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Cybersecurity firm ExtraHop names former FBI agent to senior role

ExtraHop isn't the only tech company in the Seattle area looking to former defense personnel for key roles......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 7th, 2021

Biden Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Tied To Alleged 2016 Clinton Scheme To Co-Opt CIA/FBI To Tar Trump

Biden Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Tied To Alleged 2016 Clinton Scheme To Co-Opt CIA/FBI To Tar Trump Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations.com, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan figures prominently in a grand jury investigation run by Special Counsel John Durham into an alleged 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign scheme to use both the FBI and CIA to tar Donald Trump as a colluder with Russia, according to people familiar with the criminal probe, which they say has broadened into a conspiracy case. Biden National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan as Clinton campaign adviser for the 2016 election. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File Sullivan is facing scrutiny, sources say, over potentially false statements he made about his involvement in the effort, which continued after the election and into 2017. As a senior foreign policy adviser to Clinton, Sullivan spearheaded what was known inside her campaign as a “confidential project” to link Trump to the Kremlin through dubious email-server records provided to the agencies, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Last week, Michael A. Sussmann, a partner in Perkins Coie, a law firm representing the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of making false statements to the FBI about his clients and their motives behind planting the rumor, at the highest levels of the FBI, of a secret Trump-Russia server. After a months-long investigation, the FBI found no merit to the rumor. The grand jury indicated in its lengthy indictment that several people were involved in the alleged conspiracy to mislead the FBI and trigger an investigation of the Republican presidential candidate -- including Sullivan, who was described by his campaign position but not identified by name. The Clinton campaign project, these sources say, also involved compiling a "digital dossier” on several Trump campaign officials – including Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Carter Page. This effort exploited highly sensitive, nonpublic Internet data related to their personal email communications and web-browsing, known as Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses. Alleged targets: Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page. YouTube/CNN/FNC/RCP To mine the data, the Clinton campaign enlisted a team of Beltway computer contractors as well as university researchers with security clearance who often collaborate with the FBI and the intelligence community. They worked from a five-page campaign document called the "Trump Associates List." The tech group also pulled logs purportedly from servers for a Russian bank and Trump Tower, and the campaign provided the data to the FBI on two thumb drives, along with three “white papers” that claimed the data indicated the Trump campaign was secretly communicating with Moscow through a server in Trump Tower and the Alfa Bank in Russia. Based on the material, the FBI opened at least one investigation, adding to several others it had already initiated targeting the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016. Michael Sussmann: Indicted former Clinton campaign lawyer allegedly coordinated with Jake Sullivan on dubious materials provided to the FBI and media. perkinscoie.com The indictment states that Sussmann, as well as the cyber experts recruited for the operation, "coordinated with representatives and agents of the Clinton campaign with regard to the data and written materials that Sussmann gave to the FBI and the media." One of those campaign agents was Sullivan, according to emails Durham obtained. On Sept. 15, 2016 – just four days before Sussmann handed off the materials to the FBI – Marc Elias, his law partner and fellow Democratic Party operative, "exchanged emails with the Clinton campaign’s foreign policy adviser concerning the Russian bank allegations," as well as with other top campaign officials, the indictment states. The sources close to the case confirmed the "foreign policy adviser" referenced by title is Sullivan. They say he was briefed on the development of the opposition-research materials tying Trump to Alfa Bank, and was aware of the participants in the project. These included the Washington opposition-research group Fusion GPS, which worked for the Clinton campaign as a paid agent and helped gather dirt on Alfa Bank and draft the materials Elias discussed with Sullivan, the materials Sussmann would later submit to the FBI. Fusion researchers were in regular contact with both Sussmann and Elias about the project in the summer and fall of 2016. Sullivan also personally met with Elias, who briefed him on Fusion's opposition research, according to the sources. Sullivan maintained in congressional testimony in December 2017 that he didn’t know of Fusion’s involvement in the Alfa Bank opposition research. In the same closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, he also denied knowing anything about Fusion in 2016 or who was conducting the opposition research for the campaign. "Marc [Elias] ... would occasionally give us updates on the opposition research they were conducting, but I didn't know what the nature of that effort was – inside effort, outside effort, who was funding it, who was doing it, anything like that," Sullivan stated under oath. Jake Sullivan's December 2017 House testimony may put him in perjury jeopardy.  House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Sullivan also testified he didn’t know that Perkins Coie, the law firm where Elias and Sussmann were partners, was working for the Clinton campaign until October 2017, when it was reported in the media as part of stories revealing the campaign's contract with Fusion, which also produced the so-called Steele dossier. Sullivan maintained he didn’t even know that the politically prominent Elias worked for Perkins Coie, a well-known Democratic law firm. Major media stories from 2016 routinely identified Elias as "general counsel for the Clinton campaign" and a "partner at Perkins Coie." "To be honest with you, Marc wears a tremendous number of hats, so I wasn’t sure who he was representing," Sullivan testified. "I sort of thought he was, you know, just talking to us as, you know, a fellow traveler in this — in this campaign effort." Although he acknowledged knowing Elias and his partner were marshaling opposition researchers for a campaign project targeting Trump, Sullivan insisted, "They didn’t do something with it." In truth, they used the research to instigate a full-blown investigation at the FBI and seed a number of stories in the Washington media, which Elias discussed in emails. Marc Elias: Prominent Democrat lawyer allegedly also coordinated with Sullivan. Sullivan would later plead ignorance under oath about Elias's role. Perkins Coie Lying to Congress is a felony. Though the offense is rarely prosecuted, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller won convictions of two of Trump’s associates on charges of that very offense. An attorney for Sullivan did not respond to questions, while a spokeswoman for the National Security Council declined comment. After the 2016 election, Sullivan continued to participate in the anti-Trump effort, which enlisted no fewer than three Internet companies and two university computer researchers, who persisted in exploiting nonpublic Internet data to conjure up “derogatory information on Trump" and his associates, according to the indictment.Prosecutors say the operation ran through at least February 2017, when Sullivan met with another central figure in the plot to plant the anti-Trump smear at the FBI. But now the goal was to compel agents to continue investigating the false rumors in the wake of the election, thereby keeping Trump's presidency under an ethical cloud. Daniel Jones: One of the lead figures in helping resurrect the Trump-Russia collusion narrative after Trump's election, Jones coordinated with Sullivan in hatching the effort. McCain Institute/YouTube On Feb. 10, 2017, Sullivan huddled with two Fusion operatives and their partner Daniel Jones, a former FBI analyst and Democratic staffer on the Hill, to hatch the post-election plan to resurrect rumors Trump was a tool of the Kremlin. As RealClearInvestigations first reported, the meeting, which lasted about an hour and took place in a Washington office building, also included former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The group discussed raising money to finance a multimillion-dollar opposition research project headed by Jones to target the new president. In effect, Jones’ operation would replace the Clinton campaign’s operation, continuing the effort to undermine Trump. It’s not clear if Sussmann attended the Feb. 10 meeting, but he was apparently still involved in the operation, along with his crew of data miners. The day before the meeting attended by Sullivan, Sussmann paid a visit to the CIA’s Langley headquarters to peddle the disinformation about the secret server – this time to top officials there, according to the sources familiar with Durham's investigation. During a roughly 90-minute meeting, Sussmann provided two officials at the intelligence headquarters “updated” documents and data he'd provided the FBI before the election, RealClearInvestigations has learned exclusively. Then, on March 28, 2017, Jones met with the FBI to pass on supposedly fresh leads he and the cyber researchers had learned about the Alfa Bank server and Trump, and the FBI looked into the new leads after having closed its investigation a month earlier. That same month, FBI Director James Comey publicly announced the bureau was investigating possible “coordination" between Moscow and the newly sworn-in president's campaign. Despite the renewed push by Jones, the FBI debunked the tip of a nefarious Russian back channel. Agents learned the email server in question wasn’t even controlled by the Trump Organization. "It wasn’t true," Mueller confirmed in 2019 testimony. It turns out that the supposed “secret server" was housed in the small Pennsylvania town of Lititz, and not  Trump Tower in New York City, and it was operated by a marketing firm based in Florida called Cendyn that routinely blasts out emails promoting multiple hotel chains. Simply put, the third-party server sent spam to Alfa Bank employees who used Trump hotels. The bank had maintained a New York office since 2001. “The FBI’s investigation revealed that the email server at issue was not owned or operated by the Trump Organization but, rather, had been administrated by a mass-marketing email company that sent advertisements for Trump hotels and hundreds of other clients,” Durham wrote in his indictment. Nonetheless, Jones and Sullivan kept promoting the canard as true. Democrat Senators Mark Warner and Ron Wyden: Conduits for TDIP's Trump-Russia material. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik With help from Sullivan and Podesta in 2017, Jones launched a nonprofit group called The Democracy Integrity Project, which raised some $7 million mainly from Silicon Valley tech executives. TDIP hired computer researchers, as well as Fusion opposition researchers and Christopher Steele, the British author of the now-discredited Steele dossier, to “prove” the rumors in the dossier. As they sought new dirt on Trump, they fed their information to media outlets, leading Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee (namely Sens. Mark Warner and Ron Wyden), and the FBI. Jones previously worked on the Senate intelligence panel, which had launched a major investigation of Trump and Russia, and he provided a pipeline of information for the committee, according to the sources. As RCI first reported, Jones emailed a daily news bulletin known as "TDIP Research" to prominent Beltway journalists to keep the Trump-Russia “collusion” rumor-mill going, including the debunked rumor about the "secret server." Durham has subpoenaed Jones to testify before his grand jury hearing the case, along with computer experts and researchers recruited by Sussmann for the Clinton campaign project, persons close to the investigation said. Attempts to reach Jones for comment were unsuccessful. In a statement, Durham said his investigation "is ongoing." Special Counsel John Durham: Lengthy single count "speaking" indictment of Sussmann suggests a broader conspiracy case in the works. AP Indictments for a single-count process crime such as making a false statement normally run a page or two. But Durham’s filing charging Sussmann spans 27 pages and is packed with detail. FBI veterans say the 40-year prosecutor used the indictment to outline a broader conspiracy case he’s building that invokes several other federal statutes. "That is what we call a 'speaking indictment,' meaning it is far more detailed than is required for a simple indictment under [federal statute] 1001,” which outlaws making false statements and representations to federal investigators, former assistant FBI Director Chris Swecker said in an interview with RealClearInvestigations. "It is damning,” he added. “And I see it as a placeholder for additional indictments, such as government grant and contract fraud, computer intrusion, the Privacy Act and other laws against dissemination of personally identifiable information, and mail fraud and wire fraud – not to mention conspiracy to commit those offenses." Chris Swecker: The Sussmann indictment "is damning," and "I definitely see more to come," says the ex-top FBI investigator. Miller & Martin "I definitely see more [indictments] to come,” emphasized Swecker, who knows Durham personally and worked with him on prior investigations. The sources close to the case said former FBI general counsel James Baker, who accepted the sketchy materials from Sussmann and passed them on to agents for investigation, is cooperating with Durham’s investigation, along with former FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap, who has provided prosecutors contemporaneous notes about what led the bureau to open an investigation into the allegations Trump used Alfa Bank as a conduit between his campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin to steal the election. According to the sources, Durham also has found evidence Sussmann misled the CIA, another front in the scandal being reported here for the first time. In December 2016, the sources say Sussmann phoned the general counsel at the agency and told her the same story about the supposed secret server – at the same time the CIA was compiling a national intelligence report that accused Putin of meddling in the election to help Trump win. Sussmann told Caroline Krass, then the agency’s top attorney, that he had information that may help her with a review President Obama had ordered of all intelligence related to the election and Russia, known as the Intelligence Community Assessment. The review ended up including an annex with several unfounded and since-debunked allegations against Trump developed by the Clinton campaign. It’s not clear if the two-page annex, which claimed the allegations were “consistent with the judgments in this assessment,” included the Alfa Bank canard. Before it was made public, several sections had been redacted. But after Sussmann conveyed the information to Krass, an Obama appointee, she told him she would consider it for the intelligence review of Russian interference, which tracks with Sussmann’s 2017 closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. (Krass’ name is blacked out in the declassified transcript, but sources familiar with Sussmann's testimony confirmed that he identified her as his CIA contact.) Caroline Krass: Michael Sussmann also gave  Trump-Russia material to this CIA lawyer. CIA/Wikipedia “We’re interested,” said Krass, who left the agency several months later. "We’re doing this review and I’ll speak to someone here.” It’s not known if Sussmann failed to inform the top CIA lawyer that he was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign, as he’s alleged to have done at the FBI. Attempts to reach Krass, who now serves as Biden’s top lawyer at the Pentagon, were unsuccessful. But in his return trip to the CIA after the election, Sussmann “stated falsely – as he previously had stated to the FBI general counsel – that he was ‘not representing a particular client,’ " according to the Durham indictment, which cites a contemporaneous memo drafted by two agency officials with whom Sussmann met that memorializes their meeting. (The document refers to the CIA by the pseudonym “Agency-2.” Sources confirm Agency-2 is the CIA.) Remarkably, the CIA did not ask for the source of Sussmann’s walk-in tip, including where he got several data files he gave the agency. The FBI exhibited a similar lack of curiosity when Sussmann told it about the false Trump/Alfa Bank connection. Attempts to reach Sussmann to get his side to the additional CIA allegations leveled by Durham were unsuccessful. The 57-year-old attorney pleaded not guilty to a single felony count and was released on a $100,000 bond Friday. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.The prominent Washington lawyer quietly resigned from Perkins Coie, which has scrubbed all references to him from its website. And late last month, as rumors of the indictment swirled, the powerhouse law firm divested its entire Political Law Group formerly headed by Marc Elias – who commissioned the Steele dossier. Elias, who worked closely with Sussmann on the Trump-Alfa Bank project, also is no longer employed by the firm. Jake Sullivan’s Golf Cart Rounds In late July 2016, during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the CIA picked up Russian chatter about a Clinton foreign policy adviser who was trying to develop allegations to “vilify" Trump. The intercepts said Clinton herself had approved a “plan" to “stir up a scandal” against Trump by tying him to Putin. According to hand-written notes, then-CIA chief John Brennan warned President Obama that Moscow had intercepted information about the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016, of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump.” That summer, Brennan had personally briefed Democrats, including then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on the Alfa Bank-Trump server rumors, according to congressional reports. Reid fired off a letter to Comey demanding that the FBI do more to investigate Trump's ties to Russia. During that convention, Sullivan drove a golf cart from one TV-network news tent in the parking lot to another, pitching producers and anchors a story that Trump was conspiring with Putin to steal the election. CNN, ABC News, CBS News, and NBC News, as well as Chris Wallace of Fox News, all gave him airtime to spin the Clinton campaign’s unfounded theories. Sullivan also gave off-camera background briefings to reporters. "We were on a mission," Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri later admitted in a Washington Post column. “We wanted to raise the alarm." Then, on the eve of the election, Sullivan claimed in a written campaign statement that Trump and the Russians had set up a “secret hotline” through Alfa Bank, and he suggested “federal authorities” were investigating “this direct connection between Trump and Russia.” He portrayed the shocking discovery as the work of independent experts — “computer scientists” — without disclosing their attachment to the campaign. “This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow,” Sullivan claimed. Clinton teed up his statement in an Oct. 31, 2016, tweet, which quickly went viral. Also that day, Clinton tweeted, “It’s time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia,” while attaching a meme that read: “Donald Trump has a secret server. It was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank called Alfa Bank.” The Clinton campaign played up the bogus Trump-Alfa Bank story on the eve of the 2016 election. Twitter/@HillaryClinton It’s not immediately apparent if then-Vice President Joe Biden was briefed about the Alfa Bank tale or other Trump-Russia rumors and investigations. Biden has never been questioned about his own role in the investigation of Trump. However, it was the former vice president who introduced the idea of prosecuting Trump’s national security adviser appointee, Gen. Flynn, under the Logan Act of 1799, a dead-letter statute that prohibits private citizens from interfering in U.S. foreign policy and which hasn’t been used to prosecute anyone in modern times. According to notes taken by then-FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok, who attended a Jan. 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting with Obama and Biden, in which Trump, Flynn and Russia were discussed, Biden raised the idea: “VP: Logan Act,” the notes read. Although he’s not an attorney, Sullivan has argued in congressional testimony and elsewhere that Flynn violated the Logan Act, raising suspicions he may have put the idea in Biden’s head. Sullivan had advised the vice president before joining the Clinton campaign. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 23rd, 2021

Here"s why you"re having trouble finding work - or workers - during the labor shortage, economists say

Haven't returned to work yet? You're not alone. Five economists broke down for Insider why people aren't rushing back into the work force. A "Help Wanted" sign hangs in the window of a restaurant in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, Tuesday, May 4, 2021 AP Photo/Mary Altaffer Anecdotes about labor shortages have been popping up for months amidst America's slow recovery. But enhanced unemployment has expired and it hasn't helped end end the labor crunch. Insider spoke to five economists and experts about why workers aren't coming back, and the issues with hiring. See more stories on Insider's business page. America is tired of labor shortages. September was supposed to be the silver bullet month when the end of enhanced unemployment benefits coincided with schools and other childcare services reopening and vaccination rates facilitating a return to office. But if you're not back at work, you're far from the only one.That's because the reality of September could perhaps be summarized in two words: Womp womp. There's another two words, nearly as fearsome: The month told a "Delta story," according to Jesse Wheeler, an economic analyst at Morning Consult."We're still expecting this improvement in jobs and continued economic recovery in the future, but it's basically just on hold," Wheeler said.So if you haven't returned to work yet, or are mulling whether a return to work is the right move right now, you're not alone. In a note released this week, JPMorgan found that just half of the people who lost jobs during COVID are going back to work.As Bloomberg reports, unemployment benefits winding down didn't compel people back into the workforce, echoing several studies showing no connection. Schools are contending with Delta waves and temporarily shuttering. Childcare is facing its own labor shortage, turning away families who need care. Vaccinations are up, but mass vaccine mandates for businesses only recently become a reality."I don't see evidence that the slowing of growth had to do with labor shortages. It had to do with Delta," Heidi Shierholz, the president of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, told Insider. She added: "Employers really were demanding a lot fewer people in August than they had in the prior month."Insider spoke to five economists and experts about the current messy state of the labor market, and why it makes sense some people haven't returned yet. At the heart of the current labor crunch are major disconnects - what economists call "mismatches" - between what employers want and the people who could fill those roles. Some have moved out of areas where there's need; others have higher expectations for work. But employers are responsible for another mismatch: They say they're scrambling to find workers but they're not willing to pay the price labor is demanding right now. Hiring is a messAs Vox's Rani Molla and Emily Stewart report, the hiring system is a little bit broken too. The current labor market has an "incongruity" between what job seekers are hearing about the abundance of roles, and their actual experiences, according to Vox. It might be a fourth more subtle mismatch.For one, The Wall Street Journal reports that some applicants may be filtered out by the hiring software many employers have adopted. If your resume doesn't have the exact keyword, or, like many workers, you're trying to switch into a related role, you may not even make it past the initial screening.One criterion that employers are filtering by: Whether applicants have a college degree. That could leave out the 70 million workers who are "STARs" - Skilled Through Alternative Routes, according to Papia Debroy, the senior vice president of insights at Opportunity@Work. According to the Census Bureau, two-thirds of American workers don't have a bachelor's degree, with that percentage coming in higher for Black and Hispanic workers.Debroy said that STARs have been increasingly locked out of middle wage jobs in the past decades - roles that are crucial for them to move up the ladder."In many respects, not recognizing that skills are being gained through alternative routes is not just failing these workers. It's failing employers from finding the talent they're looking for, but also it's preventing further mobility for this population," Debroy said. Erica Groshen, senior economics advisor at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, told Insider that employers may not be working rapidly to actually fill the record number of job openings."They may say, 'Well, we have an opening and we have it listed,' but they may not be rushing to fill it if they're not sure how the pandemic is playing out in their area," Groshen said. "So they may leave the posting up, but not be rushing."There's still the pandemic to consider In July, Morning Consult found that 3.5 million of the people who left the labor force were planning on returning to work in the next year; two-thirds wanted to start working again within three months."However, a few months later, a lot of those people have put it on hold," Morning Consult's Wheeler said. The intelligence firm's September outlook found that consumer sentiment in August reached its lowest levels since February 2021.That's because taking a job right now still faces all of the calculations of the health risks and childcare considerations of the pandemic, which many assumed would have been resolved by now. It's what Shierholz calls "baby echoes" of the early days of the pandemic. There is, of course, something we have now that we didn't at the start of the pandemic: Vaccines. But, as Insider's Aylin Woodward reports, the US has fallen behind in vaccination rates, ranking 39th in the world. "In places where the pandemic is still hitting a lot of people with low vaccination rates, that might still be keeping some people home," Brian Riedl, a budget expert at the right-leaning Manhattan Institute, told Insider. "The states that are relatively unvaccinated and seeing more Delta variant cases still may see a lag." As President Joe Biden continues to ramp up vaccination efforts and the Delta wave subsides, people might return more. JPMorgan anticipates that 2 million Americans "will continue to drift back into employment," especially as their pandemic savings dwindle.In the meantime, businesses have turned toward one method to make the return pay off for workers: Raising wages. "There's always somebody talking about there being a labor shortage, and yet in a free market economy, the price is supposed to make the adjustments so that the quantity demanded will meet the quantity supplied," Groshen said. "What they're really saying is that I'm not offering enough to get the workers I need."Anecdotally, it seems to be working. The New York Times reported that Jason Hammel, a chef in Chicago, raised base pay to $18 to $24 per hour; he said he hasn't had issues hiring. But some restaurants have raised wages and still haven't seen applicants flooding in, Insider's Grace Dean reported. Groshen said that offering more doesn't just encompass wages - it's working conditions and benefits, too. "If I decide that I don't want to pay the price of an Audi, I don't get to just announce that there's an Audi shortage and this needs government intervention," Groshen said.Joseph Zeballos-Roig contributed reporting.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 hr. 11 min. ago

Futures Slide Alongside Cryptocurrencies Amid China Crackdown

Futures Slide Alongside Cryptocurrencies Amid China Crackdown US futures and European stocks fell amid ongoing nerves over the Evergrande default, while cryptocurrency-linked stocks tumbled after the Chinese central bank said such transactions are illegal. Sovereign bond yields fluctuated after an earlier selloff fueled by the prospect of tighter monetary policy. At 745am ET, S&P 500 e-minis were down 19.5 points, or 0.43%, Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 88.75 points, or 0.58% and Dow e-minis were down 112 points, or 0.33%. In the biggest overnight news, Evergrande offshore creditors remain in limbo and still haven't received their coupon payment effectively starting the 30-day grace period, while also in China, the State Planner issued a notice on the crackdown of cryptocurrency mining, will strictly prohibit financing for new crypto mining projects and strengthen energy consumption controls of new crypto mining projects. Subsequently, the PBoC issued a notice to further prevent and dispose of the risks from speculating on cryptocurrencies, to strengthen monitoring of risks from crypto trading and such activities are illegal. The news sent the crypto space tumbling as much as 8% while cryptocurrency-exposed stocks slumped in U.S. premarket trading. Marathon Digital (MARA) drops 6.5%, Bit Digital (BTBT) declines 4.7%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) -5.9%, Coinbase -2.8%. Big banks including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp slipped about 0.5%, while oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp were down 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively, in premarket trading.Mega-cap FAAMG tech giants fell between 0.5% and 0.6%. Nike shed 4.6% after the sportswear maker cut its fiscal 2022 sales expectations and warned of delays during the holiday shopping season. Several analysts lowered their price targets on the maker of sports apparel and sneakers after the company cut its FY revenue growth guidance to mid-single- digits. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Helbiz (HLBZ) falls 10% after the micromobility company filed with the SEC for the sale of as many as 11m shares by stockholders. Focus Universal (FCUV), an online marketing company that’s been a favorite of retail traders, surged 26% in premarket trading after the stock was cited on Stocktwits in recent days. Vail Resorts (MTN) falls 2.7% in postmarket trading after its full-year forecasts for Ebitda and net income missed at the midpoint. GlycoMimetics (GLYC) jumps 15% postmarket after announcing that efficacy and safety data from a Phase 1/2 study of uproleselan in patients with acute myeloid leukemia were published in the journal Blood on Sept. 16. VTV Therapeutics (VTVT) surges 30% after company says its HPP737 psoriasis treatment showed favorable safety and tolerability profile in a multiple ascending dose study. Fears about a sooner-than-expected tapering amid signs of stalling U.S. economic growth and concerns over a spillover from China Evergrande’s default had rattled investors in September, putting the benchmark S&P 500 index on course to snap a seven-month winning streak. Elaine Stokes, a portfolio manager at Loomis Sayles & Co., told Bloomberg Television, adding that “what they did is tell us that they feel really good about the economy.” While the bond selloff vindicated Treasury bears who argue yields are too low to reflect fundamentals, others see limits to how high they can go. “We’d expected bond yields to go higher, given the macro situation where growth is still very strong,” Sylvia Sheng, global multi-asset strategist with JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “But we do stress that is a modest view, because we think that upside to yields is still limited from here given that central banks including the Fed are still buying bonds.” Still, Wall Street’s main indexes rallied in the past two session and are set for small weekly gains. European equities dipped at the open but trade off worst levels, with the Euro Stoxx 50 sliding as much as 1.1% before climbing off the lows. France's CAC underperformed at the margin. Retail, financial services are the weakest performers. EQT AB, Europe’s biggest listed private equity firm, fell as much as 8.1% after Sweden’s financial watchdog opened an investigation into suspected market abuse. Here are some of the other biggest European movers today: SMCP shares surge as much as 9.9%, advancing for a 9th session in 10, amid continued hopes the financial troubles of its top shareholder will ultimately lead to a sale TeamViewer climbs much as 4.2% after Bankhaus Metzler initiated coverage with a buy rating, citing the company’s above-market growth AstraZeneca gains as much as 3.6% after its Lynparza drug met the primary endpoint in a prostate cancer trial Darktrace drops as much as 9.2%, paring the stock’s rally over the past few weeks, as a technical pattern triggered a sell signal Adidas and Puma fall as much as 4% and 2.9%, respectively, after U.S. rival Nike’s “large cut” to FY sales guidance, which Jefferies said would “likely hurt” shares of European peers Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose for a second day, led by rallies in Japan and Taiwan, following U.S. peers higher amid optimism over the Federal Reserve’s bullish economic outlook and fading concerns over widespread contagion from Evergrande. Stocks were muted in China and Hong Kong. India’s S&P BSE Sensex topped the 60,000 level for the first time on Friday on optimism that speedier vaccinations will improve demand for businesses in Asia’s third-largest economy. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.7%, with TSMC and Sony the biggest boosts. That trimmed the regional benchmark’s loss for the week to about 1%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 2.1%, reopening after a holiday, pushing its advance for September to 7.7%, the best among major global gauges. The Asian regional benchmark pared its gain as Hong Kong stocks fell sharply in late afternoon trading amid continued uncertainty, with Evergrande giving no sign of making an interest payment that was due Thursday. Among key upcoming events is the leadership election for Japan’s ruling party next week, which will likely determine the country’s next prime minister. “Investor concerns over the Evergrande issue have retreated a bit for now,” said Hajime Sakai, chief fund manager at Mito Securities Co. in Tokyo. “But investors will have to keep downside risk in the corner of their minds.” Indian stocks rose, pushing the Sensex above 60,000 for the first time ever. Key gauges fell in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, while the Thai market was closed for a holiday. Treasuries are higher as U.S. trading day begins after rebounding from weekly lows reached during Asia session, adding to Thursday’s losses. The 10-year yield was down 1bp at ~1.42%, just above the 100-DMA breached on Thursday for the first time in three months; it climbed to 1.449% during Asia session, highest since July 6, and remains 5.2bp higher on the week, its fifth straight weekly increase. Several Fed speakers are slated, first since Wednesday’s FOMC commentary set forth a possible taper timeline.  Bunds and gilts recover off cheapest levels, curves bear steepening. USTs bull steepen, richening 1.5bps from the 10y point out. Peripheral spreads are wider. BTP spreads widen 2-3bps to Bunds. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed back from a one-week low as concern about possible contagion from Evergrande added to buying of the greenback based on the Federal Reserve tapering timeline signaled on Wednesday. NZD, AUD and CAD sit at the bottom of the G-10 scoreboard. ZAR and TRY are the weakest in EM FX. The pound fell after its rally on Thursday as investors looked ahead to BOE Governor Andrew Bailey’s sPeech next week about a possible interest-rate hike. Traders are betting that in a contest to raise borrowing costs first, the Bank of England will be the runaway winner over the Federal Reserve. The New Zealand and Aussie dollars led declines among Group-of-10 peers. The euro was trading flat, with a week full of events failing “to generate any clear directional move,” said ING analysts Francesco Pesole and Chris Turner. German IFO sentiment indeces will “provide extra indications about the area’s sentiment as  businesses faced a combination of delta variant concerns and lingering supply disruptions”. The Norwegian krone is the best performing currency among G10 peers this week, with Thursday’s announcement from the Norges Bank offering support In commodities, crude futures hold a narrow range up around best levels for the week. WTI stalls near $73.40, Brent near $77.50. Spot gold extends Asia’s gains, adding $12 on the session to trade near $1,755/oz. Base metals are mixed, LME nickel and aluminum drop ~1%, LME tin outperforms with a 2.8% rally. Bitcoin dips after the PBOC says all crypto-related transactions are illegal. Looking to the day ahead now, we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell, Vice Chair Clarida and the Fed’s Mester, Bowman, George and Bostic, as well as the ECB’s Lane and Elderson, and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Finally, a summit of the Quad Leaders will be held at the White House, including President Biden, and the Prime Ministers of Australia, India and Japan. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,423.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.7% to 464.18 German 10Y yield fell 8.5 bps to -0.236% Euro little changed at $1.1737 MXAP up 0.4% to 201.25 MXAPJ down 0.5% to 643.20 Nikkei up 2.1% to 30,248.81 Topix up 2.3% to 2,090.75 Hang Seng Index down 1.3% to 24,192.16 Shanghai Composite down 0.8% to 3,613.07 Sensex up 0.2% to 60,031.83 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 7,342.60 Kospi little changed at 3,125.24 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $77.57/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,755.38 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.14 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China Evergrande Group’s unusual silence about a dollar-bond interest payment that was due Thursday has put a focus on what might happen during a 30-day grace period. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s inflation target is increasingly out of step with international counterparts and fails to account for structural changes in the country’s economy over the past 30 years, Westpac Banking Corp.’s Bill Evans said. With central banks from Washington to London this week signaling more alarm over faster inflation, the ultra-stimulative path of the euro zone and some of its neighbors appears lonelier than ever. China’s central bank continued to pump liquidity into the financial system on Friday as policy makers sought to avoid contagion stemming from China Evergrande Group spreading to domestic markets. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed with the region failing to fully sustain the impetus from the positive performance across global counterparts after the silence from Evergrande and lack of coupon payments for its offshore bonds, stirred uncertainty for the company. ASX 200 (-0.4%) was negative as underperformance in mining names and real estate overshadowed the advances in tech and resilience in financials from the higher yield environment. Nikkei 225 (+2.1%) was the biggest gainer overnight as it played catch up to the prior day’s recovery on return from the Autumnal Equinox holiday in Japan and with exporters cheering the recent risk-conducive currency flows, while KOSPI (-0.1%) was lacklustre amid the record daily COVID-19 infections and after North Korea deemed that it was premature to declare that the Korean War was over. Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.8%) were indecisive after further liquidity efforts by the PBoC were offset by concerns surrounding Evergrande after the Co. failed to make coupon payments due yesterday for offshore bonds but has a 30-day grace period with the Co. remaining quiet on the issue. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower on spillover selling from global counterparts including the declines in T-notes as the US 10yr yield breached 1.40% for the first time since early-July with the pressure in bonds also stemming from across the Atlantic following a more hawkish BoE, while the presence of the BoJ in the market today for over JPY 1.3tln of government bonds with 1yr-10yr maturities did very little to spur prices. Top Asian News Rivals for Prime Minister Battle on Social Media: Japan Election Asian Stocks Rise for Second Day, Led by Gains in Japan, Taiwan Hong Kong Stocks Still Wagged by Evergrande Tail Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index Extends Decline to More Than 2% European equities (Stoxx 600 -0.9%) are trading on the back foot in the final trading session of the week amid further advances in global bond yields and a mixed APAC handover. Overnight, saw gains for the Nikkei 225 of 2.1% with the index aided by favourable currency flows, whilst Chinese markets lagged (Shanghai Comp. -0.8%, Hang Seng -1.6%) with further liquidity efforts by the PBoC offset by concerns surrounding Evergrande after the Co. failed to make coupon payments due yesterday for offshore bonds. As context, despite the losses in Europe today, the Stoxx 600 is still higher by some 1.2% on the week. Stateside, futures are also on a softer footing with the ES down by 0.4% ahead of a busy Fed speaker schedule. Back to Europe, sectors are lower across the board with Retail and Personal & Household Goods lagging peers. The former has been hampered by losses in Adidas (-3.0%) following after hours earnings from Nike (-4.2% pre-market) which saw the Co. cut its revenue guidance amid supply chain woes. AstraZeneca (+2.1%) sits at the top of the FTSE 100 after announcing that the Lynparza PROpel trial met its primary endpoint. Daimler’s (+0.1%) Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will take a 33% stake in a battery cell manufacturing JV with Total and Stellantis. EQT (-6.5%) sits at the foot of the Stoxx 600 after the Swedish FSA announced it will open an investigation into the Co. Top European News EQT Investigated by Sweden’s FSA Over Suspected Market Abuse Gazprom Says Claims of Gas Under-supply to Europe Are ‘Absurd’ German Sept. Ifo Business Confidence 98.8; Est. 99 German Business Index at Five-Month Low in Pre-Election Verdict In FX, the rot seems to have stopped for the Buck in terms of its sharp and marked fall from grace amidst post-FOMC reflection and re-positioning in the financial markets on Thursday. Indeed, the Dollar index has regained some poise to hover above the 93.000 level having recoiled from 93.526 to 92.977 over the course of yesterday’s hectic session that saw the DXY register a marginal new w-t-d high and low at either end of the spectrum. Pre-weekend short covering and consolidation may be giving the Greenback a lift, while the risk backdrop is also less upbeat ahead of a raft of Fed speakers flanking US new home sales data. Elsewhere, the Euro remains relatively sidelined and contained against the Buck with little independent inspiration from the latest German Ifo survey as the business climate deteriorated broadly in line with consensus and current conditions were worse than forecast, but business expectations were better than anticipated. Hence, Eur/Usd is still stuck in a rut and only briefly/fractionally outside 1.1750-00 parameters for the entire week, thus far, as hefty option expiry interest continues to keep the headline pair in check. However, there is significantly less support or gravitational pull at the round number today compared to Thursday as ‘only’ 1.3 bn rolls off vs 4.1 bn, and any upside breach could be capped by 1.1 bn between 1.1765-85. CAD/NZD/AUD - Some payback for the non-US Dollars following their revival, with the Loonie waning from 1.2650+ peaks ahead of Canadian budget balances, though still underpinned by crude as WTI hovers around Usd 73.50/brl and not far from decent option expiries (from 1.2655-50 and 1.2625-30 in 1.4 bn each). Similarly, the Kiwi has faded after climbing to within single digits of 0.7100 in wake of NZ trade data overnight revealing a much wider deficit as exports slowed and imports rose, while the Aussie loses grip of the 0.7300 handle and skirts 1.1 bn option expiries at 0.7275. CHF/GBP/JPY - The Franc is fairly flat and restrained following a dovish SNB policy review that left in lagging somewhat yesterday, with Usd/Chf and Eur/Chf straddling 0.9250 and 1.0850 respectively, in contrast to Sterling that is paring some hawkish BoE momentum, as Cable retreats to retest bids circa 1.3700 and Eur/Gbp bounces from sub-0.8550. Elsewhere, the Yen has not been able to fend off further downside through 110.00 even though Japanese participants have returned to the fray after the Autumn Equinox holiday and reports suggest some COVID-19 restrictions may be lifted in 13 prefectures on a trial basis. SCANDI/EM/PM/CRYPTO - A slight change in the pecking order in Scandi-land as the Nok loses some post-Norges Bank hike impetus and the Sek unwinds a bit of its underperformance, but EM currencies are bearing the brunt of the aforementioned downturn in risk sentiment and firmer Usd, with the Zar hit harder than other as Gold is clings to Usd 1750/oz and Try down to deeper post-CBRT rate cut lows after mixed manufacturing sentiment and cap u readings. Meanwhile, Bitcoin is being shackled by the latest Chinese crackdown on mining and efforts to limit risks from what it describes as unlawful speculative crypto currency trading. In commodities, WTI and Brent are set the conclude the week in the green with gains in excess of 2% for WTI at the time of writing; in-spite of the pressure seen in the complex on Monday and the first-half of Tuesday, where a sub USD 69.50/bbl low was printed. Fresh newsflow has, once again, been limited for the complex and continues to focus on the gas situation. More broadly, no update as of yet on the Evergrande interest payment and by all accounts we appear to have entered the 30-day grace period for this and, assuming catalysts remain slim, updates on this will may well dictate the state-of-play. Schedule wise, the session ahead eyes significant amounts of central bank commentary but from a crude perspective the weekly Baker Hughes rig count will draw attention. On the weather front, Storm Sam has been upgraded to a Hurricane and is expected to rapidly intensify but currently remains someway into the mid-Atlantic. Moving to metals, LME copper is pivoting the unchanged mark after a mixed APAC lead while attention is on Glencore’s CSA copper mine, which it has received an offer for; the site in 2020 produced circa. 46k/T of copper which is typically exported to Asia smelters. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are firmer but have been very contained and remain well-within overnight ranges thus far. Which sees the yellow metal holding just above the USD 1750/oz mark after a brief foray below the level after the US-close. US Event Calendar 10am: Aug. New Home Sales MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.0% 10am: Aug. New Home Sales, est. 715,000, prior 708,000 Central Bank Speakers 8:45am: Fed’s Mester Discusses the Economic Outlook 10am: Powell, Clarida and Bowman Host Fed Listens Event 10:05am: Fed’s George Discusses Economic Outlook 12pm: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Equitable Community Development DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap WFH today is a bonus as it’s time for the annual ritual at home where the latest, sleekest, shiniest iPhone model arrives in the post and i sheepishly try to justify to my wife when I get home why I need an incremental upgrade. This year to save me from the Spanish Inquisition I’m going to intercept the courier and keep quiet. Problem is that such speed at intercepting the delivery will be logistically challenging as I remain on crutches (5 weeks to go) and can’t grip properly with my left hand due to an ongoing trapped nerve. I’m very glad I’m not a racehorse. Although hopefully I can be put out to pasture in front of the Ryder Cup this weekend. The big news of the last 24 hours has been a galloping global yield rise worthy of the finest thoroughbred. A hawkish Fed meeting, with the dots increasing and the end of QE potentially accelerated, didn’t quite have the ability to move markets but the global dam finally broke yesterday with Norway being the highest profile developed country to raise rates this cycle (expected), but more importantly a Bank of England meeting that saw the market reappraise rate hikes. Looking at the specific moves, yields on 10yr Treasuries were up +13.0bps to 1.430% in their biggest daily increase since 25 February, as both higher real rates (+7.9bps) and inflation breakevens (+4.9bps) drove the advance. US 10yr yields had been trading in a c.10bp range for the last month before breaking out higher, though they have been trending higher since dropping as far as 1.17% back in early-August. US 30yr yields rose +13.2bps, which was the biggest one day move in long dated yields since March 17 2020, which was at the onset of the pandemic and just days after the Fed announced it would be starting the current round of QE. The large selloff in US bonds saw the yield curve steepen and the long-end give back roughly half of the FOMC flattening from the day before. The 5y30y curve steepened 3.4bps for a two day move of -3.3bps. However the 2y10y curve steepened +10.5bps, completely reversing the prior day’s flattening (-4.2bps) and leaving the spread at 116bp, the steepest level since first week of July. 10yr gilt yields saw nearly as strong a move (+10.8bps) with those on shorter-dated 2yr gilts (+10.7bps) hitting their highest level (0.386%) since the pandemic began.That came on the back of the BoE’s latest policy decision, which pointed in a hawkish direction, building on the comment in the August statement that “some modest tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period is likely to be necessary” by saying that “some developments during the intervening period appear to have strengthened that case”. The statement pointed out that the rise in gas prices since August represented an upside risks to their inflation projections from next April, and the MPC’s vote also saw 2 members (up from 1 in August) vote to dial back QE. See DB’s Sanjay Raja’s revised rate hike forecasts here. We now expect a 15bps hike in February. The generalised move saw yields in other European countries rise as well, with those on 10yr bunds (+6.6bps), OATs (+6.5bps) and BTPs (+5.7bps) all seeing big moves higher with 10yr bunds seeing their biggest climb since late-February and back to early-July levels as -0.258%. The yield rise didn’t stop equity indices recovering further from Monday’s rout, with the S&P 500 up +1.21% as the index marked its best performance in over 2 months, and its best 2-day performance since May. Despite the mood at the end of the weekend, the S&P now starts Friday in positive territory for the week. The rally yesterday was led by cyclicals for a second straight day with higher commodity prices driving outsized gains for energy (+3.41%) and materials (+1.39%) stocks, and the aforementioned higher yields causing banks (+3.37%) and diversified financials (+2.35%) to outperform. The reopening trade was the other main beneficiary as airlines rose +2.99% and consumer services, which include hotel and cruiseline companies, gained +1.92%. In Europe, the STOXX 600 (+0.93%) witnessed a similarly strong performance, with index led by banks (+2.16%). As a testament to the breadth of yesterday’s rally, the travel and leisure sector (+0.04%) was the worst performing sector on this side of the Atlantic even while registering a small gain and lagging its US counterparts. Before we get onto some of yesterday’s other events, it’s worth noting that this is actually the last EMR before the German election on Sunday, which has long been signposted as one of the more interesting macro events on the 2021 calendar, the results of which will play a key role in not just domestic, but also EU policy. And with Chancellor Merkel stepping down after four terms in office, this means that the country will soon be under new management irrespective of who forms a government afterwards. It’s been a volatile campaign in many respects, with Chancellor Merkel’s CDU/CSU, the Greens and the centre-left SPD all having been in the lead at various points over the last six months. But for the last month Politico’s Poll of Polls has shown the SPD consistently ahead, with their tracker currently putting them on 25%, ahead of the CDU/CSU on 22% and the Greens on 16%. However the latest poll from Forschungsgruppe Wahlen yesterday suggested a tighter race with the SPD at 25, the CDU/CSU at 23% and the Greens at 16.5%. If the actual results are in line with the recent averages, it would certainly mark a sea change in German politics, as it would be the first time that the SPD have won the popular vote since the 2002 election. Furthermore, it would be the CDU/CSU’s worst ever result, and mark the first time in post-war Germany that the two main parties have failed to win a majority of the vote between them, which mirrors the erosion of the traditional big parties in the rest of continental Europe. For the Greens, 15% would be their best ever score, and exceed the 9% they got back in 2017 that left them in 6th place, but it would also be a disappointment relative to their high hopes back in the spring, when they were briefly polling in the mid-20s after Annalena Baerbock was selected as their Chancellor candidate. In terms of when to expect results, the polls close at 17:00 London time, with initial exit polls released immediately afterwards. However, unlike the UK, where a new majority government can immediately come to power the day after the election, the use of proportional representation in Germany means that it could potentially be weeks or months before a new government is formed. Indeed, after the last election in September 2017, it wasn’t until March 2018 that the new grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD took office, after attempts to reach a “Jamaica” coalition between the CDU/CSU, the FDP and the Greens was unsuccessful. In the meantime, the existing government will act as a caretaker administration. On the policy implications, it will of course depend on what sort of government is actually formed, but our research colleagues in Frankfurt have produced a comprehensive slidepack (link here) running through what the different parties want across a range of policies, and what the likely coalitions would mean for Germany. They also put out another note yesterday (link here) where they point out that there’s still much to play for, with the SPD’s lead inside the margin of error and with an unusually high share of yet undecided voters. Moving on to Asia and markets are mostly higher with the Nikkei (+2.04%), CSI (+0.53%) and India’s Nifty (+0.52%) up while the Hang Seng (-0.03%), Shanghai Comp (-0.07%) and Kospi (-0.10%) have all made small moves lower. Meanwhile, the Evergrande group missed its dollar bond coupon payment yesterday and so far there has been no communication from the group on this. They have a 30-day grace period to make the payment before any event of default can be declared. This follows instructions from China’s Financial regulators yesterday in which they urged the group to take all measures possible to avoid a near-term default on dollar bonds while focusing on completing unfinished properties and repaying individual investors. Yields on Australia and New Zealand’s 10y sovereign bonds are up +14.5bps and +11.3bps respectively this morning after yesterday’s move from their western counterparts. Yields on 10y USTs are also up a further +1.1bps to 1.443%. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.04% while those on the Stoxx 50 are down -0.10%. In terms of overnight data, Japan’s August CPI printed at -0.4% yoy (vs. -0.3% yoy expected) while core was unchanged in line with expectations. We also received Japan’s flash PMIs with the services reading at 47.4 (vs. 42.9 last month) while the manufacturing reading came in at 51.2 (vs. 52.7 last month). In pandemic related news, Jiji reported that Japan is planning to conduct trials of easing Covid restrictions, with 13 prefectures indicating they’d like to participate. This is likely contributing to the outperformance of the Nikkei this morning. Back to yesterday now, and one of the main highlights came from the flash PMIs, which showed a continued deceleration in growth momentum across Europe and the US, and also underwhelmed relative to expectations. Running through the headline numbers, the Euro Area composite PMI fell to 56.1 (vs. 58.5 expected), which is the lowest figure since April, as both the manufacturing (58.7 vs 60.3 expected) and services (56.3 vs. 58.5 expected) came in beneath expectations. Over in the US, the composite PMI fell to 54.5 in its 4th consecutive decline, as the index hit its lowest level in a year, while the UK’s composite PMI at 54.1 (vs. 54.6 expected) was the lowest since February when the country was still in a nationwide lockdown. Risk assets seemed unperturbed by the readings, and commodities actually took another leg higher as they rebounded from their losses at the start of the week. The Bloomberg Commodity Spot index rose +1.12% as Brent crude oil (+1.39%) closed at $77.25/bbl, which marked its highest closing level since late 2018, while WTI (+1.07%) rose to $73.30/bbl, so still a bit beneath its recent peak in July. However that is a decent rebound of roughly $11/bbl since its recent low just over a month ago. Elsewhere, gold (-1.44%) took a knock amidst the sharp move higher in yields, while European natural gas prices subsidised for a third day running, with futures now down -8.5% from their intraday peak on Tuesday, although they’re still up by +71.3% since the start of August. US negotiations regarding the upcoming funding bill and raising the debt ceiling are ongoing, with House Speaker Pelosi saying that the former, also called a continuing resolution, will pass “both houses by September 30,” and fund the government through the first part of the fiscal year, starting October 1. Treasury Secretary Yellen has said the US will likely breach the debt ceiling sometime in the next month if Congress does not increase the level, and because Republicans are unwilling to vote to raise the ceiling, Democrats will have to use the once-a-fiscal-year tool of budget reconciliation to do so. However Democrats, are also using that process for the $3.5 trillion dollar economic plan that makes up the bulk of the Biden agenda, and have not been able to get full party support yet. During a joint press conference with Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer said that Democrats have a “framework” to pay for the Biden Economic agenda, which would imply that the broad outline of a deal was reached between the House, Senate and the White House. However, no specifics were mentioned yesterday. With Democrats looking to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill early next week, negotiations today and this weekend on the potential reconciliation package will be vital. Looking at yesterday’s other data, the weekly initial jobless claims from the US for the week through September 18 unexpectedly rose to 351k (vs. 320k expected), which is the second week running they’ve come in above expectations. Separately, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index fell to 0.29 in August (vs. 0.50 expected), and the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing activity index also fell more than expected to 22 in September (vs. 25 expected). To the day ahead now, and data highlights include the Ifo’s business climate indicator from Germany for September, along with Italian consumer confidence for September and US new home sales for August. From central banks, we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell, Vice Chair Clarida and the Fed’s Mester, Bowman, George and Bostic, as well as the ECB’s Lane and Elderson, and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Finally, a summit of the Quad Leaders will be held at the White House, including President Biden, and the Prime Ministers of Australia, India and Japan. Tyler Durden Fri, 09/24/2021 - 08:12.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 24th, 2021

Advertisers demand agencies prove their eco credentials

In this week's Insider Advertising newsletter we're covering sustainability metrics in RFPs, supply-chain issues for ad plans, and Facebook's comms. Hello and welcome back to Insider Advertising, your weekly look at the biggest stories and trends affecting Madison Avenue and beyond. I'm Lara O'Reilly, Insider's media and advertising editor. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.As we gear up for the big holiday quarter, Facebook advertisers are already experiencing their nightmare before Christmas as Apple's recent privacy changes take effect. In a blog post Wednesday, Facebook said some advertisers' post-iOS 14 difficulties were hitting harder than they had expected. Some of those issues could be attributed to Facebook underreporting conversions on iOS devices by about 15%, the company said. Direct-to-consumer and so-called performance advertisers in particular are bracing for a bumpy Q4.Let's get you caught up on this week's other big advertising news:Marketers are pushing their ad agencies to be eco-friendlySupply-chain shortages are affecting ad plansFacebook is embarking on a more defensive comms approachIt's not easy being green Investors can make this happen, if they want to. Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images It's been a little over five years since big brands like General Mills and HP made headlines by setting out requirements for their ad agencies to diversify their workforces.Now, an increasing number of advertisers are also asking agencies pitching for their business to lay out their sustainability commitments, the Insider correspondent Patrick Coffee reports, quoting one agency exec who said it's now part of every pitch.But while sustainability metrics are now front and center of many RFPs, I'd wager that few advertisers are at the point where they can audit compliance with the promises being made."It's an important part of any process, but many of the areas can be quite challenging on an ongoing basis," Ryan Kangisser, the managing partner of strategy at the media-advisory firm MediaSense, told me. What's more, as the coronavirus pandemic forced nearly all businesses to significantly rev up their e-commerce operations, some advertisers could do well with turning the mirror back on themselves. Global delivery volume records that were set last year are likely to be smashed once again in the holiday quarter."As e-commerce gets bigger, we all have to recognize the energy and power required to fuel all the e-commerce sites and clicks and transactions that are exponentially exploding at the moment," said Richard Robinson, a managing director of the pitch consultancy Oystercatchers.Yet, Robinson said, when brands are leaned on to ask who is ultimately responsible for sustainable e-commerce within their companies - The CMO? CDO? IT? Supply chain? - many execs still don't have a solid answer."The e-commerce kahuna is everyone's inconvenient secret at the moment," Robinson added.Hey big spenderAs e-commerce spending continues to soar through 2021 and beyond, so too is retailer spending on digital ads.Retail has long been the biggest-spending sector on digital ads in the US - which makes sense, as it's the category with the clearest visibility about whether the ads drove a sale. eMarketer; Taylor Tyson/Insider Insider Intelligence forecasts US retailer digital ad spending will blast through the $50 billion mark in 2022 - "a mark that no other industry will approach in the next couple of years," the Insider-owned research company's analysts wrote. In fact, Insider Intelligence doesn't predict any other single category will spend more than $20 billion in digital ads a year until 2023.In the meantime, retailers and e-commerce companies like Walmart, Target, and Instacart are busily building their own ad businesses and taking on the market leader Amazon by using their valuable first-party data to help advertisers target the shoppers most likely to buy their products. Insider Intelligence estimates that US retail media ad spending will grow almost 28% to reach $24 billion this year.You can't always get what you want FILE PHOTO: A General Motors assembly worker works on assembling a V6 engine, used in a variety of GM cars, trucks and crossovers, at the GM Romulus Powertrain plant in Romulus, Michigan, U.S. August 21, 2019. Rebecca Cook/File Photo Insider's senior reporter Lauren Johnson reports: Supply-chain issues are affecting ad spend, Ad Age reported, and it's not just mom and pops grappling to stock their shelves.Automakers like GM are also contending with big issues that make it hard to get their products to people, and big names are cutting advertising spend as a result, according to four agency sources who handle ad buying for the auto industry.One ad buyer said GM brands like Ford and Chevy, as well as the Dutch automaker Stellantis, cut ad spend earlier this year in response to computer-chip shortages that slashed production cycles, adding that car brands shifted their messaging from selling new vehicles to encouraging people to buy used cars at local dealerships. Representatives for Ford, Chevy, and Stellantis did not respond to requests for comment.Agency sources said that such cuts had hit mostly TV advertising and that in cases in which only some of a brand's products were unavailable, advertisers redirected digital ad spend to promote in-stock items with performance tactics like programmatic advertising that can track sales of products.Read more: KFC isn't advertising chicken tenders on TV because of supply-chain shortagesSorry seems to be the hardest word Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in New York City on Friday, October 25, 2019. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan A few years ago, as sure as spring would turn to summer and summer to fall, it felt as if the latest Facebook mea culpa was only ever a few months away. (The Washington Post even made a handy timeline.) Yet while Facebook has been significantly ramping up its own ad spend of late, don't expect to see any more full-page apology ads from the social network in your favorite newspaper anytime soon.As The New York Times reported, amid the weight of negative scrutiny on the company, Facebook's communications execs are pressing on with a different strategy: No more apologies.That attack-dog approach has been in plain view following The Wall Street Journal's explosive "Facebook Files" investigative series, which uncovered a litany of serious issues on that platform that the company appears to be aware of but has failed to fully address.Facebook's vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, fired back with his "What the Wall Street Journal Got Wrong" blog post. Mark Zuckerberg, who personally hasn't responded to The Journal's reporting, instead wagged his finger at The Times for implying he had posted a video of himself riding an "electric surfboard" instead of a hydrofoil. Over on Twitter, a Facebook representative sought to play down The Times' reporting of "Project Amplify," the social network's initiative to show people positive stories about the company on the platform.Meanwhile, the heat on Facebook shows no sign of petering out:Another Facebook ad boycott could be around the cornerSenators said they'd investigate Facebook's internal research into Instagram's effects on the mental health of young usersOne of Wall Street's top internet analysts says Facebook and Instagram user satisfaction just dropped to all-time lowsRecommended readingWaze CMO Erin Clift has left amid leadership shake-up at the Google-owned company - InsiderRoku is rolling out a new tool to compete with Facebook and Google for the $16 billion local advertising market - InsiderAT&T CEO John Stankey says he's unhappy with the company's brand and is planning a more future-facing refresh - CNBCVideoAmp has begun testing its cross-platform TV- and video-measurement ratings alternative with five major ad holding companies - CampaignAudi is looking for a new ad agency to handle its $185 million ad business - InsiderTikTok insiders describe how parent company ByteDance's culture principles, called 'ByteStyles,' are used to reward and reprimand - InsiderSee you next week - and in the meantime please do continue sending your feedback and news tips for this newsletter to loreilly@insider.com Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

Citi"s head of diversity says the company is on track for 40% female leadership by the end of the year

In her mission to diversify the bank, Citi's Erika Irish Brown has met with CEO Jane Fraser over a dozen times in her first three months on the job. Citi's head of DEI Erika Irish Brown was hired in June. Courtesy of Citi In June, Citi hired Erika Irish Brown to lead diversity and inclusion at the firm. Her initial goal is to increase Black and female representation in leadership. Brown is working closely with Citi CEO Jane Fraser, the first woman to lead a major US bank. See more stories on Insider's business page. Erika Irish Brown, Citi's recently hired head of diversity and inclusion, has one key goal for the $142 billion firm over the next three months: to increase Black and female leadership."I've always tried to connect the dots between racial equity, commercial, and human capital initiatives that drive the business case for diversity," she told Insider. Diversity goals, in other words, aren't separate from talent or business objectives. They're intimately connected.Working closely with Citi CEO Jane Fraser, the first woman to head a major US bank, Brown hopes to help the firm increase the representation of women in leadership positions to 40% by the end of 2021, up from 37% in 2018. The firm also hopes to increase the representation of Black people in leadership roles to 8% in the same time frame, up from 6% in 2018. Citi declined to share its current figures, but said it was on track to meet its goals. The financial sector is notoriously homogenous. At the entry level of US financial services firms, the percentage of people of color is in line with their representation in society - around 40%. But as you go up the corporate ladder, research shows, it falls steadily. By the C-suite, it drops by 75%. There's ample evidence to support Brown's business case for diversity.A McKinsey analysis in 2020 found that companies that had more gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have high profitability than companies with low gender diversity. Separate McKinsey research shows that companies with more racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have higher financial returns than their respective national industry medians.To change the status quo, leaders need to use every opportunity available to diversify their workforces, Brown said. "We have very specific development and retention programs for mid-level Black employees as well as women," Brown said. These include active efforts to audit and close pay-equity gaps; and employee resources groups, such as Citi Women, a group for women and female-identifying employees. "We're going to continue to develop those."The firm also continues to invest in a program called "Owning My Success," in which senior leaders mentor mid-level Black colleagues. The program began with roughly 50 participants in 2018 and has expanded to nearly 300 members in the 2020 class.Citi is also expanding partnerships it has with historically Black universities and colleges as well as Hispanic-serving institutions. While overseeing these initiatives, Brown has been meeting and listening to her colleagues, from interns to analysts to C-suite leaders, in order to learn more about the employee experience."It's time consuming. My role is about understanding culture," she said. "It's about advancing diverse groups and you need those individual insights." In the three months in her position, she's already met with CEO Jane Fraser at least a dozen times. Having support from Fraser is key, but it's not the end-all-be-all. For Brown, diversity and inclusion isn't a one-department job; it's a company-wide priority. "You need to have full buy-in throughout the firm," she said. "I think the more that you have an open dialogue and get that buy-in and have everybody feeling like, you know, diversity, equity and inclusion is part of my role, it's part of business, that's how we drive accountability."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

I"ve helped hundreds of people get paid more. Here are the 5 biggest myths about negotiating a higher salary.

Companies expect you to negotiate, and you're leaving money on the table by not asking, says career expert Brian Liou. Even if they act otherwise, companies expect you to negotiate their salary offer. Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images Many people think negotiating their starting salary or asking for a raise is a bad look - it's not. Companies offer what they think you'll accept, not what you're worth, says career advisor Brian Liou. Know that your market value isn't fixed, you can ask for more, and salary bands aren't set in stone. See more stories on Insider's business page. When I was just starting my company Rora - a career and negotiation agency for high performers - a friend received a job offer she was excited about. When I asked her if she planned to negotiate, she said, "Do you think I should? I don't want to hurt my reputation before I start!" Thankfully, I talked her into it.In reality, the idea that negotiating will make a company think less of you is a huge myth - just one of many when it comes to offer negotiations. And a company that does think less of you doesn't really value you, which means you should go somewhere that does if your financial situation permits it.Whether you're considering a new job offer or discussing a raise with your current employer, you should be negotiating. Negotiation can add more value to your life than you'd think - from impacting your lifetime earning potential by setting a higher baseline for future compensation to making sure you feel truly valued for the work you're doing now.Yes, the prospect can be scary, but it's crucial to push past your doubts when you can afford to. I've helped more than 200 people with their offer negotiations and found there are common hangups that seem to get in everybody's way. Here are five myths that may be preventing you from succeeding - and how to move past them.Myth No. 1: Your market value is a fixed numberYou've probably heard that you should know your "market value" - and you've probably found yourself frantically Googling industry norms and pay ranges. But trying to base your negotiations around market value can be confusing and limiting.Reality: Market value is a moving targetTrue market value isn't a hard-and-fast number you can find on the internet. Think of it more like the price of a stock - sure, there are historical variables that help determine the value of a business, but at the end of the day, it's largely based on dynamic and forward-looking factors like how investors value the company and what story the company is presenting to them. Your own market value is similarly dynamic: Yes, you have some history of performance, but it's really defined by how much other employers are willing to pay and what story you can tell about the value you'll provide to companies.With that in mind, try the following to improve your estimation of your value during negotiations:Go big when benchmarking your salary. Consider your current salary and aim for at least 15% more (if you're negotiating a new job) or communicate the high end of salary ranges you see online.Always ask for more than you're offered. Remember that companies are focused on their bottom line, so they'll always try to offer the lowest number they can while staying competitive. In other words, companies pay what you're willing to accept, not what you're worth, so you should almost never accept the first number given. I've seen companies increase equity from $140,000 all the way to $1.5 million, and signing bonuses from $0 to $150,000, just because a candidate didn't jump at the first offer.Don't stop at what feels reasonable. Market value is a constantly moving target, and by pushing even slightly higher than what feels "reasonable," you're helping raise the expectation for everybody.Myth No. 2: Compensation can't go above the range a company has given youIf you've ever asked for a higher salary, you may have been told the company simply can't meet it because you're at the top of your "salary band." This kind of explanation can make it seem like there's simply no wiggle room and it would be silly to even try to negotiate.Reality: There are so many ways around salary bandsGoing outside of salary bands happens more frequently than you'd think. Even though they can feel set in stone, remember they are ultimately set by HR, a department whose job is to keep the company within budget, rather than your future team, whose job it is to move the business forward.Armed with that knowledge, here are a few ways you can work around salary bands:Ask the right people. To get paid outside of a set salary band, you'll typically need senior-level approval. If you're speaking to someone in HR, try sussing senior level buy-in out by saying something like: "I'm not sure the given salary band reflects my experience and the value I'd bring to the company. Could I speak with my manager? It seems there might be a misalignment of expectations for how I plan to contribute." You may need to work with the hiring manager to build your case for why the value you're offering exceeds the stated band.Negotiate to move to a higher band. If you feel the salary band is lower than your value, you could also ask to change your position title, level, or seniority, which can raise you up to a higher band. Try saying something like this to the hiring manager: "I'm very excited about the company mission, but I'm concerned I won't be able to have the impact I want to have given this title. I want to be doing senior-level work that allows me to add the most value to your organization."Negotiate non-salary factors to raise your total comp. Salary bands usually apply to base salary, which is often the hardest number to negotiate. If a company won't budge on the base, see if you can improve things like equity, annual or signing bonuses, relocation stipends, or benefits instead.Myth No. 3: You need a counteroffer to get a company to change their offerBringing competitive counteroffers to the table has become a popular way to negotiate higher compensation - so much so that some people believe they can't negotiate without having one to show.Reality: Counteroffers are not a requirementWhile counteroffers can be a powerful negotiation tactic, they aren't always necessary - and can sometimes be a detriment. And in fact, bringing a counteroffer to the table isn't the most effective initial tactic, because it limits your compensation to the highest offer you've received elsewhere.Here are some tips you can use when incorporating counteroffers into your negotiation:Don't share initially - even if the company asks. Companies will almost always ask you to share counteroffers early in the negotiation process and sometimes even suggest they can only negotiate if you have one. Get around this by saying something along the lines of: "I'd like my compensation to be based on my value to your company rather than how other companies are valuing me."Negotiate based on your value, with a nod to other offers. Return to the tips above and negotiate based on how much you believe you're worth first - while gently reminding them that you have other irons in the fire. Try something like: "I've given it some thought and have come up with an offer that would make me feel excited to give my 100% to [company] and forgo other opportunities on the table at [company names]." Then outline your ideal terms.Use counteroffers as a last resort. If the company absolutely won't budge and you have higher offers, then (and only then) is it worth bringing them to the table.Myth No. 4: You're not passionate about the work if you negotiate compensationPeople have a lot of shame around negotiating. You might think that it shouldn't be about the money if you really care about the work, that you're not a team player if you ask more for yourself - the list could go on and on.Reality: Companies expect that everyone will negotiateEven if they act otherwise, companies expect negotiation as part of the process. After all, this is a business relationship. You're offering your skills and expertise and should be compensated accordingly even if you are passionate and excited about the work.Here are some tactics to help you get over the shame of negotiating:Seek out professionals 10+ years older than you. After years of seeing the realities of the industry - including watching their peers get paid more because they negotiated, experiencing negotiation from the side of hiring managers, and being burned by companies promising that their low pay is worth it for the mission - they've typically lost this sense of shame and can help you start to move past it.Talk to peers who've negotiated. Understanding that everyone around you is negotiating can help normalize it and help you internalize that there's no shame in asking for more. And you might be surprised to learn what people have been able to get just from asking.Discuss your fears with a mentor. Getting an outside perspective from someone who's in your corner can help you validate whether your concerns are founded - or whether they're fears you should overcome.Myth No. 5: You can't ask for help with negotiationsIt's easy to feel like companies have all the power when you step into a negotiation. It's also easy to feel like you should have to go it alone - it's your career and salary, after all.Reality: It's normal to need and use helpMost people don't realize there are others who can help you negotiate. The vast majority of people who negotiate a wildly better offer are able to do so because they have help. And often, they don't have to go looking for it, they're usually just lucky to have a really great mentor in their industry who's personally invested in them.If you don't have this type of mentorship, you need to be more proactive. Don't assume you have to figure this out on your own. There's no shame in needing help. Whether it's a negotiation professional like a lawyer or coach, your manager or mentor, or peers in the industry, it's totally normal to lean on other people for support and information. (I may be biased, but I think the most successful negotiations involve a little professional assistance.)If you're still feeling iffy about asking for help, remember the following:Companies are experts at negotiation. While you're mostly negotiating with the recruiter, they might have support from an HR business partner, compensation analysts, and/or the hiring manager. In some cases, it's their full-time job to negotiate, and they probably have years or even decades of experience in getting the best deals possible for the company. Your compensation shouldn't be limited just because this isn't your area of expertise.Experts have more data than you. When it comes to determining your market value, companies often have much more info not only on what they're already paying folks on the team, but also on what people are making in similar roles at other organizations. Tapping into that kind of knowledge can help you avoid being left behind.It's normal to get help in other areas, and it is here too. You probably wouldn't think twice about working with a real estate agent to help you buy a house or an accountant to help you manage your money. Just as much is at stake when negotiating in your career, so it makes sense to get an expert in your corner.I know that's a lot - and it's really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ideas about negotiation that hold people back. But if you can start rewriting your internal script about negotiation now, it will help you overcome the biggest myth of all - that you are not worthy. Negotiating successfully ultimately comes down to this: Believe in what you bring to the table and work with people who believe in you. My ultimate advice is to keep looking until you find a company that believes in your worth as much as you do.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

"Fundamental lack of decency": Boris Johnson criticized for re-hiring minister who repeatedly broke ministerial code

Boris Johnson has appointed George Freeman as science minister, despite the government being told he broke the ministerial code earlier this year. George Freeman. Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images Boris Johnson appointed George Freeman as a minister in his reshuffle last week. Freeman was previously rebuked for twice breaking the Ministerial Code for post-government work. Labour and Lib Dem MPs said Freeman's return shows a lack of integrity in the government. See more stories on Insider's business page. Boris Johnson has been criticized for reappointing a former minister who was found to have broken the ministerial code twice earlier this year.Johnson conducted a government reshuffle last week, making George Freeman MP the science minister in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.He was previously a minister in the Department for Transport.Freeman was found to have broken the code on two separate occasions by Eric Pickles, chair of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) which regulates jobs taken up by former ministers.A senior figure in Johnson's government had previously noted that Freeman's disregard for ministerial rules could harm his employment prospects - but it was not enough to prevent Johnson giving him a new role.Opposition MPs criticised the move.Sarah Olney MP, a Liberal Democrat, told Insider that "it really is not acceptable that once again we're witnessing ministers act in complete defiance of measures which have been introduced to improve transparency and accountability."The Prime Minister's appointment of Freeman, who began this sorry affair by incredulously demanding an apology for himself, underlines the fundamental lack of decency and integrity that runs through the heart of this Conservative government."Anneliese Dodds MP, Chair of the Labour Party, told Insider: "This is yet another example of Boris Johnson treating the ministerial code with contempt and more evidence that the current system for regulating lobbying and standards in public life is totally unfit for purpose."There cannot be one rule for senior Conservatives and another rule for everyone else."Freeman lost his job as a transport minister in a February 2020 reshuffle, starting a two-year period in which he was required to consult ACOBA before taking up any new roles.In April 2021, Pickles wrote to the Cabinet Office noting Freeman's failures to do so:Freeman earned £2,500 working for Aerosol Shield, a firm trying to sell PPE to the NHS, in June and July 2020.After Pickles wrote to Freeman saying he had breached the Ministerial Code, Freeman claimed ACOBA had made a "serious error", appealed the finding, and demanded an apology. Pickles did not apologize, but Freeman later did.Freeman organised a £20,000-a-year consultancy contract with Ryse Hydrogen, openDemocracy reported. He then cancelled the work and refunded the company after realising he first needed ACOBA's approval before taking the role.Freeman had unpaid roles with the Resume Foundation, Reform for Resilience, and Haemcro.Freeman apologised for his various breaches.Lord Nicholas True, a Cabinet Office minister, responded to Pickles in May, suggesting that there would be consequences for Freeman in future.True agreed that Freeman had breached the Government's Business Appointment Rules. Following the Business Appointment Rules is a requirement of the Ministerial Code. "The public recognition that Mr Freeman did not adhere to the rules means that current and future employers, as well as the public can take this into account", he wrote.Freeman told Insider: "The Cabinet Office have accepted my apology that I had understood ACOBA's remit only covered commercial roles (not my not-for-profit projects) and appointments related to a Minister's previous job post (not my previous career in technology)."Indeed Lord True made clear my case showed why ACOBA Guidance needed amending."True wrote that the Cabinet Office and ACOBA were assessing "whether a lighter touch regime is appropriate for unpaid, voluntary roles with not-for-profit organisations".Downing Street declined to comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

Patrick Byrne, the pro-Trump former Overstock CEO admits funneling cash to his ex-lover Maria Butina, the glamorous spy expected to be elected to Russia"s parliament

Maria Butina, a spy jailed and deported by the US, is standing for the Russia's parliament. Insider spoke to Patrick Byrne about their relationship. Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne (L) and Russian agent Maria Butina (R) Getty Images/AP Former Russian agent Maria Butina stood for a seat in Russia's parliamentary elections, last week. In 2018 Butina was jailed for acting as an unregistered foreign agent in the US. Butina recently received large sums of money from her ex-boyfriend Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of online retailer Overstock.com and Donald Trump supporter. See more stories on Insider's business page. Maria Butina, the Russian agent convicted and jailed for trying to infiltrate political organizations in the United States, is expected to be elected to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament in Russia, this week.The 32-year-old stood for President Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party as a list candidate in the rural region of Kirov Oblast, in last week's elections. United Russia is predicted to have a significant majority in the legislature following allegations of massive fraud by opponents, according to Reuters. With 99.9% of ballots counted, United Russia had won nearly 50% of the vote Central Election Commission, the news agency reported.It is the latest chapter in a political thriller of a life for the young Russian. She has played the role of the girlfriend to powerful men on the US Right and grabbed the headlines when she was arrested for spying. She was imprisoned before being deported to her homeland to a hero's welcome.The Russian agent arrived in the US in the guise of a guns-rights activist and focussed on the leadership of the National Rifle Association (NRA) to meet high-profile Republican politicians and set up a "back-channel" of communications with the Kremlin, according to reports.But Butina was arrested in July 2018 in Washington DC and accused by federal prosecutors of infiltrating powerful political circles at the direction of Russian officials.She pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as a foreign agent and was jailed for 18 months. Putin called the sentencing "an outrage." After her release in October 2019, she was deported back to Russia.'I have one weakness as a woman - I really like smart men' Maria Butina appears in a police booking photograph released by the Alexandria Sheriff's Office in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S. August 18, 2018. Alexandria Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo Insider can reveal that Butina has not severed all her connections with the US. She has received large sums of money in the last year from Patrick Byrne, 59, the former CEO of online furniture retailer Overstock.com and Donald Trump supporter and conspiracy theorist.When asked about the monetary gifts, Byrne told Insider, in an email: "I made a gift to Maria out of a desire to let her land on her feet and restart her life in Russia."Byrne and Butina had been in a romantic relationship, and Byrne later claimed that he had been passing information on his lover to the FBI.Federal prosecutors said that Butina traded sex-for-favors while networking in political circles in Washington DC.Butina formed a romantic relationship with Paul Erickson, 59, a longtime Republican strategist and guns-rights activist, who she met in Moscow in 2013 and with who she also lived for some time.In 2015, Butina emailed him about her plan to influence US policy towards Russia by making inroads with the GOP through the NRA, and Erickson responded with advice.Around this time, Butina also began a romantic relationship with Byrne.Butina said of Byrne, according to The New York Post: "I have one weakness as a woman - I really like smart men. That's my biggest weakness, and that I guess gets me in trouble all the time." Byrne later said he continued his relationship with Butina at the direction of the FBI. Butina once claimed that he tried to poison her in order to interrogate her while under the influence.Despite the apparent betrayal, a video made by jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny's team revealed that Byrne gifted Butina tens of millions of Russian rubles in the last year, according to her asset disclosures.Recalling their unique relationship, Byrne told Insider the money he recently sent her was to make amends: "Because I felt badly for Maria, for the role I had played in helping the FBI set her up, and in the way I had misused her in my own designs."But, he added, the couple will never be reunited. "Maria and I know that we will never meet again, but it seemed like the right thing to do. When I performed this act of generosity I made sure it was done with full legality and notification to the proper authorities."Last month Russia's Communist Party called on election officials to reject Butina's candidacy on the grounds that she is the recipient of "foreign funding," specifically referring to Byrne's gifts.Insider could not reach Butina for comment.Butina was photographed with top GOP politicians at NRA events Maria Butina poses for a photo at a shooting range in Moscow, Russia on April 22, 2012. Pavel Ptitsin/AP Butina's foray into politics began in 2011, when she founded a Russian gun-rights group called Right to Bear Arms, and started working as a special assistant for former senator and current Central Bank official Alexander Torshin.Butina and Torshin formed close relationships with the NRA, regularly flying to the US to attend conferences and being named "life members" by the organization.In 2014 and 2015 Butina was photographed with senior Republican politicians at NRA events, including Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.She also met Donald Trump Jr. at an NRA convention and asked Donald Trump a question about relations with Russia at an event.In 2016 she moved to the US on a student visa, at which point the FBI supposedly started monitoring her and eventually snared her as a spy.After serving her jail sentence, Butina returned to Moscow and took a job at the Russian state-funded television channel RT.In April 2021 Butina filmed a segment in which she visited Alexei Navalny in prison to report on the "exemplary" jail conditions and to counter the opposition leader's protests that he was being poorly treated.At the time Navalny was on a hunger strike after being denied medical treatment.This weekend's parliamentary elections in Russia have been widely described as lacking transparency and fairness after the Kremlin cracked down on political opposition and limited press freedom.Alexei Navalny had encouraged voters to vote tactically in order to beat United Russia candidates, as part of a movement called "smart voting."It remains to be seen what kind of politician the reinvented Butina will be, and what this next chapter will hold.In a recent campaign video Butina said she felt indebted to her country and her people after "everyone from the President to residents in the depths of Russia fought for my release.""I will be very glad to be useful to the Kirov region," she said.Correction: In the published article it originally stated that Maria Butina had been elected to the Russian Duma. It should have said she was a candidate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

Citi"s new head of diversity wants to shake up Wall Street: "What gets measured gets achieved"

In the premier installment of The Equity Talk, Insider spoke with Citi executive Erika Irish Brown about her top priorities for the rest of 2021. Samantha Lee/Insider Erika Irish Brown, Citi's head of DEI, wants every manager at the firm to embrace inclusion. Bloomberg Insider presents the first installment of The Equity Talk, a new series with executives on DEI. Citi hired former Goldman executive Erika Irish Brown to lead its diversity and inclusion strategy. Brown shared how she wants to change the financial giant and her goals for the next three months. See more stories on Insider's business page. For over a decade, Erika Irish Brown abided by a mantra during her time working on Wall Street: "What gets measured gets achieved." Now, in her recently assumed role as the head of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Citi, she's applying that same philosophy to drive results. "DEI is not a 'nice to have.' It's a 'need to have,' and it's important we reframe the conversation to be about the value it brings to the business bottom line," she told Insider. "I think we have to get beyond justifying that business case and get on to actually executing and demonstrating that business value."Hired in June, Brown is one of a handful of executives driving Citi's billion-dollar investment to help bridge the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility for people of color in the United States. She's also working on the firm's goal to increase the representation of women in leadership positions to 40% by the end of 2021, up from 37% in 2018, and to increase Black leadership to 8% in the same timeframe, up from 6% in 2018. Brown said the firm was on track to achieve these goals. She and Citi CEO Jane Fraser, the first woman to lead a major US bank and an outspoken advocate for inclusion, meet regularly to discuss the future of the firm - and the country. Before spearheading Citi's diversity efforts, Brown worked as a DEI executive at large financial institutions such as Bank of America, Bloomberg, and Goldman Sachs. She left investment banking in 2009 to "be an agent for change" and diversify the financial sector, she said.For the debut of The Equity Talk, Brown discussed how she's measuring the effect of DEI at the $142 billion firm and her optimistic outlook on 2022. This interview has been edited and condensed. How has your experience working in finance influenced the way you approach DEI? My passion for DEI while I was an investment banker is what led me to make the transition. At the time, there weren't many, if any, DEI roles on Wall Street, and I wanted to be an agent for change to help drive the conversation forward on important issues like representation, pay equity, and inclusivity. This wasn't territory that was explored before, and by being in a DEI role and also being a Black woman myself, I knew I could make an impact.Before joining Citi, you helped Goldman introduce the "One Million Black Women" initiative, in which the bank vowed to invest $10 billion to address racial biases. What do you think will be the legacy of this initiative? Why was this important to you?In my DEI roles, I've always tried to connect the dots between racial-equity, commercial, and human-capital initiatives that drive or make the business case for diversity. And that holds true at Citi, where I have an opportunity to help connect the dots across all our racial-equity work happening within the organization and outside the organization, including our Action for Racial Equity initiative - Citi's $1 billion commitment to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the US. There is so much work across our industry to advance racial equity, and I'm inspired by the commitments that have been made by multiple firms. I look forward to supporting progress on Citi's goals specifically in the years ahead.You took the helm as the global head of DEI in June. What was one of the first things that you did in your new role?I've spent this period of time - two short months - listening; meeting our people; understanding the strategies in place, the book of work that exists across the firm globally; and really taking stock in all the work that we're already doing and starting to process in terms of how to approach the future. So the future in building a strong global team is really strengthening that inextricable link between talent and diversity for this firm globally.You joined Citi in a really interesting time for DEI leaders. There's a lot of pressure. There's a lot of accountability happening, but there's also a lot of support from leaders. How do you feel about this? I'm excited. Our Action for Racial Equity is a huge initiative and an opportunity to engage with leaders and initiatives across the firm. I was an investment banker for 15 years, and I've been in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space now for 15 years. I've always brought that commercial approach to my work. I've always seen the business value and the opportunity to leverage diversity as a competitive advantage to source deals differently, to invest differently, to expand into different marketplaces. There's real opportunity through diversity, including who we buy from, who we do business with, how we support and invest in the communities that we serve. I see all of that at Citi right now. Now, it's a matter of how we connect all those dots and show that collective impact and bring it all to bear. I think the benefits of the work that we're doing can be quite powerful - not just to Citi or the communities that we serve, but globally.Do you think that managers are starting to see that business case for DEI, that DEI is a business imperative?I think there is more awareness than ever of the so-called business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion. There's no shortage of research out there that really demonstrates bottom-line returns through diversity, equity, and inclusion from credible organizations like McKinsey or Catalyst. You need effective, inclusive managers and leaders in order to bring all of that talent to bear fruit for the firm. So joint accountability and talented people and effective management and leadership are what will move the firm forward. But it takes time, and you want it to be sustainable.Citi's CEO Jane Fraser, the first woman to lead a major bank, is an outspoken advocate of DEI. What does it mean to you to have that buy-in from your CEO? For any diversity and inclusion effort, it has to start at the top. And that's absolutely an important part. If you don't have that executive-leader sponsorship, it makes a job that's already difficult more difficult. At the same time, a diversity and inclusion initiative doesn't happen because everybody at the top says it's going to happen, right? You need to have full buy-in throughout the firm. I think the more you have an open dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion, the more people realize that it's part of their own role, too. There's accountability for everyone. What's your vision for the future? My vision is always on how to continue to drive Citi as the best place to work for the best people, to drive shareholder value and move forward toward equity. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2021

"Nasser Was Not An Outlier" - Exposing The FBI"s Incurable Rot

'Nasser Was Not An Outlier' - Exposing The FBI's Incurable Rot Authored by Julie Kelly via American Greatness (emphasis ours), The incurable incompetence, corruption, and moral rot of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was on full display last week. Within a 24-hour period, some of America’s toughest female athletes recounted to a Senate committee their painful tales of how the FBI ignored evidence that team doctor Larry Nassar was a sexual predator, and a powerful attorney who colluded with the FBI to concoct one of the most animating chapters of the Trump-Russia collusion fiction was indicted for lying to federal officials. Overlap in the two cases is more than ironic, it’s illustrative: Michael Sussman, a lawyer for Perkins Coie, the law firm that was working on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign, met with the FBI’s general counsel in September 2016 to plant a false story about Donald Trump’s financial ties to a Russian bank. That same month, the Indianapolis Star broke the story of how Nassar, the longtime physician for the USA Gymnastics team, had sexually abused several female gymnasts. One victim filed a lawsuit after the FBI refused to investigate complaints made to at least two FBI field offices in 2015 and 2016. But the FBI at that time was too preoccupied with protecting Hillary Clinton to deal with a monster who had systematically raped nearly 300 female American athletes. (As Lee Smith recently noted, the FBI “has been used for a quarter of a century as the place to clean up the Clintons’ dirt.”) Months before the 2016 presidential election, the FBI, led by James Comey, used its unchecked authority to sabotage Donald Trump. Meanwhile, elite American athletes, including Olympic gold medalists, could not get the bureau’s attention while a sexual abuser continued his rampage. Local FBI agents passed the buck and allegedly falsified reports; one agent reportedly tried to shake down a USA Gymnastics official for a job with the organization. The FBI’s political game-playing came with irreversible human cost. According to an analysis by the New York Times, at least 40 women and girls, including some of the youngest victims, were assaulted by Nassar between July 2015, the first contact with the FBI, and September 2016. Had the Star not published its exposé of Nassar that month, which finally prompted some action by the FBI, who knows how long his depraved predation would have continued? “If they’re not going to protect me, I want to know, who are they trying to protect?” McKayla Maroney, a two-time Olympic medalist and one of Nassar’s most frequent victims, asked the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 15. Maroney may or may not be surprised to learn the agency assigned with protecting the most vulnerable is actually in the business of protecting the most powerful. Nasser Was Not an Outlier FBI Director Christopher Wray, hired by President Trump in 2017, publicly apologized. The “fundamental errors” made in the Nassar case, Wray told the judiciary committee, would not happen again as long as he’s head of the agency. “I want to make sure the American people know that the reprehensible conduct . . . is not representative of the work that I see from our 37,000 folks every day.” The rank-and-file, Wray insisted, perform their jobs with “uncompromising integrity.” But Wray is wrong to claim that the Nassar case is an outlier. From the top of the command chain down, the FBI has trashed its reputation through a series of scandals. It’s not just the alarming texts between spousal cheats Peter Strzok and Lisa Page; the ambush of Lt. General Michael Flynn in the White House; Comey’s use of the shady Steele dossier to set up Donald Trump; or Andrew McCabe’s lies to his own FBI investigators. It’s not just the other set of “errors”—17 to be exact—found in the FBI’s four unlawful FISA applications on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Or the official email doctored by a top FBI lawyer cited as evidence on one of the applications. Or the fact that no one in the agency has gone to jail for perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in history on the American people. As seen in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, lowlifes populate the FBI’s rank-and-file. Richard Trask, the special agent in charge of the investigation, was arrested in July for physically assaulting and choking his wife after attending a swinger’s party. Trask was fired this month; he faces numerous criminal charges. Prosecutors decided not to use Trask as a witness after his social media account revealed numerous anti-Trump posts, including calling the president a “piece of shit.” Defense attorneys in the Whitmer case asked the judge to delay trial for 90 days as they investigate the conduct of at least a dozen other FBI agents involved in the conspiracy. The FBI gave one informant $24,000 and a new car for his services. Wray brags that every FBI field office is participating in the Justice Department’s “unprecedented” investigation into the breach of the Capitol. But reports of how his agents have handled more than 600 arrests do little to support Wray’s assurances of professional “integrity.” Defendants have been subjected to pre-dawn raids conducted by dozens of armed agents using military-style vehicles. I spoke with the spouse of one defendant who told me agents interrogated her about what cable news channel she watched, her views on illegal immigrantion, and who she voted for in 2020. The FBI raided the home of an Alaska couple then handcuffed and interrogated them in separate rooms for hours until investigators realized they had the wrong suspects. A 69-year-old man in New York City suffered a heart attack as FBI agents raided his apartment with a television news crew standing by; the man never was charged. FBI agents arrested a Florida man in front of his wife and young daughter, who asked why officers were “locking daddy’s hands.” Casey Cusick was charged only with misdemeanors for entering the Capitol on January 6. Agents seized as evidence a Lego set of the Capitol building during the raid of Robert Morss, an Army ranger with three tours in Afghanistan. Far from nefarious intent, Morss had the Lego set to use with his students as a substitute high school history teacher. (He was fired after his arrest.) And those are just a few stories. No Accountability Wray picked up where Comey left off, allowing his agency to be part of Democratic Party political spin. He recently issued a “threat assessment” on QAnon and disclosed that the FBI so far has arrested at least 20 “self-styled QAnon adherents” related to the Capitol breach investigation. Wray designated January 6 as an act of “domestic terror” and his agency regularly tweets out the faces of “most wanted” Trump supporters who were at the Capitol on January 6. Infuriatingly, Wray fired only one agent involved in the Nassar fiasco—and the man was fired the week before the Senate hearing, six years after he first interviewed Maroney. “Someone perhaps more cynical than I would conclude it was this hearing here staring the FBI in the face that prompted that action,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said to Wray. But what ails the FBI cannot be solved with a few firings. It cannot be solved with more congressional oversight or threats to cut federal funding. The moral rot that infects the agency from top to bottom renders the agency unsalvageable.  “This conduct by these FBI agents . . . who are expected to protect the public is unacceptable, disgusting, and shameful,” Maggie Nichols, the gymnast who first reported Nassar’s crimes to the FBI, told the committee. Her description, however, applies to the entire FBI—an institution with no shame, no remorse, and no accountability. There’s no fix for that. *  *  * About Julie Kelly Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 20:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

US stocks struggle to recover from Evergrande rout while investors await the outcome of Fed meeting

US stocks wavered on Tuesday, struggling to come back from the Evergrande-driven sell-off in the previous session. New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 19, 2021. Wang Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images US stocks were mixed Tuesday following Monday's sell-off. Investors are eagerly anticipating the outcome of the two-day meeting of the FOMC beginning that began on Tuesday. Gold, and oil edged higher. Bitcoin hovered around $42,000. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. US stocks struggled to regain their footing Tuesday following a brutal sell-off sparked by beleaguered Chinese developer Evergrande during Monday's session. Investors, meanwhile, are awaiting the outcome of the Federal Reserve's two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting beginning that kicked of on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 5oo both ended lower, while the Nasdaq eked out a gain.Here's where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. close on Tuesday: S&P 500: 4,354.15, down 0.08%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,920.49, down 0.15% (49.98 points)Nasdaq Composite: 14,746.40, up 0.22%"Financial markets have Evergrande as the top story and will enter wait-and-see mode until a meaningful update from the Chinese government," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at foreign exchange firm Oanda, said in a note Tuesday. "The Evergrande story won't lead to contagion in the US but there are so many questions about who will be protected once China says 'enough' and swoops in."Evergrande, China's second-largest property developer, has more than $300 billion in liabilities and could miss key interest payments due Thursday. There are no signs yet that the Chinese government will step in to save the company.On top of Evergrande concerns, investors are anxious about the Federal Reserve's potential tapering of stimulus and the risk of a prolonged period of inflation.While several analysts, including those at BlackRock Investment Institute, do not expect Fed Chair Jerome Powell to announce any policy change this month, they are still keeping a close eye on any signal of how he plans to scale back monetary support, which includes tapering asset purchases."We expect the Fed to start normalizing policy rates in 2023, a much slower pace than market pricing for lift-off in 2022 indicates," the BlackRock analysts said in a note.Another issue that might be discussed, according to Moya, is the multi-million-dollar stock purchases of Dallas and Boston Federal Reserve presidents Robert Kaplan and Eric Rosengren, which involved purchases of big-name firms like Apple, Alibaba, and Tesla."If the Fed struggles to deal with intensifying scrutiny after their ethics review, the FOMC could lose two of its hawkish members," Moya said.Elsewhere, Fintech firm Revolut plans to offer commission-free stock trading to US clients as the London-based startup takes on rivals like Robinhood and Square amid a boom in retail investing, CNBC first reported Tuesday.In cryptocurrencies, the US Department of the Treasury on Tuesday revealed it will sanction Russian-owned Suex for its role in laundering financial transactions for ransomware actors, marking the first time the agency has ever blacklisted a cryptocurrency exchange.Meanwhile, Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is shutting down cryptocurrency derivative products for existing customers in Australia by the end of the year, the latest bid by the exchange to appease regulators.Bitcoin hovered just above $42,000 after a broader cryptocurrency sell-off Monday. Oil prices rebounded. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.31%, to $70.51 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, rose 0.88%, to $74.57 per barrel.Gold jumped 0.56%, to $1,774.99 per ounce.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

Gen Z is so good at trendspotting they could take over the VC industry

Gen Z investors just hosted their first major venture capital event. They may lack banking or business experience, but they know what's cool. Gen Z is continuing to make waves in venture capitalism. We Are/Getty Images Gen Z investors just expanded their venture capitalism presence with their first major event, per Axios. Venture capital firms are especially drawn to Gen Z for their trendspotting skills. It's just one way Gen Z is set to take over the economy. See more stories on Insider's business page. Gen Z is continuing to shake up the venture capital industry.Friday saw the first major event hosted by Gen Z investors for Gen Z investors, which 3,000 people from more than 70 countries attended, according to Axios. It was cohosted by Meagan Loyst, a 24-year-old investor for VC firm Lerer Hippeau, who has taken to calling her cohort Gen Z VC.Loyst coined the term in a November Medium article that went viral. Gen Zers, she wrote, were turning to venture capitalism as a gap year, to improve diversity in their region, to fill a hole in their local funding ecosystem, but also for one very important reason. Gen Z knows how to spot trends, and that's lucrative in the VC world.The generation is an increasingly huge draw for venture firms, Axios reports, and firms in the space are hiring like crazy. "I'm the target demographic for a lot of the companies that we're looking at," Loyst previously told Insider. She created a Slack workspace of the same name the same month she coined Gen Z VC, and now it's home to thousands of aspiring and full-time Gen Z investors. On it, they share how they broke into the industry, whether through lucky encounters with senior investors or a well-crafted cold email."People are seeing there's not one typical path," Loyst added. Gen Z is set to take over the economyGen Z accounts for 30% of the global population, and VC firms will adapt to it and be shaped by it."What's so unique about Gen Z VCs as it's grown and scaled is that you see the power of Gen Z as a demographic, as opposed to just investors," Loyst said. Gen Z is certainly playing a larger role in the economy. They've emerged from the pandemic as the new "it" generation, with their oldest members turning 24 this year. It's around this age and life stage that a new generation falls under the spotlight because they're old enough to begin to exert their influence, Jason Dorsey, who runs the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research firm in Austin, Texas, recently told Insider.It's been a cultural shift, with Gen Z already leading the way in consumer trends that's set to impact overall spending. TikTok, baggy jeans, and Y2K fashion have all gone mainstream this year thanks to the generation's trend-spotting abilities. It's big business.In a little over a decade, Gen Z will be taking over the economy. Gen Z currently earns $7 trillion across its 2.5 billion-person cohort, according to Bank of America Research. By 2025, that income will grow to $17 trillion, and by 2030, it will reach $33 trillion, representing 27% of the world's income and surpassing that of millennials the following year.But they're still a mystery to society, leaving Gen Z "shifting and driving much of the conversation," Dorsey said, which he predicts they'll do for the next 15 years. Since venture capitalists invest in the next big thing - whatever that may be - venture capital is a natural fit for Gen Z, which is increasingly flexing its muscles.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

Market Drops Well Over 3% as Lockdown Fears Rise

Market Drops Well Over 3% as Lockdown Fears Rise Stocks suffered their second sharp selloff of the week on Wednesday, as investors continue to grapple with a rise in coronavirus cases that threaten more lockdowns and further delays in the economic recovery. Parts of Europe have begun re-implementing restrictions, and even here in Chicago indoor dining is shuttered again. The market has been fearing something like this for a while now, and that concern was unleashed in today’s session. The NASDAQ plunged 3.73% (or about 426 points) to 11,004.87, while the S&P dropped 3.53% to 3271.03. The Dow was off 3.43% (or around 943 points) to 26,519.95. The Dow now has a four-day losing streak and has lost more than 1800 points this week… which is only three days old. The S&P has a three-day skid, while the NASDAQ was actually higher yesterday. “The good news for the patient investors is, this too shall pass,” said Dave Bartosiak in Surprise Trader. “And when it does, it will still be those names with the strongest earnings which will outperform. That is why I always stick to my guns, even when it looks like that alien invader force is far superior.” For now though, the market isn’t paying much attention to this solid earnings season, which is all the more frustrating since a stimulus deal probably could have alleviated at least some of the fear. However, investors might not be able to ignore FAANG Day tomorrow, when Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB) and Alphabet (GOOG) all report after the bell. These stocks led the fastest economic rebound in history off the coronavirus lows of late March. And if we need to slow things down again, then you can bet the market will be leaning on these names like never before. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Home Run Investor: The market remains under pressure as coronavirus cases rise, so Brian thought it was a good time to get rid of a stock with heavy consumer exposure. On Wednesday, he sold natural & organic foods company Hain Celestial (HAIN) to secure a 19.9% return in a little over six months. The new buy is Meridian Bioscience (VIVO), a life science company that makes innovative diagnostic test kits, purified reagents and biopharmaceutical-enabling technologies. With the demand for tests likely to outstrip supply, VIVO should see an increase in its market share. It has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters and has amassed an average surprise of 107% in that time. It will report again next month. Read the full write-up for more on today’s moves.  Surprise Trader: You won't run into a whole lot of people while climbing up a mountain or skiing down it. That’s why outdoor equipment & apparel company Clarus Corporation (CLAR) has been “a bright spot among a volatile market”, according to Dave. The company has a strong Earnings ESP of 23.53% for the quarter coming after the bell on Monday, November 9. It beat by 33% last quarter. Shares have really bounced back after the company withdrew a convertible senior notes offering that the market didn’t like. Dave added CLAR on Wednesday with a 12.5% allocation, while also selling Corning (GLW). See the full write-up for more on today’s action. Insider Trader: It’s been a great run for Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) in this portfolio, but Tracey decided to sell the remaining shares on Wednesday. Worries about the global economy are increasing due to rising coronavirus cases, while the easy bounce off the lows is now over. This domestic merchandise & home furnishings specialty retailer still has a lot of difficulties to overcome in an industry ruled by the likes of Target, Walmart and Amazon. Therefore, the editor sold the rest of BBBY for a 130% return in just a little over three months. The first part was sold less than two weeks ago and also for a triple-digit return. Tracey sold Union Pacific (UNP) and Intel (INTC) today as well since the stocks continue to slide. UNP brought a return of 19% in less than 7 months. Large-Cap Trader: With coronavirus cases on the rise again, John moved things around on Wednesday and added three large-cap, home-related stocks. These are names that should do well in the current environment. But first, the editor sold a trio of ‘sidewinders’, including Best Buy (BBY, +2.1%), Hubbell (HUBB) and Brunswick (BC). Use the cash to split equally among these new buys: • Whirlpool (WHR) – home appliances giant • Mohawk Industries (MHK) – flooring products manufacturer • 3M Company (MMM) – diversified technology firm WHR is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while MHK and MMM are Zacks Rank #2s (Buys). They also have solid Zacks Style Scores, come from highly-ranked industries and have good records of beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Overall, these moves account for about 6.7% to 6.8% of the whole portfolio. Read the full write-up for more on today’s moves. Income Investor: A 6.2% advance is a great performance any day of the week, but it's downright stunning in a session when the S&P plunges more than 3.5%. That's what Automatic Data Processing (ADP) accomplished on Wednesday after solid fiscal first quarter results. Adjusted earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by more than 45%, while total revenues topped by over 5%. This provider of cloud-based HCM technology solutions was the best performer among all ZU names today. All the Best, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

BTFD Arrives: Futures Rebound, Europe Surges While Asia Slumps On Evergrande Fears

BTFD Arrives: Futures Rebound, Europe Surges While Asia Slumps On Evergrande Fears Even though China was closed for a second day, and even though the Evergrande drama is nowhere closer to a resolution with a bond default imminent and with Beijing mute on how it will resolve the potential "Lehman moment" even as rating agency S&P chimed in saying a default is likely and it does not expect China’s government “to provide any direct support” to the privately owned developer, overnight the BTFD crew emerged in full force, and ramped futures amid growing speculation that Beijing will rescue the troubled developer... Algos about to go on a rampage — zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 21, 2021 ... pushing spoos almost 100 points higher from their Monday lows, and European stock were solidly in the green - despite Asian stocks hitting a one-month low - as investors tried to shake off fears of contagion from a potential collapse of China’s Evergrande, although gains were capped by concerns the Federal Reserve could set out a timeline to taper its stimulus at its meeting tomorrow. The dollar dropped from a one-month high, Treasury yields rose and cryptos rebounded from yesterday's rout. To be sure, the "this is not a Lehman moment" crowed was out in full force, as indicated by this note from Mizuho analysts who wrote that “while street wisdom is that Evergrande is not a ‘Lehman risk’, it is by no stretch of the imagination any meaningful comfort. It could end up being China’s proverbial house of cards ... with cross-sector headwinds already felt in materials/commodities.” At 7:00 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were up 34.00 points, or 0.79% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis 110.25 points, or 0.73%, while futures tracking the Dow  jumped 0.97%, a day after the index tumbled 1.8% in its worst day since late-July,  suggesting a rebound in sentiment after concerns about contagion from China Evergrande Group’s upcoming default woes roiled markets Monday. Dip-buyers in the last hour of trading Monday helped the S&P 500 pare some losses, though the index still posted the biggest drop since May. The bounce also came after the S&P 500 dropped substantially below its 50-day moving average - which had served as a resilient floor for the index this year - on Monday, its first major breach in more than six months. Freeport-McMoRan mining stocks higher with a 3% jump, following a 3.2% plunge in the S&P mining index a day earlier as copper prices hit a one-month low. Interest rate-sensitive banking stocks also bounced, tracking a rise in Treasury yields. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: U.S.-listed Chinese stocks start to recover from Monday’s slump in premarket trading as the global selloff moderates. Alibaba (BABA US), Baidu (BIDU US), Nio (NIO US), Tencent Music (TME US)and Bilibili (BILI US) are among the gainers Verrica Pharma (VRCA US) plunges 30% in premarket trading after failing to get FDA approval for VP-102 for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum ReWalk Robotics (RWLK US) shares jump 43% in U.S. premarket trading amid a spike in volume in the stock. Being discussed on StockTwits Aprea Therapeutics gains 21% in U.S. premarket trading after the company reported complete remission in a bladder cancer patient in Phase 1/2 clinical trial of eprenetapopt in combination with pembrolizumab Lennar (LEN US) shares fell 3% in Monday postmarket trading after the homebuilder forecast 4Q new orders below analysts’ consensus hurt by unprecedented supply chain challenges ConocoPhillips (COP US) ticks higher in U.S. premarket trading after it agreed to buy Shell’s  Permian Basin assets for $9.5 billion in cash, accelerating the consolidation of the largest U.S. oil patch SmileDirect (SDC US) slightly higher in premarket trading after it said on Monday that it plans to enter France with an initial location in Paris KAR Global (KAR US) shares fell 4.6% in post-market trading on Monday after the company withdrew is full-year financial outlook citing disruption caused by chip shortage Sportradar (SRAD US) shares jumped 4.5% in Monday postmarket trading, after the company said basketball legend Michael Jordan will serve as a special adviser to its board and also increase his investment in the sports betting and entertainment services provider, effective immediately Orbital Energy Group (OEG US) gained 6% postmarket Monday after a unit won a contract  to construct 1,910 miles of rural broadband network in Virginia. Terms were not disclosed “So much of this information is already known that we don’t think it will necessary set off a wave of problems,” John Bilton, head of global multi-asset strategy at JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg TV. “I’m more concerned about knock-on sentiment at a time when investor sentiment is a bit fragile. But when we look at the fundamentals -- the general growth, and direction in the wider economy -- we still feel reasonably confident that the situation will right itself.” Aside from worries over Evergrande’s ability to make good on $300 billion of liabilities, investors are also positioning for the two-day Fed meeting starting Tuesday, where policy makers are expected to start laying the groundwork for paring stimulus.  Europe's Stoxx 600 index climbed more than 1%, rebounding from the biggest slump in two months, with energy companies leading the advance and all industry sectors in the green. Royal Dutch Shell rose after the company offered shareholders a payout from the sale of shale oil fields. Universal Music Group BV shares soared in their stock market debut after being spun off from Vivendi SE. European airlines other travel-related stocks rise for a second day following the U.S. decision to soon allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they’re fully vaccinated against Covid-19; British Airways parent IAG soars as much as 6.9%, extending Monday’s 11% jump. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Stagecoach shares jump as much as 24% after the company confirmed it is in takeover talks with peer National Express. Shell climbs as much as 4.4% after selling its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion. Bechtle gains as much as 4.3% after UBS initiated coverage at buy. Husqvarna tumbles as much as 9% after the company said it is suing Briggs & Stratton in the U.S. for failing to deliver sufficient lawn mower engines for the 2022 season. Kingfisher slides as much as 6.4% after the DIY retailer posted 1H results and forecast higher profits this fiscal year. The mood was decidedly more sour earlier in the session, when Asian stocks fell for a second day amid continued concerns over China’s property sector, with Japan leading regional declines as the market reopened after a holiday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was down 0.5%, headed for its lowest close since Aug. 30, with Alibaba and SoftBank the biggest drags. China Evergrande Group slid deeper in equity and credit markets Tuesday after S&P said the developer is on the brink of default. Markets in China, Taiwan and South Korea were closed for holidays. Worries over contagion risk from the Chinese developer’s debt problems and Beijing’s ongoing crackdowns, combined with concern over Federal Reserve tapering, sent global stocks tumbling Monday. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 1.6%, the most since July 19. Japan’s stocks joined the selloff Tuesday as investor concerns grew over China’s real-estate sector as well as Federal Reserve tapering, with the Nikkei 225 sliding 2.2% - its biggest drop in three months, catching up with losses in global peers after a holiday - after a four-week rally boosted by expectations for favorable economic policies from a new government. Electronics makers were the biggest drag on the Topix, which declined 1.7%. SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 2.2% loss in the Nikkei 225. Japanese stocks with high China exposure including Toto and Nippon Paint also dropped. “The outsized reaction in global markets may be a function of having too many uncertainties bunched into this period,” Eugene Leow, a macro strategist at DBS Bank Ltd., wrote in a note. “It probably does not help that risk taking (especially in equities) has gone on for an extended period and may be vulnerable to a correction.” “The proportion of Japan’s exports to China is greater than those to the U.S. or Europe, making it sensitive to any slowdown worries in the Chinese economy,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a senior strategist at Nomura Asset Management in Tokyo. “The stock market has yet to fully price in the possibility of a bankruptcy by Evergrande Group.” The Nikkei 225 has been the best-performing major stock gauge in the world this month, up 6.2%, buoyed by expectations for favorable policies from a new government and an inflow of foreign cash. The Topix is up 5.3% so far in September. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched lower and the greenback fell versus most of its Group-of-10 peers as a selloff in global stocks over the past two sessions abated; the euro hovered while commodity currencies led by the Norwegian krone were the best performers amid an advance in crude oil prices. Sweden’s krona was little changed after the Riksbank steered clear of signaling any post-pandemic tightening, as it remains unconvinced that a recent surge in inflation will last. The pound bucked a three-day losing streak as global risk appetite revived, while investors look to Thursday’s Bank of England meeting for policy clues. The yen erased earlier gains as signs that risk appetite is stabilizing damped demand for haven assets. At the same time, losses were capped due to uncertainty over China’s handling of the Evergrande debt crisis. In rates, Treasuries were lower, although off worst levels of the day as U.S. stock futures recover around half of Monday’s losses while European equities trade with a strong bid tone. Yields are cheaper by up to 2.5bp across long-end of the curve, steepening 5s30s spread by 1.2bp; 10-year yields around 1.3226%, cheaper by 1.5bp on the day, lagging bunds and gilts by 1bp-2bp. The long-end of the curve lags ahead of $24b 20-year bond reopening. Treasury will auction $24b 20-year bonds in first reopening at 1pm ET; WI yield ~1.82% is below auction stops since January and ~3bp richer than last month’s new-issue result In commodities, crude futures rose, with the front month WTI up 1.5% near $71.50. Brent stalls near $75. Spot gold trades a narrow range near $1,765/oz. Base metals are mostly in the green with LME aluminum the best performer Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases include US housing starts and building permits for August, along with the UK public finances for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos. Otherwise, the General Debate will begin at the UN General Assembly, and the OECD publishes their Interim Economic Outlook. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.0% to 4,392.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 459.10 MXAP down 0.5% to 200.25 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 640.31 Nikkei down 2.2% to 29,839.71 Topix down 1.7% to 2,064.55 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 24,221.54 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,613.97 Sensex up 0.4% to 58,751.30 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,273.83 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,140.51 Brent Futures up 1.6% to $75.13/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,761.68 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.19 German 10Y yield fell 5.0 bps to -0.304% Euro little changed at $1.1729 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Lael Brainard is a leading candidate to be the Federal Reserve’s banking watchdog and is also being discussed for more prominent Biden administration appointments, including to replace Fed chairman Jerome Powell and, potentially, for Treasury secretary if Janet Yellen leaves Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will this week face the challenge of convincing investors that plans to scale back asset purchases aren’t a runway to raising interest rates for the first time since 2018 ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos says there is “good news” with respect to the euro-area recovery after a strong development in the second and third quarter The ECB is likely to continue purchasing junk-rated Greek sovereign debt even after the pandemic crisis has passed, according to Governing Council member and Greek central bank chief Yannis Stournaras U.K. government borrowing was well below official forecasts in the first five months of the fiscal year, providing a fillip for Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as he prepares for a review of tax and spending next month U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng warned the next few days will be challenging as the energy crisis deepens, and meat producers struggle with a crunch in carbon dioxide supplies The U.K.’s green bond debut broke demand records for the nation’s debt as investors leaped on the long-anticipated sterling asset. The nation is offering a green bond maturing in 2033 via banks on Tuesday at 7.5 basis points over the June 2032 gilt. It has not given an exact size target for the sale, which has attracted a record of more than 90 billion pounds ($123 billion) in orders Germany cut planned debt sales in the fourth quarter by 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion), suggesting the surge in borrowing triggered by the coronavirus pandemic is receding Contagion from China Evergrande Group has started to engulf even safer debt in Asia, sparking the worst sustained selloff of the securities since April. Premiums on Asian investment-grade dollar bonds widened 2-3 basis points Tuesday, according to credit traders, after a jump of 3.4 basis points on Monday Swiss National Bank policy makers watching the effects of negative interest rates on the economy are worrying about the real-estate bubble that their policy is helping to foster Global central banks need to set out clear strategies for coping with inflation risks as the world economy experiences faster-than-expected cost increases amid an uneven recovery from the pandemic, the OECD said A quick look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities traded cautiously following the recent downbeat global risk appetite due to Evergrande contagion concerns which resulted in the worst day for Wall Street since May, with the region also contending with holiday-thinned conditions due to the ongoing closures in China, South Korea and Taiwan. ASX 200 (+0.2%) was indecisive with a rebound in the mining-related sectors counterbalanced by underperformance in utilities, financials and tech, while there were also reports that the Byron Bay area in New South Wales will be subject to a seven-day lockdown from this evening. Nikkei 225 (-1.8%) was heavily pressured and relinquished the 30k status as it played catch up to the contagion downturn on return from the extended weekend with recent detrimental currency inflows also contributing to the losses for exporters. Hang Seng (-0.3%) was choppy amid the continued absence of mainland participants with markets second-guessing whether Chinese authorities will intervene in the event of an Evergrande collapse, while shares in the world’s most indebted developer fluctuated and wiped out an early rebound, although affiliate Evergrande Property Services and other property names fared better after Sun Hung Kai disputed reports of China pressuring Hong Kong developers and with Guangzhou R&F Properties boosted by reports major shareholders pledged funds in the Co. which is also selling key assets to Country Garden. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher amid the underperformance in Japanese stocks and with the Japan Securities Dealers Association recently noting that global funds purchased the most ultra-long Japanese bonds since 2014, although upside was limited amid softer demand at the enhanced liquidity auction for 2yr-20yr maturities and with the BoJ kickstarting its two-day policy meeting. Top Asian News Richest Banker Says Evergrande Is China’s ‘Lehman Moment’ Hong Kong Tycoons, Casino Giants Find Respite in Stock Rebound Taliban Add More Male Ministers, Say Will Include Women Later Asian Stocks Drop to Lowest Level This Month; Japan Leads Losses European equities (Stoxx 600 +1.1%) trade on a firmer footing attempting to recoup some of yesterday’s losses with not much in the way of incremental newsflow driving the upside. Despite the attempt to claw back some of the prior session’s lost ground, the Stoxx 600 is still lower by around 1.6% on the week. The Asia-Pac session was one characterised by caution and regional market closures with China remaining away from market. Focus remains on whether Evergrande will meet USD 83mln in interest payments due on Thursday and what actions Chinese authorities could take to limit the contagion from the company in the event of further troubles. Stateside, futures are also on a firmer footing with some slight outperformance in the RTY (+1.2%) vs. peers (ES +0.8%). Again, there is not much in the way of fresh positivity driving the upside and instead gains are likely more a by-product of dip-buying; attention for the US is set to become increasingly geared towards tomorrow’s FOMC policy announcement. Sectors in Europe are firmer across the board with outperformance in Oil & Gas names amid a recovery in the crude complex and gains in Shell (+4.4%) after news that the Co. is to sell its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips (COP) for USD 9.5bln in cash. Other outperforming sectors include Tech, Insurance and Basic Resources. IAG (+4.1%) and Deutsche Lufthansa (+3.8%) both sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 as the Co.’s continue to enjoy the fallout from yesterday’s decision by the US to allow travel from vaccinated EU and UK passengers. Swatch (-0.7%) is lagging in the luxury space following a downgrade at RBC, whilst data showed Swiss watch exports were +11.5% Y/Y in August (prev. 29.1%). Finally, National Express (+7.7%) is reportedly considering a takeover of Stagecoach (+21.4%), which is valued at around GBP 370mln. Top European News U.K. Warns of Challenging Few Days as Energy Crisis Deepens Germany Trims Planned Debt Sales as Pandemic Impact Recedes U.K.’s Green Bond Debut Draws Record Demand of $123 Billion Goldman Plans $1.5 Billion Petershill Partners IPO in London In FX, all the signs are constructive for a classic turnaround Tuesday when it comes to Loonie fortunes as broad risk sentiment improves markedly, WTI consolidates within a firm range around Usd 71/brl compared to yesterday’s sub-Usd 70 low and incoming results from Canada’s general election indicate victory for the incumbent Liberal party that will secure a 3rd term for PM Trudeau. Hence, it’s better the devil you know as such and Usd/Cad retreated further from its stop-induced spike to just pips short of 1.2900 to probe 1.2750 at one stage before bouncing ahead of new house price data for August. Conversely, the Swedish Krona seems somewhat reluctant to get carried away with the much better market mood after the latest Riksbank policy meeting only acknowledged significantly stronger than expected inflation data in passing, and the repo rate path remained rooted to zero percent for the full forecast horizon as a consequence. However, Eur/Sek has slipped back to test 10.1600 bids/support following an initial upturn to almost 10.1800, irrespective of a rise in unemployment. NOK/AUD/NZD - No such qualms for the Norwegian Crown as Brent hovers near the top of a Usd 75.18-74.20/brl band and the Norges Bank is widely, if not universally tipped to become the first major Central Bank to shift into tightening mode on Thursday, with Eur/Nok hugging the base of a 10.1700-10.2430 range. Elsewhere, the Aussie and Kiwi look relieved rather than rejuvenated in their own right given dovish RBA minutes, a deterioration in Westpac’s NZ consumer sentiment and near reversal in credit card spending from 6.9% y/y in July to -6.3% last month. Instead, Aud/Usd and Nzd/Usd have rebounded amidst the recovery in risk appetite that has undermined their US rival to top 0.7380 and 0.7050 respectively at best. GBP/CHF/EUR/JPY/DXY - Sterling is latching on to the ongoing Dollar retracement and more supportive backdrop elsewhere to pare losses under 1.3700, while the Franc continues its revival to 0.9250 or so and almost 1.0850 against the Euro even though the SNB is bound to check its stride at the upcoming policy review, and the single currency is also forming a firmer base above 1.1700 vs the Buck. Indeed, the collective reprieve in all components of the Greenback basket, bar the Yen on diminished safe-haven demand, has pushed the index down to 93.116 from 93.277 at the earlier apex, and Monday’s elevated 93.455 perch, while Usd/Jpy is straddling 109.50 and flanked by decent option expiry interest either side. On that note, 1.4 bn resides at the 109.00 strike and 1.1 bn between 109.60-70, while there is 1.6 bn in Usd/Cad bang on 1.2800. EM - Some respite across the board in wake of yesterday’s mauling at the hands of risk-off positioning in favour of the Usd, while the Czk has also been underpinned by more hawkish CNB commentary as Holub echoes the Governor by advocating a 50 bp hike at the end of September and a further 25-50 bp in November. In commodities, WTI and Brent are firmer in the European morning post gains in excess of 1.0%, though the benchmarks are off highs after an early foray saw Brent Nov’21 eclipse USD 75.00/bbl, for instance. While there has been newsflow for the complex, mainly from various energy ministers, there hasn’t been much explicitly for crude to change the dial; thus, the benchmarks are seemingly moving in tandem with broader risk sentiment (see equities). In terms of the energy commentary, the Qatar minister said they are not thinking of re-joining OPEC+ while the UAE minister spoke on the gas situation. On this, reports in Russian press suggests that Russia might allow Rosneft to supply 10bcm of gas to Europe per year under an agency agreement with Gazprom “as an experiment”, developments to this will be closely eyed for any indication that it could serve to ease the current gas situation. Looking ahead, we have the weekly private inventory report which is expected to post a headline draw of 2.4mln and draws, albeit of a smaller magnitude, are expected for distillate and gasoline as well. Moving to metals, spot gold is marginally firmer while silver outperforms with base-metals picking up across the board from the poor performance seen yesterday that, for instance, saw LME copper below the USD 9k mark. Note, the action is more of a steadying from yesterday’s downside performance than any notable upside, with the likes of copper well within Monday’s parameters. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Aug. Building Permits MoM, est. -1.8%, prior 2.6%, revised 2.3% 8:30am: Aug. Housing Starts MoM, est. 1.0%, prior -7.0% 8:30am: Aug. Building Permits, est. 1.6m, prior 1.64m, revised 1.63m 8:30am: Aug. Housing Starts, est. 1.55m, prior 1.53m 8:30am: 2Q Current Account Balance, est. -$190.8b, prior -$195.7b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Global markets slumped across the board yesterday in what was one of the worst days of the year as an array of concerns about the outlook gathered pace. The crisis at Evergrande and in the Chinese real estate sector was the catalyst most people were talking about, but truth be told, the market rout we’re seeing is reflecting a wider set of risks than just Chinese property, and comes after increasing questions have been asked about whether current valuations could still be justified, with talk of a potential correction picking up. Remember that 68% of respondents to my survey last week (link here) thought they’d be at least a 5% correction in equity markets before year end. So this has been front and centre of people’s mind even if the catalyst hasn’t been clear. We’ve all known about Evergrande’s woes and how big it was for a while but it wasn’t until Friday’s story of the Chinese regulatory crackdown extending into property that crystallised the story into having wider implications. As I noted in my chart of the day yesterday link here Chinese USD HY had been widening aggressively over the last couple of months but IG has been pretty rock solid. There were still no domestic signs of contagion by close of business Friday. However as it stands, there will likely be by the reopening post holidays tomorrow which reflects how quickly the story has evolved even without much new news. Before we get to the latest on this, note that we’ve still got a bumper couple of weeks on the calendar to get through, including the Fed decision tomorrow, which comes just as a potential government shutdown and debt ceiling fight are coming into view, alongside big debates on how much spending the Democrats will actually manage to pass. There has been some respite overnight with S&P 500 futures +0.58% higher and 10y UST yields up +1.5bps to 1.327%. Crude oil prices are also up c. 1%. On Evergrande, S&P Global Ratings has said that the company is on the brink of default and that it’s failure is unlikely to result in a scenario where China will be compelled to step in. The report added that they see China stepping in only if “there is a far-reaching contagion causing multiple major developers to fail and posing systemic risks to the economy.” The Hang Seng (-0.32%) is lower but the Hang Seng Properties index is up (+1.59%) and bouncing off the 5 plus year lows it hit yesterday. Elsewhere the ASX (+0.30%) and India’s Nifty (+0.35%) have also advanced. Chinese and South Korean markets are closed for a holiday but the Nikkei has reopened and is -1.80% and catching down to yesterday’s global move. Looking at yesterday’s moves in more depth, the gathering storm clouds saw the S&P 500 shed -1.70% in its worst day since May 12, with cyclical industries leading the declines and with just 10% of S&P 500 index members gaining. There was a late rally at the end of the US trading session that saw equity indices bounce off their lows, with the S&P 500 (-2.87%) and NASDAQ (-3.42%) both looking like they were going to register their worst days since October 2020 and late-February 2021 respectively. However, yesterday was still the 5th worst day for the S&P 500 in 2021. Reflecting the risk-off tone, small caps suffered in particular with the Russell 2000 falling -2.44%, whilst tech stocks were another underperformer as the NASDAQ lost -2.19% and the FANG+ index of 10 megacap tech firms saw an even bigger -3.16% decline. For Europe it was much the same story, with the STOXX 600 (-1.67%) and other bourses including the DAX (-2.31%) seeing significant losses amidst the cyclical underperformance. It was the STOXX 600’s worst performance since mid-July and the 6th worst day of the year overall. Unsurprisingly, there was also a significant spike in volatility, with the VIX index climbing +4.9pts to 25.7 – its highest closing level since mid-May – after trading above 28.0pts midday. In line with the broader risk-off move, especially sovereign bonds rallied strongly as investors downgraded their assessment of the economic outlook and moved to price out the chances of near-term rate hikes. By the close of trade, yields on 10yr Treasuries had fallen -5.1bps to 1.311%, with lower inflation breakevens (-4.1bps) leading the bulk of the declines. Meanwhile in Europe, yields on 10yr bunds (-4.0bps), OATs (-2.6bps) and BTPs (-0.9bps) similarly fell back, although there was a widening in spreads between core and periphery as investors turned more cautious. Elsewhere, commodities took a hit as concerns grew about the economic outlook, with Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (-1.53%) losing ground for a third consecutive session. That said, European natural gas prices (+15.69%) were the massive exception once again, with the latest surge taking them above the peak from last Wednesday, and thus bringing the price gains since the start of August to +84.80%. Here in the UK, Business Secretary Kwarteng said that he didn’t expect an emergency regarding the energy supply, but also said that the government wouldn’t bail out failed companies. Meanwhile, EU transport and energy ministers are set to meet from tomorrow for an informal meeting, at which the massive spike in prices are likely to be discussed. Overnight, we have the first projections of the Canadian federal election with CBC News projecting that the Liberals will win enough seats to form a government for the third time albeit likely a minority government. With the counting still underway, Liberals are currently projected to win 156 seats while Conservatives are projected to win 120 seats. Both the parties are currently projected to win a seat less than last time. The Canadian dollar is up +0.44% overnight as the results remove some election uncertainty. Turning to the pandemic, the main news yesterday was that the US is set to relax its travel rules for foreign arrivals. President Biden announced the move yesterday, mandating that all adult visitors show proof of vaccination before entering the country. Airline stocks outperformed strongly in response, with the S&P 500 airlines (+1.55%) being one of the few industry groups that actually advanced yesterday. Otherwise, we heard from Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine trials on 5-11 year olds had successfully produced an antibody response among that age group. The dose was just a third of that used in those aged 12 and above, and they said they planned to share the data with regulators “as soon as possible”. Furthermore, they said that trials for the younger cohorts (2-5 and 6m-2) are expected as soon as Q4. In Germany, there are just 5 days left until the election now, and the last Insa poll before the vote showed a slight tightening in the race, with the centre-left SPD down a point to 25%, whilst the CDU/CSU bloc were up 1.5 points to 22%. Noticeably, that would also put the race back within the +/- 2.5% margin of error. The Greens were unchanged in third place on 15%. Staying with politics and shifting back to the US, there was news last night that Congressional Democratic leaders are looking to tie the suspension of the US debt ceiling vote to the spending bill that is due by the end of this month. If the spending bill is not enacted it would trigger a government shutdown, and if the debt ceiling is not raised it would cause defaults on federal payments as soon as October. Senate Majority Leader Schumer said the House will pass a spending bill that will fund the government through December 3rd and that the “legislation to avoid a government shutdown will also include a suspension of the debt limit through December 2022.” Republicans may balk at the second measure, given that it would take the issue off the table until after the 2022 midterm elections in November of that year. There wasn’t a great deal of data out yesterday, though German producer price inflation rose to +12.0% in August (vs. +11.1% expected), marking the fastest pace since December 1974. Separately in the US, the NAHB’s housing market index unexpectedly rose to 76 in September (vs. 75 expected), the first monthly increase since April. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US housing starts and building permits for August, along with the UK public finances for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos. Otherwise, the General Debate will begin at the UN General Assembly, and the OECD will be publishing their Interim Economic Outlook. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 07:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

Why St. Louis VC firm SixThirty created a new role to help its portfolio companies with cybersecurity

St. Louis-based venture capital firm SixThirty has expanded with the creation of a new role: chief information security officer-in-residence. SixThirty has tapped cybersecurity veterans David Fairman and Dustin Wilcox as its first CISOs-in-residence. In addition to that post, Fairman and Wilcox are also partners at SixThirty, co-leading the firm’s cyber and privacy investment portfolio. Led by Managing Partner Atul Kamra, SixThirty backs companies in the financial technology, insurance technology,….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsSep 21st, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Showdown looms to keep the government open

And Justin Trudeau is projected to remain Canada's prime minister. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.Here's what we're talking about:Mitch McConnell says GOP will vote for US to default on its debtJustin Trudeau projected to remain prime minister of CanadaDHS investigating 'extremely troubling' images of border agents on horseback chasing migrantsWith Phil Rosen. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images 1. SHOWDOWN ON CAPITOL HILL: The White House and congressional Democrats are playing hardball. With two key deadlines looming, top leaders say they will combine legislation that would avoid a government shutdown next month and suspension of the debt limit, the latter of which would avoid the federal government defaulting on its bills. Their move essentially dares Republicans to vote to tank the US economy by blocking the forthcoming bill. For now, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell isn't backing down.Here's a look at where things stand:Top Republicans have long warned they won't raise the debt ceiling: McConnell repeated his opposition to such a move - which amounts to allowing the government to pay its existing bills - even if it meant shutting down the government. He has called for Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own through a special budget process. But Democrats don't want to do that, per The Washington Post, because it would require taking a politically difficult vote.Democrats say this is hypocrisy: They note that the national debt grew nearly $8 trillion under President Donald Trump - chiefly on the back of GOP tax cuts and bipartisan emergency coronavirus-related spending packages. Republicans supported raising the debt ceiling three times during the Trump administration.Time is running out: The government is expected to run out of money October 1. It's more difficult to predict when the government would default on its debt, but Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told lawmakers that time-buying measures her department had taken would run out in early October as well.Yes, you've seen this movie before: President Joe Biden and McConnell played major parts in it too. Spurred on by the tea-party movement, Republicans sought to use raising the debt ceiling as a political cudgel against the Obama White House in 2011. The two sides eventually reached a deal that liberals continue to loathe, but the process of going to the brink came at the cost of an embarrassing credit downgrade.Read more about where things stand as deadlines loom for lawmakers.2. Legal experts are poking holes in a Trump-era special prosecutor's case against a Clinton campaign lawyer: The special counsel John Durham's indictment of Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer at a firm with deep Democratic ties, marked his first overt sign of activity in months. Legal experts aren't impressed. They see the case against Sussmann as unusually - even remarkably - thin. It's likely to face significant hurdles at trial. One of the issues is that the charge rests on the testimony of a single witness. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images 3. Justin Trudeau is expected to remain prime minister: Trudeau's decision to force a Canadian snap election is projected to yield mixed results, handing the prime minister a third term but without his party retaking a majority in Parliament. Some said Trudeau's decision to call a federal election early was a bid to retake the majority. More on the Canadian election results.4. DHS says it's investigating "extremely troubling" images at the border: Federal officials pledged to formally look into photos and videos of agents on horses pushing back against migrants at the US-Mexico border, the Associated Press reports. Amid concerns that some of the agents appeared to be brandishing whips, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters the straps were long reins to help control the agents' horses. The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, called the footage "horrific." Top officials say the US has deported more than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants from a Texas border town, vowing swift action for people who cross the US border illegally.Drone videos show thousands of Haitian migrants trying to enter the US: Insider 5. Texas doctor sued in the first major test of the state's abortion ban: An Arkansas man is suing a doctor who recently performed an abortion in Texas after six weeks of pregnancy, an act now considered illegal under a new state law. Dr. Alan Braid of San Antonio wrote an op-ed article in The Washington Post explaining his decision to defy the law. Oscar Stilley, a former lawyer disbarred on charges of tax evasion and conspiracy in 2010, filed the suit after reading a news report about Braid's article. ​​The lawsuit presents the first publicized legal challenge to Texas' new abortion restrictions.At least one antiabortion group isn't happy: Texas Right to Life, an antiabortion group, slammed "self-serving legal stunts," telling The Post that Braid's article was written to gin up lackluster challenges. Stilley told the paper he was not against abortion.6. Pfizer says its shot is safe and likely to be effective for children: The drugmaker and its partner BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine generated a promising immune response in a trial in kids ages 5 to 11. The companies said they planned to submit their data to the Food and Drug Administration "as soon as possible." That could make their COVID-19 shot the first authorized for use in younger children.7. More Americans have died of COVID-19 than died in the 1918 flu pandemic: "Despite all the scientific and medical advances of the past 103 years, the Covid-19 pandemic has now killed more Americans than the 1918 flu pandemic did," CNN wrote. More than 675,000 people are estimated to have died from COVID-19. Here are some of the major differences between the pandemics.8. FBI declares the home of Brian Laundrie's parents a crime scene: Authorities began searching the Florida home of Laundrie's parents just one day after a body believed to be that of Laundrie's fiancée, Gabby Petito, was found. Authorities continue to search for Laundrie, who disappeared in recent days. The latest on the case.Related: Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito's trip that ended in his disappearance9. Dow falls over 600 points over China-related worries: Stocks cratered Monday amid fears about the extent of a debt crisis for China's second-largest property developer. Anxiety about congressional action over the debt ceiling didn't help matters either. Evergrande, the Chinese company, is highly leveraged and is facing a $7 billion crunch over the next year. Here's everything you need to know about why Wall Street is worried about a Chinese real-estate company. Screenshot/TikTok - @emilyzugay 10. Major brands and companies are embracing a TikTok creator's mock logos: Emily Zugay, a 24-year-old pet-portrait artist from southeastern Wisconsin, told Insider in an email that she used Adobe Illustrator to make "repulsive but believable" designs so that "even folks who don't know basic design principles would know that they are downright awful." Take a look at the designs used by TikTok, NASCAR, Tinder, and Tampax.Today's trivia question: Benedict Arnold committed treason on this day in 1780. Before his treachery, he played a major role in the American Revolution's turning point. There's even a monument dedicated to his service during the Battles of Saratoga, though it does not directly name him. What does the monument depict? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship in the US Navy - that's because naval officers and crew members still serve aboard the vessel first launched in 1797. Six ships were commissioned largely because of French aggression that led to the Quasi-War.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 21st, 2021

Citi names Julia Zilberman to senior role in institutional clients unit, FN says

See the rest of the story here. Theflyonthewall.com provides the latest financial news as it breaks. Known as a leader in market intelligence, The Fl.....»»

Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallMar 25th, 2021

MGH names chief equity and inclusion officer

Massachusetts General Hospital has named Dr. Joseph Betancourt, who served as vice president of equity and inclusion, to an expanded role of senior vice president of equity and community health, beginning this month......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 5th, 2021

U.S. laments UK decision allowing Huawei a limited 5G role: aide

The United States is disappointed by the United Kingdom's decision to grant Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei a limited role in its 5G mobile network, a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday......»»

Category: topSource: reutersJan 28th, 2020

La Macchia Group reveals long-term succession plan, names new president

La Macchia Group, a Milwaukee consulting and design-build firm for financial institutions, said Tuesday that Tom Kennedy has been named president and Scott Fulton has assumed the role of chief financial officer under a new long-term succession plan.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 21st, 2020