said senior management had "run awry" with, recalling witnessing a colleague reduced to tears by her superiors on another video call in 2020.Joe Martinez for InsiderThere's a growing push to unionize across Wells Fargo, where McCool, 42, has worked for 10 years, but no union has yet been recognised by the company.She leads unionizing efforts at the Missouri headquarters and says remote communication during the pandemic helped workers start a union drive across Wells Fargo's US offices, though her group hasn't decided whether to be part of the wider campaign or to form an independent union.Characterizing herself as "confrontational," McCool said she challenged people in her work and personal life."If I see something that I don't agree with, I will just stand up and say it, and I think in a way people have begun to rely on me to do things like that," she said.She said she's lobbying for more transparency around policies and procedures, equitable pay, and fair treatment for employees.McCool told Insider she was referred to as a "diversity hire" by a human-resources officer in an initial interview. She describes herself as having Hispanic, Jewish, and Middle Eastern heritage.The banking giant has come under scrutiny over scandals including holding job interviews for "diverse" candidates despite already filling the roles with other candidates, as first reported by The New York Times. A spokesperson for Wells Fargo told Insider that diverse representation across the company has increased year-on-year since 2020.McCool said she had a six-month internal battle with HR after being asked to remove a reference to the union in the headline bar of her Skype profile, something she argues is a federally protected right. "My coworkers are also having similar experiences," she added. She was ultimately allowed to use the tagline. The spokesperson for Wells Fargo told Insider it doesn't comment on "specific personal matters".Outside her day job, McCool is a rally race-car driver, model, and burlesque performer. Activism was part of her upbringing. "Everybody deserves a community that will uphold them, and I think I just fell into that," she said, speaking of the punk marches in Pittsburgh that she said she went to as a child in the early 1990s."My mother was always like: 'You stand up for what's right — it doesn't matter whether you're popular,'" she said.Jamie Edwards outside the Trader Joe's store which became the first in the US to unionize.Simon Simard for InsiderJamie Edwards, Trader Joe's, Massachusetts"I know what it's like to be trapped at a job," said Jamie Edwards, who worked strenuous hours with long commutes across five other retail jobs before joining a Trader Joe's store in Hadley, Massachusetts."When I'm employed at a place where there are issues, I'm always thinking about the fact that not everyone has the ability to just easily go find another job," Edwards added.Edwards, who is nonbinary and uses the pronouns they/them, is a lead organizer at the Trader Joe's that in July became the chain's first location to unionize. A second followed in August at the chain, which has more than 500 US locations.They said they grew up "idolizing too many radicals" but viewed unionizing as a "bare minimum" for working-class people's well-being."I think that organizing a union is not really the most radical thing someone could do," they said. "It's a very basic thing."Edwards celebrated their 33rd birthday in May. The next day, they said, they were sent home from their job at Trader Joe's for wearing a pro-union pin on their uniform, something that is generally not allowed under the National Labor Relations Act, according to the National Labor Relations Board.Simon Simard for InsiderEdwards says efforts to create a union were driven mainly by safety concerns. Though Trader Joe's enforced mask wearing through some of the pandemic, Edwards said they had felt unsafe at times, for example early on when they say the chain discouraged workers from wearing masks and gloves out of fear this would "scare" customers. Trader Joe's did not respond to Insider's request for comment.Their co-organizers at the store have also said that, though the store followed policies set by the local health board, they felt masks were dropped too quickly once vaccinations became available and the company didn't make them aware of a state law mandating paid time off for COVID-19-related absences (a representative for Trader Joe's told the New York Times this account was incorrect).Edwards got their first job when they were 17. They have been at Trader Joe's for nine years. Speaking with Insider on their day off, Edwards said that during the campaign they had feared misinformation was being spread about the union, including rumors that unionized workers would be paid less."I've stopped engaging with certain people who have shown themselves not to be acting in good faith because I feel like the purpose of it is to take time away from me actually organizing," they added.Edwards works night shifts and describes themself as a socialist who has always been pro-union. They had already attempted once before to unionize at the store.With the milestone of formal recognition achieved, they plan to keep working to try to improve life for colleagues."I'm always of the mindset that I should exhaust my options at trying to make the workplace better before leaving," they said, "if only for the fact that there's still going to be people who are working there who are going to have to deal with it."Lindsey Price outside a Starbucks, after the company fired her in April.Meron Menghistab for InsiderLindsey Price, Starbucks, SeattleLindsey Price worked for Starbucks for 17 years until she was fired in April.Price argues she was fired because she was helping to organize workers at her store in Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood, where she worked as a shift supervisor.Soon after her team's petition for a union election went public, Starbucks fired her, citing an incident where she had found the door to her store unlocked one morning, with the lock dislodged.Price told Insider the door was often left unlocked after deliveries were made to the store, and the lock often dislodged. Starbucks Workers United said there were no complaints about her for nearly nine years before she lost her job.A Starbucks spokesperson told Insider that Price was fired for putting her team "in an unsafe situation" because she failed to call 911 as the scene could have been a burglary. They added that Starbucks denies firing any workers for invovlement in unions.Price's old store is now officially unionized. She describes safety at Starbucks as a key concern, telling Insider that her store caught on fire because of faults with the electrical systems in September 2021 and workers were tasked with finding their own shifts at other stores when it closed a few months later."We didn't feel taken care of," Price said, adding in another conversation that she felt "completely on my own."She said her manager once asked her to clean up a "significant" amount of blood without protective clothing while working at a Starbucks store in Costa Mesa, California, in 2012 or 2013 after someone came into the store with a gunshot wound. She said she ultimately didn't clean it up, following instructions from the police.Meron Menghistab for InsiderPrice, 38, says she's always been "a parent" to her colleagues and has acted as a go-between with managers.Yet she hasn't always supported unions. She chuckles when saying her opinions have shifted like "night and day." "I was raised thinking that unions were not helpful," she told Insider.Price's father worked a white-collar job, and her mother held a cool view toward unions after her own father had experience with a union that he said treated him "terribly."But she got involved to advocate on behalf of her colleagues, and, looking back, wishes her store had unionized earlier, saying her career path "could have changed drastically had I felt taken care of and listened to."Being fired felt like a bad breakup, Price says.She has a new job at the Seattle Public Library and is in graduate school studying library science. There's relief in her voice when she says she now has "an actual career path, which I've never felt like before."But she says she will still be part of the Eastlake Starbucks union bargaining committee when it is set up and feels connected to her former colleagues, saying she knows "that feeling of just hopelessness I guess that some people can feel working there, and that I know I felt many times.""I think that's what makes me want to be on a bargaining committee," she said, "and continue to try to help as much as I can." .gi-mtl body { overflow-x: hidden; } .gi-mtl .l-masthead.unified-masthead { margin-bottom: 0; } .gi-mtl .post-headline-wrapper { position: absolute; width: 1px; height: 1px; padding: 0; margin: -1px; overflow: hidden; clip: rect(0, 0, 0, 0); white-space: nowrap; border: 0; } .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero { overflow: initial; } .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero { overflow: initial; position: relative; height: 100%; width: 100vw; max-width: 100vw; margin: 0; } .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero div.aspect-ratio { padding: 0 !important; width: 100%; height: calc(100vh - 71px); top: 0; } .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero div.aspect-ratio img { top: 0; left: 0; transform: initial; width: 100%; height: 100%; object-fit: cover; object-position: 50% 50%; } .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero div.aspect-ratio::after { content: ""; display: block; background: linear-gradient( to top, rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.6) 0, rgba(255, 255, 255, 0) 100% ); position: absolute; bottom: 0; left: 0; width: 100vw; height: 60%; pointer-events: none; z-index: 1; } .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-header { z-index: 2; top: 85%; left: 50%; transform: translate(-50%, -85%); line-height: 1.1; width: max-content; color: white; } .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-main-hed { font-size: 2.5rem; letter-spacing: -0.025em; } .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-main-dek { font-size: 1.5rem; max-width: 35ch; } .gi-mtl .image-source-only.full-bleed-hero { width: 100%; margin-left: 0; margin-right: 0; } .gi-mtl .image-source-only.full-bleed-hero .image-source { padding: 0 1rem; } .gi-mtl .insider-raw-embed { overflow-x: visible !important; } @media (min-width: 768px) { .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-main-hed { font-size: 4rem; } } @media (min-width: 1920px) { .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-main-hed { font-size: 6rem; } .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-main-dek { font-size: 2.25rem; } } @media (orientation: portrait) { .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero div.aspect-ratio img { animation: 8s infinite alternate translate; } @keyframes translate { from { object-position: 0% 50%; } to { object-position: 100% 50%; } } } document.documentElement.classList.add("gi-mtl"); document.addEventListener("readystatechange", (e) => { if (event.target.readyState === "interactive") { const fullBleedHero = document.querySelector( ".gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero div.aspect-ratio" ); if (fullBleedHero) { const displayHed = ` Meet the union leaders They're powering a wave of organizing at Amazon, Starbucks, and more `; fullBleedHero.insertAdjacentHTML("afterbegin", displayHed); } } }); Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 10th, 2022

68 cool Father"s Day gifts for all kinds of dads, from personalized football jerseys to hot sauce samplers

From budget whiskey glasses to personalized football jerseys and high-end vinyls, discover are the coolest gift ideas for Father's Day 2022. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.From budget whiskey glasses to personalized football jerseys and high-end vinyls, discover are the coolest gift ideas for Father's Day 2022.Courant and Darn ToughBuying the perfect gift for Dad can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Here, we've done the hard work for you and compiled the absolute best gifts that he'll love no matter the occasion. Whether it's a gift for Father's Day, an idea for his birthday, or just a thoughtful way to show your love, we found a number of unique gift ideas that are sure to impress even the toughest Dads to shop for.From a monthly steak subscription to a new record player or a comfy pillow, you can't go wrong with any of the gifts on this list.The 68 best Father's Day gifts for Dad:Gifts under $25Gifts under $50Gifts under $100Gifts over $100Gifts over $150Gifts over $300Gifts for dad under $25Really nice socks with a lifetime warrantyDarn ToughDarn Tough socks, from $16, available at Darn ToughWhen in doubt, remember: We've never met a man who was upset about opening a gift box to a fresh pair of high-quality socks. We love Darn Tough because its socks are durable, made entirely (or partially) from odor-resistant, sweat-wicking Merino, and come with a lifetime warranty. You can also spend as much as you want, nabbing him one pair for under $20 or splurging on a whole new sock drawer.A keepsake he can use for years to comeUncommon Goods/Business InsiderTicket Stub Diary, $14, available at Uncommon GoodsConcerts, museums, sporting events, or movies — regardless of what Dad's passionate about, this handy journal makes for efficient storage of sentimental memories that could otherwise get stained or ruined. With 118 ticket sleeves, there's plenty of room for upcoming memories as well.A self-filtering water bottleHydrosHydros Water Filter Bottle, $20, available at HydrosThe Hydros Water Filter Bottle is like gifting Dad his own portable Brita. The bottle filters any water poured into it, reducing the amount of chlorine and sediment. Plus, the filter is reliable through at least 40 gallons of liquid. It'll be any on-the-go Dad's go-to. A gift card for all things outdoorsREIREI Gift Card, from $10, available at REIFrom hiking and biking gear to vital cold-weather staples, REI is home to nearly anything and everything Dad could need. If you get a gift card over $30, Dad can use it to buy an REI lifetime membership to get discounts on future REI purchases and other perks.*Sponsored by REIA custom whiskey glassBRVOglass/EtsyPersonalized Whiskey Glass, $17.62, available at EtsyGreat for new dads, this custom, hand-etched whiskey glass can boast his proudest title alongside the year he became a father. Photos from reviewers go to show that this glass isn't just for whiskey — recipients have gotten creative by storing candy and other small gifts in their glasses.A gift card for the sports fanFanaticsFanatics gift card, from $10, available at FanaticsIf Dad's nostalgic for his college days or loves gearing up for his favorite sports season, give him the gift of variety with a Fanatics gift card. Fanatics is home to apparel, accessories, and memorabilia for just about every major sports team you can think of. An Audible subscriptionAudible/Business InsiderAudiblePlus subscription, from $7.95 per month, available at AudibleWith an Audible subscription, Dad gets unlimited access to thousands of audiobooks and podcasts. Plus, you can even have him test it out first with a free trial.Coasters with the classicsUncommon GoodsUpcycled Record Coasters, $18, available at Uncommon GoodsDad can reminiscence about his favorite jams while enjoying a drink with these coasters made from reclaimed records. The discs are specially sealed so moisture won't seep through and damage the surface.A nice tieThe Tie Bar/Business InsiderMen's Neckties, from $22, available at Tie BarNeckties might be a cliché gift for dads, but The Tie Bar makes some handsome ties that he'll actually wear on a regular basis. You'll find plenty of colors, patterns, and styles — and the best part is they're all affordably priced.A cookbook from his favorite burger jointAmazon/Business Insider"Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories," $22.49, available at AmazonIf your dad is a fan of Shake Shack, he'll love this cookbook that will teach him how to recreate all his favorites.A luxurious shave kitHarry'sHarry's Winston Shave Set, $25, available at Harry's (+ $15 for monogram)This shave set from Harry's is as sleek as it gets at this price. To go the extra mile, you can get his initials engraved into the razor. You can hear more about this set in our guide to the best shaving kits. A non-slip yoga towelREIManduka YogiToes Hand Towel, $20, available at REIManduka makes sweat-wicking towels with the sort of grippy silicone-nubbed underbelly that stays put through an entire class. If your Dad is happiest in hot yoga, this is a thoughtful gift that will make every class a little better.Gifts for dad under $50A leather iPhone wallet caseEtsyLeather Wallet Case, from $28.40, available at EtsyGet Dad a protective and stylish case for his iPhone that can also double as a handy wallet for storing cards. You can even get personalized with Dad's initials for an extra special touch. The case is available for iPhones ranging from the 6S to the 12 Pro Max. Personalized mugs for the whole familyUncommon GoodsPersonalized Family Mugs, from $32, available at Uncommon GoodsCreate custom mugs for your family — personalized for each person with their name on one side and their cartoon likeness on the other.A hot sauce sampler packAmazonThe Good Hurt Fuego Hot Sauces Sampler Pack, $31.99, available at AmazonIf you're not quite sure what kind of hot sauce your dad likes, this hot sauce sampler is a great gift idea. It features sauces made with peppers that come from India, Mexico, and beyond, and it has flavors ranging from Chipotle Pepper and Garlic Herb to Whiskey Habanero.A tiny tag to ensure he never loses his valuablesAppleApple AirTag, $29, available at AppleIf dad tends to frequently misplace his keys, wallet, or other valuables, help him out by gifting him a handy AirTag. The tags can be placed on just about any item and will connect to his phone so he can easily keep track of his stuff via the Find My app. For an extra personal touch, you can even get it engraved for free.A classic stovetop espresso makerAmazonBialetti 9-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker, $49.95, available at Crate & BarrelThis classic kitchen accessory is perfect for the coffee-loving dad who wants to bring cafe-quality coffee home. The Bialetti stovetop espresso maker not only makes great coffee, but it looks great on the counter. We made sure to include its six-cup counterpart in our guide to the best stovetop espresso makers, as the best overall pick. The new Amazon Echo to play music or answer cooking questions on the spotAmazonEcho Dot (4th Gen), $49.99, available at AmazonFrom music and trivia to help with converting grams to ounces while his hands are busy in the kitchen, an Amazon Echo is pretty convenient. If Amazon isn't his thing, we have other smart speaker recommendations from other brands here.A mat to help with dad's short gameAmazonRukket Tri-Turf Golf Hitting Mat, $49.99, available at AmazonFor the dad who loves to golf, this is one of the best golf hitting mats to help improve his short game from home. This compact, portable practice aid features three turf heights, to simulate rough, fairway, and close-cropped "collar" turf.A two-step skincare regimenAmazonBrickell Men's Daily Essential Face Care Routine II, $48, available at AmazonTime to up Dad's skincare game. Created specifically for men, the startup has become a favorite skincare brand for Reviews senior reporter Amir Ismael because it's simple and effective. Each product uses high-quality natural and organic ingredients. plus, the charcoal works great for deep pore cleansing without the long, drawn-out process, earning it a spot on our list of the best skincare brands.An electric toothbrushWalmartPhilips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, $49.99, available at AmazonHelp him ditch the manual toothbrush with Philips Sonicare, whose brushes are gentler on teeth and give brighter results over time. We recommend this one for its powerful cleaning and movements-per-minute. Plus, the rechargeable toothbrush is better for the environment.A beer growler for sipping at homeHouzzPersonalized Craft Beer Growler, $44, available at HouzzNow, Dad can take his favorite ales home with him to enjoy. This 64 oz growler comes personalized with his initials on it and includes four mini pilsner glasses.A durable, temperature-maintaining water bottleHydroflask InstagramHydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth, from $44.95, available at Hydro FlaskHydro Flasks are great for any situation, from camping to commuting. This durable, insulated water bottle does a masterful job of making sure drinks keep their temperatures (hot or cold).A freshly scented beard wash and conditioner setThe Art of ShavingThe Art of Shaving Beard Wash and Conditioner Set, $40, available at The Art of ShavingSoap and water can leave his facial hair dry and scratchy. Bearded dads need this soothing beard wash and conditioner set in their lives. A workout shirt he won't want to take offVuoriVuori Strato Tech Tee, $26, available at VuoriRegardless of whether Dad's a fitness guru or novice, an essential part of working out is the gear itself. Vuori makes extremely soft, comfy, and functional activewear. Our team loves the brand and has even dubbed it the best overall in our guide to the best men's workout clothes. Read our full review of Vuori clothing here. Gifts for dad under $100A rechargeable, water-resistant lantern for the backyardBioLiteBioLite AlpenGlow 250, $59.95, available at BioLiteIf dad likes to be outside, he'll think this rechargeable lantern is way cool. The AlpenGlow 250 shines 250 lumens of nature-inspired glows. Aside from a soft white, you can shake the soft lantern to activate special modes, including soft ombre sunsets and a candle flicker. A ceramic pizza stoneWiliams SonomaEmile Henry Pizza Stone, $59.95, available at Williams SonomaHomemade pizza is delicious, but it can be tricky to perfect. This ceramic pizza stone will make sure his pizza comes out perfectly cooked every time.A custom map posterGrafomapGrafomap Custom Map Poster, from $72.80, available at GrafomapGrafomap is a website that lets you design map posters of any place in the world. You can make one of your dad's hometown, his college town, his favorite travel destination, or the place where he got engaged or married — you're only limited by your imagination. A versatile, comfortable shirt he'll want to live inTen ThousandVersatile Shirt, from $54, available at Ten ThousandWe love this shirt, and your Dad will too. Ten Thousand's Versatile Shirt is our go-to for any kind of workout; we wear it running, biking, lifting weights, and even while doing yoga. It's supremely comfortable, has a flattering fit, and doesn't chafe or feel constricting. Our fitness and health editor owns four in a few different colors and rarely exercises without one. It's one of Insider's All-Time Best products, and you can read a full review of the Ten Thousand Versatile Shirt here.A handy, multi-functional toolAmazonLeatherman OHT Multi-Tool, $89.95, available at AmazonThis multi-functional tool does it all, plus it has a 25-year guarantee.Coasters that remind him of his favorite pastimeUncommon GoodsRecycled Ski Coasters Set, $60, available at Uncommon GoodsGet Dad coasters that remind him of his favorite bluebird days in the mountains. These are made from the midsections of skis that have flown down many backcountry runs.A streaming TV playerAmazonRoku Ultra, $89.99, available at Best BuyA media streaming device can transform your dad's regular TV into a smart one that plays shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Prime Video, and other streaming services. The best of the bunch is the Roku Ultra with its easy-to-use interface and 4K video streaming.Read our full review of the Roku Ultra here. A gift subscription to a popular coffee clubAtlas Coffee ClubAtlas Coffee Club 3-Month Gift Subscription, $60, available at Atlas Coffee ClubIf your dad's veins run dark roast, a coffee gift won't go unused. We recommend a subscription to the Atlas Coffee Club, which curates a global selection of single-origin coffee that gets freshly roasted and shipped to your house for about $9 per bag. Read our full review of the Atlas Coffee Club here. A stylish and sporty fanny packState BagsLorimer Fanny Pack, $59.50, available at State BagsIn case you hadn't heard, fanny packs are back, and the Lorimer from State Bags is the best way to get Dad back on trend. It's water-resistant, available in five colors, and is just understated enough to be a casual yet stylish foray into wearing a fanny pack again.A cozy and supportive pillowLeesaLeesa Pillow, $80, available at LeesaGive the gift of a good night's sleep with this luxurious and supportive pillow from mattress startup Leesa. Stylish computer glassesFelix GrayFelix Gray Blue Light Computer Glasses, from $95, available at Felix GrayIf he sits in front of a computer every day, he needs these blue light glasses that increase magnification, reduce glare, and filter out blue light in order to reduce eyestrain. They're also available with prescription lenses, which we tried and loved.Read our full review of Felix Gray blue light computer glasses here. A colorful swimsuitTom & TeddyTom & Teddy Men's Swim Shorts, from $94.95, available at Tom & TeddyMade from super-soft, quick-dry fabric, these swim trunks will make dad the star of your next beach or pool day. They come in an array of colors and prints, and you can even get matching father-and-son swim short sets.The Apple AirPods he's always wantedAmazonApple AirPods with Wired Charging Case, $99.99, available at AmazonSome of the best gifts are items that can be used every day — and AirPods fall into that category. Whether your dad likes listening to music and podcasts or prefers to talk on the phone hands-free, AirPods will quickly become an essential item for him. You can learn more about the different versions in our guide to the best AirPods. Nice, thick socks he won't have to constantly replaceBombasBombas Men's Performance Running Ankle Sock 6-Pack, $94.05, available at BombasLuxe socks are one of our favorite gifts to receive. Bombas are comfortable, durable, and worth every penny.Gifts for dad over $100A subscription for steaksAmazingClubsSirloin of the Month Club, from $129.95 per month, available at AmazingClubsMeat lovers will enjoy sinking their teeth into a premium cut of sirloin. Each month Dad will receive a mouth-watering selection of premium steaks curated by experts and shipped fresh right to his door. Choose from subscription options of three months, six months, 12 months, or every three months.Comfortable and stylish jeansMott & BowMott & Bow Wooster Dynamic Stretch Jeans, $118, available at Mott & BowGive the gift of good style with jeans from Mott & Bow. For more styles from the brand, check out our review of Mott & Bow's stretch-denim jeans. A garden tool set for the dad with a green thumbCutcoCutco 4-Piece Garden Tool Set, $111, available at CutcoIf gardening is one of your dad's favorite pastimes, this set has everything he could need when working outside. Each garden tool has a comfortable grip handle, a durable head, and depth marks. Tools are only one part of what he might need for his gardening adventures, so make sure to also check out our guides to the best gardening tools and best gardening tools for beginners.A device that improves golfing skillsAmazonArccos Caddie Smart Sensors, $179.99, available at AmazonIf your dad is a big golfer, this performance-tracking system is a fun addition to his golf bag.A compact gas grillThe Home DepotDyna-Glo 3-Burner Open Cart Propane Gas Grill, $139, available at Home DepotIf owning a grill is one of your dad's long-standing dreams, this one from Dyna-Glo is the one to get him. The best part is that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. We've also put together a complete guide to grilling products, if you're looking for more grilling gifts for Dad. Cozy indoor/outdoor slippersDannerDanner Forest Moc Slippers, $149.95, available at REIKeep him cozy around the house and running errands in these rubber-soled leather booties from Danner. Lined with natural wool, his feet will stay warm (and ridiculously cozy) without overheating, and the outsoles offer a reliable grip when he can't bear to slip them off to leave the house.A sous-vide device for ambitious home cooksAmazonAnova Nano Sous Vide, $149.99, available at TargetFor under $100, the Anova sous vide is a reasonably priced investment that just might change Dad's life for the better. Not only will it boil and poach eggs with ease, but it'll also produce tender, perfectly cooked meat every time. It's so good that we name it the best overall pick in our guide to the best sous vide machines. Amazon's waterproof Kindle PaperwhiteAmazonAmazon Kindle Paperwhite, $109.99, available at AmazonIf your dad is tired of lugging around heavy hardcovers, the Kindle Paperwhite is an extremely thoughtful and practical gift. The latest version is now waterproof too. Read our full review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite here. A personalized sports jerseyMLB ShopMLB Shop Custom Men's Jersey, from $149.99, available at the official MLB ShopNFL Shop Custom Men's Jersey, from $76.99, available at the official NFL Shop The sports-loving dad won't want to take this jersey off. At the MLB Shop and NFL Shop, you can order a personalized jersey with your dad's name on the back.Breathable and machine-washable sneakersAllbirdsAllbirds Wool Runners, $110, available at AllbirdsThese merino wool sneakers from Allbirds, Silicon Valley's favorite shoe brand, are the perfect mix of sporty and stylish. They come in tons of colors and are even machine washable.Read our full review of Allbirds Wool Runners here.A durable backpack and cooler comboCarharttCarhartt Medium Pack + 3 Can Insulated Cooler, $119.99, available at CarharttMade from a durable 500 denier Cordura ripstop material, this Carhartt backpack is perfect for outdoorsy dads. The included 3-can cooler is a great addition that'll let him carry a few cold brews on his fishing or camping trips.A subscription service for new vinyl every monthVinyl MeVinyl Me, Please 3-Month Gift Membership, $119, available at Vinyl Me, PleaseEvery person's vinyl collection is deeply personal, so instead of trying to guess his taste, let him choose the record himself. Each month, he'll choose and receive one LP, pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please, from a collection of Essentials, Classics, and Rap & Hip Hop.The three-month gift membership includes one bonus record, while the six- and 12-month ones include two bonus records.Gifts for dad over $150An iPad he can use to work, watch movies, and do almost anything else withAppleApple iPad (Latest Model with Wi-Fi, 32GB), $294.99 available at AmazonTech-obsessed dads will love to get their hands on the latest iPad. For more information on the different iterations, check out our guide to the best iPads. A fast wireless charger and accessory trayCourantCatch:3 Charger Tray, $140, available at Staycourant.comGive your dad the gift of organization with this accessory tray and wireless charger combo. The pebbled leather is a much-needed upgrade from all the plastic tech accessories he has lying around, and the catchall tray is useful and thoughtful. It also means he'll stop asking you where his keys are three times before leaving the house. Soft, crisp sheets and beddingBrooklinenBrooklinen Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle, from $195.71, available at BrooklinenBrooklinen's luxe sheets are among our favorites for their affordable price, sophisticated look, and unbelievable comfort. The company's Hardcore Sheet Bundles have everything your dad needs to completely makeover his bed, including a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, a duvet cover, and four pillowcases. Brooklinen also sells comforters, pillows, candles, and blankets. Read our full review of Brooklinen sheets here. A health and ancestry genetic test kit23andme23andMe Health and Ancestry Genetic Test Kit, $199, available at 23andMeThis genetic test kit from 23andMe is great for the dad who's interested in learning more about his family history. You can learn more about all this kit has to offer in our guide to the best DNA test kits. Personalized vinyl wall artUncommon GoodsPersonalized LP Record, $160, available at Uncommon GoodsCommemorate his birthday, anniversary, or any holiday with this custom record art. Made from an upcycled vinyl LP and suspended in a floating frame, this custom wall art can feature the soundtrack to their life or songs you share together. Choose from two retro designs, title the record, and add up to five personal song titles. A digital picture frame to display his favorite memoriesAuraAura Carver Digital Picture Frame, $179, available at AuraSometimes, all Dad wants is something sentimental and personal. A digital picture frame is the perfect gift for Dad because it means he can view his favorite photos from a single device. As long as the frame is hooked up to WiFi, your dad can enjoy the photos you've carefully curated, all day long in his office or home. You can hear about our experience with another Aura frame, here.A massage gun to use after working outTheragunTheragun Mini, from $199, available at TherabodyWhether Dad wants to recover after a grueling workout or just wants to be his own personal, at-home masseuse, a massage gun is an excellent gift. This model, Theragun's Mini, is our pick of the best entry-level massage gun, as it has a modest price tag yet still comes standard with a number of features found on more expensive, premium options. An at-home workout systemTRXTRX Suspension Trainer Basic Kit, $166.50, available at Amazon For the active dad, you can bring the gym home with this TRX trainer.A leather iPad caseLeatherologyLeatherology iPad Portfolio, from $190, available at LeatherologyThis leather iPad portfolio comes in 17 colors, so there's sure to be one that your dad will like. You can even get it monogrammed for an extra personal touch. An alarm clock that uses light to wake him up gentlyAmazonPhilips Light Alarm Clock, $169.99, available at AmazonJust because Dad has to wake up before the sun rises doesn't mean he has to awaken to the blaring of an obnoxious alarm clock.Philips makes a lovely alarm clock that gradually lights up to mimic the sunrise and wake him up naturally. The light alarm clock also displays the time and has customizable sounds so he can wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. This clock is also one of the top picks in our buying guide, so you can be sure he'll love it.Gifts for dad over $300A modern turntableU-Turn AudioU-Turn Audio Orbit Special Turntable, $499, available at U-TurnThis turntable is the sleek home accessory your dad didn't know he needed. He can bring his old records out of storage and enjoy them with this modern record player. A sophisticated smartwatch to track his fitness goalsAmazonSuunto 7, $399, available at AmazonFor a worthy splurge for the fitness-obsessed dad, the Suunto 7 is a feature-rich and highly accurate smartwatch that offers tracking for more than 70 different activities, is comfortable to wear, and offers useful training feedback anyone can benefit from. It can also give alerts for texts, emails, and has numerous other handy smart features dad will surely appreciate. We even named it the best running watch you can buy.Read our full review of the Suunto 7 here.Modern over-ear headphonesAntonio Villas-Boas/Business InsiderSony WH-1000XM4 headphones, $348, available at AmazonThese over-ear headphones from Sony are a must-have for frequent travelers as they have incredible noise cancellation that does well to drown out the drum of a car engine or airplane. They also deliver clear audio which is perfect for when Dad wants to jam out to his favorite album or catch up on some podcast episodes.A fancy device that helps relieve muscle sorenessTherabodyTherabody PowerDot 2.0, $349, available at TherabodyWhether he's sore from too much exercise or not exercising enough, Therabody's PowerDot is a compact, easy-to-use TENS machine, similar to those used by physical therapists. The electrical stimulation massages any muscle, which helps lessen pain from injuries or from training. The device comes with a guidebook for where to place the sensors and an intuitive app to run him through different kinds of pain relief programs.A pair of durable, all-weather bootsAllen EdmondsHiggins Mill Weatherproof Boot, $475, available at Allen EdmondsThe Higgins Mill Weatherproof Boot from Allen Edmonds is a do-it-all boot that fends off inclement weather, looks good at the office or out on the town, and is built to last for years. It's an investment piece type gift for Dad who will no doubt crown them his new favorite boots after unboxing a pair this holiday season. A set of adjustable dumbbellsNordicTrackNordicTrack Select-A-Weight 55 lb. Dumbbell Set, $499, available at NordicTrackIf Dad is looking to up his fitness game, these adjustable dumbbells from NordicTrack are one of the most versatile ways to help him do it. The weights adjust from 10 pounds on up to 55 pounds, allowing for a variety of strength training exercises, no matter where Dad is on his fitness journey. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 1st, 2022

New Jan. 6 Bodycam Videos Show DC Police Officer Assaulting Unconscious Protester

New Jan. 6 Bodycam Videos Show DC Police Officer Assaulting Unconscious Protester Authored by Joseph M. Hanneman via The Epoch Times, A District of Columbia police officer used a large wooden stick to strike the body and head of protester Rosanne Boyland three times as she lay motionless on the ground on Jan. 6, 2021, according to bodycam footage from several officers obtained by The Epoch Times. Use-of-force expert Stanley Kephart, upon reviewing the previously unreleased footage, concluded that the three full-force blows by D.C. police officer Lila Morris constituted a felony assault with intent to cause great bodily harm. Kephart called Morris’s use of force “indefensible” and the internal-affairs investigation of Boyland’s death a “clear and convincing coverup.” “I think that the first thing that occurred is an assault under the color of authority by Morris,” Kephart told The Epoch Times. “That is a crime, an arrestable offense.” Police at the mouth of the Lower West Terrace tunnel at the U.S. Capitol ignored dozens of pleas to help Boyland after she collapsed, the videos show. When a lifeless Boyland was pulled inside the building more than 10 minutes later, other police and EMS personnel began 50 minutes of life-saving efforts that ultimately failed. An independent forensic pathologist hired by the Boyland family contends that her cause of death wasn’t an overdose of the prescription drug Adderall—as reported by the D.C. medical examiner—but manual asphyxia. Boyland was crushed under a pile of people when police gassed protesters and pushed them out of the tunnel at about 4:20 p.m. on Jan. 6. ‘Under the Color of Authority’ Kephart, a 42-year law enforcement veteran and former director of security for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, reviewed Boyland’s case at the request of The Epoch Times. He has testified as a witness more than 350 times on topics including excessive force, police discipline, officer safety, and crowd control. Kephart concluded that Morris’s use of force was a felonious “assault under the color of authority,” with intent to cause great bodily harm. He said that Morris should be prosecuted in criminal court and fired from the D.C. Metro police force. “I believe two things were in operation here. One was anger at this person,” Kephart said, referring to Boyland. “That was overridden by fear. And those two elements were the causal connection between what was done to the person by the officer and the result.” Rosanne Boyland was struck with a wooden stick on Jan. 6, 2021: once in the ribs and twice in the head, video evidence shows. (Metropolitan Police Department Bodycams/Graphic by The Epoch Times) The force used against Boyland fails a four-part standard set in the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case Graham v. Connor, Kephart said: whether force was ever needed and appropriate in the situation, the extent of the injury, and “whether the force was applied in a good-faith manner to maintain and restore discipline, or maliciously and sadistically.” Police are trained not to strike people in the head with a blunt object. In the West Terrace tunnel, something overcame that training, Kephart said. “If you have a trained officer who is angry at what the crowd is doing and the crowd rises up and puts him in a position where he feels his personal safety is compromised, fear begins to take over the anger, and the reflexive response throws the training right out the window,” Kephart said. Chief Robert Contee of the Metropolitan Police Department didn’t respond to a request for comment. A message left with the department’s public information office wasn’t returned. Justin Winchell reacts in horror when his friend Rosanne Boyland is struck in the head with a wooden stick. Boyland was struck three times. Officer Lila Morris tried striking a fourth time, but the stick flew from her hand. (Metropolitan Police Department Bodycam/Screenshot via The Epoch Times) One protester who allegedly used the same wooden stick to strike and jab at police in the terrace tunnel was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon. Jonathan Mellis was charged in a 10-count indictment on March 10, 2021. He pleaded not guilty. Mellis is being held in jail pending trial. Police Ignored Pleas for Help Police bodycam video shows protesters begging officers to render life-saving aid to Boyland from the moment she collapsed at the mouth of the tunnel. The pleas grew more desperate as it became apparent Boyland was dying. That sparked a violent backlash from rioters, who attacked the police line with fists, flag poles, sticks, and a whisk broom. “There’s people under here!” shouted Justin Winchell, Boyland’s friend who accompanied her to Washington that day. “There’s people trapped under here!” A protester right at the police line who was bleeding from a baton strike to the head pointed to Boyland and pleaded for help. “Get her up. Get her up! Get her up, please,” the man urged. “Save her life! Save her life, please!” One officer used his baton and boots to push five protesters on top of Boyland, bodycam video shows. “Please get her up! She’s gonna die!” Winchell shouted. There was the sound of a female coughing as a battle raged above and around Boyland. The coughing stopped at 4:26:04 p.m., according to a timeline developed by The Epoch Times from police bodycam footage. A few seconds later, the large crowd on the terrace began chanting, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” “My God! She’s dead! She’s dead! Rose!” Winchell cried at 4:26:52 p.m. “Rosanne! I need somebody! She’s dead! … I need somebody! I need medics!” Just shy of 4:28 p.m., protester Luke Coffee of Dallas stepped to the front of the police line, held up his hand, and shouted, “Stop!” He was squirted in the face with pepper spray but maintained his position. A rioter threw a large wooden stick at Morris from out in the crowd. At the time, Morris was in the tunnel, crouching behind a protester who had his arms covering his head. 3 Strikes Morris picked up the wooden stick, raised it over her head, and struck Coffee on the right elbow, bodycam video shows. She aimed a second strike at Coffee but missed. The video then shows that Morris raised the stick over her head with both hands and unleashed three quick hits to Boyland’s body: one to the ribs and two to the head. The second blow to the head drew a horrified reaction from Winchell. The wooden stick flew from Morris’s left hand as she wound up for another strike on Boyland, the videos show. Morris whiffed in her final attempted hit. The stick ricocheted off the tunnel arch and flew over Morris’s head. Coffee reached down and picked up an aluminum crutch that had been thrown at police several times during the afternoon. He held the crutch over his head for several seconds, then used it like a plow to push the police line back into the tunnel several feet. As Coffee pushed the police line back, bystanders dragged Boyland down several steps and began CPR. Nearly three minutes later, they carried her directly in front of the police line and continued doing CPR. No officers moved to lend assistance. At 4:31 p.m., Boyland was dragged by officers to the back of the tunnel and inside the Capitol. In the process, she lost her jeans, backpack, and top, leaving her clothed only in leggings, according to bodycam video. First responders perform CPR on Rosanne Boyland just inside the lower West Terrace tunnel entrance at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Metropolitan Police Department Bodycam/Screenshot via The Epoch Times) A SWAT team member in a green tactical uniform began CPR. The D.C. Fire and EMS Department was summoned. Within a few minutes, a team of six to eight first responders was working to resuscitate Boyland. She was hooked to an automated external defibrillator. Morris watched the resuscitation efforts. At 4:38 p.m., her bodycam captures a female voice—likely Morris—asking, “Is he dead?” Boyland was loaded onto a makeshift gurney and wheeled to the east wing of the Capitol to meet a medical transport unit from D.C. Fire and EMS. “When we got into the Capitol, they had her on some sort of dolly or pull cart, and they were pulling her down the hallway towards us,” Capt. Ellen Kurland, an EMS supervisor, said in a Jan. 6 documentary produced by DC Fire and EMS. “We worked her for 30 minutes, and she had been down 20 minutes before we were even able to get to her.” Boyland was put on an IV and given epinephrine every four minutes to stimulate her heart. The rescue squad requested approval to depart for The George Washington University Hospital at 5:10 p.m. “Authorization was not granted,” read a summary of records obtained by the Boyland family. The records don’t indicate why the ambulance wasn’t allowed to leave the Capitol for a half-hour after requesting approval. A message from The Epoch Times left at the D.C. Metro Fire and EMS Department hasn’t been returned. The ambulance finally left the Capitol at 5:40 p.m. for the one-mile trip to the hospital. Due to traffic and road closures, the ambulance didn’t arrive at the emergency room until 6 p.m. Boyland was pronounced dead at 6:09 p.m. “We are not 100 percent [certain of] when she actually passed, but agree it was in that time frame [4:21 to 4:26 p.m.] and probably before Lila Morris got hold of that stick,” Bret Boyland, Rosanne’s father, told The Epoch Times. “No matter whether Rosanne was alive or not, we were shocked and appalled at the officer’s attack.” ‘Objectively Reasonable’ Troubled by the contradictions in the Boyland case, Gary McBride of Decatur, Texas, filed an excessive-force complaint against Morris with the Metropolitan Police Department in September 2021. “I don’t condone what happened at the Capitol, and I don’t condone the beating of anyone who is defenseless either,” McBride wrote to the D.C. Metro Internal Affairs Bureau on Sept. 14. “It doesn’t matter if you are a protester, preacher, or politician; you should be held accountable for your actions.” Two months later, in November 2021, Capt. David K. Augustine wrote to McBride and said, “The use of force within this investigation was determined to be objectively reasonable.” Cause of Death Disputed The D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Boyland on Jan. 7, 2021. The cause of death was ruled amphetamine intoxication. Boyland’s family questioned that conclusion. Boyland had a prescription for Adderall, a medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There was no visual evidence or witness statements to indicate any signs the drug impaired her on Jan. 6. First responders pull Rosanne Boyland on a makeshift gurney to meet a transport unit from DC Fire and EMS at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Metropolitan Police Department Bodycam/Screenshot via The Epoch Times) The Boyland family hired Park Dietz & Associates to review the autopsy findings. The Park Dietz forensic pathologist agreed that the manner of death was an accident but concluded Boyland’s death was caused by manual asphyxia. Boyland was cremated, so a new autopsy was not possible. “Compressional asphyxia refers to a situation in which pressure exerted on the chest or back of an individual impedes normal breathing and often leaves no diagnostic physical findings,” read a summary of the Park Dietz report provided to The Epoch Times by the Boyland family. Amphetamine toxicity “was not the proximate cause of Ms. Boyland’s death, although it cannot be ruled in or out as a contributory factor,” the pathologist wrote. “The circumstances surrounding Ms. Boyland’s death are not consistent with a drug overdose as the proximate cause and cannot be ignored.” The original autopsy didn’t note any evidence of injury, except for a four-inch bruise on her right forearm. However, bodycam footage of Boyland being dragged from the tunnel entrance at 4:31 p.m. shows what appears to be a wound on her forehead. Another bodycam view seems to show a long red mark starting on the lower section of her left rib cage. Winchell told an Atlanta television station in 2021 that Boyland developed a nosebleed after the officer struck her in the face with the walking stick. “I want you to hear me: She was already blue, and the Capitol police—I kid you not—had been hitting everyone with batons and stuff, understandably,” Winchell said. “But I’m talking, she is laid out, maybe dead at this point, but they hit her at least two times in the body. And then they hit her once in the face, once right here in her nose, and some blood started coming out of her nose.” Rosanne Boyland and Justin Winchell in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Boyland family/Screenshot via The Epoch Times) According to the autopsy, Boyland suffered left and right anterior rib fractures, but those were likely caused by CPR compressions, the Park Dietz report said. The report noted no evidence that a beating or traumatic injury contributed to her death. “This does not mean that she was not beaten by a police officer, only that she was already deceased at that time,” the Boyland family said in a statement. The report said it’s unclear what role chemical irritants sprayed by police and protesters might have had on Boyland’s death. Videos show mace dripping off the clothing of protesters near the police line. “Please stop pepper spraying,” an unknown man near Boyland pleaded at 4:26 p.m. “Her lungs are full of it.” Police used an unknown gas on protesters in the tunnel at 4:20 p.m. According to security video, a loud explosion was heard seconds beforehand, causing many protesters in the tunnel to drop to the ground. Chemical agents such as pyrotechnic oleoresin capsicum, delivered via an exploding munition, work primarily on the lungs. Witnesses in the tunnel described feeling like the oxygen was sucked from the air, making it impossible to breathe. The response was panic. Kephart said crowd-control munitions were a mistake in such a tight and crowded space. “If you’re using gas munitions to cause the air to be saturated with a gas displacing the oxygen, and causes them to panic and pass out, thereby clogging the ability for them to disperse because they’re passed out, you have created and worsened the problem,” Kephart said. “This is an absolute symptom of a lack of proper training. This offends common sense.” Police can allow fear to overcome their training in high-stress situations, but so can crowds like the one in the West Terrace tunnel. “The same thing is true with the crowds: If fear [strikes], they do the wrong thing,” he said. “They either drop-down, or they try to flee. And in attempting to do either of those two options, they worsen the circumstance in crowd compaction.” Birthday Filled With Sadness April 26 was a sad day at the Georgia home of Bret and Cheryl Boyland. Their late daughter Rosanne would have turned 36. Instead of enjoying a birthday celebration, the Boyland family had to confront the grief that has been ever-present since the night of Jan. 6, 2021. Rosanne’s parents struggle with many lingering questions about her death. Among them is the exact time their daughter died. Bret Boyland said that based on the review of Rosanne’s autopsy and other factors, he believes she died between 4:21 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. A review of video and audio from police bodycams identified a series of female coughs between 4:25:34 and 4:26:04. Boyland said the coughs were too short for him to tell if they came from his daughter. Bodycam and security video of Boyland’s time in the Capitol before being taken to the hospital provided some comfort to her family. “We were glad to get details of life-saving efforts after she was dragged into the Capitol,” Bret Boyland said. “She just got that attention too late.” Tyler Durden Fri, 04/29/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 29th, 2022

State Governors Weigh In On The Financial Literacy Crisis In America

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Tate Reeves, Mississippi Governor, Former State Treasurer and Chartered Financial Analyst; Steve Sisolak, Nevada Governor; and Phil Murphy, New Jersey Governor and Vice Chairman of the National Governors Association moderated by CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson live during the “Invest in You: The […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Tate Reeves, Mississippi Governor, Former State Treasurer and Chartered Financial Analyst; Steve Sisolak, Nevada Governor; and Phil Murphy, New Jersey Governor and Vice Chairman of the National Governors Association moderated by CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson live during the “Invest in You: The Governors Strategy Session on Financial Education” event today, Wednesday, April 6. 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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); Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more State Governors Weigh In On The Financial Literacy Crisis In America All references must be sourced to CNBC’s “Invest in You: The Governors Strategy Session on Financial Education” event. SHARON EPPERSON: Today we’ve brought together three of our nation's governors to talk about the state of financial education in America, and why that knowledge is so very critical to advancing economic opportunity for all. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, It is an honor to have you with me here today to talk about such a very important issue. You know, here at CNBC, are our job is to talk to money managers and CEOs and economists and analysts about the markets, about investments, all facets of finance. But when we drill down to a personal finance level, why is it so hard to talk about money at home and in school? And is that silence actually contributing to Americans unhealthy financial habits? You know, Governor Murphy, I want to start with you because I'm really eager to learn how you learned about money and why financial education is so important to you? GOVERNOR MURPHY: Sharon, thank you for having us. This is an incredibly timely and relevant gathering. I want to acknowledge my fellow governors Reeves and Sisolak, it's an honor to be with them. And financial literacy is a topic that erases party lines and requires us to learn from each other's states and work together on best practices. I grew up in a family that I call middle class on a good day. So we had scarce resources for my entire childhood. So that was probably the biggest early lesson for me and that is that you have to work within constraints that you might not otherwise have in your life. But I think it's an incredibly – financial literacy is incredibly important for Americans, as you say, to secure their personal financial footing, to be better positioned, to provide for their families and set themselves up for future success. It could not be a more relevant topic. In fact, today, by coincidence, we're launching in New Jersey a website here to enhance financial literacy for all residents called njfinlit.enrich.org to give you a sense of how important we think this is. EPPERSON: Absolutely. And Governor Reeves, I know from your background, maybe you did actually talk about money at home. Many people don't, but did you in your household growing up? GOVERNOR REEVES: Well I had the opportunity – and Sharon thank you for having myself and my fellow governors on today because this is an incredibly important topic. I had the opportunity to grow up in a family and with a father, who was a small business owner and he came from a very modest background, to say the least. He was one of 11 who grew up in a two room home in Mississippi and as he became a small businessman, as he worked to build his business, he made sure that myself and my brother were aware of the sacrifices that he made but also to not only understand what it takes to be successful in life, but also what it means to be successful in the money side of things as well. I then went to college and had the opportunity to obviously major in economics and take classes that were there with not only on personal finance, but also on investing in other things and led me to a career in it, which is one of the reasons that I'm so passionate about trying to encourage my fellow Mississippians and really, my fellow Americans, to make sure that financial literacy is available to as many people as possible because I really do think it can help Americans have a better life. EPPERSON: Absolutely. Absolutely. Governor Sisolak, did you ever take a class on personal finance or anything financial when you were in kindergarten through 12th grade or did you have to just learn by doing? GOVERNOR SISOLAK: Well Sharon, thanks for having me and my colleagues on here to talk about this very important subject. We learned in the home, my brother and sister and I did. My mom and dad did an incredible job teaching us and I personally always encourage parents to be involved in their kids education, all education, particularly financial literacy. We have a formal curriculum, and that's great and I think it does a lot for us. But right now it's important that their families get involved and kids understand that they want that new bicycle or they're going to save for their first car, they have to start saving money and save it early. You put so much of the when grandma and grandpa give you $10 for your birthday, you put a couple bucks of that aside for your future. And my parents delved into that and really encouraged my siblings and I to do that and I think we had a good foundation. It's unfortunate that a great percentage, I think 50 some odd percent of Americans can't cover $1,000 emergency costs if it comes up without borrowing the money. So it tells us we need to invest more. We've invested $2.5 million from the state into these programs. And to make sure that it gets out we address access and equity so that everybody gets this education, it’s not just reserved for the upper class. EPPERSON: Absolutely. Access, equity and financial responsibility is so very important. And you know, students who have taken a class in personal finance are more likely to engage in financially responsible behaviors. One study from the Council for Economic Education found that of the students who have taken a personal finance class, they're 9% more likely to save their money, 15% more likely to invest the money, and they're 21% less likely to take on credit debt. And when it comes to student loan debt, financial education in terms of high school graduation requirements has been shown to increase aid for applications for federal loans and decrease private student loans. So with all these positive results, it's just a wonder why it is not mandatory in all schools. Why is there such a difference in each state's approach to financial education? Governor Reeves, let me start with you. What is Mississippi's approach? GOVERNOR REEVES: Well, I think one of the challenges that we have across America is that we're all working very hard to ensure that the we improve educational attainment levels of our citizens. And you know, in our state, we actually were the seventh state in America to mandate a class we call it the Mississippi College and Career Readiness class. It's really about teaching life skills but 75% of the life skills that are taught in that class are with respect to financial education, because one of the things that you were talking about the importance earlier, I would just point out those individuals that have a fundamental understanding of their finances and financial literacy, they're also much more likely to improve their educational attainment level, they're much more likely to go back to maybe the local community college and learn a skill, so that they can increase their earning capacity, because they have a better understanding of what that means to them on a day to day basis. Obviously each state – and we believe very strongly here in our state about home rule – and each state has to make their own decision and make their own priorities as to what classes are most appropriate for their young people. But I am absolutely convinced that a fundamental understanding of finances is incredibly important to one's ability to be successful in life. EPPERSON: Absolutely. But Governor Sisolak, every state does have the authority to make its own rules in terms of how they have financial education in schools. And in Nevada, it's a part of the social studies curriculum, not necessarily a standalone class. Why is that the approach in Nevada? Why isn’t it just a mandatory class for every student? GOVERNOR SISOLAK: Well mandatory class might be the next step that we go to. I mean, social studies class indoctrinates students into the idea about this, it gives them the first touch and I think that's a good way to get that to put that curriculum into the social studies classes as opposed to developing a whole new program to begin with. But we've had it at every level. I can tell you that I had it when I was on the Board of Regents of our universities I served in. We had credit card companies in the arenas give it all the college kids and signing them up for $1,000 credit cards. And I’d go into the classes and say look, you're running up these credit cards, the max limits on beer and pizza. Then you graduated from college and you got to understand that you’ve got to pay that all back. Kids don't understand that. It was an eye opening experience. We got to the point where we wouldn’t let them give out t-shirts and sweatshirts and swag to get them to sign up for the credit card because it was misleading so many students and they didn't have the background in order to handle that kind of credit. EPPERSON: You know, Governor Murphy I was in a class in West Orange, New Jersey a couple of years ago when the first students were taking their financial class – their personal finance class. They were in sixth, seventh, eighth grade. And this was the time that the state had decided that middle schoolers were going to have to take a personal finance class. These students loved learning about stocks, they knew every company that they wanted to invest in. Why is the approach of having financial education in middle school so important, and when will it become a high school requirement in New Jersey as well for students? GOVERNOR MURPHY: I think we're all in agreement that you need to get to folks while they're young. And that's the animating reason behind getting financial literacy into our curriculum and middle school, as you rightly point out in grades six, seven and eight. The combination I think of skills that folks don't have a need to learn, but also as I think my colleagues have alluded to, there's a temptation that comes with a lot of different things that you all of a sudden think you can afford. And you don't realize the consequences on the backend. Whether it's physical items, whether it's meme stocks or whatever it might be, and so getting kids at the earliest ages possible we think is critical. Could I see this extending into high school? Absolutely. Right now it's working. I have to say that the payoff for the investment we've made in grade six, seven and eight is evident. And if we think we need to do more, we will. EPPERSON: Yeah, you know, there is a real difference though in terms of some communities and the resources that are available. Some students in the classes I've seen in New Jersey, they actually have their own accounts, they are trading stocks, their parents set it up for them. Others are learning about that work for the very first time. So if advancing economic opportunity is the ultimate goal, how do we make sure that everyone is provided for including under resourced communities, that we make sure that there's equal access to that opportunity? And Governor Murphy, you were starting to mention this financial literacy program that just launched in New Jersey for adults, too. So what are you doing there? GOVERNOR MURPHY: Yeah, so we're launching it literally today, Sharon, as luck would have it – njfinlit.enrich.org. And it was developed with two outstanding firms in this space, Enrich and iGrad. Yeah, I think you make a very fair point. Getting folks while they're young, but accepting as well that this is a lifelong reality that never goes away. You've got to be able to manage your circumstances and manage it intelligently. And the other point you're making, Sharon, is a big one. Equity. You know, we're proud to have the number one rated public education system in America but that banner has to apply not just to most of our kids, but to all of our kids. And again, remember that this is a lifelong reality. So we want to get at it early and stay at it as folks grow up and we'll continue to do that. EPPERSON: Yeah, you know, when you're talking about under resourced communities, Governor Reeves, you know, there are some that are saying, just get the basics right. Make sure the kids know how to read and write, make sure they know how to solve math problems. Why do we have to add something else to the mix in terms of financial education? How do you impress upon communities, and particularly under resourced communities, that it's important to have financial education? Because that improves learning all around. GOVERNOR REEVES: To be honest with you, I think we've got to say that this is not an either or scenario. It's a both and. There's no doubt that we have to continue to focus on improving the basics. We have to continue to focus on improving the math literacy of the students in all of our schools. Because the reality is it's very hard to teach financial literacy if there's not a basic understanding of math. And then it’s very hard to teach financial literacy, because there's not a basic understanding of reading as well. And so, I think that we can do both. And then quite frankly, I think we can do both in such a way that we utilize the same techniques. In our state, for instance, we hired dating years ago, we started hiring math coaches to go into various schools that were underperforming so that the math coaches were not only teaching students how to do the math problem, but also teaching the teachers how to be better math teachers. We did the same thing with reading coaches years ago, and the results have been fantastic. If you look at the nape testing, for instance, in our state in fourth grade reading, fourth grade math, eighth grade reading and eighth grade math, our results in terms of ten-year growth numbers are in the top five in the nation in each of those categories for each of the last three years. But it's because of that model that we've used. And now we've taken that model to the financial education side of things where we're actually having a master teacher of a personal finance program here in our state. We've got over 250 teachers that have gone through that and we're making sure that the resources are available in all of our school districts, and we utilize our online network to make sure that all of those resources are available to every single school in Mississippi. EPPERSON: Yes, well, in Mississippi the Council for Economic Education has been a really key supporter for the initiatives you're doing there in that state. But when we talk about teachers, we also have to talk about parents as well, Governor Sisolak, and how they are supporting these initiatives. How is that happening in your state because there's often you know, the need for parents to be involved as well as Governor Murphy has mentioned. GOVERNOR SISOLAK: It's important that we have the curriculum in the schools and the younger we stat, as Governor Murphy said, the better off we are. Unfortunately, a lot of these kids can't get a lot of education from their parents at home because the parents didn't get the education. We've still got a problem with parents going for short term payday loans in order to make their rent paid and so forth and so on. And they have to understand the absolute cost of borrowing that money. And we've done a lot. We are trying to educate the parents to have a well-rounded approach as we deal with that. But financial literacy is something you need for your entire life. Whether it's buying your first car, saving up for a new pair of jeans, or buying a home at some point. And understanding what the interest rates are and what the long term effects are and what payments are and the depreciation and amortization and those sort of things. It's a skill that is necessary for your entire life. We have to approach it more long term in that regard, and break the cycle of people that are just kind of left on their own in terms of not having the knowledge, how to handle their money and how to borrow money and when it's necessary and how to save and how to invest. EPPERSON: Yeah, when I talked to some of the students in New Jersey, Governor Murphy, they were the advocate saying that we need to have more financial education, that we need to try to impress upon some of our classmates that aren't so into this in sixth grade that we need to have it. And in ninth grade when one of the students I talked to had advanced to high school, she said she was encouraging her colleagues, her classmates to take those classes. How important is the advocacy among students in your state but in other states as well do you think in terms of getting financial education legislation passed? GOVERNOR MURPHY: Well I think it is incredibly important. And moms and dads as well, both the kids who are living it and they want more, I'm not sure earlier than sixth grade make sense, but does it make sense to put more resources into post eighth grade? If the market – in this case the market is our precious kids, if they and their moms and dads think that that would meaningfully improve their understanding of financial literacy, you got to be open minded to that. As I mentioned with the website that we're launching today, we think it's a lifelong experience. But absolutely is the answer. The answer is yes to your question, Sharon. Kids influence – enormous amounts and moms and dads have enormous influence on boards of education, on how we construct curriculum. And financial literacy is no exception to that. EPPERSON: Yeah, you know, and they have a lot of input in terms of what they want to learn about their finances. Governor Sisolak, let's talk about cryptocurrencies because you know, when we talk about crypto a lot of young people very interested in learning more about that a lot of Americans in general. There are no specific laws or regulations regarding cryptocurrency in your state. Casinos can use it, businesses can accept it for payment. With the rising popularity of cryptocurrency, what do you think is the responsibility that we have to teach young people about the risks and about how they need to be smart about new ways to spend and invest their money? GOVERNOR SISOLAK: Well, I think you're absolutely right. And cryptocurrencies, it's in its infancy right now. What it looks like today versus what it's going to look like three to five years or 20 years I can't even begin to imagine. Most folks right now are not dealing in cryptocurrencies. We do have some casinos that you can use it at, we've got about businesses that accept it and so forth. But you know, I think there's something we could maybe have a second or an advanced class in terms of financial literacy with cryptocurrency. But I'm talking about nickels and dimes and dollars, you know, when I'm talking about financial literacy. And kids have to understand that you know, that's how they save and that's how things are done. The investment I know a lot of the classes are doing these stock market games where they get grouped together, and they get a sum of money and they invest in it see who does the best over a year or two years in class or whatnot. Cryptocurrency is something that will be used in the future. I think it's something that is not understood by enough people – I don't have enough of an understanding on it to be very candid with you – to be able to advocate or to not advocate for it. But I think that we need to get to the basics of borrowing money, saving money, and you know, those sorts of things. EPPERSON: Yeah, you know, Governor Reeves, a lot of teachers are concerned about the students wanting to learn about meme stocks, about crypto because they don't necessarily have as great a grasp of that, either. How do you make sure that teachers are well equipped? These are the unsung heroes for our children. We need to make sure that they understand the material that they're presenting to the children but in some cases, they're at a loss. So how do you make sure that they're up to date on the latest that young people want to know about their money that they should know about their money? GOVERNOR REEVES: It's true in all levels of education that you've got to – the best way for the kid to get a quality education is for there to be a quality teacher in the classroom teaching it. There's no doubt about that. And that's the reason we started our master teacher personal finance program, wherein we actually offer some 75 hours of training for those teachers. We also have coaches that are going in and help teaching them. And the reality is cryptocurrency is relatively new here and so you’ve got to continuously have continuing education for the personal finance teachers, just like you’ve got to do so whether it's in English or math or social studies or the other subjects. But as was mentioned earlier, and I think this is important. You know, one of the primary foundations of teaching financial literacy is the recognition and understanding of risks. That's true when it comes to crypto. That's also true when it comes to these stock market games. What we're really trying to teach these individuals is not to pick an individual stock and do phenomenally well and get wealthy, but to teach them that what the real risk reward is of making decisions and particularly making financial decisions. EPPERSON: So very important, and they're learning though this risk reward – some are learning it at home, but it was very interesting as CNBC recently did a survey that looked at the fact that parents overwhelmingly say that they should be responsible for teaching their children about money. But only about 40% or so said that they talked about money at home more than once a month. And so we're having about a third of the parents admitting that they don't even discuss household finances at home. So how important when you have many studies also have shown that young people believe that cryptocurrencies may be a path to retirement savings, that it may be a good investment long term. Governor Murphy, how do you make sure that although parents think it should be their responsibility, the schools are playing a very important role from an early age in some of these new ways to invest and grow your money and some of the traditional ways that everyone should know? GOVERNOR MURPHY: Yeah, I think Governor Reeves said earlier and said it the right way this is and both. It's something that needs to be talked about at the kitchen table, but that’s not in lieu of our need and responsibility to teach it in schools. And I think it's got to be both of those. And I think so that's the general financial literacy. How do you assess risk? How do you price risk? Everything that is associated with that. As it relates to the newer realities, Web 3.0, blockchain, crypto, we're all kind of learning that together. And I think we've got to be committed to that. And I think in particular, folks and our kids, especially need to understand the risk reward equation, generally, but specifically within crypto. There’s a phrase that Warren Buffett uses that anything that seems too good to be true, usually is. And that's not to say you can’t make money, you can’t make smart investments in the crypto space and because the answer is you can. But boy, you’ve got to understand the basics of that reality and you've got to understand the risks associated with it. I think that's incumbent upon all of us to be shoulder to shoulder in that regard. EPPERSON: You know, there's a focus on the short term, perhaps profit of crypto and there's the reality that families across this country are going through in terms of inflation, and what we need to understand about how it works, the impact it's having, and their understanding that because they know what they're paying at the grocery store, at the gas pump and how it's impacting their daily budgets. But I'm wondering Governor Reeves, how we can impress upon schools and how states can come together to have some type of standardization of these are the key lessons that everyone needs to learn, including about inflation so that we can move forward in these difficult situations. GOVERNOR REEVES; Well, given the significant inflation that we're seeing in the U.S. economy today, I think it would be fair to say that we ought to have a requirement for a financial literacy class for all of our members of Congress. And I don't think that's unique to one political party either by the way. But the fact of the matter is that we find ourselves in a position in which if more people understood the reason that prices were rising, that I think we would probably see better policies to combat those. You mentioned earlier about parents and there's no question that parents play a significant role in every child's education, and it's a critical component. But you also mentioned earlier that 50-something percent of parents – only 50% of parents felt that they were adequate in their own knowledge and financial education. And the reality is some of them probably aren't telling the whole truth. And so it's a both and thing where we can provide foundational information to individual students in our classes, but also hopefully, involve our parents in the long term conversation to get more people more comfortable talking about these issues. EPPERSON: You know, another word that comes to mind is recession because Governor Sisolak, in our recent CNBC and Acorns survey, 81% of Americans said they expect a recession sometime this year. So what does that word mean to you for your state, for your students, and what should they learn about recession? GOVERNOR SISOLAK: Yeah, we're just coming through the pandemic and you're absolutely right a recession is not something that anticipating or hoping is on the horizon for us. We got through one a few years back and just devastated our economy and hopefully not going that way again. I think it's important that our students understand what a recession is, what a depression is, what a slowdown in the economy means, what a heating up in the economy means. These are real world situations that they'll need, not only when they're in middle school or high school, but in their adult life that they're going to be dealing with regularly about unemployment, and jobs, and inflation as Governor Reeves said. These are real issues that people – that these kids are going to have to deal with multiple times. It's the cyclical nature – the economy is – and they're going to be dealing with these multiple times over their lives. So it's important that we give them that foundation and I think you got at what we're talking about, you know, the initials, the basics of savings and interest and whatnot and cryptocurrency. We've got to get kids in the shallow end of the pool before we drop them in on the deep end and overwhelm them with some of these things. Cryptocurrency most folks deal with it as a get rich kind of thing. They can invest in it and it goes from $1,000 to $50,000, Bitcoin and they are suddenly going to be rich. It doesn't work like that in the real world. Sure, some people can be beneficiaries of that, but that's not the everyday opportunity that Americans have. So I am focused on as my wife is, this is one of her main priorities in the First Lady's initiatives in teaching basic financial literacy to our kids in terms of saving, borrowing and oftentimes the kids are teaching to their parents as well. So I think that's a good thing. EPPERSON: So your main money lesson if you're teaching a class would be what? What’s the first lesson you would give, Governor Sisolak? GOVERNOR SISOLAK: Well the first lesson I'd give them is you should pay yourself first when you're making a living, when you're saving, you need to pay your necessary bills before you go buy, whether it's an ice cream cone or that $6 cup of coffee, put a few dollars away for your future. It's hard to think about retirement when you're you know, 17, 18, or 20 years old. But those years go by quickly. And I would encourage people to save a little bit – not save your whole paycheck. You got to enjoy your life, but save a little bit and understand the cost of borrowing money. When you borrow money, you've got to pay it back and you got to pay the interest on that money. And sometimes that's a lesson that's lost a lot of folks. They look at hey you just whip out that piece of plastic and you can get whatever you want and they'll realize that that bill comes every month and you’ve got to keep making payments on it. EPPERSON: Absolutely. Governor Murphy, what would be the money lesson that you would most want to teach to a sixth grade class? GOVERNOR MURPHY: I think it's similar to Governor Sisolak. It's what does it mean to live within your means? And not just in the here and now but over time. Very basic building blocks. I'm also in huge agreement that you start with the basics. But living within your means, I think would be the first chapter of lesson number one for me. EPPERSON: Absolutely. And Governor Reeves, in terms of college career readiness, what is that first class that you're going to teach when you go to visit one of those Mississippi classrooms? GOVERNOR REEVES: Well, I always tell young folks when I visit with them one of the most important things that I've learned is, and it was taught by my dad first but also in learning things about finance is it turns out the harder you work, the luckier you seem, and the luckier you get. And so hard work makes a difference and what I always try to tell young folks is their education across the board, if they're in the fifth or sixth grade, what they do in the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th it really matters. It matters in terms of their ability to be successful in life and be successful in getting a job and be able to provide for themselves and their families. And I really like to remind them how rewarding it can be to be self-sufficient to be able to take for yourself and not to depend upon others to do so. And that starts every single day by doing the little things in school. And then ultimately, in terms of investing, it's all about risk and reward and teaching the basic principles about risk and reward I think are incredibly important. EPPERSON: Incredibly important, you know, financial education leads to financial freedom. And I thank all of you for being here today to talk about this. Governor Reeves, Governor Murphy, Governor Sisolak, thank you all for being here with us today. Very critical topic that we've been discussing financial education in America. And if you all would like to watch this event again and access more personal finance resources, go to cnbc.com/invest-in-you. Also our Money 101 newsletter is available in English and Spanish. You can sign up, go to cnbc.com/money101 or cnbc.com/dinero101. I'm Sharon Epperson for CNBC.   Updated on Apr 6, 2022, 3:56 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: valuewalkApr 6th, 2022

68 of the best gifts for dads, from personalized football jerseys to a do-it-all smartwatch

We've rounded up a huge selection of gift ideas for Dad, no matter if he's into personalized football jerseys, the perfect steak, or a pair of boots. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Harry's Shave Club Dads can be notoriously difficult to shop for, especially if yours doesn't offer many hints of what he wants. We found the best gifts for Dad, whether for Christmas, his birthday, Father's Day, or another milestone.  From a Sirloin of the Month club to a massage gun, these gift ideas are sure to be a big hit.  If you're searching for the perfect gift for Dad but coming up empty, don't stress; we've done the hard work for you and compiled the absolute best gifts that he'll love no matter the occasion. Whether it's a gift for Christmas, an idea for his birthday, or just a thoughtful way to show your love, we found a number of unique gift ideas that are sure to impress even the toughest Dads to shop for.From a monthly steak subscription to a new record player or a comfy pillow, you can't go wrong with any of the gifts on this list.Here are 68 of the best gifts for DadThis list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by REI. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*Modern over-ear headphonesAntonio Villas-Boas/Business InsiderSony WH-1000XM4 headphones, $349, available at AmazonThese over-ear headphones from Sony are a must-have for frequent travelers as they have incredible noise cancellation that does well to drown out drum of a car engine or airplane. They also deliver clear audio which is perfect for when Dad wants to jam out to his favorite album or catch up on some podcast episodes.A self-filtering water bottleHydrosHydros Water Filter Bottle, $20, via HydrosThe Hydros Water Filter Bottle is like gifting Dad his own portable Brita. The bottle filters any water poured into it, reducing the amount of chlorine and sediment; plus, the filter is reliable through at least 40 gallons of liquid. It'll be any on-the-go Dad's go-to. A gift card for all things outdoorsREIREI Gift Card, from $10, available at REIFrom hiking and biking gear to vital cold-weather staples, REI is home to nearly anything and everything Dad could need this winter. Save up to 30% through December 20 during the Holiday Warm Up Sale.*Sponsored by REICoasters with the classicsUncommon GoodsUpcycled Record Coasters, $18, available at Uncommon GoodsDad can reminiscence about his favorite jams while enjoying a drink with these coasters made from reclaimed records. The discs are specially sealed so moisture won't seep through and damage the surface.An Audible subscriptionAudible/Business InsiderAudiblePlus subscription, from $7.95 per month, available at AudibleWith an Audible subscription, Dad gets unlimited access to thousands of audiobooks and podcasts. Plus, you can even have Dad test it out first with a free trial.A gift subscription to a popular coffee clubAtlas Coffee ClubAtlas Coffee Club 3-Month Gift Subscription, $50, available at Atlas Coffee ClubIf your dad's veins run dark roast, a coffee gift won't go unused. We recommend a subscription to the Atlas Coffee Club, which curates a global selection of single-origin coffee that gets freshly roasted and shipped to your house from $9 per bag. Read our full review of the Atlas Coffee Club here. A massage gun to use after working outTheragunTheragun Mini, from $199, available via TherabodyWhether Dad wants to recover after a grueling workout or just wants to be his own personal, at-home masseuse, a massage gun is an excellent gift. This model, Theragun's Mini, is our pick of the best entry-level massage gun, as it has a modest price tag yet still comes standard with a number of features found on more expensive, premium options. An easy way to open wineConnie Chen/InsiderSecura Electric Wine Opener, $26.99, available at AmazonDad can open his wine hassle-free with this gift. The sleek, fast-charging, and cordless wine opener can pull out 30 corks on one charge, making it our choice for one of the best electric wine openers. All Dad has to do is push a button and it does all the work.A tiny tag to ensure he never loses his valuablesAppleApple AirTag, $29, available at AppleIf dad tends to frequently misplace his key, wallet, or other valuables, help him out by gifting him a handy AirTag. The tags can be placed on just about any item and will connect to his phone so he can easily keep track of his stuff via the Find My app. For an extra personal touch, you can even get it engraved for free.Breathable and machine-washable sneakersAllbirdsAllbirds Wool Runners, $95, available at AllbirdsThese merino wool sneakers from Allbirds, Silicon Valley's favorite shoe brand, are the perfect mix of sporty and stylish. They come in tons of colors and are even machine washable.Read our full review of Allbirds Wool Runners here.A mat to help with dad's short gameAmazonRukket Tri-Turf Golf Hitting Mat, $99.99, available on AmazonFor the dad who loves to golf, this is one of the best golf hitting mats to help improve his short game from home. This compact, portable practice aid features three turf heights, to simulate rough, fairway, and close-cropped "collar" turf.A stylish and sporty fanny packState BagsLorimer Fanny Pack, $85, via State BagsIn case you hadn't heard, fanny packs are back and the Lorimer from State Bags is the best way to get Dad back on-trend. It's water-resistant, available in five colors, and is just understated enough to be a casual yet stylish foray into wearing a funny pack again.A digital picture frame to display his favorite memoriesAuraAura Carver Digital Picture Frame, $169, available at AuraSometimes, all Dad wants is something sentimental and personal. A digital picture frame is the perfect gift for Dad because it means he can view his favorite photos from a single device. As long as the frame is hooked up to WiFi, your dad can enjoy the photos you've carefully curated, all day long in his office or home. You can hear about our experience with another Aura frame, here.A compact gas grillThe Home DepotDyna-Glo 3-Burner Open Cart Propane Gas Grill, $119, available at Home DepotIf owning a grill is one of your dad's long-standing dreams, this one from Dyna-Glo is the one to get him. The best part is that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. We've also put together a complete guide to grilling products, if you're looking for more grilling gifts for Dad. A monthly subscription for the bookworm dadBook of the MonthBook of the Month Subscription, from $49.99, available at Book of the MonthIf your dad's always on to the next page turner, he'll love getting a new book delivered straight to his doorstep each month. We think it's the ideal gift for Dad and even rank it as the best for bookworms in our guide to the best subscription boxes. A workout shirt he won't want to take offVuoriVuori Strato Tech Tee, $44, available at VuoriRegardless of whether Dad's a fitness guru or novice, an essential part of working out is the gear itself. Vuori makes extremely soft, comfy, and functional activewear. Our team loves the brand and has even dubbed it the best overall in our guide to the best men's workout clothes. Read our full review of Vuori clothing here. A garden tool set for the dad with a green thumbCutcoCutco 4-Piece Garden Tool Set, $103, available at CutcoIf gardening is one of your dad's favorite pastimes, this set has everything he could need when working outside. Each garden tool has a comfortable grip handle, a durable head, and depth marks. Tools are only one part of what he might need for his gardening adventures, so make sure to also check out our guides to the best gardening tools and best gardening tools for beginners.His new go-to summer shortsBuck MasonDeck shorts, $85, available at Buck MasonAvailable in four neutral color options, as well as in a six-inch and eight-inch length, these classic shorts are sure to become a staple wardrobe piece for dad this summer. Made from a lightweight, quick-drying cotton blend, these shorts are comfy and chic on land, but can also get wet and even act as swim trunks.  A pair of durable, all-weather bootsAllen EdmondsHiggins Mill Weatherproof Boot, $445, available at Allen EdmondsThe Higgins Mill Weatherproof Boot from Allen Edmonds is a do-it-all boot that fends off inclement weather, looks good at the office or out on the town, and is built to last for years. It's an investment piece type gift for Dad who will no doubt crown them his new favorite boots after unboxing a pair this holiday season. Personalized vinyl wall artUncommon GoodsPersonalized LP Record, $150, available at Uncommon GoodsCommemorate his birthday, anniversary, or any holiday with this custom record art. Made from an upcycled vinyl LP and suspended in a floating frame, this custom wall art can feature the soundtrack to their life or songs you share together. Choose from two retro designs, title the record, and add up to five personal song titles. A two-step skincare regimenAmazonBrickell Men's Daily Essential Face Care Routine II, $57, available at AmazonTime to up Dad's skincare game. Created specifically for men, the startup has become a favorite skincare brand for Reviews senior reporter Amir Ismael because it's simple and effective. Each product uses high-quality natural and organic ingredients. The charcoal works great for deep pore cleansing without the long, drawn-out process, earning it a spot on our list of the best skincare brands in 2021.An electric toothbrushWalmartPhilips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, $39.95, available at WalmartHelp him ditch the manual toothbrush with Philips Sonicare, whose brushes are gentler on teeth and give brighter results over time. We recommend this one for its powerful cleaning and movements-per-minute. Plus, the rechargeable toothbrush is better for the environment.A personalized video message from his favorite starCameo/Business InsiderCameo Personalized Video Message, from $10, available at CameoYou can choose from thousands of actors, athletes, and musicians and get Dad a personalized video message from his favorite star. For a gift that also gives back, search for celebrities donating some of the proceeds to charity. Or, opt for a funny and festive option like a Buddy the Elf impersonator. You can read our full breakdown of Cameo here.A leather iPhone wallet caseEtsyLeather Wallet Case, from $28.40, available on EtsyGet Dad a protective and stylish case for his iPhone that can also double as a handy wallet for storing cards. You can even get personalized with Dad's initials for an extra special touch. The case is available for iPhones ranging from the 6S to the 12 Pro Max. A smart watch to track his fitness goalsAmazonSuunto 7, $399, available on AmazonFor a worthy splurge for the fitness-obsessed dad, the Suunto 7 is a feature-rich and highly accurate smartwatch that offers tracking for more than 70 different activities, is comfortable to wear, and offers useful training feedback anyone can benefit from. It can also give alerts for texts, emails, and has numerous other handy smart features dad will surely appreciate. We even named it the best running watch you can buy.Read our full review of the Suunto 7 here.A mask fit for athletesUnder ArmourUA Sportsmask, $30, available at Under ArmourIf Dad loves his fitness routine but is often frustrated by working out with a mask on, the Sportsmask is a useful solution. This mask from Under Armour was specifically designed for high activity, and its water resistance, breathability, and UPF 50+ sun protection all lend well to making his workout routine more comfortable.A handy duffel bagAwayThe Weekender, $215, available at AwayIf your dad is a frequent traveler or gym-goer, he'll love this versatile duffel bag from Away. It's available in canvas or nylon, has a separate compartment for shoes, and a handy sleeve that slips over a carry-on handle.Read our full review of the Away Weekender here. A cookbook from his favorite burger jointAmazon/Business Insider"Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories," $16.38, available at AmazonIf your dad is a fan of Shake Shack, he'll love this cookbook that will teach him how to make his very own ShackBurger.A keepsake he can use for years to comeUncommon Goods/Business InsiderTicket Stub Diary, $14, available at Uncommon GoodsConcerts, museums, sporting events, or movies — regardless of what Dad's passionate about, this handy journal makes for efficient storage of sentimental memories that could otherwise get stained or ruined. With 118 ticket sleeves, there's plenty of room for upcoming memories as well.A set of quality merino wool socksBombasMen's Merino Wool Calf Sock 8-pack, $136.80, available at BombasThey may just seem like a basic, everyday accessory, but socks are among the most underrated gifts you can give. Dad will love these Bombas socks made from soft and warm merino wool. You can hear more about why we love this brand and its products in our review of Bombas socks. A health and ancestry genetic test kit23andme23andMe Health and Ancestry Genetic Test Kit, $199, available at 23andMeThis genetic test kit from 23andMe is great for the dad who's interested in learning more about his family history. You can learn more about all this kit has to offer in our guide to the best DNA test kits. A Disney Plus subscriptionAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderDisney Plus gift subscription, 1-year subscription for $79.99It gives Dad unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. Read everything there is to know about Disney Plus over here.And if he needs some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.A colorful swimsuitTom & TeddyTom & Teddy Men's Swim Shorts, from $64.94, available at Tom & TeddyMade from super-soft, quick-dry fabric, these swim trunks will make dad the star of your next beach or pool day. They come in an array of colors and prints, and you can even get matching father-and-son swim short sets.A beer growler for sipping at homeHouzzPersonalized Craft Beer Growler, $43, available at HouzzNow, Dad can take his favorite ales home with him to enjoy. This 64 oz growler comes personalized with his initials on it and includes four mini pilsner glasses.Soft, crisp sheets and beddingBrooklinenBrooklinen Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle, from $198, available at BrooklinenBrooklinen's luxe sheets are among our favorites for their affordable price, sophisticated look, and unbelievable comfort.The company's Hardcore Sheet Bundles have everything your dad needs to completely makeover his bed — and stay nice and cozy all year long. They include a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, a duvet cover, and four pillowcases. Brooklinen also sells comforters, pillows, candles, and blankets. Read our full review of Brooklinen sheet here. A custom whiskey glassBRVOglass/EtsyPersonalized Whiskey Glass, $18.90, available at EtsyGreat for new dads, this custom, hand-etched whiskey glass can boast his proudest title alongside the year he became a father. Photos from reviewers go to show that this glass isn't just for whiskey, recipients have gotten creative by storing candy and other small gifts in their glasses.A subscription for steaksAmazingClubsSirloin of the Month Club, from $103.95 per month, available at AmazingClubsMeat lovers will enjoy sinking their teeth into a premium cut of sirloin. Each month Dad will receive a mouth-watering selection of premium steaks curated by experts and shipped fresh right to his door. Choose from subscription options of three months, six months, 12 months, or every three months.A SodaStreamAmazonSodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Machine, $86, available at WalmartThe SodaStream Fizzi lets you turn plain water into sparkling water in just a few seconds. Dad can adjust the fizziness and flavor level to his personal taste. We even named it the best overall in our guide to the best soda makers. A classic stovetop espresso makerAmazonBialetti 9-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker, $49.95, available at Crate & BarrelThis classic kitchen accessory is perfect for the coffee-loving dad who wants to bring cafe-quality coffee home. The Bialetti stovetop espresso maker not only makes great coffee, but it looks great on the counter. We made sure to include its 6-cup counterpart in our guide to the best stovetop espresso makers, as the best overall pick. The Amazon Echo ShowAmazonAmazon Echo Show 5, $49.99, available at AmazonThere's an ever-so-slight learning curve in figuring out what Amazon's Alexa can and can't do, but once that's passed, the Echo Show can forecast the weather, read an audiobook, order a pizza, tell jokes, or any number of things Dad should find charming. Unlike the Echo or Echo Dot, the Echo Show also has a screen for displaying information.A device that improves golfing skillsAmazonArccos Caddie Smart Sensors, $179.99, available at AmazonIf your dad is a big golfer, this performance-tracking system is a fun addition to his golf bag.A durable backpack and cooler comboCarharttCarhartt Medium Pack + 3 Can Insulated Cooler, $74.99, available at CarharttMade from a durable 500 denier Cordura ripstop material, this Carhartt backpack is perfect for outdoorsy dads. The included 3-can cooler is a great addition that'll let him carry a few cold brews on his fishing or camping trips.A custom map posterGrafomapGrafomap Custom Map Poster, from $49, available at GrafomapGrafomap is a website that lets you design map posters of any place in the world. You can make one of your dad's hometown, his college town, his favorite travel destination, or the place where he got engaged or married — you're only limited by your imagination. A gift card for the sports fanFanaticsFanatics gift card, from $10, available at FanaticsIf Dad's nostalgic for his college days or loves gearing up for his favorite sports season, give him the gift of variety with a Fanatics gift card. Fanatics is home to apparel, accessories, and memorabilia for just about every major sports team you can think of. A luxurious shave kitHarry'sHarry's Winston Shave Set, $25, available at Harry's (+ $15 for monogram)This shave set from Harry's is as sleek as it gets at this price. To go the extra mile, you can get his initials engraved into the razor. You can hear more about this set in our guide to the best shaving kits. A freshly scented beard wash and conditioner setThe Art of ShavingThe Art of Shaving Beard Wash and Conditioner Set, $30, available at The Art of ShavingSoap and water can leave his facial hair dry and scratchy. Bearded dads need this soothing beard wash and conditioner set from The Art of Shaving in their lives. A sous-vide device for ambitious home cooksAmazonAnova Nano Sous Vide, $129, available at TargetFor under $100, the Anova sous vide is a reasonably priced investment that just might change Dad's life for the better. Not only will it boil and poach eggs with ease, it'll also produce tender, perfectly cooked meat every time. It's so good that we name it the best overall pick in our guide to the best sous vide machines. A cozy and supportive pillowLeesaLeesa Pillow, $79, available at LeesaGive the gift of a good night's sleep with this luxurious and supportive pillow from mattress startup Leesa. A 10-pack of soft and stylish underwearAmazonMeUndies Men's Boxer Brief 10-Pack, $170, available at MeUndiesMade from MicroModal and elastane, MeUndies claims its underwear is three times softer than cotton. We think its boxers are so comfortable they'll blow Dad's mind. You can learn more about MeUndies in our guide on where to shop for men's underwear. Comfortable and stylish jeansMott & BowMott & Bow Wooster Dynamic Stretch Jeans, $118, available at Mott & BowGive the gift of good style with jeans from Mott & Bow. For more styles from the brand, check out our review of Mott & Bow's stretch-denim jeans. Amazon's new waterproof Kindle PaperwhiteAmazonAmazon Kindle Paperwhite, $129.99, available at AmazonIf your dad is tired of lugging around heavy hardcovers, the Kindle Paperwhite is an extremely thoughtful and practical gift. The latest version is now waterproof too. Read our full review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite here. A hot sauce sampler packAmazonThe Good Hurt Fuego Hot Sauces Sampler Pack, $34.99, available at AmazonIf you're not quite sure what kind of hot sauce your dad likes, or if he isn't committed to this or that variety of the spicy stuff, then The Good Hurt Fuego Hot Sauces Sampler is a great gift idea. It features sauces made with peppers that come from India, Mexico, and beyond, and it has flavors ranging from Chipotle Pepper to Garlic Herb to Whiskey Habanero.A personalized sports jerseyMLB ShopMLB Shop Custom Men's Jersey, from $149.99, available at the official MLB ShopNFL Shop Custom Men's Jersey, from $30.24, available at the official NFL Shop The sports-loving dad won't want to take this jersey off. At the MLB Shop and NFL Shop, you can order a personalized jersey with your dad's name on the back.An at-home workout systemTRXTRX Suspension Trainer Basic Kit, $167.95, available at Amazon For the active dad, you can bring the gym home with this TRX trainer.A durable, temperature-maintaining water bottleHydroflask InstagramHydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth, from $44.95, available at Hydro FlaskHydro Flasks are great for any situation, from camping to commuting. This durable, insulated water bottle does a masterful job of making sure drinks keep their temperatures.A modern turntableU-Turn AudioU-Turn Audio Orbit Special Turntable, $459, available at U-TurnThis turntable is the sleek home accessory your dad didn't know he needed. He can bring his old records out of storage and enjoy them with this modern record player. A subscription service for new vinyl every monthVinyl MeVinyl Me, Please 3-Month Gift Membership, $119, available at Vinyl Me, PleaseEvery person's vinyl collection is deeply personal, so instead of trying to guess his taste, let him choose the record himself. Each month, he'll choose and receive one LP, pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please, from a collection of Essentials, Classics, and Rap & Hip Hop.The three-month gift membership includes one bonus record, while the six- and 12-month ones include two bonus records.A streaming TV playerAmazonRoku Ultra, $69.99, available at TargetA media streaming device can transform your dad's so-called dumb TV into a smart one that plays shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Prime Video, and other streaming services. The best of the bunch is the Roku Ultra with its easy-to-use interface and 4K video streaming.Read our full review of the Roku Ultra here. A nice tieThe Tie Bar/Business InsiderMen's Neckties, from $18, available at Tie BarNeckties might be a cliché gift for dads, but The Tie Bar makes some handsome ties that he'll actually wear on a regular basis. You'll find plenty of colors, patterns, and styles — and the best part is they're all affordably priced.A handy multi-functional toolAmazonLeatherman OHT Multi-Tool, $89.95, available at B&H PhotoThis multi-functional tool does it all, plus it has a 25-year guarantee.A fast wireless charger and accessory trayCourantCatch:3 Charger Tray, $122.50, available at Staycourant.comGive your dad the gift of organization with this accessory tray and wireless charger combo. The pebbled leather is a much-needed upgrade from all the plastic tech accessories he has lying around, and the catchall tray is useful and thoughtful. It also means he'll stop asking you where his keys are three times before leaving the house. Stylish computer glassesFelix GrayFelix Gray Blue Light Computer Glasses, from $95, available at Felix GrayIf he sits in front of a computer every day, he needs these blue light glasses that increase magnification, reduce glare, and filter out blue light in order to reduce eyestrain. They're also available with prescription lenses — we tried them and loved them.Read our full review of Felix Gray blue light computer glasses here. Apple AirPodsAmazonApple AirPods with Wired Charging Case, $128.98, available at AmazonSome of the best gifts are items that can be used every day — and AirPods fall into that category. Whether your dad likes listening to music and podcasts or prefers to talk on the phone hands-free, AirPods will quickly become an essential item for him. You can learn more about the different versions in our guide to the best AirPods. A ceramic pizza stoneWiliams SonomaEmile Henry Pizza Stone, $54.95, available at Williams SonomaHomemade pizza is delicious, but it can be tricky to perfect. This ceramic pizza stone will make sure his pizza comes out perfectly cooked every time.An iPadAppleApple iPad (Latest Model with Wi-Fi, 32GB), $329.99, available at Best BuyTech-obsessed dads will love to get their hands on the latest iPad. For more information on the different iterations, check out our guide to the best iPads. A leather iPad caseLeatherologyLeatherology iPad Portfolio, from $190, available at LeatherologyThis leather iPad portfolio comes in 17 colors, so there's sure to be one that your dad will like. You can even get it monogrammed for an extra personal touch. A durable and waterproof speakerUrbanearsUrbanears Rålis Portable Bluetooth Speaker, $199.99, available at UrbanearsThe Rålis is Urbanears' first portable Bluetooth speaker and it sounds as good as it looks. It's a little pricey, but the sound quality is impressive enough to warrant the cost.An alarm clock that uses light to wake him up gentlyAmazonPhilips Light Alarm Clock, $99.99, available at AmazonJust because Dad has to wake up before the sun rises doesn't mean he has to awaken to the blaring of an obnoxious alarm clock.Philips makes a lovely alarm clock that gradually lights up to mimic the sunrise and wake him up naturally. The light alarm clock also displays the time and has customizable sounds so he can wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. This clock is also one of the top picks in our buying guide, so you can be sure he'll love it.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 10th, 2021

Learning From Trader Joe’s, Joe Coulombe

It’s a rare person who can run their own business, and rarer still are those who can do it well. And in a world of stiff competition and consumer fickleness, those people who’s businesses can both survive and thrive in that environment are probably the rarest of them all. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences […] It’s a rare person who can run their own business, and rarer still are those who can do it well. And in a world of stiff competition and consumer fickleness, those people who’s businesses can both survive and thrive in that environment are probably the rarest of them all. 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 Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more If you choose a manager to whom you entrust your capital, in the words of Charlie Munger, choose a ‘business fanatic.’ Such individuals live, sleep and breathe their businesses. They’re not bound by the same restraints as most business people; constantly pushing boundaries, trialing new approaches, thinking outside the box, challenging conventional wisdom and always looking for business improvements. If you’re in business, these are the last type of people you want to compete with. One man that epitomized such fanaticism was the late Joe Coulombe, founder of the convenience store chain that carried his name, Trader Joe’s. “Edward H. Heller, a pioneer venture capitalist used the term ‘vivid spirit’ to describe the type of individual to whom he was ready to give significant financial backing. He said that behind every unusually successful corporation was this kind of determined entrepreneurial personality with the drive, the original ideas, and the skill to make such a company a truly worthwhile investment.” Phil Fisher Joe tells his story in the book, ‘Becoming Trader Joe - How I Did Business My Way and Still Beat the Big Guys.’ It contains a wealth of wisdom, particularly when it comes to thinking about running a successful retailer. Over more than a quarter of a century, Trader Joe’s sales grew at a compound rate of 19% per year and the company’s net worth grew at a compound rate of 26% per annum over the same period - no mean feat for a commodity business that’s hard to differentiate. Furthermore, the business never lost money in a year and incredibly each year was more profitable than the last. When the competitor 7-Eleven extended it’s footprint into California in the 1970’s, Pronto Markets, the precursor to Trader' Joe’s, already enjoyed the highest sales per store of any convenience operator in America by a factor of three. A high wage policy, strong locations, a few liquor licences, and the beginnings of a differentiated strategy through product knowledge was the core of their success. One of the mental models I particularly enjoyed in the book was Joe’s concept of ‘Double Entry Retailing.’ A form of second level thinking, Joe recognised that making changes to Demand Side factors had an influence on Supply Side factors which aren’t always obvious. A striking example was the introduction of orange juice freshly squeezed on the premises. While a great Demand Side success - customers embraced the product - it was a total nightmare to administer because of the Supply Side issues; the great variation in sweetness of oranges over the course of a year, difficulty in ensuring machines squeezed the right amount and disposal of the leftover rinds. As a result it was eventually phased out. You’ll recognise many of the characteristics that form a common link with the other great businesses we’ve studied. I’ve included some of my favourite extracts from the book below. Harnessing Demographic & Technological Change ‘The clue, the keystone of the arch of Trader Joe’s, was a small news item in Scientific American in 1965. When we left Stanford, my father-in-law, Bill Steere, a professor of botany, gave me a subscription to Scientific American. In terms of creating my fortune, it’s the most important magazine I’ve ever read. The news item said that, of all the people in the US who were qualified to go to college in 1932, in the pit of the Depression, only 2 percent did. By contrast, in 1964, of all the people qualified to go to college 60 percent in fact actually did. The big change, of course, was the GI Bill of Rights that went into effect in 1945. A second news item, one from the Wall Street Journal, told me that the Boeing 747 would go into service in 1970, and that it would slash the cost of international travel. In Pronto Markets we had noticed that people who travelled - even to San Francisco - were far more adventurous in what they were willing to put in their mouths. Travel is, after all, a form of education. Trader Joe’s was conceived from those two demographic news stories. What I saw here was a small but growing demographic opportunity in people who were well educated. 7-Eleven, and the whole convenience store genre, served the most basic needs of the most mindless demographics with cigarettes, Coca-Cola, milk, Budweiser, candy, bread, eggs. I saw an opportunity to differentiate ourselves radically from mainstream retailing to mainstream people.” Obliquity “I hope you’ll consider the following, my favourite quote from my favourite book on Management, ‘The Winning Performance’ by Clifford and Cavanaugh,’ ‘The fourth (general themes in winning corporations] is a view of profit and wealth-creation as inevitable byproducts of doing other things well. Money is a useful yardstick for measuring quantitative performance and profit and an obligation to investors. But … making money as an end in itself ranks low.’” A Bias to Action & Tenacity “In 1962, Barbara Tuchman published ‘The Guns of August’, an account of the first ninety days of WWI, It’s the best book on management - and, especially, mismanagement - I’ve ever read. The most basic conclusion I drew from from her book was that, if you adopt a reasonable strategy, as opposed to waiting for an optimum strategy, and stick with it, you’ll probably succeed. Tenacity is as important as brilliance.” “Trying to find an optimum solution in business is a waste of time; the factors in the equation are changing all the time.” Value, Empower & Pay Employees Well “You’ve got to have something to hang your hat on. The one core value I chose was our high compensation policies, which I put in place from the very start in 1958… This is the most important single business decision I ever made: to pay people well. First Pronto Markets and then Trader Joe’s had the highest-paid, highest benefitted people in retail.” “Time and again I am asked why no one has successfully replicated Trader Joe’s. The answer is that no one has been willing to pay the wages and benefits, and thereby attract - and keep - the quality of people who work at Trader Joe’s.” “[I was asked,] ‘But how could you afford to pay so much more than your competition?’ The answer, of course, is that good people pay by their extra productivity. You can’t afford to have cheap employees.” “Equally important was our practice of giving every full-time employee an interview every six months. At Stanford I’d been taught that employees never organise (join unions) because of the money; they organise because of un-listened-to grievances.” “The [store] Captains had the salary plus a bonus that theoretically had no limit. The bonus was based on Trader Joe’s overall profit, allocated among the stores based on each store’s contribution. In 1988, several Captains made bonuses of more than 70 percent of their base pay. Unless a bonus system promises, and delivers big rewards, it should be abandoned.” “My idea, often stated to everybody, was that the [store] Captains should have the chance to make more than executives in the office. In a traditional chain store, managers aspire to become bureaucrats with cushy, high-paying jobs in the office. I wanted to kill such aspirations at the start.” “Part timers .. at a time when the minimum wage was $4.35, we often paid $13.00 per hour because these people were worth it.” “Productivity in part is a product of tenure. That’s why I believe that turnover is the most expensive form of labor expense.” “We instituted full health and dental insurance back in the 1960's when it was cheap. When I left, we were paying $6,000 per employee per year!” “Each full-timer was supposed to be able to perform every job in the store, including checking, balancing the books, ordering each department, stocking, opening, closing, going to the bank, etc. Everybody worked the check stands in the course of the day, including the [store] Captain.” “In thirty years we never had a layoff of full-time employees. Seasonal swings in business were handled with overtime pay to full-time employees, and by adjusting part-time hours. The stability of full-time employment at Trader Joe’s was due in part to caution opening new stores, and insisting on high volume stores.” “Cost of goods sold is the dominant expense. The funny thing is that grocers seem to spend more effort squeezing payroll than squeezing Cost of Goods Sold, though there is at least five times more opportunity in the latter.” Retail & Real Estate Decisions ‘First we upped the investment ante by taking only prime locations, which could generate the most sales, even though the rents were higher. A lease is an investment, perhaps the most serious and certainly the least changeable a retailer can make. Financially, a lease is simply a long-term loan… Most retail bankruptcies come from bad real estate leasing decisions… Early in my career I learned there are two kinds of decisions: the ones that are easily reversible and the ones that aren’t. Fifteen-year leases are the least-reversible decisions you can make. That’s why, throughout my career, I kept absolute control of real estate decisions.” “The keys to management are strong locations with good people.” “People often ask me, how many stores did we have at such-and-such time? It’s the wrong question to ask. What’s important is dollar sales. For example, from 1980 to 1988, we increased the number of stores by 50 percent but sales were up 340 percent.” “My preference is to have a few stores, as far apart as possible, and to make them as high volume as possible.” “Too many stores, to many irreversible leases, too much geographical saturation was a recurrent theme in the failure of American retail chains in the twentieth century.” “Ancient Mariner Retailers claim that ‘volume solves everything.’ If it’s profitable volume, they’re right. Things go most sour in the lowest-volume stores. It’s like riding a bicycle, the faster it goes, the more stable it is. The ‘normal distribution’ of most chains is 20% dogs, 60% okay stores, and 20% winners. I believe in ruthlessly dumping the dogs at whatever cost. Why? Because their real cost is in management energy. You always spend more time trying to make the dogs acceptable than in raising the okay stores into winners. And it’s in the dogs that you always have the most personnel problems." “I believe that the sine qua non for successful retailing is demographic coherence: all your locations should have the same demographics whether you are selling clothing or wine.” “I liked semi-decayed neighbourhoods, were the census tract income statistics looked terrible, but the mortgages were all paid-down, and the kids had left home. Housing and rental prices tend to be lower, and more suitable for those underpaid academics. Related to this, I was more interested in the number of households in a given area than the number of people in a ZIP code. Trader Joe’s is not a store for kids or big families. One or two adults is just fine.” “Computerisation has radically upgraded the statistics available: I’d probably do it more formally now. But there’s no substitute for ‘driving’ a location to ferret out traffic problems. And do it at night, too.” “I hardly need to mention that a trading area is rarely determined by a radius. It’s determined by geographical barriers, boulevard access, and where the demographics lie.” “Let’s go back to the question of number of stores. How do you space them? Here are some parameters: You need to have enough stores in a trading area to economically amortise the radio advertising. You need enough stores in an area to have a large enough pool of employees. My rule was that distance between stores should not be measured in miles but in driving time. I wanted no less than twenty minutes between stores. That pretty much avoided the dread word, cannibalisation. Could a given trading area support more Trader Joe’s? Almost certainly! I figured we could break even at ten thousand core residences. But I wanted super-volume stores. If the credo that super-volume stores have the fewest operating problems is valid, then the overall health of the chain, in the long run, is maximised.” “How many trading areas should you enter? As long as you can preserve the culture of the company, and as long as logistics don’t kill you, go ahead.” “Never, never, never sign a lease with a ‘continuous operation’ clause. That clause means you must stay open - you can’t ‘go dark’ and just pay the rent.” Product Knowledge “The buyers at the supermarket chains knew nothing about what they sold, and they don’t want to know. What they did know all about was extorting slotting allowances, cooperative ad revenue, failure allowances, and back-haul concessions from the manufacturers.” Four Tests “The advantage of hard liquor merchandise was that it met three tests: a) A high value per cubic inch, essential to a small store format b) A high rate of consumption c) It had to be easily handled If we could have added a fourth test, it would be that we had to be outstanding in the field. Still trying to maximise the use of a small store, I looked for categories that met the Four Tests; high value per cubic inch, high rate of consumption; easily handled; and something in which we could be outstanding in term of price or assortment. For example, diamonds met the first test but flunked the second. Fruits and vegetables met the first and second but flunked the third because produce requires constant reworking. Fresh meat flunked the third test even more.” Purpose “Most of my ideas about how to act as an entrepreneur are derived from ‘The Revolt of the Masses’ by Jose Ortega y Gasset, the greatest Spanish philosopher of the twentieth century. I believe it offers a master ‘plan of action’ for the would-be entrepreneur, who usually has no reputation and few resources. Ortega offers an explanation of how such a person can get an enterprise started. In the context of the career of Julius Caesar, an entrepreneur who started without power, Otega says of the state: ‘Human life, by its very nature, has to be dedicated to something, an enterprise glorious or humble, a destiny illustrious or trivial .. The State begins when groups, naturally divided, find themselves obliged to live in common. The obligation is not of brute force, but implies an impelling purpose, a common task which is set before the dispersed groups. Before all, the State is a plan of action and a Programme of Collaboration. The men are called upon so that together they may do something .. It is pure dynamism, the will to do something in common, and thanks to this the idea of the state, is bounded by no physical limits.” Most of my career has been spent selling ‘plans of action and programmes of collaboration.’ If you want to know what differentiates me from most manager’s that’s it. From the beginning, thanks to Ortega y Gasset, I’ve been aware of the need to sell everybody.” Radical Transparency “Throughout my career, my policy has been full disclosure to employees about the true state of affairs, almost to the point of imprudence. I took a cue from General Patton, who thought that the greatest danger was not that the enemy would learn the plans, but that his own troops would not.” Growth “Growth for the sake of growth still troubles me. It seems unnatural, even perverted. This helps explain why I went from 1974 to 1978 without opening another store. To keep sales increasing during the mid-1970s, we relied on new ideas implemented in existing stores. This was my favourite form of growth. I don’t think that any given store ever fully realises its potential.” Smallness & Empowerment “We developed a prototype [Trader Joe’s] store of 4,500 square feet. Here’s a good question: Given my need to get away from convenience stores, why did I stick with small stores? The answer was verbalised for us in ‘In Search of Excellence,’ Tom Peter’s best-selling book on management. He called it ‘The Power of Chunking’: ‘The essential building block of a company is the section [which] within its sphere does not await executive orders but takes initiatives. The key factor for success is getting one’s arms around almost any practical problem and knocking it off… The small group is the most visible of the chunking devices.’ The fundamental ‘chunk’ of Trader Joe’s is the individual store with its highly paid [store] Captain and staff; the people who are capable of exercising discretion. I admire Nordstrom’s fundamental instruction to its employees: use your judgement. Trader Joe’s finally settled down at an average of about eight thousand square feet in the 1980’s, but the concept of a relatively small store with a relatively small staff remains in force.” Marketing & Customers “At all times I wrote the Fearless Flyer [marketing newsletter] for over-educated, underpaid people. This requires two mindsets: Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer Newsletter 1) There are no such things as consumers - dolts who are driven by drivel to buy stuff they don’t need or even want. There are only customers, people who are reasonably well informed, and very well focused in their buying habits. 2) We always looked up to the customers in the text of the Fearless Flyer. We assumed they knew more than they did, we never talked down to them. 3) Given the first two assumptions, we assumed that our readers had a thirst for knowledge, 180 degrees opposite from supermarket ads. We emphasised ‘informative advertising.’ Originally, we distributed the Fearless Flyer only in stores and to a small but growing list. [Later,] by mailing to addresses rather than to individuals - by blanketing entire ZIP codes - we were able to tremendously expand the distribution of the Fearless Flyer. The ZIPs to which we mailed, of course, were chosen on the basis of the likely concentration of over-educated and underpaid people.” Word of Mouth “Word of Mouth: The Power of True Believers. As everyone knows, word of mouth is the most effective advertising of all. I have been known to say that there’s no better business to run than a cult. Trader Joe’s became a cult of the over-educated and underpaid, partly because we deliberately tried to make it a cult and partly because we kept the implicit promises with our clientele.” “There aren’t many cult retailers who successfully retain their cult status over a long period of time. A couple in California are In-N-Out Burger and Fry’s Electronics. But across America, in every town, there’s a particular donut shop, pizza parlour, bakery, greengrocer, bar, etc. that has a cult following of True Believers.” Pricing “One of the fundamental tenets of Trader Joe’s is that retail prices don’t change unless costs change. There are no weekend ad prices, no in-and-out pricing… I have always believed that supermarkets pricing is a shell game and I wanted no part of it.” Retailing “The fundamental job of a retailer is to buy goods whole, cut them into pieces, and sell the pieces to the ultimate consumers. This is the most important mental construct I can impart on those of you who want to enter retailing. Most ‘retailers’ have no idea of the formal meaning of the word. Time and again, I had to remind myself just what my role in society was supposed to be.” “[We decided] no outsiders of any sort were permitted in the store. All the work was done by employees.]” “From 1958 through 1976, we tried to carry what the customer asked for, given the limits of our small stores and other operational parameters. Each store probably had access to ten thousand stock keeping units (SKUs), of which about three thousand were actually stocked in any given week. By the time I left in 1989, we were down to a band of 1,100 to 1,500 SKUs, all of which were delivered through a central distribution system.” “Along the way not only did we drop a lot of products that our customers would have liked us to sell, even at not-outstanding prices, but we stopped cashing checks in excess of the amount of purchase, we stopped full-case discounts, and we persistently shortened the hours. We violated every received wisdom of retailing except one: we delivered great value, which is where most retailers fall.” “[We were] willing to discontinue any product if we were are unable to offer the right deal to the customer.” “Instead of national brands, [we] focused on either Trader Joe’s label products or ‘no label’ products like nuts and dried fruits.” “We wouldn’t try to carry a whole line of spices, or bag candy, or vitamins. Each SKU had to justify itself as opposed to riding piggyback into the stores just so we had a ‘complete’ line. Depth of assortment was of no interest.” “Each SKU would stand on its own two feet as a profit centre. We would earn a gross profit on each SKU that was justified by the cost of handling that item. There would be no ‘loss leaders.’” “Above all we would not carry any item unless we could be outstanding in terms of price (and make a profit at that price) or uniqueness.” ‘I do not believe in keeping ‘spoils’ in the back room until some salesperson comes by to pick them up. I believe that products should move in only one direction, never back up the supply chain. When a bottle was broken, a can dented, or a ‘short fill’ was discovered, it went to the trash bin.” “A guideline: No private label product was introduced for the sake of having a private label. This is 100 percent contrary to the policy of most supermarkets… Each private label product had to have a reason, a point of differentiation.” “The willingness to do without any given product is one of the cornerstones of Trader Joe’s merchandising philosophy.” “No bulky products like paper towels or sugar, because the high-value-per-cubic inch rule still prevailed.. We simply went out of business on the ‘bulkers’ and did not replace them with private labels.” “I believe in the wisdom that you gain customers one by one, but you lose them in droves.” “Back in 1967, [we] made a bet that rising levels of education would fragment the masses, that a small but growing group of people would be dissatisfied with having to consume what everybody else consumed… This philosophical approach put us in conflict with the mainstream of American retailing, which emphasises continuous products. Thus when a supermarket promotes Coca-Cola it doesn’t have to explain that Coca-Cola is a secret formula for a soft drink created a century ago in Atlanta.. Wines have not been popular in America because, intrinsically, they are not continuous products. You can’t just order up some more sugar and chemicals and make another batch. In 1987, I outlined to the buyers where I thought we should go: 1) we want continuous products. Any sane person does. We want continuous products which are profitable without creating a high-price image. 2) to create such products, they needed to be differentiated at least in order to avoid direct price comparison. 3) products in which we had an absolute buying advantage. For example, we were the largest seller of cheap Bordeaux blanc in the United States. 4) I was willing to continue to indulge in the spectacular ‘closeout’ sales of branded products, but I wanted to do so in the context of much greater overall sales, principally generated by continuous products, most of them private label.” “I don’t think that the internet grocery store will successfully invade food retailing because you’re dealing with four different temperatures: dry grocery, refrigerated products, frozen products, and ice cream when you try to home-deliver foods.” “Showmanship is the sum total of all efforts to make contact with the customer. It’s the most ephemeral, the most difficult, and the most important of the Demand Side activities.” “All the research on whether people turn to the left or the right, or whether you can ‘force’ people to the rear of the store, is irrelevant if you’re a value retailer.” Win-Win “Honour thy vendors: After all, these are the guys you’re buying from. They should not be treated as adversaries. Five year plan 1977 said, ‘Buying, therefore, is not just a matter of trying to beat down suppliers on price. It is a creative exercise of developing alternatives.’ Many of our best product ideas and special buying opportunities came from our vendors.” “Vendors should be regarded as an extension of the retailer, a Marks and Spencer concept. Their employees should be regarded almost as employees of the retailer. Concern for their welfare should be shown, because employee turnover at vendors sometimes can be more costly than turnover of your own employees.” “Tenants who enter negotiations with the idea of beating the landlord at the objective future game usually get the kind of landlords they deserve. And vice versa.” “Other non-merchandise vendors are very much extensions of Trader Joe’s and should be treated as much. Since we owned no trucks, warehouses, etc., I asked our people to keep track of the outsourced drivers and do their best to see that our contractors were paid reasonable wages with reasonable working conditions. Turnover is the most expensive labour expense!’ Committees “I want to make it quite clear that I called all the shots. I reject management by committee.” Economies of Scale “The point where the ‘buying power’ and ‘selling power’ curves cross each other creates the magical physical thresholds. There are two magical physical thresholds that a retailer must achieve to be competitive: the truckload, and the ocean container load. These thresholds mark the limit of most economies of scale.” Focus & Outsource “We tried to stay out of all functions that were not central to our primary job in society: namely, buying and selling merchandise.. [We’d] been getting rid of all functions except those buying and selling. We got rid of our own maintenance people, we sold off almost all the real estate we had acquired during the 1970’s, we never took mainframe computing in-house, etc. Some choice quotes from Dr. Drucker: ‘In-house service activities have little incentive to improve their productivity .. The productivity is not likely to ramp up until it is possible to be promoted for doing a good job at it. And that will happen in support work only when such work is done by separate, free standing enterprises.’” Business Problems “All businesses have problems. It’s the problems that create the opportunities. If a business is easy, every simple bastard would enter it.” “This is one of the most important things I can impart; in any troubled company the people at lower levels know what ought to be done in terms of day-to-day operations. If you just ask them, you can find answers.” Adapt, Challenge the Status Quo “Believe me, you have to have a system for everything that has to happen in your business - you just may not be conscious of it. And you probably have still other systems that are not needed. That’s why The Winning Performance calls for a ‘continued contempt for business as usual.’ To practice ‘constitutional contempt,’ you have to arrive every day with the attitude, ‘Why do we do such-and-such that way?’ Better yet, why do we do it at all? Usually the answer is, ‘We’ve always done it that way,’ ‘That’s the way we did it at my last job,’ or ‘All our competitors are doing it.’ Mental Model - Double Entry Retailing “I hit on the idea of using double entry accounting as an analogy, what I call Double Entry Retailing. On the left side of the ledger is the business in terms of how its customers see it: I call this the Demand Side. On the right side of the ledger are the factors that limit or determine the retailer's ability to satisfy those demands: the Supply Side. All businesses, whether manufacturing, wholesaling, services, etc., have [the] fearful symmetry of both Demand and Supply sides. And all businesses are subject to the ultimate supply-side constraint of cash: you can do anything, no matter how stupid, within that fearful symmetry, as long as you don't run out of cash. From my view, the Demand Side of Retailers can be analysed in terms of five variables: The assortment of merchandise offered for sale. Pricing: stability and relative to competition. Convenience: geographical, in-store, and time. Credit: the accepted methods of payment. Showmanship: the sum of all activities that result in making contact with the customer, from advertising to store architecture to employee cleanliness. Here are factors on the Supply Side: Merchandise Vendors Employees  The way you do things: "habits" and "culture" Systems Non-merchandise vendors Landlords Governments Bankers and investment bankers Stockholders Crime As in double entry accounting, the change in any factor must be matched by a corresponding change in another factor. For example, a decision to increase geographical convenience (Demand Side) obviously involves some change of policy with landlords (Supply Side) including the amount of rent you're willing to pay. Consider how Barney's paid through the nose because they thought they had to offer the geographical convenience of being in Beverly Hills. How big a factor was this in Barney's subsequent bankruptcy? Was it Demand Side success at the price of Supply Side failure? The lists above aren't much different from other businesses. What distinguishes retailing is the asymmetry of the fearful symmetry: the huge number of customers (Demand Side) vs. the number of suppliers. This is the exact opposite of a government defence contractor. This lopsided butterfly may cause a retailer to act as if the only people they have to ‘sell’ to are customers: the Demand Side. That’s a major mistake. All the people on the supply side have to be sold, too.” “One of the smartest things we ever did was to cut the hours of Trader Joe’s. This is mostly a Supply Side question, but the quality and attitude of the employees handling our customers is a Demand Side factor.” Employee Ownership “From the beginning of Pronto Markets, one of my basic principles, one of my basic goals, was employee ownership of the business. Getting there, however, was complicated.” Summary I found the similarities between Trader Joe’s approach to retailing and the German retailer Aldi strikingly similar. Despite being on opposite sides of the world, both businesses evolved complementary retailing practices: a focus on private label, above market wages for employees, a win-win mentality and continuous innovation. It’s little wonder the Albrecht family were attracted to the business. Aldi acquired Trader Joe’s in 1979 and retained Joe as the independent manager for another ten years. Paying staff well, empowering and sharing information with them and maintaining smallness are consistent themes across many of the successful business stories we’ve studied. When it comes to the specifics of retailing, the analogy of super-volume stores better able to provide balance is a useful one. As are the insights into economies of scale, pricing strategy, jettisoning poorly performing stores, the power of word-of-mouth marketing and the means to abolish bureaucracy through the outsourcing of non-essential functions. Every business has its own quirks and idiosyncrasies. Identifying what they are and how they contribute to a firm’s success can provide clues in our own quest to find compounding machines; in the long run, it’s business success which determines share prices. The more businesses you study, the larger the toolkit of mental models you’ll have to apply in your investment endeavours. Source: 'Becoming Trader Joe - How I Did Business My Way & Still Beat the Big Guys,’ Joe Coulombe, Patty Civalleri. Harper Collins. 2021. Follow us on Twitter : @mastersinvest * NEW * Visit the Blog Archive Article by Investment Masters Class Updated on Oct 26, 2021, 1:11 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: valuewalkOct 26th, 2021

64 of the best gifts for dads, from personalized football jerseys to a do-it-all smartwatch

We've rounded up a huge selection of gift ideas for Dad, no matter if he's into personalized football jerseys, the perfect steak, or a good book. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Tom & Teddy Dads can be notoriously difficult to shop for, especially if yours doesn't offer many hints of what he wants. We found the best gifts for Dad, whether for Christmas, his birthday, Father's Day, or another milestone. From a Sirloin of the Month club to a massage gun, these gift ideas are sure to be a big hit. If you're searching for the perfect gift for Dad but coming up empty, don't stress; we've done the hard work for you and compiled the absolute best gifts that he'll love no matter the occasion. Whether it's a gift for Christmas, an idea for his birthday, or just a thoughtful way to show your love, we found a number of unique gift ideas that are sure to impress even the toughest Dads to shop for.From a monthly steak subscription and an at-home golf hitting mat to a new record player or a comfy pillow, you can't go wrong with any of the gifts on this list.Here are 72 of the best gifts for Dad Coasters with the classics Uncommon Goods Upcycled Record Coasters, $18, available at Uncommon GoodsDad can reminiscence about his favorite jams while enjoying a drink with these coasters made from reclaimed records. The discs are specially sealed so moisture won't seep through and damage the surface. Modern over-ear headphones Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones, $349 via AmazonThese over-ear headphones from Sony are a must-have for frequent travelers as they have incredible noise cancellation that does well to drown out drum of a car engine or airplane. They also deliver clear audio which is perfect for when Dad wants to jam out to his favorite album or catch up on some podcast episodes. An Audible subscription Audible/Business Insider AudiblePlus subscription, from $7.95 per month, available at AudibleWith an Audible subscription, Dad gets unlimited access to thousands of audiobooks and podcasts. Plus, you can even have Dad test it out first with a free trial. A gift subscription to a popular coffee club Atlas Coffee Club Atlas Coffee Club 3-Month Gift Subscription, $50, available at Atlas Coffee ClubIf your dad's veins run dark roast, a coffee gift won't go unused. We recommend a subscription to the Atlas Coffee Club, which curates a global selection of single-origin coffee that gets freshly roasted and shipped to your house from $9 per bag. Read our full review of the Atlas Coffee Club here.  A massage gun to use after working out Theragun Theragun Mini, from $199, available via TherabodyWhether Dad wants to recover after a grueling workout or just wants to be his own personal, at-home masseuse, a massage gun is an excellent gift. This model, Theragun's Mini, is our pick of the best entry-level massage gun, as it has a modest price tag yet still comes standard with a number of features found on more expensive, premium options.  An easy way to open wine Connie Chen/Insider Secura Electric Wine Opener, $26.99, available at AmazonDad can open his wine hassle-free with this gift. The sleek, fast-charging, and cordless wine opener can pull out 30 corks on one charge, making it our choice for one of the best electric wine openers. All Dad has to do is push a button and it does all the work. A tiny tag to ensure he never loses his valuables Apple Apple AirTag, $29, available at AppleIf dad tends to frequently misplace his key, wallet, or other valuables, help him out by gifting him a handy AirTag. The tags can be placed on just about any item and will connect to his phone so he can easily keep track of his stuff via the Find My app. For an extra personal touch, you can even get it engraved for free. Breathable and machine-washable sneakers Allbirds Allbirds Wool Runners, $95, available at Allbirds These merino wool sneakers from Allbirds, Silicon Valley's favorite shoe brand, are the perfect mix of sporty and stylish. They come in tons of colors and are even machine washable.Read our full review of Allbirds Wool Runners here. A mat to help with dad's short game Amazon Rukket Tri-Turf Golf Hitting Mat, $99.99, available on AmazonFor the dad who loves to golf, this is one of the best golf hitting mats to help improve his short game from home. This compact, portable practice aid features three turf heights, to simulate rough, fairway, and close-cropped "collar" turf. A digital picture frame to display his favorite memories Aura Aura Carver Digital Picture Frame, $169, available at AuraSometimes, all Dad wants is something sentimental and personal. A digital picture frame is the perfect gift for Dad because it means he can view his favorite photos from a single device. As long as the frame is hooked up to WiFi, your dad can enjoy the photos you've carefully curated, all day long in his office or home. You can hear about our experience with another Aura frame, here. A compact gas grill The Home Depot Dyna-Glo 3-Burner Open Cart Propane Gas Grill, $119, available at Home DepotIf owning a grill is one of your dad's long-standing dreams, this one from Dyna-Glo is the one to get him. The best part is that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, which is why we've named it the best budget option in our guide to the best gas grills. We've also put together a complete guide to grilling products, if you're looking for more grilling gifts for Dad.  A monthly subscription for the bookworm dad Book of the Month Book of the Month Subscription, from $49.99, available at Book of the MonthIf your dad's always on to the next page turner, he'll love getting a new book delivered straight to his doorstep each month. We think it's the ideal gift for Dad and even rank it as the best for bookworms in our guide to the best subscription boxes.  A workout shirt he won't want to take off Vuori Vuori Strato Tech Tee, $44, available at VuoriRegardless of whether Dad's a fitness guru or novice, an essential part of working out is the gear itself. Vuori makes extremely soft, comfy, and functional activewear. Our team loves the brand and has even dubbed it the best overall in our guide to the best men's workout clothes. Read our full review of Vuori clothing here.  A garden tool set for the dad with a green thumb Cutco Cutco 4-Piece Garden Tool Set, $103, available at CutcoIf gardening is one of your dad's favorite pastimes, this set has everything he could need when working outside. Each garden tool has a comfortable grip handle, a durable head, and depth marks. Tools are only one part of what he might need for his gardening adventures, so make sure to also check out our guides to the best gardening tools and best gardening tools for beginners. His new go-to summer shorts Buck Mason Deck shorts, $85, available at Buck MasonAvailable in four neutral color options, as well as in a six-inch and eight-inch length, these classic shorts are sure to become a staple wardrobe piece for dad this summer. Made from a lightweight, quick-drying cotton blend, these shorts are comfy and chic on land, but can also get wet and even act as swim trunks.   Personalized vinyl wall art Uncommon Goods Personalized LP Record, $150, available at Uncommon GoodsCommemorate his birthday, anniversary, or Father's Day with this custom record art. Made from an upcycled vinyl LP and suspended in a floating frame, this custom wall art can feature the soundtrack to their life or songs you share together. Choose from two retro designs, title the record, and add up to five personal song titles.  A two-step skincare regimen Amazon Brickell Men's Daily Essential Face Care Routine II, $57, available at AmazonTime to up Dad's skincare game. Created specifically for men, the startup has become a favorite skincare brand for Reviews senior reporter Amir Ismael because it's simple and effective. Each product uses high-quality natural and organic ingredients. The charcoal works great for deep pore cleansing without the long, drawn-out process, earning it a spot on our list of the best skincare brands in 2021. An electric toothbrush Walmart Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, $39.95, available at WalmartHelp him ditch the manual toothbrush with Philips Sonicare, whose brushes are gentler on teeth and give brighter results over time. We recommend this one for its powerful cleaning and movements-per-minute. Plus, the rechargeable toothbrush is better for the environment. A personalized video message from his favorite star Cameo/Business Insider Cameo Personalized Video Message, from $10, available at CameoYou can choose from thousands of actors, athletes, and musicians and get Dad a personalized video message from his favorite star. For a gift that also gives back, search for celebrities donating some of the proceeds to charity. Or, opt for a funny and festive option like a Buddy the Elf impersonator. You can read our full breakdown of Cameo here. A leather iPhone wallet case Etsy Leather Wallet Case, from $28.40, available on EtsyGet Dad a protective and stylish case for his iPhone that can also double as a handy wallet for storing cards. You can even get personalized with Dad's initials for an extra special touch. The case is available for iPhones ranging from the 6S to the 12 Pro Max.  A smart watch to track his fitness goals Amazon Suunto 7, $399, available on AmazonFor a worthy splurge for the fitness-obsessed dad, the Suunto 7 is a feature-rich and highly accurate smartwatch that offers tracking for more than 70 different activities, is comfortable to wear, and offers useful training feedback anyone can benefit from. It can also give alerts for texts, emails, and has numerous other handy smart features dad will surely appreciate. We even named it the best running watch you can buy.Read our full review of the Suunto 7 here. A mask fit for athletes Under Armour UA Sportsmask, $30, available at Under ArmourIf Dad loves his fitness routine but is often frustrated by working out with a mask on, the Sportsmask is a useful solution. This mask from Under Armour was specifically designed for high activity, and its water resistance, breathability, and UPF 50+ sun protection all lend well to making his workout routine more comfortable. A handy duffel bag Away The Weekender, $215, available at AwayIf your dad is a frequent traveler or gym-goer, he'll love this versatile duffel bag from Away. It's available in canvas or nylon, has a separate compartment for shoes, and a handy sleeve that slips over a carry-on handle.Read our full review of the Away Weekender here.  A cookbook from his favorite burger joint Amazon/Business Insider "Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories," $16.38, available at AmazonIf your dad is a fan of Shake Shack, he'll love this cookbook that will teach him how to make his very own ShackBurger. A keepsake he can use for years to come Uncommon Goods Ticket Stub Diary, $14, available at Uncommon GoodsConcerts, museums, sporting events, or movies — regardless of what Dad's passionate about, this handy journal makes for efficient storage of sentimental memories that could otherwise get stained or ruined. With 118 ticket sleeves, there's plenty of room for upcoming memories as well. A set of quality merino wool socks Bombas Men's Merino Wool Calf Sock 8-pack, $136.80, available at BombasThey may just seem like a basic, everyday accessory, but socks are among the most underrated gifts you can give. Dad will love these Bombas socks made from soft and warm merino wool. You can hear more about why we love this brand and its products in our review of Bombas socks.  A health and ancestry genetic test kit 23andme 23andMe Health and Ancestry Genetic Test Kit, $199, available at 23andMeThis genetic test kit from 23andMe is great for the dad who's interested in learning more about his family history. You can learn more about all this kit has to offer in our guide to the best DNA test kits.  A Disney Plus subscription Alyssa Powell/Business Insider Disney Plus gift subscription, 1-year subscription for $79.99It gives Dad unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. Read everything there is to know about Disney Plus over here.And if he needs some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream. A colorful swimsuit Tom & Teddy Tom & Teddy Men's Swim Shorts, from $64.94, available at Tom & TeddyMade from super-soft, quick-dry fabric, these swim trunks will make dad the star of your next beach or pool day. They come in an array of colors and prints, and you can even get matching father-and-son swim short sets. A beer growler for sipping at home Houzz Personalized Craft Beer Growler, $43, available at HouzzNow, Dad can take his favorite ales home with him to enjoy. This 64 oz growler comes personalized with his initials on it and includes four mini pilsner glasses. Soft, crisp sheets and bedding Brooklinen Brooklinen Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle, from $198, available at BrooklinenBrooklinen's luxe sheets are among our favorites for their affordable price, sophisticated look, and unbelievable comfort.The company's Hardcore Sheet Bundles have everything your dad needs to completely makeover his bed — and stay nice and cozy all year long. They include a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, a duvet cover, and four pillowcases. Brooklinen also sells comforters, pillows, candles, and blankets. Read our full review of Brooklinen sheet here.  A custom whiskey glass BRVOglass/Etsy Personalized Whiskey Glass, $18.90, available at EtsyGreat for new dads, this custom, hand-etched whiskey glass can boast his proudest title alongside the year he became a father. Photos from reviewers go to show that this glass isn't just for whiskey, recipients have gotten creative by storing candy and other small gifts in their glasses. A subscription for steaks AmazingClubs Sirloin of the Month Club, from $103.95 per month, available at AmazingClubsMeat lovers will enjoy sinking their teeth into a premium cut of sirloin. Each month Dad will receive a mouth-watering selection of premium steaks curated by experts and shipped fresh right to his door. Choose from subscription options of three months, six months, 12 months, or every three months. A SodaStream Amazon SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Machine, $86, available at WalmartThe SodaStream Fizzi lets you turn plain water into sparkling water in just a few seconds. Dad can adjust the fizziness and flavor level to his personal taste. We even named it the best overall in our guide to the best soda makers.  A classic stovetop espresso maker Amazon Bialetti 9-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker, $49.95, available at Crate & BarrelThis classic kitchen accessory is perfect for the coffee-loving dad who wants to bring cafe-quality coffee home. The Bialetti stovetop espresso maker not only makes great coffee, but it looks great on the counter. We made sure to include its 6-cup counterpart in our guide to the best stovetop espresso makers, as the best overall pick.  The Amazon Echo Show Amazon Amazon Echo Show 5, $49.99, available at AmazonThere's an ever-so-slight learning curve in figuring out what Amazon's Alexa can and can't do, but once that's passed, the Echo Show can forecast the weather, read an audiobook, order a pizza, tell jokes, or any number of things Dad should find charming. Unlike the Echo or Echo Dot, the Echo Show also has a screen for displaying information. A device that improves golfing skills Amazon Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors, $179.99, available at AmazonIf your dad is a big golfer, this performance-tracking system is a fun addition to his golf bag. A durable backpack and cooler combo Carhartt Carhartt Medium Pack + 3 Can Insulated Cooler, $74.99, available at CarharttMade from a durable 500 denier Cordura ripstop material, this Carhartt backpack is perfect for outdoorsy dads. The included 3-can cooler is a great addition that'll let him carry a few cold brews on his fishing or camping trips. A custom map poster Grafomap Grafomap Custom Map Poster, from $49, available at GrafomapGrafomap is a website that lets you design map posters of any place in the world. You can make one of your dad's hometown, his college town, his favorite travel destination, or the place where he got engaged or married — you're only limited by your imagination.  A gift card for the sports fan Fanatics Fanatics gift card, from $10, available at FanaticsIf Dad's nostalgic for his college days or loves gearing up for his favorite sports season, give him the gift of variety with a Fanatics gift card. Fanatics is home to apparel, accessories, and memorabilia for just about every major sports team you can think of.  A luxurious shave kit Harry's Harry's Winston Shave Set, $25, available at Harry's (+ $15 for monogram)This shave set from Harry's is as sleek as it gets at this price. To go the extra mile, you can get his initials engraved into the razor. You can hear more about this set in our guide to the best shaving kits.  A freshly scented beard wash and conditioner set The Art of Shaving The Art of Shaving Beard Wash and Conditioner Set, $30, available at The Art of ShavingSoap and water can leave his facial hair dry and scratchy. Bearded dads need this soothing beard wash and conditioner set from The Art of Shaving in their lives.  A sous-vide device for ambitious home cooks Amazon Anova Nano Sous Vide, $129, available at TargetFor under $100, the Anova sous vide is a reasonably priced investment that just might change Dad's life for the better. Not only will it boil and poach eggs with ease, it'll also produce tender, perfectly cooked meat every time. It's so good that we name it the best overall pick in our guide to the best sous vide machines.  A cozy and supportive pillow Leesa Leesa Pillow, $79, available at LeesaGive the gift of a good night's sleep with this luxurious and supportive pillow from mattress startup Leesa.  A 10-pack of soft and stylish underwear Amazon MeUndies Men's Boxer Brief 10-Pack, $170, available at MeUndiesMade from MicroModal and elastane, MeUndies claims its underwear is three times softer than cotton. We think its boxers are so comfortable they'll blow Dad's mind. You can learn more about MeUndies in our guide on where to shop for men's underwear.  Comfortable and stylish jeans Mott & Bow Mott & Bow Wooster Dynamic Stretch Jeans, $118, available at Mott & BowGive the gift of good style with jeans from Mott & Bow. For more styles from the brand, check out our review of Mott & Bow's stretch-denim jeans.  Amazon's new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite Amazon Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, $129.99, available at AmazonIf your dad is tired of lugging around heavy hardcovers, the Kindle Paperwhite is an extremely thoughtful and practical gift. The latest version is now waterproof too. Read our full review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite here.  A hot sauce sampler pack Amazon The Good Hurt Fuego Hot Sauces Sampler Pack, $34.99, available at AmazonIf you're not quite sure what kind of hot sauce your dad likes, or if he isn't committed to this or that variety of the spicy stuff, then The Good Hurt Fuego Hot Sauces Sampler is a great gift idea. It features sauces made with peppers that come from India, Mexico, and beyond, and it has flavors ranging from Chipotle Pepper to Garlic Herb to Whiskey Habanero. A personalized sports jersey MLB Shop MLB Shop Custom Men's Jersey, from $149.99, available at the official MLB ShopNFL Shop Custom Men's Jersey, from $30.24, available at the official NFL Shop The sports-loving dad won't want to take this jersey off. At the MLB Shop and NFL Shop, you can order a personalized jersey with your dad's name on the back. An at-home workout system TRX TRX Suspension Trainer Basic Kit, $167.95, available at Amazon For the active dad, you can bring the gym home with this TRX trainer. A durable, temperature-maintaining water bottle Hydroflask Instagram Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth, from $44.95, available at Hydro FlaskHydro Flasks are great for any situation, from camping to commuting. This durable, insulated water bottle does a masterful job of making sure drinks keep their temperatures. A modern turntable U-Turn Audio U-Turn Audio Orbit Special Turntable, $459, available at U-TurnThis turntable is the sleek home accessory your dad didn't know he needed. He can bring his old records out of storage and enjoy them with this modern record player.  A subscription service for new vinyl every month Vinyl Me Vinyl Me, Please 3-Month Gift Membership, $119, available at Vinyl Me, PleaseEvery person's vinyl collection is deeply personal, so instead of trying to guess his taste, let him choose the record himself. Each month, he'll choose and receive one LP, pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please, from a collection of Essentials, Classics, and Rap & Hip Hop.The three-month gift membership includes one bonus record, while the six- and 12-month ones include two bonus records. A streaming TV player Amazon Roku Ultra, $69.99, available at TargetA media streaming device can transform your dad's so-called dumb TV into a smart one that plays shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Prime Video, and other streaming services. The best of the bunch is the Roku Ultra with its easy-to-use interface and 4K video streaming.Read our full review of the Roku Ultra here.  A nice tie The Tie Bar/Business Insider Men's Neckties, from $18, available at Tie BarNeckties might be a cliché gift for dads, but The Tie Bar makes some handsome ties that he'll actually wear on a regular basis. You'll find plenty of colors, patterns, and styles — and the best part is they're all affordably priced. A handy multi-functional tool Amazon Leatherman OHT Multi-Tool, $89.95, available at B&H PhotoThis multi-functional tool does it all, plus it has a 25-year guarantee. A fast wireless charger and accessory tray Courant Catch:3 Charger Tray, $122.50, available at Staycourant.comGive your dad the gift of organization with this accessory tray and wireless charger combo. The pebbled leather is a much-needed upgrade from all the plastic tech accessories he has lying around, and the catchall tray is useful and thoughtful. It also means he'll stop asking you where his keys are three times before leaving the house.  Stylish computer glasses Felix Gray Felix Gray Blue Light Computer Glasses, from $95, available at Felix GrayIf he sits in front of a computer every day, he needs these blue light glasses that increase magnification, reduce glare, and filter out blue light in order to reduce eyestrain. They're also available with prescription lenses — we tried them and loved them.Read our full review of Felix Gray blue light computer glasses here.  Apple AirPods Amazon Apple AirPods with Wired Charging Case, $128.98, available at AmazonSome of the best gifts are items that can be used every day — and AirPods fall into that category. Whether your dad likes listening to music and podcasts or prefers to talk on the phone hands-free, AirPods will quickly become an essential item for him. You can learn more about the different versions in our guide to the best AirPods.  A ceramic pizza stone Wiliams Sonoma Emile Henry Pizza Stone, $54.95, available at Williams SonomaHomemade pizza is delicious, but it can be tricky to perfect. This ceramic pizza stone will make sure his pizza comes out perfectly cooked every time. An iPad Apple Apple iPad (Latest Model with Wi-Fi, 32GB), $329.99, available at Best BuyTech-obsessed dads will love to get their hands on the latest iPad. For more information on the different iterations, check out our guide to the best iPads.  A leather iPad case Leatherology Leatherology iPad Portfolio, from $190, available at LeatherologyThis leather iPad portfolio comes in 17 colors, so there's sure to be one that your dad will like. You can even get it monogrammed for an extra personal touch.  A durable and waterproof speaker Urbanears Urbanears Rålis Portable Bluetooth Speaker, $199.99, available at UrbanearsThe Rålis is Urbanears' first portable Bluetooth speaker and it sounds as good as it looks. It's a little pricey, but the sound quality is impressive enough to warrant the cost. An alarm clock that uses light to wake him up gently Amazon Philips Light Alarm Clock, $99.99, available at AmazonJust because Dad has to wake up before the sun rises doesn't mean he has to awaken to the blaring of an obnoxious alarm clock.Philips makes a lovely alarm clock that gradually lights up to mimic the sunrise and wake him up naturally. The light alarm clock also displays the time and has customizable sounds so he can wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. This clock is also one of the top picks in our buying guide, so you can be sure he'll love it. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 5th, 2021

Goldman Slashes Pay Of CEO And DJ D-Sol By 30% To $25 Million

Goldman Slashes Pay Of CEO And DJ D-Sol By 30% To $25 Million A few weeks ago, when Goldman reported dismal Q4 earnings which saw its subprime-targeting consumer finance group report very ugly numbers, we joked that while "In 2008 Goldman made a killing on subprime; in 2022/23 Goldman is getting killed by subprime" Goldman provision for credit losses (mostly credit cards and wholesale loans) +183% Y/Y to $972MM. In 2008 Goldman made a killing on subprime; in 2022/23 Goldman is getting killed by subprime — zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 17, 2023 The final joke however appears to be on the CEO himself: on Friday, Goldman announced in a regulatory filing that it paid chief executive David Solomon $25 million for 2022, down almost 30% from the year before after the Wall Street bank reported a steep drop in profits, cut thousands of jobs and slashed employee bonuses. But don't cry for the part-time DJ: in 2021 his bonus was doubled to $35 million from the year before so he probably won't starve (then again, we doubt D-Sol's predecessor Lloyd Blankfein would even bother bending over for such pittance). Goldman also disclosed that Solomon received a base salary of $2mn, and $23 million in variable compensation. Mr. Solomon’s total annual compensation for 2022 is $25 million (which consists of an annual base salary of $2 million, unchanged year-over-year, as well as annual variable compensation of $23 million). 70% of this annual variable compensation (i.e., $16.1 million) is in the form of performance-based restricted stock units (“PSUs”), which tie 100% of Mr. Solomon’s equity-based compensation to ongoing performance metrics, with the remainder to be paid in cash. This compares to Mr. Solomon’s total annual compensation for 2021 of $35 million. Goldman said its compensation committee considered, among other things, “the firm’s 2022 performance, both on an absolute basis and relative to peer results, as well as in comparison to the record performance delivered in 2021”. As the FT notes, Solomon’s pay for 2022 had been the subject of speculation among Goldman’s rank and file in recent weeks, with many expecting a sizeable cut given the bank’s financial performance and a far-reaching review of expenses at the company. Not surprisingly, the cut to Solomon’s pay is larger than that taken by Wall Street peers and reflects a challenging year for Goldman. However, it is still less than the cut to the bonus pool for the firm’s senior partner ranks, which as was previously reported, is about 40%. The cut to Solomon's bonus comes as Goldman’s profits plunged almost 50% from record earnings in 2021 and the bank fell short of a key profitability target. Its investment banking business suffered from an industry-wide dearth of dealmaking activity, resulting in a cut to bonuses for employees in that unit. Goldman was also hit by sharp markdowns in public equity holdings at its asset management division and reported $2bn in losses for 2022 at its fledgling “Platform Solutions” unit, which houses part of its retail banking business that has been pared-back following disappointing performance. Goldman’s overall spending on compensation and benefits for 2022 was down 15% year on year at $15.1bn. Despite the cut, we are confident that Solomon will be just fine: the $35 million the Goldman CEO earned in 2021 made him the highest-paid big bank chief executive alongside Morgan Stanley boss James Gorman. In 2022, Gorman’s compensation was cut 10% to $31.5 million despite much stronger performance by the bank, especially when compared to Goldman. Other bank CEOs also won't starve: JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon was paid $34.5 million in 2022, the same as last year; Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf’s pay was also flat at $24.5mn. According to FT calculations, Solomon’s compensation for 2022 is his lowest since the $17.5 million he earned in 2020 when his pay was hit by Goldman’s involvement in the 1MDB corruption scandal. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/27/2023 - 13:06.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt8 hr. 58 min. ago

Where Did All The Workers Go?

Where Did All The Workers Go? Authored by Bret Swanson via The Brownstone Institute, In a November 30, 2022, speech on “Inflation and the Labor Market,” Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell blamed most of the 3.5 million estimated shortfall in the US labor force on premature retirements. He also blamed a large portion – between 280,000 and 680,000 – on “long Covid.” In a footnote, however, Powell acknowledged a far more somber factor: an estimated 400,000 unexpected deaths among working age people.  It’s easy to blame these deaths on Covid-19. The virus is of course one significant cause. But it’s not nearly the only cause, especially among young and middle-age workers. We need better government data transparency to make a full assessment. Until then, we can proceed with others who track mortality for a living – life insurance companies.  The Great Divide – 2020 vs. 2021 In 2020, Covid-19 took many lives, even among select groups of middle-age people, specifically those with comorbidities such as diabetes. In 2020, Covid did not take very many lives of healthy young and middle-age people – for example, the types of people who are employed at large and mid-size companies and who have group life insurance. As you can see in the chart below, group life insurance benefit payments in 2020 were barely higher than in 2018.  In 2021, however, group life payments exploded by 20.7 percent over the five year average and by 15 percent over the acute pandemic year of 2020. Why would healthy young and middle-age people suddenly begin dying in large numbers in 2021 when they’d navigated 2020 with relative success? Especially when we consider that in 2021, the US administered 520 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. Shouldn’t healthy people employed in good jobs with good benefits, now protected with vaccines, have fared better in 2021 than in 2020? Surely, overdoses and suicides have risen in recent years. But those causes of death are less prominent among the group life cohorts in general, and the latest data confirm these were not drivers of the group life surge. Curiously, two of the largest spikes in 2021 came from deadly automobile accidents and non-automobile accidents. Millennial Mortality Let’s look at a few of these young adult age groups in more detail. In the charts below, we’ve broken out total all-cause deaths into three groups – 30-34, 35-39, and 40-44. Eyeballing the age group charts alone shows that factors other than Covid-19 itself must have driven large portions of the mortality spike in young and middle-age workers. (We are using official statistics, which likely overstate Covid mortality and understate non-Covid mortality. It’s the best we’ve got for now.) The most important overall point is that 2021 was far worse for young and middle-age people than 2020.  Another key point is that 2022 was also worse than 2020, though not as bad as 2021.  Mortality rates in 2022 were still dramatically higher than the pre-pandemic baseline. In the three charts above, we estimate 2022* total deaths because November and December are still provisional and subject to upward revisions. We’ve made what we believe are reasonable projections. The % change figures are relative to the 2018-19 average. These are absolute numbers not adjusted for population growth or cohort size. Covid-19 hit hard in 2020, especially for the old, vulnerable, and comorbid. In other words, Covid-19 took many of the most unhealthy from us in 2020. In principle, therefore, a smaller number unhealthy people might have been susceptible to Covid-19 in 2021 and 2022. High mortality years are often followed by low mortality years. After two successive high mortality years, the third year is even more likely to be low-mortality. For 2022 to be as bad, or somewhat worse, than 2020, is thus a big surprise. Last year’s milder Omicron variants make 2022’s stubbornly high mortality rate even more baffling.  All-cause mortality is crucial to understand whether public health policies are working. All-cause numbers can also help expose faulty reasoning when overly narrow, overly complicated, or overly clever analyses miss or hide important signals. For example, an analysis which purported to show lockdowns reduced Covid deaths but which neglected to show other deaths rose even more, would not reflect the totality of the policy’s effects. Likewise, a chemotherapy which shrinks tumors but kills patients may be successful in its narrow task yet fail the larger mission. Most analysts and health authorities studiously ignored all-cause over the last three years. The all-cause figures above show our Covid policies were far from successful. For other purposes, however, it’s helpful and even necessary to drill down on specific causes. Important signals can also be lost in large groupings – Simpson’s paradox, for example, is a common statistical illusion. (Few have dug deeper, with as much specificity, as John Beaudoin, an engineer from Massachusetts who gained access to his state’s digital death records for the last eight years. He shows that specific causes of death spike and fall at important moments and periods. CDC data is not organized with such granularity. More on Beaudoin’s analysis in coming weeks…) We know that recent years saw an upswing in drug overdoses and suicides, which accelerated with the pandemic lockdowns. Although these troubling trends cannot explain the enormous and unprecedented all-cause mortality seen above, we should attempt to account for them. Likewise, although Covid-19 did not cause all these record deaths, it was a significant factor.  Employment Aberration So we dig deeper. If we remove both Covid-19 and unnatural deaths (homicide, suicide, overdose, etc.), we see a dramatic spike of natural, non-Covid-19 deaths among working age people beginning in the spring and summer of 2021. The CDC then stopped publishing the detailed data breaking out these particular categories.  But we know this trend continued. In fact, it got much worse. The life insurance companies told us so. On a December 30, 2021, videoconference with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, OneAmerica CEO Scott Davison reported with shock: “And what we saw just in third quarter, we’re seeing it continue into fourth quarter, is that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic.” “40% is just unheard of.” “It may not all be COVID on their death certificate, but deaths are up just huge, huge numbers.” Several months later, Lincoln National reported its 2021 payouts were $1.4 billion, versus $548 million in 2020, a 164 percent rise. As you will remember seeing in our three all-cause charts, August, September, and October of 2021 showed a gigantic upward bubble – the worst ever period of concentrated young and middle-age deaths, at least in modern times.  Heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary embolisms, accidents, and many seemingly-inexplicable sudden deaths, which continued into 2022, and now in 2023. Here is the Society of Actuaries November 2022 update, which goes through June 2022.  Source: Society of Actuaries, Group Life Covid-19 Mortality Survey Report, November 2022. It’s true that the late summer and fall period of 2021 coincided with the Delta wave in the US, which was more infectious and appeared to be more pathogenic than previous variants. (We’ve suggested the mass vaccination programs may have, by exerting extreme evolutionary pressure, driven convergence onto more infectious, vaccine-evading variants. Brand new research just published in the New England Journal of Medicine continues to bolster our escape variant thesis: Substantial Neutralization Escape by SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variants BQ.1.1 and XBB.1.) Federal officials and the medical establishment, you will recall, argued in 2021 that it was a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Even the Society of Actuaries attempts to explain away its alarming findings by implying the deaths are due to lack of vaccination. It does so with crude regressions of excess mortality and bulk statewide vaccination totals as of June 30, 2021.  But remember those 520 million vaccine doses. How can you generate far more deaths in 2021 – ascribing them to unvaccination – with a dramatically smaller number of unvaccinated people? In 2021, perhaps 20-40 percent of these group life insureds were unvaccinated. In 2020, 100 percent of them were unvaccinated, yet mortality barely rose. The math doesn’t come close to working.  The 40-44 age group, for example, suffered 21.5 percent more total deaths in 2021 than 2020. This terrible outcome occurred with less than half the so-called susceptible population due to their unvaccinated status. It’s difficult to assert robust vaccine effectiveness when both doses-delivered and deaths are skyrocketing. On the other hand, the group life insurance data show vaccinated groups may have suffered the worse outcomes. By August, most large and mid-size companies and organizations across the country had vaccine mandates, and most employees complied. Yet these workers suffered extraordinary – indeed, totally unprecedented death rates – in 2021, especially the second half of 2021. Source: Society of Actuaries, Group Life Covid-19 Mortality Survey Report, November 2022. Ed Dowd, a former BlackRock portfolio manager, points to a crucial peculiarity in his book Cause Unknown. Employed people with group life insurance policies are far healthier than their overall population cohort. They typically die at a significantly lower rate, just 30-40 percent of the overall population. This is an iron actuarial law. In 2021, however, as you can see in the chart directly above, these employed Americans died at excess rates far higher than their larger pool of less healthy peers. We could also point to fast-rising disability as a key factor in the worker shortage. Fed chair Powell blames it on long Covid. Once again, however, the timing doesn’t fit that story very well.  To overgeneralize:  In 2020, the vulnerable died of Covid at unusually high rates. In 2021 and 2022, Covid continued its assault, but the young, middle-aged, and healthy also died in aberrantly high numbers of something else. These patterns are repeating across the high-income developed world – Germany, the UK, Japan, South Korea, Australia.  *  *  * Reprinted from the author’s Substack. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/22/2023 - 14:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 22nd, 2023

Futures Slide With Treasuries As Recession Fears Mount

Futures Slide With Treasuries As Recession Fears Mount One day after the S&P had its worst day since Dec 15, failing to hold the 200dma, US equity futures entered Thursday extending recent losses with a third straight session in the red as renewed recession fears and the start of the earnings season weighed on risk appetite, sparking a risk-off tone that spread across global markets, from Japanese shares to oil contracts, sent bond yields lower and hit commodities. Pre-market Mega Caps and Metals/Miners were the biggest laggards. The dollar was flat, the VIX jumped above 21, and 10Y yields reversed earlier losses. The macro focus for today includes housing data, Philly Fed, and 3x Fedspeakers. Plus, there is a 10Y TIPS auction and NFLX kicks off MegaCap Tech earnings. Contracts on the S&P 500 edged down 0.8% as of 7:30 a.m. ET and contracts for the Nasdaq 100 lost 0.7%.Stoxx 600 gauge halted a six-day rally. Most Treasuries erased gains, and the euro advanced, as hawkish remarks by ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot reaffirmed the central bank's aggressive stance. In pre-market trading, Discover Financial Services tumbled 6.4% as the company reported higher-than-forecast charges for the fourth quarter. Roblox Corp. slumped after the global gaming platform’s stock was downgraded to underweight from equalweight at Morgan Stanley, which expects slower bookings growth in the second half of the year. Freeport McMoRan also fell as copper resumed its losses. Philip Morris rose 1.2% after Jefferies upgraded the stock to buy, citing the outlook for reduced-risk products in the tobacco industry. Here are other notable premarket movers: Alcoa shares slide 6.5% in US premarket trading after the aluminum and bauxite producer’s adjusted Ebitda for the fourth quarter fell short of analyst expectations, stoking worries that lower prices for aluminum and higher material and production costs were taking their toll. CureVac gains 10% as UBS upgrades the stock to buy and more than doubles its price target, calling the Jan. 6 announcement on messenger RNA vaccines for flu and Covid-19 a “major de-risking” event. Keep an eye on Chegg Inc. as KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Jason Celino raised the recommendation to overweight from sector weight, citing Ebitda margin upside over the next 12 months. Watch Alpine Immune Sciences after it was initiated with an overweight rating at Morgan Stanley, which said the biotech’s ALPN-303 treatment for autoimmune diseases is “underappreciated” and has broad potential. Oppenheimer says it expects the US housing market to get worse before it gets better but that the backdrop is not as bad for homebuilder stocks as investors may expect. It initiates PulteGroup (PHM US) and Toll Brothers (TOL US) at outperform, Tri Pointe (TPH US) and DR Horton (DHI US) at perform. The S&P 500 had gained more than 4% in the first two weeks of the year on bets of easing inflation and as China reopens from Covid restrictions, a near-record short squeeze - which is now reversing - also helped. But this rally is now beginning to fizzle as data releases signal a decisive slowdown in the rest of the world. Reports from the US showed declines in consumer demand and business investment, boosting the probability of a recession in the world’s largest economy. That, however, didn’t deter Federal Reserve officials from reaffirming the need for tighter monetary policy. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said policy was not yet in restrictive territory and projected a forecast rate of up to 5.5% by the end of the year in the Fed’s dot plot projections. is “almost” in restrictive territory but not quite. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said the Fed needs “keep going” and Philadelphia Fed chief Patrick Harker repeated his view of lifting interest rates in quarter-point increments “going forward.” “This weakness in equity markets will continue a bit longer in this first quarter of the year as the market reprices what the Fed will do,” Sailesh Jha, the chief economist and head of market research for RHB Banking Group, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We think it remains possible that the rally is a ‘head fake,’ and that economic data will ultimately disappoint,” said UBS Global Wealth Management strategists, including Mark Haefele. “It remains too early to assume that the inflation threat has fully passed.” European stocks are lower and on course to snap a six-day winning streak - the longest streak of gains since November 2021 - as evidence mounts of a slowdown in global growth. The Stoxx 600 is down 1.1% with miners, energy and consumer products leading declines. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Thursday that inflation remains far too elevated, vowing that policymakers won’t let up in their efforts to return price growth to the target. Here are the biggest European movers: Belimo shares rise as much as 6.3% after FY22 sales beat consensus and the company’s own expectations, according to Baader, which expects another good year for the Swiss firm Auto Trader shares rise as much as 3.4% after Goldman Sachs raised its recommendation to buy from neutral, citing appealing valuations and recovering auto sales revenue Meltwater shares rise as much as 33%, to NOK17.65, after Altor and Marlin said they intend to offer NOK18 per share for the application software company Deliveroo shares jump as much as 8.6% after the food delivery firm says its adj. Ebitda was almost breakeven in 1H, previously guided to be between 2H 2023 and 1H 2024 Hypoport rises as much as 9.7% on Thursday after Hauck & Aufhaeuser double upgrades to buy from sell and lifts price target by almost 180% on “game changing” messages in its 4Q report Virbac shares jumped as much as 6.7% after the French health-care services provider reported positive fourth-quarter sales and outlook after the market close on Wednesday Allfunds shares fall as much as 7.5% as HSBC cuts its rating on the wealth platform to hold from buy, saying 2023 is likely to remain challenging Orsted shares drop as much as 4.1% after Oddo downgraded the Danish utility to neutral from outperform, citing a fairly uninspiring outlook and no margin for error in the last quarter Boohoo shares drop as much as 8%, the most since Dec. 14, after the online clothing retailer said in a trading update that it would see a year-on-year decline in revenue Metso Outotec shares slip as much as 3.1%, the most since Dec. 7, as Pareto cuts the mining and industrial equipment group to hold from buy after a strong recent performance Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell as Japanese shares gave back the gains made after the central bank left policy settings unchanged Wednesday, while Chinese tech giants retreated on worries about insider selling. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 0.9% on Thursday, poised to snap a two-day rally. Japanese equities were the biggest drags to the regional benchmark as weak economic data from the US raised concerns over a slowdown and as the yen strengthened. The Topix Index fell 1% to 1,915.62 as of the 3 p.m. market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 declined 1.4% to 26,405.23. Toyota Motor contributed most to the Topix’s loss, decreasing 2.4%. Out of 2,161 stocks in the index, 596 rose and 1,436 fell, while 129 were unchanged. “In the end, it all comes down to the big question of how the US economy is doing,” said Ryuta Otsuka, a strategist at Tokyo Securities. “The US earnings season has just started and we will watch the overall movement of US stocks.” A gauge of Chinese technology stocks fell more than 1% after Kuaishou Technology’s co-founder sold some of his stake, fueling concerns that corporate insiders may be cashing out after the sector’s recent rally. “In general, the market is concerned about the perception of an insider opportunistically selling after a recent rally. This concern is compounded when someone significant like a co-founder is selling,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners. The soft US retail sales in December also added to concerns about economic growth, countering optimism that the Federal Reserve may start to ease its monetary tightening. That might create headwinds for Asian equities after their outperformance over US and European peers in the past few months. “Tempering optimism with cautionis not just prudent, but arguably necessary,” said Vishnu Varathan, Asia head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank Ltd. “Further tightening into 2023 will necessarily build on tail risks of a hard landing that accompanies a tightening cycle as pronounced as this one.” Australian stocks gained: the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6% to close at 7,435.30, swinging from an earlier loss, after employment unexpectedly fell last month while the jobless rate remained unchanged, sending the currency and bond yields lower as traders pared bets on a February interest-rate increase. The benchmark closed the highest since April 22, boosted by strength in mining shares and banks.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3% to 11,885.64. Earlier, the nation’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she is stepping down in a shock resignation ahead of a general election later this year India stocks declined as earnings of makers of consumer staples and durables continue to signal slowing consumption, while elevated costs weaken sentiment. The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.3% to 60,858.43 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index eased by a similar measure. For the week, the gauges have ease risen nearly 1%, mainly helped by software exporters, as most of reported strong profit growth for the latest quarter.  Asian Paints fell 2.7% as India’s biggest paint producer reported December-quarter earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates, with the company saying that extended monsoon impacted its volumes, sapping sales. Reliance Industries will release numbers on Friday. Fourteen of the 20 sector sub-gauges compiled by BSE Ltd. declined, led by utilities, while oil & gas index was the top gainer, helped by advances in state-run oil marketers that benefit from easing crude prices In FX, the BBG Dollar Index was little changed and the greenback traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers, while the yen is the best performer among the G-10s, rising 0.4% versus the greenback; the euro adds 0.3% after ECB’s Knot said he expects multiple 50bps hikes. His comments also pushed German 10-year bonds into negative territory while the US and UK equivalents hold on to small gains. The euro rose to a day-high and the region’s front-end yields extended a rise after ECB Governor Christine Lagarde reaffirmed ambitions to get inflation back to target. ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot earlier said there’ll be more than one half-point increase in interest rates, with the inflation situation still “not satisfactory”. Money markets rapidly added further tightening bets The pound pared Wednesday’s rally. House prices in the UK slid for a third consecutive month in December according to a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which adds to concerns that the nation’s housing market is likely to tumble this year. The gilt curve twist-flattened Norway’s krone pared losses after the central bank kept its policy unchanged, as forecast by the majority of economists in a Bloomberg survey. It signaled a likely quarter- point increase in borrowing costs in March is still needed to bring inflation under control The Aussie and Kiwi were the worst G-10 performers. The Aussie dropped nearly 1% to a one-week low of 0.6875, after data showed employers cut jobs in December, when economists expected a job gain of 25,000. Australia’s bonds extended opening gains and traders dialed back expectations of a February rate hike The yen strengthened as US yields dropped. Japan’s bonds were mixed. An auction of new 20-year debt received strong demand Foreign selling of Japan’s bonds accelerated in the past week as the yield on the benchmark 10- year government bond rose and the Japanese yen strengthened In rates, Treasuries initially advanced across the curve, but later gave up the gains. As of 8:00am ET, Treasuries from belly to long-end are slightly cheaper on the day after erasing gains. Slide was led by bunds following hawkish remarks by European Central Bank Governing Council member Klaas Knot. Asia-session gains tracked a rally in Australian bonds sparked by weak employment data. US front-end yields are little changed with longer maturities cheaper by 1bp-2bp, steepening 2s10s spread by ~2bp; 10-year around 3.39% lags German counterpart by ~3bp. Treasury auctions Thursday include $17b 10-year TIPS sale at 1pm New York time. The dollar issuance slate includes two deals so far; Wednesday volumes were light given many corporate issuers are in self- imposed quiet periods before reporting earnings. In commodities, oil fell for a second day as traders had to contend with US recession worries as well as another build in inventories. West Texas Intermediate dropped below $79 a barrel after declining almost 1% on Wednesday. IEA's head Birol says he does not see tightness in (the oil) market currently but have to be aware of uncertainties, via Reuters; may see tighter markets in 2023, more than some others may think. If China's economy rebounds this year as expected, will see stronger demand that will pressure the market. Russian oil exports seem more resilient than initially thought but will fall further in Q1 and beyond. Spot gold rises roughly $6 to trade near $1,910/oz. Copper fell 1.4% in London trading Bitcoin is little changed overall with numerous speakers ahead including ECB's Knot explicitly on crypto, currently holding within USD 20.6k-20.8k parameters. Looking to the day ahead now, and central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Knot, Fed Vice Chair Brainard, and the Fed’s Collins and Williams. In addition, the ECB will be publishing the account of their December meeting. Otherwise, US data releases include the weekly initial jobless claims, December’s housing starts and building permits, along with the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook survey for January. Finally, earnings releases include Procter & Gamble and Netflix. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 3,930.00 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.7% to 454.23 MXAP down 0.5% to 166.17 MXAPJ down 0.3% to 544.50 Nikkei down 1.4% to 26,405.23 Topix down 1.0% to 1,915.62 Hang Seng Index down 0.1% to 21,650.98 Shanghai Composite up 0.5% to 3,240.28 Sensex down 0.3% to 60,889.40 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6% to 7,435.31 Kospi up 0.5% to 2,380.34 German 10Y yield little changed at 2.03% Euro up 0.3% to $1.0821 Brent Futures down 0.8% to $84.30/bbl Brent Futures down 0.8% to $84.30/bbl Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,911.05 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.18% to 102.17 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg UBS Asset Management and Schroders Plc are sticking with bets Japanese government bond yields will rise on the expectation the BOJ will eventually stop capping the 10-year benchmark at 0.5%, even after it kept the so-called curve control policy unchanged Wednesday. Torica Capital Pty also expects the central bank to fall in line and shift toward the global trend of raising rates The best start to a year for bond returns is helping fuel an unprecedented debt-sale bonanza by governments and companies around the world of more than half a trillion dollars Strikes coordinated by French unions aim to bring much of the country to a standstill on Thursday in a protest against government plans to revamp the pension system and a test of president Emmanuel Macron’s ability to resist street pressure Foreign funds sold a record amount of Chinese bonds in 2022 mainly due to the nation’s wide yield gap with the US. Analysts are now weighing the outlook for the nation’s debt amid a potential Federal Reserve pivot and a reopening-led jump in yuan bond yields A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks were mixed with most major indices rangebound following the negative lead from Wall St, where risk sentiment deteriorated after a slew of disappointing US data and hawkish Fed rhetoric. ASX 200 climbed above 7,400 with the index led by miners after an increase in BHP’s quarterly iron ore output although gains were capped by disappointing jobs data and losses in the energy sector amid a pullback in oil prices and with Santos pressured due to a reduction in its FY output guidance. Nikkei 225 underperformed after markets mostly faded the BoJ-rally with many viewing the central bank’s decision to refrain from policy adjustments as a fleeting effort to delay the inevitable. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp swung between gains and losses with price action cautious as the upside in the property sector counterbalanced the notable weakness in the large tech names. Top Asian News Chinese President Xi expressed concern about the spread of COVID-19 to rural areas as China heads towards the Lunar New Year, according to FT. Hong Kong Chief Executive Lee said the government will scrap the quarantine order for people infected with COVID-19 from January 30th, according to Reuters. New Zealand PM Ardern announced to step down on February 7th and the Labour party is to vote on a new leader on January 22nd which Deputy PM Robertson will not stand in. Furthermore, PM Arden said she no longer has enough in the tank to do the job justice and that the general election will be held on October 14th. China is preparing for a new trading link with Hong Kong for foreigners to hedge bonds; PBoC shared draft riles for the Swap Connect to Chinese financial institutions last month, according to Bloomberg citing sources. European bourses are pressured across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 -1.2%, as ECB officials continue to pushback on dovish reports. Sectors are all in the red with Basic Resources and Energy names lagging given underlying commodity pricing. US futures are lower across the board, as the ES continues to move below 4k ahead of more earnings and key Fed speak, ES -0.5%. Top European News ECB'S Knot says market developments of late are not entirely welcome, via CNBC; ECB won't stop after a single 50bp hike, planning to hike by 50bp multiple times. No signs of underlying inflation pressures abating; core inflation shows no signs of abating. Currently only focused on the risk of doing too-little. Will be in "tightening mode" until at least mid-year. ECB President Lagarde says economic news has become much more positive; may only see a small contraction in GDP in the Eurozone; 2023 will be better than feared. Will stay the course with rate hikes. Irish PM Varadkar has said the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement was not an absolute deadline in law for the EU and UK to secure agreement on the Northern Ireland Protocol, according to RTE's Connelly. FX DXY was seemingly capped on approach to 102.50 amid a general downturn in risk with the USD facing pressure from the Euro and Yen. With the JPY continuing its post-BoJ reversal and EUR/USD comfortably reclaiming 1.08+ in wake of ECB's Knot pushing back on earlier dovish reports. Antipodeans are the stand-out laggards with Australian labour data and the unexpected resignations of New Zealand's PM contributing; AUD/USD sub-0.69 and NZD/USD sub-0.64. NOK experienced modest gyrations around 10.75 against the EUR post-Norges Bank, with this perhaps just an unwinding of the minority hawkish positioning going into the announcement. Norges Bank holds its Key Policy Rate at 2.75% (vs. split expectation for 25bps/Unch. but bias towards unchanged), decision was unanimous; "The policy rate will most likely be raised in March”. Subsequently, Governor Bache says they have not yet made new forecasts for rate developments beyond March. CBRT holds its Weekly Repo Rate steady at 9.00% as expected. PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.7674 vs exp. 6.7680 (prev. 6.7602). Fixed Income EGBs and particularly Bunds have retreated from initial peaks and have dragged Gilts and USTs lower in tandem. Downside that was initially sparked by ECB's Knot sticking to his hawkish lines and thereafter irrespective of well covered French and Spanish issuance. USTs themselves have been dragged down to unchanged levels, with attention turning to a busy docket of Fed speak, with Brainard perhaps the highlight. Commodities WTI and Brent March’23 futures are softer intraday with prices meandering around USD 0.50/bbl above APAC lows of USD 78.10/bbl and USD 83.76/bbl respectively. US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude 7.6mln (exp. -0.6mln), Gasoline 2.8mln (exp. 2.5mln), Distillate -1.8mln (exp. 0.1mln), Cushing 3.7mln. Qatar Energy set March-loading Al-Shaheen crude term price at a premium of USD 1.37/bbl above Dubai quotes which is the lowest in 21 months, according to Reuters citing traders. IEA's head Birol says he does not see tightness in (the oil) market currently but have to be aware of uncertainties, via Reuters; may see tighter markets in 2023, more than some others may think. If China's economy rebounds this year as expected, will see stronger demand that will pressure the market. Russian oil exports seem more resilient than initially thought but will fall further in Q1 and beyond. LME CEO says there is untapped demand for trading in Asian hours, via CNBC. Spot gold mirrors Dollar action but the yellow metal found some overnight support around the USD 1,900/oz mark but remains off yesterday’s 1,925.79/oz peak. Citi released some metal forecasts this morning and upgraded its 0-3month copper and aluminium forecasts to USD 10k/T (prev. 7.8k/T) and USD 2.7k/T (prev. 2.35k/T) respectively. Geopolitics US Secretary of State Blinken tweeted that the US announced an additional USD 125mln in funding to support Ukraine’s energy and electric grid against Russian attacks designed to leave millions without power during the winter months. US is finalising a large package of military aid to Ukraine which officials said will likely total as much as USD 2.6bln, according to AP. US Event Calendar 08:30: Jan. Continuing Claims, est. 1.66m, prior 1.63m 08:30: Dec. Building Permits MoM, est. 1.0%, prior -11.2%, revised -10.6% 08:30: Dec. Housing Starts MoM, est. -4.8%, prior -0.5% 08:30: Dec. Building Permits, est. 1.37m, prior 1.34m, revised 1.35m 08:30: Jan. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 214,000, prior 205,000 08:30: Jan. Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. -11.0, prior -13.8, revised -13.7 08:30: Dec. Housing Starts, est. 1.36m, prior 1.43m Central Bank Speakers 09:00: Fed’s Collins Speaks at Housing Conference 13:15: Fed’s Brainard Discusses the Economic Outlook 18:35: Fed’s Williams Speaks at Event in New York DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Yesterday saw the biggest risk-off move so far in 2023, with equities slumping and sovereign bonds rallying after the latest US data magnified recession concerns and raised the prospect the Fed wouldn’t be as aggressive with their rate hikes as expected. In particular, the US PPI for December surprised substantially on the downside, adding to hopes that inflation was durably on the way down. That theme was then cemented by weak reports on retail sales and industrial production, which only added to the arguments in favour of the Fed easing up over the coming weeks. In turn, that spurred a big surge for Treasuries, with the 10yr yield down -17.8bps to 3.37%, and a further -4.9bps move overnight down to 3.32%. That means it’s now more than -100bps beneath its intraday high for this cycle of 4.34% back on October 21, whilst the S&P 500 (-1.56%) saw its biggest decline in a month. When it comes to the specifics, the PPI release for December came in at -0.5% on a monthly basis (vs. -0.1% expected), and the previous month’s growth was also revised down a tenth to +0.2%. This came as a big surprise to markets, since it was beneath every economist’s estimate on Bloomberg, and it was also the fastest decline in monthly prices since April 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Furthermore, it took the year-on-year change down to +6.2% (vs. +6.8% expected), which is its weakest level since March 2021. Alongside the PPI reading, we also had the latest retail sales data for December, which also surprised on the downside at -1.1% (vs. -0.9% expected), along with a four-tenths downward revision to November’s reading, which now shows a -1.0% contraction as well. For industrial production it was much the same story again, with a worse-than-expected contraction at -0.7% (vs. -0.1% expected), and a downward revision to the previous month. With that downside surprise on the PPI data and the weaker-than-expected numbers elsewhere, investors moved to price in a less aggressive pace of rate hikes over the months ahead. In particular, the terminal rate priced in for June came down by -5.4bps to 4.86%, its lowest level so far this year, with a further decline of -1.7bps overnight to 4.84%. And looking further out, the rate priced in by end-2023 came down by -9.5bps to 4.35%, which again is the lowest of the year so far, with a further -3.7bps decline overnight to 4.31%. When it came to Fed speakers, we heard from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard yesterday, who continued with his normally hawkish tone. He said that the policy rate was not yet in what he would call restrictive territory and that “policy has to stay on the tighter side during 2023.” He also noted that he expected fed funds to finish the year between 5.25% and 5.50%, and was in open to getting there quicker by increasing rates by 50bps at the next meeting. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester acknowledged that pricing pressures were moving the right way across different metrics but also that rates need to get higher. Finally, the latest Fed Beige Book pointed to expectations of easing inflation, saying that “contacts across districts said they expected future price growth to moderate further in the year ahead.” The report also held key information with regards to employment saying “firms hesitated to lay off employees even as demand for their goods and services slowed and planned to reduce headcount through attrition if needed.” This tracks with the recent economic data showing declining retail sales and robust payrolls. The prospect of a less aggressive Fed led to a further rally in Treasuries, and as mentioned at the top 10yr yields came down -17.8bps to 3.37%. The moves were driven by lower real yields, with the 10yr real yield down by -13.6bps on the day to 1.24%. And the effects were evident elsewhere, with the dollar index (-0.03%) spending much of yesterday at its lowest level since May before recovering to finish with only a modest decline. Likewise, the Bloomberg index of US financial conditions eased to its most accommodative level since last February during European trading yesterday, before falling back as the risk-off sentiment took hold. Although Treasuries were rallying, the risk-off tone meant that US equities were much less resilient, with the S&P falling back -1.56% as recession concerns mounted. That was echoed across the other major indices, with the NASDAQ (-1.24%) and the Dow Jones (-1.81%) falling back as well. However in Europe, the recent equity outperformance relative to the US continued, with the STOXX 600 (+0.23%) advancing for a 6th consecutive session. Looking forward, US futures are pointing to further losses ahead, with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.13%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.06%) edging lower. Staying on Europe, there was a significant bond rally there too, with yields on 10yr bunds (-7.2bps), OATs (-9.3bps) and BTPs (-13.4bps) all moving lower after the US data releases. In fact at the intraday lows, the German 10yr bund yield was back beneath 2%, and we also saw the spread of Italian 10yr yields over bunds close at its tightest level since April, at just 174bps. In the meantime, we heard from some ECB speakers, with France’s Villeroy saying that President Lagarde’s guidance about hiking by 50bps for “a period of time” were still valid, even as he also said that “it’s much too early to speculate about what we will do in March”. That follows a Bloomberg article the previous day suggesting that the ECB might downshift their hikes to 25bps at the March meeting, following another 50bp move in February. Elsewhere, Finland’s Rehn said that “significant interest rate hikes in the near-term monetary policy meetings are justified in order to keep inflation expectations under control”. One underperformer relative to the rest of Europe were UK gilts, where the 10yr yield only came down -1.0bps on the day. That followed the release of the UK CPI data for December, which showed an expected decline in CPI to +10.5%, but core inflation remained at +6.3%, which was a tenth stronger than expected. As a result, investors put increasing weight on the prospects of another 50bp hike at the February meeting, with overnight index swaps pricing a 46.1bps hike by the close yesterday, which is the highest so far in 2023. This morning in Asia, equity markets have put in a mixed performance. In Japan the Nikkei (-1.46%) has slumped amidst a fresh appreciation in the Yen this morning, but other indices including the KOSPI (+0.29%), the CSI 300 (+0.17%) and the Shanghai Composite (+0.11%) have all advanced. Meanwhile in energy markets, oil prices have moved lower overnight following their moves higher over recent days, with Brent crude (-1.24%) at $83.93/bbl and WTI (-1.48%) at $78.30/bbl as weak US economic data raised concerns over the demand outlook. Finally in New Zealand, Prime Minister Ardern announced that she would step down by next month, having been in office since 2017. The New Zealand Labour Party will hold an election for a new leader, which comes ahead of a general election later in the year. To the day ahead now, and central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Knot, Fed Vice Chair Brainard, and the Fed’s Collins and Williams. In addition, the ECB will be publishing the account of their December meeting. Otherwise, US data releases include the weekly initial jobless claims, December’s housing starts and building permits, along with the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook survey for January. Finally, earnings releases include Procter & Gamble and Netflix. Tyler Durden Thu, 01/19/2023 - 08:05.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 19th, 2023

The Benefits Of A Savings Culture & The Future Role Of China"s Yuan

The Benefits Of A Savings Culture & The Future Role Of China's Yuan Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, Savings are a vital component of any successful economy, and the foolishness behind the paradox of thrift is exposed in this article. It has been a huge error for Keynesian policy makers to discourage savings in the interests of temporary boosts to consumerism. It is probably too late now but encouraging people to save by removing all taxation from savings makes an enormous contribution to reducing price inflation and trade deficits, while enhancing national wealth. This is evidenced empirically and demonstrated by reasoned theory.  Furthermore, there is an error in assuming that there is no alternative to Triffin’s dilemma, which posited that for a nation to produce a meaningful level of reserve currency for external circulation it must run trade deficits. Triffin was describing the problems the United States gave itself under the Bretton Woods agreement, leading to the failure of the London gold pool in the late sixties. It still informs US policy makers today, and wrongly leads American commentators to believe that the dollar cannot be toppled from its pre-eminent position. But Triffin’s dilemma assumes that central banks must accumulate currency reserves. Unless a government has foolishly indebted itself in a foreign currency, there is no need for them to do so. Currency reserves add nothing to a domestic currency’s stability. Gold fulfilled this role successfully, and likely to do so again in future. It is a savings ratio of 45% which is at the root of China’s power. The lack of savings in America and its western alliance is their Achilles heel. Empirical evidence If there was one taxation policy which would reduce consumer price inflation, stabilise a fiat currency, encourage capital allocation for productive purposes, and improve government finances for the longer-term, what would it be? Remove all taxes from savings. This is the lesson from past-war West Germany and Japan, both of which suffered absolute defeat and economic destruction in the Second World War. Their currencies were worthless. But they recovered to become economic powerhouses in Europe and Asia respectively in little more than two decades. Both implemented savings-friendly taxation policies, which made capital available at stable interest rates for new industries to invest in production. Germany developed its Mittelstand, and Japan built on her vertically integrated Zaibatsu. Germany was fortunate in its Economy Minister, Ludwig Erhard. A free marketeer who on 20 June 1948 took the bull by the horns, Erhard unilaterally ended rationing on the same day as the new mark was introduced, presenting it as a fait accompli to the military governors in the British and American zones. In a week, shops had begun to reopen, and goods became widely available. In negotiations with the military governors, Erhard managed to obtain income tax concessions for savings, which through the banking system were invested making capital available for private sector reconstruction. While he struggled against both military governments in the two zones to retain lower taxes and for favourable treatment for savings into the 1950s, Erhard had laid the foundations for a savings driven, free market economy. By the 1980s, the only tax on savings was a 10% withholding tax on bank interest and bond coupons, which was not generally pursued by the German tax authorities in the knowledge that attempts to do so would simply drive savings beyond their reach into Luxembourg and Zurich. For this reason, Germany remained a savings driven economy with a strong currency right up to the mark’s incorporation in the new euro. Much to the confusion of British and American neo-Keynesians subscribing to their cherished savings paradox, Germany became the wealthiest of the European nations, other than perhaps Switzerland. In both cases, hard currencies accompanied wealth creation. Erhard’s post-war opposition was principally from General Sir Brian Robertson, the head of the British occupation government, and from the French. The commander of the American occupation zone, General Lucius Clay was more sympathetic with free market solutions. The Americans had promoted A Plan for the Liquidation of War Finance and Financial Rehabilitation of Germany (1946), written at Clay’s behest, one of the co-authors being Joseph Dodge. In 1949, Dodge was then appointed to advise the Japanese government on its post-war reconstruction as an aide to General MacArthur. And Dodge was instrumental in ensuring that up to a certain level, post office savings accounts were entirely tax free. It was probably a deliberate oversight on his part, but the tax law didn’t stop an account holder merely opening another savings account when the tax-free limit on an existing account was reached. Dodge implemented what became known as “The Dodge Line”. By insisting on a balanced national budget and shutting down the printing presses, he ended hyperinflation. The exchange rate between the yen and the dollar stabilised. Government economic intervention and interference was slashed across the board. Echoing John Cowperthwaite’s free market policies in Hong Kong, Dodge realised that the best economic progress was obtained by eliminating state interference, leaving it to Japan’s businessmen and entrepreneurs who, despite the war, retained the skills and connections to run their businesses. With MacArthur’s support, he ruthlessly eliminated subsidies and price controls. Dodge was eventually recalled to America, becoming Truman’s Director of the Budget where in the space of only a year he had cut the US federal deficit in half. Dodge’s free market approach was supplemented by the assistance of another American adviser, W Edwards Denning. Denning introduced quality control techniques to Japanese manufacturing which revolutionised production. As a consequence of Denning’s contribution, Japan rapidly evolved from a source of shoddy goods into a producer of the best consumer technology and the manufacture of world-beating high quality consumer goods. Behind this revolution was the tax incentive to save – a simple approach of assuming that taxed earnings put aside should not be taxed again. In both Germany and Japan, these were not the only factors that led to a successful emergence from total desolation, but they are the elements that ensured that both nations continued to flourish. And in Japan, despite the government fully embracing Keynesian philosophy in the wake of the late-eighties speculative bubble, the savings culture of “Mrs Watanabe, the Japanese housewife” persists to this day. After his stint in Japan and while Joe Dodge worked his budget magic for Truman, the British were going in the opposite direction, eschewing free markets, embracing Keynesianism, persisting with rationing until 1954, and imposing punitive taxes on savings. The decline of post-war Britain and much of Europe need not enter our narrative, but it was a feature of all nations which implemented economic policies of taxing savings. The theory behind savings The empirical evidence is clear. Since the Second World War, economies that embraced free markets and the role of personal savings outperformed those which saw savings as an easy source of tax revenue. Furthermore, we can easily explain why free markets succeed in creating wealth for all, while a state directed economy is anti-progress. It was demonstrated by the Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises, who in an essay written in 1920 explained the futility of central planning due to a lack of the ability to perform economic calculation. Admittedly, he compared the full-blown socialism which Russia had embraced with free markets. But his conclusions, that the state is unable to allocate economic resources including capital as efficiently as profit-seeking capitalists applies equally to less aggressive forms of socialism. In a free market economy, individuals are compelled to make provision for the unknown vagaries of the future. Often through the medium of insurance policies and pension plans, they put aside a portion of their income to protect themselves from the financial consequences of ill-health and incapacity, provide for their old age, and to ensure there is something to pass on to their heirs. If the circulating medium is sound, no financial skill is required to preserve the value of savings in these arrangements and in the form of bank deposits. Within the limits of their acumen, those with some financial knowledge can venture into other forms of savings, such as bonds issued by their government agencies and corporations and even to acquire equity interests in ventures. As always, investors with skill and knowledge will improve their position relative to those less financially literate, which is anathema to redistributors of wealth. But the corruption of the value of credit that goes with monetary intervention by the state impoverishes those who lack investing skills most, always the poorest in society. It stands to reason therefore, that an economy that benefits most from the savings of the masses must protect the value of credit. The Keynesian revolution rode roughshod over this issue. Keynes dismissed capitalist savers as rentiers, a term with emotive connotations suggesting that they are workshy and greedy only for interest on their capital. His academic environment at Cambridge and afterwards the Bloomsbury set in London was certainly populated with these flaneurs. But this was not representative of the wider population which was to be deprived by his desire for the euthanasia of the rentier expressed openly in his General Theory. So it was that Keynes came up with the paradox of thrift, while he was working his way towards discarding Say’s law to justify his General Theory. In Chapter 23, he takes preceding crackpot theories on the subject as evidence of the destruction wrought by saving. Earlier in Chapter 3, on Observations of the Nature of Capital, he claimed that excess savings could lead to “the fate of Midas…  assuming that the propensity to consume and the rate of interest are not deliberately controlled in the social interest but are left mainly to the influences of laissez-faire”. In working his way towards a role for the state, which appears to be his objective here, Keynes makes a number of errors, the principal ones being glossing over the role of bank credit (there is only one indexed reference to credit, commercial bank or otherwise in the whole book!), and whether it is the borrower or lender who sets the rate of interest. To be absolutely certain of the role of savings in an economy, and as to whether there can be an excess leading to the fate of Midas, we must explore Keynes’s errors further. Variations in the rate of interest are not due to the ephemeral dispositions of rentiers but in large part to fluctuations in the supply of bank credit. It is the expansion of bank credit which leads to an economic boom, which when it leads to excessive demand and speculation by driving up prices engenders caution in the banker’s mind. Naturally, he then restricts the supply of credit, which raises the interest cost. This is why the cycle of bank credit would never permit “the fate of Midas” to occur. Clearly, Keynes’s conclusion that there can be a savings glut is based on his wilful ignorance of the nature of money and credit.[iii] Furthermore, Keynes’s basic assumption, that it is the greed of the rentier which forces an unnecessary and arguably immoral cost onto production is also incorrect. It is the same error that leads monetary policy makers today to assume that by manipulating the interest rate the general level of prices can be controlled. It was Keynes himself who earlier noted this error, which he named Gibson’s paradox after Arthur Gibson, who pointed out the lack of correlation between the two. Because Keynes was unable to explain the paradox, he simply proceeded as if it did not exist, and so has every monetary policy committee ever since. The paradox is real, and the explanation is simple, falling into two elements. The first is that savers are generally reluctant to save, because it means a deferment of consumption, an immediate satisfaction being exchanged for one in the future of less certain value. Therefore, a business requiring capital for production must bid up the rate of interest it is prepared to pay to a level where the consumer is willing to defer his enjoyment. It is this marginal rate that balances the demands for capital with the availability of savings in an economy. And it is not just a question of setting the rate of interest for recycling credit through the banks’ balance sheets. It sets the rates of return for all financial assets as well and the cost of funding for their issuers. The second element is the time-preference for which savers will naturally expect compensation. Time preference describes the value of possession of money or money substitutes. A saver loses the value of possession until his money or credit for money is returned. For simplicity’s sake, we must ignore counterparty risk but include expectations of changes in the purchasing power in the circulating media for the time that possession is lost. It becomes clear that if a potential saver is to part with possession of money or credit when the evidence points to its debasement, he will reasonably seek compensation. Therefore, for the saver interest rates are not the cost of money which he demands, except in a strictly minimally additional and marginal sense. For a central bank to assume that by varying the underlying rate of interest it can control the economy is therefore incorrect. Central banks have it the wrong way round, which explains why there is no correlation between their interest rate setting and the rate of price inflation.  Furthermore, Gibson pointed out that the correlation was between interest rates and the general level of wholesale prices, and not their rate of change. This correlation is consistent with a businessman’s economic calculation: in order to calculate the profitability of an investment, he must consider the price he will expect for his production, by necessity always referring to current levels. He can then calculate the interest cost he is prepared to pay to secure the capital necessary for his project, and therefore assess its profitability. The hope harboured by Keynes, that the state can stimulate the economy at the expense of savings beyond the very short term is incorrect. His paradox of thrift, which Keynes used to try to dissuade a propensity to save, was a conclusion drawn from these errors. They are in large part responsible for the plight in which the US, the UK, and various member states of the EU now find themselves.  Savings in the context of national finances More than any other factor, the propensity to save is a major influence on national finances, being a “swing factor” between a government’s budget and the national trade position. There is an important question most analysts ignore. It is the twin deficit hypothesis, whereby if the savings rate doesn’t change, a budget deficit leads to a matching trade deficit.  The reason the two deficits are linked in this way is because of the following national accounting identity: (Imports - Exports) ≡ (Investment - Savings) + (Government spending - Taxes) In other words, a trade deficit is the result of a budget deficit not funded by savings but by additional credit. This can be confirmed by following the money. For a budget deficit, there are only two sources of funding. Consumers put aside some of their spending to increase their savings in order to subscribe for government bonds. Otherwise, the banking system comes up with funding in the form of credit issued by the central bank or by commercial banks, putting additional credit into circulation which didn’t exist before. The financing of a budget deficit by credit expansion leads to excess credit in an economy without matching production. This is the point behind Say’s law, which defines the division of labour. We produce to consume, and the function of money and credit is one of intermediation between the two. Injecting extra credit into an economy does nothing to raise production, but it does increase overall demand, at least until it is absorbed into the economy in accordance with the Cantillon effect. Directly or indirectly, this excess demand can only be satisfied by imported consumer goods, because an increase in domestic production is unavailable.  The role of savings in the context of national finances is very important. An increase in savings is at the expense of consumption, which is why economists often refer to savings as consumption deferred. For consumption to remain deferred requires it to be invested, either into production or government debt usually through the banks, pension funds, insurance companies or other financial channels acting on the savers’ behalf. If the destination of additional savings is investment in government debt, they are turned into consumption by the government. By not being spent on additional consumer goods, the trade deficit falls relative to the budget deficit.  As noted above, despite the destructive Keynesian policies of its government, Japanese savers habitually respond to an increase in credit by retaining it in their savings accounts. Consequently, consumer price inflation is subdued, relative to that in other countries. While the Eurozone has employed similar interest rate policies and is suffering CPI-recorded debasement of over 10%, in Japan it is about 4%. As we note below, in China whose savings ratio is 45%, CPI measured inflation is currently less than 2%. The deployment of capital by Japan’s corporations, which is the counterpart of increased savings, is invested in improvements in technology and production methods, keeping consumer prices lower than they would otherwise be. Because Japanese savers are so consistent in their savings culture, Japanese corporations have benefitted from a relatively low and stable cost of capital, making business calculation more reliable. For Japan, savings are the positive swing factor in the twin deficit hypothesis. The same is true of any economy where there is a government deficit while at the same time there is a propensity in the population to save rather than spend. It is the driving force behind China’s export surpluses, because with the sole exception of Singapore, the Chinese are the biggest savers on the planet. The position of nations whose economic policies have been to tax savings and to encourage immediate consumption is diametrically different. It is consumption funded by the expansion of money and credit without increases in savings which has led to persistent US trade deficits, twinned with budget deficits.  The evidence confirms that a savings driven economy is more successful than a consumption driven economy. Not only does the former protect the currency’s purchasing power by reducing the need for reliance on foreign capital inflows to finance internal deficits, but empirical evidence clearly shows savings-driven economies are more successful at creating wealth for their citizens. Importantly, a currency backed by a savings culture can weather a greater level of credit expansion by its central bank without adverse consequences for prices. The condition which must apply is that fiat currencies continue to operate as media of exchange. The moment a major currency such as the US dollar fails, then all fiat currencies are likely to be destabilised. The cure for that risk is to tie currencies to legal money, which is gold. In the absence of that link, even the strongest fiat currency loses purchasing power over time. The Japanese yen has lost 95% of its purchasing power relative to gold since 1970, an average of 1.83% every year. But including tax-free bank interest, the Japanese housewife has probably just about retained the value of her post office savings account, unlike her taxed equivalents in the other major currencies. Supplying a reserve currency  As Robert Triffin, the Belgian-American economist put it, for a currency to be available internationally to act as the reserve currency requires irresponsible short-term domestic economic and monetary policies. Triffin originally described why this is the case in evidence before the US Congress in 1959. It was a dilemma, which would eventually lead to an erosion of confidence in the currency. He was proved right eight years later when the London gold pool failed, leading to the abandonment of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971. In a twist of Triffin’s earlier warning whereby his predicted outcome is ignored, in recent years the dilemma has been taken to justify continual trade deficits, the counterpart of which is the accumulation of dollars in foreign hands. The eventual consequences are ignored. Currently, these dollars and the US financial assets in which they are invested total over $30 trillion, significantly more than US GDP. This total has fallen by over $3 trillion in the year to September, mainly due to a fall in market valuations. But there has been net foreign selling of existing US dollar assets as well, while the US trade deficit has added to the outflow by an additional trillion dollars. The US now appears to be in a similar position to that described by Triffin as the inevitable outcome of providing the world with its reserve currency. Furthermore, the scale of dollar and dollar denominated financial asset accumulation has been encouraged by a bond bull market on the back of a declining interest rate trend which has lasted forty years. Crucially, domestic funding of budget deficits as recorded by the savings rate has failed to match this foreign interest. However, domestic investors have made substantial portfolio gains along with foreign holders of dollars. Driving these gains has been the inflation of credit directed into financial activities thereby sustaining the bubble, while the Fed goosed valuations by suppressing interest rates to the zero bound. When the rate of consumer price inflation unexpectedly broke the bounds of statistical management — independent analysts had it far higher than official figures for many years citing changes in methodology — it became clear that the bull market in US asset values was over. Being in the early stages of a bear market, this fundamental change is yet to be widely recognised, but with official interest rates well below the CPI rate of increase, foreign investors are certain of yet more portfolio and currency losses. Domestic investors and bulls of their own currency assume foreigners will still demand dollars, when the evidence from the continuing trade deficit and the US Treasury’s TIC figures confirm they are already turning sellers. This dichotomy between foreigner and domestic users of a currency is not unusual. An examination of previous episodes of currencies in trouble confirms that the foreign exchanges are usually first to recognise they should be sold, while domestic users usually continue to believe that they will retain their value.  If it is not too late, the solution to stabilising today’s fiat currencies is to remove all obstacles to savers, in an attempt to increase the savings ratio. But when a currency is already on its way to eventual extinction, removing tax disincentives may not be enough, and other measures to reduce the budget deficit must be taken in order to reduce the trade deficit. But then we run into Keynes’s savings paradox: discouraging consumption in favour of savings is viewed by neo-Keynesians as recessionary when economic growth is already stalling. The Saudi’s decision to ditch dollars in favour of yuan — turning from petrodollars to petroyuan — couldn’t have come at a worse time for the dollar. In addition to facing a bear market for their dollar assets, foreign holders now find its mainstay justification is distinctly frayed. Almost certainly, the dollar is on the verge of a Triffin crisis. The future role of China’s yuan  This time, it appears that the dollar has nowhere to turn. Asia is now the most important geopolitical region, with some 3.8bn people rapidly industrialising. Member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Eurasian Economic Union, and BRICS are increasingly determined to move away from dollars, its hegemony, and influence. As the Saudis and the whole Gulf Cooperation Council of oil exporters are demonstrating, China’s yuan is being seen as the dollar’s replacement for inter-Asian payments. The roles of the euro, yen, and sterling in foreign reserves are also likely to diminish with the dollar as well.  At this stage the new global currency reserve position is still unclear, with the Eurasian Economic Union planning a trade settlement currency, and the Russians sending vague signals but yet to prognosticate. But in the context of Triffin and savings rates, China could hardly be more different from the US.  China has a savings rate of about 45% of its GDP. With this propensity to save, it is unsurprising that consumer price inflation is under two per cent. Moreover, government finances have taken a hit from China’s covid lockdown policies and a property development crisis, leaving a deficit of over $1 trillion equivalent for 2022. But even so, with such a high savings rate the surplus on the balance of trade for 2022 was still positive at $890bn. The Triffin dilemma suggests that for the yuan to become a replacement reserve currency the Chinese government will have to start spending like drunken sailors while taxing domestic savings to the hilt. Only then can a trade deficit be expected to arise. But such a volte face in economic policy would surely destroy the yuan’s credibility. After all, it took ten years from the suspension of the Bretton Woods agreement and interest rates rising to 20% for the dollar to then assume the role of a reserve currency in gold’s stead. We must question the need for central banks to maintain currency reserves in the future. Not only did the western alliance send a signal that they could be made worthless by its cartel at the stroke of a pen, but the shift from the petrodollar to the petroyuan is symbolic of a currency regime that has had its time. The possession of reserves originated with the requirement for central banks to back their currencies with legal money — gold. It is the abandonment of this link with money that led to possession of currency reserves, with dollar holdings at their core. But other than for limited international intervention purposes there seems to be little reason to hold them, particularly for those central banks who have become aware of the western alliance’s declining influence. China with its trade surplus while maintaining a balance in its payments by exporting capital has no need for other currency reserves beyond some minor liquidity. The capital being exported is in yuan in the form of bank credit, and it suits China with her plans for the industrialisation of Greater Asia and its suppliers in Africa and South America to make substantial investments for her greater good. The Chinese government controls its major banks and can direct the application of this surplus credit. There is no need therefore for China to destroy its finances to provide yuan as a reserve currency, as Triffin originally suggested. Clearly, there must be a revolution in central bank thinking underway in the broader Asian camp. Central banks are beginning to replace the major currencies in their reserves with yuan and even roubles. But these currencies are not available in sufficient quantities to replace their dollars, euros, yen, and sterling. This is why they are turning the clock back and beginning to accumulate physical gold. In a few words, it is China’s high savings rate which gives its government the resources, the power, and the opportunity to displace the American dollar and its hegemony from Greater Asia and much of the developing world. Our mistake leading to our relative decline was to listen to Keynes and his paradox of thrift. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/15/2023 - 20:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 15th, 2023

Futures Rise Ahead Of Inflation Data As China Reopening Lifts Sentiment Again

Futures Rise Ahead Of Inflation Data As China Reopening Lifts Sentiment Again US equity futures were set to rise for a second day as upbeat sentiment ahead of tomorrow's key CPI print - which JPM gives 85% odds of pushing stocks at least 1.5% higher - lifted global markets despite a freak outage of key FAA advisory system this morning led to a nationwide ground halt for all domestic flights (until at least 9am) pre. Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 ticked up 0.1% as of 7:15am ET while Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index rose 0.8%. The FTSE 100 climbed within striking distance of a record high; Asian equities were supported by China lifting Covid restrictions. Among the top corporate news, Credit Suisse weighs cutting by half the bonus pool for 2022 after a turbulent year and Apple plans to start using its own custom displays in mobile devices as early as next year. Treasury yields dropped and the dollar gained for the second day in a row. Among US premarket movers, airline stocks slipped in New York premarket as the failure of a key pilot notification system operated by the Federal Aviation Administration disrupted air travel. American Airlines Group Inc. fell 1.1% and United Airlines Holdings Inc. was down 0.6%. Delta Air Lines Inc. fell 0.8% as the FAA ordered a ground halt of all flights until at least 9am. Bed Bath & Beyond surged again and were on course for a third day of gains. World Wrestling Entertainment rose as much as 5.3%, extending a rally sparked by speculation that the company may sell itself. Chairwoman and co-CEO Stephanie McMahon announced she’s resigning from the company. Here are some other notable premarket movers: US biotech Prokidney surges 34% after early data from a mid-stage trial of its cell therapy for chronic kidney disease. Jefferies said the treatment has multi-billion dollar potential. CarMax falls 4.8% after JPMorgan cut its recommendation on the used-car retailer to underweight from neutral, citing unfavorable risk-reward following recent outperformance. JinkoSolar Holding ADRs rise 1.9% after Roth Capital upgrades the solar panel maker to buy, saying US policy improvements point to a stronger outlook. Levi Strauss drops 1.5% as Citi downgrades to neutral from buy to reflect what it describes as a challenging US backdrop in the near to medium term. Keep an eye on PTC and Autodesk as Berenberg begins coverage of both US design software companies with buy ratings, and initiates AspenTech at hold, saying all three have the potential to continue outperforming the industry in terms of growth. Data and analytics providers could be in focus as Redburn says they will have a significant opportunity to capitalize on growing and increasingly complex risk factors in financial markets. The broker has buy ratings on MSCI (MSCI US), S&P (SPGI US) and London Stock Exchange (LSEG LN), though initiates Verisk (VRSK US) at sell and cuts Morningstar (MORN US) to neutral. The gains of US stocks since the start of 2023 has surprised many (very bearish) strategists who believe that much of the advance is conditional on inflation easing, which would allow the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of rate hikes. And while hawkish comments on Monday by San Francisco and Atlanta Fed presidents put a chill on the rally, a lack of subsequent reinforcement by Chair Powell led to a sharp rally on Tuesday. The next test for the market comes on Thursday with the US inflation report which will determine if the Fed hikes by 25bps or 50bps on Feb 1, and it’s widely believed that a lower-than-expected reading would trigger further gains.  Investors are also closely watching technical levels as the S&P 500 Index nears its 200-day moving average. “Tomorrow’s CPI event risk could be a decider where the S&P 500 can either break above its 200-day moving average, the 4,000 level and the downtrend line, or we head back to 3800,” says Gurmit Kapoor, a cross-asset sales trader at Aurel BGC. While Powell didn’t directly comment on the Fed’s next steps at a forum in Stockholm, he did say that “restoring price stability when inflation is high can require measures that are not popular in the short term as we raise rates to slow the economy.” Fed Governor Michelle Bowman said the central bank has more work to do to curb inflation, noting that further tightening is needed. “We do expect an inflection in central bank policy later on this year,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “More risk-tolerant investors can look to anticipate this turn by phasing into markets, seeking early winners from a global improvement in sentiment, and identifying beneficiaries from China’s reopening. “However, we don’t believe we have yet reached the inflection point in policy or economic growth, and as we enter 2023 we continue to favor a defensive tilt when adding exposure in both equity and fixed-income markets,” he said. “The prospect of a less cloudy economic outlook in both Europe and the US after recession risks in both regions eased back, combined with the reopening of the Chinese economy, is providing strong support toward risk appetite from investors,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “The lack of clear hints from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell yesterday also contributed to keeping the bullish trading stance alive, and most traders will now look toward tomorrow’s US inflation print for further clues.” In Europe, real-estate and mining stocks led a 0.4% gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index amid subsiding inflation worries. Miners were boosted by optimism China’s economic reopening will spur demand for metals. Among the top corporate news, Credit Suisse weighs cutting by half the bonus pool for 2022 after a turbulent year. Here are some of the biggest European movers on Wednesday: Vestas shares jump as much as 5.6%, the most in a month, after being raised to buy at Jefferies, which says an inflection point has been reached for wind-turbine manufacturers JD Sports shares jump as much as 6.5%, reaching April highs, after the sports retailer said it sees headline pre-tax profit toward the top end of current market expectations TeamViewer shares gain as much as 7.3% after the software company reported preliminary 4Q billings. RBC says the firm posted “a surprisingly stronger- than-expected finish to the year” Corbion rises as much as 11%, reaching an almost 11-month high, after Barclays upgrades to overweight in note on “renewed conviction” following the Dutch ingredients maker’s CMD Bang & Olufsen rises as much as 4.5% on better-than-expected 2Q results. Nordnet says “B&O does what it can and maybe even a little more” despite a challenging environment Grafton shares rise as much as 4.7% after it predicted its profit will be at the top end of analysts’ forecasts. Investec expects 2022 underlying consensus profit to edge up Direct Line shares slump 30%, pulling peers down with it, after saying it no longer expects to pay a final dividend; news that is likely to be a “major shock” to the market, Jefferies says Adyen declines as much as 3.4% after BofA cuts the stock to neutral, saying risks of further slowdown in e-commerce sales and margin compressions are not properly accounted for Maersk shares fall as much as 4.1%, the most since November, after Goldman Sachs cut its recommendation to sell, anticipating a “great unwind” in air and sea freight markets Eurofins Scientific declines as much as 4.9% and is among the worst performers on France’s SBF 120 index after two brokers cut their recommendations for the French laboratory group Earlier in the session, Asia’s equity benchmark resumed its advance, led by gains in key regional markets including Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.9% to the highest level in almost five months before paring about half of its gain. Tencent and Alibaba were the top contributors, with tech and communication services among the major sectoral boosters. “A lot of traders and investors see the US being closer to peak inflation — if we have not already passed that point. Then that as a corollary also indicates an end to global central bank rate hike cycles,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners.  Though Chinese shares dropped on Wednesday, with liquor giant Kweichow Moutai among the decliners, investor sentiment remains bullish amid further signs of fading regulatory risks in the tech sector as well as more support coming for property developers. The dramatic recovery in Chinese equities, with a gauge of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong up more than 40% in about two months, helped the broad Asian benchmark enter a bull market this week. The key gauge is outperforming US peers so far in 2023 boosted by optimism over China’s reopening and a weakening dollar. “In general the Chinese markets have been a pretty tough place to invest for almost five years now. So that recovery we’ve seen from below, there’s still a lot of value, support in the marketplace,” David Perrett, co-head of Asian equities at M&G Investment Management, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV In FX, the Bloomberg dollar gauge rose, after hovering near a seven-month low and the greenback was mixed against its Group-of-10 peers, though most currencies traded in relatively narrow ranges. The euro traded in a narrow $1.0726-1.0757 range The Australian dollar led G-10 gains after solid inflation and retail sales prints for November reinforced expectations for a quarter-percentage-point interest rate hike at the Reserve Bank’s first meeting of the year next month. CPI advanced 7.4% seasonally adjusted from a year earlier, up from 6.9% in October and exceeding economists’ median estimate. Core prices, or the trimmed-mean gauge, climbed to 5.6% in November compared with a forecast 5.5%. Retail sales beat most estimates. The yen was sandwiched between large options expiring on Wednesday. Japan’s 30-year bonds gained after an auction of this tenor met resilient demand and the central bank announced unscheduled debt purchases. The Egyptian pound plunged 5% against the US dollar on Wednesday, after the International Monetary Fund said authorities were showing commitment to a flexible exchange rate. In rates, treasury yields trimmed their advance from the previous session as yields shed up to 6bps as the curve bull-flattened and with the rate on 10-year debt slipping to below 3.58% as investors remained focused on the price outlook for the US. UK spreads flatter, leading core European rates higher with 2s10s, 5s30s tighter by 5.5bp and 2.5bp on the day; Bunds also bull-flattened and outperformed Treasuries as money markets eased ECB tightening bets before a German 10-year bond sale. Focus is also on scheduled ECB speeches. Japan’s 30-year bonds gained after an auction of this tenor met resilient demand and the central bank announced unscheduled debt purchases. In commodities, oil reversed an earlier decline as traders weighed the outlook for stronger Chinese demand against a reported build in US crude stockpiles. Optimism over demand from China was evident in the iron ore market, with the steel-making ingredient rallying above $120 a ton in Singapore. Copper rose above $9,000 a ton for the first time since June, fueled by hopes of increased consumption by the world’s top user of the metal. Looking to the day ahead now, it's a quiet day and data releases include US Mortgage applications. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the ECB’s Holzmann, Villeroy and De Cos. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 3,948.50 MXAP up 0.5% to 162.36 MXAPJ up 0.3% to 535.96 Nikkei up 1.0% to 26,446.00 Topix up 1.1% to 1,901.25 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 21,436.05 Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,161.84 Sensex little changed at 60,124.03 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9% to 7,195.34 Kospi up 0.3% to 2,359.53 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 448.06 German 10Y yield little changed at 2.25% Euro up 0.1% to $1.0746 Brent Futures up 0.8% to $80.75/bbl Brent Futures up 0.8% to $80.76/bbl Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,885.60 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 103.25 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The collective hive mind of Wall Street is backing a view that the euro rally is just getting started. With energy prices tumbling and calls for a region-wide recession falling to the wayside, a clear narrative is emerging that the worst of the economic damage is over and European assets are cheap In Germany, Italy and Spain — three of the currency bloc’s top four economies — anxiety at inflation over the next year is close to or below the average since the euro was introduced in 1999, European Commission data show Only a slowdown in core inflation can alter the ECB’s resolve to raise interest rates, according to Governing Council member Robert Holzmann The ECB needs to be pragmatic as it raises interest rates in the coming months to get to a level by the summer that is sufficiently high to bring inflation back toward 2%, Governing Council member Francois Villeroy de Galhau said The French economy continued to grow at the end of 2022 and should avoid a contraction in the first weeks of the year despite headwinds from surging energy prices, a Bank of France survey showed China shouldn’t bail out the debt that local governments take off their balance sheets so as to discourage them from allowing hidden liabilities to snowball out of control, according to former Finance Minister Lou Jiwei Japan’s Finance Ministry will likely issue sovereign bonds to fund decarbonization efforts from the latter half of fiscal year 2023 after assessing investor needs, Michio Saito, a senior official at the ministry, says in a TV Tokyo interview A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks initially tracked the advances on Wall Street after Fed Chair Powell refrained from any major policy rhetoric and as participants looked ahead to upcoming US CPI data with hopes of softening price growth. ASX 200 tested the 7,200 level to the upside with the index led by outperformance in the mining and materials sectors, while participants also digested better-than-expected Retail Sales and a pickup in monthly inflation metrics. Nikkei 225 gained as earnings trickled in with outperformance in Yaskawa Electric after growth in its top and bottom lines, while there was encouragement from news that Fast Retailing will boost wages by as much as 40%. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were firmer for a bulk of the session after the PBoC pledged support measures including for the property sector and boosted its short-term liquidity efforts ahead of next week’s Lunar New Year celebrations, although gains were capped in the mainland after the recent mixed loans and aggregate financing data. Top Asian News PBoC injected CNY 65bln via 7-day reverse repos with the rate kept at 2.00% and it injected CNY 22bln via 14-day reverse repos with the rate kept at 2.15% for a CNY 71bln net daily injection. Analysts noted there is room for China to cut RRR and interest rates this year, while analysts also see room for a rate cut in the property sector, according to China Securities Journal. BoJ offered to buy JPY 100bln in 1-3yr JGBs, JPY 100bln in 3-5yr JGBs, JPY 300bln in 5yr-10yr JGBs, JPY 200bln in 10yr-25yr JGBs and JPY 50bln in 25yr+ JGBs, while it also offered to buy an unlimited amount of JGBs at a fixed rate with maturities of 1yr-3yr and 3yr-5yr in an unscheduled announcement. Stocks Climb Amid Optimism Over Inflation, China: Markets Wrap Egypt Pound Plunges 5% in Test of Shift to Currency Flexibility Russia to Restart FX Operations in Yuan Under Fiscal Rule Philippine Finance Chief Sees Rate Hike Cycle Nearing End European bourses are firmer across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.8%, with an easing in yields seemingly spurring a modest extension of opening gains. Sectors are primarily in the green, though Insurance names are pressured in sympathy with Direct Line while Retail-related stocks are supported after updates from the likes of JD Sports. US futures posting marginal gains, ES +0.2%, with the US docket particularly thin ex-supply ahead of Thursday's CPI. US FAA has reported a system equipment outage, all flights nationwide have been grounded, according to a source familiar with the situation, cited by NBC Washington reporter. Top European News ECB's Villeroy says they will need to be pragmatic on speed of hikes, will have to raise rates more in the coming months. Should aim to reach the terminal rate by the summer. Domestic inflation is likely to peak in H1, will avoid hard landing scenario. ECB's Holzmann says rates will need to rise significantly further to reach levels that are sufficiently restrictive to ensure a timely return of inflation to target. Inflation is expected to subside but risks remain to the upside. There are no signs of de-anchored market expectations. Activist Coast Capital Sells Vodafone Stake Within a Year Russia to Sell Yuan From Wealth Fund as Oil Price Hits Budget Ukraine Latest: Zelenskiy Says Russian War Won’t Turn to WWIII Direct Line Shares Tumble as Insurer Cuts Dividend on Claims FX DXY forms a foothold on 103.000 handle within a tight band post-Powell and pre-US CPI. Aussie outperforms on perky inflation metrics, strong retail sales data and gains in iron ore prices, AUD/USD holds near 0.6900 and AUD/NZD rebounds from around 1.0800 to top 1.0850. Euro retains grasp of 1.0700 handle, but Sterling sags around 1.2150 axis and Yen weakens after closing below a Fib to circa 132.75 and away from decent option expiries at 132.50. PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.7756 vs exp. 6.7776 (prev. 6.7611) Fixed Income Core benchmarks continued to gain momentum throughout the morning with little clear sign of concession pre-supply and perhaps deriving some support from ECB remarks. However, the rally has run out of steam with a sub-par German outing aiding the pullback, with Bunds and Gilts now sub 137.00 and 103.00 respectively. Stateside, USTs have been following suit and it remains to be seen if the looming 10yr supply will influence broader action, an auction which follows Tuesday's strong 3yr. UK DMO is to launch a new conventional Gilt maturing October 2053 in the week commencing January 23rd. Commodities WTI and Brent have experienced a firmer start to the mid-week session, with the benchmarks posting upside of around USD 0.30/bbl within relatively narrow ranges that keeps the complex within WTD and recent parameters US and allies are reportedly preparing the next round of sanctions on Russian oil, via WSJ; intending to cap the sales price of Russian exports of refined petroleum products. Russian Kremlin, on possible losses from oil price caps, says there have been hardly any cases of the caps yet. Chinese Commerce Ministry will continue to impose anti-subsidy tariffs on dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) imported from the US. Standout mover has been LME Copper which eclipsed the USD 9k mark in an extension of yesterday’s price action after fairly contained/rangebound APAC trade for base metals. Spot gold is modestly firmer and resides towards the top-end of a USD 1872-1886/oz range, which is a fresh multi-month high leaving the figure itself as resistance before the May 2022 USD 1909/oz peak. Geopolitics Russia's ambassador to the US commented that the US training of Ukrainian troops on Patriot systems confirms Washington's de facto participation in the conflict and that the US administration's goal is to inflict the most damage on Russia on the battlefield by the hands of Ukrainians, according to Reuters. Russian Kremlin says there is a positive dynamic in the military situation around Ukrainian town of Soledar Putin is open to discussions on Ukraine. Russian Rights Commissioner says important ceasefire proposals have been made during her meeting with Turkish and Ukrainian colleagues in Turkey, via Reuters. Russia and Iran are working on a new shipping corridor to bypass sanctions and are looking to work with India, according to Nikkei. ] US Event Calendar 07:00: Jan. MBA Mortgage Applications 1.2%, prior -10.3% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Morning from Helsinki where snow is on the ground. This is the start of a whistle stop 4 countries in 2 days 2023 outlook tour. I've been coming here around this week every year for about the last 25, apart from the last 2 due to Covid. So it's nice to have the old routine back. In the past I've landed in wild snow storms, seen the temperature hit -20c, seen piles and piles of snow, and yet everything always runs. Impressive! This year it's all fairly calm with the temperature just above zero. Markets have also been relatively quiet over the last 24 hours as we await tomorrow's all important US CPI print. There was some speculation that remarks from Fed Chair Powell could inject some volatility into proceedings but overall markets turned steadily higher after his lack of commentary on the policy outlook at his panel in Stockholm. Looking through the various moves yesterday, some of the biggest came from longer-dated core sovereign bond yields. For instance, yields on 10yr Treasuries were up +8.7bps to 3.619%, marking their biggest daily increase so far this year, and taking yields up to their highest level since the weak ISM services release last Friday. We have given back -3bps of that climb in Asia as I type. The rise yesterday though came as investors took out some of the dovish expectations for the Fed they’d been pricing over recent days, with the futures-implied rate for end-2023 up by +2.0bps on the day to 4.459%. Separately, we also heard from the Treasury Department that they were increasing the size of their T-bill auctions. It comes with many expecting that they’ll soon announce extraordinary measures in order to avoid exceeding the statutory cap imposed by the debt ceiling. Sticking with the US Treasury Department, it was reported yesterday that Treasury Secretary Yellen has agreed to remain in her post after having been asked to by President Biden last month. This is a confirmation of Secretary Yellen’s own professed wished from back in November when she said she intended to stay through the entirety of Biden’s first term. This means at least one part of the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations will have some stability. Bloomberg reported that the Biden administration was preparing to turnover some cabinet-level positions now that the midterms are over. Over in Europe it was a similar story, with yields on 10yr bunds (+8.0bps) seeing the largest increase on the day, along with smaller increases for OATs (+7.0bps) and BTPs (+3.6bps). And as in the US, the moves occurred with investors taking out some of the dovishness priced for the ECB, which got further support after the ECB’s Schnabel said that “interest rates will still have to rise significantly” and that “inflation will not subside by itself”. When it comes to the Fed, we did hear from Chair Powell yesterday, but despite the anticipation he didn’t comment on the policy outlook. He was speaking on a panel on central bank independence, and stuck to that topic by defending the merits of an independent monetary policy. Interestingly, he acknowledged that “restoring price stability when inflation is high can require measures that are not popular in the short term as we raise interest rates to slow the economy.” Otherwise, he explicitly said that the Fed should “stick to our statutory goals and authorities”, and said that they would not be a “climate policymaker”. With little to go off from Powell, the focus will now turn to tomorrow’s US CPI release for December. With Powell not taking a hawkish tone, equities drifted higher after Europe logged off. The S&P 500 ticked +0.70% higher, with both the NASDAQ (+1.01%) and the Dow Jones (+0.56%) also rising. The rally had a distinct risk-on tone with communications (+1.29%) and consumer discretionary (+1.26%) names outperforming while defensives like staples (-0.16%) and utilities (+0.04%) lagged. Having closed beforehand and catching up to the US reversal late Monday, European equities pulled back with the STOXX 600 down -0.59% on the day. Asian markets are stronger this morning. As I type, the Nikkei (+1.02%) is leading gains followed by the Hang Seng (+1.01%), the KOSPI (+0.40%), the CSI (+0.22%) and the Shanghai Composite (+0.20%). Outside of Asia, stock futures in the US are fluctuating with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.04%) just above flat while those on the NASDAQ 100 (-0.05%) are trading fractionally lower. Meanwhile, European futures tied to the DAX (+0.55%) are catching back up. Early morning data showed that inflationary pressures are yet to ease in Australia as CPI advanced +7.3% y/y in November (v/s +7.2% expected), up from a surprise pullback to +6.9% in October. The latest inflation reading is at its highest level in 30 years with housing costs being the main contributor to the annual increase. Separately, retail sales rebounded +1.4% m/m in November, buoyed by consumer appetite for Black Friday sales despite rising interest rates and high inflation. Market expectations were for a +0.6% gain as against October’s upwardly revised +0.4% rise. The Australian dollar (+0.39%) nudged higher against the dollar, trading at $0.69 on the prospect of more interest rate hikes by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). In commodity news, copper prices are trading at the highest level since June inching towards $9,000 a ton as China’s exit from the Zero Covid policy enhanced the demand outlook of the commodity. Elsewhere yesterday, the French government outlined a plan that would see the country’s retirement age rise to 64 by 2030, up from 62 at present. Moves to reform the pension system have long been an ambition of President Macron’s, but a previous attempt in his first term was postponed during the Covid-19 pandemic, and there remains opposition from trade unions and some other political parties. Macron’s party no longer has an absolute majority in parliament either, but they have made some concessions to the conservative Les Républicains to try and secure their votes. In other news, the World Bank released their latest round of economic projections yesterday, with their global growth projection for 2023 now at +1.7%, marking a downgrade from their +3.0% forecast back in June. Those downgrades were mainly driven by the advanced economies, where growth is now seen at just +0.5% (vs. +2.2% in June), but the forecasts for emerging market and developing economies were also lowered, with this year’s growth now seen at +3.4% (vs. +4.2% in June). Finally, there wasn’t a great deal of other data yesterday. One release in the US was the NFIB’s small business optimism index, which fell more than expected to 89.8 in December (vs. 91.5 expected). That’s the second-lowest reading in over a decade. Elsewhere, French industrial production grew by a faster-than-expected +2.0% in November (vs. +0.8% expected). To the day ahead now, and data releases include Italian retail sales for November. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the ECB’s Holzmann, Villeroy and De Cos. Tyler Durden Wed, 01/11/2023 - 08:04.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 11th, 2023

The 29 best business books to read in 2023, ranked by Goodreads members

From classic self-help books to biographies of famous CEOs, these are the best business books to read in 2023, according to Goodreads. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Amazon; Rachel Mendelson/Insider Entrepreneurs can learn business concepts, tactics, and advice from books.  The best business reads include self-help, leadership, and psychology books. We turned to Goodreads to rank the best business books to read in 2023. Whether you're a small business owner, entrepreneur, or just someone seeking useful career advice, there are many great books to turn to. Business books can provide psychological concepts for better negotiation skills, personal anecdotes to avoid repeating mistakes, or self-help tips to improve productivity. To find the best ones, we turned to Goodreads, the world's largest platform to rate and review books. Among the highest ranking are classics like "How to Win Friends and Influence People" as well as newer memoirs like "Shoe Dog." From fascinating leadership reads to analytical management books, here are the best business books to read in 2023.29. "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity" by David AllenAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.29This productivity book is a necessary business read as it teaches readers how to transform the way we work by de-stressing and organizing. Believing that a relaxed mind is most effective, David Allen presents realistic productivity systems and the ways in which we can implement them.28. "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin GrahamAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.29Originally published in 1949 by the "father of value investing," "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham delivers realistic financial advice for individuals and businesses looking to grow their wealth. Far from principles that guarantee you'll become a millionaire, this book encourages readers to create practical goals and find success in any size a victory.27. "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl SandbergAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop from $12.60"Lean In" sparked global conversation after its publication in 2013 because of its honesty about the experiences of women in business. This book encourages women to be voracious, courageous, and strong-willed at work in order to not only help themselves but improve the future for upcoming businesswomen.26. "Steve Jobs" by Walter IsaacsonAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.94With over one million ratings on Goodreads, this book is a biography of Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple. Walter Isaacson conducted more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs and 100 interviews with family, friends, and colleagues to create an all-encompassing portrait of a man who revolutionized technology with his inventiveness.25. "The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business" by Josh KaufmanAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.99Written for those who cannot or don't intend to go to business school, "The Personal MBA" outlines the fundamental principles of business for people at any stage of their business career. With lessons on sales, marketing, negotiation, and strategy, this self-help read offers an overview of many business school topics to help readers master the MBA basics. 24. "Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration" by Ed CatmullAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.69Drawing on his experiences as a co-founder and president of Pixar Animation, Ed Catmull unveils some deeply ingrained processes and beliefs that have made Pixar so successful. His teams' philosophies can be applied to any business, creatively driven or otherwise.23. "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick LencioniAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15In this leadership fable, a CEO attempts to unite a team under high stakes discovering along the way why even the greatest teams struggle. If this style of business book interests you, Patrick Lencioni also wrote "The Five Temptations of a CEO" and "Death by Meeting" in the same form.22. "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die" by Chip Heath and Dan HeathAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99Brothers Chip and Dan Heath use different business theories in this book to analyze the "stickiness" of an idea, or what makes some ideas work so well. They draw from successful and unsuccessful business ventures to help readers discover the principles within great ideas and therefore how to make their own ideas stick.21. "Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant" by W. Chan Kim and Renée MauborgneAmazonAvailable at Bookshop, from $18.59In this business book, authors Kim and Mauborgne assert that lasting success does not come from fighting direct competition in a small pool but rather from creating "blue oceans" or untapped market spaces where new growth can bloom. They outline strategic principles and tools that readers can translate to nearly any market and master their niche. 20. "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" by James C. Collins and Jerry I. PorrasAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.49Over a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, authors Collins and Porras studied the habits of 18 successful and long-lasting companies in direct comparison to their competitors. "Built to Last" lays out the tactics, habits, and ideas from these successful businesses that managers and entrepreneurs can apply to their own and inspire new success. 19. "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. CialdiniAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.99"Influence" is a psychology book about persuasion, dubbed a business read by Goodreads reviewers for its usefulness in management, marketing, and communications. This book teaches the readers six principles of persuasion, how to apply them, and how to know when they're being used against you.18. "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles DuhiggAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.99"The Power of Habit" argues that habits are the key to success in business, communities, and our personal lives. Through an analysis of human nature and examples from successful business people, athletes, and leaders, this book demonstrates how mastering powerful habits can change our entire lives. 17. "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. DubnerAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.99"Freakonomics" is a fascinating read that questions the ways we've conventionally understood the world functions and offers a way to question what we've assumed is conventional wisdom. Loved for its thought-provoking nature, this economics and business read separates morality from economics and asserts such as a system of incentives to get people what they want or need. 16. "Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike" by Phil KnightAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.08"Shoe Dog" might be a memoir, but Goodreads users love Phil Knight's focus on his success in business as he grew his company from $50 into the Nike empire. Knight's story brings readers into the details of the company's growth, the challenges he faced as a leader, and the breakthroughs he experienced.15. "The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail" by Clayton M. ChristensenAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.71Malcolm Gladwell is a bestselling author best known for his nonfiction writing on psychology and sociology. In this psychology read, Gladwell analyses the "outliers" of the world — the best, the highest-achieving, the most famous people — to find what made them different and, thus, so successful. If you enjoy Gladwell's clear writing style and fascinating perspectives, you can check out his other popular books here. 14. "Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It" by Chris VossAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.97Written by a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, this business book transforms the psychology of interrogation into civilian-applicable negotiation tactics, such as skills you might need while discussing a raise or navigating interpersonal conflict. Using emotional and behavioral sciences, this book is about gaining trust, discovering motives, and understanding those around us. Voss also teaches a MasterClass on the same subject.13. "Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm GladwellAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99Malcolm Gladwell is a bestselling author best known for his nonfiction writing on psychology and sociology. In this psychology read, Gladwell analyses the "outliers" of the world — the best, the highest-achieving, the most famous people — to find what made them different and, thus, so successful. If you enjoy Gladwell's clear writing style and fascinating perspectives, you can check out his other popular books here. 12. "The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It" by Michael E. GerberAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.29The "e-myth" is the entrepreneurial idea that people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs and anyone with technical business understanding can start one. In this book, Michael E. Gerber analyzes assumptions, expectations, and misconceptions around starting a small business in the hope that readers can succeed on their own.11. "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don't" by James C. CollinsAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49In this business book, James C. Collins analyzes what makes a company "great" and how good companies can achieve enduring success. He used a team of 21 researchers to develop his theories and back each principle with grounded statistics.10. "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm GladwellAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.99With over 735,000 ratings, "The Tipping Point" is a business favorite of Goodreads members, helping readers understand when a good idea crosses the threshold to becoming a business or a product. Beloved for Malcolm Gladwell's concise and digestible writing style, this book uses sociology to analyze the personality types of business leaders, indicators that past trends would become massive, and interviews with great business people to find the traits of the next great idea.9. "Rework" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier HanssonAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.99"Rework" strives to be different from any other business book on the market by taking traditional business advice and analyzing how to work smarter for faster results. It approaches standard business principles from a new angle, highlighting the typical challenges and helping readers stay one step ahead.8. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert T. KiyoskaiAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.82Robert T. Kiyosaki is a millionaire businessman who grew up with two dads — his own, and his best friend's father (the "rich dad"). In this business and finance book, Kiyosaki explains how his two dads shaped his view of money and investing and gives the readers advice on how to invest and grow their money.7. "The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers" by Ben HorowitzAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99Filled with personal anecdotes and advice "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" analyzes some of the most challenging issues entrepreneurs may face while building a business such as firing a friend, managing bad employees, deciding whether or not to sell your company, and managing your own mind as a leader. Readers love this book for Horowitz's brutal honesty and his perspective as he writes to current and future CEOs as a CEO himself. 6. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change" by Stephen R. CoveyAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.26"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" is a self-help book that uses seven principles to help readers streamline their personal and professional lives toward success. Inspirational and practical, these habits use psychological reasoning to determine our goals, focus on reaching them, and maintain positive thinking throughout the process.5. "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon SinekAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99Simon Sinek is an inspirational speaker whose book encourages leaders to articulate why their business exists, their idea is great, and their movement is necessary. When people lead with "why," it is easier to lead and inspire.4. "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy FerrissAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.99Based on a series of lectures given at Princeton University on entrepreneurship, Timothy Ferriss' business book is essentially about how to life-hack your business and when it is the appropriate time to make these moves, from outsourcing certain tasks to implementing new management principles. He also encourages entrepreneurs to break out of the 9-5 mold in order to become more well-rounded business people.3. "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale CarnegieAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.60This 1936 psychology book has become a business staple, necessary in understanding how to lead or manage a team. With principles on how to get people to like you, win people to your way of thinking, and change people without making them hate you, this popular book has sold over 15 million copies. 2. "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric RiesAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99Written to help more budding entrepreneurs create successful start-ups, "The Lean Startup" introduces a clear and dynamic approach for businesses to test, analyze, and continually adapt their vision and goals rather than fail by sticking to an original business plan. Both inspirational and validating for readers, this business book demonstrates first why conventional business plans can cause start-ups to fail and then offers advice and wisdom that can be applied to nearly any new business.  1. "Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future" by Peter ThielAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99Peter Thiel is a billionaire investor and entrepreneur, a co-founder of PayPal and Founders Fund. In "Zero to One," he aims to help readers find unique opportunities for progress in an already advanced business space, incorporating his optimistic view of future entrepreneurs' ideas.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 10th, 2023

"There are no rules right now": South Carolina Congresswoman brought her dog to historic multiday House Speaker vote

Rep. Nancy Mace held her dog, Libby, on the House floor on the third day of voting on Thursday, ahead of Kevin McCarthy's election on Saturday. Libby the dog witnessed a historically long vote for the next speaker of the House.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Rep. Nancy Mace brought her dog, Libby, to work on the third day of House Speaker voting. She was photographed casting her vote with Libby in-hand on Thursday. Mace shared a video of the dog running around her office before heated discussions began. Rep. Nancy Mace's dog, Libby, was among those in attendance to witness one of the most chaotic elections for speaker of the House in more than a century. Ahead of Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy's election as next speaker of the House on Saturday morning, Libby visited the House Chamber on the third unsuccessful day of voting on Thursday. Mace, a South Carolina Representative, cast her vote to adjourn with one hand while holding her dog in the other. She was also seen holding Libby on the House floor as discussions dragged on in Washington, DC.Earlier on Thursday, the lawmaker shared a video of Libby running around her office, with the caption "Day 3 vibes.""The feeling is mutual Libby #RunningToTheFloor," Mace wrote in the video. —Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) January 5, 2023When asked if dogs were allowed on the House floor, Mace replied "there are no rules right now," The Independent reported.Libby made yet another appearance on the fourth day of voting, seen slumped on a couch in the Longworth House Office Building on Friday alongside the caption "Day 4 vibes."—Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) January 6, 2023The video of Libby zipping around the office captured the chaotic nature of the House's heated discussions over who would take over as the next leader.After a total of 15 ballots spanning five days, McCarthy was elected Saturday in what became the longest speaker selection in over a century, Insider reported. The lengthy voting period was the result of in-fighting and division among Republicans, who currently hold a slim majority in the House."That was easy, huh?" McCarthy joked, after winning the election after 1 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday. "My father always told me it isn't how you start, it is how you finish, and now we need to finish strong for the American people."     Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 8th, 2023

Donald Trump"s niece Mary says racism was normal in her wealthy family

Donald Trump's niece Mary said she grew up listening to racist remarks from family members. She previously said she had heard them use the N-word. Former President Donald Trump, left, Mary Trump, right, in a composite image.Chet Strange/Getty Images Donald Trump's niece, Mary, told a podcast that she grew up listening to racism in her family. She said that her mother and her father, Donald's brother, didn't have any Black friends. Mary has previously accused the Trump family of using the N-Word and antisemitic slurs. Mary Trump, the niece of former President Donald Trump, said Friday that she grew up listening to her family making racist remarks, Newsweek was the first to report."I would listen to the racism in my family, "she said while appearing on "The Karen Hunter Show" podcast. "I didn't know what the hell they were talking about."The author and psychologist added that "demeaning this entire class of people" was worlds apart from her own experience.Mary didn't specify any of the demeaning racist remarks. However, she told The Washington Post in July 2020 that the Trump family often used racist and antisemitic slurs when she was a child. "Growing up, it was sort of normal to hear them use the N-word or use antisemitic expressions," she said.Speaking to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC that month, Mary also claimed that she'd heard the former president personally use the N-word and antisemitic slurs — which he refuted at the time."I didn't share their ideas about race and Judaism at all," she told Maddow, per USA Today. "But you know, when you grow up with that being perfectly normal, you don't really think twice about it."In the podcast interview with Karen Hunter, Mary spoke of how her relatives interacted far less than she did with other races.Her parents "didn't have any Black friends," she said. Mary's father, Fred Trump Jr., was the younger brother of the former president.And Mary said her grandparents, real estate developer and businessman Fred Trump Sr. and Mary Anne Trump, the parents of the former president, lived in a predominantly upper-middle-class neighborhood — Jamaica Estates — that was scandalized when "the first Italian family moved in."Of her childhood, however, she told the podcast: "I walked to the subway every day to go to school, and I walked home, and I passed by shops that were Black-owned. Most of the people I interacted with in stores and stuff were Black."Mary added that she "grew up with this unformed notion that racism was just absolute nonsense and anybody who subscribed to it was an idiot at best."Trump's niece has become a fierce critic of the former president in recent years.She has accused him of being a "fascist" and a "loser." The former president, in turn, referred to her as a "seldom-seen niece" and a "mess."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 2nd, 2023

Passengers on a cruise liner"s first voyage say Christmas Day was an "absolute disaster," with some waiting until 11 p.m. to have dinner, report says

P&O Cruises told The Times of London that IT and connectivity problems resulted in "dining issues and restaurant delays" for some Arvia passengers. The Arvia made its first voyage this month.P&O Cruises Passengers on a cruise liner's first voyage said their Christmas Day was "an absolute disaster." Lynne Wheatley and her husband Richard paid almost $7,000 for a two-week trip. They told The Times they'd booked a table for Christmas dinner, but the reservation was lost. Some passengers on a cruise liner's first voyage said their Christmas Day was an "absolute disaster", with some forced to wait until 11 p.m. to have dinner.Lynne Wheatley, 67, and her husband, Richard, 73, from Boston in Lincolnshire, England, were among the passengers on the Arvia's maiden two-week sailing and told The Times of London they paid almost $7,000 (£5,700) for their trip.The Ariva features a "SkyDome" pool with retractable roof, infinity pool, aerial obstacle course, 16 decks and 12 restaurants. It is owned by P&O, part of Carnival Corporation, and departed from Southampton, England last Friday for Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands. The Wheatleys booked a table for Christmas dinner last month, but were told on Christmas Day that their reservation could not be found. Lynne Wheatley told The Times: "We waited two and a half hours and the food was awful. We were in a restaurant with no tablecloths — it was more like your kitchen table."She said another couple didn't get to have their Christmas dinner until 11 p.m.: "Don't get me wrong, the ship is beautiful [but] it's a shame because it's ruined Christmas for a lot of people."Another passenger, Gwyndaf Jones, 57, told The Times that he and his wife and friends were "lucky" to have their Christmas dinner in the late afternoon, but added: "In hindsight they were not ready to sail."He added: "The WiFi is non-existent. It's the worst I've experienced at sea. I can't even get my emails, let alone stream as they promise."—P&O Cruises (@pandocruises) December 23, 2022 Dominik Scott, who reviews cruises on YouTube with his partner, Tom Hughes-Lewis, said some "teething" issues were to be expected on a maiden voyage."On Christmas Day we were quite lucky. Other people's day was an absolute disaster. We didn't experience anything half as bad," Scott told the newspaper. "People like to stop and talk to us because they recognize us from YouTube and a lot of people aren't very happy."A P&O spokesperson told The Times that IT and connectivity problems "caused dining issues and restaurant delays for a proportion of guests on Christmas Day. This service was certainly not up to our usual high standards and we wholeheartedly apologize."P&O Cruises didn't immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 29th, 2022

Qualivian Investment Partners 3Q22 Commentary: Floor & Decor

Qualivian Investment Partners commentary for the third quarter ended September 30, 2022, discussing their investment thesis for Floor & Decor Holdings Inc (NYSE:FND). The most important investing question is not, “What are the highest returns I can earn?” It’s, “What are the best returns I can sustain for the longest period of time?” – Morgan […] Qualivian Investment Partners commentary for the third quarter ended September 30, 2022, discussing their investment thesis for Floor & Decor Holdings Inc (NYSE:FND). The most important investing question is not, “What are the highest returns I can earn?” It’s, “What are the best returns I can sustain for the longest period of time?” – Morgan Housel 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 Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Overview Qualivian Investment Partners is an investment partnership focused on long-only public equities. We own a concentrated portfolio of 15–25 understandable companies with wide moats, long reinvestment runways, and outstanding capital allocation. Since we expect them to compound capital at a mid-teens rate, we hold them for an extended period. We are seeking investors who are aligned with our long-term investment time horizon. We do not short securities. We do not use leverage. We do not use derivatives. We are not macro investors. We believe that only a relatively small number of exceptional companies are worth investing in over the long term. Our Formula Long-Term Orientation + Long-Term Investors + Focused Portfolio + Quality Compounders = Maximizing Chance for Outperformance Our investors should understand how we invest so they make the right decision. We encourage investors who agree with our long-term horizon and philosophy to contact Aamer Khan (aamer.khan@qualivian.com) at 617-970-9583 or Cyril Malak (cyril.malak@qualivian.com) at 917-742-2039. Cumulative Performance Since Inception Through September 30, 2022 We have outperformed the iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL)1 by 20.8% and 16.6% on a gross and net basis. Similarly, we have outperformed the Invesco S&P 500 Quality ETF (SPHQ)2 by 15.7% and 11.5% on a gross and net basis respectively. We have underperformed the S&P 500 Total Return3 index by 0.6% and 4.8% on a gross and net basis respectively from inception (Dec. 14, 2017) through September 30, 2022. Q3 2022 Performance In Q3 our gross and net return was –4.8% and -5.0% respectively, which was essentially in line with the S&P 500’s Total Return of –4.9%. Our performance was affected by the following factors: The Federal Reserve’s continued interest rate hikes, accelerating a tightening cycle which will continue until inflation meets the Fed’s 2% inflation target. The market continued its rotation out of growth and cyclical stocks and into defensive sectors such as Utilities and Consumer Staples sectors. Our Portfolio, Inflation and Higher Rates: Despite the sell-off in growth stocks, the intrinsic value of the high-quality growth stocks in our portfolio should be less affected because: They have higher than average pricing power, enabling them to pass higher input costs via price increases on to their customers. They generally have higher gross margins than the average stock, so an increase in their cost of goods sold should have a more muted effect on their bottom line. Most of our companies are free cash flow positive and do not rely on debt financing to fund their ongoing operations, and what debt they do have is typically fixed-rate debt which they raised when corporate borrowing rates were much lower prior to the Fed’s steep and rapid rate hikes this year Portfolio Changes in Q3 2022 We did not make any trades in Q3 2022. For our top 3 and bottom 3 contributors in the quarter, please refer to Appendix 2. Are we living in Oligopolistan? Since the 1980s. oligopolies are an increasing part of the business landscape. Simply put, an oligopolistic market is one that has limited competition. Oligopolistic markets are characterized by: High concentration Large markups for market participants A large share of the profit pool is appropriated by a few firms Barriers to entry inhibit new competition and lead to persistence of the market share of existing firms. Both anecdotal observation and market research indicates that the number of oligopolies has increased. Anecdotal Observations The following table illustrates a sampling of the pervasiveness of concentration among a few firms across broad product sectors: Rising Concentration of Top Firms Industrial concentration has been on the rise since the early 1980s. The exhibit below is excerpted from a research paper by Autor et al.5 where they calculate the market share of the top four firms in each of 676 industries (e.g., grain and oilseed milling, furniture stores, etc.). They find that the average concentration increased by around 50% from 1982 to 2012. Persistence of Market Shares In a less competitive economy, market shares tend to be sustained since it is harder for new competitors to enter. One measure of market share persistence is what Thomas Phillipon refers to as the Exit Probability. It is defined as follows: given that a firm is in the top four of its industry, either by market value or profits, how likely is it that it will drop out over the next three years? The results are displayed in the following figure. For example, in the 1990s the likelihood of being replaced was about 45 percent. More recently, the likelihood of being replaced within three years is only 30 percent. Leaders have more staying power. Another measure of persistence is reshuffling. Firms are ranked by market value or revenue in a particular year. Their rank is computed again five years later. The correlation of the two rankings is computed. If the correlation between the two ranking series is one, it means that the relative position of firms has not changed at all over five years. If it is zero, it means that there has been a complete reshuffling within the industry. Reshuffling is defined as one minus the rank correlation. The figure below shows that reshuffling has steadily decreased since the mid-1990s. Market shares have become more persistent. The firms on top five years from now are likely to be the same firms on top today. Markups Markup is the difference between the revenue of a firm and its cost of goods sold. The average markup in the US rose from 1.21 in 1980 to 1.54 in 2019. This is illustrated in the following chart:7 Interestingly, the median markup has remained unchanged; however, the markup for firms occupying the top market share positions has grown enormously: The nineteenth percentile of markup distribution has grown from 1.5 in 1980 to 2.5 in 2016 – that is 250% above cost. Market Leaders Are More Profitable As one would expect, companies occupying the share leadership position in their respective sectors tend to be more profitable than their smaller counterparts as demonstrated in the graph above,8 in part because: Their enhanced pricing power as we saw in the previous section with markup data, and They pay a smaller share of their revenues to labor: Larger firms pay higher wages in absolute terms, but this represents a smaller percentage of their greater revenues than for smaller firms.9 As economic activity is becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few large firms in each industry and as these firms are more profitable and pay a smaller share of their revenues to their workers: The percentage of profits as a percentage of sales increased from 1–2% in 1980 to 7–8% in 2016. The percentage of corporate profits to GDP increased from 4% in 1947 to between 8–9% in 2017 as can be seen in the graph below:10 Historically, profits were reliably mean-reverting around 6% of GDP (blue). However, starting in the late-1990s, they seemingly underwent a paradigm shift (red). While they still gyrate with the business cycle, they appear to be around a significantly higher mean. Do Oligopolies Outperform as Investments? Hypothesis: Investing in a broad index of oligopolies leads to outperformance. We conducted an analysis of 23 oligopolies comprised of 68 companies to see how they performed as investments over the last ten years. Each firm in the analysis had the following characteristics: It was already an oligopoly at the beginning of the analysis period (December 1, 2012), i.e., it did not emerge as an oligopoly over the last ten years. Its market cap on December 1, 2012, was greater than $2 billion. The list of companies and their sectors is listed in Appendix 3. Conclusion: Investing in oligopolies does not necessarily lead to outperformance versus the market. We measured the total return (price appreciation plus reinvested dividends) for our custom Oligopoly Index11 versus the S&P 500 and surprisingly found only a slight outperformance over the past ten years. We expected to see a greater level of outperformance given the advantaged nature of oligopolistic firms. Furthermore, as can be seen from the graph below, when we remove the Technology companies from this list, we see an underperformance of oligopolies versus the S&P 500. We did not find statistically significant outperformance. Why is this? One explanation is that equity market participants figure out the advantages to oligopolistic companies and price them accordingly. We then consulted the research and tested another hypothesis: Hypothesis: Buy firms whose market shares are increasing and may be emerging as oligopolies. Conclusion: This strategy led to an annualized outperformance of 2.2% versus the market as evidenced in the Sparkline Capital study.12 The key to this outperformance was to focus on the rate of change in market share and not the absolute level of concentration. The outperformance resulted from an inefficiency in the market: while investors recognized and properly priced established oligopolies, they were slow to recognize an emerging oligopoly. We now highlight a company that has increasing market share and may be emerging as a Quality Compounder. Floor and Decor Holdings Inc. (FND) Overview Floor & Decor Holdings Inc (NYSE:FND) is a specialty retailer that sells hard surface flooring and related accessories. It was founded in 2000 and has compounded revenue by 30% per annum over the last decade and adjusted EPS by over 37% over the last decade. It has 180 stores across the US. The total addressable market is $41 billion which is segmented into a $25 billion residential market and a $16 billion commercial market. FND has a 20% share of the residential market and a 10% share of the commercial market. Investment Thesis FND is a specialty retailer that is an emerging category killer. It has: A differentiated value proposition providing a better service at a lower price to both the do-it-yourself segment and the professional segment. A business model that is extremely hard to disrupt from existing competitors and new competitors. A long growth runway with high returns on capital, compounding intrinsic value over time. A pro shareholder management team that has created enormous economic value. It is an early-stage version of a business model that is partly Home Depot and partly Costco. Key Points The Hard Surface Flooring market has secular growth: The overall (hard and soft) flooring market is growing at 2–4% per annum. The hard surface market continues to gain share from soft surface (carpet), increasing its market share from 44% of the total market to 57% over the last ten years. Consumer preferences are shifting to hard surfaces. FND is steadily gaining share in the Hard Surface Flooring market: Its share of the total addressable market was 8% in 2021, up from 6% in 2020. It was less than 2% in 2010. FND has a superior value proposition for customers – both do-it-yourselfers and professionals. This is premised on the following critical success factors: FND has a wider selection of in-stock inventory than its key competitors – the home centers (Home Depot/Lowe’s), other specialist stores, and independent retailers. Availability of in-stock inventory is a critical differentiator for most professional installers and many retail clients. They suffer from significant delays and uncertainty if inventory is not available on time. FND averages 1,700 in-store SKUs versus fewer than 500 for most of its competition. This results from: FND has larger store formats (78,000 square feet) versus much smaller stores for its competitors. Home centers typically devote 3–5,000 square feet to their flooring department, and other specialists have a maximum area of 20,000 square feet. FND has large distribution centers nationally. None of its competitors have large distribution centers dedicated to flooring. This enables FND to stock a much larger number of SKUs. FND is the only large player that has built out a global supplier network from which it sources directly. This capability is hard to replicate because it requires (1) local knowledge in different countries, and (2) tinkering over an extensive period to get the supply model right. All its competitors go through intermediaries or distributors, which adds cost and complexity. Some (Lowe’s) have tried to replicate direct sourcing but had to abandon the attempt. FND has the lowest prices. This results from its ability to source directly without having to pay for intermediate distribution. Low prices are especially important for professionals who are repeat customers and the largest customer segment by volume. FND aims to keep prices low to attract volume, akin to the Costco strategy. FND service levels are much better than the home centers, and on par with the independents and specialists. Their staff specializes in flooring, so is much more knowledgeable than the generalists. FND’s service to professionals (the most important segment) is better than the home centers and the independents. They have a dedicated pro desk and a pro loyalty program. Long Growth Runway: FND currently has about 180 stores. It plans on reaching 500 stores by 2030. This is entirely reasonable given its 8% market share and market growth of 2–4% per annum. Excellent Five-Year Outlook: With the above planned store growth, and a conservative assumption of flat same store comp sales growth for mature stores, and limited operating margin expansion, we believe FND can achieve: Mid-teens revenue CAGR Mid-20s EPS CAGR High-teens Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) Competitive Advantage: Competitors have neither the focus nor the resources to compete effectively with FND. Home centers lack the selection, service, and advantaged sourcing: They currently do not have the wide SKU selection of FND. They will have to build out much larger dedicated flooring departments together with dedicated flooring warehouses. They are generalists with many demands on their resources, so such a strong focus on flooring is unlikely. They lack the capability to source flooring directly from a global supplier to offer the lowest prices. This capability is not easy to develop. The other flooring specialists and independents lack the resources for large flooring departments, dedicated warehouses, or directly sourcing from a global network. Amazon and other online competitors are handicapped by: The complexity, the need for advice, and the inventory and transport requirements required for flooring. An omni channel may be possible but it would require the large bricks and mortar investment that FND has for Amazon to succeed. Reasonable Valuation: FND is trading at a 24 P/E for a high confidence 20% EPS growth rate over the next five years, or a very reasonable 1.2X PEG ratio. Ending Thoughts We look forward to continuing to share our thoughts on our investment approach and to keep you abreast of our performance and changes to the portfolio. If you would like additional information about Qualivian, please refer to Appendix 4 for links to prior Investor Letters, our investor presentation, and an interview that Aamer did with Insider Monkey. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at the links below. With best wishes, Aamer Khan Co-founder Cyril Malak Co-founder Appendix 1: Qualivian Focus Fund Quarterly Performance Table Appendix 2: Top 3 and Bottom 3 Contributors for Q3 2022 Our top three contributors in Q3 2022 were O’Reilly Corp. (NASDAQ:ORLY), TJX Corp. (NYSE:TJX), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Our bottom three contributors were Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Adobe Corporation (NASDAQ:ADBE), and American Tower Corp. (NYSE:AMT). Top 3 Contributors: O’Reilly Corporation (ORLY): The company grew overall revenues an impressive 9.2% on top of a 7.6% same-store sales (SSS) comp and a 3-year SSS comp stack of 31.2%. Management expects consumers to continue to spend money on maintaining their current vehicles as inflation, higher rates, and other economic challenges make it difficult for many of them to invest in new cars. Furthermore, the steady recovery in miles driven and the health of their customer base due to current employment levels should sustain customer demand going into Q4 and into 2023. ORLY logged in double-digit sales growth in its professional service business given its pricing initiatives in this segment and low single-digit growth in its DIY business, which faced very strong comparisons vs 2021 pandemic-inflated demand. Management raised rest of year revenue, SSS comp, and their EPS guide. We suspect 2023 will be a mean-reverting year to more normalized low- to mid-single digit SSS comps, resulting in mid-to-high single-digit top-line growth and low double-digit EPS growth in line with longer-term trends. ORLY tends to be somewhat counter-cyclical as new car purchases decelerate in a rising rate environment and more challenged consumers, extending consumers’ existing car age and their need to spend on maintaining their vehicles. TJX Corp. (TJX): Q3 revenues declined 2.9% against very tough Q3 2021 comparisons when revenues grew 23.9%. Same-store sales (SSS) comps in the core Marmaxx business, which we view as the key metric for brand health, rose a healthy 3%, beating consensus comp estimates of 1%. Gross margins also came in ahead of expectations on strong merchandise margins, which were partially offset by higher freight and wage pressures. More importantly, we continue to view TJX’s retail format as having the right combination of an appealing “treasure hunt” experience for consumers, while providing "good, better, and best” offerings at discount prices that ought to attract consumers in a more challenged economic environment. We feel Q4 guidance feels sufficiently conservative for management to come in at or ahead of expectations. Reduced freight costs and higher availability of inventory should bode well for TJX in calendar 2023. We remain positive on the company’s differentiated retail formula and this management’s ability to navigate through a challenging environment. Longer-term we expect TJX’s ability to sustain low- to mid-single digit SSS comps on top of 2% store growth, delivering mid- to high-single-digit topline growth and double-digit EPS growth for the coming few years. Amazon (AMZN): Amazon had a disappointing quarter, growing the topline by 15% (19% on a constant currency basis), admittedly on tough comparisons to a pandemic-boosted quarter in Q3 2021. AWS grew 27% (28% on a CC basis) and exiting the quarter at a 25% pace of growth, clearly disappointing the market. The one bright spot was the 30% growth in advertising revenues, reaching $9.5 billion in the quarter. The company continues to grapple with inflationary costs from fuel and wages, as well as the overexpansion in its logistics network in the last two years, resulting in continued cost inefficiencies. As revenues continue to grow into the excess capacity they built, we expect Amazon will see positive leverage in operating earnings and cash flow in the medium term. We remain comfortable with our long-term outlook for Amazon’s eCommerce and AWS businesses. Bottom 3 Contributors: Alphabet (GOOGL): GOOGL grew Q3 topline by a disappointing 6% (including 5.0% of f/x headwind) reflecting a deteriorating macro backdrop, with search ad revenues growing only 4%. YouTube advertising revenues disappointed reflecting weakness in general brand advertising, declining by 2% in the quarter. Offsetting the weakening ad revenues across Search and YouTube, Google Cloud delivered accelerating revenue growth of 38% in the quarter (posting higher growth than Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure cloud businesses), while profitability in that segment remained elusive as Alphabet continued to invest in scaling that business. We remain encouraged by Alphabet’s investment in the Cloud space, which we believe is still very much in the early days of its growth trajectory. Operating margins declined for the second consecutive quarter as headcount growth continued to weigh on profitability, growing faster than overall revenues, which we found to be disappointing given management’s commentary regarding better cost control in the Q2 quarter. While there is an element of cyclicality in online advertising revenues, we believe the longer-term prospects for continued growth in Search and YouTube revenues, as well as in Google Cloud, remain quite robust. In the meantime, Alphabet’s management have significant levers to adjust operating costs to protect earnings and cash generation as the company navigates any potential economic downturns ahead. Adobe Corp (ADBE): Q3 revenues were essentially in-line, growing 13% (15% on an f/x adjusted basis), and EPS grew 9%. Furthermore, Q4 guidance was slightly below consensus but given the f/x headwinds and weakening macro backdrop, that was not a major surprise. What was a major surprise to us and the market, was ADBE’s announced acquisition of Figma, a leading web-first collaborative design platform, for $20 billion, or 50X Figma’s $400 million annual recurring revenue (ARR). While we and the market recognize that Figma is a unique asset and would allow ADBE to boost its Creative Cloud revenue growth by bootstrapping its offerings onto Figma’s real-time collaborative design tools, we are concerned about the premium paid by ADBE, and what that steep premium might imply about their competitive positioning in the market. As a result, we will be reviewing our thesis in ADBE as we learn more about Figma. American Tower (AMT): AMT's Q3 was a bit choppy, growing topline by 9% and AFFO/share flattish, with a combination of FX, rates and collections pressure from its largest customer in India (Vodafone India) weighing on the near-term outlook. We now expect AFFO pressure in 2023 from higher rates and a stronger USD, growing mid- to high single-digit. The rest of AMT's business was quite healthy, with the organic guide for international raised by +50 bps and the U.S. tower business about to turn the corner to ~4–5% growth from reductions in the T-Mobile/Sprint churn. Our medium-to longer-term thesis remains intact: AFFO/share growth should reaccelerate to low double-digit territory toward the back half of 2023 and beyond as the company experiences: 1) fewer future pitfalls from Sprint churn vs. peers supporting solid organic tenant billing growth in the US as wireless carriers continue to expand and fill in their 5G networks; 2) International growth and network buildouts continue resulting in higher EBITDA conversion as margins improve, 3) opportunistic share buybacks helping to provide downside protection, and 4) longer-term the optionality regarding new “edge compute” revenue streams leveraging their CoreSite data center acquisition and their tower network in the US. Appendix 3: Components of Our Custom Oligopoly Index.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 23rd, 2022

Hope Hicks was once one of Trump"s closest confidantes. Less than 2 years later, she testified that her former boss told her that no one would care about his legacy if he lost the 2020 election.

Hicks was a senior adviser to Trump in his final years as president and was one of the few aides who reportedly told him he lost the 2020 election. Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks leaves the US Capitol after attending a closed door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee on February 27, 2018.REUTERS/Leah Millis Hope Hicks, 34, was one of President Donald Trump's most trusted advisers. Hicks resigned from the White House on January 12, 2021, but told people it was a planned departure. She was one of the few White House aides who told Trump he lost the 2020 election. In testimony featured in the January 6 House committee's final hearing, Hope Hicks testified that former President Donald Trump told her that no one would care about his legacy if he lost the 2020 election and that the only thing that mattered was winning.Before testifying in the investigation launched against her former boss' involvement in the Capitol riots, Hicks was the youngest White House communications director in history. But prior to joining the 2016 Trump campaign, she had no political experience.Hicks, now 34, was born in Greenwich, a town of 60,000 on the southwest tip of Connecticut that's a favorite spot for hedge-fund headquarters. She was a model, actress, and lacrosse player as a child, before getting her English degree at Southern Methodist University.Hicks didn't intend on playing such a large role in a presidential campaign, instead falling into the gig through a job at the Trump Organization.In her time at the White House, Hicks became ensnared in two high-profile White House controversies: the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and her role in crafting the White House's response to abuse allegations against staff secretary Rob Porter.In February 2018, Hicks announced she was resigning one day after she said in testimony she had occasionally told white lies for the president but never lied about anything consequential related to the Russia investigation.After laying low in New York and Connecticut for several months, Hicks headed to 21st Century Fox as executive vice president and chief communications officer. She later rejoined the Trump White House as a counselor to the president, reporting to senior adviser and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.Amid a wave of resignations following the January 6 insurrection, Hicks resigned from the White House on January 12, 2021, but told people it was a previously planned departure and not influenced by then-President Donald Trump's response to the Capitol riot as some other departures were, CNN reported at the time.Reports first emerged in October 2022 that Hicks was expected to privately testify before the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot. She was one of the few White House aides who broke with the former president, reportedly telling Trump he lost the 2020 election as he allegedly worked to overturn the results.Here's what we know about Hicks.Hicks and her sister, Mary Grace, were successful teen models. Hicks posed for Ralph Lauren and appeared on the cover of "It Girl," a spin-off of the best-selling "Gossip Girl" book and TV series.Trump campaign press secretary Hope Hicks at a rally, Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 18, 2016.David Hume Kennerly/Getty ImagesSource: The New York TimesHicks' first brush with the Trumps came in 2012 when she was at the public-relations firm Hiltzik Strategies working on Ivanka Trump's fashion line. Trump's eldest daughter hired Hicks away in 2014 and she became an employee of the Trump Organization.Hope Hicks, spokeswoman for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on January 2, 2017.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst—Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) January 4, 2017Sources: New York Times, GQ, NYMagHicks met patriarch Trump and quickly "earned his trust," Ivanka Trump told The New York Times for a June 2016 profile on the spokeswoman.Then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with Hicks as he arrives for service at First Presbyterian Church in Muscatine, Iowa, January 24, 2016.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikSource: New York TimesIn January 2015, Trump called Hicks into his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower and told her she was joining his presidential campaign. "I think it’s 'the year of the outsider.' It helps to have people with outsider perspective," Hicks said Trump told her.Corey Lewandowski, then campaign manager for Trump, stands nearby with Hicks as Trump holds a news conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, May 26, 2016.REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstSource: NYMagHicks didn't have any political experience, but her public-relations roots run deep. Both grandfathers worked in PR, and her father, Paul, was the NFL's executive vice president for communications and public relations. He was also a town selectman from 1987 to 1991. Greenwich proclaimed April 23, 2016, as Paul B. Hicks III Day.Hicks after a news conference at Trump Tower on May 31, 2016.REUTERS/Carlo AllegriSource: Town of Greenwich, GQHicks started working on what would become Trump's campaign five months before Trump announced his presidency, after he famously rode a golden escalator down to the lobby of his tower on June 16, 2015.Hicks crosses paths with Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (who was fired in June 2016) at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18, 2016.REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstThat made Hicks the campaign staffer who lasted in Trump's inner circle the longest. She outlasted his first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and several senior advisers.Trump listens to Hicks as he tours the Flint Water Plant and Facilities in Michigan on September 14, 2016.REUTERS/Mike SegarPeople close to her describe Hicks as a friendly, loyal fighter. Trump has called her a "natural" and "outstanding."Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is handed a box of cookies by his press secretary Hope Hicks during a visit Eat'n Park restaurant, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, in Moon Township, Pa.AP Photo/ Evan VucciWhile reporters who worked with Hicks say she's polite, they expressed frustration that she was often unreachable on the campaign trail, not responding to requests for comment, or denying access to the candidate.Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for then Republican presidential candidate Trump, and Hicks watch during a campaign rally in October 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.AP Photo/ Evan VucciShe said her mom, Caye, told her to write a book about her experience with Trump, like "Primary Colors," the fictional novel depicting President Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign. "You don't even know," she said she told her mother.Hicks during a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona on October 29 2016.REUTERS/Carlo Allegr'sSource: NYMag, Primary ColorsDuring the campaign, Hicks spent most of her days fielding reporters' requests and questions — even reportedly taking dictation from Trump to post his tweets.Trump's inner circle celebrates onstage at his election night party. (Hicks is fourth from left.)AP Photo/Mary AltafferSources: NYMag, NYTIn July 2016, Donald Trump Jr. and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower to get "dirt" on opponent Hillary Clinton. Hicks later told Trump "this is going to be a massive story," and that the emails setting it up were "really bad," but he didn't want the details. The meeting became a key point of investigation in Mueller's Russia probe.White House Communications Director Hope Hicks walks on the tarmac after the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 26, 2018.Reuters/Carlos BarriaSources: Business Insider, CNN, BuzzFeedDuring the campaign, Hicks stayed in a free apartment in a Trump building, though she'd often go home to her parents' house in Connecticut when she could.Hicks departs Trump Tower in New York on November 11, 2016.REUTERS/Carlo AllegriShe followed Trump to DC. He named her assistant to the president and director of strategic communications in December 2017.Trump greets Conway and Hicks during a USA Thank You Tour event in Mobile, Alabama, on December 17, 2016.REUTERS/Lucas JacksonSource: Trump administrationShe still flew below the radar, directing the spotlight back on Trump. The then president-elect called her up to the microphone to speak at a "Thank You" rally in December 2017.US President-elect Donald Trump's press secretary Hope Hicks speaks during a 'Thank You Tour 2016' rally on December 17, 2016 in Mobile, Alabama.Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images—David Mack (@davidmackau) December 17, 2016It's been said she can act as a sort of Trump whisperer, understanding his many moods and professionally executing what needs to be done. She still only calls him "Sir" or "Mr. Trump."Hicks deplanes Air Force One for a weekend at Trump's private club in Bedminster, New Jersey on September 29, 2017.REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueSources: New York Times, GQ, NYMag"If the acting thing doesn’t work out, I could really see myself in politics," Hicks told Greenwich Magazine when she was 13. "Who knows."Hicks, Conway, and former senior counselor Steve Bannon arrive for the presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017, in Washington.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesSources: New York TimesIn June 2017, the White House released salary info for 377 top staffers. Hicks got paid the maximum amount that any of Trump's aides received: $179,700.Hicks walk across the South Lawn of the White House to join Trump aboard Marine One with Steve Bannon, former chief of staff Reince Priebus, and Stephen Miller on April 29, 2017.Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty ImagesSource: The White HouseHicks made as much as Trump's former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, former press secretary Sean Spicer, senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, and policy adviser Stephen Miller.Hicks and Bannon walk down the West Wing Colonnade after a meeting between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on February 10, 2017.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSource: The White HouseSome family members and friends expressed concern that Hicks was so closely tied to a president whose policies and statements are unpopular with a significant number of Americans, but were confident that she'll come through unscathed.U.S. President Donald Trump looks up while signing an executive order to advance construction of the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House in Washington January 24, 2017.Reuters/Kevin LamarqueSources: New York Times, GQ"There is just no way that a camera or an episode or a documentary could capture what has gone on. There is nothing like it," Hicks told Marie Claire in June 2016. "It is the most unbelievable, awe-inspiring thing."Conway and Hicks watch the daily press briefing at the White House on January 30, 2017.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesSource: Marie ClaireIn August 2017, Trump asked Hicks to be the new interim White House director of communications, a job that Michael Dubke, Sean Spicer, and Anthony Scaramucci held and left in Trump's first six months in office.Hicks before the start of the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on February 14, 2017.AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisSources: Daily Caller, New York Times, CNNThe White House said it would announce the permanent choice for the position "at the appropriate time." In September 2017, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it would be Hicks.Hicks and Sanders walk through the lobby at Trump Tower in New York City on August 15, 2017.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThat made 29-year-old Hicks the youngest White House communications director in history.Hicks listens while Trump meets with female small-business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 27, 2017.Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty ImagesSources: Daily Caller, New York Times, CNNBut she became ensnared in the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Special counsel Robert Mueller's team interviewed her in December 2017, and she reportedly hinted at concealing explosive emails about the Trump Tower Russia meeting during a conference call with Trump in July 2016.Trump confers with Hicks in the Oval Office on January 17, 2018.Reuters/Kevin LamarqueSources: The New York Times, Business InsiderIn February 2018, Hicks came under scrutiny for reportedly playing a key role in drafting a statement expressing vehement support for staff secretary Rob Porter after his two ex-wives accused him of physically and emotionally abusing them. Hicks and Porter were rumored to be dating.Hicks in the Oval Office on Feb. 2, 2018.AP Photo/Evan VucciSources: CNN, Business InsiderIn February 2018, she testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee on Trump's ties to Russia, and key incidents that she witnessed during the campaign and in the White House. She reportedly said she has told "white lies" for Trump.Hicks arrives at the US Capitol on February 27, 2018.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSources: Business Insider, The New York TimesThough she was front and center in the White House's scandals, Hicks remains a private person, revealing very little about her personal life, and remaining a mystery to many.Hicks arrives at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam on Nov. 12, 2017.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikOn February 28, 2018, news broke that she would resign in the coming weeks. Many in the White House were dismayed.Hicks leaves the US Capitol after attending a closed door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee on February 27, 2018.REUTERS/Leah MillisSource: Business Insider"She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person," Trump said in a statement. "I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood."Hicks in the Oval Office on February 9, 2018.Pool/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider"There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump," Hicks said in a statement. "I wish the President and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country."Hicks leaves the US Capitol after attending a closed door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee on February 27, 2018.REUTERS/Leah MillisAfter leaving the White House, Hicks returned to her family home in Greenwich, Connecticut before being spotted in New York City, where she was reportedly on the job hunt.Hope Hicks talks on the tarmac as President Donald Trump greets supports as he arrives on Air Force One at John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, en route to a rally at Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio.Carolyn Kaster/APSource: Page SixHicks made a rare public appearance when she boarded Air Force One in August 2018 to travel to an Ohio rally. Reportedly on Trump's invitation, Hicks talked off the record to reporters, even joking about her career prospects.Hope Hicks stands on the tarmac as President Donald Trump is greeted as he arrives on Air Force One at John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, en route to a rally at Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio.Carolyn Kaster/APSource: Business InsiderAfter months of staying out of the spotlight, Hicks was confirmed to be heading to a spinoff of 21st Century Fox as executive vice president and chief communications officer in October 2018.J. Scott Applewhite/APSource: Business InsiderIn June 2019, Hicks testified behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee. Mueller's final report on the Russia investigation mentioned her name 184 times, so congressional investigators had a lot to talk to her about.President Donald Trump reacts as he stands next to former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks outside of the Oval Office as he departs the White House for a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, in Washington D.C. on March 29, 2018.REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File PhotoSource: PoliticoBut White House lawyers blocked Hicks from answering questions 155 times during her congressional testimony, citing "absolute immunity" and Trump's executive privilege.Hicks leaves following a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2019.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikSource: Business InsiderOn February 13, 2020, news broke that Hicks was returning to the White House as a senior adviser. She reported to Kushner and worked with Brian Jack, the White House political director.Former White House communications director Hope Hicks leaves after a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee June 19, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesSources: Business Insider, The New York TimesOn October 1, 2020, it was reported that Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19 just days after flying on Air Force One with President Donald Trump and his senior staff.(L-R) Assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations Nicholas Luna, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, and counselor to President Hope Hicks walk to Marine One to depart from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on September 30, 2020.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHicks resigned from the White House on January 12, 2021, in a previously planned departure.Former President Donald Trump points to former communications director Hope Hicks shortly before making his way to board Marine One on the South Lawn and departing from the White House on March 29, 2018.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesThough her exit from the Trump White House came amid a wave of resignations following January 6, sources said she told people it wasn't because of the violence at the Capitol and instead was a normal outgoing transition at the end of an administration.Sources: CNN, Bloomberg NewsIn October 2022, Hicks was expected to privately testify before the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot.Then-US President Donald Trump laughs as his senior adviser, Hope Hicks, speaks to the crowd during a campaign event at the Ocala International Airport on October 16, 2020 in Ocala, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesThe longtime Trump aide was scheduled to be privately deposed and provide a transcribed interview with January 6 House committee investigators on October 25, according to reports.In the book "The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021," published in September, Hicks reportedly told Trump it was time to move on."Trump responded bitterly. 'Well, Hope doesn't believe in me,' he would say in meetings," New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker and New Yorker staff writer and CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser wrote in their book."'No, I don't,' she would reply. 'Nobody's convinced me otherwise,'" they continued. "She concluded any further efforts to try to steer Trump would simply be, as she told an associate, 'a waste of time.'"Sources: The New York Times, NBC News, Business InsiderOn December 19, Hicks testified in the investigation against her former boss during the final hearing of the January 6 House select committee.A video showing Hope Hicks plays as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/APOn December 19, the January 6 House select committee presented her videotaped testimony, in which she revealed Trump's response to his advisers and aides pleading him to change his messaging after the 2020 election."I was becoming increasingly concerned that we were damaging his legacy," Hicks said."What did the president say in response to what you just described?" an off-camera voice asks Hicks in the video clip.She responded: "He said something along the lines of, 'Nobody will care about my legacy if I lose, so that won't matter. The only thing that matters is winning.'"Hicks also testified that she suggested to White House lawyer Eric Herschmann to tell Trump to call for non-violence from his supporters on January 6, 2021, but Herschmann told her the former president refused.Editor's note: This article was first published in February 2017 and has been updated to reflect recent developments.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 19th, 2022