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Epstein Accusers Sue JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank For Enabling Notorious Pedophile

Epstein Accusers Sue JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank For Enabling Notorious Pedophile Multiple class action lawsuits filed by Jeffrey Epstein accusers accuses JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank of enabling Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse victims by turning a blind eye in order to "churn profits," Bloomberg reports. The lawsuits, filed in a New York court, allege the banks had "knowingly benefited and received things of value for assisting, supporting, facilitating, and otherwise providing the most critical service for the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking organization." JPMorgan was accused in the suit of “financially benefiting from participating” in the alleged sex trafficking through providing financial support from 1998 to August 2013. Deutsche Bank was accused of knowing that they would “earn million of dollars” from its relationship with Epstein.  Both suits are seeking unspecified damages and ask to be certified as a class action. A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman said the claim “lacks merit” and the bank will present its arguments in court. A spokesman for JPMorgan in London declined to comment. -Bloomberg "Epstein and his co-conspirators could not have victimized without assistance from wealthy individuals and financial institutions," said Bradley Edwards of Edwards Pottinger, one of the firms representing victims. "We will not stop fighting for the survivors until everyone is held responsible." And while Epstein's client list has remained amazingly concealed during his - and sidekick Ghislaine Maxwell's trials, the new class-action suits threaten to bring Epstein's associations back into the spotlight - as a bevy of prominent financiers, entrepreneurs, celebrities, politicians and the British Royal Family have been associated with the dead pedophile (many of whom, like Bill Gates, had no problem hanging out with him after his first conviction). The UK’s Prince Andrew had to withdraw from public duties after a disastrous television interview about his ties to Epstein. Jes Staley abruptly stepped down as chief executive officer of Barclays Plc last year after UK regulators shared with Barclays the preliminary findings of their multi year probe into what he told the bank’s board about his relationship with Epstein. Staley has said that he knew Epstein since 2000 when he was head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s private bank and was told to strike up a professional relationship with the financial adviser. -Bloomberg "Staley made sure Epstein and his illegal sexual abuse organization was absolutely protected by the bank," reads the lawsuit, filed Nov. 24. Meanwhile, anonymous accusers are being represented by David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner, who represented Virginia Giuffre vs. Prince Andrew in a case which subsequently settled. We're sure the prominent Democrat attorney wasn't chosen to protect Epstein's client list while ensuring Giuffre was also paid. Epstein, a prolific pedophile who was, by all appearances, running a honeypot operation on prominent men, "was found dead in his US jail cell in 2019," Bloomberg reports - which omitted any suggestion that he committed suicide. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/24/2022 - 17:25.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 24th, 2022

Epstein Accusers Sue JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank in New York

JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank were accused of enabling the sexual abuse of Jeffrey Epstein in a New York class action lawsuit. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG were accused of enabling the sexual abuse of Jeffrey Epstein in a New York class action lawsuit.The two lawsuits, filed separately in a New York court, said the banks had “knowingly benefited and received things of value for assisting, supporting, facilitating, and otherwise providing the most critical service for the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking organization.” JPMorgan were accused in the suit of “financially benefiting from participating” in the alleged sex trafficking through providing financial support from 1998 to August 2013, the suit said. Deutsche Bank was accused of knowing that they would “earn million of dollars” from its relationship with Epstein. The suit is seeking unspecified damages and asks for the suit to be certified as a class action. Representatives for JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank in London didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.“Epstein and his co-conspirators could not have victimized without assistance from wealthy individuals and financial institutions,” Bradley Edwards, a lawyer at Edwards Pottinger, one of the firms bringing the suit, said. We will not stop fighting for the survivors until everyone is held responsible.” Read More: 23 of Jeffrey Epstein’s Accusers Finally Got Their Day in Court. Here’s What They Said [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Epstein was found dead in his U.S. jail cell in 2019, after being arrested and charged with sex trafficking. Epstein spent decades cultivating ties to U.S. and British elites including several Wall Street figures. A Who’s Who of prominent financiers, entrepreneurs, politicians and even royals have been tainted by their association with the convicted pedophile. The U.K.’s Prince Andrew had to withdraw from public duties after a disastrous television interview about his ties to Epstein. Jes Staley abruptly stepped down as chief executive officer of Barclays Plc last year after U.K. regulators shared with Barclays the preliminary findings of their multi year probe into what he told the bank’s board about his relationship with Epstein. Staley has said that he knew Epstein since 2000 when he was head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s private bank and was told to strike up a professional relationship with the financial adviser. Read More: After Barclays CEO’s Departure, Here Are Some of the Other Business Executives Linked to Jeffrey Epstein “Staley made sure Epstein and his illegal sexual abuse organization was absolutely protected by the bank,” according to the lawsuit filed Nov. 24. A lawyer for Staley declined to comment. The anonymous claimants are being represented by David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner, who represented Virginia Giuffre in a case against Prince Andrew that subsequently settled. None of the allegations made against Staley in the suit have been publicly proved. After reviewing Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Epstein, the New York banking regulators found that “although the bank properly classified Epstein as high-risk, the bank failed to scrutinize the activity in the accounts for the kinds of activity that were obviously implicated by Epstein’s past,” the lawsuit said. —With assistance from William Shaw and Jonathan Browning......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 24th, 2022

Jeffrey Epstein"s accusers are suing Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan, accusing them of ignoring "blatant red flags" that enabled "commercial sex trafficking"

The lawsuit says the banks ignored several red flags over Epstein's alleged sex trafficking, including payments to young women and cash withdrawals. Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking prior to his death in prison in 2019.Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images Accusers of Jeffrey Epstein are suing Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan, filings show. Lawyers for the plaintiffs accuse the banks of ignoring red flags around Epstein's activities. Epstein would send money to young women and withdraw large sums to pay victims, per the lawsuits. People who accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse are suing Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan, accusing the banks of enabling the late billionaire's alleged "commercial sex trafficking enterprise."Two filings brought Thursday in a New York federal court, and shared with Insider, accused the banks of facilitating the financier's financial activities that they argued should have drawn more scrutiny given his status as a registered sex offender. The Wall Street Journal first reported the story."Deutsche Bank also knew that Epstein would use means of force, threats of force, fraud, abuse of legal process, exploitation of power disparity, and a variety of other forms of coercion to cause young women and girls to engage in commercial sex acts," the lawsuit stated.The lawsuit cites a 2020 investigation by the New York State Department of Financial Services into Deutsche's links with Epstein and Epstein-related entities in which the bank agreed to pay $150 million to resolve the case after finding Deutsche Bank failed to properly monitor Epstein's financial activity.A spokesperson for Deutsche Bank told Insider in a statement: "We believe this claim lacks merit and will present our arguments in court." JPMorgan is being pursued over Epstein's "symbiotic" relationship with Jes Staley, who was previously head of its private banking division. Staley resigned as CEO of Barclays in November 2021 after an investigation by UK regulators into his ties with Epstein. "To put it plainly, Epstein needed a bank that knew he was engaging in illegal activity and did not care – because the bank only cared about the money that it was making from its relationship with Epstein," the lawsuit said of JPMorgan.An unnamed woman bringing the suit against JPMorgan, a ballet dancer who lived in New York, says she was assaulted and trafficked by Epstein and his friend on a number of occasions over several years. The suit says large sums were withdrawn from JPMorgan accounts to pay the victims.JPMorgan didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.Another unnamed accuser suing Deutsche says she was sexually abused by Epstein and trafficked to his friends from about 2003 until about 2018, during which time she was paid in cash. The suit says Deutsche ignored several "red flags" included multiple payments to young women and substantial cash withdrawals.Lawyers for the plaintiffs are pursuing unspecified damages from the banks.In a statement to Insider, lawyers from Edwards Pottinger LLC, representing the plaintiffs, said: "If you were ever victimized by Jeffrey Epstein, or any of his friends, call us. "If you were around Epstein, unwittingly helped him in any way, or have any information that can help us bring those accountable to justice, it is never too late to do the right thing. We need your help to do right by these courageous survivors."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 24th, 2022

Argentina Vows Not To Go Full Weimar, Will Stop Printing Money Amid 60% Inflation

Argentina Vows Not To Go Full Weimar, Will Stop Printing Money Amid 60% Inflation Hours after Argentina's new Minister of Economy Sergio Massa was sworn into office, he pledged to stop printing money in an attempt to halt a spiraling currency crisis which has seen inflation hit 60% - and has been projected to reach 90% by the end of this year. According to the Buenos Aires Times, Massa's economic roadmap also focuses on boosting exports, reducing the country's fiscal deficit, and refilling the central bank's severely depleted reserves. Protests have erupted across the country over the last several months, as citizens are demanding that their center-left government reinstate various subsidies, and reconsider cutting more - such as the country's notorious welfare program, which has grown to 22 million Argentinians receiving assistance amid a 43% unemployment rate. The country's deteriorating economic picture has left it cut off from international capital markets as the Fernández administration has relied on printing money to cover its chronic fiscal debt. As the Epoch Times noted earlier in the week, the country’s state funded programs extend to nearly every aspect of the economy, from wages to utilities, education, and health care. Argentina already spends an estimated 800 million pesos per day—a sum of more than US$6 million—on state benefit programs. Concurrently, inflation in the South American nation hit 58 percent in May and soared above 60 percent in July. By comparison, national inflation was just over 14 percent in 2015. Harry Lorenzo, chief finance officer of Income Based Research, told The Epoch Times the spending habits of Argentina’s government are at the root of the escalating problem. “The Argentine government has been grappling with a collapsing economy for some time now. The main reason for this is the government’s unsustainable spending, which has been funded in part by generous welfare programs,” Lorenzo explained. While the Peso's official spot price has weakened to over 130/USD... The grey market 'blue dollar' for US dollars is trading dramatically weaker at around 300/USD... via bluedollar.net "Magic doesn’t exist," Massa exclaimed to reporters in Buenos Aires. "We have to confront inflation with determination." The government will finance its budget by reducing its deficit or via private lending. The country is considering four loan offers by three international banks and a sovereign wealth fund, he said, without providing a figure of the potential deal. Although light on specifics, Massa committed to meeting the government’s primary deficit target this year, a key pillar of its US$44 billion program with the International Monetary Fund. Massa said he spoke to IMF staff Wednesday to discuss the program’s future. An IMF spokesperson said in a statement that its staff spoke to Massa about implementing the program. -Buenos Aires Times Meanwhile, and perhaps related to Massa's swearing-in, crypto exchange Binance has partnered with Mastercard to launch a 'cryptocurrency power card' for customers in Argentina. It will be used to spend digital currency on everyday items, according to a press release. The Latin American country will be the first to see this product available on its territory. At the time of writing, Binance claims the product is currently in beta; it will become “widely available” for all users in Argentina over the coming weeks. The Binance Card is issued by Credencial Payment, the press release revealed. Every user in the country will be available for the product as long as they have completed the exchange Know Your Customer (KYC) process and presented a valid national ID. -Bitcoinist According to Mastercard Latin America EVP Walter Pimenta, "Our work with digital currencies builds on our strong foundation to enable choice and peace of mind when people shop and pay. Together with our partners, Mastercard has been leading the payments industry in enabling entry to this exciting new world, helping bring millions of additional users into crypto and other digital assets in a safe and trusted manner." Tyler Durden Thu, 08/04/2022 - 21:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 4th, 2022

The Anatomy Of Big Pharma"s Political Reach

The Anatomy Of Big Pharma's Political Reach Authored by Rebecca Strong via Medium.com, They keep telling us to “trust the science.” But who paid for it? After graduating from Columbia University with a chemical engineering degree, my grandfather went on to work for Pfizer for almost two decades, culminating his career as the company’s Global Director of New Products. I was rather proud of this fact growing up — it felt as if this father figure, who raised me for several years during my childhood, had somehow played a role in saving lives. But in recent years, my perspective on Pfizer — and other companies in its class — has shifted. Blame it on the insidious big pharma corruption laid bare by whistleblowers in recent years. Blame it on the endless string of big pharma lawsuits revealing fraud, deception, and cover-ups. Blame it on the fact that I witnessed some of their most profitable drugs ruin the lives of those I love most. All I know is, that pride I once felt has been overshadowed by a sticky skepticism I just can’t seem to shake. In 1973, my grandpa and his colleagues celebrated as Pfizer crossed a milestone: the one-billion-dollar sales mark. These days, Pfizer rakes in $81 billion a year, making it the 28th most valuable company in the world. Johnson & Johnson ranks 15th, with $93.77 billion. To put things into perspective, that makes said companies wealthier than most countries in the world. And thanks to those astronomical profit margins, the Pharmaceuticals and Health Products industry is able to spend more on lobbying than any other industry in America. While big pharma lobbying can take several different forms, these companies tend to target their contributions to senior legislators in Congress — you know, the ones they need to keep in their corner, because they have the power to draft healthcare laws. Pfizer has outspent its peers in six of the last eight election cycles, coughing up almost $9.7 million. During the 2016 election, pharmaceutical companies gave more than $7 million to 97 senators at an average of $75,000 per member. They also contributed $6.3 million to president Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. The question is: what did big pharma get in return? When you've got 1,500 Big Pharma lobbyists on Capitol Hill for 535 members of Congress, it's not too hard to figure out why prescription drug prices in this country are, on average, 256% HIGHER than in other major countries. — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 3, 2022 ALEC’s Off-the-Record Sway To truly grasp big pharma’s power, you need to understand how The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) works. ALEC, which was founded in 1973 by conservative activists working on Ronald Reagan’s campaign, is a super secretive pay-to-play operation where corporate lobbyists — including in the pharma sector — hold confidential meetings about “model” bills. A large portion of these bills is eventually approved and become law. A rundown of ALEC’s greatest hits will tell you everything you need to know about the council’s motives and priorities. In 1995, ALEC promoted a bill that restricts consumers’ rights to sue for damages resulting from taking a particular medication. They also endorsed the Statute of Limitation Reduction Act, which put a time limit on when someone could sue after a medication-induced injury or death. Over the years, ALEC has promoted many other pharma-friendly bills that would: weaken FDA oversight of new drugs and therapies, limit FDA authority over drug advertising, and oppose regulations on financial incentives for doctors to prescribe specific drugs. But what makes these ALEC collaborations feel particularly problematic is that there’s little transparency — all of this happens behind closed doors. Congressional leaders and other committee members involved in ALEC aren’t required to publish any records of their meetings and other communications with pharma lobbyists, and the roster of ALEC members is completely confidential. All we know is that in 2020, more than two-thirds of Congress — 72 senators and 302 House of Representatives members — cashed a campaign check from a pharma company. Big Pharma Funding Research The public typically relies on an endorsement from government agencies to help them decide whether or not a new drug, vaccine, or medical device is safe and effective. And those agencies, like the FDA, count on clinical research. As already established, big pharma is notorious for getting its hooks into influential government officials. Here’s another sobering truth: The majority of scientific research is paid for by — wait for it — the pharmaceutical companies. When the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published 73 studies of new drugs over the course of a single year, they found that a staggering 82% of them had been funded by the pharmaceutical company selling the product, 68% had authors who were employees of that company, and 50% had lead researchers who accepted money from a drug company. According to 2013 research conducted at the University of Arizona College of Law, even when pharma companies aren’t directly funding the research, company stockholders, consultants, directors, and officers are almost always involved in conducting them. A 2017 report by the peer-reviewed journal The BMJ also showed that about half of medical journal editors receive payments from drug companies, with the average payment per editor hovering around $28,000. But these statistics are only accurate if researchers and editors are transparent about payments from pharma. And a 2022 investigative analysis of two of the most influential medical journals found that 81% of study authors failed to disclose millions in payments from drug companies, as they’re required to do. Unfortunately, this trend shows no sign of slowing down. The number of clinical trials funded by the pharmaceutical industry has been climbing every year since 2006, according to a John Hopkins University report, while independent studies have been harder to find. And there are some serious consequences to these conflicts of interest. Take Avandia, for instance, a diabetes drug produced by GlaxoSmithCline (GSK). Avandia was eventually linked to a dramatically increased risk of heart attacks and heart failure. And a BMJ report revealed that almost 90% of scientists who initially wrote glowing articles about Avandia had financial ties to GSK. But here’s the unnerving part: if the pharmaceutical industry is successfully biasing the science, then that means the physicians who rely on the science are biased in their prescribing decisions. Photo credit: UN Women Europe & Central Asia Where the lines get really blurry is with “ghostwriting.” Big pharma execs know citizens are way more likely to trust a report written by a board-certified doctor than one of their representatives. That’s why they pay physicians to list their names as authors — even though the MDs had little to no involvement in the research, and the report was actually written by the drug company. This practice started in the ’50s and ’60s when tobacco execs were clamoring to prove that cigarettes didn’t cause cancer (spoiler alert: they do!), so they commissioned doctors to slap their name on papers undermining the risks of smoking. It’s still a pretty common tactic today: more than one in 10 articles published in the NEJM was co-written by a ghostwriter. While a very small percentage of medical journals have clear policies against ghostwriting, it’s still technically legal —despite the fact that the consequences can be deadly. Case in point: in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Merck paid for 73 ghostwritten articles to play up the benefits of its arthritis drug Vioxx. It was later revealed that Merck failed to report all of the heart attacks experienced by trial participants. In fact, a study published in the NEJM revealed that an estimated 160,000 Americans experienced heart attacks or strokes from taking Vioxx. That research was conducted by Dr. David Graham, Associate Director of the FDA’s Office of Drug Safety, who understandably concluded the drug was not safe. But the FDA’s Office of New Drugs, which not only was responsible for initially approving Vioxx but also regulating it, tried to sweep his findings under the rug. "I was pressured to change my conclusions and recommendations, and basically threatened that if I did not change them, I would not be permitted to present the paper at the conference," he wrote in his 2004 U.S. Senate testimony on Vioxx. "One Drug Safety manager recommended that I should be barred from presenting the poster at the meeting." Eventually, the FDA issued a public health advisory about Vioxx and Merck withdrew this product. But it was a little late for repercussions — 38,000 of those Vioxx-takers who suffered heart attacks had already died. Graham called this a “profound regulatory failure,” adding that scientific standards the FDA apply to drug safety “guarantee that unsafe and deadly drugs will remain on the U.S. market.” This should come as no surprise, but research has also repeatedly shown that a paper written by a pharmaceutical company is more likely to emphasize the benefits of a drug, vaccine, or device while downplaying the dangers. (If you want to understand more about this practice, a former ghostwriter outlines all the ethical reasons why she quit this job in a PLOS Medicine report.) While adverse drug effects appear in 95% of clinical research, only 46% of published reports disclose them. Of course, all of this often ends up misleading doctors into thinking a drug is safer than it actually is. Big Pharma Influence On Doctors Pharmaceutical companies aren’t just paying medical journal editors and authors to make their products look good, either. There’s a long, sordid history of pharmaceutical companies incentivizing doctors to prescribe their products through financial rewards. For instance, Pfizer and AstraZeneca doled out a combined $100 million to doctors in 2018, with some earning anywhere from $6 million to $29 million in a year. And research has shown this strategy works: when doctors accept these gifts and payments, they’re significantly more likely to prescribe those companies’ drugs. Novartis comes to mind — the company famously spent over $100 million paying for doctors’ extravagant meals, golf outings, and more, all while also providing a generous kickback program that made them richer every time they prescribed certain blood pressure and diabetes meds. Side note: the Open Payments portal contains a nifty little database where you can find out if any of your own doctors received money from drug companies. Knowing that my mother was put on a laundry list of meds after a near-fatal car accident, I was curious — so I did a quick search for her providers. While her PCP only banked a modest amount from Pfizer and AstraZeneca, her previous psychiatrist — who prescribed a cocktail of contraindicated medications without treating her in person — collected quadruple-digit payments from pharmaceutical companies. And her pain care specialist, who prescribed her jaw-dropping doses of opioid pain medication for more than 20 years (far longer than the 5-day safety guideline), was raking in thousands from Purdue Pharma, AKA the opioid crisis’ kingpin. Purdue is now infamous for its wildly aggressive OxyContin campaign in the ’90s. At the time, the company billed it as a non-addictive wonder drug for pain sufferers. Internal emails show Pursue sales representatives were instructed to “sell, sell, sell” OxyContin, and the more they were able to push, the more they were rewarded with promotions and bonuses. With the stakes so high, these reps stopped at nothing to get doctors on board — even going so far as to send boxes of doughnuts spelling out “OxyContin” to unconvinced physicians. Purdue had stumbled upon the perfect system for generating tons of profit — off of other people’s pain. Documentation later proved that not only was Purdue aware it was highly addictive and that many people were abusing it, but that they also encouraged doctors to continue prescribing increasingly higher doses of it (and sent them on lavish luxury vacations for some motivation). In testimony to Congress, Purdue exec Paul Goldenheim played dumb about OxyContin addiction and overdose rates, but emails that were later exposed showed that he requested his colleagues remove all mentions of addiction from their correspondence about the drug. Even after it was proven in court that Purdue fraudulently marketed OxyContin while concealing its addictive nature, no one from the company spent a single day behind bars. Instead, the company got a slap on the wrist and a $600 million fine for a misdemeanor, the equivalent of a speeding ticket compared to the $9 billion they made off OxyContin up until 2006. Meanwhile, thanks to Purdue’s recklessness, more than 247,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2009. And that’s not even factoring in all the people who died of heroin overdoses once OxyContin was no longer attainable to them. The NIH reports that 80% of people who use heroin started by misusing prescription opioids. Former sales rep Carol Panara told me in an interview that when she looks back on her time at Purdue, it all feels like a “bad dream.” Panara started working for Purdue in 2008, one year after the company pled guilty to “misbranding” charges for OxyContin. At this point, Purdue was “regrouping and expanding,” says Panara, and to that end, had developed a clever new approach for making money off OxyContin: sales reps were now targeting general practitioners and family doctors, rather than just pain management specialists. On top of that, Purdue soon introduced three new strengths for OxyContin: 15, 30, and 60 milligrams, creating smaller increments Panara believes were aimed at making doctors feel more comfortable increasing their patients’ dosages. According to Panara, there were internal company rankings for sales reps based on the number of prescriptions for each OxyContin dosing strength in their territory. “They were sneaky about it,” she said. “Their plan was to go in and sell these doctors on the idea of starting with 10 milligrams, which is very low, knowing full well that once they get started down that path — that’s all they need. Because eventually, they’re going to build a tolerance and need a higher dose.” Occasionally, doctors expressed concerns about a patient becoming addicted, but Purdue had already developed a way around that. Sales reps like Panara were taught to reassure those doctors that someone in pain might experience addiction-like symptoms called “pseudoaddiction,” but that didn’t mean they were truly addicted. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support that this concept is legit, of course. But the most disturbing part? Reps were trained to tell doctors that “pseudoaddiction” signaled the patient’s pain wasn’t being managed well enough, and the solution was simply to prescribe a higher dose of OxyContin. Panara finally quit Purdue in 2013. One of the breaking points was when two pharmacies in her territory were robbed at gunpoint specifically for OxyContin. In 2020, Purdue pled guilty to three criminal charges in an $8.3 billion deal, but the company is now under court protection after filing for bankruptcy. Despite all the damage that’s been done, the FDA’s policies for approving opioids remain essentially unchanged. Photo credit: Jennifer Durban Purdue probably wouldn’t have been able to pull this off if it weren’t for an FDA examiner named Curtis Wright, and his assistant Douglas Kramer. While Purdue was pursuing Wright’s stamp of approval on OxyContin, Wright took an outright sketchy approach to their application, instructing the company to mail documents to his home office rather than the FDA, and enlisting Purdue employees to help him review trials about the safety of the drug. The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires that the FDA have access to at least two randomized controlled trials before deeming a drug as safe and effective, but in the case of OxyContin, it got approved with data from just one measly two-week study — in osteoarthritis patients, no less. When both Wright and Kramer left the FDA, they went on to work for none other than (drumroll, please) Purdue, with Wright earning three times his FDA salary. By the way — this is just one example of the FDA’s notoriously incestuous relationship with big pharma, often referred to as “the revolving door”. In fact, a 2018 Science report revealed that 11 out of 16 FDA reviewers ended up at the same companies they had been regulating products for. While doing an independent investigation, “Empire of Pain” author and New Yorker columnist Patrick Radden Keefe tried to gain access to documentation of Wright’s communications with Purdue during the OxyContin approval process. “The FDA came back and said, ‘Oh, it’s the weirdest thing, but we don’t have anything. It’s all either been lost or destroyed,’” Keefe told Fortune in an interview. “But it’s not just the FDA. It’s Congress, it’s the Department of Justice, it’s big parts of the medical establishment … the sheer amount of money involved, I think, has meant that a lot of the checks that should be in place in society to not just achieve justice, but also to protect us as consumers, were not there because they had been co-opted.” Big pharma may be to blame for creating the opioids that caused this public health catastrophe, but the FDA deserves just as much scrutiny — because its countless failures also played a part in enabling it. And many of those more recent fails happened under the supervision of Dr. Janet Woodcock. Woodcock was named FDA’s acting commissioner mere hours after Joe Biden was inaugurated as president. She would have been a logical choice, being an FDA vet of 35 years, but then again it’s impossible to forget that she played a starring role in the FDA’s perpetuating the opioid epidemic. She’s also known for overruling her own scientific advisors when they vote against approving a drug. Not only did Woodcock approve OxyContin for children as young as 11 years old, but she also gave the green light to several other highly controversial extended-release opioid pain drugs without sufficient evidence of safety or efficacy. One of those was Zohydro: in 2011, the FDA’s advisory committee voted 11:2 against approving it due to safety concerns about inappropriate use, but Woodcock went ahead and pushed it through, anyway. Under Woodcock’s supervision, the FDA also approved Opana, which is twice as powerful as OxyContin — only to then beg the drug maker to take it off the market 10 years later due to “abuse and manipulation.” And then there was Dsuvia, a potent painkiller 1,000 times stronger than morphine and 10 times more powerful than fentanyl. According to a head of one of the FDA’s advisory committees, the U.S. military had helped to develop this particular drug, and Woodcock said there was “pressure from the Pentagon” to push it through approvals. The FBI, members of congress, public health advocates, and patient safety experts alike called this decision into question, pointing out that with hundreds of opioids already on the market there’s no need for another — particularly one that comes with such high risks. Most recently, Woodcock served as the therapeutics lead for Operation Warp Speed, overseeing COVID-19 vaccine development. Big Pharma Lawsuits, Scandals, and Cover-Ups While the OxyContin craze is undoubtedly one of the highest-profile examples of big pharma’s deception, there are dozens of other stories like this. Here are a few standouts: In the 1980s, Bayer continued selling blood clotting products to third-world countries even though they were fully aware those products had been contaminated with HIV. The reason? The “financial investment in the product was considered too high to destroy the inventory.” Predictably, about 20,000 of the hemophiliacs who were infused with these tainted products then tested positive for HIV and eventually developed AIDS, and many later died of it. In 2004, Johnson & Johnson was slapped with a series of lawsuits for illegally promoting off-label use of their heartburn drug Propulsid for children despite internal company emails confirming major safety concerns (as in, deaths during the drug trials). Documentation from the lawsuits showed that dozens of studies sponsored by Johnson & Johnson highlighting the risks of this drug were never published. The FDA estimates that GSK’s Avandia caused 83,000 heart attacks between 1999 and 2007. Internal documents from GSK prove that when they began studying the effects of the drug as early as 1999, they discovered it caused a higher risk of heart attacks than a similar drug it was meant to replace. Rather than publish these findings, they spent a decade illegally concealing them (and meanwhile, banking $3.2 billion annually for this drug by 2006). Finally, a 2007 New England Journal of Medicine study linked Avandia to a 43% increased risk of heart attacks, and a 64% increased risk of death from heart disease. Avandia is still FDA approved and available in the U.S. In 2009, Pfizer was forced to pay $2.3 billion, the largest healthcare fraud settlement in history at that time, for paying illegal kickbacks to doctors and promoting off-label uses of its drugs. Specifically, a former employee revealed that Pfizer reps were encouraged and incentivized to sell Bextra and 12 other drugs for conditions they were never FDA approved for, and at doses up to eight times what’s recommended. “I was expected to increase profits at all costs, even when sales meant endangering lives,” the whistleblower said. When it was discovered that AstraZeneca was promoting the antipsychotic medication Seroquel for uses that were not approved by the FDA as safe and effective, the company was hit with a $520 million fine in 2010. For years, AstraZeneca had been encouraging psychiatrists and other physicians to prescribe Seroquel for a vast range of seemingly unrelated off-label conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, anger management, ADHD, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sleeplessness. AstraZeneca also violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute by paying doctors to spread the word about these unapproved uses of Seroquel via promotional lectures and while traveling to resort locations. In 2012, GSK paid a $3 billion fine for bribing doctors by flying them and their spouses to five-star resorts, and for illegally promoting drugs for off-label uses. What’s worse — GSK withheld clinical trial results that showed its antidepressant Paxil not only doesn’t work for adolescents and children but more alarmingly, that it can increase the likelihood of suicidal thoughts in this group. A 1998 GSK internal memo revealed that the company intentionally concealed this data to minimize any “potential negative commercial impact.” In 2021, an ex-AstraZeneca sales rep sued her former employer, claiming they fired her for refusing to promote drugs for uses that weren’t FDA-approved. The employee alleges that on multiple occasions, she expressed concerns to her boss about “misleading” information that didn’t have enough support from medical research, and off-label promotions of certain drugs. Her supervisor reportedly not only ignored these concerns but pressured her to approve statements she didn’t agree with and threatened to remove her from regional and national positions if she didn’t comply. According to the plaintiff, she missed out on a raise and a bonus because she refused to break the law. At the top of 2022, a panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit against Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Roche, and GE Healthcare, which claims they helped finance terrorist attacks against U.S. service members and other Americans in Iraq. The suit alleges that from 2005–2011, these companies regularly offered bribes (including free drugs and medical devices) totaling millions of dollars annually to Iraq’s Ministry of Health in order to secure drug contracts. These corrupt payments then allegedly funded weapons and training for the Mahdi Army, which until 2008, was largely considered one of the most dangerous groups in Iraq. Another especially worrisome factor is that pharmaceutical companies are conducting an ever-increasing number of clinical trials in third-world countries, where people may be less educated, and there are also far fewer safety regulations. Pfizer’s 1996 experimental trials with Trovan on Nigerian children with meningitis — without informed consent — is just one nauseating example. When a former medical director in Pfizer’s central research division warned the company both before and after the study that their methods in this trial were “improper and unsafe,” he was promptly fired. Families of the Nigerian children who died or were left blind, brain damaged, or paralyzed after the study sued Pfizer, and the company ultimately settled out of court. In 1998, the FDA approved Trovan only for adults. The drug was later banned from European markets due to reports of fatal liver disease and restricted to strictly emergency care in the U.S. Pfizer still denies any wrongdoing. “Nurse prepares to vaccinate children” by World Bank Photo Collection is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 But all that is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’d like to dive a little further down the rabbit hole — and I’ll warn you, it’s a deep one — a quick Google search for “big pharma lawsuits” will reveal the industry’s dark track record of bribery, dishonesty, and fraud. In fact, big pharma happens to be the biggest defrauder of the federal government when it comes to the False Claims Act, otherwise known as the “Lincoln Law.” During our interview, Panara told me she has friends still working for big pharma who would be willing to speak out about crooked activity they’ve observed, but are too afraid of being blacklisted by the industry. A newly proposed update to the False Claims Act would help to protect and support whistleblowers in their efforts to hold pharmaceutical companies liable, by helping to prevent that kind of retaliation and making it harder for the companies charged to dismiss these cases. It should come as no surprise that Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck, and a flock of other big pharma firms are currently lobbying to block the update. Naturally, they wouldn’t want to make it any easier for ex-employees to expose their wrongdoings, potentially costing them billions more in fines. Something to keep in mind: these are the same people who produced, marketed, and are profiting from the COVID-19 vaccines. The same people who manipulate research, pay off decision-makers to push their drugs, cover up negative research results to avoid financial losses, and knowingly put innocent citizens in harm’s way. The same people who told America: “Take as much OxyContin as you want around the clock! It’s very safe and not addictive!” (while laughing all the way to the bank). So, ask yourself this: if a partner, friend, or family member repeatedly lied to you — and not just little white lies, but big ones that put your health and safety at risk — would you continue to trust them? Backing the Big Four: Big Pharma and the FDA, WHO, NIH, CDC I know what you’re thinking. Big pharma is amoral and the FDA’s devastating slips are a dime a dozen — old news. But what about agencies and organizations like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), World Health Organization (WHO), and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)? Don’t they have an obligation to provide unbiased guidance to protect citizens? Don’t worry, I’m getting there. The WHO’s guidance is undeniably influential across the globe. For most of this organization’s history, dating back to 1948, it could not receive donations from pharmaceutical companies — only member states. But that changed in 2005 when the WHO updated its financial policy to permit private money into its system. Since then, the WHO has accepted many financial contributions from big pharma. In fact, it’s only 20% financed by member states today, with a whopping 80% of financing coming from private donors. For instance, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is now one of its main contributors, providing up to 13% of its funds — about $250–300 million a year. Nowadays, the BMGF provides more donations to the WHO than the entire United States. Dr. Arata Kochi, former head of WHO’s malaria program, expressed concerns to director-general Dr. Margaret Chan in 2007 that taking the BMGF’s money could have “far-reaching, largely unintended consequences” including “stifling a diversity of views among scientists.” “The big concerns are that the Gates Foundation isn’t fully transparent and accountable,” Lawrence Gostin, director of WHO’s Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, told Devex in an interview. “By wielding such influence, it could steer WHO priorities … It would enable a single rich philanthropist to set the global health agenda.” Photo credit: National Institutes of Health Take a peek at the WHO’s list of donors and you’ll find a few other familiar names like AstraZeneca, Bayer, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck. The NIH has the same problem, it seems. Science journalist Paul Thacker, who previously examined financial links between physicians and pharma companies as a lead investigator of the United States Senate Committee, wrote in The Washington Post that this agency “often ignored” very “obvious” conflicts of interest. He also claimed that “its industry ties go back decades.” In 2018, it was discovered that a $100 million alcohol consumption study run by NIH scientists was funded mostly by beer and liquor companies. Emails proved that NIH researchers were in frequent contact with those companies while designing the study — which, here’s a shocker — were aimed at highlighting the benefits and not the risks of moderate drinking. So, the NIH ultimately had to squash the trial. And then there’s the CDC. It used to be that this agency couldn’t take contributions from pharmaceutical companies, but in 1992 they found a loophole: new legislation passed by Congress allowed them to accept private funding through a nonprofit called the CDC Foundation. From 2014 through 2018 alone, the CDC Foundation received $79.6 million from corporations like Pfizer, Biogen, and Merck. Of course, if a pharmaceutical company wants to get a drug, vaccine, or other product approved, they really need to cozy up to the FDA. That explains why in 2017, pharma companies paid for a whopping 75% of the FDA’s scientific review budgets, up from 27% in 1993. It wasn’t always like this. But in 1992, an act of Congress changed the FDA’s funding stream, enlisting pharma companies to pay “user fees,” which help the FDA speed up the approval process for their drugs. A 2018 Science investigation found that 40 out of 107 physician advisors on the FDA’s committees received more than $10,000 from big pharma companies trying to get their drugs approved, with some banking up to $1 million or more. The FDA claims it has a well-functioning system to identify and prevent these possible conflicts of interest. Unfortunately, their system only works for spotting payments before advisory panels meet, and the Science investigation showed many FDA panel members get their payments after the fact. It’s a little like “you scratch my back now, and I’ll scratch your back once I get what I want” — drug companies promise FDA employees a future bonus contingent on whether things go their way. Here’s why this dynamic proves problematic: a 2000 investigation revealed that when the FDA approved the rotavirus vaccine in 1998, it didn’t exactly do its due diligence. That probably had something to do with the fact that committee members had financial ties to the manufacturer, Merck — many owned tens of thousands of dollars of stock in the company, or even held patents on the vaccine itself. Later, the Adverse Event Reporting System revealed that the vaccine was causing serious bowel obstructions in some children, and it was finally pulled from the U.S. market in October 1999. Then, in June of 2021, the FDA overruled concerns raised by its very own scientific advisory committee to approve Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm — a move widely criticized by physicians. The drug not only showed very little efficacy but also potentially serious side effects like brain bleeding and swelling, in clinical trials. Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, a Harvard Medical School professor who was on the FDA’s scientific advisory committee, called it the “worst drug approval” in recent history, and noted that meetings between the FDA and Biogen had a “strange dynamic” suggesting an unusually close relationship. Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, told CNN that he believes the FDA started working in “inappropriately close collaboration with Biogen” back in 2019. “They were not objective, unbiased regulators,” he added in the CNN interview. “It seems as if the decision was preordained.” That brings me to perhaps the biggest conflict of interest yet: Dr. Anthony Fauci’s NIAID is just one of many institutes that comprises the NIH — and the NIH owns half the patent for the Moderna vaccine — as well as thousands more pharma patents to boot. The NIAID is poised to earn millions of dollars from Moderna’s vaccine revenue, with individual officials also receiving up to $150,000 annually. Operation Warp Speed In December of 2020, Pfizer became the first company to receive an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA for a COVID-19 vaccine. EUAs — which allow the distribution of an unapproved drug or other product during a declared public health emergency — are actually a pretty new thing: the first one was issued in 2005 so military personnel could get an anthrax vaccine. To get a full FDA approval, there needs to be substantial evidence that the product is safe and effective. But for an EUA, the FDA just needs to determine that it may be effective. Since EUAs are granted so quickly, the FDA doesn’t have enough time to gather all the information they’d usually need to approve a drug or vaccine. “Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Event” by The White House is licensed under CC PDM 1.0 Pfizer CEO and chairman Albert Bourla has said his company was “operating at the speed of science” to bring a vaccine to market. However, a 2021 report in The BMJ revealed that this speed might have come at the expense of “data integrity and patient safety.” Brook Jackson, regional director for the Ventavia Research Group, which carried out these trials, told The BMJ that her former company “falsified data, unblinded patients, and employed inadequately trained vaccinators” in Pfizer’s pivotal phase 3 trial. Just some of the other concerning events witnessed included: adverse events not being reported correctly or at all, lack of reporting on protocol deviations, informed consent errors, and mislabeling of lab specimens. An audio recording of Ventavia employees from September 2020 revealed that they were so overwhelmed by issues arising during the study that they became unable to “quantify the types and number of errors” when assessing quality control. One Ventavia employee told The BMJ she’d never once seen a research environment as disorderly as Ventavia’s Pfizer vaccine trial, while another called it a “crazy mess.” Over the course of her two-decades-long career, Jackson has worked on hundreds of clinical trials, and two of her areas of expertise happen to be immunology and infectious diseases. She told me that from her first day on the Pfizer trial in September of 2020, she discovered “such egregious misconduct” that she recommended they stop enrolling participants into the study to do an internal audit. “To my complete shock and horror, Ventavia agreed to pause enrollment but then devised a plan to conceal what I found and to keep ICON and Pfizer in the dark,” Jackson said during our interview. “The site was in full clean-up mode. When missing data points were discovered the information was fabricated, including forged signatures on the informed consent forms.” A screenshot Jackson shared with me shows she was invited to a meeting titled “COVID 1001 Clean up Call” on Sept. 21, 2020. She refused to participate in the call. Jackson repeatedly warned her superiors about patient safety concerns and data integrity issues. “I knew that the entire world was counting on clinical researchers to develop a safe and effective vaccine and I did not want to be a part of that failure by not reporting what I saw,” she told me. When her employer failed to act, Jackson filed a complaint with the FDA on Sept. 25, and Ventavia fired her hours later that same day under the pretense that she was “not a good fit.” After reviewing her concerns over the phone, she claims the FDA never followed up or inspected the Ventavia site. Ten weeks later, the FDA authorized the EUA for the vaccine. Meanwhile, Pfizer hired Ventavia to handle the research for four more vaccine clinical trials, including one involving children and young adults, one for pregnant women, and another for the booster. Not only that, but Ventavia handled the clinical trials for Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax. Jackson is currently pursuing a False Claims Act lawsuit against Pfizer and Ventavia Research Group. Last year, Pfizer banked nearly $37 billion from its COVID vaccine, making it one of the most lucrative products in global history. Its overall revenues doubled in 2021 to reach $81.3 billion, and it’s slated to reach a record-breaking $98-$102 billion this year. “Corporations like Pfizer should never have been put in charge of a global vaccination rollout, because it was inevitable they would make life-and-death decisions based on what’s in the short-term interest of their shareholders,” writes Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now. As previously mentioned, it’s super common for pharmaceutical companies to fund the research on their own products. Here’s why that’s scary. One 1999 meta-analysis showed that industry-funded research is eight times less likely to achieve unfavorable results compared to independent trials. In other words, if a pharmaceutical company wants to prove that a medication, supplement, vaccine, or device is safe and effective, they’ll find a way. With that in mind, I recently examined the 2020 study on Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to see if there were any conflicts of interest. Lo and behold, the lengthy attached disclosure form shows that of the 29 authors, 18 are employees of Pfizer and hold stock in the company, one received a research grant from Pfizer during the study, and two reported being paid “personal fees” by Pfizer. In another 2021 study on the Pfizer vaccine, seven of the 15 authors are employees of and hold stock in Pfizer. The other eight authors received financial support from Pfizer during the study. Photo credit: Prasesh Shiwakoti (Lomash) via Unsplash As of the day I’m writing this, about 64% of Americans are fully vaccinated, and 76% have gotten at least one dose. The FDA has repeatedly promised “full transparency” when it comes to these vaccines. Yet in December of 2021, the FDA asked for permission to wait 75 years before releasing information pertaining to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, including safety data, effectiveness data, and adverse reaction reports. That means no one would see this information until the year 2096 — conveniently, after many of us have departed this crazy world. To recap: the FDA only needed 10 weeks to review the 329,000 pages worth of data before approving the EUA for the vaccine — but apparently, they need three-quarters of a century to publicize it. In response to the FDA’s ludicrous request, PHMPT — a group of over 200 medical and public health experts from Harvard, Yale, Brown, UCLA, and other institutions — filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act demanding that the FDA produce this data sooner. And their efforts paid off: U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman issued an order for the FDA to produce 12,000 pages by Jan. 31, and then at least 55,000 pages per month thereafter. In his statement to the FDA, Pittman quoted the late John F. Kennedy: “A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” As for why the FDA wanted to keep this data hidden, the first batch of documentation revealed that there were more than 1,200 vaccine-related deaths in just the first 90 days after the Pfizer vaccine was introduced. Of 32 pregnancies with a known outcome, 28 resulted in fetal death. The CDC also recently unveiled data showing a total of 1,088,560 reports of adverse events from COVID vaccines were submitted between Dec. 14, 2020, and Jan. 28, 2022. That data included 23,149 reports of deaths and 183,311 reports of serious injuries. There were 4,993 reported adverse events in pregnant women after getting vaccinated, including 1,597 reports of miscarriage or premature birth. A 2022 study published in JAMA, meanwhile, revealed that there have been more than 1,900 reported cases of myocarditis — or inflammation of the heart muscle — mostly in people 30 and under, within 7 days of getting the vaccine. In those cases, 96% of people were hospitalized. “It is understandable that the FDA does not want independent scientists to review the documents it relied upon to license Pfizer’s vaccine given that it is not as effective as the FDA originally claimed, does not prevent transmission, does not prevent against certain emerging variants, can cause serious heart inflammation in younger individuals, and has numerous other undisputed safety issues,” writes Aaron Siri, the attorney representing PHMPT in its lawsuit against the FDA. Siri told me in an email that his office phone has been ringing off the hook in recent months. “We are overwhelmed by inquiries from individuals calling about an injury from a COVID-19 vaccine,” he said. By the way — it’s worth noting that adverse effects caused by COVID-19 vaccinations are still not covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Companies like Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are protected under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, which grants them total immunity from liability with their vaccines. And no matter what happens to you, you can’t sue the FDA for authorizing the EUA, or your employer for requiring you to get it, either. Billions of taxpayer dollars went to fund the research and development of these vaccines, and in Moderna’s case, licensing its vaccine was made possible entirely by public funds. But apparently, that still warrants citizens no insurance. Should something go wrong, you’re basically on your own. Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine business model: government gives them billions, gives them immunity for any injuries or if doesn't work, promotes their products for free, and mandates their products. Sounds crazy? Yes, but it is our current reality. — Aaron Siri (@AaronSiriSG) February 2, 2022 The Hypocrisy of “Misinformation” I find it interesting that “misinformation” has become such a pervasive term lately, but more alarmingly, that it’s become an excuse for blatant censorship on social media and in journalism. It’s impossible not to wonder what’s driving this movement to control the narrative. In a world where we still very clearly don’t have all the answers, why shouldn’t we be open to exploring all the possibilities? And while we’re on the subject, what about all of the COVID-related untruths that have been spread by our leaders and officials? Why should they get a free pass? Photo credit: @upgradeur_life, www.instagram.com/upgradeur_life Fauci, President Biden, and the CDC’s Rochelle Walensky all promised us with total confidence the vaccine would prevent us from getting or spreading COVID, something we now know is a myth. (In fact, the CDC recently had to change its very definition of “vaccine ” to promise “protection” from a disease rather than “immunity”— an important distinction). At one point, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) and former Governor Andrew Cuomo prepared a social media campaign with misleading messaging that the vaccine was “approved by the FDA” and “went through the same rigorous approval process that all vaccines go through,” when in reality the FDA only authorized the vaccines under an EUA, and the vaccines were still undergoing clinical trials. While the NYS DOH eventually responded to pressures to remove these false claims, a few weeks later the Department posted on Facebook that “no serious side effects related to the vaccines have been reported,” when in actuality, roughly 16,000 reports of adverse events and over 3,000 reports of serious adverse events related to a COVID-19 vaccination had been reported in the first two months of use. One would think we’d hold the people in power to the same level of accountability — if not more — than an average citizen. So, in the interest of avoiding hypocrisy, should we “cancel” all these experts and leaders for their “misinformation,” too? Vaccine-hesitant people have been fired from their jobs, refused from restaurants, denied the right to travel and see their families, banned from social media channels, and blatantly shamed and villainized in the media. Some have even lost custody of their children. These people are frequently labeled “anti-vax,” which is misleading given that many (like the NBA’s Jonathan Isaac) have made it repeatedly clear they are not against all vaccines, but simply making a personal choice not to get this one. (As such, I’ll suggest switching to a more accurate label: “pro-choice.”) Fauci has repeatedly said federally mandating the vaccine would not be “appropriate” or “enforceable” and doing so would be “encroaching upon a person’s freedom to make their own choice.” So it’s remarkable that still, some individual employers and U.S. states, like my beloved Massachusetts, have taken it upon themselves to enforce some of these mandates, anyway. Meanwhile, a Feb. 7 bulletin posted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security indicates that if you spread information that undermines public trust in a government institution (like the CDC or FDA), you could be considered a terrorist. In case you were wondering about the current state of free speech. The definition of institutional oppression is “the systematic mistreatment of people within a social identity group, supported and enforced by the society and its institutions, solely based on the person’s membership in the social identity group.” It is defined as occurring when established laws and practices “systematically reflect and produce inequities based on one’s membership in targeted social identity groups.” Sound familiar? As you continue to watch the persecution of the unvaccinated unfold, remember this. Historically, when society has oppressed a particular group of people whether due to their gender, race, social class, religious beliefs, or sexuality, it’s always been because they pose some kind of threat to the status quo. The same is true for today’s unvaccinated. Since we know the vaccine doesn’t prevent the spread of COVID, however, this much is clear: the unvaccinated don’t pose a threat to the health and safety of their fellow citizens — but rather, to the bottom line of powerful pharmaceutical giants and the many global organizations they finance. And with more than $100 billion on the line in 2021 alone, I can understand the motivation to silence them. The unvaccinated have been called selfish. Stupid. Fauci has said it’s “almost inexplicable” that they are still resisting. But is it? What if these people aren’t crazy or uncaring, but rather have — unsurprisingly so — lost their faith in the agencies that are supposed to protect them? Can you blame them? Citizens are being bullied into getting a vaccine that was created, evaluated, and authorized in under a year, with no access to the bulk of the safety data for said vaccine, and no rights whatsoever to pursue legal action if they experience adverse effects from it. What these people need right now is to know they can depend on their fellow citizens to respect their choices, not fuel the segregation by launching a full-fledged witch hunt. Instead, for some inexplicable reason I imagine stems from fear, many continue rallying around big pharma rather than each other. A 2022 Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports survey of Democratic voters found that 59% of respondents support a government policy requiring unvaccinated individuals to remain confined in their home at all times, 55% support handing a fine to anyone who won’t get the vaccine, and 48% think the government should flat out imprison people who publicly question the efficacy of the vaccines on social media, TV, or online in digital publications. Even Orwell couldn’t make this stuff up. Photo credit: DJ Paine on Unsplash Let me be very clear. While there are a lot of bad actors out there — there are also a lot of well-meaning people in the science and medical industries, too. I’m lucky enough to know some of them. There are doctors who fend off pharma reps’ influence and take an extremely cautious approach to prescribing. Medical journal authors who fiercely pursue transparency and truth — as is evident in “The Influence of Money on Medical Science,” a report by the first female editor of JAMA. Pharmacists, like Dan Schneider, who refuse to fill prescriptions they deem risky or irresponsible. Whistleblowers, like Graham and Jackson, who tenaciously call attention to safety issues for pharma products in the approval pipeline. And I’m certain there are many people in the pharmaceutical industry, like Panara and my grandfather, who pursued this field with the goal of helping others, not just earning a six- or seven-figure salary. We need more of these people. Sadly, it seems they are outliers who exist in a corrupt, deep-rooted system of quid-pro-quo relationships. They can only do so much. I’m not here to tell you whether or not you should get the vaccine or booster doses. What you put in your body is not for me — or anyone else — to decide. It’s not a simple choice, but rather one that may depend on your physical condition, medical history, age, religious beliefs, and level of risk tolerance. My grandfather passed away in 2008, and lately, I find myself missing him more than ever, wishing I could talk to him about the pandemic and hear what he makes of all this madness. I don’t really know how he’d feel about the COVID vaccine, or whether he would have gotten it or encouraged me to. What I do know is that he’d listen to my concerns, and he’d carefully consider them. He would remind me my feelings are valid. His eyes would light up and he’d grin with amusement as I fervidly expressed my frustration. He’d tell me to keep pushing forward, digging deeper, asking questions. In his endearing Bronx accent, he used to always say: “go get ‘em, kid.” If I stop typing for a moment and listen hard enough, I can almost hear him saying it now. People keep saying “trust the science.” But when trust is broken, it must be earned back. And as long as our legislative system, public health agencies, physicians, and research journals keep accepting pharmaceutical money (with strings attached) — and our justice system keeps letting these companies off the hook when their negligence causes harm, there’s no reason for big pharma to change. They’re holding the bag, and money is power. I have a dream that one day, we’ll live in a world where we are armed with all the thorough, unbiased data necessary to make informed decisions about our health. Alas, we’re not even close. What that means is that it’s up to you to educate yourself as much as possible, and remain ever-vigilant in evaluating information before forming an opinion. You can start by reading clinical trials yourself, rather than relying on the media to translate them for you. Scroll to the bottom of every single study to the “conflicts of interest” section and find out who funded it. Look at how many subjects were involved. Confirm whether or not blinding was used to eliminate bias. You may also choose to follow Public Citizen’s Health Research Group’s rule whenever possible: that means avoiding a new drug until five years after an FDA approval (not an EUA, an actual approval) — when there’s enough data on the long-term safety and effectiveness to establish that the benefits outweigh the risks. When it comes to the news, you can seek out independent, nonprofit outlets, which are less likely to be biased due to pharma funding. And most importantly, when it appears an organization is making concerted efforts to conceal information from you — like the FDA recently did with the COVID vaccine — it’s time to ask yourself: why? What are they trying to hide? In the 2019 film “Dark Waters” — which is based on the true story of one of the greatest corporate cover-ups in American history — Mark Ruffalo as attorney Rob Bilott says: “The system is rigged. They want us to think it’ll protect us, but that’s a lie. We protect us. We do. Nobody else. Not the companies. Not the scientists. Not the government. Us.” Words to live by. Tyler Durden Sat, 04/09/2022 - 22:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 9th, 2022

"Partner In Crime": Maxwell Prosecution Opens With Sordid Details Of Epstein Sexual Predation

'Partner In Crime': Maxwell Prosecution Opens With Sordid Details Of Epstein Sexual Predation Update (1615ET): The prosecution opened its case against Ghislaine Maxwell on Monday, beginning with a disturbing tale of how the British Socialite and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein recruited underage victims for sexual predation. As Matthew Russell Lee blogged for the Inner City Press: AUSA Pomerantz: The man and woman were predators. Jane was not their only victim. There were other young girls. Who was that woman? It was the defendant, Ghislaine Maxwell. The defendant took these girls on shopping trips and won their trust. She talked sex — Inner City Press (@innercitypress) November 29, 2021 Continued (via Twitter, emphasis ours): AUSA Pomerantz: There were times she was in the room when it happened. That is why we are here today. Between 1994 and 2004 the defendant sexually exploited young girls. She preyed on them and served them up to be sexually abused. She was trafficking kids for sex ..He owned a ranch in New Mexico, an apartment in Paris, a mansion in Manhattan, Palm Beach, a private island. Epstein has private planes and pilots. The defendant got to enjoy that luxury right along with Epstein. The defendant was the lady of the house. She imposed rules. Employees were to hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing. There was a culture of silence. That was by design. The defendant's design. They had a play book: get access, gain trust. They often targeted the daughters of single mothers, struggling to make ends meet. They made these girls feel seen. But that was a cover. To get the girls to touch Epstein, they used the cover of massage. The defendant massaged Epstein then told the girls to do it. Epstein brought girls into his massage room every single day. It was sexual abuse. Before I describe those so-called massages, let me say: these are the facts. Epstein touched the teenage girls with equipment... He sometimes penetrated... The defendant helped Epstein find those girls, for so-called massages. They lured their victims with a promise of a brighter future then destroyed their lives. The defendant was jet-setting in private planes. So what happened to Jane? You will hear from her. Someone from Epstein's office invited her to Epstein's house. He told her mother he was offering a scholarship. Jane was 14 - a kid. Epstein was in his early 40s, the defendant in her early 30s. Jane traveled to New York to Epstein's mansion, where he abused her. She was not the only one. You will learn about multiple girls during the course of this trial. You will learn about a 16 year old girl who traveled to the ranch in New Mexico. The defendant told the girl she was going to give her a massage. But she touched her elsewhere. The girl was 16 years old. There's a 17 year old, spotted in a parking lot. The driver pulled over. [Maxwell puts on her glasses and jots down notes] They moved beyond scholarships and moved on to a pyramid scheme of abuse. They encouraged girls to bring other girls, for extra cash. The defendant knew exactly what she was doing. That's what we expect the evidence will show. You'll hear about a fund that paid millions to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein. But you will learn that these victims would have paid anything to have this not have happened to them. You will hear from relatives. You will hear from staff members. Maxwell's lawyer Bobbi Sternheim then spoke - opening with: "Ever since Eve, women have been blamed for the evil deeds of men. Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein or any of the other men, moguls and media giants who abuse women." Sternheim: We are proud to represent Ghislaine Maxwell, me and Christian Everdell, Laura Minninger & Jeffrey Pagliuca [pronounced like "Lasagna," G silent] Sternheim: These witnesses want a jackpot of money. There are 4 accusers. They'll say Ghislaine groomed them — Inner City Press (@innercitypress) November 29, 2021 More: Sternheim: Ghislaine is a stand-in for a man who behaved badly-- AUSA: Objection! Judge Nathan: Let me hear from counsel at the sidebar. [Non-public whispering] — Inner City Press (@innercitypress) November 29, 2021 Read the rest by clicking on any of the above tweets. Needless to say, it appears this trial will be about claims against Epstein and Maxwell vs. Maxwell's attorneys casting doubt while trying to frame Ghislaine as some sort of a victim herself. Stay tuned... *  *  * Update (1426ET): The jury in the sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell has been seated for the British socialite's trial, where six men and six women will decide if she trafficked underage girls for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein and pals. According to Bloomberg, the jury ranges in age from 27 to 70 - and most of them say they don't follow the news closely. Several jurors who said they had closely followed the Epstein saga were excused from serving. Here's what we know about the 12 jurors via Bloomberg (emphasis ours): A woman, 61, working as a trader’s assistant for an unidentified bank after previously working at ING. She lives in the Bronx with her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren and said she watches a lot of “police shows” like “Law & Order.” A woman, 28, living in the Bronx and doing clerical work for the City of New York while she finishes her master’s degree in public administration. She said she’d heard of Epstein before but not Maxwell. A woman, 60, with a master’s in urban affairs who prepares contracts for the government. The Manhattan resident said she doesn’t read newspapers but follows online news feeds. A man, 44, who studied information and knowledge strategy at Columbia University and is now vice president of quality at a life-sciences company. He lives with his husband in Westchester County, where they enjoy playing board games. A woman, 51, who has lived in Manhattan her entire life. An administrative manager at a “metals industry” non-profit, she works out and visits her mother everyday. She said she’d heard of Epstein and his suicide as well as Maxwell’s arrest. A woman, 70, who retired in 2017 after working in human resources at a non-profit. She frequents cooking websites and also enjoys “Jeopardy,” chess, knitting and bicycle riding. A woman, 53, who lives in the Bronx and works as a home health aide. An immigrant who came to the U.S. with a middle-school education, she had heard of Epstein but didn’t remember hearing about Maxwell. She likes watching “The Bold and the Beautiful” and cartoons with her grandchildren. A man, 35, who graduated from college in 2008 with a finance degree and has been living in Manhattan for the past 10 years. He works as an executive assistant at a private company within the financial industry. A man, 33, who works for a “government entity” and lives in the Bronx with his wife. He says he mostly watches sports and thinks he was watching football when he flipped the channel and saw the news about Epstein’s suicide. A man, 34, who lives in Manhattan and previously worked in advertising but is not currently employed. He said he knew of both Epstein and Maxwell but didn’t follow the case “super well.” A man, 41, living in Manhattan and working as a musician. He said he’d heard of Epstein being a “billionaire who solicited prostitutes or underage girls” and was aware of Maxwell being his “girlfriend or romantic partner.” A man, 64, who is a lifelong Manhattan resident and has worked for the past 24 years as a paraprofessional for a “public entity.” He lives alone, doesn’t read the news and is not on social media, preferring to spend his free time watching old movies and the Mets. Six alternates have also been chosen - including a 36-year-old real estate broker who studied civil engineering in the Dominican Republic, and a 54-year-old woman who lives in Westchester and works in maintenance "in a building in the city." *  *  * Is there another giant Epstein bomb about to drop? With the way social media blew up this weekend about the Ghislaine Maxwell trial coverage, one might think so. Over the last few days, messages on Facebook and Twitter have expressed disgust and skepticism about the fact that the Maxwell trial will not be livestreamed, similar to the way the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was. There have been Tweets abound suggesting that press may be banned from the courtroom and that Judge Alison Nathan had issued some type of "gag order" preventing the press from being at the trial..  Tweets like these were abound, making their way across social media all weekend: BREAKING: “Judge In Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Issues Media-Wide Gag Order: All Press & Spectators Barred From Courtroom.” We know who they are protecting and we can’t allow it! — Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) November 28, 2021 But these assertions look as though they may not be entirely true. Federal trials prohibit all cameras, Newsweek reported this morning. "Cameras were allowed in Rittenhouse's as it was a state trial, held in a Wisconsin state court," their article said, debunking the notion that since one trial was livestreamed, the other one should be.  "[E]xcept as otherwise provided by a statute or these rules, the court must not permit the taking of photographs in the courtroom during judicial proceedings or the broadcasting of judicial proceedings from the courtroom," the report says, citing Federal law. Newsweek instead reported this morning that that no gag order had been issued and that the press are being "guaranteed access" to the courtroom: Contrary to claims made on social media, a judge has not issued a gag order, and per federal rules, only individuals inside the courthouse will be able to watch the trial. Among those being guaranteed access to the trial are members of the press, alleged victims, and members of Maxwell's family. A November 24 order from Judge Alison Nathan stated: "First, consistent with the District's COVID-19 distancing requirements, a number of pool reporters and members of the public will be permitted in the courtroom proper as managed by the District's Executive Office. Second, press will also be able to access the trial in dedicated overflow courtrooms for the press." Either way, we are expecting fireworks and will follow developments as they occur... Tyler Durden Mon, 11/29/2021 - 16:12.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 29th, 2021

Large Stash Of Previously Unreported Emails Between Staley And Epstein Emerges, Some Reference "Snow White"

Large Stash Of Previously Unreported Emails Between Staley And Epstein Emerges, Some Reference "Snow White" Less than two weeks ago, former Barclays CEO Jes Staley resigned over his unsavory ties to Jeffrey Epstein - which in turn followed the departure of another Epstein pal, Leon Black - who left private equity giant Apollo following an internal uprising over the relationship. Jes Staley (far left), Larry Summers, Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Gates We may now know more about what prompted Staley's departure... According to the Financial Times, Staley and Epstein exchanged 1,200 emails over a four-year span, which contained unexplained code words such as "snow white," according to people familiar with the emails. Staley and Epstein became acquainted in the early 2000s, when Epstein was a client of JPMorgan's private bank. Staley notably visited Epstein in prison where he was serving time in 2009 for child prostitution. According to Staley, their relationship began to "taper off" after he left the bank in 2013 - except for the time he sailed his yacht to Epstein's 'pedo island' - after which he claims he had no contact with the notorious pedophile. To recap, Staley resigned after UK regulators concluded that he mischaracterized his relationship with Epstein as purely professional - findings Staley says he will contest. Many of the emails, sent between 2008 and 2012, were matter of fact — for example, discussing news articles or arranging to meet up for drinks — but showed a close relationship between the two men, according to the people familiar with the contents. However, regulators have highlighted certain terms that do not have an obvious meaning. The “snow white” reference was written in a short, two-message exchange referring to a conversation the men had previously had in person, one of the people familiar with the matter said. Regulators at the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are yet to draw conclusions over the phrase, a second person said. -FT So, unless Epstein and Staley were cocaine addicts, we can only imagine what they were referring to. Staley lawyer Kathleen Harris claimed in a statement: "We wish to make it expressly clear that our client had no involvement in any of the alleged crimes committed by Mr Epstein, and codewords were never used by Mr Staley in any communications with Mr Epstein, ever." Barclays, meanwhile, pointed to an earlier statement that noted "the investigation makes no findings that Mr Staley saw, or was aware of, any of Mr Epstein’s alleged crimes." So what does "Snow White" refer to? Tyler Durden Fri, 11/12/2021 - 12:21.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 12th, 2021

Quinn: We Are Trapped In "A Truman Show" Directed By Psychopaths

Quinn: We Are Trapped In 'A Truman Show' Directed By Psychopaths Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, “Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World. Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.” – Aldous Huxley – Letter to George Orwell about 1984 in 1949 “There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution” ― Aldous Huxley When I step back from the day-to-day minutia and trivialities flooding my senses from all directions and media devices, it almost appears as if I’m living in a highly scripted reality TV program where the characters and plots are designed to create passions and reactions to support whatever narrative is being weaved by those directing the show. Huxley really did foresee the future as clearly and concisely as anyone could, decades before his dystopian vision came to fruition. Orwell’s boot on the face vision is only now being initiated because a few too many critical thinkers have awoken from their pharmaceutically induced stupor and begun to question the plotline of this spectacle masquerading as our reality. The mass formation psychosis infecting the weak-minded masses; relentless mass propaganda designed to mislead, misinform, and brainwash a dumbed down and government indoctrinated populace; and complete control of the story line through media manipulation, regulation, and censorship of the truth; has run its course. As Charles Mackay stated 180 years ago, the masses go mad as a herd, but only regain their senses slowly, and one by one. My recognition that the world seems to be scripted and directed by Machiavellian managers, working behind a dark shroud, representing an invisible governing authority, molding our minds, suggesting our ideas, dictating our tastes, and creating fear, triggered a recollection of the 1998 Jim Carrey movie – The Truman Show. The movie, directed by Peter Weir (Gallipoli, Witness, Dead Poet’s Society), had the surreal feel of Forest Gump, while beckoning the horrendous introduction of reality TV (Big Brother, Survivor), which poisons our shallow unserious society to this day. The plot of the movie focuses on individuality versus conformity, consumerism, voyeurism, reality versus manipulation, false narratives, the truth about the American Dream, and the dangers of surveillance in a technologically advanced society. Truman Burbank is the unsuspecting star of The Truman Show, a reality television program filmed 24/7 through thousands of hidden cameras and broadcast to a worldwide audience. Christof, the show’s creator seeks to capture Truman’s authentic emotions and give audiences a relatable everyman. Truman has been the unsuspecting star of the show since he was born 30 years prior. Truman’s hometown of Seahaven Island is a complete set built within an enormous dome, populated by crew members and actors who highlight the product placements that generate revenue for the show. The elaborate set allows Christof to control almost every aspect of Truman’s life, including the weather. The picture-perfect home, with picket fence and plastic people, is an attempt to convince Truman he is living the American Dream rather than in an inescapable dystopian techno-prison. To prevent Truman from discovering his false reality, Christof manufactures scenarios that dissuade Truman’s desire for exploration, such as the “death” of his father in a sea storm to instill aquaphobia, and by constantly broadcasting and printing messages of the dangers of traveling and the virtues of staying home. One cannot but acknowledge the plotline to keep Truman under control, obedient, and locked down in his controlled environment, with no escape hatch visible, as exactly the plotline used by our overlords during the Covid scam. Using fear to regulate your subjects is a familiar theme used by those controlling the narrative and pulling the strings behind the scenes of our glorious democracy of dystopia. The first task was to instill fear into the masses through fake videos, fake medical experts spewing fake “facts”, denying the reality masks, social distancing, and locking down the world did not stop a microscopic virus, while suppressing treatments which were clearly safe and effective (ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine) and forcing Fauci’s remdesivir and ventilators on patients – insuring their deaths. Truman’s life was built upon lies, deception, and fake narratives, controlled by a tyrannical director putting on a show to please his bosses and maximize profits. We are experiencing the same reality today. Since March 2020 we have been trapped in a dystopian reality show based on lies, deception, and fake narratives about a weaponized virus created in a lab funded by Anthony Fauci and utilized to further the totalitarian Great Reset agenda of Schwab, Gates and their ilk, while maximizing the profits of Pfizer, TV networks and filling the pockets of politicians, shills, and apparatchiks willing to sellout the people of our country for thirty pieces of silver. As the Truman Show approached its 30th anniversary, Truman began discovering unusual elements, such as a spotlight falling out of the sky in front of his house and a radio channel that precisely described his movements. He began to awaken to the fact he was nothing but a peculiarity trapped in a cage and constantly deterred from escaping at every turn, for the good of the show. He lived in a scripted world of conformity, where questioning the plot was not allowed, and the masses just played their parts. This is exactly how a dictatorship without tears uses technology, pharmaceuticals, and psychological manipulation to convince the masses to love their servitude. This is the reality show we have been living in during this 21st Century dictatorship dystopia of dunces. But this psychological phenomenon is not new to mankind, as Plato described an ancient Truman Show analog in the 6th Century with his Allegory of the Cave. The nature of human beings has not changed across the trials and tribulations of history. In the allegory, Plato describes a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners’ reality but are not an accurate representation of the real world. An enlightened man is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand the shadows on the wall are not reality. The ignorant inmates do not desire to leave their prison/cave, for it is the only life they know, and they fear reality. The fire and the puppets, used to create shadows, are controlled by artists. Plato indicates the fire is also the political doctrine taught by a nation state. The artists use light and shadows to indoctrinate the masses with the dominant doctrines of the times. Few humans ever escape the cave. Most humans will remain at the bottom of the cave, with a small few elevated as major artists, to project the shadows keeping the masses disoriented, confused and fearful. “Whereas the truth is that the State in which the rulers are most reluctant to govern is always the best and most quietly governed, and the State in which they are most eager, the worst.” ― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave “Most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance, but hostile to anyone who points it out.” ― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave The State is run by an eager group of psychopaths who are hell bent on destroying our civil society and common culture on behalf of globalists attempting to implement their Great Reset agenda, and enforcing it through technological surveillance, mind control through propaganda messaging, and strict management of the daily plot via mainstream media and social media censorship of the truth. As Plato contemplated fifteen centuries ago, most men will remain in their cave, believing shadows presented by their overlords is reality, never questioning their servitude or seeking the truth. Never has this fact been truer than during this covid pandemic reality show directed by our Christof – mass murderer Anthony Fauci. The willful ignorance of the masses was assumed by the covid controllers who cast shadows of fear and death on the cave walls of the locked down extras in this well-orchestrated reality show. Using a purposefully misleading PCR test to vastly overestimate “cases”, paying hospitals to classify all deaths as covid, and having the propaganda professionals at CNN, MSNBC and Fox showing Covid Death Counters on their screens 24/7 to terrify the masses into compliance was the Covid Show. Once the fear level was ramped to eleven on the control dial, the producers of this show introduced the miraculous Big Pharma vaccine antidote to save the day. Their script was so believable they were able to convince over 5 billion members of their captive audience to inject themselves with an untested, unproven genetic therapy, that didn’t prevent you from catching, transmitting, getting sick, being hospitalized, or dying from the Fauci funded Wuhan lab produced virus. But, as a dramatic twist to the tale, it seems the “vaccine” causes myocarditis, blood clots, infertility, miscarriages, heart attacks, cancer, and sudden death. Despite the obvious dangers and failures of these “vaccines”, those bullied into getting jabbed became so comfortable in their ignorance, they were easily persuaded to hate the unjabbed and wish for their deaths. Orwell’s “Two Minutes of Hate” was extended for over a year and continues to this day. Rather than think critically and question why annual flu cases averaged 35 million per year prior to 2020 but dropped to near ZERO during the covid “emergency”, the cave dwellers lashed out in anger at anyone questioning the plot, because to admit they were duped would destroy their self-esteem and decrease their virtue signal credits. The annual flu didn’t disappear. Covid was the annual flu, with a multi-billion-dollar marketing campaign. This wasn’t a pandemic, but an IQ test, and most people failed miserably. But the critical thinking unvaxxed are still considered the enemy of the state, especially since they have been proven right. Whether we are trapped in an artificial world produced in a dome, cave, or our current technologically advanced surveillance propaganda state, the goal of those controlling our false reality is to take away our freedoms, crush dissent, keep us ignorant of the truth, and treat us as plebs to be taxed and molded. Christof, whose name is supposed to invoke him being a god-like figure ruling over Truman’s world, declares Truman could discover the truth and leave at any time, while using every diabolical trick to keep that from ever happening, because his show generated revenues exceeding the GDP of a small country. Truman and ourselves are essentially prisoners in a vast production, and our overlords believe it is their duty to convince us to love our servitude and prefer our cells, because it is financially beneficial to the overlords and their crew. Our world is not fake, but it is tightly controlled by those running the show. Seemingly random events, plots, and subplots are manipulated to generate specific emotions and reactions by the public in order to achieve the objectives of those benefitting from the various storylines. They are molding our minds and forming our tastes through psychological and technological manipulation of our daily existence. Christof explained why most rarely discover the truth or question the world they live in – “We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented. It’s as simple as that.” We have allowed men we have never seen to dictate how we live our lives, the choices we make, and which politicians and “experts” to believe, without ever putting in the effort to understand why we are being prodded to do so. We are locked in a self-imposed prison of desires, emotions, and needs through mass media messaging and a constant barrage of advertisements. Conformity and obedience are the desired traits sought by the ruling class, while individuality and skepticism are frowned upon and punished through social ostracism. We are conditioned from birth to believe what they tell us to believe. Government school indoctrination and mass media misinformation does the trick. Distracted by our techno-gadgets and ignorant of truth is how the globalist oligarchs methodically implement their Great Reset agenda. They are so convinced of the ignorance of the masses they openly proclaim their depopulation and techno-prison schemes with no fear of push back or retribution. The ending of the Truman Show is a lesson in resistance, persistence, and the strength of the individual, even in the face of a technologically advanced Big Brother state. It offers a message of hope, no matter how powerful our overlords appear to be. Refusing to obey or conform by one individual can inspire others to do likewise. Once Truman ‘awoke’ to his plight as a lab rat in a scripted show, he began to plot his escape. Using a makeshift tunnel in his basement, out of view of Christof’s cameras, he disappeared and forced the suspension of the broadcast for the first time in thirty years. Christof discovers Truman sailing away from Seahaven in a small boat, as he has overcome the fake conditioning of fear instilled in him by the man who supposedly loves him but traumatized him about the sea by faking his father’s death while at sea. Christof chooses to almost drown Truman by creating a violent storm to deter him from discovering the truth. Ultimately the storm ceases and his boat strikes the wall of the dome. This is exactly how our controllers treat the ignorant masses. They feed us stories designed to make us fearful and compliant to the exhortations of their paid experts. Paid to lie. Paid to misinform. Paid to persuade people a dangerous concoction is “safe and effective”. The evilness of using Sesame Street characters to convince four-year-old children they need this Big Pharma gene altering toxic brew, even though essentially ZERO children on earth died from covid, is a testament to the greed and malevolent impulses of those in power. Vast amounts of ever-increasing advertising revenue are what kept The Truman Show on the air for thirty years. The covid advertising campaign will never be topped, as Hollywood stars, top athletes, famous writers, rock legends, supposedly impartial journalists, and all the major networks said SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!! Everyone was for sale, and all they had to do was lie and say the jabs were “safe and effective”. Product placement was the money-making formula for the Truman Show, while hard selling a Big Pharma phony cure over the airwaves 24/7 using the tax dollars of the victims was the final solution of the Great Reset Cabal. The grand finale is a clash of the philosophies of reality versus false reality, as Truman discovers a staircase leading to an exit door. Christof speaks to Truman, claiming there was no more truth in the real world than in his artificial world, and he would be safe, with nothing to fear, in a world controlled by men invisible to him assuring him they have his best interests at heart. Truman chooses individuality, truth, risk, living a real meaningful life, and seeking honest relationships over a safe existence in a bubble where all decisions were made by others. Truman bows to the audience and exits, leaving Chistof to mourn the loss of his star and the revenue he generated. The ignorant masses watching the show cheer his escape and then ask, “what’s on next?” Plato captured the uncertainty and bewilderment Truman must have felt as he walked into the light. “Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light” ― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave This world of manufactured dystopian pleasure harkens more towards Huxley’s Brave New World, where pharmaceuticals and conditioning would keep the public seeking pleasure, pre-occupied with trivialities, distracted by materialism, unable to think critically, and reduced to passivity and egoism through the control of messaging by their controllers. Our efficient totalitarian state has gained complete control by convincing the masses to love their servitude and beg for more rules, restrictions, and reduction of liberties in the name of safety and security. Smart phones, smart cities, and smart streets are nothing more than code for spying on you and controlling you. Truman finally understood his liberty was his to choose and not Christof’s to give. There is a small minority of Americans who are realizing the same thing after two years of totalitarian measures designed to take away our freedoms and liberty. The question is whether enough will exit this tyrannical government produced show to make a difference. The future of mankind literally depends on the answer to this question. “Liberties aren’t given, they are taken.” ― Aldous Huxley “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Just as those controlling the Truman Show were not doing it for Truman’s benefit, but for their enrichment, those controlling the puppet strings of our society today had no interest in our health over the last two years, our financial well-being, our psychological well-being, or the peaceful rational functioning of our civilization. They have no interest in securing our border, reducing crime, holding fair elections, promoting peaceful solutions to global conflict, or allowing the truth to reach the masses. Their agenda has been and continues to be, the destruction of our civilized society, obliteration of our core standards and norms, depopulation of the planet, confiscation of our wealth, and ultimately our enslavement through technological shackles and chains. As Huxley noted decades ago, technology has just provided our civilization with a more efficient means of going backwards. Technology is being used by our controllers to monitor our movements, communications, and to surveil, distract, and amuse us to death. It is no longer a force for good, but a means to control us. They plan to use technology to disarm their citizens through increasingly authoritarian regulations, sold as keeping us safe from mass shooters. Their climate agenda isn’t about the climate, but about complete control of the masses. When government and their social media attack dogs monitor the citizens for “hate speech and misinformation”, and dole out retribution at their whim, our system is profoundly broken and extremely warped. They are supposed to answer to us. But these megalomaniacs have much bigger agenda. We’ve lost all sense of reality, reason, and truth in a profoundly abnormal world, created by those we allowed to ascend to power through the control and influence of shadowy globalist billionaires operating as an invisible government, with Deep State apparatchiks doing the dirty work. Schwab, Gates, Soros, the World Economic Forum, and whoever hides in the shadows behind these psychopaths, intend to control the entire world and steal all the wealth because they believe they are smarter, more ruthless, and know what’s best for the lowly peasants polluting their satanic playground planet. They know facts can be ignored when they’ve conditioned the masses to be willfully ignorant. They know they can lie without implications, but even more powerful, they can stay silent about the truth through censorship, suppression, and cancellation of truth tellers. The adaptation of the masses to this abnormal society, created by evil power-seeking men, is a form of mental illness – or as documented by Mattias Desmet in his book The Psychology of Totalitarianism – Mass Formation Psychosis.  “The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited I know I will never adapt or adjust to this abnormal society. We certainly can’t change a system, so thoroughly rigged and controlled (e.g., 2022 Arizona election and the 2020 presidential election), through traditional means. Those in control can easily buy-off our politicians, scientists, doctors, academics, TV personalities, and journalists to spin whatever web they choose, enabling their despicable anti-human agenda of deviancy. The only viable solution is the individual solution of walking away from this phony world like Truman. Armed revolution is a non-starter, as the oligarchs have far more firepower, and the dissenters are unorganized and scattered. A form of ‘Irish Democracy’ where a silent dogged resistance, marked by the withdrawal from society, belligerence to authority and non-compliance with government dictates by millions of ordinary people would accomplish far more than rioting and armed revolution. Millions have already practiced a form of Irish Democracy by not masking, not social distancing, not getting jabbed, and taking control of their own health decisions. They have almost sealed the escape hatch in this dystopian paradise of pleasure and pain. They know their techniques of control through fear work like a charm. Their final task to achieve total control is central bank digital currencies (CBDC), where everything we buy and sell is tracked digitally, so taxes can be levied, your life tracked, and if you choose to dissent from government directives, your ability to utilize CBDCs will be turned off. Micro-chipping us is next on the agenda. We need to reduce our tax and digital footprint now. It might seem hopeless in going to battle against these vile, vindictive vermin, but the solution is to not play. Many have already walked away from the modern world, taking to the country – farming, homesteading, bartering, and only giving to Caesar the bare minimum. They’ve chosen a hard, but a far more fulfilling life. The more people who disassociate from their fake world, the weaker they get. As their hold on our lives weakens, they will lash out. This is why it is important to be armed. Direct armed confrontation with the establishment’s forces is foolish, but guerrilla tactics on land you know would start to eat away at the morale of the paid police thugs sent to enforce their dictates. The beast isn’t as strong as it portrays. It’s broke and its empire of debt is crumbling. If millions walk out the exit door, the beast will begin to starve and eventually die. Maybe a new, less complex, smaller, more community-oriented society could be born from the ashes. Tribe up with like-minded individuals with different skills, if possible. There is hope if enough patriots decide to regain their senses and walk away from this abnormal society, leaving our totalitarian Christofs to wallow in their failure to control the truly awoken. “Do not let the hero in your soul parish, in lonely frustration, for the life you deserved but never have been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged *  *  *It is my sincere desire to provide readers of The Burning Platform with the best unbiased information available, and a forum where it can be discussed openly, as our Founders intended. But it is not easy nor inexpensive to do so, especially when those who wish to prevent us from making the truth known, attack us without mercy on all fronts on a daily basis. So each time you visit the site, I would ask that you consider the value that you receive and have received from The Burning Platform and the community of which you are a vital part. I can't do it all alone, and I need your help and support to keep it alive. Please consider contributing an amount commensurate to the value that you receive from this site and community, or even by becoming a sustaining supporter through periodic contributions. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/02/2022 - 16:25.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 2nd, 2022

25 Ways To Improve Your Financial Situation In 1 Hour

Money is a complex topic, with thousands of books, websites, and podcasts dedicated to covering some aspect of the subject. It can also evoke a strong emotional response. Feelings of embarrassment, shame, frustration, anger, and more can keep people from addressing their financial situation. One solution is to carve up financial strategies into small, simple […] Money is a complex topic, with thousands of books, websites, and podcasts dedicated to covering some aspect of the subject. It can also evoke a strong emotional response. Feelings of embarrassment, shame, frustration, anger, and more can keep people from addressing their financial situation. One solution is to carve up financial strategies into small, simple tasks. The following 25 tasks can all be implemented and completed within an hour, which means they’re non-threatening and easy to do. Crossing a few off your list will help you feel more confident and save some money. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Create a simple budget A simple budget can help you identify not only how you currently spend your money but also ways in which you can change those spending habits and practices for better financial results. Budgeting your money and allocating funds to existing expenses helps you keep more of your money in your pocket or account. Adhering to that budget helps ensure you don’t run out of money by the end of the week. Download a budget app Given the practicalities of modern daily life, it’s usually more convenient to use an app to create, maintain, check, and adhere to your budget, as opposed to pencil and paper. Some of the top-rated budgeting apps for Android and iOS devices include Mint, YNAB (You Need a Budget), EveryDollar, and PocketGuard. Still, you should definitely take a look at independent reviews with app screenshots to find the one that best meets your needs and preferences. Review your budget Budgets should be flexible, living documents that change as your life and work evolve. Take some time to review your budget and update it to make sure it still aligns with your goals and to ensure you’re living within your means. Negotiate a higher salary How long has it been since you got a raise at work? Resolve to negotiate for higher pay within the next 30 days. Start by creating a short script you can use to begin negotiations with your current employer. List out your accomplishments and supporting data, and practice delivering that request in a confident, straightforward manner. Create or update your estate plan Nobody wants to think about death and dying, but it’s a part of life. Don’t leave your family and loved ones in a precarious financial position. Ensure your wishes are carried out by making sure you’ve got an updated will and estate plan. If you need some help, make an appointment with a local trusts and estates lawyer who can talk you through your options and make sure your documents comply with applicable laws in your state. Learn something new Invest in yourself by taking a class or reading a book on a personal finance topic. What don’t you know? What are you curious about? If you’re not sure what the stock market is, or if you want to learn more about cryptocurrency and blockchain, find a great resource to teach you. Start an emergency fund Ideally, we should all have anywhere from three to six months’ worth of living expenses, but you can start more simply. Open a new account and put a few dollars in, then make a plan to add to it over time to cover unexpected costs. Resolve not to touch it outside a true emergency, such as an unanticipated medical expense or car repair bill that would take more money than you currently have on hand. Automate your finances You may have already enrolled in direct deposit. If not, contact your employer’s finance or HR department to make that change. Then talk to your bank about ways you can automate a contribution to your savings account from each paycheck. You can also look for bills that will let you sign up for automatic monthly payments. That way, you’ll know your financial situation well and won’t have to wonder if you’re late with a bill. Save on your credit card payments Making credit card adjustments can be an easy way to improve your financial situation. Credit cards are notorious for high-interest rates, but even if you think you’re getting a good deal, it pays to double-check. Call your card issuer and ask for a lower interest rate on your account, or shop around for better deals. That way, you’ll be paying less each month for your purchases. Create a savings plan If you’re not already regularly putting some money aside on a regular basis, give some thought to doing this now. Look at your budget and figure out how much you can afford to put aside. Then open up a savings account at your bank and pledge to put aside a certain percentage of every paycheck (or client payment, if you’re a freelancer) into that account. Review your insurance policies It’s easy over the years to get talked into buying too much insurance, but it’s also equally simple to not carry enough insurance. For home, auto, health, and other policies check your coverage and usage and make sure they’re appropriate for your circumstances. Read the fine print. You might also want to look for less expensive alternatives. Cancel subscriptions A quick and easy way to improve your financial situation is to eliminate subscriptions. Netflix, Hulu, subscription boxes, personal care membership programs, and more can easily put a sizable dent in your disposable income. The individual payments seem so inconsequential and small, but together they can really add up. Look through your subscriptions and memberships, then cancel any that you no longer use or that you can live without. Look for better loans Whether it’s a mortgage, car loan, personal loan, or another type of loan, maybe you can do better. Take some time to research your options and shop around for lower rates. If you have a solid credit rating and payment history, you might be able to qualify for a much better deal. Renegotiate your cell plan Cell phone plans can quickly become bloated with unanticipated fees and extras. Call your mobile carrier and attempt to negotiate a better deal on your cell phone plan. If that doesn’t work, shop for a better deal from a different carrier, then port your existing number over to the new account. Sell your stuff Almost everyone has unused clothing, toys, books, and more, taking up space. Why not list these items for sale on an auction site? Alternatively, set them aside and pick a date for a garage sale. Place an ad for a roommate Whether you’re renting or purchasing your home, housing expenses likely take up a large percentage of your monthly income. So it stands to reason that anything that can reduce your mortgage or rent payment each month would save you a substantial amount of money each year. With rents rising across the nation, lots of folks are looking for more affordable accommodations. If you have an extra bedroom or another room that can be turned into a habitable living space, why not look for someone who needs a place to live and who can pay a reasonable amount of rent? Swap out your light bulbs Utility payments can easily impact your financial situation. And with inflation driving up costs across almost all financial sectors, including electricity, it’s smart to think of ways to reduce your monthly bill. You can always turn off lights in rooms you’re not occupying and unplug appliances and products when not in use. Additionally, if you’re using standard light bulbs, replace them with LED bulbs to save on your electricity bill. LED light bulbs are about 75% more efficient, and they last up to 25 times longer than standard bulbs. Start a side gig What specific skills have you accumulated over your life? Chances are, at least one of them could earn you some extra money and boost your financial situation. Freelance content writing, social media management, graphics, podcast editing, affiliate marketing, and more can all be the basis for your side hustle. Check other websites and digital opportunities to create additional revenue streams if you’re not interested in formally launching a full-time business. Trim your grocery bill Inflation is making almost everything we buy more expensive. Look at your usual weekly shopping list and then try to identify places where you can choose more economical options. Consider using these tactics: Shop for store brands and other less expensive options. Choose less expensive cuts of meat. Plan vegetarian or vegan meals a few nights a week to save on meat. Resolve to leave less leftover food and use everything you buy to cut down on waste. Pay attention to serving sizes. Clip coupons. Look for help with overspending If overspending is a problem for you, the first step in conquering it is to admit the problem exists. The next step is to look for resources that can help you get your compulsive shopping under control. There are books available, as well as mental health counseling services through sites like Better Help. Bump up your retirement savings to improve your long-term financial situation Arrange with your employer’s benefits manager to increase your retirement savings contributions by 1%. If you don’t already have a retirement savings vehicle, begin the process of starting one by researching your options. If you’re self-employed, look into options like the SEP IRA and the solo 401(k). Open a 529 plan for your child If you have children, consider opening a 529 plan to help fund college or other educational expenses. It’s a great savings vehicle for families as it offers tax-free growth and withdrawals, as long as the withdrawals are for qualifying educational expenses. Check your credit reports Every US citizen gets one free copy of their credit reports from each of the three major reporting agencies—TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Don’t be swayed by commercial services and online ads; make sure you use the official US website, AnnualCreditReport.com. Dispute credit report errors Creditors make mistakes sometimes, and when those mistakes find their way onto your credit report, the negative impacts can be serious and substantial. That’s why it’s so important to carefully check your reports on a regular basis. If you find an error, dispute it with the credit reporting agency. Look for unclaimed money Old tax refunds, pension accounts, life insurance proceeds, and more can all mean free money for you. Whether due to a move, a name change, or some other life change (or just a simple mistake on the part of the issuer), you may have unclaimed funds out there waiting for you. Small Steps Can Yield Big Improvements Improving your finances doesn’t need to be a huge, scary monster lurking in your closet. Choosing simple, straightforward tasks that you can complete in an hour or so will help you achieve a sense of accomplishment and control over your finances. That can, in turn, help fuel other financial improvement strategies in the future. Article by John Boitnott, Due About the Author John Boitnott graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Masters Degree in Education. He worked for 14 years as a broadcast news writer for ABC, NBC, and CBS News where he covered finance, business and real estate. He covered financial news for SAP for four years. Boitnott is now working as a columnist for The Motley Fool where he covers personal financial and investing strategies......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 1st, 2022

Post-FTX Regulatory Crackdown Will Erode Liberties, Accelerate Path To CBDC "Social Engineering"

Post-FTX Regulatory Crackdown Will Erode Liberties, Accelerate Path To CBDC 'Social Engineering' Authored by Michael Washburn via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, and the worldwide outcry over the billions of dollars wiped off the platform, are likely to trigger a massive regulatory reaction that would further erode citizens’ economic freedoms without addressing the issues that fostered demand for an alternative to the fiat dollar, economists have told The Epoch Times. A detailed view of the FTX sign prior to a game between the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat at FTX Arena in Miami, Fla., on Nov. 14, 2022. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images) An international scandal has embroiled FTX and its founder, 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried, in the wake of the firm’s crash earlier this month precipitated by a run on the exchange. Since then, reports have emerged that Alameda Research, a crypto hedge fund established by Bankman-Fried, was trading billions of dollars from FTX accounts without clients’ knowledge. FTX has filed for bankruptcy protection, Bankman-Fried has stepped down from his role as CEO, and John J. Ray III, the former CEO of Enron, has taken over the insolvent company with a plan to sell it off if a successful restructuring is impossible. An estimated 1 million customers and other investors are facing total losses of billions of dollars. FTX, in a recent court filing, said it owes $3.1 billion to its top 50 creditors, and its collapse has rocked the $839 billion global crypto market. On Nov. 22, the trading value of bitcoin tumbled to $15,480, a two-year low, before edging up slightly to $15,909. Ray has claimed that subsidiaries of FTX in the United States and abroad “have solvent balance sheets, responsible management and valuable franchises,” but so far the shock and alarm over the exchange’s implosion have shown no sign of abating. Meanwhile, a number of big names in sports and entertainment, such as comedian Larry David, NBA star Stephen Curry, and quarterback Tom Brady, have become the subject of a probe by the Texas State Securities Board over their public endorsements of FTX. The celebrities have also become the targets of class action lawsuits filed by disgruntled investors, with more expected in the days to come. Then CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried testifies during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, on Dec. 8, 2021. (Alex Wong/Getty Images) Madoff’s Heirs Observers of the FTX blowup are extremely candid about the severity of the exchange’s mismanagement and the recent historical analogs for its unraveling. Wayne Davis, a partner at the law firm Tannenbaum Halpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt in New York, drew a parallel with one of the most notorious cases of fraud in the history of finance, that of the Bernard L. Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme bilked some 4,800 clients of $64.8 billion. In both cases, clients were insufficiently attentive to the lack of internal controls, he suggested. “Madoff comes to mind. Perhaps not the same criminal intent components, but there are certainly similarities as far as investor/customer enthusiasm notwithstanding signs of lax compliance and risk management engagement,” Tannenbaum told The Epoch Times. Other observers see parallels in earlier events in the development of banking and currencies. Charles Steele, chair of the department of economics, business, and accounting at Hillsdale College in Michigan, said that the blow-up of FTX reminds him of the first stock market bubble and financial crisis to afflict the world, namely the collapse of France’s Banque Royale in 1720. “Scotsman John Law set up a central bank for the French monarchy that began paying enormous returns on its shares and its sister Mississippi Company. It was heralded as a great triumph of new financial technology, a nearly miraculous breakthrough, but in fact, it was effectively what we now call a Ponzi scheme,” Steele told The Epoch Times. “In the case of FTX, it appears that Samuel Bankman-Fried was heralded as a crypto genius, but was simply engaged in a lot of shady business disguised as ‘philanthropy,’ using other people’s money. He was apparently the second-largest donor to the Democrat Party campaigns in the 2022 elections, and also was positioning himself to be a major player in the design of federal regulations for cryptocurrency,” Steele added. The Likely Reaction The magnitude of the FTX scandal—the amounts of money involved and the number of people suffering possibly permanent financial harm—means that its ramifications are likely to continue to affect all players in the crypto space in coming weeks and months, said Jeffrey Guernsey, a professor of economics at Cedarville University in Ohio. The very lack of a fixed value that made crypto investing exciting for some people may also be among its singular vulnerabilities in the face of emboldened regulators, he suggested. “While this thought does not originate with me, it is clear that crypto is not a currency, if one attribute of a currency is a stable value. The collapse of FTX certainly puts the entire asset class under review and question and may lead to calls for governmental regulation,” Guernsey said. Given the priorities of the Biden administration, the notably harsher tone of federal guidance and rulemaking since he took office, and officials’ well-documented hostility to financial innovation and decentralization, the reaction from regulators is likely to be extremely draconian and may even cross lines that the regulators have hitherto respected, observers say. But whether the coming crackdown will address concerns of fiat currency that helped feed demand for alternative exchanges, platforms, and markets is a different question. “I expect that this debacle will lead to greatly increased federal regulation of cryptocurrencies,” Steele said. In Steele’s view, the fiasco is likely to speed up the crafting and implementation of central bank digital currencies (CBDC). Steele noted that the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a joint study, Project Hamilton, whose objective is to devise a CBDC for the United States. While ignored by many people, this is one of the most potentially concerning recent developments given the unprecedented powers that it stands to place in the hands of a central regulatory authority, he said. While some might initially welcome a CBDC, it could have unforeseen consequences and ultimately could help extend the role of government into people’s lives in ways to which they are so far unaccustomed. “I think a CBDC is very dangerous, because it would enable a central bank or government to monitor, control, and record every exchange made with the currency. If, for example, a government decided it did not want citizens buying, say, firearms, or perhaps donating funds to a political candidate, the central bank could prevent the transaction. Alternatively, it could have a permanent record of a citizen’s purchases and use these to establish a social credit score for the person,” Steele said. “In this way, a CBDC could become the ultimate tool of social engineering and tyranny. A true cryptocurrency keeps transactions anonymous, which is one of its great benefits. Governments tend to dislike tools that give citizens such privacy,” he added. The FTX website is seen on a computer in Atlanta, Ga., on Nov. 10, 2022. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) Legitimate Demand The tragedy of the FTX scandal and the possible meltdown of other crypto entrepreneurs as more and more people panic and seek to redeem their assets is that such platforms arose partly in response to an understandable demand for alternatives to the fiat dollar, or a dollar whose value and use flow from government dictates and are unrelated to any external commodity or asset such as gold. The heavy-handed reaction expected in the coming months as a consequence of FTX’s blow-up is unlikely to take account of this truth. That’s the view of Brian Domitrovic, a professor of economic history at Sam Houston State University, who sees negative long-term consequences to the country’s abandonment of the gold standard in 1971. “I don’t think there’s any kind of broad popular support for a fiat dollar, a non-gold dollar. There hasn’t been since 1971. A lot of popular dissatisfaction with this has been very clearly expressed,” Domitrovic told The Epoch Times. “The Federal Reserve is not a popular institution at all. I think there’s just a general sense on the part of the public that we should have something more like the classical monetary system that we used to have. And I think crypto has tapped into that more effectively than anything since the end of the gold standard,” he added. The New Non-Fiat From a certain standpoint, cryptocurrencies took over where gold left off following the shift away from the gold standard, Domitrovic said. Like gold, it is limited in supply and requires mining, though of course not the same kind of mining. In the case of the former commodity, the mining is a process of physical extraction of a substance from the earth, and in the latter, it is mathematical and theoretical in nature. Despite the differences, both currencies have the effect of eroding centralized power and oversight by making institutions such as the Federal Reserve less integral to the functioning of the economy, Domitrovic said. “Bitcoin aspires to mimic gold in many respects. This is what you had when money was not a creation of the Federal Reserve,” he added. Much of today’s demand for bitcoin and kindred currencies flow from a widespread desire to go back to how things were before 1971, Domitrovic argued. “Before 1971, the United States led the world in becoming the greatest economy ever, with hundreds of millions of people living at high levels of prosperity. There is a very strong reason why people associate the pre-1971 period with a magnificent achievement economically,” he added. In this analysis, the federal government has sought to maintain centralized oversight over the economy and the level of prosperity attainable by citizens partly by not allowing crypto to compete with the fiat dollar. “Even if there is fraud, I’m still going to lay a lot of the blame at the feet of the government and the official definition of policy, because they’re not taking crypto as seriously as they should. They consider it non-money,” he said. Read more here... Tyler Durden Fri, 11/25/2022 - 07:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 25th, 2022

Pre Markets in Red to Kick Off Thanksgiving Week

U.S. stock futures are trading in negative territory while Americans are gearing up to celebrate Thanksgiving Day this Thursday. U.S. stock futures are trading in negative territory while Americans are gearing up to celebrate Thanksgiving Day this Thursday. This will start the holiday season for 2022, which has so far remained terrible for Wall Street. The initial enthusiasm after the release of October’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) evaporated last week.Market participants’ expectations that the Fed may relax its stringent monetary policies as the peak inflation seems behind us, have been rejected by several important voting members of the central bank. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said that the central bank needs to keep raising rates because according to him policy tightening has so far had only limited effects on observed inflation. The target policy needs to rise to at least 5.00% to 5.25% from the current level of just below 4.00% to be sufficiently restrictive.However, not all the Fed members are in favor of tighter monetary control. Several members have expressed opposite views too. The Fed will release its November FOMC meeting minutes this week, enabling investors to get a better idea of what the central bank is thinking about the interest rate trajectory.Market participants will closely monitor this holiday season sales under elevated inflation to gauge the health of the U.S. economy. We are yet to receive any signal from the Fed that it would lessen its tighter monetary control anytime soon. At the same time, we are yet to receive any genuine information that the economy may enter into a recession early next year.Meanwhile, China is yet to recover fully from COVID-19 infections. Recently, three people died of coronavirus, which forced China’s authority to impose lockdown in a few cities again. Last week, it was rumored that China will reopen soon. Moreover, the People’s Bank of China has kept its one-year prime lending rate steady at 3.65%. The five-year rate also remained static at 4.3%.Going against today’s pre-market trend, shares of The Walt Disney Co. DIS jumped nearly 9% following the news that Bob Iger will once again become the CEO of the company replacing the incumbent Bob Chapek. Iger, who served Disney for more than two decades including 15 years as CEO, will get a term of just two years this time.On the earnings front, desktop PC and notebook developer Dell Technologies Inc. DELL, resting equipment manufacturer Agilent Technologies Inc. A and The J. M. Smucker Co. SJM, a leading marketer and manufacturer of consumer food and beverage products and pet food and pet snacks in North America, will report their quarterly financial numbers after today’s closing bell. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>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 Dell Technologies Inc. (DELL): Free Stock Analysis Report Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A): Free Stock Analysis Report The Walt Disney Company (DIS): Free Stock Analysis Report The J. M. Smucker Company (SJM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research 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.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 21st, 2022

Warren Buffett’s Stock Portfolio and 10 Newest Investments in 2022

In this article, we discuss Warren Buffett’s 10 newest investments in 2022. If you want to see more stocks in this selection, check out Warren Buffett’s Stock Portfolio and 5 Newest Investments in 2022.  Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway acquiring a $4.1 billion stake in chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (NYSE:TSM) during the third quarter […] In this article, we discuss Warren Buffett’s 10 newest investments in 2022. If you want to see more stocks in this selection, check out Warren Buffett’s Stock Portfolio and 5 Newest Investments in 2022.  Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway acquiring a $4.1 billion stake in chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (NYSE:TSM) during the third quarter of 2022 has made headlines since the latest securities filings were disclosed. Wall Street is taking Buffett’s new stock investment as an indication that the semiconductor stocks might be due for a rebound soon.  On November 15, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (NYSE:TSM) shares climbed more than 12% to $81.62 in mid-day trading as Buffett disclosed his stake, while other chip makers also rose, including Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Marvell Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRVL). These firms are also TSMC’s customers. In recent years, Warren Buffett has been willing to invest in technology, with the Berkshire portfolio featuring notable stocks like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ). Jim Shanahan, an analyst at Edward Jones, noted that tech and communications businesses now represent approximately half of Berkshire’s portfolio, which he said provides a good balance as the firm’s “portfolio companies are more old economy”. Our Methodology  We selected the 10 stocks which were either new additions to the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio, or where the fund increased its holdings during the end of the third quarter of 2022, for this analysis. Two of these ten stocks were added to the Berkshire holdings in the last two years. The stocks are arranged according to the hedge fund’s stake value in each holding. Insider Monkey’s database of 920 elite hedge funds tracked as of the end of the third quarter of 2022 was used to assess the hedge fund sentiment around the securities.  Warren Buffett’s Stock Portfolio and Newest Investments in 2022 10. Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 33 Berkshire Hathaway’s Stake Value: $12,790,000 Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) is a New York-based company that engages in investment banking, capital markets, and asset management businesses in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The company operates through Investment Banking and Capital Markets, Asset Management, Merchant Banking, and Corporate segments. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway added Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) to its Q3 2022 portfolio by purchasing 433,558 shares worth $12.8 million.  On September 28, Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) declared a $0.30 per share quarterly dividend, in line with previous. The dividend is payable on November 29, to shareholders of record on November 14. Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF)’s dividend yield on November 18 came in at 3.22%.  Keefe Bruyette analyst Michael Brown on September 5 upgraded Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) to Outperform from Market Perform with a price target of $38, up from $30. The analyst said Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) is an attractive way to play an investment banking recovery “with idiosyncratic catalysts and limited downside.”  According to Insider Monkey’s data, 33 hedge funds were bullish on Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) at the end of Q3 2022, compared to 29 funds in the prior quarter. Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick’s First Pacific Advisors is the biggest stakeholder of the company, with 5.7 million shares worth $169.5 million.  Like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ), Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) is also backed by Warren Buffett.  Here is what GoodHaven Capital Management specifically said about Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) in its second-quarter 2022 investor letter: “Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) was our next biggest dollar detractor, and had also been a strong contributor in prior periods. As we have previously mentioned, while Jefferies has become a better business it is still a cyclical business, and that some moderating earnings after the recent boom were to be expected. In the first six months of their fiscal 2022, Jefferies earned a ROATE (Return on Adjusted Tangible Equity) of over 11%, reasonable given the very material slowdown in the capital markets lately. They also repurchased over $620 million of their shares at $34+ per share and Jefferies’ stock now trades below tangible book value/share. Given the obvious slowdown in capital raising transactions industry wide, we expect continued muted results in the near-term but also continued share buybacks. Our long-term enthusiasm remains, as does our view of the material upside for the shares from recent levels.” 9. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 28 Berkshire Hathaway’s Stake Value: $296,692,000 Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) is an American company that manufactures and markets building products primarily for use in new home construction, repair and remodeling, and outdoor structure markets. Warren Buffett added Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) to his Q3 portfolio by purchasing 5.8 million shares worth about $297 million, representing 0.10% of the total holdings.  On October 28, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) declared a $0.22 per share quarterly dividend, in line with previous. The dividend is payable on December 1, to shareholders of record on November 9. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX)’s dividend yield on November 18 came in at 1.44%.  BofA analyst George Staphos on September 20 downgraded Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) to Underperform from Neutral, trimming the price target to $56 from $64. The analyst lowered operating rate and pricing forecasts across primary wood products to reflect BofA’s housing and building product views. He believes Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) shares will have a hard time outperforming given a tough macro and a “looming recession.” According to Insider Monkey’s data, 28 hedge funds were bullish on Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) at the end of September 2022, with collective stakes worth $514.2 million, compared to 28 funds in the prior quarter worth $213.3 million. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies is a prominent stakeholder of the company, with 953,400 shares worth $48.80 million.  Here is what L1 Capital International specifically said about Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) in its Q2 2022 investor letter: “We have invested in Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) due to its Smartside siding business. Smartside has consistently increased its share of the siding market in the U.S., not just new residential construction but repair and renovation, shed and other markets. Louisiana Pacific has not been able to keep up with demand for Smartside and is sold out to the end of 2022. New capacity is being added currently which will support future growth. Between 2015 to 2022, Smartside EBITDA increased from around US$100 million to a run-rate approaching US$400 million. We believe Smartside has many years of strongly profitable growth to come (see Figure 12). Imagine being offered to buy a business. This business is breakeven in a down year, makes an operating profit of a few hundred million dollars in a normal year, and in an exceptional period in 2021 made around US$1.5 billion profit. The person offers to sell you the business for nothing. This is the current investment opportunity for Louisiana Pacific. In addition to owning Smartside, it also owns the second largest oriented strand board business in North America and a successful woods product business in South America. The price of OSB is exceptionally volatile, but has recently delivered super-normal profits to Louisiana Pacific, enabling management to buy back 45% of shares on issue while maintaining net cash. At Louisiana Pacific’s current share price, we are paying the bottom end of fair value for Smartside and getting the OSB business practically for nothing.” 8. RH (NYSE:RH) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 48 Berkshire Hathaway’s Stake Value: $580,724,000 RH (NYSE:RH) is a California-based retailer of home furnishings, providing furniture, lighting, textiles, bathware, and home decor. In Q3 2022, Warren Buffett strengthened his hold on RH (NYSE:RH) by 9%. The hedge fund had 2.36 million shares of RH (NYSE:RH) worth $580.7 million at the end of September, representing 0.19% of the total 13F securities. Buffett has held a position in RH (NYSE:RH) since the third quarter of 2019.  On November 18, Wedbush analyst Seth Basham downgraded RH (NYSE:RH) to Neutral from Outperform but trimmed the price target to $270 from $274. RH (NYSE:RH) has been successful in safeguarding its brand without discounting, but this has contributed to higher market share losses, the analyst wrote in a research note. He sees increasing evidence of a course-correction to its strategy of “climbing the luxury mountain.” The analyst, however, “surprisingly found” that RH (NYSE:RH) slashed prices by 2%-9% since March on half of the products. This “potential course-correction” in the company’s strategy and the worsening macro outlook led to the downgrade.  Among the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey, 48 funds were long RH (NYSE:RH) at the end of Q3 2022, compared to 59 funds in the earlier quarter. Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital held a notable stake in the company, comprising 1.7 million shares worth $436.2 million.  Here is what GreenWood Investors specifically said about RH (NYSE:RH) in its Q2 2022 investor letter: “Gary Friedman, the owner manager of RH (NYSE:RH), has been talking about the company climbing the luxury mountain over the past few years. Wall Street is skeptical RH can hold its leading margin profile after elevated demand during Covid, and it surely doubts that it is a luxury company, at 10x earnings. We’ve been looking to get involved in the housing ecosystem given the dramatic selloff in the sector over the past year, and our first investment here is via RH. Demographically, we expect US household formation to remain very strong after a decade of underinvestment in housing supply. Gary strategically with-held new product launches in the aftermath of Covid, when times were easiest, and is now releasing a new premium product lineup. We believe there is a lot of latent pricing power in home furnishing, and while high interest rates are trapping people in a home they would otherwise possibly leave, we believe the consumer, particularly the high-end consumer, will look to continue to upgrade their homes. The truest test of Gary’s quest to make RH a true luxury company is in fact a recession. One of the reasons why there are few, if any, American luxury businesses, is that without a family controlling the company, optimizer-oriented management teams cannot withstand the pain that comes from not discounting a product line into weak demand. We can’t recall a single American company that has “destroyed” inventory like the French luxury companies in the face of a recession. Many have tried. Few, if any, have succeeded. Anchored by Gary’s 21% ownership of the company, RH has a good chance. And not only is it not tempted in the current volatile environment to discount, but he is actually raising prices. With a buyback authorized for over 30% of the shares outstanding, Friedman is also not shying away from making bold investments in the current environment. He is aggressively expanding galleries and introducing new marquee European properties. The combined product launch cadence, increased prices, aggressive footprint investments and forthcoming share repurchases, not to mention low valuation, made us move off the sidelines and take a position in RH. While we are certainly not hoping for a recession, we are excited that such an environment could solidify Gary’s mission to make RH a rare American luxury brand.” 7. Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE:ALLY) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 42 Berkshire Hathaway’s Stake Value: $834,901,000 Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE:ALLY) is a Michigan-based digital financial services company that provides its products and services to consumer, commercial, and corporate customers in the United States and Canada. The company operates through four segments – Automotive Finance Operations, Insurance Operations, Mortgage Finance Operations, and Corporate Finance Operations.  Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE:ALLY) is one of the newest investments in the Berkshire portfolio. The hedge fund added Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE:ALLY) to its portfolio in the first quarter of 2022, and as of Q3 2022, Berkshire had 30 million shares of the company worth $835 million, representing 0.28% of the total holdings.  On October 26, Compass Point analyst Giuliano Bologna downgraded Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE:ALLY) to Neutral from Buy with a price target of $27, down from $50, following Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE:ALLY)’s Q3 earnings miss and issuance of a “significantly weaker” guidance for earnings through FY23.  According to Insider Monkey’s data, 42 hedge funds were bullish on Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE:ALLY) at the end of September 2022, and Harris Associates held a significant stake, comprising 26.7 million shares worth $745.7 million.  Here is what Moon Capital Management specifically said about Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE:ALLY) in its Q3 2022 investor letter: “We recently purchased shares of Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE:ALLY), the world’s largest digital-only bank. Ally’s legacy dates back more than 100 years when it was originally launched as GMAC, the in-house financing arm of General Motors. The company was spun out from GM and rebranded as Ally more than a decade ago, but has retained an automotive focus on the lending side, where it holds the largest position in prime auto lending. Since the spinoff, Ally has transformed from an auto loan company into a comprehensive, independent finance provider for borrowers and savers of all types. The company has completely restructured the liability side of its balance sheet and has created a deposit-gathering engine that is now more than 85 percent deposit[1]funded. (Compared to issuing traditional corporate debt, deposits are a significantly less expensive capital source for banks.) Due to the lower overhead associated with the digital bank’s lack of brick-and-mortar locations, the bank produces one of the best efficiency ratios in the industry. This low-cost position, combined with a relatively high loan portfolio yield of approximately 6.75 percent, has helped the company earn net interest margins well above those of many leading banks. These high margins translate into high returns on equity, which the company targets at 16-18 percent over the medium term. (Actual ROE in 2021 was 24 percent. When the company came public in 2014, its ROE was a paltry four percent.)..” (Click here to read the full text) 6. Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 36 Berkshire Hathaway’s Stake Value: $877,219,000 Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) is a Texas-based technology and specialty materials company that manufactures and sells high performance engineered polymers in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments – Engineered Materials, Acetate Tow, and Acetyl Chain. Warren Buffett boosted his Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) stake by 7% in Q3 2022, holding 9.71 million shares worth $877.2 million, representing 0.29% of the total securities.  On November 10, Deutsche Bank analyst David Begleiter reiterated a Buy rating on Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) but lowered the price target on the shares to $105 from $110 following the Q3 results. He said that an EPS of $13 to $14 is achievable in 2023. According to Insider Monkey’s data, 36 hedge funds were bullish on Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) at the end of the third quarter of 2022, with collective stakes worth $1.5 billion, compared to 36 funds in the prior quarter worth $1.8 billion. Thomas E. Claugus’ GMT Capital held a significant stake in the company, comprising 1.3 million shares valued at $116.6 million.  In addition to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ),  Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) is one of the top picks of Warren Buffett.  Here is what Vltava Fund has to say about Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) in its Q1 2022 investor letter: “We then used the money freed up to, among other things, open three new positions. The stock price declines during the Russian invasion brought a lot of good prices to the market. Out of all the possibilities we considered, we picked the stocks of Celanese (CE). Celanese is the world’s largest producer of acetic acid and its chemical derivatives, including vinyl acetate monomers and emulsions. Their applications are used in a wide range of industries, such as automotive tobacco, coatings, construction, energy, telecommunications, food, and medical. Celanese recently closed the acquisition of a large part of DuPont’s business, which will make Celanese an even bigger player in the industry while reducing the cyclicality of it business. The acquisition is quite large and should deliver significant value to shareholders that in our view is not at all presently reflected in the share price. Celanese is a business that stands more or less aside from the main interests of most investors, but it is a company with very high returns on capital, strong free cash flow, and historically very efficient resource allocation.”     Click to continue reading and see Warren Buffett’s Stock Portfolio and 5 Newest Investments in 2022.    Suggested articles: Ken Fisher Top Dividend Stocks Google Investment Portfolio.....»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 18th, 2022

Without Easy Money, The Tech Sector Faces Hard Times

Without Easy Money, The Tech Sector Faces Hard Times Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute, The tech sector in the US has benefited from more than a decade of ultra-low interest rates and easy money. But now it looks like the easy-money era may be ending—at least for now—and that means problems for the sector so long wedded to cheap loans. Just a year ago, the ten-year treasury's yield was 1.4 percent. This month, however, the 10-year's yield is up to over 3.6 percent, and throughout the economy, debtors are finding that debt service isn't nearly as cheap as it used to be.  Employers in the tech sector are responding as one might expect. Meta/Facebook has announced 11,000 layoffs. Amazon will soon lay off 10,000 employees. Twitter has laid off at least 3,700 employees. Stripe, Microsoft, and Snap have each laid off about a thousand workers. Salesforce and Zillow have laid off hundreds. Dozens of other firms have slowed or frozen hiring. Thanks to rising debt costs, employers need to cut costs, but many employers will soon be facing declining revenues as well. Given that a multitude of indicators point toward an approaching recession—the yield curve is now the most inverted it's been since 1982—this is likely just the beginning. What we're witnessing is the end of the latest tech bubble, and what seemed like rock-solid companies set to expand effortlessly forever will suddenly be characterized more by cost-cutting, falling revenues, and a hard slog in search of more capital.  The end of easy money will also separate the real innovators and entrepreneurs - people who build real value - from the big-talking frauds who only look smart or productive when they can just borrow more cheap money to kick the can of their failing and stagnating ventures down the road.  Unless the central bank and governments intervene to provide bailouts and backstops, the industry will face a much-needed reckoning. This will help clear out more than a decade of malinvestments and bubbles propping up top heavy and inefficient companies that could never survive without the artificially cheap credit provided by asset purchases and ultra-low-interest rate policy at the central bank.  Rising Interest Rates, Falling Valuations Until very recently, interest rates had been declining for decades in the United States, and that has meant companies, at any given time, have generally been able to bank on cheaper debt not too far down the road. This has increased companies' valuations, and has made it easier for companies to find investors.  Even for companies that never—or almost never—turn a profit, cheap money has meant that the day of reckoning can simply be pushed further into the future. In many cases, we call these zombie companies: they don't have real value, but they can stay "alive" by paying off older, more expensive debt with new cheaper debt.  But, things are very different when easy money starts to get scarce. As Ryan Browne at CNBC recently noted: Higher rates spell challenges for much of the market, but they represent a notable setback for tech firms that are losing money. Investors value companies based on the present value of future cash flow, and higher rates reduce the amount of that expected cash flow. As a result, Venture deal activity has been declining ... Not all companies will make it through the looming economic crisis — some will fail, according to Par-Jorgen Parson, partner at VC firm Northzone. “We will see spectacular failures” of some highly valued unicorn companies in the months ahead, he told CNBC. ... The years 2020 and 2021 saw eye-watering sums slosh around equities as investors took advantage of ample liquidity in the market. Tech was a key beneficiary thanks to societal shifts brought about by Covid-19, like working from home and increased digital adoption. ... In a time when monetary stimulus is unwinding, those business models have been tested. Part of the reason investors are now less interested in "unicorns" is that as interest rates rise, investors are less desperate to search out yield even in the most unproven and risky corners of the economy. For example, when government debt and other low-risk investments are paying next-to-zero yields, investors will be much more aggressive about finding riskier investments that pay at least something above zero. That includes high-risk trendy unicorn companies that promise big returns. But, as Treasurys and similar investments begin to promise higher yields—as they are doing now—there's less pressure to dump money in whatever flavor of the month is being put forward as the next big thing for investors. Moreover, in times of easy money, investors have more cash to throw around.  Once the cheap money regime ends, however, newly reticent investors become more interested in actually analyzing the fundamentals of firms seeking investors. That means firms will have to actually show they're efficient and only hiring employees who actually create value.  Easy Money Enables More Waste For many top-heavy companies, that means layoffs. It's why Meta's Mark Zuckerberg recently complained that "realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here." Zuckerberg went on to say he would deliberately be "turning up the heat" for employees in the hopes that the less committed would simply quit. (Meta shares are down more than 50 percent this year, and Meta has lost revenues as Zuckerberg's obsession with the metaverse has not been especially popular with consumers.) Elon Musk has been in the midst of something similar at Twitter, firing thousands of employees, and demanding that those who remains be prepared to work long hours.  While Twitter employees and ex-Twitter employees have been whining continually online about how everything was wonderful at Twitter until Musk showed up, the reality is that Twitter has only ever had two profitable years (2018 and 2019) and is neither efficient nor innovative.  Moreover, it's certainly not difficult to see why Zuckerberg and Musk would want to trim the fat if recent videos about "a day in the life" at Meta and Twitter are true. The two now-notorious videos show young female employees walking around Meta and Twitter offices showcasing how little work they do and how opulent the office perks are. Perks apparently include complementary gourmet food, red wine on tap, and free cappuccinos. Last May, Project Veritas reporters captured a Twitter senior engineer bragging about how little he works:  "[B]asically went to work, like, four hours a week last quarter. And that's just how it works in our company. ... [E]ssentially, like, everyone gets to do whatever they want, no one really cares about, like, [operating expenses]."  The engineer contrasts this approach at Twitter with "capitalists" who "care about numbers or care about how to make the business more efficient." If true, it's all a perfect illustration of how the age of cheap credit has made it possible for companies to be highly valued even in the midst of senior employees who are essentially dead weight.  As debt costs rise, labor costs must fall in many cases. That makes employees who work a few hours a day ripe for trimming.  These companies are probably looking at more hits from the revenue side as well. David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery this week warned that the advertising market is worse now than at any time during the pandemic slowdown of 2020.  Yet again, we find that as borrowing costs rise, companies have less money to spend elsewhere. Advertisers have reduced spending, and this has meant hits to the valuation of media companies like Warner Bros. Discovery. This extends to social media companies as well.  Years of Malinvestment The story of the last decade has in many cases been rising valuations for companies that often lose money, hire employees who barely work, and simply rake in the cash that yield-starved investors throw at them.  In other words, much of the tech sector has all the markings of a classic bubble and the effects of years of malinvestment. The lucky business owners and employees on the receiving end of malinvestment get to live high on the hog of cheap money with rising wages, luxurious offices, and never ending "growth." Workers and owners alike can then pat themselves on the back about how brilliant they all are. But much of it is an illusion and its existence depends largely on many years of central bank interventions designed to force down interest rates, prop up asset prices, and essentially print money to keep liquidity flowing unceasingly to firms via investors.  Yet, when price inflation finally forces the central bank to allow interest rates to rise again—as is now happening—the music stops, and it seems all the brilliant geniuses running tech companies weren't quite so efficient, profitable, or clever after all. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/18/2022 - 14:45.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 18th, 2022

Wishpond Reports Record Revenue and Cash Flow for Q3-2022

Wishpond achieved record revenue of $5.5 million in Q3-2022, representing approximately $22 million in annualized revenue run-rate(1), driven by the Company's continued focus on organic growth and successful product and sales integrations of its acquisitions. Wishpond achieved record positive cash flows from operating activities of $0.7 million in Q3-2022 as a result of cost optimization efforts and higher revenue in the quarter. The Company expects continued growth, greater profitability and increased cash flows in 2023. VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ - Wishpond Technologies Ltd. (TSXV:WISH) (OTCQX:WPNDF) (the "Company" or "Wishpond"), a provider of marketing-focused online business solutions, announces it has filed its interim consolidated financial statements (the "Interim Financial Statements") and management's discussion and analysis (the "MD&A") for Q3-2022, representing the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022. Copies of the Interim Financial Statements and MD&A are available on the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Ali Tajskandar, Wishpond's Chairman and CEO commented, "We are thrilled with our third quarter results which were the strongest in the Company's history with record revenue and Adjusted EBITDA(1). I am especially proud of the cashflow performance in the third quarter with the Company generating $0.7 million of positive cashflows from operations. As part of a cost reduction initiative launched in Q2-2022 to drive profitable growth, Wishpond continued to scrutinize all new expenditures with the intent to optimize operations and achieve cost-saving synergies. As a result, the Company was able to achieve record positive cash flows from operations and record positive Adjusted EBITDA(1) in Q3-2022.  Wishpond has now achieved positive cash flows from operations for the second quarter in a row, a tremendous accomplishment allowing the business to further strengthen its balance sheet. Consequently, we expect Wishpond to have the flexibility to continue to invest in organic and inorganic growth initiatives without the need to go to the market to raise additional capital." Ali Tajskandar adds, "We continue to experience increasing demand for our products and have not witnessed any slowing down or negative impacts due to external macroeconomic conditions. Our outlook remains positive as we head into 2023 with increasing sales, positive Adjusted EBITDA(1), and positive cash flows. We expect to continue to grow rapidly as our sales pipeline remains robust and we begin to introduce bundled solutions to our customers." Third Quarter 2022 Financial Highlights: Wishpond achieved record quarterly revenue of $5,483,256 during Q3-2022, a 38% increase compared to revenue of $3,976,965 generated in the same period of 2021 (Q3-2021). The increase in revenue is primarily attributable to the Company's expanded sales team and product integrations from its acquisitions. Wishpond achieved gross profit(1) of $3,629,111 in Q3-2022 compared to $2,760,709 in Q3-2021, representing a 31% increase from Q3-2021, primarily driven by an increase in overall revenue. Wishpond achieved a gross margin(1) of 66% in Q3-2022 (69% in Q3-2021). The gross margin(1) achieved in Q3-2022 is within the historical range of 65% to 70%. In Q3-2022, Wishpond had record positive Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $593,047 ($204,322 in Q3-2021), an increase of 190%. The improvement is primarily driven by higher revenue and continued cost management initiatives and operational efficiencies initiated earlier in the year which are expected to result in more than $1.0 million in annual cost savings. In Q3-2022, Wishpond had record positive cash flows from operating activities of $670,595 (negative $134,219 in Q3-2021). As at September 30, 2022, Wishpond had $2,701,267 in cash and short-term investments and no debt (June 30, 2022: cash and short-term investments of $2,654,878 and no debt). Cash balances have held steady despite a quarterly cash earnout payment to Viral Loops in Q3-2022 and continued investment in the growth of the business. Wishpond has a credit facility with a major Canadian bank for $6,000,000, which remains undrawn and fully available to the Company as of September 30, 2022. Third Quarter 2022 Business Highlights: On July 12, 2022, the Company announced the launch of an all-new Website Builder product that includes lead tracking and segmentation tools, personalization abilities, advanced forms and pop-ups, integration with Wishpond's email marketing tool, referral marketing, calendar functionality, popups, and more. The Website Builder is expected to increase customer retention, reduce churn, and increase customer satisfaction. On July 20, 2022, the Company announced three new awards from Gartner, one of the world's most reputed platforms for business software reviews and research. Wishpond received the GetApp Category Leaders Award for content marketing, the Software Advice Front Runners award, and was included in the Capterra shortlist for 2022. Events Subsequent to September 30, 2022: On October 3, 2022, the Company announced that it completed the integration of its recently acquired subsidiary, Viral Loops, resulting in improved growth in the combined businesses due to greater cross selling and bundling opportunities with larger deal sizes. The completed integration of Viral Loops with the Wishpond platform allows contacts and data to be synchronized between Viral Loops and Wishpond, enabling Wishpond customers to grow their business with referrals and Viral Loops customers to use Wishpond's platform for their marketing activities. On November 2, 2022, the Company announced that Lloyed Lobo had joined its board of directors as an independent director and member of the Audit Committee effective November 1, 2022. Mr. Lobo replaced Arinder Mahal, who resigned from the Board effective November 1, 2022. Outlook: Management believes Wishpond's outlook for the remainder of the year and heading into 2023 remains strong and resilient. The business has felt no material impacts due to recession, inflation, supply chain, or other macro-economic effects. Instead, the Company's performance is better than ever and extremely positive across all of its acquisitions and for the entire company as a whole. Wishpond expects to achieve record revenue and cash flows in Q4-2022, driven by the growth of its sales team and the introduction of bundled product offerings. Furthermore, the Company expects to maintain its strong organic growth profile into next year as its revenue and earnings growth are projected to continue in 2023 with further integration of its acquisitions, an increase in cross-selling opportunities, new product launches and higher customer retention. Management expects cash flows generated by the Company to continue to be re-invested in the business and allocated in a disciplined manner, which may come in the form of future acquisitions, share repurchases, or to accelerate organic growth. Wishpond has a clean balance sheet and expects to continue to fund the growth of its sales team and new product launches from cash flows from operations, without having to raise any additional equity or debt capital. Wishpond's objectives heading into 2023 are to continue growing its business both organically and inorganically and to continue demonstrating a disciplined capital allocation strategy to maintain profitability and increase its cash position while increasing sales.  Wishpond has a robust sales pipeline and will look to drive revenue growth in 2023 by investing in the Company's ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 17th, 2022

Wishpond Reports Record Revenue and Cash Flow for Q3-2022

Wishpond achieved record revenue of $5.5 million in Q3-2022, representing approximately $22 million in annualized revenue run-rate(1), driven by the Company's continued focus on organic growth and successful product and sales integrations of its acquisitions. Wishpond achieved record positive cash flows from operating activities of $0.7 million in Q3-2022 as a result of cost optimization efforts and higher revenue in the quarter. The Company expects continued growth, greater profitability and increased cash flows in 2023. VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 17, 2022 /CNW/ - Wishpond Technologies Ltd. (TSXV:WISH) (OTCQX:WPNDF) (the "Company" or "Wishpond"), a provider of marketing-focused online business solutions, announces it has filed its interim consolidated financial statements (the "Interim Financial Statements") and management's discussion and analysis (the "MD&A") for Q3-2022, representing the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022. Copies of the Interim Financial Statements and MD&A are available on the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Ali Tajskandar, Wishpond's Chairman and CEO commented, "We are thrilled with our third quarter results which were the strongest in the Company's history with record revenue and Adjusted EBITDA(1). I am especially proud of the cashflow performance in the third quarter with the Company generating $0.7 million of positive cashflows from operations. As part of a cost reduction initiative launched in Q2-2022 to drive profitable growth, Wishpond continued to scrutinize all new expenditures with the intent to optimize operations and achieve cost-saving synergies. As a result, the Company was able to achieve record positive cash flows from operations and record positive Adjusted EBITDA(1) in Q3-2022.  Wishpond has now achieved positive cash flows from operations for the second quarter in a row, a tremendous accomplishment allowing the business to further strengthen its balance sheet. Consequently, we expect Wishpond to have the flexibility to continue to invest in organic and inorganic growth initiatives without the need to go to the market to raise additional capital." Ali Tajskandar adds, "We continue to experience increasing demand for our products and have not witnessed any slowing down or negative impacts due to external macroeconomic conditions. Our outlook remains positive as we head into 2023 with increasing sales, positive Adjusted EBITDA(1), and positive cash flows. We expect to continue to grow rapidly as our sales pipeline remains robust and we begin to introduce bundled solutions to our customers." Third Quarter 2022 Financial Highlights: Wishpond achieved record quarterly revenue of $5,483,256 during Q3-2022, a 38% increase compared to revenue of $3,976,965 generated in the same period of 2021 (Q3-2021). The increase in revenue is primarily attributable to the Company's expanded sales team and product integrations from its acquisitions. Wishpond achieved gross profit(1) of $3,629,111 in Q3-2022 compared to $2,760,709 in Q3-2021, representing a 31% increase from Q3-2021, primarily driven by an increase in overall revenue. Wishpond achieved a gross margin(1) of 66% in Q3-2022 (69% in Q3-2021). The gross margin(1) achieved in Q3-2022 is within the historical range of 65% to 70%. In Q3-2022, Wishpond had record positive Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $593,047 ($204,322 in Q3-2021), an increase of 190%. The improvement is primarily driven by higher revenue and continued cost management initiatives and operational efficiencies initiated earlier in the year which are expected to result in more than $1.0 million in annual cost savings. In Q3-2022, Wishpond had record positive cash flows from operating activities of $670,595 (negative $134,219 in Q3-2021). As at September 30, 2022, Wishpond had $2,701,267 in cash and short-term investments and no debt (June 30, 2022: cash and short-term investments of $2,654,878 and no debt). Cash balances have held steady despite a quarterly cash earnout payment to Viral Loops in Q3-2022 and continued investment in the growth of the business. Wishpond has a credit facility with a major Canadian bank for $6,000,000, which remains undrawn and fully available to the Company as of September 30, 2022. Third Quarter 2022 Business Highlights: On July 12, 2022, the Company announced the launch of an all-new Website Builder product that includes lead tracking and segmentation tools, personalization abilities, advanced forms and pop-ups, integration with Wishpond's email marketing tool, referral marketing, calendar functionality, popups, and more. The Website Builder is expected to increase customer retention, reduce churn, and increase customer satisfaction. On July 20, 2022, the Company announced three new awards from Gartner, one of the world's most reputed platforms for business software reviews and research. Wishpond received the GetApp Category Leaders Award for content marketing, the Software Advice Front Runners award, and was included in the Capterra shortlist for 2022. Events Subsequent to September 30, 2022: On October 3, 2022, the Company announced that it completed the integration of its recently acquired subsidiary, Viral Loops, resulting in improved growth in the combined businesses due to greater cross selling and bundling opportunities with larger deal sizes. The completed integration of Viral Loops with the Wishpond platform allows contacts and data to be synchronized between Viral Loops and Wishpond, enabling Wishpond customers to grow their business with referrals and Viral Loops customers to use Wishpond's platform for their marketing activities. On November 2, 2022, the Company announced that Lloyed Lobo had joined its board of directors as an independent director and member of the Audit Committee effective November 1, 2022. Mr. Lobo replaced Arinder Mahal, who resigned from the Board effective November 1, 2022. Outlook: Management believes Wishpond's outlook for the remainder of the year and heading into 2023 remains strong and resilient. The business has felt no material impacts due to recession, inflation, supply chain, or other macro-economic effects. Instead, the Company's performance is better than ever and extremely positive across all of its acquisitions and for the entire company as a whole. Wishpond expects to achieve record revenue and cash flows in Q4-2022, driven by the growth of its sales team and the introduction of bundled product offerings. Furthermore, the Company expects to maintain its strong organic growth profile into next year as its revenue and earnings growth are projected to continue in 2023 with further integration of its acquisitions, an increase in cross-selling opportunities, new product launches and higher customer retention. Management expects cash flows generated by the Company to continue to be re-invested in the business and allocated in a disciplined manner, which may come in the form of future acquisitions, share repurchases, or to accelerate organic growth. Wishpond has a clean balance sheet and expects to continue to fund the growth of its sales team and new product launches from cash flows from operations, without having to raise any additional equity or debt capital. Wishpond's objectives heading into 2023 are to continue growing its business both organically and inorganically and to continue demonstrating a disciplined capital allocation strategy to maintain profitability and increase its cash position while increasing sales.  Wishpond has a robust sales pipeline and will look to drive revenue growth in 2023 by investing in the Company's sales and marketing functions, cross-selling the Company's products and ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 17th, 2022

Guy Fawkes Night Reminded Us That Bitcoin Is A Modern Vendetta Against The Establishment

Guy Fawkes Night Reminded Us That Bitcoin Is A Modern Vendetta Against The Establishment Authored by Alex Lielacher via BitcoinMagazine.com, Bitcoin enables a digital Gunpowder Plot, giving anyone the ability to opt out of establishment control as Guy Fawkes once attempted... The Guy Fawkes mask - popularized by the movie “V For Vendetta” - has become a symbol of resistance against the State, worn by anti-government protesters of all factions. Bitcoiners have also picked up the mask, highlighting Bitcoin’s own struggle against the powers that be who control and benefit from the corrupt fiat currency monetary system. As we remembered 'the fifth of November' this past weekend, here’s a reminder that Bitcoin is more than number-go-up technology. At its core, it’s a monetary revolution that has the potential to change the world forever. WHY DOES BRITAIN CELEBRATE THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER? “Remember, remember, the fifth of November. Gunpowder, treason, and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.” Ask anyone in the U.K. about Guy Fawkes, and they'll most likely quote you this poem. The fifth of November is a day when we remember one of the most notorious acts of rebellion against the state on European soil. On November 5, 1605, a group of Roman Catholic Church followers attempted to blow up parliament and kill King James I. The leader of the plot, Robert Catesby, together with his four co-conspirators — Thomas Winter, Thomas Percy, John Wright and the infamous Guy Fawkes — were angered by King James’ refusal to grant more religious toleration to Catholics. Through this plot, they hoped that the confusion, which would follow the murder of the king, his ministers and the members of Parliament, would provide an opportunity for the English Catholics to take over the country. However, their plan didn't work. They were caught and later hanged for treason. Their action resulted in even more punishment against the Catholic Church. In January 1606, the U.K. Parliament established November 5 as a day of public thanksgiving. Today we celebrate November 5 as Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night by lighting bonfires, setting off fireworks and carrying “Guys” through the streets wearing the ever-so-famous Guy Fawkes mask. THE CHANGING SYMBOLISM OF THE GUY FAWKES MASK The comic and, later, the movie, “V For Vendetta” turned the Guy Fawkes mask into a symbol with many different meanings. It's no longer only memorabilia for the fifth of November, but a symbol against power, corruption and the state apparatus, as well as a means to protect your identity during a time of omnipresent surveillance. One of the most obvious symbols of the mask is the uprising against the powers that be. Throughout the film “V For Vendetta,” the character V's identity is never revealed. There was no need to know who he was. The meaning in the graphic novel actually goes a step further and utilizes V's facelessness to promote anarchy in the hopes of creating a new world order without leaders. This vision is one that many protestors or anarchists share as well. Whether they are hacktivist collectives like Anonymous, which is keen to unveil corruption and abuse of power, or protestors against state tyranny in Venezuela, India, Bahrain or Nigeria. Once they put on the mask, they become not only a protestor against power, but also a symbol for others to follow their lead. One person alone with the mask on their face is meaningless, but once a collective puts on the mask, it becomes the symbol against tyranny. Obviously, it's a guard to protect one's privacy as well, which is why you see so many Guy Fawkes masks at protests. And this blends into online culture as well. Satoshi Nakamoto is arguably one of the most famous anonymous activists of the past 20 years. In fact, one of the most portrayed versions of Nakamoto is as someone wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and hoodie. Like V in the movie, it was Nakamoto who launched a vendetta with the financial world. They didn't seek vengeance by hacking the legacy financial system, but rather by creating a system in which everyone is able to transact freely. Once the project was big enough and able to live on its own, Nakamoto left, never to return, thereby nurturing the idea of a movement without any leaders — a leaderless resistance against the fiat monetary system. One of the main aspects of Bitcoin is its ability to separate money from the State. This separation is what unites Bitcoiners with protesters on the streets in Venezuela, hacktivists online and Guy Fawkes back in 1605. All of them had or have the goal of dethroning powerful institutions for a better and freer society. WHY ANON BITCOINERS WEAR THE GUY FAWKES MASK The Guy Fawkes mask is not only a symbol against tyranny but also a shield of protection to hide your identity. And anonymity is a big part of Bitcoin culture. Anon Bitcoiners want to protect themselves from the establishment, and the possible repercussions of having their identity linked with a technology that has the potential to topple existing monetary structures that benefit the few in power. While Bitcoin is slowly being integrated into the legacy financial system, adding to its legitimacy in the eyes of governments, regulators and big banking, the potential for a ban — as Bitcoin is a way to circumvent the coming central bank digital currency (CBDC) surveillance apparatus — remains a threat. History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes. If you look at what happened with gold in the United States in 1933, where citizens were essentially robbed of their gold possessions, it would be foolish to think that similar plans don’t also exist for Bitcoin. Now, one could say as long as you have your private keys and secure your wallet in a multisig structure, not much can happen. That might be true for your bitcoin. But the fact that your identity is linked to a potentially soon-to-be-banned technology poses a risk. Anons are able to opt out of that dystopia by wearing a metaphorical Guy Fawkes mask and remaining anonymous. They cut off their real-life personas from their online personas, allowing them to continue to remain unlinked to Bitcoin by name. Bear in mind, in the future, CBDCs will exist and will likely emerge as the main tool of surveillance for the establishment. That is another reason why the mask became a symbol against the establishment, whether that be in the Bitcoin space or in activist groups like Anonymous. All of these different groups are willing to stand up against tyranny by “putting on the mask.” Symbols are only effective if enough people stand up for them. A single Guy Fawkes mask is worthless. However, if thousands of people wear them at protests or have them on in their profile pictures online, they're able to put pressure on the establishment. Statements like “Bitcoin is a peaceful revolution” or “Fix the money, fix the world” have the goal of peaceful anarchy or revolution within them. They don't want to kill or destroy innocent lives. That's what the establishment is doing with its endless proxy wars. The goal is to inform citizens and give power back to the individual. IS BITCOIN THE FIAT MONETARY SYSTEM’S GUNPOWDER PLOT? The simple answer to this question is yes, absolutely. However, Bitcoiners don't plan to blow up parliament. Although I am sure there are Bitcoiners living under truly tyrannical state rule who may be working on overthrowing their governments, Bitcoiners want to change the world peacefully, without bloodshed or physical harm to anyone. In “V For Vendetta” and the gunpowder plot of 1605, the goal was to topple the existing power structure at all costs. The characters were willing to sacrifice human lives to see the change they envisioned. This is very different from Bitcoin. Bitcoin doesn’t need a violent uprising. Bitcoin is the uprising. Bitcoin itself is a peaceful revolution. There is no need to physically occupy Wall Street or hold bank employees hostage in a robbery. All anyone has to do to take part in the Bitcoin revolution is to become part of the Bitcoin network by running a node and spreading awareness of the power that Bitcoin holds to change the world. Bitcoin is antifragile, hard to change and secure by design. These qualities are the gunpowder of Bitcoin. There were many attempts to change its fundamentals — the Blocksize Wars, for example — but none of the attackers were successful in their attempts. Bitcoin's core of believers stuck to Nakamoto’s vision, one that is still alive today. Everyone on earth has the opportunity to take part in the Bitcoin network, benefitting from its ability to enable anyone to store, send and receive value without censorship or needing to ask for approval. That's why the establishment fears it. The establishment doesn’t want you to own anything. Its members are the ones telling you what to eat, drink and spend your hard-earned money on. If you don't obey, it will enforce new rules or shut you off by controlling your bank account. This is why CBDCs are so dangerous, as they can, in theory, give this establishment complete control over all your financial transactions. Just by owning and using bitcoin, you don't have to follow these rules. You have the option to opt out. If there is one thing the gunpowder plot or “V For Vendetta” has taught us, it's the power of collective minds. The establishment is afraid of more public support for Bitcoin because it knows that once we hit a certain threshold, there won't be any going back. The establishment can't turn Bitcoin off like a server. Without realizing it, it has built a monster. It was because of bad financial incentive structures in the past that Nakamoto created Bitcoin. The greed of the establishment was what led us here. One by one, from the bottom up, we've risen and continue to give people hope, courage and a vision for a better tomorrow. REMEMBER, REMEMBER, WHAT BITCOIN COULD REALLY ACCOMPLISH In the third act of “V For Vendetta,” the character Evey has overcome her fear of death. She knows there won't be any going back, and the plotted revolution on the fifth of November is unavoidable, regardless of her own life. In the real world, the establishment has gotten to where it is today because it has been able to corrupt the system with fiat money. If it ever needed more, it was able to print it. Up until today, it was somewhat successful. But its time is running out. You can only print so much money before it starts inflating away. The result of that rigorous spending is visible now. Figureheads like Christine Lagarde of the European Central Bank or Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England don't know how to stop inflation. They don't see any other solution but to print more money and to throw more money at the problem. As we know, however, that doesn’t work. Bitcoin fixes this. Bitcoin’s limited supply, combined with its disinflationary monetary policy, enables holders to protect themselves from the long-term effects of inflation. But that’s not all. Bitcoin is also freedom money. It allows anyone in the world to participate in a new monetary system free of the chains of the fiat currency apparatus. No ruler, no regulator and no bank can lock you out of your bitcoin as long as you hold your own keys. That is the true power of Bitcoin. It provides us with financial sovereignty and the power to choose our own destiny. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/07/2022 - 18:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 7th, 2022

Hudson: Germany"s Position In America"s New World Order

Hudson: Germany's Position In America's New World Order Authored by Michael Hudson, Germany has become an economic satellite of America’s New Cold War with Russia, China and the rest of Eurasia. Germany and other NATO countries have been told to impose trade and investment sanctions upon themselves that will outlast today’s proxy war in Ukraine. U.S. President Biden and his State Department spokesmen have explained that Ukraine is just the opening arena in a much broader dynamic that is splitting the world into two opposing sets of economic alliances. This global fracture promises to be a ten- or twenty-year struggle to determine whether the world economy will be a unipolar U.S.-centered dollarized economy, or a multipolar, multi-currency world centered on the Eurasian heartland with mixed public/private economies. President Biden has characterized this split as being between democracies and autocracies. The terminology is typical Orwellian double-speak. By “democracies” he means the U.S. and allied Western financial oligarchies. Their aim is to shift economic planning out of the hands of elected governments to Wall Street and other financial centers under U.S. control. U.S. diplomats use the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to demand privatization of the world’s infrastructure and dependency on U.S. technology, oil and food exports. By “autocracy,” Biden means countries resisting this financialization and privatization takeover. In practice, U.S. rhettoric means promoting its own economic growth and living standards, keeping finance and banking as public utilities. What basically is at issue is whether economies will be planned by banking centers to create financial wealth – by privatizing basic infrastructure, public utilities and social services such as health care into monopolies – or by raising living standards and prosperity by keeping banking and money creation, public health, education, transportation and communications in public hands. The country suffering the most “collateral damage” in this global fracture is Germany. As Europe’s most advanced industrial economy, German steel, chemicals, machinery, automotives and other consumer goods are the most highly dependent on imports of Russian gas, oil and metals from aluminum to titanium and palladium. Yet despite two Nord Stream pipelines built to provide Germany with low-priced energy, Germany has been told to cut itself off from Russian gas and de-industrialize. This means the end of its economic preeminence. The key to GDP growth in Germany, as in other countries, is energy consumption per worker. These anti-Russian sanctions make today’s New Cold War inherently anti-German. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has said that Germany should replace low-priced Russian pipeline gas with high-priced U.S. LNG gas. To import this gas, Germany will have to spend over $5 billion quickly to build port capacity to handle LNG tankers. The effect will be to make German industry uncompetitive. Bankruptcies will spread, employment will decline, and Germany’s pro-NATO leaders will impose a chronic depression and falling living standards. Most political theory assumes that nations will act in their own self-interest. Otherwise they are satellite countries, not in control of their own fate. Germany is subordinating its industry and living standards to the dictates of U.S. diplomacy and the self-interest of America’s oil and gas sector. It is doing this voluntarily – not because of military force but out of an ideological belief that the world economy should be run by U.S. Cold War planners. Sometimes it is easier to understand today’s dynamics by stepping away from one’s own immediate situation to look at historical examples of the kind of political diplomacy that one sees splitting today’s world. The closest parallel that I can find is medieval Europe’s fight by the Roman papacy against German kings – the Holy Roman Emperors – in the 13th century. That conflict split Europe along lines much like those of today. A series of popes excommunicated Frederick II and other German kings and mobilized allies to fight against Germany and its control of southern Italy and Sicily. Western antagonism against the East was incited by the Crusades (1095-1291), just as today’s Cold War is a crusade against economies threatening U.S. dominance of the world. The medieval war against Germany was over who should control Christian Europe: the papacy, with the popes becoming worldly emperors, or secular rulers of individual kingdoms by claiming the power to morally legitimize and accept them. Medieval Europe’s analogue to America’s New Cold War against China and Russia was the Great Schism in 1054. Demanding unipolar control over Christendom, Leo IX excommunicated the Orthodox Church centered in Constantinople and the entire Christian population that belonged to it. A single bishopric, Rome, cut itself off from the entire Christian world of the time, including the ancient Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople and Jerusalem. This break-away created a political problem for Roman diplomacy: How to hold all the Western European kingdoms under its control and claim the right for financial subsidy from them. That aim required subordinating secular kings to papal religious authority. In 1074, Gregory VII, Hildebrand, announced 27 Papal Dictates outlining the administrative strategy for Rome to lock in its power over Europe. These papal demands are strikingly parallel to today’s U.S. diplomacy. In both cases military and worldly interests require a sublimation in the form of an ideological crusading spirit to cement the sense of solidarity that any system of imperial domination requires. The logic is timeless and universal. The Papal Dictates were radical in two major ways. First of all, they elevated the bishop of Rome above all other bishoprics, creating the modern papacy. Clause 3 ruled that the pope alone had the power of investiture to appoint bishops or to depose or reinstate them. Reinforcing this, Clause 25 gave the right of appointing (or deposing) bishops to the pope, not to local rulers. And Clause 12 gave the pope the right to depose emperors, following Clause 9, obliging “all princes to kiss the feet of the Pope alone” in order to be deemed legitimate rulers. Likewise today, U.S. diplomats claim the right to name who should be recognized as a nation’s head of state. In 1953 they overthrew Iran’s elected leader and replaced him with the Shah’s military dictatorship. That principle gives U.S. diplomats the right to sponsor “color revolutions” for regime-change, such as their sponsorship of Latin American military dictatorships creating client oligarchies to serve U.S. corporate and financial interests. The 2014 coup in Ukraine is just the latest exercise of this U.S. right to appoint and depose leaders. More recently, U.S. diplomats have appointed Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s head of state instead of its elected president, and turned over that country’s gold reserves to him. President Biden has insisted that Russia must remove Putin and put a more pro-U.S. leader in his place. This “right” to select heads of state has been a constant in U.S. policy spanning its long history of political meddling in European political affairs since World War II. The second radical feature of the Papal Dictates was their exclusion of all ideology and policy that diverged from papal authority. Clause 2 stated that only the Pope could be called “Universal.” Any disagreement was, by definition, heretical. Clause 17 stated that no chapter or book could be considered canonical without papal authority. A similar demand as is being made by today’s U.S.-sponsored ideology of financialized and privatized “free markets,” meaning deregulation of government power to shape economies in interests other than those of U.S.-centered financial and corporate elites. The demand for universality in today’s New Cold War is cloaked in the language of “democracy.” But the definition of democracy in today’s New Cold War is simply “pro-U.S.,” and specifically neoliberal privatization as the U.S.-sponsored new economic religion. This ethic is deemed to be “science,” as in the quasi-Nobel Memorial Prize in the Economic Sciences. That is the modern euphemism for neoliberal Chicago-School junk economics, IMF austerity programs and tax favoritism for the wealthy. The Papal Dictates spelt out a strategy for locking in unipolar control over secular realms. They asserted papal precedence over worldly kings, above all over Germany’s Holy Roman Emperors. Clause 26 gave popes authority to excommunicate whomever was “not at peace with the Roman Church.” That principle implied the concluding Claus 27, enabling the pope to “absolve subjects from their fealty to wicked men.” This encouraged the medieval version of “color revolutions” to bring about regime change. What united countries in this solidarity was an antagonism to societies not subject to centralized papal control – the Moslem Infidels who held Jerusalem, and also the French Cathars and anyone else deemed to be a heretic. Above all there was hostility toward regions strong enough to resist papal demands for financial tribute. Today’s counterpart to such ideological power to excommunicate heretics resisting demands for obedience and tribute would be the World Trade Organization, World Bank and IMF dictating economic practices and setting “conditionalities” for all member governments to follow, on pain of U.S. sanctions – the modern version of excommunication of countries not accepting U.S. suzerainty. Clause 19 of the Dictates ruled that the pope could be judged by no one – just as today, the United States refuses to subject its actions to rulings by the World Court. Likewise today, U.S. dictates via NATO and other arms (such as the IMF and World Bank) are expected to be followed by U.S. satellites without question. As Margaret Thatcher said of her neoliberal privatization that destroyed Britain’s public sector, There Is No Alternative (TINA). My point is to emphasize the analogy with today’s U.S. sanctions against all countries not following its own diplomatic demands. Trade sanctions are a form of excommunication. They reverse the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia’s principle that made each country and its rulers independent from foreign meddling. President Biden characterizes U.S. interference as ensuring his new antithesis between “democracy” and “autocracy.” By democracy he means a client oligarchy under U.S. control, creating financial wealth by reducing living standards for labor, as opposed to mixed public/private economies aiming at promoting living standards and social solidarity. As I have mentioned, by excommunicating the Orthodox Church centered in Constantinople and its Christian population, the Great Schism created the fateful religious dividing line that has split “the West” from the East for the past millennium. That split was so important that Vladimir Putin cited it as part of his September 30, 2022 speech describing today’s break away from the U.S. and NATO centered Western economies. The 12th and 13th centuries saw Norman conquerors of England, France and other countries, along with German kings, protest repeatedly, be excommunicated repeatedly, yet ultimately succumb to papal demands. It took until the 16th century for Martin Luther, Zwingli and Henry VIII finally to create a Protestant alternative to Rome, making Western Christianity multi-polar. Why did it take so long? The answer is that the Crusades provided an organizing ideological gravity. That was the medieval analogy to today’s New Cold War between East and West. The Crusades created a spiritual focus of “moral reform” by mobilizing hatred against “the other” – the Moslem East, and increasingly Jews and European Christian dissenters from Roman control. That was the medieval analogy to today’s neoliberal “free market” doctrines of America’s financial oligarchy and its hostility to China, Russia and other nations not following that ideology. In today’s New Cold War, the West’s neoliberal ideology is mobilizing fear and hatred of “the other,” demonizing nations that follow an independent path as “autocratic regimes.” Outright racism is fostered toward entire peoples, as evident in the Russophobia and Cancel Culture currently sweeping the West. Just as Western Christianity’s multi-polar transition required the 16th century’s Protestant alternative, the Eurasian heartland’s break from the bank-centered NATO West must be consolidated by an alternative ideology regarding how to organize mixed public/private economies and their financial infrastructure. Medieval churches in the West were drained of their alms and endowments to contribute Peter’s Pence and other subsidy to the papacy for the wars it was fighting against rulers who resisted papal demands. England played the role of major victim that Germany plays today. Enormous English taxes were levied ostensibly to finance the Crusades were diverted to fight Frederick II, Conrad and Manfred in Sicily. That diversion was financed by papal bankers from northern Italy (Lombards and Cahorsins), and became royal debts passed down throughout the economy. England’s barons waged a civil war against Henry II in the 1260s, ending his complicity in sacrificing the economy to papal demands. What ended the papacy’s power over other countries was the ending of its war against the East. When the Crusaders lost Acre, the capital of Jerusalem in 1291, the papacy lost its control over Christendom. There was no more “evil” to fight, and the “good” had lost its center of gravity and coherence. In 1307, France’s Philip IV (“the Fair”) seized the Church’s great military banking order’s wealth, that of the Templars in the Paris Temple. Other rulers also nationalized the Templars, and monetary systems were taken out of the hands of the Church. Without a common enemy defined and mobilized by Rome, the papacy lost its unipolar ideological power over Western Europe. The modern equivalent to the rejection of the Templars and papal finance would be for countries to withdraw from America’s New Cold War. They would reject the dollar standard and the U.S. banking and financial system. that is happening as more and more countries see Russia and China not as adversaries but as presenting great opportunities for mutual economic advantage. The broken promise of mutual gain between Germany and Russia The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 promised an end to the Cold War. The Warsaw Pact was disbanded, Germany was reunified, and American diplomats promised an end to NATO, because a Soviet military threat no longer existed. Russian leaders indulged in the hope that, as President Putin expressed it, a new pan-European economy would be created from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Germany in particular was expected to take the lead in investing in Russia and restructuring its industry along more efficient lines. Russia would pay for this technology transfer by supplying gas and oil, along with nickel, aluminum, titanium and palladium. There was no anticipation that NATO would be expanded to threaten a New Cold War, much less that it would back Ukraine, recognized as the most corrupt kleptocracy in Europe, into being led by extremist parties identifying themselves by German Nazi insignia. How do we explain why the seemingly logical potential of mutual gain between Western Europe and the former Soviet economies turned into a sponsorship of oligarchic kleptocracies. The Nord Stream pipeline’s destruction capsulizes the dynamics in a nutshell. For almost a decade a constant U.S. demand has been for Germany to reject its reliance on Russian energy. These demands were opposed by Gerhardt Schroeder, Angela Merkel and German business leaders. They pointed to the obvious economic logic of mutual trade of German manufactures for Russian raw materials. The U.S. problem was how to stop Germany from approving the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Victoria Nuland, President Biden and other U.S. diplomats demonstrated that the way to do that was to incite a hatred of Russia. The New Cold War was framed as a new Crusade. That was how George W. Bush had described America’s attack on Iraq to seize its oil wells. The U.S.-sponsored 2014 coup created a puppet Ukrainian regime that has spent eight years bombing of the Russian-speaking Eastern provinces. NATO thus incited a Russian military response. The incitement was successful, and the desired Russian response was duly labeled an unprovoked atrocity. Its protection of civilians was depicted in the NATO-sponsored media as being so offensive as to deserve the trade and investment sanctions that have been imposed since February. That is what a Crusade means. The result is that the world is splitting in two camps: the U.S.-centered NATO, and the emerging Eurasian coalition. One byproduct of this dynamic has been to leave Germany unable to pursue the economic policy of mutually advantageous trade and investment relations with Russia (and perhaps also China). German Chancellor Olaf Sholz is going to China this week to demand that it dismantle is public sector and stops subsidizing its economy, or else Germany and Europe will impose sanctions on trade with China. There is no way that China could meet this ridiculous demand, any more than the United States or any other industrial economy would stop subsidizing their own computer-chip and other key sectors. The German Council on Foreign Relations is a neoliberal “libertarian” arm of NATO demanding German de-industrialization and dependency on the United States for its trade, excluding China, Russia and their allies. This promises to be the final nail in Germany’s economic coffin. Another byproduct of America’s New Cold War has been to end any international plan to stem global warming. A keystone of U.S. economic diplomacy is for its oil companies and those of its NATO allies to control the world’s oil and gas supply – that is, to reduce dependence on carbon-based fuels. That is what the NATO war in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine was about. It is not as abstract as “Democracies vs. Autocracies.” It is about the U.S. ability to harm other countries by disrupting their access to energy and other basic needs. Without the New Cold War’s “good vs. evil” narrative, U.S. sanctions will lose their raison d’etre in this U.S. attack on environmental protection, and on mutual trade between Western Europe and Russia and China. That is the context for today’s fight in Ukraine, which is to be merely the first step in the anticipated 20 year fight by the US to prevent the world from becoming multipolar. This process, will lock Germany and Europe into dependence on the U.S. supplies of LNG. The trick is to try and convince Germany that it is dependent on the United States for its military security. What Germany really needs protection from is the U.S. war against China and Russia that is marginalizing and “Ukrainianizing” Europe. There have been no calls by Western governments for a negotiated end to this war, because no war has been declared in Ukraine. The United States does not declare war anywhere, because that would require a Congressional declaration under the U.S. Constitution. So U.S. and NATO armies bomb, organize color revolutions, meddle in domestic politics (rendering the 1648 Westphalia agreements obsolete), and impose the sanctions that are tearing Germany and its European neighbors apart. How can negotiations “end” a war that either has no declaration of war, and is a long-term strategy of total unipolar world domination? The answer is that no ending can come until an alternative to the present U.S.-centered set of international institutions is replaced. That requires the creation of new institutions reflecting an alternative to the neoliberal bank-centered view that economies should be privatized with central planning by financial centers. Rosa Luxemburg characterized the choice as being between socialism and barbarism. I have sketched out the political dynamics of an alternative in my recent book, The Destiny of Civilization. *  *  * This paper was presented on November 1, 2022. on the German e-site BraveNewEurope. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/04/2022 - 02:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 4th, 2022

Online Lender SoFi Jumps 14% On Better-Than-Expected Q3 Results

The company lost $0.09 per share on revenue of $424 million. Those results marked year-over-year increases on both the top- and bottom lines, and came in ahead of views. Revenue grew at mid-to-high double-digit rates in each of the past six quarters. The company raised its full-year guidance. Analysts have a “moderate buy” rating on […] The company lost $0.09 per share on revenue of $424 million. Those results marked year-over-year increases on both the top- and bottom lines, and came in ahead of views. Revenue grew at mid-to-high double-digit rates in each of the past six quarters. The company raised its full-year guidance. Analysts have a “moderate buy” rating on the stock with the potential for a 116.13% upside. Shares of online lender SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI) were up more than 14% Tuesday following a better-than-expected third-quarter report. The company lost $0.09 per share on revenue of $424 million. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Those results marked year-over-year increases on both the top and bottom lines. Revenue has grown at mid-to-high double-digit rates in each of the past six quarters. The company, which went public in December 2020, has not yet posted a profit, but yearly losses have been narrowing. Analysts expect SoFi to report a loss of $0.45 per share this year, with a smaller loss of $0.26 per share in 2023. Boosting the share price Tuesday was the company’s increased outlook for the full year. It now expects 2022 adjusted net revenue in a range of $1.517 billion to $1.522 billion, up from $1.508 billion to $1.513 billion previously. It expects full-year adjusted EBITDA of $115 million to $120 million, up from $104 million to $109 million previously. In the earnings release, CEO Anthony Noto said strength across all three of SoFi’s business segments - lending, technology platform, and financial services - drove record third-quarter adjusted net revenue. He added that the company added nearly 424,000 new members in the quarter, for a total of 4.7 million members. That’s a 61% year-over-year increase. Noto specifically referred to SoFi’s bank charter as a driver of revenue. This year, SoFi received its national banking charter as a result of its acquisition of Golden Pacific Bancorp. That deal was completed in early February. SoFi had been attempting to get a banking charter for years before the Golden Pacific Bancorp transaction finally allowed that. Total Deposits Growing In the earnings statement, Noto said, “Our bank charter is enabling new flexibility that has proven even more valuable in light of the current macro environment, and the economic benefits are already starting to materialize and positively impact our operating and financial results. Total deposits grew 86% during the quarter to $5.0 billion at quarter-end, and 85% of SoFi Money deposits (inclusive of Checking and Savings and SoFi Money cash management accounts) are from direct deposit members.” He specifically pointed out that for new direct deposit accounts opened in the third quarter, the median FICO score was 750. While in theory, a bank depositor’s credit score doesn’t really matter, it’s important to SoFi because a higher credit score means the company can also market loans, such as mortgages, to banking customers. Noto addressed that directly, saying, “As a result of this growth in high-quality deposits, we have benefited from a lower cost of funding for our loans.” Typical banking revenue streams also played a role in the strong quarter. Because of increased deposit funding, SoFi was a ble to capture additional net interest margin and optimize returns, what the company termed “a critical advantage in light of notable macro uncertainty.” MarketBeat analyst data for SoFi show a “moderate buy” rating on the stock, with a price target of $13.36, a potential upside of 116.13%. Following Tech Sector Trajectory SoFi’s chart tells a story of pandemic-era tech optimism gone bust. After going public, the stock’s price more than doubled in the next two months. Techs in general, including other fintech firms, such as DLocal (NASDAQ:DLO) and Upstart (NASDAQ:UPST), followed a similar trajectory of rallying into early 2021, then correcting, before attempting fresh rallies in early April of last year. Starting in mid-June, SoFi began etching a cup-with-handle pattern with a 46% correction. The stock broke out of that base exactly a year ago, on November 1, 2021. From there, it rolled over fairly quickly as the broader market weakened going into the end of the year. SoFi has tracked the wider tech sector, with a consistent downtrend this year, broken up by a failed rally attempt in August. So what does that mean for the moment? SoFi fell to a new low of $4.77 on October 11. Shares were trading around $6.05 midway through Tuesday’s session. Should you invest $1,000 in SoFi Technologies right now? Before you consider SoFi Technologies, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and SoFi Technologies wasn't on the list. While SoFi Technologies currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. Article by Kate Stalter, MarketBeat.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 1st, 2022

Escobar: Everybody Wants To Hop On The BRICS Express

Escobar: Everybody Wants To Hop On The BRICS Express Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Cradle, Eurasia is about to get a whole lot larger as countries line up to join the Chinese and Russian-led BRICS and SCO, to the detriment of the west... Let’s start with what is in fact a tale of Global South trade between two members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). At its heart is the already notorious Shahed-136 drone – or Geranium-2, in its Russian denomination: the AK-47 of postmodern aerial warfare. The US, in yet another trademark hysteria fit rife with irony, accused Tehran of weaponizing the Russian Armed Forces. For both Tehran and Moscow, the superstar, value-for-money, and terribly efficient drone let loose in the Ukrainian battlefield is a state secret: its deployment prompted a flurry of denials from both sides. Whether these are made in Iran drones, or the design was bought and manufacturing takes place in Russia (the realistic option), is immaterial. The record shows that the US weaponizes Ukraine to the hilt against Russia. The Empire is a de facto war combatant via an array of “consultants,” advisers, trainers, mercenaries, heavy weapons, munitions, satellite intel, and electronic warfare. And yet imperial functionaries swear they are not part of the war. They are, once again, lying. Welcome to yet another graphic instance of the “rules-based international order” at work. The Hegemon always decides which rules apply, and when. Anyone opposing it is an enemy of “freedom,” “democracy,” or whatever platitude du jour, and should be – what else – punished by arbitrary sanctions. In the case of sanctioned-to-oblivion Iran, for decades now, the result has been predictably another round of sanctions. That’s irrelevant. What matters is that, according to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), no less than 22 nations – and counting – are joining the queue because they also want to get into the Shahed groove. Even Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gleefully joined the fray, commenting on how the Shahed-136 is no photoshop. The race towards BRICS+ What the new sanctions package against Iran really “accomplished” is to deliver an additional blow to the increasingly problematic signing of the revived nuclear deal in Vienna. More Iranian oil on the market would actually relieve Washington’s predicament after the recent epic snub by OPEC+. A categorical imperative though remains. Iranophobia – just like Russophobia – always prevails for the Straussians/neo-con war advocates in charge of US foreign policy and their European vassals. So here we have yet another hostile escalation in both Iran-US and Iran-EU relations, as the unelected junta in Brussels also sanctioned manufacturer Shahed Aviation Industries and three Iranian generals. Now compare this with the fate of the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone – which unlike the “flowers in the sky” (Russia’s Geraniums) has performed miserably in the battlefield. Kiev tried to convince the Turks to use a Motor Sich weapons factory in Ukraine or come up with a new company in Transcarpathia/Lviv to build Bayraktars. Motor Sich’s oligarch President Vyacheslav Boguslayev, aged 84, has been charged with treason because of his links to Russia, and may be exchanged for Ukrainian prisoners of war. In the end, the deal fizzled out because of Ankara’s exceptional enthusiasm in working to establish a new gas hub in Turkey – a personal suggestion from Russian President Vladimir Putin to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And that bring us to the advancing interconnection between BRICS and the 9-member SCO – to which this Russia-Iran instance of military trade is inextricably linked. The SCO, led by China and Russia, is a pan-Eurasian institution originally focused on counter-terrorism but now increasingly geared towards geoeconomic – and geopolitical – cooperation. BRICS, led by the triad of Russia, India, and China overlaps with the SCO agenda geoeconomically and geopoliticallly, expanding it to Africa, Latin America and beyond: that’s the concept of BRICS+, analyzed in detail in a recent Valdai Club report, and fully embraced by the Russia-China strategic partnership. The report weighs the pros and cons of three scenarios involving possible, upcoming BRICS+ candidates: First, nations that were invited by Beijing to be part of the 2017 BRICS summit (Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Thailand, Tajikistan). Second, nations that were part of the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in May this year (Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand). Third, key G20 economies (Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye). And then there’s Iran, which has already already shown interest in joining BRICS. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently confirmed that “several countries” are absolutely dying to join BRICS. Among them, a crucial West Asia player: Saudi Arabia. What makes it even more astonishing is that only three years ago, under former US President Donald Trump’s administration, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MbS) – the kingdom’s de fact ruler – was dead set on joining a sort of Arab NATO as a privileged imperial ally. Diplomatic sources confirm that the day after the US pulled out of Afghanistan, MbS’s envoys started seriously negotiating with both Moscow and Beijing. Assuming BRICS approves Riyadh’s candidacy in 2023 by the necessary consensus, one can barely imagine its earth-shattering consequences for the petrodollar. At the same time, it is important not to underestimate the capacity of US foreign policy controllers to wreak havoc. The only reason Washington tolerates Riyadh’s regime is the petrodollar. The Saudis cannot be allowed to pursue an independent, truly sovereign foreign policy. If that happens, the geopolitical realignment will concern not only Saudi Arabia but the entire Persian Gulf. Yet that’s increasingly likely after OPEC+ de facto chose the BRICS/SCO path led by Russia-China – in what can be interpreted as a “soft” preamble for the end of the petrodollar. The Riyadh-Tehran-Ankara triad Iran made known its interest to join BRICS even before Saudi Arabia. According to Persian Gulf diplomatic sources, they are already engaged in a somewhat secret channel via Iraq trying to get their act together. Turkey will soon follow – certainly on BRICS and possibly the SCO, where Ankara currently carries the status of extremely interested observer. Now imagine this triad – Riyadh, Tehran, Ankara – closely joined with Russia, India, China (the actual core of the BRICS), and eventually in the SCO, where Iran is as yet the only West Asian nation to be inducted as a full member. The strategic blow to the Empire will go off the charts. The discussions leading to BRICS+ are focusing on the challenging path towards a commodity-backed global currency capable of bypassing US dollar primacy. Several interconnected steps point towards increasing symbiosis between BRICS+ and SCO. The latter’s members states have already agreed on a road map for gradually increasing trade in national currencies in mutual settlements. The State Bank of India – the nation’s top lender – is opening special rupee accounts for Russia-related trade. Russian natural gas to Turkey will be paid 25 percent in rubles and Turkish lira, complete with a 25 percent discount Erdogan personally asked of Putin. Russian bank VTB has launched money transfers to China in yuan, bypassing SWIFT, while Sberbank has started lending out money in yuan. Russian energy behemoth Gazprom agreed with China that gas supply payments should shift to rubles and yuan, split evenly. Iran and Russia are unifying their banking systems for trade in rubles/rial. Egypt’s Central Bank is moving to establish an index for the pound – through a group of currencies plus gold – to move the national currency away from the US dollar. And then there’s the TurkStream saga. That gas hub gift Ankara for years has been trying to position itself as a privileged East-West gas hub. After the sabotage of the Nord Streams, Putin has handed it on a plate by offering Turkey the possibility to increase Russian gas supplies to the EU via such a hub. The Turkish Energy Ministry stated that Ankara and Moscow have already reached an agreement in principle. This will mean in practice Turkey controlling the gas flow to Europe not only from Russia but also Azerbaijan and a great deal of West Asia, perhaps even including Iran, as well as Libya in northeast Africa. LNG terminals in Egypt, Greece and Turkiye itself may complete the network. Russian gas travels via the TurkStream and Blue Stream pipelines. The total capacity of Russian pipelines is 39 billion cubic meters a year. Map of Russian gas route via Turkey TurkStream was initially projected as a four-strand pipeline, with a nominal capacity of 63 million cubic meters a year. As it stands, only two strands – with a total capacity of 31,5 billion cubic meters – have been built. So an extension in theory is more than feasible – with all the equipment made in Russia. The problem, once again, is laying the pipes. The necessary vessels belong to the Swiss Allseas Group – and Switzerland is part of the sanctions craze. In the Baltic Sea, Russian vessels were used to finish building Nord Stream 2. But for a TurkStream extension, they would need to operate much deeper in the ocean. TurkStream would not be able to completely replace Nord Stream; it carries much smaller volumes. The upside for Russia is not being canceled from the EU market. Evidently Gazprom would only tackle the substantial investment on an extension if there are ironclad guarantees about its security. And there’s the additional drawback that the extension would also carry gas from Russia’s competitors. Whatever happens, the fact remains that the US-UK combo still exerts a lot of influence in Turkey – and BP, Exxon Mobil, and Shell, for instance, are actors in virtually every oil extraction project across West Asia. So they would certainly interfere on the way the Turkish gas hub functions, as well on determining the gas price. Moscow has to weigh all these variables before committing to such a project. NATO, of course, will be livid. But never underestimate hedging bet specialist Sultan Erdogan. His love story with both the BRICS and the SCO is just beginning. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/29/2022 - 00:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 29th, 2022

Futures Trade In Narrow Range Ahead Of Tech Giant Earnings

Futures Trade In Narrow Range Ahead Of Tech Giant Earnings US equity futures erased modest earlier gains and traded modestly in the red, after rebounding from session lows as they struggled for direction while investors awaited major earnings reports and weighed last week's conflicting comments from central bankers who are now in a blackout period. As of 7:30am, contracts on the S&P 500 dropped 0.1% to 3,803 after positive corporate results boosted the underlying index on Monday; on Tuesday, Coca-Cola, General Motors and United Parcel Service all beat analysts’ earnings estimates, while 3M and General Electric fell short.  Alphabet Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are among major companies still reporting after the close. Nasdaq 100 futures were flat, with traders awaiting earnings after market hours from tech giants including Microsoft, Texas Instruments and Alphabet. Treasury yields tumbled for a second day and the dollar was steady even as the Yuan plunged to the lowest on record after the weakest PBOC fix since 2008. “While the earnings season could still produce many surprises, the outcome so far is consistent with our advice to favor more defensive parts of the market, such as healthcare and consumer staples,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. In pre-market trading, US-listed Chinese stocks staged a limited rebound after losing almost $80 billion of market value in a record selloff that pushed the shares to their lowest level in over nine years. Major internet companies including Alibaba, JD.com and Pinduoduo gained at least 2% each. Facebook Meta Platforms was slightly weak after a global outage on its WhatsApp messaging service, while broker KeyBanc cut price targets on the stock, as well as on Alphabet, citing skepticism of revenue growth amid mounting concerns of a downturn in 2023. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Weber stock surged 22% in US premarket trading as BDT Capital Partners has proposed to buy the shares it doesn’t already own for $6.25 per share in cash. Mullen Automotive rose as much as 20% in US premarket trading, set to extend its four-day rising streak. Shares closed up by about a third on Monday after the firm secured exclusive sales rights for the I-GO electric vehicle, in select European markets. Taysha Gene Therapies shares surge as much as 60% in US premarket trading, putting the stock on track for a record gain, after Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma said it will take a 15% stake in the US gene therapy developer for $50m. US-listed Chinese stocks rose in US premarket trading on Tuesday, following a rebound across Hong Kong peers which bounced back from Monday’s historic selloff. Alibaba (BABA US) +2.5%, Baidu (BIDU US) +2.9%, JD.com (JD US) +3.3%, Nio (NIO US) +2%, Li Auto (LI US) +3%, XPeng (XPEV US) +2.7% Linde shares dropped 1.9% in US premarket trading after the company said holders will vote on delisting shares from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The move would force Europe-only investors to sell their stakes, according to analysts. Packaging Corp shares fell 1.7% in US postmarket trading on Tuesday as the company’s 4Q guidance was lighter than expected, analysts said, pointing to weaker demand as the containerboard maker grapples with the impact of cost inflation, overshadowing a beat in 3Q adjusted earnings per share. Crown Holdings shares fell 9.4% in US after-hours trading on Monday with analysts pointing to a slowdown in demand as the main reason for the packaging products maker’s lowered guidance for both the 4Q and year, alongside a strong US dollar, higher European energy costs and increased interest expense. Keep an eye on Alphabet and Meta (META US) as their price targets were cut at KeyBanc, with the brokerage noting that investors are increasingly skeptical of revenue growth amid mounting concerns of a downturn in 2023. Watch Arista Networks stock as it was cut to neutral from outperform and PT slashed to a street-low $110 from $185 at Credit Suisse, with the broker seeing more challenging dynamics for the cloud networking group into 2023. According to Bloomberg data, about a fifth of S&P 500 companies had posted third-quarter earnings before today, with more than half outperforming estimates. Still, investors are concerned the effects of a slowing economy will be felt further down the line, with the Fed set to raise interest rates next week even as the economy shows signs of flagging. “What we’ve seen throughout the year is that equity risk premia have really compressed,” Christian Mueller-Glissmann, Goldman Sachs managing director for portfolio strategy, said on Bloomberg TV. “That makes you more vulnerable if you disappoint on growth, cash flows, et cetera. For now that hasn’t happened really, but all the lead indicators are pointing to risks in this direction.” Manufacturing and services data for the US underwhelmed on Monday, indicating Federal Reserve rate hikes are beginning to slow activity. Fed officials have entered a blackout period ahead of the central bank’s meeting next week, where it’s expected to raise rates 75 basis points. Investors are starting to speculate that the central bank may be approaching the end of its aggressive tightening campaign. “Investors are getting more confident that inflation will soften as the consumer rethinks massive purchases,” said Edward Moya, a senior markets analyst at OANDA Corp. “Fed rate-hike expectations will remain volatile, but expectations are growing that a weaker economy will let the Fed pause their tightening after the February policy meeting.” “Even if optimism remains alive, investors are likely to need concrete evidence of monetary and economic improvements before driving stock indexes higher,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “Until then, it’s only investors buying rumours.” In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index erased an early advance, with chemicals the worst-performing sector as Linde Plc dropped after proposing to de-list from the Frankfurt exchange. Spain's IBEX outperforms peers, adding 0.5%, FTSE 100 lags, dropping 0.4%. Banks underperformed as the ECB considers curbing windfall profits from rising interest rates, while HSBC Holdings Plc plunged more than 7% after reporting higher-than-expected charges for possible loan losses. The most notable mover was Adidas, which slumps as much as 3.9%, sinking to lowest since March 2016 after the German sportswear company announced plans to end a partnership with Kanye West, while the firm also received a downgrade from Morgan Stanley. On the plus side, UBS Group AG buoyed financial services after it exceeded earnings estimates, while technology stocks climbed after software developer SAP SE’s third-quarter revenue beat. Here are all the notable European movers: SAP shares gained as much as 4.7% after the software firm reported 3Q revenue and operating profit ahead of estimates, helped by strong growth in its cloud business, with gross margin and backlog strong despite macro uncertainties. Air Liquide climbs as much as 4.7%, the most since March, after company delivered “strong set of results,” Stifel says in note as 3Q revenue beat estimates. UBS Group shares extend gains to as much as 6.0%, the most since June, after it reported net income for the third quarter that beat the average analyst estimate, driven by the investment bank and global wealth management divisions, which benefited from higher rates. Universal Music Group rises as much as 9.8%, the most since IPO in 2021, after Citi wrote that Apple’s price increase would “give comfort to UMG bulls.” Novartis shares shake off early losses to trade steady after the company released 3Q results that were broadly in line with expectations, with a small increase to the outlook for generics unit Sandoz a positive surprise, analysts say. Linde shares drop as much as 7.9%, the most intraday since February, after saying holders will vote on delisting shares from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. HSBC shares drop as much as 8.2% in London, the most in six months, after the lender announced a change of chief financial officer and reported higher-than- expected loan loss charges in its third-quarter results. Alfa Laval drops as much as 11.3%, the most since May, as 3Q showed a “big margin miss,” impacted by weak trading in the Marine and Food & Water divisions, Citi writes. Viaplay shares drop as much as 31%, the most on record, after Nordic streaming company cut its guidance on slower growth in its Nordic business. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks climbed, helped by a rebound in Chinese technology shares that followed Monday’s steep losses in the wake of the Communist Party congress. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 0.9% before paring the advance to 0.3%, boosted by gains in internet giants Alibaba and JD.com. A gauge of Chinese tech stocks erased an early loss of almost 3% to jump by a similar magnitude, as Alibaba Health and JD Health climbed. Tech and materials shares in the broader region fell. Benchmarks in Hong Kong and on the mainland whipsawed in volatile trading, closing marginally lower. Sentiment remains fragile after the dramatic selloff Monday following Xi Jinping’s move to secure his grip on power and amid ongoing concern over the nation’s Covid-zero policy.  “Without reopening, visibility on China’s economy and corporate earnings will remain very low, and risk-off trade in the stock market may continue,” BofA Securities strategists, including Winnie Wu, wrote in a note. Value stocks will likely outperform growth stocks, and the onshore market may outperform offshore, they added. China Budget Gap Widens to 7.16t Yuan as Covid, Property Weigh Vietnamese equities fell before reversing losses after the central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates by another one percentage point. Shares in Japan climbed for a second day amid optimism over corporate earnings and hopes for an eventual slowdown in Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. “We’re certainly staying away from the Chinese market right now because the political scene is not favorable,” Laila Pence, president of Pence Wealth Management, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “There’s a lot less risk in the US and just as much upside.” Japanese stocks climbed, following an extended rally in US peers, as investors assessed the potential for good corporate earnings amid continued monetary tightening by the Fed.  The Topix rose 1.1% to close at 1,907.14, while the Nikkei advanced 1% to 27,250.28. Keyence Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, rising 2.9%. Out of 2,166 stocks in the index, 1,584 rose and 477 fell, while 105 were unchanged. Stocks are getting a boost from the potential slowdown of Fed interest rate hikes, and US earnings “are not that bad,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management. “Japanese earnings are not that bad as well, with the weak yen, and price pass-throughs have shown up this quarter so domestic-oriented companies are expected to perform better.” Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3% to close at 6,798.60, extending gains for a second day, as property and financial sectors supported the benchmark. Traders are also awaiting the unveiling of Australia’s budget later on Tuesday. The nation’s budget deficit in fiscal 2023 is forecast to be less than half the level anticipated by the previous administration in March, bolstered by windfall revenue from surging commodity prices. Read: Australia Budget Expected to Rock Stocks From Housing to Mining In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.1% to 10,902.31. In rates, treasuries traded at the best levels of the day into early US session, following wider gains across bunds where long-end of the curve is richer by up to 10bp. Treasuries rally led by intermediates, stretching 5s30s spread past 4bp and onto steepest levels since Sept. 13. Focal points of US session include start of auction cycle with 2-year at 1pm New York time. US yields richer by as much as 7bp across 5- to 7-year sector with 2s5s30s fly dropping 5bp as belly outperforms; 10-year yields around 4.1585% with bunds outperforming by 2.5bp and gilts underperforming by 2.5bp anticipating new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s fiscal plans over the coming days. German bonds rally ahead of the ECB rate decision this week, led by the long-end. Bunds 10-year yield down ~6.5bps to 2.26%. Peripheral spreads tighten to Germany with 10y BTP/Bund narrowing 5.2bps to 219.8bps.  The US auction cycle includes $42b 2-year note followed by $43b 5-year Wednesday and $35b 7- year Thursday. WI 2-year around 4.455% is above auction stops since 2007 and ~16.5bp cheaper than last month’s, which tailed by 1.6bp. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index steadied and the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers. Here's how all other majors did: The pound led gains and UK government bonds advanced, led by the long end, as investors awaited more details on economic and fiscal policy from the incoming prime minister, who takes office later in the day. The euro erased gains, after rising toward $0.99 in Asian trading. Bunds extended yesterday’s advance, while Italian bonds stretched gains to a fourth session, the longest run since November 2021, as money markets pared ECB tightening bets ahead of Thursday’s policy outcome. Germany Oct. IFO business confidence index came in at 84.3 versus estimate 83.5. The yen was little changed as traders remained wary of further intervention by authorities, while a drop in US yields weighed on the greenback. Super-long government bonds rallied. Front-end volatility in dollar-yen retreats sharply as the latest round of Japanese intervention makes the case for tighter ranges. The Australian dollar inched up. Gains were tempered by elevated Covid case numbers in China and iron ore falling to its lowest level since November. The New Zealand dollar swung to a loss in European trading; the government said it’s made no decision yet on raising the minimum wage for the next year. The onshore yuan fell by the most among Asian peers to its lowest level since 2007 after the PBOC’s weaker fixing was interpreted by traders as a sign for a weaker currency. One-month implied volatility of USD/CNH rose to 10.46%, the highest on record in data back to 2011. China’s foreign exchange regulator is consulting some banks on positioning in the currency market as the yuan declines to the lowest levels since 2008, Reuters reports, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. PBOC adjusted rules to allow companies to borrow more from overseas, enabling more foreign capital inflows at a time when the currency is plunging to fresh 2008 lows against the dollar. In commodities, WTI trades within Monday’s range, falling 0.6% to near $84 with crude benchmarks pressured amid the general risk tone with sentiment slipping throughout the morning amid a resilient USD and Ifo pointing to a German recession. Currently, WTI and Brent Dec contracts are lower by just over 1% or USD 1/bbl and reside at session lows of USD 83.50/bbl and USD 92/bbl respectively. IEA's Birol said the OPEC+ decision to cut output by 2mln BPD is a risky one especially as several economies are on the brink of recession; the Global LNG market to tighten further next year as European imports increase and China's appetite may rebound, via Reuters. Bitcoin is pressured but within a narrow USD 200 range that is itself a similar magnitude above the USD 19k mark. Looking to the day ahead now and economic indicators in store will feature the Conference Board consumer confidence index for October, Richmond Fed manufacturing index and August FHFA house price index for the US. In Europe, we will get October Ifo survey for Germany and the Eurozone bank lending survey will also be published. The earnings line-up for today will be key, featuring most prominently Microsoft and Alphabet after the US market close. Earlier in the day, we will hear from Coca-Cola, General Electric, General Motors and UPS. Other notable names reporting will feature Visa, Novartis, Texas Instruments, Raytheon Technologies, HSBC, SAP, 3M, UBS, ADM, Valero Energy, Chipotle, Biogen, Halliburton, Spotify and Norsk Hydro. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.2% at 3,800.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 402.68 MXAP up 0.4% to 134.79 MXAPJ little changed at 430.13 Nikkei up 1.0% to 27,250.28 Topix up 1.1% to 1,907.14 Hang Seng Index little changed at 15,165.59 Shanghai Composite little changed at 2,976.28 Sensex down 0.1% to 59,750.45 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 6,798.62 Kospi little changed at 2,235.07 German 10Y yield down 2.6% at 2.27% Euro down 0.1% at $0.9863 Brent Futures down 1.2% to $92.13/bbl Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,642.86 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 112.031 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Two younger officials promoted to the Communist Party’s ranks are standing out as the most likely candidates to be tasked with steering the People’s Bank of China through challenging economic times The era of negative-yielding global bonds looks tantalizingly close to an end, with Japan’s two-year yield on the cusp of breaking above zero for the first time since 2015 New Zealand’s central bank is “hopeful” that inflation has peaked, even though it was higher than anyone expected in the third quarter, Chief Economist Paul Conway said China’s central bank adjusted rules to allow companies to borrow more from overseas, enabling more foreign capital inflows at a time when the currency is plunging to fresh 2008 lows against the dollar The offshore yuan fell to a fresh record low after the People’s Bank of China loosened its grip on the tightly controlled fixing by setting the rate at the weakest level in 14 years New Zealand’s central bank is “hopeful” that inflation has peaked, even though it was higher than anyone expected in the third quarter, chief economist Paul Conway said Australia’s budget deficit in fiscal 2023 is set to be less than half the level anticipated by the previous administration in March, bolstered by windfall revenue from surging commodity prices Oil steadied as traders assessed near-term supply tightness in the crude market and broad appetite for risk assets including commodities WhatsApp Appears to Have Outage, With Thousands Reporting Issues US Stays China Course, Works on Biden Meeting as Xi Cements Grip Carney Addresses ‘Tension’ After Bankers Balked at CO2 Proposal Oil Steadies as Market Tightness Vies With Slowdown Concerns Fed Is Losing Billions, Wiping Out Profits That Funded Spending China Rout Puts Focus on Stocks With Foreign Holdings, BofA Says Carnival Unit Halts Asia Cruises as China Covid Zero Bites Xi Rewards Combat-Ready China Generals Amid Taiwan Tensions Warner Bros. Discovery Expects Billions in Restructuring Charges Barrack Testifies Trump Presidency Was ‘Disastrous’ for Him Sunak Expected to Keep Hunt as He Readies New UK Cabinet Tesla Options Hint at Trouble Ahead With Bets Around $200 State Street’s CEO Says Private Credit Can Lower Risk for Banks VIX’s Tandem Swings With S&P 500 Show Options Obsession Persists What the Alzheimer’s Drug Breakthrough Means for Other Diseases A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks eventually traded higher following a firm lead from Wall Street, with the Chinese market experiencing a choppy session overnight. ASX 200 held onto gains as the clock ticks down for the unveiling of the Australian Federal Budget, with gains in the index led by financials, telecoms and healthcare. Nikkei 225 remained above the 27,000 mark as its manufacturing stocks kept the index buoyed. KOSPI was supported by the chip sector but gains were capped as South Korean President Yoon said North Korea has completed preparations for a seventh nuclear test, whilst South Korean consumer inflation expectations also ticked up from the prior month. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were volatile throughout the session and both indices swung between gains and losses with the former dipping under the 15,000 mark at one point - desks pointed to continued angst following the CCP National Congress. The indices later surged whilst there were unconfirmed reports of Chinese intervention in the stock market. Top Asian News US Treasury Secretary Yellen is unaware of Japan's FX intervention and Tokyo hasn't informed them. PBoC relaxed cross-border funding by raising the macroprudential parameter to 1.25 from 1. PBoC injected CNY 230bln via 7-day reverse repos at a maintained rate of 2.00% for a daily injection of CNY 228bln China State Planner said China is to promote the expansion of foreign investments focusing on the manufacturing industry. Japan kept its overall economic view unchanged that the economy is picking up moderately, and added that "full attention" must be paid to market volatility. Govt raised Capex view for the first time in eight months; downgrades view on imports. Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki does not comment on daily forex moves, ready to take appropriate action on FX movements if necessary; watching FX with a high sense of urgency. Suzuki said they are in constant communication with US authorities and he is aware of US Treasury Secretary Yellen's comments that she did not know about Japan's intervention. Japanese government official citing BoJ Governor Kuroda said sharp one-sided JPY weakening is not desirable for the economy; BoJ will work closely with govt to monitor financial and currency market moves and their impact on Japan's economy and prices Japanese PM Kishida is to appoint former Health Minister Goto as the new economy minister to replace Yamagiwa, via NHK. Japan FX intervention on October 24th has been estimated at JPY 700-900bln, according to calculation provided by a market source to Reuters. South Korean Oct 12-month consumer median inflation expectation 4.3% (prev. 4.2% in Sep), according to the BoK. RBNZ Chief Economist said the RBNZ anticipates that inflationary pressures will ease and notes that falling house prices are expected to slow consumption. Australian Federal Budget: 2022/23 budget deficit seen at 1.5% of GDP, 2023/24 seen at 1.8% of GDP, 2024/25 seen at 2.0% of GDP. Click here for full details. European bourses are on the backfoot despite a firmer open as participants digest numerous heavyweight earnings and the latest Ifo ahead of key US prints; Euro Stoxx 50 -0.3%. Sectors post outperformance in Media and Tech following Apple's pricing update and SAP +4.0%, respectively, while Chemicals are pressured as heavyweight Linde considers a Frankfurt delisting. Stateside, futures are pressured and having been moving in-tandem with European bourses as we look to heavyweight US names; ES -0.4%. United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Q3 2022 (USD): EPS 2.96 (exp. 2.84), Revenue 24.2bln (exp. 24.32bln). Top European News Sky News sources suggest Jeremy Hunt is to remain UK Chancellor, while Penny Mordaunt wants the Foreign Secretary job. BoE Chief Economist Pill says might have benefitted if "other institutions" had respected UK institutional framework in recent weeks. EU has warned that a price cap on natural gas will need the involvement of the UK and Switzerland for it to be effective, according to Bloomberg citing sources. German gov't increases tax revenue forecast for 2022-2026 by EUR 110bln, via Handelsblatt. FX DXY rangy around the 112.000 handle and Dollar mixed against major peers, Pound reclaims 1.1300+ status as new PM Sunak prepares to take the reins from Truss. Loonie lagging ahead of BoC policy meeting on Wednesday as WTI retreats further. Aussie hovers above 0.6300 vs the Buck post-as anticipated Budget. Euro remains confined between tight 0.9899-52 lines against the Greenback with little reaction to mixed Ifo and ECB lending surveys. PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 7.1668 vs exp. 7.1348 (prev. 7.1230); weakest since 2008 China's FX regulator surveyed banks regarding Yuan positioning as the currency tumbles, via Reuters citing sources. Turkish Finance Minister held a meeting with the bank association and senior executives on Monday, via Reuters citing sources; subsequently confirmed. Fixed Income Bonds resume recovery rally as Bunds breach 137.00 and Bobls scale 119.00 irrespective of a weak 5 year auction. Gilts establish firmer foothold above 100.00 as new UK PM takes over the helm and US Treasuries flip from bear-steepening to bull-flattening ahead of 2 year note supply. German Finance Agency Diemer says volatility is making it harder for primary dealers to take risk in bidding within German auctions, via Reuters. Commodities Crude benchmarks are pressured amid the general risk tone with sentiment slipping throughout the morning amid a resilient USD and Ifo pointing to a German recession. Currently, WTI and Brent Dec contracts are lower by just over 1% or USD 1/bbl and reside at session lows of USD 83.50/bbl and USD 92/bbl respectively. IEA's Birol said the OPEC+ decision to cut output by 2mln BPD is a risky one especially as several economies are on the brink of recession; the Global LNG market to tighten further next year as European imports increase and China's appetite may rebound, via Reuters. The European Commission is to discuss a proposal today for a permanent fix to decouple gas from electricity prices, according to Politico. Spot gold is tarnished by ongoing USD strength with the DXY remaining resilient around the 112.00 mark after a brief move below. As such, the yellow metal remains below the 10-DMA. Aluminium is faring better than the likes of copper at present and perhaps deriving some support from Norsk Hydro announcing it is to commence a partial curtailment of its Norwegian aluminium smelters Geopolitical Russia will regard the use of a "dirty bomb" by Kyiv as an act of nuclear terrorism; Russia said it has not intended nor intends to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, according to a letter cited by Reuters. US DoJ said four Chinese nationals, including three intelligence officials, have been charged in a spy recruitment campaign, according to Reuters. South Korean President Yoon said North Korea has completed preparations for a seventh nuclear test, via Yonhap. US Event Calendar 09:00: Aug. S&P CS Composite-20 YoY, est. 14.05%, prior 16.06% S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. -0.80%, prior -0.44% FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. -0.6%, prior -0.6% 10:00: Oct. Conf. Board Expectations, prior 80.3 Conf. Board Present Situation, prior 149.6 Conf. Board Consumer Confidenc, est. 106.0, prior 108.0 10:00: Oct. Richmond Fed Index, est. -5, prior 0 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’m off to New York this morning as soon as I press send on this. I've been told that the kids are queueing up to replace me and sleep on my side of the bed when I'm gone. So much so that I'm not sure I'll get my old slot back! It’ll be my first visit to NY since just prior to the pandemic. That's a lot of missing products from the Apple store to make up for. However Sterling's fall, and inflation since then will likely temper my enthusiasm for the new iPad out on Thursday! Talking of inflation, this morning we've just put out a note looking at what normally happens next when inflation hits 8% through history using 50 DM and EM countries, around 320 unique observations and covering up to a 100 years of data. With consensus being so bad at predicting inflation in this cycle we thought we'd look at what history says. Without too many spoilers, it would be unusual to see inflation now fall back as quickly as consensus believes over the next 2 years. In fact using data from the last 50 years (the fiat money era) current consensus forecasts would be in the most optimistic decile of observations over this period. Whether consensus or the median observation through history is correct will have profound implications for assets over the next few months and years. See the short report here for more. On a related subject, we wondered in yesterday's EMR whether the WSJ article on Friday would mark the 6th attempt this year to try to pre-empt a Fed pivot after Friday's reaction to the story. The reality is though that there hasn't been enough follow-through in US rates pricing yesterday for this to yet qualify as a 6th attempt. In fact, we saw a part reversal of Friday’s move yesterday. Indeed, even with a monster rally in UK bonds, US rates edged back up with 2 and 10yr yields +4.5bps and +3.2bps, respectively. Implied rates from the December 2022 - July 2023 Fed contracts increased c.+2-6bps. In Asia, 2yr and 10yr UST are back -1.2bps and -4bps lower, respectively, though. Gilts have been the standout rates mover over the last 24 hours though with 2yr and 10yrs around -37bps and -31bps lower yesterday as Rishi Sunak's path to PM was cleared by all others dropping out. 2yr notes had their largest gain in nearly 30 years. Sunak will be formally appointed today. The rates repricing has also tempered expectations of BoE hikes beyond the next couple of meetings, amid hopes for greater fiscal discipline, with the June 23 contract falling 21bps. For further reference, from morning trading just before the mini-budget on September 23rd, 2yr, 10yr and 30yr gilts are now -15.1bps, +24.8bps and -1.5bps, respectively, with GBP c.1% higher. A massive round trip. Interestingly, 10yr UST and 10yr Bunds are +51bps and +40bps over the exact same period, so Gilts have outperformed. Although US rates haven't followed through on Friday's price action, European equivalents followed Gilts and perhaps reacted to weak PMIs (more below) and the UK move more. 10yr Bunds (-8.4bps), OATs (-11.0bps) and BTPs -16.4bps rallied hard. 2yr yields also declined (-4.2bps in Germany, -4.3bps in France and -12.2 in Italy) ahead of the ECB’s meeting on Thursday. US stocks carried on their recent bounce, shrugging off weak PMIs there too, with the S&P 500 (+1.19%) and Dow Jones (+1.34%) finishing in the green for the day amid gains in health care (+1.91%), IT (+1.38%) and staples (+1.79%). Only two sectors ended up with losses on the day – real estate (-0.1%) and materials (-0.62%) – and 82% of S&P 500 members were in the green. News of Tesla (-1.49%) lowering prices on its cars sold in China amid competitive pressures weighed on the Nasdaq (+0.86%) as well. Watch out for an upcoming 48-hour blitz of tech earnings with 20% of the S&P 500 market cap reporting across 5 names. We have Microsoft, Alphabet (after hours today), Meta (tomorrow) and Apple and Amazon (Thursday). European equities also rallied amid a -15% fall in European natural gas prices to a below the 100 euro mark for the first time since June amid milder weather (not on my weekend break away!!) and good storage metrics. Indeed, "next hour" delivery TTF gas contracts briefly traded in negative territory yesterday having been over €300 in late August. With storage nearly full and the weather warm, there is very limited immediate delivery demand. This doesn't change the medium-term problems but for now there's a glut of near-term gas. The Stoxx 600 rallied +1.40%, led by utilities (+2.68%) and IT (+2.20%), with no sector in the red on the day. Bourses of Spain (IBEX +1.79%) and Italy (FTSE MIB +1.93%) were the relative outperformance but the DAX (+1.58%) and CAC 40 (+1.59%) also posted solid gains. That's it for the good news as the global flash PMIs painted a rather bleak picture on both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps the most glaring miss was that for the US, with the manufacturing gauge (49.9) sliding into contractionary territory for the first time since June 2020 from September’s 52.0 reading and way off the 51.0 median estimate on Bloomberg. The services PMI reading disappointed even more, falling to 46.6 from 49.3 and defying expectations of a mild rebound to 49.5. Adding to the gloom, the employment component of the index fell to 49.4 from 52.2 and business expectations contracted to 57.4 (vs 66.7), the lowest since June and September of 2020, respectively. A silver lining came from a fall in input prices in the manufacturing PMI (63.9 vs 65.2), the lowest level since November 2020, although the measure crept higher for services (68.5 vs 67.7). Overall, this meant a fourth month in a row of being in contractionary theory for the composite. Manufacturing PMIs disappointed to the downside in Europe as well, falling to 46.6 from 48.4 (vs 47.9 expected) for the Eurozone aggregate and to 45.7 in Germany (vs 47.0 expected). Over in the UK, the services gauge also had a solid miss, falling from 50.0 to 47.5 (vs 49.0 expected), in addition to the manufacturing index (45.8 vs 48.0 expected). Amid these results, France stood out by having a “breakeven” composite of 50.0 on the back of an upward beat on manufacturing (47.4 vs 47.0 expected) and a miss on services (51.3 vs 51.5). Overnight in Asia, major bourses are catching up to yesterday’s price action in the US, with the Nikkei (+1.25%) and the Kospi (+0.29%) in the green and Chinese assets recording a volatile session after yesterday’s rout that saw the Hang Seng falling by -6.36%, the most in a day since the financial crisis. As of this morning, the index is notching a rebound of +0.87% on hopes of prior overselling and further parsing of the Communist Party Congress while the Shanghai composite is also higher (+0.74%). Dip buying is especially strong in the Hang Seng Tech index (+3.95%) which declined by nearly -10% yesterday and today’s volatility was boosted by news of PBOC’s multi-year-low fixing which sent the onshore yuan below the 7.30 level, the weakest since the financial crisis. Little of this is currently spilling over into US assets, with S&P 500 futures broadly flat. To the day ahead now and economic indicators in store will feature the Conference Board consumer confidence index for October, Richmond Fed manufacturing index and August FHFA house price index for the US. In Europe, we will get October Ifo survey for Germany and the Eurozone bank lending survey will also be published. The earnings line-up for today will be key, featuring most prominently Microsoft and Alphabet after the US market close. Earlier in the day, we will hear from Coca-Cola, General Electric, General Motors and UPS. Other notable names reporting will feature Visa, Novartis, Texas Instruments, Raytheon Technologies, HSBC, SAP, 3M, UBS, ADM, Valero Energy, Chipotle, Biogen, Halliburton, Spotify and Norsk Hydro. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/25/2022 - 08:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 25th, 2022

Top 5 Large-Cap Stocks Set to Beat on Q3 Earnings

Five large-cap companies will report third-quarter 2022 earnings within the next two days. These are: BRO, HUBB, HAL, CMG and ENPH The third-quarter 2022 earnings season is gaining pace, with more than 650 companies slated to release their financial numbers this week. This reporting cycle will be of immense importance as U.S. corporates are facing severe challenges on the back of record-high inflation, an extremely hawkish Fed and threats of a recession.In addition to revenues and net profit numbers of companies, several metrics of margins, like gross margin, operating margin and net margin will be closely monitored by market participants. Moreover, the outlook of U.S. corporates will indicate, to a great extent, the health of the U.S. and global economy.We have identified five large-cap stocks with a favorable Zacks Rank that are set to beat on third-quarter earnings. Investment in these stocks should be fruitful as an earnings beat is expected to drive stock prices going forward. These companies are — Brown & Brown Inc. BRO, Halliburton Co. HAL, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CMG, Enphase Energy Inc. ENPH and Hubbell Inc. HUBB.Q3 at a GlanceLike the first half, the third quarter of 2022 also remained tough for the U.S. economy. Various measures of inflation remained elevated at a 40-year high. The Fed has hiked the benchmark interest rate by 3% so far in 2022. The interest rate was in the range of 3.25% to 3.5% at the end of the third quarter. Moreover, the central bank has started to reduce the size of its $9 trillion balance sheet systematically since June.Despite these aggressive monetary policies adopted by the Fed, inflation is showing no signs of declining. The complete devastation of the global supply-chain system and the shortage of labor continued to put pressure on businesses in the form of higher input costs and wages.The lingering war between Russia and Ukraine and the lockdown in China due to the resurgence of COVID-19 infections were the major hindrances to the restoration of the global supply-chain system. Agencies like the IMF, the World Bank and the OECD have warned of a possible global recession in 2023.Q3 Earnings Results So FarOur estimates for third-quarter earnings of the market’s benchmark, the S&P 500 Index, has shown a gradual decline in the past three and a half months. As of Oct 21, 99 companies of the S&P 500 Index have reported results.Total earnings of these companies are down 4% from the same period last year on 7.3% higher revenues, with 76.8% beating EPS estimates and 64.6% beating revenue estimates. Our current estimate has projected that total earnings of the S&P 500 Index are expected to be up 0.9% year over year on 9.1% higher revenues.Our Top PicksFive large-cap companies will report third-quarter 2022 earnings within the next two days. Each of these stocks carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has a positive Earnings ESP. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Our research shows that for stocks with the combination of a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better and a positive Earnings ESP, the chance of an earnings beat is as high as 70%. These stocks are anticipated to appreciate after their earnings releases. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.The chart below shows the price performance of our five picks in the last quarter.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchBrown & Brown has a compelling portfolio along with an impressive growth trajectory driven by organic and inorganic initiatives across all its segments. Buyouts and collaborations enhanced Brown & Brown's existing capabilities and extended its geographic foothold.Strategic efforts continue to drive commission and fees. BRO’s sturdy performance has driven cash flow, enabling it to deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. BRO boasts a strong balance sheet backed by a solid cash position.BRO has an Earnings ESP of +0.99%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 5.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.4% over the last 30 days.Brown & Brown recorded earnings surprises in the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 7.5%. The company is set to release earnings results on Oct 24, after the closing bell.Halliburton provides products and services to the energy industry worldwide. High commodity prices have increased demand for HAL’s services in North America, to which it is heavily exposed.In particular, Halliburton’s key Completion & Production unit margins are likely to improve, with management expecting better pricing leverage going forward. Besides, Halliburton's strong free cash flow generating ability indicates its financial strength.Its healthy relationship with national oil companies and digitization efforts also bode well. The increasing cloud-based data flow between sites and back office translates into expanded margins for Halliburton.HAL has an Earnings ESP of +1.13%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 88% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 1% over the last 30 days.Halliburton recorded earnings surprises in two out of the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 3.7%. The company is set to release earnings results on Oct 25, before the opening bell.Chipotle Mexican Grill operates quick-casual and fresh Mexican food restaurant chains globally. CMG has been benefitting from its digital efforts, Chipotlane add-ons and marketing initiatives. These, along with strength in digital sales, rise in menu prices, new restaurant openings and higher restaurant-level operating margins have been aiding Chipotle.Also, a solid financial position with no debt is encouraging. CMG continues to focus on the stage gate process, and leverages digital programs to expand access as well as convenience.CMG has an Earnings ESP of +2.04%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 28.1% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 0.2% over the last 30 days.Chipotle Mexican Grill recorded earnings surprises in the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 6.2%. The company is set to release earnings results on Oct 25, after the closing bell.Enphase Energy has revolutionized the solar industry by pioneering a semiconductor-based microinverter, which converts energy at the individual solar module level. ENPH enjoys a strong position as a leading U.S. manufacturer of microinverters.Enphase Energy is striving to expand in Europe steadily throughout 2022. Such expansion plans may boost its long-term growth in the battery storage market. ENPH has also been making acquisitions to boost its long-term growth. It holds a strong solvency position.ENPH has an Earnings ESP of +0.31%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 70.1% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 0.2% over the last 30 days.Enphase Energy recorded earnings surprises in the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 24.5%. The company is set to release earnings results on Oct 25, after the closing bell.Hubbell is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of electrical and electronic products to commercial, industrial, utility and telecommunications markets. HUBB’s products include plugs, receptacles, connectors, lighting fixtures, high voltage test and measurement equipment and voice and data signal processing components. Hubbell operates through two segments — Electrical Solution and Utility Solution.HUBB has an Earnings ESP of +2.50%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 23.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 1% over the last seven days.Hubbell recorded earnings surprises in two out of the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 6.9%. The company is set to release earnings results on Oct 25, before the opening bell.Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>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 Halliburton Company (HAL): Free Stock Analysis Report Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG): Free Stock Analysis Report Brown & Brown, Inc. (BRO): Free Stock Analysis Report Enphase Energy, Inc. (ENPH): Free Stock Analysis Report Hubbell Inc (HUBB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 24th, 2022