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Clarion Partners, Westbridge Begin Final Phase of  Award-Winning Stockyards Atlanta with 926 Brady

Clarion Partners, LLC, and Westbridge have started 926 Brady, the adaptive reuse of the final undeveloped building in the core West Midtown submarket.  The 1930s warehouse is the last remaining piece of the industrial complex that made up the Miller Union Stockyards. Redeveloped by Westbridge in 2017, the urban reuse... The post Clarion Partners, Westbridge Begin Final Phase of  Award-Winning Stockyards Atlanta with 926 Brady appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Clarion Partners, LLC, and Westbridge have started 926 Brady, the adaptive reuse of the final undeveloped building in the core West Midtown submarket.  The 1930s warehouse is the last remaining piece of the industrial complex that made up the Miller Union Stockyards. Redeveloped by Westbridge in 2017, the urban reuse project has attracted major companies while becoming a popular dining and entertainment destination.  926 Brady will have more than 36,000 square feet of large-format creative office space with a second-floor addition featuring an outdoor rooftop terrace with skyline views. The project is targeting creative companies interested in retaining and attracting talent in a new-to-market space that reflects the character of the historic neighborhood. “We are thrilled to start work on the final piece of this three-acre campus steeped in 120 years of Atlanta history,” said Joshua Mandelberger, Vice President, Asset Management Clarion Partners. “926 Brady will complete the original vision of Stockyards Atlanta and tie into West Midtown’s rapidly evolving urban core with something truly unique in the market as the area transitions to mid-rise and high-rise new construction projects.”  926 Brady is on the corner of 10th Street and Brady Avenue. Dating back to the early 1900s, it served as a stockyard and meatpacking plant for Atlanta’s growing population. Several of the historic buildings have been updated and adapted, making Stockyards one of Atlanta’s premier creative communities.  “I am excited to work with Clarion on the final phase of one of our signature projects in West Midtown,” said Chris Faussemagne, Westbridge. “It continues the legacy of West Midtown and Stockyards Atlanta, and the ongoing transformation of this historic neighborhood.”  The regional headquarters of energy drink giant Red Bull is in Stockyards Atlanta, as is global manufacturer Mannington Commercial and advertising and marketing firm Fitzco. Painted Duck, a high-end duckpin bowling alley and game bar; Baffi Atlanta, a casual, Italian-inspired restaurant from culinary legend Jonathan Waxman and neighborhood gathering spot Nick’s Westside anchor the highly-curated retail destinations. The Urban Land Institute (ULI) honored Stockyards Atlanta for Excellence in Office/Commercial Mixed-Use Development. Architectural firm ai3 is the architect for 926 Brady, and Gay Construction Company is the general contractor. The Transwestern team of Zach Wooten and Stephen Clifton is managing leasing. Construction is currently underway, with an estimated delivery in the second quarter of 2023.   The post Clarion Partners, Westbridge Begin Final Phase of  Award-Winning Stockyards Atlanta with 926 Brady appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyMay 22nd, 2022

City green lights Two Trees’ Williamsburg waterfront plan

The New York City Council has approved the revised River Ring proposal for the Williamsburg waterfront, ushering in a mixed-use development that will provide 263 residences for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, out of 1,050 new units, and will be anchored by a waterfront park. The final proposal includes funding the construction... The post City green lights Two Trees’ Williamsburg waterfront plan appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The New York City Council has approved the revised River Ring proposal for the Williamsburg waterfront, ushering in a mixed-use development that will provide 263 residences for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, out of 1,050 new units, and will be anchored by a waterfront park. The final proposal includes funding the construction of approximately 150 new units in the Williamsburg community designated as affordable homes for senior residents. The Council vote follows three years of community engagement with local residents, business owners and stakeholders across the city, and recent approvals during the land use process by Brooklyn Community Board 1, Borough President Eric Adams, and the New York City Planning Commission. Two Trees Management expects to begin construction in 2024.  Key highlights of Two Trees Management’s final River Ring Waterfront Master Plan include: Significant new affordable housing, including 263 permanently affordable apartments (out of 1050 total on-site homes), which feature the same design and amenities as market rate units, available at an average of 60% AMI with some units as low as 40% AMI. More than 150 new units of affordable housing for seniors, to be built in Community Board 1 on land funded by Two Trees. A 3-acre world-class public park to be financed and maintained by Two Trees Management, plus an additional 3 acres designated for previously unavailable in-water recreational opportunities, including kayaking, marine ecology, education, tidal wetlands and an accessible beach.$100 million investment in resiliency infrastructure and open space also that protects hundreds of properties upland and up-river from River Ring.A state-of-the-art, 50,000 square foot YMCA facility featuring a full-service community swim program that includes free swimming lessons for second grade students in CB1.2,000 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs with a subsidized training program and local hiring, in collaboration with local workforce development partners. $1.75 million in funding for community initiatives, including a new environmental benefits fund to help retrofit neighborhood buildings and a major open space planning study of the community district to connect new and existing parks.Green technology and sustainable design, including a commitment to all-electric buildings and the development of on-site wastewater treatment.Ongoing meaningful dialogue with community partners to bring new access to the waterfront and support environmental justice and education. “After more than two years of conversations with residents, stakeholders and leaders, we’re grateful to Council Member Levin, the Zoning Subcommittee, and the Land Use Committee for their support of a precedent-setting project,” said Jed Walentas, Principal of Two Trees Management.  “River Ring will change how New Yorkers interact with our waterfront while also increasing affordable housing, providing a new model for resiliency, building a new public park and investing in community programs and spaces. We will bring the same commitment and dedication to River Ring that we’ve brought to the Domino redevelopment and Domino Park. Taken together, these two projects will provide approximately 1,000 units of affordable housing integrated within new, world-class buildings. Thanks to Council Member Levin, we have also committed to creating an acquisition fund to support the development of over 150 units of senior housing within Community Board 1. And by connecting River Ring and Domino, we will finally fill the missing link in North Brooklyn’s waterfront greenway.” The River Ring Waterfront Master Plan, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and James Corner Field Operations (Field Operations), will enhance the connectivity of the public waterfront, reinstate natural habitats, elevate the standard for urban waterfront resiliency, and transform the way New Yorkers interact with the East River.  In total, the River Ring Plan will create approximately 3 acres of public open space and another 3 acres of protected in-water access, including natural habitat — far beyond the 0.7 acres required under zoning regulations. Combined with the neighboring Domino Park, Two Trees is poised to deliver more than 8 acres above the required amount of accessible waterfront public space along the East River waterfront in Williamsburg. The site features a pair of mixed-income residential buildings designed by BIG. The project is designed around cutting-edge open space designed by Field Operations (including three acres of protected water for aquatic uses) and ecological infrastructure that will increase resilience for the site and surrounding area. The project’s public and community spaces — which have been tailored through direct community input — will introduce a first-of-its-kind protected public beach and in-water areas for New Yorkers to enjoy an array of aquatic activities including boating, fishing, tide pool exploration and potentially in the future: swimming.  The introduction of a public waterfront park at the former industrial site, directly north of Two Trees’ award-winning Domino development, will help to complete a stretch of continuous waterfront access that will eventually extend from South Williamsburg to Greenpoint.  “The River Ring project is unlike almost any waterfront development proposal, and Two Trees is pioneering how we can build innovative public spaces in a way that directly confronts the impacts of climate change,” said Cortney Koenig Worrall, CEO and President, Waterfront Alliance. “The project promises to transform how New Yorkers relate to water while protecting communities from rising waters using technologies that honor the local habitat, raising the bar for how we as a city can build safety and responsibly along our waterfronts.” “The River Ring proposal creates desperately needed open space for New Yorkers, delivers critical support for the city’s resilience infrastructure, and brings online significant affordable housing. That’s a triple-win for New York City. We thank the City Council for helping to realize this transformative vision which addresses multiple challenges for the city head on while delivering major investments for the local community,” said Adam Ganser, Executive Director, New Yorkers for Parks. “The River Ring project is a prime model for how cities can get transformative projects moving in the right direction,” said Tom Wright, President and CEO of Regional Plan Association. “From the beginning it was informed by local engagement and feedback with resiliency and the community in mind. When it becomes reality, it will create new affordable housing and a three-acre resilient waterfront park in Brooklyn – which will transform the way New Yorkers interact with the water. We look forward to seeing this become reality – and become the standard for addressing communities’ development at the water’s edge.” RESILIENCY AND HABITAT RESTORATION Borrowing from models used in places like the Netherlands that have come to terms with a wetter future, the River Ring plan embraces the river instead of building walls and hard surfaces that accelerate storm surge and push it to adjacent riverfronts. Waterfront infrastructure and open space will feature berms, breakwaters, marshes and wetlands designed to increase resilience by taking the energy out of storm surges, reducing flooding, providing more room to absorb water and slow down its retreat, reducing erosion risk, and better protecting the local waterfront in the face of habitat loss and climate change. The plan also includes a new tidal basin capable of holding four million gallons of water that is designed to flood, mitigating damage from receding waters. Additionally, the development expands the shoreline with various wave breaks, attenuating the impacts from severe storms, sustaining intertidal habitat and creating calmer waters to promote in-water access and nurture habitat. The new waterfront park will enable the restoration of salt marshes, wetlands, oyster beds and tidal flats, enriching wildlife and habitat while creating protected areas that will enable more in-water engagement and recreational uses and provide ecological education to the community.  PARK DESIGN AND COMMUNITY INPUT Designed by Field Operations, the waterfront park features a circular esplanade extending into the East River that promotes access in and around the river, as well as an amphitheater, large sandy beach, tidal pools, salt marsh, and a fishing pier. This ring connects to the park’s breakwaters which provide protection and form a series of nature trails that extend out to the historic concrete caissons. A boating cove at North 1st Street includes a sandy beach for boat access surrounded by wetlands and is adjacent to a series of community kiosks and a children’s natural play area. The community kiosks, totaling approximately 5,000 SF, will be made available to local community partners through a request-for-proposal process. Potential users include kayak rental, educational partners, artist installations and other waterfront related uses. These features were inspired by a series of community charrettes convened by Two Trees Management, where there was a strong consensus for the park to engage the river with places to touch the water, for places of respite and access to nature, and a place that is a model for resiliency. Like Domino Park, the new park will be maintained in perpetuity by Two Trees Management and will operate based on NYC Parks Department rules and regulations. “The past two years have revealed an increased appreciation of parks and public spaces, and hopefully a shift to understanding them as essential infrastructure. River Ring embodies this way of thinking as an adaptive nature-based solution that rethinks regulatory frameworks and design standards,” says Lisa Switkin, Senior Principal at James Corner Field Operations. “The park showcases integrated co-benefits, designed to increase resilience and waterfront access, provide diverse park experiences and recreational opportunities, restore habitat, and change the mindset from living against water to living with water.” MIXED-USE BUILDING PLAN The masterplan includes two Bjarke Ingels Group-designed mixed-use buildings with 1,050 total units of housing, 263 of which will be below-market rate (made available to applicants with low AMIs), a new 50,000-square-foot YMCA, 30,000 square feet of neighborhood retail space and 57,000 square feet for office space. The new YMCA will feature a waterfront aquatic center that will offer subsidized swim lessons for community youth in need. The residential towers are oriented to limit view obstruction from the neighborhood and maximize the Metropolitan Avenue view corridor. Blending the towers with the landscape softens the relationship between building and park, forming a gateway that welcomes the community to the water. “With the River Ring we close one of the last remaining gaps in the continuous transformation of the Williamsburg waterfront into a post-industrial urban park scape. Rather than stopping at the hard edge of the old dock, Metropolitan avenue is split into a pedestrian loop extending all the way into the river, connecting the dots of the concrete caissons to form an urban archipelago of recreative islands while protecting a beach with tidal pools and wetlands,” said Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner & Creative Director. “The radical transformation of Copenhagen’s port into a swimmable extension of the public space that we helped pioneer two decades ago, now seems to be knocking at the door in Williamsburg and the entire East River. The River Ring will be the first of many invitations for New Yorkers to dip their toes in the water.” SITE HISTORY The site was once home to the No. 6 fuel oil storage complex for Con Edison North First Street Terminal. The above ground fuel oil storage tanks were removed when the terminal was decommissioned. The existing site also includes a number of structures seaward of the bulkhead line that extend to the pierhead line, which are in varying states of repair. Two Trees recently purchased the 3.5 acre site from Con Edison in an auction for $150 million.  The post City green lights Two Trees’ Williamsburg waterfront plan appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyDec 20th, 2021

Futures Slide, Yields Jump And Oil Surges As Inflation Fears Return Ahead Of Biden-Powell Meeting

Futures Slide, Yields Jump And Oil Surges As Inflation Fears Return Ahead Of Biden-Powell Meeting After posting solid gains on Monday when cash markets were closed in the US for Memorial Day, boosted by optimism that China's  covid lockdowns are effectively over, and briefly topping 4,200 - after sliding into a bear market below 3,855 just over a week earlier - on Tuesday US equity futures fell as oil’s surge following a partial ban on crude imports from Russia added to concerns over the pace of monetary tightening, exacerbated by the latest data out of Europe which found that inflation had hit a record 8.1% in May.  As of 7:15am ET, S&P futures were down 0.4% while Nasdaq futures rose 0.1% erasing earlier losses. European bourses appeared likely to snap four days of gains, easing back from a one-month high while Treasury yields climbed sharply across the curve, joining Monday’s selloff in German bunds and European bonds. The dollar advanced and bitcoin continued its solid rebound, trading just south of $32,000. Traders will be on the lookout for any surprise announcement out of the White House after 1:15pm when Joe Biden holds an Oval Office meeting with Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Janet Yellen. As noted last night, Brent oil rose to above $124 a barrel after the European Union agreed to pursue a partial embargo on Russian oil in response to the invasion of Ukraine, exacerbating inflation concerns; crude also got a boost from China easing coronavirus restrictions, helping demand. With the price of oil soaring, energy stocks also jumped in premarket trading; Exxon gained as much as 1.5% while Chevron rose as much as 1.4%, Marathon Oil +2.9%, Coterra Energy +3.7%; smaller stocks like Camber Energy +8.8% and Imperial Petroleum rose 15%, leading advance. US-listed Chinese stocks jumped, on track to wipe out their monthly losses, as easing in lockdown measures in major cities and better-than-expected economic data gave investors reasons to cheer. Shares of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. were up 4.4% in premarket trading. Among other large-cap Chinese internet stocks, JD.com Inc. advanced 6.7% and Baidu Inc. gained 7%. Cryptocurrency stocks also rose in premarket trading as Bitcoin trades above $31,500, with investors and strategists saying the digital currency is showing signs of bottoming out. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, advanced 1.2% as of 4:30 a.m. in New York. Crypto stocks that were rising in premarket trading include: Riot Blockchain +9%, Marathon Digital +8.1%, Bit Digital +6.1%, MicroStrategy +9.4%, Ebang +3.4%, Coinbase +5.3%, Silvergate Capital +5.2%. “It’s very hard to have conviction at the moment,” Mike Bell, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We think it makes sense to be neutral on stocks and pretty neutral on bonds actually.” The possibility that Russia could retaliate to the EU move on oil by disrupting gas flows “would make me be careful about being overweight risk assets at the moment,” he said. U.S. stocks are set for a slightly positive return in May despite a dramatic month in markets, which saw seven trading days in which the S&P 500 Index posted a move bigger than 2%. Global stocks are also on track to end the month with modest gains amid skepticism about whether the market is near a trough and as volatility stays elevated. Fears that central bank rate hikes will induce a recession, stubbornly high inflation and uncertainty around how China will boost its flailing economy are keeping investors watchful. On the other hand, attractive valuations, coupled with hopes that inflation may be peaking has made investors buy up stocks. In Europe, Stoxx 600 Index was set to snap four days of gains, retreating from a one-month high, with technology stocks among the heaviest decliners. The UK's FTSE 100 outperforms, adding 0.4%, CAC 40 lags, dropping 0.6%. Travel, real estate and construction are the worst-performing sectors. Among individual stock moves in Europe, Deutsche Bank AG slipped after the lender and its asset management unit had their Frankfurt offices raided by police. Credit Suisse Group AG dropped after a Reuters report that the bank is weighing options to strengthen its capital. Unilever Plc jumped as activist investor Nelson Peltz joined its board. Royal DSM NV soared after agreeing to form a fragrances giant by combining with Firmenich. Asian stocks rose Tuesday, helped by a rally in Chinese shares after Shanghai further eased virus curbs and the nation’s factory activity showed signs of improvement.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.5% Tuesday, on track for the first monthly advance this year, even as investors sold US Treasuries on renewed inflation concerns. Chinese stocks capped their longest winning streak since June. “Asia has seen the worst earnings revision of any region in the world,” David Wong, senior investment strategist for equities at AllianceBernstein, told Bloomberg Television. “When the news is really bleak, that is when one wants to establish a position in Chinese equities,” he said. “It is very clear that the policy support is on its way.” Tech and communication services shares were among the biggest sectoral gainers on Tuesday.  Asia stocks are on track to eke out a gain of less than a percentage point in May as the easing of China’s lockdowns improves the growth outlook for the region. Still, the impact of aggressive monetary-policy tightening on US growth and higher energy and food costs globally are weighing on sentiment in the equity market as traders struggle to assess the earnings fallout. Japanese stocks dropped after data showed the nation’s factory output dropped in April for the first time in three months as China’s Covid-related lockdowns further disrupted supply chains.  Benchmark gauges were also lower as 22 Japanese companies were set to be deleted from MSCI global standard indexes at Tuesday’s close. The Topix Index fell 0.5% to 1,912.67 on Tuesday, while the Nikkei declined 0.3% to 27,279.80. Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s drop, as the telecom-services provider slumped 2%. Among the 2,171 companies in the index, shares in 1,369 fell, 720 rose and 82 were unchanged. “Until after the FOMC in June, stocks will continue to sway,” said Shingo Ide, chief equity strategist at NLI Research Institute, said referring to the US Federal Reserve.   India’s benchmark equities index clocked its biggest monthly decline since February, as a surge in crude oil prices raised prospects of tighter central bank action to keep a lid on inflation. The S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.6% to 55,566.41 in Mumbai, taking its monthly decline to 2.6%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.5% on Tuesday. Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. fell 2.6% and was the biggest drag on the Sensex, which had 16 of the 30 member stocks trading lower.  Of the 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd., 10 declined, led by a measure of power companies.    The price of Brent crude, a major import for India, climbed for a ninth consecutive session to trade around $124 a barrel. “The primary focus in the coming weeks will be on central banks’ policy measures to stabilize inflation,” Mitul Shah, head of research at Reliance Securities Ltd. wrote in a note. “Changes in oil prices and amendments to import and export duties might play a role in assessing the market’s trajectory.” Similarly, in Australia the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1% to close at 7,211.20, with all sectors ending the session lower. The benchmark dropped 3% in May, notching its largest monthly decline since January. Suncorp was among the worst performers Tuesday after it was downgraded at Morgan Stanley. De Grey Mining rose after an update on its Mallina Gold Project. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.5% to 11,308.34. With rate hikes in full swing in the US and the UK, the ECB is preparing to lift borrowing costs for the first time in more than a decade to combat the 19-member currency bloc’s unprecedented price spike. In the US, Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said he wants to keep raising interest rates in half-percentage point steps until inflation is easing back toward the central bank’s goal. In rates, Treasuries are off worst levels of the day although yields remain cheaper by 5bp-7bp across the curve as opening gap higher holds. 10-year TSY yields around 2.815%, cheaper by 7.7bp on the day, while intermediate-led losses widen 2s7s30s fly by ~4.5bp; bund yields around 2bp cheaper vs Monday close, following hot euro- zone inflation prints. European bonds also pressure Treasuries lower after euro-zone inflation accelerated to a fresh all-time high and ECB hike premium was added across front-end. Italian bond yields rose by up to 6bps after data showed that euro-zone consumer prices jumped 8.1% from a year earlier in May, exceeding the 7.8% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Comments from Fed’s Waller on Monday -- backing half-point hike at several meetings --  saw Treasury yields reset higher from the reopen, following US Memorial Day holiday.Front-end weakness reflects Fed hike premium returning in US swaps, with around 188bp of hikes now priced in for December FOMC vs 182bp at Friday’s close. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2% as the greenback outperformed all Group-of-10 peers apart from the Norwegian krone, though the gauge is still set for its first monthly fall in three. The euro erased Monday’s gain after data showed that euro-zone consumer prices jumped 8.1% from a year earlier in May, exceeding the 7.8% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Norway’s krone rallied after the central bank said it will reduce its daily foreign currency purchases on behalf of the government to the equivalent of 1.5 billion kroner ($160 million) next month. Norway has been benefiting from stronger revenue from oil and gas production as the war in Ukraine contributed to higher petroleum prices. Sterling slipped against the broadly stronger dollar. UK business confidence rose for the first time in three months in May, with more companies planning to increase prices. Cable may see its first month of gains since December. The yen fell as Treasury yields surged. Japanese government bonds also took a hit from selling in US bonds while a two-year note auction went smoothly. Australian and New Zealand bonds extended an opening fall as cash Treasuries dropped on return from a long weekend. Dollar strength weighed on the Aussie and kiwi. In commodities, Brent rises 2% to trade around $124 after European Union leaders agreed to pursue a partial ban on Russian oil. Spot gold falls roughly $4 to trade at $1,852/oz. Base metals are mixed; LME nickel falls 1.7% while LME zinc gains 0.9%. Looking at the day ahead, the data highlights will include the flash CPI reading for May from the Euro Area, as well as the country readings from France and Italy. On top of that, we’ll get German unemployment for May, UK mortgage approvals for April, and Canada’s Q1 GDP. Over in the US, there’s then the FHFA house price index for March, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence indicator for May, the MNI Chicago PMI for May and the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing activity for May. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the ECB’s Villeroy, Visco and Makhlouf. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,159.50 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 446.27 MXAP up 0.5% to 169.92 MXAPJ up 0.9% to 559.23 Nikkei down 0.3% to 27,279.80 Topix down 0.5% to 1,912.67 Hang Seng Index up 1.4% to 21,415.20 Shanghai Composite up 1.2% to 3,186.43 Sensex little changed at 55,914.64 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.0% to 7,211.17 Kospi up 0.6% to 2,685.90 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.05% Euro down 0.3% to $1.0743 Brent Futures up 1.6% to $123.60/bbl Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,856.27 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 101.63 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg ECB Governing Council member Francois Villeroy de Galhau said the latest acceleration in inflation warrants a “gradual but resolute” normalization of monetary policy The ECB’s interest- rate hiking must proceed in an “orderly” way to avoid threatening the integrity of the euro zone, Governing Council member Ignazio Visco said German joblessness dropped the least in more than a year, pointing to labor-market vulnerabilities as the war in Ukraine and surging inflation weigh on Europe’s largest economy China’s factories still struggled in May, but the slower pace of contraction suggests that the worst of the current economic fallout may be coming to an end as the country starts to ease up on its tough lockdowns A debt crisis in China’s property industry has sparked a record wave of defaults and dragged more developer bonds down to distressed levels A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed as most indices lacked firm direction amid month-end and mixed data. ASX 200 was subdued by tech underperformance and after a deluge of data releases. Nikkei 225 traded rangebound with the index restricted after Industrial Production data missed forecasts. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were initially indecisive following the Chinese PMI data which printed above estimates but remained at a contraction, although risk appetite gradually picked amid further support measures and improved COVID situation in China. Top Asian News China's Cabinet issued a series of policies to stabilise the economy, according to a Cabinet document cited by Reuters. China is to accelerate the issuance of local government special bonds and add new types of infrastructure and energy projects to the project pool eligible for fundraising, while it is to step up VAT credit rebates, boost fiscal spending and will guide actual lending rates lower. China reported 97 new COVID-19 cases on May 30th which was the first time infections were below 100 since March 2nd, according to Bloomberg. Shanghai official said the city is moving into a normalised epidemic control phase and looks to resume normal life. The official added that malls and shops will be able to reopen with capacity capped at 75% although the reopening of high-density venues such as gyms will be slower, while all workers in low-risk areas should be able to return to work from June 1st, according to Reuters. Hong Kong Chief Executive Lam said they will likely begin the third stage of easing COVID-19 restrictions in late June, according to Bloomberg. RBNZ Deputy Governor Hawkesby said the central bank needs to keep decreasing stimulus and tighten conditions beyond the neutral of 2.0%. European bourses are mixed, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.8%, with sentiment cautious after a mixed APAC handover and in wake of hot EZ CPI before Powell's meeting with Biden. Note, the FTSE 100 and AEX are bucking the trend given their exposure to Unilever after Trian Fund Management confirmed a 1.5% stake. US futures are pressured, ES -0.6%, succumbing to the broader risk moves after relatively steady initial trade as sentiment remains cautious with multiple factors in play. IATA Chief says that demand is very strong and traffic will likely return to 2019 levels nearer to 2023 than 2024. Question does remain regarding the impact of inflation on disposable incomes and travel demand. Higher oil prices will result in higher ticket prices; rule of thumb is a 10% change in ticket prices can impact demand by 1%. Top European News Senior Tory MPs said UK PM Johnson is likely to face a no-confidence vote as leader of the Conservative Party if they lose two parliamentary by-elections next month, according to FT. Pressure is increasing for the ECB to hike rates after German CPI rose to its highest in half a century, according to The Times. ECB’s Visco Insists on ‘Orderly’ Rate-Hike Pace to Avoid Stress UK Mortgage Approvals Fall to 65,974 in April Vs. Est. 70,500 UK Could Reopen Top Gas Storage to Endure Energy Crisis BNP Paribas Aims to Hire 7,000 People in France in 2022 Russia’s Biggest Lender Sberbank Targeted in EU Sanctions Plan FX Buck bounces into month end as US Treasury yields rebound amidst rally in crude prices and hawkish Fed commentary, DXY towards top of firmer 101.800-410 range. Kiwi undermined by downbeat NBNZ business survey findings and recession warning from RBNZ; NZD/USD hovering just above 0.6500 and AUD/NZD back over 1.1000. Euro fades from Fib resistance irrespective of Eurozone inflation exceeding consensus, EUR/USD down through 1.0750 vs circa 1.0787 at best on Monday. Yen hampered by mixed Japanese data and UST retreat, but back above 128.00 and retracement level (128.27 Fib retracement). Aussie limits losses alongside recovering Yuan after better than feared Chinese PMIs and economic stability policies from the Cabinet, AUD/USD stays within sight of 0.7200, USD/CNH reverses from 6.6900+ and USD/CNY from just shy of 6.6750. Petro currencies cushioned by oil gains after EU embargo on some Russian exports; USD/CAD beneath 1.2700, EUR/NOK probes 10.1000 with added impetus as Norges Bank plans to trim daily FX purchases in June. Fixed Income Bonds succumb to more downside pressure as oil soars, inflation data exceeds consensus and Central Bank hawks get more aggressive. Bunds only just hold above 152.00, Gilts lose 117.00+ status and 10 year T-note retreats through 120-00 ahead of cash re-open from 3-day holiday weekend. Bobl supply snapped up at final sale of current 5 year batch and end of month Italian offerings relatively well received, albeit at much higher gross yields. BoJ maintains bond-buying operations for June at May levels. Commodities WTI and Brent are bid as China's COVID situation remains fluid, but with incremental improvements, alongside EU leaders reaching a watered-down Russian sanctions package. Currently, the benchmarks are holding comfortably above USD 119/bbl and in proximity to the top-end of the sessions range. Reminder, given the US market holiday there was no settlement on Monday. IEA's Birol says oil market could get tight in the summer and sees bottlenecks with diesel, gasoline, and kerosene, especially in Europe. Spot gold is modestly pressured but yet to stray much from the USD 1850/oz mark while base metals are mixed as sentiment slips. Central Banks ECB's Visco says rate hikes will need to be gradual given uncertainties, recent widening in the IT/GE spread shows the need to strengthen public finances and lower debt. Need to ensure tha t normalisation does not lead to unwarranted fragmentation in the Eurozone. ECB's Villeroy says the May inflation numbers confirm expectations for an increase and need for progressive monetary normalisation. Speaking in relation to the French inflation data. US Event Calendar 09:00: 1Q House Price Purchase Index QoQ, prior 3.3% 09:00: March S&P/Case-Shiller US HPI YoY, prior 19.80% 09:00: March S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. 1.90%, prior 2.39% 09:00: March S&P CS Composite-20 YoY, est. 19.80%, prior 20.20% 09:00: March FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 2.0%, prior 2.1% 09:45: May MNI Chicago PMI, est. 55.0, prior 56.4 10:00: May Conf. Board Expectations, prior 77.2 10:00: May Conf. Board Present Situation, prior 152.6 10:00: May Conf. Board Consumer Confidenc, est. 103.8, prior 107.3 10:30: May Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. 1.5, prior 1.1 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Yesterday we published our May market participant survey with 560 filling in across the globe. The highlights were that property was seen as the best inflation hedge with crypto only winning favour with 1%. 61% think a recession will be necessary to rein in inflation but less think the Fed will be brave enough to take us there. A majority think the ECB will have to throw in a 50bps hike at some point in this cycle but only around a quarter think the Fed will do a 75bps hike. Only a quarter think equities have now bottomed over a horizon of the next 3-6 months but responders have reduced their view of bubbles in the market from the last time we asked. Finally inflation expectations continue to edge up. See the link here for lots of interesting observations and thanks again for your continued support. It may have been a quieter session over the last 24 hours with the US on holiday, but inflation concerns were put firmly back on the agenda thanks to another upside surprise in German inflation, as well as a further rise in oil prices that sent Brent Crude back above $120/bbl (it was as low as $102 three weeks ago). That led to a fresh selloff in sovereign bonds, as well as growing speculation about more hawkish central banks, which marks a shift in the dominant narrative over the last couple of weeks, when growing fears of a recession had led to a rally in sovereign bonds, not least since there were growing doubts about the extent to which central banks would be able to take policy into restrictive territory, if at all. In reality though, that German inflation print for May provided significant ammunition to the hawkish side of the argument, with the EU-harmonised reading coming in above every estimate on Bloomberg at +8.7% (vs. +8.1% expected). For reference, that leaves German CPI at its highest level since the 1950s (using the numbers for West Germany before reunification), and that holds even if you use the national definition of CPI, which rose to a slightly lower +7.9% (vs. +7.6% expected). It was a similar story from Spain earlier in the day, which reported inflation on the EU-harmonised measure at +8.5% (vs. +8.3% expected). Speaking to our German economist Stefan Schneider he thinks temporary energy tax reductions should reduce the annual rate to below 7% in June but it’s likely that it’ll be back above 7% by September when this and other charges roll-off, and then only modestly fall into year-end. That’s a long period of high inflation where second round effect and wage pressures can build. With upside surprises from both Germany and Spain yesterday, that’ll heighten interest in this morning’s flash CPI print for the entire Euro Area, not least since the next ECB meeting is just 9 days away. Indeed, those bumper inflation readings have only added to expectations that the ECB will follow the Fed in moving by a larger-than-usual 50bps rather than 25bps once they start hiking. Overnight index swaps reacted accordingly, and are now pricing in a +33bps move higher in rates by the July meeting, which is the highest to date and leaves it just a few basis points away from being closer to 50bps than 25bps. On top of that, the amount of hikes priced in for the year as a whole rose to 114bps, which again is the highest to date. Ahead of that meeting, there were some further comments from policymakers, with the ECB’s Chief Economist Lane saying in an interview that “increases of 25 basis points in the July and September meetings are a benchmark pace.” Interestingly he didn’t rule out the possibility of a 50bp move, saying that “The discussion will be had”, but also said that their “current assessment … calls for a gradual approach to normalisation.” Against that backdrop, there was a significant selloff in European sovereign bonds, with yields on 10yr bunds (+9.4bps), OATs (+8.5bps) and BTPs (+9.9bps) all moving higher. The prospect of tighter policy meant those rises in yields were more pronounced at the front end of the curve, with 2yr German yields up +10.9bps to 0.43%, which is a level unseen in over a decade. The only major exception to that pattern were Swedish government bonds, where 10yr yields were down -6.2bps after the country’s economy contracted by a larger-than-expected -0.8% in Q1, which was above the -0.4% contraction in the flash estimate from April. Whilst Treasury markets were closed for the US Memorial Day holiday, Fed funds futures provided a sense that the direction of travel was similar in the US to Europe, since the implied fed funds rate by the December FOMC meeting ticked up +7bps. Furthermore, we also had a speech from Fed Governor Waller, who commented that he was in favour of “tightening policy by another 50 basis points for several meetings”, and said that he was “not taking 50 basis-point hikes off the table until I see inflation coming down closer to our 2% target”. Up to now, there’s been a pretty strong signal from Fed Chair Powell and others that 50bps were likely at the next two meetings (in June and July), but in September there’s been speculation they might begin to slow down to a 25bp pace, with futures currently pricing in something in between the two at present. In Asia, US sovereign yields are playing catch-up after reopening with 2yr through to 10yr yields 8-11bps higher across the curve. The main other story yesterday was a significant rise in oil prices, with Brent Crude up +1.97% on the day to close at $121.15/bbl, whilst WTI rose +1.82% to $117.17/bbl. That marks an 8th consecutive daily increase in Brent Crude prices, and leaves it at its highest closing level in over two months, and will not be welcome news for policymakers already grappling with higher energy prices. Part of that increase has come amidst the easing of Covid restrictions in China, but the prospect of an EU embargo on Russian oil has also played a role. Indeed, following an extraordinary European Council summit, EU leaders agreed late last night, a political deal to impose a partial ban on most Russian oil imports. Under a compromise plan, the 27-nation bloc has decided to cut 90% of oil imports from Russia by the end of 2022 with EU leaders agreeing to exempt Hungary from Russian oil embargo. The embargo will cover seaborne oil and partially exempt pipeline oil thus providing an important concession to the landlocked nation. Following this, oil prices are building on yesterday's gains with Brent and WTI up just under 1.5% as I type. Asian equity markets are mostly treading water this morning but with China higher. The Nikkei (+0.13%), Hang Seng (+0.24%) and Kospi (+0.11%) are slightly higher with the Shanghai Composite (+0.75%) and CSI (+0.98%) leading gains after China’s official factory activity contracted at a slower pace. The official manufacturing PMI advanced to 49.6 in May (vs 49.0 expected) from 47.4, as COVID-19 curbs in major manufacturing hubs were eased. This is still three months below 50 now. In line with the weakness in the factory sector, services sector activity remained soft, but did bounce. The non-manufacturing PMI came in at 47.8 in May, up from 41.9 in April. US equities were closed for the holiday yesterday, but in spite of the prospect of faster rate hikes being back on the table, futures still managed to put in a decent performance, with those on the S&P 500 up over +0.5% around the time of the European close. That's dipped to +0.2% as I type though. European indices made gains, with the STOXX 600 up +0.59% thanks to an outperformance among the more cyclical sectors, and the index built on its +2.98% advance last week. Those gains were seen across the continent, with the DAX (+0.79%), the CAC 40 (+0.72%) and the FTSE 100 (+0.19%) all moving higher on the day. Finally, there wasn’t much other data yesterday, although the European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator for the Euro Area stabilised in May having fallen in all but one month since October. The measure came in at 105.0 (vs. 104.9 expected), up from a revised 104.9 in April. To the day ahead now, and the data highlights will include the flash CPI reading for May from the Euro Area, as well as the country readings from France and Italy. On top of that, we’ll get German unemployment for May, UK mortgage approvals for April, and Canada’s Q1 GDP. Over in the US, there’s then the FHFA house price index for March, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence indicator for May, the MNI Chicago PMI for May and the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing activity for May. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the ECB’s Villeroy, Visco and Makhlouf. Tyler Durden Tue, 05/31/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 31st, 2022

The "Great Resignation" may be here to stay

In Insider Weekly: The Great Resignation could last forever, employees describe Thomas Kurian's leadership, and advice for YC applicants. Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories. On the agenda today:It's not just a phase — the "Great Resignation" may never end.Insiders say Google Cloud is becoming a stodgy "SAP 2.0" under Thomas Kurian. Growth hedge funds had a disastrous April.Y Combinator's head of admissions shares how to nail an application for the accelerator.Before we get to this week's stories: It's been a big week for Insider. We won our first Pulitzer Prize, for a powerful illustrated report "How I escaped a Chinese internment camp." Walt Hickey, a senior data editor at Insider, gives us an inside look at the award-winning work.Subscribe to Insider for access to all our investigations and features. New to the newsletter? Sign up here. Download our app for news on the go — click here for iOS and here for Android.Behind the scenes of Insider's Pulitzer PrizeFahmida Azim and Josh AdamsI'm Walt, the editor on this project. This has been years in the making, as the team and I have tried to use comics to report stories for a number of years, including the matters that led to Donald Trump's first impeachment, the turmoil in the royal family, and the failed federal response to the pandemic.Each of these stories were strongest when they used comics to explore places cameras couldn't go. We were all aware of the situation in Xinjiang, but the visuals escaped us. You just can't get a camera into a detention facility.So we found Zumrat Dawut and listened to her story. While we weren't the first to hear it, we were the first to build a visual narrative that put readers in her perspective. Thanks to original photos and videos, as well as hours of detailed interviews, we were able to get things right. It's a harrowing read, but a necessary one, and I hope you check it out. I watched the Pulitzer announcement at Insider HQ in New York. I was completely shocked (there's a video going around of it). The best part for me is the attention to the story. I'm so grateful for all the people reading it. Zumrat got in touch, and she's so pleased that more people are seeing what she endured. I've mostly tried to do good, experimental, and cool work with these comics, and to me the victory was being able to make something like this. It's an incredible honor, and I'm grateful to Insider for taking risks and investing in this kind of work. You can see the full comic here.Brace yourself for the 'Forever Resignation'Savanna Durr/InsiderWe're a year into the Great Resignation, and positions are still going unfilled, projects are delayed, and recruiting costs and salaries have gone through the roof. Executives across corporate America are staring at their sky-high attrition rates and asking: "When in the world is this going to end?"But a new study from the research firm Gartner shows that employers may have to brace themselves for a new reality — that the Great Resignation is here to stay.Read the full story here:'You're going to have more shocks': Get ready for the Forever ResignationAlso read: It's time to get rid of managers. All of them.Inside Thomas Kurian's Google CloudGoogle; Ramin Talaie/Getty Images; Google Cloud; InsiderThree years ago, Thomas Kurian was hired to make Google Cloud a promising revenue source for Alphabet. So far, it's worked: Last quarter, the unit's revenue grew 44%, to $5.8 billion. But insiders say that success has come with a price. More than 20 current and former Google Cloud employees say Kurian's leadership has transformed the unit into a straitlaced and "cutthroat" organization, with "no resemblance to what Google has ever been."Read the full story here:Inside Thomas Kurian's 3-year reign at Google Cloud, where employees say growth has come at the cost of making it into a stodgy, cutthroat 'SAP 2.0'Growth hedge funds' no good, very bad monthMike Nudelman/InsiderHedge-fund managers focused on growth stocks had a disastrous April: Tiger Global lost billions, and Melvin Capital frustrated investors with a potential reorganization.And at the end of a frustrating month, Dan Sundheim, D1's founder, uncharacteristically took to Twitter to air his frustrations over Amazon — one of his biggest investments — as his $25 billion fund was hit with losses.Read the full story here:Billions lost, pissed investors, and uncharacteristic tweets: A look at a horrible month for growth hedge fundsHow to craft a successful Y Combinator applicationStephanie Simon, the admissions director of Y Combinator.Y CombinatorStephanie Simon, Y Combinator's head of admissions, is charged with sifting through thousands of applications for the accelerator's exclusive program — of which about 1% to 2% make the final cut. Simon sat down with Insider to share the traits that stick out to the admissions team (and the few qualities that could completely disqualify a startup).Read the full story here:Y Combinator's head of admissions reviews over 20,000 startups for its accelerator a year. Here's what she looks for in a successful application.This week's quote:"Are all entrepreneurs mentally ill? Hell no. Are some? Definitely. Of course. So are a lot of people. So let's stop stigmatizing it — everywhere, but especially in the business world, where it remains anachronistically verboten for reasons that feel hopelessly outdated."Andy Dunn, a Bonobos cofounder, in an essay adapted from his book.More of this week's top reads:Meet Elon Musk's right-hand man, a buttoned-up Mormon whose loyalty has few limits.People are ditching big cities like New York to live in these seven towns.New studies show that the nicer the car, the worse the driver.We broke down how Thrasio went from "hypergrowth" to layoffs in less than two years.Shopify appears to be on the losing end of the talent wars.Amazon is building an advertising behemoth — and it's coming for Facebook.Microsoft is considering widespread pay raises, sources say.Plus: Keep updated with the latest business news throughout your weekdays by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here tomorrow.Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb, Hallam Bullock, and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 15th, 2022

The Real Reason Behind The EU"s Drive To Embargo Russian Oil

The Real Reason Behind The EU's Drive To Embargo Russian Oil Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, This week the European Union is expected to announce a complete import ban on Russian oil. Hungary, in its first real act of defiance, is threatening to veto this; Germany, after some hemming and hawing, has finally decided it can survive such a ban. Assuming Hungary’s objections are eventually overcome, at first blush this looks like yet another energy “own goal” by the people obsessed with soccer. The U.S. has already issued this ban. Because European industry is heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas, the conventional wisdom is that the EU Commission is just petulant and incompetent. Are they petulant? Yes. Incompetent? Possibly? But only if you think in conventional terms of doing the right thing for their people. What is clear to any serious observer of EU politics is that they are not interested in what their people have to say or want. Theirs is an agenda which will brook no opposition, even if it means destroying its own economy to bring a rival to its knees. That said, I sincerely doubt there will be a “buyers embargo” on natural gas because there is no viable substitute for it. Hungary is using the need for unanimous consent within the European Council to block any ‘gas ban’ in any new economic sanctions package. There are at least three other countries which are happy Hungary is willing to suffer Brussels’ wrath. But banning Russian oil, on the other hand, is different. So, it is interesting that Hungary would do this, given they import no oil from Russia. {Ed. this is wrong, Hungary imports 65% of its oil through the Druzhba pipeline} This veto was predicted by me the morning after the Hungarians overwhelmingly rejected George Soros’s anti-Viktor Orban coalition and handed it an ignominious defeat. Hungary, on the other hand, has energy independence from Brussels by having contracted directly with Gazprom for natural gas via Turkstream’s train that goes into Serbia and Hungary. This should give you some context as to why the EU is trying to sanction Serbia and cut off the flows of that pipeline where it crosses EU territory in Bulgaria. With a fiscally, monetarily (they are not on the euro) and energy independent Hungary there is little argument for them staying in the EU if Brussels is going to treat them as second class members. Orban and his government have been resolute in their refusal to get involved in the Russia/Ukraine conflict even though there has been serious pressure applied by NATO. It is almost as if Orban and the Hungarians are now daring the EU to advance Article 7 procedures to kick them out. The problem with that is, if they do, it would begin the fracturing of the EU. So, what is more likely to happen now is Hungary will use this veto to get the EU to back off on the ‘rule-of-law’ violations which are justifying cutting off Hungary from its EU budget distributions. The horse trade here should be obvious. Because Brussels and their behind-the-scenes backers absolutely want this ban on Russian oil as much as the U.S. and the UK want it. It is part of their long-term strategy to bleed Russia out, after turning Ukraine into Afghanistan 2.0. And it is in the differences between the oil industry and the natural gas industry where they think they can achieve this goal. Of Pipes and Populi In both the oil and gas industries, pressurizing a well is, for the most part, a one-way process. You dig a well and pull the oil and/or gas out. It produces until the well is depleted. You replace the well’s natural decay in production by drilling a new well. But even if there is a big demand shock to the downside, rarely an issue in the oil industry in the aggregate, then those wells keep producing. The market is temporarily glutted with oil, the price drops and old wells are not replaced until such time as supply-and-demand balance is restored. Oil futures curves get constructed by traders to anticipate these effects on prices. And for normal volatility of oil demand, these curves should be reasonably predictable. Unfortunately, we are living through a time where the most powerful people in the world (at least in their minds) are openly trying to destroy the petroleum market for their own purposes and agenda. They are actively working to make oil and gas prices volatile to the point of destroying investment in the industry. They make no bones about this. Oil is the bane of the planet! I call these people The Davos Crowd (for a description of them see my podcast, Episodes 75, 76, and 77 for the background information). They are the unelected oligarchs, bankers, hereditary power and newly Made Men (in the mafia sense) who gather at Davos, Switzerland, every year to decide on the future of humanity. And it is their agenda, using Climate Change and international threats like biowarfare and terrorism as their justifications for a massive expansion of the surveillance state and their control over all things, but especially money. Russia’s massive natural resource pile and sovereigntist-minded government stands wholly in the way of that. If you believe otherwise, you have been gaslit by Davos propaganda. I urge you to put away childish things, some rabbit holes are just holes, not warrens. Back to the oil industry. Capping either a gas or oil well is dangerous because there is no guarantee it can be re-opened. Wells can be damaged and the oil/gas they contain lost without drilling a new one. With gas you can just “flare it off” by burning the excess if your storage is full, rather than capping the well and wait for demand to return. With oil, on the other hand, you cannot really do that. You have to store the stuff somewhere. From all accounts so far, Russia’s oil storage capacity is already full, if not overflowing. The oil industry in general is not geared for massive long-term storage due to supply/demand shocks because there is literally no need for it. What expands is the capacity to move oil around to consume it, not store it in big tanks hoping someone will buy it. The industry has all the spare capacity it needs to coordinate supply and demand within pretty tight tolerances. It is not “just in time” delivery tight, but it is not capable of absorbing a 20% demand shock. And this is where the West thinks it has a big lever to use against Russia right now. By all accounts, Europe is one of Russia’s biggest oil customers, with the port at Rotterdam taking in and refining as much as 1.4 million barrels per day before the war. Believe it or not, The Washington Post had a decent article breaking down where Russia’s exports go. Of the approximately 7.2 million barrels per day Russia exports to the world, 4.8 million go to countries, most of them in Europe, that say they no longer want to buy it from there. Lack of storage capacity should not be a big deal if Russia exported most of the oil to Europe by ship, which it does. According to a recent report by Transport & Environment, an NGO which is wholly geared to convincing Europe to get off Russian energy, the Druzhba pipeline only supplies around 10% of Russian oil to the European market. This is a paltry 250,000 barrels per day. The U.S. embargo is more dangerous to the Russian economy, where in 2021 the U.S., having to replace barrels sanctioned from Venezuela by former President Trump, imported an average of 600,000 barrels per day. Those imports began drying up in 2022, well before Russia invaded Ukraine, so chalk that up as another data point that this war between the West and Russia was planned well in advance of the actual start date back in late February. The point is that the talking point going around the press today is that Russia does not have the storage capacity to deal with a European embargo and as such will have to cut production. Estimates of production cuts from Russia are around 1.8 million barrels per day, while the West is hoping for 3 million. Similar to what Trump did in 2018 against Iran, the shock-and-awe campaign of sanctions froze many oil trading firms in their tracks, not knowing what the future would hold, and refused to do business with Russia for fear of running afoul of sanctions. From Shell to Glencore to Trafigura, Russian oil tenders have become persona non grata and it created a complete mess of their trading books and the commodities-trading industry as a whole, as Credit Suisse’s Zoltan Pozsar’s note from last month described. Because of this financial dislocation in what should be a boring, brain-dead stable industry—trading the most important commodity in the world with the biggest infrastructure to service it—chaos ensued. The collective West, following Davos’s game plan, is hoping for even more. Pozsar’s conclusion was that all these firms will either need a bailout at some point (with possible nationalization the price they pay) or be allowed to go bankrupt to serve the plan of radically overhauling the global energy economy away from petroleum of Davos. At the same time, they would put a major dent in Russia’s economic prospects. Viewed that way, this is a kind of Evil Mastermind Two-fer. But, if backing up the pipeline oil is not that big a hit to Russia’s production, what is the EU trying to accomplish here? By disrupting the routes oil normally takes around the world, there is now a structural shortage of tankers to move oil demanded. Since many of those barrels, more than 2 million per day, now must go on much longer voyages. Instead of the coffee and cake run from St. Petersburg to Rotterdam, those same ships now, at a minimum, must go to storage facilities in the Bahamas and the Caribbean, if not all the way to China or India, their final destination. Read Pozsar’s post, or the ZeroHedge article linked above, to get a sense of the scale of the disruption. This supply shock within the tanker market and the downstream effects of the added costs to the voyages, it is hoped, will create a cascading back-up within the Russian oil industry, forcing the forecasted production hits. This will, in turn, eat into its positive trade balance which is “fueling Putin’s war machine.” It will also present the opportunity for Russia’s competitors to come in and steal market share from them. Through this mechanism and efforts in the West to change Europe’s energy usage, the long-term effect is to destroy Russia’s ability to continue the war by starving it of needed capital. Davos Rhymes with Thanos The U.S. is happy to push Europe to this point and many commentators are happy to end the conversation there: Pick your epithet, but the line is the “Empire of Lies” or “Zone A” or whomever, feels their hegemony is threatened and they are bullying everyone, especially Europe, into their preferred strategy. But I think that story is more of the “Made for TV” version than it is an accurate representation of reality. It leaves out the larger goal structure of the people behind this mess in the first place. Rather than be captives of a hyper-belligerent U.S., the EU nations are absolutely willing partners in this. Davos’s Great Reset strategy is built on the same mistakes about resource scarcity that Thomas Malthus made back in the early 19th century. Theirs is an economic model which does not believe people respond in real time to incentives, pro and con, which moderate their behavior. Rather, they see humans as a virus unleashed upon the world that needs to be controlled. The entire Great Reset can be boiled down to the same argument the villain in the Marvel films, Thanos, made about having to kill off half the life in the Universe to make things “sustainable.” And the power center of this type of thinking is not in the U.S. and the U.S. Empire. We are the hyper-capitalists growing the virus in our Petri dish of individualism. No, this thinking comes squarely out of European critiques of capitalism. To be reductionist it is just Marxism warmed over and given a fresh gloss of rhetorical paint—sustainability, stakeholder capitalism, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), shared purpose, etc. The proof that the EU is just as happy with war in Ukraine as neoconservative forces in the U.S. and UK is evident in their unwillingness to end the war through diplomacy. But Europeans are the ones who will suffer the most from this strategy. Bad Scripts Beget Bad Policy If EU leadership, owned by Davos, were acting on average Europeans’ behalf, they would be using the obvious costs of cutting Europe off from Russian energy to tell the US and U.K. to go scratch. Instead, all we hear from them is how Germany can wean itself off Russian energy completely within a year. It does not matter that this is not good for German industry or the German people in the long run. Russian energy is by far the cheapest solution for them, making their labor the most competitive it can be. Instead, after helping manufacture the crisis in Ukraine, they now uphold the notion that it is a moral imperative for Germans to suffer without food, heat and other basic necessities of a supposed advanced first-world society to defeat the evil Russians. In the years leading up to this conflict they would have worked to implement the Minsk Accords. They would have lifted the economic sanctions on Russia and come to an agreement about Crimea and the Donbas politically, and let the U.S. and the UK twist in the wind. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron did the opposite. They blew smoke up Putin’s ass while running the clock out until Macron was re-elected and Merkel could exit the scene, leaving a weak Davos-approved coalition to blame the collapse on. Deepened trade between Russia and the EU would have eventually ground out the animosity and the U.S.’s insistence on arming Ukraine would have become an albatross politically while Europe would be staring at a potential renaissance, instead of an economic black hole. France and Germany would not have betrayed their own attempts at diplomacy. This, I believe, is much closer to the real story of the conflict, which serves a far larger purpose clearly stated by the architects of our misery than the simplistic framework of just blaming the U.S. for everything. The idea that Europe fears a Russian invasion of Poland or even Germany, which necessitates NATO’s expansion to its border in the Donbas, is ludicrous. Russia’s military is not built along these lines nor is its performance in Ukraine evidence it is capable of such an operation. What is unfolding now is a script that was written a long time ago. The war by the West against Russia has long been in the planning stages. The Russians understand this better than many are willing to accept. Their leadership, Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have articulated this very clearly at every stage of the war to date. They are under no illusions about where the West and Davos are willing to take this conflict, which is why they have made serious threats about striking out at the real “decision centers” who give the Ukrainian Armed Forces their marching orders. These are warnings not to our politicians, but to us. This is where things lead. They have asked for a parting of the ways, peaceably, between East and West, but that is not part of the agenda. Like classic narcissists with the burning need to control everything, Russia and the rest of Asia will not be allowed to walk away from Davos and their Eurocrat quislings, because they are the righteous saviors of humanity. And we are just, at best, “the help” and at worst an inconvenience. The bigger Davos plan of destroying the old global order to Build it Back Better, where they own everything and you will own nothing and like it or else, is the script. They are now committed to this plan. It does not matter now whether it will work or not. This is what we have to realize in all of our analyses. Do the Russians and their friends in Asia and across the Global South have the means and the tools to come out on top? Possibly. But the bigger question is whether or not this conflict escalates to the point where winning is an irrelevant concept. When you see a bloc as powerful as the European Union willing to commit acts of domestic vandalism this big—and blaming the victim of their unbridled aggression—it tells you we are far past the point of rational settlement. *  *  * Join My Patreon if you like real reasons Tyler Durden Sat, 05/14/2022 - 07:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 14th, 2022

Boat Rocker Media Reports Record Financial Results in 2021

Achieved Anticipated Step-Up in Scale and Delivered Strongest Quarterly Financial Performance in Company's History TORONTO, March 31, 2022 /CNW/ - Boat Rocker Media Inc. ("Boat Rocker" or the "Company") (TSX:BRMI), an independent, integrated global entertainment company, today reported its financial results for the three months ended December 31, 2021 ("fourth quarter" or "Q4") and for the year ended December 31, 2021. The Company's consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 and Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for the three months and years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 are available under the Company's profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com). All dollar amounts are expressed in Canadian currency, unless otherwise noted. Certain metrics, including Adjusted EBITDA, are non-IFRS measures (see "Non-IFRS Measures" below). These measures are not recognized measures under IFRS, do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Selected Financial Highlights Record Adjusted EBITDA1 of $19.0 million in Q4 2021 versus $7.4 million in Q4 2020, an increase of 155%, and $31.6 million for the full year versus $14.1 million in 2020, an increase of 125%. Record revenue of $262.5 million in Q4 2021 compared with $55.6 million in Q4 2020, an increase of 372%, and $580.4 million for the full year versus $226.8 million in the same period of 2020, an increase of 156%. Revenue growth for the full-year period was mainly driven by a 241% revenue increase in Television. Kids and Family also delivered 32% growth while Representation delivered 33% growth. Net income of $3.5 million in Q4 2021 compared with net loss of $0.4 million in Q4 2020 and net loss of $12.1 million year-to-date compared with a loss of $44.0 million in the same period of 2020. Debt-free2 with total cash at December 31, 2021 of $97.0 million. "In the fourth quarter we recorded the strongest financial performance in the Company's history, closing out an extraordinary year in which we delivered a leap in scale, more than doubling both Adjusted EBITDA and revenue over the prior year," said John Young, Chief Executive Officer of Boat Rocker. "Our results for both the quarter and full year are proof of our ability to produce and deliver premium, multi-genre content, source and unlock the value of IP, and build brands with global reach and appeal. Our Adjusted EBITDA results in particular speak to our capacity to operate at our new scale, as well as the strength of our integrated platform. With a clean balance sheet, and against a backdrop of sustained and robust demand for content, we believe we have a long runway for continued success." ________________________ 1 See "Non-IFRS Measures." 2 The Company currently has no corporate term debt, only interim production financing in the ordinary course of operations. Selected Operational HighlightsIn 2021, Boat Rocker delivered a material step-up in its content creation and financial performance across its three reporting segments: Television, Kids and Family, and Representation. All segments showed significant growth in both the fourth quarter and full-year periods. The Company's 2021 production slate spanned more than 60 high-quality Scripted, Unscripted, and Kids and Family titles for nearly every major buyer including Netflix, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Peacock, TBS, ViacomCBS, Discovery+ and Disney.   Recent highlights include: Television In 2021, the Company fully delivered its two premium scripted series, American Rust to Showtime and Invasion to Apple TV+, the largest productions in the Company's history. It was a strong year for Unscripted, with many new successes and returning favourites: Boat Rocker produced one of 2021's top documentaries for Apple TV+, Billie Eilish: The World's A Little Blurry, which was nominated for four Emmy awards and short-listed for an Academy Award. Returning shows on the 2021 slate included Go-Big Show season two (TBS), The Great Canadian Baking Show season five (CBC), Big Brother Canada season nine (Global), Top Chef Canada season nine (Food Network Canada), and Dear… season two (Apple TV+). Boat Rocker's content, including Dino Ranch, Big Brother Canada, The Great Canadian Baking Show, and Mary Makes it Easy, was recognized with 28 Canadian Screen Award nominations. As a cornerstone of Boat Rocker's mission to be the home for creative visionaries, the Company significantly expanded its relationships with creative talent in 2021 through two equity investments and five first-look deals: Purchased a minority equity stake in TeaTime Pictures ("TeaTime"), founded by award-winning actor and producer Dakota Johnson and former Netflix executive Ro Donnelly. Concurrently, Boat Rocker extended its current first-look deal with TeaTime to develop and produce scripted and unscripted television and digital content. This partnership has already resulted in a greenlight for Slip, a new series created and written by, and starring Zoe Lister-Jones (CBS's Life in Pieces), for Roku. Several other high-profile projects are in various stages of development including an adaptation of Bexy Cameron's memoir Cult Following with HBO Max. Partnered with veteran television executive Jessica Sebastian-Dayeh to launch Maven, a new production company focused on creating premium, female-led unscripted content. In 2021, Maven delivered two shows, Addison Rae Goes Home and Meme Mom for Snapchat, with a new documentary, Le Bal Paris, currently in production, with Boat Rocker planning to distribute internationally. Entered into first-look deals with historian and antiracist scholar Dr. Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be An Antiracist) and his Maroon Visions production company, award-winning producer and director Scott Weintrob, founder of leading multidisciplinary creative studio LARGE EYES, veteran creative producers Cleve Keller and Dave Noll (Chopped franchise) of Keller Noll, indie film and television producer Stephanie Langhoff (HBO's Togetherness) and her High Tide Productions, and acting and producing brothers Shamier Anderson and Stephan James under their Bay Mills Studios production banner. Boat Rocker has a large slate of projects in development with all its new creative partners including a limited series with Bay Mills about the life of iconic artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, with James attached to star. For 2022, the Company has already more than doubled its 2021 confirmed premium scripted slate to five titles: Invasion was renewed for a second season by Apple TV+. Mrs. American Pie, starring Kristen Wiig and executive produced by Laura Dern, has been greenlit by Apple TV+. Robyn Hood, directed by Director X and written by Chris Roberts (Orphan Black), has been greenlit by Corus Entertainment. Boat Rocker plans to distribute the show internationally. Slip (Roku) is expected to begin production in summer 2022 and Boat Rocker plans to distribute the show internationally. Beacon 23 for Spectrum/AMC, starring Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) and Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk), is expected to begin production in April in Toronto. Boat Rocker plans to distribute the show internationally. Kids and Family Since its debut in January 2021, Dino Ranch has resonated with audiences worldwide, maintaining its ranking as the #1 preschool U.S. cable show for kids aged two to five in its time slot. Dino Ranch was the most watched CBC Kids program of 2021 for kids aged two to 11 in Canada. The show has sold to 170 countries and has been translated into 15 languages. 2021 saw the initial launch of a consumer products program in Canada, the U.S., and Australia, rolling out to major in-store and e-retailers including Amazon, Target.com, Walmart.com, Toys'R'Us, Kohls, Barnes and Noble, and Big W. Continued international retail expansion planned for 2022 across over 20 major retailers in more than 10 countries. In 2021, Boat Rocker's large and diverse Kids and Family slate included a mix of live-action and animated titles including Amber Brown (Apple TV+), Rebel Cheer Squad: A Get Even Series season two (CBBC, Netflix), Love Monster season two (HBO Max), and Daniel Spellbound (Netflix). Animation engine Jam Filled Entertainment operated at full capacity on new and returning favourites including Inside Job (Netflix), Bubble Guppies season five (Nickelodeon), The Loud House season six (Nickelodeon), and Dino Ranch season two (Disney, CBC). Representation Untitled Entertainment clients had an exceptional 2021, being recognized with more than 20 major international award nominations and 11 wins including: Seven Critics Choice Award nominations. Jean Smart won Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors' Guild, and Critics Choice awards for her performance in HBO's breakout hit Hacks. MJ Rodriguez won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy and several other awards for her ground-breaking performance in FX's Pose. Penelope Cruz was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for Pedro Almodovar's Parallel Mothers. Selected Financial Information (in thousands of Canadian dollars except per share amounts) Three months ended December 31, 2021 2020 % change Revenue Television 218,879 29,251 648 % Kids and Family 32,867 16,693 97 % Representation 10,709 9,670 11.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaMar 31st, 2022

These are the 2022 audiobooks people are preordering the most — from Janelle Monáe"s sci-fi collection to a memoir from the star of "Outlander"

From celebrity-narrated memoirs to new fiction from bestselling authors, these are the audiobooks listeners are most excited about in 2022. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.From celebrity-narrated memoirs to new fiction from bestselling authors, these are the audiobooks listeners are most excited about in 2022.Crystal Cox/Insider Audiobooks are a great way to access and read your favorite books. The books below come from Libro.fm's 2022 preorder bestseller list, which is updated regularly. For more books, check out the most anticipated books of 2022. Over the past year, I have completely fallen in love with audiobooks. I don't often have the time to read for hours like I used to, and audiobooks make it easy to read while I'm driving, working around the house, or walking my dogs. They're an accessible way to consume books and bring stories to life with talented narration. The 2022 books on this list come from Libro.fm's preorder bestseller list, so they're among the books being preordered the most right now. Libro.fm is a digital audiobook platform that supports independent bookstores by splitting its profits with them — you can even choose which local bookstore you want to support. Whether you're looking for a gripping new thriller, a celebrity memoir, or the latest fiction from your favorite author, here are 22 of the most anticipated audiobooks of 2022, according to Libro.fm listeners. Learn more about how Insider Reviews reviews and researches books.22 of the most anticipated audiobooks of 2022, according to Libro.fm:"The Diamond Eye" by Kate QuinnAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $34.49Based on a true story, "The Diamond Eye" follows a young librarian named Mila Pavlichenko, who is transformed from a bookish student to a notorious sniper known as Lady Death during World War II. When Mila makes national headlines, she is sent to America on a goodwill tour — until an old foe and a new enemy bring the battle to her once more in this story of heroism. Publication date: March 29, 2022"Portrait of a Thief" by Grace D. LiAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $31.50Inspired by the true story of Chinese art mysteriously vanishing from Western museums, this upcoming mystery follows Harvard senior Will Chen as he's offered an impossible job to lead a heist that will steal five Chinese sculptures that were looted from Beijing centuries ago. With a crew of unlikely Chinese American allies, Will sets out to right history with $50 million and his future on the line.  Publication date: April 05, 2022"Nowhere for Very Long: The Unexpected Road to an Unconventional Life" by Brianna MadiaAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $24.14With her dogs, husband, and a bright orange van named Bertha, Brianna Madia decided to pursue a less conventional lifestyle. In this memoir, she reflects upon the greatest and most challenging moments of her journey thus far — and what it means to live her truth and explore the world against the societal current. Publication date: April 05, 2022"Below Zero" by Ali HazelwoodPenguin Random HouseAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $12.60"Below Zero" is the third of Ali Hazelwood's "STEMinist" novellas, which finds Hannah injured and stranded at a remote Arctic research station. To make matters worse, her willing rescuer is none other than Ian, her greatest rival who nearly cost her this expedition and her career.You may recognize Ali Hazelwood from her 2021 hit, "The Love Hypothesis." You can check out our full review of "The Love Hypothesis" here. Publication date: April 05, 2022"The Younger Wife" by Sally HepworthAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $31.04Tully and Rachel Aston are certain their father's new bride, who is younger than both of them, is after his money as she waits for him to divorce their ailing mother. As the sisters begin to unearth secrets held by their father, his fiancé, and their family, this gripping upcoming thriller comes to a shocking conclusion. Publication date: April 05, 2022"Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole" by Susan CainAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $28Susan Cain uses her unique blend of research and compelling personal anecdotes to explain how the feeling of bittersweetness can capture an acute balance between light and darkness that reveals much about our state of mind. She demonstrates that recognizing bittersweetness can help us understand pain so we can empathize and process our own trials without harming others.We also loved Cain's book "Quiet," which taught us the value of being an introvert. You can check out our full review of "Quiet" here. Publication date: April 05, 2022"Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality" by Roshani ChokshiAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $45.50In this fifth and final installment of the fantasy "Pandava" series, Aru, Mini, and Brynne are left without their weapons but must stop at nothing to keep the Sleeper from the nectar of immortality. As they call upon friends and new allies for help, the sisters embark on an incredible adventure to confront the Sleeper and decide who truly deserves immortality. Publication date: April 05, 2022"Some Things I Still Can't Tell You" by Misha CollinsAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $10.34"Some Things I Still Can't Tell You" is Misha Collins' debut poetry collection and a reflection upon the smallest and the most complex moments of life. Collins has instilled each poem, no matter its subject, with a great flux of humanity in all its glory and grief. Publication date: April 12, 2022"The Memory Librarian And Other Stories of Dirty Computer" by Janelle MonáeAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $31.04Known for her incredible music career, Janelle Monáe has assembled an anthology based on her album "Dirty Computer" that covered themes of liberation, totalitarianism, and the costs of freedom. Similarly, "The Memory Librarian" is a collection of science fiction short stories, beginning from the idea that our collective memories can be controlled and erased by a selective few — until Jane 57821 decided to break free. Publication date: April 19, 2022"Fevered Star" by Rebecca RoanhorseAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $28.74In this "Black Sun" sequel, the city of Tova is in pieces and The Meridian is suppressed as a war in the heavens affects those below. As Xiala finds an unexpected ally and Serapio and Naranpa fight for free will, this slow-burn fantasy read is sure to enchant readers. Publication date: April 19, 2022"On Tyranny: Expanded Audio Edition, Updated with Twenty New Lessons from Russia's War on Ukraine" by Timothy SnyderAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $21"On Tyranny" was originally published in 2017 and became a #1 "New York Times" bestseller for its dissection of the most tragic events of the 20th century and what we must learn from them in order to protect America's democracy and freedom. Now, this book has been expanded and updated to include 20 new lessons from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and what it means for the disruption of peace. Publication date: April 19, 2022"How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing" by KC Davis, LPCSimon and SchusterAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $17.24KC Davis is a therapist who, after the birth of her second child, struggled to break the stressful cycle of cleaning that hindered the functionality of her home. In this self-help read, Davis offers a revolutionary approach to organizing, designed specifically for those struggling with depression, anxiety, ADHD, lack of support, or any other challenge to feeling balanced and comfortable at home. Publication date: April 26, 2022 "Finding Me" by Viola DavisAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $31.04Viola Davis is an award-winning actress and producer whose long-awaited memoir is a story of self-discovery. Davis' story follows her from a small apartment in Rhode Island to the New York stage as she learns to truly love herself and live a courageous life of honesty. Publication date: April 26, 2022"Book of Night" by Holly BlackAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $31.04Holly Black, known for her incredible young adult fantasy writing, is releasing her debut adult novel about a low-level con artist who knows the power of shadows but avoids the dark world of shadow trading. When Charlie Hall's life is entirely upended by a dreaded figure from her past, she's thrown into a world of thieves, secret societies, and those who will stop at nothing to control the shadows.  Publication date: May 03, 2022"Book Lovers" by Emily HenryPenguin Random HouseAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $31.50From the bestselling author of "Beach Read" and "People We Meet on Vacation" comes a summery romance about Nora Stephens, a cutthroat literary agent who agrees to spend a summer in North Carolina with her little sister, Libby. Though she's determined to be the heroine of her own romance, Nora keeps coincidentally running into Charlie Lastra, an editor from New York with whom she's had several unpleasant run-ins in the past. Publication date: May 03, 2022 "Remarkably Bright Creatures" by Shelby Van PeltAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $31.04Tova Sullivan works the night shift at the local aquarium to keep her mind busy after the death of her husband and the disappearance of her 18-year-old son, Erik. When Tova forms an unlikely friendship with a giant octopus named Marcellus, he tries to communicate the truths he knows to help her in this brilliant upcoming novel about hope and reckoning. Publication date: May 03, 2022"This Time Tomorrow" by Emma StraubPenguin Random HouseAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $28On what should be the morning of her 40th birthday, Alice wakes up in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday instead. Though her father is now his once-vibrant self again, he is ailing in the present, and as Alice navigates the events of the day with a new perspective and decades of experience, some memories take on new meaning, leaving Alice to wonder if there's anything she could change. Publication date: May 17, 2022"Now What?: How to Move Forward When We're Divided About Basically Everything" by Sarah Stewart Holland & Beth SilversAmazonAvailable on Libro.fm, from $18.39"Now What?" is a self-help and conflict management book to help readers understand how to better connect with those around us — especially those with whom we have fundamental differences — in order to create a kinder society. In a world currently marred by small and large conflicts from internet debates to global controversies, this book encourages us to engage and explore the fears, values, and opinions of our family and friends with a positive spirit so we can build toward a more loving future. Publication date: May 17, 2022"Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America" by Dan PfeifferAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $29.88Written by the co-host of "Pod Save America" and bestselling author of "Yes We (Still) Can", "Battling the Big Lie" dissects how conservative media outlets have shaped disinformation into a powerful tool to influence the public, especially during presidential campaigns. This book also addresses how misinformation and subjective news reporting make it more challenging to conquer crises like COVID-19 and climate change. Publication date: June 07, 2022"The Golden Enclaves" by Naomi NovikAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $31.50In this incredible conclusion to the "Scholomance" trilogy, El has managed against all odds to escape her deadly school, though must now face the real world, armed with years of lessons. With her grandmother's prophecy of doom and destruction looming over her, El must return to the Scholomance to stop a brewing war. Publication date: September 27, 2022"The Winners" by Fredrik BackmanSimon and SchusterAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $28.74Fredrik Backman is known for his deeply human characters and evocative writing, which is sure to shine once again in his upcoming "Beartown" series conclusion, "The Winners." Set two years after the devastating events of the first novel, the Beartown community is still struggling to overcome the past when change begins to stir that leaves residents wondering once again what they are willing to sacrifice to protect what they love most. Publication date: October 04, 2022"Waypoints" by Sam HeughanAmazonAvailable on Amazon with free Audible trial and Libro.fm, from $31.03Sam Heughan is the star of "Outlander," whose journey of self-discovery began in his homeland of Scotland. In this memoir, Heughan set off along a nearly 100-mile walk along the West Highland Way of Scotland to reflect upon his growth, connections, and the waypoints that defined who he is today. Publication date: October 25, 2022Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 30th, 2022

The 16 best original series on Amazon Prime Video, from "Reacher" to "Harlem"

Amazon Prime Video has a growing collection of original series, including critically acclaimed hits like "The Boys," "Reacher," and "Fleabag." Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more."Reacher."Amazon Prime Video Amazon Prime Video is home to a growing library of exclusive programs. Some of the service's top original series include critically acclaimed shows like "Reacher" and "Fleabag." Prime Video is available for $9/month on its own, or for $15/month as part of an Amazon Prime subscription. Amazon Prime Video Monthly Subscription$8.99 FROM AMAZON PRIME VIDEOAmazon Prime Video launched in 2011 and released its first original series in 2013. Since then, the streaming service has added dozens of award-winning shows, like "Fleabag" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." The service is also home to high-profile adaptations of popular books, like "The Underground Railroad," "Reacher," and "The Wheel of Time." Prime Video is available as a part of an Amazon Prime subscription or as a standalone video service. An Amazon Prime membership costs $139 a year or $15 a month. Meanwhile, a standalone Prime Video subscription costs $9 a month.To help you find quality shows to stream, we rounded up some of the best original series on Amazon Prime Video. Below, you'll find 16 Amazon Prime Video original series that are certified fresh by critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Our picks cover a variety of genres so all streaming tastes are accounted for.Here are the 16 best Amazon original series:'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'AmazonThis late-1950s period show follows recently divorced housewife Miriam "Midge" Maisel on her journey to become a professional comedian in New York City, navigating Manhattan's iconic nightlife and the shifting tides of American culture."The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" is one of Amazon's most critically acclaimed series, winning the 2018 Golden Globe for Best Television Series and Best Actress, and multiple Emmy Awards, including outstanding comedy series, outstanding lead actress, outstanding supporting actor and actress, outstanding directing, and outstanding writing.The eight-episode fourth season finished airing on March 11 and the series has been renewed for a fifth and final season, which is currently in production.'The Wheel of Time'Egwene having her hair braided.Jan Thijs / Amazon StudiosRosamund Pike stars in this epic fantasy drama adapted from the book series of the same name by Robert Jordan. Pike plays Moraine, a member of a powerful organization of women who is searching for the Dragon Reborn, which has the power to either save the world or break it once again. The eight-episode first season premiered in November 2021 and a second season is in development.'Reacher'Prime Video"Reacher" is one of Amazon Prime Video's newest original series. The show is inspired by Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels; season one is based on "Killing Floor," Child's debut novel. Jack Reacher is a former military policeman who becomes embroiled in small town conspiracies with violent and dangerous criminals. Alan Ritchson stars as the title character, with Malcolm Goodwin and Willa Fitzgerald starring in supporting roles. "Reacher" premiered with an eight-episode first season on February 4, and it was reported that the original series amassed 1.84 billion viewing minutes over its first three days on Amazon Prime. Following this success, the series was renewed for a second season. 'The Boys'"The Boys"Amazon Prime Video"The Boys" is a superhero series based on the comic book franchise created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. The show offers a sardonic twist on the superhero genre, introducing viewers to a world where corporate-sponsored heroes oppress everyday citizens. The Boys are a team of vigilantes working to keep tabs on the worst heroes and keep them in check, by whatever means necessary.Karl Urban stars as The Boys' leader, former CIA operative Billy Butcher, while Jack Quaid plays Hugh Campbell, an average guy who finds himself recruited by Butcher when his girlfriend dies in a superhero-related accident.Two eight-episode seasons of "The Boys" have already aired on Prime Video; the third season is set to premiere on June 3 and will introduce new characters, including Soldier Boy played by Jensen Ackles.'Invincible'Amazon PrimeA 17-year-old boy learns how to be a superhero under the guidance of his father Omni-Man, the world's most powerful being, in this animated show inspired by the comic book series of the same name. The show features the vocal talents of Steven Yeun, Sandra Oh, and J.K. Simmons, and includes a large roster of recurring guest actors like Gillian Jacobs, Walton Goggins, Zachary Quinto, Mark Hamill, Zazie Beetz, Mahershala Ali, and Seth Rogen. An eight-episode first season is available to watch now, and Amazon has renewed the original series for two more seasons. 'The Wilds'Amazon Prime Video"The Wilds" is a drama with "Lord of the Flies" vibes. A group of girls are on their way to a women's empowerment retreat when their plane crashes, leaving the survivors stranded on a desert island. The series is structured with each episode focusing on the girls' time on the island, in addition to flashbacks and flash forwards centering around one girl's life before and after the crash. The first season is available to stream now, and the series has been renewed for a second season which is set to premiere on May 6.'Undone'Amazon Prime VideoA young woman named Alma learns that she can manipulate time and reality after nearly dying in a car crash. When she begins seeing visions of her dead father, Alma starts using her powers to uncover the circumstances surrounding his death."Undone" uses a mix of live action motion capture and rotoscope animation to deliver dazzling visuals, and add mystique to a time-bending storyline. "Undone" premiered in September 2019 and Amazon has ordered a second season.'Upload'Prime Video"Upload" is set in the not-too-distant future of 2033, where humans have developed the ability to upload their personality into a virtual afterlife when they die. Robbie Amell stars as Nathan, a young computer programmer who finds himself stuck in one of these virtual worlds after a car crash leaves him on the brink of death.With the help of customer service rep Nora (Andy Allo), Nathan works to adjust to his new digital form, but the pair discover that the car crash that led to his upload may not have been an accident.The second season of "Upload" premiered on March 11 with seven new episodes.'Jack Ryan'AmazonJack Ryan is a CIA analyst who enters the field to investigate suspicious activity connected to extremism and other instances of corruption and political warfare. "Jack Ryan" is inspired by the character created by Tom Clancy in his "Ryanverse" books. John Krasinski, who stars as the title character, is the fifth actor to play Ryan in live action, following previous movie adaptations. Amazon renewed the original series for a fourth season in October 2021.'Harlem'Amazon Studios"Harlem" premiered in December 2021. It follows four friends who originally met in college as they navigate their lives in their 30s. The foursome live in Harlem, and try to balance love, their friendships, and their careers. The show is created by Tracy Oliver, who previously created BET's "The First Wives Club" and co-wrote the movie "Girls Trip." The four friends are played by Meagan Good, Grace Byers, Shoniqua Shandai, and Jerrie Johnson. The first season of "Harlem" has 10 episodes, and the series was recently renewed for a second season.'Good Omens'Amazon Prime VideoAdapted from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's novel of the same name, "Good Omens" follows an angel (Crowley) and a demon (Aziraphale) who have lived on Earth since the beginning of time as representatives of heaven and hell. As a large cast of characters argue for or against the coming of the Antichrist, Crowley and Aziraphale team up to stop it. Michael Sheen and David Tennant lead a large ensemble cast that also includes Adria Arjona, Miranda Richardson, Michael McKean, Jack Whitehall, Jon Hamm, and Frances McDormand."Good Omens" premiered in 2019, and though it was marketed as a limited series, Amazon renewed it for a second season; a premiere date is still to be determined, but production for the second season has wrapped.'The Underground Railroad'William Jackson Harper as Royal and Thuso Mbedu as Cora in "The Underground Railroad."ATSUSHI NISHIJIMA/AMAZONAdapted from the 2016 novel of the same name by Colson Whitehead, "The Underground Railroad" is a historical drama that uses magical realism to tell the story of people attempting to escape from slavery in the 1800s. In the series, the Underground Railroad is a real railroad, instead of the network of people and hidden routes that made up the real-life Underground Railroad. The 10-episode miniseries is created and directed by Barry Jenkins, who is best known for directing and co-writing "Moonlight." In 2021, the series won the Golden Globe for best miniseries or television movie.'Fleabag'"Fleabag."Amazon Prime VideoFleabag is the name of the young woman at the center of this British dark comedy set in London. She speaks directly to the audience with an unrelenting sarcasm as she struggles to keep her café open and stop the people around her from driving her insane.Lead actress and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge originally created the character for a 10-minute stand-up performance and adapted "Fleabag" into a one-woman stage performance years before the TV series debuted in 2016."Fleabag" is separated into two six-episode seasons released years apart. In 2019, the second season of "Fleabag" racked up a number of high-profile awards, including Emmys for outstanding comedy series, outstanding lead actress, and outstanding writing for a comedy series.Amazon recently announced that Waller-Bridge will return to the service with a new original series set to begin production in 2022.'The Expanse'SyfyThis science fiction series is based on the book franchise of the same name created by James S. A. Corey. In the distant future, humanity has colonized the solar system, building a civilization that spans multiple planets and moons. Three major factions, the United Nations of Earth, the Congressional Republic on Mars, and the Outer Planets Alliance, are at the brink of war."The Expanse" focuses on a crew of vigilantes hailing from different parts of the solar system as they try to stop a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the delicate peace between their universe's political powers.Though the series originally debuted on Syfy, it moved to Prime Video for its fourth season in December 2019. The sixth and final season premiered in December 2021.'Modern Love'Amazon Prime Video"Modern Love" takes inspiration from the weekly New York Times column of the same name. The show is an anthology series, so each episode tells a different story with different actors. Each episode explores love in a different form: second chances, the love between parent and child, first loves, and meet-cutes. The first season of "Modern Love" featured performances from Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Tina Fey, and Andrew Scott, among many others. In season two, Minnie Driver, Kit Harington, Anna Paquin, and Sophie Okenedo joined the cast. Sixteen episodes are currently available to stream.'The Man in the High Castle'Amazon Prime"The Man in the High Castle" explores an alternate timeline where Nazi Germany and Japan prevailed over the Allied Powers in World War II and conquered the world. The series follows multiple characters living in this alternate timeline as they gradually discover that there are other timelines where the Axis was defeated."The Man in the High Castle" is based on Philip K. Dick's award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott ("Blade Runner") and Frank Spotnitz ("The X-Files").The series concluded with its fourth and final season in November 2019.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 30th, 2022

"Gradually, ...Then Suddenly!"

"Gradually, ...Then Suddenly!" Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, “How did you go bankrupt?” Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises “I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.”  – John Adams Hemingway’s famous quote about going bankrupt connects with so many because it is true on a personal basis and a civilization basis. It applies to individuals and empires in decline – like the American democracy. John Adams realized two centuries ago democracy was no better than monarchy or aristocracy over the long haul. We were handed a Republic by Franklin and his fellow revolutionaries, but we failed to keep it almost from the very birth of this nation. As we rush towards our World War 3 rendezvous with destiny, aided and abetted by politicians placed in power by globalist billionaires hellbent on the destruction of our way of life, so they own everything and you own nothing, I can’t help but ponder who is to blame and could we have avoided this dystopian outcome. The United States has been going bankrupt gradually for the last fifty years, both financially, intellectually, and morally. Nixon closing the gold window in 1971 and opening the debt door to morally bankrupt bankers and politicians set in motion a downward spiral accelerating at hyper-speed as we speak. The American Empire was born in the shattered global debris of World War II with the Bretton Woods agreement, which left the USD as the dominant currency in world trade, specifically as the settlement currency for all oil transactions. The empire has been sustained by currency supremacy, military might, and until 1980, manufacturing superiority. Once the most highly educated nation on the planet, decades of lowering the bar, less than mediocre union teachers, and replacing education with indoctrination, has created generations of ignorant zombies incapable and uninterested in critical thought. The road to bankruptcy was very gradual at the outset of empire, with the national debt topping out at $269 billion, 119% of GDP, in 1946. In 1960 it had only grown to $286 billion but had dropped to 54% of GDP. Rebuilding the world and being the dominant economic power paid huge dividends. After a decade of guns, butter and welfare programs, the debt grew to $398 billion, but continued to drop as a percentage of GDP to 35% in 1971. After decoupling from gold, the national debt soared to $908 billion by 1980, inflation surged to 15%, and Volcker had to raise interest rates to 20% to avert disaster. What happened over the next forty years was mind boggling in its recklessness, shortsightedness, and acquiescence to the Wall Street cabal. These decade-by-decade increases were obscene: 1980               $908B            32% of GDP 1990               $3.2T              54% of GDP 2000               $5.7T              52% of GDP 2010               $13.6T            90% of GDP 2020               $27.8T            129% of GDP Today             $30.3T            130% of GDP Rogoff and Reinhart postulated in 2010 that once a country passes 90% of GDP, economic growth slows dramatically, and the chances of financial crisis increase exponentially. With annual GDP growth of about 2% since 2010, their theory has proven accurate. Now we approach the existential financial crisis which could initiate the “going bankrupt suddenly” phase of our empire of debt. Larry Kotlikoff, Harvard, and Wharton educated economic professor at Boston University, estimates the unfunded welfare liabilities of the United States exceeds $210 trillion. We are a long way from when our Founders handed us a republic. “American money was never more sound, or banking more free, than 200 years ago. Since then, it’s been a long steady decline from the gold standard and competitive banking to our Fed-run system of inflated paper currency, deposit insurance, and perpetually shaky banks on the dole.” – Lew Rockwell There is no conceivable way this debt can ever be repaid, therefore it will not. It’s just pure math, which the average dumbed down American chooses not to question or dispute. In their own lives they need to make enough income to make their mortgage payment and car loan payment. It’s the same for the government. The only way debt obligations can be met is for tax revenue to exceed expenses. Borrowing to make debt and interest payments is unsustainable, reckless, and an example of imperial empire arrogance. The only unknown now is whether the debt is defaulted upon, it is hyperinflated away, or some sort of debt jubilee and currency collapse makes it mute. No matter the solution, the people will bear the brunt of the pain and drastic diminishment of their standard of living. Those in control will position themselves to benefit from whatever scheme is implemented to eliminate the debt. The current trend of running trillions in deficits per year is unsustainable and already resulting in raging inflation, declining GDP, and pushing the world towards a global depression. There is no disputing the facts I have presented. These facts trump the willful ignorance of the masses and the false narratives of the ruling class, along with their media mouthpieces pretending all is well. Those controlling the levers of power know this shitshow can’t go on. They have fully exhausted their propaganda tools, financial derivative schemes, and monetary machinations, leaving them nothing but crashing the system and implementing a Great Reset, which would keep them in control and the rest of us in squalor and subservience. We’ve been on the road to perdition for a long time, but we came to a peak on that highway in 2019 and the path has been straight down since, with our chariot of fire accelerating at breakneck speed towards its final destination with catastrophe and ruin. The rise and fall of the American Empire will be far more rapid than the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. With the inept and reckless leadership in place presently, I only hope we still have a nation after they successfully provoke World War 3. The gradually part of going bankrupt is over. Since the end of fiscal year 2019, our fearless leaders have added $7.6 trillion to the national debt, a 33% increase in less than three years. Meanwhile, the duplicitous Fed has added $5 trillion to their balance sheet, a 125% increase, while keeping interest rates at zero and creating a tsunami of inflation, crushing the poor and middle class. But at least the Wall Street bankers are raking in record bonuses, while still sucking at the teat of Fed QE to infinity. The blatant disregard for the lives of average Americans, while propping up the Wall Street cabal, billionaire oligarchs, and corrupt politicians should be met with pitchforks and torches in a just world. But that is not the world we occupy. The last time inflation was this high (15% as measured in 1980), Volker jacked the Fed Funds rate to 20%. Spineless Jerome Powell has the Fed Funds rate at .33% today. It’s almost as if they are promoting record high inflation to make the national debt load less burdensome. Destroying the finances of hundreds of millions, creating global energy and food shortages, and instigating World War 3 as a consequence of their actions is just a minor irritation for the global elite. In fact, it appears to be part of Schwab’s Great Reset plan. At first it seemed outrageous to think anyone would want famine, starvation, energy shortages, economic depression, and global war, but watching the insane decision making of politicians, trumpeted by the Deep State bootlickers in the media, has convinced me this is chapter 2 in their Great Reset book of horrors. Once you wrap your head around how vile, evil, and demented those who are pulling the strings behind this Great Reset are, your eyes are open to how far they are willing to go to institute their plan. It appears they will stop at nothing, kill as many people as necessary, create maximum chaos and pain, wreck any civic cohesiveness left, and destroy all moral and legitimate norms of society, in order to increase their control, power and wealth on this earth. They hold all the cards. They control the governments, corporations, banks, legacy media, social media, entertainment industries, military industrial complex, sickcare Big Pharma complex, and the mental processes of the masses through their mind control/propaganda technology. Their hubris and arrogance have reached peak altitude and exuberance. They believe they are invincible. That will be their fatal weakness. The sheer cavalcade of lies, misinformation, purposely created chaos, engineered conflict, and financial market manipulation, make the daily intrigues confusing and open to misinterpretation. There are various factions competing to control the future course of history. There is not a clear good versus evil battle underway. Sometimes it is tough to distinguish the New World Order Great Reset crowd from those opposing Schwab and his Davos billionaire satanists. I know we would like to root for the good guys, but there are no good guys running any country on this earth. Only bad guys, willing to sell their souls, are ever elevated to positions of power. They are selected by oligarchs, not elected by the people. The western propaganda spewing media machine specializes in demonizing those they are paid to demonize (Putin, Trump, non-vaxxers), while glorifying anyone the ruling elite have chosen to use to further their agenda (Zelensky, Fauci, vaxxers). Putin is most certainly a bad guy, ruthless in his consolidation of power, serious in enforcing his beliefs through political or military measures, and willing to use any means necessary to achieve his aims. But he is only one of many bad men leading their countries across the globe. The Panama Papers show Zelinsky to be a corrupt puppet of Ukrainian oligarchs. He was a two-bit actor installed by the US, Soros, and NATO to play a role. As a reward, he has millions parked in offshore bank accounts and a $35 million mansion in Florida. He’s such a democratic icon, he’s spent the last eight years bombing Russian speaking civilians in Donbass and Donetsk, and he outlawed all opposition political parties and media outlets last week. It seems our far-left media outlets have no problem supporting actual far-right Nazis in Ukraine, as long as they are paid to do so. They are nothing but faux-journalist whores. The fact is Biden, Trudeau, Macron, Johnson, Erdogan, Xi, and the leaders of every country in the world are bad guys. Venezuela and Iran were evil, until our gas prices hit $4.25 a gallon because of Biden’s Russian sanctions. Now Biden is frantically negotiating with these “bad guys” to get their oil. Orwell nailed it seven decades ago with: “The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.” – Orwell – 1984 We have always been at war with Russia, supporting the noble democracy of Ukraine, and fully supportive of those benevolent dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, and China when in our economic interest, no matter how many people they kill, imprison, or behead. Of course, if you don’t toe the line of the petrodollar, you get Iraq’d, Libya’d, or Syria’d. Those in control of the message just move from villain to villain in the their never ending narrative. First Trump, then Covid, then the anti-vaxxers, and now Putin. The real villains are the media and those who manipulate the minds of the masses to achieve their insidious aims. Hypocrisy is not a characteristic that registers with empires in their late stages. Bribing, bullying, and bombing are what the American Empire does to enforce their waning power upon other nations. The over-the-top sanctions against Russia have accelerated the American decline into bankruptcy, while ignorant Americans remain distracted by their iGadgets, NCAA tournament pools and the latest season of American Idol. Every conflict is manufactured to benefit the global oligarchs, the military industrial complex, and those seeking to keep the masses enslaved in debt and distracted by technology, entertainment, and hatred towards whoever they are directed to hate by the government/media propaganda machine. It’s always about wealth, power, and control. The key financial arrangement sustaining the American Empire, even as it internally crumbles from cultural rot, institutionalized corruption, and glorified ignorance of reality, is the global dominance of the U.S. dollar in trade. This is why the empire’s bankruptcy has been gradual and to many, unnoticeable. But Dementia Joe has accidentally, or purposefully as part of the Great Reset agenda, set in motion the rapid spiral into bankruptcy and collapse of the short-lived America Empire (1946 – 2022). By creating a global energy crisis over a border dispute 6,000 miles from our shores, with no strategic interest to our country, Biden has initiated the final countdown of the petrodollar as the global settlement currency for all energy transactions. Petrodollar warfare has been the policy of the U.S. for decades as economic imperialism has been enforced militarily against Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, and Venezuela. Trying to enforce this policy against Russia will be a bridge too far. And the consequences are already being felt. Biden’s sanctions against Russian energy are backfiring and will bring an end to the petrodollar regime. Russia is demanding payment from Europe for their oil, gas, and coal in rubles, rather than USD. Any propaganda being peddled about the U.S. filling the gap is nothing but bullshit, as proven by this chart:   Via  Eurostat.   Russia supplies 47% of the EU coal demand, 41% of their natural gas demand, and 27% of their oil demand. They will pay Russia in rubles or have their societies grind to a halt, with starvation, chaos, depression, and revolution as the result. This doesn’t even consider Russian wheat and fertilizer exports, vital to Africa and the Middle East. Living within the propaganda bubble encasing the United States, where only the Deep State surveillance state sanctioned narrative is allowed to be broadcast by the dying legacy media and controlled social media propaganda platforms, you would be under the mistaken belief the entire world is in lockstep with Biden and his Great Reset cronies. The vast majority of the world (countries in gray in the map below) are not supporting the sanctions imposed by Biden. As already noted, even the European countries in yellow are ignoring the energy sanctions. Biden has pushed Russia and China closer together, with the petroyuan rising as an alternative to the petrodollar. India has reached agreement with Russia regarding oil imports. Africa and South America, with all their natural resources, have told Biden to shove it. America’s bullying tactics are now giving rise to alternative currency schemes, such as cryptocurrencies and discussions about a gold backed yuan and gold backed ruble. We stand on the precipice of a global conflagration, with talk of nuclear war bantered about by unserious low-IQ government bureaucrats, vacuous bimbo journalists and talking heads on the boob tube, and spurred on by the despicable hero worship of the textbook symbol of this farce – a sitcom actor who played a president in a TV show, funded by a billionaire oligarch, who was installed as president of Ukraine in a campaign funded by that billionaire, has ruled as a U.S. puppet, and who the Hollywood elite wanted to share the stage with the most dim-witted virtue signaling narcissists on the planet at the Oscars to call for the West to intervene in his losing battle and start World War 3. Instead they virtue signaled their support for Zelensky during the ceremonies. The Hollywood elite ignore the actual Nazis fighting for Zelensky, his banning of political opponents and media outlets, and his government not allowing transgenders to flee the country because they are men. He belongs on-stage at the Oscars with the freaks, frauds, degenerates, pedophiles, and hypocritical scumbags who make up the American entertainment industry. He would have gotten a standing ovation for being such a glorious upstanding symbol of democracy, freedom, and the transvestite way. He could have stripped down, grabbed his guitar, and performed for a worldwide audience, while begging for missiles, fighter jets, tanks and drones. We should all be laughing at this farce, but Zelensky and his handlers, Biden and his handlers, along with the other EU/NATO jokers and fools, have chosen to provoke Putin into war, and are now ratcheting up the rhetoric and sanctions to the point where a wider conflict is all but ensured. These reckless psychopaths clearly have not studied history or human nature when it comes to how wars can escalate rapidly with unanticipated outcomes and death on a massive scale. In a recent communication with writer Margaret Anna Alice, she described perfectly why we are headed into a horrific period in history, as the bloodiest chapter of this Fourth Turning hurtles towards its climax: “The lethal combination of incompetency, obliviousness, hubris, psychopathy, narcissism, megalomania, and every other dark triad trait is on full display in those purporting to be our leaders.” With it being quite apparent there are no good guy leaders in the world, trying to figure out the least worst outcome of this current episode of As the World Burns becomes difficult to grasp. I am convinced this engineered conflict in Ukraine is part of the bigger Great Reset plan of the global elites. But writers I respect have differing viewpoints on whether Putin is playing his part in this scheme for a new world order or whether he and Xi are partnering to fight Soros, Schwab, Gates, and the Global Reset co-conspirators. Based on what I’ve observed, I don’t believe all these bad men have the exact same goals for how the world should be run and who should run it. But no matter who wins, the winners want more power, more wealth, more control, and an autocracy, with them calling the shots. When I take into account all that has happened since 2014, who has been calling the shots, who was getting paid off, and the families implicated in this Ukrainian debacle, I conclude the Great Reset collaborators see this war as the next step (after the Covid scamdemic) in their Great Reset – purposely provoking Putin into attacking and now believing they can bleed him dry by funneling arms and cash into Ukraine. Why did the Clinton Foundation receive more “donations” from the Ukraine, prior to the 2014 CIA coup, than any country on earth? Biden was involved in the coup to overthrow a democratically elected president, friendly towards Russia. There was no conflict within Ukraine prior to the coup. No death. No destruction. So, who is to blame for the bloodshed now? It’s not Putin. Biden’s crackhead son raked in millions from selling influence to the “Big Guy”, with the U.S. installed puppet presidents doing as they were told by Soros and his U.S. surveillance state agents. There has been a simmering conflict since Putin annexed Crimea, shortly after the coup, and Ukraine began attacking the eastern Russian speaking provinces. The ratcheting up of attacks in those eastern provinces and the rhetoric about Ukraine joining NATO is what provoked Putin to attack. Despite the all-out propaganda campaign, Russia is winning and will win against Ukraine alone. This is the point in history when the Great Reset acolytes have decided they can accomplish multiple goals by turning Ukraine into a nightmarish quagmire of death and destruction, fueled by a never ending flow of armaments into this war zone, as a means to overthrow Putin, create food shortages, raise the cost of fossil fuels to astronomical heights, implement further restrictions on civil rights, increase technological controls over the populace, and institute a Chinese like social credit scoring system to enforce obedience and compliance with government demands. The Ukrainian people are just cannon fodder to these evil men. After two years of demanding submission from the peasants regarding lockdowns, masking and vaccine mandates, the ruling elite believe they will be able to enforce food and energy restrictions with the same ease upon the American people. This is where I believe their master plan goes awry. Putin will not be cowed by Biden’s toothless sanctions, empty threats, and pathetic tough guy rhetoric. He will use any means necessary to defeat his foes. Economic sanctions are an act of war. Supplying his enemy with weapons to kill Russians is an act of war. NATO and the U.S. are one miscalculation away from starting WW3. At a minimum, Biden has pushed China and Russia into closer cooperation as a new economic bloc. Biden’s weakness and inability to comprehend global strategy has probably convinced China they can annex Taiwan without the U.S. intervening in a meaningful way, other than easily avoided sanctions and threats. The new world order may end up revolving around China, with Russia and India as strategic partners and the U.S. and EU as outcasts. The underlying anger in the country is bubbling to the surface. The raging inflation is crushing poor and middle-class families. Food and energy are the two largest monthly expenditures for families struggling to survive in this Federal Reserve induced billionaire boom society. When diesel fuel supplies dwindle to nothing, destroying our just in time, truck dependent supply chain, and real food shortages start inflicting real pain, civil disobedience and rioting will occur which will make the BLM riots looks like child’s play. When people no longer have anything to lose, they will lose it and start looking for the culprits who stole their livelihoods and future. I don’t believe their propaganda machine will be able to convince the masses this was the fault of Trump or right wing conspiracists. Their pain and suffering are due to Federal Reserve bankers, corrupt politicians of the uni-party, and the media who has lied to them non-stop for the last decade. Woke is going to mean something different in the near future. Pugnacious Putin has unwittingly, or possibly purposefully, initiated the “sudden” phase of the demise of the crumbling American Empire. A PR campaign and “USD subsidies” (aka bribes) to foreign countries will not save us now. Biden lit the fuse, and it is just a matter of when it blows. And does it just blow up the remnants of our empire, or the whole world? No one knows the answer to that question, but the future of civilization on earth depends on the answer. Most of the world continues to go about their daily lives staring at their phones, oblivious to the danger of having angry senile sociopaths and egomaniacal billionaires controlling the use of nuclear weapons. We are one rash arrogant choice by a low IQ psychopath politician from the final scene in the Planet of the Apes. “You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!” – George Taylor Are we destined to be victims? This Ukraine war has revealed both parties fully support never ending war. Left and right media outlets have been spewing the anti-Russian propaganda in lockstep. What has been set in motion will not be fixed at the ballot box, as if voting matters anymore in this empire of lies and deceit. Armed insurrection would not prevail with the current configuration of our society. The only option is to organize in local communities of like-minded people to try and survive the coming storm. Get out of cities. Prep as much as you are able, with enough food, water, and fuel to sustain your family for an extended period of time. Stock up on guns, ammo, cash, gold, silver, and barterable items. On whatever plot of land you occupy, try to raise some food, and if possible become friendly with local farmers. No one can escape what is coming, as it will be global in nature, but you can take steps now to increase your chances of survival. Our republic has degenerated into despotism, we’ve willingly relinquished our freedoms and liberties for the supposed safety and security of a Big Brother surveillance state, and now we will suffer the consequences of these cowardly actions. Life in America is about to become far harder than our generations of snowflakes ever anticipated. Those with no survival skills will not survive. If you are not prepared in mind, body, and spirit for what is coming, your future will be bleak. Only those already awake are likely to read this anyway, so good luck and Godspeed to you all. “A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”  - John Adams “Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.” -  Aristotle *  *  * The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation. Tyler Durden Mon, 03/28/2022 - 17:40.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMar 28th, 2022

Russia"s Invasion Of Ukraine Will Benefit China

Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine Will Benefit China By Gregory Copley of OilPrice.com Russia’s war with Ukraine has, for the time being, saved the Communist Party of China (CPC) and therefore the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The isolation of Russia as part of the US-led global information warfare campaign has completed the process of driving Russia “back into the arms of Beijing”. This was occurring at a time when the economy of the PRC was imploding and the CPC, under General-Secretary Xi Jinping, was attempting to retain global power while essentially ring-fencing its economy from outside influence. The situation does not guarantee the PRC’s revival as a wealthy power, but, even though it now becomes more dependent on Russia, it does at least allow the Communist Party of China to survive. The PRC, as the world’s largest importer of food and energy, and now with diminishing foreign currency reserves, sees that Russia has nowhere else to go except to elevate the PRC to the position of Moscow’s most important trading and security partner. And because this is literally an issue that could save a declining PRC, Beijing’s assessment of the ongoing conflict between Russia and the West over Ukraine has to be along far more pragmatic lines than Western assessments, which tend to be either based around irrational fear or euphoric optimism. General Secretary Xi and his team are, as a result, evaluating ongoing lessons from the current Russian military conflict against Ukraine, and the new phase of the Russian strategic war with the US. Their assessments cannot follow the unrealistic views being promulgated by Western analysts. Beijing’s views on how to seriously confront the world galvanized, essentially, in the 1990s. The wake-up call for Beijing came with the May 7, 1999, “accidental” strike by US aircraft, using direct attack munitions (DAM) on the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Belgrade, during US/NATO Operation Allied Force. The strike did far more than just anger the PRC public and Government; it served to trigger a sober internal assessment of the state of the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The incident — a direct and deliberate provocation — had a similar impact on strategic planners on the Russian General Staff and in Pres. Vladimir Putin’s office. This may have been the single most important act of self-inflicted damage that the US perpetrated on itself since US Pres. Jimmy Carter withdrew the US from control of the Panama Canal in 1977. From that point, both Beijing and Moscow began examining ways to leapfrog US technological leadership and operational doctrine in the military sphere, creating, as a result, capabilities which have overtaken the US in many areas. It was not surprising that the CPC accepted, in 1999, the findings of a study that could have been overlooked a year or two earlier: the study by two PLA Senior Colonels entitled Unrestricted Warfare. It defined new approaches to the conduct of warfare which were to prove powerful, and which were subsequently to be incorporated even into Russian strategic doctrine. The watershed of the 2022 Russian direct action against Ukraine has stimulated the next phase of Beijing’s evaluation of the prospects of conflict and competition over the coming decade. Watershed One was the 1999 Belgrade attack. Watershed Two was the start of Russian hostilities (and subsequent Western reactions) in late February 2022. What, then, are some of Beijing’s conclusions being considered by early March 2022? 1. Moscow Now Dominates the Eurasian Balance: CPC leadership, which is not subject to mainstream media pressures, takes a far less pessimistic view of Russia’s military success rate in the early days of the Ukraine conflict than does the Western media or Western politicians. Beijing recognizes that, however the conflict settles down, Moscow emerges stronger from the conflict, both militarily and strategically, even if it is isolated from Western markets and capital. This is not necessarily seen as a universally positive development for Beijing overall, but something that does give the PRC short-term comfort. In other words: short-term relief; long-term uncertainty. Beijing, on this basis, now understands that Russia dominates the Sino-Russian relationship in the way that, during much of the Cold War, the USSR dominated the Sino-Soviet relationship. That had changed with the massive post-Cold War growth of the PRC economy, making a weak post-Soviet Moscow a supplicant to seek trade and support from Beijing. At that point, up until perhaps 2012, Russia was forced to sell its crown jewels — its latest military and space technology, in particular — to the PRC, and to tolerate the PRC theft of Russian intellectual property to attempt to build its own defense, aerospace, and high-tech industries. However, the PRC’s economic difficulties since about 2012 gradually gave Moscow more opportunity to regain dominance over the relationship. This then moved to a tipping point switch to Moscow dominance following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021. Russia moved rapidly in late 2021 to re-consolidate influence in Central Asia; the PRC gained far less than it had hoped from that event, both in Central Asia and with regard to Iran and Afghanistan. The January 2022 Kazakhstan staged “attempted coup” consolidated Russia’s ability to dominate Central Asia. The PRC assessment of the Russian approach to the intervention in Ukraine, therefore, was far less emotional than Western assessments. It became, in a sense, an existential event for the CPC. Furthermore, it confirmed Russia’s longstanding commitment to resisting encroachments on its borders, including the unresolved Sino-Russian borders. Russian isolation from the Western world offers profound relief for Beijing, including the prospect that Russia’s significant strength in global grain markets could be turned to providing food support for the PRC, which is the largest net importer of food in the world. Similarly, the creation of an internal Eurasian market could ensure that more Russian energy finds a home in PRC markets. All of this pre-supposes that Beijing will, in the coming years, be able to afford to pay for it. But Beijing, at least, has recognized that Russia has in recent years become a massive net exporter of food, a factor that has seemingly been ignored by the West. There has been, for several years, a great impetus to create an internal marketplace between the PRC, Russia, and several smaller states, such as (particularly) Iran, with some interchange with the more independent Central Asian states and other states in Africa and the Americas. Indeed, to a substantial extent, the neutral position of the Central Asian states could provide the buffer for the import and export of goods to and from Russia, and also to and from the PRC. 2. Ukraine Offers Few Parallels for Beijing’s Hope to Conquer Taiwan: There are few military parallels between the Russian military operation in Ukraine and a proposed amphibious operation by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to conquer Taiwan, other than to assess the merits of various weapons systems, particularly air defenses. However, Ukraine’s piecemeal evolution of an air defense capability, heavily based on Soviet-built weapons, in no way mirrors the complex air defense capability of the Republic of China (ROC) Armed Forces on Taiwan. The real tactical and military focus for the PLA would be on the success and challenges of the Russia-Ukraine cyber warfare, but it would be clear to Beijing that Russia had, by early March 2022, scarcely deployed anything like its full cyber (or even its military) capability. What was interesting, possibly, was the level of success that Ukraine’s own cyber capabilities may have achieved in impacting Russian tactical and strategic capabilities, if at all, and how much US/NATO cyber support may have entered the conflict. Of far greater importance to Beijing would be the extent to which the Ukraine crisis gave an indicator of US, Western, and global political galvanization in resisting Russia, and whether this would give an indication of a possible global response to a PRC attack on Taiwan. Russia’s portrayal of the historical relationship of Ukraine and Moscow, along with the promises toward the end of the Cold War by US Pres. Ronald Reagan and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to refrain from NATO expansion, will be key to Beijing’s search for parallels applicable to Taiwan. Beijing is paying particular attention to the use, or maneuver, of Russian strategic forces — essentially nuclear and hypersonic capabilities — in order to compel US/NATO onto the sidelines of the Ukraine dispute. Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin has used the “re-positioning” of strategic assets very, very carefully to highlight Russian determination without hinting at an inevitable escalation to nuclear conflict. Beijing should be expected to raise the nuclear deterrence aspect with regard to the ROC. Not deterrence of others from directly undertaking a nuclear first strike against the PRC, but to intimidate foreign forces away from supporting the ROC; to create, in psycho-political terms, paralysis in its opponents. Significantly, Beijing cannot claim that Taiwan — more specifically the ROC as a sovereign entity — is a defecting part of “China”. The Republic of China (ROC), now based in Taiwan, can, however, claim that the People’s Republic of China (PRC), created only in 1949, is an illegal defector from the Republic of China. That profound difference is locked into US and Japanese history, with the US maintaining a chain of recognition and responsibility with regard to Taiwan, even if it today recognizes the PRC as the representative of the geographic entity of China. Nonetheless, Beijing attempts to portray the Taiwan issue as an “internal dispute”, and this will continue to be promoted and expanded as a means of keeping foreigners out. Indeed, the real issue for the CPC will be to determine whether Ukraine “conflict exhaustion” could be married, through psychological operations, to dampen US (in particular) enthusiasm to resist a PLA Taiwan operation. Alternately, the CPC must consider whether the West’s reluctance to commit more to the defense of Ukraine means that it merely continues to keep its powder dry in readiness for a PRC break-out. In any event, Beijing’s key consideration for a Taiwan operation relies more on the independent responses of India and Japan. It also considers whether the PRC’s quiescence on the Kazakhstan issue in January 2022 and its tacit and diplomatic support for Moscow over Ukraine, would earn it some direct military and political support from Russia in the event that Beijing attempted the Taiwan operation. [Having said that, even Xi Jinping’s consolidated strength within the CPC is almost certainly insufficient to counter his Party and PLA opponents’ argument that an invasion of Taiwan would be a reckless, unnecessary, and possibly unsuccessful — even suicidal — gamble.] In the purely military assessment by Beijing of the Russian operations in Ukraine, the CPC is more aware than any other power of what is actually occurring. This includes the realization of Russian goals, which do not include an ongoing occupation of Ukraine. It almost certainly recognizes that Russia has a series of phased, or alternative, acceptable outcomes, but of overriding importance would be the creation of a post-conflict neutral buffer state out of what remains of Ukraine. It would also include an absolute guarantee of its position in Crimea and almost certainly the full establishment of the Donbas’ new republics, Luhansk and Donetsk, as part of the buffer system protecting Russia’s control of the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. This would help consolidate for Russia a range of geographic buffer zones. How Russia will deal with Turkey, post-Ukraine, remains to be seen, but the newly-emerging Eurasian bloc dominated by Russia, the PRC, and Iran could well offer some salvation to Turkish Pres. Reçep Tayyip  Erdo?an, whose economy has entered a final downward spiral. The European Union (EU) is unlikely to offer any political or economic solace to Turkey as long as Erdo?an remains in power, and potential trading partners such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have already indicated that they could be a link into the Russian-dominated new bloc. So, for all that Pres. Erdo?an had pinned some hopes on punishing Russia over Ukraine and seeing Ukraine as a possible revival avenue for Turkey in Europe, Moscow might once again be the only means of saving the embattled Turkish President. And Mr. Erdo?an has already made it clear he would value an improved economic relationship with Beijing. In any event, Beijing is aware that the “correlation of forces”, despite the anticipated sanctions, works in favor of a strategically strong Eurasian bloc under Russia. Beijing is keenly aware that the Russian military action was nowhere near a “full invasion” of Ukraine, and that Moscow has considerable theater-level escalation capability. Moscow has been judicious in its use of precision-guided munitions and yet has still been able to achieve air dominance in the campaign. It has also, by acting with great deliberation and an avoidance of mass tactics, been able to overmatch Ukrainian ground force capabilities, regardless of the qualities of many individual Ukrainian combatants. 3. Common Cause to Minimize Sino-Russian Competition: Beijing is aware that the Ukraine conflict, more than any other action since the end of the Cold War, has driven Moscow into the arms of Beijing. Moscow, while it may emerge as the stronger of the two in the “alliance”, will be a different player on the world stage than the one it wished to be after the collapse of the USSR. A new economic framework will be needed for the new Eurasian bloc and its global affiliates, and this has been considered for some time. The fact that Russia was able to counter the loss of access to the SWIFT financial transfer system by March 1, 2022, indicated that Moscow had been preparing for some years for the final rupture of what it had hoped would be a Russian integration into the Western-dominated trading system. The introduction of the Financial Message Transfer System of the Bank of Russia (SPFS) some six years earlier, was well thought out, and has already been perfected in operational use by banks in Belarus, Armenia, and the Kyrgyz Republic. It already had 399 users by March 2022, and the PRC was negotiating to join the system. The SPFS system was conducting more than two-million messages a month in 2020, some 20.6 percent more than SWIFT. SWIFT, however, has the advantage of widespread global use, which the SPFS does not. Certainly, this does not compensate for the degradation of Russian and PRC currencies vis-à-vis the US dollar, sterling, and the euro, but what it means is that the new Eurasian bloc is merely divided from the Western trading system. But Russia (and, to a lesser extent, the PRC) has high reserves of gold to provide a solid underpinning of its currency, and this will eventually begin to tell as Western debt levels begin to erode confidence in the US dollar and the euro. It also explains why Russia and the PRC focus efforts on developing good relations with gold-producing states (ie: Mali and South Africa). The world has, in any event, been moving gradually back to a greater bilateralization of trade since the end of the Cold War, and this lends itself to barter and counter-trade which will again feature heavily for Moscow and Beijing. 4. Forcing the US/West to Focus on the Euro-Atlantic Theater Rather than the Indo-Pacific: Beijing is looking at the US/NATO/Australia response to the Ukraine crisis and has recognized that this contributes significantly to leveling the power balance in the Indo-Pacific. Beijing has for some time attempted to find Euro-Atlantic distractions which would force the US and UK (in particular) to diminish their Indo-Pacific focus. The Ukraine conflict, then, has been a major success for Beijing. The “correlation of forces” it faces in the Indo-Pacific have been altered, at least for some time, by a US political need to re-focus on NATO. This will make it more difficult for the nascent AUKUS bloc of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the US, to gain priority traction in Washington. Even within the loose Quad (quadrilateral) alliance of India, Japan, the US, and Australia, India is now in an ambiguous position with Russia, which had long been a major national security partner of New Delhi. The changes initiated by the August 2021 withdrawal by the US from Afghanistan opened the way for the resumption of “the Great Game”, allowing India to compete against Moscow and Beijing for influence in the Central Asian states in a way not possible since the late 19th Century. But India, now, may find itself having to find a new modus vivendi with a consolidated Eurasian power bloc, which may dampen the Indian ability to directly challenge the PRC on the Tibetan Plateau, or over Pakistani-occupied Kashmir, as easily as might have been the case when Russia was less intimately linked to the PRC. This, in turn, positions Pakistan in a new light. It might now once again be seen as a stable link for the PRC into the Indian Ocean. Everything has, once again, become ambiguous, and this works well for Beijing. Its certain decline has been given a safety net. In Conclusion The bottom line is that while Beijing may feel a certain sadness that it has slipped into a subordinate position again, with regard to Russia, the reality is that the Ukraine war has stabilized the position of the CPC and PRC as Xi Jinping moves toward consolidating his domestic position in history at the XXth CPC Party Congress in October 2022. Xi’s position in PRC domestic power struggles was, after all, made even more ambiguous because of the clear failure of the February 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to restore prestige and credibility to an increasingly isolated PRC. To be sure, that poor investment in staging the Winter Olympics would not be enough to derail Xi’s bid for re-election at the XXth Party Congress, but it hardly helped him. What ultimately emerges for the CPC is something that was imagined during the Cold War: a harmonious (if expedient) Sino-Russian bloc that could build a global position of allies and partners. What helped end the Cold War was the West’s move to exacerbate the Sino-Soviet rift, and that process also included the promises by Reagan and Thatcher to Russia and US Pres. Richard Nixon’s promises to Beijing. But the West is not in a position to use those same tools so easily in the future. Tyler Durden Fri, 03/11/2022 - 03:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 11th, 2022

The 21 best books about time travel, from science fiction classics to time loop romances

If you love watching characters get transported to the past, pick up one of these time travel books, from 'Outlander' to 'Slaughterhouse-Five.' Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.If you love watching characters get transported to the past, pick up one of these time travel books.Amazon; Rachel Mendelson/Insider Time travel is a popular subgenre amongst science fiction readers. Authors have used time travel to tell incredible stories, from romances to historic events. These are 21 of the best time travel books, from 'Outlander' to Octavia Butler's 'Kindred.' Science fiction is a broad and exciting genre with plenty of fun subgenres for readers to explore, such as space operas where readers travel across galaxies or dystopian novels that provide a glimpse at terrifying possible futures. One popular science fiction subgenre is time travel, where characters cross time and space using parallel universes, advanced technology, or simply unexplainable magic. Time travel novels let readers imagine the limitless pasts and futures where anything is possible. To gather these recommendations, we looked at bestseller lists and popular recommendations from Amazon, Bookshop, and Goodreads. From epic romances to genre-bending classics, here are the best time travel books to take you on a reading adventure through time. The best time travel books to read in 2022:An epic time travel love storyAmazon"Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.19In this series that inspired a beloved TV show of the same name, Claire Randall and her husband are enjoying a second honeymoon after she returns from serving as a combat nurse in WWII. Their celebration is cut short, however, when Claire suddenly finds herself thrust back through time to 1743 Scotland. An outlander in this strange time, Claire meets a young warrior named James Fraser, whose love tears her heart between two times.A modern time travel classicAmazon"The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.79This contemporary time travel novel has quickly become a classic love story between Clare and Henry, who gravitate towards each other despite Henry's Chrono-Displacement Disorder, which causes him to be misplaced through time. Imaginative and original, "The Time Traveler's Wife" uses multiple points of view to tell an emotional story of love, friendship, and the effects of time on both.A romantic time travel readAmazon"This Is How You Lose the Time War" by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.15"This Is How You Lose the Time War" is a new, award-winning novel about rival agents Red and Blue who leave each other secret messages as they travel through time, altering history on behalf of their warring home empires. Though the messages begin as playful taunting, they soon become much more in this Queer, sci-fi romance.A time travel novel from the king of horrorAmazon"11/22/63" by Stephen King, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15This nearly-1,000 page historical science fiction read is a gripping time travel thriller  — and one of the highest-reviewed Stephen King books. Jake Epping is a high school English teacher who discovers a secret portal to 1958 and is enlisted to go back in time and try to stop the Kennedy assassination, the effects of which can't be known until Jake either succeeds or fails.A classic time travel taleAmazon"Kindred" by Octavia E. Butler, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.39When Dana, a young, Black writer, is inexplicably thrust backward in time from 1976 to a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation, she's met with the drowning of a young white boy, whom she tries but fails to save. As she continues to drift between the past and present, Dana is accused of murdering the child, meets her ancestors, and is forced into slavery, all while trying to find her way back to the present.A journey to the Medieval timesAmazon"Doomsday Book" by Connie Willis, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.27Beginning in near-future London, time travel technology is used by universities to send historians back in time for research purposes. When Kivrin is sent to the past to experience a Medieval village, everything goes immediately wrong and Kivrin is stuck with no way to return home, a mysterious illness, and disaster coming her way in this page-turning novel that won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards in 1993.An equally devastating and remarkable time travel novelAmazon"Recursion" by Blake Crouch, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.99When a technology emerges that allows humans to return and re-experience their most precious and emotional memories, the effects begin to devastate the world as parallel worlds collide, unraveling society and threatening humanity in its entirety. "Recursion" is one of my all-time favorite novels, an undeniable page-turner that completely engrossed countless readers with Blake Crouch's masterful writing.A non-linear time travel classicAmazon"Slaughterhouse-Five" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.35"Slaughterhouse-Five" is an American classic and considered one of the greatest novels of all time. First published in 1969, this science fiction novel follows Billy Pilgrim from childhood through his time as a soldier during World War II,] and beyond as he travels back and forth through time and tells his story with messages about war, post-traumatic stress, life, and love.A time travel love storyAmazon"How to Stop Time" by Matt Haig, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.30Tom Hazard has lived through many centuries but is ready to settle down as a high school history teacher and live a normal life. Because of his condition, he must not fall in love, but when the French teacher at school catches his eye, Tom flashes back through his many lives to help him figure out how to live in the present.A time loop romanceAmazon"One Last Stop" by Casey McQuiston, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.25When cynical August moves to New York City, she doesn't believe in magical love stories, until she meets Jane on the Q train. As August continues to ride the Q train as often as she can to spend time with Jane, the two realize Jane is stuck there on a strange time loop, displaced from the 1970s and in desperate need of August's help to get her unstuck.An original time travel novel featuring magical realismAmazon"Oona Out of Order" by Margarita Montimore, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.99On New Year's Eve in 1982, Oona Lockhart is minutes away from turning 19 and has a life of opportunities ahead of her, until the clock strikes midnight and Oona wakes up on her 51st birthday. Destined to travel back and forth through time and live her life out of order, Oona must figure out how to navigate life, love, and everything in between.A holiday-themed time travel readAmazon"In a Holidaze" by Christina Lauren, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.59This holiday read is a rom-com fan-favorite about Maelyn Jones, who is on her way to the airport after a final family vacation at their beloved Utah cabin when she sees a truck hurtling towards their car. Just before the truck can hit them, Mae wakes up on the airplane headed to the cabin, stuck in a cycle of reliving the trip over and over until she can discover what makes her happy.A devastating middle-grade time travel readAmazon"The Shape of Thunder" by Jasmine Warga, available at Amazon, $14.49Cora and Quinn are next-door neighbors and best friends who haven't spoken to each other in a year since a tragedy changed both of their lives forever. When Quinn decides the only way to bridge the distance between them is by going back in time to stop that horrible day from ever happening, the two try to unravel the mysteries of time travel in this middle-grade novel about trauma, loss, and healing.A time travel graphic novel about true eventsAmazon"Displacement" by Kiku Hughes, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.55This incredible graphic novel is about Kiku Hughes, who is on vacation in San Francisco when she's abruptly transported back in time to witness the internment camp into which her grandmother was forcibly relocated during World War II. Unsure how or if she will be able to return to the present, Kiku learns her grandmother's true history and begins to see the long-term effects her experiences had on their family and countless other Japanese Americans.A young adult time loop fantasy novelAmazon"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.79In this best-selling young adult fantasy book, Jacob Magellan Portman is taken to a remote island off the coast of Wales to deal with his trauma after a horrible family tragedy. Though the home is allegedly haunted by the inhabitants who died on September 3, 1940, Jacob discovers peculiar children stuck in a time loop, cared for by the equally peculiar Miss Peregrine.A classic time travel storyAmazon"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.35On a dark and stormy night, Meg Murry, along with her brother and her friend, set out on a dangerous but extraordinary adventure to rescue her father who mysteriously disappeared. With the help of supernatural friends, the group uses a tesseract to travel through space and time in this 1962 story of love, evil, and purpose.A young adult novel about time travel and loveAmazon"Opposite of Always" by Justin A. Reynolds, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.99Jack and Kate are immediately drawn to each other when they meet at a party and begin to fall in love in the weeks that follow. When Kate tragically dies from a genetic disease, Jack finds himself back at the moment they met, determined to do anything to prevent her death, even if it means hurting others in the process.A magical time travel mangaAmazon"Tokyo Revengers" by Ken Wakui, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99Takemichi Hanagaki is stuck in his less-than-thrilling life when he learns his middle school girlfriend, Hinata, has been killed by a villainous gang. When an accident sends him 12 years back in time to middle school, Takemichi is determined to change his life and save Hinata in this time travel manga.A time travel story of a father and sonAmazon"How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe" by Charles Yu, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.69Charles Yu lives in a science fiction reality, working as a time machine repairman and searching for his father, who invented time travel and has since disappeared. In this heartfelt read, Charles must navigate the universe with his companions to find a moment where he and his father can meet in memory.A feminist time travel novelAmazon"The Future of Another Timeline" by Annalee Newitz, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.47Told through alternating first-person narratives, this time travel story focuses on two main timelines as Beth finds herself in 1992 with a front-row seat to a murder while Tess is determined to use time travel to fight for a change in 2022. As the two stories intertwine across time, war threatens to destroy time travel in this smart, feminist read.An irresistible time travel readAmazon"Here and Now and Then" by Mike Chen, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49Kin Stewart may seem like an average man but has a secret: He's actually a time-traveling secret agent from the year 2142, stuck in the present ever since a mission failed 18 years ago. When his rescue team finally arrives, Kin is torn between his two families, trying to keep them both, until a risk to his daughter's existence stretches Kin's love across time to save her.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

The 19 best short books you can finish before 2021 is over

Whether you want to hit your yearly reading goal or find a quick read for your holiday flight home, here are the best short books to read in 2021. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.Whether you want to hit your yearly reading goal or find a quick read for your holiday flight home, here are the best short books to read in 2021.LumiNola / Getty Images There's still time to finish your 2021 reading goal before the year is over. We've compiled a list of short book recommendations you can read in a single day (or sitting). All the books on this list are less than 300 pages, but most are far shorter. As 2021 comes to a close, you might be rushing to finish your yearly reading goal or searching for a quick read to take on your holiday vacation. To help, we've collected a list of incredible short books you can read in a single day (or even a single sitting). All of the books on this list are under 300 pages, but most of them are far shorter (as few as 146). These books are perfect for a cozy afternoon reading session or, if you enjoy audiobooks, a quick listen on a road trip or flight.From great new memoirs to fictional classics, here are some incredible short books you can read before the end of 2021.The best short books to read in 2021:"Infinite Country" by Patricia EngelAmazon"Infinite Country" by Patricia Engel, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49As Mauro and Elena fall in love and have their first child, they know they must escape their war-torn home country in the hopes of a better life. The winner of the 2021 New American Voices Award, "Infinite Country" is a fictional story about a Colombian family's migration and the seemingly insurmountable challenges they face through generations."The Vegetarian" by Han KangAmazon"The Vegetarian" by Han Kang, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.30When Yeong-hye begins having terrible nightmares, she decides to stop eating meat in an effort to stop the dreams. When her decision is seen as an act of rebellion, the relationships in her life become slowly twisted as those closest to her fight to regain control in this story about taboos, violence, and metamorphosis. "The Alchemist" by Paulo CoelhoAmazon"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.89Loved by readers for its powerful moments of wisdom, "The Alchemist" is about a young boy named Santiago who travels from his home in Spain to Egypt in search of a buried treasure. Encountering a number of incredible characters along the way, Santiago's meaningful journey highlights the importance of listening to your heart."The Removed" by Brandon HobsonAmazon"The Removed" by Brandon Hobson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.49In this incredible read steeped with magical realism and Cherokee history, Ray-Ray's family is still struggling with grief 15 years after he was killed in a police shooting. As the family's annual bonfire nears, the estranged family members attempt to close their emotional and physical distances in this novel about home, trauma, grief, and heritage."Elevation" by Stephen KingAmazon"Elevation" by Stephen King, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.98Winner of the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards for Horror, this 150-page Stephen King novel is about Scott Carey, who is engaged in a slowly escalating battle with his neighbors — a lesbian couple whose dog regularly uses his lawn as a bathroom. When the women face challenging prejudices as they try to open a restaurant, Scott becomes their unlikely ally in this novella with a supernatural twist."The Bluest Eye" by Toni MorrisonAmazon"The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.43"The Bluest Eye" is Toni Morrison's first novel, originally published in 1970. This classic is about Pecola, a young Black girl who wishes she could have blue eyes so she could be considered beautiful like the white children others seem to fawn over."Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning" by Cathy Park HongAmazon"Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning" by Cathy Park Hong, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.70Told with poetic prose, "Minor Feelings" is a memoir about history, culture, and the racism Cathy Park Hong and so many other Asian Americans have experienced. Both an examination of the author's reckoning with her identity and a criticism of racial consciousness, this memoir is a powerful search for personal and universal truths."Sharp Objects" by Gillian FlynnAmazon"Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.22From the same author who wrote "Gone Girl," this gripping thriller follows reporter Camille Preaker as she returns to her hometown to cover the disappearance and unsolved murder of two preteen girls. Staying in her childhood home, Camille struggles to escape her own demons in this nail-biting read with an outrageous plot twist."The Undocumented Americans" by Karla Cornejo VillavicencioAmazon"The Undocumented Americans" by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.39Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is one of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard and, in this book, highlights the stories of countless other undocumented immigrants like her, though all with very different stories. Part-memoir and part-nonfiction portrait, the book brings life to the stories of those regularly dismissed or villainized because of their immigration status."Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi CoatesAmazon"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.92This memoir is told as a letter from Ta-Nehisi Coates to his adolescent son as he attempts to explain our nation's deep-seated racism, the ways it has continued through history, and what it means to be Black today. Though this is a short read, it contains a powerful message for all readers, dubbed "required reading" by Toni Morrison."This Is How You Lose the Time War" by Amal El-Mohtar and Max GladstoneAmazon"This Is How You Lose the Time War" by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.15"This Is How You Lose the Time War" won the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novella, adored by readers for the lyrical and intricate writing style. When agent Red finds a letter from a rival agent Blue, the two begin to exchange letters despite the mounting danger of their correspondence, traveling through time in this romantic science-fiction thriller."When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul KalanithiAmazon"When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.63Neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer when he was 36. In this memoir that outlines the final months of his life, Paul grapples with his own mortality and what it means to find your purpose in life."All You Can Ever Know" by Nicole ChungAmazon"All You Can Ever Know" by Nicole Chung, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.66This award-winning 2018 memoir is loved for Nicole Chung's insightful and compassionate observations about race, family, and motherhood. Born premature and adopted by a white family, Nicole Chung always believed that her birth parents made the ultimate sacrifice to give her a better life. This memoir follows Nicole Chung as she unearths her family's secrets in her search for a place where she truly belongs."The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John BoyneAmazon"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.19I personally recommended opening this emotional book with little knowledge of the plot so the story slowly unravels with even more power. This historical fiction young adult novel follows nine-year-old Bruno, a new friend, and a very long, mysterious fence."Dept. of Speculation" by Jenny OffillAmazon"Dept. of Speculation" by Jenny Offill, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.98As a husband and wife exchange love letters postmarked by the "Dept. of Speculation," a code name for the uncertainties of life, they confront the ever-changing landscape of their relationship, the world, and their lives. Mediative and unfiltered, this suspenseful and emotional 180-page story demands to be read in a single sitting."Remote Control" by Nnedi OkoraforAmazon"Remote Control" by Nnedi Okorafor, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99When Death paid Fatima a visit, she became Sankofa, a name that tied her to her family and her past but meant nothing to anyone but her. As she searches for the object that fell from the sky and gave her the power of death, she is also searching for her new purpose in a world that doesn't understand her."The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas AdamsAmazon"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.79This beloved sci-fi read is about Arthur Dent's adventures across the galaxy with his friend, Ford Prefect, after the demolition of the Earth. Together, they search for the answers to some of life's greatest questions — including the ultimate meaning of life."The Soul of a Woman" by Isabel AllendeAmazon"The Soul of a Woman" by Isabel Allende, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.47A self-proclaimed feminist since kindergarten, Isabel Allende grew up in the 1960s and joined the first wave of feminist journalists who wrote about women's issues. Her memoir, "The Soul of a Woman," outlines both her personal and society's feminist journey in a book she hopes will help future budding feminists find their voice."The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War" by Malcolm GladwellAmazon"The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War" by Malcolm Gladwell, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.50During World War II, the Bomber Mafia was a group of American military men who believed a large number of long-range bomber aircraft could swiftly win the war. In this nonfiction read, Malcolm Gladwell tells the stories of great strategists and their moral challenges during the war.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 20th, 2021

The Game Awards 2021 will honor the year"s best video games and debut exclusive trailers — here"s how to watch live on December 9

Check out the nominees for The Game Awards 2021 and get ready for multiple world premiere trailers. You can stream the show for free at 8 p.m. ET. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Metroid Dread is one of six nominees for Game of the Year at the 2021 Game Awards.Metroid Dread / Nintendo The Game Awards 2021 will be livestreamed on December 9 at 8 p.m. ET from Los Angeles. There are 30 award categories and you can expect debut trailers for upcoming video games and movies. You can watch The Game Awards on multiple platforms including YouTube, Twitch, Twitter and Facebook. The Game Awards 2021 will honor the year's best video games and unveil multiple world premiere trailers for upcoming games and movies during a live ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The event will be streamed online starting at 8 p.m. ET across multiple platforms, including YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook Live, and more.While most of the special announcements will be kept secret until The Game Awards begin, you can expect trailers for Rocksteady's Suicide Squad game, a debut trailer for the "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" movie, and a first look at the "Halo" TV series coming to Paramount Plus in 2022. Fans are still speculating on what announcements we'll see from major publishers like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.How to watch The Game Awards 2021You can watch The Game Awards 2021 live on many different streaming and social platforms, including YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and Facebook Live. The show is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET. Visit the official website for a full list of places where you can watch the stream, and international start times. The stream is free to watch on all platforms. You can find the YouTube feed embedded below.Awards will be distributed across more than 20 categories, including Game of the Year, Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, and genre specific awards like Best Action Game and Best Fighting Game. Gamers can vote for their picks in each category, but the winners are ultimately decided by a jury panel of more than 100 members, with fan votes accounting for 10 percent of the final decision. Along with celebrating the best video games of 2021, The Game Awards will feature live musical performances by Sting, Imagine Dragons, and the Game Awards orchestra, as well as celebrity appearances from Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, Giancarlo Esposito, and more.The Game Awards 2021 nomineesGame of the YearDeathloop / Bethesda SoftworksDeathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda)It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios/EA)Metroid Dread (Mercury Steam/Nintendo)Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine/Xbox Game Studios)Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/SIE)Resident Evil Village (Capcom)Best Game DirectionIt Takes Two / Electronic ArtsDeathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda)It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios/EA)Returnal (Housemarque/SIE)Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine/Xbox Game Studios)Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/SIE)Best NarrativeLife is Strange True Colors / Square EnixDeathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda)It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios/EA)Life is Strange: True Colors (Deck Nine/Square Enix)Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (Eidos Montreal/Square Enix)Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine/Xbox Game Studios)Best Ongoing GameFinal Fantasy XIV: Endwalker / Square EnixApex Legends (Respawn/EA)Call of Duty: Warzone (Infinity Ward/Raven/Activision)Final Fantasy XIV Online (Square Enix)Fortnite (Epic Games)Genshin Impact (MiHoYo)Best Art DirectionThe Artful Escape / Annapurna InteractiveDeathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda)Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Ember Lab)Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine/Xbox Game Studios)Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/SIE)The Artful Escape (Beethoven & Dinosaur/Annapurna)Most Anticipated GameElden Ring / FromSoftwareElden Ring (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco)God of War Ragnarök (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/SIE)Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)Starfield (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda)Best Community SupportApex Legends / Electronic ArtsApex Legends (Respawn/EA)Destiny 2 (Bungie)Final Fantasy XIV Online (Square Enix)Fortnite (Epic Games)No Man's Sky (Hello Games)Best Action/AdventureMetroid Dread is one of six nominees for Game of the Year at the 2021 Game Awards.Metroid Dread / NintendoMarvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (Eidos Montreal/Square Enix)Metroid Dread (Mercury Steam/Nintendo)Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine/Xbox Game Studios)Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/SIE)Resident Evil Village (Capcom)Best Role PlayingMonster Hunter Rise / CapcomCyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)Monster Hunter Rise (Capcom)Scarlet Nexus (Bandai Namco)Shin Megami Tensei V (Atlus/Sega)Tales of Arise (Bandai Namco)Best MultiplayerBack 4 Blood / Warner Bros.Back 4 Blood (Turtle Rock/WB Games)It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios/EA)Knockout City (Velan Studios/EA)Monster Hunter Rise (Capcom)New World (Amazon Games)Valheim (Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain)Best Fighting GameGuilty Gear Strive / Arc System WorksDemon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles (CyberConnect2/Sega)Guilty Gear -Strive- (Arc System Works)Melty Blood: Type Lumina (French-Bread/Delightworks)Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (Ludosity/Fair Play Labs/GameMill)Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown (Sega)Best Family GameNew Pokemon Snap / NintendoIt Takes Two (Hazelight Studios/EA)Mario Party Superstars (NDcube/Nintendo)New Pokémon Snap (Bandai Namco/The Pokémon Company/Nintendo)Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Nintendo)WarioWare: Get It Together! (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)Best Sim/StrategyMicrosoft Flight Simulator / Xbox Game StudiosAge of Empires IV (Relic Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)Evil Genius 2: World Domination (Rebellion Developments)Humankind (Amplitude Studios/Sega)Inscryption (Daniel Mullins Games/Devolver)Microsoft Flight Simulator (Asobo Studio/Xbox Game Studios)Best Sports/Racing GameFIFA 22 / Electronic ArtsF1 2021 (Codemasters/EA Sports)FIFA 22 (EA Vancouver/EA Sports)Forza Horizon 5 (Playground Games/Xbox Game Studios)Hot Wheels Unleashed (Milestone)Riders Republic (Ubisoft Annecy/Ubisoft)Best ActionReturnal / SonyBack 4 Blood (Turtle Rock/WB Games)Chivalry II (Torn Banner Studios/Tripwire Interactive)Deathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda)Far Cry 6 (Ubisoft Toronto/Ubisoft)Returnal (Housemarque/SIE)Best VR/ARResident Evil 4 VR / CapcomHitman 3 (IO Interactive)I Expect You To Die 2 (Schell Games)Lone Echo II (Ready at Dawn/Oculus Studios)Resident Evil 4 (Armature Studio/Capcom/Oculus Studios)Sniper Elite VR (Coatsink/Just Add Water/Rebellion Developments)Best Mobile GamePokemon Unite / NintendoFantasian (Mistwalker)Genshin Impact (MiHoYo)League of Legends: Wild Rift (Riot Games)Marvel Future Revolution (Netmarble)Pokemon Unite (TiMi Studios/The Pokemon Company)Best IndieKena Bridge of Spirits / Ember Lab12 Minutes (Luis Antonio/Annapurna Interactive)Death's Door (Acid Nerve/Devolver Digital)Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Ember Lab)Inscryption (Daniel Mullins Games/Devolver Digital)Loop Hero (Four Quarters/Devolver Digital)Best Debut IndieSable / Raw FuryKena: Bridge of Spirits (Ember Lab)Sable (Shedworks/Raw Fury)The Artful Escape (Beethoven & Dinosaur/Annapurna)The Forgotten City (Modern Storyteller/Dear Villagers)Valheim (Iron Gate/Coffee Stain)Games for ImpactNo Longer Home / Fellow TravellerBefore Your Eyes (GoodbyeWorld Games/Skybound Games)Boyfriend Dungeon (Kitfox Games)Chicory (Greg Lobanow, Alexis Dean-Jones, Lena Raine, Madeline Berger, A Shell in the Pit/Finji)Life is Strange: True Colors (Deck Nine/Square Enix)No Longer Home (Humble Grove, Hana Lee, Cel Davison, Adrienne Lombardo, Eli Rainsberry/Fellow Traveler)Best PerformanceMaggie Robertson's Lady Dimitrescu in Resident Evil Village"Resident Evil Village" / CapcomErika Mori as Alex Chen, Life is Strange: True ColorsGiancarlo Esposito as Anton Castillo, Far Cry 6Jason E. Kelley as Colt Vahn, DeathloopMaggie Robertson as Lady Dimitrescu, Resident Evil VillageOzioma Akagha as Julianna Blake, Deathloop Best Score and MusicMarvel's Guardians of the Galaxy / Square EnixCyberpunk 2077 (Marcin Przybylowicz, Piotr T. Adamczyk, composers)Deathloop (Tom Salta, composer)NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 (Keiichi Okabe, composer)Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (Richard Jacques, composer)The Artful Escape (Johnny Galvatron & Josh Abrahams, composers)Best Audio DesignForza Horizon 5 / MicrosoftDeathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda)Forza Horizon 5 (Playground Games/Xbox Game Studios)Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/SIE)Resident Evil Village (Capcom)Returnal (Housemarque/SIE) Innovation in Accessibility"Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart" / SonyFar Cry 6 (Ubisoft Toronto/Ubisoft)Forza Horizon 5 (Playground Games/Xbox Game Studios)Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (Eidos Montreal/Square Enix)Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/SIE)The Vale: Shadow of the Crown (Creative Bytes Studios/Falling Squirrel)Best Esports Game"League of Legends"/Riot GamesCall of Duty (Activision)CS:GO (Valve)DOTA2 (Valve)League of Legends (Riot Games)Valorant (Riot Games)Best Esports TeamFaZe Clan's "Call of Duty" team Atlanta FaZe after winning the 2021 "Call of Duty" League Championship.Michael Owens/Getty ImagesAtlanta FaZe (COD)DWG KIA (LOL)Natus Vincere (CS:GO)Sentinels (Valorant)Team Spirit (DOTA2)Best Esports EventEdward Gaming (EDG) after winning the 2021 "League of Legends" World ChampionshipClive Rose/Riot Games Inc. via Getty Images2021 League of Legends World ChampionshipPGL Major Stockholm 2021PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2020The International 2021Valorant Champions Tour: Stage 2 MastersBest Esports CoachAirat "Silent" GazievAndrey "ENGH" SholokhovAndrii "B1ad3" HorodenskyiJames "Crowder" CrowderKim "kkOma" Jeong-gyunBest Esports AthleteChris "Simp" LehrHeo "ShowMaker" Su Magomed "Collapse" KhalilovOleksandr "s1mple" KostylievTyson "TenZ" NgoContent Creator of the YearDreamFuslieGaulesIbaiTheGrefgRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 9th, 2021

Former US senator and GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole has died at 98

Bob Dole rose from humble beginnings in Russell, Kansas, to become one of the longest-serving Republican Senate leaders in history. Bob Dole at The Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx Former US Sen. Bob Dole died on Sunday at the age of 98. Dole, a decorated veteran of World War II, was the GOP presidential nominee in 1996. He was first elected to Congress in 1961 — the start of a long career in politics. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. Bob Dole, the former US senator and Republican presidential nominee, died on Sunday at age 98.He is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Elizabeth Dole, and his daughter, Robin.In February 2021, Dole at the age of 97 announced that he'd been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and would soon begin treatment. "While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own," Dole said in a statement at the time.Dole rose from humble beginnings in Russell, Kansas, to become one of the longest-serving Republican Senate leaders in history, surpassed only recently by Sen. Mitch McConnell.He served in the US Army from 1942 to 1948 and was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service in World War II. He was badly wounded in Italy in 1945 by German fire, which left him with permanent limited mobility in his right arm.Dole was first elected to Congress in 1961 and ran for president multiple times before becoming the GOP nominee in the 1996 election, when he lost to Bill Clinton.Politico once described him as "among the last living reminders of an era in Washington when bipartisan cooperation on big issues like Social Security and civil rights was common, and the blood sport of politics was set aside at the end of the day in favor of a shared glass or two."Early lifeDole was born on July 22, 1923, to Bina and Doran Ray Dole.His father ran a creamery, and Dole worked at a drugstore in Russell when he was in high school. Dole's biographer Richard Ben Cramer wrote in his book, "What it Takes," that Dole "had always been working, always been serious." He worked at the drugstore every day after school and on Saturdays.Dole was also a high school athlete. He ran track and played basketball and football, and was voted "Ideal Boy" his senior year, according to Cramer's book.Dole enrolled at the University of Kansas in 1941 as a pre-medical student. He continued his track, football, and basketball careers there and joined the Kappa Sigma fraternity.Service in World War IIBob Dole enlisted in the United States Army after his second year at The University of Kansas.APDole's college career was interrupted by World War II. While he was still in school, he signed up for the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps.He attended Army Engineering School in Brooklyn, New York, and then was sent to Fort Breckenridge in Kentucky to become an antitank gunner. He applied for officer training in 1944 and was deployed to Italy, near Rome, at the end of that year.Dole joined the 85th Mountain Regiment, Third Battalion, and led a platoon as a lieutenant in the 10th Mountain Division.On April 14, 1945, before he'd had much exposure to combat, he and his platoon of about 40 men were pinned down by German fire, and Dole was hit while dragging his radioman to cover."Some high-explosive bullet entered my right shoulder, fractured my vertebrae in my neck," Dole recounted in a campaign video, according to Military.com. "I saw these things racing — my parents, my house. I couldn't move my arms, my legs."Dole was not expected to survive his injuries, but he eventually recovered after years of rehabilitation, although he was left with permanent limited mobility in his right arm. He often held a pen or rolled up pieces of paper in his right hand to hide his injury.Dole met an occupational therapist, Phyllis Holden, at an Officers' Club dance at Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, and went on to marry her. They had one daughter together and later divorced.Dole was eventually awarded a Bronze Star for his heroism.Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole R-Kan., talks with reporters during a Press Conference at the Capitol in Washington, March 18, 1986.AP Photo/Charles TasnadiCongressional careerDole started his political career in 1950. He ran for the Kansas House of Representatives as a Republican while he was still a 27-year-old law student with no political experience, according to The Wichita Eagle.He then became a prosecuting attorney for Russell County. Eight years after that, in 1960, he was elected to the US House of Representatives where he served four terms before becoming a senator in 1968. In 1971, he took on a second job as chairman of the Republican National Committee.Dole's notable accomplishments include bipartisan legislation on the federal food stamp program, voting rights, and healthcare. But he also had a reputation as a political "hatchet man." CNN has referred to Dole as "the quintessential Washington insider," and Politico has noted his "eye for the jugular."Dole represented Kansas in the House for eight years and in the Senate for more than 27 years.In January 2018, Dole was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award Congress issues, "for his service to the nation as a soldier, legislator, and statesman." He's the eighth senator to receive the medal.Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, left, raises his arm with U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., during a rally at the University of Scranton, Saturday, Sept. 7, 1996, in Scranton, Pa.AP Photo/Chris GardnerPresidential ambitionsDole tried for the White House four times. He was President Gerald Ford's running mate during the incumbent's unsuccessful 1976 bid, then ran for the Republican presidential nomination himself in 1980 and lost to Ronald Reagan. He ran for the nomination again in 1988, this time losing to George H.W. Bush.Dole was eventually successful in 1996, winning the Republican presidential nomination while he was the Senate majority leader. He ran against incumbent President Bill Clinton.Dole gave up his Senate seat and his position as majority leader to run. The New York Times called Dole's 1996 presidential bid "one of the most ineffectual presidential campaigns in recent memory.""Always the legislative tactician, Mr. Dole, according to his close associates, approached the presidential race much as he did a congressional negotiating session, believing that the key to victory was a clever endgame strategy," The Times wrote. "But so bleak were the polls, and for so long, that Mr. Dole was forced to realize, far earlier than most losing candidates, that the endgame would probably not be enough."The Times described Dole's reported assessment of what went wrong with his campaign: "He was upset about the embarrassment of the bungled attempt to win Ross Perot's endorsement. He was mystified by the states his campaign had sent him to visit. He was unhappy with the television advertisements. He was convinced, in short, that the presidency was about to escape him yet again."Dole eventually lost the race to Clinton, effectively ending his political career.In keeping with his reputation for fostering bipartisan friendships, Dole told The Washington Post after his election loss, "People were urging [me] to be a hatchet man against Clinton for the next four years. I couldn't see the point. Maybe after all those partisan fights, you look for more friendships. One of the nice things I've discovered is that when you're out of politics, you have more credibility with the other side."Former US Sen. Bob Dole on Tuesday stood up from his wheelchair to salute the casket of former President President George H.W. Bush.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe saluteDole made headlines when he stood up from his wheelchair to salute his one-time political rival, former President George H.W. Bush, at Bush's 2018 funeral, an emotional, powerful moment, particularly given the history the two men share.Bush, like Dole, was a war hero and served with distinction in World War II. Dole saluted with his left hand because of the injuries he sustained during the war that affected his mobility in his right.Dole was widely praised for what would be one of his final gestures of setting political rivalries aside in favor of civility.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 5th, 2021

The 22 most popular books readers are sharing on TikTok, from historical fiction to YA romance novels

From tearjerkers like "They Both Die at the End" to fantasy romances like "A Court of Thorns and Roses," these are the most popular books on TikTok. From tearjerkers like "They Both Die at the End" to fantasy romances like "A Court of Thorns and Roses," these are the most popular books on TikTok.Amazon; TikTok; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderWhen you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. On TikTok, readers share their favorite buzzworthy book recommendations under #BookTok. Here are some of the most popular book recommendations from TikTokers. For more book recs, check out our review of the TikTok-famous YA novel "All the Bright Places." You can find just about everything on TikTok nowadays, from 15-second dances to unsolicited legal advice. Unsurprisingly, it can also be a great place to find your next read. Under the hashtags #BookTok, #BookRecommendations, or simply #Books, users share in-depth review videos, quick lists of favorites, and aesthetically pleasing bookshelf tours to share their favorite book recommendations.   To gather the titles on this list, we watched countless BookTok videos and collected the indisputable favorites from readers on TikTok. Most of the titles that circulate BookTok are gripping and exciting reads that almost any reader would love, from nail-biting thrillers to action-packed fantasy novels. The 22 most popular books on TikTok: 'They Both Die At The End' by Adam SilveraAmaozn"They Both Die At The End" by Adam Silvera, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.37TikTokers regularly challenge readers to read "They Both Die At The End" from cover to cover in a single sitting — a feat that's easier than it sounds as soon as you start the book. This heartbreaking young adult novel takes place in a dystopia where people receive a phone call just after midnight on the last day of their lives. When Mateo's phone rings with the dreaded message, he searches for someone with whom he can spend his final hour and meets Rufus.'It Ends With Us' by Colleen HooverAmazon"It Ends With Us" by Colleen Hoover, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.47Colleen Hoover is known for her absolutely captivating psychological thrillers like "It Ends With Us" and "Verity," which are both hugely popular on TikTok. "It Ends With Us" follows Lily, who meets a handsome neurosurgeon named Ryle. Though Ryle has an aversion to relationships, he is willing to make an exception for Lily. When questions begin to arise about their relationship as a man from the past emerges, this book becomes unputdownable.'Legend' by Marie LuAmazon"Legend" by Marie Lu, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.68June is a 15-year-old prodigy being groomed as a warrior by the Republic's military, unlikely to cross paths with Day (the country's most wanted criminal) until he becomes a prime suspect for the murder of June's brother. While June seeks revenge, Day is in his own race for his family's survival when the two discover the shocking truth behind the events that brought them together.'The Midnight Library' by Matt HaigAmazon"The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.29When Nora feels stuck in life with nowhere to turn, she finds herself in a dreamlike library, where each book on the infinite shelves can transport her to a parallel version of her life, had she made other choices. This fascinating sci-fi/fantasy read has spurred countless discussions on TikTok about whether its message is more inspirational or existential.'The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo' by Taylor Jenkins ReidAmazon"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" by Taylor Jenkins Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.42"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" is an incredible historical fiction novel that reads like a dramatic celebrity interview. Years after her retirement, Hollywood megastar Evelyn Hugo is ready to tell all the details of her crazy life story to one little-known reporter. Known for her seven husbands, Evelyn finally tells the true stories of each marriage and her true love — the story the tabloids never found.'The Song of Achilles' by Madeline MillerAmazon"The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.35In this mythical retelling set during the Trojan War, Patroclus is exiled to Phthia after a terrible misunderstanding and meets the prince Achilles. As their friendship turns romantic, Achilles is called to fight in the war against Troy with a terrible prophecy ahead of him.'Such A Fun Age' by Kiley ReidAmazon"Such a Fun Age" by Kiley Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.36One night, when someone calls security on Emira Tucker in a grocery store, they accuse the young Black woman of kidnapping the white toddler she's babysitting. Though the child's mother, Alix Chamberlain, is determined to make things right, an old video brings up someone from her past, setting Alix and Emira on a journey to discover more about themselves and each other than they could have ever known.'From Blood and Ash' by Jennifer L. ArmentroutAmazon"From Blood and Ash" by Jennifer L. Armentrout, available at Amazon, $18.32"From Blood and Ash" is a sexy, action-packed fantasy about Poppy, a Maiden who must live under strict rules until the day of her Ascension. When she sneaks out to meet with a Royal Guard named Hawke, they quickly fall for each other as Poppy begins to unravel the shocking secrets of her kingdom in this novel that ends with a cliffhanger so jarring, readers can't help but immediately reach for the sequel. 'A Little Life' by Hanya YanagiharaAmazon"A Little Life" by Hanya Yanagihara, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99Cherished amongst TikTokers for its emotional and poetic prose, "A Little Life" is an award-winning novel about four friends who move to New York from a small Massachusetts town. As the decades pass, their friendships grow and change yet all seem to be centered around their friend June, still haunted by his traumatic past.'Shatter Me' by Tehereh MafiAmazon"Shatter Me" by Tehereh Mafi, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.48Juliette is a 17-year-old with a fatal touch, jailed for murder 264 days ago when she last accidentally touched and killed someone. In this dystopia, people are dying and beginning to rise against the governing Reestablishment, who decides Juliette might be the perfect weapon to fight a rising rebellion.'A Court of Thorns And Roses' by Sarah J. MaasAmazon"A Court of Thorns and Roses" by Sarah J. Maas, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.80TikTok readers cannot stop talking about this steamy fantasy series that began as a "Beauty and the Beast" retelling. When Feyre accidentally kills a faerie, she's dragged to a magical kingdom by a masked captor. Closely guarded, secrets of the faerie lands begin to emerge as Feyre's resentment towards her captor melts from anger to romantic passion.'The Unhoneymooners' by Christina LaurenAmazon"The Unhoneymooners" by Christina Lauren, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.44When everyone at Ami's wedding falls ill with food poisoning except maid-of-honor Olive and best man Ethan, the offer to take the newlywed's all-expense-paid honeymoon seems amazing — if Olive and Ethan didn't despise each other. Agreeing to avoid each other, the two run into Olive's new boss on the island and fall into an elaborate lie that might just bring them closer together.'Red, White, and Royal Blue' by Casey McQuistonAmazon"Red, White, and Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.97First Son Alex Diaz has a sworn enemy: Prince Henry of Britain. When the tabloids catch the two teens in an argument, their PR teams decide the best course of action is to stage a fake friendship, which slowly turns into a real one with romantic feelings. When Alex's mom decides to run for re-election, Alex knows that his relationship could ruin her campaign and the boys must decide how much they're willing to risk to be together. 'Shadow and Bone' by Leigh BardugoAmazon"Shadow and Bone" by Leigh Bardugo, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.82"Shadow and Bone" is the first book in not only its own magical trilogy, but the first book in the Grishaverse created by Leigh Bardugo, a hugely popular fantasy universe amongst readers on TikTok. Loved for its unpredictable characters and heightened audiobook experience, this book follows Alina Starkov, a teenage orphan in Ravka, who harnesses a previously unknown power to save her best friend and unwittingly makes herself a target.'The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue' by V.E. SchwabAmazon"The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue" by V.E. Schwab, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14In 1714, Addie LaRue was a teenager about to be married off to a man she did not love when she struck a cursed deal to live forever yet be forgotten by everyone she met. In this genre-bending novel, Addie's story spans centuries and continents until the day she finally meets someone who remembers her.'We Were Liars' by E. LockhartAmazon"We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.98This is a quick, young adult thriller that uses a fragmented narration to build suspense. Cadence and her family spend their summers on a private island where the cousins regularly go on troublesome adventures — until two summers ago, when something tragic happened and changed everything for their family forever.'The Hating Game' by Sally ThorneAmazon"The Hating Game" by Sally Thorne, available at Amazon, $14.39In their shared office space, Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman are caught in a series of tense games of one-upmanship, now intensified as they're both up for a promotion. When the tension turns steamy and the two share a kiss in the elevator, Lucy begins to wonder if she's ever hated Joshua after all.'The Inheritance Games' by Jennifer Lynn BarnesAmazon"The Inheritance Games" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, available at Amazon, $9.89Avery Grambs is just trying to graduate high school when she's mysteriously bestowed an inheritance from billionaire Tobias Hawthorne, a puzzle-loving man she's never even heard of. The catch is Avery must move into his secret passage-filled mansion with Tobias' family: A puzzle to be solved, and a game she'll have to survive.'The House in the Cerulean Sea' by T.J. KluneAmazon"The House in the Cerulean Sea" by T.J. Klune, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.06Linus Baker is a caseworker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, overseeing extraordinary children who live in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is sent on a highly classified mission to check on a home with six dangerous children, he meets the most fascinating and wonderful group of magical kids, cared for by a charming gentleman with more burning secrets than Linus could imagine.'The Cruel Prince' by Holly BlackAmazon"The Cruel Prince" by Holly Black, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.9910 years ago, Jude and her sisters were stolen away to the High Court of Faerie, detested as humans in a magical faerie land. Desperate to be accepted, Jude must defy the Prince for a chance to win a place at the Court and soon finds herself deeply entangled in a web of violence and deception.'Red Queen' by Victoria AveyardAmazon"Red Queen" by Victoria Aveyard, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.98In the "Red Queen" literary universe, the world is divided into Red and Silver: commoners and the magical elite. When Mare Barrow escaped her impoverished Red home to work in the Silver Palace, she and the Silvers discover she has a powerful magical ability of her own, hiding her in plain sight and declaring her a long-lost Silver princess. As she quietly works to help the Red Guard bring down the Silver elite, Mare knows one misstep could easily mean her death.'All The Bright Places' by Jennifer NivenAmazon"All The Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48Theodore Finch and Violet Markey are each looking for an escape when they meet on the ledge of their school's bell tower. Paired together for a school project, the duo set to discover the natural wonders of their state and instead discover the escape they'd been searching for in each other's company. You can check out a more detailed review of "All The Bright Places" here. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 17th, 2021

The 22 most popular books on TikTok, from historical fiction to YA romance novels

From tearjerkers like "They Both Die at the End" to fantasy romances like "A Court of Thorns and Roses," these are the most popular books on TikTok. From tearjerkers like "They Both Die at the End" to fantasy romances like "A Court of Thorns and Roses," these are the most popular books on TikTok.Amazon; TikTok; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderWhen you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. On TikTok, readers share their favorite buzzworthy book recommendations under #BookTok. Here are some of the most popular book recommendations from TikTokers. For more book recs, check out our review of the TikTok-famous YA novel "All the Bright Places." You can find just about everything on TikTok nowadays, from 15-second dances to unsolicited legal advice. Unsurprisingly, it can also be a great place to find your next read. Under the hashtags #BookTok, #BookRecommendations, or simply #Books, users share in-depth review videos, quick lists of favorites, and aesthetically pleasing bookshelf tours to share their favorite book recommendations.   To gather the titles on this list, we watched countless BookTok videos and collected the indisputable favorites from readers on TikTok. Most of the titles that circulate BookTok are gripping and exciting reads that almost any reader would love, from nail-biting thrillers to action-packed fantasy novels. The 22 most popular books on TikTok: 'They Both Die At The End' by Adam SilveraAmaozn"They Both Die At The End" by Adam Silvera, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.37TikTokers regularly challenge readers to read "They Both Die At The End" from cover to cover in a single sitting — a feat that's easier than it sounds as soon as you start the book. This heartbreaking young adult novel takes place in a dystopia where people receive a phone call just after midnight on the last day of their lives. When Mateo's phone rings with the dreaded message, he searches for someone with whom he can spend his final hour and meets Rufus.'It Ends With Us' by Colleen HooverAmazon"It Ends With Us" by Colleen Hoover, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.47Colleen Hoover is known for her absolutely captivating psychological thrillers like "It Ends With Us" and "Verity," which are both hugely popular on TikTok. "It Ends With Us" follows Lily, who meets a handsome neurosurgeon named Ryle. Though Ryle has an aversion to relationships, he is willing to make an exception for Lily. When questions begin to arise about their relationship as a man from the past emerges, this book becomes unputdownable.'Legend' by Marie LuAmazon"Legend" by Marie Lu, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.68June is a 15-year-old prodigy being groomed as a warrior by the Republic's military, unlikely to cross paths with Day (the country's most wanted criminal) until he becomes a prime suspect for the murder of June's brother. While June seeks revenge, Day is in his own race for his family's survival when the two discover the shocking truth behind the events that brought them together.'The Midnight Library' by Matt HaigAmazon"The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.29When Nora feels stuck in life with nowhere to turn, she finds herself in a dreamlike library, where each book on the infinite shelves can transport her to a parallel version of her life, had she made other choices. This fascinating sci-fi/fantasy read has spurred countless discussions on TikTok about whether its message is more inspirational or existential.'The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo' by Taylor Jenkins ReidAmazon"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" by Taylor Jenkins Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.42"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" is an incredible historical fiction novel that reads like a dramatic celebrity interview. Years after her retirement, Hollywood megastar Evelyn Hugo is ready to tell all the details of her crazy life story to one little-known reporter. Known for her seven husbands, Evelyn finally tells the true stories of each marriage and her true love — the story the tabloids never found.'The Song of Achilles' by Madeline MillerAmazon"The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.35In this mythical retelling set during the Trojan War, Patroclus is exiled to Phthia after a terrible misunderstanding and meets the prince Achilles. As their friendship turns romantic, Achilles is called to fight in the war against Troy with a terrible prophecy ahead of him.'Such A Fun Age' by Kiley ReidAmazon"Such a Fun Age" by Kiley Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.36One night, when someone calls security on Emira Tucker in a grocery store, they accuse the young Black woman of kidnapping the white toddler she's babysitting. Though the child's mother, Alix Chamberlain, is determined to make things right, an old video brings up someone from her past, setting Alix and Emira on a journey to discover more about themselves and each other than they could have ever known.'From Blood and Ash' by Jennifer L. ArmentroutAmazon"From Blood and Ash" by Jennifer L. Armentrout, available at Amazon, $18.32"From Blood and Ash" is a sexy, action-packed fantasy about Poppy, a Maiden who must live under strict rules until the day of her Ascension. When she sneaks out to meet with a Royal Guard named Hawke, they quickly fall for each other as Poppy begins to unravel the shocking secrets of her kingdom in this novel that ends with a cliffhanger so jarring, readers can't help but immediately reach for the sequel. 'A Little Life' by Hanya YanagiharaAmazon"A Little Life" by Hanya Yanagihara, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99Cherished amongst TikTokers for its emotional and poetic prose, "A Little Life" is an award-winning novel about four friends who move to New York from a small Massachusetts town. As the decades pass, their friendships grow and change yet all seem to be centered around their friend June, still haunted by his traumatic past.'Shatter Me' by Tehereh MafiAmazon"Shatter Me" by Tehereh Mafi, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.48Juliette is a 17-year-old with a fatal touch, jailed for murder 264 days ago when she last accidentally touched and killed someone. In this dystopia, people are dying and beginning to rise against the governing Reestablishment, who decides Juliette might be the perfect weapon to fight a rising rebellion.'A Court of Thorns And Roses' by Sarah J. MaasAmazon"A Court of Thorns and Roses" by Sarah J. Maas, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.80TikTok readers cannot stop talking about this steamy fantasy series that began as a "Beauty and the Beast" retelling. When Feyre accidentally kills a faerie, she's dragged to a magical kingdom by a masked captor. Closely guarded, secrets of the faerie lands begin to emerge as Feyre's resentment towards her captor melts from anger to romantic passion.'The Unhoneymooners' by Christina LaurenAmazon"The Unhoneymooners" by Christina Lauren, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.44When everyone at Ami's wedding falls ill with food poisoning except maid-of-honor Olive and best man Ethan, the offer to take the newlywed's all-expense-paid honeymoon seems amazing — if Olive and Ethan didn't despise each other. Agreeing to avoid each other, the two run into Olive's new boss on the island and fall into an elaborate lie that might just bring them closer together.'Red, White, and Royal Blue' by Casey McQuistonAmazon"Red, White, and Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.97First Son Alex Diaz has a sworn enemy: Prince Henry of Britain. When the tabloids catch the two teens in an argument, their PR teams decide the best course of action is to stage a fake friendship, which slowly turns into a real one with romantic feelings. When Alex's mom decides to run for re-election, Alex knows that his relationship could ruin her campaign and the boys must decide how much they're willing to risk to be together. 'Shadow and Bone' by Leigh BardugoAmazon"Shadow and Bone" by Leigh Bardugo, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.82"Shadow and Bone" is the first book in not only its own magical trilogy, but the first book in the Grishaverse created by Leigh Bardugo, a hugely popular fantasy universe amongst readers on TikTok. Loved for its unpredictable characters and heightened audiobook experience, this book follows Alina Starkov, a teenage orphan in Ravka, who harnesses a previously unknown power to save her best friend and unwittingly makes herself a target.'The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue' by V.E. SchwabAmazon"The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue" by V.E. Schwab, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14In 1714, Addie LaRue was a teenager about to be married off to a man she did not love when she struck a cursed deal to live forever yet be forgotten by everyone she met. In this genre-bending novel, Addie's story spans centuries and continents until the day she finally meets someone who remembers her.'We Were Liars' by E. LockhartAmazon"We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.98This is a quick, young adult thriller that uses a fragmented narration to build suspense. Cadence and her family spend their summers on a private island where the cousins regularly go on troublesome adventures — until two summers ago, when something tragic happened and changed everything for their family forever.'The Hating Game' by Sally ThorneAmazon"The Hating Game" by Sally Thorne, available at Amazon, $14.39In their shared office space, Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman are caught in a series of tense games of one-upmanship, now intensified as they're both up for a promotion. When the tension turns steamy and the two share a kiss in the elevator, Lucy begins to wonder if she's ever hated Joshua after all.'The Inheritance Games' by Jennifer Lynn BarnesAmazon"The Inheritance Games" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, available at Amazon, $9.89Avery Grambs is just trying to graduate high school when she's mysteriously bestowed an inheritance from billionaire Tobias Hawthorne, a puzzle-loving man she's never even heard of. The catch is Avery must move into his secret passage-filled mansion with Tobias' family: A puzzle to be solved, and a game she'll have to survive.'The House in the Cerulean Sea' by T.J. KluneAmazon"The House in the Cerulean Sea" by T.J. Klune, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.06Linus Baker is a caseworker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, overseeing extraordinary children who live in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is sent on a highly classified mission to check on a home with six dangerous children, he meets the most fascinating and wonderful group of magical kids, cared for by a charming gentleman with more burning secrets than Linus could imagine.'The Cruel Prince' by Holly BlackAmazon"The Cruel Prince" by Holly Black, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.9910 years ago, Jude and her sisters were stolen away to the High Court of Faerie, detested as humans in a magical faerie land. Desperate to be accepted, Jude must defy the Prince for a chance to win a place at the Court and soon finds herself deeply entangled in a web of violence and deception.'Red Queen' by Victoria AveyardAmazon"Red Queen" by Victoria Aveyard, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.98In the "Red Queen" literary universe, the world is divided into Red and Silver: commoners and the magical elite. When Mare Barrow escaped her impoverished Red home to work in the Silver Palace, she and the Silvers discover she has a powerful magical ability of her own, hiding her in plain sight and declaring her a long-lost Silver princess. As she quietly works to help the Red Guard bring down the Silver elite, Mare knows one misstep could easily mean her death.'All The Bright Places' by Jennifer NivenAmazon"All The Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48Theodore Finch and Violet Markey are each looking for an escape when they meet on the ledge of their school's bell tower. Paired together for a school project, the duo set to discover the natural wonders of their state and instead discover the escape they'd been searching for in each other's company. You can check out a more detailed review of "All The Bright Places" here. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 17th, 2021

Alaska Air Group reports third quarter 2021 results

SEATTLE, Oct. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) today reported financial results for its third quarter ending Sept. 30, 2021, and provided outlook for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2021. The third quarter marks a significant stride forward in Alaska Air Group's path to recovery. Alaska's goal from the beginning of the pandemic has been deliberate - scaling the business back up in a measured way, leveraging the company's strong balance sheet, and running a resilient operation, all with the aim of producing consistent industry-leading financial performance. "We are thrilled to return to profitability this quarter, leading the industry with a 12% pretax profit margin," said CEO Ben Minicucci. "Thanks to each one of our employees for running our operation and showing remarkable care for our guests, and credit to the leadership team for laying out a measured plan and executing it with discipline. We're all feeling the momentum and look forward to building on our strong foundation for growth in 2022 and beyond." Financial Results: Reported net income for the third quarter of 2021 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $194 million, or $1.53 per share, compared to a net loss of $431 million, or $3.49 per share in the third quarter of 2020. Reported net income for the third quarter of 2021, excluding special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of $187 million, or $1.47 per share, compared to an adjusted net loss of $399 million or $3.23 per share, in the third quarter of 2020. This quarter's adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.30 per share. Generated adjusted pre-tax margin for the third quarter of 2021 of 12%. Reported a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 51%, a reduction of 10 points from Dec. 31, 2020. Made a $100 million voluntary contribution to the defined benefit plan for Alaska's pilots in the third quarter, boosting estimated combined funded status of all defined benefit plans to 94%. Held $3.2 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Sept. 30, 2021. Prepaid $425 million in debt from the 364-day term loan facility, bringing total debt payments to $1.2 billion for the year. Operational Updates: Exercised options for 12 Boeing 737-9 aircraft slated for delivery in 2023 and 2024, and added options for an additional 25 deliveries, bringing Alaska's total firm commitments for 737-9 aircraft to 93 and available options to 52. Ratified amended wage agreement for Horizon Air pilots, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.  Opened new San Francisco International Airport Lounge with 9,200 square feet of Bay-Area inspired amenities. Announced new nonstop flights between San Francisco and Loreto and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, with service slated to begin Dec. 18. Since the onset of the pandemic, approximately 70 new markets have been announced or commenced operation. Resumed and expanded inflight meals, snacks, and drinks in all classes of service. Continued to exceed internal metrics for guest satisfaction, highlighting our commitment to providing our guests a smooth and safe experience throughout their journey.     Near the top of the industry for on-time arrivals and completion rates in the third quarter. Environmental, Social and Governance Updates: Appointed Adrienne Lofton, vice president of global marketing at Google, to the Company's board of directors. Announced formation of Alaska Star Ventures, an entity created to identify and further technologies that accelerate Alaska Airlines' path to net zero carbon emissions. Supported the Afghan Humanitarian Airlift Mission and the U.S. military by operating Civil Reserve Air Fleet flights in the evacuation of individuals and families from Afghanistan. Awarded $260,000 in LIFT Grants to 25 nonprofits focused on a clear vision to provide the next generation of leaders with the knowledge, skills and providing pathways for success through the Alaska Airlines Foundation. The following table reconciles the company's reported GAAP net income (loss) per share (EPS) for the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2021 and 2020 to adjusted amounts. Three Months Ended September 30, 2021 2020 (in millions, except per-share amounts) Dollars Diluted EPS Dollars EPS GAAP net income (loss) per share $ 194 $ 1.53 $ (431) $ (3.49) Payroll support program wage offset — — (398) (3.22) Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments — — (3) (0.02) Special items - impairment charges and other (9) (0.07) 121 0.98 Special items - restructuring charges — — 322 2.60 Special items - merger-related costs — — 1 0.01 Income tax effect of reconciling items above 2 0.01 (11) (0.09) Non-GAAP adjusted net income (loss) per share $ 187 $ 1.47 $ (399) $ (3.23) Nine Months Ended September 30, 2021 2020 (in millions, except per-share amounts) Dollars Diluted EPS Dollars Diluted EPS GAAP net income (loss) per share $ 460 $ 3.64 $ (877) $ (7.12) Payroll support program wage offset (914) (7.24) (760) (6.16) Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments (68) (0.54) — — Special items - impairment charges and other 5 0.04 350 2.84 Special items - restructuring charges (12) (0.09) 322 2.61 Special items - merger-related costs — — 5 0.04 Income tax effect of reconciling items above 242 1.92 20 0.16 Non-GAAP adjusted net loss per share $ (287) $ (2.27) $ (940) $ (7.63) Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables. A glossary of financial terms can be found on the last page of this release. A conference call regarding the third quarter results will be streamed online at 8:30 a.m. PDT on October 21, 2021. It can be accessed at www.alaskaair.com/investors. For those unable to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available after the conclusion of the call. References in this update to "Air Group," "Company," "we," "us," and "our" refer to Alaska Air Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, unless otherwise specified. This news release may contain forward-looking statements subject to the safe harbor protection provided by Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual outcomes to be materially different from those indicated by any forward-looking statements.  For a comprehensive discussion of potential risk factors, see Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020. Some of these risks include the risks associated with contagious illnesses and contagion, such as COVID-19, general economic conditions, increases in operating costs including fuel, competition, labor costs and relations, our indebtedness, inability to meet cost reduction goals, seasonal fluctuations in our financial results, an aircraft accident, and changes in laws and regulations. All of the forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the risk factors discussed therein. We operate in a continually changing business environment, and new risk factors emerge from time to time. Management cannot predict such new risk factors, nor can it assess the impact, if any, of such new risk factors on our business or events described in any forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date of this report to conform them to actual results. Over time, our actual results, performance or achievements will likely differ from the anticipated results, performance, or achievements that are expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements, and such differences might be significant and materially adverse. Alaska Airlines and its regional partners serve more than 120 destinations across the United States and to Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. The airline emphasizes Next-Level Care for its guests, along with providing low fares, award-winning customer service and sustainability efforts. Alaska is a member of oneworld. With the global alliance and the airline's additional partners, guests can travel to more than 1,000 destinations on more than 20 airlines while earning and redeeming miles on flights to locations around the world. Learn more about Alaska at newsroom.alaskaair.com and blog.alaskaair.com. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK). CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (unaudited) Alaska Air Group, Inc. Three Months Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30, (in millions, except per-share amounts) 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Operating Revenues: Passenger revenue $ 1,774 $ 572 210 % $ 3,785 $ 2,362 60 % Mileage Plan other revenue 120 84 43 % 332 266 25 % Cargo and other 59 45 31 % 160 130 23 % Total Operating Revenues 1,953 701 179 % 4,277 2,758 55 % Operating Expenses: Wages and benefits 578 495 17 % 1,581 1,579 — % Payroll support program wage offset — (398) (100) % (914) (760) 20 % Variable incentive pay 42 42 — % 109 65 68 % Aircraft fuel, including hedging gains and losses 376 125 201 % 853 568 50 % Aircraft maintenance 89 84 6 % 272 244 11 % Aircraft rent 64 74 (14) % 188 229 (18) % Landing fees and other rentals 141 109 29 % 414 323 28 % Contracted services 62 36 72 % 167 138 21 % Selling expenses 49 24 104 % 123 83 48 % Depreciation and amortization 99 105 (6) % 294 320 (8) % Food and beverage service 39 14 179 % 97 70 39 % Third-party regional carrier expense 39 29 34 % 106 92 15 % Other 126 89 42 % 348 310 12 % Special items - impairment charges and other (9) 121 (107) % 5 350 (99) % Special items - restructuring charges — 322 . (100) % (12) 322 (104) % Special items - merger-related costs — 1 (100) % — 5 (100) % Total Operating Expenses 1,695 1,272 33 % 3,631 3,938 (8) % Operating Income (Expense) 258 (571) (145) % 646 (1,180) (155) % Nonoperating Income (Expense): Interest income 6 7 (14) % 19 23 (17) % Interest expense (30) (34) (12) % (101) (64) 58 % Interest capitalized 3 4 (25) % 9 8 13 % Other - net 8 5 60 % 27 16 69 % Total Nonoperating Expense (13) (18) (28) % (46) (17) 171 % Income (Loss) Before Income Tax 245 (589) 600 (1,197) Income tax expense (benefit) 51 (158) 140 (320) Net Income (Loss) $ 194 $ (431) $ 460 $ (877) Basic Income (Loss) Per Share: $ 1.55 $ (3.49) $ 3.69 $ (7.12) Diluted Income (Loss) Per Share: $ 1.53 $ (3.49) $ 3.64 $ (7.12) Shares Used for Computation: Basic 125.250 123.647 124.846 123.255 Diluted 127.188 123.647 126.325 123.255 Cash dividend declared per share: $ — $ — $ — $ 0.375 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (unaudited) Alaska Air Group, Inc. (in millions) September 30, 2021 December 31, 2020 ASSETS Current Assets Cash and cash equivalents $ 495 $ 1,370 Marketable securities 2,700 1,976    Total cash and marketable securities 3,195 3,346 Receivables - net 536 480 Inventories and supplies - net 62 57 Prepaid expenses, assets held-for-sale, and other current assets 208 123 Total Current Assets 4,001 4,006 Property and Equipment Aircraft and other flight equipment 8,076 7,761 Other property and equipment 1,446 1,398 Deposits for future flight equipment 378 583 9,900 9,742 Less accumulated depreciation and amortization 3,780 3,531 Total Property and Equipment - Net 6,120 6,211 Operating lease assets 1,370 1,400 Goodwill 1,943 1,943 Intangible assets - net 102 107 Other noncurrent assets 346 379 Other Assets 3,761 3,829 Total Assets $ 13,882 $ 14,046 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (unaudited) (in millions, except share amounts) September 30, 2021 December 31, 2020 LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY Current Liabilities Accounts payable $ 181 $ 108 Accrued wages, vacation and payroll taxes 441 527 Air traffic liability 1,225 1,073 Other accrued liabilities 587 424 Deferred revenue 904 733 Current portion of operating lease liabilities 275 290 Current portion of long-term debt 425 1,138 Total Current Liabilities 4,038 4,293 Long-Term Debt, Net of Current Portion 2,225 2,357 Noncurrent Liabilities Long-term operating lease liabilities, net of current portion 1,191 1,268 Deferred income taxes 501.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaOct 21st, 2021

Transcript: Soraya Darabi

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Soraya Darabi, TMV, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This… Read More The post Transcript: Soraya Darabi appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Soraya Darabi, TMV, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have an extra special guest. Her name is Soraya Darabi. She is a venture capital and impact investor who has an absolutely fascinating background working for, first with the New York Times Social Media Group then with a startup that eventually gets purchased by OpenTable, and then becoming a venture investor that focuses on women and people of color-led startups which is not merely a way to, quote-unquote, “do good” but it’s a broad area that is wildly underserved by the venture community and therefore is very inefficient. Meaning, there’s a lot of upside in this. You can both do well and do good by investing in these areas. I found this to be absolutely fascinating and I think you will also, if you’re at all interested in entrepreneurship, social media startups, deal flow, how funds identify who they want to invest in, what it’s like to actually experience an exit as an entrepreneur, I think you’ll find this to be quite fascinating. So with no further ado, my conversation with TMV’s Soraya Darabi. VOICEOVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. My special guest this week is Soraya Darabi. She is the Co-Founder and General Partner of TMV, a venture capital firm that has had a number of that exits despite being relatively young, 65 percent of TMV’s startups are led by women or people of color. Previously, she was the cofounder of Foodspotting, an app named App of the Year by Apple and Wire that was eventually purchased by OpenTable. Soraya Darabi, welcome to Bloomberg. SORAYA DARABI; GENERAL PARTNER & FOUNDER; TMV: My goodness, Barry, thank you for having me. RITHOLTZ: I’ve been looking forward to this conversation since our previous discussion. We were on a Zoom call with a number of people discussing blockchain and crypto when it was really quite fascinating and I thought you had such an unusual and interesting background, I thought you would make a perfect guest for the show. Let’s start with your Manager of Digital Partnerships and Social Media at the “New York Times” when social media was really just ramping up. Tell us about what that was like. Tell us what you did in the late aughts at The Times. DARABI: Absolutely. I was fresh faced out of a university. I had recently graduated with mostly a journalism concentration from Georgetown and did a small stint in Condé Nast right around the time they acquired Reddit for what will soon be nothing because Reddit’s expecting to IPO at around 15 billion. And that experience at Reddit really offered me a deep understanding of convergence, what was happening to digital media properties as they partnered for the first time when nascent but scaling social media platforms. And so the “New York Times” generously offered me a role that was originally called manager of buzz marketing. I think that’s what they called social media in 2006 and then that eventually evolved into manager of digital partnerships and social media which, in essence, meant that we were aiming to be the first media property in the world to partner with companies that are household names today but back in the they were fairly unbalanced to Facebook and Twitters, of course, but also platforms that really took off for a while and then plateaued potentially. The Tumblers of the world. And it was responsibility to understand how we could effectively generate an understanding of the burgeoning demographics of this platform and how we could potentially bring income into The Times for working with them, but more importantly have a journalist that could authentically represent themselves on new media. And so, that was a really wonderful role to have directly out of University and then introduce me to folks with whom I still work today. DARABI: That’s quite interesting. So when you’re looking at a lot of these companies, you mentioned Facebook and Twitter and Tumbler, how do you know if something’s going to be a Facebook or a MySpace, so Twitter or a Tumbler, what’s going to survive or not, when you’re cutting deals with these companies on behalf of The Times, are you thinking in terms of hey, who’s going to stick around, wasn’t that much earlier that the dot-com implosion took place prior to you starting with The Times? DARABI: It’s true, although I don’t remember the dot-com implosion. So, maybe that naivete helped because all I had was enthusiasm, unbridled enthusiasm for these new companies and I operated then and now still with a beta approach to business. Testing out new platforms and trying to track the data, what’s scaling, what velocity is this platform scaling and can we hitch a ride on the rochet ship if they will so allow. But a lot of our partnerships then and now, as an investor, are predicated upon relationships. And so, as most, I think terrific investors that I listen to, who I listen to in your show, at least, will talk to you about the importance of believing and the founder and the founder’s vision and that was the case back then and remains the case today. RITHOLTZ: So, when you were at The Times, your tenure there very much overlapped the great financial crisis. You’re looking at social media, how did that manifest the world of social media when it looked like the world of finance was imploding at that time? DARABI: Well, it was a very interesting time. I remember having, quite literally, 30-second meetings with Sorkin as he would run upstairs to my floor, in the eighth floor, to talk about a deal book app that we wanted to launch and then he’d ran back down to his desk to do much more important work, I think, and — between the financial crisis to the world. So, 30-second meetings aside, it was considered to be, in some ways, a great awakening for the Web 2.0 era as the economy was bottoming out, like a recession, it also offered a really interesting opportunity for entrepreneurs, many of whom had just been laid off or we’re looking at this as a sizeable moment to begin to work on a side hustle or a life pursuit. And so, there’s — it’s unsettling, of course, any recession or any great awakening, but lemonade-lemons, when the opening door closing, there was a — there was a true opportunity as well for social media founders, founders focusing on convergence in any industry, really, many of which are predicated in New York. But again, tinkering on an idea that could ultimately become quite powerful because if you’re in the earliest stage of the riskiest asset class, big venture, there’s always going to be seed funding for a great founder with a great idea. And so, I think some of the smartest people I’d ever met in my life, I met at the onset of the aftermath of that particular era in time. RITHOLTZ: So you mentioned side hustle. Let’s talk a little bit about Foodspotting which is described as a visual geolocal guide to dishes instead of restaurants which sounds appealing to me. And it was named App of the Year by both Apple and Wired. How do you go from working at a giant organization like The Times to a startup with you and a cofounder and a handful of other coders working with you? DARABI: Well, five to six nights a week after my day job at the “New York Times,” I would go to networking events with technologists and entrepreneurs after hours. I saw that a priority to be able to partner from the earliest infancy with interesting companies for that media entity. I need to at least know who these founders were in New York and Silicon Valley. And so, without a true agenda other than keen curiosity to learn what this business were all about, I would go to New York tech meetup which Scott Heiferman of meetup.com who’s now in charge LP in my fund would create. And back then, the New York Tech Meetup was fewer than 40 people. I believe it’s been the tens of thousands now. RITHOLTZ: Wow, that’s … DARABI: In New York City alone. And so, it was there that I met some really brilliant people. And in particular, a gentleman my age who’s building a cloud-computing company that was essentially arbitraging AWS to repopulate consumer-facing cloud data services for enterprises, B2B2C play. And we all thought it would be Dropbox. The company ultimately wasn’t, but I will tell you the people with whom I worked with that startup because I left the “New York Times” to join that startup, to this day remain some of the most successful people in Silicon Valley and Alley. And actually, one of those persons is a partner at our firm now, Darshan. He was the cofounder of that particular company which is called drop.io. but I stayed there very quickly. I was there for about six months. But at that startup, I observed how a young person my age could build a business, raise VC, he was the son of a VC and so he was exceptionally attuned to the changing landscape of venture and how to position the company so that it would be attractive to the RREs of the world and then the DFJs. And I … RITHOLTZ: Define those for us. RREs and BFJs. DARABI: Sorry. Still, today, very relevant and very successful venture capital firms. And in particular, they were backing a lot of the most interesting ideas in Web 2.0 era when I joined this particular startup in 2010. Well, that startup was acquired by Facebook and I often say, no, thanks to me. But the mafia that left that particular startup continues to this day to coinvest with one another and help one another’s ideas to exceed. And it was there that I began to build the confidence, I think, that I really needed to explore my own entrepreneurial ideas or to help accelerate ideas. And Foodspotting was a company that I was advising while at that particular startup, that was really taking off. This was in the early days of when Instagram was still in beta and we observed that the most commonly posted photos on Instagram were of food. And so, by following that lead, we basically built an app as well that activity that continues to take place every single day. I still see food photos on Twitter every time I open up my stream. And decided to match that with an algorithm that showed folks wherever they were in the world, say in Greece, that might want spanakopita or if I’m in Japan, Okinawa, we help people to discover not just the Michelin-rated restaurants or the most popular local hunt in New York but rather what’s the dish that they should be ordering. And then the app was extremely good was populating beautiful photos of that particular dish and then mirroring them with accredited reviews from the Zagats of the world but also popular celebrity shots like Marcus Samuelsson in New York. And that’s why we took off because it was a cult-beloved app of its time back when there were only three geolocation apps in the iTunes apparently store. It was we and Twitter and Foursquare. So, there was a first-mover advantage. Looking back in hindsight, I think we sold that company too soon. OpenTable bought the business. A year and a half later, Priceline bought OpenTable. Both were generous liquidity events for the founders that enabled us to become angel investors. But sometimes I wish that that app still existed today because I could see it being still incredibly handy in my day-to-day life. RITHOLTZ: To say the least. So did you have to raise money for Foodspotting or did you just bootstrapped it and how did that experience compare with what that exit was like? DARABI: We did. We raised from tremendous investors like Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures whom I think of as being one of the best angel investors of the world. He was on the board. But we didn’t raise that much capital before the business is ultimately sold and what I learned in some of those early conversations, I would say, that may have ultimately led to LOIs and term sheets was that so much of M&As about wining and dining and as a young person, particularly for me, you and I discussed before the show, Barry, we’re both from New York, I’m not from a business-oriented family to say the least. My mom’s an academic, my father was a cab driver in New York City. And so, there are certain elements of this game, raising venture and ultimately trying to exit your company, that you don’t learn from a business book. And I think navigating that as a young person was complicated if I had to speak economically. RITHOLTZ: Quite fascinating. What is purposeful change? DARABI: Well, the world purpose, I suppose, especially in the VC game could come across as somewhat of a cliché. But we try to be as specific as possible when we allude to the impact that our investment could potentially make. And so, specifically, we invest in five verticals at our early stage New York City-based venture fund. We invest in what we call the care economy, just companies making all forms of care, elder care to pet care to health care, more accessible and equitable. We invest in financial inclusion. So this is a spin on fintech. These are companies enabling wealth creation, education, and most importantly literacy for all, that I think is really important to democratization of finance. We invest in the future of work which are companies creating better outcomes for workers and employees alike. We invest in the future of work which are companies creating better outcomes for workers and employers alike. We invest in purpose as it pertains to transportation. So, not immediately intuitive but companies creating transparency and efficiency around global supply chain and mobility. I’m going to talk about why we pick that category in a bit. And sustainability. So, tech-enabled sustainable solutions. These are companies optimizing for sustainability from process to product. With these five verticals combined, we have a subspecies which is that diverse founders and diverse employee bases and diverse cap table. It is not charity, it’s simply good for business. And so, in addition to being hyper specific about the impact in which we invest, we also make it a priority and a mandate at our firm to invest in the way the world truly look. And when we say that on our website, we link to census data. And so, we invest in man and women equally. We invest in diverse founders, almost all of the time. And we track this with data and precious to make sure that our investments reflect not just one zip code in California but rather America at large. RITHOLTZ: And you have described this as non-obvious founders. Tell us a little bit about that phrase. DARABI: Well, not obvious is a term you hear a lot when you go out to Silicon Valley. And I don’t know, I think it was coined by a well-known early PayPal employee turned billionaire turned investor who actually have a conference centered around non-obvious ideas. And I love the phrase. I love thinking about investment PC that are contrary because we have a contrary point of view, contrarian point of view, you often have outlier results because if you’re right, you’re taking the risk and your capturing the reward. When you’re investing in non-obvious founders, it should be that is the exact same outcome. And so, it almost sort of befuddled me as a person with a hard to pronounce name in Silicon Valley, why it was that we’re an industry that prides itself on investing in innovation and groundbreaking ideas and the next frontier of X, Y, and Z and yet all of those founders in which we were investing, collectively, tended to kind of look the same. They were coming from the same schools and the same types of families. And so, to me, there was nothing innovative at all about backing that Wharton, PSB, HBS guy who is second or third-generation finance. And what really excites me about venture is capturing a moment in time that’s young but also the energy is palpable around not only the idea in which the founder is building but the categories of which they’re tackling and that sounded big. I’ll be a little bit more speficic. And so, at TMV, we tried to see things before they’re even coming around the bend. For instance, we were early investors in a company called Cityblock Health which is offering best in class health care specifically for low income Americans. So they focus on the most vulnerable population which are underserved with health care and they’re offering them best in class health care access at affordable pricing because it’s predominantly covered through a payer relationship. And this company is so powerful to us for three reasons because it’s not simply offering health care to the elite. It’s democratizing access to care which I think is absolutely necessary in term out for success of any kind. We thought this was profoundly interesting because the population which they serve is also incredibly diverse. And so when you look at that investment over, say, a comparable company, I won’t name names, that offers for-profit health care, out-of-pocket, you can see why this is an opportunity that excites us as impact investors but we don’t see the diversity of the team it’s impact. We actually see that as their unfair advantage because they are accessing a population authentically that others might ignore. RITHOLTZ: Let me see if I understand this correctly. When you talk about non-obvious find — founders and spaces like this, what I’m hearing from you is you’re looking at areas where the market has been very inefficient with how it allocates capital … DARABI: Yes. RITHOLTZ: … that these areas are just overlooked and ignored, hey, if you want to go on to silicon valley and compete with everybody else and pay up for what looks like the same old startup, maybe it will successful and maybe it won’t, that’s hypercompetitive and hyper efficient, these are areas that are just overlooked and there is — this is more than just do-goodery for lack of a better word. There are genuine economic opportunities here with lots of potential upside. DARABI: Absolutely. So, my business partner and I, she and I found each other 20 years ago as undergrads at Georgetown but we went in to business after she was successful and being one of the only women in the world to take a shipping business public with her family, and we got together and we said we have a really unique access, she and I. And the first SPV that we collaborated on back in 2016 was a young business at the time, started by two women, that was focused on medical apparel predominantly for nurses. Now it’s nurses and doctors. And they were offering a solution to make medical apparel, so scrubs, more comfortable and more fashionable for nurses. I happen to have nurses and doctors in my family so doing due diligence for this business is relatively simple. I called my aunt who’s a nurse practitioner, a nurse her life, and she said, absolutely. When you’re working in a uniform at the hospital, you want something comfortable with extra pockets that makes you look and feel good. The VCs that they spoke to at the time, and they’ve been very public about this, in the beginning, anyway, were less excited because they correlated this particular business for the fashion company. But if you look back at our original memo which I saved, it says, FIGS, now public on the New York Stock Exchange is a utility business. It’s a uniform company that can verticalize beyond just medical apparel. And so, we helped value that company at 15 million back in 2016. And this year, in 2021, they went public at a $7 billion market cap. RITHOLTZ: Wow. DARABI: And so, what is particularly exciting for us going back to that conversation on non-obvious founders is that particular business, FIGS, was the first company in history to have two female co-founders go public. And when we think of success at TMV, we don’t just think about financial success and IRR and cash on cash return for our LPs, of course we think about that. But we also think who are we cheerleading and with whom do we want to go into business. I went to the story on the other side of the fence that we want to help and we measure non-obvious not just based on gender or race because I think that’s a little too precise in some ways. Sometimes, for us non-obvious, is around geography, I would say. I’m calling you from Athens, as you know, and in Greece, yesterday, I got together with a fund manager. I’m lucky enough to be an LP in her fund and she was talking about the average size of a seed round in Silicon Valley these days, hovering around 30 million. And I was scratching my head because at our fund, TMV, we don’t see that. We’re investing in Baltimore, Maryland, and in Austin, Texas and the average price for us to invest in the seed round is closer to 5 million or 6 million. And so, we actually can capture larger ownership of the pie early on and then develop a very close-knit relationship with these founders but might not be as networked in the Valley where there’s 30 VC funds to everyone that exist in Austin, Texas. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And so, yes, I think you’re right to say that it’s about inefficiencies in market but also just around — about being persistent and looking where others are not. RITHOLTZ: That’s quite intriguing. Your team is female-led. You have a portfolio of companies that’s about 65 percent women and people of color. Tell us how you go about finding these non-obvious startups? DARABI: It’s a good question. TMV celebrates its five-year anniversary this year. So the way we go about funding companies now is a bit different than the way we began five years ago. Now, it’s systematic. We collectively, as a partnership, there are many of us take over 50 calls a month with Tier 1 venture capital firms that have known us for a while like the work that we do, believe in our value-add because the partnership comprised of four more operators. So, we really roll up our sleeves to help. And when you’ve invested at this firms, enough time, they will write to you and say I found a company that’s a little too early for us, for XYZ reason, but it resonates and I think it might be for you. So we found some of our best deals that way. But other times, we found our deal flow through building our own communities. And so, when I first started visit as an EM, an emerging manager of a VC firm. And roughly 30 percent of LP capital goes to EM each year but that’s sort of an outsized percentage because when you think about the w-fix-solve (ph) addition capital, taking 1.3 billion of that pie, then you recognize the definition of emerging manager might need to change a bit. So, when I was starting as an EM, I recognize that the landscape wasn’t necessarily leveled. If you weren’t, what’s called the spinout, somebody that has spent a few years at a traditional established blue-chip firm, then it’s harder to develop and cultivate relationships with institutional LPs who will give you a shot even though the data absolutely points to there being a real opportunity in capturing lightning in a bottle if you find a right EM with the right idea in the right market conditions which is certainly what we’re in right now. And so, I decided to start a network specifically tailored around helping women fund managers, connecting one another and it began as a WhatsApp group and a weekly Google Meet that has now blown into something that requires a lot of dedicated time. And so we’re hiring an executive director for this group. They’re called Transact Global, 250 women ex-fund managers globally, from Hong Kong, to Luxembourg, to Venezuela, Canada, Nigeria, you name it. There are women fund managers in our group and we have one of the most active deal flow channels in the world. And so two of our TMV deals over the last year, a fintech combatting student debt and helping young Americans save for retirement at the same time, as an example, came from this WhatsApp deal flow channel. So, I think creating the community, being the change, so to speak, has been incredibly effective for us a proprietary deal flow mechanism. And then last but not least, I think that having some sort of media presence really has helped. And so, I’ve hosted a podcast and I’ve worked on building up what I think to be a fairly organic Twitter following over the years and we surprise ourselves by getting some really exceptional founders cold pitching us on LinkedIn and on Twitter because we make ourselves available as next gen EMs. So, that’s a sort of long-winded answer to your question. But it’s not the traditional means by any means. RITHOLTZ: To say the least. Are you — the companies you’re investing in, are they — and I’ll try and keep this simple for people who are not all that well-versed in the world of venture, is it seed stage, is it the A round, the B round? How far into their growth process do you put money in? DARABI: So it is a predominantly seed fund. We call our investments core investments. So, these are checks that average, 1 and 1.5 million. So for about 1.25 million, on average, we’re capturing 10-15% of a cap payable. And in this area, that’s called a seed round. It will probably be called a Series A 10 years ago. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And then we follow on through the Series A and it max around, I think, our pro rata at the B. So, our goal via Series B is to have, on average, 10% by the cap. And then we give ourselves a little bit of wiggle room with our modeling. We take mars and moonshot investments with smaller checks so we call these initial interest checks. And initial interest means I’m interested but your idea is still audacious, they won’t prove itself out for three or four years or to be very honest, we weren’t the first to get into this cap or you’re picking Sequoia over us, so we understand but let’s see if we can just promise you a bit of value add to edge our way into your business. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And oftentimes, when you speak as a former founder yourself with a high level of compassion and you promise with integrity that you’re going to work very hard for that company, they will increase the size of their round and they will carve out space for you. And so, we do those types of investments rarely, 10 times, in any given portfolio. But what’s interesting in looking back at some of our outliers from found one, it came from those initial interest checks. So that’s our model in a nutshell. We’re pretty transparent about it. What we like about this model is that it doesn’t make us tigers, we’re off the board by the B, so we’re still owning enough of the cap table to be a meaningful presence in the founder’s lives and in their business and it allows us to feel like we’re not spraying and praying. RITHOLTZ: Spraying and praying is an amusing term but I’m kind of intrigued by the fact that we use to call it smart money but you’re really describing it as value-added capital when a founder takes money from TMV, they’re getting more than just a check, they’re getting the involvement from entrepreneurs who have been through the process from startup to capital raise to exit, tell us a li bit about how that works its way into the deals you end up doing, who you look at, and what the sort of deal flow you see is like. DARABI: Well, years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a world-class advertiser and I was at his incredibly fancy office down in Wall Street, his ad agency. And he described to me with pride how he basically bartered his marketing services for one percent of a unicorn. And he was sort of showing off of it about how, from very little time and effort, a few months, he walked away with a relatively large portion of a business. And I thought, yes, that’s clever. But for the founder, they gave up too much of their business too soon. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And I came up with an idea that I floated by Marina back in the day where our original for TMV Fund I began with the slide marketing as the future of venture and venture is the future of marketing. Meaning, it’s a VC fund where the position itself more like an ad agency but rather than charging for its services, it’s go-to-market services. You offer them free of charge but then you were paid in equity and you could quantify the value that you were offering to these businesses. And back then, people laughed us even though all around New York City, ad agencies were really doing incredible work and benefiting from the startups in that ecosystem. And so, we sort of changed the positioning a bit. And now, we say to our LPs and to our founders, your both clients of our firm. So, we do think of ourselves as an agency. But one set of our marketplace, you have LPs and what they want is crystal clear. The value that they derive from us is through a community and connectivity and co-investment and that’s it. It’s pretty kind of dry. Call me up once a year where you have an exceptional opportunity. Let me invest alongside you. Invite me to dinners four times a year, give me some information and a point of view that I can’t get elsewhere. Thank you for your time. And I love that. It’s a great relationship to have with incredibly smart people. It’s cut and dry but it’s so different. What founders want is something more like family. They want a VC on their board that they can turn to during critical moments. Two a.m. on a Saturday is not an uncommon time for me to get a text message from a founder saying what do I do. So what they want is more like 24/7 services for a period of time. And they want to know when that relationship should start and finish. So it’s sort of the Montessori approach to venture. We’re going to tell them what we’re going to tell them. Tell them what they’re telling them. Tell them what we told them. We say to founders with a reverse pitch deck. So we pitch them as they’re pitching us. Here’s what we promise to deliver for you for the first — each of the 24 months of your infancy and then we promise you we’ll mostly get lost. You can come back to use when your business is growing if you want to do it tender and we’ll operate an SPV for you for you or if you simply want advice, we’re never going to ignore you but our specialty, our black belt, if you will, Barry, is in those first 24 months of your business, that go-to-market. And so, we staffed up TMV to include, well, it’s punching above our weight but the cofounder of an exceptionally successful consumer marketing business, a gross marketer, a recruiter who helps one of our portfolio companies hire 40 of their earliest employees. We have a PR woman. You’ve met Viyash (ph), she’s exceptional with whom, I don’t know, how we would function sometimes because she’s constantly writing and re-editing press releases for the founders with which we work. And then Anna, our copywriter who came from IAC and Sean, our creative director, used to be the design director for Rolling Stone, and I can go on and on. So, some firms called us a platform team but we call it the go-to-market team. And then we promise a set number of hours for ever company that we invest into. RITHOLTZ: That’s … DARABI: And then the results — go ahead. RITHOLTZ: No, that’s just — I’m completely fascinated by that. But I have to ask maybe this is an obvious question or maybe it’s not, so you — you sound very much like a non-traditional venture capital firm. DARABI: Yes. RITHOLTZ: Who are your limited partners, who are your clients, and what motivates them to be involved with TMV because it sounds so different than what has been a pretty standard model in the world of venture, one that’s been tremendous successful for the top-tier firms? DARABI: Our LP set is crafted with intention. And so, 50% of our investors are institutional. This concludes institutional-sized family offices and family offices in a multibillions. We work with three major banks, Fortune 500 banks. We work with a couple of corporate Fortune 500 as investors or LPs and a couple of fund to funds. So that’s really run of the mill. But 50 percent of our investors and that’s why I’m in Athens today are family offices, global family offices, that I think are reinventing with ventures like, to look like in the future because wealth has never been greater globally. There’s a trillion dollars of assets that are passing to the hands of one generation to the next and what’s super interesting to me, as a woman, is that historically, a lot of that asset transferred was from father to son, but actually, for the first time in history, over 50 percent, so 51% of those asset inheritors are actually women. And so, as my business partner could tell because she herself is a next gen, in prior generations, women were encouraged to go into the philanthropic or nonprofit side of the family business … RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And the sons were expected to take over the business or the family office and all of that is completely turned around in the last 10 years. And so, my anchor investor is actually a young woman. She’s under the age of 35. There’s a little bit of our firm that’s in the rocks because we’re not playing by the same rules that the establishment has played by. But certainly, we’re posturing ourselves to be able to grow in to a blue-chip firm which is why we want to maintain that balance, so 50 percent institutional and 50 percent, I would call it bespoke capital. And so, the LPs that are bespoke, we work at an Australian family office and Venezuelan family office and the Chilean family office and the Mexican family office and so on. For those family offices, we come to them, we invite them to events in New York City, we give them personalized introductions to our founders and we get on the phone with them. Whenever they’d like, we host Zooms. We call them the future of everything series. They can learn from us. And we get to know them as human beings and I think that there’s a reason why two thirds of our Fund I LPs converted over into Fund II because they like that level of access, it’s what the modern LP is really looking for. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk a little bit about some of the areas that you find intriguing. What sectors are really capturing your attention these days? What are you most excited about? DARABI: Well, Barry, I’m most excited about five categories for which we’ve been investing for quite some time, but they’re really being accelerated due to the 2020 pandemic and a looming recession. And so, we’re particularly fascinated by not just health care investing as has been called in the past but rather the care economy. I’m not a huge fan of the term femtech, it always sounds like fembot to me. But care as it pertains to women alone is a multitrillion dollar opportunity. And so, when we think of the care economy, we think of health care, pet care, elder care, community care, personal care as it pertains to young people, old people, men, women, children, we bifurcate and we look for interesting opportunities that don’t exist because they’ve been undercapitalized, undervalued for so long. Case in point, we were early investors Kindbody, a reproductive health care company focused on women who want to preserve their fertility because if you look at 2010 census data, you can see that the data has been there for some time that women, in particular, were delaying marriage and childbirth and there are a lot of world-famous economists who will tell you this, the global population will decline because we’re aging and we’re not necessarily having as many children as we would have in the past plus it’s expensive. And so, we saw that as investors as a really interesting opportunity and jumped on the chance to ask Gina Bartasi who’s incredible when she came to us with a way to make fertility preservation plus expenses. So she followed the B2C playbook and she started with the mobile clinic that helps women freeze their eggs extensively. That company has gone on to raise hundreds — pardon me — and that company is now valued in the hundreds of million and for us, it was as simple as following our intuition as women fund managers, we know what our peers are thinking about because we talk to them all the time and I think the fact that we’re bringing a new perspective to venture means that we’re also bringing a new perspective to what has previously been called femtech. We invest in financial inclusion. Everyone in the world that’s investing fintech, the self-directed financial mobile apps are always going to be capitalized especially in a post Robin Hood era but we’re specifically interested in the democratization of access to financial information and we’re specifically interested in student debt and alleviating student debt in America because not only is it going to be one of the greatest challenges our generation will have to overcome, but it’s also prohibiting us from living out the American dream, $1.7 trillion of student debt in America that needs to be alleviated. And then we’re interested in the future of work, and long have been, that certainly was very much accelerated during the pandemic but we’ve been investing in the 1099 and remote work for quite some time. And so, really proud to have been the first check into a company called Bravely which is an HR chatbot that helps employees inside of a company chat a anonymously with HR representatives outside of that company, that’s 1099. That issue is like DEI, an inclusion and upward mobility and culture setting and what to do when you’re all of a sudden working for home. So that’s an example of a future of work business. And then in the tech-enabled sustainable solutions category, it’s a mouthful, let’s call that sustainability, we are proud to have been early investors of a company called Ridwell, out of Seattle Washington, focused on not just private — privatized recycling but upcycling and reconnaissance. Where are our things going when we recycle them? For me, it always been a pretty big question. And so, Ridwell allows you to re and upcycle things that are hard to get rid of out of your home like children’s eyeglasses and paints and battery, single-use plastic. And it shows you where those things are going which I think is super cool and there’s good reason why it has one of the highest NPS scores, Net Promoter Scores, of any company I’ve ever worked with. People are craving this kind of modern solution. And last but not least, we invest in transportation and part because of the unfair advantage my partner, Marina, brings to TMV as she comes from a maritime family. And so, we can pile it, transportation technology, within her own ecosystem. That’s pretty great. But also, because we’re just fascinated by the fact that 90 percent of the world commodities move on ship and the biggest contributor to emissions in the world outside of corporate is coming from transportation. SO, if we can sort of figure out this industry, we can solve a lot of the problems that our generation are inheriting. Now, these categories might sound massive and we do consider ourselves a generalist firm but we stick to five-course sectors that we truly believe in and we give ourselves room to kick out a sector or to add a new one with any given new fund. For the most part, we haven’t needed to because this remain the categories that are not only most appealing to us as investors but I think paramount to our generation. RITHOLTZ: That’s really intriguing. Give us an example of moonshot or what you called earlier, a Mars shot technology or a company that can really be a gamechanger but may not pay off for quite a while. DARABI: We’ve just backed a company that is focusing on food science. Gosh, I can’t give away too much because they haven’t truly launched in the U.S. But maybe I’ll kind of allude to it. They use crushed produce, like, crush potato skins to make plastic but biodegrades. And so, it’s a Mars shot because it’s a materials business and it’s a food science business rolled off into both the CPG business and an enterprise business. This particular material can wrap itself around industrial pellets. Even though it’s audacious, it’s not really a Mars shot when you think about the way the world is headed. Everybody wants to figure out how do we consume less plastic and recycle plastic better. And so, if there are new materials out there that will not only disintegrate but also, in some ways, feed the environment, it will be a no-brainer and then if you add to the equation the fact that it could be maybe not less expensive but of comparable pricing to the alternative, I can’t think of a company in the world that wouldn’t switch to this solution. RITHOLTZ: Right. So this is plastic that you don’t throw away. You just toss in the garden and it becomes compost? DARABI: Yes, exactly. Exactly. It should help your garden grow. So, yes, so that’s what I would call a Mars shot in some ways. But in other ways, it’s just common sense, right? RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about your investment vehicles. You guys run, I want to make sure I get this right, two funds and three vehicles, is that right? DARABI: We have two funds. They’re both considered micro funds because they’re both under 100 million and then we operate in parallel for SPVs that are relatively evergreen and they serve as opportunistic investments to continue to double down on our winners. RITHOLTZ: SPV is special purpose investment … DARABI: Vehicles. Yes. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And the PE world, they’re called sidecars. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. So how do these gets structured? Does everything look very similar when you have a fund? How quickly do you deploy the capital and typically how long you locked for or investors locked up for? DARABI: Well investors are usually in private equity are VC funds locked up for 10 years. That’s not usual. We have shown liquidity faster, certainly, for Fund I. It’s well in the black and it’s only five years old less, four and a half years old. So, how do we make money? We charge standard fees, 2 on 20 is the rubric of it, we operate by. And then lesser fees for sidecars or direct investments. So that’s kind of how we stay on business. When you think about an emerging manager starting their first fund, management fees are certainly not so we can live a lavish rock and roll life on a $10 million fund with a two percent management fee, we’re talking about 200K for the entire business to operate. RITHOLTZ: Wow. DARABI: So Marina and I, not only anchored our first fund with their own capital but we didn’t pay ourselves for four years. It’s not glamorous. I mean, there’s some friends of mine that thing the venture capital life is glam and it is if you’re on Sand Hill Road. But if you’re an EM, it’s a lot more like a startup where you’re burning the midnight oil, you are bartering favors with your friends, and you are begging the smartest people you know to take a chance on you to invite you on to their cap table. But it somehow works out because we do put in that extra effort, I think, the metrics, certainly for Fund I have shown us that we’re in this for the long haul now. RITHOLTZ: So your fund 1 and Fund 2, are there any plans of launching Fund III? DARABI: Yes. I think that given the proof points between Fund I and Fund II and a conversation that my partner and I recently had, five years out, are we in this? Do we love this? We do. OK. This is our life’s work. So you can see larger and more demonstrable sized funds but not in an outsized way, not just because we can raise more capital now but because we want to build out a partnership and the kind of culture that we always dreamed of working for back when we were employees, so we have a very diverse set of colleagues with whom we couldn’t operate and we’ll be adding to the partnership in the next two or three years which is really exciting to say. So, yes, the TMV will be around for a while. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. I want to ask you the question I ask any venture capitalist that I interview. Tell us about your best and worst investments and what did you pass on that perhaps you wish you didn’t? DARABI: Gosh. The FOMO list is so long and so embarrassing. Let me start with what I passed on that I regret. Well, I don’t know she really would have invited me to invest, but certainly, I had a wonderful conversation a peer from high school, Katrina Lake, when she was in beta mode for Stitch Fix. I think she was still at HBS at the time or had just recently graduated from Harvard. When Katrina and I had coffee in Minneapolis were we went to high school and she was telling me about the Netflix for clothing that she was building and certainly I regret not really picking up on the clues that she was offering in that conversation. Stitch Fix had an incredible IPO and I’m a proud shareholder today. And similarly, when my friend for starting Cloudflare which luckily they did bring me in to pre-IPO and I’m grateful for that, but when they were starting Cloudflare, I really should have jumped on that moment or when my buddy Ryan Graves whom I still chat with pretty frequently was starting out Uber in beta with Travis and Garrett, that’s another opportunity that I definitely missed. I was in Ireland when the Series A term sheet assigned. So there’s such a long laundry list of namedropped, namedropped, missed, missed, missed. But in terms of what I’m proud of, I’d say far more. I don’t like Sophie’s Choice. I don’t like to cherry pick the certain investments to just brag about them. But we’ve talked about someone to call today, I’d rather kind of shine a light — look at my track record, right? There’s a large realized IRR that I’m very proud of. But more on the opportunity of the companies that we more recently backed that prevent damages (ph) of CRM for oncology patient that help them navigate through the most strenuous time of their life. And by doing so, get better access to health care. And we get to wrote that check a couple of months ago. But already, it’s becoming a company that I couldn’t be more excited about because if they execute the way I think Shirley and Victor will, that has the power to help so many people in a profound way, not just in the Silicon Valley cliché way of this could change the world but this could actually help people receive better care. So, yes, I’m proud of having been an early investor in the Caspers of the world. Certainly, we’re all getting better sleep. There’s no shame there. But I’m really excited now today at investing in financial inclusion in the care economy and so on. RITHOLTZ: And let’s talk a little bit about impactful companies. Is there any different when you’re making a seed stage investment in a potentially impactful company versus traditional startup investing? DARABI: Well, pre-seed and seed investing isn’t a science and it’s certainly not a science that anyone has perfected. There are people who are incredibly good at it because they have a combination of luck and access. But if you’re a disciplined investor in any asset class and I talk to my friends who run hedge funds and work for hedge funds about 10 bets that they take a day and I think that’s a lot trickier than what I do because our do due diligence process, on average, takes an entire quarter of the year. We’re not making that many investments each year. So even though it sounds sort of fruity, when you look at a Y Combinator Demo Day, Y Comb is the biggest accelerator in Silicon Valley and they produce over 300 companies, three or four times a year. When you look at the outsized valuations coming out of Y Comb, it’s easy to think that starting company is as simple as sort of downloading a company in a Box Excel and running with it. But from where we sit, we’re scorching the earth for really compelling ideas in areas that have yet to converge and we’re looking for businesses that may have never pitched the VC before. Maybe they’re not even seeking capital. Maybe it’s a company that isn’t so interested in raising a penny eventually because they don’t need to. They’re profitable from day one. Those are the companies that we find most exciting because as former operators, we know how to appeal to them and then we also know how to work with them. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. Before I get to my favorite question, let me just throw you’re a curveball, tell me a little bit about Business Schooled, the podcast you hosted for quite a while. DARABI: So, Synchrony, Sync, came to me a few years ago with a very compelling and exciting opportunity to host a podcast with them that allowed me a fortunate opportunity to travel the country and I went to just under a dozen cities to meet with founders who have persevered past their startup phase. And what I loved about the concept of business school is that the cities that I hosted were really focused on founders who didn’t have access to VC capital, they put money on credit card. So I took SBA loans or asked friends and family to give them starter capital and then they made their business work through trying times and when you pass the five-year mark for any business, I’m passing it right now for TMV, there’s a moment of reflection where you can say, wow, I did it. it’s incredibly difficult to be a startup founder, more than 60 percent of companies fail and probably for good reason. And so, yes, I hosted business school, Seasons 2 and 3 and potentially there will be more seasons and I’m very proud of the fact that at one point we cracked the top 20 business podcasts and people seem to be really entertained through these conversations with insightful founders who are vulnerable with me about what it was like to build their business and I like to think they were vulnerable because I have a good amount of compassion for the experience of being founder and also because I’m a New Yorker and I just like to talk. RITHOLTZ: You’re also a founder so there’s going to be some empathy that’s genuine. You went through what they’re going through. DARABI: Exactly. Exactly. And so, what you do, Barry, is quite similar. You’re — you host an exceptionally successful business podcast and you’re also an allocator. You know that it’s interesting to do both because I think that being an investor is a lot like being a journalist. In both professions, you won’t succeed unless you are constantly curious and if you are having conversations to listen more than you speak. DARABI: Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret since it’s so late in the podcast and fewer people will be hearing this, the people I invite on the show are essentially just conversations I want to have. If other people come along and listen, that’s fantastic. But honestly, it’s for an audience of one, namely me, the reason I wanted to have you on is because I’m intrigued by the world of venture and alternatives and impact. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people have been somewhat disappointed in the results of ESG investing and impact investing that for — it’s captured a lot more mindshare than it has captured capital although we’re seeing signs that’s starting to shift. But then the real question becomes, all right, so I’m investing less in oil companies and more in other companies that just happen to consume fossil fuels, what’s the genuine impact of my ESG investing? It feels like it’s sort of de minimis whereas what you do really feels like it has a major impact for people who are interested in having their capital make a positive difference. DARABI: Thank you for saying that. And I will return the compliment by saying that I really enjoyed getting to know you on our one key economist Zoom and I think that you’re right. I think that ESG investing, certainly in the public markets has had diminished returns historically because the definition has been so bizarre and so all over the place. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And I read incredible books from people like Antony Bugg-Levine who helps coin the term the Rockefeller Foundation, who originally coined the term you read about, mortgage, IRR and IRS plus measurement and it’s so hard to have just standardization of what it means to be an impact investor and so it can be bothered but we bother. Rather, we kind of come up with our own subjective point of view of the world and we say what does impact mean to us? Certainly, it means not investing in sin stocks but then those sin stocks have to begin somewhere, has to begin with an idea that somebody had once upon a time. And so, whether we are investing in the way the world should look from our perspective. And with that in mind, it doesn’t have to be impact by your grandpa’s VC, it can be impact from modern generation but simply things that behave differently. Some folks with their dollars. People often say, well, my ESG portfolio is underperforming. But then if you dig in to the specifics, are you investing in Tesla? It’s not a pretty good year. Did you back Beyond Meat? Had a great year. And so, when you kind of redefine the public market not by a sleeve and a bank’s version of a portfolio, but rather by company that you think are making demonstrable change in the world, then you can walk away, realizing had I only invested in these companies that are purpose driven, I would have had outsized returns and that’s what we’re trying to deliver on at TMV. That’s the promise. RITHOLTZ: Really, really very, very intriguing. I know I only have you for a few minutes so let’s jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of our guests starting with tell us what you’re streaming these days. Give us your favorite, Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any podcast that are keeping you entertained during the pandemic. DARABI: Well, my family has been binging on 100 Foot Wave on HBO Max which is the story of big wave surfer Garrett McNamara who is constantly surfing the world’s largest waves and I’m fascinated by people who have a mission that’s sort of bigger than success or fame but they’re driven by something and part of that something is curiosity and part of it is insanity. And so not only is it visually stunning to kind of watch these big wave surfers in Portugal, but it’s also a mind trip. What motivates them to get out of bed every day and potentially risk their lives doing something so dangerous and so bananas but also at the same time so brave and heroic. So, highly recommend. I am listening to too many podcasts. I listen to, I don’t know, a stream of things. I’m a Kara Swisher fan, Ezra Klein fan, so they’re both part of the “New York Times” these days. And of course, your podcast, Barry. RITHOLTZ: Well, thank you so much. Well, thank you so much. Let’s talk a little bit about who your early mentors were and who helped shape you career? DARABI: It’s going to sound ungrateful but I don’t think, in like a post lean in definition of the word, I ever truly had a mentor or a sponsor. Now, having said that, I’ve had people who really looked at for me and been incredibly gracious with their time and capital. And so, I would absolutely like to acknowledge that first and foremost. I think about how generous Adam Grant has been with his time and his investments for TMV in Fund I and Fund II and he’s a best-selling author and worked on highest-rated business school professor. So shout out to Adam, if he’s listening or Beth Comstock, the former Vice Chair of GE who has been instrumental in my career for about a decade and a half now. And she is also really leaning in to the TMV portfolio and has become a patient of Parsley Health, an early investment of ours and also an official adviser to the business. So, people like Adam and Beth certainly come to mind. But I don’t know, I just — I’m not sure mentors really exist outside of corporate America anymore and part of the reason why we started Transact Global is to kind of foster the concept of the peer mentor, people who are going through the same thing as you at the same time and allowing that hive mentality with an abundance mentality to catalyze people to kind of go further and faster. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about some of your favorite books and what you might reading right now. DARABI: OK, so in the biz book world, because I know your listeners as craving, I’m a big fan of “Negotiation Genius.” I took a crash course with one of the authors, Max Bazerman at the Kennedy School and it was illuminating. I mean, he’s one of the most captivating professors I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing lecture and this book has really helped me understand the concept of the ZOPA, the Zone of Possible Agreement, and how to really negotiate well. And then for Adam whom I just referenced, of all of his incredible books, my favorite is Give and Take because I try to operate with that approach of business. Give more than you take and maybe in the short term, you’ll feel depleted but in the long term, karma pays off. But mostly, Barry, I read fiction. I think the most interesting people in the world or at least the most entertaining at dinner parties are all avoid readers of fiction and history. So I recently reread, for instance, all of my favorite short stories from college, from Dostoyevsky’s “A Gentle Creature” to “Drown” Junot Diaz. “Passing” by Nella Larsen, “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” by Fitzgerald. Those are some of my very favorite stories of all time. And my retirement dream is to write a book of short stories. RITHOLTZ: Really, really quite intriguing. Are they all available in a single collection or these just, going back to your favorites and just plowing through them for fun? DARABI: Those are just going back to my favorites. I try to re-read “Passing” every few years which is somehow seems to be more and more relevant as I get older and Junot Diaz has become so incredibly famous when I first read “Drown” about 20 years ago which is an original collection of short stories that broadened my perspective of why it’s important to think about a broader definition of America, I guess. And, yes, no, that’s just — that was just sort of off the top of my head as the offering of a few stories that I really love, no collection. RITHOLTZ: That’s a good collection. And we’re down to our final two questions. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who was interested in a career in either venture capital or entrepreneurship? DARABI: Venture capital or entrepreneurship. Well, I would say, learn as early as possible how to trust your gut. So, this could mean a myriad of things. As an entrepreneur, it could mean under the halo effect of an institution, university or high school or maybe having a comfortable day job, tinker with ideas, get feedback on that idea, don’t be afraid of looking or sounding dumb and build that peer network that I described. People who are rooting you on and are also insatiably curious about wonky things. And I would say that for venture capital, similar play on the same theme, but whether it’s putting small amounts of money into new concept, blockchain investing, or whether it’s meeting with entrepreneurs and saying maybe I only have $3,000 save up but I believe in you enough to bet amongst friends in Brooklyn on your concept if you’ll have me as an investor. So, play with your own money because what it’s really teaching you in return is how to follow instincts and to base pattern recognition off your own judgement. And if you do that early on, overtime, these all become datapoints that you can point to and these are lessons that you can glean while not taking the risk of portfolio management. So, I guess the real advice to your listeners is more action, please. RITHOLTZ: Really very, very intriguing. And our final question, what do you know about the world of venture investing today that you wish you knew 15 or 20 years ago when you first getting started? DARABI: Twenty years ago, I was a bit of a Pollyanna and I thought every wonderful idea that simply is built by smart people and has timed the market correctly will work out. And I will say that I’m slightly more jaded today because of the capital structure that is systematically allowing the biggest firms in the world to kind of eat up a generous portion of, let’s call it the LP pie, which leaves less capital available to the young upstart VC firms, and of course I’m biased because I run one, that are taking outsized risks on those non-obvious ideas that we referenced. And so, what I wish for the future is that institutional capital kind of reprioritizes what it’s looking for. And in addition to having a bottom line of reliable and demonstrable return on any given investment, there are new standards put into play saying we want to make sure that a portion of our portfolio goes to diverse managers. Because in turn, we recognize that they are three times more likely to invest in diverse founders or we believe in impact investing can be broader than the ESG definitely of a decade ago, so we’re coming up with our own way to measure on sustainability or what impact means to us. And if they go through those exercises which I know is hard because, certainly, I’m not trying to add work to anyone’s plate, I do think that the results will more than make up for it. RITHOLTZ: Quite intriguing. Thank you, Soraya, for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with Soraya Darabi who is the Co-Founder and General Partner at TMV Investments. If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure and check out any of the prior 376 conversations we’ve had before. You can find those at iTunes or Spotify, wherever you buy your favorite podcast. We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at MIB podcast@bloomberg.net. You can sign up for my daily reads at ritholtz.com. Check out my weekly column at bloomberg.com/opinion. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack team that helps me put these conversations together each week. Tim Harrow is my audio engineer. Paris Walt (ph) is my producer. Atika Valbrun is our project manager, Michael Batnick is my head of research. I’m Barry Ritholtz, you’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~     The post Transcript: Soraya Darabi appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureOct 20th, 2021

The 20 best books of 2021, according to Book of the Month readers

Every year, Book of the Month crowns the best book of the year in November. Here are all the 2021 nominees, based on readers' favorites. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Every year, Book of the Month crowns the best book of the year in November. Here are all the 2021 nominees, based on readers' favorites. Amazon; Bookshop; Alyssa Powell/Insider Book of the Month sends great books from emerging authors directly to subscribers. At the end of each year, readers vote for their favorite books they read through the service. Here are the 20 most loved BOTM selections of 2021. The winner will be announced on November 11. Book of the Month sends new and noteworthy books - often before they become popular - to subscribers each month. In the past, the company has picked hits such as "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah, "Pachinko" by Min Jin Lee, and "The Girl With the Louding Voice" by Abi Daré to bring to its readers.Membership (small)At the end of the year, the club's thousands of subscribers vote on the best books they read through the service, making it a more curated version of Goodreads' best books of the year. For example, the 2020 winner was "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett, which also won the 2020 Goodreads award for Best Historical Fiction.Below, you'll find a reading list of the top 20 books of 2021 according to Book of the Month readers. Book of the Month will announce the best book of 2021 on November 11, awarding the winning author a $10,000 prize. The 20 best books picked by Book of the Month in 2021, according to its readers:Descriptions are provided by Amazon and edited lightly for length and clarity. "Things We Lost To The Water" by Eric Nguyen Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $13.99When Huong arrives in New Orleans with her two young sons, she is jobless, homeless, and worried about her husband, Cong, who remains in Vietnam. As she and her boys begin to settle into life in America, she sends letters and tapes back to Cong, hopeful that they will be reunited and her children will grow up with a father.But with time, Huong realizes she will never see her husband again. While she attempts to come to terms with this loss, her sons, Tuan and Binh, grow up in their absent father's shadow, haunted by a man and a country trapped in their memories and imaginations. As they push forward, the three adapt to life in America in different ways: Huong gets involved with a Vietnamese car salesman who is also new in town; Tuan tries to connect with his heritage by joining a local Vietnamese gang; and Binh, now going by Ben, embraces his adopted homeland and his burgeoning sexuality. Their search for identity — as individuals and as a family — threatens to tear them apart, un­til disaster strikes the city they now call home, and they are suddenly forced to find a new way to come together and honor the ties that bind them. "Imposter Syndrome" by Kathy Wang Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $16.59Julia Lerner, a recent university graduate in computer science, is living in Moscow when she's recruited by Russia's largest intelligence agency in 2006. By 2018, she's in Silicon Valley as COO of Tangerine, one of America's most famous technology companies. In between her executive management (make offers to promising startups, crush them and copy their features if they refuse); self-promotion (check out her latest op-ed in the WSJ, on Work/Life Balance 2.0); and work in gender equality (transfer the most annoying females from her team), she funnels intelligence back to the motherland. But now Russia's asking for more, and Julia's getting nervous.Alice Lu is a first-generation Chinese-American whose parents are delighted she's working at Tangerine (such a successful company!). Too bad she's slogging away in the lower echelons, recently dumped, and now sharing her expensive two-bedroom apartment with her cousin Cheri, a perennial "founder's girlfriend." One afternoon, while performing a server check, Alice discovers some unusual activity, and now she's burdened with two powerful but distressing suspicions: Tangerine's privacy settings aren't as rigorous as the company claims they are, and the person abusing this loophole might be Julia Lerner herself. The closer Alice gets to Julia, the more Julia questions her own loyalties. Russia may have placed her in the Valley, but she's the one who built her career; isn't she entitled to protect the lifestyle she's earned? Part page-turning cat-and-mouse chase, part sharp and hilarious satire, "Impostor Syndrome" is a shrewdly-observed examination of women in tech, Silicon Valley hubris, and the rarely fulfilled but ever-attractive promise of the American Dream. "The Lost Apothecary" by Susan Penner Amazon; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $13.99Hidden in the depths of 18th-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary's fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious 12-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.Meanwhile, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her 10th wedding anniversary alone in present-day London, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London 200 years ago, her life collides with the apothecary's in a stunning twist of fate — and not everyone will survive. "This Close To Okay" by Leese Cross-Smith Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $15.62On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing at the edge of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett. Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. What she doesn't realize is that Emmett isn't the only one who needs healing — and they both are harboring secrets.Alternating between Tallie and Emmett's perspectives as they inch closer to the truth of what brought Emmett to the bridge's edge — as well as the hard truths Tallie has been grappling with since her marriage ended — "This Close to Okay" is an uplifting, cathartic story about chance encounters, hope found in unlikely moments, and the subtle magic of human connection. "We Are the Brennans" by Tracey Lange Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $19.49When 29-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it's not easy. She deserted them all — and her high school sweetheart — five years before with little explanation, and they've got questions.Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family's pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets — secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes — and ultimately find a way forward together. "The Maidens" by Alex Michaelides Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $16.78Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this, Mariana is confident. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike ― particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana's niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?When another body is found, Mariana's obsession with proving Fosca's guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything ― including her own life. "Razorblade Tears" by S.A. Cosby Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $20.10Ike Randolph has been out of jail for 15 years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah's white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss.Derek's father, Buddy Lee, was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed of his father's criminal record. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy.Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, hardened men Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their prejudices about their sons and each other as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys. "Malibu Rising" by Taylor Jenkins Reid Amazon; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $16.80Malibu: August 1983. It's the day of Nina Riva's annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over — especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud — because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he's been inseparable since birth.Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can't stop thinking about has promised she'll be there.And Kit has a couple of secrets of her own — including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.By midnight the party will be entirely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family's generations will all come rising to the surface. "Four Winds" by Kristin Hannah Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $14.49Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the land's bounty is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman's only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: Marriage to a man she barely knows.By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work, and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa's tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa ― like so many of her neighbors ― must make an agonizing choice: Fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family. "The People We Keep" by Alison Larkin Amazon; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $22.99Little River, New York, 1994: April Sawicki is living in a motorless motorhome that her father won in a poker game. Failing out of school, picking up shifts at Margo's diner, she's left fending for herself in a town where she's never quite felt at home. When she "borrows" her neighbor's car to perform at an open mic night, she realizes her life could be much bigger than where she came from. After a fight with her dad, April packs her stuff and leaves for good — setting off on a journey to find her own life.Driving without a chosen destination, she stops to rest in Ithaca. Her only plan is to survive, but as she looks for work, she finds a kindred sense of belonging at Cafe Decadence, the local coffee shop. Still, somehow, it doesn't make sense to her that life could be this easy. The more she falls in love with her friends in Ithaca, the more she can't shake the feeling that she'll hurt them the way she's been hurt.As April moves through the world, meeting people who feel like home, she chronicles her life in the songs she writes and discovers that where she came from doesn't dictate who she has to be. "The Heart Principle" by Helen Hoang Amazon; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $13.99When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She's going to embark on a string of one-night stands — the more unacceptable the men, the better.That's where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex — he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand. However, when tragedy strikes Anna's family, she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love — but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves. "Instructions for Dancing" by Nicola Yoon Amazon; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $14.40Evie Thomas doesn't believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began… and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance Studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: Adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything — including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he's only just met.Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it's that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk? "Once There Were Wolves" by Charlotte McConaghy Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $20.99Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing 14 gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape but Aggie, too — unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska.Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she's witnessed ― inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. Yet, as the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept that her wolves could be responsible, Inti makes a reckless decision to protect them. But if the wolves didn't make the kill, then who did? And what will Inti do when the man she is falling for seems to be the prime suspect? "People We Meet On Vacation" by Emily Henry Amazon; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $9.98Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She's a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year, they live far apart — she's in New York City, and he's in their small hometown — but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven't spoken since.Poppy has everything she should want, but she's stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together — lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong? "The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina" by Zoraida Cordove Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $21.49The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty or why their matriarch won't ever leave their home in Four Rivers — even for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers.Seven years later, her gifts have manifested differently for Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly's daughter, Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea's line. Determined to save what's left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, the four descendants travel to Ecuador — to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back. "Damnation Spring" by Ash Davidson Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $19.81Colleen and Rich Gundersen are raising their young son, Chub, on the rugged California coast. It's 1977, and life in this Pacific Northwest logging town isn't what it used to be. For generations, the community has lived and breathed timber; now, that way of life is threatened. Colleen is an amateur midwife. Rich is a tree-topper. It's a dangerous job that requires him to scale trees hundreds of feet tall — a job that both his father and grandfather died doing. Colleen and Rich want a better life for their son — and they take steps to assure their future. Rich secretly spends their savings on a swath of ancient Redwoods. Colleen, desperate to have a second baby, challenges the logging company's use of herbicides that she believes are responsible for the many miscarriages in the community — including her own. The pair find themselves on opposite sides of a budding conflict that threatens the very thing they are trying to protect: Their family. "The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany" by Lori Nelson Spielman Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $10.95Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than 200 years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily single baker at her grandfather's Brooklyn deli, claim it's an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it's an actual hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she'll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her 80th birthday — and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.Against the backdrop of wandering Venetian canals, rolling Tuscan fields, and enchanting Amalfi Coast villages, romance blooms, destinies are found, and family secrets are unearthed — secrets that could threaten the family far more than a centuries-old curse. "The Last Thing He Told Me" by Laura Dave Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $12.92Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers — Owen's 16-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother. As Hannah's increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen's boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn't who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen's true identity — and why he disappeared.Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen's past, they soon realize they're also building a new future — one neither of them could have anticipated.You can read our interview with author Laura Dave here. "The Office of Historical Corrections" by Danielle Evans Bookshop; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $17.49Danielle Evans is known for her blisteringly smart voice and X-ray insights into complex human relationships. With "The Office of Historical Corrections," Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters' lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to Black and multiracial characters experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love and getting walloped by grief — all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history — about who gets to tell them and the cost of setting the record straight. "Infinite Country" by Patricia Engel Amazon; Lauren Arzbaecher/Insider Available at Amazon and Bookshop from $14.80I often wonder if we are living the wrong life in the wrong country.Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the forested mountains of Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence that may or may not have been warranted. She urgently needs to get out and get back home to Bogotá, where her father and a plane ticket to the United States are waiting for her. If she misses her flight, she might also miss her chance to finally reunite with her family.How this family came to occupy two different countries — two different worlds — comes into focus like twists of a kaleidoscope. We see Talia's parents, Mauro and Elena, fall in love in a market stall as teenagers against a backdrop of civil war and social unrest. We see them leave Bogotá with their firstborn, Karina, in pursuit of safety and opportunity in the United States on a temporary visa, and we see the births of two more children, Nando and Talia, on American soil. We witness the decisions and indecisions that lead to Mauro's deportation and the family's splintering — the costs they've all been living with ever since. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

The Valens Company Reports Financial Results for The Third Quarter of Fiscal 2021

Provincial sales net revenue increased 20.0% quarter over quarter supported by a 76.5% quarter over quarter increase in consumption-level retail sales according to Hifyre1 Canada-wide provincial listings increased 37.1% to 181 at the end of Q3 2021, compared to 132 at the end of Q2 2021 with an additional 27 accepted subsequent to quarter end Beverage market share increased to 9.0% in Q3 2021 vs 8.0% in Q2 20211 Gross margin increased to 26.8% in Q3 2021 from 22.0% in Q2 2021 B2C revenue lines of provincial sales and Green Roads accounted for ~50.0% of net revenue in Q3 2021, which is expected to increase following the close of the Citizen Stash acquisition KELOWNA, BC, Oct. 13, 2021 /CNW/ - The Valens Company Inc. (TSX:VLNS) (OTCQX:VLNCF) (the "Company", "The Valens Company" or "Valens"), a leading manufacturer of cannabis products, is pleased to report its third quarter financial results for the period ended August 31, 2021.  Tyler Robson, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and Chair of The Valens Company, said: "We are very pleased with the progress we have made on our strategic initiatives to transform Valens into a leading cannabis consumer packaged goods company. Our innovative product launches have driven growth in provincial listings and we are only just beginning to see the resulting financial impact with provincial sales net revenue growing 20% quarter over quarter. More importantly, consumer demand for our products is very strong, leading to even greater growth in consumption-level retail sales for Valens products which were up 76.5% quarter over quarter. The combination of net revenue from provincial sales and the partial quarter of revenue contribution from Green Roads represented 50% of total net revenue in Q3 2021, further illustrating the early progress on our strategic initiatives. We expect these B2C revenue lines to continue growing in future quarters as previously announced new listings are launched in market and gain commercial traction and the successful closing of the Citizen Stash acquisition adds dried flower revenue to our portfolio. Valens is now present in seven provinces and will span nine provinces and territories across Canada assuming the successful closing of the Citizen Stash acquisition." Robson continued, "With our operational platform largely built and a critical mass of provincial listings now in place, our focus has shifted to operational efficiencies, implementation of automation initiatives and volume growth to drive margin improvement and positive EBITDA in future quarters. During the third quarter, we strategically transitioned away from smaller, underperforming B2B partners resulting in a 29% decrease in B2B LP sales revenue quarter over quarter. We have instead taken a fewer, bigger, better approach and focused on building deeper relationships with larger licensed producer partners to drive efficiencies and profitable growth. This is illustrated by the addition and expansion of six custom manufacturing agreements, three of which are with the top seven licensed producers by market share. We expect these agreements to begin generating revenue over the next two quarters with further growth expected to follow. We remain customer focused and are looking for consistent and higher volume partnerships that drive profitability for all parties." Key Highlights Gross revenue increased 32.7% in Q3 2021 to $24.6 million, compared to $18.5 million in Q3 2020  Net revenue increased 15.8% in Q3 2021 to $21.0 million, compared to $18.1 million in Q3 2020 Green Roads contributed $4.7 million in its revenue in first partial quarter of consolidation Provincial listings increased by 37.1% to 181 at the end of August compared to 132 at the end of Q2 2021, making Valens one of the fastest growing licensed producers in Canada over the quarter and trailing year Additionally, Valens has obtained approval for an additional 27 provincial listings, which, when combined with Citizen Stash's 40 listings, will bring the pro forma company's total count of listings to over 248 In Q3 2021, Valens and Citizen Stash combined were ranked 11th by overall estimated market share across all categories in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario based on Hifyre data Verse BC God Bud was a top 5 best-selling flower SKU in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia during September 2021 based on Hifyre data Estimated share of the cannabis-infused beverage category from Summit and Basecamp beverages increased to 9.0% in Q3 2021 from 8.0% in Q2 2021 in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario, based on Hifyre data with only one customer in this category to date Valens expects additional market share gains in this category beginning in Q4 2021 based upon the acquisition of Verse Cannabis and the launch of the GTA Facility Provincial sales increased 20.0% compared to Q2 2021 Strong growth in provincial sales is expected to continue following a 76.5% increase in aggregate consumption-level retail sales in Q3 2021 compared to Q2 2021, based on Hifyre data for Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario Strategic acquisition of Citizen Stash expected to propel Valens' asset-light entry into the flower and pre-roll segments, the two largest categories in the Canadian cannabis market currently accounting for over 70% of retail sales   Ended the quarter with a strong cash position of ~$31 million *The term "Provincial listings" refers to the total number of provincial and territorial listings in Canada of products manufactured and/or distributed by The Valens Company Corporate and Operational Highlights: In the third quarter, The Valens Company continued to execute on its corporate strategy and advanced its global manufacturing platform, as illustrated by the following milestones and initiatives: Accelerated entry into the $2.7 billion flower-based market through the agreement to acquire Citizen Stash Cannabis Corp., valued at approximately $54.3 million on an enterprise value basis, boasting an attractive multiple of approximately 4.3x first half fiscal 2021 annualized revenue. Valens expects the acquisition to be accretive, specifically due to Citizen Stash's asset-light model which leverages a robust network of craft contract growing partners. Their award-winning brand portfolio offers more than 40 provincial listings and is complementary to Valens' growing house of brands which now spans across seven provinces and territories.  The Citizen Stash acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. Created top tier Licensed Producer in Canada through the acquisition of Verse Cannabis, announced in early September and expected to be further bolstered by the acquisition of Citizen Stash when it closes.  Verse's current and expanding portfolio of products will amplify provincial listings and drive category market share. Similar to Citizen Stash, the acquisition of Verse is expected to be accretive to the Company before synergies. The two acquisitions will provide Valens with over 248 current and pending listings across nine provinces and territories. Achieved significant steps toward entry into Québec, the third largest cannabis market in Canada. During the third quarter, Valens became authorized to contract or subcontract with a public body from the Autorité des marchés publics (AMP). Expanded international product manufacturing and distribution through new and evolving partnerships. Through an agreement with Epsilon, a diversified global ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaOct 14th, 2021

Futures Rebound As Yields Drop

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

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 29th, 2021