Cadence McShane to lead next New Braunfels ISD project

San Antonio-based Stantec is serving as project architect......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 14th, 2021

Polkadot soars to break above $40 as parachain auction date moves its multichain network closer to a real-world launch

Polkadot's token has shot up to top $40 for the first time in five months after the project set a date for parachain auctions. Polkadot moxumbic Polkadot's token shot up to top $40 for the first time in five months after a likely date for parachain auctions was set. The auctions on November 11 will bring the interoperable multichain network closer to a real-world launch. Polkadot parachains can share data and link to external blockchains like ethereum, and could unlock new services like DeFi and NFTs. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. Polkadot's token surged to top $40 for the first time in five months after the project set a date for its first parachain auctions, getting closer to a real-world launch of its multi-blockchain framework.Dot's price rose as much as 19% to a high of $43.56 on Wednesday after the auction announcement, according to Binance data. It was trading at $40.76 at last check Thursday.Parachains are separate layer 1 blockchains that can run in parallel and send data to each other. They bring a multichain architecture of several networks to polkadot, and they can enable other layer 1 protocols like ethereum and bitcoin to seamlessly connect.The polkadot team has been testing its parachain technology and process on its guinea-pig network kusama, to make sure they are battle-tested for launch. It has now set a likely date of November 11 for accepting bids to build on polkadot."This means that over the coming year, we'll finally witness a lot more interoperability across blockchains," Eliézer Ndinga, research lead at crypto exchange-traded products provider 21Shares, told Insider. "(This) will improve by orders of magnitude the user experience, to unlock the next wave of user-owned internet services that we already see in the following sectors: financial services (DeFi) - media, art and games (NFTs)," Ndinga added. A parachain can be modified to carry out specific DeFi functions. Plus, what polkadot has set out to do could enable different blockchains to work together as part of one ecosystem - which could bring in the "Wi-Fi" crypto adoption that cardano founder Charles Hoskinson has described.Altcoins such as polkadot have been on a tear this year, though some analysts believe they are still undervalued, given their promise for new applications. Over 2021 so far, the coin has risen by almost 852%, according to Binance data. James Butterfill, investment strategist at CoinShares, told Insider he sees the finalization of the parachain disputes and code audit completion as key to the Polkadot price rising to near all-time highs."It's an important hurdle to overcome, with it now setting the path for the parachain auctions," Butterfill said.The initial batch of five auctions will feature one new auction weekly. Each auction on Polkadot will assign a parachain slot for a total of 96 weeks, making it an ongoing process.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Report paints bright picture for construction spending, even better if Biden infrastructure bill passes

Following the steep drops in building activity across New York City in 2020, the next three years are expected to see a resurgence in spending and job creation as the industry continues to advocate for increased public investment. The New York Building Congress’ New York City Construction Outlook 2021-2023 released today forecasts spending... The post Report paints bright picture for construction spending, even better if Biden infrastructure bill passes appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Following the steep drops in building activity across New York City in 2020, the next three years are expected to see a resurgence in spending and job creation as the industry continues to advocate for increased public investment. The New York Building Congress’ New York City Construction Outlook 2021-2023 released today forecasts spending to increase to $60.6 billion in 2021, up 26 percent from 2020, when non-essential construction was shut down for 11 weeks. The report was released today at the annual Building Congress Construction Industry Breakfast, at which Governor Hochul delivered the keynote address. GOV. CATHY HOCHUL “Each year I travel to every county in New York State, and I see how infrastructure is not just an abstract concept but an integral part of every New Yorker’s life,” said Governor Hochul. “As Governor, I will pursue an ambitious agenda that brings our infrastructure into the 21st century – because it’s in our DNA as New Yorkers to dream big and tackle the impossible. We can’t get that done without strong public-private sector partnerships like with the New York Building Congress, and I look forward to continue working together to build New York’s future.” “Despite the economic impact that COVID-19 has had on New York City since the start of the pandemic, the building industry proves its strength time and time again, as spending and job creation continue on an upward trend from 2020,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO of the New York Building Congress. “With a long road to economic recovery ahead, the ever-present threats of climate change and infrastructure that’s crumbling, we need meaningful, immediate support from Washington. Investments in the infrastructure are investments in a stable and vibrant city, state and nation.” “Over the last year and a half, the building industry once again demonstrated its dedication to New York City and the amazing people who live here,” said Elizabeth Velez, Chair of the New York Building Congress and President of Velez Organization. “The Construction Outlook report released by the New York Building Congress today shows our industry is ready to lead the way out of the economic crisis brought about by this awful pandemic. In the process, I know we will continue to diversify our own ranks, innovate to meet 21st-Century demands and realities and build a fairer city that works for everyone.” CHERYL McKISSACK DANIEL “No matter what you throw at New York City, we are able to withstand it and come back stronger,” said Cheryl McKissack Daniel, Chair of the New York Building Foundation and President & CEO of McKissack & McKissack. “The New York City Construction Outlook 2021-2023 report is further proof of the building industry’s strength in times of crisis. This should underscore why we need more investment in our infrastructure, as it is one of the best ways to improve our society.” “The essential role of the construction industry to the health and vitality of our communities could not be more clear than in this Construction Outlook report,” said the City of New York’s Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo. “The anticipated robust growth and trajectory for investments in construction jobs, new construction, and our public infrastructure reaffirm the importance of the work by resilient New Yorkers represented by the New York Building Congress in realizing a recovery for all of us.” “It’s clear that confidence in New York City’s construction and real estate industries remains high, and for good reason,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “Time and again, it’s been major infrastructure and public works projects that have stimulated economic activity that leads to recovery, and as always, our members are ready to get to work to build back New York stronger and more resilient than ever. It’s critical that we sustain this upward trend in construction activity with the successful passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, which will invest in New York’s future and create tens of thousands of middle-class careers with benefits in the process.” “Real estate and construction represent 10 percent of the city’s GDP and is the fastest way of creating the jobs to rebuild the city’s economy,” said Louis J. Coletti, President and CEO of the Building Trades Employers Association. “As New York builds and rebuilds over the coming years, AIA New York will work with its partners in the building industry to advocate for higher standards of design excellence for public and private projects,” said Benjamin Prosky, Executive Director American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY) Center For Architecture. ”From ambitious designs that enhance public infrastructure to increasing quality affordable housing, modernizing schools, and fostering advancements in energy efficient technology, architects recognize that this is a pivotal  moment for the design, construction, and development community to shape an NYC that is beautiful, efficient and equitable for all.” The data and projections in this report were generated without the once-in-a-generation federal infrastructure bill that is being discussed in the House of Representatives, which would have a massive economic impact on New York City and the entire country. If the $1.2 trillion plan was to pass, it would expedite construction of the Gateway Program– a long-delayed but nationally crucial infrastructure project that could potentially generate $19 billion in economic activity. The Construction Outlook report provides a three-year analysis and forecast of construction spending and employment in New York, while also providing deeper insight into the factors that could shape the industry and the city’s economy in the coming years. The New York Building Congress for the first time also adjusted its projections for inflation, giving a fuller picture of how spending compares historically. The latest report forecasts the second-highest spending period in real dollars, and the fourth highest when adjusted for inflation. Key insights from the report include: ●      Construction Employment to Increase: The industry will likely add 135,000 new jobs to the economy in 2021, but employment will remain at the lowest point since 2014. Employment will likely continue on an upward trend in the coming years, with 140,200 jobs in 2022 and 157,100 jobs in 2023. ●      Overall Spending: Construction spending is expected to total $174.1 billion between 2021 and 2023. Compared to the pre-COVID-19 period of 2017 to 2019, when building was at a high point, spending is forecasted to decrease by just $1.5 billion. When adjusted for inflation, however, the drop is a significantly higher $38.2 billion.   ●      Government Spending: Government spending is up from 2020 – when $21.3 billion was invested by New York City, New York State and major agencies – but will decline in the forecasted period from $23.1 billion in 2021 to $22.2 billion in 2022 and then to $21.1 billion in 2023. While government spending is expected to be higher over this period when compared to 2017 to 2019, public investments is lower now than during the height of the Great Recession when adjusted for inflation. This decline is especially significant given the need for government spending to spur economic recovery. ●      Residential Construction Spending: The Building Congress forecasts $13.6 billion in residential construction spending this year, up 21 percent from 2020. Over three years, spending is expected to total $36.6 billion, which is down 33 percent from 2017 to 2019.   ●      Non-Residential Construction Spending: Non-residential construction spending, which includes office space, education, healthcare, public buildings, sports & entertainment venues and hotels, is projected to total $23.7 billion in 2021, dip to $22.2 billion in 2022 and rise to $25 billion in 2023. ●      Public Transit Spending: The MTA will spend 33 percent more on construction projects over the next three years than the pre-COVID period from 2017 to 2019. When adjusted for inflation, however, this is a more modest increase of 7 percent. The post Report paints bright picture for construction spending, even better if Biden infrastructure bill passes appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyOct 14th, 2021

Cadence McShane to lead next New Braunfels ISD project

San Antonio-based Stantec is serving as project architect......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 14th, 2021

Why you had to be married to fly the CIA"s fastest spy plane

The CIA and Air Force had mental, physical, and marital criteria to pick pilots to fly their unique aircraft on highly sensitive missions. An A-12 aircraft. US Air Force During the Cold War, the CIA recruited an elite corps of pilots to fly its spy planes - the A-12, the YF-12, and the SR-71. The CIA and Air Force had a set of mental, physical, and marital criteria for pilots hoping to fly the unique aircraft on highly sensitive missions. The SR-71 Blackbird remains the fastest operational military aircraft in history to this day, despite leaving service more than two decades ago, but its Lockheed predecessor in the A-12 was actually faster.The A-12 that would ultimately lead to the missile-packing Mach 3 interceptor YF-12 and the missile-defeating legend that is the SR-71 first took to the skies in 1962 under the CIA's banner in what was dubbed Project Oxcart.All three of these efforts were highly classified, not only because of the advanced technology Lockheed was developing, but also because - unbeknownst to Moscow - the United States was secretly sourcing materials to build these jets from within the Soviet Union.In his book, "Archangel: CIA's Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft," official CIA historian David Robarge offers incredible insight into the Oxcart program, as well as what it took to be chosen to fly America's highly classified, outrageously fast, and incredibly dangerous new platforms.The need for keeping secrets An A-12 on display. CIA Museum The A-12 wasn't just another secret project for Kelly Johnson's team at Lockheed's legendary Skunk Works. The program was a massive undertaking in terms of both resources they expended and the results that were expected of them.Johnson, the aeronautical engineer behind some of the most influential military aircraft designs of the 20th century, had already successfully fielded the high-flying U-2 spy plane for the CIA seven years prior. He'd designed the aircraft to fly right on the edge of space, soaring some 80,000 feet above the ground, using little more than his wits and trusty slide rule in less than a year.Not only had Johnson's success with the U-2 made him seem like the right choice for this new secretive and high-flying effort, but test flights of Johnson's U-2 were also the reasoning behind establishing the now infamous Area 51 - a dry lake bed used as an isolated airstrip in Nevada known as Groom Lake.While most high-speed aircraft use their afterburners to exceed the speed of sound in short bursts of just a few minutes at a time, the A-12 was meant to sustain those speeds for hours. That meant every inch of the aircraft had to be able to withstand the incredible heat produced by the air itself as it tore by at over 2,300 mph, often raising external temperatures beyond 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.Traditional materials used in aircraft construction like steel and aluminum just weren't capable of withstanding that sort of punishment as reliably as needed.There was a titanium alloy that was up for the job … but America's titanium supply simply wasn't enough. Instead, the CIA used third parties and shell companies to procure the titanium Project Oxcart needed from the world's largest supplier at the time … the Soviet Union.With Moscow totally unaware, the US bought the materials it needed to build jets that could defeat their most advanced surface-to-air missiles and fastest intercept fighters from within their own borders. Needless to say, when you're buying the materials you need to fight your enemy from your enemy, secrecy is paramount.So when the time came to begin testing Johnson's latest creation, the powerful new A-12, Groom Lake was once again the logical place to do so … they just needed to find some pilots who were up for the most secretive job in the Air Force.Mental, physical … and marital requirements for Project Oxcart An SR-71 Blackbird. Judson Brohmer/USAF Air Force officials teamed up with representatives from the CIA and Johnson himself to establish a set of criteria A-12 pilots would have to meet in order to even be considered for the job.Most of these qualifications seem rather ordinary, with physical requirements established by the practical limitations of cockpit space and an understandably strict requisite in terms of experience in high-performance jets."Pilots had to be currently qualified and proficient, with at least 2,000 total flight hours, 1,000 of them in the latest high-performance fighter jets; married, emotionally stable, and well motivated; between 25 and 40 years old; and under six feet tall and 175 pounds so they could fit in the A-12's cramped cockpit," CIA historian David Robarge explained.The requirement that tends to stand out, of course, is marriage. According to legend, the Spartans who met the Persian army at the hot gates of Thermopylae were all required to have sons because the warriors knew they likely wouldn't be coming back. The Air Force and CIA, on the other hand, were likely looking at being a "family man" in another way.From our vantage point here in the 21st century, comfortably removed from the looming threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, the idea of worrying about defection seems almost comical. That was not the case during the days of Project Oxcart.In fact, as Johnson and his team prepared for the first test flight of the A-12 in 1962, at least a dozen American intelligence officials and service members had already turned on the United States since the end of World War II in favor of new homes in the Soviet Union, one of whom was an officer in the US Air Force.One of those service members, a US Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald, defected in 1959, only to return the year of the A-12's first test flight with his new Russian wife. A year later, he'd assassinate American President John F. Kennedy, though official reports suggest that killing and his defection were, for the most part, unrelated. AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye You're apt to find both official and unofficial sources account for the marriage requirement as a measure of maturity, arguing that married men with families are more stable and level-headed.Even if that supposition doesn't hold true in practice, the idea that it was a prevalent belief among Defense officials may indeed be true. After all, every potential pilot candidate for Oxcart was subjected to thorough psychological screenings, seemingly proving that mental health was indeed a priority.However, the marriage requirement was also very likely a bit of social insurance against putting a potential defector behind the stick of America's most expensive and technologically advanced state secrets.While no one would come right out and say defection was a concern, there's no arguing that hiding this program from the Soviet Union and even the American public was an utmost priority."The process was kept so secret that the candidates' superiors did not know what their subordinates were doing. Those who survived the screening were approached to work for the Agency on a highly classified project involving a very advanced aircraft. By November 1961, only five had agreed," Robarge wrote.It's important to note that the pilots chosen for Project Oxcart, as well as many others involved, may have hailed from the Air Force, but ultimately answered to the CIA. Because the A-12 and SR-71 are so similar, you'll sometimes see people claim the Air Force required their Blackbird pilots to be married. That wasn't the case.Ultimately only 11 men were chosen from the Air Force for the dangerous honor of flying the A-12. Two of them, Walter L. Ray and Jack W. Weeks, would lose their lives in crashes as a result.Project Oxcart would end in 1968, but its successor in the SR-71 would fly for decades to come - and outrun at least 800 surface-to-air missiles, many fired from Soviet soil, along the way.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

The Shorter Work Week Really Worked in Iceland. Here’s How

An experiment showed workers were able to work less and get paid the same, while maintaining productivity and improving personal well-being Even as the Covid-19 pandemic forced companies around the world to reimagine the workplace, researchers in Iceland were already conducting two trials of a shorter work week that involved about 2,500 workers—more than 1% of the country’s working population. They found that the experiment was an “overwhelming success” —workers were able to work less, get paid the same, while maintaining productivity and improving personal well-being. The Iceland research has been one of the few large, formal studies on the subject. So how did participants pull it off and what lessons do they have for the rest of the world? Bloomberg News interviewed four Icelanders, who described some of the initial problems that accompanied changed schedules, yet they were helped by their organizations which took concerted steps like introducing formal training programs on time-management to teach them how to reduce their hours while maintaining productivity. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] The trials also worked because both employees and employers were flexible, willing to experiment and make changes when something didn’t work. In some cases, employers had to add a few hours back after cutting them too much. Iceland did the trials partly because people were reporting relatively long working hours, averaging 44.4 hours per week—the third highest of Eurostat countries in 2018. Participants in the Iceland study reduced their hours by three to five hours per week without losing pay. While the shorter work hours have so far largely been adopted in Iceland’s public sector, workers and managers used simple techniques to maintain productivity while cutting back on time in the office. As employees from Silicon Valley to Wall Street look for better ways to balance work and life, here are tips from four Icelanders. Read more: Spain Is Going to Trial a 4-Day Work Week. Could the Idea Go Mainstream Post-Pandemic? As director of capital Reykjavik’s Land and Operation agency, Hjalti Guðmundsson manages a team of about 140 people. Most of them work outdoors, on tasks like road maintenance, cleaning streets and gardening. Before starting the trial in 2016, employees worked long hours, usually from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. or later, though work from 3:30 p.m. onwards was counted as overtime. Since the organization has different work sites, he was able to experiment with two different models simultaneously. At some sites, four of the five work days were shortened by an hour, allowing staff to finish at 4 p.m. At others, staff worked regular hours Monday to Thursday, and a half day on Friday. Salaries were unchanged, with written agreements between employers and employees. And at the end of the trial, staff voted for their preferred model as a permanent arrangement. The result was clear – more than 90% of workers wanted to shorten their work day by one hour four days a week. “It didn’t surprise me that they wanted to do that, because if you work from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the last hour between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. are not very productive,” explains Guðmundsson. “Contrarily, I think we’ve gained productivity, not only by this hour. But people are more willing to do their jobs in the active work time.” Those who worked in an office had shorter meetings. Those who worked on site spent less time going to doctor’s appointments and physical therapy, as fewer sick days were reported. Workers reported having more time to spend with their families and on hobbies. Many appreciated gaining an extra hour of daylight, especially during the winter. Guðmundsson himself has been able to partially enjoy the shortened work week, and says he aims to commit to the new model by the end of the year. As a manager, he wants to lead by example. “Most of the projects can wait until tomorrow morning,” said Guðmundsson. “It’s a mindset, I think. You just have to work your way through this, you know?” Read more: These Are the Most Productive Countries in the World Arna Hrönn Aradóttir, a public-health project manager in Reykjavik’s suburbs, was one of the first to trial shorter hours as her workplace was chosen for the experiment in 2015. As a mother of five children, Aradóttir struggled to balance an 8-hour work day with childcare and housework. At the beginning of the trial, she opted to shorten her work day by an hour every day. Her workplace enrolled her in a time-management course, where she learned to shorten meetings, reduce time spent traveling for meetings and schedule her work more efficiently. “I feel like I’m more focused now,” said Aradóttir. “Before the pandemic, I spent a lot of time going to a meeting by car, but now I can sit in my office and have meetings through my computer. So I have gained four hours in my work day.” She used to have a 40-hour work week, but now works just 36 hours for the same pay taking on regular 8-hour days on Monday to Thursday, and 4 hours on Fridays. This in turn has enabled her to study for a master’s degree, enhancing her position on the job market. When there’s no school, she says she goes cycling or hiking, and has more time for herself. “The benefits for us is that we had more quality of life,” said Aradóttir. “It has helped me to spend more time with my children and experience less stress.” Sólveig Reynisdóttir, Aradóttir’s boss, said Reykjavík Service Centre’s participation was in response to an annual employee survey that revealed that its workers experienced a lot of strain in their jobs. The center experimented with the number of hours they would reduce in the work week, and at one point had to add back some hours after cutting too much. “We have shortened it five hours, then three hours and now four hours a week,” said Reynisdóttir. Some parts of the transition did not go as smoothly as expected. Employees were reluctant to go from a 35-hour to 37-hour work week, even though it was still fewer hours than before the trial. But overall, Reynisdóttir views the trial as more positive than negative. Productivity was maintained while employees reported greater job satisfaction and fewer sick days that involved short illnesses like colds. Like Aradóttir, Reynisdóttir said she was able to maintain productivity by shortening meetings and replacing in-person ones with online sessions, saving on travel time.“Covid has pushed us in that direction,” explains Reynisdóttir. “The waiting lists are not longer. The number of interviews is on par with what was before.” Read more: Stressed at Work? Here’s How to Feel Better In fact, the shortened work week has motivated employees to work harder, she notes. But as a manager, Reynisdóttir has had more difficulty following the shortened work week herself. “Sometimes there is a lot of projects and then we know the workload and strain becomes more but that evens out when you look back a whole year,” she said. “It has made my job easier to have a shorter work week,” said Reynisdóttir. “The employees are more satisfied which is of great importance for me as a manager.” Saga Stephensen just started the shorter work week this January. Collectively, she and her colleagues voted to have a full day off every other Friday and work regular hours the rest of the time. Like Aradóttir, her workplace enrolled her in time-management courses that enabled her to shorten and reduce meetings, replace in-person appointments with online ones, thereby cutting travel time as well. Her workplace also decided to have no meetings on the Fridays they do work, allowing them to wrap up tasks at the end of the week. “That has really helped because we have a lot of meetings and you rethink them,” said Stephensen. “You think about if you really need that meeting and if it is necessary.” It took some time for her and her colleagues to adjust to the new schedule. On weeks that she has Friday off, she sometimes ends up working longer hours other days, she noted. But overall everyone is pleased with the new arrangement. “I think because people think that this is a very positive thing, everyone is trying hard to keep this up,” said Stephensen. “We are also urged by our bosses to take advantage of our day and take the time off.” On her Friday off, she now spends time doing household chores, meeting up with family and friends, and on occasion does a short trip during her extended weekend. Stephensen also finds it easier to return to work after recent holidays, she said. “I did not feel sad for the holiday to be over because I knew there were some breaks to look forward to.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 14th, 2021

6 tips to make work meetings more productive and valuable

Long, dull meetings can kill your team's mood and enthusiasm. Take an audit of which meetings are the most effective and which can be cut down. If meetings interrupt your progress, try asking which meetings actually add value to your team. Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images If you lead meetings at work, it's important to ensure they're concise and make the most of everyone's time. Provide an agenda, clarify action items to stay on track, and recap what needs to get done. Check in with your coworkers to ask which meetings they think are the most valuable and productive. If you are like most business owners, you start the day by reviewing your calendar and seeing how many meetings you have for the day. Often, there are quite a few each day, many of which are marked as urgent. This can be a total productivity killer - not to mention a mood killer as well.In fact, meetings are one of the first things I go over when I start working with a new business coaching client because it takes up such a huge portion of their day. When I find a client who is struggling with the constant barrage of meetings and interruptions, we go through a series of questions about the meetings that they hold. Questions like:How many meetings do you have on an average day? Do you have to be present for all of them, or are any of them able to be passed off to one of your team members? Do all of the meetings you currently lead or participate in add real value? Or have they just become a dull routine? Which ones really add the most value? Which meetings could be canceled, or made less frequent, or shorter? Which meetings need to be added or extended? 1. Always plan your meetings in advance If you don't have an agenda, don't hold the meeting. The chances of you going off the rails and wasting time on things that don't create value are very high. Instead, postpone the meeting until you can dedicate a bit of time beforehand to lay out the agenda.2. Start strong Start on time and start strong. Jump right into your agenda, and get to the point. Everyone's time is valuable and if you spend five or ten minutes of each meeting getting warmed up an hour or more might be wasted a day on small talk.3. Stay focused It's easy to get sidetracked. It's more difficult to stay on task but well worth the effort. Follow your agenda, and if you do find yourself on a tangent, write it down as a future action item and address it at another time.4. Give everyone a chance to speakBeware of one or two strong personalities hijacking your meeting. This includes you! A simple trick to give a voice to the quieter participants is to give them a moment to "jot down" their ideas, thoughts, or input to be shared with you later.5. Clarify action items as you go Got a long meeting and don't want to miss anything? Flag all-important action items as you go, including:Who? Does what? By when? To what standard? How to close the loop? 6. Recap after the meeting After the meeting is over, send out a meeting recap email outlining the action items and discussion points that were covered in the meetings.If needed, put the recap into your project management software as well. Above all else, be consistent with your actions. A calendar full of pointless meetings is nothing to aspire to. A calendar full of well-planned out value-added meetings that will help propel your business forward is.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

33 startup companies that are currently hiring remote workers

From meal delivery service Daily Harvest to video-sharing platform Cameo, more companies are offering positions with remote work flexibility. In amidst of The Great Resignation, 33 companies are rising as the top startups to work for remotely Jessie Casson/Getty Images More people are looking for jobs with flexibility to work from home amid the 'Great Resignation.' LinkedIn recently released its 2021 Top Startups list featuring businesses that are hiring remotely. From Daily Harvet to Cameo, here are 33 companies hiring with remote work availability. Looking for a new gig? You're not alone. 55% of us are planning to find a new job this year, according to a recent Bankrate survey, and the phenomenon even has a name: The Great Resignation. One big reason why many employees are looking to make a change is the need for flexibility - both in terms of hours and working location. Remote jobs typically offer both in spades, and who doesn't love being able to put on a load of laundry between conference calls? LinkedIn just released its 2021 Top Startups list, ranking companies that are providing the benefits and perks employees want most now."In addition to remote and hybrid models, many of the companies are supporting their workers with WFH stipends, increased mental health benefits, virtual trainings, and upskilling opportunities to help people succeed in this new normal," said LinkedIn Senior Editor at Large Jessi Hempel. The majority of the startups listed are embracing remote and hybrid roles. Of the 50 startups, 33 are actively hiring remote roles, and some companies have quite a few jobs available. One of them is Gemini, a next-generation cryptocurrency platform currently hiring more than 325 remote roles. "We see hiring remote employees as an opportunity not only to expand our talent pool but also to expand diversity of background in the crypto industry as a whole," said Gemini's Director of Talent Acquisition Jonathan Tamblyn. "By hiring for skills, knowledge, and potential first rather than geography, we are able to hire employees that represent the populations we want to empower through crypto - particularly women and minorities - who have traditionally been underrepresented in the industry."Another company is Gong, a revenue intelligence platform based in Palo Alto, California, that has more than 425 remote roles open now. "Hiring remotely has enabled our team composition to reflect the diversity of our customers and hire in communities where talented residents want more opportunities to shine professionally," said Sandi Kochhar, chief people officer at Gong. Here's a look at all of the companies from the recent LinkedIn Top Startups list that are hiring remote positions. Good luck! You got this! BetterBetter is a fintech company located in New York City aiming to improve the home buying and financing process. Remote jobs available include mortgage underwriter, senior UX writer, and creative designer.GlossierGlossier is a makeup and skincare company based in New York City that was started by beauty editors and is primarily direct-to-consumer but has a growing physical footprint. Remote jobs include lead front end engineer and creative operations project manager.BrexBrex is aiming to be the "all-in-one" finance option for businesses - offering high-limit credit cards, business accounts, a rewards program, expense tracking, and more. Small office hubs are located in San Francisco, New York City, Salt Lake City, and Vancouver, B.C. Remote jobs include art director and manager of social and community support.AttentiveAttentive is a personalized text messaging platform built for innovative e-commerce brands based in New York City. Remote jobs include mid-market sales manager and web marketing manager.OutreachOutreach is an integrated business-to-business platform helping companies drive sales based in Seattle. Remote jobs include corporate counsel, and product and senior email deliverability specialists. GongGong is a revenue intelligence platform based in Palo Alto, with more than 425 active remote roles. Remote jobs include senior user researcher and in-house counsel. MikMakBased in New York City, MikMak is a digital platform for consumer product companies that enables multi-retailer checkout by shoppers and insights solutions to help brands better understand customer behavior. Remote jobs include VP of sales operations and director of product marketing.GravyLocated in Alpharetta, Georgia, Gravy is a "virtual retention" startup helping subscription-based businesses retain their customers through remedying failed payments. Remote jobs include account manager and sales development representative. Daily HarvestDaily Harvest is a plant-based meal delivery service providing a range of smoothies, flatbreads, desserts, snacks, and more through a subscription-based model. (You may have seen their mouthwatering ads on Instagram recently!) The company is based in New York City. Remote jobs include software engineering manager and senior strategic analytics associate. CameoBased in Chicago, Cameo is a video-sharing platform where celebrities and public figures send personalized video messages to fans. Remote jobs include QA automation engineer and lifecycle marketing lead. TherabodyA tech wellness company in Los Angeles, Therabody is best known for the "Theragun," a popular massage-therapy device intended to reduce muscle tension and accelerate recovery. Remote jobs include a quality manager and a copywriter. RampRamp is a corporate credit card company based in New York City that helps business owners save money via expense management, savings opportunities, receipt matching, and other services. Remote jobs include demand generation lead and product and regulatory counsel. GitLabGitLab, a DevOps platform, helps companies deliver software faster and more efficiently from its headquarters in San Francisco. Remote jobs include backend engineering manager, pipeline execution, and senior technical content editor. MedableBased in Palo Alto, Medable is a global platform aiming to get effective therapies to patients quickly, minimizing the need for in-person clinical visits. Remote jobs include HR systems manager and android developer.Guild Education Based out of Denver, Colorado, Guild Education works with employers to help them provide strategic education and upskilling programs for employees. Remote jobs include vice president of operations and technical marketing operations manager. DriftDrift is a conversational marketing platform based in Boston that is designed to enhance the digital buying experience, including features like an AI-powered chatbot and customizable live chat widgets. Remote jobs include onboarding manager and manager of conversation design.RoHeadquartered in New York City, Ro is a health care company that provides virtual primary care services by connecting telehealth, diagnostics, and pharmacy delivery. Remote jobs include associate director of member experience, systems and platforms, and associate manager of offline marketing.BlockFi BlockFi is a financial services company where clients can buy, sell and earn cryptocurrency, based in Jersey City, New Jersey. Remote jobs include manager of retention and loyalty marketing and director of program management. Scale AIScale Al, which is based in San Francisco, is a platform that helps machine learning teams process their data faster and accurately and helps companies supercharge their artificial intelligence efforts. Remote jobs include an IT operations manager.Hawke MediaHawke Media is a marketing consultancy working to grow brands of all sizes, industries, and business models in Santa Monica, California. Remote jobs include content editor, social media, and influencer marketing manager. Boom SupersonicBased in Denver, Boom Supersonic is developing a high-speed airliner built to transport passengers at twice the speed of traditional planes. Remote jobs include senior creative director and recruiter. DutchieFrom Bend, Oregon, dutchie is a technology platform that enables cannabis dispensaries to set up e-commerce operations. Remote jobs include strategic finance associate and manager of database reliability.Lyra HealthLyra Health is an online mental health counseling platform based out of Burlingame, California, that provides therapy and mental health services. Remote jobs include event marketing coordinator and product design manager.GetawayGetaway is a hospitality company in Brooklyn that offers modern cabin rentals that are two hours from major urban centers. Remote jobs include reservations manager and head of growth. Catalyst SoftwareBased out of New York City, Catalyst Software helps sales and customer teams connect the various tools they use into a centralized data-driven view of how a client is doing. Remote jobs include engineering manager on the customer success intelligence team and sales development representative. RubrikRubrik is a cloud-based platform based in Palo Alto that helps companies with data management. Remote jobs include professional services consultants. GeminiGemini is a cryptocurrency exchange in New York City, that enables users to buy, sell and store digital assets. The more than 325 remote jobs available include engineering manager for credit cards, associate director of technical accounting, and senior software engineer. ClickUpClickUp's app combines task management, goal setting, calendars, to-do lists, and an inbox so that teams can be more productive. Headquartered in San Diego, remote jobs include program coaches and professional services consultants. SUPERHUMANSuperhuman, out of San Francisco, wants you to have a better, faster email experience, and they are "re-imagining the inbox" to make it more efficient. Remote jobs include senior mobile engineer and product marketing manager.InnovaccerBased in San Francisco, Innovaccer curates the world's health care information to make it more accessible and useful for providers and organizations. Remote jobs include platform data architect and senior director of healthcare AI.FlowcodeFlowcode allows users to create customized, advanced Quick Response (QR) codes that never expire, making it easier for companies to directly connect their customers to digital resources. Based in New York City, the company is hiring for a remote product analyst.JerryBased in Palo Alto, Jerry helps car owners save money on vehicle insurance. Remote jobs include associate editor and writer/editor.OneTrustHeadquartered in Atlanta and London, OneTrust helps companies manage privacy, security, and governance requirements through its compliance software. Remote jobs include UI architects.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

IMF warns of the danger to the financial system from "disappearing" crypto coins and the instability of stablecoins

The IMF warned countries about risks that came with the growing crypto space, such as missing coins and volatile stablecoins, in a report Tuesday. Bitcoin balloon Andriy Onufriyenko The IMF warned countries about the risks that came with the growing crypto space in a report Tuesday. More than 16,000 tokens have been listed on exchanges, but only around 9,000 exist today, the report said. The fund said stablecoins were vulnerable to volatility and investor runs despite being pegged to another asset. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a warning about the growing risks in the expanding cryptocurrency space, including fraud, excess speculation and potential "runs" on seemingly more stable assets, in a report on Tuesday. Crypto in all its forms, such as digital coins like bitcoin and stablecoins like the USDC, has been spreading around the globe. Nearly half of the world's central banks have looked into creating their own digital currencies, which would be centralized and be more secure than pure cryptocurrencies. "Investor protection risks loom large for crypto assets and decentralized finance," the report said in the executive summary document. More than 16,000 tokens have been listed on various exchanges like Coinbase, Binance and Kraken over time, but only around 9,000 exist today, the report said. Some of these tokens were purely speculative and impacted solely by social media trends. "Investors are - likely to face losses from tokens ceasing to exist-something that is less common in regulated securities markets," the IMF said. Some countries such as Argentina, Mexico and Thailand have stopped exchanges from offering tokens that display particular characteristics, the report said. Regulators around the world have stepped up their oversight of the crypto market, while some commercial banks have stopped their customers from transferring money to certain crypto exchanges. China's recent banning of all crypto mining and trading is the harshest example so far of the kind of pressure the sector can come under. Another factor the IMF emphasized was stablecoins, which are pegged to an underlying asset such as cash or bonds, were vulnerable to volatility and investor runs.A few months ago, investors saw the value of a decentralized finance token called titan, which was part of an algorithmic stablecoin project from Iron Finance, drop in hours from around $60 to a tiny fraction of a cent. Whale accounts unloaded their shares and triggered the equivalent of a bank run, as smaller traders rushed to recoup their money. The meltdown even caught billionaire Mark Cuban off guard. "I got hit like everyone else," he tweeted at the time. "An investor run in one country can also lead to cross-border spillovers if large global crypto exchanges are involved. The concentrated ownership of stablecoins by market makers could also trigger wider contagion," the report said. Stablecoins have also come under fire on account of the composition of their reserves - the most prominent so far is the tether token, which claimed to be fully backed by US dollars, but is largely backed by short-term corporate debt. The IMF recommended countries collaborate to address the technological, legal, regulatory, and supervisory challenges that crypto assets can bring."Where standards have not yet been developed, regulators need to use existing tools to control risk and implement a flexible framework for crypto assets," the report said. The IMF said central bank digital currencies could resolve some of the stability and transparency issues around the crypto market.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 13th, 2021

Caterpillar (CAT) Bets on Strong Demand Amid High Costs

Caterpillar's (CAT) top-line performance will be driven by improving demand in its end markets, which will offset the impact of inflated input costs and supply chain headwinds on its margins. Caterpillar Inc. CAT is well-poised for delivering improved results this year, backed by strong backlog levels, solid demand for construction and mining equipment, and its ongoing cost control efforts. A robust liquidity position, investments focused on expanding offerings and services, and digital initiatives like e-commerce are likely to drive growth for the company in the long haul.High Demand to Offset Costs in 2021Caterpillar’s backlog at the end of the second quarter of 2021 was $18.4 billion, which was up $1.5 billion on a sequential basis. This is likely to get reflected in the third-quarter performance. The company along with other players in the same industry such as Terex Corporation TEX, The Manitowoc Company, Inc. MTW and Astec Industries, Inc. ASTE have been witnessing higher material costs lately, particularly of steel and other commodities. These companies are also grappling with higher freight costs, labor constraints and supply chain headwinds, which are expected to hinder their margins this year.On top of this, Caterpillar anticipates incentive compensation of about $1.5 billion for the year, which remains a headwind. This will lead to higher SG&A expenses through the year. The company is ramping up R&D project spending to support services growth strategy and new product development. Despite these factors weighing on margins, Caterpillar’s ongoing restructuring efforts and higher demand witnessed in its markets will drive growth.Segments Show PromiseIn North America, demand from both residential and non-residential construction will boost sales for Caterpillar’s construction equipment. With the U.S Senate passing the $1-trillion infrastructure bill, the perked-up investment in roads, bridges, airports and waterways represents a huge opportunity for Caterpillar. The outlook for the construction sector holds promise in the rest of the world as well.In Resource Industries, mining orders have been witnessing an uptrend, courtesy of improving metal prices. There has been an improvement in heavy construction and quarry and aggregates, particularly in North America and the EAME. This is anticipated to continue through the year. Miners are increasingly opting for autonomous systems to increase productivity and reduce costs. To capitalize on this trend, Caterpillar is enhancing its autonomous capabilities and bringing innovative products to markets.In the Energy & Transportation segment, the Oil & Gas sector is anticipated to regain strength gradually. The company expects improvement in power generation, supported by data center activity. It envisions sales to improve in transportation, courtesy of an increase in rail services and international businesses. It anticipates modest growth in the marine business as well. Industrial expects to witness growth, with activity strengthening across most applications.Solid Balance Sheet to Aid GrowthCaterpillar’s cash and liquidity position remains strong with the company ending second-quarter 2021 with cash and short-term investments of $10.8 billion. ME&T debt at the end of second-quarter 2021 stood at $9.7 billion. It is on track to deliver its ME&T free cash flow target of $4-$8 billion for 2021.The company continues to focus on customers and the future by continuing to invest in digital capabilities, connecting assets and job sites, and developing the next-generation productive and efficient products. It plans to fund initiatives that drive long-term growth focused on areas of expanded offerings and services, and digital initiatives like e-commerce. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (MTW): Free Stock Analysis Report Astec Industries, Inc. (ASTE): Free Stock Analysis Report Terex Corporation (TEX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 12th, 2021

3 blind spots holding back your career growth and how to rewire them

Tech advisor Victoria Song says blind spots include acting like an employee instead of an owner and playing 'not to lose' instead of playing to win. Victoria Song is a leadership advisor to tech founders and CEOs. Victoria Song Victoria Song is a best-selling author and leadership advisor to tech founders and CEOs. She says getting stuck in blind spots cause 'unconscious reaction' that can hold back your career growth. These blind spots can include playing to not lose instead of playing to win and not thinking like an owner. See more stories on Insider's business page. Whether a new hire or a seasoned executive, anyone can encounter blind spots in their career advancement. Until you become aware of them, you can get stuck relying on unconscious reaction instead of conscious choice. Unconscious reaction is like running on autopilot, causing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to come from old subconscious coding - where blind spots are. Conscious choice is when we choose to respond to new information and where we can rewire old coding. Here are three subconscious patterns that may be getting in the way of your personal growth and career advancement - and how to rewire them.Blindspot No. 1: You play to not lose instead of playing to winFocusing your mental cycles on "what if it doesn't work" rather than on "what if it does work" can be immobilizing. This fear can cause you to spend more time talking yourself out of your ideas than talking others into them. You don't want to look or sound stupid, so you say or do nothing at all. Instead of taking bold inspired action, you play small or even hide your real opinions. You may be waiting to feel more confident and hoping self-doubt will run its course before you speak up. But in reality, that inner critic voice never goes away. Even after you've made it, earned the respect, and made the money, the voice transmutes to "What if I can't do it again? It'll be even more embarrassing to fail publicly." Your inner critic can limit your growth by keeping you trapped inside your comfort zone. To combat this, get to know your inner critic. Label it when you hear it speaking, and stop treating it like a voice of reason. Next, question its concerns. Destabilize them: "Is this really true? Is this a rational fear? If so, how can I address it?"Ask yourself, "If the worst case scenario happened, could I handle it?" This question prepares you to feel ready and OK no matter what happens.Finally, do not beat yourself up when you notice these fears holding you back. Judging yourself actually makes it more difficult to change. Instead, speak to yourself kindly. You may never feel completely confident, but you can be brave in the face of fear and make sure you're not letting your inner critic drive the show. Blindspot No. 2: You act like an employee instead of an ownerThe quickest way to stand out as a leader is to think, operate, and care like the owner does. Put yourself in your manager (or owner's) shoes and consider what they are concerned about. What are their priorities? Ask questions and learn as much as you can about what matters to them. Here are some questions the owner of your business is thinking about:What is the biggest opportunity we're missing out on?What are we not doing that we should be doing?If we could improve as a team/company, how would we do it?When your employer can sense that you care about the business and its success the way they do, then you've begun to earn trust. This trust will over time give you the keys to the kingdom, if you want them. If you truly don't care, then you probably won't advance very far.Blindspot No. 3: You wait for someone else to tell you how you're doingHigh performers are hungry for feedback and take initiative when it comes to self-improvement. Instead of focusing on being the best, aka competing with peers, focus on being your best, aka competing with yourself. How are you doing better today than you did yesterday? How will you do better tomorrow than you did today?One of the quickest ways to increase your productivity is to reflect on the past work-week's top 10 highlights:What was a success?What made it possible?What's one action you can take to double down on what's working?You can't track what you don't measure. And you can't improve what you don't track.Here are some questions you can ask yourself to gauge how you're doing:What were my biggest time wasters last week and what can I do about that?What support do I need to get this done?What am I most proud of from the past week?If you're lucky enough to get feedback from others, stay curious versus defensive by saying, "Tell me more." And really listen. Even if you disagree, find the 2% of truth in what they're sharing by asking yourself, "How is this true?" Keep the behavior distinct from your identity, e.g. "The project failed" versus "I'm a failure" or "I said something stupid" versus "I'm stupid." Also, don't dismiss positive feedback - overachievers often only hear constructive criticism, but being reminded of your strengths is important to offset what you need to improve. If you can manage your inner critic, put yourself in your manager's shoes, and lead yourself to growth and evolution, you'll rise up quickly in your organization. Over time, your inner critic's voice will weaken and your self-trust will grow.Victoria Song is a leadership advisor to tech founders and CEOs and WSJ best selling author of "Bending Reality: How to Make the Impossible Probable."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 11th, 2021

Mednax (MD) Invests in Brave Care to Boost Pediatric Business

Mednax (MD) and Brave Care form a relationship to provide enhanced pediatric care and pursue its pipeline of pediatric clinics' plan. Mednax, Inc. MD recently entered into a collaboration with Brave Care so that both can develop new and unique primary and urgent care clinics in the United States. Brave Care is a modern pediatric primary and urgent care medical platform.Per the terms of the deal, Mednax invested $20 million in purchasing a minority ownership stake in Brave Care.Both companies share a common commitment to provide top-notch pediatric care on the back of advanced technology.Brave Care is known to provide advanced and timely care and consistent communication owing to its proprietary, modern technology and powerful data. Brave Care clinics are open 12 hours a day throughout the week and one can also get in touch with the same 24/7 through its nurse line and mobile app.The combination of Mednax’s clinical expertise with Brave Care’s experience and access to operating and communications systems is expected to lead to better health outcomes for children. The latest deal seems a win-win situation for both Mednax and Brave Care.Post closure of the partnership, Mednax will draft a plan to start a multi-year project to open more than 100 clinics across its current locations. This builds upon its already set goal of streamlining its operations. The company’s existing NightLight clinics will also be rebranded as Pediatrix.This is a pathbreaking move for Mednax as it is foraying into the urgent care business. The company is continuously taking various measures to restructure its business. It sold both its anesthesia and radiology divisions last year to focus on its core pediatrics and obstetrics business lines.In 2019, it completed its nine physician group practice acquisitions including two neonatology physician practices, two maternal-fetal physician practices, one radiology practice and four other pediatric subspecialty practices.In 2020, it bought one paediatric subspecialty practice for $2.1 million. The company also has a solid pipeline of activities coming up.Its host of activities including buyouts and divestments along with a healthy revenue stream poise it well for growth. Moreover, it is expanding its telehealth services to ensure access to healthcare even while staying at home. Given the current situation, we expect this business line to continue performing well going forward.Shares of this currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 65.7% in a year, underperforming its industry’s growth 66.3%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchOther companies in the same space, such as Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. ACHC, Tenet Healthcare Corporation THC and HCA Healthcare, Inc. HCA have gained 85.5%, 123.2% and 80.9%, respectively. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Tenet Healthcare Corporation (THC): Free Stock Analysis Report MEDNAX, Inc. (MD): Free Stock Analysis Report HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA): Free Stock Analysis Report Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (ACHC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 8th, 2021

Repairs to stop a 58-story San Francisco luxury building from sinking instead made it sink more

Since its opening in 2009, the $350-million Millennium Tower had already sunk 17 inches when the construction paused in late August. The Millennium Tower is seen in San Francisco, California, on Aug. 25, 2021. Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images Repairs to stop the 58-story Millennium Tower in San Francisco from sinking instead made it worse. The issue could have been avoided if construction was halted sooner, according to multiple reports. The luxury condo skyscraper is currently tilting about 22 inches toward its northwest corner. Repairs to stop the 58-story Millennium Tower in San Francisco from sinking instead made it sink even more.Since opening in 2009, the $350-million Millennium Tower had already sunk 17 inches when the construction paused in late August after engineers determined the building had sunk another inch despite attempts to strengthen the foundation, Insider previously reported.Now, the luxury condo skyscraper is tilting about 22 inches to the northwest, SFGate reported on Thursday.Robert Pyke, a geotechnical engineer, told local news station KPIX that the $100 million project to fix the sinking should have been stopped long before it was halted in August. Residents stand inside their home on the 42nd floor of the Millennium Tower in San Francisco. AP/Eric Risberg Engineer logs and internal emails obtained by the local CBS affiliate, and verified by Pyke, showed that accelerated sinking of the building started in May, but construction carried on.The project's lead engineer, Ron Hamburger, told the news station in a statement that they could have avoided further sinking and tilting if they'd paused construction sooner."While some of the settlement and tilting that has occurred in recent months could have been avoided by halting construction earlier, neither the building's safety or functionality have been affected and the project team gathered valuable information on the causes of this settlement as construction progressed," Hamburger told WPIX in a statement.Hundreds of concerned residents sued the developers and designers of the skyscraper in 2016. While studies reported the building showed "no evidence of life-safety concerns," people expressed worry about the potential damage an earthquake could have on the tower. This Sept. 26, 2016 file photo shows the Millennium Tower in San Francisco. Eric Risberg/AP A settlement was finalized last year, leading to "very significant" payouts to condo owners and a plan to drill "52 concrete piles down to the bedrock" in order to stabilize the building, The San Francisco Examiner reported at the time.But after months of work, the building still sunk further, leading to the halt to repairs.The high-rise, which was first proposed in 2002 and later built in 2005, managed to sell $100 million worth of condos priced from $1.6 million to $10 million in only five weeks.Construction on the building partially resumed this week, SFGate reported.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 8th, 2021

Repsol (REPYY) Lays Out Enhanced Renewable Energy Targets

Repsol (REPYY) boosts its 2030 renewable energy target by 60% to reach an installed capacity of 20 GW by 2030, with a target of 6 GW by 2025. Repsol SA REPYY announced ambitious carbon-reduction targets, which will accelerate its clean-energy transition toward a net-zero emission future.Due to mounting pressure from investors to reduce emissions, energy companies have established various targets to increase renewable capacity and improve energy efficiency. Repsol was one of the early movers in this regard and possibly the first energy company to announce its non-binding plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The Spanish firm has now set targets to accelerate its transformation plan.Repsol boosted its 2030 renewable energy target by 60%. The company previously aimed for a 5.2 gigawatt (GW) of renewables by 2025 and 12.7GW by 2030.  It currently plans to reach an installed capacity of 20 GW by 2030 and a target of 6 GW by 2025.The company will invest an additional €1 billion for low-carbon projects between 2021 and 2025 compared with its previously planned €5.5 billion. This will lead to the total spending of up to €19.3 billion. Thus, low-carbon investments will comprise 35% of the company’s total spending for the 2021-2025 period. The additional investment will also support Repsol’s production of renewable hydrogen and other low-carbon initiatives.The new targets are expected to help Repsol reach its planned emission reduction faster. The company announced its first-ever absolute emission-reduction target, with an aim to reduce operational emissions by 55% by 2030. Beside this, Repsol aims to reduce net emissions by 30% from all products, including those used by customers.As part of its low-carbon strategy, Repsol is also focusing on biofuels and synthetic fuels, which are made from hydrogen as well as carbon sinks through forestation, and carbon capture and storage. Carbon capture and storage will play a key role in the development of the low-carbon projects. Notably, the company aims to produce two million tons of low-carbon fuels by 2030.The boost in Repsol’s renewable targets reflects the significant progress it is making toward carbon-neutrality. The advances in technology and project execution are enabling the company to upgrade its carbon intensity reduction targets.The latest decarbonization pathway to reach carbon neutrality in 2050 establishes a reduction of the Carbon Intensity Indicator of 15% in 2025, 28% in 2030 and 55% in 2040 compared with the previous 12%, 25% and 50%, respectively.Company Profile & Price PerformanceHeadquartered in Madrid, Spain, Repsol is an integrated energy company, which advocates energy transition.Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past three months. The stock has gained 15.1% compared with the industry’s 8% growth. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to ConsiderThe company currently flaunts a Zack Rank #1 (Strong Buy).Some other top-ranked players in the energy space are Schlumberger Limited SLB, MPLX LP MPLX and Cheniere Energy, Inc. LNG, each currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Schlumberger’s earnings for 2021 are expected to increase 45.4% year over year.MPLX’s earnings for 2021 are expected to rise 9.6% year over year.Cheniere’s earnings for 2021 are expected to surge 119.7% year over year. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Schlumberger Limited (SLB): Free Stock Analysis Report Cheniere Energy, Inc. (LNG): Free Stock Analysis Report Repsol SA (REPYY): Free Stock Analysis Report MPLX LP (MPLX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 7th, 2021

Futures Surge On Debt Ceiling Reprieve, Slide In Energy Prices

Futures Surge On Debt Ceiling Reprieve, Slide In Energy Prices The nausea-inducing rollercoaster in the stock market continued on Thursday, when US index futures continued their violent Wednesday reversal - the biggest since March - and surged with Nasdaq futures up more than 1%, hitting a session high, as Chinese technology stocks rebounded from a record low, investors embraced progress on the debt-ceiling impasse in Washington, a dip in oil prices eased worries of higher inflation and concerns eased about the European energy crisis fueled a risk-on mood. At 7:30am ET, S&P futures were up 44 points or 1.00% and Dow futures were up 267 points or 0.78%. Oil tumbled as much as $2, dragging breakevens and nominal yields lower, while the dollar dipped and bitcoin traded around $54,000. Wednesday's reversal started after Mitch McConnell on Wednesday floated a plan to support an extension of the federal debt ceiling into December, potentially heading off a historic default, a proposal which Democrats have reportedly agreed to after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested an agreement would be in place by this morning. While the deal is good news for markets worried about an imminent default, it only kicks the can to December when the drama and brinksmanship may run again. Markets have been rocked in the past month by worries about the global energy crisis, elevated inflation, reduced stimulus and slower growth. Meanwhile, the prospect of a deal to boost the U.S. debt limit into December is easing concern over political bickering, while Friday’s payrolls report may shed light on the the Federal Reserve’s timeline to cut bond purchases. “We have several things that we are watching right now -- certainly the debt ceiling is one of them and that’s been contributing to the recent volatility,” Tracie McMillion, head of global asset allocation strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said on Bloomberg Television. “But we look for these 5% corrections to add money to the equity markets.” Tech and FAAMG stocks including Apple (AAPL US +1%), Nvidia (NVDA +2%), Microsoft (MSFT US +0.9%), Tesla (TSLA US 0.8%) led the charge in premarket trading amid a dip in 10-year Treasury yields on Thursday, helped by a slide in energy prices on the back of Putin's Wednesday announcement that Russia could ramp up nat gas deliveries to Europe, something it still has clearly not done. Perhaps sensing that not all is at Putin said, after plunging on Wednesday UK nat gas futures (NBP) from 407p/therm to a low of 209, prices have ominously started to rise again. As oil fell, energy stocks including Chevron, Exxon Mobil and APA led declines with falls between 0.6% and 2.1%. Here are some of the other big movers today: Twitter (TWTR US) shares rise 2% in U.S. premarket trading after it agreed to sell MoPub to AppLovin for $1.05 billion in cash Levi Strauss (LEVI US) rises 4% in U.S. premarket trading after it boosted its adjusted earnings per share forecast for the full year; the guidance beat the average analyst estimate NRX Pharmaceuticals (NRXP US) drops in U.S. premarket trading after Relief Therapeutics sued the company, alleging breach of a collaboration pact Osmotica Pharmaceuticals (OSMT US) declined 28% in premarket trading after launching an offering of shares Rocket Lab USA (RKLB US) shares rose in Wednesday postmarket trading after the company announced it has been selected to launch NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System, or ACS3, on the Electron launch vehicle U.S. Silica Holdings (SLCA US) rose 7% Wednesday postmarket after it started a review of strategic alternatives for its Industrial & Specialty Products segment, including a potential sale or separation Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT US) climbed 2.6% in Wednesday after hours trading while Sage Therapeutics (SAGE US) dropped 3.9% after Jefferies analyst Akash Tewari kicked off his biotech sector coverage On the geopolitical front, a senior U.S. official said President Joe Biden’s plans to meet virtually with his Chinese counterpart before the end of the year. Tensions are escalating between the two countries, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticizing China’s recent military maneuvers around Taiwan. European equities rebounded, with the Stoxx 600 index surging as much as 1.3% boosted by news that the European Central Bank was said to be studying a new bond-buying program as emergency programs are phased out. Also boosting sentiment on Thursday, ECB Governing Council member Yannis Stournaras said that investors shouldn’t expect premature interest-rate increases from the central bank. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Iberdrola shares rise as much as 6.8% after an upgrade at BofA, and as Spanish utilities climbed following a report that the Ministry for Ecological Transition may suspend or modify the mechanism that reduces the income received by hydroelectric, nuclear and some renewables in relation to gas prices. Hermes shares climb as much as 3.8%, the most since February, after HSBC says “there isn’t much to worry about” from a possible slowdown in mainland China or questions over trend sustainability in the U.S. Edenred shares gain as much as 5.2%, their best day since Nov. 9, after HSBC upgrades the voucher company to buy from hold, saying that Edenred, along with Experian, offers faster recurring revenue growth than the rest of the business services sector. Valeo shares gain as much as 4.9% and is Thursday’s best performer in the Stoxx 600 Automobiles & Parts index; Citi raised to neutral from sell as broker updated its model ahead of 3Q results. Sika shares rise as much as 4.2% after company confirms 2021 guidance, which Baader said was helpful amid market concerns of sequentially declining margins due to rising raw material prices. Centrica shares rise as much as 3.6% as Morgan Stanley upgrades Centrica to overweight from equalweight, saying the utility provider will add market share as smaller U.K. companies fail due to the spike in wholesale energy prices. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rallied, boosted by a rebound in Hong Kong-listed technology shares and optimism over the progress made toward a U.S. debt-ceiling accord. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.3%, on track for its biggest jump since Aug. 24. Alibaba, Tencent and Meituan were among the biggest contributors to the benchmark’s advance. Equity gauges in Hong Kong and Taiwan led a broad regional gain, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 also rebounded from its longest losing run since 2009. Thursday’s rally in Asia came after U.S. stocks closed higher overnight on a possible deal to boost the debt ceiling into December. Focus now shifts to the reopening of mainland China markets on Friday following the Golden Week holiday, and also the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report due that day. READ: China Tech Gauge Posts Best Day Since August After Touching Lows “Risk off sentiment has persisted due to a number of negative factors, but worry over some of these issues has been alleviated for the near term,” said Shogo Maekawa, a strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo. “One is that concern over stagflation has abated, with oil prices pulling back.” Sentiment toward risks assets was also supported as a senior U.S. official said President Joe Biden plans to meet virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the end of the year. Of note, holders of Evergrande-guaranteed Jumbo Fortune bonds have yet to receive payment; the holders next step would be to request payment from Evergrande. The maturity of the bond in question was Sunday October 3rd, with a Monday October 4th effective due data, though the bond does have a five-day grace period only in the event that payment failure is due to an administrative/technical error. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7% to close at 7,256.70. All subgauges finished the day higher, with the exception of energy stocks as Asian peers tumbled with a retreat in crude oil prices.  Collins Foods was among the top performers after the company signed an agreement to become KFC’s corporate franchisee in the Netherlands. Whitehaven tumbled, dropping the most for a session since June 17.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 13,104.61. Oil extended its decline from a seven-year high as U.S. stockpiles grew more than expected, and European natural gas prices tumbled on signals from Russia it may increase supplies to the continent. The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury was 1.526%, little changed on the day after erasing a 2.4bp increase; bunds outperformed by ~1.5bp, gilts by less than 1bp; long-end outperformance flattened 2s10s, 5s30s by ~0.5bp each. Treasuries pared losses during European morning as fuel prices ebbed and stocks gained. Bunds and gilts outperform while Treasuries curve flattens with long-end yields slightly richer on the day. WTI oil futures are lower after Russia’s offer to ease Europe’s energy crunch. Negotiations on a short-term increase to U.S. debt-ceiling continue.    In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed and the greenback was weaker against most Group-of-10 peers, though moves were confined to relatively tight ranges. The U.S. jobs report Friday is the key risk for markets this week as a strong print could boost the dollar. Options traders see a strong chance that the euro manages to stay above a key technical support, at least on a closing basis. Risk sensitive currencies such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars as well as Sweden’s krona led G-10 gains, while Norway’s currency was the worst performer as European natural gas and power prices tumbled early Thursday after signals from Russia it may increase supplies to the continent. The pound gained against a broadly weaker dollar as concerns over the U.K. petrol crisis eased and focus turned to Bank of England policy. A warning shot buried deep in the BoE’s policy documents two weeks ago indicating that interest rates could rise as early as this year suddenly is becoming a more distinct possibility. Australia’s 10-year bonds rose for the first time in two weeks as sentiment was bolstered by a short-term deal involving the U.S. debt ceiling. The yen steadied amid a recovery in risk sentiment as stocks edged higher. Bond futures rose as a debt auction encouraged players to cautiously buy the dip. Looking ahead, investors will be looked forward to the release of weekly jobless claims data, likely showing 348,000 Americans filed claims for state unemployment benefits last week compared with 362,000 in the prior week. The ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday showed private payrolls increased by 568,000 jobs last month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a rise of 428,000 jobs. This comes ahead of the more comprehensive non-farm payrolls data due on Friday. It is expected to cement the case for the Fed’s slowing of asset purchases. We'll also get the latest August consumer credit print. From central banks, we’ll be getting the minutes from the ECB’s September meeting, and also hear from a range of speakers including the ECB’s President Lagarde, Lane, Elderson, Holzmann, Schnabel, Knot and Villeroy, along with the Fed’s Mester, BoC Governor Macklem and PBoC Governor Yi Gang. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1% to 4,395.5 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.03% to 455.96 MXAP up 1.2% to 193.71 MXAPJ up 1.8% to 633.78 Nikkei up 0.5% to 27,678.21 Topix down 0.1% to 1,939.62 Hang Seng Index up 3.1% to 24,701.73 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,568.17 Sensex up 1.2% to 59,872.01 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 7,256.66 Kospi up 1.8% to 2,959.46 Brent Futures down 1.8% to $79.64/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,762.96 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 94.19 German 10Y yield fell 0.6 bps to -0.188% Euro little changed at $1.1563 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Democrats signaled they would take up Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s offer to raise the U.S. debt ceiling into December, alleviating the immediate risk of a default but raising the prospect of another bruising political fight near the end of the year The European Central Bank is studying a new bond-buying program to prevent any market turmoil when emergency purchases get phased out next year, according to officials familiar with the matter Market expectations for interest-rate hikes “are not in accordance with our new forward guidance,” ECB Governing Council member Yannis Stournaras said in an interview with Bloomberg Television Creditors have yet to receive repayment of a dollar bond they say is guaranteed by China Evergrande Group and one of its units, in what could be the firm’s first major miss on maturing notes since regulators urged the developer to avoid a near-term default Boris Johnson’s plan to overhaul the U.K. economy is a 10-year project he wants to see out as prime minister, according to a senior official. The time frame, which has not been disclosed publicly, illustrates the scale of Johnson’s gamble that British voters will accept a long period of what he regards as shock therapy to redefine Britain The U.K.’s surge in inflation has boosted the cost of investment-grade borrowing in sterling to the most since June 2020. The average yield on the corporate notes climbed just past 2%, according to a Bloomberg index A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded positively as the region took impetus from the mostly positive close in the US where the major indices spent the prior session clawing back opening losses, with sentiment supported amid a potential Biden-Xi virtual meeting this year, and hopes of a compromise on the debt ceiling after Senate Republican Leader McConnell offered a short-term debt limit extension to December. The ASX 200 (+0.7%) was led higher by strength in the tech sector and with risk appetite also helped by the announcement to begin easing restrictions in New South Wales from next Monday. The Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) attempted to reclaim the 28k level with advances spearheaded by tech and amid reports Tokyo is to lower its virus warning from the current top level. The Hang Seng (+3.1%) was the biggest gainer owing to strength in tech and property stocks, with Evergrande shareholder Chinese Estates surging in Hong Kong after a proposal from Solar Bright to take it private. Reports also noted that the US and China reportedly reached an agreement in principle for a Biden-Xi virtual meeting before year-end and with yesterday’s talks in Zurich between senior officials said to be more meaningful and constructive than other recent exchanges. Finally, 10yr JGBs retraced some of the prior day’s after-hours rebound with haven demand hampered by the upside in stocks and after the recent choppy mood in T-notes, while the latest enhanced liquidity auction for longer-dated JGBs resulted in a weaker bid-to-cover. Top Asian News Vietnam Faces Worker Exodus From Factory Hub for Gap, Nike, Puma Japan’s New Finance Minister Stresses FX Stability Is Vital Korea Lures Haven Seekers With Bonds Sold at Lowest Spread Africa’s Free-Trade Area to Get $7 Billion in Support From AfDB Bourses in Europe hold onto the gains seen at the cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.5%; Stoxx 600 +1.1%) following on from an upbeat APAC handover, albeit the upside momentum took a pause shortly after the cash open. US equity futures are also firmer across the board but to a slightly lesser extent, with the tech-laden NQ (+1.0%) getting a boost from a pullback in yields and outperforming its ES (+0.7%), RTY (+0.6%) and YM (+0.6%). The constructive tone comes amid some positive vibes out of the States, and on a geopolitical note, with US Senate Minority Leader McConnell offered a short-term debt ceiling extension to December whilst US and China reached an agreement in principle for a Biden-Xi virtual meeting before the end of the year. Euro-bourses portray broad-based gains whilst the UK's FTSE 100 (+1.0%) narrowly lags the Euro Stoxx benchmarks, weighed on by its heavyweight energy and healthcare sectors, which currently reside at the foot of the bunch. Further, BoE's Chief Economist Pill also hit the wires today and suggested that the balance of risks is currently shifting towards great concerns about the inflation outlook, as the current strength of inflation looks set to prove more long-lasting than originally anticipated. Broader sectors initially opened with an anti-defensive bias (ex-energy), although the configuration since then has turned into more of a mixed picture, although Basic Resource and Autos still reside towards the top. Individual movers are somewhat scarce in what is seemingly a macro-driven day thus far. Miners top the charts on the last day of the Chinese Golden Week Holiday, with base metal prices also on the front foot in anticipation of demand from the nation – with Antofagasta (+5.1%), Anglo American (+4.2%) among the top gainers, whist Teamviewer (-8.2%) is again at the foot of the Stoxx 600 in a continuation of the losses seen after its guidance cut yesterday. Ubisoft (-5.1%) are also softer, potentially on a bad reception for its latest Ghost Recon game announcement. Top European News ECB’s Stournaras Reckons Investor Rate-Hike Bets Are Unwarranted Shell Flags Financial Impact of Gas Market Swings, Hurricane Johnson’s Plans for Economy Signal Ambitions for Decade in Power U.K. Grid Bids to Calm Market Saying Winter Gas Supply Is Enough In FX, the latest upturn in broad risk sentiment as the pendulum continues to swing one way then the other on alternate days, has given the Aussie a fillip along with news that COVID-19 restrictions in NSW remain on track for being eased by October 11, according to the state’s new Premier. Aud/Usd is eyeing 0.7300 in response to the above and a softer Greenback, while the Aud/Nzd cross is securing a firmer footing above 1.0500 in wake of a slender rise in AIG’s services index and ahead of the latest RBA FSR. Conversely, the Pound is relatively contained vs the Buck having probed 1.3600 when the DXY backed off further from Wednesday’s w-t-d peak to a 94.102 low and has retreated through 0.8500 against the Euro amidst unsubstantiated reports about less hawkish leaning remarks from a member of the BoE’s MPC. In short, the word is that Broadbent has downplayed the prospects of any fireworks in November via a rate hike, but on the flip-side new chief economist Pill delivered a hawkish assessment of the inflation situation in the UK when responding to a TSC questionnaire (see 10.18BST post on the Headline Feed for bullets and a link to his answers in full). Back to the Dollar index, challenger lay-offs are due and will provide another NFP guide before claims and commentary from Fed’s Mester, while from a technical perspective there is near term support just below 94.000 and resistance a fraction shy of 94.500, at 93.983 (yesterday’s low) and the aforementioned midweek session best (94.448 vs the 94.283 intraday high, so far). NZD - Notwithstanding the negative cross flows noted above, the Kiwi is also taking advantage of more constructive external and general factors to secure a firmer grip of the 0.6900 handle vs its US counterpart, but remains rather deflated post-RBNZ on cautious guidance in terms of further tightening. EUR/CHF/CAD/JPY - All narrowly mixed against their US peer and mostly well within recent ranges as the Euro reclaims 1.1500+ status in the run up to ECB minutes, the Franc consolidates off sub-0.9300 lows following dips in Swiss jobless rates, the Loonie weighs up WTI crude’s further loss of momentum against the Greenback’s retreat between 1.2600-1.2563 parameters awaiting Canada’s Ivey PMIs and a speech from BoC Governor Macklem, and the Yen retains an underlying recovery bid within 111.53-23 confines before a raft of Japanese data. Note, little reaction to comments from Japanese Finance Minister, when asked about recent Jpy weakening, as he simply said that currency stability is important, so is closely watching FX developments, but did not comment on current levels. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are on the backfoot, in part amid the post-Putin losses across the Nat Gas space, with the UK ICE future dropping some 20% in early trade. This has also provided further headwinds to the crude complex, which itself tackles its own bearish omens. WTI underperforms Brent amid reports that the US was mulling a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) release and did not rule out an export ban. Desks have offered their thoughts on the development. Goldman Sachs says a US SPR release would likely be of up to 60mln barrels, only representing a USD 3/bbl downside to the year-end USD 90/bbl Brent forecast and stated that relief would only be transitory given structural deficits the market will face from 2023 onwards. GS notes that any larger price impact that further hampers US shale activity would lead to elevated US nat gas prices in 2022, and an export ban would lead to significant disruption within the US oil market, likely bullish retail fuel price impact. RBC, meanwhile, believes that these comments were to incentivise OPEC+ to further open the taps after the producers opted to maintain a plan to hike output 400k BPD/m. On that note, sources noted that the OPEC+ decision against a larger supply hike at Monday's meeting was partly driven by concern that demand and prices could weaken – this would be in-fitting with sources back in July, which suggested that demand could weaken early 2022. The downside for crude prices was exacerbated as Brent Dec fell under USD 80/bbl to a low of near 79.00/bbl (vs 81.14/bbl), whilst WTI Nov briefly lost USD 75/bbl (vs high 77.23/bbl). Prices have trimmed some losses since. Metals in comparison have been less interesting; spot gold is flat and only modestly widened its overnight range to the current 1,756-66 range, whilst spot silver remains north of USD 22.50/bbl. Elsewhere, the risk tone has aided copper prices, with LME copper still north of USD 9,000/t, whilst some also cite supply concerns as a key mining road in Peru (second-largest copper producer) was blocked, with the indigenous community planning to continue the blockade indefinitely, according to a local leader. It is also worth noting that Chinese markets will return tomorrow from their Golden Week holiday. US Event Calendar 7:30am: Sept. Challenger Job Cuts YoY, prior -86.4% 8:30am: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 348,000, prior 362,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.76m, prior 2.8m 9:45am: Oct. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 54.7 11:45am: Fed’s Mester Takes Part in Panel on Inflation Dynamics 3pm: Aug. Consumer Credit, est. $17.5b, prior $17b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap On the survey, given how fascinating markets are at the moment I think the results of this month’s edition will be especially interesting. However the irony is that when things are busy less people tend to fill it in as they are more pressed for time. So if you can try to spare 3-4 minutes your help would be much appreciated. Many thanks. It was a wild session for markets yesterday, with multiple asset classes swinging between gains and losses as investors sought to grapple with the extent of inflationary pressures and potential shock to growth. However US equities closed out in positive territory and at the highs as the news on the debt ceiling became more positive after Europe went home. Before this equities had lost ground throughout the London afternoon, with the S&P 500 down nearly -1.3% at one point with Europe’s STOXX 600 closing -1.03% lower. Cyclical sectors led the European underperformance, although it was a fairly broad-based decline. However after Europe went home – or closed their laptops in many cases – the positive debt ceiling developments saw risk sentiment improve throughout the rest of New York session. The S&P rallied to finish +0.41% and is now slightly up on the week, as defensive sectors such as utilities (+1.53%) and consumer staples (+1.00%) led the index while US cyclicals fell back like their European counterparts. Small cap stocks didn’t enjoy as much of a boost as the Russell 2000 ended the day -0.60% lower, while the megacap tech NYFANG+ index gained +0.82%. Risk sentiment improved following reports that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was willing to negotiate with Democrats to resolve the debt ceiling impasse and allow Democrats to raise the ceiling until December. This means President Biden and Congressional Democrats would be able to finish their fiscal spending package – now estimated at around $1.9-2.2 trillion – and include a further debt ceiling raise into one large reconciliation package near year-end. Senate Majority Leader Schumer has not publicly addressed the deal yet, but Democrats have signaled that they’ll accept the deal, although they’ve also indicated they’d still like to pass the longer-term debt ceiling bill under regular order in a bipartisan manner when the time came near year-end. Interestingly, if we did see the ceiling extended until December, this would put another deadline that month, since the government funding extension only went through to December 3, so we could have yet another round of multiple congressional negotiations in just a few weeks’ time. The news of a Republican offer coincided with President Biden’s virtual meeting with industry leaders, where the President implored them to join him in pressuring legislators to raise the debt limit. Treasury Secretary Yellen also attended the meeting, and re-emphasised her estimate for the so-called “drop dead date” to be October 18. Potentially at risk Treasury bills maturing shortly thereafter rallied a few basis points, signaling investors took yesterday afternoon’s debt ceiling developments as positive and credible. This was a far cry from where markets opened the London session as turmoil again gripped the gas market. UK and European natural gas futures both surged around +40% to reach an intraday high shortly after the open. However, energy markets went into reverse following comments from Russian President Putin that the country was set to supply more gas to Europe and help stabilise energy markets, with European futures erasing those earlier gains to actually end the day down -6.75%, with their UK counterpart similarly reversing course to close -6.96% too. The U.K. future traded in a stunning 255 to 408 price range on the day. We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves here though, since even with the latest reversal, prices are still up by more than five-fold since the start of the year, and this astonishing increase over recent weeks has attracted attention from policymakers across the world as governments look to step in and protect consumers and industry. In the EU, the Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson, said that the price shock was “hurting our citizens, in particular the most vulnerable households, weakening competitiveness and adding to inflationary pressure. … There is no question that we need to take policy measures”. However, the potential response appeared to differ across the continent. French President Macron said that more energy capacity was required, of which renewables and nuclear would be key elements, while Italian PM Draghi said that joint EU gas purchases had wide support. However, Hungarian PM Orban took the opportunity to blame the European Commission, saying that the Green Deal’s regulations were “indirect taxation”, which shows how these price spikes could create greater resistance to green measures moving forward. Elsewhere, blame was also cast on carbon speculators, with Spanish environment minister Rodriguez saying that “We don’t want to be hostages of external financial investors”, and outside the EU, Serbian President Vucic said that his country could ban power exports if there were further issues, which just shows how energy has the potential to become a big geopolitical issue this winter. Those declines in natural gas prices were echoed across the energy complex, with both Brent Crude (-1.79%) and WTI (-1.90%) oil prices subsiding from their multi-year highs the previous day, just as coal also fell -10.20%. In turn, that served to alleviate some of the concerns about building price pressures and helped measures of longer-term inflation expectations decline across the board. Indeed by the close, the 10yr breakeven in the US had come down -1.4bps, and the equivalent measures in Germany (-4.6bps), Italy (-6.1bps) and the UK (-4.2bps) had likewise seen declines of their own. In spite of those moves for inflation expectations, this proved little consolation for European sovereign bonds as higher real rates put them under continued pressure, even if yields had pared back some of their gains from the morning. Yields on 10yr bunds (+0.6bps), OATs (+0.9bps) and BTPs (+3.2bps) were all at their highest levels in 3 months, whilst those on Polish 10yr debt were up +13.7bps after the central bank there unexpectedly became the latest to raise rates, with the 40bps hike to 0.5% marking the first increase since 2012. However, for the US it was a different story, with yields on 10yr Treasuries down -0.5bps to 1.521%, having peaked at 1.57% earlier in the London morning. There was a late story in Europe that could bear watching in the coming weeks as Bloomberg reported that the ECB is studying a new bond-buying tool that could help ease market volatility if a “taper tantrum”-esque move were to happen when the PEPP purchases end in March. The plan would reportedly target purchases selectively if there were to be a larger selloff in more heavily indebted economies, which differs from the existing programs that buys debt in relation to the size of each member’s economy. Asian stocks overnight have performed strongly, with the Hang Seng (+2.28%), Nikkei (+1.68%) and KOSPI (+1.61%) all advancing after the positive news on the debt-ceiling, as well on news that US President Biden was set to meeting with Chinese President Xi by the end of the year. All the indices were lifted by the IT and consumer discretionary sectors, and the Hang Seng Tech index has rebounded by +3.29% this morning. Separately, Evergrande-related news has been subsiding in recent days, but China Estates, a company controlled by a backer of Evergrande, rose 30% after the company disclosed an offer to take it private for $245mn. Otherwise, US futures are pointing to a positive start later, with those on the S&P 500 (+0.50%) and DAX (+1.19%) both advancing. Turning to Germany, exploratory talks will be commencing today between the centre-left SPD, the Greens and the Liberal FDP, who together would make up a so-called “traffic-light” coalition. That marks a boost for the SPD, who beat the CDU/CSU bloc into first place in the September 26 election, although CDU leader Armin Laschet said that his party were “still ready to hold talks”. However, the CDU/CSU have faced internal tensions after they slumped to their worst-ever election result, whilst a Forsa poll out on Tuesday said that 53% of voters wanted a traffic-light coalition, versus just 22% who favoured the Jamaica option led by the CDU/CSU. So momentum seems clearly behind the traffic light option for now. Looking at yesterday’s data, in the US the ADP’s report at private payrolls came in at an unexpectedly strong +568k (vs. +430k expected), which is the highest in their series for 3 months and comes ahead of tomorrow’s US jobs report. However in Germany, factory orders in August fell by -7.7% (vs. -2.2% expected) amidst various supply issues. To the day ahead now, and data releases include German industrial production and Italian retail sales for August, whilst in the US we’ve got the weekly initial jobless claims and August’s consumer credit.From central banks, we’ll be getting the minutes from the ECB’s September meeting, and also hear from a range of speakers including the ECB’s President Lagarde, Lane, Elderson, Holzmann, Schnabel, Knot and Villeroy, along with the Fed’s Mester, BoC Governor Macklem and PBoC Governor Yi Gang. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/07/2021 - 07:57.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 7th, 2021

Ad agencies are becoming increasingly emboldened to slam Facebook

In this week's Insider Advertising, we're covering a heavy week for Facebook, Fox News' plans to broaden its appeal, and NBCU's 2022 Peacock push. Hello and welcome back to Insider Advertising, your weekly look at the biggest stories and trends affecting Madison Avenue and beyond. I'm Lara O'Reilly, Insider's media and advertising editor. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.Happy Q4 to you and yours. Wishing you good tidings, and may you deplete your annual marketing budget freely and avoid any major platform outages.Before you fire up the DSP, let's get you up to speed with this week's biggest advertising news:The Facebook whistleblower reveals herself and gives scathing testimonyFox News seeks to broaden its appeal among viewers, advertisersNBCU is planning a Peacock marketing revampWhistle while you work Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to senate committee Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images Facebook is barely getting a second to catch its breath.This week, the Facebook employee turned whistleblower Frances Haugen delivered damning testimony before a Senate committee in which she argued the company repeatedly prioritized profit over public safety. (In a statement, Mark Zuckerberg pushed back, saying Haugen had painted "a false picture of the company.")A day earlier, something that Facebook described as a routine maintenance error knocked out its servers, rendering its suite of apps unusable for six hours - frustrating advertisers that had active campaigns running.Though Facebook is again in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, it's unlikely either major event will have an immediate effect on advertiser spending patterns, if past scandals are anything to go by.One notable difference, however, is how few punches agencies have pulled when advising their clients on the matter - though no doubt there might be a caveat for the agencies still vying for Facebook's $1 billion ad-buying account.Omnicom's note to clients following the publication of The Wall Street Journal's "Facebook Files" series was notably scathing. Per The New York Times:"These discrepancies raise a more significant question about the level of accuracy and sincerity of Facebook's responses to inquiries....The problem with what has come to light in this report is that there is essentially a parallel justice system within Facebook that operates with no public accountability or transparency."It's not the kind of rhetoric you'd usually see agencies commit to writing about a media owner as big as Facebook.The tide is turning. As one agency exec recently remarked to me, the latest revelations have ceased to become commercial and are now personal - especially in the case of the whistleblower allegations surrounding the company's internal research into Instagram's effect on teenage girls. These are the kinds of topics that are getting the attention of the C-suite and the board, and marketers are increasingly leaning on their agencies for a perspective on where their companies should stand. Also, keep an eye on Aussie media... (not that one). Mi3 reports that the latest Facebook revelations could put Australian advertisers in a bind when it comes to compliance with the country's environmental, social, and corporate governance legislation.Doing it for the 'gramSpeaking of Instagram, estimated US spending data from Pathmatics shows just how big a deal the platform is for CPG marketers.The measurement firm says L'Oréal is on track to more than double its spend on Instagram by the end of 2021, compared with last year, while Diageo - a newcomer to the top-10 ranking - has already more than doubled its 2020 Instagram budget. Top CPG advertisers on Instagram. Shayanne Gal/Insider What does the Fox say? Fox News' Tucker Carlson Screenshot via Fox News Fox News is attempting to show it has a softer side. No, Tucker isn't going anywhere, but Insider's chief media correspondent, Claire Atkinson, reports the channel is accelerating a series of brand extensions and slotting "more homey and patriotic" fare in between the news and talking heads as it seeks to lure in a broader viewership - and perhaps a new cohort of advertisers.Stay tuned for the new Fox Weather channel and new shows on the $5.99-a-month streaming app Fox Nation, including "holiday themed feel-good movies." The app has an estimated 1 million subscribers already, Atkinson reports.Still, with advertisers nervy at the best of times - and especially recently in this charged political environment - it's unclear whether the prospect of Clint Eastwood movies and a new daily Piers Morgan show will instantly persuade blue-chip marketers to hop aboard.Here are Fox News' biggest spending advertisers in the year to Wednesday, according to the TV ad-measurement firm (with a hat tip to Ad Age, which ran the data earlier this year.)Balance of Nature - Estimated spend: $60.2 millionMyPillow - $40.2 millionRelief Factor - $32.1 millionStephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation - $18.8 millionNutrisystem - $17.3 millionNewDay USA - $16.2 millionLiberty Mutual - $13.8 millionLear Capital - $8.9 millionUSAA - $8.2 millionPure TalkUSA - $7.7 millionI'm only streaming NBCUniversal NBCUniversal is seeking a new marketing strategy for Peacock as the streaming wars heat up. Patrick Coffee, an Insider correspondent, got his hands on a brand-positioning deck that formed part of NBCU's requests for proposals to agencies, asking them to compete for a project to launch a $17 million campaign for the streaming service in February.The deck says the goal is for Peacock to become "a top 4 'must have' SVOD through mass premium customer acquisition." The plan, per the deck, is to position around "fandom" - though NBCU is keen to point out that it "isn't a cult!"Any agency embarking on the project would be wise to focus on premium content, essentially a similar approach taken by HBO Max and Disney+, according to Richard Broughton, a research director at Ampere Analysis."From 2022, Universal movies are likely to shift to Peacock for an initial first pay window post-theatrical," Broughton told me. "Ensuring that marketing campaigns during the period lead on the exclusive availability of some of the highest-profile titles behind the Peacock paywall will be an important tool for encouraging paid conversion."Recommended readingInsider's fourth annual list of the 50 rising stars of Madison Avenue is out. It showcases a diverse range of ad-agency talent across media, creative, strategy, production, and healthcare - InsiderOzy Media briefly closed, but it's apparently back! It still faces an uphill challenge in persuading advertisers and staffers to hop back on board, however - InsiderOn the topic of Ozy: Crisis-communications pros dish on how the media company can rehabilitate its brand - InsiderThe data startup mParticle raised a $150 million Series E round, valuing the company at $800 million - InsiderSonos is rolling out its biggest ad campaign ever as it aims for 100 million customers amid surging competition from Google and Amazon - InsiderThat's all for now. See you next week - LaraRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 7th, 2021

France & The Fraying Of NATO

France & The Fraying Of NATO Authored by Gary Leupp via, Biden has infuriated France by arranging the agreement to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. This replaces a contract to purchase a fleet of diesel-powered subs from France. Australia will have to pay penalties for breach of contract but the French capitalists will lose around 70 billion dollars. The perceived perfidy of both Canberra and Washington has caused Paris to compare Biden to Trump. The UK is third partner in the agreement so expect post-Brexit Franco-British relations to deteriorate further. This is all good, in my opinion! It’s also a good thing that Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan was poorly orchestrated with the lingering “coalition partners” such as Britain, French and Germany, producing angry criticism. It’s great that the British prime minister proposed to France a “Coalition of the Willing” to continue the fight in Afghanistan following the U.S. withdrawal—and better that it was dead in the water. (Maybe the French better than the Brits remember the Suez Crisis of 1956, the disastrous joint Anglo-French-Israeli effort to reimpose imperialist control over the canal. Not only did it lack U.S. participation; Eisenhower rationally shut it down after warnings from the Egyptians’ Soviet advisors.) It’s good that these three countries heeded the U.S. command to uphold their NATO promise to stand with the U.S. when attacked; that they lost over 600 troops in a fruitless effort; and that in the end the U.S. didn’t see fit to even involve them in the end plans. It’s good to wake up to the fact that the U.S. imperialists could care less about their input or their lives. but only demand their obedience and sacrifice. It’s wonderful that Germany, despite obnoxious U.S. opposition, has maintained its involvement in the Nordstream II natural gas pipeline project along with Russia. The last three U.S. administrations have opposed the pipeline, claiming it weakens the NATO alliance and helps Russia (and urging purchase of more expensive U.S. energy sources instead—to enhance mutual security, don’t you see). The Cold War arguments have fallen on deaf ears. The pipeline was completed last month. Good for global free trade and for national sovereignty, and a significant European blow to U.S. hegemony. It’s great that Trump in Aug. 2019 raised the ridiculous prospect of purchasing Greenland from Denmark, indifferent to the fact that Greenland is a self-governing entity, within the Kingdom of Denmark. (It is 90% Inuit, and led by political parties pressing for greater independence.) It’s marvelous that when the Danish prime minister gently, with good humor, refused his ignorant, insulting and racist proposal, he exploded in rage and cancelled his state visit including state dinner with the queen. He offended not only the Danish state but popular opinion throughout Europe with his boorishness and colonial arrogance. Excellent. Trump personally, needlessly insulted the prime minister of Canada and the chancellor of Germany with the same childish language he’d used against political opponents. He raised questions in Europeans’ and Canadians’ minds about the value of an alliance with such vileness. That was a major historical contribution. Good also that, in Libya in 2011, Hillary Clinton working with the French and British leaders secured UN approval for a NATO mission to protect civilians in Libya. And that, when the U.S.-led mission exceeded the UN resolution and waged full-out war to topple the Libyan leader, enraging China and Russia who called out the lie, some NATO nations declined to participate or turned back in disgust. Another U.S. imperialist war based on lies creating disorder and flooding Europe with refugees. It was good only in the fact that it exposed once again the utter moral bankruptcy of the U.S.A. so widely now associated with images of Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and Guantanamo. All in the name of NATO. *  *  * Over the last two decades, with the Soviet Union and “communist threat” receding memories, the U.S. has systematically expanded this anti-Soviet, anti-communist postwar alliance called NATO to surround Russia. Any unprejudiced person looking at a map can understand Russia’s concern. Russia spends about a fifth of what the U.S. and NATO spend on military expenses. Russia is not a military threat to Europe or North America. So—the Russians have been asking since 1999, when Bill Clinton broke his predecessor’s promise to Gorbachev and resumed NATO expansion by adding Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia—why do you keep trying to expend to surround us? Meanwhile more and more Europeans are doubting the leadership of the United States. That means doubting the purpose and value of NATO. Formed to confront an imaginary Soviet invasion of “western” Europe, it was never deployed in war during the Cold War. Its first war indeed was the Clintons’ war on Serbia in 1999. This conflict, which severed the Serbian historical heartland from Serbia to create the new (dysfunctional) state of Kosovo, has since been repudiated by participants Spain and Greece who note that the UN resolution authorizing a “humanitarian” mission in Serbia explicitly stated that the Serbian state remain undivided. Meantime (after the bogus “Rambouillet agreement” was signed) the French foreign minister complained that the U.S. was acting like a hyper-pouissance (“hyperpower” as opposed to mere superpower). The future of NATO lies with the U.S., Germany, France and the UK. The last three were long members of the EU, which while a rival trading bloc generally coordinated policies with NATO. NATO has overlapped the EU such that virtually all of the countries admitted to the military alliance since 1989 have first joined NATO, then the EU. And within the EU—which is after all, a trading bloc that competes with North America—the UK long served as a kind of U.S. surrogate urging cooperation with Russian trade boycotts, etc. Now the U.K. has split from the EU, unavailable to, say, pressure Germany to avoid deals with the Russians Washington opposes. Good! Germany has a number of reasons to want to increase trade with Russia and has now shown the will to stand up to the U.S. Germany and France both challenged George W. Bush’s Iraq war based on lies. We should not forget how Bush (promoted lately as a statesman by the Democrats!) rivaled his successor Trump as a vulgar, lying buffoon. And if Obama seemed a hero in contrast, his magnetism ebbed as Europeans learned that they were all being monitored by the National Security Agency, and that the calls of Angela Merkel and the Pope were bugged. This was the land of freedom and democracy, always boasting about liberating Europe from the Nazis and expecting eternal payoff in the form of bases and political deference. It has been 76 years since the fall of Berlin (to the Soviets, as you know, not to the U.S.); 72 since the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); 32 since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the promise by George W. H. Bush to Gorbachev NOT to expand NATO further; 22 since the resumption of NATO expansion; 22 since the U.S.-NATO war on Serbia including the aerial bombing of Belgrade; 20 since NATO went to war at U.S. behest in Afghanistan, resulting in ruin and failure; 13 years since the U.S. recognized Kosovo as an independent country, and NATO announced the near-term admission of Ukraine and Georgia, resulting in the brief Russo-Georgia War and Russian recognition of the states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia; 10 years since the grotesque NATO mission to destroy and sew chaos in Libya, producing more terror throughout the Sahel and tribal and ethnic violence in the crumbling country, and producing more waves of refugees; 7 since the bold, bloody U.S.-backed putsch in Ukraine that placed a pro-NATO party in power, provoking the ongoing rebellion among ethnic Russians in the east and obliging Moscow to re-annex the Crimean Peninsula, inviting unprecedented ongoing U.S. sanctions and U.S. pressure on allies to comply; 5 since a malignant narcissist moron won the U.S. presidency and soon alienated allies by his pronouncements, insults, evident ignorance, a belligerent approach, raising questions in a billion minds about the mental stability and judgment of the voters of this country; 1 year since a career warmonger who has long vowed to expand and strengthen NATO, who became the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine after the 2014 coup, his mission being to clean up corruption to prepare Ukraine for NATO membership (and who is the father of Hunter Biden who famously sat on the board of Ukraine’s leading gas company 2014-2017 making millions for no apparent reason or work done) became president. 1 year since the world saw repeatedly on TV the 9 minute video of an open, public police lynching on the streets of Minneapolis, surely many among the views wondering what right this racist nation has to lecture China or anyone on human rights. 9 months since the U.S. capitol was stormed by U.S. brown shirts brandishing Confederate flags and fascist symbols and calling for the hanging of Trump’s vice president for treason. It is a long record of terrifying Europe with seemingly unstable leaders (Bush no less than Trump); harassing Europe with demands it minimizes trade with Russia and China and obey U.S. rules on Iran, and demanding participation in its imperialist wars far from the North Atlantic to Central Asia and Northern Africa. It is also a record of provoking Russia while expanding the anti-Russian juggernaut. It has meant actually using NATO militarily (as in Serbia, Afghanistan, and Libya) to cement the military alliance under U.S. direction, the stationing of 4000 U.S. troops in Poland, and threatening flights in the Baltic. Meanwhile, multiple U.S. agencies work overtime to plot “color revolutions” in the counties bordering Russia: Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine. NATO is dangerous and evil. It should be terminated. Opinion polls in Europe suggest a rise in NATO skepticism (good in itself) and opposition (better). It was already split seriously once: in 2002-2003 over the Iraq War. Indeed the manifest criminality of the Iraq War, the obvious willingness of the Americans to use disinformation, and the buffoonic personality of the U.S. president probably shocked Europe as much as the beastly Trump. The amusing thing is that Biden and Blinken, Sullivan and Austin, all seem to think none of this happened. They really seem to think that the world respects the United States as the (natural?) leader of something called the Free World —of nations committed to “democracy.” Blinken tells us and Europeans we’re confronting, “autocracy” in the form of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela all threatening us and our values. They seem think they can return to the 1950s, explain their moves as reflections of “American Exceptionalism,” posture as champions of “human rights,” cloak their interventions as “humanitarian missions,” and arm-twist their client-states into joint action. At present NATO is being pushed by Biden to identify (as it did in its last communique) the PRC as a “security threat” to Europe. But the reference to China was controversial. And NATO is divided on the matter of China. Some states do not see much of a threat and have every reason to expand ties with China, especially with the advent of the Belt and Road projects. They know that China’s GDP will soon exceed that of the U.S. and that the U.S. is not the economic superpower it was after the war when it established its hegemony over most of Europe. It has lost much of its basic strength but, like the Spanish Empire in the eighteenth century, none of its arrogance and brutality. Even after all the exposure. Even after all the shame. Biden flashing his trained smile announces “America is back!” expecting the world—especially “our allies”—to delight in the resumption of normalcy. But Biden should recall the stony silence that met Pence’s announcement at the Munich Security Conference in February 2019 when he conveyed Trump’s greetings. Do not these U.S. leaders not realize that in this century Europe’s GDP has come to match the U.S.’s? And that few people believe that the U.S. “saved” Europe from the Nazis, and then staved off the Soviet Communists, and revived Europe with the Marshall Plan, and continues to this day to protect Europe from the Russia that threatens to march west at any moment? Blinken wants to pick up and move on and lead the world forward. Back to normal! Sound, reliable U.S.leadership is back! Oh really? the French might ask. Stabbing a NATO ally in the back, sabotaging a signed $66 billion deal with far-off Australia? “Doing,” as the French foreign minister put it, “something Mr. Trump would do”? Not only France but the EU has denounced the U.S.-Australia deal. Some NATO members question how the Atlantic Alliance is served by a business dispute between members that pertains to what the Pentagon calls the “Indo-Pacific” region. And why—when the U.S. is attempting to secure NATO’s participation in a strategy of containing and provoking Beijing—it is not bothering to coordinate with France? Is Blinken unaware that France is an imperialist country with vast holdings in the Pacific? Does he know about the French naval facilities at Papeete, Tahiti, or the army, navy and air force bases in New Caledonia? The French conducted their nuclear blasts at Mururora, for god’s sake. As an imperialist country, does not France have the same right as the U.S. to gang up on China with Australia, in France’s corner of the Pacific? And if its close ally the U.S. decides to undermine the deal, should not etiquette have dictated that it at least inform its “oldest ally” about its intentions? The French condemnation of the submarines deal has been unprecedentedly sharp, in part, I imagine, due to the implicit disparagement of France as a great power. If the U.S. is urging its allies to join with it in confronting China, why does it not consult with France about an arms deal designed to do that, especially when it supplants one already openly negotiated by a NATO ally? Isn’t it clear that Biden’s appeals for “alliance unity” mean uniting, behind U.S. leadership around preparations for war on China? Gradually NATO is fraying. Again, this is a very good thing. I had worried that Biden would quickly work to integrate Ukraine into the alliance, but Merkel seems to have told him no. Europeans don’t want to be dragged into another U.S. war, especially against their great neighbor whom they know much better than Americans and have every reason to befriend. France and Germany, who (recall) opposed the U.S. war-based-on-lies on Iraq in 2003, are finally losing patience with the alliance and wondering what membership means other than joining with the U.S. in its quarrels with Russia and China. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/07/2021 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 7th, 2021

Vale (VALE) Halts Operations at Onca Puma Mine in Brazil

Vale S.A (VALE) is halting operations at its Onca Puma nickel mine after a state agency suspended its operating license due to alleged non-compliance with local regulations. Vale S.A VALE recently announced that it has halted all activities at Onça Puma mine, Brazil, following the suspension of its operation license by a State Agency on allegations that the company has failed to comply with conditions for licensing. Following the news, Vale’s shares have dipped 2% on Oct 4.  Vale is currently evaluating the direct impact of the shutdown on total production. Onca Puma accounted for 7.5% of the company's total nickel production in 2020. The shutdown is likely to lead to probable losses incurred by those that are part of its value chain, such as suppliers, contractors, clients, and employees, in addition to the Federal government, the State of Pará and the municipalities reached by the operations.The company is in contact with the Environmental and Sustainability office of the Pará State to understand the technical and legal grounds for the suspension of the license. It is also taking appropriate measures to reverse the order to suspend mine operations.Vale had to shut down the Onca Puma mine earlier in September 2017 owing to allegations of negative impact on the health of communities near the mine. In June 2019, the company suspended its nickel processing activities at the Onça Puma plant. Subsequently, in September 2019, the Federal Supreme Court decided to suspend the injunctions and allowed the resumption of operations at Onça Puma.The company produced a total of 214.7 kt of nickel in 2020, which was up 3% year over year, driven by improved performance from Onça Puma and increased source ore from Indonesia, partly negated by the COVID-19 impact. Onca Puma’s output for the year was 16,000 tons. Excluding Vale New Caledonia (“VNC”), nickel production was 183.7 kt in 2020, in line with 2019.Vale’s Base Metals business, which includes exploration efforts related to nickel, copper, cobalt, PGMs and gold and silver, has gone through a broad safety review of the operational process, resulting in comprehensive overhaul of maintenance standards, procedures, training and oversight. It anticipates improvements from maintenance activities to materialize throughout the business this year. The company is working toward transforming its base metals business and believes it will attain 500 ktpy (kilo tons per year) with projects already in pipeline — Salobo III, Alemao and Cristalino.In June 2021, Vale announced first ore production on its Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay Mine Expansion Project in Northern Labrador. Home to one of the largest nickel deposits in the world, Voisey’s Bay has been producing nickel from an open-pit operation since 2005. The transition to underground involves the development of two underground mines — Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps, thus extending the life of Vale’s Labrador operations and achieving production of 40,000 tons of nickel in concentrate at a peak annual production rate of 2.6 million tons by 2025, with about 20,000 tons copper and 2,600 tons of cobalt as byproducts. The project is 66% completed, with executed capital expenditures of $1,323 million and Eastern Deeps expected to start operations in 2022.The ore produced at Voisey’s Bay is processed at Vale’s Long Harbour — one of the world’s lowest emission nickel processing plants. The sustainably-produced, responsibly sourced nickel, copper and cobalt products will help meet future customer demand in the electric vehicle and clean energy space as the industry focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering carbon footprints.So far this year, shares of Vale have fallen 17.2%, compared with the industry’s decline of 15.2%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThis can primarily be attributed to the recent plunge in iron ore prices due to weak demand in China on account of its intensified curbs on steel production and slowdown across its property sector. In the third quarter of 2021, iron ore plummeted 49% — the first quarterly loss since the first quarter of 2020. Copper prices have plunged amid a stronger dollar and growing concerns about the Chinese real estate market. Meanwhile, inflated input and freight costs will weigh on its margins.Zacks Rank & Key PicksVale currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Veritiv Corporation VRTV, Nucor Corporation NUE and Teck Resources Ltd. TECK. All of these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Veritiv has a projected earnings growth rate of 214.9% for the current year. The company’s shares have skyrocketed 359% year to date.Nucor has a projected earnings growth rate of roughly 534.4% for the current year. The company’s shares have rallied 82% so far this year.Teck Resources has a projected earnings growth rate of 305.3% for the current year. Year-to-date, the company’s shares have gained 42% in a year. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report VALE S.A. (VALE): Free Stock Analysis Report Nucor Corporation (NUE): Free Stock Analysis Report Veritiv Corporation (VRTV): Free Stock Analysis Report Teck Resources Ltd (TECK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 6th, 2021

3 ways to politely interject during a meeting

If speaking up at work makes you nervous, career coach Melody Wilding suggests piggybacking off of someone else's comments to get started. Hosting brainstorm meetings online can actually spur more creativity than in person. Alistair Berg/Getty Images Don't let worrying about improper etiquette prevent you from speaking up when you have something to say at a meeting. Contribute early on and set rules to guide your conversation to keep yourself on track. If you're not sure when to interrupt, opt to interject sooner rather than later. See more stories on Insider's business page. Picture it…You're in a meeting with a few colleagues and your boss, discussing a project you're heavily involved with. Although you have thoughts to share, you're silent. Dialogue ping-pongs between your manager and co-workers. You can't get a word in edgewise. It's a reoccurring obstacle, you cannot seem to get a handle on how to master the polite interject during a meeting.You wait for the moment when it feels appropriate to butt in, but the moment never comes. The meeting has ended before you know it and you barely said a word. You log off feeling defeated and frustrated with yourself. Sound familiar? This happened to my client, Heidi, a marketing director at a sports company. Heidi was accomplished and considered a subject matter expert in analytics. Despite her expertise, Heidi frequently overthought her contributions. She placed a high expectation on herself to share value - and that perfectionism often held her back from speaking at all.Add to that the fact that Heidi was also exceedingly courteous and kind. She never wanted to be pushy, rude, or dominate the conversation. While her intentions were good, these tendencies lead Heidi to wait too long to contribute in meetings. This not only eroded her confidence but also contributed to a lack of influence in her job. She needed to learn how to break this cycle, she needed to be able to interject during a meeting.Heidi is what I call a Sensitive Striver - a high-achiever who is also highly sensitive. Because of their qualities, Sensitive Strivers like Heidi often have challenges interjecting and asserting themselves to make a point. You may try to build up the courage to speak, only to struggle to find a way into the conversation. There are many reasons you may have to interject during a meeting. You may be offering a perspective, providing an update, correcting a matter, or asking for clarification. Or perhaps you are trying to push your team to stay on track. Whatever the reason, it's essential to interject with tact. Here are some ideas I share with Heidi that may work for you, too. 1. Break the iceThe longer you wait to say anything in a meeting, the more your fear and hesitation will build. So make a point to contribute early on. You don't have to be the first person to speak, but try to be the second or third.Remove perfectionism as well. What you share doesn't have to be groundbreakingly original. You can offer a point of view or information if you have it, but piggybacking off of someone else's comments works, too. Using your voice early will help you get comfortable expressing yourself and make it easier to break through resistance that keeps you quiet. 2. Create a disclaimer Set ground rules at the start of the conversation. Mention that to keep the conversation efficient and effective, you may jump in to keep the discussion on track with the team's stated goals. This gives you air cover when you do need to interrupt, such as, "Amy, as I said at the top of the meeting, our main goal today is X, and to keep us on track, we'll have to put Y until next time." 3. Gauge timingIf you want to interject during a meeting, it is all about intuiting the best time to speak up based on your team's norms. Generally speaking, it's best to wait for the speaker to pause for a few seconds before you pipe up. But if you're remote or happen to be in a faster-paced environment, err on the side of interjecting a bit sooner. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 6th, 2021

China"s Belt And Road Faces Growing Opposition From Participating Countries As Debts Mount

China's Belt And Road Faces Growing Opposition From Participating Countries As Debts Mount Authored by Daniel Holl via The Epoch Times, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is facing growing opposition from participating countries as their debts associated with Chinese projects mount, according to a recent study. Launched in 2013 by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the BRI might be losing its impetus due to a debt-based backlash, according to a study from AidData, a research lab at William & Mary’s Global Research Institute. The study analyzed 13,427 projects backed by China in more than 165 countries over 18 years. The projects’ total value amounts to $843 billion. AidData found that 35 percent of BRI’s projects dealt with implementation problems, “such as corruption scandals, labor violations, environmental hazards, and public protests.” Brad Parks, one of the study’s authors, said “a growing number of policymakers in low- and middle-income countries are mothballing high profile BRI projects because of overpricing, corruption and debt sustainability concerns.” Global Expansion The BRI—which serves as a tool for the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) global expansion—finances enormous loans to developing nations for building infrastructure. The ostentatious projects have been described as being a part of so-called debt-trap diplomacy since the often unpayable loans will force the nations to repay China with goods or land. Chinese state-owned banks provide the countries with loans they can barely afford. The loans are then used to pay Chinese companies in order to build infrastructure, including the development of roads, ports, power plants, mines, telecommunications, or banking institutions. When the nations are unable to pay, they must grant China assets like long-term exploitation rights for natural resources, or leases of infrastructure built using the loans. A Chinese worker carrying materials for a project that is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Laos, on Feb. 8, 2020 (Aidan Jones/AFP via Getty Images) According to AidData’s report, 42 low- and middle-income countries have public debt exposure to China that exceeds 10 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). “China has used debt rather than aid to establish a dominant position in the international development finance market,” the report said. The report said that researchers estimated that a government of an average low-to-middle-income country participating in the BRI are underreporting its actual and potential repayment obligations to China by an amount that is equivalent to 5.8 percent of its GDP. “Collectively, these underreported debts are worth approximately $385 billion,” the report said. When agreeing to join BRI, countries expect the new infrastructure will boost their GDPs enough to not only to repay the debt, but also profit in the future. However, most nations do not become prosperous from the projects, according to Antonio Graceffo, an economics professor. Graceffo has argued that the poorest nations are overburdened with BRI debt, citing a Central Banking report that stated 23 percent of countries involved in the initiative said BRI debt is building external debt up to unsustainable levels. For instance, in December 2017 Sri Lanka leased the major Hambantota Port to Beijing for 99 years, due to its inability to pay BRI owed loans of $1.4 billion. This gave the CCP a key base in the Indian Ocean. A general view of the port facility at Hambantota in Sri Lanka, on Feb. 10, 2015. (Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images) In an article published by the Gatestone Institute, Lawrence A. Franklin stated that BRI’s economic benefits—mainly in third-world countries—are questionable, and “a few of these bilateral packages appear contrived to imprison already impoverished states into realms of permanent economic vassalage to China.” Franklin further said that Beijing’s goals with BRI are not only economic but also strategic and political. Its “projects seem not designed so much to win new friends as to win new dependents, especially in areas either neglected by the West or in the Western sphere of influence.” AidData’s study also evaluated that since 2013, there were many suspensions and cancellations in BRI participant countries. Malaysia canceled $11.58 billion in projects, Kazakhstan nearly $1.5 billion, and Bolivia over $1 billion. It further states in some countries “there’s clear evidence of ‘buyer’s remorse’.” The report also mentions that China’s annual international development finance commitments are double that of the United States’ and other major countries. Meanwhile, in June, the United States announced a new G7 initiative Build Back Better World (B3W), whose objective is to supply developing countries with financial support to build infrastructure. “B3W is going to increase choice in the infrastructure financing market, which could lead to some high-profile BRI defections,” Parks said. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/05/2021 - 23:25.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 5th, 2021

How El Salvador’s Bitcoin Experiment Highlights The Challenges Of Achieving Satoshi’s Vision Of “Peer To Peer Electronic Cash”

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are still not usable for everyday commerce and transactions. Here’s how to change that. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more El Salvador’s Bitcoin Experiment When El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender earlier this month, it was seen as a major step in cryptocurrency going mainstream. A digital currency […] Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are still not usable for everyday commerce and transactions. Here’s how to change that. 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 input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more El Salvador's Bitcoin Experiment When El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender earlier this month, it was seen as a major step in cryptocurrency going mainstream. A digital currency presents incredible potential and could enable instant, convenient and cheaper transactions, especially for the roughly 70 percent of Salvadorans who don’t have access to traditional financial services. Yet, the initial rollout has been fraught with instability and confusion. The country’s early experience highlights the fact that building a payment system people trust takes time. El Salvador is now realizing the implications of trying to utilize an incredibly volatile currency for everyday transactions. These are the same critical challenges that most crypto projects have tried for years to overcome in order to grow their ecosystems to a broader business and consumer audience. After all, the opening line of Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 Bitcoin Whitepaper outlines the goal of creating a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash” for online payments without the need for financial intermediaries. But now 13 years later, despite the growth of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, this vision has not yet been realized. This is because, by definition, usable money needs to have three functions: a medium of exchange to facilitate transactions, a store of value, and a unit of account to provide a common measure of the value of goods and services being exchanged. While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are commonly used as a store of value (that is as investment vehicles) they are not yet widely used for payments and other transactions. Using Bitcoin For Payments Is Too Confusing Early news reports have highlighted that many Salvadorans will be unlikely to use bitcoin for payments for the same reason that crypto projects never go mainstream: it’s simply too confusing to the average person and is not trusted. As one labor representative told Reuters, "We know this coin fluctuates drastically. Its value changes from one second to another and we will have no control over it." Every crypto project faces this same hurdle when trying to convince people to buy and use their own native token. Simply put, communities using cryptocurrencies do not have full control over their money today. To use a comparison from the world of centralized banking, cryptocurrency is often really valuable in your savings account but can’t be readily used in your checking account. But thankfully, there is a solution that gives any community control over all of the functions of their money and their own Decentralized Monetary Authority. Using ICHI, any community can easily create and control its own branded dollar worth exactly $1 that is uniquely backed by its own native token and over collateralized to limit risks. These dollar equivalents are a reliable unit of exchange that businesses and consumers can easily trust and understand. By giving anyone access to usable digital cash, the potential of peer-to-peer finance can finally be realized. A student in El Salvador no longer needs to pay transaction fees to buy books or send money to his family overseas. A pupusa vendor in San Salvador no longer needs to pay a credit card company to accept payments from her customers. In fact, she can now offer special discounts to customers who use her business’ branded cash. Simply adopting, or even creating a cryptocurrency is too narrow of a goal for El Salvador or any crypto community. For the true promise of DeFi and cryptocurrency to be realized, people must have complete freedom over how they spend, invest, save and otherwise use their money. It’s time for people to take control over their money. About the Author Bryan Gross is the lead steward at ICHI, the world’s first decentralized monetary authority (DMA) and former principal product manager of IBM Blockchain and advisor at Dapper Labs.  Updated on Oct 5, 2021, 4:31 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; 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 5th, 2021