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Elon Musk Responds To Dogecoin "Squid Game" Meme, Backs Call For Nodes To Upgrade

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk responded to a meme featuring fictional players from Netflix Inc’s (NASDAQ: NFLX) “Squid Game” posted on Twitter by Dogecoin (CRYPTO: read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaOct 13th, 2021

The 24 best gifts for your in-laws, whether you"re meeting them for the first time or have known them for years

A thoughtful gift can go a long way in impressing your partner's family. You can't go wrong with any of these great gift ideas for your in-laws. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Gilaxia/Getty Images Gifts for in-laws can be tricky, whether it's your first meeting or you've known them for years. We rounded up 25 of the best gift ideas for your in-laws, from small thank yous to grander gestures. For more gift ideas, check out all of our gift guides here. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Depending on your relationship, their tastes, and a host of other factors, getting a thoughtful gift for in-laws can be pretty high pressure. Whether you're meeting them for the first time or have known them for years and just want to show some appreciation, the right gift can go a long way. You don't have to go overboard, and there are plenty of unique gift ideas for in-laws that show you care about them. To ease your mind, we curated some great gifts that are sure to please any mother-in-law and father-in-law. We picked gifts that cover a wide range of prices, tastes and functions. Whether it's a small gift like a lotus-shaped serving board or a bigger one like a tech gadget, what these all have in common is that your in-laws will love them.Here are 24 of the best gifts for in-laws: A salt block that'll up their grilling game Wayfair Himalayan Salt Plate, available at Wayfair, $7.53This is more than just a pretty pink plate, it's actually a block of Himalayan salt. Not only can it be used to serve food, but it can actually be used to cook food too. Cooking and serving with a salt slab will up the ante on plenty of their family-favorite meals. Amazon Audible Membership, available at Amazon, from $15The amazon audible is great for entertaining the in-law who loves absorbing new information wherever they go. They can listen to anything they want from thousands of audiobooks, podcasts, documentaries, sleep programs, and more. A coffee table book for book lovers Amazon "Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany," available at Amazon, $15.19If your in-laws love to read, they'll enjoy this book from illustrator Jane Mount, who is known for the colorful book spines of notable works. Inside, they'll find tours of the world's best bookstores, quizzes to test book knowledge, and samplings of famous fictional meals — all illustrated in Mount's fun and whimsical style. You can find more coffee table books for gifting here. A photo book of fond memories with your in-laws Artifact Uprising/Business Insider Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $17If you've spent holidays or vacations in the past with your in-laws, a sweet photo book to bring back good memories can be a great gift and way to show you appreciate family time with them. Artifact Uprising makes it easy with custom options at affordable prices. Or you can customize thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per card. You can also create a set of prints for $9. A new cookbook to add to their repertoire Amazon "Cook Like a Pro" by Ina Garten, available at Amazon, $17.21Ina Garten's latest release is a great addition to any home chef's cookbook collection. They'll learn plenty of new recipes and cooking techniques — and you might even get to taste the fruits of their labor one day.  A coffee subscription box for trying new beans Blue Bottle Coffee Whole Bean Subscription, available at Blue Bottle Coffee, from $22/monthIf they love coffee, they'll love getting the chance to try a bunch of new brews every month. Blue Bottle's beans are high quality, packaged at peak flavor, and come in a range of unique blends. A smart speaker to help them get started on a smart home Best Buy Google Nest Mini, available at Best Buy, $24.99If your in-laws are not really the techie types, start them out with this small smart speaker. Nest Mini is a subtle introduction to smart technology — plus they'll get a kick out of communicating with Google Assistant. Read our full review of the Google Nest Mini here. A charging hub so they don’t have to fight for the open outlet Amazon elago 3-in-1 Charging Hub, available at Amazon, from $24.99If they're always fighting for the last free outlet to charge their Apple products, or if they're both big Apple fans, this hub will charge all their devices at once. A fun way to show off their cork collection Uncommon Goods State Map Wine Cork Trap, available at Uncommon Goods, $35For the bunch with a bunch of state pride, give them a fun way to use their leftover wine corks and show off their favorite place. This birch-wood display makes a nice piece of wall art that's sure to start a conversation.  A modern vase to brighten up any space West Elm Barro Vases, available at West Elm, from $36These cute vases look great in any space and come in subtle but fun yellows and blues to add a pop of color.  If you want to go that extra mile, you could put some florals or dried plants in it too. A monthly sampling of some of the tastiest products from around the country Mouth Best of Mouth Subscription, available at Mouth, from $47.75/monthFoodies will love the chance to test small-batch, locally made products from around the country. Mouth sources and curates subscription boxes of their favorites, which they'll receive each month. An elevated serving board for your in-laws next dinner party Uncommon Goods Bamboo Lotus Serving Board, available at Uncommon Goods, $48If your in-laws like to do a lot of hosting, this lotus-shaped serving tray will elevate their next dinner party. It has built-in spots for dips, crackers, cheese, veggies, and more. A cozy gift for your mother-in-law to keep her feet warm Uncommon Goods Ballerina Herbal Warming Slippers, available at Uncommon Goods, $48Pamper your mother-in-law with these fuzzy slippers featuring removable insoles filled with aromatic lavender buds and thermally conductive flax seeds. In the winter she can heat them up in the microwave for extra warmth, and in the summer she can throw them in the fridge for a refreshing cool down. A leather catchall for their keys Mark & Graham Rustic Leather Catchall Tray, available at Mark & Graham, from $49Your in-laws will love this chic catchall tray for staying organized. Place on a desk, nightstand, or entryway table to hold keys, wallets, headphones, and more. You can even get it monogrammed for an extra personal touch. Choose from small, medium, large, or opt for a set of all three. A trio of unique condiments to spice up their meals Bloomingdale's Bushwick Kitchen Threes Knees Trio, available at Bushwick Kitchen, $49.99Adventurous eaters and hot sauce lovers will definitely enjoy using this trio of spicy condiments. A spicy honey, spicy maple, and gochujang sriracha give them all sorts of new ways to spice up their favorite foods.  Gifts under $100 Winc Winc Gift Card, available at Winc, from $60A wine subscription service makes their favorite pastime easier for them as they can handpick wine from around the world. They can spend time wine tasting at home with exclusive choices that match their unique palate. We also ranked it as the best wine subscription overall. A nice candle with a reusable vessel Lafco Lafco Library Candle, available at Bluemercury, $65A nice candle is always a welcomed gift. These ones are made to embody the scents of common places, including rooms in the house. The best part of these candles, though, is that they'll be able to reuse the hand-blown glass vessel once the candle has burned down. All they have to do is put it in the freezer when the wax runs down, pop it out with a knife, and run it through the dishwasher. Our editor uses hers for everything from cotton swabs to serving snacks. An e-reader for their love of books Amazon Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $94.99E-readers make flipping pages easier than ever. If your in-laws inhabit the library and bookstore pretty much all the time, get them this Kindle. It's water-resistant, can be read in the sunlight, and has a long battery life. Read our full review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite here.  An indoor garden for urban dwellers and herb lovers Amazon Click & Grow Smart Garden, available at Amazon, $99.95Anyone who spends time in the kitchen or garden knows how much fresh herbs can upgrade a dish. While not all climates or spaces can sustain a full herb garden, this little indoor gardening kit can, so they can top every last dish with their favorite fresh herbs. An Airbnb gift card for in-laws who love to travel Airbnb Instagram Airbnb Gift Card, available at Zola, from $100A tangible gift is great, but so is the gift of an unforgettable experience. For the jet-setting duo, bring them one step closer to their next vacation (as soon as vacations are safe again) with an Airbnb gift card so they can explore someplace new together. You can find more hotel and Airbnb gift card options here. A decanter and matching glasses with a personal touch Mark & Graham Etched Windowpane Decanter and Glasses, available at Mark and Graham, $139Show them you mean business with this sophisticated decanter and set of four double old fashioned glasses. You can even add a monogram if you're looking for a more personal touch. A digital picture frame for all their favorite memories Aura Aura Carver Digital Picture Frame, available at Aura, $179In-laws can be sentinmental people, so there's no better personal gift than a digital photo frame. They can view loads of family memories from a single device. As long as the frame is hooked up to WiFi, your in-laws can enjoy the photos you've carefully curated, all day long. You can hear about our experience with another Aura frame, here. A pizza maker for home cooks and pizza aficionados Williams Sonoma Breville Crispy Crust Pizza Maker, available at Williams Sonoma, $179.95Some might call this one life-changing. If they love cooking together, gift them a countertop pizza maker so they can enjoy homemade pies with the toppings of their choice in less than 10 minutes.  A gift for the father-in-law who's a major baseball fan Uncommon Goods Baseball Stadium Blueprints, available at Uncommon Goods, $185A little bit of history, a little bit of architecture, and a whole lot of team spirit — whether you support their favorite team or not, they'll appreciate this thoughtful print that'll quickly find a home on one of their walls. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 12th, 2021

Social-investing app Commonstock wants to be the "Bloomberg terminal of Main Street" and weed out the meme-stock trolls

The new social investing app is trying to differentiate itself from sites like Reddit, where users have helped drive the meme-stock frenzy. This is a photo of a cellphone with a brokerage app opened on its screen. SOPA Images/Getty Images SOPA Images/Getty Images Commonstock wants to be a social investing app for retail traders - and it's nothing like Reddit. The app, which launched in August 2020, allows users to link their brokerages to verify their bets. Commonstock's founder wants the app to become the "Bloomberg Terminal for main street." A new middleman between brokerage apps like Robinhood and retail traders is emerging.The app, called Commonstock, aims to attract retail traders looking to share trades and insights into the market - like Reddit, but less chaotic. Unlike Reddit investing threads like Wall Street Bets, where millions of traders have gathered in recent years, and particularly in 2021, there's no talk of taking stocks to the moon, hodling shares with diamond hands, or taking down the "hedgies" shorting a stock. Memes along with the less-than-mannerly exchanges between retail traders who call themselves "apes" are also few and far between. One of the few similarities between the two social platforms is that posts receive "upvotes." To stand apart from the massively popular, and sometimes controversial Wall Street Bets forum is exactly what Commonstock founder and Chief Executive Officer David McDonough set out to do. The idea behind the app, he said, is to "empower" retail traders with good financial and market insights to be "discovered through all the noise and the meme and troll accounts that are on other platforms.""It doesn't mean they don't make jokes or add some light sarcasm, but there's also an undercurrent of actual real knowledge," McDonough told Insider in an interview. With the app, retail traders can link their brokerage accounts to their Commonstock profile to show they "have skin in the game," he added.I wanted to see for myself, so I downloaded the app, created a profile, and opted to link my brokerage account. There were several options, among them Robinhood, Coinbase, Webull, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity Investments. Since I'd previously downloaded and opened a Robinhood account for a different review, I linked that. Once linked, my username got a blue Commonstock logo next to it - think Twitter's blue check mark - and my portfolio appeared on my profile, showing the single dollar I'd invested in a Vanguard ETF previously.To further back up a user's clout, profiles show the total assets in dollars of all their followers. I don't have followers yet, so the count was nil. Writing a post looks a lot like writing a tweet, except users are given up to 500 characters to work with and can click "link to a trade" to back up what they're saying.The app's homepage feed looks like a combination of Twitter and trading app Public.com. Screenshot from Commonstock.com. Screenshot from Commonstock.com Investors' posts had few upvotes, revealing the relative newness of the platform, which launched only about a year ago, just before meme stocks became a permanent fixture of the market landscape.McDonough didn't share the number of people using the platform so far, but he said the platform is aiming to reach tens to hundreds of millions globally over the long-term. He wants it eventually to be the "Bloomberg Terminal for main street.""That's really our goal is to be this central community on top of every brokerage and help create more engaged and more informed investors across every asset class," he said. As someone who regularly reads Reddit investing threads to find story ideas, I did miss the entertainment the meme culture there provides. However, I appreciated being able to weed through the fluff and the chaos of Reddit's most active investing threads and get into what people were investing in and why. The platform is still in the early stages of adoption, but once the app has more users, it seems like it could become a valuable tool for users wanting a more serious outlet to talk stocks with other retail investors. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 9th, 2021

Billionaire Mark Cuban says not many people like to pay in bitcoin because it"s an appreciable asset, unlike dogecoin

The "Shark Tank" star said people prefer paying in dogecoin because it's easy to spend and they don't want to hold it forever. 'Shark Tank' star Mark Cuban. Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images Mark Cuban said people don't use bitcoin as payment because they want it to soar in value. The "Shark Tank" star said they prefer dogecoin because it's easy to spend and people don't want to hold it forever. Paying a salary in bitcoin means the person would end up with less money, Cuban said. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. "Shark Tank" star Mark Cuban said few people use bitcoin to pay for Mavericks' game tickets and merchandise because they don't want to let go of an asset that will appreciate."It's a store of value, and they want it to go up in value," Cuban said Monday on Fox Business' "Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast."Instead, people prefer to hand over dogecoin because it doesn't have the same prospects for value growth, he said. The billionaire entrepreneur has claimed the altcoin's community is the strongest when it comes to being a medium of exchange.Cuban has previously said the Dallas Mavericks, his NBA team, is dogecoin's largest merchant."A lot of people pay in dogecoin. We sell thousands and thousands of dollars per month during the off-season," Cuban told host Neil Cavuto."Once the season starts, I expect that to happen per week in dogecoin. That's really because it's easy to spend, and it doesn't appreciate so much that people want to hold it forever."Despite being a strong advocate for the meme-inspired token, Cuban said in August that he owns only $500 worth of dogecoin. On Monday, he said that investment has increased to $1,500."I bought a little bit more for fun," he said. "I've never told anybody it's a great investment. I've often said that it's a great way to get to understand how cryptocurrency works, how to invest in the market."On Tuesday, bitcoin topped $50,000 for the first time since the start of September, and it is up 72% this year so far, according to data from CoinDesk. Dogecoin was last trading 10% higher on the day at 23 cents per coin, and it has risen 4,900% in 2021.Cuban was asked what he would do if any of the Mavericks players wanted to be paid partly or fully in bitcoin."It's no big deal. But it'll end up with that they will have less money," he responded."The reason for that is there's transaction costs for us to go from dollars to bitcoin, and then to transfer it to them. So it's actually easier for them just to get paid in cash and then buy bitcoin on their own."Read More: YouTuber Greg Chase has made hundreds of thousands of dollars investing in crypto. The 24-year-old shares the 2 criteria he looks for in coins before buying them - and lists 8 he plans to bet on when the slump ends.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 5th, 2021

Ken Griffin Says Chicago Violence Like "Afghanistan On A Good Day", Claims Crypto Is "Jihadist" Attack On The Dollar

Ken Griffin Says Chicago Violence Like "Afghanistan On A Good Day", Claims Crypto Is "Jihadist" Attack On The Dollar Move over Jamie Dimon. There's another American billionaire financier who appears to be quietly launching a post-business political career. Or at the very least, one could be forgiven for believing Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin's appearance Monday at the Chicago Club of Economics was one long stump speech. Griffin's hour-plus dialogue, which received extensive coverage from the financial press, comes at an interesting time. On the Internet, "conspiracy theorists" (according to Citadel) have continued to raise questions about possible collusion (or other wrongdoings) between Citadel and Robinhood (and one Robinhood exec in particular) before RH pulled the plug on January's meme stonk mania. Meanwhile, over at the SEC, Gary Gensler has said he's looking into regulating - or possibly eliminating or greatly restricting - the practice of 'Payment for Order Flow", whereby electronic retail brokerages like Robinhood sell their customers' orders to Citadel and other market makers (but primarily Citadel). Griffin spoke with Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker about a seemingly endless list of topics, offering imminently quotable lines and thoughtful takes on everything from crypto, to political corruption in Illinois and Chicago's slow decline into anarchy, President Biden's policies, the prospect of another Trump presidency, PFOF, crypto, and of course COVID. The dialogue started with a question on vaccination rates and meandered on from there. Here's a breakdown of what Griffin said by topic. COVID When it comes to containing COVID, Griffin believes that the US's battle against the virus was lost right at the beginning. "The country lost this battle in the first attack, when we weren’t willing to do what it took to shut down America, to truly contain Covid-19. And then to get back out of the seat, and we’ve all just paid a catastrophic price as a result." When it comes to vaccination rates, Griffin believes they have plateaued at an "unacceptably low level". The Fed According to Griffing "the Fed's in a really tough box." The Fed is in "no man's land", Griffin says, and as far as being its chairman, "it is a job I would not be so grateful to have". He also noted that inflationary pressures in the US are "really unsettling." What to do? "If i were Chairman Powell, i stay the course that I'm on as unnerving as that is. to see inflation running this hot is really unsettling." It was at this point that Griffin said something really interesting about the Fed and it's credibility. It's not often that you hear the people who actually run our financial system speak frankly about how it really works. But Griffin essentially said 'the quiet part out loud' when the discussion turned to the Fed's credibility, which we have argued time and again is already in tatters - especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. "And let's be clear right now we don't have price stability. Inflation is at 5% is the highest number people here have seen in their lifetimes," Griffin said. He added that the Fed's position that these pressures are "transitory" is really just "a big bet". But regardless of the course of inflation in the future, Griffin said that the more pressing issue is protecting the Fed from being tainted by the same ugly politics that afflict Capitol Hill. The whole point of a central bank is it's supposed to be independent from politics. Whether this is actually true or not, it's the appearance of neutrality that's necessary to maintain global confidence in the dollar. "We need to maintain the belief in the separation of the Fed from the halls of Washington for the sake of a strong dollar. If you're part of the financial community...you need to push back on that". Fiscal Stimulus Griffin slammed the post-COVID stimulus for being to expansive, and claimed all those benefits are still "disincentivizing lower-wage workers". China The first question Griffin was asked about China was whether he still opposes a "decoupling" between China and the US. According to Griffin, this "decoupling" is already happening. "I think in important ways we have already decoupled." But on a day where Biden's Trade Rep Katherine Tai essentially plagiarized President Trump's tough-on-China economic policies during a major speech, Griffin insisted that there will be drawbacks to what the US is doing - including limiting access to semiconductors and software, which has further motivated Beijing to develop their own. "By restricting Chinese access to semiconductors and American software we have pushed them into a national campaign to eliminate their dependence on the west...imagine a world where there are two totally independent software stacks." When it comes to the technology arms race, Griffin warned, the US is bound to lose. "They graduate about twice as many graduates as we do half of them have stem degrees. They're producing about 5x more talented engineers per annum. The belief that we will be technologically dominant...is naive." Once China surpasses American tech, "not only will they use it in the biggest market in the world which is their own market...but they'll push it to all their trading partners, the Brazils of the world..." Ultimately, "I can imagine a world where we have been divided...and I don't like thinking about that outcome. I can picture a world in 30 to 40 years where, in some sense we have divided the world up between east to west technologically,” Griffin said. TSMC Could Beijing's lust for better semis technology accelerate their takeover of Taiwan? The tiny rogue territory has somehow emerged as a global leader in chip technology and production thanks to TSMC. "They don't have the entire solution, they still buy equipment from around the world, but talk about a powerhouse...and going back to my point earlier, China views Taiwan as part of China, there's no way they will be technologically important against American in the next 20 years. They will get there eventually." The Rust Belt That's not to say there haven't been drawbacks to the US engagement with Beijing, and according to Griffin is the fact that China's advances in manufacturing and the state support allowing their companies to be more competitive helped contribute to the hollowing out of thousands of American factory towns. In retrospect, this was a necessary sacrifice to entice the Chinese to embrace first capitalism, and then democracy. But increasingly it looks like the CCP has no intention to ever loosen its monopoly on power, meaning all those sacrifices were for nothing. "To have the most populous country in the world becoming increasingly capitalistic our belief was that them becoming capitalist would inevitably lead to them becoming a democracy. when we wrote the rules of rht road for them, we did it with the objective of making that happen." "The challenge that we underestimated is how devastating this was going to be for small towns that had its only factory shut down. It wasn't how it was going to impact NYC, Chicago or LA but how it was going to impact a small town in upstate New York. That was a terrible policy miscalculation not done in bad faith...but we didn't have the trainin or relocation strategies to help people get back on their feet." Competition Griffin believes America is facing an identity crisis, and needs to get back to its "core values." And a big part of that is embracing "competition". Enough of this 'everybody gets a trophy' bs. "We need to get back to our core values if we're going to win. What does that mean? Children need to be taught the virtue of earned success. It can't be that every time a race is won, there's two gold medal winners. and earned success is so important to the psychological success of our country. When people know they've done a job well..." there's a sense of pride. The reason why 1 in 10 Americans is severely depressed is that "when life revolves around your instagram and facebook account not how well you do on the sports field, how well you do in class...you've lost your way in life." "We need to teach our children math and science and how to write and how to compete and how to enjoy success....because we need these children to lead this country in 20 years." Griffin also complained that the scientists who developed the COVID jabs weren't properly venereated. "Why haven't we brought the scientists from Pfizer and Moderna to the White House to recognize them for the accomplishment of developing a vaccine in a year. These people are the heroes of our lifetime..." "There are no people who are children are looking up to to say 'I wanna be like her'" Griffin said. Teachers Unions One of the biggest causes of the decay in the quality of public education, according to Griffin, are the teachers unions. He relayed how former Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel went to bat for the schools against the unions...and lost. That's why Chicago has one of the shortest school years, and shortest school days, in the country. "Our mayor went to bat to change that and got batted over the head by the teacher's union," he said. Biden Agenda Moving on to the subject of Biden's economic agenda, which is presently the subject of a Democratic civil war in Washington, Griffin said there was plenty in the bill he liked, but also plenty he opposed, starting with the price tag. "Let's just say thank God for Sen. Manchin," Griffin said. Debt Ceiling Griffin believes the responsibility for raising the debt ceiling lies with the Dems...whether or not that means falling back on reconciliation to bypass a GOP filibuster, or not. "We've played this game of chicken before...I hope somebody blinks before they go over the cliff. I do believe the Democrats have a responsibility....to push this forward." Payment for Order Flow Finally, the big one. Are hidden costs imposed by Citadel and other market makers via payment for order flow (PFOF) helping to line Griffin's pockets at the expense of retail traders? Of course not, he insisted. In fact, if you took away PFOF, Citadel would be just fine..."from the 100,000 feet view" at least, Griffin said. Even though the practice has been a major driver of profits at his firm, Griffin tried to frame PFOF as a nuisance cost, suggesting he would rather not have to "pay" for order flow at all. "Let us hope that we maintain the status quo. brokerage firms have a duty to secure the best price for their customers. That's the premise on which we compete that's the premise on which we win." Ultimately, losing PFoF would be "a huge loss" for traders who enjoy the lowest commissions in history right now (nothing), Griffin claimed, while adding that "let us hope that in Washington, they maintain the status quo." Ken Griffin discusses PFOF (1/2)#BanPFOF #KenGriffinLied pic.twitter.com/nprGSAzT1M — Antonio Martinez (@AntonioTheMexi) October 4, 2021 Ken Griffin discusses PFOF (2/2)#BanPFOF #KenGriffinLied pic.twitter.com/PwnVVNuex5 — Antonio Martinez (@AntonioTheMexi) October 4, 2021 Whatever the SEC decides regarding PFoF, "all i want to know are the rules of the road...If i have to drive on the left I'll drive on the left...just tell me to drive." Crypto While Griffin is certainly amused by crypto, he wishes all this energy could be channeled toward something that doesn't also inadvertently undermine the American financial system. Instead, Griffin sees crypto-mania as a "jihadist call"... Griffin Sees Crypto-Mania as ‘Jihadist Call’ Against the Dollar A mania which your Robinhood subsidiary is eagerly fanning... — zerohedge (@zerohedge) October 4, 2021 ...to attack and undermine the dollar. "I wish all this passion directed at crypto was redirected at making American stronger," adding that backing bitcoin over the dollar was a "Jihadist call". He also made a crack about how terribly energy inefficient bitcoin is, repeating a longstanding criticism. While he certainly has ethical objections to crypto, Griffin says he would absolutely let Citadel to get involved in the market if it's ever regulated. "If it were regulated, I would trade it because..it would be good to have a Tier 1 firm making prices." Chicago Griffin saved most of his anger for Gov. Pritzker and other Illinois elected officials. He started with a story of a conversation between him and Pritzker where Griffin claimed the governor refused to send in the National Guard to quell violence in the city because of the political optics. Since the last time Griffin spoke at the Economic Club in 2013, the City has gotten even worse. "Since the last time I spoke in 2013, 25,000 of my fellow Chicagoans have been shot. It is a disgrace that our governor will not insert himself into the challenge of addressing crime in our city. It won't look good to have men and women on corners on Michigan Avenue with assault weapons...well, if it would save the life of one child, I don't care. We need to try and start to take the state back inch by inch from people who put their politics first and the people second." On the subject of police, Griffin said: "We need our police officers to know that they are respected and welcomed as Americans." In fact, Griffin says Citadel has already started to dial back its presence in Chicago because of the safety issue before sharing an amusing crack about Chicago being more dangerous than Afghanistan. "We aren't as much in Chicago. It's becoming ever more difficult to have this as our global headquarters, a city that has so much violence. I mean Chicago is like Afghanistan on a good day. They tried to car jack the security detail that sits outside my apartment. It just shows you how deep crime runs in this city. There is nowhere you can feel safe walking home at 2130 at night. And it's really hard to recruit people to Chicago. When they read the headlines, theey know the facts. 20 years ago, this was a great place to raise a family...I could say that and be genuine...I can't give that speech today." As for New York City, Griffin warned that many of the same things he has seen in Chicago are starting to take place in New York City. Griffin added that Citadel's next big expansion will be office space in Miami, and that the company's time of remaining headquarter in Chicago will be measured in "years not decades". The Sun Belt Moving on from the Chicago discussion, Griffin believes that across the US, coastal blue states with high taxes will start to lose their economic edge to the Sun Belt, which has more business-friendly regulations. "Conditions are Better across the sun belt states, less regulation less taxes a workforce that's generally of the ethos of 'I'm here to earn it'. Northern cities still have a considerable advantage...those schools anchor our great northern cities. the south doesn't have that yet writ large. But as universities in the south continue to get better, you're going to see the balance of power shift from the north to the south as the ease of doing business in the south trumps the ease of hiring top employees in the north." Trump Finally, the big one. When it comes to President Trump, Griffin admits his economic policies were "pretty damn good." However, when asked about the prospect of another campaign in 2020, he said that "it's time for America to move on. The 4 years under president trump were so divisive it was not constructive for the country." He also said he was "appalled" by Trump's willingness to play identity politics. * * * Griffin's speech before the Chicago Club  the first major public appearance by Griffin since the "GameStopped" hearings back in Feb. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/04/2021 - 17:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 4th, 2021

Dogecoin, Merck"s antiviral pill, and Nicole Kidman: Here"s what AMC CEO and meme-stock icon Adam Aron has been talking about

The AMC chief executive caught the attention of Tesla's Elon Musk and billionaire investor Mark Cuban with his dogecoin poll. AMC CEO Adam Aron. Amy Sussman/FilmMagic Amy Sussman/FilmMagic AMC CEO Adam Aron is well known for communicating directly with investors and fans of the meme stock. Recently, he's hyped up dogecoin, new commercials from Nicole Kidman, and Merck's COVID-19 pill. "The beneficial implications for @AMCTheatres of this new anti-COVID pill are mind-blowing," Aron tweeted. See more stories on Insider's business page. Adam Aron has been ramping up his status as the meme-stock generation's leader on Twitter lately. The AMC chief executive officer, who has garnered a massive following from retail traders, has been hyping up Dogecoin, Nicole Kidman, and Merck's antiviral pill in various tweets. He's even caught the attention of Tesla's Elon Musk and investor Mark Cuban. In a Sept. 21 tweet, the AMC chief posted a Twitter poll asking if AMC should start accepting dogecoin along with other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum by the end of 2021. The result? "Yes, for sure do it."Tesla CEO Elon Musk liked the poll, and billionaire investor Mark Cuban responded that Bitpay can accept dogecoin. "I am so delighted by the interest in #AMCandDogecoin!" Aron said in one tweet.In another, he praised Musk. "I never thought I would see this day. @ElonMusk liked my Dogecoin Twitter Poll tweet. If you happen to see this tweet too Mr. Musk, congratulations on Tesla and SpaceX." Adam Aron's tweet on Sept. 24 Twitter Then on Friday, Aron cheered Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics seeking the US Food and Drug Administration's approval for its antiviral COVID-19 pill that halved the risk of death or hospitalization from the coronavirus. "Wow, wow, wow… wow, wow. MOLNUPIRAVIR. The beneficial implications for @AMCTheatres of this new anti-COVID pill are mind-blowing and breathtaking … Oh, the miracles of modern medicine. Thank you, @Merck! MOLNUPIRAVIR," Aron wrote on Twitter on Oct. 1. AMC was hit particularly hard by COVID-19, as the pandemic caused movie theaters to shutter and diverted new film releases to streaming services. In an effort to get people back to the movies, AMC partnered with actress Nicole Kidman to make three 30-second commercials. Aron was excited."We had a world class team on this effort. Oscar nominee Billy Ray wrote them. Oscar nominee Jeff Cronenweth filmed them. Oscar winner Nicole Kidman starred in them," he said in a September 28 tweet.AMC has been a stalwart of the meme stock movement this year, and Aron has leaned into his role as an icon among the Wall Street Bets crowd. For the millions of individual investors gathering on social media who call each other "apes," Aron is the "Silverback."He's reached out to them on YouTube and Twitter, and even offered investor perks like free popcorn. He also has pounced on investor interest and raised money through multiple equity offerings this year to help shore up the balance sheet. The stock has had an eye-popping run in 2021, rising over 1,600% and leading some analysts to say the price is detached from reality. On October 1, as #AMCtothemoon trended on Twitter, Aron reached out to his investors directly. "Sincerely and humbly, it is the honor and privilege of a lifetime to work for so many of you. YOU, who are the owners of @AMCTheatres."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 2nd, 2021

Here are 6 altcoins experts are watching as the 4th quarter kicks off

Boost, Crypto.com CRO, Avalanche, and Polygon are among the altcoins that crypto market experts are watching as investors head into year-end. Altcoins. Jack Taylor/Getty Image As investors head into the fourth quarter, altcoins to watch include Avalanche, Boost and Polygon. Investors will sharpen their focus on real-world applications offered by blockchain networks. The overall cryptocurrency market cap is again approaching the $2 trillion mark. See more stories on Insider's business page. Growth around non-fungible tokens and decentralized finance helped prices for some altcoins soar during the third quarter, and investors are looking for the next breakout as the fourth quarter begins.The global cryptocurrency market is again approaching the $2 trillion mark, as prices for Cardano's ada, solana and other altcoins have taken off, with cardano ada now the third most-traded crypto.Now in the months ahead, investors will sharpen their focus on the benefits and shortfalls emerging from recent speed and efficiency upgrades on the blockchain networks of key altcoins, Ed Moya, senior currency analyst at Oanda, told Insider. "Everyone has been focused on which altcoins are going to address that scalability concern that you have with ethereum and bitcoin," he said. "People have to understand which businesses are going to be the leaders in NFTs or smart contracts," and other operations, he said. "I think that's where the market is and education takes some time. The industry is ripe for consolidation." Here are six altcoins (in alphabetical order) experts tell Insider they'll be watching during the fourth quarter and beyond:1) Avalanche (AVAX) Market Capitalization: $14.5 billionYear-to-date performance: Up 1954% at $65.94The blockchain developed by Ava Labs is a smart contracts platform for decentralized applications and its AVAX token began trading on Coinbase Pro this past week.Avalanche "is way faster than ethereum and it wants to be even faster, which is great because I think that's very important when it comes to finance and DeFi projects and applications," Tally Greenberg, head of business development at Allnodes, told Insider."It's a promising technology that basically does more for less," she said, adding that it uses a proof-of-stake system that's more energy-efficient than a proof-of-work one based on mining, she said. Steve Ehrlich, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency-asset broker Voyager Digital, told Insider he sees Avalanche as a viable alternative to ethereum. "As soon as they start adding some projects and art on their NFT network, you'll start to see a lot more consumers buying and selling NFTs," on Avalanche, he said.Ehrlich said Avalanche, as well as solana and cardano, are cheaper alternatives to ethereum, which has high fees for conducting transactions.2)Boost Coin Fully diluted market capitalization: $53 million Year-to-date performance: Up 293% to $0.0505Launched in August, Boost Coin fuels the Boost ecosystem that's centered on decentralized finance tools. Boost Swap, a decentralized exchange, is the first tool, with the company behind it saying it's similar to crypto exchanges Uniswap, SushiSwap, and PancakeSwap.Decentralized exchanges, or DEXs, offer a peer-to-peer platform where parties use smart contracts to execute their trades and don't rely on intermediaries such as clearing houses."There's a lot of value in the exchanges market," Dr. Don Basile, CEO of Monsoon Blockchain, told Insider, highlighted in part by this year's trading debut of Coinbase, now a $48 billion centralized crypto exchange.Boost's approach to connect buyers and sellers without a centralized entity is a "potentially disruptive idea," he said.Boost can be acquired by exchanging ethereum for it using Uniswap or Boost Swap. But Basile said it's too early to say whether its price is undervalued or overvalued as the coin is just a few weeks old.Meanwhile, Basile is also the founder of Bitcoin Latinum, which is expected to begin trading around the week of October 21. The energy-efficient cryptocurrency is aimed at delivering faster transaction speeds and lower costs to high-growth markets such as media and gaming.3) Cardano adaMarket Capitalization: $69.3 billionYear-to-date performance: Up 1092% at $2.16Cardano's profile and that of its ada token, have boomed in recent months. The network last month ran its alonzo upgrade that brought smart contract capability to its network, a move that could bolster its competitiveness with ethereum."A lot of our customers hold a lot of cardano on our platform so we see quite an increase of people being interested," in the network, Ehrlich said. And after recently being introduced to "some pretty cool" art built on Cardano, he thinks the network will make some headway soon in the NFT space. Moya sees a lot of investors mixed on Cardano ada after its price climbed to $3. But he added, "There are still a lot of institutional players that are eyeing it as interesting altcoin to hold."4) Crypto.com Coin CRO Market Capitalization: $4.2 billion Year-to-date performance: Up 183% at $0.16531Crypto.com is a cryptocurrency exchange and consumer financial services company whose Coin serves as the token for Crypto.com's Chain, a decentralized open-source blockchain launched in March. CRO is used for staking, payments, and settlements, said Greenberg, who thinks CRO is undervalued."It's in use on a daily basis," in part through Crypto.com's prepaid Visa card and Crypto.com, she said, adding that its Chain network has a sustainability goal of becoming carbon negative by next year. 5) DogecoinMarket Capitalization: $27.3 billionYear-to-date performance: Up 4307% at $0.2064Oanda's Moya put the hugely popular meme coin on his watch list to see if it eventually and crashes, which he thinks would actually be a positive sign."There are too many coins that don't have the financing, that don't have the infrastructure in place to be a legitimate investment," he said. "It's hard to go from a meme coin to a legitimate coin." Tesla boss Elon Musk in August backed billionaire investor Mark Cuban's claim that dogecoin is the strongest cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange. Cuban's NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks, accepts dogecoin as a payment vehicle. 6) Polygon (previously MATIC)Market Capitalization: $7.6 billionYear-to-date performance: Down 27% at $1.236Polygon is designed to scale ethereum chains and develop the blockchain's infrastructure. It's caught the eye of Mark Cuban who earlier this year added the platform to his investment portfolio.Polygon, originally called Matic, created the Matic token that's used on transactions on the network. Matic is also among the roughly 40 altcoins on the watch list for Allnodes' Greenberg. She sees Matic as undervalued as it has low network fees and just enough volatility to benefit trading."For those who are looking for a less aggressive investment strategy, there's a staking opportunity. So it's a well-round blockchain and cryptocurrency."Polygon uses the proof-of-stake system of securing a cryptocurrency's network under which users put forward or "stake" some of their coins to gain the right to verify transactions and, in exchange, earn more coins. Greenberg said users recently could make an annual return of 13.65% on their investments, "which is huge."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 2nd, 2021

The Bull$hit

The Bull$hit Authored by Walter Kirn via Unbound substack (h/t Glenn Greenwald) I used to like to read the news, the middlebrow mass-market weekly news. I also used to like to write it.  Some. This was back in the 90s at Time magazine, a publication which still exists in name but whose original, defining mission – grounding the American mind in a moderate, shared reality – is dead. The whole concept seems strange now – the American mind; a cloud of ideas, opinions, and sentiments floating somewhere above the Mississippi – but at Time, in the 90s, before the internet made its approach seem sluggish and slashed its readership, it was still possible to regard our product as unifying and, in its way, definitive. Sometimes I covered tangible events such as drug epidemics and forest fires, but much of the time I stitched together interviews conducted by local stringers and reporters into feature stories on such topics as “The New Science of Happiness” and “Children of Divorce.” It was an article of faith at Time that the findings of social scientists, simplified for popular consumption, ranked with hard news as a source of public enlightenment. Until business began to suffer, requiring cut-backs, the magazine kept an in-house research library, the better for checking even the smallest facts. The burden of accuracy lay heavy on Time. Its mighty name required nothing less. Things are different now. Every morning, there it is, waiting for me on my phone. The bullshit. It resembles, in its use of phrases such as “knowledgeable sources” and “experts differ,” what I used to think of as the news, but it isn’t the news and it hasn’t been for ages. It consists of its decomposed remains in a news-shaped coffin. It does impart information, strictly speaking, but not always information about our world. Or not good information, because it’s so often wrong, particularly on matters of great import and invariably to the advantage of the same interests, which suggests it should be presumed wrong as a rule. The information it imparts, if one bothers to sift through it, is information about itself; about the purposes, beliefs, and loyalties of those who produce it: the informing class. They’re not the ruling class — not quite — but often they’re married to it or share therapists or drink with it at Yale Bowl football games. They’re cozy, these tribal cousins. They cavort. They always have. What has changed is that the press used to maintain certain boundaries in the relationship, observing the incest taboo. It kept its pants zipped, at least in public. It didn’t hire ex-CIA directors, top FBI men, NSA brass, or other past and future sources to sit beside its anchors at spot-lit news-desks that blocked our view of their lower extremities. But it gave in.  I’m stipulating these points, I’m not debating them, so log off if you find them too extreme. Go read more bullshit. Immerse yourself in news of Russian plots to counterfeit presidential children’s laptops, viruses spawned in Wuhan market stalls, vast secret legions of domestic terrorists flashing one another the OK sign in shadowy parking lots behind Bass Pro Shops experiencing “temporary” inflation, and patriotic tech conglomerates purging the commons of untruths. Comfort yourself with the thoughts that the same fortunes engaged in the building of amusement parks, the production and distribution of TV comedies, and the provision of computing services to the defense and intelligence establishments, have allied to protect your family’s health, advance the causes of equity and justice, and safeguard our democratic institutions. Dismiss as cynical the notion that you, the reader, are not their client but their product. Your data for their bullshit, that’s the deal. And Build Back Better. That’s the sermon. Pious bullshit, unceasing. But what to do?  One option, more popular each day, is to retreat to the anti-bullshit universe of alternative media sources. These are the podcasts, videos, Twitter threads, newsletters, and Facebook pages that regularly vanish from circulation for violating “community standards” and other ineffable codes of conduct, oft-times after failing “fact-checks” by the friendly people at Good Thoughtkeeping. Some of these rebel outfits are engrossing, some dull and churchy, many quite bizarre, and some, despite small staffs and tiny budgets, remarkably good and getting better. Some are Substack pages owned by writers who severed ties with established publications, drawing charges of being Russian agents, crypto-anarchists, or free-speech “absolutists.” I won’t bother to give a list. Readers who hunt and choose among such sources have their own lists, which they fiercely curate, loudly pushing their favorites on the world while accusing those they disagree with of being “controlled opposition” and running cons. It resembles the old punk-rock scene, but after it was discovered, not early on. Some of the upstart outlets earn serious money, garnering higher ratings and more page-views than the regime-approved brands Apple features on the News screen of my iPhone. (A screen I’ve disabled and don’t miss.) This wilderness of “contrarianism” – a designation easily earned these days; you merely have to mention Orwell or reside in Florida -- requires a measure of vigilance and effort from those who seek the truth there. As opposed to those who go there to relax, because they prefer alt-bullshit to mainstream bullshit. They can just kick their shoes off and wade in.  One reason to stick with the premium name-brand bullshit is to deconstruct it. What lines are the propagandists pushing now? Where will they lead? How blatant will they get? Why are the authors so weirdly fearless? The other day when Cuba erupted in protests, numerous stories explained the riots, confidently, instantly, as demands for COVID vaccines. The accompanying photos didn’t support this claim; they featured ragged American flags and homemade signs demanding freedom. One wire-service headline used the protests to raise concerns about viral spread in crowds. A puzzling message. It wasn’t meant for the defiant Cubans, who weren’t at liberty to read it and whose anger at their rulers clearly outweighed their concerns about contagion. It had to be aimed at English-speaking Americans. But to what end? American protests of the previous summer hadn’t raised such cautions from the press. To the contrary. Our riots, if one could call them that (and one could not at many companies) were framed as transcendent cries for justice whose risks to public health were negligible, almost as though moral passion enhances immunity. And maybe it does, but why not in Cuba, too? To me, the headline only made sense in the context of the offensive against domestic “vaccine hesitancy” and its alleged fascist-bumpkin leaders. The Reuters writer had seen in Cuba’s revolt a chance to glancingly editorialize against rebelliousness of another type. The type its staff abhors day in, day out, no matter what’s happening in Cuba, or, for that matter, in America. The bullshit is consistent in this way, reducing stories of every kind into nitrogen-rich soil for the same views. These views feel unusually ferocious now, reflecting the convictions of those on high that they should determine the fates of those on low with minimal backtalk and no laughter. Because science. Because Putin. Democracy. Because we’re inside your phones and know your names.  Engaging with the bullshit news-stream for defensive, deconstructive reasons has been my personal program for a while now. The game can be intellectually amusing and it confers a sense of brave revulsion. I was conditioned to seek this feeling in school, during units on “current events,” when my classmates and I were invited to deplore poverty, pollution, and prejudice. Behind these exercises was the notion that our little lives were isolated, vulnerable affairs loomed over by colossal, distant “trends.” Like bad weather, these trends might sneak up on us and harm us, especially if we ignored them, but unlike bad weather, which came from nature, these grim enormities were human-made and therefore partly our responsibility. This idea promoted magical thinking. Take our sixth-grade war on “smog,” which worsened children’s asthma and killed trees. Smog didn’t bother our Minnesota town but it smothered Los Angeles and other cities, as we learned from mock-newspapers and film strips. We cast spells against it from our desks by drawing pictures of smoky traffic jams. Our teacher called this “showing awareness” and implied it helped. I must have bought this. It explains why I thought being conscious of the bullshit actually accomplished something. The idea of ignoring it entirely raised superstitious fears in me. Unnoticed bad trends might whack me from behind. Also, dropping out seemed immature. Well-adjusted grown-up read the news, if only to curse the news. They read it because other grown-ups read it, creating a common model of the world that might be bullshit but forms a frame of reference for public debate. Then I considered the state of public debate. Judging by Twitter, it wasn’t high. One problem was no matter how well you argued, no matter how strong your evidence and logic, your foes almost never recognized they’d lost. No judges to arbitrate the matches, no rules to guide them, and no trusted sources of facts to balance them. Mostly you just called bullshit on each other, and sometimes you wondered if both of you were right.  Such arguments were sink holes. They never advanced past their own premises.  At times in my life, by happenstance, I’ve dwelled in oblivion, thoroughly news-free. In college in the early 80s I went four years without turning on TV or opening a paper. I learned that President Reagan had been shot from a pilot’s announcement on a plane, then gathered more details when I landed, from a stranger in a cowboy hat. My sense of the wider world derived from classes, books, conversations, works of art, and glimpses of newsstands and magazine racks. I don’t remember feeling deprived. Then, last year, at the height of the pandemic, when everyone else was merging with their screens, I turned my back on the bullshit for two whole months. My father was dying of ALS in his retirement cabin in Montana, out of range of cell-phone towers. It was an overwhelming situation. Disregarding all the latest rules, friends had brought him there in a motorhome from his seniors’ community near Tucson. I needed help lifting him, so I hired a health aid who flew in from Miami, another breach of quarantine. This hazard required the local hospice workers to visit wearing full protective gear and stay outside the cabin in the driveway when passing me my father’s meds and pamphlets on the stages of death. They stuck to this protocol for the first week, then abandoned it so they could see their patient’s face. I lost track of the rules, the days, the virus. I sat at his bedside before his big TV watching reruns of Murder She Wrote, his favorite show, he told me, “Because there’s never any blood.” A former patent attorney with a degree in chemical engineering, a Republican who’d ofted voted Democrat, he’d tuned out the news a few years ago, he said, because it gave him stomach aches. He forbade me to handle the remote lest I land for a moment on CNN while changing channels. He talked about family history, old friends, and had me place phone calls to banks and credit card firms, which he seemed to take pleasure in informing of his any-minute-now demise. I turned on my computer exactly once, to research a narcotic he’d been prescribed, and I peeked at a rundown of election news that curdled my brain with its lazy tropes and buzzwords. To think that people wore out their precious lives consuming and reacting to such bullshit, cycling through the emotions it unleashed, sweating out its bulletins and updates, believing, disputing, and decrying it. And ultimately, in my father’s case, avoiding it. Maybe he should have ignored it all along. Once time grew short, he didn’t mention a bit of it, with one exception: the day John F. Kennedy was shot. He spoke of it three days before he died. He said he was in Washington DC then, working as a law clerk in the same building that housed the Associated Press. He ran to its offices when he heard the news and watched paper spill from the teletype machines and pile on the floor. He told me he regretted not snatching some; those first dispatches might be worth a lot now. I thought about this. One-of-a-kind original paper documents, not identical, infinitely reproducible electronic files. No wonder there was so much bullshit now. It was content. Mere content. Ones and zeros. Lots of zeros, not so many ones. “I’ve always wondered who killed him,” my father said. “It wasn’t Oswald. Not Oswald on his own.” “Who do you think?” It seemed he’d studied the matter. New side of him. Should have spent more time together. “Maybe the Mafia, maybe LBJ. There may have been certain Cubans in the mix. All I know is we didn’t get the truth.” I’m fairly sure we often don’t. Still, it’s hard to give up hope, and today I blew half an hour on the bullshit, under which the truth lies buried. Maybe. Maybe it’s bullshit the whole way down. How much time do you have for finding out? Less than you had this morning. Fact. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/30/2021 - 16:21.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 30th, 2021

66 gifts under $50 for everyone on your list that still feel thoughtful and personal

We found great gift ideas under $50 that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to get just the right gift for any occasion. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Hollis Johnson/Crystal Cox/Alyssa Powell/Business Insider You don't need to spend a fortune to find a thoughtful gift they'll love. We found 66 of the best gifts under $50 to suit the interests and tastes of everyone on your list. With best friends' birthdays, anniversaries with your significant other, celebratory moments with coworkers, or even just to tell a loved one you're thinking about them, it's easy for your gifting list to fill up quickly. But you don't have to spend a fortune to get everyone on your list a gift that feels made for them. There are plenty of great gift ideas under $50 to be found if you know where to look.We've done the hard work for you and sifted through hundreds of options to find affordable gifts to suit a wide range of tastes and interests.Our picks for the best gifts under $50 still feel unique and personal. And whether these gifts are complements to a bigger present or are the star of the show, we know your recipient will love them.Keep reading for 66 gifts under $50 that work for anyone on your list.This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Under Armour. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.* A hatch decanter to sophisticatedly store alcohol Crate & Barrel Hatch Decanter, available at Crate & Barrel, $44.95If their barware collection bares a sophisticated flair, they'll appreciate this elegant hatch decanter. This 32oz decanter is a more affordable price than others thanks to its beautiful molded diamond pattern that resembles cut crystal. A spice and herb kit packed with international flavors Uncommon Goods Gourmet Oil Dipping Spice Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $42Whether it's a dash of Italian oregano or za'atar from the Middle East, any cook will appreciate this international spice kit that lets them cook with various tastes of the world.  A skincare set for combination and oily skin types Sephora Clinique Great Skin, Great Deal Set, available at Sephora, $32.50This Clinique set for combination and oily skin types is a great addition to any skincare routine. This three-step regimen includes a facial soap, an exfoliating lotion, and a moisturizing gel make this three-step routine an easy and quick way for a fresh face.   A DIY recipe book Amazon My Recipes Cookbook, available at Amazon, $8.99Whether they're a huge foodie or want to preserve a favorite family meal, this DIY cookbook offers 120 blank pages to fill with their favorite recipes. The notebook's table of contents and additional note space at the end will help keep them extra organized.Taking the time to add in your own savory vodka sauce pasta dish or having their loved ones fill in grandma's homemade sweets recipe will make this gift feel extra special. Snacks for movie night Knack Popcorn Snack Medley, available at Knack, $44Help them take their next Netflix marathon to the next level with this popcorn mix set. The mix includes two microwavable Pop on The Cob popcorn cobs, toffee pretzels, dark chocolate-covered cherries, and Virginia peanuts. If they have a particular favorite treat, each snack can also be added in extra quantities at an additional cost. A carafe that helps preserve wine Grommet Glass Wine Saver Carafe, available at Grommet, $42.95Wine lovers will surely appreciate this elegant gift that will allow them to savor and sip their favorite bottle for longer. This glass carafe preserves non-sparkling wine in the refrigerator for up to one week. Simply, pour wine into the carafe, insert the float at an angle, then seal it with the top and serve. Farm-to-skin lip balms Etsy Beekman 1802 Ten Piece Lip Balm Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $48This farm-to-skin lip balm set is just right for the green beauty obsessive. All 10 lip balms are made from natural goat's milk and essential oils. Beautifully packaged and scented, the fragrances include Ylang Ylang and Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Fig Leaf, Sweet Grass, Grapefruit, Oak Moss, Apricot and Honey, Vanilla, and an unscented balm. A monogrammed clutch Mark & Graham Palm Leaf Rounded Clutch, available at Mark and Graham, from $49You can get your giftees initials embroidered on this cute roll-up clutch for a personal touch. The bag is woven from natural palm leaves for a beachy vibe, and the blue and white striped interior adds to the fun coastal feel. A sand-free, quick-dry towel Sand Cloud Sand Cloud towel, available at Sand Cloud, $48Not only are these thin towels easy to roll up and throw in your beach bag or picnic basket, but they also easily shake off sand and dry three times faster than classic beach and pool towels. Choose from a wide array of vibrant patterns and colors, from a navy blue whale shark print to tie-dye options. An easy way to make their own bubble tea Uncommon Goods Bubble Tea Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $38For the bubble tea lover in your life, this kit comes with two flavors of loose-leaf tea, tapioca pearls, and two reusable stainless steel straws. All they'll have to do is add a little milk (if they like!) and sip on this delicious brew. A personalized video message from their favorite celebrity Cameo Cameo video, available on Cameo, from $1Whether they have a favorite musician, reality TV star, comedian, or actor, there's a good chance their favorite celebrity is on Cameo. You can even choose from pre-recorded video messages with a personal shoutout, or opt to give them a super special one-on-one video call. Of course, the price will depend on who the star is. Notepads chock full of affirmations Amazon Knock Knock Notepads, available at Amazon, from $9.13Whether you want to give them a quick pep talk or celebrate them just because, these notepads from Knock Knock provide a creative and encouraging way of doing so. Each comes with 50 sheets, so they'll make plenty of use of these witty notes. A small but mighty smart assistant Google Google Nest Mini (2nd Generation), available at Best Buy, $49.99Give the gift of a virtual helper. Currently on sale for under $25, the Google Nest Mini offers a compact, affordable smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in. Friends and family members will love being able to dim lights, control the volume on their TV, check the weather, and more, all with just the sound of their voice.Read our full review of the Google Nest Mini here A face mask designed for working out Under Armour UA Sportmask, available at Under Armour, $15Under Armour's Sportmask was designed with athletes in mind, as reflected in its breathability, water resistance, and UPF 50+ sun protection. Thanks to the Sportsmask, they won't have to sacrifice their workout routine or their comfort.*Sponsored by Under Armour A 52-piece art kit Amazon 52-Piece Watercolor Art Set, available at Amazon, $12.34Encourage them to pick up a new hobby (or take advantage of an existing one) with this watercolor set that's built for both beginners and experts. The set includes various cakes and paints, watercolor pencils, paintbrushes, a paint palette, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener — all within a pre-packaged case that can save you the pain of gift wrapping.  A streaming stick that turns any TV into a smart one Amazon Roku Streaming Stick +, available at Amazon, $39Upgrade their Netflix binge marathons without actually buying them a whole new TV. The Roku Streaming Stick + offers 4K, HD, and HDR streaming in a portable package and affordable price.  A meal kit from their favorite restaurant Goldbelly/Facebook Goldbelly Restaurant Meal Kits, available at Goldbelly, from $25Bring a bit of their favorite restaurant right to their door. From bagels to barbeque, Goldbelly ships food gifts nationwide from iconic eateries in major cities.  A Disney+ subscription Alyssa Powell/Business Insider One-year gift subscription to Disney Plus, $79.99It gives them unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream. A cult-favorite candle Otherland Otherland Candles, available at Otherland, $36We love Otherland's candles, whether seasonally inspired or from the classic collection. Notable scent combinations such as champagne, saffron, and leather, gorgeous packaging, and a 55 hour burn time have deemed Otherland's candles as a foolproof gift among the Insider Reviews team. A set of loose-leaf teas that even Oprah loves Amazon Vadham Chai Tea Reserve Set, available at Amazon, $34.99This classy set of loose-leaf teas made it into Oprah's Favorite Things back in 2018. It's filled with three variations of chai tea that any tea lover will appreciate.  A smooth olive oil that'll instantly elevate any dish Brightland Alive Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37If they spend a lot of time in the kitchen, they probably already know the merits of high-quality olive oil. A drizzle of Alive from Brightland adds a vibrant, zesty flavor to any dish, plus the beautiful bottle will look great on display in their kitchen.  An affordable electric toothbrush subscription Quip Toothbrush Starter Set, available at Quip, from $25Help them upgrade their oral care routine with a Quip toothbrush. Not only is it a great electric toothbrush at a reasonable price, but Quip will send them a refill every three months with a new brush head and toothbrush.  Delicious mini cupcakes Baked by Melissa Facebook Cupcake Gift Boxes, available at Baked by Melissa, from $32Who doesn't love getting a sweet surprise? With delicious flavors ranging from Cookie Dough to Pink Frosted Donut, these bite-size treats are sure to please. You can also add a special gift box to complete the gift.  Useful cable clips Amazon Shintop Cable Clips (six-pack), available at Amazon, $5.79Whether their phone charger is always falling under their desk or they simply have too many cables to keep track of, these affordable and efficient clips will allow them to simplify their workspace. Plus, the pink, orange, and green shades contribute a fun pop of color. A head-to-toe mini care kit Sephora Drunk Elephant The Littles Head to Toe, available at Sephora, $49Give this mini set for head-to-toe care they can take on the road or just to test out some new products. The set is packed with Drunk Elephant minis, including a glossing shampoo, cream conditioner, scalp scrub, detangler, body cleanser, lotion, deodorant, and a comb. It also comes neatly packaged in a fun, neon bag. An at-home spa kit Uncommon Goods Eucalyptus Spa Gift Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $40Let's face it, 2020 has been a hard year. Give them the gift of soothing relaxation with this at-home kit that includes pampering botanical bath salts and natural jute body scrubber. The recipient will also be able to grow their own eucalyptus in the bamboo pot so they can continue to breathe deep and say ahh. A set of magnets that are fun to play with and can boost concentration Speks Speks Magnet Balls, available at Speks, $27.95Almost everyone on the Insider Reviews team has a set of Speks at their desk. The little magnetic balls can be mashed, molded, and built into fun shapes and are a fun fidget toy that even adults will love.  A personalized pillow of their favorite fur baby aurespaces/Etsy Custom Pet Pillow, available at Etsy, from $23.99If there's nothing they love more than their cat or dog, this pillow — featuring a blown-up picture of their pet — is sure to make them smile.  A cute kitchen gadget that makes breakfast in a flash Amazon Dash Mini Waffle Maker, available at Target, $9.99This compact waffle maker makes a great addition to any college dorm or small kitchen. All they have to do is plug it in and they can make their favorite breakfast treat in a flash. A sugary and fun snack Neiman Marcus Sugarfina Champagne Bears, available at Neiman Marcus, $20Elevate their next sugar fix with these fun champagne gummy bears. Don't worry if they're under 21, despite the name and flavor, these gummies are non-alcoholic. They also have rosé options too.     A taste of Japan by way of snacks Bokksu Bokksu Tasting Gift, 3-month box, available at Bokksu, $44.95Adventurous foodies will love the chance to taste test a curated box of gourmet Japanese snacks. In this Bokksu box, they can expect to find between 10-14 snacks, a tea pairing, and an in-depth guide that details every product included. A best-selling face mask for clear skin Aztec Secret Aztec Secret Indian Healing Mask, available at Target, $7.99Anyone in on the latest skincare trends will know about this mask. Many claim it has helped clear their skin, and it has over 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. The best part is that this powerful facial is just $10. A soft pair of socks made from sustainable fabric United by Blue SoftHemp Sock, available at United by Blue, $16With cold weather approaching, there's nothing better than slipping on cozy socks. Made from soft, sustainable hemp fabric, this pair is sure to do the trick.  A luxurious exfoliator to keep skin smooth Necessaire Necessaire The Body Exfoliator, available at Sephora, $30Necessaire's clean beauty products come in beautiful, minimalist packaging that looks as good in their bathroom as it feels on their skin. This gentle exfoliator will help them slough off dry winter skin for good. Cruelty-free nail polish in a range of fun colors Smith & Cult Nail Polish, available at Smith & Cult, $18Smith & Cult's polish is vegan, cruelty-free, and chip-resistant. With 46 fun colors to choose from, you're sure to find one (or two, or three) they'll love.  A sheet mask that'll hydrate dry, stressed skin Sephora Dr. Jart+ Soothing Hydra Solution, available at Sephora, $6Fall and winter skin tends to be dry and dull. While you can't change the weather, you can throw on a hydrating face mask to stay moisturized. This one will add lots of soothing hydration to their skin to keep it feeling fresh. Makeup towels that make washing their face less of a chore Weezie Makeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40If they've never thought of washcloths as anything special, Weezie towels will change their minds. The adorable towels are embroidered with either hearts, winky eyelids, or the words "stain me." Plus, the dark navy blue color will conceal makeup stains. A silky-smooth sleep mask to block light Nordstrom Slip Pink Marble Sleep Mask, available at Nordstrom, $50If there's nothing they appreciate more than a good night's sleep, they'll love Slip's silk sleep mask. It's made from 100% pure Mulberry silk for a luxe, light feel on their skin.  A simple necklace that reminds them of their intentions Bando Good Intentions Necklace, available at Amazon, $38A sweet necklace with an even sweeter mission. Choose from a selection of positive intentions like "optimism," "strength," or "gratitude," which they can carry with them throughout the day. For every necklace sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Girls Inc. A lip gloss that has all the benefits of a balm Sephora Tower28 Beauty Jelly Lip Gloss, available at Sephora, $14This clean-beauty favorite delivers the glossy sheen they'd expect from a lip gloss, but it's loaded with nourishing oils to keep lips hydrated, too.  A beautiful way to store olive oil Uncommon Goods Handblown Glass Olive Oil Pourer, available at Uncommon Goods, $44These stunning handmade jars can hold up to 12 ounces of olive oil or vinegar. Plus, they look beautiful sitting out on the kitchen counter. A bold lip color that'll last all day long Sephora Lancome L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick, available at Sephora, $32Whether it's a pale peach or a deep-red look they crave, they'll love this long-lasting lipstick with its saturated colors and hydrating formula. A set of playing cards inspired by music's greats Amazon Music Genius Playing Cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $10Whether they love game night, music, or are equal fans of both, they'll surely get a kick out of these playing cards. The pack features illustrations of all the big names in pop, rock, country, and R&B. A spray that any sneakerhead needs in their collection Amazon Jason Markk Repel, available at Amazon, $17If they love shoes, they should have the right products to take care of their favorite footwear. This spray protects shoes from stains caused by water and oil, and there are multiple people on our team who swear by it for every new pair of shoes they get. A set of colorful silicone straws that reduce plastic waste Food52 Five Two Silicone Straws Single Pack, available at Food52, $25Bendable, sustainable, and portable (thanks to the set of carrying cases), these fun straws are the accessory any eco-conscious person should have. An elevated hand sanitizer that fends off germs Touchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9A lightweight, spray formula and refreshing scents make Touchland's hand sanitizer one they'll actually want to use. It dries quickly and doesn't leave residue or stickiness behind. A book subscription Book of the Month Book of the Month 3-month plan, available at Book of the Month, $49.99A subscription box that sends them an exciting new read catered to their tastes each month is the perfect gift for a bookworm. A unique case that protects their phone Casetify Casetify phone case, available at Casetify, starting from $39Our phones are our lifelines these days and if you know someone who's always glued to theirs, consider giving them a unique case that's as protective as it is pretty thanks to being drop-tested and shock-absorbent. They have options ranging from watercolor forest scenes to cute sayings to cuddly animals. You can even do a customized option and put their initials on it.   A coffee mug that keeps their drinks hot or cold for hours Amazon Hydro Flask Travel Coffee Mug, available at Amazon, $45.55Hydro Flask's Travel Coffee Mug is a team favorite. It combines the classic shape of a mug with Hydro Flask's TempShield insulation to keep beverages hot, or cold, for hours— a great gift for the coffee or tea lover who's always on the move.  Unisex House Slippers Etsy Japanese Waffle Linen Slipper Slides, available at Etsy, $28.23Clean space enthusiasts who enjoy a no outdoor shoe policy at their homes will appreciate these unisex house slippers. The waffle cloth pattern, platform bottom, and cushioned sole makes for a cute and cozy fit. These snug slippers are available in yellow, pink, gray, or coffee colors.  A cute reusable tote that can fit tons of stuff BAGGU Standard Baggu, available at Baggu, $12It's no wonder these bags are bestsellers — they can hold up to 50 pounds of stuff and come in a range of fun colors and patterns. Plus, at just $12, they're a great deal.  A portable straw that makes water drinkable Amazon LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, available at Amazon, $14.83This portable, personal water filter was one of the bestselling products on Prime Day. It filters water from creeks and rivers, making it perfect for hiking, camping, and travel. A classy carrying case to stash chargers Mark & Graham Leather Charger Roll-Up, available at Mark & Graham, from $29.99After they fill the three pockets with cables and chargers, all they have do is roll everything up and they're good to go. The soft, supple leather comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns.  A cult-favorite cast-iron skillet Amazon Lodge 12-inch Cast-Iron Skillet and Handle Holder, available at Amazon, $45.47Every cook needs a cast-iron skillet in their kitchen. Lodge makes some of the best out there, but at prices that won't break the bank.  A fitting vehicle for their post-run brews Uncommon Goods Etched Marathon Pint Glass, available at Uncommon Goods, $20If they like to celebrate a long run with a big pint, they'll appreciate these pint glasses etched with famous marathon routes.  A candle that reminds them of their favorite place Amazon Homesick Scented Candle, available at Amazon, $34This is a great gift that's sure to make anyone sentimental. Whether it's their hometown, college town, or favorite spot to vacation, a Homesick candle, with scents inspired by all sorts of locations, will bring them back to that favorite place.  A cold brew coffee maker to keep up with their iced coffee habit Amazon Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $24.99If their morning ritual includes a cup of cold brew, they'll appreciate this convenient cold brew maker. All they have to do is fill it with their favorite coffee grinds, add water, let it sit, and they've got a glass of delicious cold brew on the way.  An easy-to-care-for plant The Sill Snake Plant, available at The Sill, $43Bring some life to their space with this cute snake plant that comes in a nice planter with multiple color options. 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Over 30 major US cities are available to choose from.To really up the ante, consider pairing the glass with a nice bottle of bourbon.  A dainty pair of gold hoops that go with everything Mejuri Midi Hoops, available at Mejuri, $50Jewelry always makes a great gift, though it's typically pricey. These dainty hoops from Mejuri are the perfect pair for every day, and they're only $50. An apron loaded with plenty of clever features Food52 Five Two Ultimate Apron, available at Food52, $45Anyone who spends a good amount of time in the kitchen will appreciate this durable apron with its sturdy fabric, clever pockets made to hold the essentials, and pot-holders built right in.  A lifetime of perks with an REI membership REI REI Membership, available at REI, $20A one-time, $20 payment will get them lifetime access to REI's membership program. The outdoorsy types in your life will appreciate the special offers, 10% back on purchases, member-pricing on REI classes and events, and the host of other membership perks. Learn more about the REI membership program here.  A simple and elegant photo calendar Artifact Uprising Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $30All of Artifact Uprising's customized photo gifts are simple, beautiful, and made from eco-friendly materials. This simple calendar is an easy choice for anyone on your list. Just pick 12 photos (one for each month) of the people and places they love most to add a special sentiment to their desk setup. A cozy, slouchy beanie Neff Instagram Neff Beanie, available at Amazon, $15.95Cold-weather accessories make a great gift for anyone who will be braving the cold come winter. Neff beanies come in a wide variety of colors and are the perfect combination of cute and cozy.  An easy way to grill kabobs Uncommon Goods Kabob Grilling Baskets, available at Uncommon Goods, $17Forget needing to spend time sticking every piece of meat or sliced veggie on a kebob stick. These baskets make it easy to perfectly grill you food and the basket makes for easy flipping. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 28th, 2021

Why Is Gold Not Rising?

Why Is Gold Not Rising? Authored by Matthew Piepenburg via GoldSwitzerland.com, Many are asking why gold is not rising, as just about every other commodity makes new highs in the backdrop of inflationary tailwinds. That’s a very fair question. Some are even saying gold is dead, a silly and “barbarous” old relic of ancient times, ancient math and ancient common sense. Needless to say, we beg to differ, not because we are Swiss-based gold bugs, but simply…well… let’s explain. Current Price vs. Current and Future Roles For those who see history and math as guides rather than “barbarous” and outdated disciplines, their convictions regarding gold’s role, and even price trajectory, do not wane or rise simply due to the paper price of gold. To some extent, and despite Basel 3, gold remains openly manipulated by a handful of central and bullion banks who are terrified of gold’s shine for no other reason than it embarrasses currencies (and mad monetary experiments) falling deeper into discredit. But we track the movement of physical gold every day, and can say with blunt clarity that the paper trade in gold has zero to do with the those otherwise “barbarous” forces of the actual supply and demand of this precious metal. Zero. In short, the paper price of gold has become a fiction accepted as reality, which is not surprising in a financial landscape (i.e., historically over-valued stocks, negative yielding bonds and central bankers allergic to transparency) which defies every measure of honest price discovery or basic capitalism. As for the never-ending gold vs. BTC debate, it would be wrong to say Bitcoin hasn’t taken (or continue to take) some market share away from gold, but at less than $1 trillion, BTC is not going to destroy gold’s $10T market share. In short, the current gold price is a less important topic than its current and future role as historical insurance against mathematically-failing financial and economic systems around the globe. That said, we are not apologists for the falling gold prices, nor do we doubt that by the end of this decade, gold will price well above $4000 per ounce and greatly reward informed investors playing the long game rather than putting green. More on that later. Gold’s Three Roles For now, let’s consider gold’s historical role as a hedge against: 1) recession risk; 2) market volatility risk; and 3) inflation/currency risk. 1. Recession Hedging As for recessions, gold is like an emotional and mathematical barometer testing the temperature of over-heated monetary expansion. As such, it moves higher even before policy makers add more inevitable “stimulus” (i.e., mouse-click fiat currencies) into the system. By the time policy makers officially announce a recession, it’s far too late for most investors to react. Fortunately, gold acts more quickly, anticipating monetary expansion even before the money printers start churning. Long before the “COVID recession” of 2020, for example, the writing was already on the wall that markets and central bankers were getting desperate. By late 2019, debt levels were off the charts, liquidity was drying up, the repo markets were drinking hundreds of billions of Fed dollars per month and an un-official QE to the tune of $60 billion per month was in full-swing. Then came COVID in March. Markets and GDP were tanking and gold was already on course to see (in dollar terms) a 25% rise in 2020, after a 19% rise in 2019. In short, as a recession hedge, gold was ahead of the central bankers in protecting investors. By the way, the Fed’s record for calling recessions and warning investors is 0 for 10… 2. Hedging Market Volatility We all remember March of 2020, when markets puked and gold fell along with it, primarily sold-off as a liquidity source for players facing margin costs which they were forced to pay off with gold holdings. As in 2008 and 2009, gold initially followed the stock ship below the waterline—though not nearly as far as BTC… But as mentioned above, gold reacted quickly, anticipating the money printing (and hence dollar debasement) to come, rising steadily for the rest of that fiscal year. Of course, stocks rose as well, thanks to the unbelievable and historically unprecedented money creation witnessed in 2020—more QE in less than a year than all of the combined QE1-QE4 and “Operation Twist” which we saw from 2009-2015. But thankfully, gold doesn’t just follow stock markets, it hedges them, as the past shows and the future will once again confirm. Such monetary stimulus creates what von Mises would call a “crack-up boom,” and near-term such liquidity is just wonderful for stocks and bonds. As we’ve written elsewhere, COVID—and the policy measures which followed– literally saved the securities bubble and made this “boom” even bigger. But the “boom”-to-volatility to sequence to come from such risk assets reaching price levels which have absolutely nothing to do with valuation will be infinitely more painful (“crack-up”) down the road for those assets than for gold the moment when, not if, this horrific financial system implodes under its own and historically un-matched weight. In short, gold will zig when the markets zag. The anti-gold crowd, of course, will smirk and hug their bonds, reminding us all that gold is a yield-less relic while forgetting to confess that the “no yield” of gold is ironically preferrable to over $19 trillion worth of negative yielding sovereign bonds… 3. Hedging Inflation & Currency Risk Which brings us to the big question of the day, why is gold not rising when it should be ripping as a hedge against what is clearly an inflationary new normal? Fair question. We are asking this ourselves, as real rates (the ideal setting for gold) fall deeper into negative depths with each new day… …as inflation, as well as inflation expectations, are on the objective rise: Last year, for example, gold saw this inflation coming and thus its rising, double-digit price moves reflected the same. But this year, with real rates still diving and inflation rising, gold is showing single single-digit losses rather than gains. What gives? The Market Still Believes the “Transitory” Meme Our ultimate opinion boils down to this: We think the market still believes the central bank myth (i.e., propaganda) that the current inflation is indeed, only “transitory.” We’ve written ad nauseum as to why inflation is anything but “transitory,” yet we can nevertheless respect the deflationists’ argument. The Deflationists The deflation camp, for example, rightly argues that recessionary forces, if left alone, are inherently deflationist, and the signs of economic (rather than market) declines are everywhere. But the key mistake which such deflation (or dis-inflation) narratives make is that these natural forces have not, nor will be, “left alone.” In other words, deflationists are somehow ignoring the monetary and fiscal elephant in the room. That is, more, not less, unnatural monetary and fiscal liquidity is entering the system at historically unprecedented levels, levels that are more than enough to quash such otherwise natural deflationary forces. Stated even more plainly, moderation at the fiscal and monetary level died long ago. Simple Realism—Inflation as Necessity Rather than Debate Central banks are desperate to reach higher inflation to inflate their way out of debt without admitting the same. This is nothing new for fork-tongued policy makers who once “targeted” 2% inflation as a ceiling, but are now effectively “allowing” 2% inflation as the new floor. Just as Nixon said the closing of the gold window was “transitory” in 1971, or as Bernanke promised that QE would be transitory in 2009, the current lie from on high about “transitory inflation” is no less a lie in 2021 as those other lies were in 1971 or 2009. Again, we all just kina know this, right? Furthermore, we just need to be realists rather than dreamers to see the inflation reality now and ahead. Central bankers, for example, may be dishonest, but they aren’t entirely stupid, just desperate and realistic. In the U.S., for example, a staggering as well as openly embarrassing $28.5 trillion public (i.e., national) debt level quickly limits one’s options at the White House or the Eccles Building. Not Many Options Other than Inflation In this realistic light, let’s consider their options. Policy makers have four tools to address such debt, namely: raise taxes, cut spending, declare bankruptcy, or devalue their currencies through inflation. The first two are already in play in the U.S., namely political efforts to raise taxes and ‘talk’ of cutting spending, both politically difficult options. Taking bankruptcy off the table, leaves devaluing the U.S. Dollar as the favored option, which is achieved by deliberately taking real interest rates to extreme negative levels. Allowing inflation to run while keeping rates low reduces the number of dollars needed to repay the debt. This hurts regular folks, but as we’ve said so many times, the Fed is not interested in regular folks. In other words, by decreasing the value of the U.S. Dollar, the U.S. is effectively paying off its current debt with devalued money. There are no permission slips needed from Congress, nor taxpayers. Given such realism, let us be repeatedly blunt and clear: Unlike gold not rising, inflation is not, nor will it be, “transitory.” Instead, deliberate inflation is an inherently and deliberately necessary tool used by the same anti-heroes who put us in this debt hole. More Fed-Speak, Less Honesty This means the Fed will come up with whatever excuses, words, phrases and lies to justify being more dovish despite publicly flirting with hawkish talk about a Fed taper. Already, Powell is taking the Fed way beyond its mandate and talking about social and environmental activism, as these are nice phrases to justify, you guessed it: More money creation and more (not “transitory”) inflation. As for me, hearing Powell talk about “labor market inequality” after the Fed has spent years making the top 1% richer at the expense of an increasingly poorer bottom-90% is so rich in hypocrisy that it makes the eyes water. In this opaque light, the notion of “Fed independence” is a complete and utter fiction. Instead, the Fed is slowly crossing the line into becoming the direct financier to the entire nation—and the only way it can do this is via monetary expansion and deliberate (as well as much higher) inflation, which is a tax on the poor and bullet to the heart of the U.S. Dollar. Period. Full stop. It’s All About Debt Again, this all comes realistically back to debt. When there’s too much unpayable debt (be it at the zombified corporate level or the embarrassed national level), rising rates becomes fatal. The Fed has learned since 2018 that even a slight rise in rates kills the debt-saturated markets whose capital gains taxes are about all that Uncle Sam can declare as income in a nation whose GDP was sold to China years ago. And yet… and yet… the markets somehow wish to believe the fantasy (and Fed-speak) that inflation is only “transitory.” What’s Ahead? We strongly think differently. As blunt realists, we see the Fed perhaps raising rates nominally, but when adjusted by openly deliberate (yet openly denied) inflation, real rates will fall deeper as inflation rises higher. This is because the simple reality (and choice) of nations with their backs against a debt wall is always the pursuit of inflation by design, not deflation. As I recently wrote, nothing is real anymore, and all taboos are broken. The Fed, through QE and/or the Repurchase Program, will print more money as fiscal policy rises alongside—a veritable double-whammy for more “liquidity” to come. This, of course, is crazy and ends badly. The Fed, along with the White House, have tried since Greenspan to outlaw natural market forces and needed austerity in order to bloat markets, keep their jobs or win re-election. Since we can never grow or default (?) our way out of the greatest debt hole in our history, the realistic playbook ahead is negative real rates—i.e., inflation rising higher and faster than repressed Treasury yields. Once this becomes obvious rather than “debated,” gold will rise along side the money supply to levels well above it’s current, yet admittedly, low price. Slowly, but surely, the $19 trillion in negative-yielding sovereign bonds will see outflows from that discredited asset and hence inflows into the “barbarous” asset: Gold. For now, we are patient realists rather than apologists, as the market seemingly continues to price gold for only “transitory” inflation. But once inflationary reality rises above the current “transitory” fantasy, gold will not only surge in price, but serve its far more important role of hedging against undeniable inflation and the equally undeniable (i.e., destructive) impact such inflation will have on global currencies in general and the U.S. Dollar in particular. Gold: Biding Its Time Despite such signposts from math, history and Real Politik, gold is currently under attack for not “doing enough,” despite two years of double-digit rises. Gold investors, however, are not greedy, they are patient, and they hold this physical rather than paper asset for the long game, as previously described. And as for that long game, the inflation ahead, as well destruction of the currency in your pocket today and tomorrow, means today’s gold price is not nearly as relevant an issue as gold’s role in protecting far-sighted investors from what’s ahead. In the end, gold’s primary role is acting as insurance for a global financial and currency system already burning to the ground. But for those naturally asking about price, forecasting and models, as any who worked in a bank know, such models are as complex as they are useless. We keep things simpler and humbler. By just tracking monetary growth rates with certain regressions, a realistic price target for gold based upon inevitable monetary expansion suggests gold at well past $4000 by the end of this decade. That may or may not seem sexy enough for those chasing returns today, but when those returns convert into losses too hard to imagine as markets reach new highs, we must genuinely remind you that even with Fed “support,” all bubbles do the same thing: “Pop.” We are not here to tell you when, as no one can. We are simply suggesting you prepare, rather than react. Tyler Durden Sat, 09/25/2021 - 10:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 25th, 2021

Wealth Without Work

Wealth Without Work Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via DailyReckoning.com, Allow me to summarize the dominant zeitgeist in America at this juncture of history: Grab yourself a big gooey hunk of happiness by turning a few thousand bucks into millions — anyone can do it as long as they visualize abundance and join the crowd minting millions. Beneath the bravado and euphoric confidence in our God-given right to mint millions out of chump change, a secret plea lurks unspoken: Please don’t pop our precious bubble! The big gooey hunk of happiness available to all depends on one special form of magic spell: If we don’t call the bubble a bubble, it won’t pop. And so Wall Street shills spew endless “research” (heh) proclaiming that the forward price-earnings ratio of 21.1 will only slightly exceed past norms, and so on — in summary: If we don’t call the bubble a bubble, it won’t pop. Everyone’s All in on the Everything Bubble What differentiates this bubble from the 1720 South Sea Bubble, the 2000 dot-com bubble or the 2007–08 housing bubble is: This bubble includes every asset class and has sucked the entire populace and economy into its magic maw. The bubble has swept up housing, stocks, junk bonds, commodities, cryptocurrencies, NFTs and numerous collectibles — the bulk of America’s household assets are now firmly lodged in the maw of the Everything Bubble. Here is a sampling of recent headlines in America: I Turned $10,000 Into $6 Million in 6 Months My Cat Turned $6,000 in My Robinhood Account Into $6 Million by Walking on My Keyboard I Turned $100 My Aunt Gave Me for My Birthday Into $6 Million in One Trade, Buying Way Out-of-the-Money Calls on a Meme Stock I Turned $23 Into $6 Million So Easily I’m Going to Sleep My Way to $60 Million OK, so these are slight exaggerations, but the zeitgeist is very real. The Great Illusion Of all the mass delusions running rampant in the culture, none is more spectacularly delusional than the conviction that we can all get fabulously rich from speculation while producing nothing. The key characteristic of speculation is that it produces nothing: It doesn’t generate any new goods or services, boost productivity or increase the functionality of real-world essentials. Like all mass delusions, the greater the disconnect from reality, the greater the appeal. Mass delusions gain their escape velocity by leaving any ties to real-world limitations behind and by igniting the most powerful booster to human euphoric confidence known, greed. Lost in the mania of easy wealth from speculative trading is the absence of any value creation in the rotation churn of moving bets from one table to the latest hot game: In flipping houses sight unseen, no functionality was added to the house. In transferring bets on one cryptocurrency to another or from one meme stock to another, no value to the economy or society was created. In the mass delusion that near-infinite wealth can be generated without producing anything, creating value has no value: The delusion is that I can get rich producing nothing but speculative gains, and then I can buy all the stuff somebody else is making. Work Is for Suckers The fantasy powering the speculative frenzy is once I get rich, I’ll stop working and live off my wealth. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how everyone can get rich via unproductive speculation, quit their jobs and then live off the productive work of somebody else who failed to get rich off speculation? The Great Illusion. Maybe that’s why all the containerships are lined up at Long Beach, waiting to unload the goodies made in China for American speculators to buy. This is what happens when the incentive structure of the economy decays so that being productive has little upside (i.e., working is for chumps) while speculating is all upside (get rich quickly and easily). Everyone knows great empires became great by transferring their critical supply chains to competing nations, living it up on borrowed/printed money, exploiting the highest bidder wins regulatory/governance system and incentivizing speculation while pushing wage earners into debt-and-tax servitude. Bone up on your history, Bucko; all great nations got there by quitting boring, tiresome productive work to speculate on illusions of value with borrowed money. A System That Optimizes Corruption This is the result of monopolies and cartels becoming the financial and political power centers of the nation. They end up treating employees as chattel to lower costs, offshoring critical supply chains to squeeze out a few more dollars of profits, engineering products to break down (planned obsolescence), buying regulatory barriers and “free passes” and tax breaks galore with all the billions showered on financiers and other fraudsters by the Federal Reserve. In a word, a system that optimizes corruption. This is how you hollow out a nation and guarantee collapse. The most rewarding “skill sets” are a sociopathological obsession with maximizing profits by any means available and speculating with Fed free money for financiers. The millions of “retail” speculators are simply picking up the cues being given by the billionaires who gained their wealth by issuing debt to fund stock buybacks and other financial manipulations. Working for monopolies and cartels is for chumps because monopolies and cartels have zero incentive to share profits with mere employees. Their profits are made not by taking care of their workforce but by regulatory capture, artificial scarcities and financialized destruction of competition: First, borrow billions thanks to the Fed and Wall Street, destroy the competition (for example, the taxi industry) and then, once the competition has been wiped out, jack up prices because now consumers have no choice other than another member of the cartel. Phantom Wealth Speculative “wealth” is phantom wealth, a flickering illusion of prosperity. All speculative bubbles pop, and all speculative bubbles inflated by borrowed money and central bank manipulation pop even more ferociously than bubbles funded by actual savings. By incentivizing speculation and corruption, reducing the rewards for productive work and sucking wages dry with inflation, America has greased the skids to collapse. As with all mass delusions, the incentives to continue believing are immense, and the incentives to reconnect with reality are few. So in conclusion: The speculative gains to be made in the collapse of the mass delusion will be spectacular. There’s nothing like the collapse of a hollowed-out, completely corrupt economy to generate outsized profits for nimble speculators. Just keep your speculative winnings on Number 22 on the roulette wheel. (A Casablanca movie reference….) Tyler Durden Fri, 09/24/2021 - 13:23.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 24th, 2021

ALTCOINS TO BUY: Crypto experts share the best investing opportunities they"re seeing outside of bitcoin

Insider has talked to several experts about which altcoins they like most, why they're bullish, and what they recommend others should be buying now. In this photo illustration of the litecoin, ripple and ethereum cryptocurrency 'altcoins' sit arranged for a photograph Jack Taylor/Getty Image Thousands of cryptocurrencies now exist. It can be difficult to pick winners in such a saturated space. Insider has asked several experts about where they see the biggest opportunities in altcoins. See more stories on Insider's business page. Cryptocurrencies have exploded in popularity over the last several months. Of course, the most popular remains bitcoin.But some other smaller cryptos are gaining serious steam as well, as the concept of digital currencies continues to seep into the public consciousness.However, it can be difficult to know which cryptocurrencies to invest in, or whether you should in the first place. There are currently thousands of different types of coins on the market. And some - like dogecoin, which was founded as a joke - don't appear to be serious. Others, like some built on the Ethereum blockchain, appear to have better use cases. And overall, there are legitimate concerns over whether the altcoin boom is unsustainable and will soon come crashing down.Crypto is an esoteric domain - its intricacies can be difficult to understand, especially for those new to the space.To help cut through the noise, Insider has talked to several experts about which altcoins - cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin - they believe have the best upside. These experts also described the fundamentals and technicals that make these altcoins attractive. Their views are shared in the articles below.imghed with link and appendage blurb Coach JV, crypto investor and founder of 3T Warrior Academy. Coach JV 4 altcoins to buy: A 12-year banking veteran says the biggest generational wealth transfer that's about to take place will trigger a 'parabolic' bull run in crypto. He explains how he's maximizing gains on the cryptos he's holding.John Vasquez quit a 12-year banking career to dive into crypto full-time.He's betting that the massive wealth transfer from baby boomers to their younger heirs will lead to a crypto boom.Vasquez, known as Coach JV on social media, explained what people should know about crypto before investing and the altcoins he's buying. Adrian Zduńczyk. Adrian Zduńczyk 5 altcoins that could surge 10-100x in the coming 'legendary' altcoin season that outshines bitcoin, according to a crypto technical analyst who's holding themCrypto technical analyst Adrian Zduńczyk says some altcoins due to outperform bitcoin in a "legendary" way. Zduńczyk is the founder and CEO of the Birb Nest, a trading platform. He shared five altcoins with us that he thinks could surge 10-100 times. Matthew Sigel is the head of digital assets research at VanEck. VanEck The head of digital assets research at an $81 billion money manager breaks down 3 drivers fueling the $2 trillion crypto market's latest bull run - and shares 3 competing altcoins to ethereum, including one that could nearly double in the next yearEthereum is the second-biggest cryptocurrency at the moment, sitting behind bitcoin. But it has problems like expensive transaction fees. Matthew Sigel, head of digital asset research at VanEck, shares three altcoins to rival ether. Evergrande is China's second-biggest property developer. Noel Celis/Getty Images A trader who warned of the 2017 and 2021 bitcoin bull market tops shares 4 altcoins he's bullish on for the long-term - but breaks down why Evergrande's crisis is keeping him away from crypto at the momentThe looming debt crisis of Chinese real estate developer Evergrande sent shockwaves through global equity markets in September - and crypto was not spared.Given the recent sell-offs, Goodman said he was keeping his money on the sidelines in the crypto space until prices appear to be in an uptrend again. He shared four projects he thinks can do well in the longer-term. STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images Bitcoin is ready for a 'monster run' up to $85,000 if it clears a key resistance level, a crypto evangelist predicts - and shares 7 altcoins he's bullish on nowEthereum's major upgrade in early August led to a 9.6% intraday price spike, and investors haven't yet sold the positive news. That's one reason why David Gokhshtein is bullish. He also told us his theses for six smaller altcoins he owns. A local business in El Salvador that accepts bitcoin payments. Alex Pena/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Why crypto crashed: 4 experts break down what Tuesday's sudden drop might mean for the altcoin season and NFT frenzy - and share 12 high-quality tokens that are likely to continue rallying toward the year's endVarious cryptos tumbled on Tuesday September 7 as El Salvador officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender. By the following morning, more than $3.25 billion in crypto positions had been liquidated over 24 hours, affecting more than 300,000 traders, according to Bybit. We asked experts what was driving the sell-off, and where they recommended buying dips. Dogecoin is a 'meme' cryptocurrency, seemingly created as a joke Yuriko Nakao/Getty The chief economist of a blockchain data firm breaks down why the current dogecoin rally has more legs to run - and lays out why 'anything is possible' for the altcoin, including reaching $1When dogecoin rose over 12,000% to $0.68 earlier this year, it shocked the investing community. It has since cooled off, though its price has picked up in recent weeks. It now sits around $.027. What will it do next? Chainalysis chief economist Philip Gradwell broke down why he think it will go to $1. crypto coins circle Nurphoto WATCH: Crypto analyst David Grider and venture capital investor Ria Bhutoria discuss state of the market, under-the-radar altcoins, and outlook on regulationInsider recently hosted a live webcast featuring two crypto experts. They broke down their views on everything from the recent slump to the possibility of regulation. Lyn Alden is the founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy Lyn Alden Investment Strategy Bitcoin to $100,000 and ether to $5,000: Famed investment strategist Lyn Alden explains her bullish predictions for the largest cryptos in 2022, and why there are only 2 altcoins worth watchingLyn Alden says most altcoins are "smoke and mirrors." But there are at least two with interesting technologies that are worth watching. Marnie Griffiths/Getty A crypto evangelist explains why he's going 'all in on altcoins' - and shares why he's worried about bitcoin whales taking over that marketAs some altcoins have shown, there is potential for huge appreciation in crypto outside of bitcoin. David Gokhshtein is one investor that's looking to take advantage of these opportunities. He shared two altcoins he's bullish on. Mack Lorden, left, and Lucas Dimos are TikTok crypto influencers. Mack Lorden and Lucas Dimos 2 crypto traders and TikTok influencers share their 6 go-to altcoins for riding out crypto bear markets - including one that's up more than 11,000% since its launch in 2017The broader crypto space just went through a rough patch after huge gains earlier this year. Like any asset class, it has its bull and bear markets. When crypto bear markets do come, crypto influencers Mack Lorden and Lucas Dimos told us that six altcoins in particular help them hedge losses. Many investors are excited about the Ethereum network's uses. SOPA Images/Getty Images The head of institutional coverage at crypto trading platform FalconX shares 9 Ethereum-tied digital tokens to take advantage of the DeFi revolution - and breaks down why Ethereum still has 'significant' upsideMany altcoins are built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Aya Kantorovich, the head of institutional coverage at crypto exchange FalconX, shared nine coins built on top of the ethereum blockchain that she thinks have solid use cases."I personally always like coins with application," Kantorovich said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 22nd, 2021

Futures Bounce On Evergrande Reprieve With Fed Looming

Futures Bounce On Evergrande Reprieve With Fed Looming Despite today's looming hawkish FOMC meeting in which Powell is widely expected to unveil that tapering is set to begin as soon as November and where the Fed's dot plot may signal one rate hike in 2022, futures climbed as investor concerns over China's Evergrande eased after the property developer negotiated a domestic bond payment deal. Commodities rallied while the dollar was steady. Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 flipped from losses to gains as China’s central bank boosted liquidity when it injected a gross 120BN in yuan, the most since January... ... and investors mulled a vaguely-worded statement from the troubled developer about an interest payment.  S&P 500 E-minis were up 23.0 points, or 0.53%, at 7:30 a.m. ET. Dow E-minis were up 199 points, or 0.60%, and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 44.00 points, or 0.29%. Among individual stocks, Fedex fell 5.8% after the delivery company cut its profit outlook on higher costs and stalled growth in shipments. Morgan Stanley says it sees the company’s 1Q issues getting “tougher from here.” Commodity-linked oil and metal stocks led gains in premarket trade, while a slight rise in Treasury yields supported major banks. However, most sectors were nursing steep losses in recent sessions. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers: Adobe (ADBE US) down 3.1% after 3Q update disappointed the high expectations of investors, though the broader picture still looks solid, Morgan Stanley said in a note Freeport McMoRan (FCX US), Cleveland- Cliffs (CLF US), Alcoa (AA US) and U.S. Steel (X US) up 2%-3% premarket, following the path of global peers as iron ore prices in China rallied Aethlon Medical (AEMD US) and Exela Technologies (XELAU US) advance along with other retail traders’ favorites in the U.S. premarket session. Aethlon jumps 21%; Exela up 8.3% Other so-called meme stocks also rise: ContextLogic +1%; Clover Health +0.9%; Naked Brand +0.9%; AMC +0.5% ReWalk Robotics slumps 18% in U.S. premarket trading, a day after nearly doubling in value Stitch Fix (SFIX US) rises 15.7% in light volume after the personal styling company’s 4Q profit and sales blew past analysts’ expectations Hyatt Hotels (H US) seen opening lower after the company launches a seven-million-share stock offering Summit Therapeutics (SMMT US) shares fell as much as 17% in Tuesday extended trading after it said the FDA doesn’t agree with the change to the primary endpoint that has been implemented in the ongoing Phase III Ri-CoDIFy studies when combining the studies Marin Software (MRIN US) surged more than 75% Tuesday postmarket after signing a new revenue-sharing agreement with Google to develop its enterprise technology platforms and software products The S&P 500 had fallen for 10 of the past 12 sessions since hitting a record high, as fears of an Evergrande default exacerbated seasonally weak trends and saw investors pull out of stocks trading at lofty valuations. The Nasdaq fell the least among its peers in recent sessions, as investors pivoted back into big technology names that had proven resilient through the pandemic. Focus now turns to the Fed's decision, due at 2 p.m. ET where officials are expected to signal a start to scaling down monthly bond purchases (see our preview here).  The Fed meeting comes after a period of market volatility stoked by Evergrande’s woes. China’s wider property-sector curbs are also feeding into concerns about a slowdown in the economic recovery from the pandemic. “Chair Jerome Powell could hint at the tapering approaching shortly,” said Sébastien Barbé, a strategist at Credit Agricole CIB. “However, given the current uncertainty factors (China property market, Covid, pace of global slowdown), the Fed should remain cautious when it comes to withdrawing liquidity support.” Meanwhile, confirming what Ray Dalio said that the taper will just bring more QE, Governing Council member Madis Muller said the  European Central Bank may boost its regular asset purchases once the pandemic-era emergency stimulus comes to an end. “Dovish signals could unwind some of the greenback’s gains while offering relief to stock markets,” Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity Group, wrote in emailed comments. A “hawkish shift would jolt markets, potentially pushing Treasury yields and the dollar past the upper bound of recent ranges, while gold and equities would sell off hunting down the next levels of support.” China avoided a major selloff as trading resumed following a holiday, after the country’s central bank boosted its injection of short-term cash into the financial system. MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index declined for a third day, dragged lower by Japan. Stocks were also higher in Europe. Basic resources - which bounced from a seven month low - and energy were among the leading gainers in the Stoxx Europe 600 index as commodity prices steadied after Beijing moved to contain fears of a spiraling debt crisis. Entain Plc rose more than 7%, extending Tuesday’s gain as it confirmed it received a takeover proposal from DraftKings Inc. Peer Flutter Entertainment Plc climbed after settling a legal dispute.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Entain shares jump as much as 11% after DraftKings Inc. offered to acquire the U.K. gambling company for about $22.4 billion. Vivendi rises as much as 3.1% in Paris, after Tuesday’s spinoff of Universal Music Group. Legrand climbs as much as 2.1% after Exane BNP Paribas upgrades to outperform and raises PT to a Street-high of EU135. Orpea shares falls as much as 2.9%, after delivering 1H results that Jefferies (buy) says were a “touch” below consensus. Bechtle slides as much as 5.1% after Metzler downgrades to hold from buy, saying persistent supply chain problems seem to be weighing on growth. Sopra Steria drops as much as 4.1% after Stifel initiates coverage with a sell, citing caution on company’s M&A strategy Despite the Evergrande announcement, Asian stocks headed for their longest losing streak in more than a month amid continued China-related concerns, with traders also eying policy decisions from major central banks. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 0.7% in its third day of declines, with TSMC and Keyence the biggest drags. China’s CSI 300 tumbled as much as 1.9% as the local market reopened following a two-day holiday. However, the gauge came off lows after an Evergrande unit said it will make a bond interest payment and as China’s central bank boosted liquidity.  Taiwan’s equity benchmark led losses in Asia on Wednesday, dragged by TSMC after a two-day holiday, while markets in Hong Kong and South Korea were closed. Key stock gauges in Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam rose “A liquidity injection from the People’s Bank of China accompanied the Evergrande announcement, which only served to bolster sentiment further,” according to DailyFX’s Thomas Westwater and Daniel Dubrovsky. “For now, it appears that market-wide contagion risk linked to a potential Evergrande collapse is off the table.” Japanese equities fell for a second day amid global concern over China’s real-estate sector, as the Bank of Japan held its key stimulus tools in place while flagging pressures on the economy. Electronics makers were the biggest drag on the Topix, which declined 1%. Daikin and Fanuc were the largest contributors to a 0.7% loss in the Nikkei 225. The BOJ had been expected to maintain its policy levers ahead of next week’s key ruling party election. Traders are keenly awaiting the Federal Reserve’s decision due later for clues on the U.S. central banks plan for tapering stimulus. “Markets for some time have been convinced that the BOJ has reached the end of the line on normalization and will remain in a holding pattern on policy until at least April 2023 when Governor Kuroda is scheduled to leave,” UOB economist Alvin Liew wrote in a note. “Attention for the BOJ will now likely shift to dealing with the long-term climate change issues.” In the despotic lockdown regime that is Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3% to close at 7,296.90, reversing an early decline in a rally led by mining and energy stocks. Banks closed lower for the fourth day in a row. Champion Iron was among the top performers after it was upgraded at Citi. IAG was among the worst performers after an earthquake caused damage to buildings in Melbourne. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3% to 13,215.80 In FX, commodity currencies rallied as concerns about China Evergrande Group’s debt troubles eased as China’s central bank boosted liquidity and investors reviewed a statement from the troubled developer about an interest payment. Overnight implied volatility on the pound climbed to the highest since March ahead of Bank of England’s meeting on Thursday. The British pound weakened after Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng warnedthat people should prepare for longer-term high energy prices amid a natural-gas shortage that sent power costs soaring. Several U.K. power firms have stopped taking in new clients as small energy suppliers struggle to meet their previous commitments to sell supplies at lower prices. Overnight volatility in the euro rises above 10% for the first time since July ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision announcement. The Aussie jumped as much as 0.5% as iron-ore prices rebounded. Spot surged through option-related selling at 0.7240 before topping out near 0.7265 strikes expiring Wednesday, according to Asia- based FX traders.  Elsewhere, the yen weakened and commodity-linked currencies such as the Australian dollar pushed higher. In rates, the dollar weakened against most of its Group-of-10 peers. Treasury futures were under modest pressure in early U.S. trading, leaving yields cheaper by ~1.5bp from belly to long-end of the curve. The 10-year yield was at ~1.336% steepening the 2s10s curve by ~1bp as the front-end was little changed. Improved risk appetite weighed; with stock futures have recovering much of Tuesday’s losses as Evergrande concerns subside. Focal point for Wednesday’s session is FOMC rate decision at 2pm ET.   FOMC is expected to suggest it will start scaling back asset purchases later this year, while its quarterly summary of economic projections reveals policy makers’ expectations for the fed funds target in coming years in the dot-plot update; eurodollar positions have emerged recently that anticipate a hawkish shift Bitcoin dropped briefly below $40,000 for the first time since August amid rising criticism from regulators, before rallying as the mood in global markets improved. In commodities, Iron ore halted its collapse and metals steadied. Oil advanced for a second day. Bitcoin slid below $40,000 for the first time since early August before rebounding back above $42,000.   To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the aforementioned Federal Reserve decision and Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference. Otherwise on the data side, we’ll get US existing home sales for August, and the European Commission’s advance consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area in September. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 4,362.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 461.19 MXAP down 0.7% to 199.29 MXAPJ down 0.4% to 638.39 Nikkei down 0.7% to 29,639.40 Topix down 1.0% to 2,043.55 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 24,221.54 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,628.49 Sensex little changed at 59,046.84 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,296.94 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,140.51 Brent Futures up 1.5% to $75.47/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,775.15 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.26 German 10Y yield rose 0.6 bps to -0.319% Euro little changed at $1.1725 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg What would it take to knock the U.S. recovery off course and send Federal Reserve policy makers back to the drawing board? Not much — and there are plenty of candidates to deliver the blow The European Central Bank will discuss boosting its regular asset purchases once the pandemic-era emergency stimulus comes to an end, but any such increase is uncertain, Governing Council member Madis Muller said Investors seeking hints about how Beijing plans to deal with China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis are training their cross hairs on the central bank’s liquidity management A quick look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed as caution lingered ahead of upcoming risk events including the FOMC, with participants also digesting the latest Evergrande developments and China’s return to the market from the Mid-Autumn Festival. ASX 200 (+0.3%) was positive with the index led higher by the energy sector after a rebound in oil prices and as tech also outperformed, but with gains capped by weakness in the largest-weighted financials sector including Westpac which was forced to scrap the sale of its Pacific businesses after failing to secure regulatory approval. Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) was subdued amid the lack of fireworks from the BoJ announcement to keep policy settings unchanged and ahead of the upcoming holiday closure with the index only briefly supported by favourable currency outflows. Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) was initially pressured on return from the long-weekend and with Hong Kong markets closed, but pared losses with risk appetite supported by news that Evergrande’s main unit Hengda Real Estate will make coupon payments due tomorrow, although other sources noted this is referring to the onshore bond payments valued around USD 36mln and that there was no mention of the offshore bond payments valued at USD 83.5mln which are also due tomorrow. Meanwhile, the PBoC facilitated liquidity through a CNY 120bln injection and provided no surprises in keeping its 1-year and 5-year Loan Prime Rates unchanged for the 17th consecutive month at 3.85% and 4.65%, respectively. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat amid the absence of any major surprises from the BoJ policy announcement and following the choppy trade in T-notes which were briefly pressured in a knee-jerk reaction to the news that Evergrande’s unit will satisfy its coupon obligations tomorrow, but then faded most of the losses as cautiousness prevailed. Top Asian News Gold Steady as Traders Await Outcome of Fed Policy Meeting Evergrande Filing on Yuan Bond Interest Leaves Analysts Guessing Singapore Category E COE Price Rises to Highest Since April 2014 Asian Stocks Fall for Third Day as Focus Turns to Central Banks European equities (Stoxx 600 +0.5%) trade on a firmer footing in the wake of an encouraging APAC handover. Focus overnight was on the return of Chinese participants from the Mid-Autumn Festival and news that Evergrande’s main unit, Hengda Real Estate will make coupon payments due tomorrow; however, we await indication as to whether they will meet Thursday’s offshore payment deadline as well. Furthermore, the PBoC facilitated liquidity through a CNY 120bln injection whilst keeping its 1-year and 5-year Loan Prime Rates unchanged (as expected). Note, despite gaining yesterday and today, thus far, the Stoxx 600 is still lower to the tune of 0.7% on the week. Stateside, futures are also trading on a firmer footing ahead of today’s FOMC policy announcement, at which, market participants will be eyeing any clues for when the taper will begin and digesting the latest dot plot forecasts. Furthermore, the US House voted to pass the bill to fund the government through to December 3rd and suspend the debt limit to end-2022, although this will likely be blocked by Senate Republicans. Back to Europe, sectors are mostly firmer with outperformance in Basic Resources and Oil & Gas amid upside in the metals and energy complex. Elsewhere, Travel & Leisure is faring well amid further upside in Entain (+6.1%) with the Co. noting it rejected an earlier approach from DraftKings at GBP 25/shr with the new offer standing at GBP 28/shr. Additionally for the sector, Flutter Entertainment (+4.1%) are trading higher after settling the legal dispute between the Co. and Commonwealth of Kentucky. Elsewhere, in terms of deal flow, Iliad announced that it is to acquire UPC Poland for around USD 1.8bln. Top European News Energy Cost Spike Gets on EU Ministers’ Green Deal Agenda Travel Startup HomeToGo Gains in Frankfurt Debut After SPAC Deal London Stock Exchange to Shut Down CurveGlobal Exchange EU Banks Expected to Add Capital for Climate Risk, EBA Says In FX, trade remains volatile as this week’s deluge of global Central Bank policy meetings continues to unfold amidst fluctuations in broad risk sentiment from relatively pronounced aversion at various stages to a measured and cautious pick-up in appetite more recently. Hence, the tide is currently turning in favour of activity, cyclical and commodity currencies, albeit tentatively in the run up to the Fed, with the Kiwi and Aussie trying to regroup on the 0.7000 handle and 0.7350 axis against their US counterpart, and the latter also striving to shrug off negative domestic impulses like a further decline below zero in Westpac’s leading index and an earthquake near Melbourne. Next up for Nzd/Usd and Aud/Usd, beyond the FOMC, trade data and preliminary PMIs respectively. DXY/CHF/EUR/CAD - Notwithstanding the overall improvement in market tone noted above, or another major change in mood and direction, the Dollar index appears to have found a base just ahead of 93.000 and ceiling a similar distance away from 93.500, as it meanders inside those extremes awaiting US existing home sales that are scheduled for release before the main Fed events (policy statement, SEP and post-meeting press conference from chair Powell). Indeed, the Franc, Euro and Loonie have all recoiled into tighter bands vs the Greenback, between 0.9250-26, 1.1739-17 and 1.2831-1.2770, but with the former still retaining an underlying bid more evident in the Eur/Chf cross that is consolidating under 1.0850 and will undoubtedly be acknowledged by the SNB tomorrow. Meanwhile, Eur/Usd has hardly reacted to latest ECB commentary from Muller underpinning that the APP is likely to be boosted once the PEPP envelope is closed, though Usd/Cad is eyeing a firm rebound in oil prices in conjunction with hefty option expiry interest at the 1.2750 strike (1.8 bn) that may prevent the headline pair from revisiting w-t-d lows not far beneath the half round number. GBP/JPY - The major laggards, as Sterling slips slightly further beneath 1.3650 against the Buck to a fresh weekly low and Eur/Gbp rebounds from circa 0.8574 to top 0.8600 on FOMC day and T-1 to super BoE Thursday. Elsewhere, the Yen has lost momentum after peaking around 109.12 and still not garnering sufficient impetus to test 109.00 via an unchanged BoJ in terms of all policy settings and guidance, as Governor Kuroda trotted out the no hesitation to loosen the reins if required line for the umpteenth time. However, Usd/Jpy is holding around 109.61 and some distance from 1.1 bn option expiries rolling off between 109.85-110.00 at the NY cut. SCANDI/EM - Brent’s revival to Usd 75.50+/brl from sub-Usd 73.50 only yesterday has given the Nok another fillip pending confirmation of a Norges Bank hike tomorrow, while the Zar has regained some poise with the aid of firmer than forecast SA headline and core CPI alongside a degree of retracement following Wednesday’s breakdown of talks on a pay deal for engineering workers that prompted the union to call a strike from early October. Similarly, the Cnh and Cny by default have regrouped amidst reports that the CCP is finalising details to restructure Evergrande into 3 separate entities under a plan that will see the Chinese Government take control. In commodities, WTI and Brent are firmer this morning though once again fresh newsflow for the complex has been relatively slim and largely consisting of gas-related commentary; as such, the benchmarks are taking their cue from the broader risk tone (see equity section). The improvement in sentiment today has brought WTI and Brent back in proximity to being unchanged on the week so far as a whole; however, the complex will be dictated directly by the EIA weekly inventory first and then indirectly, but perhaps more pertinently, by today’s FOMC. On the weekly inventories, last nights private release was a larger than expected draw for the headline and distillate components, though the Cushing draw was beneath expectations; for today, consensus is a headline draw pf 2.44mln. Moving to metals where the return of China has seen a resurgence for base metals with LME copper posting upside of nearly 3.0%, for instance. Albeit there is no fresh newsflow for the complex as such, so it remains to be seen how lasting this resurgence will be. Finally, spot gold and silver are firmer but with the magnitude once again favouring silver over the yellow metal. US Event Calendar 10am: Aug. Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -1.7%, prior 2.0% 2pm: Sept. FOMC Rate Decision (Lower Boun, est. 0%, prior 0% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap All eyes firmly on China this morning as it reopens following a 2-day holiday. As expected the indices there have opened lower but the scale of the declines are being softened by the PBoC increasing its short term cash injections into the economy. They’ve added a net CNY 90bn into the system. On Evergrande, we’ve also seen some positive headlines as the property developers’ main unit Hengda Real Estate Group has said that it will make coupon payment for an onshore bond tomorrow. However, the exchange filing said that the interest payment “has been resolved via negotiations with bondholders off the clearing house”. This is all a bit vague and doesn’t mention the dollar bond at this stage. Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported that Chinese authorities have begun to lay the groundwork for a potential restructuring that could be one of the country’s biggest, assembling accounting and legal experts to examine the finances of the group. All this follows news from Bloomberg yesterday that Evergrande missed interest payments that had been due on Monday to at least two banks. In terms of markets the CSI (-1.11%), Shanghai Comp (-0.29%) and Shenzhen Comp (-0.53%) are all lower but have pared back deeper losses from the open. We did a flash poll in the CoTD yesterday (link here) and after over 700 responses in a couple of hours we found only 8% who we thought Evergrande would still be impacting financial markets significantly in a month’s time. 24% thought it would be slightly impacting. The other 68% thought limited or no impact. So the world is relatively relaxed about contagion risk for now. The bigger risk might be the knock on impact of weaker Chinese growth. So that’s one to watch even if you’re sanguine on the systemic threat. Craig Nicol in my credit team did a good note yesterday (link here) looking at the contagion risk to the broader HY market. I thought he summed it up nicely as to why we all need to care one way or another in saying that “Evergrande is the largest corporate, in the largest sector, of the second largest economy in the world”. For context AT&T is the largest corporate borrower in the US market and VW the largest in Europe. Turning back to other Asian markets now and the Nikkei (-0.65%) is down but the Hang Seng (+0.51%) and Asx (+0.58%) are up. South Korean markets continue to remain closed for a holiday. Elsewhere, yields on 10y USTs are trading flattish while futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.10% and those on the Stoxx 50 are up +0.21%. Crude oil prices are also up c.+1% this morning. In other news, the Bank of Japan policy announcement overnight was a non-event as the central bank maintained its yield curve target while keeping the policy rate and asset purchases plan unchanged. The central bank also unveiled more details of its green lending program and said that it would immediately start accepting applications and would begin making the loans in December. The relatively calm Asian session follows a stabilisation in markets yesterday following their rout on Monday as investors looked forward to the outcome of the Fed’s meeting later today. That said, it was hardly a resounding performance, with the S&P 500 unable to hold on to its intraday gains and ending just worse than unchanged after the -1.70% decline the previous day as investors remained vigilant as to the array of risks that continue to pile up on the horizon. One of these is in US politics and legislators seem no closer to resolving the various issues surrounding a potential government shutdown at the end of the month, along with a potential debt ceiling crisis in October, which is another flashing alert on the dashboard for investors that’s further contributing to weaker sentiment right now. Looking ahead now, today’s main highlight will be the latest Federal Reserve decision along with Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference, with the policy decision out at 19:00 London time. Markets have been on edge for any clues about when the Fed might begin to taper asset purchases, but concern about tapering actually being announced at this meeting has dissipated over recent weeks, particularly after the most recent nonfarm payrolls in August came in at just +235k, and the monthly CPI print also came in beneath consensus expectations for the first time since November. In terms of what to expect, our US economists write in their preview (link here) that they see the statement adopting Chair Powell’s language that a reduction in the pace of asset purchases is appropriate “this year”, so long as the economy remains on track. They see Powell maintaining optionality about the exact timing of that announcement, but they think that the message will effectively be that the bar to pushing the announcement beyond November is relatively high in the absence of any material downside surprises. This meeting also sees the release of the FOMC’s latest economic projections and the dot plot, where they expect there’ll be an upward drift in the dots that raises the number of rate hikes in 2023 to 3, followed by another 3 increases in 2024. Back to yesterday, and as mentioned US equity markets fell for a second straight day after being unable to hold on to earlier gains, with the S&P 500 slightly lower (-0.08%). High-growth industries outperformed with biotech (+0.38%) and semiconductors (+0.18%) leading the NASDAQ (+0.22%) slightly higher, however the Dow Jones (-0.15%) also struggled. Europe saw a much stronger performance though as much of the US decline came after Europe had closed. The STOXX 600 gained +1.00% to erase most of Monday’s losses, with almost every sector in the index ending the day in positive territory. With risk sentiment improving for much of the day yesterday, US Treasuries sold off slightly and by the close of trade yields on 10yr Treasuries were up +1.2bps to 1.3226%, thanks to a +1.8bps increase in real yields. However, sovereign bonds in Europe told a different story as yields on 10yr bunds (-0.3bps), OATs (-0.3bps) and BTPs (-1.9bps) moved lower. Other safe havens including gold (+0.59%) and silver (+1.02%) also benefited, but this wasn’t reflected across commodities more broadly, with Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (-0.30%) losing ground for a 4th consecutive session. Democratic Party leaders plan to vote on the Senate-approved $500bn bipartisan infrastructure bill next Monday, even with no resolution to the $3.5tr budget reconciliation measure that encompasses the remainder of the Biden Administration’s economic agenda. Democrats continue to work on the reconciliation measure but have turned their attention to the debt ceiling and government funding bills.Congress has fewer than two weeks before the current budget expires – on Oct 1 – to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling. Republicans yesterday noted that the Democrats could raise the ceiling on their own through the reconciliation process, with many saying that they would not be offering their support to any funding bill. Democrats continue to push for a bipartisan bill to raise the debt ceiling, pointing to their votes during the Trump administration. If Democrats are forced to tie the debt ceiling and funding bills to budget reconciliation, it could limit how much of the $3.5 trillion bill survives the last minute negotiations between progressives and moderates. More to come over the next 10 days. Staying on the US, there was an important announcement in President Biden’s speech at the UN General Assembly, as he said that he would work with Congress to double US funding to poorer nations to deal with climate change. That comes as UK Prime Minister Johnson (with the UK hosting the COP26 summit in less than 6 weeks’ time) has been lobbying other world leaders to find the $100bn per year that developed economies pledged by 2020 to support developing countries as they reduce their emissions and deal with climate change. In Germany, there are just 4 days to go now until the federal election, and a Forsa poll out yesterday showed a slight narrowing in the race, with the centre-left SPD remaining on 25%, but the CDU/CSU gained a point on last week to 22%, which puts them within the +/- 2.5 point margin of error. That narrowing has been seen in Politico’s Poll of Polls as well, with the race having tightened from a 5-point SPD lead over the CDU/CSU last week to a 3-point one now. Turning to the pandemic, Johnson & Johnson reported that their booster shot given 8 weeks after the first offered 100% protection against severe disease, 94% protection against symptomatic Covid in the US, and 75% against symptomatic Covid globally. Speaking of boosters, Bloomberg reported that the FDA was expected to decide as soon as today on a recommendation for Pfizer’s booster vaccine. That follows an FDA advisory panel rejecting a booster for all adults last Friday, restricting the recommendation to those over-65 and other high-risk categories. Staying with the US and vaccines, President Biden announced that the US was ordering 500mn doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be exported to the rest of the world. On the data front, there were some strong US housing releases for August, with housing starts up by an annualised 1.615m (vs. 1.55m expected), and building permits up by 1.728m (vs. 1.6m expected). Separately, the OECD released their Interim Economic Outlook, which saw them upgrade their inflation expectations for the G20 this year to +3.7% (up +0.2ppts from May) and for 2022 to +3.9% (up +0.5ppts from May). Their global growth forecast saw little change at +5.7% in 2021 (down a tenth) and +4.5% for 2022 (up a tenth). To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the aforementioned Federal Reserve decision and Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference. Otherwise on the data side, we’ll get US existing home sales for August, and the European Commission’s advance consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area in September. Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 08:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 22nd, 2021

GameStop (GME) to Hire 500 Staff to Enhance Customer Service

To bolster e-commerce operations, GameStop (GME) announces plans to hire up to 500 employees at its new customer service center in Florida. GameStop Corp. GME has been quite proactive about undertaking efforts to strengthen digital operations. With consumers’ growing inclination toward online shopping, the company has been evolving itself into a strong and digitally advanced player in the gaming industry. Progressing on these lines, the company announced plans to hire nearly 500 employees at its customer service center in Pembroke Pines, FL. Let’s take a closer look at this latest development as well as other efforts undertaken by the company.Prudent Efforts to Boost Digital PresenceIn its last earnings call, GameStop had informed about entering into a lease for a new customer care center in Pembroke Pines, as it continues to build on customer care operations in the United States. Investment to boost employee strength at this facility is likely to reinforce the company’s U.S.-based customer care operations. This newly-leased service center is expected to be operational by the end of 2021.GameStop has been striving to build upon its digital capabilities, especially since the middle of last year when Ryan Cohen began taking interests in the company. RC Ventures, which is managed by Ryan Cohen, is one of the largest stakeholders of GameStop. Under the leadership of Ryan Cohen, the company has been undertaking radical digital transformation efforts. It has been restructuring its board and formed a Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation committee. Since the formation of this committee, the company has appointed several board executives with significant experience in e-commerce, customer care, technology, UI, UX, operations and supply chain.Expanding fulfillment network and e-commerce services has been a vital part of the company’s transformation efforts. In July, 2021, the company entered into a lease for a 530,000-square feet facility in Reno, NV, which is expected to be in operation this year. Prior to this, the company entered into a lease for a 700,000-square feet facility in York, PA. The facility began shipping orders during the second quarter of fiscal 2021. Owing to these expansions, the company’s fulfillment network now spans across both coasts of Continental U.S.The company’s strategic deal with Microsoft, to provide customers with enhanced digital solutions, is also noteworthy. GameStop utilizes Microsoft’s cloud solutions and hardware products to upgrade its business operations. Apart from this, it is strengthening omni-channel operations through the roll-out of same-day delivery services and several flexible payment options. To further boost consumers’ shopping experience, the company has enhanced search and navigation along with post-purchase features. GameStop is also striving to expand its product catalog by adding new products and leading brands across electronics, collectibles, toys and more. The company has been focusing on expanding and redesigning PowerUp Rewards loyalty program and improving engagement with vendors and partners.In order to support business transformation, GameStop completed the sale of 5-million shares of its common stock through its at-the-market equity offering program (the “ATM Offering”). It generated aggregate gross proceeds before commissions and offering expenses of approximately $1.13 billion. Prior to this, the company completed the sale of 3.5 million shares of its common stock through the ATM Offering and generated collective gross proceeds of nearly $551 million. The company has been using the proceeds for accelerating growth efforts as well as for general corporate purposes and strengthening the balance sheet. As a result of the ATM Offering, the company now has total shares outstanding of approximately 75.9 million.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchGameStop’s efforts to turnaround its business operations are encouraging. Investors have been keeping a close watch on the transformation efforts undertaken by the company’s restructured board.Caught in the meme frenzy earlier this year, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have surged 920.2% in the year-to-date period compared with the industry’s rise of 41.4%.Here are 3 Key Stocks for YouThe Childrens Place, Inc. PLCE, flaunting a Zacks Rank #1, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Best Buy Co., Inc. BBY, with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8.3%.Costco Wholesale Corporation COST, also with a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9.3%. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report GameStop Corp. (GME): Free Stock Analysis Report The Childrens Place, Inc. (PLCE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Elon Musk calls for ideas to upgrade dogecoin - and says he favors the meme-based cryptocurrency because of its satirical nature

Dogecoin has been criticized for its concentrated ownership by a small group of whales, b.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2021

Ethereum"s Turn To Outshine Bitcoin Is Coming, UBS Says

Ethereum's Turn To Outshine Bitcoin Is Coming, UBS Says After a stellar start to the year, which saw its price soar to an all time high above $4,100, trouncing virtually all of its crypto peers, Ethereum has stagnated in recent weeks, with its place in the spotlight taken by bitcoin which whose impressive outperformance has been the result of now confirmed speculation that a bitcoin futures ETF is coming. It also meant that what has traditionally been a close correlation between the two larges cryptos has broken in favor of the larger peer; it would also suggest that ethereum is trading about $1000 cheap vs bitcoin. It wasn't just bitcoin's long-overdue ETF success: ETH was also put in the shade by DeFi- and NFT-driven demand for faster and cheaper blockchains since the late summer, according to UBS strategist James Malcolm. But in the bank's latest Crypto Compass publication, Malcolm writes that this could soon change thanks to the progress with one of Ethereum's prior Layer 2 solutions, Optimism. As UBS explains, "having been all but forgotten, it suddenly seems set to give leading competitor Arbitrum a run for its money. OVM 2.0 promises faster processing, cheaper gas prices and fewer code constraints, which should encourage smart contract deployment." Furthermore, it has just been implemented on Ethereum's testnet and is now scheduled to go mainnet-live in two weeks, on October 28. Of course, all of this pales in comparison to the ETH uplift that will take place once Ethereum 2.0 is ready for rollout. Some have speculated that the event will quickly trigger a quick doubling in the cryptocurrency which Goldman dubbed the "Amazon for information" (and is why Goldman also sees ETH eventually overtaking BTC). Data also show the recent rebound in active addresses on chain, offset by the small decline in total transfer volumes, which however can be attributed to the surge in whale trading in recent weeks (more below). A curious divergence also emerges when looking at exchange balances between BTC and ETH. But what appears most remarkable is the distribution of crypto strikes for bitcoin and ethereum, both of which are far above spot, suggesting that a major gamma squeeze may be on deck for both. Incidentally, speaking of ETH level 2, Bitcoin's Lightning Network for smaller transactions has also been growing in anticipation of next month's Taproot upgrade: year-to-date, the number of LN nodes and channels has doubled, and capacity nearly tripled. Incidentally, this does not mean that Bitcoin is set to drop, on the contrary. As UBS also writes, Bitcoin - which is now on the right side of $60k - is within striking distance of its April all time highs. Its latest rally came in two steps: October 1, which was put down to a Powell comment about having no intention to follow China in banning crypto, and October 6 when nearly $1.6bn of buy orders were reportedly executed within five minutes. Both occurred against a backdrop of big-name presenters at digital summits, rising speculation about imminent US ETF approval (which we now know has taken place), and pushback from the Senate Banking Committee's ranking Republican against the Biden administration and Fed's crystallizing plans to impose bank-like regulation on stablecoins. Pat Toomey's point was this is something for Congress to decide and enact clarifying legislation, which would take more time. They helped trigger liquidations of short futures positions but left no footprint on bid-ask spreads, which barely budged in contrast to what we saw a month earlier. Not surprisingly, with Bitcoin steamrolling above $60K, bullish sentiment has become even more pronounced, attracting growing spot-futures basis arbitrage on the CME and pushing perpetual futures funding rates uniformly higher On-chain activity has also seen a major revival as BTC entity-adjusted transaction volumes overshot their early-2021 highs. What is most remarkable is that this is not at all small-time and retail investors setting the price: as the next chart from UBS shows, whales are in the driving seat to an almost unprecedented degree with the mean-to-median transaction size ratio is at its highest level since 2013. And speaking of whales, the bitcoin supply held by whales is now at the highest it has ever been at around 8mm coins (out of a total 21mm), while both exchanges and OTC desks have seen their holdings decline. Also notable, the collapse in bitcoin supply that was last active less than 3 months ago as increasingly more are truly HODLing. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 19:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge6 hr. 30 min. ago

WallStreetBets founder Jaime Rogozinski breaks down the Nancy Pelosi stock controversy, and details his next project for retail investors

WallStreetBets founder Jaime Rogozinski talks to Insider about his blockchain-based trading platform WSB DApp. WallStreetBets founder Jaime Rogozinski. Jaime Rogozinski. WallStreetBets founder Jaime Rogozinski talks to Insider about his blockchain-based trading platform WSB DApp. "This is very much a way for me to say crypto and Wall Street are definitely going to merge," says Rogozinski. He suggested the platform create a "Nancy ETP" to capture the attention on stock trading by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband. Jaime Rogozinski, the founder of WallStreetBets, believes there's potential for a new investment product tracking the stock bets made by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, whose trading has sparked outrage and fascination in equal measures among amateur traders.In an interview, he suggested a Pelosi-themed exchange-traded portfolio could emerge on the latest iteration of his campaign to empower retail investors - a platform called WallStreetBets DApp."I got this idea, somewhat of a joke, but I can't shake it so I'm probably going to start pushing for it, which is this 'Nancy ETP,'" Rogozinski told Insider.But his vision for WallStreetBets DApp, a blockchain-based shop for stocks and other assets, extends far beyond one potentially trendy ETP. A strategic partner in the project, Rogozinski wants ordinary investors to build their wealth with the same kind of community-powered energy that the WallStreetBets forum on Reddit used to upend the trading world this year. WallStreetBets was thrust into the spotlight in January after retail investors active on the site banded together to drive a massive upsurge in video-game retailer GameStop's stock price, squeezing hedge funds shorting the so-called meme stock. The WSB DApp is an expression of what Rogozinski sees as the next big thing in the financial world. "This is very much a way for me to say crypto and Wall Street are definitely going to merge and they're starting to spill into each other already," he told Insider during a video interview from Mexico City, where he lives with his family."For far too long, I made the mistake of assuming blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies were one in the same thing - and they're not," Rogozinski said. "This whole DeFi (decentralized finance) infrastructure that's able to create a parallel ecosystem in finances is astoundingly powerful, more than I could have imagined." 'Nancy ETP'Rogozinski's idea for an automated "Nancy ETP" would highlight a key feature on WSB DApp. The platform allows community members to propose the creation and makeup of ETPs, which can hold a mix of assets such as domestic and international equities, cryptocurrencies, and metals.The WSB DApp platform has a native token, the $WSB governance token, that people can buy and then use to vote on the type of assets and weightings that should go into an ETP. In an example given in May, token holders who think Tesla should make up 90% of a particular ETP instead of 10% can vote on it by signing a transaction using their $WSB tokens during voting cycles.At the same time, a Pelosi-centered ETP would apply the "if you can't beat them, join them" notion to investing while also drawing attention to outrage and debate over stock trading by members of Congress and their families, Rogozinski said. In the case of Paul Pelosi, one trade in particular stood out. It involved shares of Google parent Alphabet that made $5.3 million for him prior to a House Judiciary Committee vote on tech antitrust regulation. Spokespeople for Speaker Pelosi told media outlets she owns no stock herself and had no knowledge of her husband's equity purchases. Meanwhile, as the uproar continues, "people are able to make money," with a product like the "Nancy ETP", said Rogozinski. "Nothing's sure but past performance is definitely impressive," he said broadly of Paul Pelosi's stock picks.The strong performance of his stock picks over the last two years has prompted many retail investors to mirror Paul Pelosi's investments. Meanwhile, memes about Nancy Pelosi have popped up, suggesting she's a skilled investor that can make money off of insider information.Life after moderating WallStreetBetsThe Pelosi controversy has the right mix of ingredients to thrive in discussions on the WallStreetBets forum, which Rogozinski created in 2012 in a quest to find a place for ideas about aggressive, money-making trades. But in April of 2020, he was removed as a moderator on WallStreetBets after being accused by other moderators of trying to profit from the subreddit.He sold the rights to his life story to RatPac Entertainment in exchange for a payment in the low six figures, according to a Wall Street Journal report in May. More about the dispute will be revealed through projects the entertainment company plans to produce, which could include movies, podcasts, TV shows, and other vehicles, he said. "The documentary is well underway and will be out next year," Rogozinski said. And while he's no longer a WallStreetBets moderator, his WSB DApp platform looks to continue its mission of democratizing markets. Using the $WSB token, retail investors will rebalance ETPs, not by "opaque and politically connected" banks and hedge funds, WallStreetBets said in May.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt15 hr. 46 min. ago

Coronavirus links: no inoculum for uncertainty

A coronavirus-focused linkfest is a weekly feature here at Abnormal Returns. Please stay safe and find a vaccination site near you. You... VaccinesThe FDA advisory panel voted in favor of Moderna ($MRNA) boosters. (nytimes.com)The FDA panel endorsed a second shot for adults who received J&J ($JNJ) vaccine. (biopharmadive.com)People who are vaxxed and had Covid likely don't need a booster. (wsj.com)Mix-and-match vaccines seem to induce bigger immune responses. (biopharmadive.com)Should you feel guilty about getting a booster shot? (statnews.com)Modern ($MRNA) vaccines have gone almost exclusively to wealthy nations. (nytimes.com)A first-hand account of a mom who is nervous to get her children vaccinated. (slate.com)Why didn't the U.S. do challenge trials? (nytimes.com)MandatesHospital systems say that vaccine mandates are working. (washingtonpost.com)Despite Covid being the leading work-related cause of death among officers, police unions are steadfast against mandates. (nytimes.com)Vaccine mandates work where other entreaties don't. (wired.com)DataHow many lives have Covid vaccines saved? A lot... (theconversation.com)90,000 unvaccinated Americans died needlessly this Summer. (marketwatch.com)Long CovidAn estimate at the high end for the percentage of Covid patients experiencing lingering issues. (sciencedaily.com)How vaccines may help fight long Covid. (wsj.com)Health careNot surprisingly, nurses are burned out. (washingtonpost.com)AntiviralsHow Merck ($MRK) jumped ahead in the race for a Covid-19 antiviral. (scientificamerican.com)Timing matters when it comes to antivirals. (msn.com)TestingAt-home testing will become more important as antiviral therapies roll out. (wsj.com)Three lessons on the effort to scale up rapid Covid-19 tests. (statnews.com)Why at-home tests are hard to find. (washingtonpost.com)GlobalVaccinated travelers can enter the U.S. starting in November. (nytimes.com)Italy has implemented strict vaccine requirements for workers. (wsj.com)Australia is easing is quarantine restrictions. (washingtonpost.com)New Zealand is mandating vaccines for health care workers and teachers. (npr.org)A review shows flaws in the UK's initial approach to Covid. (cnbc.com)ImmunocompromiseThe immunocompromised are being left in limbo. (slate.com)On the prophylactic use of monoclonal antibodies. (slate.com)MisinformationAnti-vax chiropractors are on the front lines of the misinformation game. (apnews.com)InfluenzamRNA vaccines, if they work as planned, would be a huge upgrade over the current influenza vaccines (finance.yahoo.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsCoronavirus links: triple protection. (abnormalreturns.com)There's only one way through the pandemic tunnel. (abnormalreturns.com)Why we are eventually going to need digital health passes, i.e. vaccine passports. (abnormalreturns.com)The 'Swiss cheese model' and the importance of avoiding single points of failure in pandemic and life. (abnormalreturns.com)On the challenge of holding two competing thoughts on the pandemic in your head a the same time. (abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaAndy Slavitt talks with Larry Brilliant about the future of the pandemic. (podcasts.apple.com)This Wisconsin brewery is helping parents sue school boards that flout public health advice. (arstechnica.com)Why banning travel from China in early 2020 wasn't enough. (papers.ssrn.com)Why we should be laying out the plans to reduce Covid restrictions. (theatlantic.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturns16 hr. 30 min. ago

"Nancy ETP": WallStreetBets founder Jaime Rogozinski on the Pelosi stock controversy and his next project for retail investors

WallStreetBets founder Jaime Rogozinski talks to Insider about his blockchain-based trading platform WSB DApp. WallStreetBets founder Jaime Rogozinski. Jaime Rogozinski. WallStreetBets founder Jaime Rogozinski talks to Insider about his blockchain-based trading platform WSB DApp. "This is very much a way for me to say crypto and Wall Street are definitely going to merge," says Rogozinski. He suggested the platform create a "Nancy ETP" to capture the attention on stock trading by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband. Jaime Rogozinski, the founder of WallStreetBets, believes there's potential for a new investment product tracking the stock bets made by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, whose trading has sparked outrage and fascination in equal measures among amateur traders.In an interview, he suggested a Pelosi-themed exchange-traded portfolio could emerge on the latest iteration of his campaign to empower retail investors - a platform called WallStreetBets DApp."I got this idea, somewhat of a joke, but I can't shake it so I'm probably going to start pushing for it, which is this 'Nancy ETP,'" Rogozinski told Insider.But his vision for WallStreetBets DApp, a blockchain-based shop for stocks and other assets, extends far beyond one potentially trendy ETP. A strategic partner in the project, Rogozinski wants ordinary investors to build their wealth with the same kind of community-powered energy that the WallStreetBets forum on Reddit used to upend the trading world this year. WallStreetBets was thrust into the spotlight in January after retail investors active on the site banded together to drive a massive upsurge in video-game retailer GameStop's stock price, squeezing hedge funds shorting the so-called meme stock. The WSB DApp is an expression of what Rogozinski sees as the next big thing in the financial world. "This is very much a way for me to say crypto and Wall Street are definitely going to merge and they're starting to spill into each other already," he told Insider during a video interview from Mexico City, where he lives with his family."For far too long, I made the mistake of assuming blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies were one in the same thing - and they're not," Rogozinski said. "This whole DeFi (decentralized finance) infrastructure that's able to create a parallel ecosystem in finances is astoundingly powerful, more than I could have imagined." 'Nancy ETP'Rogozinski's idea for an automated "Nancy ETP" would highlight a key feature on WSB DApp. The platform allows community members to propose the creation and makeup of ETPs, which can hold a mix of assets such as domestic and international equities, cryptocurrencies, and metals.The WSB DApp platform has a native token, the $WSB governance token, that people can buy and then use to vote on the type of assets and weightings that should go into an ETP. In an example given in May, token holders who think Tesla should make up 90% of a particular ETP instead of 10% can vote on it by signing a transaction using their $WSB tokens during voting cycles.At the same time, a Pelosi-centered ETP would apply the "if you can't beat them, join them" notion to investing while also drawing attention to outrage and debate over stock trading by members of Congress and their families, Rogozinski said. In the case of Paul Pelosi, one trade in particular stood out. It involved shares of Google parent Alphabet that made $5.3 million for him prior to a House Judiciary Committee vote on tech antitrust regulation. Spokespeople for Speaker Pelosi told media outlets she owns no stock herself and had no knowledge of her husband's equity purchases. Meanwhile, as the uproar continues, "people are able to make money," with a product like the "Nancy ETP", said Rogozinski. "Nothing's sure but past performance is definitely impressive," he said broadly of Paul Pelosi's stock picks.The strong performance of his stock picks over the last two years has prompted many retail investors to mirror Paul Pelosi's investments. Meanwhile, memes about Nancy Pelosi have popped up, suggesting she's a skilled investor that can make money off of insider information.Life after moderating WallStreetBetsThe Pelosi controversy has the right mix of ingredients to thrive in discussions on the WallStreetBets forum, which Rogozinski created in 2012 in a quest to find a place for ideas about aggressive, money-making trades. But in April of 2020, he was removed as a moderator on WallStreetBets after being accused by other moderators of trying to profit from the subreddit.He sold the rights to his life story to RatPac Entertainment in exchange for a payment in the low six figures, according to a Wall Street Journal report in May. More about the dispute will be revealed through projects the entertainment company plans to produce, which could include movies, podcasts, TV shows, and other vehicles, he said. "The documentary is well underway and will be out next year," Rogozinski said. And while he's no longer a WallStreetBets moderator, his WSB DApp platform looks to continue its mission of democratizing markets. Using the $WSB token, retail investors will rebalance ETPs, not by "opaque and politically connected" banks and hedge funds, WallStreetBets said in May.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt17 hr. 14 min. ago

A 27-year-old influencer advises her thousands of followers to delete Robinhood and go for a 401k and "boring" index funds

"If someone would rather set up that app than their 401(k), I tell them to delete the app," Helen Lu said. SOPA Images/Getty Images Instagram influencer Helen Lu tells her followers to focus on retirement accounts, not Robinhood. She touts the benefits of "boring" investing like index funds and 401(k)s. "Many people have become millionaires from index fund investing," she said in an Aug. 5 post. One millennial influencer who calls herself the "Money Minimalist" says her thousands of followers should delete Robinhood and focus on long-term investing like retirement accounts instead.Helen Lu, the 27-year-old influencer, told Fortune in an interview that Robinhood has more people interested and curious about investing, "which is great.""But if someone would rather set up that app than their 401(k), I tell them to delete the app," she said.The problem with Robinhood, Lu told Insider in an Instagram message, is that it was "designed to make investing feel like gambling."With retail traders joining the markets in droves amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Robinhood has come under scrutiny for gamifying investing - a claim that the app's chief Vlad Tenev has denied, saying instead that it's made investing easier for everyday people.In March, Robinhood removed its digital confetti feature - which popped once users made their first trade - after the company faced scrutiny for its game-like features during a congressional hearing following the GameStop saga. Robinhood did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment for the story.The craze around meme stocks like GameStop this year has pushed new, younger-skewing investors into the stock market, according to a previous report from Fidelity. Those investors are now turning to something familar to learn how to invest: social media.Lu, who has 16,000 Instagram followers, takes a more traditional approach to investing, which is quite the opposite of many finance influencers who teach momentum trading and speculative investing. For example, in one post she advises teens to open a roth IRA, research index funds, and hold investments long term. "Many people have become millionaires from index fund investing," she said in the Aug. 5 post. "Buy and hold. Long-term investing. I like telling people that boring growth is better than exciting loss," she told Fortune.In messages to Insider, she said she uses Vanguard for index funds and recommends the book "The Simple Path to Wealth" by J L Collins for anyone looking to start investing. She also touted the benefits of retirement accounts like a 401(k)."You can lower your taxable income, pay less in taxes, AND get an employer sponsored benefit," she said. "That doesn't happen when you invest with Robinhood."Read more: An ultimate guide to 10 top altcoins, their real-world applications, and why investors are betting their tech is the future of cryptoRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt17 hr. 14 min. ago

How to connect an Xbox controller to your iPhone to play games and more

You can connect nearly any Xbox controller to an iPhone, whether it's from the Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S. Connecting an Xbox controller to your iPhone is a great way to enhance your games. Hopix Art/Shutterstock To connect an Xbox controller to your iPhone and play games with it, you'll need to have at least iOS 13. You can connect nearly any Xbox controller, whether it's from the Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S. Make sure that your Xbox controller has Bluetooth and is in pairing mode before trying to connect it. Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. Thanks to some recent updates, you can now connect nearly every popular video game controller to your iPhone. This includes Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S controllers, which are considered some of the best on the market.Although not every game supports the use of controllers, several of the more popular games on the App Store allow it, including nearly every game in the Apple Arcade.Quick tip: To connect an Xbox controller to your iPhone, make sure that you're running at least iOS 13. If you still have iOS 12 or earlier, you'll need to update your iPhone.Pairing your Xbox One controller to your iPhone is pretty straightforward. Here's how to do it.Does your Xbox controller have Bluetooth?Your iPhone connects to game controllers using Bluetooth. This means that any controller you connect needs to have Bluetooth, too.Luckily, nearly all official Xbox controllers have Bluetooth. This includes the controllers that come with the Xbox One S, Xbox One X, and Xbox Series X/S. So if you've bought your controller within the last five years, you probably don't need to worry.If you're still using the controllers that came with the original Xbox One, however, you might need to upgrade.There's an easy way to tell if your Xbox One controller has Bluetooth. A Bluetooth-capable Xbox One controller has plastic around the Xbox button that matches the rest of the controller's color. Non-Bluetooth controllers instead have plastic that matches the color of the bumper buttons. The wireless controller (pictured left) will match the primary color of the overall controller, while a non-Bluetooth one (pictured right) will match the black color found in the bumper section. Taylor Lyles/Business Insider How to connect an Xbox controller to your iPhoneNow, if you have an Xbox controller with Bluetooth:1. Hold down the Xbox logo button, located at the top-center of the controller, until it starts flashing. If it doesn't flash and instead just glows solidly, it's already paired to a nearby Xbox - if this is the case, hold the small button located next to the charging port until the Xbox logo flashes.2. Grab your iPhone and open the Settings app, then tap Bluetooth.3. Once you're in the Bluetooth menu, you should see a device named "Xbox Wireless Controller" or something similar. Tap it, and your iPhone will ask you if you want to pair the device. Make sure the controller isn't paired with anything else, or otherwise it won't appear here. Taylor Lyles/Business Insider 4. Select Pair. Once the device is paired, you can start using it. Taylor Lyles/Business Insider 5. Later, if you're done using the controller and want to disconnect it, go to the Bluetooth menu again, tap the small i icon next to the device's name, and then tap Disconnect. Pairing and unpairing your controller is simple. Taylor Lyles/Business Insider Quick tip: While you have a controller connected, head to the Settings app and select General. There, you'll find a menu called Game Controller. You can use this menu to customize the controller's buttons.How to enable Xbox accessibility features to get closed captions, a magnifier, and moreWhy do my apps keep closing? How to troubleshoot malfunctioning apps on any mobile device5 ways to fix an Xbox One controller that is blinking or flashingHow to set up and use your iPhone or iPad as an Apple TV remoteRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 15th, 2021