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Drebes: Which Eric Schmitt can Missourians expect in US Senate?

One of the biggest questions among Missouri politicos these days is: What kind of a senator will Eric Schmitt be? Will he be an insider, like retiring Roy Blunt? Or an outsider, like fist-pumping Josh Hawley?.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 24th, 2023

The Election Won"t Change Much In DC. The Real Battle Is Now In The States

The Election Won't Change Much In DC. The Real Battle Is Now In The States Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute, The votes are still being counted, but one thing is already clear: very little will change in Washington after this election.  The House of Representatives will likely be controlled by Republicans, but the majority enjoyed by the GOP in the House will be small. This will provide a veto over some of the worst legislation being pushed by the Biden administration, but history has made it abundantly clear that the GOP is more than willing to compromise and "work with" Democrat administrations rather than simply kill bills. As for the US Senate, we're still waiting on the results in Nevada and Arizona. Georgia is headed to a runoff election. But it's clear that the Senate will again be close to a 50-50 split. If the GOP manages to eke out a majority, that will help sink some of the worst legislation and some of the worst presidential appointees. But the direction of policy will not fundamentally change.  After all, so much of federal policy is now determined by the executive branch that moderate changes in party leadership in Congress will do very little to change the course of the nation's administrative agencies such as the EPA, the IRS, and the FBI. These agencies have immense power over the daily lives of countless Americans, yet even sizable majorities of so-called conservatives have shown little stomach for doing much to rein in this power. Certainly, the small GOP majority now headed for the House will do little.  From Global Warming to Money Printing to Foreign Policy, Expect Little Change This all combines to mean we should expect very little change on policies at the federal level. For example, we can expect to keep hearing plenty about the evil of fossil fuels. The administration will continue to press for less drilling for oil and gas, and the war on coal will continue. The administration will continue to issue new edicts for "fighting global warming." This, of course, will continue to drive up the cost of living.  On foreign policy, it was clear nothing much would change short of an overwhelming victory by "America First" types in Congress. That hasn't happened, so we can expect more of the same foreign interventionism we're seeing now. The US regime will add to the $65 billion it has already sent to Ukraine, and will continually ratchet up its involvement in the region as with a recent deployment of US troops near the Ukraine border. Even worse, the US will likely continue to flirt with nuclear war, as the Pentagon now has more leeway in using nuclear arms in the regime's new National Defense Strategy document. The US will not, any time soon, remove the approximately 900 American troops that are currently conducting a regional occupation in Syria.  Naturally, as far as social spending goes, we can expect zero change. Under Donald Trump, Republicans signed off on massive new spending increases, and were headed towards approving trillion-dollar deficits even before 2020. With covid, of course, spending exploded even more, and only a small handful of Republicans expressed doubts.  (Trump naturally threw a tantrum about even this small bit of opposition.) The only disagreements we'll see in Washington in the next two years will be over how exactly to run up the next massive annual deficit.  Indeed, if the economy continues to slide as we're now seeing it do—with thousands of new layoffs coming from the tech sector just this week, and with real estate falling—we can expect a new bipartisan consensus in Washington calling for a wide variety of new "stimulus" programs. Neither party will want to be seen as the party of austerity.  The Biggest Changes Will Be at the State Level While Washington will keep up with the same disastrous policies, the real change we'll see will be at the state level. The GOP did not do especially well in this election with state level offices, and the Republicans lost control of legislative chambers in at least Michigan, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. On the other hand, the GOP gained supermajorities in both the house and senate in Florida, plus supermajorities in the state senates of North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Moreover, Nevada's state house is trending toward the GOP. Republicans still control a majority of statehouses and have even added to the tally of state GOP control in recent cycles prior to 2022.  What all this likely means is a continued divergence between places like Washington State, New York State, and California on the one hand, and Florida, Texas, and Ohio on the other. On matters like abortion, schools, immigration, guns, and energy policy, the differences between the two blocs will only continue to grow. Covid helped illustrate the importance of state-level policy and the very different legal environments that actually exist between so-called red states and blue states. This has not been forgotten, and many state policymakers will increasingly see themselves as the last defense against federal power. As one GOP operative put it in Politico: “With minimal gains at the federal level, the Republican power we held and gained last night in the states will be all the more important for stopping Joe Biden’s disastrous agenda.” In a column titled "Red states are building a nation within a nation" this was noted by Ronald Brownstein at CNN who clearly disapproves of efforts within red states to separate themselves from federal political trends. He writes:  [R]ed states, supported by Republican-appointed judges, are engaging in a multi-front offensive to seize control of national policy even while Democrats hold the White House and nominally control both the House and Senate. The red states are moving social policy sharply to the right within their borders on issues from abortion to LGBTQ rights and classroom censorship, while simultaneously working to hobble the ability of either the federal government or their own largest metro areas to set a different course. To a degree unimaginable even a decade ago, this broad offensive increasingly looks like an effort to define a nation within a nation – one operating with a set of rules and policies that diverge from the rest of America more than in almost any previous era. Brownstein frames it all as a sinister plot against the Left's favorite interest groups, and he no doubt exaggerates the magnitude of it all. But he is right that red states' governments do have the ability to set up obstacles to federal policy. Gone are the days when state governments simply fell into line every time the federal government demanded some new capitulation. One example of this is the recent conflict between the Biden Administration and the Arizona government on the matter of border security. The state government had places shipping containers along the border to form a makeshift wall. The administration demanded their removal. The state refused to move them.  National Divorce Is Inevitable We should expect more of this type of thing in which state governments simply refuse to play along with federal policy. Democrat-controlled state governments have done this for years, of course, with policies like creating "sanctuary cities" for immigrants or legalizing recreational marijuana. (The latter has not become virtually mainstream thanks to state level resistance.) But the fact is that state governments do have the ability to push back against federal policy makers. States can interfere with federal education policy. States can refuse to enforce federal gun laws. States can make their own abortion policy. States can refuse to do what they're told.  Over time, this will serve to further build cultural and legal differences between different states, just as the covid lockdowns and mask mandates made it clear that there were real differences between states. As the differences become more evident, this will even encourage residents to relocate to places that better suit their political preferences. For example, we're even now hearing that American leftists are leaving the lefty enclave of Austin, Texas. It turns out Austin is in the middle of Texas, and Texas has become too "red" for some people. It's hard to guess how numerous these cases really are, of course, but relocating for political reasons does appear to be far more meaningful than it used to be.  Over time, this will continue to build a real cultural divide that will inevitably lead to de facto political division between these blocs of states. "E pluribus unum" was never more than a political slogan. It's becoming less convincing every day. "National divorce" will increasingly be evident on the horizon.  In the short term, with Washington, DC poised to change so little, policy changes will increasingly come within the context of state governments defining themselves as being either against national elites (as in Florida), or for them (as in California.) This is where the real political action will be.  Tyler Durden Thu, 11/10/2022 - 19:40.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 10th, 2022

Michigan state senator blasts colleague for accusing her of "grooming and sexualizing children" in fundraising email

Democratic Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow tore into her GOP colleague, Sen. Lana Theis, who faces a Trump-endorsed primary challenger. Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak).AP Photo/Al Goldis Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow gave an impassioned floor speech on Tuesday. She responded to a GOP colleague's claim that she's trying to "groom and sexualize kindergarteners." McMorrow has criticized a proposed bill that would restrict educators from discussing gender and sexuality in schools.  As Republican politicians and conservative media personalities have increasingly accused their opponents of being pro-pedophilia, one Michigan lawmaker took to the state senate floor on Tuesday to call out the incendiary rhetoric.State Sen. Mallory McMorrow, a first-term Democrat whose district includes several Detroit suburbs, delivered a fiery floor speech in response to Republican State Sen. Lana Theis, who sent out a fundraising email last week that accused McMorrow of being "outraged" that schools "can't groom and sexualize kindergarteners."On Tuesday, McMorrow attempted to draw a line in the sand over Theis' rhetoric.—Mallory McMorrow (@MalloryMcMorrow) April 19, 2022"I didn't expect to wake up yesterday to the news that the senator from the 22nd district had, overnight, accused me by name of grooming and sexualizing children in an email fundraising for herself," McMorrow said.The Democratic state senator went on to say her Republican colleague sought to "dehumanize and marginalize me" over her opposition to a bill similar to a new Florida law, dubbed by critics as the "Don't Say Gay" legislation, which curtails educators' ability to teach children about gender identity and sexual orientation.McMorrow argued that Theis' rhetoric had gone too far, but that Democrats need to respond to such ad hominem attacks rather than ignore them.—Jordyn Hermani (@JordynHermani) April 18, 2022"So who am I? I am a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom who knows that the very notion that learning about slavery or redlining or systemic racism somehow means that children are being taught to feel bad or hate themselves because they are white is absolute nonsense," McMorrow added.Theis is facing a primary challenge from Republican real estate manager Mike Detmer, who former President Donald Trump's endorsed last November.Theis' office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 19th, 2022

STOCK Act at 10: Members of Congress reflect on what worked — and what needs fixing

Congress is actively debating whether to overhaul the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012. A congressional hearing is scheduled for April 7. President Barack Obama signed the STOCK Act in 2012 to increase transparency of lawmakers' trades. But the enforcement system is a mess.AP/Charles Dharapak President Barack Obama signed the STOCK Act into law a decade ago. It was intended to increase transparency and curb personal financial conflicts of interest. But news investigations, including by Insider, reveal the law often fails to live up to its promise. President Barack Obama signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act into law 10 years ago today, in a ceremony that marked a rare moment of bipartisanship during a midterm election year. "It shows that when an idea is right that we can still accomplish something on behalf of the American people and to make our government and our country stronger," Obama said before taking up his presidential pen. The law created new financial disclosure requirements and enforcement rules for members of Congress, their immediate families, and staff who decide to trade stocks. It clarified that insider trading was illegal on Capitol Hill. It defined how members of Congress could personally invest their money — and could not. But in the months since Insider published "Conflicted Congress," an investigation into the personal finances of federal lawmakers, Congress is considering whether the STOCK Act went far enough.While current law allows members of Congress to trade individual stocks, Insider's "Conflicted Congress" investigation found that more than 1 in 10 lawmakers have recently violated the STOCK Act's disclosure provisions, which requires members of Congress to publicly report their trades shortly after making them.The Insider investigation also exposed numerous conflicts of interest and instances where members of Congress' financial investments ran afoul of their policy positions.For instance, members who hold stock in defense contractors also work on committees that have jurisdiction over military policy. Others who craft anti-tobacco policy have invested in tobacco giants. In the weeks immediately before and after the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the nation in March 2020, dozens of lawmakers bought or sold stock in companies that manufacture COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, tests, and personal protective equipment.A House panel is set to conduct a public hearing Thursday to explore the issue of congressional stock trading, including a possible ban on the practice. And Senate Democrats have been meeting on the issue.Meanwhile, to mark the anniversary of the law's passage, current and former members of Congress, all of whom pushed for or voted on the original bill, told Insider how they thought the law lived up to its promises — but also how it could be improved. Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, independent of ConnecticutJoe Lieberman, a former Independent senator of Connecticut, praised Insider's reporting for bringing new attention to the law's shortcomings.Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP PhotoLieberman pushed hard for passage of the STOCK Act. At a press conference months before it passed, in 2012, he said the bill he sponsored was "an attempt to take a step, a significant step, to rebuild the lost trust that the American people feel today in members of Congress."Lieberman, who was Al Gore's running mate for the 2000 presidential election, told Insider that at the time he was motivated by a "60 Minutes" investigation "that raised serious questions about whether members of Congress were benefiting in personal stock trading from non-public information they had access to because they were in Congress." "Now 10 years later, Insider has done extensive investigative work that indicates that the Stock Act is being violated too often by members of Congress," he continued, though a statement provided by the law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres where he works as a lobbyist.He said that today, new legislation is needed. "In the interest of protecting the already diminished credibility of Congress and upholding the personal honor of members of Congress, I appeal to my former colleagues to fix this real and corrosive problem as soon as possible," Lieberman said. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Republican of AlaskaRepublican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is the only remaining Republican senator that voted to ban members of Congress from trading stocks in 2012.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty ImagesRepublican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is best known for being an unconventional member of her party.She's co-sponsored Democratic-led voting rights bills, voted against her own party's Supreme Court nominees, and helped tank the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act — a priority her party had run on for nearly a decade by then — in 2017.But she also stands out in another way — she's the only incumbent Republican senator that has actually cast a vote to ban members of Congress from trading stocks.In 2012, she was one of just 26 senators that voted for an amendment — it did not pass — that aimed to ban lawmakers from holding individual stocks altogether.Four other Republican senators who are no longer in office — Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Dean Heller of Nevada, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, and Olympia Snowe of Maine — also supported the measure.Murkowski herself holds some individual stock — she reported owning between $100,000 and $250,000 in Wells Fargo — and earned a "Borderline" rating from Insider's Conflicted Congress project in part for filing two amendments to her personal financial disclosures due to errors.When asked by Insider what she thought of the STOCK Act's performance over time, she demurred."You're kind of catching me off guard," Murkowski said as she walked to vote in the US Capitol. "I really, in earnest, have not thought about the STOCK Act and in quite some time, and whether or not it is doing the job that we need it to do."Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New YorkSen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat of New York, co-sponsored the STOCK Act in the Senate a decade ago and has sponsored several other measures to make it stronger.Paul Morigi/Getty ImagesGillibrand pushed for passage of the STOCK Act a decade ago, and today, she said, its disclosure rules had created "oversight and accountability through transparency." "That disclosure alone put a number of members of Congress into the spotlight where they could then be held accountable by regulators, by voters, and by their own ethics committees," she told Insider in an interview.  "Sunlight is always the best disinfectant," she added, "and it brought to light where members of Congress really are. Some members of Congress resigned, some members of Congress lost committee membership, some members lost their next election — and I think that is real accountability."  But Gillibrand said she thinks the work on the issue is far from done.In February, she re-introduced the STOCK Act 2.0, which would make the disclosure database easier to use and search. It would also mandate that members of Congress report when they apply for, or receive, a benefit from the government. She supports banning all stock ownership while serving in Congress, and co-sponsored the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act and the Ban Conflicted Trading Act. She also wants more financial regulations on the executive and judicial branches, and said that creating higher fines or increasing ethics training wasn't sufficient in addressing the problems with current law.  "People are still creating an appearance of impropriety," she said. Four bills are currently being considered among Senate Democrats. Together, they'll decide which measure to push for this year, she said.  She also said it was "pretty shocking" to learn through Insider's reporting "how careless members of Congress were in actually doing their disclosure, whether it was by mistake or intentional."It made her think, as she said, "Maybe Congress isn't serious enough and they just need it to be banned." Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Republican of MissouriRepublican Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri has co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Josh Hawley, another Republican from Missouri, to ban members of Congress and their spouses from trading stocks.Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty imagesWhile it's been mostly Democrats leading the charge to ban members of Congress from trading stocks, Hartzler — a Republican — is just as vocal about her belief that it's time for lawmakers to lose the ability to trade entirely.The STOCK Act "put members of Congress on notice to make sure that there's not a conflict of interest," she told Insider at the Capitol.But in the years that followed its passage, "we've seen that it clearly hasn't worked," said Hartzler, citing Insider's own reporting that 59 members of Congress and nearly 200 senior congressional staffers have violated the law. "There really isn't a strong enough penalty, to really be a strong deterrent," she added.Hartzler introduced the House version of a stock trading ban put forward by Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri in January. The Missouri congresswoman, who's running to replace retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, later earned Hawley's endorsement in the hotly-contested Senate race in February."I didn't think that there was a large problem with people using their information for personal gain, but I just thought it would be a good safeguard," she said of the STOCK ACt. "Now we're seeing individuals not complying with the transparency requirements, and so I think the next step is necessary: just to ban it completely while they're in office."She also took the opportunity to ding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose husband has frequently made eyebrow-raising trades."What Nancy Pelosi and her husband have done has raised a lot of question marks," she said, noting Paul Pelosi's frequent investments in tech stocks. "Nancy Pelosi is overseeing a lot of legislation that would rein in Big Tech, and it just seems like a conflict of interest."Rep. Pete Sessions, Republican of TexasRep. Pete Sessions, a Republican of Texas, speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.Bill Clark/CQ Roll CallSessions has been open about opposing a congressional stock trade ban. The 11-term congressman has violated the STOCK Act twice in the last two years by failing to report his trades on time. When asked about it in January on MSNBC's "Stephanie Ruhle Reports," he said the push for a ban from his colleagues was part of a "populist move" in Congress."I think we have enough rules and regulations," he said. He told Insider that Congress should instead push for transparency and accountability."Listen, if your eggs are fresh, then open them up," he said in a statement sent through his office. "Said another way, if you have nothing to hide, then transparency is your friend. I am for Congress deliberating and developing more mechanisms that will uphold integrity and instill confidence in the minds of Americans."He also stressed to Insider that he thought during a midterm year voters were more concerned about economic issues, including inflation, supply chain problems, gas prices, crime, and immigration. "Just over a year with President Biden and the Democratic Party at the helm, we have seen chaos and crisis," he said. "They own these issues and deserve all the credit."  Polling shows voters favor a congressional stock trade ban, and many campaigns are weaponizing the issue during the election season. Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of MarylandHouse Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat of Maryland, said he was waiting on the Committee on House Administration to release its findings.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesTo Hoyer, there is one clear example of a member of Congress being held accountable for clear violation of insider trading law, even if that law wasn't the STOCK Act.While Hoyer didn't cite the congressman by name when Insider asked, it was clear from his context that he was talking about Rep. Chris Collins, a Republican of New York, who was convicted of insider trading related to his illegal activity as a corporate board director."In that instance, obviously, we have accountability," Hoyer said. (Collins did go to federal prison but was pardoned by former President Donald Trump.)But Hoyer also said he didn't have enough information to take a stance yet on how the STOCK Act might become stronger. He noted that the Committee on House Administration was holding a hearing April 7 about the issue. In January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the chair of the committee, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, to look into how well members were abiding by the disclosure provisions in the STOCK Act and whether penalties should be tighter. Peter Whippy, the spokeswoman for the committee, told Insider that the April 7 hearing was part of that review. "I expect them to have recommendations in the not-too-distant future," Hoyer said. "There is a lot of interest in this, clearly nobody wants to have members of Congress using information they get as members of Congress — which may not be available to others — to profit. "Whether that precludes, therefore, any ownership of stocks, whether they are traded or not, I think the committee is looking at that question and looking at others," he continued. "But I don't have the substance of their work yet. We are working on it."  Former Rep. Brian Baird, Democrat of WashingtonBrian Baird, a former Democratic congressman who represented Washington state, credited the STOCK Act for helping Democrats secure a majority in the Senate.Mark F. Sypher/Roll Call/Getty Images"STOCK's my baby," Baird told Insider in a phone interview.Therefore, even though he left Congress in 2011, Baird has closely followed its progress. "People don't realize it," he said, "But the STOCK Act is why the Democrats have the Senate right now."Baird was referring to the Senate runoffs in Georgia in 2020, where Democratic victories there resulted in the party controlling the Senate.Democratic Sens. Jon Ossoff and Rafael Warnock won their seats after they repeatedly skewered their Republican opponents, then-Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, over their personal stock portfolios. Financial disclosures showed Loeffler and Perdue dumped millions of dollars in stocks after receiving private briefings about the coronavirus pandemic. None of those traders would have come to light if it weren't for the reporting requirement in the STOCK Act, Baird said.Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican of North Carolina who will be retiring when his term ends in 2022, also stepped down from his perch at the top of the Intelligence Committee but the Department of Justice didn't charge him with wrongdoing after he, too, dumped his stocks.  "I dont know of any other ethics measure in recent memory that has led to the defeat of two US senators and the removal of the Intelligence Committee chair," Baird said. "That's a pretty significant impact. That led to the control of the US senate." Today, Baird said he's still angry that lawmakers — led by former GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor — quietly went back in 2013 and weakened the STOCK Act so that the disclosures were more difficult to search.Now, he said, it's time for the law to be strengthened. Some people should face jail time if they willfully pass the reporting deadline, he said, and congressional stock trading should be banned from the time politicians announce their candidacies until six months after they leave office. "The people who have tried to defend this on policy grounds have been tone deaf to the politics of this," he said. "The American people think this stinks – and they're right."Rep. Bob Gibbs, Republican of OhioRepublican Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio does not believe members of Congress should be banned from trading stocks, but he thinks they should have to report all trades within 24 hours.Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty ImagesThose who oppose the movement to ban congressional stock trading have mostly stayed silent, with a handful of notable exceptions.But not Bob Gibbs."I only do maybe 12 trades a year," he told Insider at the Capitol, adding that banning stock trading "causes lots of problems."He argued that banning the practice would discourage potential candidates from running for office. He also pointed out that setting up qualified blind trusts — a financial vehicle Congress itself considers the best way for lawmakers to avoid conflicts of interest — can be an expensive process."In my case, I would have to resign, because I couldn't afford to do a blind trust," he said.Gibbs has introduced the Transparency in Government Officials Trading Act, which would require members of Congress to disclose their trades within just 24 hours of making them — the current disclosure window is 30- to 45-days, depending on the trade —  and fine them for the value of the trade if they fail to do so.The bill has 4 Republican cosponsors."So if you buy $20,000 worth of stock, your penalty is $20,000," said Gibbs. "There's no reason why you can't report it in 24 hours. I mean, I pretty much do it all the time anyways."Gibbs emphasized that he believes sunlight to be the best disinfectant, and claimed that rank and file members don't really have access to privileged information."I guess maybe I'm not on the right committees or something, because I literally can't think of an example where I had insider information," he said. "With leadership, you could make that argument because the speaker controls the agenda, controls what comes to the floor."Sen. Sherrod Brown, Democrat of OhioDemocratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio tried to ban all members of Congress from trading stocks in 2012. He may soon get another chance.Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty ImagesInsider caught up with Brown at the Capitol just as he was leaving a meeting with Schumer and several other Senate Democrats on hammering out a common proposal on banning stock trades.Asked about the STOCK Act as it currently stands, Brown indicated that he wasn't that impressed with it. After all, he put forward an amendment to ban lawmakers from stock trading entirely in 2012."Well, it's a little more disclosure," he said of the existing STOCK Act. "But the benefits didn't stop David Perdue from being a full time day trader in the Senate."Brown added: "Let's just say it diffused some public anger, but subsequently, it really wasn't very impressive."The New York Times reported in 2020 that Perdue — who ultimately lost his re-election to Ossoff — made nearly 3,000 individual stock trades during his first term in office, including nearly 20 in a single day. Perdue's successor, Ossoff, is now a leader in the movement to ban stock trading for lawmakers entirely.Brown was relatively tight-lipped when Insider asked how present talks on banning stock trading were going."I don't have much comment about that," he said. "It's internal, inner machinations and you can make anything of it."Brown did offer that Democratic senators were "getting closer" to a common proposal."That's why you have talks, right?" he said.Sen. Jeff Merkley, Democrat of OregonSen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon is working to get all of his fellow Democratic senators behind a single bill that would ban members of Congress from trading stocks.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesJeff Merkley is the author of the Ban Conflicted Trading Act, among the most co-sponsored bills to ban members of Congress from trading stocks.Asked about the impact of the 2012 law during a phone interview, Merkley praised Gillibrand for helping to clarify that members of Congress are subject to insider trading prohibitions and for creating the reporting requirements that have allowed the public to scrutinize trades.He then noted his and Brown's amendment from a decade ago to ban lawmakers from holding individual stocks."Sherrod Brown and I put forward an amendment to say it's not enough; insider trading is very hard to demonstrate," Merkley said. "Senators shouldn't be holding individual stocks at all."But the Senate defeated that amendment, with 26 in favor and 73 against."We've been reintroducing the bill through the last three legislative cycles, and with each scandal it gets a little more attention," Merkley said.He also offered further details of the progress of ongoing talks between several Democratic senators aimed at finding a common stock trading ban proposal that transcends the differences between the myriad different stock trading ban proposals that have come forward."I've had my staff bring together what we've called the Unity Team," Merkley said. "Let's have a bill we can all sign on to and really try to get this on the floor and get it passed.""There's some complicated pieces we're still trying to understand the details of," he said, adding that members are still discussing the timing of the implementation of a ban, as well as whether that ban should apply to lawmakers' spouses.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 4th, 2022

21 DC power couples who have influenced politics together for years

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and wife Ginni Thomas have helped thrust DC's high profile marriages into the spotlight. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, right, and wife Virginia "Ginni" Thomas arrive for a State Dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Donald Trump at the White House in 2019.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky In a town that runs on insider connections, a marriage between two power players can make careers. But it can also open them up to public criticism, should the appearance of conflict arise. Here 21 married couples who both wield political power and influence in DC and beyond. Clarence Thomas and Ginni ThomasAssociate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife and conservative activist Virginia Thomas arrive at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021.Drew Angerer/Getty ImageSupreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Ginni Thomas, have suddenly found their marriage under intense public scrutiny.Ginni Thomas, a conservative author and activist, is under fire from the left following revelations that she sent a series of text messages in late 2020 and early 2021 to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, urging him to fight on behalf of Donald Trump's bid to remain president after losing the election.Ginni Thomas' actions have raised serious ethical questions about whether a spouse of a Supreme Court justice should be attempting to influence issues that could come before the court.While his wife's salvos lit up Washington circles, Clarence Thomas, the high court's most reliably conservative member, was hospitalized for days in March fighting an infection until doctors released him on March 25.Democrats are now calling for him to recuse himself from any cases involving the January 6 insurrection or Trump. A few are even calling for the impeachment of Thomas, one of the court's most reliably conservative votes.The Thomases' drama shows how — for better or for worse — they're one of Washington, DC's most prominent power couples.Antony Blinken and Evan RyanAntony Blinken, right, and Evan Ryan, left, backstage at Politicon in 2017.John Sciulli/Getty Images for PoliticonAntony Blinken, who serves as Biden's secretary of State, has his hands full at the moment as the US tries to stamp out a Russian invasion of Ukraine without the war escalating to the point of direct American involvement.His wife, Evan Ryan, also serves in a high-profile role in the Biden administration as the White House Cabinet Secretary. Ryan serves as a conduit between the White House and the president's cabinet, who lead the federal agencies and carry out Biden's policy agenda in their various departments.Mitch McConnell and Elaine ChaoSen. Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao in 2014Win McNamee/Getty ImagesSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and two-time cabinet secretary Elaine Chao have been married since 1993, making them one of DC's most established power couples.Chao, who immigrated from Taiwan when she was eight, has served under three presidents: Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. Bush appointed her secretary of labor, and she served in the post from 2001 to 2009.McConnell, of course, is the shrewd leader of the senate Republicans, who over the past three decades has found myriad ways to stymie Democratic initiatives through filibuster blockades and rule changes.They reached the height of their influence during the Trump administration, when the former president appointed Chao to run the Transportation Department and her husband oversaw a Republican majority in the Senate. Chao resigned from her position after the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol.Ted Cruz and Heidi CruzTed Cruz and Heidi Cruz in 2016.Jose More/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesThe Cruzes met while working on George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and married just a few months after their first date. The couple has been married since 2001 and has two daughters. Both Ted Cruz and Heidi Cruz held high-profile jobs in Washington, and have spent much of their marriage in separate states. Heidi Cruz, a managing director at Goldman Sachs in Houston, took a leave of absence from her job during the rough-and-tumble Republican 2016 presidential race to work on her husband's campaign. And she withstood personal attacks on her appearance from then-candidate Donald Trump.Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican of Texas, at the time blasted Trump as a "pathological liar," saying "morality does not exist for him.""He went after Heidi directly and smeared my wife, attacked her — apparently she's not pretty enough for Donald Trump," Cruz said in May 2016. "I may be biased, but I think if he's making that allegation he's also legally blind."Cruz went on to become one of Trump's staunchest defenders during Trump's presidential administration, particularly toward the end. Mark Kelly and Gabrielle GiffordsMark Kelly leans his head on the shoulder of his wife and former Rep. Gabby Giffords as they attend a news conference asking Congress and the Senate to provide stricter gun control in the United States on March 6, 2013 in Tucson, Arizona.Joshua Lott/Getty ImagesIn the days after a gunman shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head in January 2011, it wasn't clear whether the Democratic congresswoman from Arizona would survive.She did. And in the years since, Giffords has dedicated herself to the work of her now-eponymous organization that, through its nonprofit and political action committee arms, advocates against gun violence and "supports elected officials who step up to fight the gun violence epidemic."As of February 28, Giffords PAC has more than $2.4 million cash on hand, according to its latest disclosure with the Federal Election Commission.While Giffords left Congress in 2012, her husband, Mark Kelly, joined in 2020, having won a special US Senate election to represent Arizona.The retired NASA astronaut is running for a full six-year term in the 2022 midterm election.Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaBarack and Michelle Obama.Jim Young/AFP/GettyBarack Obama may have been a two-term president who bagged a Nobel Peace Prize. But even though Michelle Obama hasn't been first lady since 2017, she's been the "most admired woman" in the world for three years running, according to research firm Gallup. Barack Obama can no longer compete: he had been Gallup's "most admired man" from 2008 to 2019 — until Donald Trump supplanted him.The Obamas are still very much DC denizens, having decided to stay within the capital city's limits after exiting the White House. Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have published best-selling autobiographies and worked together on a variety of charitable endeavors, many under the auspices of the Obama Foundation. Bill Clinton and Hillary ClintonHillary and Bill Clinton.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesThe Clintons don't visit the nation's capital so often these days. And neither have run for elected office or served in a prominent governmental capacity since Hillary Clinton lost her bid for the White House in 2016.But ask anyone to name the nation's most powerful political couple, and the Clintons will still top many lists. After all, they've together served as a governor, senator, secretary of state, and president, and between them, they've run for the White House four times.Hillary Clinton remains active on the Democratic fundraising scene, having, for example, appeared in January at a pricey virtual gathering for Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who's running for the Senate. The Clinton Foundation is still very much a major platform for Bill Clinton, even if donations have waned. And some Republicans continue to delight in (and raise money off) making the couple a foil while suggesting Hillary Clinton will run for president again in 2024 — even as she says she won't. Kellyanne Conway and George ConwayKellyanne and George Conway rarely failed to make headlines during President Donald Trump's term in office.Matt Rourke/APGeorge Conway is a long-term Republican lawyer who played a key role in the Bill Clinton impeachment that stemmed from the Democratic president's illicit affair with a White House intern. In modern times, however, George Conway is more famous for being the husband of Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who later served as the senior counselor to Donald Trump, a man she previously opposed. George Conway, on the other hand, became a leading voice of the anti-Trump movement, helping found the Lincoln Project, a social-media-savvy super PAC with a mission of taking down Trump.   Pete Buttigieg and Chasten ButtigiegPete Buttigieg, left, and his husband Chasten Buttigieg, right, stand onstage at a campaign stop on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 in Iowa.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikSure, Pete Buttigieg is the former 2020 presidential candidate who became US secretary of Transportation, and many Democrats expect the 40-year-old to one day occupy the White House.But Chasten Buttigieg, his husband since 2018, has a major fan club in his own right. For starters, Chasten Buttigieg has more than 619,000 Twitter followers and a best-selling book. The Buttigieges are fast-becoming Washington's "it" couple, if they haven't already achieved that status. They aren't afraid to be seen around town, either, frequently showing up at various DC restaurants and bookshops.Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom RaskinSarah Bloom Raskin (left) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (right) wear masks on the front porch of their Maryland home in 2020.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesJamie Raskin represents a swath of suburban Maryland just outside of DC. He gained a new level of prominence in 2021, after he led the Democratic prosecution for Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. He lead the proceedings all while grieving his son who had died by suicide just weeks earlier. The Senate ultimately acquitted Trump on charges that he instigated a deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.Bloom Raskin is a former deputy Treasury secretary and was until recently Biden's nominee to serve as the Federal Reserve's chief Wall Street watchdog. Biden withdrew her nomination in March after Republicans, along with Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, refused to support her. Earlier this year, Jamie Raskin violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act's disclosure provisions in February by failing to properly report a massive stock holding and payout for Sarah Bloom Raskin.Andrea Mitchell and Alan GreenspanAndrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan.Brendan Hoffman/Getty ImagesA quarter-century after marrying — then-Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated — Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan remain unrivaled among DC couples bridging the media-government divide.Mitchell is NBC News' chief Washington correspondent and chief foreign affairs correspondent and anchor who also hosts her own early-afternoon show on MSNBC. She's been with NBC since 1978 and long ago established herself as one of the nation's most notable journalists — one with 1.9 million Twitter followers, to boot.Greenspan served five terms as chairman of the Federal Reserve in the United States, from 1987 to 2006 and is widely regarded as one of the most consequential financial figures in modern history.Now 96 years old, Greenspan is still working. In 2018, he co-wrote "Capitalism in America: A History," and he's continued to consult and make periodic personal and television appearances.Joel Kaplan and Laura Cox KaplanJoel Kaplan (right) speaks with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as they make their way through Congress in 2019.Samuel Corum/Getty ImagesThe Kaplans have held some of the most plum lobbying gigs in Washington, DC. Laura Cox Kaplan spent 10 years leading the public policy practice at the accounting powerhouse PricewaterhouseCoopers, before starting a podcast and media company called She Said/She Said. Cox Kaplan got her start on Capitol Hill as a communications director for the Senate Republican Conference in 1999.Joel Kaplan is currently the head lobbyist for Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and has been at the forefront of the social media giant's battles with Congress. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg made repeated visits to Capitol Hill to defend his company, Kaplan was frequently pictured sitting just behind him. Kaplan got his start working in the George W. Bush White House as a deputy chief of staff, and his work for Facebook came under intense scrutiny after journalists revealed Facebook had altered its moderation policies to be more forgiving to Trump and conservative content, even if they violated the rules.Dina Powell McCormick and David McCormickDave McCormick, a Republican US Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, and his wife Dina Powell McCormick.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesPowell McCormick served as Trump's deputy national security counsel during the early months of his administration and is now a partner in Goldman Sachs investment banking division. Earlier in her career, she served Republican administrations as an assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, among other positions.McCormick, meanwhile, is looking to serve on Capitol Hill as a US senator — he's a leading candidate for the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania. McCormick has served as the CEO of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates.Ro Khanna and Ritu KhannaRep. Rho Khanna and Ritu Khanna in 2017.Paul Morigi/WireImage for The Recording AcademyRep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, votes on big-ticket legislation by virtue of his elected office. But his wife, Ritu Khanna, is the one who brings home big money for the couple.Ritu Khanna, a former product marketing specialist for luxury item brand Bulgari, is also an heir to a family fortune built by her father, Monte Ahuja, the long-time leader of investment firm MURA Holdings and automotive company Transtar Industries. The Khanna's estimated wealth is well into the tens of millions of dollars, according to Ro Khanna's most recent annual personal financial disclosure, with most of that coming from Ritu Khanna's assets.Scott Peters and Lynn GorguzeRep. Scott Peters during a hearing on Capitol HillTom Williams/CQ Roll CallGorguze is president and CEO of Cameron Holdings, a private equity firm. Her business success has helped make Peters, a Democratic congressman from California, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, with a minimum net worth of nearly $40 million, according to an Insider analysis of federal lawmakers' personal financial disclosures.Catherine Russell and Tom DonilonCatherine Russell, director of UNICEFJörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty ImagesThese longtime Biden loyalists have seen their stars rise alongside their former boss. Both of them worked on Biden's unsuccessful 1988 presidential campaign, his first of three runs for the White House.Catherine Russell was appointed executive director of UNICEF in December, after serving as the director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Tom Donilon, who was a national security advisor to Obama, is now the chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute, a think tank within the powerful financial institution.  His brother, Mike Donilon, currently serves as a senior advisor to Biden.Anita Dunn and Bob BauerBob Bauer and Anita Dunn.Linda Davidson/Washington Post via Getty ImagesAnita Dunn has served in a variety of high-profile capacities as a Democratic Party communicator and operative.She served as Biden's White House senior advisor during the first several months of his administration and is now back at SKDK, her public affairs and political consulting firm for much of the past two decades.Bauer is one of DC's most notable Democratic lawyers who served a stint as Obama's White House counsel.Bauer played the role of Trump during mock debate sessions Biden conducted ahead of the 2020 presidential debates, and in 2021, he co-wrote the book "After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency."He is now a professor and distinguished scholar-in-residence at the NYU School of Law.Susan Molinari and Bill PaxonSusan Molinari and Bill Paxon in 1994Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call via Getty ImagesThese two former members of Congress have gone on to have powerful and lucrative careers as lobbyists since departing Capitol Hill. Molinari was Republican congresswoman from New York from 1990 to 1997, and was Google's top lobbyist in DC until she stepped aside in 2018. She made headlines in 2020 for endorsing Biden for president.Bill Paxon, a five-term Republican congressman from New York who served a stint as National Republican Congressional Committee chairman during the 1990s, was until 2017 a partner at the high profile lobbying firm Akin Gump. James Carville and Mary MatalinMary Matalin and James Carville speak onstage at the 2015 Angel Ball in New York City.Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Gabrielle's Angel FoundationCarville and Matalin have long been Washington's oddest political couple — well before the Conways gave politics an even stranger pairing.Carville is a longtime Democratic strategist famous for helping get Bill Clinton elected in 1992. Matalin helped run the campaign of his rival, President George H.W. Bush.Matalin is now a Libertarian although she's well-known for her work as a Republican strategist and political analyst. The two, who have been married since 1993 and have two children, remain influential in US politics.Ivanka Trump and Jared KushnerIvanka Trump and Jared Kushner in 2018.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty ImagesThe daughter and son-in-law of former President Donald Trump followed him to the White House in 2017. Though neither had had previous political or policy experience, they both landed cushy advisory roles in the Trump administration that did not require Senate confirmation.As advisor to the president, Ivanka Trump was known to show up during the president's interviews with reporters. Kushner was senior advisor and Trump's emissary on Middle East politics.Matt Gaetz and Ginger LuckeyRep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., with his wife, Ginger Luckey.Michael Ciaglo/Getty ImagesThe Gaetzes, who married in 2021, are one of Washington's most controversial couples, but they've built a following on the right and among fans of Trump. Matt Gaetz, 39, is a Florida congressman who is facing a federal sex trafficking investigation, after accusations emerged that he and his associates may have solicited minors for sex, and trafficked them across state lines. Gaetz has not been charged with a crime and has denied wrongdoing.Meanwhile, Ginger Luckey is a senior associate for sales transformation at tax and accounting firm KPMG US, and a MAGA social media star. The couple often appear together at political events and Mar-a-Lago, Trump's compound in Palm Beach, Florida.This article was originally published on March 26, 2022, and updated to reflect news developments about several couples listed.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 1st, 2022

Clarence Thomas and Ginni Thomas are one of DC"s most controversial political power couples. These other pairs have influenced Washington for years.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and wife Ginni Thomas have thrust DC's high profile marriages into the spotlight. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, right, and wife Virginia "Ginni" Thomas arrive for a State Dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Donald Trump at the White House in 2019.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky Justice Clarence Thomas' marriage to Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist, is under scrutiny. Ginni Thomas texted Trump's White House chief of staff urging him to fight to overturn the 2020 election. DC is a town of powerful political marriages, some of which are famous. Others, less so. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Ginni Thomas, have suddenly found their marriage under intense public scrutiny.Ginni Thomas, a conservative author and activist, is under scrutiny following revelations that she sent a series of text messages in late 2020 and early 2021 to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, urging him to fight on behalf of Donald Trump's bid to remain president after losing the election. Ginni Thomas' actions have raised serious ethical questions about whether a spouse of a Supreme Court justice should be attempting to influence issues that could come before the court.While his wife's salvos lit up Washington circles, Clarence Thomas, the high court's most reliably conservative member, had been hospitalized for days fighting an infection until doctors released him on March 25. Democrats are now calling for him to recuse himself from any cases involving the January 6 insurrection or Trump.The Thomases' drama shows how — for better or for worse — they're one of Washington, DC's most prominent power couples. In a town that runs on insider connections, a marriage between two power players can sometimes elevate each partner to greater heights than either one could achieve alone. But it can also open them up to public criticism, should the appearance of conflict arise.Here are 18 other married couples — some better-known than others — who both wield political power and influence in the nation's capital and beyond. Antony Blinken and Evan RyanAntony Blinken, right, and Evan Ryan, left, backstage at Politicon in 2017.John Sciulli/Getty Images for PoliticonAntony Blinken, who serves as Biden's secretary of State, has his hands full at the moment as the US tries to stamp out a Russian invasion of Ukraine without the war escalating to the point of direct American involvement.His wife, Evan Ryan, also serves in a high-profile role in the Biden administration as the White House Cabinet Secretary. Ryan serves as a conduit between the White House and the president's cabinet, who lead the federal agencies and carry out Biden's policy agenda in their various departments.Mitch McConnell and Elaine ChaoSen. Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao in 2014Win McNamee/Getty ImagesSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and two-time cabinet secretary Elaine Chao have been married since 1993, making them one of DC's most established power couples.Chao, who immigrated from Taiwan when she was eight, has served under three presidents: Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. Bush appointed her secretary of labor, and she served in the post from 2001 to 2009.McConnell, of course, is the shrewd leader of the senate Republicans, who over the past three decades has found myriad ways to stymie Democratic initiatives through filibuster blockades and rule changes.They reached the height of their influence during the Trump administration, when the former president appointed Chao to run the Transportation Department and her husband oversaw a Republican majority in the Senate. Chao resigned from her position after the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol.Ted Cruz and Heidi CruzTed Cruz and Heidi Cruz in 2016.Jose More/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesThe Cruzes met while working on George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and married just a few months after their first date. The couple has been married since 2001 and has two daughters. Both Ted Cruz and Heidi Cruz held high-profile jobs in Washington, and have spent much of their marriage in separate states. Heidi Cruz, a managing director at Goldman Sachs in Houston, took a leave of absence from her job during the rough-and-tumble Republican 2016 presidential race to work on her husband's campaign. And she withstood personal attacks on her appearance from then-candidate Donald Trump.Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican of Texas, at the time blasted Trump as a "pathological liar," saying "morality does not exist for him.""He went after Heidi directly and smeared my wife, attacked her — apparently she's not pretty enough for Donald Trump," Cruz said in May 2016. "I may be biased, but I think if he's making that allegation he's also legally blind."Cruz went on to become one of Trump's staunchest defenders during Trump's presidential administration, particularly toward the end. Mark Kelly and Gabrielle GiffordsMark Kelly leans his head on the shoulder of his wife and former Rep. Gabby Giffords as they attend a news conference asking Congress and the Senate to provide stricter gun control in the United States on March 6, 2013 in Tucson, Arizona.Joshua Lott/Getty ImagesIn the days after a gunman shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head in January 2011, it wasn't clear whether the Democratic congresswoman from Arizona would survive.She did. And in the years since, Giffords has dedicated herself to the work of her now-eponymous organization that, through its nonprofit and political action committee arms, advocates against gun violence and "supports elected officials who step up to fight the gun violence epidemic."As of February 28, Giffords PAC has more than $2.4 million cash on hand, according to its latest disclosure with the Federal Election Commission.While Giffords left Congress in 2012, her husband, Mark Kelly, joined in 2020, having won a special US Senate election to represent Arizona.The retired NASA astronaut is running for a full six-year term in the 2022 midterm election.Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaBarack and Michelle Obama.Jim Young/AFP/GettyBarack Obama may have been a two-term president who bagged a Nobel Peace Prize. But even though Michelle Obama hasn't been first lady since 2017, she's been the "most admired woman" in the world for three years running, according to research firm Gallup. Barack Obama can no longer compete: he had been Gallup's "most admired man" from 2008 to 2019 — until Donald Trump supplanted him.The Obamas are still very much DC denizens, having decided to stay within the capital city's limits after exiting the White House. Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have published best-selling autobiographies and worked together on a variety of charitable endeavors, many under the auspices of the Obama Foundation. Bill Clinton and Hillary ClintonHillary and Bill Clinton.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesThe Clintons don't visit the nation's capital so often these days. And neither have run for elected office or served in a prominent governmental capacity since Hillary Clinton lost her bid for the White House in 2016.But ask anyone to name the nation's most powerful political couple, and the Clintons will still top many lists. After all, they've together served as a governor, senator, secretary of state, and president, and between them, they've run for the White House four times.Hillary Clinton remains active on the Democratic fundraising scene, having, for example, appeared in January at a pricey virtual gathering for Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who's running for the Senate. The Clinton Foundation is still very much a major platform for Bill Clinton, even if donations have waned. And some Republicans continue to delight in (and raise money off) making the couple a foil while suggesting Hillary Clinton will run for president again in 2024 — even as she says she won't. Kellyanne Conway and George ConwayKellyanne and George Conway rarely failed to make headlines during President Donald Trump's term in office.Matt Rourke/APGeorge Conway is a long-term Republican lawyer who played a key role in the Bill Clinton impeachment that stemmed from the Democratic president's illicit affair with a White House intern. In modern times, however, George Conway is more famous for being the husband of Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who later served as the senior counselor to Donald Trump, a man she previously opposed. George Conway, on the other hand, became a leading voice of the anti-Trump movement, helping found the Lincoln Project, a social-media-savvy super PAC with a mission of taking down Trump.   Pete Buttigieg and Chasten ButtigiegPete Buttigieg, left, and his husband Chasten Buttigieg, right, stand onstage at a campaign stop on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 in Iowa.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikSure, Pete Buttigieg is the former 2020 presidential candidate who became US secretary of Transportation, and many Democrats expect the 40-year-old to one day occupy the White House.But Chasten Buttigieg, his husband since 2018, has a major fan club in his own right. For starters, Chasten Buttigieg has more than 619,000 Twitter followers and a best-selling book. The Buttigieges are fast-becoming Washington's "it" couple, if they haven't already achieved that status. They aren't afraid to be seen around town, either, frequently showing up at various DC restaurants and bookshops.Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom RaskinSarah Bloom Raskin (left) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (right) wear masks on the front porch of their Maryland home in 2020.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesJamie Raskin represents a swath of suburban Maryland just outside of DC. He gained a new level of prominence in 2021, after he led the Democratic prosecution for Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. He lead the proceedings all while grieving his son who had died by suicide just weeks earlier. The Senate ultimately acquitted Trump on charges that he instigated a deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.Bloom Raskin is a former deputy Treasury secretary and was until recently Biden's nominee to serve as the Federal Reserve's chief Wall Street watchdog. Biden withdrew her nomination in March after Republicans, along with Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, refused to support her. Earlier this year, Jamie Raskin violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act's disclosure provisions in February by failing to properly report a massive stock holding and payout for Sarah Bloom Raskin.Joel Kaplan and Laura Cox KaplanJoel Kaplan (right) speaks with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as they make their way through Congress in 2019.Samuel Corum/Getty ImagesThe Kaplans have held some of the most plum lobbying gigs in Washington, DC. Laura Cox Kaplan spent 10 years leading the public policy practice at the accounting powerhouse PricewaterhouseCoopers, before starting a podcast and media company called She Said/She Said. Cox Kaplan got her start on Capitol Hill as a communications director for the Senate Republican Conference in 1999.Joel Kaplan is currently the head lobbyist for Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and has been at the forefront of the social media giant's battles with Congress. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg made repeated visits to Capitol Hill to defend his company, Kaplan was frequently pictured sitting just behind him. Kaplan got his start working in the George W. Bush White House as a deputy chief of staff, and his work for Facebook came under intense scrutiny after journalists revealed Facebook had altered its moderation policies to be more forgiving to Trump and conservative content, even if they violated the rules.Dina Powell McCormick and David McCormickDave McCormick, a Republican US Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, and his wife Dina Powell McCormick.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesPowell McCormick served as Trump's deputy national security counsel during the early months of his administration and is now a partner in Goldman Sachs investment banking division. Earlier in her career, she served Republican administrations as an assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, among other positions.McCormick, meanwhile, is looking to serve on Capitol Hill as a US senator — he's a leading candidate for the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania. McCormick has served as the CEO of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates.Ro Khanna and Ritu KhannaRep. Rho Khanna and Ritu Khanna in 2017.Paul Morigi/WireImage for The Recording AcademyRep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, votes on big-ticket legislation by virtue of his elected office. But his wife, Ritu Khanna, is the one who brings home big money for the couple.Ritu Khanna, a former product marketing specialist for luxury item brand Bulgari, is also an heir to a family fortune built by her father, Monte Ahuja, the long-time leader of investment firm MURA Holdings and automotive company Transtar Industries. The Khanna's estimated wealth is well into the tens of millions of dollars, according to Ro Khanna's most recent annual personal financial disclosure, with most of that coming from Ritu Khanna's assets.Scott Peters and Lynn GorguzeRep. Scott Peters during a hearing on Capitol HillTom Williams/CQ Roll CallGorguze is president and CEO of Cameron Holdings, a private equity firm. Her business success has helped make Peters, a Democratic congressman from California, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, with a minimum net worth of nearly $40 million, according to an Insider analysis of federal lawmakers' personal financial disclosures.Catherine Russell and Tom DonilonCatherine Russell, director of UNICEFJörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty ImagesThese longtime Biden loyalists have seen their stars rise alongside their former boss. Both of them worked on Biden's unsuccessful 1988 presidential campaign, his first of three runs for the White House.Catherine Russell was appointed executive director of UNICEF in December, after serving as the director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Tom Donilon, who was a national security advisor to Obama, is now the chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute, a think tank within the powerful financial institution.  His brother, Mike Donilon, currently serves as a senior advisor to Biden.Susan Molinari and Bill PaxonSusan Molinari and Bill Paxon in 1994Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call via Getty ImagesThese two former members of Congress have gone on to have powerful and lucrative careers as lobbyists since departing Capitol Hill. Molinari was Republican congresswoman from New York from 1990 to 1997, and was Google's top lobbyist in DC until she stepped aside in 2018. She made headlines in 2020 for endorsing Biden for president.Bill Paxon, a five-term Republican congressman from New York who served a stint as National Republican Congressional Committee chairman during the 1990s, was until 2017 a partner at the high profile lobbying firm Akin Gump. James Carville and Mary MatalinMary Matalin and James Carville speak onstage at the 2015 Angel Ball in New York City.Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Gabrielle's Angel FoundationCarville and Matalin have long been Washington's oddest political couple — well before the Conways gave politics an even stranger pairing.Carville is a longtime Democratic strategist famous for helping get Bill Clinton elected in 1992. Matalin helped run the campaign of his rival, President George H.W. Bush.Matalin is now a Libertarian although she's well-known for her work as a Republican strategist and political analyst. The two, who have been married since 1993 and have two children, remain influential in US politics.Ivanka Trump and Jared KushnerIvanka Trump and Jared Kushner in 2018.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty ImagesThe daughter and son-in-law of former President Donald Trump followed him to the White House in 2017. Though neither had had previous political or policy experience, they both landed cushy advisory roles in the Trump administration that did not require Senate confirmation.As advisor to the president, Ivanka Trump was known to show up during the president's interviews with reporters. Kushner was senior advisor and Trump's emissary on Middle East politics.Matt Gaetz and Ginger LuckeyRep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., with his wife, Ginger Luckey.Michael Ciaglo/Getty ImagesThe Gaetzes, who married in 2021, are one of Washington's most controversial couples, but they've built a following on the right and among fans of Trump. Matt Gaetz, 39, is a Florida congressman who is facing a federal sex trafficking investigation, after accusations emerged that he and his associates may have solicited minors for sex, and trafficked them across state lines. Gaetz has not been charged with a crime and has denied wrongdoing.Meanwhile, Ginger Luckey is a senior associate for sales transformation at tax and accounting firm KPMG US, and a MAGA social media star. The couple often appear together at political events and Mar-a-Lago, Trump's compound in Palm Beach, Florida. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 26th, 2022

Clarence and Ginni Thomas are one of DC"s most controversial political power couples. These other pairs have influenced Washington for years.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and wife Ginni Thomas have thrust DC's high profile marriages into the spotlight. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, right, and wife Virginia "Ginni" Thomas arrive for a State Dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Donald Trump at the White House in 2019.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky Justice Clarence Thomas' marriage to Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist, is under scrutiny. Ginni Thomas texted Trump's White House chief of staff urging him to fight to overturn the 2020 election. DC is a town of powerful political marriages, some of which are famous. Others, less so. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Ginni Thomas, have suddenly found their marriage under intense public scrutiny.Ginni Thomas, a conservative author and activist, is under scrutiny following revelations that she sent a series of text messages in late 2020 and early 2021 to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, urging him to fight on behalf of Donald Trump's bid to remain president after losing the election. Ginni Thomas' actions have raised serious ethical questions about whether a spouse of a Supreme Court justice should be attempting to influence issues that could come before the court.While his wife's salvos lit up Washington circles, Clarence Thomas, the high court's most reliably conservative member, had been hospitalized for days fighting an infection until doctors released him on March 25. Democrats are now calling for him to recuse himself from any cases involving the January 6 insurrection or Trump.The Thomases' drama shows how — for better or for worse — they're one of Washington, DC's most prominent power couples. In a town that runs on insider connections, a marriage between two power players can sometimes elevate each partner to greater heights than either one could achieve alone. But it can also open them up to public criticism, should the appearance of conflict arise.Here are 17 other married couples — some better-known than others — who both wield political power and influence in the nation's capital and beyond. Antony Blinken and Evan RyanAntony Blinken, right, and Evan Ryan, left, backstage at Politicon in 2017.John Sciulli/Getty Images for PoliticonAntony Blinken, who serves as Biden's secretary of State, has his hands full at the moment as the US tries to stamp out a Russian invasion of Ukraine without the war escalating to the point of direct American involvement.His wife, Evan Ryan, also serves in a high-profile role in the Biden administration as the White House Cabinet Secretary. Ryan serves as a conduit between the White House and the president's cabinet, who lead the federal agencies and carry out Biden's policy agenda in their various departments.Mitch McConnell and Elaine ChaoSen. Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao in 2014Win McNamee/Getty ImagesSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and two-time cabinet secretary Elaine Chao have been married since 1993, making them one of DC's most established power couples.Chao, who immigrated from Taiwan when she was eight, has served under three presidents: Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. Bush appointed her secretary of labor, and she served in the post from 2001 to 2009.McConnell, of course, is the shrewd leader of the senate Republicans, who over the past three decades has found myriad ways to stymie Democratic initiatives through filibuster blockades and rule changes.They reached the height of their influence during the Trump administration, when the former president appointed Chao to run the Transportation Department and her husband oversaw a Republican majority in the Senate. Chao resigned from her position after the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol.Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom RaskinSarah Bloom Raskin (left) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (right) wear masks on the front porch of their Maryland home in 2020.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesJamie Raskin represents a swath of suburban Maryland just outside of DC. He gained a new level of prominence in 2021, after he led the Democratic prosecution for Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. He lead the proceedings all while grieving his son who had died by suicide just weeks earlier. The Senate ultimately acquitted Trump on charges that he instigated a deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.Bloom Raskin is a former deputy Treasury secretary and was until recently Biden's nominee to serve as the Federal Reserve's chief Wall Street watchdog. Biden withdrew her nomination in March after Republicans, along with Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, refused to support her. Earlier this year, Jamie Raskin violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act's disclosure provisions in February by failing to properly report a massive stock holding and payout for Sarah Bloom Raskin.Ted Cruz and Heidi CruzTed Cruz and Heidi Cruz in 2016.Jose More/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesThe Cruzes met while working on George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and married just a few months after their first date. The couple has been married since 2001 and has two daughters. Both Ted Cruz and Heidi Cruz held high-profile jobs in Washington, and have spent much of their marriage in separate states. Heidi Cruz, a managing director at Goldman Sachs in Houston, took a leave of absence from her job during the rough-and-tumble Republican 2016 presidential race to work on her husband's campaign. And she withstood personal attacks on her appearance from then-candidate Donald Trump.Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican of Texas, at the time blasted Trump as a "pathological liar," saying "morality does not exist for him.""He went after Heidi directly and smeared my wife, attacked her — apparently she's not pretty enough for Donald Trump," Cruz said in May 2016. "I may be biased, but I think if he's making that allegation he's also legally blind."Cruz went on to become one of Trump's staunchest defenders during Trump's presidential administration, particularly toward the end. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaBarack and Michelle Obama.Jim Young/AFP/GettyBarack Obama may have been a two-term president who bagged a Nobel Peace Prize. But even though Michelle Obama hasn't been first lady since 2017, she's been the "most admired woman" in the world for three years running, according to research firm Gallup. Barack Obama can no longer compete: he had been Gallup's "most admired man" from 2008 to 2019 — until Donald Trump supplanted him.The Obamas are still very much DC denizens, having decided to stay within the capital city's limits after exiting the White House. Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have published best-selling autobiographies and worked together on a variety of charitable endeavors, many under the auspices of the Obama Foundation. Bill Clinton and Hillary ClintonHillary and Bill Clinton.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesThe Clintons don't visit the nation's capital so often these days. And neither have run for elected office or served in a prominent governmental capacity since Hillary Clinton lost her bid for the White House in 2016.But ask anyone to name the nation's most powerful political couple, and the Clintons will still top many lists. After all, they've together served as a governor, senator, secretary of state, and president, and between them, they've run for the White House four times.Hillary Clinton remains active on the Democratic fundraising scene, having, for example, appeared in January at a pricey virtual gathering for Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who's running for the Senate. The Clinton Foundation is still very much a major platform for Bill Clinton, even if donations have waned. And some Republicans continue to delight in (and raise money off) making the couple a foil while suggesting Hillary Clinton will run for president again in 2024 — even as she says she won't. Pete Buttigieg and Chasten ButtigiegPete Buttigieg, left, and his husband Chasten Buttigieg, right, stand onstage at a campaign stop on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 in Iowa.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikSure, Pete Buttigieg is the former 2020 presidential candidate who became US secretary of Transportation, and many Democrats expect the 40-year-old to one day occupy the White House.But Chasten Buttigieg, his husband since 2018, has a major fan club in his own right. For starters, Chasten Buttigieg has more than 619,000 Twitter followers and a best-selling book. The Buttigieges are fast-becoming Washington's "it" couple, if they haven't already achieved that status. They aren't afraid to be seen around town, either, frequently showing up at various DC restaurants and bookshops.Kellyanne Conway and George ConwayKellyanne and George Conway rarely failed to make headlines during President Donald Trump's term in office.Matt Rourke/APGeorge Conway is a long-term Republican lawyer who played a key role in the Bill Clinton impeachment that stemmed from the Democratic president's illicit affair with a White House intern. In modern times, however, George Conway is more famous for being the husband of Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who later served as the senior counselor to Donald Trump, a man she previously opposed. George Conway, on the other hand, became a leading voice of the anti-Trump movement, helping found the Lincoln Project, a social-media-savvy super PAC with a mission of taking down Trump.   Joel Kaplan and Laura Cox KaplanJoel Kaplan (right) speaks with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as they make their way through Congress in 2019.Samuel Corum/Getty ImagesThe Kaplans have held some of the most plum lobbying gigs in Washington, DC. Laura Cox Kaplan spent 10 years leading the public policy practice at the accounting powerhouse PricewaterhouseCoopers, before starting a podcast and media company called She Said/She Said. Cox Kaplan got her start on Capitol Hill as a communications director for the Senate Republican Conference in 1999.Joel Kaplan is currently the head lobbyist for Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and has been at the forefront of the social media giant's battles with Congress. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg made repeated visits to Capitol Hill to defend his company, Kaplan was frequently pictured sitting just behind him. Kaplan got his start working in the George W. Bush White House as a deputy chief of staff, and his work for Facebook came under intense scrutiny after journalists revealed Facebook had altered its moderation policies to be more forgiving to Trump and conservative content, even if they violated the rules.Ro Khanna and Ritu KhannaRep. Rho Khanna and Ritu Khanna in 2017.Paul Morigi/WireImage for The Recording AcademyRep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, votes on big-ticket legislation by virtue of his elected office. But his wife, Ritu Khanna, is the one who brings home big money for the couple.Ritu Khanna, a former product marketing specialist for luxury item brand Bulgari, is also an heir to a family fortune built by her father, Monte Ahuja, the long-time leader of investment firm MURA Holdings and automotive company Transtar Industries. The Khanna's estimated wealth is well into the tens of millions of dollars, according to Ro Khanna's most recent annual personal financial disclosure, with most of that coming from Ritu Khanna's assets.Dina Powell McCormick and David McCormickDave McCormick, a Republican US Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, and his wife Dina Powell McCormick.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesPowell McCormick served as Trump's deputy national security counsel during the early months of his administration and is now a partner in Goldman Sachs investment banking division. Earlier in her career, she served Republican administrations as an assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, among other positions.McCormick, meanwhile, is looking to serve on Capitol Hill as a US senator — he's a leading candidate for the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania. McCormick has served as the CEO of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates.Scott Peters and Lynn GorguzeRep. Scott Peters during a hearing on Capitol HillTom Williams/CQ Roll CallGorguze is president and CEO of Cameron Holdings, a private equity firm. Her business success has helped make Peters, a Democratic congressman from California, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, with a minimum net worth of nearly $40 million, according to an Insider analysis of federal lawmakers' personal financial disclosures.Catherine Russell and Tom DonilonCatherine Russell, director of UNICEFJörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty ImagesThese longtime Biden loyalists have seen their stars rise alongside their former boss. Both of them worked on Biden's unsuccessful 1988 presidential campaign, his first of three runs for the White House.Catherine Russell was appointed executive director of UNICEF in December, after serving as the director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Tom Donilon, who was a national security advisor to Obama, is now the chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute, a think tank within the powerful financial institution.  His brother, Mike Donilon, currently serves as a senior advisor to Biden.Susan Molinari and Bill PaxonSusan Molinari and Bill Paxon in 1994Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call via Getty ImagesThese two former members of Congress have gone on to have powerful and lucrative careers as lobbyists since departing Capitol Hill. Molinari was Republican congresswoman from New York from 1990 to 1997, and was Google's top lobbyist in DC until she stepped aside in 2018. She made headlines in 2020 for endorsing Biden for president.Bill Paxon, a five-term Republican congressman from New York who served a stint as National Republican Congressional Committee chairman during the 1990s, was until 2017 a partner at the high profile lobbying firm Akin Gump. James Carville and Mary MatalinMary Matalin and James Carville speak onstage at the 2015 Angel Ball in New York City.Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Gabrielle's Angel FoundationCarville and Matalin have long been Washington's oddest political couple — well before the Conways gave politics an even stranger pairing.Carville is a longtime Democratic strategist famous for helping get Bill Clinton elected in 1992. Matalin helped run the campaign of his rival, President George H.W. Bush.Matalin is now a Libertarian although she's well-known for her work as a Republican strategist and political analyst. The two, who have been married since 1993 and have two children, remain influential in US politics.Ivanka Trump and Jared KushnerIvanka Trump and Jared Kushner in 2018.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty ImagesThe daughter and son-in-law of former President Donald Trump followed him to the White House in 2017. Though neither had had previous political or policy experience, they both landed cushy advisory roles in the Trump administration that did not require Senate confirmation.As advisor to the president, Ivanka Trump was known to show up during the president's interviews with reporters. Kushner was senior advisor and Trump's emissary on Middle East politics.Matt Gaetz and Ginger LuckeyRep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., with his wife, Ginger Luckey.Michael Ciaglo/Getty ImagesThe Gaetzes, who married in 2021, are one of Washington's most controversial couples, but they've built a following on the right and among fans of Trump. Matt Gaetz, 39, is a Florida congressman who is facing a federal sex trafficking investigation, after accusations emerged that he and his associates may have solicited minors for sex, and trafficked them across state lines. Gaetz has not been charged with a crime and has denied wrongdoing.Meanwhile, Ginger Luckey is a senior associate for sales transformation at tax and accounting firm KPMG US, and a MAGA social media star. The couple often appear together at political events and Mar-a-Lago, Trump's compound in Palm Beach, Florida. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 25th, 2022

Ginni and Clarence Thomas are one of DC"s most controversial political power couples. These other pairs have influenced Washington for years.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and wife Ginni Thomas have thrust DC's high profile marriages into the spotlight. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, right, and wife Virginia "Ginni" Thomas arrive for a State Dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Donald Trump at the White House in 2019.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky Justice Clarence Thomas' marriage to Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist, is under scrutiny. Ginni Thomas texted Trump's White House chief of staff urging him to fight to overturn the 2020 election. DC is a town of powerful political marriages, some of which are famous. Others, less so. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Ginni Thomas, have suddenly found their marriage under intense public scrutiny.Ginni Thomas, a conservative author and activist, is under scrutiny following revelations that she sent a series of text messages in late 2020 and early 2021 to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, urging him to fight on behalf of Donald Trump's bid to remain president after losing the election. Ginni Thomas' actions have raised serious ethical questions about whether a spouse of a Supreme Court justice should be attempting to influence issues that could come before the court.While his wife's salvos lit up Washington circles, Clarence Thomas, the high court's most reliably conservative member, had been hospitalized for days fighting an infection until doctors released him on March 25. Democrats are now calling for him to recuse himself from any cases involving the January 6 insurrection or Trump.The Thomases' drama shows how — for better or for worse — they're one of Washington, DC's most prominent power couples. In a town that runs on insider connections, a marriage between two power players can sometimes elevate each partner to greater heights than either one could achieve alone. But it can also open them up to public criticism, should the appearance of conflict arise.Here are 17 other married couples — some better-known than others — who both wield political power and influence in the nation's capital and beyond. Antony Blinken and Evan RyanAntony Blinken, right, and Evan Ryan, left, backstage at Politicon in 2017.John Sciulli/Getty Images for PoliticonAntony Blinken, who serves as Biden's secretary of State, has his hands full at the moment as the US tries to stamp out a Russian invasion of Ukraine without the war escalating to the point of direct American involvement.His wife, Evan Ryan, also serves in a high-profile role in the Biden administration as the White House Cabinet Secretary. Ryan serves as a conduit between the White House and the president's cabinet, who lead the federal agencies and carry out Biden's policy agenda in their various departments.Mitch McConnell and Elaine ChaoSen. Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao in 2014Win McNamee/Getty ImagesSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and two-time cabinet secretary Elaine Chao have been married since 1993, making them one of DC's most established power couples.Chao, who immigrated from Taiwan when she was eight, has served under three presidents: Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. Bush appointed her secretary of labor, and she served in the post from 2001 to 2009.McConnell, of course, is the shrewd leader of the senate Republicans, who over the past three decades has found myriad ways to stymie Democratic initiatives through filibuster blockades and rule changes.They reached the height of their influence during the Trump administration, when the former president appointed Chao to run the Transportation Department and her husband oversaw a Republican majority in the Senate. Chao resigned from her position after the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol.Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom RaskinSarah Bloom Raskin (left) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (right) wear masks on the front porch of their Maryland home in 2020.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesJamie Raskin represents a swath of suburban Maryland just outside of DC. He gained a new level of prominence in 2021, after he led the Democratic prosecution for Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. He lead the proceedings all while grieving his son who had died by suicide just weeks earlier. The Senate ultimately acquitted Trump on charges that he instigated a deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.Bloom Raskin is a former deputy Treasury secretary and was until recently Biden's nominee to serve as the Federal Reserve's chief Wall Street watchdog. Biden withdrew her nomination in March after Republicans, along with Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, refused to support her. Earlier this year, Jamie Raskin violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act's disclosure provisions in February by failing to properly report a massive stock holding and payout for Sarah Bloom Raskin.Ted Cruz and Heidi CruzTed Cruz and Heidi Cruz in 2016.Jose More/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesThe Cruzes met while working on George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and married just a few months after their first date. The couple has been married since 2001 and has two daughters. Both Ted Cruz and Heidi Cruz held high-profile jobs in Washington, and have spent much of their marriage in separate states. Heidi Cruz, a managing director at Goldman Sachs in Houston, took a leave of absence from her job during the rough-and-tumble Republican 2016 presidential race to work on her husband's campaign. And she withstood personal attacks on her appearance from then-candidate Donald Trump.Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican of Texas, at the time blasted Trump as a "pathological liar," saying "morality does not exist for him.""He went after Heidi directly and smeared my wife, attacked her — apparently she's not pretty enough for Donald Trump," Cruz said in May 2016. "I may be biased, but I think if he's making that allegation he's also legally blind."Cruz went on to become one of Trump's staunchest defenders during Trump's presidential administration, particularly toward the end. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaBarack and Michelle Obama.Jim Young/AFP/GettyBarack Obama may have been a two-term president who bagged a Nobel Peace Prize. But even though Michelle Obama hasn't been first lady since 2017, she's been the "most admired woman" in the world for three years running, according to research firm Gallup. Barack Obama can no longer compete: he had been Gallup's "most admired man" from 2008 to 2019 — until Donald Trump supplanted him.The Obamas are still very much DC denizens, having decided to stay within the capital city's limits after exiting the White House. Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have published best-selling autobiographies and worked together on a variety of charitable endeavors, many under the auspices of the Obama Foundation. Bill Clinton and Hillary ClintonHillary and Bill Clinton.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesThe Clintons don't visit the nation's capital so often these days. And neither have run for elected office or served in a prominent governmental capacity since Hillary Clinton lost her bid for the White House in 2016.But ask anyone to name the nation's most powerful political couple, and the Clintons will still top many lists. After all, they've together served as a governor, senator, secretary of state, and president, and between them, they've run for the White House four times.Hillary Clinton remains active on the Democratic fundraising scene, having, for example, appeared in January at a pricey virtual gathering for Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who's running for the Senate. The Clinton Foundation is still very much a major platform for Bill Clinton, even if donations have waned. And some Republicans continue to delight in (and raise money off) making the couple a foil while suggesting Hillary Clinton will run for president again in 2024 — even as she says she won't. Pete Buttigieg and Chasten ButtigiegPete Buttigieg, left, and his husband Chasten Buttigieg, right, stand onstage at a campaign stop on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 in Iowa.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikSure, Pete Buttigieg is the former 2020 presidential candidate who became US secretary of transportation, and many Democrats expect the 40-year-old to one day occupy the White House.But Chasten Buttigieg, his husband since 2018, has a major fan club in his own right. For starters, Chasten Buttigieg has more than 619,000 Twitter followers and a best-selling book. The Buttigieges are fast-becoming Washington's "it" couple, if they haven't already achieved that status. They aren't afraid to be seen around town, either, frequently showing up at various DC restaurants and bookshops.Kellyanne Conway and George ConwayKellyanne and George Conway rarely failed to make headlines during President Donald Trump's term in office.Matt Rourke/APGeorge Conway is a long-term Republican lawyer who played a key role in the Bill Clinton impeachment that stemmed from the Democratic president's illicit affair with a White House intern. In modern times, however, George Conway is more famous for being the husband of Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who later served as the senior counselor to Donald Trump, a man she previously opposed. George Conway, on the other hand, became a leading voice of the anti-Trump movement, helping found the Lincoln Project, a social-media-savvy super PAC with a mission of taking down Trump.   Joel Kaplan and Laura Cox KaplanJoel Kaplan (right) speaks with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as they make their way through Congress in 2019.Samuel Corum/Getty ImagesThe Kaplans have held some of the most plum lobbying gigs in Washington, DC. Laura Cox Kaplan spent 10 years leading the public policy practice at the accounting powerhouse PricewaterhouseCoopers, before starting a podcast and media company called She Said/She Said. Cox Kaplan got her start on Capitol Hill as a communications director for the Senate Republican Conference in 1999.Joel Kaplan is currently the head lobbyist for Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and has been at the forefront of the social media giant's battles with Congress. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg made repeated visits to Capitol Hill to defend his company, Kaplan was frequently pictured sitting just behind him. Kaplan got his start working in the George W. Bush White House as a deputy chief of staff, and his work for Facebook came under intense scrutiny after journalists revealed Facebook had altered its moderation policies to be more forgiving to Trump and conservative content, even if they violated the rules.Ro Khanna and Ritu KhannaRep. Rho Khanna and Ritu Khanna in 2017.Paul Morigi/WireImage for The Recording AcademyRep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, votes on big-ticket legislation by virtue of his elected office. But his wife, Ritu Khanna, is the one who brings home big money for the couple.Ritu Khanna, a former product marketing specialist for luxury item brand Bulgari, is also an heir to a family fortune built by her father, Monte Ahuja, the long-time leader of investment firm MURA Holdings and automotive company Transtar Industries. The Khanna's estimated wealth is well into the tens of millions of dollars, according to Ro Khanna's most recent annual personal financial disclosure, with most of that coming from Ritu Khanna's assets.Dina Powell McCormick and David McCormickDave McCormick, a Republican US Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, and his wife Dina Powell McCormick.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesPowell McCormick served as Trump's deputy national security counsel during the early months of his administration and is now a partner in Goldman Sachs investment banking division. Earlier in her career, she served Republican administrations as an assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, among other positions.McCormick, meanwhile, is looking to serve on Capitol Hill as a US senator — he's a leading candidate for the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania. McCormick has served as the CEO of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates.Scott Peters and Lynn GorguzeRep. Scott Peters during a hearing on Capitol HillTom Williams/CQ Roll CallGorguze is president and CEO of Cameron Holdings, a private equity firm. Her business success has helped make Peters, a Democratic congressman from California, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, with a minimum net worth of nearly $40 million, according to an Insider analysis of federal lawmakers' personal financial disclosures.Catherine Russell and Tom DonilonCatherine Russell, director of UNICEFJörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty ImagesThese longtime Biden loyalists have seen their stars rise alongside their former boss. Both of them worked on Biden's unsuccessful 1988 presidential campaign, his first of three runs for the White House.Catherine Russell was appointed executive director of UNICEF in December, after serving as the director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Tom Donilon, who was a national security advisor to Obama, is now the chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute, a think tank within the powerful financial institution.  His brother, Mike Donilon, currently serves as a senior advisor to Biden.Susan Molinari and Bill PaxonSusan Molinari and Bill Paxon in 1994Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call via Getty ImagesThese two former members of Congress have gone on to have powerful and lucrative careers as lobbyists since departing Capitol Hill. Molinari was Republican congresswoman from New York from 1990 to 1997, and was Google's top lobbyist in DC until she stepped aside in 2018. She made headlines in 2020 for endorsing Biden for president.Bill Paxon, a five-term Republican congressman from New York who served a stint as National Republican Congressional Committee chairman during the 1990s, was until 2017 a partner at the high profile lobbying firm Akin Gump. James Carville and Mary MatalinMary Matalin and James Carville speak onstage at the 2015 Angel Ball in New York City.Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Gabrielle's Angel FoundationCarville and Matalin have long been Washington's oddest political couple — well before the Conways gave politics an even stranger pairing.Carville is a longtime Democratic strategist famous for helping get Bill Clinton elected in 1992. Matalin helped run the campaign of his rival, President George H.W. Bush.Matalin is now a Libertarian although she's well-known for her work as a Republican strategist and political analyst. The two, who have been married since 1993 and have two children, remain influential in US politics.Ivanka Trump and Jared KushnerIvanka Trump and Jared Kushner in 2018.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty ImagesThe daughter and son-in-law of former President Donald Trump followed him to the White House in 2017. Though neither had had previous political or policy experience, they both landed cushy advisory roles in the Trump administration that did not require Senate confirmation.As advisor to the president, Ivanka Trump was known to show up during the president's interviews with reporters. Kushner was senior advisor and Trump's emissary on Middle East politics.Matt Gaetz and Ginger LuckeyRep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., with his wife, Ginger Luckey.Michael Ciaglo/Getty ImagesThe Gaetzes, who married in 2021, are one of Washington's most controversial couples, but they've built a following on the right and among fans of Trump. Matt Gaetz, 39, is a Florida congressman who is facing a federal sex trafficking investigation, after accusations emerged that he and his associates may have solicited minors for sex, and trafficked them across state lines. Gaetz has not been charged with a crime and has denied wrongdoing.Meanwhile, Ginger Luckey is a senior associate for sales transformation at tax and accounting firm KPMG US, and a MAGA social media star. The couple often appear together at political events and Mar-a-Lago, Trump's compound in Palm Beach, Florida. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMar 25th, 2022

Your 2021 Holiday Dinner Political Survival Guide

Your 2021 Holiday Dinner Political Survival Guide Authored by Jonathan Turley, Below is my column in The Hill to help readers survive this year’s the holiday dinners with friends and family. The cards below can be printed and cut down for easy palming or secreting in a napkin for reference during meals. Here is the column: It seems like this Christmas is all Krampus and no St. Nick. People are in a foul mood, and politically it seems every day brings little offerings from the Caga Tió — from packing institutions or sacking individuals. in righteous indignation. Indeed, if you expect your holiday events are going to be an emotional powder keg, think of  dinner for Justice Sonia Sotomayor with the three newest justices after she said a “stench” of politics followed them to the Court. Then there is the happy gathering of the Democrats with senators like Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) after the White House basically called him a liar, and other members called him the killer of democracy for refusing to support the Build Back Better bill (BBB). Of course, the Republicans have a former president who hates the majority leader and house members who are seeking to sanction each other. Welcome to Christmas 2021, our hair-triggered holiday season. It is not surprising, therefore, to read the recent Quinnipiac University poll, which found a universal fear of holiday fireworks over political divisions. Some 66 percent of adults are hoping to avoid any discussion of politics. The problem is that 21 percent say that they are “looking forward” to hashing out political differences. That means that even with eight guests struggling to stay on football and fashion, two guests will be actively trying to steer the conversation onto immigration and insurrection. That means that you have to be prepared. Below are some Christmas crib notes to get you through holiday dinner. Each topic — abortion, the filibuster, court packing, and gerrymandering — is divided between comments you might expect from Democratic and Republican family members and friends. Just palm a few of these if your holiday dinner seem more Whodunit than Whoville: *   *  * Abortion is about to be outlawed No, the Supreme Court in Dobbs is deciding whether to return some — or all — of the power over abortion limits to the states. Even if Roe were overturned, it would simply make this a state issue — and most states would protect the right. Backside fun fact: Even Justice Ginsburg criticized Roe as “Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.” *  *  * Abortion has always been criminal Actually, some early laws were tied to the “quickening” for the first feeling of movement in a pregnancy. That would occur around the 14th week. Backside fun fact: At his confirmation hearing, Justice Clarence Thomas testified that he had never really thought about Roe v. Wade and had no firm view on the matter. *  *  * The filibuster is a racist relic that must be eliminated to protect democracy Actually, it is more a “relic” of the Julius Caesar era than the Jim Crow era. In ancient Rome, the filibuster was used to force the Roman senate to hear dissenting voices. It has been used in the U.S. Senate to protect minority rights and to encourage compromise. Backside fun fact: Then-Sen. Joe Biden denounced any termination of the filibuster as “disastrous” and would change “understanding and unbroken practice of what the Senate is all about.” Then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) denounced those seeking to eradicate the filibuster and warned that it would “put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only become worse.” *  *  * The filibuster has been part of our constitutional system since the Framers Actually, it can be traced to a procedural argument by former Vice President Aaron Burr to get rid of an automatic end to debate on bills in the early 1800s. The rule has been repeatedly modified, as in 1975 when the threshold to end a filibuster was reduced to 60 votes. Backside fun fact: The Democrats under then-Majority Leader Harry Reid crossed the Rubicon by removing the filibuster for votes on non-Supreme Court judicial nominees in 2013. The Republicans then removed the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees in 2017 to end the blocking of the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. *  *  * Republicans packed the court first in the Merrick Garland nomination The Senate has the constitutional authority to vote or not vote on a nominee. The refusal to vote on President Obama’s nominee was not court packing. It did not add justices to force an instant majority in favor of one side. Backside fun fact: As a senator, Joe Biden called packing the Supreme Court “a bonehead idea,” “a terrible, terrible mistake. Packing the Court has also been opposed by justices including the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer. *  *  * Court packing is unconstitutional Actually, the number of Supreme Court justices is not set in the Constitution. The number has fluctuated through the years, with larger and smaller courts — tied to the number of federal circuits. Since justices once “rode circuit” and actually sat as judges in lower courts, Congress would add a justice when it added a circuit — or reduce the court with the elimination of a circuit. Thus, when a 10th circuit was added in 1863, a 10th justice was added at the same time. Backside Fun Fact: When the court first convened in 1790 in New York, at the Royal Exchange Building, it had just six members. *  *  * Democracy is dying The claim that democracy is dying without the federalization of elections ignores the fact the Constitution leaves most of the election rules to the states. Each state sets its election rules as a result of the democratic process, and both parties continue to engage in gerrymandering with Democratic majorities this year being challenged over such contorted maps to engineer victories. Backside fun fact: The precursor to the Democratic party (Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party) actually started gerrymandering. In 1812, Governor Elbridge Gerry, signed a bill to redistrict Massachusetts for the benefit of his party. In the 1980s, California Democrat Phil Burton boasted that his distortion of district lines to help the democrats was “my contribution to modern art.” Both Democratic and Republican states are gerrymandering this year. *  *  * Gerrymandering is what Democracy is all about Abuses like gerrymandering are inherently abusive and undermine the democratic process. The fact that courts have allowed states to engage in such abuse (unless it dilutes minority voting) is not an endorsement of the practice. Backside fun fact: In 1989, President George H.W. Bush, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and other Republicans pushed for the passage of “legislation aimed at outlawing gerrymandering.” The bill sought “‘neutral criteria’ to be used in drawing the nation’s congressional districts after the 1990 census.” Despite multiple bills, it was defeated by Democratic opposition. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/25/2021 - 14:15.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 25th, 2021

Futures Under Water As Tech Selloff Spreads, Yields Spike, Lira Implodes

Futures Under Water As Tech Selloff Spreads, Yields Spike, Lira Implodes US equity futures continued their selloff for the second day as Treasury yields spiked to 1.66%, up almost 4bps on the day, and as the selloff in tech shares spread as traders trimmed bets for a dovish-for-longer Federal Reserve after the renomination of Jerome Powell as its chair. At 8:00am ET, S&P futures were down 2.75 points or -0.05%, with Dow futures flat and Nasdaq futures extended their selloff but were off worst levels, down 41.25 points or 0.25%, after Monday’s last-hour furious rout in technology stocks. As repeatedly covered here in recent weeks, the Turkish currency crisis deepened with the lira weakening past 13 per USD, a drop of more than 10% in one day.  Oil rebounded - as expected - after a panicking Joe Biden, terrified about what soaring gas prices mean for Dems midterm changes, announced that the US, together with several other countries such as China, India and Japan, would tap up to 50 million barrels in strategic reserves, a move which was fully priced in and will now serve to bottom tick the price of oil. In premarket trading, Zoom lost 9% in premarket trading on slowing growth. For some unknown reason, investors have been reducing expectations for a deeper dovish stance by the Fed after Powell was selected for a second term (as if Powell - the man who started purchases of corporate bonds - is somehow hawkish). The chair himself sought to strike a balance in his policy approach saying the central bank would use tools at its disposal to support the economy as well as to prevent inflation from becoming entrenched. “While investors no longer have to wonder about who will be leading the Federal Reserve for the next few years, the next big dilemma the central bank faces is how to normalize monetary policy without upsetting markets,” wrote Robert Schein, chief investment officer at Blanke Schein Wealth Management. Following Powell’s renomination, “the market has unwound hedges against a more ‘dovish’ personnel shift,” Chris Weston, head of research with Pepperstone Financial Pty Ltd., wrote in a note. Not helping was Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic who said Monday that the Fed may need to speed up the removal of monetary stimulus and allow for an earlier-than-planned increase in interest rates European stocks dropped with market focusing on potential Covid lockdowns and policy tightening over solid PMI data. Euro Stoxx 50 shed as much as 1.7% with tech, financial services and industrial names the hardest hit. Better-than-forecast PMI numbers out of Europe’s major economies prompted money markets to resume bets that the ECB will hike the deposit rate 10 basis points as soon as December 2022, versus 2023 on Monday. As Goldman notes, the Euro area composite flash PMI increased by 1.6pt to 55.8 in November — strongly ahead of consensus expectations — in a first gain since the post-July moderation. The area-wide gain was broad-based across countries, and sectors. Supply-side issues continued to be widely reported, with input and output price pressures climbing to all-time highs. In the UK, the November flash composite PMI came in broadly as expected, and while input costs rose to a new all-time high, pass-through into output prices appears lower than usual. Forward-looking expectations remain comfortably above historical averages across Europe, although today's data are unlikely to fully reflect the covid containment measures taken in a number of European countries over recent days. Key numbers (the responses were collected between 10 and 19 November (except in the UK, where the survey response window spanned 12-19 November). Euro Area Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 55.8, GS 53.6, consensus 53.0, last 54.2. Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (Nov, Flash): 58.6, GS 57.7, consensus 57.4, last 58.3. Euro Area Services PMI (Nov, Flash): 56.6, GS 53.9, consensus 53.5, last 54.6. Germany Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 52.8, GS 52.1, consensus 51.0, last 52.0. France Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 56.3, GS 54.4, consensus 53.9, last 54.7. UK Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 57.7, GS 57.7, consensus 57.5, last 57.8. And visually: Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell toward a three-week low as Jerome Powell’s renomination to head the Federal Reserve boosted U.S. yields, putting downward pressure on the region’s technology shares. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 0.5%, as the reappointment sent Treasury yields higher and buoyed the dollar amid concerns monetary stimulus will be withdrawn faster. Consumer discretionary and communication shares were the biggest drags on Asia’s benchmark, with Tencent and Alibaba slipping on worries over tighter regulations in China. “Powell’s renomination was generally expected by the market,” said Chetan Seth, an Asia-Pacific equity strategist at Nomura. The market’s reaction may be short-lived as traders turn their attention to the Fed’s meeting in December and Covid’s resurgence in Europe, he added. Asia shares have struggled to break higher as the jump in yields weighed on sentiment already damped by a lackluster earnings season and the risk of accelerating inflation. The region’s stock benchmark is down about 1% this year compared with a 16% advance in the MSCI AC World Index. Hong Kong and Taiwan were among the biggest decliners, while Australian and Indian shares bucked the downtrend, helped by miners and energy stocks. India’s benchmark stock index rose, snapping four sessions of declines, boosted by gains in Reliance Industries Ltd.   The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.3% to close at 58,664.33 in Mumbai, recovering after falling as much as 1.3% earlier in the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index gained 0.5%. Of the 30 shares on the Sensex, 21 rose and 9 fell. All but one of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by a gauge of metal stocks.  Reliance Industries Ltd. gained 0.9%, after dropping the most in nearly 10 months on Monday following its decision to scrap a plan to sell a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemicals unit to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Shares of One 97 Communications Ltd., the parent company for digital payments firm Paytm, climbed 9.9% after two days of relentless selling since its trading debut. In rates, Treasuries dropped, with the two-year rate jumping five basis points, helping to flatten the yield curve. Bunds and Treasuries bear steepened with German 10y yields ~5bps cheaper. Gilts bear flatten, cheapening 1.5bps across the short end. 10Y TSY yields rose as high as 1.67% before reversing some of the move. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after earlier advancing to the highest level since September 2020 as markets moved to price in a full quarter-point rate hike by the June Fed meeting, with a good chance of two more by year-end; Treasury yields inched up across the curve apart from the front end. The Japanese yen briefly fell past 115 per dollar for the first time since 2017. The euro advanced after better-than-forecast PMI numbers out of Europe’s major economies prompted money markets to resume bets that the ECB will hike the deposit rate 10 basis points as soon as December 2022, versus 2023 on Monday. Sterling declined versus the dollar and the euro; traders are taking an increasingly negative view on the pound, betting that the decline that’s already left the currency near its lowest this year has further to run New Zealand’s dollar under-performed all G-10 peers as leveraged longs backing a 50 basis-point hike from the central bank were flushed out of the market; sales were mainly seen against the greenback and Aussie. The yuan approached its strongest level against trade partners’ currencies in a sign that traders see a low likelihood of aggressive official intervention. The Turkish lira (see above) crashed to a record low on Tuesday, soaring more than 10% and just shy of 14 vs the USD, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended his pursuit of lower interest rates to boost economic growth and job creation. In commodities, crude futures rebounded sharply after Biden announced a coordinated, global SPR release which would see the US exchange up to 32mm barrels, or a negligible amount. Brent spiked back over $80 on the news after trading in the mid-$78s. Spot gold drops ~$8, pushing back below $1,800/oz. Base metals are well supported with LME nickel outperforming. Looking at the day ahead, the main data highlight will be the flash PMIs for November from around the world, and there’s also the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for November. Finally from central banks, we’ll hear from BoE Governor Bailey, Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Haskel, as well as ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Makhlouf. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,667.75 Brent Futures down 0.9% to $78.95/bbl Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,796.86 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.17% to 96.39     Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The volatility term structures in the major currencies show that next month’s meetings by monetary policy authorities are what matters most. Data galore out of the U.S. by Wednesday’s New York cut off means demand for one-day structures remains intact, yet it’s not enough to bring about term structure inversion as one-week implieds stay below recent cycle highs Lael Brainard, picked to be vice chair of the Federal Reserve, is expected to be a critical defender of its commitment to maximum employment across demographic groups at a time when other U.S. central bankers are more worried by inflation ECB Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel said there’s an increasing threat of inflation taking hold, as she played down the danger that resurgent coronavirus infections might impede the euro zone’s recovery Regarding latest pandemic restrictions, “when it comes to the impact, I would say that while it will surely have a moderating impact on economic activity, the impact on inflation will actually be more ambiguous because it might also reinforce some of the concerns we have around supply bottlenecks,” ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot says in Bloomberg Television interview with Francine Lacqua European Union countries are pushing for an agreement on how long Covid-19 vaccinations protect people and how to manage booster shots as they try to counter the pandemic’s fourth wave and safeguard free travel Germany’s top health official reiterated a warning that the government can’t exclude any measures, including another lockdown, as it tries to check the latest wave of Covid-19 infections The State Council, China’s cabinet, released three documents in the past several days, outlining measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises weather the downturn: from encouraging local governments to roll out discounts for power usage to organizing internet companies to provide cloud and digital services to SMEs A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed following a similar performance in the US where participants digested President Biden’s decision to nominate Fed Chair Powell for a second term and Fed’s Brainard for the Vice Chair role. This resulted in bear flattening for the US curve and underpinned the greenback, while the major indices were choppy but with late selling heading into the close in which the S&P 500 slipped beneath the 4,700 level and the Nasdaq underperformed as tech suffered the brunt of the higher yields. ASX 200 (+0.8%) was positive with sentiment encouraged after stronger PMI data and M&A developments including BHP’s signing of a binding agreement to merge its oil and gas portfolio with Woodside Petroleum to create a global top 10 independent energy company and the largest listed energy company in Australia, which spurred outperformance for the mining and energy related sectors. KOSPI (-0.5%) was lacklustre and retreated below the 3k level amid broad weakness in tech which was not helped by concerns that South Korea could take another aim at large tech through a platform bill and with the government said to be mulling strengthening social distancing measures. Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) continued to diverge amid a neutral liquidity effort by the PBoC and with the Hong Kong benchmark conforming to the tech woes, while the mainland was kept afloat after the State Council pledged to strengthen assistance to smaller firms and with Global Times noting that China will likely adopt another RRR cut before year-end to cope with an economic slowdown. Finally, Japanese participants were absent from the market as they observed Labor Thanksgiving Day, while yields in Australia were higher as they tracked global counterparts and following a Treasury Indexed bond offering in the long-end. Top Asian News Tiger Global Leads $210 Million Round by India Proptech Unicorn China’s Slowdown Tests Central Bank Amid Debate Over Easing Kuaishou Defies China Crackdown as Revenue Climbs 33% Evergrande Shares Jump in Afternoon Trading as Group Units Rally Major bourses in Europe are lower across the board, but off worst levels (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.1%; Stoxx 600 -1.3%) following on from the mixed APAC performance, but with pandemic restrictions casting a shower over the region. US equity futures are mostly lower but to a lesser extent than European peers, with the YM (+0.1%) the relative outperformer vs the ES (-0.1%), NQ (-0.3%) and RTY (-0.8%). Back to Europe, the morning saw the release of Flash PMIs which failed to spur much action across market given the somewhat stale nature against the backdrop of a worsening COVID situation in Europe. Losses in the UK’s FTSE 100 (-0.1%) are more cushioned vs European counterparts, with heavyweight miners doing the heavy lifting, and as the basic resources sector outpaces and resides as the only sector in the green at the time of writing amid a surge in iron ore prices overnight. Sticking with sectors, there is no clear or overarching theme/bias. Tech resides at the foot of the pile, unaided by the intraday rise in yields. Travel and Leisure also reside towards the bottom of the bunch, but more a function of the “leisure” sub-sector as opposed to the “travel” component, with Evolution Gaming (-3.7%) and Flutter (-3.5%) on the back foot. In terms of individual movers, Thyssenkrupp (-7.0%) tumbles after the Co. announced a secondary offer by Cevian of 43mln shares. Meanwhile, Telecom Italia (-3%) is softer following yesterday’s run, whilst Vivendi (-0.5%) said the current KKR (KKR) offer does not reflect Telecom Italia's value and it has no intention of offloading its 24% stake. Top European News U.K. PMIs Show Record Inflation and ‘Green Light’ for BOE Hike Kremlin Says New U.S. Sanctions on Nord Stream 2 Are ‘Illegal’ ECB’s Knot Says New Lockdowns Won’t Delay Wind-Down of Stimulus Telefonica Drops, Berenberg Cuts on Spain Margin Problems In FX, the Buck had already eased off best levels to relieve some pressure from its rivals, but the Euro also derived encouragement from the fact that a key long term Fib held (just) at 1.1225 before getting a rather unexpected fundamental fillip in the form of stronger than forecast flash Eurozone PMIs plus hawkish-sounding comments from ECB’s Schnabel. Eur/Usd duly rebounded to 1.1275 and the Dollar index retreated to 96.308 from a fresh y-t-d peak of 96.603, while the Yen and Franc also took advantage to varying degrees against the backdrop of deteriorating risk sentiment and in thinner trading volumes for the former due to Japan’s Labor Day Thanksgiving holiday. Usd/Jpy recoiled from 115.15 to 114.49 at one stage and Usd/Chf to 0.9301 from 0.9335 before both pairs bounced with the Greenback and a rebound in US Treasury yields ahead of Markit’s preliminary PMIs and Usd 59 bn 7 year note supply. TRY - Simply no respite for the Lira via another marked pull-back in oil prices on heightened prospects of SPR taps, the aforementioned Buck breather or even a decent correction as Usd/Try extended its meteoric rise beyond 11.5000 and 12.0000 towards 12.5000 irrespective of an ally of Turkish President Erdogan urging a debate on CBRT independence. Instead, the run and capital flight continues as talks with the IMF make no progress and an EU court condemns the country for detaining 400+ judges after the coup, while the President rules out a snap election after recent calls for an earlier vote than the scheduled one in 2023 by the main opposition party. NZD/CAD/GBP/AUD - It remains to be seen whether the RBNZ maintains a 25 bp pace of OCR normalisation overnight, but weak NZ retail activity in Q3 may be a telling factor and is applying more downside pressure on the Kiwi across the board, as Nzd/Usd hovers under 0.6950 and the Aud/Nzd cross tests 1.0425 on relative Aussie strength or resilience gleaned from another spike in iron ore that is helping to keep Aud/Usd above 0.7200. Conversely, the latest downturn in crude is undermining the Loonie and the Pound hardly derived any traction from better than anticipated UK PMIs even though they should provide the BoE more justification to hike rates next month. Usd/Cad has now breached 1.2700 and only stopped a few pips short of 1.2750 before fading ahead of comments from BoC’s Beaudry, while Cable topped out just over 1.3400 awaiting BoE Governor Bailey, whilst Haskel reaffirmed his stance in the transitory inflation camp, although suggested that if the labour market remains tight the Bank Rate will have to rise. SCANDI/EM - Hardly a shock that Brent’s reversal has hit the Nok alongside broader risk-aversion that is also keeping the Sek defensive in advance of the Riksbank, but the Zar is coping well considering Gold’s loss of Usd 1800+/oz status and test of chart support at the 100 DMA only a couple of Bucks off the 200. Similarly, the Cnh and Cny are still resisting general Usd strength and other negatives, with help from China’s State Council pledging to strengthen assistance to smaller firms perhaps. In commodities, WTI and Brent Jan'22 futures remain under pressure with the former back under USD 76/bbl (vs USD 76.59/bbl high) and the latter around USD 79/bbl (vs USD 79.63/bbl high). The WTI contract is also narrowly lagging Brent by some USD 0.30/bbl at the time of writing. Participants are keeping their eyes peeled for reserve releases from the US, potentially in coordination with other nations including China, Japan, and India – with inflation concerns being the common denominator. The move also comes in reaction to OPEC+ flouting calls by large oil consumers, particularly the US, to further open the taps beyond the group’s planned 400k BPD/m hikes. A source cited by Politico caveated that a final decision is yet to be made, and US officials are hoping that the threat of an SPR release would persuade OPEC+ to double their quotas at the Dec 2nd meeting. As it stands, Energy Intel journalist Bakr noted that she has not heard anything from OPEC+ officials about changing production plans, but delegates yesterday suggested that plans may be tweaked. Click here for the full Newsquawk analysis piece. Aside from this, US President Biden is also poised to give a speech on the economy, whilst the weekly Private Inventories will also be released today. Elsewhere, spot gold and have been drifting lower in what is seemingly a function of technical, with the yellow metal dipping under USD 1,800/oz from a USD 1,812/oz current high, with a cluster of DMAs present to the downside including the 100 DMA (around USD 1,793/oz), 200 DMA (around USD 1,791/oz) and 50 DMA (around USD 1,789/oz). Turning to base metals, LME copper holds a positive bias with prices on either side of USD 9,750/t, whilst Dalian iron ore surged overnight - with reports suggesting that steel de-stockpiling accelerated last week, and analysts suggesting that the market is betting on steelmakers in December. US Event Calendar 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 57.6 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Services PMI, est. 59.0, prior 58.7 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 59.1, prior 58.4 10am: Nov. Richmond Fed Index, est. 11, prior 12 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that yesterday we published our 2022 credit strategy outlook. See here for the full report. Craig has also put out a more detailed HY 2022 strategy document here and Karthik a more detail IG equivalent here. Basically we think spreads will widen as much as 30-40bps in IG and 120-160bps in HY due to a response to a more dramatic appreciation of the Fed being well behind the curve. This sort of move is consistent with typical mid-cycle ranges through history. We do expect this to mostly retrace in H2 as markets recover from the shock and growth remains decent and liquidity still high. We also published the results of our ESG issuer and investor survey where around 530 responded. Please see the results here. Today is the start of a new adventure as I’m doing my first overseas business trip in 20 months. It took me a stressful 2 hours last night to find and fill in various forms, download various apps and figure out how on earth I travel in this new world. Hopefully I’ve got it all correct or I’ll be turned back at the Eurostar gates! The interesting thing about not travelling is that I’ve filled the time doing other work stuff so productivity will suffer. So if I can do a CoTD today it’ll be done on an iPhone whilst racing through the French countryside. Actually finishing this off very early in a long taxi ride on the way to the train reminds me of how car sick I get working on my iPhone! The delights of travel are all coming flooding back. After much anticipation over recent weeks, we finally heard yesterday that President Biden would be nominating Fed Chair Powell for another four-year term at the helm of the central bank. In some ways the decision had been widely expected, and Powell was the favourite in prediction markets all along over recent months. But the Fed’s staff trading issues and reports that Governor Brainard was also being considered had led many to downgrade Powell’s chances, so there was an element of uncertainty going into the decision, even if any policy differences between the two were fairly marginal. In the end however, Biden opted for continuity at the top, with Brainard tapped to become Vice Chair instead. Powell’s nomination will require senate confirmation once again, but this isn’t expected to be an issue, not least with Powell having been confirmed in an 84-13 vote last time around. Further, Senate Banking Committee Chair Brown, viewed as a progressive himself, noted last week there should be no issue confirming Powell despite rumblings from progressive lawmakers. More important to watch out for will be who Biden selects for the remaining positions on the Fed Board of Governors, where there are still 3 vacant seats left to fill, including the position of Vice Chair for Supervision. In a statement released by the White House, it said that Biden intended to make those “beginning in early December”, so even with Powell staying on, there’s actually a reasonable amount of scope for Biden to re-shape the Fed’s leadership. A potential hint about who may be considered, President Biden noted his next appointments will “bring new diversity to the Fed.” President Biden, flanked by Powell and Brainard, held a press conference following the announcement. He noted maintaining the Fed’s independence and leadership stability informed his decision, and that Chair Powell assured the President he would focus on fighting inflation. He was apparently also assured that the Chair would work to combat climate change, perhaps an olive branch to those in his party that wanted a more progressive nominee. Powell and Brainard both followed up with remarks of their own, but didn’t stray from the recent Fed party line. In response to the decision, investors moved to bring forward their timing of the initial rate hike from the Fed, with one now just about priced by the time of their June 2022 meeting, whilst the dollar index (+0.54%) strengthened to a fresh one-year high. This reflects the perception among many investors that Brainard was someone who’d have taken the Fed on a more dovish trajectory. Inflation breakevens fell across the curve as well in response. Indeed the 4-year breakeven, which roughly coincides with the term of the next Fed chair, was down -3.8bps after yesterday’s session, with the bulk of that dive coming immediately after the confirmation of Powell’s nomination. Nevertheless, that decline in breakevens was more than outweighed by a shift higher in real rates that sent nominal yields noticeably higher. By the close, yields on 2yr (+7.8bps) and 5yr (+9.5bps) Treasuries were at their highest levels since the pandemic began, and those on 10yr Treasuries were also up +7.7bps, ending the session at 1.62%. 2yr yields were a full 14.1bps higher than the intra-day lows on Friday after the Austria lockdown news. We had similar bond moves in Europe too, with yields on 10yr bunds (+4.0bps) moving higher throughout the session thanks to a shift in real rates. Another noticeable feature in the US was the latest round of curve flattening, with the 5s30s (-4.4bps) reaching its flattest level (+64.1bps) since the initial market panic over Covid-19 back in March 2020. The S&P 500 took a sharp turn heading into the New York close after trading in positive territory for most of the day, ultimately closing down -0.32%. Sector performance was mixed, energy (+1.81%) and financials (+1.43%) were notable outperformers on climbing oil prices and yields, while big tech companies across different sectors were hit by higher discount rates. The NASDAQ (-1.26%) ended the day lower, having pared back its initial gains that earlier put it on track to reach a record of its own. The other main piece of news yesterday came on the energy front, where it’s been reported that we could have an announcement as soon as today about a release of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, potentially as part of a joint announcement with other nations. Oil prices were fairly resilient to the news, with Brent crude (+1.03%) and WTI (+0.85%) still moving higher, although both are down from their recent peaks as speculation of such a move has mounted. This could help put some downward pressure on inflation, but as recent releases have shown, price gains have been broadening out over the last couple of months to a wider swathe of categories, so it remains to be seen how helpful this will prove, and will obviously depend on how much is released along with how the OPEC+ group react. For their part, OPEC+ members noted that the moves from the US and its allies would force them to reconsider their production plans at their meeting next week. Looking ahead now, one of the main highlights today will come from the release of the flash PMIs for November, which will give us an initial indication of how the global economy has fared into the month. As mentioned yesterday, the Euro Area PMIs have been decelerating since the summer, so keep an eye out for how they’re being affected by the latest Covid wave. It’ll also be worth noting what’s happening to price pressures, particularly with inflation running at more than double the ECB’s target right now. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mixed with Shanghai Composite (+0.43%), CSI (+0.20%), KOSPI (-0.44%) and Hang Seng (-1.01%) diverging, while the Nikkei is closed for Labor Thanksgiving. The flash manufacturing PMI release from Australia (58.5 vs 58.2 previous) came in close to last month while both the composite (55 vs 52.1 previous) and services (55 vs 51.8 previous) accelerated. In Japan the Yen slid past an important level of 115 against the Dollar for the first time in four years after Powell was confirmed. This marks an overall slide of 10% this year making it the worst performer amongst advanced economy currencies. S&P 500 (-0.01%) and DAX futures (-0.31%) are flat to down with Europe seemingly catching up with the weak U.S. close. Before this, in Europe yesterday, equities continued to be subdued, with the STOXX 600 down -0.13% after trading in a tight range, as the continent reacted to another surge in Covid-19 cases. The move by Austria back into lockdown has raised questions as to where might be next, and Bloomberg reported that Chancellor Merkel told CDU officials yesterday that the recent surge was worse than anything seen so far, and that additional restrictions would be required. So the direction of travel all appears to be one way for the time being in terms of European restrictions, and even a number of less-affected countries are still seeing cases move in an upward direction, including France, Italy and the UK. So a key one to watch that’ll have big implications for economies and markets too. Staying on Germany, there was some interesting news on a potential coalition yesterday, with Bloomberg obtaining a preliminary list of cabinet positions that said that FDP leader Christian Lindner would become finance minister, and Green co-leader Robert Habeck would become a “super minister” with responsibility for the economy, climate protection and the energy transition. The report also said that both would become Vice Chancellors, whilst the Greens’ Annalena Baerbock would become foreign minister. It’s worth noting that’s still a preliminary list, and the coalition agreement is yet to be finalised, but it has been widely suggested that the parties are looking to reach a conclusion to the talks this week, so we could hear some more info on this relatively soon. There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, though the European Commission’s advance November consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area fell back by more than expected to -6.8 (vs. -5.5 expected), which is the lowest it’s been since April. Over in the US, there was October data that was somewhat more positive however, with existing home sales rising to an annualised rate of 6.34m (vs. 6.20m expected), their highest level in 9 months. Furthermore, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index was up to 0.76 (vs. 0.10 expected). To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the aforementioned flash PMIs for November from around the world, and there’s also the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for November. Finally from central banks, we’ll hear from BoE Governor Bailey, Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Haskel, as well as ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Makhlouf. d Tyler Durden Tue, 11/23/2021 - 08:31.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 23rd, 2021

Futures Rise As Usual, Approaching All Time High

Futures Rise As Usual, Approaching All Time High US equity futures resumed their upward climb (after Goldman quadrupled down on its call for a massive, year-end meltup driven by $15BN in inflows every single day) as major technology stocks advanced, and as investors awaited a slew of retail earnings and economic data this week to gauge the health of consumer spending while keeping an eye on runaway inflation. Better-than-estimated profit growth has led to a rally in markets, helping ease recent concerns over the hottest U.S. inflation in 30 years. At 730 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 94 points, or 0.26%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 9 points, or 0.20% and about 20 points from their all time high around 4,711; while Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 30.5 points, or 0.19%. The three major Wall Street indexes had fallen between 0.3% and 0.7% last week when the S&P 500 also snapped its longest winning streak since August 2020, amid concerns over high inflation and weakening consumer sentiment. Investors had begun pivoting into economically resilient sectors, mainly technology, towards the end of the week. Market-heavy GAMMA (fka FAAMG) stocks rose between 0.1% and 0.8% in premarket trade, with Meta Platforms Inc leading gains. On the other end, Tesla shares fell as much as 2.6% in U.S. premarket session after Elon Musk suggested over the weekend that he would sell even more stock after offloading almost $7 billion worth of shares over the past week. Tesla's declines follow a steep 15.4% drop last week after Musk offloaded a combined $6.9 billion worth of shares in the electric-car maker. Meanwhile, blank-check company Gores Guggenheim rose as much as 25% as the stock was touted among retail traders. Rivian shares were down about 2.7% in U.S. premarket trading after the electric-truck maker surged following its IPO last week. Dollar Tree Inc added 5.4% after activist investor Mantle Ridge LP revealed a 5.7% stake in the discount retailer. Strong corporate earnings are helping drive investors into stocks and overshadowing fears about the hottest U.S. inflation print in three decades. The sentiment found its way into calmer bond markets, where these fears had played out in the highest volatility since the onset of pandemic.   “Central banks may be becoming less accommodative, but they will be anxious not to derail the recovery or financial markets,” according to Cesar Perez Ruiz, chief investment officer at Pictet Wealth Management and head of asset alloaction Christophe Donay. “Q3 results have offered further proof of corporate strength.” Focus this week will be on earnings reports from several major retailers including Walmart Inc, Target Corp, Home Depot and Macy's. Their results will round off an upbeat third-quarter earnings season, which pushed Wall Street to new highs. Retail sales data for October is also due on Tuesday, and is expected to show the impact of inflation on consumer spending. Looking ahead not everyone is euphoria: in its 2022 forecast, Morgan Stanley strategists warn that inflationary headwinds may become a bigger force against U.S. stocks next year; they prefer peers in Europe and Japan. They forecast the S&P 500 will end 2022 at 4,400 -- some 6% below current levels. For bonds, they expect 10-year yields to rise to 2.10% by the end of next year on improving growth and higher real rates, up from 1.54% on Monday. “One reason we like equities in Europe and Japan is that we think inflationary challenges there are much less daunting than elsewhere,” strategists led by Andrew Sheets wrote Sunday. They also cited “more reasonable valuations, limited central bank tightening and less risk from higher taxes” vis-a-vis the U.S. In Europe, Stoxx 600 Index was little changed near a record high as rising earnings estimates supported the region’s stocks. Travel and leisure and retailers led the gains, while miners slumped. Here’s the latest on what analysts are saying about European equities: EasyJet cut to reduce from hold at Kepler Cheuvreux due to deteriorating traffic trends and a risk that it has to incentivize demand with fare discounts. Alfen Beheer loses its only buy rating as Berenberg downgrades to hold on limited near- term upside, even after last week’s sell-off in the shares. Direct Line cut to hold and Admiral raised to buy at Berenberg with the broker switching preferences in its U.K. non- life insurer coverage. B&M European is cut to underperform from sector perform at RBC with growth set to become harder to deliver for the discount retailer and better value seen elsewhere in the sector. Wood’s strategic review of its built environment business could unlock “meaningful value,” Citi writes in note upgrading the energy-services firm to buy. Earlier in the session, shares fluctuated in Hong Kong and dipped in China, where traders weighed stronger-than-expected retail sales and industrial output, central bank liquidity support and a drop in home prices. Beijing’s crackdown on real-estate leverage is among the headwinds for the world’s second-largest economy. That said, Asian equities rose for a third day as the strength in U.S. technology heavyweights Friday helped ease market worry over global inflation, reigniting appetite for growth stocks.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 0.6%, with TSMC, Tencent Holdings and Samsung Electronics among the largest contributors to the gauge’s rise. South Korea’s Kospi was the top performer among the region’s benchmarks, adding 1%.  Futures on the Nasdaq 100 climbed in Asia after the underlying measure added 1% on Friday. U.S. equities rose led by technology and communication services, with share prices remaining near all-time highs after a strong corporate earnings season.  Overall, the positive mood from last week is extending to today’s trading, said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management. “Chip-related stocks are doing pretty well following the earnings season, which is also backing gains for the market.” The regional benchmark capped its second straight week of gains on Friday, helped by positive earnings readings. Price data from the U.S. and China remain in focus as traders fear elevated inflation could lead to tighter monetary policy. U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly collapsed in early November as Americans grew increasingly concerned about inflation. Japanese stocks rose after the Nikkei newspaper reported on Friday that the government plans to compile an economic stimulus package of more than 40 trillion yen ($351 billion) in fiscal measures. “Economic stimulus had been expected to be about 30 trillion yen, but a new figure of 40 trillion yen is likely to be cheered by investors,” said Shoji Hirakawa, chief global strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute Co.  The Topix index rose 0.4% to close at 2,048.52 in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.6% to 29,776.80. Toyota Motor contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 1.1%. Out of 2,180 shares in the index, 1,051 rose and 1,029 fell, while 100 were unchanged. India’s benchmark index ended flat after wholesale prices surged higher-than-expected in October, weighing on metal and financial stocks. The S&P BSE Sensex was little changed at 60,718.71 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index was flat at 18,109.45. Both gauges gained as much as 0.6% earlier on the back of an earnings season in which a majority of Nifty 50 companies reported results that beat expectations.  Both indexes, however, failed to hold onto their initial advance after wholesale prices rose 12.5% in October, more than economists’ consensus of a 11.1% advance, led by a rise in manufactured products as well as fuel and power prices. Nine of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined, led by gauges of metal and basic materials companies.  India will release monthly trade figures after market hours. The corporate earnings season for the three months ended September finished last week with 29 of the Nifty 50 companies beating analyst estimates. Three companies made their trading debut on Monday, with chemical maker Sigachi Industries rising 267% over its IPO price. One97 Communications Ltd., the operator of digital payments app Paytm which raised $2.5b in India’s biggest IPO, is slated for Thursday. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped with the greenback weaker against all of its Group-of-10 peers. Commodity currencies, led by Norway’s krone, were the best performers. The Treasury curve bull flattened, with yields falling by up to 2bps. The euro hovered around $1.1450; the French presidential election next year is the scheduled event carrying the highest risk for the common currency, according to options gauges. The pound steadied as traders await clues on monetary policy from BOE Governor Andrew Bailey during parliamentary testimony later Monday. U.K. economists expect a rate increase to 0.25% next month, according to a Bloomberg survey. U.K. economists have become more hawkish over the past month and now expect the Bank of England to increase interest rates in December as concerns about inflation intensify. Sweden’s krona inched up after inflation accelerated more than forecast in October. Meanwhile, the Australian dollar rose on data that China’s economy performed better than expected in October. The nation’s sovereign bonds also extended opening gains after China home prices fell again, sapping real-estate shares. Japan’s super-long government bonds underperformed amid concerns that supply may increase to finance government spending. The yen consolidated In rates, Treasury yields broadly within a basis point of Friday’s close, the curve fractionally steeper. The front-end and belly outperform, following bigger gains for Aussie front-end, which attracted buyers during Asia session. Stocks supported, with S&P 500 futures above Friday’s high.  Treasury yields were richer from front-end out to 10-year sector, which trades around 1.55%, outperforming gilts and bunds by ~1bp; long-end cheapens slightly on the day, steepening 5s30s by ~1bp.  Euro- area bonds gained, led by the periphery, following comments on inflation by ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane over the weekend. ECB’s Lane said recent price inflation is “really part of the pandemic” and people should not panic, in an interview with RTE on Saturday. The Fed begins tapered purchase schedule released Friday; schedule departed slightly from Nov. 3 plan by leaving target size of operations in 10- to 22.5-year sector unchanged while trimming 22.5- to 30-year more, which spurred outperfomance by 20-year sector In commodities, crude futures drifted lower with focus on U.S. energy policy and commentary from OPEC speakers. WTI is down 0.6%, trading either side of $80; Brent drops through Asia’s worst levels before running into support near $81. Spot gold fades Asia’s weakness to trade flat near $1,863/oz. Most base metals are in the red with LME nickel underperforming; copper trades flat.  Looking at today's calendar, it's quiet on the news front with just the US November Empire State manufacturing survey on deck. Biden will meet virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday. Tensions between the two countries have been building over issues including Taiwan and restrictions on sales of U.S. technology to China. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 4,685.00 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 487.13 MXAP up 0.4% to 200.95 MXAPJ up 0.4% to 656.76 Nikkei up 0.6% to 29,776.80 Topix up 0.4% to 2,048.52 Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 25,390.91 Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,533.30 Sensex up 0.1% to 60,771.98 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,470.11 Kospi up 1.0% to 2,999.52 Brent Futures down 0.9% to $81.46/bbl Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,860.89 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 95.09 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.27% Euro little changed at $1.1447 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg  Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari said the U.S. central bank shouldn’t overreact to elevated inflation even as it causes pain for Americans, because it is likely to prove temporary A reduction in China’s reserve requirement ratio looks increasingly unlikely after the authorities rolled over all policy loans coming due and data surprised on the upside, suggesting that bonds will have little room to gain China’s industrial output rose 3.5% in October from a year earlier, while retail sales growth accelerated to 4.9%, beating economists’ forecasts Japan’s gross domestic product contracted at an annualized pace of 3% in the three months through September from the previous quarter, the Cabinet Office reported Monday. Economists had forecast a 0.7% decline Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said financial stress from the pandemic is limited to certain sectors of the economy, potentially signaling the BOJ is planning to scale back its Covid-era funding program European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde doubled down on her assessment that euro-area inflation will ease as economies rebound, falling back below the 2% target in the medium term. Yet analysts see itfaster than previously thought this year and next A short-lived reprieve for emerging- market carry trades funded in dollars looks to be over, with an upsurge in U.S. inflation making the outlook increasingly treacherous The U.K. is expanding its Covid-19 booster program to younger people as the country seeks to head off another wave of infections this winter. A third vaccine dose will be available to people aged 40 to 49 starting six months after their second shot, the government said Monday Oman said there was no need for OPEC+ to accelerate oil-production increases, signaling at least some members of the group will continue to resist U.S. pressure for more crude   A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets began the week with a lack of firm direction as the region digested varied tier-1 economic releases including better than expected Chinese activity data and miss on Japanese GDP, with attention also on a slew of earnings results and corporate updates. ASX 200 (+0.4%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.6%) both opened higher and took impetus from last Friday’s gains on Wall Street but with upside in Australia capped as financials and energy lagged, while Japanese participants weathered the weak GDP data which showed a wider than expected quarterly contraction during Q3, when the economy was still mired by widespread state of emergency declarations in key areas including Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures. Nonetheless, Japanese stocks have taken the disappointing economic growth within their strides as it justifies the incoming stimulus package which was said to have been increased to over JPY 40tln in fiscal spending and with Japan reportedly to resume its Go To Travel campaign in mid-January. Conversely, Hang Seng (+0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.2%) were initially moderately pressured despite stronger than forecast Industrial Production and Retail Sales data from China, as well as the PBoC’s CNY 1tln MLF announcement which matched this month’s expiring MLF loans and further dampened prospects of PBoC easing. Today also saw the launch of the Beijing Stock Exchange which aims to help SMEs raise capital and included 81 companies in the first batch of listings, while participants await the Biden-Xi virtual meeting which is set to take place Monday evening at 19:45EST or Tuesday morning in Asia and with US Treasury Secretary Yellen and Secretary of State Blinken set to join in on the call. Finally, 10yr JGBs are higher as they tracked a marginal rebound in T-notes and following the disappointing Japanese GDP release, but with gains capped as stocks in Tokyo remained afloat and amid the absence of BoJ purchases in the market today. Top Asian News Cathay Crew Who Flew From Frankfurt Doing 21-Day Quarantine Duterte Runs for Philippine Senate, Avoids Clash With Daughter Greenland Jumps in Bond Market After Classification Change Chinese Startup Meicai Is Said to Pick Banks for Hong Kong IPO European equities (+0.1%) trade with minor gains which have nudged the Stoxx 600 to a high of 487.21 in what has been a quiet start to the week. The desk will continue to monitor further lockdown restrictions across the region, however, updates from the Netherlands and Austria have done little to dent sentiment thus far. The handover from the APAC region was a mixed one as the soft GDP data from Japan was overshadowed by forthcoming stimulus efforts whilst Chinese equities were unable to garner much upside from stronger than forecast Industrial Production and Retail Sales data. Participants were also awaiting the Biden-Xi virtual meeting which is set to take place Monday evening at 19:45EST or Tuesday morning in Asia. Stateside, futures are trading with gains of a similar magnitude to their European counterparts (ES +0.1%) with not a great deal on the docket beyond the NY Fed Manufacturing print at 13:30GMT/08:30EST. Back to Europe, sectors are relatively mixed with Travel & Leisure top of the leaderboard amid gains in Deutsche Lufthansa (+1.7%) after the Co. was upgraded to neutral from sell at UBS. Oil & Gas names have been granted some reprieve following the selling pressure seen towards the latter half of last week. To the downside, Basic Resources is the standout laggard amid underlying price action in the metals space. In terms of individual movers, Ahold Delhaize (+2.4%) is one of the best performers in the Stoxx 600 after announcing a EUR 1bln buyback as of 2022, accelerated its growth/investment plan and will explore an IPO of Bol.com. Shell (+1.8%) is seen higher on the session after announcing that it is looking to implement a simplified structure and move its tax residency to the UK from the Netherlands. To the downside, Philips (-12.1%) sits at the foot of the Stoxx 600 as concerns continue to mount over its ventilator recall issues in the US. Finally, BBVA (-3.7%) is seen lower on the session after launching a tender offer to acquire the remaining 50.2% of Turkiye Garanti Bankasi. Top European News U.K. Expands Covid-19 Booster Program to People in Their 40s Austria Locks Down Unvaccinated as Europe Tightens Covid Curbs Cathay Crew Who Flew From Frankfurt Doing 21-Day Quarantine Telefonica Launches Tender Offer for Hybrid Notes In FX, the Aussie and Kiwi are outperforming their major peers, or making the most of ongoing Greenback consolidation off last week’s new y-t-d highs, with the former also gleaning encouragement from Chinese data overnight as ip and retail sales beat consensus. Aud/Usd is back above 0.7350 and Nzd/Usd has reclaimed 0.7050+ status as the Aud/Nzd cross hovers in the low 1.0400 zone and eyes an unusually large 1 bn option expiry at the round number. Similarly, the Norwegian and Swedish Krona are both firmer vs a somewhat leggy/lethargic Euro, but with assistance from macro releases in the form of trade and inflation respectively. Eur/Nok is probing 9.9200 and Eur/Sek is testing bids and support around 10.0000 compared to peaks near 9.9600 and 10.0330. CAD/DXY - No lasting support from crude prices for the Loonie as WTI retreats through Usd 80/brl from Usd 81.20 at best, but Usd/Cad has reversed from 1.2550+ ahead of Canadian manufacturing sales and wholesale trade that are out alongside the more timely Empire state survey. Meanwhile, the index is meandering either side of 95.000 within a 95.152-94.963 band having ‘topped out’ at 95.266 in wake of US CPI and a far from well received new 30 year issue. GBP/EUR/CHF/JPY - All narrowly mixed against the Buck and seemingly awaiting clearer direction from their US counterpart or independently, as Cable continues to straddle a key Fib level (1.3412) in advance of testimony from the BoE on the latest MPR and top tier UK data from tomorrow. Eur/Gbp is sitting even tighter around 0.8530 before talks intensify to try and resolve differences on NI Protocol, while Eur/Usd is pivoting 1.1450, Usd/Chf is rotating around 0.9200 and Usd/Jpy is holding mostly below 114.00. Note, the Euro has ECB speakers to digest (see Headline Feed at 10.01GMT for remarks from President Lagarde) and look forward to, while the Franc has not really responded to small rises in weekly Swiss sight deposits and the Yen has largely brushed aside much weaker than expected Japanese GDP and a draft document saying that the government and BoJ share a strong sense of urgency about supply shortages, whilst maintaining an appropriate combination of monetary and fiscal policies. In commodities, WTI and Brent are softer this morning, with losses in excess of 1.0% on the session thus far. Such pressure stems from demand-side updates in the wake of further COVID-19 measures being announced/implemented, most recently that Austria is entering a lockdown for the un-vaccinated and the Netherlands is to reimpose social distancing from Saturday. Furthermore, given the surge in cases seen in Germany in recent weeks the three-parties in coalition discussions intend to put forward proposals to Parliament on Thursday for renewed measures, which will reportedly include contact restrictions. On the other hand, the supply-side of the equation is cognisant of the looming imposition of further restrictions on Belarus by the EU, particularly as Leader Lukashenko last week said they would respond to any sanctions and suggested closing gas/goods transit through Belarus. Additional sanctions are, currently, scheduled to be announced this afternoon. Separately, and perhaps adding pressure, is commentary from various oil ministers the most pertinent of which has seen the UAE representative announce they are to increase production to over 5mln BPD from the current 4mln by 2030, alongside expecting a Q1-2022 oil surplus. Currently, the benchmarks are in proximity to the sessions trough which resides around USD 0.10/bbl below Friday’s low of USD 79.78/bbl in WTI, for instance. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver have been grinding higher throughout the European morning but are yet to retrace the downside seen overnight in-spite of the stronger Chinese data though this failed to spur regional or base-metal performance either. In terms of bank views, the Head of Energy Research at Goldman Sachs predicting the precious metal is set for a boom to the USD 2k level. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Nov. Empire Manufacturing, est. 22.0, prior 19.8 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap This morning I’ve just put out a short note which I hope will win the catchiest research title of the year award. It’s called “If you think real yields are low, look at these charts…”. See here for the link. Regular readers will know my view that inflation will be structurally higher going forward and that for the rest of my career developed market real yields will likely stay negative even if nominal yields climb. This is because with debt so high, history suggests that heavy financial repression will be necessary to manage this. However, nothing could have prepared me for 2021 so far with US CPI at 6.2% YoY in October and 10-year US yields stuck below 1.6%. On a spot basis real yields are c.-4.6% and at around 70-year lows. If you think real yields are low, however, take a look at the 200-year graphs in the note to see that whenever debt has spiked historically, real yields have moved a lot lower than even today’s levels, albeit through inflation around or above 20%. These are extreme times but history offers even more extreme examples. Staying with inflation DB’s Francis Yared and I did a webinar on inflation last week and the recording can be viewed here. You’ll need Francis’s slides at hand on Regime Shifts in Inflation (link here) and mine (link here) on what history can tell us about inflation and what it means for asset prices in the future. I thought it was a really good webinar but I am slightly biased. Maisie and mum came back from a week in hospital at the weekend. Mum slept for 18 hours on Saturday leaving me to work out how the wheelchair folds up and reopens and delivering what I hoped was the right dose of morphine. It’s going to be tough living with a wheelchair for the next year as Maisie’s hip bone tries to regrow but after hearing many stories from my wife about children in the ward with life threatening conditions you realise that you’re actually pretty lucky. Before you think I’ve gone all zen, I did nearly throw the wheelchair across the room when it wouldn’t unfold. I’d missed a small lever under the seat. After a tiring last week at home and in the markets it’s a quieter week ahead in terms of the calendar, though market attention will continue to focus on the question of who might be appointed as the next Fed Chair, as well as the latest inflation statistics from a number of countries, including the UK (Wednesday). There is a reasonable amount of Fedspeak so it’ll be especially interesting to hear those on the transitory side to see if last week’s shocking print has impacting their thinking. Otherwise, geopolitics will be in focus, with today’s virtual meeting between US President Biden and Chinese President Xi, alongside continued speculation about whether the UK might trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol even if tensions have eased a touch in the last few days. Starting with today’s virtual meeting between President Biden and President Xi, it is set to take place at 7:45 PM Washington time, which will be 8:45 AM on Tuesday in Beijing. While both the presidents spoke over the phone twice this year, this is the first time it is being dubbed as a summit. There is some thought that tariff reductions could be on the agenda, especially given current US inflation levels but it might be a bit early for that in any relationship rebuild. We’ll know more in time for tomorrow’s EMR. The monthly Chinese data dump came in better than expected overnight with industrial output +3.5% yoy (vs. 3% expected), retail sales 4.9% yoy (vs 3.7% expected) but fixed-asset investment slightly missing at 6.1% (vs 6.2% expected). There is some discussion that the retail sales beat may be led by higher prices and also higher food sales as consumers prepare for the possibility of winter virus restriction. Asian stocks are trading mixed with the KOSPI (+1.04%) and the Nikkei (+0.48%) trading in the green while the Hang Seng (-0.08%), Shanghai Composite (-0.29%) and CSI (-0.29%) trading lower. In Japan GDP shrank by -0.8% from the last quarter (-0.2% consensus and +0.5% previous) augmenting expectations of a stimulus package by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, which is expected to be announced at the end of this week. The Nikkei reported last Friday that the stimulus could top 40 trillion yen ($350 bn). Futures are pointing to a muted start in US & Europe with S&P 500 futures (-0.01%) and DAX futures (-0.08%) both fairly flat. Moving onto the rest of the week, there are a few decisions from EM central banks over the week ahead, including Turkey, South Africa and Indonesia (all Thursday). However, the main focus for investors will be the speculation about who might be the next Fed Chair, particularly in light of the news out last week that both incumbent Fed Chair Powell and Governor Brainard had been interviewed for the position. Powell’s current four-year term comes to an end in February, and whoever’s nominated would require senate confirmation for another term. At this point 4, 8 and 12 years ago, the announcement of who’d be nominated had already been made, but we still don’t have a date for when we might get the news. However, it may not be too far away, with President Biden saying in Glasgow on November 2 that it would be “fairly quickly”. On the data side, there’ll be an increasing amount of hard data out of the US for October, including retail sales, industrial production (both Tuesday) and housing starts (Wednesday). Meanwhile, there’ll also be some important UK data as the Bank of England mulls over their monetary policy settings ahead of their meeting next month. On Tuesday, there’s the latest employment report, and then on Wednesday, we’ll get the latest CPI reading for October. Turning to politics, it’s worth keeping an eye out for any developments on Brexit, with speculation rising that the UK government could trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Over the last 3 or 4 days the mood music has moved a little towards compromise so we’ll see if this gathers some momentum. Lastly on the earnings front, it’s the tail end of the season now, but there are still a few major companies left to report. Tomorrow we’ll hear from Walmart and Home Depot, before Wednesday brings reports from Nvidia, Cisco, Lowe’s and Target. Then on Thursday, we’ll hear from Intuit, Applied Materials and TJX. Recapping last week now and inflation had a strong stranglehold on the market narrative, as much higher-than-expected US CPI data drove Treasury yields higher, led by the belly of the curve. Global sovereign yields increased in sympathy. Quickly recapping the highlights from the pivotal CPI data: year-over-year headline CPI of 6.2% and core CPI of 4.6% were each the highest readings since the early 1990s and we’re generally getting to levels last seen consistently at the start of the 40yr disinflationary trend in the early 1980s. Price gains were shared across a broad range of components, which prompted some rabble rousing out of Democratic politicians, including President Biden. Five-year Treasury yields increased +13.5 bps as investors brought forward the expected timing of increases to the fed funds rate. Markets are pricing the first Fed rate hike by the July FOMC and 2.5 hikes through 2022. This compares with a September FOMC lift-off and fewer than 2 hikes in 2022 a week before. All told, 2yr, 5yr, and 10yr Treasury yields increased +11.7bps (+0.5bps Friday), +17.1bps (+1.0bps Friday), and +11.9bps (+2.1bps Friday) on the week. 10yr inflation breakevens hit their highest levels on record, finishing the week at 2.72%. Real yields were the only rates declining on the week, with 10yr real Treasury yields retreating -6.6bps (+0.8bps Friday) to end the week at -1.17%, just above all-time lows. Other developed sovereign bond yields followed Treasuries higher, with ten-year yields in Germany, UK, France, and Italy increasing +2.1bps (-2.8bps Friday), +6.9bps (-0.6bps Friday), +3.5bps (-2.8bps Friday), +7.8bps (-0.8bps Friday) on the week. The spectre of higher inflation and concomitant monetary policy tightening put an end to the recent S&P 500 win streak. After posting eight straight days of record highs by Tuesday, the S&P 500 retreated -0.31% this week, including -0.82% on Wednesday alone following the inflation data, but made a heroic effort to reclaim lost ground Friday, gaining +0.72%. Mega cap stocks were notable laggards, due to the increase in discount rates, with FANG+ stocks down -0.49% (+1.00% Friday). The index was also hit by a -15.44% collapse in Tesla stocks following news that Elon Musk would liquidate some of his holdings, which he duly did. European stocks proved more resilient, with the STOXX 600 (+0.68% on the week, +0.30% Friday), DAX (+0.25%, +0.07%), and CAC 40 (+0.72%, +0.45%), again posting new all-time highs to finish the week. On the virus front, Pfizer requested regulatory approval for all US adults to be eligible to receive the company’s Covid-19 booster shot, while climbing cases in Europe have prompted renewed lockdown measures and enhanced vaccination efforts across the continent. Federal Vice Chair for Supervision Quarles announced he would resign at the end of the year, as was widely anticipated. There was a steady leak of news on the impending nomination for Fed Chair, but neither Chair Powell nor Governor Brainard, the two favorites for the position, saw their chances much changed following the news. The Fed also released its bi-annual Financial Stability Report and concluded that asset prices remain vulnerable to deteriorating investor risk sentiment, virus progress, or economic recovery. Geopolitical tensions bubbled in Europe. Threats from Belarussian President Lukashenko to cut the transit of natural gas from Russia to Europe, and reports of potential Russian plans for further military excursions into Ukraine, drove European natural gas prices higher in the second half of the week. President Putin apparently warned the US and its allies that Moscow would not tolerate expansion of Western military influence in Ukraine. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/15/2021 - 07:59.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 15th, 2021

Time To Say Goodbye To The Everything Bubble

Time To Say Goodbye To The Everything Bubble Authored by Egon von Greyerz via GoldSwitzerland.com, Will the autumn of 2021 be the end of the everything bubble? Are investment markets very soon coming to the end of market insanity? Since there is very little sanity left in markets or the in the world economy, we have now reached a point where we must accept madness as sanity, as George Bernard Shaw said: “When the world goes mad, one must accept madness as sanity; since sanity is, in the last analysis, nothing but the madness on which the whole world happens to agree.” George Bernard Shaw Investment markets today are all about instant gratification and getting rich quick. “Stocks always go up” and so does property in the everything bubble. Even the normally boring bond market has had a 40 year rise. And then we have the supercharged tech stocks, many of which have gained 1000s of percent in this century And we mustn’t forget the SPAC stocks (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) or Blank Cheque Companies where shell companies are used to acquire existing companies to inflate their share price. None of these things are new of course. During the South Sea Bubble in the 1720s for example, companies were formed and capital raised with just the purpose of “Making Money”. We mustn’t forget the cryptocurrencies which are now worth valued at $2 trillion. They were just over $1 billion 8 years ago. Is that the bubble of the century like tulip bulbs in the 1600s or is it the money of the future. Well, most readers know or can guess my opinion on this! VALUE INVESTING & WEALTH PRESERVATION IS FOR “WIMPS” In a world where everything is based on “get rich quick” neither value investing nor wealth preservation enters the equation. Why worry about preserving your wealth when you could have made 14x your money on the Nasdaq since 2009 or 5,000x your investment on Bitcoin since 2011. Calling tops is a mug’s game. Some of us who look at risk have been worried about the everything bubble economy for quite a while. To us, since the end of the Great Financial Crisis in 2009, the world economy and asset markets have been an illusion. It is as if we are watching a virtual reality game in which some people automatically increase their wealth by millions or even billions of dollars every time they pass GO. But as the rich are getting richer, the masses are just getting poorer and more indebted. Although we see the wealth that has been acquired by many as an illusion that will soon evaporate, for the ones who have benefited, this is all very real. Anyone who believes that these gains are real and sustainable will have the shock of a lifetime in coming years. As I showed in a recent article about the End of the US Empire, the wealth of the 400 richest Americans has gone from 2% of GDP to 18% in the last 40 years. This concentration of wealth is of course spectacular but also very dangerous for the world. Trees can always grow taller but they never grow to heaven! AT THE END OF AN ERA – FALLS OF 90% So as Shaw said, we are now in “the madness on which the whole world agrees”. As I have often stated, I believe that we are at the end of a very major economic cycle. Not only are markets insane, but so are deficits, debts and currency debasements. But also moral and ethical values have now vanished into thin air and been replaced by lies, deceit and the golden calf. We are now in a very critical period for the world since excesses of the magnitude we are now seeing must be corrected. Exponential moves in one direction are always corrected. And the corrections will be of a similar magnitude to the rise but happen much quicker. We are talking about falls of 90% or more in all major asset and debt markets. Nobody believes such moves are possible with central banks and governments standing by with unlimited money printing combined with new Central Bank Digital Currencies that will save the world. ILLUSIONS ARE JUST ILLUSIONS We must understand that illusions cannot rescue the world economy.  This despite whatever concoctions central banks or Schwab (World Economic Forum) and his billionaire cronies come up with. Virtual illusions in the form of fake money or empty promises can never repay debt, nor can they change the laws of nature. Clearly all these “evil forces” will use their power to orchestrate fake resets to “save the world” in an attempt to tighten their grip on the world economy and the financial system. But a heavily indebted and fake system can never be reset in an orderly manner. In my view, any artificial or fake reset will only have a very limited effect. It is just not possible to solve a debt problem with more debt whatever way the PTB (Powers That Be) try to dress it in sheep’s clothing. So an orderly reset is bound to fail very quickly. A new digital Fiat and thus fake currency will not solve the world’s debt problem. Writing off the debt is just another illusory act. If you write off the debt, the assets on the opposite side of the balance sheet will also implode in value. And since the debt is leveraging the assets, they will have a very long way to fall. This is why asset implosions of 90-100% are very likely. Few people believe this to be possible but with debt collapsing so will the bubble assets which are all inflated by worthless debt. We must remember that the big stock market crash in 1929-32 saw the Dow lose 90% of its value. It then took 25 years for the Dow to get above the 1929 high. And today 92 years after that peak, debts, deficits, and asset bubbles are far greater than at the end of the 1920s. Below are a number of graphs that all point to the everything bubble. THE BUFFETT INDICATOR So there we have it, incontrovertible proof that this is the mother of all bubbles. But as we have learnt in this century, bubbles can always grow bigger and especially if we are looking at the end of a major super cycle which could be as big (or long) as 2,000 years. Nevertheless, the evidence keeps mounting of an epic asset bubble. In addition to the charts above that point to illusions never seen before in markets, we have a number of technical indicators that all point to the end of the everything bubble. In the chart below, the RSI (Relative Strength Index) momentum indicator for example topped in 2017 and the major rise in the Dow since then has not been confirmed by the indicator. This is a very bearish sign albeit not a short term indicator. Many other technical indicators including Elliott wave or Dow Theory all point to that a top to the everything bubble is imminent. Whether that means a top next week (which is possible), or in the next few months, time will tell. Some important cycle indicators point to potential turns between now and Sep 24. SURVIVING THE EVERYTHING BUBBLE IS ALL ABOUT PROTECTING FROM RISK But what is much more important than pinpointing the exact timing of the top is to understand the risk involved. If, as we believe, we are now at the end of the everything bubble, nobody needs to time it. Investors should understand the upside might be 10% and the downside 90%+. Who is foolish enough to accept such a risk? Maybe a 10% move up but a more certain 90% fall. We are talking about a fall in real terms. If we get hyperinflation stocks and other assets can rise in nominal terms but fall in real terms when measured in stable purchasing power, like gold. Well, that question is easy to answer. The whole investment world which has been spoilt by tens of trillions of dollars of fake money to fuel the Epic Everything Bubble will expect much more of the same in coming months or years. Yes, much more money will be created but this time it will have very little effect. Instead the dollar, euro, yen etc will accelerate the falls that we have seen since 1913. They have all fallen 98-99% since then and by similar percentages since 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window. The final 1-2% fall will soon start and take most currencies to their intrinsic value of ZERO. But don’t forget that this final fall is 100% from here. Remember that measuring your assets in for example dollars is a futile exercise in self indulgence. You are just flattering your investment skills when you measure your performance in a currency that has lost 98% since 1971 and 84% since 2000. If you use the same method in coming years, your paper wealth might look ok but be worthless in real terms. Just ask anyone who has lived in a hyperinflationary economy like Yugoslavia, Argentina or Venezuela.  So what is a Sleeping Beauty investment. Not difficult to guess. It is an investment that you can forget about for 100 years and when you wake up, it will have maintained its purchasing power. GOLD If we get the expected stock market crash, it is possible that gold and the precious metals continue to correct a bit further like in 2008. As opposed to today, gold had then had a major bull run from $250 in 1999 to $1,000 in 2008. Weak gold hands then needed to get liquidity against a crashing stock market and the everything bubble. Gold has now been in consolidation for years and there are a lot fewer speculative  investors compared to 2008. Therefore I expect a much smaller and shorter correction, if any. Coming back to the Sleeping Beauty, there is one investment which you could safely put away and forget about for 100 years. It is of course physical gold, safely stored. As long as you store gold in a safe place and safe country, you know that it will maintain  its REAL value as it has for 5,000 years.  Yes, there are fluctuations, but gold’s history tells us that it is not just the only money which has survived but also the only money which has maintained real purchasing power.  Gold today at $1,750 is as UNLOVED AND UNDERVALUED as in 1971 at $35 and in 2000 at $288.  I will continue to show the chart below until that situation is rectified. This reminds me of the Roman Senator Cato during the Punic Wars (around 150 BC) who finished every speech in the senate with “Furthermore I consider that Carthage must be destroyed”. In the end Cato got his way as Carthage was destroyed. I have no doubt that gold will soon rectify the current undervaluation and reach levels that few can imagine. This is what both technicals and fundamentals are clearly indicating. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 06:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 23rd, 2021

"Recession Is On Its Way" - Dallas Fed Shows Factory Activity Slumps For 9th Straight Month

"Recession Is On Its Way" - Dallas Fed Shows Factory Activity Slumps For 9th Straight Month While the headline Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity Index printed better than expected (-8.4 vs -15.0), it remains in contraction (less than zero) for the 9th straight month (the longest streak since 2016)... Source: Bloomberg And in fact, the better than expected print was driven solely by 'hope' as current production tumbled in January but 'expectations' for future production rose... Source: Bloomberg Surprisingly, while the outlook for six-months ahead improved (but remains negative)... ...you wouldn't know it judging by the responses that The Dallas Fed decided to release for publication... notice a pattern? Food manufacturing We had a customer in the pet food segment significantly decrease its orders due to an inventory backlog. Uncertainty from the overall economic downturn is affecting our long-term strategy. Business is sluggish. We’re seeing increased illiquidity in our customer base. Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing We are still seeing input costs increase. We had let our gross margin erode over the last couple of years and are now playing catch-up. We are raising prices faster than our inputs increase in a bid to restore an acceptable gross margin. This is resulting in slightly increased dollar sales and increased gross margin, but decreased unit sales. We also had many of our older 3G-based [wireless] credit card readers that we mistakenly thought also had 4G capability stop working due to the phase-out of 3G. New 4G/5G radios are on a several-month back order. Some unknown share of our sales decline is due to lack of credit card readers at the point of sale. Textile product mills Uncertainty is high. Holiday sales were stronger than expected, but January is slow versus last year. Delivery times are down, but future demand and sales sentiment are low. Paper manufacturing Activity continues to slip, and selling prices are coming down. We still can’t find any workers and, with our six-month projection, we have quit looking. Printing and related support activities We have definitely seen a slowdown in activity compared to prior months. It's as if the spigot got turned off. All our supply-chain constraints are pretty much gone, with delivery times much more like prepandemic times. We have work coming up but right now are very slow and struggling to get our hourly workers even 32 hours per week. Chemical manufacturing Lost production due to Winter Storm Elliot caused tightening of our inventory levels. We are seeing a slowdown in orders and clients unwilling to hold additional inventory. Primary metal manufacturing Recession is on its way. The residential building and construction industry has seen a significant decrease in orders across the extrusion industry. Also, imports of aluminum extrusions from South America, Mexico, Malaysia, Vietnam, Turkey and India are at record highs. Mexico is gaining more and more business in the U.S. due to not having to pay Section 232 tariffs, whereas U.S. domestic extruders are paying the tariff via our raw aluminum or billet purchases. If action is not taken, the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry as we know it today will be shutting down capacity and plants. Machinery manufacturing We are seeing improvement in the business climate. Our competitors are coming to us to supply their customers. Additionally, we are purchasing new machines to add capabilities in our business and further vertically integrate our manufacturing. This will improve our profitability and reduce lead time to produce our products. Order volume has been going down, and we expect the trend to continue. Raw material pricing seems to be stable at the present time. Current federal policies are killing small businesses. From diesel prices to shortages, everything costs so much more. Computer and electronic product manufacturing We provided significant (10 percent or more) raises in December after a midyear raise in July 2022. We felt that this was essential in order to keep our employees, and we have successfully retained everyone we wanted to keep. We hope not to need to do another round of raises midyear. Since our employees are blue-collar workers, inflation hits them particularly hard, and they are more willing to look for another job for a 10–15 percent pay increase. We are investing in more automation and removing process bottlenecks to increase productivity and reduce lead time. Transportation equipment manufacturing We have a bleak outlook until the Federal Reserve stops interest hikes and the administration seeks energy independence. We are starting to see some customers pushing delivery out due to market uncertainty. Furniture and related product manufacturing Requests for bids continue at a steady rate; we have not yet seen a contraction. The only change is, when posting job openings, we actually have people responding—this is a big change and likely a sign of some layoffs after the holidays from other companies. The biggest issues facing our company are increased regulations and contact from federal, state and local entities regarding a variety of topics. Often it feels as a small business that the government does not want us to succeed. Miscellaneous manufacturing We continue to see large fluctuations in raw material pricing from order to order. Pricing has not corrected from the metals market shutdown in March 2022. Most lead times for raw material remain longer than in previous years. Order volumes remain flat across all markets we serve—automotive OEM [original equipment manufacturers], plumbing and ammunition. Raw material costs and lead times have declined since 2022. Not exactly a picture of the 'strong as hell' economy we hear from The White House? Tyler Durden Mon, 01/30/2023 - 11:20.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 min. ago

Has The Housing Market Bottomed? The Surprising Result From A Little-Known Market Indicator

Has The Housing Market Bottomed? The Surprising Result From A Little-Known Market Indicator It may come as a bit of a shock to those who have been following the creeping freeze in housing transactions as the bid-ask spread grows to monstrous proportions, leading to a record crash in pending home sales... ... and collapse in US home prices, especially on the West Coast... ... but even though mortgage rates ticked higher back to 6% in January, there is growing speculation that the housing market has bottomed. Why? Because as Goldman's Rich Provorotsky notes, "bet you didn’t know there were housing price futures…they bottomed in Q4 and have been rallying." Indeed, the Housing Composite Index traded on the CME is up decidedly in the past month after hitting a 16 month low in November. Why this surprising bounce? A big reason for the unexpected rebound may be a recent report from real estate company Redfin which last Wednesday reported that "the housing market has begun to recover from a trough in the second week of November with buyers returning at a faster pace than sellers. The number of Redfin customers asking for first tours has improved by 17 percentage points from the November low, and the number of clients contacting." Furthermore, according to the report, Redfin agents to begin the home-buying process has improved by 13 points: "I've seen more homes go under contract this month than in the entire fourth quarter," Angela Langone, a San Jose, California, agent, said in the report. Among notable market moves, Redfin points to mortgage applications which are up 28% from early November as the average 30-year-fixed mortgage rate has dropped to 6.15% from its peak of 7.08% in November, the biggest decline since 2009. Pending home sales rose 3% in December from November. Preliminary data on the share of Redfin agents’ offers facing bidding wars points to small upticks in the Seattle and Tampa markets this month (however, since this is an uneven trend, expect it to take some time before bidding wars nationally show an upward trend). “Bidding wars are back in Seattle,” said local Redfin real estate agent Shoshana Godwin. “One of our Issaquah listings got 12 offers and is under contract for $155,000 over the $1.4 million list price. The buyer waived every contingency, handed over $300,000 of earnest money and is letting the seller stay for free for two months after closing. Another home in Seattle’s popular Ballard neighborhood was recently delisted after sitting on the market for over three months. The seller relisted it last week and it went pending in under a day.” Eric Auciello, Redfin’s team manager in Tampa, has seen three modest single-family homes priced around $300,000 wind up in bidding wars in central Florida this month, with 16, 17 and 23 competing offers, respectively. More in the full report here. But while one can accuse Redfin of bias - after all the company recently laid off some 13% of its employees due to the housing market collapse so it is certainly interested in sparking some animal spirits in the sector - it is not alone in predicting a housing recovery. One week ago, Goldman's Jan Hatzius published the bank's Housing Outlook for 2023 in which he predicted that "home sales appear set to turn higher." That's because "mortgage purchase applications have averaged 9% above their October trough so far in January and survey-based measures of purchasing intentions have rebounded sharply" and while Goldman expects that existing home sales could decline slightly further "but will likely bottom in Q1 (GS forecast: Q1 average of 3.85mn saar vs. 4.02mn in December) before rebounding modestly by year-end (GS forecast: Q4 average of 4.1mn)." Here are some more observations from the Goldman note (full report available to pro subs): We forecast that housing starts will take longer to stabilize, declining to a trough pace of 1¼mn in 2023Q4 (vs. 1.4mn in 2022Q4) before recovering next year. We expect completions to total 1½mn this year, the most since 2007, which will help to clear the backlog of homes under construction and contribute to a modest increase in the homeowner vacancy rate (GS forecast of 1.2% in 2023Q4 vs. 0.9% now and 1.4% in 2019Q4). We expect a peak-to-trough decline in national home prices of roughly 6% and for prices to stop declining around mid-year. On a regional basis, we project larger declines across the Pacific Coast and Southwest regions—which have seen the largest increases in inventory on average—and more modest declines across the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest—which have maintained greater affordability over the past couple years. Higher rates and lower home prices will increase the drag on GDP growth from negative wealth effects and declining mortgage equity withdrawal, but we believe that the aggregate drag on GDP growth from the housing sector peaked in 2022Q4 at 1.1pp and will moderate to just 0.25pp by 2023Q4. If the housing price futures market - and Goldman - is right in pricing in a housing trough than the consequences could confound markets: on one hand, a stabilization in housing will likely make any coming recession less severe; on the other, since housing is the primary channel by which the Fed can slowdown the economy, any failure to cripple this key US asset, could mean that Powell will be stuck in a "higher for longer" mode for, well, longer than the market expects. As a reminder, as the following Morgan Stanley chart shows, consensus is that the Fed is about 8 months away from its first rate cut, which will be promptly followed by ~4.5 25bps rate cuts. More in the full Goldman note available to pro subs. Tyler Durden Mon, 01/30/2023 - 15:20.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 min. ago

Tesla"s market fortunes are turning round – with Elon Musk"s company on track for its best month since 2020 after last year"s dismal run

Better-than-expected earnings and expectation of a Federal Reserve pivot have fueled a sharp rebound in Tesla's stock price after it plunged 64% in 2022. Tesla is on track for its best month since November 2020, with its share price having surged 44%.Susan Walsh/AP Tesla's share price has jumped 44% in January, putting it on track for its best month since November 2020. That has pared back more than two-thirds of the electric carmaker's losses from last year's 64% plunge. Better-than-expected earnings and the prospect that the Federal Reserve will soften its interest-rate policy have fueled the rebound. Tesla's stock price is on track for its best month in over two years, representing a dramatic change in the market fortunes of the electric carmaker after a hellish 2022 in which it suffered a $700 billion wipeout.Shares have climbed over 44% so far in January, trading at $177.90 as of Friday's closing bell – and the stock will have enjoyed its best month since November 2020 if it holds those gains over the next two days, according to Refinitiv.Rising interest rates and CEO Elon Musk's chaotic Twitter takeover weighed on Tesla last year, with shares plunging 64%.But the stock has climbed over the past month thanks to an improvement in broad investor sentiment and a better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings report from the automaker.Tesla's rebound has coincided with rallies for benchmark indices, with the S&P 500 up 6% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbing 11% year-to-date.That's because investors are starting to anticipate that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at some point in 2023.The central bank hiked the cost of borrowing from near-zero to 4.5% over the past year in a bid to crush soaring inflation, which weighed on stocks by lowering the future cash flows that make up part of their valuations.The majority of traders now expect the Fed to have started slashing rates by the end of the year, according to CME Group's Fedwatch tool – which could support stocks and stop the US economy slipping into a recession.Tesla was also boosted by a strong fourth-quarter earnings report.The EV manufacturer logged earnings-per-share of $1.19 for the three months ending December 31, which comfortably beat Wall Street analysts' expectations.Tesla's revenue also grew 37% year-on-year to $24.3 billion, which narrowly beat analysts' $24.1 billion target and could show shareholders that recent aggressive price cuts have helped to revive faltering demand.The company has also benefited from China lifting its harsh zero-COVID lockdown policies, which has allowed it to ramp up production in its factories there."Following last year's horrendous valuation pressures, Tesla investors are craving clarity and stability and this quarter has offered a dose of both," Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Sophie Lund-Yates said Wednesday after Tesla's fourth-quarter earnings."The reopening of China has unlocked the full potential of Tesla's economies-of-scale once more, meaning production in the region is largely back in full swing," she added. "The share price rally since the start of the year has been largely linked to this, and progress hasn't been dented thanks to Tesla's record quarter."Read more: Tesla stock shakes off Elon Musk's 'funding secured' trial and rallies 11% after fourth-quarter earnings beatRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt4 hr. 19 min. ago

Investors say they"re bracing for the stock market to hit new lows this year amid weak corporate earnings

Any good news delivered by Fed Chair Jerome Powell during the central bank's meeting this week could be overshadowed by poor tech earnings. Traders and financial professionals work ahead of the closing bell on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), October 26, 2018 in New York City.Drew Angerer/Getty Images Roughly 70% of investors say the stock market has yet to bottom, per the latest MLIV Pulse survey. Around 35% says the lows won't be in until the second half of this year.  Despite the rally in January, investors are concerned that 2023 will be marked by weak earnings.  Investors are bracing for the US stock market to hit new lows this year amid concerns over weakness in corporate earnings. Roughly 70% of investors say the stock market has yet to hit its bottom, per the latest MLIV Pulse survey. Around 35% said lows won't be reached until the second half of 2023.US equities have been on a tear in the past month, with the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite up 6.02% and 11.04%, respectively. The S&P 500 is on pace for its best January since 2019. Still, only 18% of survey respondents plan to increase their exposure to the benchmark index in the next month. The rally in equities, investors fear, could be hobbled by disappointing fourth-quarter results from tech giants like Meta Platforms Inc. and Apple Inc., according to the survey, which polled 383 investors. Both companies are slated to report earnings later this week.After a slew of economic data points show inflation has been coming down, traders are shifting focus away from from the central bank's expected interest rate hike this week. A quarter-point hike would be the Federal Reserve's smallest increase in almost a year, which would be a welcome development after aggressive monetary policy helped crush stock prices last year. But any good news delivered by Fed Chair Jerome Powell during this week's meeting could be overshadowed by weak earnings, investors say. Around 90% of respondents expect inflation will keep falling this year, but will remain above the central bank's target of 2%. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt4 hr. 19 min. ago

Even with inflation cooling down, there"s still a "risk of recession" since the Fed keeps hiking interest rates, Janet Yellen says

The Fed is expected to hike interest rates once again this week, and some Democrats warned it could increase job losses and prompt a recession. U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell listens as U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a meeting with the Treasury Department's Financial Stability Oversight Council at the U.S. Treasury Department on October 03, 2022 in Washington, DC.Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates again this week. Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen said given the continued hikes, the "risk of recession" persists. Some Democratic lawmakers have urged the Fed to cease the hikes to avoid a severe economic downturn. The economy is moving in the right direction — but it doesn't mean a 2023 recession is off the table, the top Treasury official said.On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points, which marks a comedown from the December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting's decision to hike rates by 50 basis points.This week's meeting comes after the economy got a slough of promising data — last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed US gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2022, and the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, rose 6.5% year-over-year in December, a slowdown from November's reading of 7.1%.That's why estimates suggest the Fed will slow its interest rate hikes again in February. However, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen doesn't want the good economic results the country has seen over the past few months to cloud the possibility of a recession this year."I'm reasonably satisfied by the data that I've seen so far, but I don't want to minimize the risk of recession," Yellen told Bloomberg News in Johannesburg last week, referring to the central bank's continued actions in "slowing down the economy" by raising interest rates."The path that I see, to maintaining a strong labor market while bringing inflation down, does involve a slowdown in growth," Yellen added.Yellen has previously been careful not to dismiss a potential recession, but she told 60 Minutes in December that she's "very hopeful that the labor market will remain quite healthy so that people can feel good about their finances and their personal economic situation."Still, the FOMC's December meeting minutes said that inflation remains "unacceptably high," and as a result, not one participant "anticipated that it would be appropriate" to cut interest rates in 2023.  That notion has some Democratic lawmakers concerned. On Monday, Democratic Sen. John Hickenlooper sent a letter to Fed Chair Jerome Powell urging him to consider halting interest rates increases given recent data that inflation is slowing in the country."Inflation is at its lowest level since October 2021, and economists widely believe inflation is already or will soon be under control," Hickenlooper wrote."Further interest rate hikes will only make it more expensive for small businesses to fund their operations. It will also put a drag on consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the economy," he continued. "At the same time, widespread concern of a recession continues to weigh on the economy because 20% expect to layoff employees."Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown are among other lawmakers who have in the past raised red flags with continued interest rate hikes due to their potential to trigger severe economic downturn. "The Fed has a 2% inflation target and needs to remember it has a dual mandate: price stability and maximum employment. Millions of American jobs are at risk with the Fed's extreme rate hikes," Warren wrote on Twitter earlier this month.Powell has yet to be swayed by those Democrats' concerns, and he said in December that "I don't think anyone knows whether we're going to have a recession or not." But he has expressed confidence that the US can still achieve a soft landing, in which the economy lowers inflation while avoiding a recession — and the Fed's actions in the coming months will determine whether an economic downturn is actually avoidable as pandemic recovery persists.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt4 hr. 19 min. ago

Key Events This Extremely Busy Week: "One For The Record Books"

Key Events This Extremely Busy Week: "One For The Record Books" As BofA rates strategist Ralf Preusser writes in his weekly preview, "this week is one for the record book. We have not seen these three major central bank decisions (Fed, BoE, ECB); and key data releases (US ISM, payrolls, and the employment cost index, as well as Euro Area inflation, GDP, and confidence data) in the same week before. Not to mention in combination with month-end flow, which given the incidence of supply in Europe should be sizeable in both EUR and GBP." DB's Jim Reid agrees writing that this week is set to be action packed for scheduled activity: "The main highlight is of course the FOMC conclusion (Wednesday), but the ECB and the BoE (both Thursday) will also likely hike. However, there's plenty of other events on the macro calendar, including the US jobs report on Friday, the flash CPI release from France and Germany (tomorrow), the Euro Area aggregate (Wednesday), regional and Euro Area Q4 GDP (tomorrow), global manufacturing (Wednesday) and services (Friday) PMIs/ISMs, China’s equivalents (tomorrow and Wednesday), US JOLTS (Wednesday), and US ECI (tomorrow)." If that’s not enough, 12% of the S&P 500 by market cap report within a few moments of each other on Thursday night after the bell with Apple, Alphabet and Amazon the highlights in a busy week for earnings. Overall, a whopping 35% of S&P earnings by sector are set to report this week. Going back to central banks, at the time of writing, the Fed is priced to deliver 26 bp, the ECB 50 bp, and the BoE 46 bp. BofA expects both the Fed and the ECB to deliver what is priced in, and sees a 25 bp hike from the BoE – marginally more likely than before after new lows in the PMIs – but risks are clearly skewed towards 50 bp. DB's Reid adds that with a downshift to a 25bps Fed hike already priced in for Wednesday, the meeting will be all about what the Fed tone implies for further meetings. DB still think there'll be two more 25bps hikes after this one partly as the Fed won’t want to see financial conditions ease too much as a result of being too dovish. Assuming central banks deliver on forwards, the key focus for the market will be the accompanying messages. The Fed’s message will likely be strongly influenced by critical data prints between now and Wednesday: PCE, ECI, ISM, JOLTS. And that message in turn risks looking dated already by the end of the week with ISM Services and NFP prints to come, also. Our economists remain hawkish relative to market pricing, expecting a terminal FF target range of 5.00-5.25% and the first cut not until Mar-2024, for which forwards price 100 bp more cuts than our colleagues expect. The last big and very important data point for the Fed before their meeting will be tomorrow’s Q4 ECI release (consensus 1.1% vs. +1.2% previously). Chair Powell is very focused on the relationship between core services ex-shelter inflation and wage pressures, with ECI near the top of their dashboard. JOLTS (Wednesday) is similarly important and may get a reference in the press conference. Staying with labor markets, although Friday's employment report will come after the FOMC, it will as ever be a lightening rod for the market. For the headline, consensus is at +185k vs. +223K last month, and 3.6% for unemployment (DB also at 3.6%, vs. 3.5% last month). All eyes also on average hourly earnings and importantly the work week length which was soft last month hinting at a small crack in the labor market. With regards to the ECB (Thursday), most economists expect another +50bps hike that would take the deposit rate to 2.50%. They also emphasize the importance of communicating expectations for the March meeting since core and underlying inflation remain sticky. The team sees further +50bps and +25bps hikes in March and May, respectively, and a terminal rate of 3.25%. For the BoE decision that same day, DB economists differ with BofA and see another +50bps (vs 25bps) hike that will take the Bank Rate to 4%. That will potentially be the last 'forceful' hike in this tightening cycle. Although their view is that services and wages data warrant such a move, the risks are tilted to the downside. They continue to call for a 4.5% terminal rate as inflation pressures remain resilient. European markets have lots of data to run through ahead of those decisions, with Eurozone Q4 GDP, inflation and labor market data all released early this week. Most of the key data will be out tomorrow, including Q4 GDP data for Germany, France, Italy and the Eurozone as well as CPI reports for Germany and France. Eurozone aggregates for the CPI and unemployment rate are released on Wednesday. DB economists expect Eurozone HICP to decline to 8.4% in January (vs 9.2% yoy in December) and continue falling to c.3.5% in Q4 this year. Core inflation is seen staying in a 5.0-5.5% range throughout first half of this year. Finally, let's not forget about earnings, although that's impossible with a whopping 107 S&P companies reporting, including Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, Ford, AMD, Amgen, Qualcomm, Starbucks and dozens more. Source: Earnings Whispers Courtesy of DB, here is a day-by-day calendar of events Monday January 30 Data: US January Dallas Fed manufacturing activity, UK January Lloyds business barometer, Japan December jobless rate, retail sales, industrial production, Italy December PPI, Eurozone January economic, industrial and services confidence Central banks: ECB's Villeroy speaks Earnings: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, NXP Semiconductors, Ryanair Other: IMF's world economic outlook update Tuesday January 31 Data: US Q4 employment cost index, January Conference Board consumer confidence, MNI Chicago PMI, Dallas Fed services activity, November FHFA house price index, China January PMIs, December industrial profits, UK December consumer credit, mortgage approvals, M4, Japan January consumer confidence index, December housing starts, Italy Q4 GDP, December unemployment rate, hourly wages, Germany Q4 GDP, January CPI, unemployment change, France Q4 GDP, January CPI, December PPI, consumer spending, Eurozone Q4 GDP, Canada November GDP Central banks: Euro Area bank lending survey Earnings: Samsung Electronics, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, McDonald's, UPS, Amgen, Caterpillar, AMD, Stryker, Mondelez, UBS, Moody's, GM, MSCI, Electronic Arts, Spotify, Snap Wednesday February 1 Data: US January ISM manufacturing index, total vehicle sales, ADP report, December JOLTS report job openings, construction spending, China Caixin manufacturing PMI, Japan January monetary base, Italy January CPI, manufacturing PMI, new car registrations, budget balance, Eurozone January CPI, December unemployment rate, Canada January manufacturing PMI Central banks: Fed decision Earnings: SK Hynix, Novo Nordisk, Meta, Orsted, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Novartis, T-Mobile, Altria, Boston Scientific, GSK, BBVA, Peloton Thursday February 2 Data: US Q4 unit labor costs, nonfarm productivity, December factory orders, initial jobless claims, Germany December trade balance, France December budget balance, Canada December building permits Central banks: ECB, BoE decision Earnings: Apple, Alphabet, Amazon.com, Sony, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Mizuho Financial, Eli Lilly, Merck, Roche, Shell, Bristol-Myers Squibb, ConocoPhillips, QUALCOMM, Honeywell, Starbucks, Gilead Sciences, Estee Lauder, JD.com, ICE, Banco Santander, Ford, Ferrari, Infineon Friday February 3 Data: US January jobs report, change in nonfarm payrolls, unemployment rate, labor force participation rate, average hourly earnings, ISM services, China Caixin services PMI, UK January official reserves changes, Italy January services PMI, France December manufacturing and industrial production, Eurozone December PPI Central banks: ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters Earnings: Sanofi, Regeneron, Intesa Sanpaolo * * * Finally, looking at just the US, Goldman writes that the key economic data releases this week are the employment cost index on Tuesday, JOLTS job openings and ISM manufacturing on Wednesday, and the employment situation report on Friday. The February FOMC meeting is on Wednesday. The post-meeting statement will be released at 2:00 PM ET, followed by Chair Powell’s press conference at 2:30 PM. Monday, January 30 10:30 AM Dallas Fed manufacturing index, January (consensus -15.5, last -18.8) Tuesday, January 31 08:30 AM Employment cost index, Q4 (GS +1.1%, consensus +1.1%, prior +1.2%): We estimate that the employment cost index (ECI) rose 1.1% in Q4 (qoq sa), which would boost the year-on-year rate by one tenth to 5.1%. Our forecast reflects sequential slowing in the private wages ex-incentives category following net softer readings of production and nonsupervisory average hourly earnings and the Atlanta Fed wage tracker. However, we expect another strong reading for the benefits category as firms expand health insurance and supplemental pay programs in order to attract and retain talent. 09:00 AM FHFA house price index, November (consensus -0.5%, last flat) 09:00 AM S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, November (GS -0.6%, consensus -0.7%, last -0.5%): We estimate that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index declined 0.6% in November, following a 0.5% decline in October. 09:45 AM Chicago PMI, January (GS 45.1, consensus 45.3, last 45.1): We estimate that the Chicago PMI was unchanged at 45.1 in January, reflecting weaker industrial activity in the US and a continued drag from the covid wave in China. 10:00 AM Conference Board consumer confidence, January (GS 109.5, consensus 109.0, last 108.3): We estimate that the Conference Board consumer confidence index increased to 109.5 in January. Wednesday, February 1 08:15 AM ADP employment report, January (GS +190k, consensus +170k, last +235k): We estimate a 190k rise in ADP payroll employment in January, reflecting strength in Big Data indicators. 09:45 AM S&P Global US manufacturing PMI, January final (consensus 46.8, last 46.8) 10:00 AM Construction spending, December (GS +0.2%, consensus flat, last +0.2%): We estimate construction spending increased 0.2% in December. 10:00 AM ISM manufacturing index, January (GS 48.0, consensus 48.0, last 48.4): We estimate that the ISM manufacturing index declined 0.4pt to 48.0 in January, reflecting weaker industrial activity in the US and a continued drag from the covid wave in China. Our GS manufacturing tracker declined 1.3pt to 47.0. 10:00 AM JOLTS job openings, December (GS 10,350k, consensus 10,300k, last 10,458k): We estimate that JOLTS job openings declined to 10,350k in December. 02:00 PM FOMC statement, January 31 – February 1 meeting: The key question for the February meeting is what the FOMC will signal about further hikes this year. As discussed on our FOMC preview, we expect two additional 25bp hikes in March and May, but fewer might be needed if weak business confidence depresses hiring and investment, or more might be needed if the economy reaccelerates as the impact of past policy tightening fades. Fed officials appear to also expect about two more hikes and will likely tone down the reference to “ongoing” hikes being appropriate in the FOMC statement. 05:00 PM Lightweight motor vehicle sales, January (GS 15.8mn, consensus 14.4mn, last 13.3mn) Thursday, February 2 08:30 AM Nonfarm productivity, Q4 preliminary (GS +2.5%, consensus +2.4%, last +0.8%); Unit labor costs, Q4 preliminary (GS +1.5%, consensus +1.5%, last +2.4%): We estimate nonfarm productivity growth of +2.5% in Q4 (qoq saar) and unit labor cost—compensation per hour divided by output per hour—growth of +1.5%. 08:30 AM Initial jobless claims, week ended January 28 (GS 190k, consensus 200k, last 186k); Continuing jobless claims, week ended January 21 (consensus 1,684k, last 1,675k): We estimate initial jobless claims increased to 190k in the week ended January 28. 10:00 AM Factory orders, December (GS +2.5%, consensus +2.4%, last -1.8%); Durable goods orders, December final (last +5.6%); Durable goods orders ex-transportation, December final (last -0.8%); Core capital goods orders, December final (last -0.2%); Core capital goods shipments, December final (last -0.4%): We estimate that factory orders increased 2.5% in December following a 1.8% decrease in November. Durable goods orders increased 5.6% in the December advance report, reflecting a $15.5bn increase in nondefense aircraft orders, while core capital goods orders decreased 0.2%. Friday, February 3 08:30 AM Nonfarm payroll employment, January (GS +300k, consensus +185k, last +223k); Private payroll employment, January (GS +250k, consensus +185k, last +220k); Average hourly earnings (mom), January (GS +0.4%, consensus +0.3%, last +0.3%); Average hourly earnings (yoy), January (GS +4.4%, consensus +4.3%, last +4.6%); Unemployment rate, January (GS 3.5%, consensus 3.6%, last 3.5%); Labor force participation rate, January (GS 62.3%, consensus 62.3%, last 62.3%): We estimate nonfarm payrolls rose by 300k in January (mom sa). Our well-above-consensus forecast reflects the elevated level of labor demand, the strong recent payroll trend, a 36k boost from the return of striking education workers, strength in Big Data employment indicators, and a boost from favorable seasonal factors that are spuriously fitting to last winter’s Omicron wave. Jobless claims remain extremely low, and while corporate layoff announcements have increased in recent months, only 15% of California layoff filings since December had been implemented by the January payroll period. We estimate the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5%, reflecting a rise in household employment offset by flat-to-up labor force participation rate (we estimate unchanged on a rounded basis at 62.3%). We estimate a 0.4% increase in average hourly earnings (mom sa), reflecting a 0.05pp boost from start-of-year wage hikes and neutral calendar effects. 09:45 AM S&P Global US services PMI, January final (consensus n.a., last 46.2) 10:00 AM ISM services index, January (GS 51.0, consensus 50.5, last 49.2): We estimate that the ISM services index rebounded by 1.8pt to 51.0 in January, reflecting the rise in our survey tracker (+1.0pt to 51.1). Source: DB, Goldman, BofA Tyler Durden Mon, 01/30/2023 - 09:35.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt5 hr. 51 min. ago

As Wall Street drops drug-testing policies, could microdosing be next?

Most big banks have scrapped drug testing of new employees altogether. But how far will they be willing to go? Welcome back! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC. Lots of good responses to my callout for guesses on what Sam Bankman-Fried's code word is for his attack dog. Two of my favorites: crypto (if it ain't broke, don't fix it) and conquistador (it was a crypto empire, after all). On tap, we've got stories on how comp varied among the big-bank CEOs, FTX has IOUs with some top Wall Street firms, and how to upgrade your Starbucks order.But first, say, man, you got a joint?If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.Universal1. Are you cool, man? If you have the unfortunate privilege of living in New York City, you've probably noticed weed shops popping up everywhere you look. I know of at least 4 within a two-block radius of my apartment (but who's counting). And while it's never been easier to get high, that doesn't mean your employer will be as chill with your new hobby. Many big banks, in particular, maintained drug-testing policies for new hires as recently as a few years ago. Insider canvassed seven big banks that have a significant presence in New York City to get an update on their drug-testing policies. The majority confirmed that they no longer test job applicants for cannabis, with only two, albeit one major player, declining to comment.The finance industry is no stranger to drug use, but it's often the type of thing done in the shadows (or bathrooms). That's in contrast to something like the tech industry, where executives often boast about their experimentation with psychedelics (although not every trip goes according to plan). To be clear, I'm not suggesting every banker should start dropping tabs of acid before pitch meetings. Wonder drugs can sometimes have dire consequences, as outlined in a recent Insider feature on the rise in ketamine use. But as the public appetite, and market, for drugs like psychedelics continues to rise, it'll be interesting to see how Wall Street responds. Click here to get the latest on the drug-testing policies at Wall Street's biggest banks.In other news:HBO2. So about that comp, Mr. Solomon... Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon saw his pay cut by roughly 30% following a brutal year at the bank. More on Solomon's salary adjustment and how it compares with other Wall Street leaders.3. Nobody wants to help with the FTX bankruptcy case. Sam Bankman-Fried, his family, and key insiders have all either ignored or declined requests for more info, according to a recent court filing. But something tells me the lawyers aren't too mad considering the amount of money they're charging an hour. 4. It's JPMangia now. The largest US bank by assets is interested in helping finance a media business for Serie A, the top soccer league in Italy, Reuters reports. 5. Turns out FTX might owe top Wall Street banks some money. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo were named in a list of possible creditors for the crypto exchange in newly released documents. More on that here.6. Jerome Powell's next move could define his legacy. All eyes are on the Fed's rate-hike decision on February 1. Here's more on why the move will have a massive impact on how the Fed chairman will be viewed for years to come.7. This is not your parents' Franklin Templeton. This story from the Financial Times dives into Franklin Templeton CEO and President Jenny Johnson's effort to modernize a firm long considered old fashioned. Click here to read more.8. The top people leading tech at JPMorgan. We mapped out seven key executives reporting to Lori Beer, the bank's global CIO. Meet the group responsible for managing a $14 billion tech budget.  9. Everything you need to know about the upcoming season of "Succession." Everyone's favorite nepo babies are back! The trailer for season four of the hit HBO show recently dropped. Here's what to expect in the newest go-around with the Roy family.10. The best and worst drinks at Starbucks, according to people who actually work there. We asked baristas to give us the skinny on what to order. Here are six drinks worth trying and four that you should never order.Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email ddefrancesco@insider.com, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt8 hr. 51 min. ago

Goldman: The Case For A Hard (Or Soft) Landing

Goldman: The Case For A Hard (Or Soft) Landing Optimism is increasing on Wall Street, with investors hoping for a “soft landing” in the economy. “David Kelly, the chief global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, is betting that inflation will continue to ease in 2023, helping the U.S. economy to narrowly escape a recession. Ed Yardeni, the longtime stock strategist and founder of his namesake research firm, is putting the odds of a soft landing at 60 percent based on strong economic data, resilient consumers, and signs of tumbling price pressures,” reported Bloomberg. As Lance Roberts recently explained, the hope is that despite the Federal Reserve hiking rates at the most aggressive pace since 1980, reducing its balance sheet via quantitative tightening, and inflation running at the highest levels since the 1970s, the economy will continue to power forward. Is this a possibility, or is the “soft landing” scenario another Fed myth? To answer that question, we need a definition of a “soft landing” scenario, economically speaking. According to a definition by Investopedia, “A soft landing, in economics, is a cyclical slowdown in economic growth that avoids a recession. A soft landing is the goal of a central bank when it seeks to raise interest rates just enough to stop an economy from overheating and experiencing high inflation without causing a severe downturn.” The term “soft landing” came to the forefront of Wall Street jargon during the tenure (1987–2006) of former Fed chair Alan Greenspan. He was widely credited with engineering a soft landing in 1994–95. The media has also pointed to the Federal Reserve engineering soft landings economically in both 1984 and 2018. The chart below shows the Fed rate-hiking cycle with soft landings notated by orange shading. I have also noted the events that preceded the “hard landings.” (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis / Refinitiv chart by RealInvestmentAdvice.com) There is another crucial point regarding the possibility of a soft landing. A recession, or “hard landing,” followed the last instances when inflation peaked above 5 percent. Those periods were 1948, 1951, 1970, 1974, 1980, 1990, and 2008. Currently, inflation is well above 5 percent throughout 2022. (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis / Refinitiv chart by RealInvestmentAdvice.com) Could this time be different? Absolutely, but there is a lot of history that suggests otherwise. Furthermore, while the technical definition of a soft landing is “no recession,” if we include crisis events caused by the Federal Reserve’s actions, the track record becomes worse. Bear in mind also that it is the labor market alone that is holding up the economic 'signals' as 'soft' survey and 'hard' industrial data is sliding significantly... ...and Leading Economic Indicators are screaming 'hard landing'... As noted above, there were three periods where the Federal Reserve hiked rates and achieved a soft landing, economically speaking. However, the reality was that those periods were not pain-free events for the financial markets. Goldman Sachs notes in its latest 'Top of Mind' report, there are plenty of 'experts' on either side of the 'soft' vs 'hard' landing question: Soft Landing "I do continue to believe that there's a path to a soft, or soft-ish, landing... And I think the path is pretty clear... We see inflation and, you know, the goods inflation get better, housing services inflation gets better, and the labor market softens but doesn't go into recession." - Jay Powell, Federal Reserve Chair (Brookings Institution interview, December 2022) "The probability of a soft landing has increased compared to where it was in the fall of 2022, where it was looking more questionable... And the reason I think that the prospects for a soft landing have increased is that the labor market has not weakened the way many had predicted... and growth levels rebounded from weakness.” - James Bullard, President, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (CFA Society speech, January 2023) "My own prediction is indeed for a softish landing: inflation does seem to be coming down, and while we might not completely avoid a recession, if we have one it will probably be mild.” - Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist (New York Times column, January 2023) "We might see, actually, the job market loosen up dramatically... but that GDP grows much faster than most people think and we have a chance, if the Fed pivots, to really avoid a recession and have a good year for profits." - Jeremy Siegel, Professor, Wharton (CNBC interview, December 2022) "All the signs are pointing to a higher, not a lower, probability of a soft landing... It may still not be more than 50-50. But 50-50 is looking better than it was a few months ago." - Alan Blinder, former Federal Reserve Vice Chair (Fortune interview, January 2023) "The deeper I look into the bowels of last week's job market data, the more I think we can skirt a recession..." - Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody's (Twitter, January 2023) Hard Landing "One has to be careful of false dawns... I would stick with my view that a recession this year is more likely than not.” - Larry Summers, former Secretary, US Treasury (Bloomberg interview, January 2023) "A recession is pretty likely just because of what the Fed has to do." - Bill Dudley, former President, NY Fed (Bloomberg interview, January 2023) "A recession does appear to be the most likely outcome at this time. While the last two monthly inflation reports did show a deceleration in the rate of price increases, it does not change the fact that prices are still increasing... Wage increases, and by extension employment, still need to soften further for a pullback in inflation to be anything more than transitory." - Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chair (Advisors Capital note, December 2022) "I don't want a recession. I hope we luck out with a soft landing but I just think a soft landing is a hard thing to achieve... It's easy to avoid a recession, its hard to avoid a recession while bringing inflation down." - Jason Furman, former Director, National Economic Council of the US (CNBC interview, January 2023) "I think either it's going to be a borderline or very mild recession, or it could be a deeper one... There has been a little bit of good news recently, but the markets maybe are overplaying it, wages have a long ways to go. Wages have not kept up with inflation." - Kenneth Rogoff, Professor, Harvard University (CNBC interview, January 2023) "[We] are predicting the recession to start mid-year and it's because we think the Fed is continuing to push on the QT accelerator and continuing to drive down inflation as well as labor costs... The more quantitative tightening that we see, the more we see the risk of a more prolonged and deeper recession." - Anne Walsh, CIO, Guggenheim Partners (CNBC interview, January 2023) The Case for a Hard Landing... Historically, a substantial decline in job openings - a key requirement to tame the current bout of inflation - has never occurred without a sharp rise in unemployment... ...and since 1949, every time the three-month moving average of the unemployment rate has risen by 0.5pp+ relative to its low during the previous 12m, a recession has ensued (Sahm Rule) Financial conditions tightened substantially over the course of 2022... ...and macro models suggest that monetary policy, which affects the economy through financial conditions, affects the level of GDP with a relatively long lag. Inflation has declined, but remains well above target... ...and while wage growth has moderated, it remains high The Case for a Soft Landing... We expect solid growth in real disposable income this year... We find that the lags from financial conditions on GDP growth are relatively short, suggesting that the US economy has already bore the brunt of the 2022 tightening in financial conditions... We expect core goods inflation to turn negative this year... The jobs-workers gap has so far shrunk mainly through a decline in job openings without a sharp rise in the unemployment rate, and we expect this pattern to continue... The best alternative measures of new lease rent growth have slowed, and show signs of further slowing ahead... Accordingly, we expect core PCE inflation to decline to 2.9% by YE23... With those thoughts in mind, Goldman opines on how will the market react to a 'soft' (no recession) landing or a hard (recession) landing... The avoidance of a US recession and an improving global growth picture would push global equities higher. US 10y Treasury yields would be expected to rise by around 40bp, and bund yields potentially by more. Shorter-dated rates would also potentially climb higher as the market backs away from the deep rate cuts it has begun to price. Non-US equities would be expected to outperform, both in local and USD terms. Commodities would be expected to rise significantly, particularly under the more generous assumptions about China pricing. The USD would broadly weaken but would strengthen against JPY and weaken less versus EUR, with cyclical currencies performing strongly. A “Goldilocks” version of this outcome in which rapid inflation declines lead to more Fed relief despite improving growth would mitigate upward yield moves, provide a further tailwind to global equities, and reinforce USD weakness. In the case of a recession, US equities would be expected to fall significantly, with cyclical equities underperforming, and credit spreads widening sharply. Non-US equity markets would decline too, but to a lesser degree. US yields would decline along the curve, with the 10-year Treasury yield falling by nearly 60bp and smaller predicted declines in bund yields. Front-end rates would likely fall by more, implying yield curve steepening.  In FX, cyclical and EM currencies would mostly weaken against the USD, but EUR, CHF, and, most significantly, JPY would be expected to strengthen against the USD. Commodities would generally weaken. A “hawkish recession” - in which inflation proved stickier - would be expected to lead to larger declines in risky assets, more limited declines in yields, and broader USD strength. So, with all that said, RealInvestmentAdvice.com's Lance Roberts notes that Powell’s recent statement during a speech at the Brookings Institution was full of warnings about the lag effect of monetary policy changes. It was also clear that there is no pivot in policy coming anytime soon. When that lag effect catches up with the Fed, a pivot in policy may not be as bullish as many investors currently hope. We doubt a soft landing is coming. Tyler Durden Mon, 01/30/2023 - 06:55.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt9 hr. 35 min. ago

When it comes to dating, earning less than $30,000 is a deal breaker, a new survey shows

Specifically, people are looking for their partners to make more than $29,878 annually, according to a survey of 1,008 married Americans. Americans are looking for their partners to make more than $29,878 annuallyWestend61/Getty Images Baby boomers list "too low a salary" as one of their top three dating deal breakers.  That number's $29,878 a year and lower, according to a Western & Southern Financial Group survey. Almost 30% of 1,008 people surveyed said they wished they had brought up salaries sooner. Dating just got a little more complicated for American singles — a new survey shows that making less than $30,000 a year is a deal breaker.Specifically, people expect their partners to make more than $29,878 annually, according to Western & Southern Financial Group survey of 1,008 married Americans, published last Wednesday. This is lower than the median annual salary in the US in 2021 — which is about $37,522 — according to the US Census Bureau data.Even though respondents said they were looking for a partner making at least that much, only Baby boomers listed "too low a salary" as one of their top three dating deal breakers. The top deal breaker for this generation was personal loans. Credit card debt and no investments vied for the third place.Millennials listed credit card debt as the generation's top deal breaker, while irresponsible spending and personal loans came in the second and third place, respectively.For Gen Z, the top deal breaker was a lack of financial literacy, while student loans and personal loans came in the second and third position, respectively.Across the board, almost 30% of those surveyed said they wished they had talked about salaries sooner — but paychecks weren't the be-all and end-all. While nearly 23% of those surveyed said "too low a salary" was a deal breaker — personal loans were the top turn off.  31.5% of respondents said it was a deal breaker, followed by credit card debt, lack of financial literacy, and irresponsible spending.Looking at the results of the survey, the Western & Southern Financial Group urged couples to talk about finances sooner rather than later."Before getting married, couples didn't talk much about finances. But afterward, conversations around investments, joint checking and retirement savings started picking up steam," the group said in the survey report.Although couples may feel they have lots of time to talk about finances after getting married, but "in reality, you might regret it if you wait too long to go over these things together," it added.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt11 hr. 19 min. ago