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Dayton’s best source of employee talent may be hidden in plain sight

Today’s seeming scarcity of employee talent reminds me of the words from a poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge – “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” It’s an unusual time in our country’s history, one in which employers need to think creatively regarding the attraction of their future employees. Many great resources are available, and we need to ensure we are all tapping into every option. Like you, I have been reading regularly in newspapers, magazines and blogs about….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 24th, 2022

Inside the implosion at the checkout startup Fast, as told by leaked screenshots, former employees, and investors

In Insider Weekly: Behind the scenes of the implosion at the Stripe-backed startup Fast, The New York Times' new Twitter policy, and Cold War 2.0. Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor-in-chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories. On the agenda today:Investors, former employees, and leaked audio take us inside the implosion of the Stripe-backed startup Fast. The second Cold War has begun and could upend the current balance of power.Sitting on record amounts of home equity, Americans are selling Wall Street stakes in their homes.A leaked memo shows The New York Times has issued a Twitter "reset" for its staff.Let me know what you think of all our stories at mturner@insider.com.Subscribe to Insider for access to all our investigations and features. New to the newsletter? Sign up here.  Download our app for news on the go – click here for iOS and here for Android.Inside Fast's fall from graceFast CEO Domm Holland often prided himself on making "fast" decisions, one employee told Insider.Harry Murphy/Getty ImagesThat was Fast.OK, OK, I apologize, it's a bad joke. Still, the rapid demise of the online-checkout startup Fast, which had raised more than $100 million, has been a hot topic this week in Silicon Valley and beyond. As recently as February, the company was talking about doubling its head count from 390 to close to 800 by the end of the year. Instead, the number will go to zero.The majority of startups fail, of course. Fast was operating in an increasingly competitive sector. "There are only so many checkout solutions that the world can handle," one VC told Insider. And in the aftermath of Fast's sudden closure, one investor said he'd back its founder and CEO Domm Holland again if he had the chance.But Fast's lavish spending and Holland's brazen persona have made the startup's demise especially striking, especially against a backdrop of fintechs getting pummeled in the public markets. Kylie Robison, who's been covering this implosion all week, takes us inside her reporting:What are your sources saying went wrong at Fast?Usually in the tech sector, something new starts out as a project, then it grows to become big enough to be its own team and has a leader. Fast did the opposite. The firm would hire a team and task it to build the next big feature with very little direction. My sources told me the company conflated hiring with scaling.At the top, the CEO, Domm Holland, was overconfident and surrounded by a lot of people who never told him no, they said. Is there anything you learned during your reporting that surprised you?Much like everyone else following this story, I'd never seen such a striking cash burn. I was surprised to see that 60% of Fast's operating budget went to payroll. I knew this week Fast would likely lay off all their employees, as one source told me, rather than half. However, I was surprised to hear the news that they'd shuttered instead, especially since Holland had dubbed himself "the world's fastest CEO." I didn't expect him to let go of the business that easily.What are you hearing from Fast employees right now?They're devastated. A lot of them were very proud of the work they'd done at the company. Due to a lack of transparency from leadership, most of them didn't see this coming. So right now, they're looking to gain new employment and make sense of this very abrupt decision.Read the full story here: Former Fast employees detail how chaotic management, overhiring, and spending cash like 'drunken sailors' contributed to the startup's implosionAlso read:Leaked screenshots and audio reveal the implosion inside Stripe-backed Fast — including the CEO's plans to reduce burn rate and employees' calls for transparency in leadershipCEO of collapsed startup Fast leaves employees hanging in a companywide meeting, reading out a prior memo and then ending the call abruptlySome Fast investors say they were caught off-guard by the sudden demise of the startup but were concerned by how quickly it was burning through cashCold War 2.0 is well underwayGetty; Savanna Durr/InsiderThe second Cold War started the moment Russian forces crossed the border into Ukraine — and judging by its first month, it will be far more fluid and complex than its predecessor. Unlike the first Cold War, this won't be a bipolar, spy-versus-spy affair, a dual between two superpowers. It will be a multipolar conflict, and the fight is likely to drag on for years, if not decades. Read the full story here:Cold War 2.0 has already begun — and it's going to be even scarier than the first oneAmericans are cashing in on soaring home prices — with Wall Street's helpUS households have built up $26 trillion in home equity, the largest share of the overall housing stock since the 1980s.halbergman/Getty ImagesUS homeowners are sitting on an estimated $26 trillion worth of home equity — and to unlock that equity, some are selling stakes in their homes to firms backed by Wall Street.That's been the case for Betty Noujaim, a single mother who gave the firm Point a 25% stake in her home's future appreciation and received $60,000 in return.Read the full story here:This single mother sold Wall Street a stake in her home for $60,000, joining thousands of Americans who are cashing in on soaring home pricesThe New York Times has issued a Twitter "reset"The New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet.Monica Schipper/Getty ImagesLike many newsrooms, The Times once encouraged its reporters to take to Twitter to share its journalism. Now, in a leaked memo viewed by Insider, the Times' executive editor Dean Baquet has told employees that a presence on Twitter is "purely optional." Baquet also encouraged staffers to "meaningfully reduce" their time on the platform, adding that the newsroom will provide support to journalists experiencing harassment.Read the full story here:LEAKED MEMO: The New York Times has issued a Twitter 'reset,' urging reporters to 'meaningfully reduce' how much time they spend on the platformAlso read:Twitter employees vent over Elon Musk's investment and board seat, with one staffer calling him 'a racist' and others worrying he will weaken the company's content moderationMore of this week's top reads:Google just drastically changed its hiring process. Wall Street firms have identified the next battlefield for tech talent: Texas. The tech startup Bolt switched to a four-day week — and actually made it work.Millennials are buying homes sight-unseen, and it's about to change the housing market forever.The busted supply chain is forcing companies to eliminate some of your favorite products.A former Array exec says the fintech inflated its revenue and invented customers to create a "false illusion" of success.Plus: Keep updated with the latest business news throughout your weekdays by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here tomorrow.Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 10th, 2022

11 hidden Google Docs features every user should know

You might think you know Google Docs well, but there are a lot of lesser-known but useful features you can incorporate. Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images You might think you know Google Docs well, but there are a lot of lesser-known but useful features. Not only can you voice dictate to Google Docs and display a real-time word count, you can create comparisons between similar docs. Here are 11 of the most useful lesser-known features in Google Docs.  If you're like most people, you spend a lot of time in Google Docs. Maybe it's your default word processor, or perhaps you still rely a lot on Microsoft Word. Either way, you no doubt spend enough time in Google Docs that it pays to go beyond the basics and know some of the best lesser-known features, tips, and tricks for getting the most out of this ubiquitous office productivity tool. Here are 11 of the best "secret" features for doing more with Google Docs. Dictate with your voiceVoice dictation isn't yet 100% accurate, but it's still a convenient way to create a document using just your voice. Google Docs supports voice dictation. To do it, just choose Tools, then Voice typing. You might need to give Google Docs permission to use your microphone, but after that a Click to speak button will appear on screen (you can drag it around if it's in the way). Click, dictate, and click again when you are done. Open the Click to speak control to type using your voice.Dave JohnsonCrop and edit images in a documentWhen you add an image to a Google Doc, you can continue to edit it. Click the image in your Google doc, and new tools should appear in the toolbar at the top of the screen. You can add a border around the image and give it a color, crop the image and, using the Image options button, change its alignment. When you select an image, a new set of tools appear in the toolbar atop the document.Dave JohnsonTranslate your document to another languageGoogle Docs' translation tool lets you convert an entire document into any one of over 100 foreign languages almost instantly, like magic. Click Tools, Translate document, and then pick the language you want to convert it to. Click Translate, and it'll create a new document for you — it doesn't change your original doc. Turn on an automatic word count displayMicrosoft Word gives you a real-time word count in the status bar at the bottom of the screen; Google Docs does not. But you can enable an automatic word counter if you need it. To turn it on, click Tools, then Word count. In the Word count pop-up, click the checkbox for Display word count while typing and then click OK. Enable real-time word count using the Word Count dialog box in Google Docs.Dave JohnsonBookmark sections of your documentYou can bookmark sections within a Google Doc and then link to them from elsewhere in the doc. It's handy for setting up an interactive table of contents, for example, or just linking to another part of the document as a reference. To do that, select the text you want to bookmark and then choose Insert, followed by Bookmark. Then select the text that you want to hyperlink to the bookmark. Click Insert link in the toolbar and click Headings and bookmarks. Find the bookmark you just created and select it. After you create a bookmark, you can link to it using the Insert link tool.Dave JohnsonTemplates are hiding in plain sightIt's easy to ignore on the Google Docs home page, but the top of the screen has a row of handy templates in Google's Template gallery. You can click Template gallery to see an expanded list of options and click one you like to start working in it.  Many templates come with graphics, formatting, and sample text to show you how the layout looks when complete. Create custom shortcutsAre there common phrases that are specific to your professional domain that you find yourself typing frequently? You can make custom shortcuts in Google Docs and trigger them with a shorthand abbreviation. Click Tools, then Preferences. In the Preferences pop-up, click the Substitutions tab at the top. Now type the full phrase you want to enter in the With field, and the shortcut you want to trigger in the Replace field. Make sure you create a shortcut you won't trip by accident. When you're done, click OK. Use the Substitutions tab in Preferences to create custom shortcuts.Dave JohnsonCompare two documentsIf you've ever used the Compare feature in Microsoft Word to see the changes in two versions of a document side-by-side, you know how powerful this is to resolve issues when two or more people make changes to their own local versions of a document. You can do the same thing in Google Docs. Open one version of the document in Google Docs and then choose Tools, followed by Compare Documents. Select the second document and then click Compare. It's not quite as sophisticated as the blackline comparison you get in Word, but it is very useful nonetheless. Paste without formattingHere's a small feature, but one that becomes indispensable when you know about it. When you paste text into a doc from another source, you can choose Paste without formatting, which drops the content in using the default formatting of your document. That way you don't get a document with crazy unexpected formatting that it takes several minutes to fix. You can also use a keyboard shortcut, Command+Shift+V on Mac and Ctrl+Shift+V on Windows, to quickly paste without formatting.You can paste content from another document without including unwanted formatting.Dave JohnsonQuickly add a header or a footer You can add headers and footers to your Google Doc files, and even create a different header and footer on the first page of the document. To create a header, double click at the top of a page. You'll see the header region appear, and you can simply start typing to create your header. For more customization, click Options and choose the setting you want to change. For footers, do the same thing at the bottom of the page.Generate a document outline and summaryIf you have created a Google Doc that includes hierarchical formatting, such as different heading levels, you can generate an automatic outline that lives in a sidebar to the left of the document. Choose View, then Show outline. From the View menu, you can also generate an automated summary for documents of a certain length.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider17 min. ago

The financial startups bubble is bursting and pink slips are being handed out. Here are the fintechs that have announced layoffs so far, from Coinbase to Robinhood.

Coinbase laid off 18% of its staff, or roughly 1,100 people, in June. Other financial tech companies to slash headcount include Robinhood and Better. The tech bubble is bursting and people are getting laid offPhoto by Frank Rumpenhorst/picture alliance via Getty Images Rising interest rates are hurting mortgage lenders and some stock trading platforms.  Fintech companies like Coinbase and Robinhood are reacting to the slowdown by cutting staff. Here's the list of financial technology company layoffs so far. America's tech industry enjoyed an unprecedented boom during the pandemic when Americans turned to their phones like never before to do everything from shopping to online banking. Financial technology startups that help consumers bank, trade or shop online were among the winners. But business is slowing as people increasingly return to their pre-pandemic lives.Compounding the slowdown for fintechs are rising interest rates, which hurt demand for services like mortgage lending and stock trading. Signs of distress are showing up in the form of layoffs, which have been popping up all over Silicon Valley businesses in the last few months, from no-fee trading app Robinhood to mortgage software provider Blend.Here are some of the most notable examples so far: Coinbase: Roughly 1,100 peopleCoinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.Patrick T. Fallon / Getty ImagesOn June 14, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced in a blog post the company was laying off 18% of its staff, or roughly 1,100 employeesEmployees who spoke to Insider say the company went overboard in hiring — and in what it paid talent."For what we did, they paid way too much and they hired too many people, honestly," said one former employee who earned $70,000 to answer phones, which is nearly double the average annual salary of a call-center representative in the US, according to employment website Indeed. See more here: Coinbase laid off 1,100 employees this week. These are some of the teams that were hit the hardest.Robinhood: More than 300 peopleRobinhood cofounders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt were "visibly shaken" in announcing jobs cuts in April.Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for RobinhoodDuring the pandemic, so-called "meme stocks" from GameStop and AMC exploded as stuck-at-home investors armed with no-fee trading platforms looked for ways to spend their pandemic stimulus checks.As new users piled in, Robinhood hired rapidly. Between 2020 and 2021, the trading app's staff grew dramatically: from 700 people to around 3,800, according to CEO Vlad Tenev. But that growth ended up proving too much, too fast. In April, Robinhood was forced to slash headcount by 9% — more than 300 people altogether.See more here: Robinhood's founders were 'visibly shaken' in announcing layoffs, but insiders say the writing was on the wall. 'There was not enough work and too many people.'Robinhood has big crypto ambitions, but employees claim product delays, an overly cautious legal team, and turnover in leadership may be getting in the way of successBetter: About 4,000 peopleBetter.com CEO Vishal Garg laid off 900 employees on a video call in December.BetterStarting in late 2021 and continuing through the first several months of 2022, mortgage startup Better.com laid off approximately 4,000 people.The first wave started right before the holiday season in 2021, when CEO Vishal Garg laid off "hundreds" of people in a video call.Garg told employees via Zoom that the company, "lost $100 million last quarter," which he said, "was my mistake." He then said the layoffs shouldn't have happened right before the holiday, but, "three months ago."Better followed up with another 3,000 layoffs in March, and is now accepting voluntary layoffs in some departments.See more here: Better locked staff out of laptops and sent severance to their bank accounts before facing the laid-off employeesInside Better's week from hell: How America's top startup fell from grace after its Zoom layoffs went viralEmbattled mortgage startup Better offers some remaining employees voluntary layoffs after terminating 4,000 people in the last 5 monthsBlend: About 200 employeesNima Ghamsari, founder and CEO of BlendBlendAlthough Blend doesn't write home loans, its technology is used by major US lenders from Wells Fargo to US Bank, so its fortunes are tied closely to theirs. Blend's layoffs this spring affected roughly 200 people, many concentrated within Blend's title insurance business. Ahead of its IPO last July, Blend bought Title365, which has been particularly exposed to swings in refinance volumes, for more than $400 million.The size and pace of rate increases "is unprecedented, certainly in modern history," Tim Mayopoulos, the president of Blend, told Insider. Prior to joining Blend, Mayopoulos spent nearly 10 years at Fannie Mae, where he ultimately served as president and CEO of the mortgage giant."These are big movements in a very, very big market," Mayopoulos added. "It shouldn't be surprising to any of us that everybody who's touching this market is having to think about how to bring their cost structure in line with market realities."See more here:Here's why mortgage players, from highflying startups like Better and Blend to traditional lenders like Wells Fargo, are laying off thousands of employees — and why it may get way worseMainstreet: About 50 employeesMainStreet's homepage as of May 4, 2022.MainStreetIn January 2022, B2B financial-services startup MainStreet flew the entire company out for a week-long working vacation in Maui. About 150 employees stayed at the luxurious Grand Wailea Hotel, attended meetings, and enjoyed free buffets at the beachfront Hawaiian resort. Workers who questioned the expense were told the startup was aiming to land a significant Series B funding round that would ensure significant runway.But the funding that ultimately materialized was smaller than originally planned, Insider has learned, and in early May the company cut around 50 employees — roughly a third of its workforce.B2B financial startup MainStreet eliminates a third of its staff, citing 'today's incredibly rough market'PayPal: 4-person emerging technology R&D teamA PayPal sign is seen at an office building in San Jose, California May 28, 2014.Thomson ReutersPayPal has laid off its security R&D team focusing on emerging technologies, Insider has learned. And a source with direct knowledge of the cuts believes it won't be the only unit to be affected as the payments giant undergoes an internal restructuring to cut spend."There's a lot of restructuring, a lot of refocusing for the company. As you know, the last quarters haven't been really great from a financial perspective. I think there's a lot of tightening going on in the company," said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. The source added that employees in other advanced security topics, such as threat intelligence, were also let go.Market conditions, like supply chain issues and rising inflation, have put downward pressure on growth, Schulman said. Meanwhile, eBay's migration to managing the end-to-end payments process "put $1.4 billion of pressure on our top line," Schulman said during the earnings call. Competition from fintechs like Stripe and Shopify also continues to saturate the payments and e-commerce space.See more here:PayPal just laid off its research team responsible for quantum computing, cryptography, and distributed ledger technology as market pressures squeeze the payments giantRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 23rd, 2022

DEFCON 2... Or Cutting Off The Nose To Spite The Face

DEFCON 2... Or Cutting Off The Nose To Spite The Face By Peter Tchir of Academy Securities I had difficulty choosing a title for today. DEFCON 2 made a lot of sense as I’m increasingly worried about the economy and the market – for this summer. On the one hand I’m so perplexed by the messaging that the Fed is prepared to trigger a recession in its fight with inflation that I can’t help but think about cutting off your nose to spite the face. I could almost see Powell starting the press conference with “this is going to hurt me more than it is going to hurt you,” which based on my experience, is rarely true. Inflation - Food To expect monetary policy to reduce food prices seems like a stretch. We all must consume some basic level of food regardless of our income level. Sure, maybe the rich eat more Kraft dinners with fancy ketchup [apologies to the Barenaked Ladies], but food consumption seems relatively inelastic. Maybe lowering the cost of fuel will help reduce the cost of food [shipping, the farmer's use of diesel, etc.], but I'm not sure that will happen quickly enough [or be impactful enough] to help the average consumer in the meantime. Many of those consumers are now facing higher costs of funding - anything from credit cards to ARMs, or any new loan that they are looking at. The supply chain disruption in primarily wheat [and other basic groins due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine] is real and is likely to lost into next year. The longer that lasts, the more stockpiles will be eroded. That is a problem not impacted much one way or the other by interest rates. The shortage of fertilizer [a topic of conversation] will admittedly be helped by reduced energy prices [if the Fed achieves that], but again, I'm not sure this provides much near-term relief, Food, which may or may not be accurately reflected in official inflation measures [when I write may or may not I mean definitely not, but don't want to sound too aggressive] is unlikely to see price declines to the point where the consumer is helped materially. While the official data may or may not be accurate, the consumers know the "real world'' costs and that is affecting their behavior, their sentiment, their outlook, and ultimately their spending, I remain extremely worried about food inflation. Inflation - Energy I'm not sure that even the "after school" specials that used to air on broadcast TV [that always had a morality message] could come up with a plot where the "hero" beats up on the "villain" for most of the show, only to realize that the "villain" has something they need, Then the "hero" reaches out to the "villain" to strike a "mutually" beneficial deal and the "villain," which is so overjoyed to become part of the "good team," immediately acquiesces to that and ignores all the previous messaging, Weirdly, it is a plot too unbelievable for a children's special, but one that "we" (collectively] seem to think will work with Iron, Venezuela, and the Saudis. I won't even touch on the "side plot" of the long-overlooked friend, eagerly waiting for o word of encouragement from the "hero" and ready to step up and deliver, finding itself being treated worse than the "villain" at a time of need. If you missed the Academv Podcast that was "dropped" (I think that's the cool term for it] on Friday, I highly recommend listening to it, General Kearney [ret,] leads the conversation, along with Rachel Washburn, Michael Rodriguez [from an ESG perspective], and me, on nuclear proliferation, the nuclear geopolitical landscape, and also, crucially important, thoughts on the future of nuclear energy, But I've digressed, as those energy issues are really more issues related to D.C. and policy rather than anything controlled by interest rates and Fed policy, But maybe after all I didn't digress that much because I don't see how Fed policy helps reduce energy prices, other than if they are "successful” in derailing the economy. Again, much like food, individuals can only tinker with their need for energy. All of this has a limited impact on overall consumption: keeping the house warmer in the summer, colder in the carpooling a winter, carpooling a bit more, being more organized on errands, convincing the bosses that WFH is good for the environment, etc. Higher energy costs are already causing the demand shrinkage from consumers and I don't see any direct way that higher rates will help reduce gas demand or prices, unless, again, the Fed is "successful" in making the economy worse by a significant margin. On the other side of the coin, higher interest rates seem likely to increase the cost of new production and storage. Any company tying up working capital or expanding production is now experiencing higher interest costs and logic dictates that they will try and pass some of those costs on or not embark on some projects due to the higher cost of funds, So, the rate hikes’ direct impact on energy prices is to probably push them higher as the production and distribution systems face higher costs. Reducing Energy Prices, aka, Hitting the Economy Hard If interest rates are going to reduce energy prices it is going to come from cratering demand for anything and everything that uses energy that can be affected by interest rates! Housing/Real Estate/Construction. I have no idea how much energy goes into building a new home, but I assume a non-trivial amount, The materials that go into constructing a building can be energy intensive [copper piping, etc,], The transportation of these materials to the building site is also expensive, We are already seeing negative data in the housing sector [new home permits are down, expectations for new home sales are declining, the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index is at its lowest level in a decade [except very briefly in March 2020 during the Covid lockdowns], I'm sure I could find more dato pointing to housing slowing, but maybe highlighting that the Bankrate.com 5/1 ARM national average is at 4.1% versus 2.75% at the start of the year, is sufficient, We could look at 30-year mortgages and really shock you, but I think that the 5/1 is as interesting as the rate environment because it demonstrates that there is little relief anywhere along the curve for those needing new mortgages. Autos. Annualized total U.S, auto sales [published by WARD'S automotive] have fallen recently. This measure has been "choppy" to say the least as auto sales have clearly been hit by supply issues. For many makes and models, I'm hearing the wait time is 6 months for a car where you pick the features and it is built to your specifications [which had become the "normal" way of buying cars]. So, maybe, just maybe, the sales here are still being impacted by that, but I’d have to guess that rising auto loan costs are playing a role as well. The Manheim used vehicle value index is still very high, but has stabilized of late. If that stabilization is related to higher loan costs, then it is bad for the auto industry. If it is related to new cars and trucks being more readily available, it isn't a great sign, since that means the new auto sales indications cannot be entirely explained away by supply constraints. My understanding, given the steel and other components, is a lot of energy goes into producing a new automobile. So, I guess it is "good" news that slowing auto sales [and presumably production] will curb energy demand? Consumer Purchases and Delivery, Everywhere you turn there are stories and anecdotes about consumer purchasing slowing down, CONsumer CONfidence [as discussed last weekend] is atrocious! Not only does energy go into the production of the goods that the consumer was purchasing, but with home delivery being such a feature of today's purchasing behavior, energy consumption should go down as delivery services slow down [and as they continue to become more efficient - a process spurred on by higher gas prices]. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. Higher interest rates will "help" reduce demand for autos, housing, and general consumer consumption, Apparently, that is good, because it reduces demand for energy and energy inflation [as well as inflation for those products]. I can see that, but I cannot help but think that we need to Be Careful What You Wish For! A Special Place in Hell for Inventories I fear that inventories were a big part of the rise in inflation and would contribute to stabilizing prices [all else being equal] and that recent rate hikes are going to turn a "normal" normalization into something far more dangerous, Manufacturing and Trade Inventories grew from 2014 until COVID at a steady pace, This seemed to correlate nicely with the growing U.S. and global economy. They dropped with supply chain issues, but were back to pre-COVID levels by last summer. Then, from late last summer until the end of April [most recent data point for this series], these inventories grew rapidly! Companies worried about supply chain issues overstocked. This could lead to much lower future orders. Companies shifting to "just in case" from "just in time" need higher inventories, so that part would be stable, but costs of carrying inventory have increased, Maybe companies used straight line extrapolation to accumulate inventory to meet expected consumer demand. That is bad for inventories if the demand isn't materializing! It is extra bad if consumers pulled forward demand in response to their supply chain concerns, meaning that any simplistic estimate of future demand [always problematic, though easy] is even further off the mark as the extrapolation was based on a faulty premise [which is not thinking consumers responded to supply chain issues]. We may have an inventory overhang in the economy. While inventories are significantly higher than pre-COVID levels, the number of people working has still not returned to pre-COVID levels, Yeah, I get that it is far easier to "spend now, pay later" than it used to be through a variety of fintech solutions [ignoring rising interest costs] and that the "wealth effect" and "gambling" culture allows for more spending per job [or maybe it did a few months ago, but not now?] Maybe I'm just a stick in the mud, but... When I look at this chart, I see the correlation between total number of people working and inventory has been completely dislocated! [It also makes me question some of the supply chain issues we allegedly have]. Again, this potential inventory overhang is "amazing" if you want to slow orders and "fix" inflation by having to work off excess inventory rather than adding more. Apologies, if you're tired of reading my snarky comments about things being "good" for inflation fighting. I'm tired of writing them, but cannot think of what else to do. But the Economy is So Resilient? More on this later,,. The "Disruptive Portfolio" Wealth Destruction We have examined the concept of Disruptive Portfolio Construction and continue to think that this is playing a major role in how markets are trading, but increasingly this creates a potential shock to the economy, Let's start with crypto, Bitcoin briefly dropped below $19,000 Saturday morning. I have no idea where it will be by the time you are reading this, but I am targeting $10,000 or less for bitcoin within a month or so. First the "altcoins" [some of which are derisively referred to as "sh*t-coins"] are a complete mess. Solana is down 88% from its November 2021 highs and is roughly back to where it "debuted" in June 2012. Dogecoin, which I think was originally created as a joke, but rose to 70 cents [I think the weekend of Elon Musk's Saturday Night Live appearance] is back to 5 cents, which I guess is still good for something that was originally created as a joke. Ethereum, a "smart contract" that has some use cases very different than bitcoin and was often talked about as a superior product, is down 80% from its November 2021 highs. Under the Bloomberg CRYP page there are 25 things listed as "Crypto Assets". Maybe if I looked at each one I'd find some with a different story, but somehow, I doubt it. Okay, I lied, I couldn't resist, I had never heard of Polkadot, but it looks like it was launched in April 2021 at $40, declined to $11, rallied to $54 in November 2021, and is now down to $7 [at least the name is still cute]. But bitcoin is the story I’m looking at because it is the biggest and the one that seems to have the most direct ties to the broader market. Crypto, to me, is often about adoption. It was why I got bullish a couple of years ago and caught at least part of the wave. Back then, every day some new, easier, better way to own crypto was being announced. Companies and famous billionaires were putting it on their corporate balance sheets. FOMO was everywhere with people racing to put ever higher targets on its future price and those who didn't have anyone to jump on to the bandwagon with were hiring people who could put on an ever-higher price target with a straight face. That ended a while ago and we are in the "disadoption" phase [spellcheck says disadoption isn't a word, but I'm sticking with it]. Or as I wrote the other day, which the FT picked up on, we have moved from FOMO [Fear Of Missing Out] to FOHO [Fear of Holding On]. Even more concerning is a world where HODLING [originally either a mistype of HOLDING that gained traction or short for Holding On for Dear Life] is more prevalent and many people are now unable to exit their positions even if they wanted to. There are some serious "plumbing" issues right now in the crypto space. Maybe the decentralized nature of crypto will work and be extremely resilient [I cannot fully discount that possibility] but maybe, just maybe, there is a reason banks and exchanges have regulators who enforce rules to protect everyone [yes, I can already see the flame mail accusing me of FUD and not understanding how self-regulating is better, etc, but then all I do is spend about 10 minutes looking at some of the shills out there and fall back to thinking "adult supervision" might be wise]. Stablecoins. Stablecoins are what I would call a "thunk" layer in programming language, It is an intermediate layer between two things, in this case, cryptocurrencies and fiat, Terra/LUNA got wiped out, but it was an "algo" based stablecoin which many, in hindsight, say was a flawed design [clearly it was], but that didn't stop it from growing to $20 billion with some big-name investors engaged. Tether is the one garnering a lot of attention now. It is still the largest stablecoin and it did survive on "attack" of sorts after the Terra/LUNA fiasco. The issue with Tether is that it purports to be fully backed by "safe" assets, yet will not produce audited financials. The disarray in stablecoins should at the very least slow adoption. Freezing Accounts. Celsius blocked withdrawals 5 days ago and as of the time I'm typing this, it was still frozen. Babel Finance announced Friday that it would stop withdrawals. I found this one particularly interesting, as in May, according to news reports, it raised $80 million in a Series B financing, valuing it at $2 billion. Maybe needing to suspend withdrawals isn't a big issue, or maybe it is a sign of how rapidly things can change in the space? Right now, I’d be more worried about extracting value from the system rather than adding to the system. Yes, these are isolated cases [so far] and there are some big players in the space which presumably are not at risk of such an event, but having lived through WorldCom and Enron, and then the mortgage fiasco of 2008, I'm heavily skewed to believing that the piping issues will spread and get worse before they get better. Industry Layoffs. In a rapidly evolving industry, one with so much potential, it makes me nervous how quickly we are seeing layoffs announced publicly or finding out about them privately. Maybe I'm cynical, but to me that signals that the insiders aren't seeing adoption increase, which for anything as momentum dependent as crypto has been, seems like a signal for more pain. The big question is how many of the "whales" and big "hodlers" will buy here to stabilize their existing holdings or whether some level of risk management is deemed prudent. You cannot go more than two minutes talking to a true believer without "generational wealth" being mentioned [trust me, I've tried]. At what point does wanting to stay really rich become the goal rather than trying for generational wealth, even if it means converting back ("cringe") to something as miserable as fiat? I expect more wealth destruction in crypto and that will hurt the economy! The wealth itself is gone, curbing spending [I'm already noticing how much I miss the Lambo photos all over social media]. The jobs are now disappearing, curbing spending. The advertising will likely slow down [though not having to watch Matt Damon or LeBron wax on about crypto might be a good thing for our sanity]. But seriously, ad dollars from this lucrative source [I'm assuming it's lucrative given how often ads appear in my social stream, during major sporting events, and even in an arena [or two] could be drying up just as retailers are also struggling. It seems that every week there is a conference somewhere dedicated to crypto [with Miami and Austin seemingly becoming a non-stop crypto conference/party]. This could turn out to hurt many companies and even some cities, Semiconductor purchases could decline. Mining rigs have been a big user of semiconductors, All you have to do is pull up a chart of bitcoin versus some select semi-conductor manufacturers and the correlation is obvious, Energy usage could decline. If mining slows [as a function of lower prices and less activity] then we might see less energy used by the crypto mining industry [the public miners are in some cases down almost 90% from their November 2021 highs, presumably because the industry is less profitable]. Ultimately this could reduce energy prices and semiconductor prices/backlogs, which would generally be good for the broader economy and would help the Fed on their inflation fight, but could hurt some individual firms that rely on this industry. My outlook for crypto is that we have more downside in sight and that will hurt broader markets and might do far more damage to the economy than many of the crypto haters realize. It is fine to dislike crypto, but it is naïve not to realize how much wealth was there helping spending and how impactful a slowdown on this industry could be! Which brings me briefly to "disruptive" stocks. The wealth created by these companies was simply astounding, Whether remaining in the hands of private equity or coming public through IPOs or via a SPAC, there was incredible wealth generated, Investors were rewarded, but so were the founders, sponsors, and employees! There was great wealth created as these innovators and disruptors [along with a mix of more traditional companies] were rewarded. I am extremely concerned about the employee wealth lost. I cannot imagine the personal wealth destruction that has occurred for many, especially mid-level to mildly senior employees. Just enough of a taste of the equity exposure to do well.  Many have restrictions so have not exited and many had options, not all of which were struck at zero, so they may be back to zero, That wealth lost has to translate into lower economic activity, especially as the losses seem more persistent than they might have been a few months ago! But investors have also been hit hard, and possibly harder than most people factor in. I will use ARKK here to illustrate an important point and why a subset of investors is in far more financial difficulty than might be apparent [assuming "traditional" portfolio construction]. ARKK, not accounting for dividends, is back to where it traded in the aftermath of the COVID shutdowns in March 2020. The number of shares outstanding have almost tripled since then. Yes, the number of shares traded daily is large and they frequently change hands, but on average, this shows that some large number of shares were issued as the fund price rallied. Many of those investors [on average] were originally reworded, but now, on average, those shares are somewhere between small losses and serious carnage. ARKK is down to $7.7 billion in AUM as of Friday from a peak of $28 billion in March 2021. The bulk of that change in market cap can be attributed to performance as shares outstanding are still near their peak. I highlight ARKK because I don't feel like talking about individual companies, the portfolio has changed so much, the performance is more generic than company specific, and ETFs are often just the observable "tip of the iceberg" of major trends that are more difficult to observe, but are still happening, TQQQ, the triple leveraged QQQ, exhibits a similar pattern and all the gambling stocks are doing poorly, which I attribute to incredible wealth destruction for a subset of investors, The three groups that I believe were most hurt are: Relatively young people, who took a very aggressive approach to trading/gambling [with relatively small amounts of money] that they can make back via their job earnings over time [or they might now need a job if they were living off of the trading/gambling money]. I don't see a material economic impact from this group, It may even encourage workforce participation, Aggressive disruptive investors. Many people went all-in on some version of a disruptive portfolio [I didn't even bring up those who treated mega-tech stocks as a bank account with dividends and upside], There could be some serious wealth lost here that will affect the economy [and is likely already affecting the economy], Employees, some of whom also adopted disruptive portfolios. As the likelihood of a near-term rebound recedes, there will be wealth preservation as a focus. The number of IPOs and SPACs that are not just below their all-time highs, but below their launch prices, is scary, and that really hurts the employees, or at least those who couldn't sell, didn't sell, or sold, but diversified into a disruptive portfolio. This is all deflationary (which I’m told is a good thing] but I cannot see how this is a good thing for the economy or broader markets! But the Economy is So Resilient? I challenge this. If we have an inventory overhang, the economy may grind to a halt far quicker than many are expecting. If banks start tightening lending practices [clear evidence this is occurring and will likely get worse than better] we will see credit contraction and that will feed into the economy, rapidly. We have NEVER gone from low rates and QE to higher rates and QT successfully [we haven't had many attempts, but I remain convinced that QE is very different than rate cuts and that it affects asset prices quite directly - see Stop Trying to Translate Balance Sheet to BPS. The wealth effect must be bad overall and devastating to some segments. My view is that: Things definitely hit faster than people realized. Often the inflection point has already occurred while many are still applying straight line extrapolation to what they perceive to be the still “existing" trend. "Gumming" up the piping often leads to more problems, rather than a quick solution [and I completely believe the current high levels of volatility in markets and lack of depth in liquidity is a form of gumming up the pipes]. If the problem hits the financial sector it is too late (unless immediate/strong support from central banks is provided). So far, the banking sector is looking good, though Europe is lagging the U.S, in that respect. The ECB came up with half-hearted efforts to reduce Italian bond yields relative to others. The JGB stuck to their yield curve targeting, but markets will soon just expect that to get reversed at their next meeting. Finally, the Fed, unlike in March 2020, will have difficulty reversing course and helping. The good news is so far this isn’t hitting the banking system, but I am watching this sector closely, especially in Europe. Risk happens fast! It's a phrase often said, but often ignored. I'm not ignoring it right now. Commodity Wars? This is a bigger question, and one that is coming up more frequently, but have we entered into a global "war" to secure natural resources? I think that, increasingly, this is the reality we live in and that will be inflationary, just like reshoring, onshoring, securing supply chains, and “transforming“ energy production/ distribution, etc., will all be inflationary longer-term as well, But I've taken up too much space already today and that isn’t a question that needs to be answered to drive my current thinking, Bottom Line I am including what I wrote last week because it largely worked and my views haven't materially changed, I added some color and exactness on the views while definitely shifting from DEFCON 3 to DEFC0N2. I want to own Treasuries here at the wide end of the range, but for the first time, I'm scared that we could break out of this range (big problem]. The 10-year finished almost unchanged on the week, going from 3.16% last Friday to close at 3.23% (it did gap to 3.48% on Tuesday]. The swings in the 2-year were even more "insane" given the level and maturity. So, as recession talk heats up, yields should go down, but I’d spend a bit of option premium protecting against a rapid gap to higher yields. Credit spreads should outperform equities here, though both may be weak, (Verbatim from last week]. Equities could be hit by the double whammy of earnings concerns and multiple reduction. I am told there is a lot of support, but I think that we see new lows this week unless central banks change their tune, which seems incredibly unlikely). I still find it mind boggling that we prefer recession to inflation. Crypto should remain under pressure. I think bitcoin will be sub $20k< before it reaches $35k. Now I think it will be $12,000 before $24,000. Have a great Father's Day and enjoy the Juneteenth long weekend! (Though, I have to admit, I kind of wish markets were open on Monday because this is the trading environment that deep down, I have to admit, I enjoy!] Tyler Durden Tue, 06/21/2022 - 07:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 21st, 2022

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze"

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze" Following a relentless rout that erased nearly $2 trillion in market value from the S&P 500 last week, US equity futures have surged, extending their Monday holiday gains just as predicted on Sunday when we said that a "Nasty Squeeze" was on Deck following last week's "Second Largest Ever" shorting by hedge funds. Nasdaq 100 futures rose as much as 2.2% before trading 1.7% higher as major US tech and internet stocks advanced, poised to extend Friday’s gains; shares of Tesla and Twitter also rose following billionaire Elon Musk’s comments at the Qatar Economic Forum; S&P 500 futures gained 1.8%; the cash market was closed on Monday for a holiday. Asian and European stocks also advanced as did bitcoin which jumped above $21K after sliding below $18K briefly on Saturday. Meanwhile Treasuries and the US Dollar retreated. US stocks came under renewed pressure last week, with the S&P plunged into bear market territory amid surging inflation and fears that aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve will push the economy into a recession. The S&P 500 is set for an 11% drop in June, poised for the worst month since March 2020, which marked the lows of the pandemic selloff. Sentiment was somewhat boosted by Biden’s Monday comments on the economy in which he said that a recession isn't "inevitable" (what else will he say) but strategists have warned of more volatility ahead. “Even if the mid-term investing landscape remains blurry to most market operators at the beginning of this summer season, some investors looking for opportunities to buy shares at a discounted price have been reassured,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “The fact central banks are moving quickly towards a super hawkish stance in order to tame inflation is also perceived as good news by some.” In premarket trading, bank stocks also pushed higher amid a broader rebound in risk assets. In corporate news, HSBC has lost two senior investment bankers in Asia as global banks compete for financial technology talent and dealmaking slows. Meanwhile, the UK’s Payment Systems Regulator will focus a pair of market reviews on the rising card fees charged by Visa and Mastercard. Tech names were also solidly higher; notable movers included Apple +2.4%, Microsoft +2%, Amazon.com +2.6%, Alphabet +2.6%, Meta Platforms +2.1%, Nvidia +3.1% premarket; all six stocks closed higher on Friday, while US markets were closed for a holiday on Monday. Stocks related to cryptocurrencies were also indicating a rally as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Meanwhile, Revlon surged as much as 27% in premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Tesla (TSLA US) and Twitter (TWTR US) shares rose in premarket trading on Tuesday after billionaire Elon Musk said the CEO label at the social media firm was less important than driving the product and that Tesla will cut its salaried workforce by about 10% over  the next three months. Tesla rose 3.1% and Twitter was up 1.2% in premarket trading Revlon shares surge as much as 27% in US premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for bankruptcy. Major US technology and internet stocks advanced in premarket trading on Tuesday, poised to extend Friday’s gains. Apple (AAPL US) +2.4%, Microsoft (MSFT US) +2%, Amazon.com (AMZN US) +2.6%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) +2.6% Spirit (SAVE US) shares jump 13% in US premarket trading, to $24, after JetBlue (JBLU US) raised its offer to $33.50 per share from $31.50 on June 6, the latest move in a multi-billion dollar takeover contest with rival Frontier (ULCC US). Arrival shares jump 8.6% in US premarket trading after the electric- vehicle maker announced that its zero-emission van has achieved EU certification and received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. US-listed Chinese stocks are mostly higher in premarket trading, tracking a two-day 2.3% rise in the Hang Seng Tech Index. Alibaba (BABA US) +4.6%, Baidu (BIDU US) +3.5%, Pinduoduo (PDD US)+3.3% Stocks related to cryptocurrencies rise on Tuesday in US premarket trading as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +5.6%, Coinbase (COIN US) +4.7%, MicroStrategy (MSTR US) +5% Citi cuts ratings on International Paper Co. and WestRock to neutral from buy, citing increasing questions about demand as supply additions loom. International Paper falls 1.1% in premarket trading, WestRock -1.5% Keep an eye on Maxar shares as Wells Fargo said the stock is its top pick in the burgeoning space sector, initiating it at overweight, Rocket Lab at equal-weight and Virgin Galactic at underweight. Adobe (ADBE US) shares may be in focus today as the stock was downgraded to equal-weight and given Street-low $362 target from $591 by Morgan Stanley, on expectation of a slowing structural growth profile for the computer software company. After unexpectedly accelerating to a fresh 40-year high in May, US consumer price growth is seen slowing, with a Bloomberg survey of economists predicting 6.5% by the fourth quarter and to 3.5% by the middle of next year. Yet fears are rampant that Federal Reserve policy makers intent on cooling price pressures will go too far and trigger an economic slowdown. Strategists at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned equities may have further to fall to fully price in the risk of recession, reflecting wider skepticism about Tuesday’s rebound. “We think equities will struggle to rebound sustainably until earnings expectations reset lower and/or central banks turn more dovish, which seems unlikely for now,” said Emmanuel Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays Plc. European stocks also extended their recent recovery, with the region’s benchmark Stoxx 600 Index rising 1%, led by gains in basic resources and chemical companies’ shares. Consumer discretionary, chemicals and autos also trade well. CAC 40 outperforms. Leonardo jumps as much as 9.7% in Milan trading after its DRS unit agreed to buy Israeli radar-maker RADA Electronic in an all-stock transaction. Valneva rises as much as 23% after CEO Franck Grimaud said the company’s Lyme disease vaccine has the potential of becoming a “blockbuster” with sales of more than 1 billion euros. K+S and OCI shares gain after JPMorgan said valuations are “compelling” and fundamentals remain positive. European fertilizer shares had dropped recently because of rising gas prices. OCI rises as much as 4.6%; K+S +6.3% Air Liquide climbs as much as 3.9%, after the French industrial gas company signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Vattenfall. Mithra rises as much as 21% after the pharmaceutical company said it received subscription commitments for 3.87m new shares at an issue price of EU6.07 apiece, representing a 5% discount to last close. Richemont and Swatch advance after Swiss watch exports for the month of May showed strong demand versus the year-earlier period in the US and Japan as well as in European countries such as France and the UK. Luxury peers also trading higher in a wider rebound. Richemont gains as much as 2.8%, Swatch +2.8%, Hermes +3.3%, LVMH +3.7% European apparel retail shares drop after JPMorgan downgrades Asos, About You, Boohoo and Primark owner AB Foods to neutral from overweight, citing the cost of living crisis with cracks emerging in discretionary spending. Asos declines as much as 5.1%, Boohoo -4.8%, About You -4.3%, AB Foods -3.2% Proximus and Telenet slide after a statement by the Belgian telecom regulator showed that new entrant Citymesh partnered with Romanian carrier Digi Communications and acquired spectrum across various bands. Proximus shares fall as much as 7.8%, Telenet -3.9% Earlier in the session, MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index snapped an eight-day slide to add more than 1% as Asian equities headed for their biggest gain this month. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.8%, set to snap an eight-day losing streak, with financial and tech stocks among the biggest contributors to its advance. The US president spoke overnight after a conversation with former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, as the White House and congressional Democrats are in talks on legislation that aims to fight inflation. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong led gains in the region. Australia’s index advanced for the first time in days after central bank chief Philip Lowe signaled he will only raise interest rates by 25-to-50 basis points at the July meeting. Chinese shares edged lower after recent gains.  “It’s a respite, not a rebound,” said Charu Chanana, a market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets. “We are still in a bear market that is facing a double whammy of Fed tightening and building recession fears, and the second-quarter earnings season is likely to be particularly painful for the markets” due to cost pressures, she added.  Valuations for the MSCI Asia gauge have continued to slide toward pandemic lows, with the index down 18% this year. Still, it’s outperforming a measure of global shares, supported by a rally in Chinese equities this month as the country emerges from Covid-triggered lockdowns. Japanese stocks advanced as investors weighed the impact of the yen’s weakness and the extent of the recent selloff. The Topix Index rose 2% to 1,856.20 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 1.8% to 26,246.31. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 4%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 2,023 rose and 108 fell, while 39 were unchanged. “Stocks that are expected to have an upward revision from the weak yen may be firm,” said Mitsushige Akino, a senior executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.4% to close at 6,523.80, snapping a seven day losing steak. The benchmark was led by gains in banks and miners, with the financials sub-gauge rising the most since March 10.  In early trade, Australia’s central bank Governor Philip Lowe said he didn’t see a recession on the horizon for the nation.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.1% to 10,701.59 India’s benchmark share index posted its biggest two-day advance since May 30, boosted by a recovery in information technology stocks and as investors looked for bargains after a sharp selloff last week.  The S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.8% to close at 52,532.07 in Mumbai, taking its two-day advance to 2.3%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced 1.9%. All of the 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a measure of oil & gas companies. “Crude prices have corrected by almost 10% from its recent peak, providing some breather to the Indian market,” Motilal Oswal Financial analyst Siddhartha Khemka wrote in a note.   Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 1.6%. All but one of 30 shares in the Sensex index rose. Of the top ten performers on the measure, half were information technology companies, led by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. that clocked its biggest advance this month.  In rates, treasuries were cheaper across the curve as trading resumed after Monday’s US holiday; cash USTs bear steepened, but trim losses after cheapening ~5bps at the Asia reopen.  Long-end leads losses with stock futures rising after last week’s rout. US yields are ere cheaper by as much as 6bp at long end, steepening 2s10s by nearly 3bp, 5s30s by nearly 4bp; 10-year, higher by ~5bp at 3.27% lags bund and gilts by 3bp and 4.5bp while Italian bonds outperform Treasuries by 12bp in the sector. Bunds and gilts outperform Treasuries, while Italian bonds extend recent gains after ECB’s Olli Rehn reiterated determination to combat unwarranted spikes in borrowing costs for some of the region’s most vulnerable economies.  That said the ECB has yet to disclose said measures, a move which most agree will lead to selling the news. Gilts bull flatten, 10y yields drop 4bps after stalling near 2.6%. Bunds are comparatively quiet. Shorter-maturity Australian bonds rallied after central bank chief Philip Lowe said interest rates are likely to rise by 50 basis points at most in July. Money markets subsequently scrapped bets he would track the Federal Reserve with a 75 basis-point move. Japanese government bonds were mixed after a five-year note sale that drew the weakest demand in more than two years in the aftermath of wild price swings in futures that have made some traders uneasy about their exposure to cash bonds. In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot index fell 0.3% as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. JPY is the weakest in G-10, plunging to a fresh 24 year low of 136. NOK and SEK outperform. The euro advanced and European bonds rallied, led by the front end even as ECB Governing Council Member Peter Kazimir said negative rates must be history by September. Governing Council member Olli Rehn separetely said that “there has been good reason to expedite the normalization of monetary policy”. The pound extended gains amid broad dollar weakness while UK government bonds inched up. BOE Chief Economist Huw Pill said policy makers would sacrifice growth in order to bring down inflation, saying there’s a risk of prices developing a “self-sustaining momentum. In commodities, WTI drifted 2.3% higher to trade near $112. Most base metals trade in the green; LME zinc rises 2.8%, outperforming peers. LME aluminum lags, dropping 0.3%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,838/oz. Bitcoin is bid and above the USD 21k mark, after last week's slip to a sub-USD 18k low. Elon Musk says he intends to personally support Dogecoin, via BBG TV. Coinbase (COIN) says connectivity issues across Coinbase and Coinbase Pro could cause failed trades and delayed transactions; issue was subsequently resolved. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.9% to 3,744.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 411.06 MXAP up 1.5% to 158.77 MXAPJ up 1.5% to 528.18 Nikkei up 1.8% to 26,246.31 Topix up 2.0% to 1,856.20 Hang Seng Index up 1.9% to 21,559.59 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,306.72 Sensex up 2.2% to 52,741.19 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.4% to 6,523.81 Kospi up 0.7% to 2,408.93 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.76% Euro up 0.5% to $1.0567 Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.53/bbl Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.52/bbl Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,835.31 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.61% to 104.06 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg UK rail workers began Britain’s biggest rail strike in three decades after unions rejected a last-minute offer from train companies, bringing services nationwide to a near standstill. Britain’s local authorities say they can’t afford to pay a mandated increase in the legal minimum wage over the next year without a £400 million cash injection from the national government A majority of European businesses are worried about their ability to meet employee demands for higher wages amid the current spike in inflation, according to a regional survey by Intrum AB Companies in Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy are the most distressed since August 2020, according to the Weil European Distress Index. The study aggregates data from more than 3,750 listed European firms A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks gained across amid a broad constructive global risk tone despite a lack of fresh macro drivers and the recent holiday closure in the US, with Bitcoin and Chinese commodity prices also stabilising after the recent tumultuous price action. ASX 200 was led higher by the energy sector and after RBA's Lowe effectively ruled out a 75bps hike next month. Nikkei 225 outperformed and reclaimed the 26,000 level amid a predominantly weaker currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were positive with sentiment in Hong Kong underpinned by news the SAR is to propose a quarantine-free business travel corridor with mainland China, while mainland bourses lagged with the US ban on imports from Xinjiang taking effect from today. Japan's PM Kishida says rapid JPY weakening is a source of concern, must closely watch FX moves and consider monetary policy and FX measures separately. Top Asian News Chinese Developer Accepts Wheat, Garlic as Payment to Woo Buyers China Junk Bond Selloff in New Phase With Record Fosun Rout Gold Steady as Traders Weigh Central Bank Plans to Hike Rates Australian Tesla-Supplier Eyes First Lithium Exports Over- Optimism Among China Steel-Makers Behind Iron Ore’s Plunge European bourses are firmer and building on Monday's upside, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1%; thus far, newsflow has largely focused on familiar themes. Additionally, participants are awaiting the return of the US after Monday's market holiday. Currently, ES +1.7% with the region incrementally outperforming European peers. Elon Musk says there a still a few unresolved matters with Twitter (TWTR) including the number of spam users, via BBG TV; still awaiting a resolution, very significant. Adds, they are reducing the salaried workforce of Tesla (TSLA) by circa. 10% over the next three-months. Top European News French President Macron will invite all parties able to form a group in the new parliament for talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Reuters. BDI revises down 2022 German GDP forecasts: 1.5% (prev. 3.5%); return to pre-COVID level expected at end-2022 at the earliest Central Banks ECB’s Lane said very high inflation means there is a risk inflation psychology could take hold and said the larger increment for rate increase in September does not represent a red alert assessment of inflation. Lane also commented that he doesn’t see a situation where they would need to revisit the plan for a July decision and there is no preview beyond September of what will be the appropriate pace of tightening, according to Reuters. ECB’s Villeroy said the new instrument should be available as much as necessary to make the no-limit commitment to protect the Euro very clear and the more credible such an instrument is, the less it may have to be used in practice. Villeroy added the new instrument will have rules but there will be elements of judgement also and said they would not necessarily need to hold purchases of government or private sector securities to maturity, according to Reuters. ECB's Rehn says EZ inflation pressured are broader and stronger; very likely the September move is more than 25bp in magnitude. BoE's Pill says if there is evidence of persistent price pressures, the MPC is certainly prepared to act, expects further tightening in the coming months, need to consider the exchange rate when assessing inflationary pressures. Worries that using monetary policy to stabilise the FX rate in the short-term would be a distraction from the BoE's goals. HKMA purchases HKD 9.6bln from the market, as the HKD hits the weak-end of the trading range. FX Euro firm as risk revival continues and ECB’s Rehn says 50bp hike in September is highly probable, EUR/USD eyeing 1.0600 after breaching 1.0550, but could be capped by 1bln option expiry interest between 1.0575-85. Sterling rebounds ahead of CBI industrial trends and after BoE chief economist Pill underlines willingness to act if price pressures prove persistent; Pound probes 1.2300 vs Dollar as DXY slips further from recent peaks through 104.000. Loonie and Nokkie boosted by firmer crude prices, as former awaits Canadian retail sales data; USD/CAD close to 1.2900 vs circa 1.3078 double top, EUR/NOK sub-10.4000 within 104.4200+/10.3400 range. Kiwi and Aussie underpinned by improvement in risk appetite, but hampered as NZ consumer sentiment slides to record low and RBA Governor Lowe pushes back on the amount of 2022 tightening priced in at present; NZD/USD hovers above 0.6350 and AUD/USD shy of 0.7000. Franc and Yen remain divergent with SNB and BoJ policy paths, latter largely ignoring latest verbal intervention; USD/CHF pivots 0.9650 and USD/JPY back above 135.00. Israel PM Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid agreed on dissolving the Knesset and going for an early election, while the vote will take place next week and Lapid will become PM once the vote passes, according to Walla News. Fixed Income Debt divergent and erratic awaiting the return of US cash markets from long holiday weekend. Bunds hold within 143.05-144.01 range and Gilts between 111.11-68 parameters. Treasury futures retreat and curve flits from marginal flattening to steepening ahead of US existing home sales and more Fed speak via Mester and Barkin Commodities WTI and Brent are bid amid broader risk sentiment with newsflow focusing on familiar themes primarily around the reduction in Russia's gas supply to Europe. Thus far, Brent has tested but failed to connivingly breach the USD 116.00/bbl mark ahead of touted USD 116.37/bbl resistance. US Treasury Secretary Yellen said she does not see resuming the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a short-term measure that can address high oil prices, while she added it would take years to have an impact. Yellen also commented that evidence is mixed on the level of pass-through from a gasoline tax holiday to lower prices and said that an exception or ban on insurance for certain Russian oil shipments would effectively provide a price cap on oil, according to Reuters. Brazilian Economy Minister Guedes said Brazil is part of the western energy security, particularly for Europe, while he added that privatising and moving Petrobras to Novo Mercado would increase its market cap from BRL 450bln to BRL 750bln. Guedes added that they will conduct new measures again if the war in Ukraine is escalating, according to Reuters. PetroEcuador may have to stop exports if protests continue and it declared a force majeure to avoid contract penalties, according to Reuters. Vitol CEO says markets are faced with underinvestment and falling production capacity for crude and there is a relatively tight refining situation, via Reuters; if China exports some more products, the tightness felt today won't be felt. Denmark's energy agency declared an 'early warning' stage of gas supply preparedness, according to Reuters. German regulator says they are not in a hurry to declare the highest gas emergency level yet, via Reuters citing BR; however, Sweden declares an "early warning" stage of gas supply preparedness for Western and Southern parts of the nation. Codelco's union presidents ratified the start of a national strike beginning on Wednesday, according to Reuters; an update which, alongside broader risk, is supporting LME Copper. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.47, prior 0.47 10:00: May Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -3.7%, prior -2.4% 10:00: May Home Resales with Condos, est. 5.4m, prior 5.61m Central Banks 11:00: Fed’s Barkin Interviewed During NABE Event 12:00: Fed’s Mester Speaks at Women in Leadership Event 15:30: Fed’s Barkin Speaks in Richmond DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’ll be publishing my latest monthly chartbook later today so keep an eye out for it. It will include the slides for last week’s webinar on the default study “The end of the ultra-low default world”. See here for the webinar replay and here for the original default study. Welcome to the longest day of the year although most in markets will already say we've had numerous of those already so far this year. Actually if you're outside of London, trying to get in it could be a very, very long day as the UK is today gripped by the first of three alternate day rail strikes. There is a tube strike today thrown in for good measure. It does seem industrial relations with the government are on a knife edge across the UK as at least 3 million workers across different professions are considering industrial action at the moment over pay and working conditions. So this could become a much bigger story if tensions are not eased. With inflation this high it's not easy to see how they can be without big pay rises being offered. However on this day of wall to wall sun (sorry to the Southern Hemisphere readers), there has been a little more light than dark in markets over the last 24 hours after what was the worst week for global equities since March 2020. The next major event(s) to look forward to are Fed Chair Powell’s congressional testimonies from tomorrow. To be honest though, its been a fairly quiet start to the week given the US holiday yesterday, with the biggest news instead being a fresh rise in European sovereign bond yields after President Lagarde reiterated the ECB’s intentions to start hiking next month, and also shone a bit more light on their plans to deal with any potential fragmentation. We’ll start with those remarks from Lagarde, who appeared in a hearing at the European Parliament yesterday and spoke strongly against any potential fragmentation in the Euro Area. Indeed, she said that “we need to be absolutely certain” that monetary policy was being transmitted to the different Euro Area countries and went as far to say that it was “right at the core of the mandate”, whilst adding “anybody who doubts that determination will be making a big mistake”. So not quite “whatever it takes” but along the same lines. Given the ECB has promised to deal with any fragmentation, that should make life easier for them when it comes to raising rates, and European sovereign bond yields responded accordingly yesterday. Looking at the specific moves, yields on 10yr bunds (+9.0bps), OATs (+11.8bps) and BTPs (+12.3bps) all moved noticeably higher, although by the standards of last week that seemed quite modest given that 10yr bund yields had seen absolute moves of 11bps in either direction on 3 out of 5 days last week. When it came to bonds though, it was UK gilts who were one of the biggest underperformers yesterday after we heard from one of the more hawkish members of the Bank of England’s MPC. Catherine Mann (who was in the minority that favoured of a 50bps move last week) said in a speech that “the incoming data on inflation show increasingly domestic embeddedness, persistence, and momentum”. Furthermore, she also warned about the risk of embedded domestic inflation being “further boosted by inflation imported via a Sterling depreciation”. Against that backdrop, 10yr gilt yields rose by +10.6bps to close above 2.6% for the first time since 2014, whilst overnight index swaps are continuing to price in a more aggressive response from the BoE after the next meeting, with 50bp moves priced in for each of the next 3 meetings, which would be the fastest pace of hikes since they gained operational independence in 1997. In spite of the sovereign bond selloff, equities put in a much better performance yesterday, with the STOXX 600 (+0.91%) seeing a broad-based advance that was supported by all the main sector groups. Other indices on the continent also moved higher, including the FTSE 100 (+1.50%), the DAX (+1.06%) and the FTSE MIB (+0.99%). The worst performer on a relative basis was France’s CAC 40 (+0.64%), which struggled following the news that President Macron had lost his parliamentary majority, which will make passing his agenda much more difficult in the coming years. See our economists’ piece on the topic here. With the US holiday we only had futures to look at, but those on the S&P 500 had moved around +1% higher by the time of the European close. They are +1.62% higher this morning with the NASDAQ 100 futures (+1.71%) also meaningfully higher. Meanwhile, Fed funds futures were again moving in the direction of pricing in a more aggressive path of rate hikes, with the implied rate by the December meeting up +7.18bps to 3.625%, albeit still beneath their closing peak of 3.72% just before the Fed meeting, which meant that Treasury futures were also pointing to fresh declines yesterday as well. Asian equity markets are relatively buoyant this morning with the Nikkei (+1.76%) leading the pack followed by the Hang Seng (+1.42%). In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (+0.18%) and CSI (+0.12%) are also trading in positive territory whilst the Kospi (+1.03%) is sharply higher in early trade. Elsewhere, the meeting minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released this morning indicated that the central bank is leaning towards more monetary policy tightening over the coming months. The minutes also revealed that inflation was expected to increase to 7% by the end of the year due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, before coming back towards the 2-3% inflation range in 2023. Meanwhile, the RBA Governor Philip highlighted that interest rates were still "very low" but watered-down expectations of 75bps rate hikes thus signaling a 25 or 50bps move at the July meeting. On the FX side, the Aussie Dollar did witness a sharp dip during the RBA Governor’s Q&A session but is reversing losses, trading +0.35% at 0.697 per US dollar, as I type. Elsewhere the Japanese yen has remained under pressure at 135.03 per dollar, not far off a 24-year low of 135.58 hit early last week. Separately, oil prices are higher this morning with Brent futures (+1.04%) at $115.32/bbl and WTI futures increasing +1.79% to $111.52/bbl. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/21/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 21st, 2022

The January 6 select committee has tapped 19 key witnesses to testify about the Capitol riot. Here"s who"s up next.

These key witnesses are expected to help the January 6 committee explain what happened before, during, and after the deadly US Capitol attack in a series of public hearings. Then-White House legislative affairs director Marc Short (L) and Vice President Mike Pence in the Rose Garden at the White House on June 6, 2018 in Washington, DC.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The January 6 committee plans to put key witnesses on the stand during its public hearings. Key testimony is expected from Trump administration officials and those present at the Capitol. Witnesses to date have included Capitol Police, Justice Department officials and riot embeds. The select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack has interviewed nearly 1,000 people since it converged about a year ago. The panel has mapped out plans for six public hearings related to its investigation and is expected to call some of its key witnesses to testify in what is expected to be a widely-viewed series of events.The committee's fourth public hearing, featuring state lawmakers and election officials from the swing states of Arizona and Georgia, is scheduled for 1 pm on Tuesday, June 21. The fifth public hearing is scheduled for 3 pm on Thursday, June 23.This story will be updated as new information becomes available.Rusty Bowers, GOP Speaker of Arizona's House of RepresentativesArizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers offers up an amendment as lawmakers debate among three proposed laws that are designed to deal with distracted driving caused by cellphone use, on the floor of the House of Representatives at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix.AP Photo/Ross D. FranklinAs the leading lawmaker in the Arizona House, Bowers has been pressured by Trumpworld to overturn the 2020 election results. Bowers has rebuffed efforts to interfere with Biden's lawful win advanced by Trump, former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Ginni Thomas, the insurrection-stoking wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and fellow Arizona Republicans.January 6 committee staff confirmed that Bowers is set to testify on Tuesday, June 21.Pat Cipollone, former Trump White House counselFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said he would testify about Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who outlined ways for Trump to challenge the 2020 election.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesCipollone was one of former President Donald Trump's top legal advisors on January 6, 2021. Cipollone is reportedly in talks with the January 6 committee to publicly testify about last year's Capitol riot and would focus on discussing Jeffrey Clark, a former top Justice Department official who reportedly used his powers to try and aid Trump in overturning the 2020 election.Richard Donoghue, former Department of Justice officialUS Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue.Kena Betancur/Getty ImagesDonoghue was serving as Trump's acting deputy attorney general on January 6, 2021. CNN reported that Donoghue jotted down notes about a call he was on during which Trump tried pressuring him and Rosen to overturn the 2020 election results. Donaghue is expected to testify at a future hearing. Caroline Edwards, US Capitol Police officerUS Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was the first law enforcement officer injured by rioters storming the Capitol grounds on January 6, testifies during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 09, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol for almost a year, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for Joe Biden. U.S. Capitol Police Officer Pfc. Harry Dunn listens behind.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesEdwards was one of the congressional police officers who confronted the violent mob of Trump supporters as they swarmed the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. The New York Times reported that she was thrown to the ground, blinded with chemical spray, and suffered a concussion during the hours-long ordeal. Edwards testified on June 9 about the carnage she witnessed that day.Steve Engel, former Department of Justice attorneyProsecutors charged two men with giving gifts to ingratiate themselves with federal law enforcement officers.Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty ImagesEngel was an attorney in Trump's Department of Justice on January 6, 2021. ABC News reported that January 6 committee members want to work him into a panel that would include former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, and Donoghue, the former acting deputy attorney general. Engel is expected to testify at a future hearing. Benjamin Ginsberg, GOP election lawyerBenjamin Ginsberg, right, and Robert Bauer, co-chairs of The Presidential Commission on Election and Administration, prepare to testify before a Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing in Russell Building titled "Bipartisan Support for Improving U.S. Elections: An Overview from the Presidential Commission on Election Administration."Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallGinsberg is one of the attorneys who worked on the month-long recount fight in 2000 that ended with George W. Bush becoming president. In 2000, Ginsberg wrote that the GOP was "destroying itself on the altar of Trump" in a scathing op-ed. Ginsberg testified June 13.Cassidy Hutchinson, Trump White House aideWhite House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and White House legislative aide Cassidy Hutchinson (R) dance to the song YMCA as President Donald Trump ends a campaign rally.Alex Brandon/AP ImagesHutchinson worked for then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on January 6, 2021. She's reportedly been interviewed for more than 20 hours and has provided "extensive information about Meadows's activities in trying to overturn the election."Greg Jacob, former Mike Pence general counselSusan Walsh/AP ImagesJacob is one of the people then-Trump attorney John Eastman blamed for the violence on January 6."The 'siege' is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened," Eastman wrote to Jacob during the attack, according to The Washington Post.Jacob testified on June 16.Michael Luttig, conservative attorney and former judgeSusan Walsh/AP ImagesLuttig is a conservative lawyer and former appeals court judge who advised Vice President Mike Pence during Trump's attempt to overturn the election, The Washington Post reported.Luttig testified that Trump is working on rigging the 2024 election "in plain sight" on June 16.Wandrea ArShaye Moss, former Georgia election workerWandrea' "Shaye" Moss, former Fulton County, Georgia, election worker delivers remarks after receiving the 2022 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, Sunday, May 22, 2022, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.AP Photo/Josh ReynoldsMoss was a full-time employee in the Fulton County, Georgia elections office during the 2020 election who was harassed by Trump supporters who embraced the embattled former president's baseless claims of election fraud. January 6 committee staff confirmed that Moss is set to testify on Tuesday, June 21.Byung J. Pak, former US attorney for the northern district of GeorgiaRon Harris/AP ImagesPak was a Department of Justice attorney in Atlanta who resigned in January 2021 because he said he refused to go along with President Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud. Pak testified on June 13.Nick Quested, British filmmaker who documented the Proud BoysNick Quested accepts the Courage Under Fire Award at the 33rd Annual IDA Documentary Awards at Paramount Theatre on December 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for International Documentary AssociationThe British documentarian had been following the Trump-supporting Proud Boys in the months leading up to January 6, 2021, and was likely privy to planning conversations involving alleged rioter Enrique Tarrio, the New York Times reported. The Department of Justice charged Tarrio with seditious conspiracy on Monday. Quested testified on June 9. Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's secretary of stateGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger holds a press conference on the status of ballot counting on November 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.Jessica McGowan/Getty ImagesRaffensperger was one of the Georgia officials Trump famously asked to "find" 12,000 votes he needed to beat Biden in the Peach State. Instead, Raffensperger conducted a recount and certified Biden's victory, compelling Trump to campaign against him in May's GOP primary (which Raffensperger won, anyway). January 6 committee staff confirmed that Raffensperger is set to testify on Tuesday, June 21.Jeff Rosen, former acting attorney generalFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen has already testified about Trump's efforts to pressure DOJ.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesRosen was serving as Trump's acting attorney general on January 6, 2021. He spoke to the committee in October 2021 about ideas Trump and those who supported false claims about the 2020 election kicked around in order to try and overturn the results. Rosen is expected to testify at a future hearing. Al Schmidt, former Philadelphia city commissionerPhiladelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt stands outside the Pennsylvania Convention Centre on November 6,2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Lynsey Addario/Getty ImagesSchmidt was a city commissioner for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who defended the state's electoral process in 2020, thus invoking former President Donald Trump's wrath. Schmidt testified on June 13.Marc Short, former Mike Pence chief of staffMarc Short (C), former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, joins other Republicans at an election-night rally for gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles on November 02, 2021 in Chantilly, Virginia. Virginians went to the polls Tuesday to vote in the gubernatorial race that pits Youngkin against Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesShort was Pence's chief of staff on January 6, 2021. Short warned the Secret Service that Trump was about to publicly attack his boss the day before the January 6 insurrection. The committee showed clips from his taped deposition during the June 16 hearing. Bill Stepien, former Trump campaign managerTrump campaign manager Bill Stepien stands alongside then-US President Donald Trump as he speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One as he flies from Manchester, New Hampshire to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, August 28, 2020, following a campaign rally.Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty ImagesStepien was former President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager. The New York Times reports that during a meeting on November 7, 2021 at which Trump was pushing his baseless claims of election fraud Stepien laid out the "exceedingly low odds of success with his challenges." January 6 committee staff announced on June 12 that Stepien was scheduled to testify on Monday, June 13, but later said Stepien would not appear due to a family emergency and that his lawyer would make an on the record statement.Gabriel Sterling, Georgia state election officialGabriel Sterling, Georgia's Voting System Implementation manager, speaks during a press conference addressing Georgia's alleged voter irregularities at the Georgia State Capitol on January 04, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. In a one-hour phone call Saturday with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's Secretary of State, President Trump urged him to overturn his defeat in the November election against President-elect Joe Biden.Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty ImagesSterling is Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperberger's top deputy. January 6 committee staff confirmed that Sterling is set to testify on Tuesday, June 21.Chris Stirewalt, former Fox News executiveSusan Walsh/AP ImagesStirewalt was the Fox digital politics editor who called Arizona for Joe Biden on election night 2020. He was fired in January 2021. Stirewalt testified on June 13.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 20th, 2022

The Criminal Order Beneath The "Chaos" Of San Francisco"s Tenderloin

The Criminal Order Beneath The 'Chaos' Of San Francisco's Tenderloin Authored by Leighton Woodhouse via RealClearInvestigations, The epicenter of the political earthquakes rattling San Francisco’s progressive establishment is a 30-square-block neighborhood in the center of downtown known as the Tenderloin. Photo: Michael Shellenberger Adjacent to some of the city’s most famous attractions, including the high-end shopping district Union Square, the old money redoubt of Nob Hill, historic Chinatown, and the city’s gold-capped City Hall, it is home to a giant, open-air drug bazaar. Tents fill the sidewalks. Addicts sit on curbs and lean against walls, nodding off to their fentanyl and heroin fixes, or wander around in meth-induced psychotic states. Drug dealers stake out their turf and sell in broad daylight, while the immigrant families in the five-story, pre-war apartment buildings shepherd their kids to school, trying to maintain as normal an existence as they can. “If you happen to be walking through the Tenderloin and you feel unsafe, imagine what it feels like to live there,” said Joel Engardio, head of Stop Crime SF, a civilian public safety group. “The Tenderloin has one of the largest percentages of children in the city. It’s untenable, inexcusable to ask them to confront this hellscape.”  “The Tenderloin is out of control,” said Tom Ostly, a former San Francisco prosecutor who used to work there and lives nearby. “It has never been worse than it is now.” Nancy Tung, a prosecutor who once handled drug enforcement in San Francisco, called it “ground zero for human misery.” Kathy Looper, who has run a low-income, single resident occupancy hotel in the Tenderloin for more than 45 years, said, “It feels like we’re in Gotham,” adding that she once considered putting a spotlight on her hotel roof and projecting a Batman signal into the sky. The crime and disorder of the Tenderloin may appear to be symptoms of deep and mysterious sociological forces. Chesa Boudin, who was ousted last week as San Francisco’s district attorney because of his lenient policies, argued, “We can’t arrest and prosecute our way out of the problems that are afflicting the Tenderloin.” But there is a fairly straightforward kind of order beneath the chaos: an illicit market economy operating in plain sight. The Tenderloin is home to two sprawling, overlapping transnational organized crime networks – one centered on drugs and the other on theft – which thrive in that neighborhood because of the near-total absence of the enforcement of laws. The Tenderloin, an infamous attraction to some, next to some of the city's most famous attractions. Google Maps Crowded onto its street corners and inside the tents congesting the sidewalk, countless petty criminals play their roles in a structured and symbiotic criminal enterprise. Its denizens fall into four main groups: the boosters, typically homeless and addicted, who steal from local stores; the street fences who buy the stolen merchandise; the dealers who sell them drugs for the money they make from the fences; and, at the top of the stack, the drug cartel that supplies the dealers and the wholesale fences that resell the goods acquired by street fences. Each has a role to play in keeping the machine moving, and the police know exactly how to disrupt it. Experts say the city could, in fact, arrest and prosecute its way out of most of the problems in the Tenderloin if it chose to. It thrives, instead, as a zone of lawless sovereignty in the heart of a major American city – the criminal version of the area commanded by Seattle anarchists in the so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, in 2020. Where those extra-legal districts were eventually dismantled, the Tenderloin’s structure is entrenched. The following portrait of the Tenderloin crime syndicate is based on dozens of conversations with law enforcement officers, prosecutors, recovering street addicts, parents of addicts, and community activists over many months, as well as direct observation of the area. “Everyone knows what’s going on. The cops, mayor, and D.A.,” said Tom Wolf, a recovering addict. “Everyone knows it's organized and cartel-backed. They just don't think it's worth it to stop it, because nothing’s going to change anyway. They've surrendered.” Dealing in the Tenderloin: a low-risk business. KPIX CBS/YouTube The Dealers The drug pushers are easy to spot: Unlike the users, they look healthy and wear clean clothes. They’re almost universally young men, mostly Honduran (on the streets of San Francisco they’re called “Hondos”). You see them standing on street corners on every block in the Tenderloin selling pills out of prescription drug bottles and white and colored powders out of plastic sandwich bags – fentanyl, meth, heroin, cocaine. The dealers stand in packs of eight to ten on a corner, in their jeans and hoodies, with their stashes in their backpacks. According to both drug enforcement authorities and recovering addicts, each works for a different supplier and each supplier leads back to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. They compete for customers, but they also look out for each other: If someone tries to rob one of them, Wolf explained, they all jump in to defend him. Dealers have their assigned corners – like Turk and Hyde, across the street from a playground, or Golden Gate and Hyde, or United Nations Plaza. They mostly live in apartments on East Oakland’s International Boulevard, according to Ostly, and take the BART train to the Civic Center station each morning with the other commuters. Both civilians and police officers have observed them splitting up bindles of drugs and divvying up cash in plain view of commuters on the BART trains. During his tenure, Chesa Boudin resisted calls to prosecute these dealers, instead referring to them as victims of human trafficking. (Boudin, whose replacement is to be named by Mayor London Breed, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.) “There’s not a whole lot to support it,” Nancy Tung said of Boudin’s human trafficking claim. The dealers are usually smuggled into the United States by the cartel. When they arrive in San Francisco or another American city, they owe the cartel for getting them there – typically $10,000 to $15,000, which they can earn in a couple of weeks byselling the cartel’s drugs, both law enforcement and recovered addicts say. Once they repay the cartel, they’re free to do whatever they want. Usually, they stick with drug dealing, because no other job can make them that much money with so little risk. Dealers in the Tenderloin typically make about $1,000 a day for an eight- to 12-hour shift. Under Boudin, drug dealing was a low-risk business. Lou Barberini, a retired San Francisco police officer who worked narcotics in the 1990s and 2000s in the Tenderloin, said dealers used to shield drug deals with their hands or bodies as they sold them. Wolf, the recovering addict, said that before the pandemic, they would hold their drugs in baggies concealed in their mouths and spit them out when they made a sale.  “Now,” Barberini said, “they display what they have in their hand, and the person will select what they’re going to buy.” The worst consequence of being arrested is losing your stash, so for high volume transactions they might duck behind a car. That’s about the extent of the precautions they feel it necessary to take. Addicts: heat-seeking missiles when they need a fix, listless as nursed babies when they get it. AP  The Boosters The buyers, or addicts, are usually homeless and unsheltered, and, like the Bay Area, racially diverse. They’re often gaunt if they’re not obese, hunched over, in ill-fitting clothes draped across their limbs. They’re like a heat-seeking missile when looking for their next fix, and as listless as a nursed baby after they’ve found it. They would stand out in any other neighborhood, but in the Tenderloin it’s the non-users who are conspicuous, and the users who blend into the crowd. Finding drugs in the Tenderloin is about as hard as ordering a kebab from a food cart. On any corner, dealers holler out their inventory like hot dog vendors at a ballpark: “Green is fire! Shards! Chiva! Nickel!” (Translation: “The green pills or powder are great! I also have meth, heroin, and crack.”) Or “Fenty! Bars!” (As in: “Get your fentanyl! I got some Xanax!”)  The addicts often suffer from schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar disorder, which is often induced by meth. They are almost always unemployable. Cash flow is thus a daily concern.  Typically, they turn to professional shoplifting, known as “boosting.” Boosting is “basically a job” for addicts, said Lieutenant Kevin Domby of the California Highway Patrol. To fuel their addiction, boosters need to bring in up to $60 daily. Since they usually get a dollar or two per item, no matter the value of whatever they’re stealing, they have to steal as many as 60 items a day. There are roughly 6,000 homeless people in the Tenderloin and adjacent SoMa neighborhoods. (The last official, citywide count, in 2019, reported just over 8,000 homeless, and pretty much everyone says that figure has jumped in the past three years.) Tom Wolf estimated that about one in five of the homeless in the Tenderloin, or 1,200 people, are boosters. That means thousands, if not tens of thousands, of items are being stolen daily. “I still get letters from Target,” said Gina McDonald, a former addict and the mother of a Tenderloin user who’s now in rehabilitation. Her daughter started boosting years ago to feed her addiction, and her mom has been hearing from the retailers’ lawyers ever since. Like drug use and drug dealing, shoplifting has been effectively decriminalized in San Francisco, and some chains have reduced their presence in the city. California’s Proposition 47, passed in 2014, reduced shoplifting of less than $950 in goods from felonies to misdemeanors. On top of that reduction in severity, Boudin scaled back prosecution of these crimes. Together, Prop 47 and the DA’s non-enforcement policy have removed any incentive for police officers to make arrests for shoplifting, which, in turn, has made it far less likely that retailers will even call the police in the first place. For that reason, it’s difficult to estimate the actual scale of the problem. But you get a pretty good sense how normalized it has become. Today, in San Francisco, you can walk into a Walgreens, a Safeway, a Target or a CVS, take hundreds of dollars of products off the shelf in front of customers and employees, walk out the door, and then come back a few hours later and do it all over again. “We’ll see the same folks go into multiple retailers, multiple times a day,” said Ben Dugan of the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail. “The stores are their ATMs.” The Fences But stolen goods aren’t money, so the boosters take their goods to the fences. They’re often middle-aged Latino men or elderly Chinese men and women. Fences sometimes roam around the Tenderloin or United Nations Plaza looking for boosters, or they might work out of a nondescript storefront. Some sell the stolen goods out of their own stores in the Tenderloin or in Chinatown, while others source for larger wholesale fencing organizations that launder the goods through online retailers on Amazon, EBay, or Facebook Marketplace. Often, Domby says, fences will text the boosters on WhatsApp or Snapchat or on a private Instagram page and tell them what products they’re in the market for: Tide Pods or cold medicines with long expiration dates or makeup or razor blades. Then, the boosters fill those orders, stealing as much as they need to get their next fix. “Boosters will go into a pharmacy with a shopping list,” Dugan told me. The fences and the dealers work in a kind of synergy with each other – so much so that they sometimes collaborate directly. “The dealers will post up where the fences are,” Dugan said. “Fences will direct the thief to the drug dealers.” The fences, like the boosters they buy from, are the lowest rung on a towering totem pole. Most are middlemen. Some buy stuff not just from boosters but also from burglars and muggers. (In 2019, the San Francisco Police Department and then-District Attorney George Gascón retrieved more than $2 million in personal and commercial property from a couple that ran their fencing operation out of their Tenderloin camera repair shop.) Some fences sell the stolen goods directly to the public, laying boosted deodorant and frozen shrimp – so freshly stolen it hasn’t yet thawed – out on a blanket on the street in UN Plaza, or at the flea market in Berkeley. But more typically, they sell to a bigger fence, who can move a high volume of product out of the Tenderloin quickly and efficiently. Ostly compared street-level boosters and fences to street walkers in the prostitution business. A tier above the street addicts is a more specialized, entrepreneurial tier of boosters – the equivalent of escorts, per Ostly’s analogy.  Part of the cops' haul from a fencing operation out of a Tenderloin camera repair shop. Twitter The Larceny Industry There are at least two or three levels of fences above the street-level fences. At the top are the wholesale fences. They buy from the mid-tier fences who buy from the street-level fences who buy directly from the boosters, who use their paltry profits to buy drugs from the dealers. San Francisco’s addiction crisis provides the larceny industry with a permanent low-wage workforce. Drug addicts there and in other cities are, in effect, the exploited sweatshop workers of an international organized retail theft network that operates on an industrial scale. The fences at the wholesale level amass $100,000 to $200,000 worth of merchandise each day, which they sell to a “diverter.” The diverter repackages the stolen goods in counterfeit packaging and sells the products online. Nationally, just five diverters dominate the trade in stolen merchandise from the national drug store chains. Those five companies sell more than $20 million in product a year. Wholesale fences also sell their goods to fences overseas. Consumer electronics are often shipped to Vietnam or China to be sold in black markets there. Luxury accessories are sent to Russia. In 2020, a major multi-agency bust called Operation Proof of Purchase took down a $50 million fencing operation centered in the Tenderloin. When the police seized the warehouse in the North Bay, it took about 40 officers to photograph and box all the inventory, and numerous semi trucks and box trucks to move it all. Officers recovered more than $1.6 million in razor blades alone. The operation wasn’t just large, it was meticulous. “Just a terrifically organized operation for distribution,” said Lieutenant Domby, who assisted in the operation. “If a box was marked 400 boxes of pills for aspirin, there would be 400 boxes inside.” “The fences have better inventory control and logistics than the retailers they're stealing from,” Ostly said. Wolf told me that the way the organized retail theft business operates is “common knowledge” on the street. “Even the street addicts know how this works,” he said.  Whether Boudin is to blame now or not, the Tenderloin's problems are longstanding: sex worker, 2010. AP  'Nothing Has Been Done' Taken together, the dealers, boosters, and fences comprise a vast illicit industry that generates the cash that pays a Mexican drug cartel to import narcotics into San Francisco’s streets. Those drugs kill two people a day directly. The organized robberies and thefts they spawn create thousands more victims, from targets of muggings, burglaries, and home invasions to working class, elderly San Franciscans whose local pharmacies keep shutting down or reducing hours, to retail employees who are laid off as those stores are closed. Ostly, who was fired by Boudin the day after he took office, believes the rampant criminality in the Tenderloin is “ninety percent because of Boudin.” Tung, who ran unsuccessfully in 2019 against Boudin, said, “San Francisco has completely lost the deterrent effect of prosecution. You have to have some reason for people not to commit crime. People are weighing what’s going to happen, and in San Francisco, nothing is going to happen to you—not if you sell drugs, even if you mix them lethally, not if you break into cars, stores, homes.”  Randy Shaw, who runs the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which operates many of the low-income, single-room occupancy hotels in the area, isn’t a fan of Boudin, but he says the city’s mayor and police department are largely responsible for the area’s problems. “Police have been blaming DAs since the 1980s; this is nothing new,” he said. “Chesa has done a great job taking the flack off the SFPD because all of the recall movement people want to make sure he’s blamed for everything,” he said before the June 7 recall vote. He said that after Mayor Breed invoked a “State of Emergency” in the Tenderloin last year (which has now lapsed), “there literally has been no increase in police at all. None. The crackdown she’s getting credit for in the national media has never happened. Nothing has been done.” Shaw wants to see the drug dealers arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned. Breed’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Joel Engardio of Stop Crime SF is also dismayed at what he sees as the human tragedy that city officials are allowing to unfold. “If you’re not going to arrest and prosecute the dealers, people are going to continue to die,” he said. “I don’t believe we should prosecute users. Users need help and treatment. But dealers are committing manslaughter every time they sell fentanyl.” Leighton Akira Woodhouse is a freelance reporter and documentary filmmaker. He writes at leightonwoodhouse.substack.com. Tyler Durden Sun, 06/19/2022 - 23:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 19th, 2022

Five GOP Senators Seek Info From NIH Acting Director On Royalty Payments To Feds

Five GOP Senators Seek Info From NIH Acting Director On Royalty Payments To Feds Authored by Mark Tapscott via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Five Republican senators have asked National Institutes of Health (NIH) Acting Director Lawrence Tabak for a comprehensive accounting of every royalty payment by an outside source to an employee of the federal agency since 2009. “We believe that the American taxpayer deserves to know 1) the degree to which government doctors and researchers have a financial interest in drugs and products they support, and 2) whether any relationship exists between federal grants awarded by NIH and royalty payments received by NIH personnel,” the senators told Tabak in a letter that was made public on June 1. “Additionally, Americans deserve greater transparency in how the hundreds of millions in royalty payments NIH receives are distributed, and the degree to which NIH’s leadership—already among the highest-paid individuals in the federal bureaucracy—has benefited from this ‘hidden’ revenue stream.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Feb. 25, 2021. (Tom Brenner/Pool/AFP via Getty Images) The five senators are Rand Paul of Kentucky, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and Rick Scott of Florida. Tabak has been acting NIH chief since his predecessor, Dr. Francis Collins, resigned in December after leading the agency for a dozen years. The GOP senators’ letter was prompted by revelations first reported by The Epoch Times based on information obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) submitted to NIH by Open the Books, an Illinois-based nonprofit government watchdog. “We estimate that up to $350 million in royalties from third parties were paid to NIH scientists during the fiscal years between 2010 and 2020,” Open the Books CEO Adam Andrzejewski said in a telephone news conference on May 9. “We draw that conclusion because, in the first five years, there has been $134 million that we have been able to quantify of top-line numbers that flowed from third-party payers—meaning pharmaceutical companies or other payers—to NIH scientists.” The first five years, from 2010 to 2014, constitute 40 percent of the total, he said. “We now know that there are 1,675 scientists that received payments during that period, at least one payment. In fiscal year 2014, for instance, $36 million was paid out and that is on average $21,100 per scientist,” he said. Collins received 14 payments while serving as NIH director, according to the information obtained by Open the Books. Dr. Anthony Fauci received 23 payments, and his deputy, Clifford Lane, got eight payments during the period. Tabak conceded during a recent congressional hearing that the payments “have the appearance of a conflict of interest.” Republicans have since been vocal in demanding that NIH be more forthcoming about the royalty payments, while Democrats have been unusually quiet. Open the Books received the data on the royalty payments only after suing in federal court, and even then, the information provided was heavily redacted so that the specific amounts of individual payments to recipients and the names of payers were concealed. The GOP senators took note of that fact in their letter to Tabak. “Each year, NIH awards tens of billions of dollars in the form of federal grants, and under 401.10 of the Patent and Trademark Law Amendments (Bayh–Dole) Act, federal agencies and employees may receive royalty payments for products and inventions when listed as an inventor or ‘co-inventor’ on a product’s patent,” the senators told Tabak. “A 2020 study conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) showed that, in total, 93 NIH patents contributed to 34 FDA-approved prescription drugs, generating roughly $2 billion in royalty payments to the agency between 1991-2019. In 2004 alone, some 900 NIH scientists earned approximately $8.9 million in royalties for drugs and inventions they discovered while working for the government.” The senators said NIH has in the past been substantially more transparent about the payments. “In 2005, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented a policy requiring its employees to disclose these royalty payments on the consent forms for clinical trial participants; however, the agency has taken no action to disclose such payments to the public at large,” the letter states. “In fact, even after the nonprofit organization Open the Books submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to disclose royalty payments made between 2009 and 2020, the agency only provided the names of the employees receiving the payments and the number of payments they received between 2009 and 2014; the amounts of the individual payments, the innovation in question, and the names of the third-party payers were redacted by NIH.” Andrzejewski told The Epoch Times on May 31 that his nonprofit shouldn’t have had to take NIH to court to get the information the five senators are now demanding. “The production of an estimated $350 million in third-party royalty payments to NIH and 1,700 of its scientists is so heavily redacted that it’s nearly impossible to follow the money. NIH is violating the spirit if not the letter of open records law,” Andrzejewski said. “It shouldn’t take our lawsuit or congressional action to force NIH to comply with basic open government rules. We applaud the actions of the senators on the Homeland Security committee as they remind these unelected career bureaucrats that they work on behalf of the American people.” Tyler Durden Thu, 06/02/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 2nd, 2022

I sailed on Margaritaville"s new cruise ship and probably wouldn"t do it again

I was prepared to be immersed in a world of Margaritaville but I was left disappointed by the old ship, quality issues, and lack of cohesive branding. Brittany Chang/Insider I went on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise's one-night inaugural cruise. I was expecting the ship to feel like an immersive Margaritaville experience. Instead, I was disappointed by the lack of cohesive branding, the ship's age, and reported quality issues. I sailed aboard Magaritaville's first cruise ship, the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, during its one-night inaugural trip.MargaritavilleI was expecting a floating resort with all things Margaritaville, but the vessel didn't end up being the "nibbling on sun cake, watching the sun bake" experience I was prepared for.Brittany Chang/InsiderWhen I first boarded the ship and came face-to-face with a towering flip flop statue, I was mentally prepared to be thrown into the world of Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville.Brittany Chang/InsiderInstead, I was confronted with an aging vessel that only had a few splashes of the company's iconic branding.Brittany Chang/Insider"There may be some imperfections you will see around this ship," Oneil Khosa, Margaritaville at Sea's CEO, said during its "christening" ceremony. "We are striving to remove those imperfections. We are competing against ourselves to be the best."Brittany Chang/InsiderAt first, I wondered why the CEO of a cruise line would mention the ship's flaws during a landmark ceremony.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut after spending one night on the ship, I now understand.Brittany Chang/InsiderI don't think Margaritaville at Sea was ready for its guests.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe company is one of the newest brands to enter the recovering cruise industry, but the ship isn't as new as its name.MargaritavilleBefore the hospitality empire stepped in, the Paradise was known as the Grand Classica, the 30-year-old flagship vessel of budget cruise company Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.Brittany Chang/InsiderWhen Margaritaville and Bahamas Paradise joined forces, the latter company and its cruise ship adopted the Margaritaville at Sea's name.Brittany Chang/InsiderTo turn the Grand Classica into a floating Margaritaville resort, the old ship underwent a "multi-million investment and refurbishment," according to Margaritaville.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: InsiderIt's hard to hide your age without some cosmetic intervention.Brittany Chang/InsiderUnfortunately, it seemed like my Oceanview stateroom — which starts at almost $200 — received almost none of it.Brittany Chang/InsiderMy stateroom's plain bathroom looked its age.Brittany Chang/InsiderNothing about it felt modern and new.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd the wood-colored accents aged the rest of my stateroom. Here, the only references to Margaritaville were in the four pieces of tropical wall art …Brittany Chang/Insider… wallpaper …Brittany Chang/Insider… a nightstand with a palm tree graphic …Brittany Chang/Insider… and a branded ice bucket, notepad, and pencil.Brittany Chang/InsiderBesides my power strip that blew a fuse when I tried to use my hairdryer (my fault), my complaints are purely cosmetic.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut when I tried to use the public restroom on the pool deck, the flush almost fell off its mount.Brittany Chang/InsiderSuddenly, the imperfections Khosa alluded to were making more sense.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut the ship's aging appearance didn't disappoint me the most.Brittany Chang/InsiderInstead, it was the lack of immersion into the Margaritaville world.Brittany Chang/InsiderBesides some signage and wall art that referenced Buffett's lyrics, the ship didn't feel like a strong representation of Margaritaville.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd remnants of the vessel's pre-Margaritaville life were still evident as I walked around.Brittany Chang/InsiderSome furniture, lights, and carpets were unchanged during the refurbishment, according to pictures of the Grand Classica still available on Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's website.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: Bahamas Paradise Cruise LineAnd while the decor wasn't horrendous, it didn't fit with the Margaritaville look I've seen at its restaurants and New York City hotel.Brittany Chang/InsiderIf you're a Parrothead, you'll still be delighted by the names of the amenities aboard the ship …Brittany Chang/Insider… like the License to Chill bar …Brittany Chang/Insider… Port of Indecision buffet …Brittany Chang/Insider… and Stars on the Water Theater and Bar.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut don't expect too many additional Buffett references or Margaritaville themes past these signs and some lyrics on the wall.Brittany Chang/InsiderOne of the only exceptions to this is the alfresco 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar and Grill, which has a statue of a giant blender, literal limelights …Brittany Chang/Insider… and lyrics of “It's Five o'Clock Somewhere” printed on the wall.Brittany Chang/InsiderIn my opinion, this was one of the only iconic Margaritaville spaces aboard the ship.Brittany Chang/InsiderHowever, I must give credit to the nighttime entertainment, which was all things Buffett.Brittany Chang/InsiderAt night, the theater hosts "Tales from Margaritaville: Jimmy's Ship Show," a musical production filled with back-to-back Buffett hits and just enough dialogue to move the show along.Brittany Chang/InsiderAs I looked around, I noticed fans delightfully singing along the entire show, a wholesome sight to see.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut as someone who could only name one Buffett song off the top of their head, I spent most of the show trying not to feel seasick as the ship vigorously rocked.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnother note: Margaritaville at Sea Paradise is small compared to the mega cruise liners available today.Brittany Chang/InsiderThere were points in the night when I couldn't walk without losing my balance. Apologies to everyone I almost slammed into — I promise I didn't have that many margaritas.Brittany Chang/InsiderAs for the food, the lunch buffet was understandably as small as the ship.Brittany Chang/InsiderIt was nothing too gourmet or special but at least there was a pasta bar and carved meat section.Brittany Chang/InsiderHowever, I can't say the same for my dinner at JWB Prime Steakhouse, which you might recognize from some on-land Margaritaville resorts. This meal was the highlight of my time aboard the ship.Brittany Chang/InsiderJWB might be one of the best steakhouse dinners I've ever had, and that's coming from someone who doesn't often enjoy eating steak.Brittany Chang/InsiderYou'll have to pay a premium to dine at the restaurant.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut if you're craving an upscale steak dinner, it's the best (and maybe your only) option of all the other dining venues aboard the ship.Brittany Chang/InsiderBesides bars, a nighttime show, and food, the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise has two small pools, including one adult-only option …Brittany Chang/Insider… a spa …Brittany Chang/Insider… and a mini fitness center to keep guests entertained at sea.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut it's not like you'll have days at sea to burn.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe vessel is only operating two-night sailings from Florida to the Grand Bahama island, so you won't find yourself with days of unoccupied time.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut in my opinion, two nights is more than enough time to spend on the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise.Brittany Chang/Insider"[Khosa] says the big guys don't need to worry about us because we're our biggest competitors," Kevin Sheehan Jr., Margaritaville at Sea's president, said during the ceremony. "But I will tell you: The big guys, take note. We're coming for you."Brittany Chang/InsiderMaybe my points of comparison are unfair, but I'm inclined to agree with Khosa.Brittany Chang/InsiderI've been on a handful of the "big guys'" new giant cruise ships like the Celebrity Cruises' Apex.The Celebrity Apex.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: InsiderAnd no other cruise ship I've been on has felt this old and less thematically cohesive.Brittany Chang/InsiderI've visited enough Margaritaville properties to have a reasonable understanding of its inescapable strong branding and tropical laidback theme.Margaritaville Resort Times Square.Brittany Chang/InsiderThis branding is what makes Margaritaville stand out from other hospitality companies and it could've been the cruise ship's biggest sell.Brittany Chang/InsiderAfter all, doesn't the laidback lifestyle Buffett croons about seem like a match made in heaven for a cruise line?Brittany Chang/InsiderI wasn't expecting live parrots flying around or a visual scavenger hunt of hidden salt shakers.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut I was hoping for some additional decorations that conveyed "Margaritaville."Brittany Chang/InsiderIt felt like the company focused most of its refurbishment on a handful of areas …Brittany Chang/Insider… while simply slapping on a new sign and some references to Jimmy Buffett lyrics in the other spaces.Brittany Chang/InsiderSure there's some wallpaper of palm trees, bright green paint, a mosaic of a beach view by one of the bars, and lyrics painted on the wall.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut many of the common spaces didn't feel uniquely Margaritaville.Brittany Chang/InsiderInstead, the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, with all of its quality issues, felt as old as the original song.Brittany Chang/InsiderI'm not an ardent "Parrothead" who grew up listening to Buffett so I would argue I am objectively qualified to give my final review: I probably won't take a cruise with Margaritaville at Sea Paradise again.MargaritavilleRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 29th, 2022

11 hidden Gmail features every user should know

There are a lot of useful Gmail features hidden just under the surface that you could go years without noticing. Gmail; Rachel Mendelson/Insider Some useful Gmail features aren't immediately obvious, such as the ability to schedule emails. You can also snooze conversations, control who can forward messages, and even recall emails you didn't mean to send.  Here are 11 hidden Gmail features you can use to get the most out of the service. Gmail is a daily workhorse for most people, but it's not the flashiest of productivity programs. At first glance, it doesn't seem to have a lot to offer. In reality, there are a lot of features hidden just under the surface that you could go years without noticing. That's unfortunate, because many of these features can streamline your workflow and make Gmail a much more useful tool. Here are 11 of the best features hiding in plain sight in Gmail. Pack more into the Gmail inboxGmail's webpage has a somewhat strange default view. Not a lot of emails fit on screen at once because attachments are shown on the second line. You might be unaware that there are three density options that can make much better use of screen space. Click the Settings icon at the top right (shaped like a gear) and, in the Density section, choose among Default, Comfortable, and Compact. The Comfortable and Compact options remove the attachment line and display more emails. You can change how tightly packed your inbox appears using the Density settings.Dave JohnsonUse an Outlook-like reading paneBy default, Gmail is configured to show email in an inconvenient way — there's no message preview, just a list of messages. You can make Gmail behave a lot more like Outlook, though. Click the Settings icon at the top right and, in the Reading Pane section, click Right of inbox or Below inbox. Both of these display the selected email on-screen. You can make Gmail work more like Outlook by turning on the Reading Pane.Dave JohnsonSchedule emails so no one knows you were working at midnightYou can schedule email to arrive at a specific time, which is especially handy if your organization has work/life balance rules about not sending emails after business hours, or you want a particular email to arrive at a specific time for disclosure reasons, for example. When you're ready to send your message, click the downward arrow to the right of the Send button and pick the date and time you want to send your message. The Schedule tool is located in the arrow to the right of the Send button.Dave JohnsonSnooze a conversation you don't want to deal with right nowIf you like a clean inbox but can't deal with all your email immediately, Gmail makes it easy to keep important messages from getting buried under an avalanche of emails you are saving for later. You can click "snooze" on an email, which makes it disappear until you're ready to deal with it again. To do that, hover the mouse over an email in the inbox and find the Snooze icon at the far right. Click it, and pick the date and time you want to see the message again. It'll return to your inbox automatically at that time. The Snooze option is found at the far right of the message header in the inbox.Dave JohnsonCustomize your email addressOne of Gmail's best-kept secrets is that you can customize your email address, either to make it easier to read or to send subtle variations to different recipients. You can insert periods anywhere in your email address — Gmail disregards those characters — so if your email address is firstlastname@gmail.com, you can turn it into first.lastname@gmail.com when an organization requests your email address.   In addition, you can append anything you want to your email address with one or more plus signs. For example, you can turn firstlastname@gmail.com into firstlastname+newsletter@gmail.com for newsletter subscriptions. You can monitor your incoming email addresses to see who has sold your email address or shared it with others, for example, and you can set up filtering in Gmail to sort incoming messages based on these customizations. Use confidential mode to limit the life of an email messageIf you have sensitive information that you want to make sure doesn't live on in inboxes forever, you can send it with Gmail's Confidential mode. When you are ready to send an email, click the Toggle confidential mode icon (shaped like a padlock with an embedded clock) at the bottom of the email message and choose the expiration date for the email. The padlock and clock icon lets you enable Confidential mode in Gmail.Dave JohnsonWhen you send it, it'll appear to be an ordinary email to other Gmail users, though non-Gmail recipients will get an email with a link to the original message. Translate emailYou'll never need to search for Google Translate again when you get an email in a foreign language. When you're viewing a message's content, click the three-dot menu at the top right. Choose Translate message and you should immediately see the contents appear in English. Recall emails for up to 30 seconds after you click SendYou might already know that you can undo a sent email immediately after you click Send. It's a handy way to recall something you immediately realize wasn't ready to send. Unfortunately, the five seconds that Gmail gives you is often not quite enough. You can change that to 10, 20, or even 30 seconds, though. Click the Settings icon at the top of the page and then click See all settings. In the Undo Send section, use the dropdown menu to change the cancellation period to whichever time you prefer. You can set the Undo Send time from 5 to 30 seconds in Settings.Dave JohnsonWrite faster with Gmail's writing suggestions Whether you're stuck on what to say next or you're just looking to save some time, Gmail can help with writing suggestions. The Smart Compose feature completes sentences as you type. If you write something like "What should we get for dinner?" and then start your next sentence with "Let," Gmail may suggest the words "me know" to complete the sentence. To accept Gmail's suggestion, press the Tab key. To enable this feature, click the Settings icon at the top of the page and then click See all settings. In the Smart Compose section, click Writing suggestions on. If you want typing suggestions, enable Smart Compose in Settings.Dave JohnsonEasily save attachments to Google DriveSometimes the best features are hiding in plain sight. If you receive attachments in an email message, you can save them to your Google Drive just by hovering over the attachment and then clicking the Add to Drive button. After you click the button, you'll have an opportunity to organize it into a subfolder; otherwise it'll appear in the top folder, My Drive.  Make subfolders to organize your GmailGoogle lets you sort and organize your messages by label, which are Google versions of what would typically be folders in most other email programs. It might look like labels are "flat" — they can't be nested with sub-labels — but looks are deceiving. If you'd like to create a hierarchy of sublabels, it's easy to do. To the right of any label, click the three-dot menu and then choose Add sublabel. You can create multiple levels of labels if you want to; just click the three-dot menu to the right of a sublabel and repeat the process. You can create nested sublabels in Gmail to better organize your messages.Dave JohnsonRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 18th, 2022

FlexJobs Names 10 Remote-Friendly Companies That Help Pay for Employee Vacations

Airbnb, Expedia, TripAdvisor among companies helping pay workers to getaway Boulder, CO, May 17, 2022—In a recent FlexJobs survey, 62 percent of respondents ranked vacation time as one of the most important job benefits, following closely behind remote work (77 percent) and salary (83 percent). At the same time, travel restrictions are easing and giving […] Airbnb, Expedia, TripAdvisor among companies helping pay workers to getaway Boulder, CO, May 17, 2022—In a recent FlexJobs survey, 62 percent of respondents ranked vacation time as one of the most important job benefits, following closely behind remote work (77 percent) and salary (83 percent). At the same time, travel restrictions are easing and giving way to a travel and tourism industry rebound that experts anticipate will soon reach pre-pandemic levels. In the U.S. alone, a new report found 85 percent of Americans expect to travel this summer, and nearly half (48 percent) plan to take off two weeks or more. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Given the strong competition for talent in today’s market, many companies are leaning into more creative benefits around time off, such as helping cover the cost of employees’ travel expenses. To connect remote job seekers to some of the companies that have gone beyond the concept of unlimited vacation, FlexJobs has identified 10 companies that financially support their employees’ vacations and are currently or have recently hired remote workers. “Whether you’re remote, hybrid, or back in the office, taking time off is critical in avoiding burnout and maintaining a healthy work-life balance,” said Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “We hope this list of companies not only connects job seekers to some of the incredible employers that are encouraging better work-life balance but also inspires other companies to consider creative ways they can enhance employee benefits and support their teams moving forward,” Sutton concluded. Remote-Friendly Companies That Help Pay for Employee Vacations The 10 companies below help pay for their employees’ vacations and have recently hired for remote roles.* Examples of recent job postings and details on each company’s vacation policy are included. Airbnb Employees receive annual travel and experiences credits. Recent job postings: Technical Sourcer Platform Equity Manager BambooHR BambooHR offers employees what they call “paid paid vacation“—$2,000 each year to travel as they please. Recent job postings: Senior Product Designer Client Service Specialist Senior Software Engineer, Backend Calendly In addition to flexible time off and a “pick your own perk” benefit, the company offers employees a $1,000 annual vacation stipend to encourage team members to take time away from their “work family” to recharge and relax. Recent job postings: Marketing Graphic Designer II Site Reliability Engineer Senior Customer Success Manager, Enterprise Evernote The company offers employees unlimited vacation days and a $1,000 yearly vacation stipend. Recent job postings: Manager, Content and Knowledge Staff Mobile Engineer - React Native Senior Marketing Website Performance and Optimization Manager Expedia Employees of the company receive a travel reimbursement, with ranges depending on tenure. They also receive discounts on retail and travel packages purchased through the site. Recent job postings: Executive Recruiting Coordinator Senior Corporate Travel Consultant FullContact FullContact provides $7,500 per year for employees to travel—and it’s required that they don’t work while on vacation! Recent job postings: Senior eLearning Specialist Senior Product Manager PulsePoint To help employees “take a load off,” PulsePoint offers paid vacation and company holidays (including birthdays) and provides a $500 annual travel reimbursement for vacation. Recent job postings: Product Marketing Manager Site Reliability Engineer Thirty Madison For vacation, Thirty Madison has an unlimited vacation policy bolstered by “an annual vacation stipend to prove that we mean it.” Recent job postings: Senior Frontend Engineer CRM Manager TripAdvisor TripAdvisor offers a travel reimbursement of $250 or more, depending on how long an employee has worked at the company. It also offers discounts on packages offered through the website. Recent job postings: SEO Strategist Business Development Sales Executive Customer Success Executive United Airlines Employees receive unlimited standby travel and discounted rates on airline tickets to anywhere United flies. Recent job postings: Analyst - Information Technology Supervisor - Reservation Sales FlexJobs’ career coaches recommend these steps to help ensure remote workers can truly disconnect on vacation. Give Advance Notice to Coworkers When working remotely, it can be easy to overlook telling coworkers about an upcoming vacation. Try to give bosses, clients, and colleagues a heads up by sending out an email at least two to three weeks ahead of any scheduled vacation. This will help everyone put it on their calendars—and no one can claim that they didn’t have advanced notice. Prioritize Responsibilities It’s not always doable to finish everything on one’s to-do list before heading out on vacation. Instead of working late trying to accomplish every task, which may lead to a lot more stress (and lowered productivity), look at all of the items on the to-do list, prioritize key responsibilities, and then tackle the tasks that absolutely have to get done. Fill in Gaps Look at your schedule for the time you’ll be out of the office and see what might be missing. For example, a colleague may need to submit a report or sit in during a team meeting. Be sure to have the person covering take notes on what will be missed. That way, you won’t feel like you missed a beat when returning to work. Plan Your Return For the first day back to work after a vacation, try not to overwhelm your schedule with too many tasks. Focus on prioritizing and setting realistic goals by taking the time to wade through emails, wrapping up pending tasks that require immediate input, and handling any emergencies. Blocking off this time will ensure there’s room to ease back into work and continue building relaxation and a healthier work-life balance. Disconnect and Recharge Although one of the biggest benefits of remote work is working from almost anywhere, the focus of vacation should be R&R, not writing emails. It can be a slippery slope from innocently answering a few emails to making a quick call to a coworker, and before you know it, you’re working again. Resist the urge to peek in on office affairs and focus on enjoying the vacation instead. For more information, please visit www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/flexible-companies-that-help-pay-for-your-vacation/ or contact Kathy Gardner at kgardner@flexjobs.com. *All companies have been actively or recently hiring in the FlexJobs database as of May 17, 2022. About FlexJobs FlexJobs is the leading career service specializing in remote and flexible jobs, with over 100 million people having used its resources since 2007. FlexJobs provides the largest database of vetted remote and flexible job listings, from entry-level to executive, startups to public companies, part-time to full-time and freelance. To support job seekers in all phases of their journey, FlexJobs also offers expert advice and career coaching services. In addition, FlexJobs works with leading companies to recruit quality remote talent and optimize their remote and flexible workplace. A trusted source for data, trends, and insight, FlexJobs has been cited in top national outlets, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNBC, Forbes magazine, and many more. FlexJobs also has partner sites Remote.co and Job-Hunt.org to help round out its content and job search offerings. Follow FlexJobs on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Updated on May 17, 2022, 2:08 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkMay 17th, 2022

Food Shortages In Six Months – The Globalists Are Telling Us What Happens Next

Food Shortages In Six Months – The Globalists Are Telling Us What Happens Next Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, In mid 2007 the Bank for International Settlements (The central bank of central banks) released a statement predicting an impending “Great Depression” caused by a credit market implosion. That same year the International Monetary Fund also published warnings of “subprime woes” leading to wider economic strife. I started writing alternative economic analysis only a year earlier in 2006 and I immediately thought it was strange that these massive globalist institutions with far reaching influence on the financial world were suddenly starting to sound a lot like those of us in the liberty movement. This was 16 years ago, so many people reading this might not even remember, but in 2007 the alternative media had already been warning about an impending deflationary crash in US markets and housing for some time. And, not surprisingly, the mainstream media was always there to deny all of our concerns as “doom mongering” and “conspiracy theory.” Less than a year later the first companies awash in derivatives began to announce they were on the verge of bankruptcy and everything tanked. The media response? They made two very bizarre claims simultaneously: “No one could have seen it coming” and “We saw this coming a mile away.” Mainstream journalists scrambled to position themselves as the soothsayers of the day as if they said all along that the crash was imminent, yet, there were only a handful of people who actually did call it and none of them were in the MSM. Also ignored was the fact that the BIS and IMF had published their own “predictions” well before the crash; the media pretended as if they did not exist. In the alternative media we watch the statements and open admissions of the globalists VERY carefully because they are not in the business of threat analysis; rather, they are in the business of threat synthesis. That is to say, if something goes very wrong in the world economically, central bankers and money elites with aspirations of a single centralized economic authority for the world are ALWAYS found to have a hand in that disaster. For some reason, they like to tell us what they are about to do before they do it. The idea that globalists artificially create economic collapse events will of course be criticized as “conspiracy theory,” but it is a FACT. For more information on the reality of deliberate financial sabotage and the “order out of chaos” ideology of globalists please read my articles ‘Fed One Meeting Away From Creating A Doomsday Sinkhole’ and ‘What Is The Great Reset And What Do The Globalists Actually Want?’ The Great Reset agenda proposed by WEF head Klaus Schwab is just one example of the many discussions hidden in plain sight by globalists concerning their plans to use economic and social decline as an “opportunity” to quickly establish a new one world system based on socialism and technocracy. The primary problem with discerning what the globalists are planning is not in uncovering secret agendas – They tend to openly discuss their agendas if you know where to look. No, the problem is in separating the admissions from the disinformation, the lies from the truth. This requires matching up globalist white papers and statements to the facts and evidence at hand in the real world. Let’s look specifically at the food shortage problem in detail… Food Shortages In Six Months A week ago there was a torrent of press releases from global institutions all mentioning the same exact same concern: Food shortages within the next 3 to 6 months. These statements line up very closely with my own estimates, as I have been warning regularly about impending dangers of inflation leading to food rationing and supply chain disruptions. The IMF, the BIS, World Bank, The UN, the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Economic Forum, Bank of America and even Biden himself are all predicting a major food crisis in the near term, and it is not a coincidence that the policies of these very institutions and the actions of puppet politicians that work with them are causing the crisis they are now predicting. That is to say, it’s easy to predict a disaster when you created the disaster. The claim is that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the primary cause, but this is a distraction from the real issue. Yes, sanctions against Russia will eventually lead to less food supply, but the globalists and the media are purposely ignoring the bigger threat, which is currency devaluation and price inflation created by central banks pumping out tens of trillions of dollars in stimulus packages to prop up “too big to fail” corporate partners. In 2020 alone, the Fed created over $6 trillion from nothing and air dropped it into the economy through covid welfare programs. Add that to the many trillions of dollars that the Fed has printed since the credit crash in 2008 – It has been a nonstop dollar destruction party and now the public is starting to feel the consequences. Lucky for the central bankers that covid struck and Russia invaded Ukraine, because now they can deflect all the blame for the inflationary calamity they have engineered onto the pandemic and onto Putin. Inflation hit 40 year highs in the US well before Russia invaded Ukraine, but let’s consider the ramifications of that war and how it affects the food supply. The Russian invasion certainly disrupts Ukrainian grain production, which makes up around 11% of the total world wheat market. Russia also maintains a 17% share and together these two nations feed a large swath of third world nations and parts of Europe with 30% of wheat and barley exports, 19% of corn exports, 23% of canola exports, and 78% of sunflower exports. It is the sanctions on Russia that are a problem well beyond Ukraine, however, as Russia also produces around 20% of global ammonia and 20% of global potash supplies. These are key ingredients to fertilizers used in large scale industrial farming. Farmers are estimating an overall price spike of around 10% in food markets, but I believe this is very conservative. I am already seeing overall price increases of at least 20% from six months ago, and I expect there to be another 30% in price hikes before this year is over. In other words, we are looking at 50% in average increases in 2022. Official government inflation data and CPI cannot be trusted. Double whatever numbers they give and you will be much closer to the truth. The inflation rate used by Shadowstats.com, calculated using methods once applied by the US government in the 1980s before they “adjusted” their models to hide the data, supports my position so far. The expectation among US agricultural experts is that China will fill the void where Russian supplies disappear, but it’s a mistake to make this assumption. Something Weird Is Going On In China China’s crackdown on covid infections has reached levels so bizarre I have to ask the question: Are their lockdowns really about covid, or are they hiding something else? The death rate of covid in China is impossible to calculate accurately because they have never released proper data that can be confirmed. However, almost everywhere else in the world we see a median infection fatality rate of 0.27% for covid; meaning, over 99.7% of people in the world on average have nothing to fear in terms of dying from the virus. But in China, the CCP is acting as if they are dealing with the Black Plague. Why? Lockdowns have resulted in food shortages across the country as supply chains become strained and manufacturing remains shut in many cases. The story many westerners are not hearing much about, though, is the fact that Chinese exports have essentially been frozen. This is very important so I think it needs emphasis – Over 1 IN 5 container ships IN THE WORLD are now backed up in Chinese ports due to their covid lockdowns. This is incredible. Why would China do this over a virus we all know is not dangerous to the vast majority of people? Why institute the worst lockdown in the country so far and starve their own people when the majority of Western governments have now given up on their pandemic fear mongering and the forced vaccination agenda? I would suggest the possibility that China might already be engaging in an economic war that many Americans and Europeans don’t even realize is going on. This may be a beta test for a shut down of exports to the US and Europe, or it is an incremental shutdown that is meant to become permanent. The bottleneck on trade may also be a precursor to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Taiwan is actually more dependent and intertwined with China’s economy than many people know. China is the biggest buyer of Taiwan’s exports and those exports account for 10% of Taiwan’s GDP. Taiwan has hundreds of thousands of workers and businessmen that travel regularly to China to work, another economic factor that is now strained by lockdowns. Furthermore, Taiwan has multiple corporations that operate their factories on mainland China, all of which could be closed due to covid lockdowns. All I’m saying is, if I was China planning on invading Taiwan in the near future, I might consider using covid as a cover for damaging their economy first and disrupting their export model. Communists see the population as a utility that can be sacrificed if necessary, and China is perfectly willing to cause short term suffering to their people if it means long term gains for the party. Beyond that, if I was going to engage in economic warfare with the west covertly, what better way than to tie up 20% of the world’s cargo ships and disrupt supply chains in the name of protecting the country form a “pandemic?” The bottom line? Don’t rely on China to fill export needs for fertilizer ingredients or anything else as sanctions on Russia continue. Inflation vs. Supply vs. Control It’s not just globalist organizations talking about incoming food shortages; the CEO of international food corporation Goya has also recently warned we are on the precipice of a food crisis. As I have noted in the past, inflation leads to government price controls, price controls lead to lack of production incentives (profits), lack of profits leads to loss of production, loss of production leads to shortages, and shortages lead to government rationing (control over all large food sources). As we have seen with almost every authoritarian regime in modern history, control over the food supply is key to controlling the population. It is only surpassed as a strategic concern by control over energy (which we will also see shortages of soon as Europe sanctions Russian oil and gas and starts eating up supplies from other exporters). The food issue hits closest to home because we can see the effects immediately on our wallets and on our families. There is nothing worse for many parents than the prospect of their children going hungry. The mainstream media is once again ignoring any potential economic threat, specifically they are denying the notion of food shortages as something to be worried about. I say, why listen to a group of people that are always wrong on these types of events? If anything, I would at least take the words of the globalists seriously when it comes to economic collapse; they benefit the most from such disasters after all, and they also have the most influence when it comes to triggering crisis. Preparedness today costs nothing tomorrow. Lack of preparedness today costs EVERYTHING tomorrow. The choice for anyone with a brain is simple – Get prepared for the end of affordable and easily available food before this year is out. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. You can also follow me at – Parler: @AltMarket Gettr:  @Altmarket1 Tyler Durden Sun, 05/01/2022 - 22:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 2nd, 2022

Big Tech salaries revealed: How much engineers, developers, and product managers make at companies including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Uber, IBM, and Salesforce

US tech giants are growing quickly, minting money, and looking to hire thousands of employees in 2022. Here's what you can make as you prepare to job search this year. Business Insider analyzed salary data for workers at top tech companies.SrdjanPav/Getty Images Business Insider analyzed salary data for thousands of workers to reveal how much large tech companies pay. We crunched the numbers for companies including Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Snap, and Uber. The data, which US companies report in visa applications for foreign workers, sheds light on how engineers, designers, and others are compensated in the competitive industry. Big US technology companies have powered their way through the pandemic, posting impressive growth, minting money, and hiring rapidly.In July of last year, the tech-industry association CompTIA reported that the sector experienced job growth in 10 out of the previous 12 months — a standout performance given the lockdowns last year. Tech firms added more than 80,000 workers in the US through the first half of 2021, it added.Google's parent company, Alphabet, hired more than 4,000 employees in the second quarter alone. Overall, more than 300,000 open tech jobs were posted in June, with software and app developers, IT-support specialists and project managers, systems engineers and architects, and systems analysts in highest demand. Jobs in emerging tech, such as AI, accounted for more than a quarter of open positions.Companies are required to disclose information including salary (or, in some cases, salary ranges) when they hire foreign workers under the H-1B visa program, giving insight into what these tech giants are willing to shell out for talent.So, to get a sense of what salaries in the industry are like these days, Business Insider analyzed the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification's disclosure data for permanent and temporary foreign workers to find out what companies pay employees in key roles, including engineers, designers, and salespeople.When you're done checking out this industry data, take a look at Insider's searchable database of over 250,000 salaries from more than 250 companies so you can know how much you should be paid.Google's software engineers can make more than $300,000.Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesGoogle is often touted as one of the best places to work, with compensation to match.A software engineer was offered $353,000, a vice president of engineering can get $475,000, and a senior vice president recently took in an annual salary of $650,000. Here's a look at many other positions and how much they pay across Google.The company's Cloud business has been aggressively building out its workforce as it tries to catch its larger cloud rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.Here's a peek at the salaries Google Cloud pays US-based engineers, managers, and more.Amazon cloud-solutions architects are paid $90,800 to $185,000, depending on location and skills.Adam Selipsky, the Amazon Web Services boss.Albert Gea/ReutersAmazon's cloud unit, now run by Adam Selipsky, has continued hiring for technical and business talent to support its dominant cloud-computing business.Insider reviewed more than 200 H-1B visas that Amazon's cloud unit applied for from January to June to reveal how much it paid software developers, data scientists, marketers, salespeople, business analysts, and more. The highest-paid employees, according to that data, can make as much as $185,000 in base salary.Check out the details here.Senior marketing jobs at Apple can pay up to $325,000.Apple CEO Tim Cook.Roy Rochlin/WireImage/Getty ImagesApple closed another successful fiscal year in September 2021, growing revenue by 33% and generating $95 billion in profit from sales of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other devices and services.Analysts have predicted that the tech giant is on track to become the first company to hit $3 trillion in market value this year after being the first to reach the $1 trillion and $2 trillion marks — and Apple is bringing on a cadre of visa-holding overseas workers to help it.Check out the salaries Apple pays for positions such as software developers, electrical engineers, computer and information systems managers, and statisticians.Apple's advertising is legendary, and its broader marketing efforts are integral to the company's success. The iPhone maker regularly gets attention for its cinematic campaigns. The company sponsors visas for a range of well-paid marketing jobs. Here are the salaries of advertising- and marketing-focused roles at Apple and other tech giants including Airbnb and Facebook.Most salaries at Dell are in the six-figure range — with some exceptionsDell CEO Michael Dell.DellHeightened demand for hardware during the pandemic led to record earnings for companies like Dell despite supply chain woes. Some employees reaped nearly $200,000 for their part in the company's boom.While senior-level roles tend to be top earners, an Insider analysis of 381 approved H-1B visas for Dell workers found that a technical staff member in software engineering based in Texas earned $198,083.It's a top range salary, but many other roles across engineering, analyst and sales positions earned at least six figures — with exceptions, like some business and sales analysts. Here's how much Dell paid US-based engineering, analyst, product-management, and sales roles.Senior DoorDash jobs in engineering and sales make upwards of $250,000DoorDash CEO Tony XuNoam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunchDoorDash's service has become a staple for households around the country. The company is getting into rapid grocery delivery and expanding overseas, and it has been paying to attract the right employees for these growing ambitions.A software engineer at DoorDash can make as much as $250,000 in annual salary, according to compensation data compiled by Insider. A project manager on the growth side can pull in $240,000 a year. And on the business side, a director of sales strategy and operations is paid $265,000 a year.These high salaries across technical and business roles reflect the company's need to attract talent as it competes against big rivals. See many other DoorDash jobs and salaries here.HPE employees designing software earn up to $232,259Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri.AP Photo/Richard DrewHewlett Packard Enterprise's next move, through partnerships like one with networking startup Pensando, is developing hardware that will help the enterprise process data close to where it lives.It's heavily investing in its staff to do so. Insider analyzed approved visas for HPE workers and found software employees throughout California, North Carolina and Texas consistently earning $160,000 to $232,259.See the full list of HPE engineers, managers, and sales salaries.IBM employees can make as much as $335,000 in base salary.IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.Brian Ach/Getty Images for WiredUnder CEO Arvind Krishna, IBM is trying to reinvent itself for the cloud-computing era, dominated so far by Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Google.IBM's 2019 purchase of the open-source-software firm Red Hat for $34 billion was a defining moment when the company bet big on hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence. Part of IBM's reinvention includes growing its 350,000-strong employee base to add engineering talent in cloud, hybrid cloud, and AI, as well as in fields like strategy, consulting, and business analysis.Business Insider analyzed the 241 H-1B visas IBM applied for since January to find out what it pays engineers, business analysts and consultants, digital strategists, and more. The highest-paid IBM employees can make as much as $335,000 in base salary, according to that data.Check out all the jobs and salaries here.Instacart has more than 100 open positionsInstacart CEO Fidji SimoInstacartInstacart under new CEO Fidji Simo is doubling down on working with grocery stores for its delivery service. And the company is hiring up on the corporate side to carry this strategy out.Right now the company has more than 100 open positions listed on its website. And a look at the salaries it's paying shows the company is willing to spend big, especially for technical roles.An engineering manager makes $240,000 in salary; senior software engineers make upwards of $190,000. On the business side, an account executive makes $160,000.Check out all the Instacart compensation data Insider compiled here.Intel engineering managers can make more than $300,000.Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger.Horacio Villalobos-Corbis/Getty ImagesIntel is battling slowing revenue growth, shrinking margins, and rising competition from Taiwan Semiconductor, AMD, Nvidia, and others.There's also a semiconductor shortage to contend with, while marquee customers like Apple are designing their own chips.For all of this, Intel relies on scientists, researchers, managers, marketers, and different types of software and hardware engineers.Here's a peek at the salaries Intel pays some of these employees, based on roles from almost 1,000 approved visa applications that the company filed with authorities.Engineering roles at Lyft range make between $122,000 and $189,100Logan Green, Lyft cofounder and CEO.Noah Berger/AP PhotoLyft may be the second place ridesharing company by revenue, but employee salaries are still on par with its number one competitor, Uber.Engineers at Lyft — depending on the speciality — can earn between $122,000 and $189,100, with engineering managers making $235,654. The averages are based on an Insider analysis of salary data from the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification.Read how much Lyft paid employees across 18 tech and non-tech roles. A Facebook engineering director can make roughly $360,000Facebook COO Sheryl SandbergMatt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Vanity FairFacebook employees consistently make well into the six figures. An in-house ad-agency director hired in the past year earns a salary of just over $330,000. An engineering director makes roughly $360,000.Pay depends on the job, of course, but increasingly on where the worker is based, too. A data analyst in California, for example, makes $130,000 to $150,000 a year. One data analyst in Texas makes $128,000, and another $111,000. A software engineer in New York makes $160,000. One in Rhode Island and another in Texas make $118,000 a year.Here are all the latest data on Facebook salaries.Microsoft's highest-paying jobs include software engineers, sales managers, and researchers.Employees at Microsoft.Bryan Thomas/Getty ImagesWe analyzed Microsoft's more than 1,400 active foreign-worker visas in 2020 to find the titles with the highest salaries and provided a salary range for each role.We focused this list on roles that pay $175,000 or more at the high end of the range and categorized them based on information we found in job postings. The highest salary we found, for a channel sales manager, was $250,000.In internal Microsoft surveys obtained by Business Insider, 55% of staff said in 2020 that their combined salary, bonus, and equity was competitive with similar jobs at other companies, down from 65% in 2017.Here's the full list of jobs and salaries, covering positions such as cloud-solutions architect, legal counsel, silicon engineer, and software engineering lead.A senior manager of software engineering at Salesforce is paid more than $215,000.Employees outside the Salesforce Tower.Noam Galai/Contributor/Getty ImagesSalesforce is embracing a hybrid mindset, giving employees the option to work remotely part time, and it expects to increase its number of permanently remote workers, too.That flexibility is opening up talent pools for the company. Last September, the company said it was planning to add over 12,000 jobs over the next year. And Chief People Officer Brent Hyder told the San Francisco Chronicle last April that Salesforce's hiring spree this year would exceed 15,000 employees.Insider analyzed the 206 H-1B visas Salesforce applied for from January to March to find out how much it paid workers in areas like engineering, data analytics, and product management. Software engineers can make more than $200,000 in salary, the data showed.Here's the full list of positions and pay.Snap offers base salaries ranging from $59,000 to $500,000.Snap CEO Evan Spiegel.Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunchSnap, the company behind Snapchat, has had a growth spurt. And it's been staffing up to support ambitions in areas like augmented reality, short-form video, and original shows. The company now has about 4,000 employees in 15 countries.Snap said in May that it was committed to paying all employees a livable wage that "contributes to healthy work-life integration and to the local economy in which we work." It offers a minimum of $15,000 in equity grants to new hires and said its baseline annual pay rate for employees at its headquarters in Santa Monica is $70,000.In late 2020 and 2021, Snap offered annual base salaries ranging from $59,000 to $500,000 for various roles, according to data from H-1B visa applications analyzed by Business Insider.Check out all the Snap jobs and pay here.TikTok salaries range from $60,000 to nearly half a million dollarsByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming.Zheng Shuai/VCG via Getty ImagesByteDance and its subsidiary TikTok, the social media app that skyrocketed in popularity last year, paid employees $59,700 to $480,000 in 2020 and 2021, according to approved foreign labor certification applications reviewed by Insider.Technology roles trended toward the high end of the pay scale, with senior engineering directors taking home $440,000 to $480,000 annually. At the low end, staff accountants earned $59,700 and HR generalists made $68,408.Across all positions, the median annual base salary at TikTok and ByteDance was $188,500.Here are the salaries of product, engineering, data science, research, monetization and other roles at TikTok and ByteDance. Uber competes with the biggest Silicon Valley companies, and its salaries show that.Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for UberThough Uber has gone through rounds of job cuts in recent years, its compensation for many full-time positions is competitive with the biggest Silicon Valley tech firms.Senior engineers can earn salaries of well over $200,000, while data scientists can pull in almost $150,000 and senior product managers can make about $190,000 or more, excluding any equity or bonus.Lyft competes for similar talent. Check out the full list of Uber and Lyft positions and salaries here.Waymo pays $122,000 to $300,000, depending on the type of job and location.Waymo co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana and UiPath CEO Daniel Dines.Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images/Bertrand Guay/AFP via GettyFew industries are blowing up like artificial intelligence and big data. PitchBook estimated that spending on AI software and hardware would reach $138 billion in 2021 and grow at a rate of 23% in the next three years.All that investment fuels an equally explosive jobs market. The job-search site ZipRecruiter showed more than 60,000 AI-engineer jobs listed. Those roles pay very well, with annual compensation as high as $304,500.Business Insider analyzed US visa-application data from the first quarter of 2021 for permanent and temporary foreign workers to find out what 10 top AI companies pay engineers, researchers, and other professionals in the field of big data and machine learning.Waymo relies heavily on AI to train the software that controls its autonomous vehicles. The Alphabet unit pays $122,000 to $300,000, depending on the type of job and location, according to the data.Here's the full salary data for Waymo, Snowflake, UiPath, Databricks, DataRobot, Samsara, ByteDance, Cruise, Dataminr, and OpenAI.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 28th, 2022

Do Conspiracies Really Exist?

Do Conspiracies Really Exist? Authored by Michael Rectenwald via The Mises Institute, It is also important for the State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any “conspiracy theory of history;” for a search for “conspiracies” means a search for motives and an attribution of responsibility for historical misdeeds. If, however, any tyranny imposed by the State, or venality, or aggressive war, was caused not by the State rulers but by mysterious and arcane “social forces,” or by the imperfect state of the world or, if in some way, everyone was responsible (“We Are All Murderers,” proclaims one slogan), then there is no point to the people becoming indignant or rising up against such misdeeds. Furthermore, an attack      on “conspiracy theories” means that the subjects will become more gullible in believing the “general welfare” reasons that are always put forth by the State for engaging in any of its despotic actions. A “conspiracy theory” can unsettle the system by causing the public to doubt the State’s ideological propaganda. —Murray N. Rothbard, Anatomy of the State This essay represents a “conspiracy theory” (or better, a conspiracy hypothesis) about the uses of the term “conspiracy theory” itself. I acknowledge that the term is one of the most potent epithets that can be hurled at a writer or speaker, that it is mostly used to delegitimize and dismiss its target, and that it serves not only to discredit the claim that a writer or speaker makes but also the very investigation into purported conspiracies. The phrase represents a condensed, shorthand means of labeling a claim negatively and humiliating the claimant, disqualifying the claimant and the claim a priori. Likewise, in writing of the “conspiracy” behind the use of the phrase, I am hereby opening myself up to the charge of “conspiracy theory.” I submit that the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” are used most frequently by those on the left, who usually associate the phrases with “right-wing” arguments and interlocutors. Therefore, in writing this essay, I am openly inviting the condemnation of leftists. But this is intentional. In the US, the term “conspiracy theory” is often credited to a disinformation or deflection campaign of the CIA in connection with the assassination of US president John F. Kennedy—to discredit all but the official narrative concerning that event. But the Oxford English Dictionary finds the first usage in a 1908 article in the American Historical Review and defines the compound noun as “the theory that an event or phenomenon occurs as a result of a conspiracy between interested parties; specifically, a belief that some covert but influential agency (typically political in motivation and oppressive in intent) is responsible for an unexplained event.” In The Open Society and Its Enemies (1952), Karl Popper was apparently the first to elaborate on the conspiracy theory idea, and the philosopher discussed it again in Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1962). In volume 2 of The Open Society, Popper introduced the phrase “the conspiracy theory of society” in his discussion of Karl Marx’s historicist method, which he believed was grossly mistaken for its assumption that the main task of sociology is “the prophecy of the future course of history” (306). He defined the conspiracy theory of society as follows: It is the view that an explanation of a social phenomenon consists in the discovery of the men or groups who are interested in the occurrence of this phenomenon (sometimes it is a hidden interest which has first to be revealed), and who have planned and conspired to bring it about. (306) Popper called the conspiracy theory of society “a typical result of the secularization of a religious superstition,” an explanation of historical causality that replaces the causal agency of the gods or God with that of “sinister pressure groups whose wickedness is responsible for all the evils we suffer from—such as the Learned Elders of Zion, or the monopolists, or the capitalists, or the imperialists” (306). Popper’s problem with the conspiracy theory of society was not that conspiracies do not exist but rather that they are seldom successful. The conspiracy theory, he suggested, grants too much credence to the power of the human actors involved. Instead of understanding conspiracy theory, Popper argued, the main task of the social sciences should be to explain why intentional human actions (including conspiracies) often result in unintended outcomes: Why is this so? Why do achievements differ so widely from aspirations? Because this is usually the case in social life, conspiracy or no conspiracy. Social life is not only a trial of strength between opposing groups: it is action within a resilient or brittle framework of institutions and traditions, and it creates—apart from any conscious counter-action—many unforeseen reactions in this framework, some of them perhaps even unforeseeable. (307) Actions, Popper noted, have unintended as well as intended consequences. This is because they take place in a social context that cannot be fully understood by social actors. The conspiracy theory of society is wrong because it claims that the results of actions are necessarily those intended by those interested in such results. I will return to Popper’s analysis below. But first I want to note a historical irony. That is, the first extended refutation of the conspiracy theory of society, Popper’s, came in the context of treating Karl Marx’s method and was associated with theories about “monopolists,” “capitalists,” and “imperialists”—leaving aside for the moment “the Learned Elders of Zion.” The charge of “conspiracy theory” is often levied by socialists and other leftists. Yet Popper suggested that historicism, or Marx’s method, is “a derivative of the conspiracy theory.” Popper’s claim that a genetic relationship exists between historicism and conspiracy theory begs the question: Is Marxism a conspiracy theory, and if so, how? A partial answer involves Marx’s idea of “class consciousness”—the notion that all members of an economic class share the same mentality, worldview, and intentionality—and particularly his claim that all members of the capitalist class entertain and act upon the same idea—namely, a secret, hidden intention to extract value from workers at the point of production, value which Marx measured (mistakenly) in terms of the socially necessary labor time embedded in a commodity. As Marx wrote in Capital, volume 1, chapter 7, section 2: The fact that half a day’s labour is necessary to keep the labourer alive during 24 hours, does not in any way prevent him from working a whole day. Therefore, the value of labour-power [what the capitalist pays the laborer to sustain his life], and the value which that labour-power creates in the labour-process [the value of the commodities he produces], are two entirely different magnitudes; and this difference of the two values was what the capitalist had in view, when he was purchasing the labour-power. (emphasis mine) In other words, all capitalists cheat all members of the working class of approximately half a day’s pay every single day. Marx called this methodical, routine theft “the production of surplus value,” which the capitalist extracts at the point of production and which is the sole source of the capitalist’s profit. That all capitalists hold this hidden intention and separately act upon it—a fact that supposedly awaited Marx to “reveal” to the world—involves a conspiracy that is breathtaking in its scope and effect, but no more breathtaking than Marx’s accusation that such massive, ongoing, intentional fraud is the basis of capitalism. The very idea of an economic class acting in concert to “exploit” workers is no less a conspiracy theory than the belief that a Jewish cabal runs the world. In fact, it is more suspect than the latter because it ascribes a collective, secret intention to the entire “capitalist class,” one that is not even voiced between the conspirators. This is simply something that every capitalist knows to do and does, regardless of any communication with other capitalists. It discounts the fact that capitalists do not, in fact, act collectively but rather in competition with each other, and that part of this competition is the competition for the resource of labor. This latter competition drives up the price of labor when it is in shorter supply, rather than depressing it. It cannot be overestimated how central this supposed phenomenon is to the Marxist project; “exploitation” is the basis of the Marxist requirement that the working class “unite,” rise up, and overthrow its capitalist overlords. It is the basis of the need for communist revolution. This need is based on a conspiracy theory (and the false labor theory of value). Yet curiously, socialists are probably the group most apt to level the accusation of “conspiracy theory.” As a contemporary example, take this 2017 essay in CounterPunch, written by an avowed Marxist, entitled “A ‘New Dawn’ for Fascism: the Rise of the Anti-establishment Capitalists.” Here’s the first paragraph: The world rests on a precipice. On the one hand is institutionalized exploitation and imperialist violence. The well-being of humanity continues to be severely hampered by the priorities of a small unstable capitalist class, who would prefer that the rest of us—those who must engage in a daily struggle to purchase the essentials for living (like food and a roof over our heads)—remain unorganized as a cohesive class. And on the other hand, there are those who believe that the fundamental class division between the rulers and the workers is both intolerable and unsustainable, and so seek to participate in and organize mass movements for social change that will bring an end to the domination of one class of people over another. (emphasis mine) We see Marx’s claim of surplus value extraction embedded in the first sentence, followed by the belief that “a small unstable capitalist class” intentionally aims at keeping “the rest of us … unorganized as a cohesive class.” Likewise, the conspiracy of the capitalists is largely, contra Popper, successful. The article goes on to complain about “problematic and conspiratorial, but ostensibly anti-establishment, ideas [that] have been able to sometimes temporarily supplant class-based analyses about how and why social change happens.” In the rant, these are “right-wing” and “fascist” ideas that are characterized no less than thirty-six times as “conspiracy theories” and “conspiratorial” thinking engaged in by “conspiracy theorists.” I could point to hundreds if not thousands of examples of Marxists leveling the charge of “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” against those who hold opposing views. This is explicable in terms of the need on the part of Marxists to divert attention away from the fact that an unsubstantiated and illogical conspiracy theory lies at the heart of Marxism itself. I return now to Popper’s discussion in The Open Society and Its Enemies by noting that in referring to the conspiracy theory of society, Popper meant a thoroughgoing theory meant to explain all outcomes: The conspiracy theory of society cannot be true because it amounts to the assertion that all results, even those which at first sight do not seem to be intended by anybody, are the intended results of the actions of people who are interested in these results. (307, emphasis mine) It is clear from this formulation that Popper’s charge does not apply to all conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories that do not purport to explain everything are not included in Popper’s indictment. After all, Popper admitted, conspiracies “are typical social phenomena” (307). Popper claimed that most conspiracies fail, which implies that some conspiracies succeed. Further, conspiracy theories might explain not only conspiracies that are successful but also those that ultimately fail. Conspiracy theories, or better, conspiracy hypotheses, are merely attempts to explain outcomes in terms of attempted conspiracies. Those theories that do not aim at explaining everything in terms of a singular, overarching conspiracy are based on an acknowledgement that conspiracies do transpire and that some outcomes are the results of successful conspiracies. An attempted bank robbery is technically a conspiracy, and explaining the plot to rob a bank is technically a “conspiracy theory.” Likewise, conspiracy hypotheses cannot be dismissed in advance. They must remain one of the modes for understanding social reality. Why, then, are “conspiracy theories” and “conspiracy theorists” so categorically dismissed and denounced? As Murray N. Rothbard suggested, the campaign against conspiracy theories is a part of a conspiracy to protect conspiracists themselves. All those who conduct conspiracies, including bank robbers, have every reason to divert and deflect attention away from their activities; only some conspirators have the power to do so. The latter have invented the taboo against conspiracy theories and propagated it. Their vassals in academia, the media, and society at large obediently enforce the taboo and routinely denigrate offenders. This is one way of keeping conspiracies hidden and conspirators off the hook. Instead of exposing them, the enforcers of the conspiracy theory taboo exonerate their felonious lords and laud them to the ends of the earth. Thus, those who aim to destroy all conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists are servants of the powerful and the enemies of truth. Tyler Durden Thu, 04/21/2022 - 19:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 21st, 2022

As Putin Threatens Nuclear Disaster, Europe Learns to Embrace Nuclear Energy Again

In early March, the world looked on in horror as a fire broke out at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southeast Ukraine. The blaze at the Zaporizhzhia facility following shelling by invading Russian forces was eventually brought under control, and no leaked radiation was reported, though the potential for catastrophe prompted Ukraine President Volodymyr… In early March, the world looked on in horror as a fire broke out at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southeast Ukraine. The blaze at the Zaporizhzhia facility following shelling by invading Russian forces was eventually brought under control, and no leaked radiation was reported, though the potential for catastrophe prompted Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to accuse his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of “nuclear terrorism.” “There are six nuclear reactors there,” Zelensky said of Zaporizhzhia. “In Chernobyl, it was one reactor that exploded, only one.” By referencing Chernobyl—the nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine that became the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986—Zelensky was making the stakes very plain. But strange as it may sound, those scenes at Zaporizhzhia may inadvertently contribute to a new dawn for nuclear power. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] The instability resulting from the Russian invasion—as well as mounting evidence of war crimes—has made finding alternatives to Russian oil and liquid natural gas (LNG) a policy priority for European nations who want to stop funding Putin’s war machine. With few options that offer true energy sovereignty, there is now renewed enthusiasm for nuclear energy among politicians in Europe. On April 8, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the U.K. would build up to eight new nuclear plants by 2030 to ensure “we are never again subject to the vagaries of global oil and gas prices” and “can’t be blackmailed by people like Vladimir Putin.” Across Europe, there has been a growing acceptance that nuclear energy is a vital plinth of efforts to fight climate change, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has catalyzed that trend by injecting a national security argument. And as a leader in revolutionary new nuclear technology, the U.S. stands to be the chief geostrategic beneficiary of any revival. The question is whether engrained, ideological aversion to nuclear power in key stakeholder states, particularly Germany, will quell that momentum. Why Nuclear Power is Back on the Discussion Table Collectively, the E.U. imported more than 60% of its energy in 2019. Of that, 47% of the bloc’s imported coal came from Russia, along with 41% of its imported LNG, and 27% of its imported crude oil. The ideal solution is to replace coal and oil with renewables like wind, solar and tidal power. However, despite some great advances in battery technology amid heaps of investment, there is still not a viable storage solution to provide power when the sun isn’t shining, or wind stops blowing. This means each nation’s energy portfolio requires a “firm” element. The cheapest option is simply to swap out dirty coal for comparatively clean LNG, but Putin’s aggression has underscored the hidden costs of that approach. Not only is nuclear energy immune to the vicissitudes of oil and gas prices, it’s also a zero-carbon technology. Beyond the practically uncountable damage greenhouse gas emissions inflict on the lives and livelihoods of people globally, the air pollution that results from burning fossil fuels directly led to 8.7 million deaths in 2018 alone, according to research published last year. Meanwhile, despite the raft of high-profile disasters, historic fatalities from the civil nuclear industry are measured in the low thousands. In February, the E.U. classified nuclear energy as “green,” drawing a backlash from environmentalists who point to risks associated with accidents and nuclear waste. But many energy experts counter that it’s a necessary element of a viable net-zero economy. “Nuclear power is an important source of low-carbon electricity and heat that can contribute to attaining carbon neutrality and hence help to mitigate climate change,” wrote Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, in a report published in the lead up to November’s COP26 climate talks. And boosting the capacity of Europe’s existing nuclear reactors—which don’t normally run at full tilt, due to the growing inclusion of renewables—was one of the solutions the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently proposed to reduce European reliance on Russian LNG. “The majority of countries in Europe will be even more pro-nuclear now,” says Kai Vetter, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Even before the war in Ukraine, the IEA was saying that the nuclear industry must nearly double in size over the next two decades to meet global net-zero emissions targets. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a 400-page special report, “Global Warming of 1.5°C,” which offered four pathways to mitigate global temperature rises. All four pathways increased the use of nuclear power in relation to 2010, by an amount ranging from 59% to 106% by 2030, and from 98% to 501% by 2050. Since the invasion of Ukraine, E.U., policymakers grappling with how to wean their nations off Russian energy are seeing nuclear as an increasingly viable alternative. Why Some E.U. Countries Remain Skeptical of Nuclear On the other hand, nuclear power remains deeply political in Europe, not least after the 2011 Fukushima meltdown in Japan reenergized anti-nuclear advocates in the region. Perhaps the most important country opposing nuclear is Germany—which also happens to be the E.U.’s largest user of Russian energy. Germany’s ruling coalition partner Green Party has its roots as an advocacy group specifically in opposition to nuclear energy, and the country was about to take its nuclear power offline when the war began. As Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine in February, Robert Habeck, German Vice-Chancellor and a Green Party leader, said he wouldn’t rule out extending the life of Germany’s three remaining nuclear plants on “ideological” grounds. But he soon backtracked and insisted decommissioning would take place as planned. Instead, Germany has gone cap in hand to Qatar and the UAE to seek alternative sources of liquid natural gas despite climate and human-rights concerns. “It’s so incomprehensible,” says Vetter. “There’s amazing naiveté in Germany in my opinion.” Nuclear power is an issue that splits Europe. Although most E.U. nations are pro-nuclear, at COP26 a group of five—Austria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal—banded together to urge the European Commission to keep nuclear out of the E.U.’s green finance taxonomy. “We have plenty of evidence of how dangerous nuclear power can be,” Austrian Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler told a COP26 side-event on Nov. 11. The reasons for each member’s opposition are varied and complex. In Germany and Austria, a sense of powerlessness amid fallout from the Chernobyl disaster melded anti-Soviet sentiment with anti-nuclear. In Portugal, opposition is rooted in historic tensions with neighboring Spain, which has four of its ten nuclear plants using the Tagus River for cooling, which runs into Portugal. Still, other Western European nations such as Finland, Sweden, France, Spain and Belgium have all historically supported the technology, even while adding renewables like wind and solar. In Eastern Europe, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary are all beginning or expanding their nuclear capabilities. Indeed, appreciation of the myriad benefits is swelling alongside the price of oil and gas. “The question of how nuclear power may come back onto the scene was already being discussed because of climate goals,” says a senior Western diplomat in Central Europe, asking to remain anonymous due to official protocol. “Now we have the whole Russian gas question. And again, it’s an answer.” Jean-Marie Hosatte—Gamma-Rapho/Getty ImagesThe Cruas Nuclear Power Plant, in southern France, on Feb. 13, 2022. France is the E.U. country currently most reliant on nuclear energy. What Comes Next Many obstacles remain, of course: Aside from political hesitancy, nuclear plants are expensive, with steep regulatory hurdles. And there is no quick fix: traditional large-scale plants take 10 years to bring online; even the most cutting-edge, next-generation reactors require at least four. Nevertheless, those next-gen reactors, called Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), can make a difference, say industry watchers. They’re groundbreaking because, as they are modular, with different numbers of “off the shelf” reactors, they can be combined to tailor for specific needs. Rather than being built bespoke to fit on a specific site, SMR modules get shipped to the location by truck, rail, or barge. This makes them more affordable when economies of scale kick in. They are also theoretically much safer, requiring neither manpower nor electricity to go offline in case of a crisis, while also producing less hazardous waste since they are able to “burn” up more fuel. While traditional reactors are ideal for splitting uranium-235 atoms, the neutrons of “fast” SMRs can also split uranium-238, which makes up over 99% of the enriched uranium that’s fed to reactors. This means less frequent refuelings and less waste. “SMRs could potentially change the game and bring nuclear back,” says the Western diplomat. “There’s a lot of countries looking at this type of technology with different designs for small reactors.” Oregon-based NuScale is a leader in the SMR field, and co-founder and Chief Technological Officer Jose Reyes has seen an uptick in inquiries since the war in Ukraine, as nations grapple with an increasingly thorny energy conundrum. “We’ve gotten a lot of interest globally,” he tells TIME. On the sidelines of COP26 last fall, U.S. and Romanian officials inked an agreement for NuScale to build Europe’s first SMR in partnership with local nuclear firm Nuclearelectrica. The collaboration “will contribute to Romania’s energy independence in line with the European vision of protecting the environment and reducing carbon dioxide emissions,” Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă told TIME in an interview in March. Indeed, if the E.U. wants a nuclear energy ascendency, the U.S. is a likely partner. In the U.S., nuclear power is largely uncontroversial—even Democrats and Republicans are united on the benefits—and America’s 93 operating nuclear reactors supply 20% of U.S. power, or about half of its carbon-free electricity. The U.S. has also been pushing the power source as a solution for developing countries, unveiling in November $25 million of funding to help build reactors in Brazil, Kenya, and Indonesia. In the E.U., the invasion of Ukraine has galvanized an appreciation of nuclear energy. The new mood has been helped by the fact that France—Europe’s most pro-nuclear country, generating over 70% of its electricity via the technology—is the current rotating president of the E.U. Council and controversially added promotion of nuclear power to its presidential program in what one German Green Party member described to TIME as a “f–k you into the face of Germans.” Many other European nations are making a similar calculation. Of the 10 foreign nations that have signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs)—which establishes the groundwork for exploring building an SMR—with NuScale, half are European. In addition, in December NuScale signed an agreement with Ukraine to offer analysis of necessary licensing revisions for SMR deployment funded by a U.S. Trade and Development Agency grant. Courtesy of NuScale Power, LLCNuScale co-founder and chief technology officer José Reyes on a platform at the firm’s Integral System Test facility at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon Oregon. NuScale may be the first SMR firm to gain U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission design approval but it won’t have the field to itself for long. “There are four or five other [SMR] companies in the United States which I really believe will be on the grid within the next 10 years or so,” says Vetter. “And they will be strongly supported by the U.S. government.” The potential strategic benefits for the U.S. pushing this technology overseas are clear. Building a nuclear plant is not like coal or gas—the client is locked into dependency for training, fueling, and maintenance. Russia currently leads the world in exporting civilian nuclear technology, but Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has underscored it as an unreliable partner, and the E.U. is currently mulling whether to ban all collaboration with Russian nuclear providers, especially Rosatom and its subsidiaries. If so, Washington stands to boost its geostrategic clout at the expense of the Kremlin. China could be another potential partner for the E.U. Building more new nuclear reactors than any other country—it plans for as many as 150 by 2030, costing in the region of $500 billion—China will soon overtake the U.S. as the operator of the world’s largest nuclear-energy system. It is also experimenting with SMRs, and given its existing engineering prowess and record of slashing costs, is already offering cost-effective alternatives. But question marks hang over China’s strategic ambitions amid accusations of coercive practices and debt-trap diplomacy. In November 2015, Romania’s Nuclearelectrica signed a MoU with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) for the redevelopment of its sole existing nuclear power facility, Cernavoda. However, in August 2019, the U.S. blacklisted CGN over the alleged theft of U.S. nuclear technology for military purposes, and Romania canceled the deal less than a year later. Instead, it has agreed to a deal thought to be worth $8 billion to have the U.S. refurbish and expand Cernavoda. It helps that the U.S. is a trusted ally. “Our plants are designed for a 60 year life,” says Reyes. “So that’s a long-term relationship that involves supply chain and operations and training. So it’s a natural bond that’s created between nations when you do that.” German opposition remains the most problematic for the pro-nuclear lobby given the nation’s leadership role within the E.U. One leading Green Party figure, who asked to remain anonymous since energy policy was not his specific brief, tells TIME that any internal dissent regarding doubling down on LNG instead of reevaluating nuclear remains very much a fringe viewpoint. “There are political identity, cultural, and political risk components [to our continued opposition to nuclear],” he says. “And in a situation of crisis like now there are just so many compromises you can sell.” Certainly, the longer the Ukraine war goes on, extricating nations from Russian oil and gas will stay firmly at the top of Western policy agendas. And the nuclear-over-oil drum is one that Washington, Paris, and others, will keep on banging......»»

Category: topSource: timeApr 21st, 2022

10 Things in Tech: Big Tech salaries

In today's edition: SEC disclosures reveal which tech company pays typical employees the most, and we tested the electric Kia EV6's coolest feature. Top of the morning. New SEC disclosures reveal which Big Tech company pays typical employees the most (and the least), and we tested out the electric Kia EV6's coolest feature.Let's get started.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app – click here for iOS and here for Android.Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaking during a Google event in California in 2016.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images1. The typical Google employee earns the most of all Big Tech companies. Annual disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show how much tech workers made in 2021 — a metric that also reveals how much more the companies' CEOs earn.The median, or "typical," Google worker made just under $300,000 last year — though others make much more, and some make less. Facebook, which last year became even more generous with equity awards for top talent, is not far behind, with the typical employee also earning close to $300,000. Meanwhile, workers at Apple and Amazon lag far behind their peers, with median workers earning $68,254 and $32,855, respectively. That's mostly down to its high percentage of retail staff.See a complete list of median pay for Big Tech workers.In other news:Elon Musk.Patrick Pleul/AP2. A Twitter shareholder is suing Elon Musk. The lawsuit alleges that by not disclosing his stake in the social media company soon enough, the Tesla CEO kept Twitter's share price down. Everything we know about the lawsuit.3. PayPal laid off its emerging technologies research team. With market pressures squeezing the payments giant, PayPal has laid off its team responsible for quantum computing, cryptography, and distributed ledger technology — and one source believes it won't be the only unit affected. Inside PayPal's layoffs.4. Uber will refund customers who were charged surge pricing after the NYC subway shooting. Twitter users said they noticed surge charges on the Uber app while trying to leave the area where at least ten people were shot and over a dozen were injured Tuesday morning. Here's the latest.5. Engineers at Google's Russian rival are fleeing — leaving spouses and salaries behind. Current and former employees at Yandex, Russia's biggest tech firm, recount leaving the country on short notice after the invasion of Ukraine and becoming IT "refugees": "I bought a plane ticket and left 12 hours later."6. Meta spent $27 million on Mark Zuckerberg's security and private jets in 2021. A company filing with the SEC showed the cost has jumped from $25 million in 2020 and $23 million in 2019. More on the rising cost of keeping Zuck safe.7. See the résumé that got this freelance writer a Microsoft job (without a relevant degree or tech experience). Tara Larsen was a student, dance teacher, math teacher, and the Lead Poetry Editor for her school's literary journal before being hired as an executive business administrator at Microsoft. She breaks down how she wrote her résumé to land the job.8. Serious injuries at Amazon warehouses rose 15% last year. In the year since Amazon pledged to become "Earth's Safest Place to Work," workers instead became more likely to get injured on the job, according to a new report. See the report's full findings here.Odds and ends:The 2022 Kia EV6.Tim Levin/Insider9. We tested out one of the electric Kia EV6's coolest features. The 2022 electric Kia SUV allows its owners to use it as a mobile power source to charge computers and plug in appliances (or, if you're like this writer, make breakfast outside). Here's how it went.10. Apple is planning new features for its iPhone Health app. Bloomberg first reported the company is working on a handful of new health-forward capabilities including more sleep tracking — but that one long-awaited feature has hit a roadblock. Take a look at what's coming.What we're watching today:Delta Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, and others are reporting earnings. Keep up with earnings here."Our Great National Parks," a five-part documentary series narrated by former President Barack Obama, becomes available on Netflix.Part of the Apollo 11 contingency sample is being offered at auction for the first time.Paris Blockchain Week Summit begins today.Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Shona Ghosh in London.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 13th, 2022

Goldman: "Is The Recession Signal Once Again Hiding In Plain Sight?"

Goldman: "Is The Recession Signal Once Again Hiding In Plain Sight?" Two weeks ago, Goldman's head of hedge funds sales Tony Pasquariello unexpectedly took a contrarian position to the conventionally bullish house view, warning that over the next few weeks, "he called the market lower." So far he has been spot on, and stocks indeed are now lower than they were at the end of March as the retail driven melt up that started in mid-March has once again collapsed. So what happens next? Well, it depends on whom one listens to: Goldman or Goldman, because while the bank's traditionally permabullish chief equity strategist (for common consumption) David Kostin continues to push the bank's retail clients to buy whatever Goldman has to sell, and as we noted on Friday, Goldman has been selling a lot... ... Pasquariello still refuses to jump on the bullish bandwagon, and instead in his latest Markets and Macro note says that while he is not yet ready to fully subscribe to the recession narrative, he is very close and adds that when all is said and done, "bulls are fighting uphill." . Below we excerpt from the note which is traditionally reserved for Goldman's most lucrative institutional clients, and which presents a far less optimistic view than that one would glean from reading Goldman's generic (and generally worthless) "house" research. From Pasquariello's latest "Markets and Macro: From QE to QT": Let me summarize 23 points in just two lines: the tectonic plates underlying the global investing ecosystem are on the move. that is neither “all good” nor “all bad” for market participants, but the game is getting a lot more complicated. here’s the run of it ... as always, a taker of feedback and good ideas: 1. Recent price action in spaces like homebuilders (see S15HOME) and transports (see GSSITRUC) has been dreadful, and cause for some contemplation. If you lived through 2006-08, when you observe these charts today, it’s hard not to wonder if the recession signal is once again hiding in plain sight. What I’m getting at here: there’s a message coming from the underbelly of the market that -- rightly or wrongly -- points, with increasing force, in the direction of a growth scare. 2. This stress in the deep cyclicals is consistent with a recent poll of our institutional client base, where over half of the respondents expect a US recession between now and the end of next year. alongside the ongoing heaviness of high yield, this also foots with the interest strip, where Eurodollars are seemingly discounting that the Fed will need to reverse course come 2024. Even though I would argue that geopolitical risk premium has been tamping down over recent weeks -- look no further than the VIX or EM currencies -- other parts of the macro complex are simultaneously dialing up warning signs around the trajectory of growth. 3. To be clear, the GFC was principally a function of the US building far too many homes, while the broader private sector built up far too much leverage. this time around, the setup is fundamentally very different: the US currently has a serious national shortage of housing ... and, the private sector financial balance is far healthier. Furthermore, despite how poorly certain parts of the market trade, also note how well some of traditional mega caps have performed: WMT, KO, JNJ, LLY and COST all marked an ATH this week (reflective of a sensible up-in-quality bias). 4. Where this leaves me: respectful of the flickering red lights on the macro dashboard, while not yet ready to fully subscribe to the recession narrative (see point 10 below). That tension supports my ongoing instinct that S&P will remain in a turbulent range trade -- sell rips over 4500, buy dips below 4200 -- with an overall portfolio bias towards commodities and quality. I also continue to believe that gap risk is more likely to be to the downside and not to the upside. 5. The upcoming barrage of Q1 earnings is apt to be fascinating given the macro cross-currents. As mentioned last week, the bar for Q1 isn’t particularly demanding: 0% expected y/y growth ex-energy, which seems low given the nominal GDP world we live in. The challenge, rather, will be H2’22 expectations of double-digit y/y growth … how guidance around that shakes out will be the key part of the story. As GMD colleague Bobby Molavi put it: “in certain cases it will be the starter gun for broad stroke sell side downward revisions.” 6. I’d argue the biggest development of the week -- a more forceful discussion of Fed balance sheet runoff -- supports a view that the bulls are fighting uphill. I’m inclined to think this is a big deal, and one which will intimidate stock operators on occasion, given what we learned way back in QE2: if you want to adjust financial conditions, the balance sheet is a much more powerful tool than the Fed Funds rate. I had actually pecked out that point before Bill Dudley took off the gloves: “if stocks don’t fall, the Fed needs to force them. In contrast to many other countries, the U.S. economy doesn’t respond directly to the level of short-term interest rates ... financial conditions need to tighten. If this doesn’t happen on its own (which seems unlikely), the Fed will have to shock markets to achieve the desired response.” 7. With respect to positioning, the disjunction between professionals and households persists: our Prime Brokerage franchise has seen selling from hedge funds for five of the past six weeks; over that same period, there’s been $46bn of inflows to equity mutual funds / ETF’s (entirely to the US; credit GMD client Scott Rubner). I suspect the collective flow-of-funds picture skews towards the negative side over the next few weeks, given the buyback blackout window and market talk of a > $300bn capital gains tax bill -- while also noting that retail is the heavy, and if they don’t back down, underlying sponsorship will remain intact. 8. While it’s a guarantee of nothing on the forward, I suspect a significant part of ongoing retail demand for equities begins and ends with a severe lack of good alternatives. Witness this check-down: the real returns on cash are terrible (consider the compounding of inflation over a five or ten-year period, it’s sobering). The nominal bonds you hold -- Treasuries, munis -- just keep selling off. the risk/reward profile of corporate bonds is not at all appealing. Crypto continues to hang in there, but it carries a very low weighting for most actors, and as much as you should love commodities, the volatility is not for anyone. 9. A non sequitur: through the end of 2021, the total return of S&P was positive in 17 of the past 19 years, and the average annual return over the prior three years was +26%. This provokes a few big picture reactions: (1) while those stats belie how hugely difficult the path of risk management was along the way, for strategic holders of risky assets, the getting was so exceptionally good; (2) despite an ongoing boom in genuine corporate innovation, I do worry that some of the underlying drivers that supported profit growth -- the compounding of immense Chinese GDP growth, structurally lower global inflation, low US corporate taxes and an ever lower cost of capital -- could all be in some form of retreat. 10. This is the most interesting point I read all week, credit to Jan Hatzius in GIR: “There has never been an increase in the [US] unemployment rate of more than 0.35pp (on a 3-month average basis) that wasn’t associated with a recession. The broader point is that once the labor market has overshot full employment, the path to a soft landing becomes narrow ... nevertheless, we think a recession is far from inevitable. First, the US recession sample underlying our labor market rules of thumb is small -- 12 in the entire postwar period and just 4 since 1982 -- and there are quite a few instances in other G10 economies in which moderate labor market deterioration did not result in recession. Second, in previous US labor market overheating episodes there was no source of incremental labor supply comparable to the 1-1.5 million prime-age workers that may now be poised to return to the workforce. Third, few of the financial imbalances that made the US economy vulnerable to self-feeding recessionary forces in the run up to the 2001 and 2007-2009 recessions -- especially the giant private sector deficits in the household and/or corporate sector -- are visible now." 11. quick points: i. while acknowledging how volatile local price action has been, Jeff Currie’s mark-to-market on the commodities bull market is worth a glance. The punch line is vividly clear: this is a policy-driven volatility trap ... oil to $125 by year-end and GSCI +28% NTM ... “our conviction in a multi-year super cycle has risen substantially." ii. speaking of commodities and inflation, next Tuesday brings a biggee: CPI. while this print could well mark the cycle high -- consensus on headline is +8.4% y/y -- I suspect the move from peak back towards trend will keep macro traders on their feet a good while longer. iii. do you know when globalization peaked? if defined by global trade as a % of GDP, the peak in globalization was not in 2016 ... it was not in 2019 ... it was actually back in 2008. iv. a reminder: Chinese industrial data peaked in November of 2020. in this spirit, I re-learned something else this week: Chinese debt/GDP is now running around 280%. v. Brazil has enjoyed a remarkable, if surprising trading rally to start the year. For a (cautious) take on where we go from here: link. vi. on the technicals of the all-important US bond market: “The past 24 hours have seen some significant developments transpire in the US rates markets. the most notable is the 1yr1yr Libor Swap ending its secular downtrend with the break above its 2018 high at 3.330%. To our knowledge this is the first US rates market to end its long term bull trend”. vii. in the spirit of April Fool’s -- and, my unabashed fondness for Taco Bell -- this warrants mention: “the Taco Liberty Bell was an April Fool's Day joke played by fast food restaurant chain Taco Bell. On April 1, 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in seven leading U.S. newspapers announcing that the company had purchased the Liberty Bell to ‘reduce the country's debt’ and renamed it the ‘Taco Liberty Bell’”. 12. This plots the real Fed Funds rate, with the inflation adjustment coming from market-based expectations. It levels sets just how crazy easy the starting point is for this tightening cycle -- perhaps part of the reason stocks have held up decently of late -- while also inviting the question of “how could this possibly get any better from here”: 13. Then there’s this show stopper -- also subject to your interpretation -- the GS wage tracker. My view: while it’s hard to think the gradient of this slope can be sustained forever, I also don’t see it turning meaningfully lower anytime soon: 14. A chart that (actually) tells you everything you need to know about Q1: 15. Speaking of energy prices ... this is what the cost of jet fuel looks like. From Callum Bruce in GIR: “ultimately, it’s a specific locational issue that is not significant to broader balances, but is nevertheless symptomatic of tight market and shows the binding, physical nature of commodity shortages and their large upside convexity at low storage levels. more of these events are in store.” 16. The more I travel around, the more I think the primary destination for capital is the US for now. In a similar vein, the market is very clearly rewarding companies with leverage to the US vs those with leverage to offshore revenues: 17. Scott Feiler, GMD: “at the idea dinners I attended in November/December, shorting the low-income consumer was the most popular idea. that was just due to compares, lack of stimulus, lack of child tax credit etc. that had not even contemplated higher gas prices. here we are though at the end of 1Q and our GS low-income basket outperformed the high-income basket by 500 bps. many of the low-income stocks have heavy consumables exposure and have simply outperformed. Our conversations have shifted dramatically the last 3 weeks, with investors looking to more middle-income type names that are heavily discretionary and have chunky dollar purchases that a consumer might forgo ... our baskets team put a basket together last week that they think addresses this theme, with the title being the ‘middle income discretionary basket’ (ticker GSCNSMDI Index).” note the ratio of this basket vs S&P. Tyler Durden Sun, 04/10/2022 - 11:10.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytApr 10th, 2022

Dolby"s (DLB) Transcode API to Speed Up Workflow Creation

Dolby's (DLB) Transcode API is now available for businesses and developers to help accelerate the creation of high-quality, file-based video workflows for any screen. Dolby Laboratories, Inc. DLB recently announced that its Dolby.io Transcode API has completed the beta stage and is now available for all users. With this announcement, developers and businesses now have access to a media conversion platform that will help accelerate the creation of superior quality workflows.What Does Transcode API Offer?The Dolby.io Transcode API is an API-driven media conversion platform for seamlessly streaming and delivering content over the web, making it easy to quickly create high-quality, file-based video workflows for any screen. The Transcode API provides powerful conversion tools wherein the outputs are already optimized for web delivery so that one does not have to use any advanced configuration to deliver media to any screen. The Transcode API can be leveraged by anyone from a developer who needs to manage massive volumes of user-generated content to a business with recorded video intended to be used by huge audiences. The Transcode API will help businesses and developers add video to their apps quickly without needing a media expert. With the Transcode API, Dolby offers the most frequently used video codecs like AVC, HEVC, VP8 and VP9.The Dolby.io Transcode API is the latest flexible component in a suite of APIs, which makes the content look and sound its best. With robust multi-cloud storage integration for Amazon S3, Microsoft Azur, and Google Storage, one can take source videos from one provider as input and write them cross-cloud to any other provider. Incorporating enhanced features like video concatenation and trimming, the Transcode API will be a valuable inclusion in any media workflow, giving developers a powerful toolset to understand, improve and distribute their content.The Transcode API has simple and transparent pricing with no maintenance or hidden charges.San Francisco, CA-based Dolby specializes in audio noise reduction and audio encoding/compression. The company offers state-of-the-art audio, imaging, and voice technologies that revolutionize entertainment and communications at theaters, home, work and mobile devices.Dolby is well poised to benefit from the higher adoption of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technology, thanks to the rising demand for premium-viewing experiences. Dolby Cinema technology is considered a major profit churner for the company. Its growth strategy stands on three pillars — advancing the science of sight and sound, providing creative solutions, and delivering superior experiences. Diligent capital deployment strategies and robust financials ensure the company’s long-term growth.Shares of DLB have lost 23% compared with the industry’s fall of 10.9% in the past year.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks Rank & Key PicksDolby carries a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold) currently.Some better-ranked stocks from the broader technology space are Flex Ltd FLEX, American Software AMSWA and Iridium Communications IRDM, all of which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Flex has a projected earnings growth rate of 19.75% for fiscal 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Flex’s fiscal 2022 earnings has been revised upward by 9 cents in the past 60 days.Flex’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, the average surprise being 25.6%. Shares of FLEX have declined 1.6% in the past year.American Software has a projected earnings growth rate of 24.24% for fiscal 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for American Software’s fiscal 2022 earnings has been revised upward by 4 cents in the past 60 days.American Software’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, the average surprise being 92.14%. Shares of AMSWA have dropped 0.1% in the past year.Iridium has a projected earnings growth rate of 157.14% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Iridium’s 2022 earnings has been revised upward by 2 cents in the past 60 days.Iridium’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the last four quarters and met estimates twice, the average surprise being 39.4%. Shares of IRDM have gained 3.8% in the past year. Just Released: The Biggest Tech IPOs of 2022 For a limited time, Zacks is revealing the most anticipated tech IPOs expected to launch this year. Concerns about Federal interest rates and inflation caused many private companies to stay on the bench- leading to companies with better brand recognition and higher growth rates getting into the game. With the strength of our economy and record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. See the complete list today.>>See Zacks Hottest IPOs NowWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Dolby Laboratories (DLB): Free Stock Analysis Report Flex Ltd. (FLEX): Free Stock Analysis Report Iridium Communications Inc (IRDM): Free Stock Analysis Report American Software, Inc. (AMSWA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksApr 5th, 2022

Trump Sues Hillary Clinton, Says She "Maliciously Conspired" To Weave Collusion Conspiracy Theory

Trump Sues Hillary Clinton, Says She 'Maliciously Conspired' To Weave Collusion Conspiracy Theory Former US President Donald Trump sued Hillary Clinton and several other Democrats on Thursday, alleging they attempted to rig the 2016 US presidential election by fabricating a conspiracy theory tying his campaign to Russia. "Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty," reads the lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Florida. Remember this? Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016 Meanwhile, a flashback: Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations.com, A Hillary Clinton campaign operation to plant a false rumor about Donald Trump setting up a “secret hotline” to Moscow through a Russian bank was much broader than known and involved multiple U.S. agencies, according to declassified documents and sources briefed on an ongoing criminal investigation of the scheme. In addition to the FBI, the 2016 Clinton campaign tried to convince the Obama administration’s State Department, Justice Department and Central Intelligence Agency to look into the hoax, and continued pressing the issue even after Trump was inaugurated in January 2017.The goal was to trigger federal investigative activity targeting her Republican rival and leak the damaging information to the media. “The Clinton machine flooded the FBI with pressure from a number of angles until investigations of Trump were opened and reopened,” said one of the briefed sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive law enforcement matter. "The deception was wide-ranging." Michael Sussmann: The indicted former Clinton campaign attorney wasn't the only one feeding the bogus Alfa Bank story to the feds. perkinscoie.com Special Counsel John Durham outlined the FBI part of the scheme in a felony indictment of Michael Sussmann. The former Clinton campaign lawyer was charged last month with making a false statement to the former general counsel of the FBI when he claimed he was not working “for any client” in bringing to the FBI’s attention allegations of a secret channel of communication between computer servers in Trump Tower and the Alfa Bank in Russia. According to the indictment, Sussmann was in fact acting on behalf of clients including the Clinton campaign, and an unnamed tech executive who RCI has previously reported is Rodney L. Joffe, a regular adviser to the Biden White House on cybersecurity and infrastructure policies. Internal emails reveal the Clinton operatives knew the links they made between Trump and Russia were “weak,” even describing them as a “red herring,” but fed them to investigators anyway. The Sussmann indictment revealed the doubts of those developing the Alfa Bank story. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia After Sussmann’s meeting with the FBI in September 2016, the Clinton campaign approached the State Department the following month with the same lead, this time using paid Clinton campaign subcontractor Christopher Steele to feed the rumors. A former British intelligence officer, Steele was offered as a reliable source to help corroborate the rumors. On Oct. 11, 2016, Steele gave his contact at Foggy Bottom documents alleging that a supposed hidden server at Trump Tower was pinging Moscow. Christopher Steele: Author of the debunked dossier passed the Alfa Bank story to the State Department, which passed it along to FBI agent Peter Strzok. (Aaron Chown/PA FILE via AP) Two days later, a State official who previously worked under former secretary Clinton funneled the information to the FBI’s then-top Eurasia/Russia counterintelligence official, Stephen Laycock, according to recently declassified notes and testimony. Laycock, in turn, forwarded the information to Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who led the investigation of Trump and his campaign and had just weeks earlier texted a bureau lawyer, “We’ll stop [Trump from being elected].” "I informed Peter Strzok and another supervisor,” Laycock testified last year in a closed-door Senate hearing. Telephone: After Steele fed the Alfa Bank story to State, it was passed to the FBI’s then-top Eurasia/Russia counterintelligence official, Stephen Laycock (left), who in turn passed it on to lead FBI agent on Trump-Russia, Peter Strzok (right). Facebook/Twitter Steele, who later confessed he was “desperate” to defeat Trump, was the author of the debunked dossier claiming Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. He even misspelled the name of the Russian bank as “Alpha.” Still, the FBI took his rumors seriously enough to interview tech vendors working for the Trump Organization and obtain warrants to search Trump Tower servers. Within days of receiving the State Department tip, Strzok also used Steele’s dossier to secure a wiretap on Trump adviser Carter Page. Clinton foreign policy adviser and current National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan would put out a written statement trumpeting the Trump-Alfa Bank story, which was shared by then-candidate Clinton on Oct. 31, 2016, after Slate reported on it. Fusion GPS, the Washington opposition-research group that worked for the Clinton campaign as a paid agent, and helped gather dirt on Alfa Bank and draft the materials Sussmann would later submit to the FBI, reportedly pressed Slate to publish the story by the account of its author, journalist Franklin Foer. The Clinton campaign played up the Trump-Alfa Bank story on the eve of the 2016 election. Twitter/@HillaryClinton “This was a highly sophisticated operation using enablers in both the media and federal agencies,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told RealClearInvestigations. The Clinton campaign did not let up even after Trump won the election. In mid-November 2016, it enlisted top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr – whose wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS – to add credibility to the Alfa rumors. That month, Ohr advised the FBI that Steele had told him that the Alfa Bank server was a link to the Trump campaign. Then in early December, Ohr met with the FBI case supervisor who worked for Strzok at least twice. Declassified notes and other records show that during those meetings, Ohr provided him with thumb drives he had received from paid Clinton opposition researcher and Fusion GPS co-founder, Glenn Simpson, and Ohr’s wife and Simpson’s colleague, Nellie. Quoting his Clinton sources, Ohr insisted the alleged backdoor computer channel between Trump and Alfa was real. Bruce Ohr: The Justice Department official -- linked to Clinton opposition research firm Fusion GPS through his wife Nellie, a Fusion employee -- brought the firm's arguments and materials to the FBI. The Global Initiative The FBI spent months investigating the claim, eventually dismissing it as baseless. After the FBI closed the case, Sussmann turned to the nation’s top intelligence agency for assistance, as RCI first reported. In December 2016, Sussmann called then-CIA Director John Brennan’s general counsel – Caroline Krass – to set up a meeting to brief her about the same Alfa Bank rumors. Krass expressed interest in the tip. Then in early February 2017, officials from her office formally sat down with Sussmann for more than an hour to discuss the Trump-Russian bank rumors. Sussmann provided them updated versions of the materials he had handed off to the FBI. Caroline Krass: General counsel to then-CIA Director John Brennan welcomed Sussmann's pitch of the Alfa Bank story, which reportedly passed from the CIA to FBI. CIA/Wikipedia The CIA, in turn, referred the rumors to an FBI liaison for further investigation, according to the sources briefed on his case. Strzok was the lead FBI liaison to the CIA at the time. Among the documents Durham has obtained is a CIA memo memorializing the meeting with Sussmann, according to the sources. In his grand jury indictment, Durham accused Sussmann of also misleading the CIA, which he referred to only as “Agency-2.” The special counsel alleges that Sussmann, as he did when meeting with an FBI official, had also failed to inform contacts at Langley that he was representing a client – in the latter case specifically Joffe – tied to the Clinton campaign operation and who had been promised a high-level job in a Clinton administration. Billing the Democrat’s campaign for his work on the “confidential project," Sussmann recruited Joffe and a team of federal computer contractors to mine proprietary databases containing vast quantities of sensitive, nonpublic Internet data for possible dirt on Trump and his advisers. In a new court document filed last week, Durham revealed his team has obtained more than 80,000 pages of documents in response to grand jury subpoenas issued to more than 15 targets and witnesses, including the computer contractors. Among others receiving subpoenas: political organizations, private firms, tech companies and other entities, including a major university — Georgia Tech — which allegedly participated in the Clinton conspiracy as a Pentagon contractor. Some witnesses have been granted immunity and are cooperating with prosecutors, the sources close to the probe said. Jonathan Turley: "One would expect a CIA official to express reluctance in an investigation that would have a largely domestic focus," says the law professor. CNN “While Sussmann may have hidden his work for the Clinton campaign, this was obviously a useful attack on Trump,” Turley said. “One would expect a CIA official to express reluctance in an investigation that would have a largely domestic focus. But as with the FBI, the Clinton campaign found eager officials to move on any such allegation.” The CIA is largely barred from collecting information inside the United States or on American citizens.“The CIA has no business involving itself in a domestic political issue,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told RCI. “The evidence suggests the primary purpose of the meeting was political." Fitton said his watchdog group has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the CIA demanding all records generated from the contacts Sussmann had with the agency in December 2016 and February 2017. The CIA did not return requests for comment.For good measure, old Clinton hands tried another pressure point. In early February 2017, Clinton's foreign policy adviser Sullivan huddled with Fusion GPS's Simpson and Daniel Jones, an FBI analyst-turned-Democrat-operative, to reboot the same smear campaign against Trump. (As RCI previously reported, Sullivan, who spearheaded the campaign's effort to promote the narrative of a disturbing Trump-Russia relationship via the Alfa Bank story, is under scrutiny for possibly lying to Congress about his role in the operation.) Jones, in turn, reached out to his former colleagues at the FBI, who reopened the investigation into the old allegations of a cyber-link between Trump and Alfa Bank. Jake Sullivan played a pivotal role in the Alfa Bank story as 2016 Clinton foreign policy adviser. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File The next month, acting on Jones’ recycled tip, FBI agents visited the offices of the Pennsylvania company that housed the Trump server, which was actually administered by a third-party hotel promotions firm – Cendyn, based in Florida. But their second investigation proved to be another dead end. The sinister communications Jones claimed were flowing between an alleged Trump server and Alfa Bank were found to be innocuous marketing emails. In other words, spam. Sources say it is odd that FBI headquarters continued to pursue the allegations, because internal FBI communications reveal that the bureau’s own cyber sleuths had pooh-poohed them within days of Sussmann’s briefing, RCI has learned. Strzok himself had been briefed on that assessment of the materials Sussman dropped off at headquarters on Sept. 19, 2016. In fact, in a Sept. 23, 2016, internal message to Strzok, an FBI official relayed his preliminary findings following an interview with Cendyn, the Florida marketing firm that managed the alleged Trump server.“Followed up this morning with Central Dynamics [Cendyn] who confirmed that the mail1.trump-email.com domain is an old domain that was set up in approximately 2009 when they were doing business with the Trump Organization that was never used,” according to the message. Reacting to the Durham indictment, Strzok recently tried to distance himself from the Alfa scandal, insisting in a Lawfare blog: “I had a minor role in the events in question, insofar as I transferred the material Sussman gave to Jim Baker, the FBI’s general counsel at the time, to the personnel who ultimately supervised and looked into the allegations.” Echoing other critics, Strzok complained that Durham – who originally was tapped to investigate the origins of the Russia “collusion” investigation by Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr – is conducting a partisan witch hunt on behalf of Trump. Strzok's claims notwithstanding, Barr's successor, the President Biden-nominated Attorney General Merrick Garland, testified last week that he has renewed funding and staffing for Durham’s far-reaching investigation for the next fiscal year. “[Y]ou can readily assume his budget has been approved,” Garland assured Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee.   Tyler Durden Thu, 03/24/2022 - 14:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMar 24th, 2022

Amazon knew customers felt tricked into signing up for Prime, but disregarded changes because they would reduce subscription growth, internal docs show

Docs show Amazon knew of Prime customer complaints, inside Emily Weiss's failed Glossier tech ambitions, and it's time to blame bad managers. Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories. On the agenda today:Internal documents show Amazon has for years knowingly tricked people into signing up for Prime subscriptions.Burnout isn't employees' fault — the real culprits are companies and rotten leadership.Glossier founder Emily Weiss' tech dreams derailed the hottest millennial beauty brand.Russia's invasion of Ukraine has wrecked China's grand plan.Let me know what you think of all our stories at mturner@insider.com.Subscribe to Insider for access to all our investigations and features. New to the newsletter? Sign up here.  Download our app for news on the go – click here for iOS and here for Android.How Amazon tricked people into Prime membershipsAmazon; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderWho here hasn't ordered something from Amazon in the past 12 months?The e-commerce giant has built on its ubiquity to turn Amazon Prime into one of the most popular subscription programs in the world, with more than 200 million members as of last year. Often, it's been the promise of free shipping that's flipped shopper to subscriber.But as Eugene Kim reported, those Prime sign-up screens have been the source of much debate inside Amazon. Internal documents show it has been aware for years of customer complaints that its user-interface design misleads people into signing up for Prime. But when Amazon tested clearer language on these pages, there were fewer signups. Eugene's reporting takes us inside the issue, describing documents and emails discussing the trade-offs between Amazon's prized "customer centricity" and business goals. It also reveals a previously undisclosed inquiry from the Federal Trade Commission. Here, Eugene gives us the behind-the-scenes scoop.What's the most interesting thing you learned while reporting this piece?Eugene: The big takeaway, from speaking with sources, is that Amazon preaches customer satisfaction — but only when it makes sense financially. The company knew for years that customers complained about Prime's sign-up process, but decided not to change much because it would have led to fewer sign-ups and smaller membership revenue. Maybe there are other examples of this within Amazon?What do you think is next for Amazon's subscription practices?Eugene: Many of my sources talked to me in hopes of seeing change in the Prime sign-up flow. So I would expect some kind of improvement in clarity. But it's also entirely possible Amazon won't do anything, given their statement to us that said the current design is "clear and simple."Read the full story here: Internal documents show Amazon has for years knowingly tricked people into signing up for Prime subscriptions. 'We have been deliberately confusing,' former employee says.Also read: In leaked audio, Amazon's CEO Andy Jassy shares a bold vision for the company's healthcare business. Here's what the giant retailer is doing to become a 'significant disruptor.'Amazon workers reveal why they're prepared to vote against unionizing in one of the most consequential elections in US historyWant to fix burnout? Look at the employer, not the employeeMarianne Ayala/InsiderWe're two years into a pandemic, and everyone is still talking about burnout. Employee burnout is now recognized by the World Health Organization as a "syndrome" caused by "chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed." The problem with recent think pieces and self-help stories about burnout is that they rely on two fundamental lies, according to Ed Zitron. Read the full story here: Here's what companies can do to resolve burnoutAlso read:How do you know if your workplace is toxic? Researchers analyzed 1.4 million employee reviews and think they have the answer.'My company is not my family': Fed up with long hours, many employees have quietly decided to take it easy at work rather than quit their jobsWhat happened to GlossierLeonardo Santamaria for InsiderGlossier, the beauty brand known for its baby-pink aesthetic and emphasis on natural looks, was on the fast track to success after its launch in 2014. Beloved by 20- and 30-somethings craving change in the industry, the company was an overnight phenomenon. Today, it boasts a $1.8 billion valuation.But conversations with 17 former employees show another side to the booming company. Employees said behind the company's financial success was a sometimes chaotic and unstable work environment, spearheaded by a founder whose obsession with transforming the brand into a tech company sparked internal tensions. Read the full story here: How a founder's tech dreams derailed GlossierAlso read:Leaked audio from Nike tech-team meeting reveals its struggles to retain tech talent as it forges ahead with ambitious plansPutin's invasion of Ukraine has lit a fire under ChinaYevhen Borysov/Getty Images; Naohiko Hatta/Getty Images; Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images; Hector Roqueta Rivero/Getty Images; Savanna Durr/InsiderOver the past few years, Beijing's most ambitious goal has been to dramatically reshape its economy, reducing its dependence on the West as it turned China into the world's dominant superpower.  China has been slowly closing its door to the West, columnist Linette Lopez writes. But Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine last month kicked the country's plan for independence into warp speed.Read the full story here: How Moscow put Beijing in a difficult positionAlso read:The photo of a dead Ukrainian woman and her kids shocked the world. The story of her startup life has made the tragedy feel painfully personal to many tech workers.'Distrust and verify': How Biden crafted his strategy for confronting Putin — and the prospects for peace in UkraineMore of this week's top reads:Web3 has so far failed to live up to the promises of "freedom" and "decentralization."This self-made Airbnb multimillionaire  makes $600,000 in revenue every month. Ex-Theranos COO Sunny Balwani's trial started. Our writer says he's pretty much screwed. From engineers to product managers, we're sharing how much Facebook pays its employees.As buyers race to buy homes before interest rates rise, experts share the pitfalls of rushing into homeownership.Ghost kitchens are applying Silicon Valley's playbook to restaurants. Insiders say it may be a recipe for disaster. Plus: Keep updated with the latest business news throughout your weekdays by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMar 20th, 2022