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EXCLUSIVE: CBOE"s Andy Bevers On How This Type Of Options Exploded During COVID

During his time presenting to conference attendees, Bevers highlighted several in-depth data points that spoke to the evolution read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaMay 13th, 2022

Investors Digest China Slowdown And Soaring Wheat Prices, Consumer Uncertainty Hits Greggs And Ryanair While Vodafone Leaps Higher

“Jumping wheat prices and data indicating a fresh slowdown in China’s economy are the unsettling indicators being absorbed by investors at the start of the week. The FTSE 100 opened 0.5% lower, before regaining ground as a picture emerged of a big drop off in demand in China. Retail sales have plunged in the world’s […] “Jumping wheat prices and data indicating a fresh slowdown in China’s economy are the unsettling indicators being absorbed by investors at the start of the week. The FTSE 100 opened 0.5% lower, before regaining ground as a picture emerged of a big drop off in demand in China. Retail sales have plunged in the world’s second largest economy as a result of the drastic lockdowns brought in to try and curb the spread of Covid. The monthly sales drop of 11.1% was a dramatic fall and industrial output also slid by 2.9% showing the toll the zero-covid policy has had on the economy. Restrictions in Shanghai are finally easing, but there is a risk that fresh infections will pop up elsewhere, leading to yet more restrictions which would continue to restrain a recovery. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Vodafone Leaps To The Top Of The FTSE 100 Vodafone Group plc (LON:VOD) leapt to the top of the FTSE 100 after it emerged the Abu-Dhabi based Emirates Telecommunications Group had acquired a 9.8% stake making it the biggest shareholder. It sees good opportunities for growth ahead for Vodafone and it’s likely that its leading position in several markets across Africa piqued its interest in particular. Vodafone has struggled in its more mature markets where cost appears to be the main driver of consumer choice so expanding its geographical reach across the continent and expanding further into mobile financial services looks set to be a continued focus. India’s skittish move to ban wheat exports, amid supply worries due to the intense heatwave, has heightened the risk of global food shortages, and risks adding another dash of fuel to the inflation fire. With such a major wheat exporter introducing curbs, it’s causing fresh commodity chaos on exchanges, with the price of wheat futures contracts traded in Chicago leaping by almost 6%, to the highest level in two months. This is another domino effect of the invasion of Ukraine, which disrupted supplies from the region and led to a sharp increase in prices and higher demand for India’s crops, making its inflation problem even more acute. Although Modi’s administration says it’s temporary and contracts with countries facing food security issues in the region will be honoured, this will only increase the price of essential ingredients like flour for many manufacturers, and pile more pressure on consumers grappling with the cost-of-living crisis. Greggs' Worries Greggs plc (LON:GRG) is clearly worried that the big squeeze on disposable incomes may lead to some flakier sales in months to come. Already cost pressures had been increasing and given that flour is an essential ingredient for its array of baked treats, rising wheat costs will be adding to concerns. It has reported a rise in first quarter sales but that figure was given a lift as it compares to last year’s lockdown period. It’s also still suffering from the working from home trend, with sales at big city stores still half-baked compared to other locations across its network.  But Greggs is already undergoing a restructure of its footprint of stores and has been shown to be adept at refocusing where demand will be higher. Its takeout options are also likely to stay reasonably resilient over the longer term even as the economy is set to slow further, given their value price point and popularity. There had been high hopes that by now the airlines would be riding high on a burst of pent-up demand from holiday makers but a warning from Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ:RYAAY) today that recovery remains fragile, has sent companies into a fresh bout of turbulence. Losses may be narrowing but passengers still appear nervous about making advance plans, given that the company is still having to keep slashing prices to bring bookings in. The company is blaming the uncertainty unleashed by the invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing covid situation for its lack of guidance for the coming year. This has had a knock on effect on easyjet’s share price, as worries about labour costs also rise amid the news that it’s offering bonuses to try and retain staff as the industry grapples with the labour crunch." Article by Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown About Hargreaves Lansdown Over1.7 million clients trust us with £132.2 billion (as at 30 April 2022), making us the UK’s number one platform for private investors. More than 98% of client activity is done through our digital channels and over 600,000 access our mobile app each month. Updated on May 16, 2022, 2:30 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkMay 16th, 2022

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

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

Category: topSource: timeApr 21st, 2022

Futures Recover Losses After Netflix Disaster; 10Y Real Yields Turn Positive

Futures Recover Losses After Netflix Disaster; 10Y Real Yields Turn Positive US index futures were little changed, trading in a narrow, 20-point range, and erasing earlier declines as a selloff in bonds reversed with investors also focusing on the catastrophic Q1 earnings report from Netflix. Nasdaq 100 Index futures slipped 0.2% by 7:15 a.m. in New York, recovering from an earlier drop of as much as 1.2%; the Nasdaq 100 has erased $1.3 trillion in market value since April 4 as bond yields have been surging on fears of rate hikes. S&P 500 futures also recouped losses to trade little changed around 4,460. Treasuries rallied and 10Y yields dropped to 2.86% after hitting 2.98% yesterday. The dollar dropped for the first time in 4 days after hitting the highest level since July 2020, and gold was flat while bitcoin rose again, hitting $42K. In perhaps the most notable move overnight, US 10-year real yields turned positive for the first time since March 2020, signaling a potential return to the pre-pandemic normal. But that was quickly followed by a global drop in bond yields as investors assessed growth challenges from the Ukraine war and the potential for a peak in inflation. “Real yields matter for equities,” Esty Dwek, chief investment officer at Flowbank SA, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “It’s another aspect for the valuation picture that isn’t helping. It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise to see real yields are back closer to zero again. We’re pricing in so much bad news already between inflation and the hikes and war and supply chains.” 10-year Treasurys yield shed 7 basis points in choppy session after as money managers from Bank of America to Nomura indicated the panic over inflation has gone too far: “Our forecasts point to inflation peaking this quarter and falling steadily into 2023,” BofA analysts including Ralph Axel wrote in a note. “We believe this will reduce the panic level around inflation and allow rates to decline.”  Bank of America also said it has turned long on 10-year Treasuries. Elsewhere, Japan's 10-year yield holds at 0.25%, the top of Bank of Japan’s trading band as the central bank resumes massive intervention. Despite the BOJ's dovish commitment to keep rates low, the Japanese yen rebounded from a 13-day slump and gold extended its decline. Going back to stocks, Netflix shares which have a 1.2% weighting in the Nasdaq, sank 27% in premarket trading after the streaming service said it lost customers for the first time in a decade and forecast that the decline will continue. The shares were downgraded at many firms including UBS Group AG, KGI Securities and Piper Sandler. Other streaming stocks including Walt Disney and Roku also slipped. IBM, on the other hand, rose 2.5% after reporting revenue that beat the average analyst estimate on demand for its hybrid-cloud offerings. Analysts acknowledged the strong quarter of revenue performance. A dimmer outlook for corporate earnings as well as the rise in yields have dented demand for risk assets, with investors preferring defensive stocks such as healthcare to growth-linked stocks, which come under greater pressure from higher interest rates. Some other notable premarket movers: Interactive Brokers (IBKR US) shares fell 1.1% in after-market trading as net income missed analysts’ consensus estimates. Still, analysts at Piper Sandler and Jefferies are positive. Omnicom (OMC US) shares jumped 3.7% in postmarket. Its cautious outlook for the rest of the year could bring some positive surprises, according to analysts, after the company’s 1Q revenue beat estimates In Europe, the Stoxx 600 rose 0.8%, led by banking and technology shares while miners underperformed as metals fell, as investors assessed a mixed bag of corporate results and the outlook for France’s presidential-election runoff on Sunday.  There’s a divergence in performance of European stocks; Euro Stoxx 50 rallies 1.2%. FTSE 100 lags, adding 0.4%. Danone SA rose after reporting its fastest sales growth in seven years, and Heineken NV advanced after sales climbed. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: ASML shares rise as much as 8% with analysts saying the semiconductor-equipment group’s earnings show demand remains strong, even if a timing issue meant its outlook missed expectations. Danone shares gain as much as 9% following a French financial newsletter report that rival Lactalis may be interested in buying its businesses and after the producer of Evian reported a surge in bottled water revenue. Just Eat Takeaway shares rise as much as 7.7% after the company gave mixed guidance and said it is considering selling Grubhub. While analysts note the growth looks weak, they highlight the focus on profitability and the strategic review of Grubhub are positives. Vopak shares rise as much as 7.2%, most since March 2020, after the tank terminal operator reported higher revenues and Ebitda for the first quarter. Heineken shares rise as much as 5% after the Dutch brewer reported 1Q organic beer volume that beat analyst expectations and said net revenue (beia) per hectolitre grew 18.3%. Analysts were impressed by the company’s price-mix during the period. Rio Tinto shares fall as much as 3.9%. A production miss for 1Q could prevent the miner’s shares from recovering after recent underperformance, RBC Capital Markets says. Credit Suisse declines as much as 2.8% after the bank said it anticipates a first-quarter loss owing to a hit to revenue from Russia invading Ukraine and an increase in legal provisions. Oxford Biomedica drops as much as 10% after reporting full-year revenue that was below consensus. RBC Capital said reasons for the revenue miss were “unclear,” adding that there was no new business development news. Asian stocks rose as Japanese equities rallied on the back of a weaker yen, which will support exports. Shares in China fell as investors were disappointed by the decision among banks to keep borrowing rates there unchanged. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.9% and was poised to snap a three-day losing streak. Japanese exporters including Toyota and Sony helped lead the way, with shares also stronger in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.  “It looks like the cheap yen may continue for a longer period than originally expected,” said Bloomberg Intelligence auto analyst Tatsuo Yoshida. “The weaker yen is good for all Japanese automakers.” China’s benchmarks bucked the uptrend and dipped more than 1%, as lenders maintained their loan rates for a third month despite the central bank’s call for lower borrowing costs to help an economy hurt by Covid-19 and geopolitical headwinds.  China’s rate stall, together with last week’s smaller-than-expected cut in the reserve requirement, has led some investors to believe broad and significant policy easing is unlikely. “Doubts about access to easier funding remain a bugbear despite headline easing,” Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a note. “Inadvertent restraints on actual lending may mute intended stimulus, revealing risks of ‘too little too late’ stimulus.” In positive news, daily covid cases in Shanghai were in downtrend in recent days and number of communities with more than 100 daily infections fell for three consecutive days, Wu Qianyu, an official with Shanghai’s health commission, says at a briefing. Financial stocks outside of China gained after U.S. 10-year Treasury real yields turned positive for the first time since 2020 as traders continue to bet on a series of aggressive Federal Reserve rate hikes. This may pose more headwinds for Asian tech stocks, which have dragged the broader market lower this year. Japanese equities rose for a second day after the yen weakened against the dollar for a record 13 straight days. Automakers were the biggest boost to the Topix, which climbed 1%. Financials advanced as yields gained. Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group were the largest contributors to a 0.9% gain in the Nikkei 225. The yen strengthened slightly after shedding nearly 6% against the dollar since the start of the month. “It looks like the cheap yen may continue for a longer period than originally expected,” said Bloomberg Intelligence auto analyst Tatsuo Yoshida. “The weaker yen is good for all Japaneseautomakers, “no one loses,” he added. Indian equities snapped their five-day drop as energy companies advanced on expectations of blockbuster earnings, driven by wider refining margins. Software exporters Infosys, Tata Consultancy and lender HDFC Bank bounced back from a slump, triggered by weaker results.  The S&P BSE Sensex gained 1% to 57,037.50 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index rose 1.1%. The two gauges posted their biggest surge since April 4. Thirteen of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. climbed, led by a gauge of automobile companies. “A series of sharp negative reactions to minor misses in earnings from large caps points to a precarious state of positioning among investors,” according to S. Hariharan, head of sales trading at Emkay Global Financial. He expects corporate commentary on the margin outlook for FY23 to be key to investors’ reaction to other quarterly results, which will be released over the next couple of weeks. The benchmark Sensex lost about 5% in the five sessions through Tuesday, dragged lower by a selloff in software makers, a slump in HDFC Bank and its parent Housing Development Finance Corp. Foreign investors, who have been net sellers of Indian stocks since the start of October, have withdrawn $1.7 billion from local equities this month through April 18. The IMF slashed its world growth forecast by the most since the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic and projected even faster inflation. It expects India’s economy to grow by 8.2% in fiscal 2023 compared with an earlier estimate of 9%. Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 3%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 20 rose, while 10 fell. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.4%, its first drop in four days, after yesterday reaching its highest level since July 2020, as the greenback weakened against all Group-of-10 peers. Scandinavian and Antipodean currencies led gains followed by the yen, which halted a 13-day rout. The euro advanced a second day and bunds extended gains, underperforming euro-area peers as money markets pared ECB tightening wagers. The yen snapped a historic declining streak amid short covering after the currency approached a key level of 130 per dollar. The Bank of Japan stepped in to cap 10-year yields for the first time since late March as it reiterated its ultra loose monetary policy with four days of unscheduled bond buying. The Australian and New Zealand dollars gained as risk sentiment improved after a selloff in Treasuries paused. The Aussie was supported by offshore funds buying into contracting yield spreads with the U.S. and on demand from exporters for hedging at the week’s low, according to FX traders. The pound edged higher against a broadly weaker dollar, but lagged behind the rest of its Group-of-10 peers, with focus on the risks to the U.K. economy. In rates, Treasuries advanced, reversing a portion of Tuesday’s sharp selloff which pushed the 10Y as high as 2.98%, with gains led by belly of the curve amid bull-flattening in core Focal points of U.S. session include Fed speakers and $16b 20-year bond reopening. US yields were richer by ~7bp across belly of the curve, 10-year yields around 2.87% keeping pace with gilts while outperforming bunds, Fed-dated OIS contracts price in around 222bp of rate hikes for the December FOMC meeting vs 213bp priced at Monday’s close; 49bp of hikes remain priced in for the May policy meeting. Japan 10-year yields held at 0.25%, the top of Bank of Japan’s trading band as the central bank resumes massive intervention. Australian and New Zealand bonds post back-to-back declines. Coupon issuance resumes with $16b 20-year bond sale at 1pm New York time; WI yield at around 3.10% sits ~45bp cheaper than March result, which stopped 1.4bp through.  IG dollar issuance slate includes Development Bank of Japan 5Y SOFR, Canada 3Y and ADB 3Y/10Y SOFR; six deals priced almost $19b Tuesday, headlined by financials including JPMorgan and Bank. In commodities, crude futures advance. WTI trades within Tuesday’s range, adding 1.1% to around $103. Brent rises 0.9% to around $108. Most base metals trade in the red; LME lead falls 1.6%, underperforming peers. Spot gold falls roughly $4 to trade near $1,946/oz. Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases include German PPI for March, Euro Area industrial production for February, US existing home sales for march, and Canadian CPI for March. From central banks, we’ll hear from the Fed’s Bostic, Evans and Daly, as well as the ECB’s Rehn and Nagel, whilst the Federal Reserve will be releasing their Beige Book. Earnings releases include Tesla, Procter & Gamble, and Abbott Laboratories. Finally, French President Macron and Marine Le Pen will debate tonight ahead of Sunday’s presidential election. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 4,443.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 458.21 MXAP up 0.5% to 171.88 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 570.00 Nikkei up 0.9% to 27,217.85 Topix up 1.0% to 1,915.15 Hang Seng Index down 0.4% to 20,944.67 Shanghai Composite down 1.3% to 3,151.05 Sensex up 0.9% to 56,945.14 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,569.23 Kospi little changed at 2,718.69 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.88% Euro up 0.3% to $1.0823 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $108.27/bbl Brent Futures up 1.0% to $108.27/bbl Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,943.30 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.28% to 100.67 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg On the surface the yen looks like the perfect well for carry traders to dip into, under pressure from a Bank of Japan determined to keep local yields anchored to the floor even as interest rates around the world push higher. But despite consensus building for further losses -- peers look like better funding options on certain key metrics Almost eight weeks after Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine, with military losses mounting and Russia facing unprecedented international isolation, a small but growing number of senior Kremlin insiders are quietly questioning his decision to go to war French President Emmanuel Macron and nationalist leader Marine le Pen are gearing up for their only live TV debate on Wednesday evening, a high-stakes event just days before the final ballot of the presidential election this weekend China will continue strengthening strategic ties with Russia, a senior diplomat said, showing the relationship remains solid despite growing concerns over war crimes in Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks eventually traded mostly positive after the firm handover from the US despite continued upside in yields. ASX 200 was led by the healthcare sector as shares in Ramsay Health Care surged due to a takeover proposal from a KKR-led consortium, but with gains capped by miners after Rio Tinto's lower quarterly iron ore production and shipments. Nikkei 225 was underpinned by the initial currency depreciation and with the BoJ defending its yield cap. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were mixed with the mainland subdued after the PBoC defied expectations for a cut to its benchmark lending rates and instead maintained the 1yr and 5yr Loan Prime Rates at 3.70% and 4.60%, respectively. Top Asian News Fed’s Aggressive Rate Hike Plans Jolt Policy in China and Japan BOJ Further Boosts Bond Buying as Yields Advance to Policy Limit Sunac Bondholders Say They Haven’t Received Interest Due Tuesday Regulators Under Pressure to Ease Loan Curbs: Evergrande Update China Buys Cheap Russian Coal as World Shuns Moscow European bourses and US futures were choppy at the commencement of the European session, but, have since derived impetus in relatively quiet newsflow amid multiple earnings and as yields continue to ease; ES Unch. Currently, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.8%, while US futures are little changed on the session but rapidly approaching positive territory ahead of key earnings incl. TSLA. Netflix Inc (NFLX) - Q1 2022 (USD): EPS 3.53 (exp. 2.89), Revenue 7.87bln (exp. 7.93bln), Net Subscriber Additions: -0.2mln (exp. +2.5mln). Q1 UCAN streaming paid net change -640k (exp.+87.5k). Co. lost 640k subscribers in US/Canada, 300k in EMEA, and 350k in LatAm. Co. Said macro factors, including sluggish economic growth, increasing inflation, geopolitical events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and some continued disruption from COVID are likely having an impact, via PR Newswire. Click here for the full breakdown. -26% in the pre-market. Chinese Civil Aviation publishes prelim report looking into the China Eastern Airline crash; still recovering and analysing damaged black boxes from the plane: there was no abnormal communication between air crew and air controllers before the aircraft deviated from cruising altitude; no dangerous weather, goods or overdue maintenance. Top European News Le Pen Upset Would Be as Big a Shock to Markets as Brexit Macron and Le Pen Set for High Stakes French Debate Riksbank Governor Leaves Door Open for String of Rate Hikes Danone Gains on Lactalis Takeover Speculation, Evian Rebound Heineken Rises; MS Says Results Were Widely Expected FX: Buck concedes ground to recovering Yen as US Treasury yields recede, USD/JPY over 150 pips below new 20 year high circa 129.42. Yuan on the rocks after PBoC set a soft onshore reference rate and regardless of unchanged LPRs, USD/CNH eyes 6.4500 after breach of 200 DMA. Aussie back in pole position as high betas benefit from Greenback retreat and Kiwi in second spot ahead of NZ CPI data; AUD/USD rebounds through 0.7400 and NZD/USD from under 0.6750. Loonie also bouncing before Canadian inflation metrics, with Usd/Cad closer to 1.2550 than 1.2625, while Euro and Pound are both firmer on 1.0800 and 1.3000 handles respectively as DXY dips below 100.500. Rand shrugs aside mixed SA CPI prints as correction from bull run continues and Gold slips under Usd 1950/oz, USD/ZAR holds above 15.0000. ECB's Kazaks says a rate hike is possible as soon as July this year; ending APP early in Q3 is possible and appropriate; zero is not an a cap for the deposit rate, via Bloomberg. Adds, a gradual approach does not mean a slow approach, do not need to wait for stronger wage growth. Fixed Income: Debt redemption, as futures retrace following tests/probes of cycle lows. Lack of concession not really evident at longer-dated German and UK bond sales, but 20 year US supply may be a separate issue. BoJ ramps up intervention and aims to anchor rather than cap 10 year JGB yield around zero percent, while BoA suggests contra-trend position in 10 year UST to target 2.25% from current levels close to 3.0%. Commodities: Crude benchmarks are firmer on the session in what is more of a consolidation from yesterday's pressured settlement than a concerted effort to move higher, also benefitting from broader equity action. Currently, WTI and Brent reside at the top-end of USD 2/bbl parameters; focus very much on China-COVID, Iran, Libyan supply and Ukraine-Russia developments. US Private Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude -4.5mln (exp. +2.5mln), Cushing +0.1mln, Gasoline +2.9mln (exp. -1.0mln), Distillate -1.7mln (exp. -0.8mln). Spot gold/silver are contained at present but have seen bouts of modest pressure, including the loss of the USD 1946.45/oz 21-DMA at worst. US Event Calendar 07:00: April MBA Mortgage Applications, prior -1.3% 10:00: March Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -4.1%, prior -7.2% 10:00: March Home Resales with Condos, est. 5.77m, prior 6.02m 14:00: U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book Central Bank Speakers 11:25: Fed’s Daly Discusses the Outlook 11:30: Fed’s Evans Discusses the Economic and Policy Outlook 13:00: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Equity in Urban Development DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It took me a while to adjust to being back to the office yesterday after two and a half weeks off. No screaming kids, no stealing half their food as I made their meals, and no stepping on endless lego and screaming myself. My team at work are much better behaved, protect their food, and clear up after playing with their toys. Talking of lego, the first day of the holiday was spent in a snow blizzard at LEGOLAND and the last day in shorts and t-shirt on a family bike ride on the Thames. No I haven't been off for that long just a typical April in the UK. When I left you, I was in constant agony due to sciatica in my back and a knee that was very fragile post surgery. On my last day I had a back injection that I wasn't that hopeful about as three previous ones hadn't done anything. However after a second opinion and a new consultant, this injection hit the spot and my sciatica has completely gone and I'm just back to the long-standing normal wear and tear related back stiffness. The consultant can't tell me how long it'll last so Reformer Pilates starts next week. My knee is slowly getting better via some overuse flare ups. So until the next time, I'm in as good a shape as I have been for quite some time! It's hard to guage how good a shape the market is in at the moment as there are lots of conflicting forces. Since I've been off global yields have exploded higher, the US yield curve has resteepened notably and risk is a bit softer. As regular readers know I think a late 2023/early 2024 US recession is likely in this first proper boom and bust cycle for over 40 years. However we're still in some kind of boom phase and I've been trying not to get too bearish too early. While I was off, I published our latest credit spread forecasts and having met our earlier year widening targets, we've moved more neutral for the rest of the year. However into year end 2023, we now have a very big widening of spreads in the forecasts to reflect the likely recession. See the report here. Also while I've been off, the House View is now also that we'll get a US recession at a similar point which as far as I can see is the first Wall Street bank to officially predict this. See the World Outlook here for more. On the steepening I don't have a strong view but ultimately I think 2 year yields will probably have to rise again at some point after a recent pause as the risks are skewed to the Fed having to move faster than the market expects. The long end is complicated by QT but generally I suspect the curve will be fairly flat or inverted for most of the next few months. Coming back after my holidays and the long Easter weekend, the bond market sell-off resumed yesterday with yields climbing to fresh highs. In fact, the losses for Treasuries so far in April now stand at -2.95% on a total return basis, just outperforming the -3.04% decline in March that itself was the worst monthly performance since January 2009, back when the US economy started emerging from the worst phase of the GFC. Elsewhere the US yield curve flattened for the first time in six sessions, with 2yr yields climbing +14.4bps to 2.59%, their highest level since early 2019. Yields on 10yr Treasuries rose +8.3bps to 2.94%, a level unseen since late 2018, on another day marked by heightened rates volatility. Meanwhile 30yr yields breached 3.00% intraday for the first time since early 2019, climbing +5.4bps. And what was also noticeable was the continued rise in real yields, with the 10yr real yield closing at -0.009% yesterday, and briefly trading in positive territory for the first time since March 2020 in early trading this morning. Bear in mind that the 10yr real yield has surged roughly 110bps in around 6 weeks, and since we’ve been able to calculate real yields using TIPS, the only faster moves over such a short time period have been during the GFC and a remarkable 2-week period in March 2020 around the initial Covid-19 wave. On the other hand, as I pointed out in my CoTD yesterday (link here), the 10yr real yield based on spot inflation is currently around -5.6%, so still incredibly negative. The latest moves come ahead of the Fed’s next decision two weeks from now, where futures are placing the odds of a 50bp hike at over 100% now. We’ve been talking about 50bps for some time, and we’d probably have had one last month had it not been for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it would still be a historic moment if it happens, since the last 50bp hike was all the way back in 2000. Nevertheless, we could be about to see a whole run of them, with our economists pencilling in 50bp hikes at the next 3 meetings, whilst St Louis Fed President Bullard (the only dissenting vote at the last meeting who wanted 50bps) said on Monday night that he wouldn’t even rule out a 75bps hike, which probably gave some fuel to the subsequent front end selloff. The bond selloff also took hold in Europe yesterday, where yields on 10yr bunds (+6.9ps), 10yr OATs (+5.0bps) and BTPs (+6.2bps) all hit fresh multi-year highs. Indeed, those on 10yr bunds (0.91%) were at their highest level since 2015, having staged an astonishing turnaround since they closed in negative territory as recently as March 7. Rising inflation expectations have been a driving theme behind this, and yesterday we saw the 5y5y forward inflation swap for the Euro Area close above 2.4%, which is the first time that’s happened in almost a decade, and just shows how investor confidence in the idea of “transitory” inflation is becoming increasingly subdued given that metric is looking at the 5-10 year horizon. Those moves higher in inflation expectations came in spite of the fact that European natural gas prices fell to their lowest level since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began yesterday. By the close, they’d fallen -1.94% to €93.77/MWh, whilst Brent crude oil prices were down -5.22% to $107.25/bbl. In Asia, oil prices are a touch higher, with Brent futures +0.82% higher as we go to press. Whilst bonds sold off significantly on both sides of the Atlantic, equities put in a much more divergent performance, with the US seeing significant advances just as Europe sold off. By the close of trade, the S&P 500 (+1.61%) had posted its best day in more than a month, as part of a broad-based advance that left 446 companies in the index higher on the day, the most gainers in a month. Tech stocks outperformed in spite of the rise in yields, with the NASDAQ (+2.15%) and the FANG+ index (+1.81%) posting solid advances, and the small-cap Russell 2000 (+2.04%) also outperformed. In Europe however, the STOXX 600 shed -0.77%, with others including the DAX (-0.07%), the CAC 40 (-0.83%) and the FTSE 100 (-0.20%) also losing ground. The S&P was higher despite a day of mixed earnings. Of the ten companies reporting during trading yesterday, only 4 beat both sales and earnings expectations. After hours, Netflix was the main story, losing subscribers for the first quarter in over a decade and forecasting further declines this quarter, which sent the stock as much as -24% lower in after hours trading. It’s 2 bad earnings releases in a row for the world’s largest streaming service, who saw their stock dip -21.79% the day after their fourth quarter earnings in January. Asian equity markets are mixed this morning as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) defied market expectations by keeping its benchmark lending rates steady. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (-0.21%) and the CSI (-0.43%) are lagging on the news. Bucking the trend is the Nikkei (+0.57%) and the Hang Seng (+0.66%). Outside of Asia, stock futures are indicating a negative start in the US with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.35%) and Nasdaq (-0.75%) both trading in the red partly due to the Netflix earnings miss. Separately, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) reiterated its commitment to purchase an unlimited amount of 10-yr Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) at 0.25% to contain yields, underscoring its desire for ultra-loose monetary settings, in contrast to the global move in a more hawkish direction. The yen has moved slightly higher (+0.3%) after depreciating for 13 straight days, a streak which hasn’t been matched since the US left the gold standard in the early 70s and effectively brought the global free floating exchange rate regime into being. The pace and magnitude of the depreciation has brought some expressions of consternation from Japanese officials, but no official intervention. The reality is, it would be extraordinarily difficult to credibly support the currency at the same time as maintaining strict control of the yield curve. 10yr JGBs continue to trade just beneath the important 0.25% level. Over in France, we’re now just 4 days away from the French presidential election run-off on Sunday, and tonight will see President Macron face off against Marine Le Pen in a live TV debate. Whilst that will be an important moment, recent days have seen a slight widening in Macron’s poll lead that has also coincided with signs of an easing in market stress, with the spread of French 10yr yields over bunds coming down to its lowest level since the start of the month yesterday, at 46.7bps. In terms of yesterday’s polls, Macron was ahead of Le Pen by 56-44 (Opinionway), 56.5-43.5 (Ipsos), and 55-54 (Ifop), putting his lead beyond the margin of error in all of them. Elsewhere, the IMF released their latest World Economic Outlook yesterday, in which they downgraded their estimates for global growth in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They now see global growth in both 2022 and 2023 at +3.6%, down from estimates in January of +4.4% in 2022 and +3.8% in 2023. Unsurprisingly it was Russia that saw the biggest downgrades, but they were broadly shared across the advanced and emerging market economies, whilst inflation was revised up at the same time. Otherwise on the data side, US housing starts grew at an annualised rate of 1.793m in March (vs. 1.74m expected), which is their highest level since 2006. Building permits also rose to an annualised rate of 1.873m (vs. 1.82m expected), albeit this was still beneath its post-GFC high reached in January. To the day ahead now, and data releases include German PPI for March, Euro Area industrial production for February, US existing home sales for march, and Canadian CPI for March. From central banks, we’ll hear from the Fed’s Bostic, Evans and Daly, as well as the ECB’s Rehn and Nagel, whilst the Federal Reserve will be releasing their Beige Book. Earnings releases include Tesla, Procter & Gamble, and Abbott Laboratories. Finally, French President Macron and Marine Le Pen will debate tonight ahead of Sunday’s presidential election. Tyler Durden Wed, 04/20/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 20th, 2022

Cathie Wood On Twitter; Europe In Recession

Cathie Wood on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Europe in recession, inflation has peaked & supply chain has gone the other way with fat inventories except autos. Cathie Wood just made these comments in an interview conducted with Melissa Francis on Magnifi Media by TIFIN. Magnifi is a fintech platform that uses artificial intelligence so individuals and advisors […] Cathie Wood on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Europe in recession, inflation has peaked & supply chain has gone the other way with fat inventories except autos. Cathie Wood just made these comments in an interview conducted with Melissa Francis on Magnifi Media by TIFIN. Magnifi is a fintech platform that uses artificial intelligence so individuals and advisors can instantly search stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and model portfolios and trade based on their preferences. 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 Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Elon Musk/Twitter Elon Musk will bide is time with his offer and will be interesting if any other bidders show up and I’m hearing that there are some other bidders. One thing that has hampered Twitter: it's advertising model and this scares analysts. Advertisers don't like to have their ads next to questionable content. The idea of a subscription service is a possibility but open sourcing the algorithm is the first thing Elon will do so there is transparency on what is censored or not censored. Even Jack Dorsey thought Twitter tied itself in knots over censorship and he was wondering what to do with censorship. They do need to do something. we know we can unfollow someone , and unfollow, in a civil way. Even Jack was saying we need a change and we have to change and he and Elon are aligned to an open source agorithim to something more subscription based. What is Twitter worth? So much uncertainty but out Our compound annual rate of return is 25% for Twitter and their model will change. we have short term oriented shareholders who want to make a fast buck. the model is going to change. we will revisit once we know what’s going on and we think a lot can be done to improve the model but it may take more than our 5-year timeline investment horizon. We probably would have more confidence in the platform and want to hear what Elon has in mind in terms of perpetuating the platform Need his ideas on becoming a transparent and sustaining product and people will be open to his ideas Are you supportive of Elon taking over? The route Jack was going, which we supported, was opening the algorithm and this is a continuation of that. We have held Twitter because we believe it is a verification platform, it could become a  verification platform for NFTs. There are very few vertification platforms out there. Cathie Wood On Tesla Her call on Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) at $4600--we have been building out Tesla model for years and publish 5 year projection which started in 2019 when that was misunderstood. WE felt that open sourcing  and update people how much share Tesla has and keeping in the electric vehicle space and  how capital efficient Tesla and more efficient than any other company out there We keep an eye on battery costs and technology and our biggest assumption changes over the past few years marketshare and keeping it, ability to scale and he says is a manufacturer  or factories, capital efficiency and we’ve been shocked and ability to increase gross margins over time In the five year forecast we had a 50-50 probably of automous vehicles and now its higher We know now autonomous is possible because it’s happening Cathie Wood Defends Criticisms On ARK We give away our research away not because we are altruistic but we want to educate and how the world is changing and how to keep so much is going to change Five change platforms: genomic sequencing, adaptive robotics, energy storage, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology Those platforms are changing and growing at exponential rates and converging. We want the sell side and the buy side and they are used to short term time horizons and they are focused on beating benchmarks but we are focused on new technologies and the technology to transform the future  We have a 5 year investment time horizon. Very few active managers have outperformed the markets in the past five years. In past 10 years 11% of large cap managers have outperformed their benchmarks and 25% of all active managers have outperformed  their benchmarks. We have outperformed the NASDAQ, S&P and MSCI handsomely over the past five years and compounded annual rate of return at 22% For a six week period during covid we had a risk off epoisde and we underperformed but from the bottom to the peak in Feb. 2021 our flagship strategy was up 360% since then at our worst point we were down 60% We believe that disruptive innovation in global public equity markets is valued today at a  $10 trillion market cap and that will go to $210 trillion by 2030 so that is a 35-40% compounded rate of growth When people talk about risk management people think of us a generalist we have risk control We have risk control built into scoring system. When we move to risk off period and concentrate into higher conviction names for our flagship strategy we went from  58 names to 35 names from a risk control point of view.  We push more higher scoring names in risk of periods Long term studies show that the most concentrates strategies are the most successful the strategy. We use volatility to curb the risk by concentrate the portfolio and many people think higher concentrate is riskier and we disagree. What about personal attacks by Morningstar There are companies that don’t understand we don’t fit into their style box and style boxes will become a thing of the past as technology blurs the lines and across the cap range. We are index agnostic and that’s a problem for many companies. Our objective is minimal compounded annual rate of return at 15% over next five years. We are closer you will find like a VC in public market as anyone  they have not seen an animal like ours. If you look at technology in the S&P 500 we  have no overlap on those names and the technologies of the future will be different than the technologies of past. Offer good diversification if you own FANG but our stocks are not in broad based indices ARK has seen $17 Billion in inflows last year and that’s because advisors know we are a diversifier and we will protect against the value traps that are populating broad based portfolios. Our analyst team on innovation domain experts we don’t have MBAs because it’s much easier to teach a biochecmial engineering a financial statement Deflation Deflation---disruptive innovation is inherently deflationary in two ways. The good way is truly disruptive innovation is followed by cost declines  when more people have access and that causes exponential growth because the cost decline opens up a new markets Companies cater to short term shareholder by manufacturing earnings—buying back shares to increase earnings or pay dividends but they are leveraged up to do so and they haven’t invested in innovation. Because the companies haven’t invested in innovation they will need to service their debt and they will have to cut prices and we think that the gas powered autos will have to do that first Big disagreement today is cyclical inflation—we believe inflation is in process of peaking. Some of the early signs that we are seeing mostly in inventory accumulation especially in the retail world, excluding autos, that the inventories are piling up. Many companies double and triple ordered when they couldn’t get supplies and they they will end up with so much inventory on their balance sheet and they will have to cut prices Oil prices is an outlier and food prices with Ukraine There is demand destruction underway in energy sector Russia hasn’t been turned off yet. It’s oil exports going elsewhere Surprised to see oil at $130 and then at $117 and lower high is the first sign demand destruction is having an impact Consumer Sentiment Not sure why people aren’t focused on Consumer sentiment-- U of Michigan and I’ve watched it for 45 years is down to levels in ’08 and ’09 and people were losing home, jobs and cars and oil prices were at $147 Consumers won’t be rushing out to buy and that’s a recipe for decline We could have a global recession Europe is in recession; China feels recessionary and Asia will caught a cold Sri Lanka about to default is like the Asian crisis in 1997 and there many warning signs Bond yields as Fed talking up interest rate the 10 year yield hasn’t even cracked 3% Inflation will start unwinding rapidly now. Last April CPI was up .9 and PPI was up 1.1 and if If we come in below that for April and those YOY cmpareisions will come down and see a lot more economists say they think inflation has peaked and the question is how low will it go Surprise will be on the low side because large inventories, disruptive innovation and creative destruction. Interview Transcript 00:00:01 Melissa Francis Welcome everyone. 00:00:02 Melissa Francis Today we're here to talk about magnifying bigtiff in a marketplace where you can harness real time proprietary data to help individual investors and financial advisors find, compare and buy investment products like stocks and ETFs, mutual funds, and model portfolios to grow and preserve your wealth. 00:00:20 Melissa Francis I'm Melissa Francis. 00:00:21 Melissa Francis I know just a little bit about this subject matter. 00:00:24 Melissa Francis I'm a former CNBC, MSNBC, Fox business and Fox News anchor. 00:00:29 Melissa Francis And you will remember if you've watched us before we talked about the best crypto investment strategies with Anthony Scaramucci, the best bond strategies with the Bond king himself. 00:00:39 Melissa Francis Jeffrey Gundlach. 00:00:40 Melissa Francis And the best private equity strategies with martinis. 00:00:43 Melissa Francis But now we have a very special guest that I'm super excited about to talk about stock. 00:00:48 Melissa Francis Box and everything hot out there. Kathy would. She's the CEO of Ark. She is a board member of Tiffin, which is Magnify's parent company Kathy. 00:00:57 Melissa Francis So thank you so much for being here. 00:00:59 Melissa Francis I want to drill down on your latest blog because there were so many good Nuggets in there and I found some of them kind of counter intuitive. 00:01:05 Melissa Francis So I want to get into those. 00:01:06 Melissa Francis But first, if I could take you to. 00:01:08 Melissa Francis The hot story of the day, which of course is. 00:01:12 Melissa Francis Twitter and I wanted to ask you looking at where things stand today and I know it's fast moving. 00:01:18 Melissa Francis It keeps changing, but if. 00:01:21 Melissa Francis You were Elon. 00:01:22 Melissa Francis Musk, what would your next move be? 00:01:24 Melissa Francis What would you do from? 00:01:24 Cathie Wood Here, well, he's got a $54.00 I guess is $54.20 offer out there. 00:01:32 Cathie Wood So I think he'll bide his time. 00:01:34 Cathie Wood It will be interesting to see if other bidders show up I'm I'm. 00:01:40 Cathie Wood I'm hearing that there are some so, so let's see. 00:01:43 Cathie Wood Not not quite sure. 00:01:44 Cathie Wood It's still quite fluid, right? 00:01:46 Melissa Francis Yeah no. 00:01:46 Melissa Francis And he says that if this doesn't work, he has. 00:01:48 Melissa Francis Plan B, what do you think that is? 00:01:51 Cathie Wood Goodness, I don't know if it would be something a little more hostile. 00:01:54 Cathie Wood Just I have no idea. 00:01:55 Cathie Wood You know, Elon Musk is has his own mind and and and is I'm, I'm sure, thinking very creatively about this. 00:02:04 Melissa Francis If he does succeed. 00:02:05 Melissa Francis And you were him again. 00:02:07 Melissa Francis What would you do with the company? 00:02:08 Melissa Francis What do you think that they need to correct? 00:02:11 Cathie Wood Well, one of the things that I think has Hanford Twitter is its advertising model and. 00:02:17 Cathie Wood This is what? 00:02:17 Cathie Wood Scares analysts out there. 00:02:20 Cathie Wood Oh my gosh, you know he's going to upend the advertising model. 00:02:26 Cathie Wood Because advertisers don't like to be to have their ads shown next to questionable content, which is something different for everyone, right? 00:02:36 Cathie Wood And so, this idea of perhaps a subscription service is a possibility. 00:02:41 Cathie Wood Or a tipping service, but certainly open sourcing the algorithm. 00:02:46 Cathie Wood Will be the first thing he'll do so that there's transparency associated with what is and is not censored. 00:02:56 Melissa Francis So do you think that's a good or a bad thing for the company? 00:02:59 Melissa Francis I mean, it might be a good thing for freedom of speech, or however, may you. 00:03:02 Melissa Francis You may look at it politically, but if you are a shareholder, is it a good idea for him to get that out there so everybody knows how the algorithm really works? 00:03:11 Cathie Wood Well, I think. 00:03:12 Cathie Wood Even Jack Dorsey thought that Twitter was beginning to tie itself. 00:03:16 Cathie Wood And not over the the censorship. 00:03:19 Cathie Wood And so he was trying to figure out what can we do to overcome this monster really, and so I think they do need to do something and many people would describe what's happened to Twitter as becoming a cesspool. 00:03:35 Cathie Wood Now we don't think that we use Twitter, it's. 00:03:39 Cathie Wood It's become quite important to our business, as have other social media platforms. 00:03:45 Cathie Wood And so we know that we can unfollow someone that is hampering our research or our ability to engage with others in a civil way. 00:03:57 Cathie Wood But I I think that I think that even Jack was saying, OK, we need a change. 00:04:03 Cathie Wood We have to change what we're doing. 00:04:05 Cathie Wood And I think he and Ellen probably are aligned. 00:04:08 Cathie Wood And this idea of an open source algorithm, a shift away from the advertising model towards something more subscription based. 00:04:17 Cathie Wood And you know more transparency? 00:04:19 Cathie Wood I mean, Ark is radically transparent. 00:04:22 Cathie Wood Everything we do is transfer. 00:04:25 Cathie Wood And it has done nothing but help our business. 00:04:28 Cathie Wood Sure, you've got people out there who are denigrating our work. 00:04:34 Cathie Wood But we know those people as we're as we drill into what they're saying. 00:04:38 Cathie Wood They're not doing any research we're really interested in engaging with people who are doing real research, and I think. 00:04:45 Cathie Wood Transparency would make that make our experience with Twitter even better. 00:04:51 Melissa Francis Yeah, the fact that you're not afraid to engage like that, and to you know, hear from those who might oppose you shows how confident you are about what you're doing. 00:04:59 Melissa Francis You have to wonder about a company that wants to hide what they're doing. 00:05:02 Melissa Francis Let me ask you though. On the Twitter front. So what do you think the company is worth? I mean, I know I want to talk to you about your Tesla target, but as you look at what Elon's willing to pay, what do you think? 00:05:14 Melissa Francis If you had to put a price target on the stock two years down the road, or four years. 00:05:18 Melissa Francis Down the road, what would you say? 00:05:19 Cathie Wood Well, I think there's so much uncertainty right now that I I couldn't give you one hour based on their existing. 00:05:28 Cathie Wood Model our compound annual rate of return expectation for Twitter is roughly 25% now their model is going to change. 00:05:40 Cathie Wood There are going to be a lot of dislocations. 00:05:42 Cathie Wood We have a lot of very short term oriented shareholders who are probably now have moved into Twitter. 00:05:48 Cathie Wood To make a fast buck 5420 fifty $4.20. 00:05:52 Cathie Wood Sense, but the model is going to change, and so we will revisit once we understand what's going on, we will revisit the upside to the model and we do think that a lot can be done to improve the model so, but it may take more time than even our five year investment time horizon. 00:06:12 Melissa Francis So if you. 00:06:13 Melissa Francis If Elon Musk does get control of the company, would you adjust that upward? 00:06:17 Melissa Francis You think it has more potential with him in charge. 00:06:19 Melissa Francis Or would it be more of a wait and see? 00:06:21 Melissa Francis How would you feel? 00:06:23 Cathie Wood We probably probably would have more confidence in the platform. 00:06:28 Cathie Wood Arm would want to hear what Elon. 00:06:31 Cathie Wood And what he has in mind in terms of perpetuating the platform. 00:06:36 Cathie Wood I'm sure he does not want to run it as a charitable organization or a non profit, so we'd like to see how he thinks it could become. 00:06:46 Cathie Wood A very transparent but also self sustaining. 00:06:50 Cathie Wood Model and you know he's very creative and I think that it is our global town square and and that a lot of people would miss it. 00:07:01 Cathie Wood So I think there will be a lot of people very supportive and very open to his ideas. 00:07:06 Melissa Francis So putting politics aside entirely and just thinking about. 00:07:10 Melissa Francis Pure money. 00:07:11 Melissa Francis As a shareholder, you would be in favor of Elon Musk taking over. 00:07:15 Cathie Wood Well, I do think that the route Jack was going, which we supported was opening up the algorithm or open sourcing it in some way. 00:07:27 Cathie Wood And so I think this is a continuation of that. 00:07:31 Cathie Wood We also think one of the reasons we have held Twitter is because we believe it is a verification platform. 00:07:39 Cathie Wood You know, the little blue check and we believe that it could become a verification platform for shifts. 00:07:47 Cathie Wood As well and so. 00:07:49 Cathie Wood You know there are. 00:07:50 Cathie Wood Few call options here and there. 00:07:53 Cathie Wood Verification algorithms we think are well respected out there and so I think Elon would also build on. 00:08:02 Melissa Francis Wow, fascinating stuff. 00:08:03 Melissa Francis That's great. 00:08:04 Melissa Francis I'm sure you just made some news there without question before we stray too far from Elon 'cause he is such a fascinating character. 00:08:10 Melissa Francis I know that you put a 2026 target on Tesla of $4600. How did you work that math and how? 00:08:17 Melissa Francis Do you feel about that call? 00:08:19 Cathie Wood Yes, well we as we have been building out the Tesla model for years of course, and each year we publish our five year projection, we started doing this. I believe in 2019 when we believe Tesla was so misunderstood. 00:08:38 Cathie Wood And I think our projections were so much closer to the mark for for 2020, two 2324 that we we felt that open sourcing it and and continuing to update people would help them understand number one. 00:08:57 Cathie Wood How much share Tesla has and is keeping in the electric vehicle space how? 00:09:06 Cathie Wood Capital efficient the company is. 00:09:09 Cathie Wood We're even shocked at how capital efficient it is more efficient than any other company. 00:09:15 Cathie Wood Out there we keep a constant. 00:09:19 Cathie Wood Eye on batteries and battery costs and and battery technology. 00:09:26 Cathie Wood So we like to update that, but I think our biggest assumption changes over the last few years have been market share keeping a lot more than we expected. 00:09:37 Cathie Wood Ability to. 00:09:38 Cathie Wood GAIL, in fact, Elon is saying he's now a manufacturer of factories. 00:09:44 Cathie Wood That's one of their core competencies, and we agree with that and capital efficiency. 00:09:49 Cathie Wood We've been shocked at how good that is, and you know, their ability to increase their gross margins. 00:09:58 Cathie Wood Overtime much, much higher than I think most people might have anticipated, and in our five year forecast was. 00:10:05 Cathie Wood Uh, last year we we had a 5050 shot at autonomous being a reality now as you can see from the model, we put a 25 percentile, 75 percentile probabilities and we have price targets associated with those. Sort of the the the low end and. 00:10:25 Cathie Wood High end, we know now that autonomous is possible because cruise automation is autonomous in San Francisco. 00:10:34 Cathie Wood A big city Waymo has done it in Arizona, so it is possible we no longer have to answer that. 00:10:43 Melissa Francis Yeah, I can't wait to not drive my kids around, but I hear you. 00:10:47 Melissa Francis I I want to ask you specifically about Ark. 00:10:51 Melissa Francis You talk a lot about your risk management and your research. 00:10:55 Melissa Francis Can you get into a little bit more specifics about why your risk and research your research and risk management is so proprietary? 00:11:02 Melissa Francis I mean, I, I know it's proprietary, so you can't talk detail. 00:11:05 Melissa Francis But can you give me, you know, a little sketch of? 00:11:07 Cathie Wood It well, our research is is not proprietary we. 00:11:10 Cathie Wood Give it away. 00:11:11 Cathie Wood And so we, that's that's one of the powers of social media, our social media and marketing strategy. 00:11:19 Cathie Wood We give our research away not because we are altruistic, although we do. 00:11:25 Cathie Wood Want to educate? 00:11:27 Cathie Wood Not just investors. 00:11:28 Cathie Wood But parents and grandparents about how the world is changing and how rapidly is it's changing and how to keep their children and grandchildren on the right side of change. 00:11:41 Cathie Wood And even for adults, how to retrain so much is going to change because of the five innovation platforms genomic sequencing. 00:11:49 Cathie Wood Adaptive robotics energy storage, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. 00:11:54 Cathie Wood So much is changing and those platforms themselves are all growing at exponential rate. 00:12:03 Cathie Wood And they are converging, so it's 1 S curve feeding another S curve and we want people to understand that we want not just investors and registered investment advisors, but also, as I mentioned, the the sell side and the buy side. 00:12:21 Cathie Wood You know they're used to very short term. 00:12:23 Cathie Wood Right? 00:12:24 Cathie Wood And they haven't until recently been as focused on these new technologies. 00:12:29 Cathie Wood They've been much more focused on benchmarks and how to beat benchmarks. 00:12:34 Cathie Wood They haven't been. 00:12:34 Cathie Wood Thinking as much about the future and and the technologies that are going to transform the future. 00:12:40 Cathie Wood So we give our research away because we want to engage with. 00:12:44 Cathie Wood And become a part of the communities that are innovating and I feel like we've done that. 00:12:49 Melissa Francis So if I could just jump in, I mean 'cause this has been a very successful strategy for you, especially during the pandemic and the lockdown economy. 00:12:57 Melissa Francis It's been tougher, obviously more recently, and you know you've seen a lot of correction within the portfolios, and you know you've taken a lot of criticism from the outside. 00:13:08 Melissa Francis I would ask you. 00:13:09 Melissa Francis First of all. 00:13:09 Melissa Francis Is there any part of the criticism that you feel like you're receiving that rings true? 00:13:14 Cathie Wood So let me put in perspective what has happened over the past five years. 00:13:18 Cathie Wood We have a five year investment time horizon, so we'll start with the past. 00:13:21 Cathie Wood Five years and. 00:13:22 Cathie Wood Then we'll look forward at the next five years. 00:13:24 Cathie Wood Past five years. 00:13:25 Cathie Wood As we as we stated in one of our research pieces recently and fund pieces, very few active managers have outperformed the markets during the past five to 10 years. 00:13:41 Cathie Wood I think in the past ten years, which is a recent study that we read. 00:13:47 Cathie Wood 11% of large cap managers have outperformed their benchmarks, and 25% of all active managers have performed outperformed their benchmarks. We have outperformed the NASDAQ, the S&P and the MSCI handsomely. 00:14:05 Cathie Wood Over the past five years, I think our compound annual rate of return is around 22%. 00:14:10 Cathie Wood So that's the past five years. 00:14:12 Cathie Wood Then we go into the pandemic and the crisis period we had for about a six week period. 00:14:19 Cathie Wood A significant risk off. 00:14:23 Cathie Wood Episode and and we underperformed, as we usually do in a risk off period and then from the bottom of the coronavirus to the peak in February of 21, our flagship strategy was up 360%. 00:14:42 Cathie Wood Since then, at our worst point, we were down 60%, so I just wanted to put that in context. 00:14:48 Cathie Wood If we are right now, I'm talking about our innovation platforms. 00:14:52 Cathie Wood Broadly, we believe that disruptive innovation in the global public equity markets is valued. 00:15:02 Cathie Wood Today, at about a $10 trillion market cap and we believe that is going to 210 trillion by 2030, so that's anywhere from a 35 to 40%. 00:15:17 Cathie Wood And compound annual rate of growth for those platforms and we would hope to outperform because we are focused only on the future and and we have centered our research and investing around those platforms. 00:15:30 Cathie Wood When people talk about risk management, they they seem to think that we're a general. 00:15:37 Cathie Wood Just kind of asset manager. 00:15:40 Cathie Wood We are not. 00:15:41 Cathie Wood We are focused exclusively on disruptive innovation and when they say where is the risk management or the risk control, we have many levers of risk control, including our partners who oversee the risk in. 00:15:58 Cathie Wood Their portfolios and I'm talking our minority partners and our distribue 00:16:01 Cathie Wood Partners so we are fielding questions and and are thinking carefully about the risks we're taking in the certainly in the context of the questions we're getting. 00:16:11 Cathie Wood But it's been built into our scoring system. 00:16:15 Cathie Wood Our top and bottom, top down and bottom up modeling there's there are risk assessments. 00:16:21 Cathie Wood Each step along the way, I think. 00:16:25 Cathie Wood Many people confuse generalist portfolio managers who have to shift between this sector and that sector, or between cash and no cash. 00:16:34 Cathie Wood We're not doing that right now, we. 00:16:36 Melissa Francis OK. 00:16:37 And so I. 00:16:37 Melissa Francis Absolutely hear what you're saying and I'm wondering that is that the same as you wouldn't do anything differently in terms of what about? 00:16:45 Melissa Francis Even in the approach with the media and the way that you've engaged people you talked about social media and elsewhere, is there anything that you would do differently, or do you feel like everything is going according to plan? 00:16:55 Cathie Wood So after a one of one of the rougher interview is out there. 00:17:02 Cathie Wood I was trying to figure out why don't they understand how we are controlling risk and and one of our clients actually said well, you sounded like you know you wouldn't do anything differently. 00:17:19 Cathie Wood We actually do when we move into these. 00:17:22 Cathie Wood Risk off period. 00:17:24 Cathie Wood Since we concentrate our portfolios to our highest conviction names and what that means in this last go around for our flagship strategy, we went from 58 names in that strategy to 35. So we basically said from a risk control point of view. 00:17:44 Cathie Wood That OK using our scoring system? 00:17:47 Cathie Wood Where is our conviction the lowest? 00:17:49 Cathie Wood They're all getting hit equally practically in this risk off period. 00:17:54 Cathie Wood So why don't we push towards the higher scoring names and it gives our analysts and and me and our associate portfolio managers the the psychological wherewithal to say, OK, this is. 00:18:10 Cathie Wood A risk off market, all of our stocks are being treated the same. 00:18:14 Cathie Wood Why don't we come out right now with all of our concerns lurking deep down inside and then concentrate. 00:18:23 Cathie Wood So that's we do take risk off the table and if you look at long term stuff. 00:18:27 Cathie Wood These they will show you that the most concentrated strategies are the most successful because typically active managers have a very high degree of confidence in several of their names. 00:18:40 Cathie Wood But there are a lot of names. 00:18:42 Cathie Wood They would be the tail of the portfolio, where they they. 00:18:45 Cathie Wood They just don't have as much confidence, so we use. 00:18:48 Cathie Wood The volatility to curb the risk by further concentrating our portfolios and the only thing else. 00:18:54 Cathie Wood There is many people say wait a minute, that's not risk control concentration is higher risk. 00:19:00 Cathie Wood We disagree. 00:19:01 Melissa Francis Yeah, no, I I'm glad you explained that because that that is really interesting and I'm I'm not sure a lot of people out there understood that. 00:19:07 Melissa Francis That's what you were doing just in terms of some of the personal attacks. I mean, for example when I saw Morningstar's downgrade. 00:19:15 Melissa Francis They were focused so much on succession which. 00:19:19 Melissa Francis Uhm, you know? 00:19:20 Melissa Francis Obviously it's important. 00:19:21 Melissa Francis But there have been a lot of other funds out there, and. 00:19:23 Melissa Francis Fund managers that. 00:19:24 Melissa Francis They haven't had that same criticism and focus. 00:19:26 Melissa Francis Do you think it has anything to do with your gender? 00:19:28 Melissa Francis You think it's sexist at all? 00:19:31 Cathie Wood I really don't, I I do know there are companies like that one that do not understand what we're doing. 00:19:40 Cathie Wood We do not fit into their style boxes and I think style boxes will become a thing of the past as as sectors. 00:19:50 Cathie Wood As technology blurs, the lines between and among sectors. 00:19:54 Cathie Wood And as innovation goes, global and goes across the cap range, you know. 00:19:59 Cathie Wood So I think those style boxes are are going to be will seem quite provincial. 00:20:06 Cathie Wood At some point we are index agnostic. 00:20:10 Cathie Wood That is a big problem for many of these companies. 00:20:12 Cathie Wood Our objective is. 00:20:14 Cathie Wood A minimum compound annual rate of return of 15%. 00:20:18 Cathie Wood At an annual rate over the next five years, we are the closest you will find to a venture capital company in the public equity markets. 00:20:27 Cathie Wood And I think organizations like that one have a very difficult time like that. 00:20:32 Cathie Wood They've never seen an animal like ours where we are thrilled that our active share 00:20:38 Cathie Wood Relative to the broad based indices is in the high 90% range we have. If you look at technology in the S&P 500, we have no overlap. We are doing something. 00:20:49 Cathie Wood We are saying the technologies of the future. 00:20:53 Cathie Wood Are going to be very different from the technologies of the past, and so we offer a good opportunity for diversification for registered investment advisors. 00:21:04 Cathie Wood They own the fangs and Microsoft NVIDIA and now even our beloved Tesla, 'cause it's in indexes but they don't own our stocks 'cause they're not. 00:21:14 Cathie Wood In these broad based indices. 00:21:16 Cathie Wood So I think many much of our success because we have had despite the performance we discussed earlier. 00:21:22 Cathie Wood We've had inflows last year, 17 billion in inflows. 00:21:25 Cathie Wood This year we're still in flowing, even though we've been in this pacing period and no one sure if the next move is up or the next move is down, but we are. 00:21:36 Cathie Wood In in flow and I think that's because advisors know we are a diversifier and we will protect them against the value traps that we believe are populating broad based benchmarks which are becoming part of their core portfolio. 00:21:53 Cathie Wood We are a hedge against the DIS intermediation of the old World order. 00:21:59 Melissa Francis Yeah, it just to clarify for people that are watching so you have your inflows have exceeded your outflows. 00:22:05 Melissa Francis You have more people coming in more money coming in. 00:22:07 Melissa Francis Right now, yeah. 00:22:08 Cathie Wood Yes, right? 00:22:09 Cathie Wood We are in that inflow mode, yes. 00:22:11 Melissa Francis I I'm also fast. I mean, you're so contrarian. And I do think that your fun. If you truly understand what it's about, it it sort of becomes we've talked on this show and magnify a bunch of times about how the old model of you know however you want to slice it. The 4060 is is really broken and that you have to have a whole bunch of. 00:22:27 Melissa Francis Different approaches to your portfolio and having a slice of what you do is something that is so different from what you would get elsewhere and is backed by huge brain power and huge research that it's a way to take. 00:22:40 Melissa Francis You know this this oppositional point of view, almost, but do it in a very smart way along those lines. 00:22:47 Melissa Francis And we talked to Jeff Gundlach a while ago. 00:22:49 Melissa Francis Of course, the bond king he was saying that, you know, he's really obviously a lot of people are worried about inflation right now. 00:22:54 Melissa Francis I I read, I think it was in your Blogger. 00:22:56 Melissa Francis I heard you do an interview. 00:22:56 Melissa Francis You talked a lot about the possibility of deflation. 00:22:59 Melissa Francis A year from now. 00:23:00 Melissa Francis Walk me through that. 00:23:02 Cathie Wood Sure, and before I do that, Melissa, I do you hit on something that I think is critically important? 00:23:08 Cathie Wood This the the analyst team that we have focused on truly disruptive innovation. Innovation is unmatched out there. I am sure of that because it is our sole focus. We have domain experts. We do not have MBA's. It is much easier. 00:23:27 Cathie Wood To treat, to teach a biochemical engineer or a rocket scientist how to read financial statements than it is to teach me. 00:23:38 Cathie Wood Uh, biochemical engineering and rocket science. 00:23:43 Cathie Wood This is an A throwback to the Bernstein days Sandy Bernstein set up his company with that in mind and I think it's absolutely right when it comes to innovation. 00:23:54 Cathie Wood So now I have to. 00:23:57 Cathie Wood Inflation well? 00:24:00 Cathie Wood Disruptive innovation is inherently deflationary in two ways. 00:24:04 Cathie Wood One good, one bad, the good way is just truly disruptive. 00:24:10 Cathie Wood Innovation follows learning curves, which are expressed as cost declines over time, and as costs decline, demand increases. 00:24:21 Cathie Wood For new technologies and and more people around the world have access to them. 00:24:27 Cathie Wood So they can reach mass markets, and that's what causes exponential growth. 00:24:33 Cathie Wood The costs decline. 00:24:35 Cathie Wood They open up. 00:24:35 Cathie Wood A new market costs continue to climb. 00:24:37 Cathie Wood Even so, we're seeing we're seeing massive opportunities from those five platforms. 00:24:44 Cathie Wood The other side of disruptive innovation is creative. 00:24:47 Cathie Wood Destruction, and this is a little bit back to what I said before, but a lot of companies in the broad based indices in particular are very short term oriented in in terms of wanting to cater to their shareholder base. 00:25:05 Cathie Wood And so we have watched them for years, especially since the tech and telecom bust and the 0809 meltdown and the risk aversion that pushed everyone towards these benchmarks. 00:25:16 Cathie Wood We've seen companies cater to that short term. 00:25:21 Cathie Wood Shareholder, by manufacturing earnings buying back shares to increase earnings per share or paying dividends. 00:25:28 Cathie Wood But they've leveraged up to do so, and they haven't invested enough in innovation. 00:25:34 Cathie Wood And so we believe that another source of deflation. 00:25:38 Cathie Wood Secular deflation out. 00:25:39 Cathie Wood There will be bad. 00:25:41 Cathie Wood And that is these companies products going obsolete. 00:25:44 Cathie Wood Wait, they need to service their debt and to do so, they'll have to cut prices. 00:25:48 Cathie Wood We think that's going to happen to the auto market big time. 00:25:52 Cathie Wood The gas powered side of the auto market. 00:25:55 Cathie Wood The big disagreement today is cyclical inflation and we believe it is in the process of peaking. 00:26:04 Cathie Wood And we also believe some of the early signs that we're seeing, whether it's mostly in inventory accumulation, especially in the retail world, excluding autos. 00:26:17 Cathie Wood And then the inventories are piling up. 00:26:20 Cathie Wood And because I think many retailers and maybe wholesalers double and triple ordered when they couldn't get supplies because of supply chain issues that they are going to end up with so much inventory on their balance sheets that they're going to have to cut prices. 00:26:37 Cathie Wood Dramatically, now, of course we have oil prices as well. 00:26:42 Cathie Wood As the outlier here, oil and food with the Russian invasion of of Ukraine, the bread basket of Europe and of course Russia being such a big factor in energy, we think that demand destruction is underway in the energy sector. 00:27:00 Cathie Wood Seeing a lot of substitution. 00:27:01 Cathie Wood I see a lot more bikes in Saint Pete and scooters, and you know. 00:27:06 Cathie Wood And I see people deciding to make fewer trips to the grocery store each week and what have you? 00:27:10 Cathie Wood So we're seeing downright demand destruction and we're seeing. 00:27:16 Cathie Wood Russia hasn't been turned off yet. 00:27:18 Cathie Wood It still may be. 00:27:19 Cathie Wood Europe may may stop, but we're seeing that its oil imports are going. 00:27:24 Cathie Wood Our exports are going elsewhere and we'll have a reshuffling of of where the how the supplies get from one country to another. 00:27:32 Cathie Wood So I actually think I was surprised to see in early March. 00:27:36 Cathie Wood Oil prices peaked out in the one 30s and then they tried again and they peaked out in the one 15117 range. 00:27:43 Cathie Wood So let's see if that could be lower. 00:27:46 Cathie Wood Highs are often the first sign that demand destruction is beginning to have an impact as supplies are starting to. 00:27:54 Cathie Wood Increase including production in the United States. 00:28:00 Melissa Francis Yeah, we just talked to Mark Fisher a couple days ago. 00:28:01 Melissa Francis Who courses master of that space and he said similar things and they actually if you listened to him. 00:28:06 Melissa Francis He had said that Nat gas was going to explode and it had. 00:28:09 Melissa Francis It had a definitely that was a prescient call at the time, so it's interesting to hear you talk. 00:28:14 Melissa Francis That way about energy and also about the supply chain. 00:28:17 Melissa Francis That makes a lot of sense, because this idea that you can't get what you. 00:28:20 Melissa Francis One has been going on for a long time and I know that you also said you have a consumer that doesn't feel particularly good about his or herself right now. 00:28:30 Melissa Francis In addition to that, the fact that wages aren't really keeping up with the prices that you're seeing out there is another reason why we could see these supplies stack up. 00:28:38 Melissa Francis A final word to you on that. 00:28:40 Cathie Wood So I'm asking. 00:28:40 Melissa Francis And and maybe I don't want to forget. 00:28:41 Melissa Francis To ask you. 00:28:42 Melissa Francis Where you see the 10 year bond trading a year from today so. 00:28:45 Melissa Francis Those two things real quick if you don't mind. 00:28:48 Cathie Wood So the consumer sentiment, I don't know why many people or many economists. 00:28:53 Cathie Wood Strategists are not focusing on. 00:28:55 Cathie Wood This consumer University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey, which I've watched it for 45 years, is the best out there at measuring consumer sentiment is down to levels that we have not seen since 0809. In 0809, people were losing their homes, losing their jobs, losing their cars. 00:29:15 Cathie Wood And and oil prices were at $147. And and here we are there feeling that badly that tells me this idea of velocity, the velocity of money. 00:29:27 Cathie Wood Consumers not going to be racing out to buy because the consumers becoming risk averse. 00:29:33 Cathie Wood That's a recipe for a continued decline in the velocity of money, which which diffuses the inflationary impact of the reserves out there. 00:29:42 Cathie Wood So that's the first thing I'll say, and that and we I think we could. 00:29:47 Cathie Wood End up in a global recession. I think that there's such a fine line now. I think Europe's in recession, China feels very recessionary to me, which means Asia is going to catch a cold. We're seeing. 00:29:58 Cathie Wood Thing and and these are Canaries in the coal mine. But tree Lanka, you know threatening to default. This is like the beginning of the Asian crisis in 1997 when the Thai baht devalued. 00:30:09 Cathie Wood So you know, I think there are a lot of warning signs out there, and so is the US going to fall into a technical recession or not, I don't know. 00:30:18 Cathie Wood I don't think it matters, I just think I just think there's a lot of weakness out there and then finally on the bond yield. 00:30:25 Cathie Wood I think it's been really interesting as the Fed has been talking up interest rates. 00:30:31 Cathie Wood That the the 10 year yield has has not been able to even crack 3%. So in the 2 1/2 to 3% this is the 10 year Treasury yield and I believe that inflation is going to start unwinding pretty rapidly now because if you look if if for no other reason. 00:30:51 Cathie Wood Then the base effect last April, the CPI was up .9 and the PPI was up one or one point 1. Those are the comparisons. 00:31:00 Cathie Wood Now if we come in below that for April, then both of those year over year comparisons will come down for the first time and I'm seeing a lot more economists saying that they think inflation has peaked and now the only question is how? 00:31:15 Cathie Wood Low it will go. 00:31:17 Cathie Wood And we think the surprise will be on the low side. 00:31:21 Cathie Wood For cyclical reasons, inventories I just described, as well as secular reasons, disruptive innovation, and creative destruction. 00:31:30 Melissa Francis Yeah, well, you know you never fail to disappoint. 00:31:33 Melissa Francis We always go against what is out there and makes so much sense it is such a pleasure to talk to you. 00:31:39 Melissa Francis Thank you so much for doing this today, I think. 00:31:42 Melissa Francis Everybody out there really gained a lot from it. Thank you for joining us For more information on Art, Cathy Wood, or anything you've heard today, please go to magnify.com/media. 00:31:53 Melissa Francis We'll be right back. Updated on Apr 19, 2022, 11:47 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkApr 19th, 2022

9 months of streaming TV data show the most popular franchises on Netflix, Disney+, and more major platforms

Genre series like "The Mandalorian" dominate on the major streaming services, but word-of-mouth hits like Apple's "Ted Lasso" also break through. "The Mandalorian"Disney Plus Insider analyzed nine months of TV demand data from Parrot Analytics. Two shows, "Stranger Things" and "The Mandalorian," were the most consistently popular. The data suggests that Peacock is lagging in the most popular IP compared to other streamers. With so many platforms in the streaming space, exclusive and popular IP is essential for media companies looking to get a leg up on the competition.Insider regularly looks at the biggest TV shows available to stream, through data from Parrot Analytics. The data firm measures audience demand, which reflects the engagement with and interest in a TV show.The company has provided Insider with plenty of data during the streaming boom of the last few years, including a monthly ranking of the top nine most in-demand original streaming shows in the US for each of the last nine months (since July 2021). The rankings are based on how much more in demand the show is than the average series in the US.Insider analyzed that nine months of streaming data, and some points stood out:Netflix's "Stranger Things," Disney+'s "The Mandalorian," and HBO Max's "Titans" were the most consistently popular original streaming shows in that time period, appearing on every ranking.NBCUniversal's Peacock was the only major streaming service that didn't have a series make any of the rankings in that time, suggesting it's lacking popular franchises.HBO Max's DC Comics-based TV shows were essential for the service, with three of these series appearing in the rankings, including "Titans."Genre series based on preexisting material dominated the data, from superhero shows to fantasy and sci-fi. But some non-genre series also broke through thanks to positive word of mouth, like Apple TV+'s "Ted Lasso" and Hulu's "Only Murders in the Building."There are of course other metrics to determine popularity. Netflix releases its own rankings of its most-watched shows and movies every week based on viewing hours, for instance. The streamer's biggest show ever based on global viewing hours, the Korean hit "Squid Game," peaked at No. 2 on Parrot Analytics' rankings in October, suggesting global audiences may have been more engaged with the series than US audiences.But Parrot Analytics' data gives a good sense of the type of content that is driving substantial buzz for the major streaming services, even if that doesn't necessarily reflect viewership figures. Below are details on the most in-demand original shows on every major streaming service from July to March:Amazon Prime Video"The Wheel of Time"Jan Thijs / Amazon StudiosAmazon has invested heavily in genre content recently, and its most in-demand shows reflect why.Its fantasy series "The Wheel of Time," based on the novels by Robert Jordan, peaked as the No. 2 series on the monthly demand rankings in December, behind Netflix's own fantasy hit, "The Witcher."But the series was the biggest new series in the US last year, according to Parrot Analytics. In its first 30 days of release, it was more in demand than other new hit shows including Disney+'s "The Book of Boba Fett."Amazon's sci-fi series "The Expanse," which premiered its series finale in January, also made the ranking that same month.It bodes well for Amazon's upcoming big-budget "Lord of the Rings" series, "The Rings of Power," and planned video-game adaptations like "Fallout," "God of War," and "Mass Effect."But even as Amazon doubles down on fantasy and sci-fi content, one of its first breakout hits, the comedy "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," was one of the most in-demand series of March as it concluded its fifth season.Here's every Prime Video series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):"The Expanse""The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel""The Wheel of Time"Apple TV+"Ted Lasso"Apple TV+"Ted Lasso" was Apple's only series to be ranked over the last nine months, but it made Parrot Analytics' list eight out of those nine months. The word of mouth has been consistent for the series, giving Apple a much-needed breakout hit ahead of the series' Emmy win last year for best comedy (and the company's 2022 Oscar win for best picture for "CODA").Apple's aforementioned triumphs have made it a power player in Hollywood. Apple TV+ doesn't have the subscriber base that other platforms do (the investment firm Wedbush estimated in a recent report that it has around 25 million paid subscribers). But after a shaky launch in late 2019, the service has released shows to critical acclaim, including "Ted Lasso" and "Severance," which wrapped its first season on Friday.Demand for its shows may not be as important for Apple as it is for other companies. It's primarily looking to attract top talent (and sell its devices). Winning awards doesn't hurt, either. But with "Ted Lasso," it's shown that it can release a hit to rival even DC and "Star Wars" series in buzz.Here's every Apple TV+ series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):"Ted Lasso"Disney+"The Mandalorian"Disney PlusA new season of the "Star Wars" series "The Mandalorian" hasn't debuted since 2020, but the show is still consistently one of the most in-demand streaming series in the US. Even after its spinoff, "The Book of Boba Fett," debuted in December, "The Mandalorian" topped the demand rankings in February and March. It bodes well for the future of the series, but time will tell if future Disney+ "Star Wars" series can ride the show's momentum; "Boba Fett" peaked in the monthly demand rankings at No. 2 in February.Disney+'s Marvel shows haven't shown the same consistency as "The Mandalorian." "Loki" peaked in demand in July after premiering in June, but had fallen off the rankings by October. "Hawkeye" peaked at No. 3 in December after premiering in November, but disappeared from the ranking by February. "WandaVision," though, was still among the top shows in September after debuting in January, suggesting that some Marvel shows can break through the high volume of Marvel content being released. By contrast, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," which premiered after "WandaVision," didn't appear at all in the demand rankings over the last nine months.It's hit or miss for Marvel shows, it appears.But while Marvel and "Star Wars" are Disney+'s biggest franchises, the service may need to broaden its originals if it wants to attract new subscribers, especially if those shows don't maintain demand.Here's every Disney+ series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):"The Book of Boba Fett""Hawkeye""Loki" "The Mandalorian" "Star Wars: The Clone Wars""WandaVision" Hulu"The Handmaid's Tale" season three.HuluOver the last nine months, "The Handmaid's Tale" only appeared on the monthly demand rankings in July at No. 9. But even as the critical praise has waned throughout its four-season run, the show remains one of Hulu's only reliable hits.Another breakout hit for the Disney-operated service, that's completely different from, "The Handmaid's Tale," is the star-studded comedy, "Only Murders in the Building," which made the monthly demand ranking in October.The show premiered in late August, but steadily gained buzz over the course of its first season, which concluded in October.Hulu is in a precarious position. It remains a US-only service after Disney scrapped a global expansion plan in favor of its international service Hotstar. Comcast still owns a stake in the service, which it's set to sell to Disney by 2024. Speculation has swirled that Disney has impeded Hulu's growth ahead of having to buy Comcast's stake. Ahead of that, Comcast will pull new NBC programming from the service later this year. Here's every Hulu series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):"The Handmaid's Tale""Nine Perfect Strangers""Only Murders in the Building"HBO Max"Peacemaker."HBO MaxHBO Max's DC shows will be essential for the service. "Titans," which originated on the streamer-turned-digital-comics service DC Universe, was one of the most consistently in-demand series on any service over the last nine months."Doom Patrol," another former DC Universe series, and "Peacemaker," a spinoff of "The Suicide Squad," were also in demand.But non-superhero shows have also broken out for Max. Most recently, the pirate parody "Our Flag Means Death" has been a breakout hit, and is the biggest new series in the US of the year so far, according to Parrot Analytics. The shows highlight the different audiences that Max is targeting compared to its sister premium cable network, HBO. Here's every HBO Max series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):"Doom Patrol""Our Flag Means Death""Peacemaker""Titans"NetflixA still from "Stranger Things" season four.NetflixWithout established IP of its own, Netflix has built franchises by snatched up existing material with established fanbases, like "The Witcher" fantasy novels by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski that also inspired a hit video-game franchise. Netflix's series based on the books has appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings for the last five months, peaking at No. 1 in December when its second season debuted. Some of Netflix's other most in-demand shows were revivals of shows that originated at other networks, like "Cobra Kai," "You," and "Lucifer."So it's impressive that "Stranger Things," an original concept, has become such a hit for Netflix. The series is one of a few to appear on every ranking, peaking at No. 1 twice in August and November, even though its third season debuted nearly three years ago. But anticipation for the upcoming fourth season, which premieres in May, is high.Here's every Netflix series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):"Arcane: League of Legends" "Cobra Kai" "Lucifer""Money Heist" "Ozark" "Squid Game""Stranger Things" "You"Paramount+"Star Trek: Picard"CBS All AccessParamount+ is going all in on the "Star Trek" universe with multiple shows currently streaming or in the works, so it's promising that "Star Trek: Picard" surged in the demand rankings in March, appearing at No. 3.While it was the only Paramount+ series to make any of the monthly rankings in the last nine months, the service still has popular content aside from that. Paramount has said that the "Yellowstone" prequel "1883" was the service's biggest original series in terms of viewership.Streaming rights for "Yellowstone" belong with NBCUniversal's Peacock, but the show's creator, Taylor Sheridan, is making more spinoffs for Paramount+.Here's every Paramount+ series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):"Star Trek: Picard" PeacockPaula Pell, Sara Berailles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Busy Philipps in "Girls5eva."PeacockNBCUniversal's Peacock is the only service that didn't have a series make the demand rankings in the last nine months. Even some of the streamer's critical darlings, like the "Saved By the Bell" reboot or "Girls5Eva," didn't make the cut.It suggests that Peacock has a franchise problem, which could be an issue if it wants to build a substantial subscriber base.But Peacock also has a different business model than the other major streamers. While others, like Hulu and HBO Max (and soon Disney+) offer cheaper ad-supported options, Peacock is the only service among the major streamers included in this analysis that offers a free, ad-supported tier.It also relies more on live events than the other services, and has banked heavily on licensed, non-original content like "The Office" and "Yellowstone."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 11th, 2022

Futures Slide, Oil Rises As Ukraine War De-escalation Optimism Fizzles

Futures Slide, Oil Rises As Ukraine War De-escalation Optimism Fizzles S&P 500 futures edged lower along with European shares, as the "peace in our time" optimism that pushed stocks on a history bear market short and gamma squeeze rally in the past two weeks fizzled and was instead replaced with the far less pleasant reality that de-escalation of the war in Ukraine is exaggerated as the Kremlin said that talks with Ukraine in Istanbul Tuesday yielded no breakthroughs and refused to discuss the status of Crimea as part of a peace deal, as the Russian constitution prohibits anyone discussing the fate of Russian regions. The S&P futures were 0.3% lower while Nasdaq futures declined 0.4%. Commodities climbed, fueling renewed concerns about inflation’s impact on profits and economic growth while the inversion of the 2s10s yield curve that started the clock on the next recession did not help investor mood. Europe’s Stoxx 600 snapped a three-day winning streak after surging to the highest level in five weeks and oil futures gained over 2%. The dollar slipped, the euro climbed and the yen bounced from a six-year low after the Bank of Japan pledged to buy more securities than planned and include longer-dated debt. “The yield curve inversion needs to be sustained before it’s a predictor of anything,” Mariann Montagne, senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments , said on Bloomberg Television. “We’ll have volatility both in the stock and the bond markets but we think that progression” on the cease-fire talks will lead to upward earnings revisions. Apple shares were slightly lower in premarket trading, set to end their longest winning streak since 2003 after the iPhone maker surged nearly 20% over the past 11 days. Chinese live-streaming platforms fell in U.S. premarket trading after Chinese government agencies vowed to crack down on any tax-related crimes in the sector. Bilibili (BILI US) falls 3.8%, HUYA (HUYA US) -4.4%. Other notable premarket movers: BioNTech (BNTX US) rises 3% premarket as the Covid-19 vaccine- maker says it’s planning a share buyback of as much as $1.5 billion and will propose a special dividend. Chewy (CHWY US) slumps 14% in premarket trading after the online pet products retailer’s results missed estimates and it forecast slower-than- anticipated sales growth. Microvast (MVST US) slumps 14% in premarket after the battery solutions provider reported 2021 results, with the company’s CEO flagging “many headwinds” in the release. RH (RH US) falls 14% premarket after the furniture retailer’s fourth-quarter results missed expectations amid “softening” demand in the current quarter. Romeo Power (RMO US) shares jump 7.1% in premarket after the battery-products maker said it has started shipping its first production pedigree packs to a key customer. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rallied to the highest level since mid-January. Skeptical NATO allies are evaluating whether Russia’s promise to scale back military operations in Ukraine marks a turning point in the conflict or simply a tactical shift as attacks were still reported near Kiev. Here are some of the latest developments involving the Ukraine war courtesy of Newsquawk: Ukrainian President Zelenskiy said they are not reducing defensive efforts as the Russian army still has significant potential to carry out attacks, according to Reuters. Ukraine Deputy PM says three humanitarian corridors have been agreed for evacuations on Wednesday; said Ukraine had requested 97 corridors to be opened in the worst-hit areas. Ukraine Forces warn of danger of Russian ammunition exploding at Chernobyl. Ukraine Presidential Adviser says on negotiations, Ukraine has improved its position in all respects. Russian Kremlin says Ukraine has begun to put demands down on paper and be more specific which is a positive thing. Not seen anything really promising that looks like a breakthrough, there is a lot of work ahead Governor of Donestsk region says situation is difficult, shelling is continuing in nearly all cities around the demarcation line. Germany triggered an emergency plan to brace for a potential Russian gas cut-off, as President Vladimir Putin steps up demands that the fuel should be paid for in rubles. Russia may expand the list of commodities for which it demands payment in rubles to include grain, oil, metals and others. Meanwhile, as reported last night, BofA analysts echoed Goldman and warned that the 11% surge in U.S. stocks in the past two weeks has the hallmarks of a bear-market rally that might give way to deeper losses. Philadelphia Fed Bank President Patrick Harker said Tuesday he expects a series of “deliberate, methodical” rate increases this year, but said he is open to a half-point move in May if near-term data shows more inflation. Economic data releases Wednesday include U.S. GDP.  “While the Fed faces considerable challenges in pulling off an economic soft landing, the central bank did manage to do so in 1965, 1984, and 1994; thus, we think it is too soon to write off their chances of doing so again, said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “We believe investors should brace for higher rates, without overreacting by neglecting areas of value in equity markets.” Europe's Stoxx 600 was down 0.6%, but traded off worst levels; sentiment was dented after Kremlin comments that there has been no breakthrough in Ukraine talks. Travel, retail and media names lag; energy and miners outperform. European stocks exposed to Russia and Ukraine slipped in early trading as optimism about a de-escalation of the war in Ukraine faded. The skepticism over Russia’s promise to scale back military operations in Ukraine has dented global stocks and boosted oil prices. Nokian Renkaat, which has a large factory near St. Petersburg, is down more than 7%, among top decliners on Stoxx 600. Here are some of the most notable premarket movers: Equinor, Shell, BP and other energy peers lead gains on the Stoxx 600, with the energy subindex its best performer, with basic resources gaining too: Glencore +2.5%, Boliden +4.7% Bachem rises as much as 4.1%, the best performer on the Stoxx 600 Health Care index, after Credit Suisse upgraded the company to outperform on its strength in peptides manufacturing Bloomsbury Publishing climbs as much as 8.8% after the company best known for the Harry Potter series said the new fantasy novel series ‘Crescent City’ had driven “exceptional” sales in February Encavis shares gain as much as 9.3% as Warburg sees an “upbeat outlook” that should “trigger earnings revisions,” after the company reported earnings late Tuesday Pearson shares fall as much as 11% after Apollo said it does not intend to make an offer for the firm after being unable to reach agreement over the terms with Pearson’s board Nokian Renkaat slides as much as 7.5% after JPMorgan and SEB cut their ratings for the Finnish tire maker due to its exposure to Russia, bringing its YTD loss to over 50% Other Russia-exposed peers also fall as optimism about a de-escalation of the war in Ukraine fades: Wizz Air drops as much as 5.5%, Faurecia as much as 7.5% Atlas Copco, SKF and Sandvik all fall after after reports emerged in Swedish media that its equipment and service contracts in Russia may have been been used by the military Earlier in the session, Asian equities advanced for a second day as traders remained cautiously optimistic over Russia’s offer to scale back military operations in Ukraine. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.9%, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing the biggest contributor following Micron’s strong forecast. Equities in mainland China outperformed, led by gains in brokerages and developers. Japanese stocks retreated as the yen strengthened. Inflation Trade Is Key to Everything in Global Markets Right Now Investors are hoping for a de-escalation in the war in Ukraine, though progress in cease fire talks has been met with some skepticism. Also on traders’ radar are Chinese firms’ earnings results and the risk of trading halts, and the impact from the yield-curve inversion in U.S. treasuries that are typically seen as a sign of future recession. “With talk of de-escalation in Ukraine, volatility is easing off and that’s a positive for global equities – the benefits of which ought to flow through to an Asian region that’s very sensitive to the economic cycle and commodity prices,” said Kyle Rodda, analyst at IG Markets Ltd.  While the yield curve’s inversion is another factor to consider, a recession typically comes anywhere between 12 and 24 months following an inversion implying “there’s no major reason why sentiment can’t remain well supported,” he added. Elsewhere in Asia, stocks in Australia rose for a seven-day winning streak following a stimulatory federal budget package. China tech stocks traded in Hong Kong trimmed earlier advance amid fresh regulatory crackdown worries.   Japanese equities fell as the yen strengthened amid concerns it had weakened too much. More than 1,500 Topix stocks traded without rights to the next dividend, shaving 22.4 points off the benchmark. Banks and automakers were the biggest drags the Topix, which fell 1.2%. KDDI and Tokyo Electron were the largest contributors to a 0.3% loss in the Nikkei 225. The yen strengthened 0.7% against the dollar, extending its 0.8% rally on Tuesday. The yen is still down more than 6% against the greenback since March 4 amid the Bank of Japan’s determination to continue easing. Perceived benefits of the weaker currency have helped boost the Nikkei 5.7% this month, its best since November 2020. “There’s much talk about the yen weakening further but it seems like it has gone too far,” said Tetsuo Seshimo, a portfolio manager at Saison Asset Management. The level of products exported from Japan is actually low, so “the image is a little different from reality.” Australia's stocks climbed, with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.7% to close at 7,514.50, gaining for a seventh day, its longest win streak since December 2020.  The rally followed a stimulatory federal budget package unveiled late Tuesday. Hopes for talks between Russia and Ukraine also helped investor sentiment.  Life360 gained the most, rising for a second day, while Telix Pharmaceuticals led decliners. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.5% to 12,098.80. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index fell 0.4% as the greenback was steady to weaker against all its Group-of-10 peers; short-dated Treasury yields fell by around 4bps while longer dated ones were steady. European bonds slid, led by shorter maturities, as traders bet hotter-than-expected inflation readings will force the ECB to end its era of negative rates sooner than previously anticipated. Traders are wagering the ECB will raise its key interest rate to zero two months earlier than expected after Spain’s statistics service said EU-harmonized CPI jumped 9.8% from a year ago in March, topping all 15 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The yen outperformed all its G-10 peers as the options market signaled that a short-term top has been established in spot dollar-yen. The Bank of Japan ramped up efforts to rein in rising yields by offering to buy more debt across maturities. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda gave another strong indication that the central bank will continue capping long-term bond yields after holding his first meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida since the yen touched its lowest level since 2015 In rates, Treasuries were mixed with the curve steepening, pivoting around a little changed 7-year sector as 2s10s spread continues to widen away from the brief inversion that took place Tuesday. 2-year TSY yields are richer by ~3bp on the day while long-end of the curve cheapens almost 3bp -- 2s10s spread steeper by 5bp; wides of the day more than 8bp. U.S. 10-year yields around 2.41%, with bunds and gilts trading 4bp and 1bp cheaper in the sector. Long-end Treasuries underperformed, cheaper on the day and following wider losses across bunds and gilts. Early gains in Asia spurred by Bank of Japan bond-buying operations, especially at long end of the curve which pushed Japanese government bond yields lower. IG dollar issuance slate includes three SOFR deals and a Misc Bhd 3Y/5Y; four issuers priced $5.1b Tuesday, takes weekly total to around $9b vs. $20b to $25b projected European bonds slid, led by shorter maturities as traders bet higher inflation will force the European Central Bank to end its era of negative rates sooner than previously anticipated. German two-year yields, among the most sensitive to changes in the key policy rate, are on course for their first close above zero since 2014. The German curve bear-flattens, cheapening ~7bps across the short end. ECB-dated OIS rates point to a zero percent depo rate by the October meeting, red pack Euribor drops up to 9.5 ticks. USTs bull steepen, with 2y yields up 5bps. Gilts are comparatively quiet. Peripheral spreads tighten to core. In commodities, crude futures advanced with WTI adding ~2% near $106.25. Base metals trade in the green; LME aluminum rises over 3%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,919/oz. European natural gas surges as much as 15% after Germany triggered an emergency plan to brace for a potential Russian gas cut-off. Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases include German CPI for March and Italian PPI for February, whilst in the US there’s the ADP’s report of private payrolls for March and the third estimate of Q4 GDP. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, and the ECB’s Holzmann, Wunsch, Makhlouf and Panetta, along with the Fed’s Barkin and George, and BoE Deputy Governor Broadbent. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,609.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.7% to 458.63 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.64% Euro up 0.4% to $1.1131 Brent Futures up 1.8% to $112.22/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,922.70   U.S. Dollar Index down 0.41% to 98.00 MXAP up 0.7% to 181.73 MXAPJ up 1.3% to 595.64 Nikkei down 0.8% to 28,027.25 Topix down 1.2% to 1,967.60 Hang Seng Index up 1.4% to 22,232.03 Shanghai Composite up 2.0% to 3,266.60 Sensex up 0.9% to 58,467.18 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 7,514.52 Kospi up 0.2% to 2,746.74 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Skeptical NATO allies are evaluating whether Russia’s promise to scale back military operations in Ukraine marks a turning point in the conflict or simply a tactical shift as attacks were still reported near Kyiv ECB President Christine Lagarde said Russia’s invasion poses “significant risks to growth” and has introduced “considerable uncertainty” into the economic outlook. At the same time, sticky energy costs, increasing food prices and persistent bottlenecks “are likely to take inflation higher,” she said The initial reaction to the prospect of a peace deal in Ukraine shows how the most important trades in markets are now all about inflation. Equities, Treasuries and the yen all rallied, underscoring how investing is being filtered through an inflation-driven prism rather than by a peace dividend, according to strategists In the third week of March, redemptions from China equity funds were the highest since early 2021, while outflows from Chinese bond funds exceeded $1 billion for the first time ever, according to data provider EPFR Global. That’s after regulators made promises this month to ensure policies are more transparent and predictable U.S. trade chief Katherine Tai said it’s time to forget about changing China’s behavior and instead take a more defensive posture toward the world’s second- biggest economy Germany triggered an emergency plan to brace for a potential Russian gas cut-off, as President Vladimir Putin steps up demands that the crucial fuel should be paid for in rubles Germany faces a “considerable risk” of lower output and possibly even a recession because of its high dependency on Russian energy, according to a panel of advisers to Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Even without a gas-supply shutoff, the Council of Economic Experts prediction is that gross domestic product will rise just 1.8% this year, down from a November projection of 4.6% BOE’s Broadbent sees an unprecedented external hit to the U.K.’s national income as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “has led to substantial rises in the cost of energy and other commodities” India’s government is considering a proposal from Russia to use a system developed by the Russian central bank for bilateral payments, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as the Asian nation seeks to buy oil and weapons from the sanctions-hit country A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mostly positive amid optimism from Russia-Ukraine talks in which negotiators discussed a ceasefire and with Russia to scale down military activity in Kyiv and Chernihiv, although the US was unconvinced. ASX 200 gained on continued tech strength and with consumer stocks helped on Budget support measures. Nikkei 225 fell beneath the 28,000 level after weaker than expected Retail Sales and as the Yen nursed losses. Hang Seng and were underpinned after continued PBoC liquidity efforts and amid a deluge ofShanghai Comp. earnings including from large banks in which Bank of China and China Construction Bank both topped estimates Top Asian News China’s Growth Outlook Worsens as Lockdown Fears Escalate U.S., India Officials Set to Hold Security Meetings in April Logan Unit Warns About Ability to Meet Bond-Repayment Demands China Tech Stocks Pare Gains After Reports on Online Video Curbs European equities (Eurostoxx 50 -0.8%) are mostly lower as optimism from Ukraine/Russia updates yesterday fades and inflation concerns were further bolstered by regional German CPIs. FTSE 100 (+0.1%) remains afloat following gains in Energy and Basic Resources names Top European News BOE’s Broadbent Sees Unprecented External Hit to National Income ECB’s Lagarde Says Costs of War Increase the Longer It Lasts Spanish Inflation Unexpectedly Soars to Almost 10% on War Citi Workers Stay Home as London Power Cut Disrupts Canary Wharf In FX, Yen repatriation offsets BoJ yield intervention to keep recovery intact - Usd/Jpy extends sharp retreat to circa 121.31 from 125.10 on Monday. Euro inflated by significantly stronger than expected preliminary CPI prints and further EGB/UST yield convergence - Eur Usd takes out recent peak and probes Fib retracement in decent option expiry zone before fading around 1.1160. Kiwi rebounds on strong building approvals and improvements in NBNZ survey readings - NzdUsd firmly above 0.6950 and AudNzd back under 1.0800. Dollar drifts ahead of ADP and more Fed commentary, with under 98.000. In commodities, WTI and Brent have continued to pare back some of the aggressive selling pressure seen during yesterday’s session. From a technical standpoint, May’22 WTI has made it back up to USD 107.30 vs. yesterday’s peak of USD 107.84, whilst June’22 Brent sits at 113.05 vs. yesterday’s peak of USD 114.83. US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude -3.0mln (exp. -1.0mln), Gasoline -1.4mln (exp. -1.7mln), Distillate -0.2 (exp. -1.6mln), Cushing -1.1mln. US House Energy and Commerce Committee is to hold a hearing next week with six oil company executives regarding rising gas prices, according to Reuters. Germany declares "Early Warning" stage of gas supply emergency to prepare for possible escalation by Russia; says no current gas supply shortages. India is to increase natural gas prices for April-Sept to USD 6.10/mmbtu from USD 2.90mmbtu currently, according to Reuters sources. Spot gold traded sideways and only marginally benefitted from the weaker greenback. US Event Calendar 07:00: March MBA Mortgage Applications, prior -8.1% 08:15: March ADP Employment Change, est. 450,000, prior 475,000 08:30: 4Q PCE Core QoQ, est. 5.0%, prior 5.0% 08:30: 4Q GDP Price Index, est. 7.1%, prior 7.1% 08:30: 4Q Personal Consumption, est. 3.1%, prior 3.1% 08:30: 4Q GDP Annualized QoQ, est. 7.0%, prior 7.0% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap The last two times that the 2s10s first inverted during the cycle occurred when I was on holiday (August 22nd 2019 and way back on December 27th 2005). Proving that the yield curve is no respecter of my two-week holiday starting tomorrow, 2s10s teasingly dipped its toes into negative territory after Europe closed yesterday before discretely re-steepening into the US close (at 2.4bps). Nevertheless, the headline damage was done. The momentum has been toward flatter curves for a while, so this moment has felt inevitable even if it happened quicker than we expected. It is surely only a matter of time before we close inverted. I'll likely be on holiday when it does so see you in a couple of weeks. First stop a diagnostic and steroid injection today in my back. Henry and Tim will be taking care of the EMR in my absence. First stop LEGOLAND and the Natural History Museum at the end of this week. The latter to see some dinosaurs that aren't Daddy. See you on the other side. Back to the curve and 2s10s has now flattened -75.0bps YTD, -17.4bps of which have come over the last two days amidst heightened bond market volatility, which showed no signs of calming yesterday with 2yr and 10yr Treasuries again trading in a wide range. 2yr yields were +12.3bps higher as New York walked in before finishing the day up +3.7bps, while 10yr yields went from +7.4bps higher early in the day to as low as -8.2bps, before closing down -6.4bps. US yields are another -5 to -6bps lower in Asia as I type so 15 to 20bps off the highs 18 hours ago. Yields hit their intraday peaks at this point alongside the peak in optimism around potential peace talks covered in more detail below. Having said that there were other important bond milestones yesterday. 2yr German debt moved into positive territory in trading for the first time since 2014, although by the close it was “only” up +6.2bps at -0.07%. Note German inflation is coming out later today and the NRW region has just come out at a very high 7.6% which likely means the 6.2% national average expected is going to be beaten. So maybe more grounds for bond volatility today. Also Italian PPI is out. Remember last month this hit an astonishing 41.8% YoY. This all comes as the Ukraine developments yesterday led to growing conviction that the ECB would commence liftoff in its policy rates this calendar year, and the amount of ECB tightening priced for 2022 went all the way up to +62.1bps by the close, surpassing their previous peak prior to the invasion. At the same time, yields on 10yr bunds (+5.3bps), OATs (+4.9bps) and BTPs (+0.9bps) all hit multi-year highs of their own even if 10yr bunds closed at 0.63, -10bps below its intraday highs of 0.73%. As discussed near the top, the last leg of the global yield spike higher came as peace hopes exploded in the middle of the European session. However the spike in nominal yields was very short lived as commodities fell back following the positive news, dragging breakevens down with them. This followed some of the most optimistic headlines we’ve seen since the conflict began. In particular, Russia said it would “dramatically reduce” its military operations around Kyiv, and their chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said that Ukraine’s proposals would be passed onto President Putin for a response. Meanwhile Ukraine’s negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said that the agreement offered would see both sides “resolve issues linked to Crimea and the city of Sevastopol though bilateral negotiations”, which Russia has occupied since 2014. So although it’s worth pointing out that we don’t even have a ceasefire yet, the fact that both sides might be edging closer towards one another has seen markets reduce the perceived likelihood of further escalation scenarios. The alternative view is that the Russians are simply diverting resources to other areas and this is purely tactical. So it's still a long way from being over but the tail risks seem to be reducing. This growing optimism was evident across multiple asset classes, with European equities moving back up to levels not seen since the conflict began. Indeed, the STOXX 600 (+1.74%) closed at its highest level since February 17, having now recovered by +13.85% since its closing low just 3 weeks earlier. The S&P 500 (+1.23%) also advanced, which reduced its YTD losses to just -2.82%, whilst the NASDAQ was up +1.84%. While fixed income volatility has taken off, equity volatility continues to fall as indices rally and risk sentiment improves. The VIX fell another -0.73ppts yesterday to 18.9ppts, having fallen 13 of the last 16 days after reaching its highest level in over a year earlier in the month. Oil prices had a significant reaction as well, with Brent Crude falling by about $10/bbl between its intraday high and low just a couple of hours apart, before settling -0.94% lower at $111.42/bbl. And the euro itself strengthened by +0.92% to move just shy of $1.11. When it comes to the Fed, the added optimism did not do much to alter pricing this year, as it seems markets have already internalised that the Fed is now less inclined to let war get in the way of the hiking cycle. Expectations for a 50bp hike at the May meeting remain high, having oscillated between 65% and 80% since last Monday, finishing yesterday near the upper end of that range at 75%. The only speaker of note was Philadelphia Fed President Harker, who said that he wouldn’t take 50bps off the table for May, but expected “a series of deliberate, methodical hikes as the year continues”. The jobs report on Friday as well as the CPI report on April 12 will be very important ahead of the Fed’s decision in early May. Asian stock markets are mostly trading in positive territory. The Hang Seng (+1.15%) is up after shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent rose more than +2%. Meanwhile, shares of China Evergrande Group will “remain suspended until further notice” as per yesterday’s announcement by the firm. Chinese stocks opened higher with the Shanghai Composite (+1.28%) and CSI (+1.40%) leading gains across the region. Elsewhere, the Kospi (+0.25%) is trading up, building on gains in the previous session. Bucking the trend is the Nikkei (-1.27%) after giving up its earlier session gains as the Japanese Yen strengthened (~1.0%) against the US Dollar. Data showed that Japan’s retail sales (-0.8% m/m) fell for the third straight month in February, exceeding market expectations for a -0.3% loss and after falling -0.9% last month. Moving on, the S&P 500 (-0.12%), Nasdaq (-0.11%) and DAX (-0.15%) futures are all slightly down. On the data side yesterday, there were a number of interesting releases from the US, which collectively pointed to inflationary pressures still in the pipeline. In particular, the total number of job openings in February came in at 11.266m (vs. 11m expected), which means that the number of job openings per unemployed moved back up to its second highest ever level, at 1.80 openings per unemployed person. Furthermore, the quits rate also ticked back up to 2.9%, just shy of its record 3.0% back in November and December. Otherwise, the FHFA house price index was up +1.6% in January (vs. +1.2% expected), and that was the fastest monthly gain in 7 months. Meanwhile, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure ticked up slightly to 107.2 (vs. 107.0 expected), but there was a growing divergence between the present situation reading, which rose to 153.0, unlike the expectations measure at 76.6, which hit its lowest level since February 2014. To the day ahead now, and data releases include German CPI for March and Italian PPI for February, whilst in the US there’s the ADP’s report of private payrolls for March and the third estimate of Q4 GDP. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, and the ECB’s Holzmann, Wunsch, Makhlouf and Panetta, along with the Fed’s Barkin and George, and BoE Deputy Governor Broadbent. Tyler Durden Wed, 03/30/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMar 30th, 2022

25 HR leaders building the world"s most innovative, inclusive workplaces amid upheaval in corporate America

Meet the human-resources managers helping employees learn critical job skills, develop into effective leaders, and advance quickly in their careers. Kazi Awal/InsiderInsider compiled its third annual "HR Innovators" list of 25 prominent figures. Some of this year's most innovative HR leaders (shown above, starting from the left) are Sara Cooper, Karsten Vagner, Shirley J. Knowles, and Elaine Mak.Rachel Mendelson/Insider The "Great Resignation" and the transition to hybrid work have put tremendous pressure on HR. Insider put out an open call for talent heads who are leading successfully during the pandemic. Our list spans industries and includes human-resources leaders from Cisco, Maven, and Wiley. Insider recently undertook a search for human-resources leaders executing the most creative and ambitious plans for their companies.For a third year in a row, we asked our readers to tell us about HR stars. Then, we picked 25 who really impressed us. We looked for execs who bettered their companies through new policies regarding worker safety and wellness amid the pandemic, the "Great Resignation," and louder calls for diversity and inclusion. These talent professionals work across industries and at organizations of all sizes, including Cisco, Meta, and Wiley.Women hold most HR positions, and our list reflects that, with Insider featuring only a handful of people who are men or nonbinary. This was unintentional but not surprising.With workplace dynamics in flux, these executives are shaping the future of corporate America. They're building long-term policies around flexible work, finding new ways to attract talent, and addressing inequities that leave certain demographics at a disadvantage.Their accomplishments include promoting 30% of the workforce in one year, building early-career programs for underrepresented talent, and helping employees find programs to meet their educational goals. Cassie Whitlock, BambooHR's director of HR, said, "The pandemic elevated core 'human' needs that have always existed in business but were, for some, easy to ignore."In no particular order, here are the top 25 innovators in HR and their exclusive insights on reimagining work. These responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.Shirley J. Knowles, chief inclusion and diversity officer at Progress SoftwareShirley J. Knowles.Courtesy of Shirley J KnowlesCompany: Progress is a software company that offers custom software for creating and deploying business applications.Skills they've used to be successful in HR: Authenticity is an important core value. In conversations about diversity and inclusion, I use real-world scenarios — including my own experiences — to illustrate why this work is essential. I don't use buzzwords that many people are unclear of. I talk about things in a way that anyone can understand.How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: I have taken a particular interest in the well-being of our employees, specifically their mental and emotional health. We offer fitness classes, meditation sessions, and mental-health training led by a Harvard professor who is also a licensed mental-health counselor.By offering exercises that focus on burnout, avoiding isolation, and finding meaning in work and one's personal life, I am helping employees find balance while trying to navigate through the ongoing pandemic.Francine Katsoudas, executive vice president and chief people, policy, and purpose officer at CiscoFrancine Katsoudas.Courtesy of Francine KatsoudasCompany: Cisco develops, manufactures, and sells networking hardware, telecom equipment, and other IT services and products.How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: In early 2020, right before the pandemic, we established our Social Justice Beliefs and Actions at Cisco outlining our ambitious goals for addressing injustice and establishing a framework to hold the company accountable to its commitments.Although we didn't know it at the time, this blueprint would guide our approach to social-justice issues that arose over the course of the pandemic. While these beliefs and actions were first focused on supporting the Black community, they have become an invaluable working guide to how we as a company respond to injustice and address inequities overall.Initiatives they've taken to address the effects of the Great Resignation: Every quarter, we conduct "engagement pulses" to check in with employees about top-of-mind issues and concerns. We've found that employees who aren't invited to participate in an engagement-pulse meeting are 21 times as likely to leave Cisco than their invited counterparts.We've also done more work to understand people's career trajectories within Cisco, examining the velocity of promotions for groups and individuals. As a result, we're proud to have promoted 30% of our workforce over the past 12 months.Books, podcasts, shows, or movies that inspire them: I'm reading "Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph'' by Chad Sanders, who is powerful and inspiring. It was recommended to me by a leader here at Cisco. He said that it reminded him of his experience in corporate America. So by reading it, I have gotten to feel more proximate to his experience and journey, and that has been a wonderful gift.McKensie Mack, CEO at MMGMcKensie Mack.Courtesy of McKensie MackCompany: McKensie Mack Group is a research- and change-management firm that centers on racial and social justice.What initiatives they have taken to address the Great Resignation: Last year, in collaboration with Project Include, we published research on the impact of COVID-19 on remote workers. We developed and shared resources and guiding principles for leaders looking for support and education in reframing how they think about work, benefits, and productivity. Skills they've used to be successful in HR: My training and education as a transformative justice facilitator help me bring a restorative framework to the ways I work with people, de-escalate when situations get tense or uncomfortable, and seek noncarceral and nonpunitive approaches to working with people who make mistakes or cause harm.My knowledge of power, privilege, and positionality has been valuable in HR.Cassie Whitlock, director of HR at BambooHRCassie Whitlock.Courtesy of Cassie WhitlockCompany: BambooHR provides HR software for businesses. Skills they've used to be successful in HR: Understanding data and analysis has been essential in elevating my impact across the organization. Using data has helped me identify and solve complex challenges around screening and hiring, role progression, designing department structures, employee engagement, and retention. Data is the language of business, and it's critical in HR. How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: Diversity starts with hiring practices. We had already implemented essential diversity, equity, and inclusion hiring practices like gender decoding on our job ads, diversity representation in the screening process, scorecards for consistent and equitable screening criteria, and antibias training for all hiring managers and interviewers. We also looked at internal diversity to understand how to best support employees. We adapted some roles to help working parents juggle remote work and homeschooling. We offered paid time off for employees who contracted COVID-19 or had to provide care for a family member with the virus. It was also essential to create income stability for employees with personal or family health risk factors.Sara Cooper, chief people officer at JobberSara Cooper.Courtesy of Sara CooperCompany: Jobber provides job tracking and customer-management software for home-service businesses.How the events of the pandemic affected their view of HR's role: The pandemic required HR leaders to be very quick on their feet, to make fast decisions often with little information and in an environment changing by the day. There was no pandemic playbook.The most successful companies did this by creating plans that took into account the evolving information almost daily and listening to their employees and customers. How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: We realized early in the pandemic that performance during this time had to be approached in a very different way.For example, we implemented "wellness Fridays" in the summers of 2020 and 2021, which provided employees with Fridays off to focus on self-care. In addition, we offered various programs for folks who needed to reduce their hours or take job-protected leaves to focus on themselves or their families. When we eventually reopen our offices, we will be moving to a hybrid structure.I realized early on that there's no single solution for every company but that the key to creating a thriving hybrid environment requires the input of the company's most important stakeholders: its employees.Danielle McMahan, chief people and business-operations officer at WileyDanielle McMahan.WileyCompany: Wiley is a global leader in scientific research and career-connected education.Initiatives they've taken to address the effects of the Great Resignation: We offer employees over 1,000 flexible and affordable degree and nondegree programs, including bachelor's and master's programs. As a global leader in research and education, we practice what we preach to unlock potential and support lifelong learning.How the events of the pandemic affected their view of HR's role: We transformed our department to become more people-centric: focusing on people rather than processes. To formally acknowledge this shift, we said goodbye to "human resources" and renamed our department the People Organization. Our employees are at the center of all that we do.Their favorite interview question: "Tell me your story." I love to hear people's career journeys, and it allows the candidate to reflect on what roles they've held in the past and how those roles inform the type of job they're looking for today.Through these stories, I also typically get to know the candidate personally. I am able to learn what is important to them and what they value. Susan LaMonica, chief human-resources officer, head of corporate social responsibility at Citizens Financial GroupSusan LaMonica.Courtesy of Susan LaMonicaCompany: Citizens Financial Group is one of the nation's oldest and largest financial institutions offering a wide variety of retail and commercial banking products.How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: I've played a role in introducing initiatives such as the TalentUp program, which aims to reshape Citizens' workforce and prepare it for continual innovation focused on talent acquisition, reskilling and upskilling, mobility, and redeployment, partnerships, and expanding the talent pipeline.As a result of the program, in 2020, there were nearly 100 new hires sourced directly from early-career programs, with a significant segment identifying as women and people of color. With my main focus being democratization, I have ensured managers have the training and resources available to create equitable and inclusive environments for all colleagues. My team also began tying accountability goals to performance reviews to ensure managers prioritize democratization within their teams while understanding and working to eliminate biases at work.Books, podcasts, shows, or movies that inspire them: "How I Built This" with Guy Raz on NPR is my favorite podcast. Each episode highlights a well-known entrepreneur and their journey. I enjoy learning about the people and the journey behind many successful companies and brands. I'm inspired by the vision and tenacity of these entrepreneurs, many of whom had repeated failures.Ashley Alexander, head of people at FrontAshley Alexander.Front via InkHouseCompany: Front is a software company that develops a shared email inbox and calendar product. How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Once we made the decision to transition to remote work, my mission was to ensure that our employees felt supported and connected. We doubled down on activities that fostered a sense of community, like our weekly all-hands meetings on Zoom, ask-me-anything sessions with our executives, and virtual companywide off-site activities.Why they pursued a career in HR: I got into HR because I wanted to help people, but throughout the course of my career, this idea has dramatically expanded. I now view my role as an employee advocate. I strive to demystify why things happen at a company the way they happen. I've found that even if they aren't happy with everything that happens in a company, if they understand our choices, ultimately, they can respect them.Lori Goler, head of people at MetaLori Goler.Courtesy of Lori GolerWhat their company does: Meta is the parent company of Facebook.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: We were the first tech company to shut down our offices, and employees began to work from home. We established an emergency-paid-leave program designed to give people time off for "in the moment emergencies," including eldercare, childcare, and school closures. We developed and executed a global return-to-office health strategy across 60 sites to enable a safe transition for those coming back to the office and created an office-deferral program for those who were not yet ready to return.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: Meta committed publicly to have at least 50% of our workforce composed of underrepresented groups by 2024 and to increase the number of US-based leaders who are people of color by 30%. We announced in our eighth annual diversity report that in 2021, we increased representation of women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities and veterans to 45.6% of our workforce. This will continue to be a focus for us.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: This year, we introduced a number of new benefits, including a wellness-reimbursement benefit of up to $3,000 annually that people can use for expenses like financial planning, tuition reimbursement, fitness equipment and services, childcare for children over the age of 5, and eldercare. We also launched "choice days," which gives people an additional two days off per year to use however they choose, and we increased our 401(k)-match program to help people save more for retirement.Kali Beyah, global chief talent officer at HugeKali Beyah.HugeWhat their company does: Huge is a digital design and marketing agency. Clients include Google, Coca-Cola, and Unilever.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: Whether giving mental-health days, reimagining our return to the office, extending summer Fridays, flexing for childcare, shifting to "no-meeting Fridays," or continuing to invest in development, transparency, wellness workshops/resources, and DEI — we've taken a holistic and evolving approach.The constant as we evolve is that we listen to our people regularly, and we are authentic in our responses.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We are reimagining the future of work as the world not only encounters the "Great Resignation" but also the "Great Reevaluation." Our reimagining includes things such as "Huge holidays" (closure and collective recharging three weeks a year), "Huge summer" (work from anywhere in July), "no-meeting Fridays," and summer Fridays.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: We have an opportunity to reimagine work and the role it plays in people's lives — and we have an exciting opportunity to debunk false binaries and prove that people and businesses can both thrive.Lauren Nuttall, vice president of people at Boulevard LabsLauren Nuttall.Courtesy of Lauren NuttallCompany: Boulevard is a client-experience platform built for appointment-based self-care businesses.How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: I opted to take Boulevard 100% remote early on in the pandemic in March 2020. However, as the pandemic persisted into 2021, I realized that with the significant paradigm shift around the viability of remote work, coupled with the growing employee (and candidate) interest in staying fully remote, we needed to deepen our commitment.That meant giving up our physical office space altogether and allowing all employees to move wherever they want in the US without it negatively impacting their existing compensation package. Additionally, the need for better virtual access to mental health and high-quality medical care prompted the decision to bring on One Medical to provide complimentary subscriptions to all employees and their dependents.How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: One of the programs that I'm most proud of was a virtual-speaker series where we sought to highlight and amplify underrepresented voices within the beauty and wellness industry.We invited a massage-business owner that catered specifically to LGBTQIA+ clientele for one of the sessions. This created a dialogue around how even limited pronoun options within a booking workflow can be harmful and resulted in us making actual changes to our product to better represent our customers and their clients. Surfacing these opportunities to educate and create dialogue can have incredible ripple effects.Tanya Reu-Narvaez, executive vice president and chief people officer at RealogyTanya Reu-Narvaez.Courtesy of Tanya Reu-NarvaezWhat their company does: Realogy is a real-estate-services firm that owns brokerages including Century 21, Sotheby's International Realty, and Corcoran. How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: To help increase representation in the industry, we established a new partnership with the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America and expanded the Inclusive Ownership program, an industry-first initiative designed to attract brokerage owners from underrepresented communities to launch their own franchise businesses.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We have a Go Further Today program where we've made small but impactful changes that decrease meeting and email fatigue and increase efficiency by working smarter.We have no internal meetings on Fridays, encourage employees to make smart decisions about whether to accept or decline meetings, and embrace an "exhale, then email" philosophy to help mitigate the pressure of email overload we're all facing. These are small but mighty changes that make a significant difference for our teams.Noa Geller, vice president of HR at Papaya GlobalNoa Geller.Eyal TouegWhat their company does: Papaya Global is a cloud-based payroll platform. How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We added a learning and development budget for every employee to choose the development course that is meaningful and impactful to them. Driven from our employee-engagement survey, we took initiatives to support work-life balance, such as a work-from-anywhere benefit, allowing our employees to work up to one month per year outside of their home region.Also driven from our engagement survey, we are implementing more trainings around best practices and tools to ease the burnout that is a part of a hypergrowth company during COVID times.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: During the pandemic, the HR role became an even more crucial role within every organization. We were proactively working to support COVID policies and work-from-home best practices, and many of these things were unprecedented.HR managers really had to be innovative and creative — and in a very short amount of time. We have supported managers in learning how to manage remotely, how to navigate illnesses and emotional distress among their employees, as well as help employees remain connected to their teams and the company, while not only fully remote but often completely isolated.Tara Ataya, chief people and diversity officer at HootsuiteTara Ataya.HootsuiteWhat their company does: Hootsuite is a social-media-management platform whose clients include Ikea and Costco.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: We restructured the global offices to be used as creative hubs, built for collaboration and social connection, with a special focus on health and mental wellness.In addition, employees were granted the autonomy and benefits they needed to reshape their work environment to choose what works best for them by restructuring our workplace policy so every employee can choose if they wish to work full time in office, remote, or take a hybrid approach.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: During the pandemic, we built on our partnership with the Black Professionals in Tech Network in Canada to help end systemic racism in the technology sector by providing Black professionals with equal access to opportunities in tech, an expanded peer network, and support in accelerating career growth.This helped foster a stronger sense of belonging in the workplace by joining an allyship training with the Black Professionals in Tech Network, along with 125 Hootsuite employees, including all members of the executive team, about best practices for sourcing Black talent.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: The pandemic shifted HR teams from being the best-kept secret superpower to the front-and-center compass for navigating through the most difficult time many organizations and generations have ever faced. The role of HR is one of strategy, that is adept at navigating uncertainty with agility and enables the business to drive meaningful business results with people in mind.Félix Manuel Chinea, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging manager at DoximityFélix Manuel Chinea.Courtesy of Félix Manuel ChineaWhat their company does: Doximity is a professional medical network for physicians. The company went public in June.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: My focus during the pandemic has been to make DEI initiatives at Doximity meaningful, impactful, and tangible across the whole organization.By aligning DEI with our company mission and values, we are able to both directly support our employees and empower them to make a meaningful impact in their communities during and beyond the pandemic.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: The Great Resignation has given us an opportunity to reflect on what makes working at our company fulfilling. Our organizational purpose at Doximity is to connect medical professionals and build clinical tools that will ultimately impact patient care. Amid a global pandemic and demand for racial justice, I believe our purpose allows us the opportunity to both attract and retain top talent and make a meaningful impact on health equity across historically marginalized communities.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: Both the pandemic and recent demands for racial justice have highlighted the long-standing need for all leaders to develop solutions and cultures that recognize the full humanity of employees.While every person is responsible for fostering an equitable and inclusive culture, DEI leaders must develop a strategic understanding of how to integrate these concepts into their company's organizational structure.Gloria Chen, chief people officer at AdobeGloria Chen.Courtesy of Gloria ChenWhat their company does: Adobe is a global software company. How they've supported employees during the pandemic: What I am most proud of during the pandemic is not what the company has done for our employees but what our employees have done for each other.When India was overcome by the Delta surge, and our employees and their families were ravaged by COVID, our employees created a phone tree to locate hospital beds, located oxygen to bring to hospitals, and cooked and delivered meals to families in quarantine. Our employees were truly our heroes.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: In 2020, our diversity and inclusion team and our Black Employee Network launched the Taking Action Initiative task force to explore and drive actions we could take to make meaningful change internally and externally to the company.The effort led to strategic partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and a sponsorship program to support career advancement for underrepresented individuals.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: Having stepped into the role of chief people officer in February 2020, my entire HR experience has been shaped by the pandemic.I learned that the basics of human needs — physical and mental health, a sense of security, and connectedness — cannot be taken for granted in a professional setting. During the pandemic, we lost one of our beloved cofounders. That gave me a tremendous sense of responsibility as a longtime Adobe employee to carry the torch for the values that they instilled in us.Kim Seymour, chief people officer at WW InternationalKim Seymour.WWWhat their company does: WW International (formerly known as Weight Watchers) offers a program for weight loss and wellness.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts during the pandemic: WW recently released an extensive report titled "Black Women & Wellness" to shed light on the disparities and biases that Black women face within the healthcare system today.The report showcases what is being done by changemakers within their communities to create safe spaces, better access to healthcare, and underscore why Black women deserve health, wellness, and quality healthcare.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: Some of our most recent investments to address potential employee burnout include offering Sibly for resilience, One Medical for convenient medical care, and ClassPass for fitness goals. All of our employees at WW are also members and have access to the WW program.In addition to a personal-well-being allowance of $1,000 per employee, my team also created "flex Fridays," which allows employees to start their weekend early by redistributing the hours they work the remainder of that week, whether that's a Zoom-free Friday afternoon or signing off early.Manish Mehta, global head of human resources at BlackRockManish Mehta.Courtesy of Manish MehtaWhat their company does: BlackRock is a global investment manager that employs 16,000 people and manages more than $10 trillion in assets.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: We are fortunate to have over 80% of our employees participate in one of our 15 global employee, professional, and social impact networks.Each network is sponsored by one or more of our Global Executive Committee members who engage with them to help navigate important cultural and strategic topics. I am a sponsor of our Asian and Middle Eastern Professionals network, which was formally launched in 2021.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We supported and enabled managers through training modules on delivering feedback, effectively setting objectives and managing performance, motivating and managing teams, and having productive conversations on returning our people to the office.We sustained our focus on career development. This includes career pathing in areas like technology, development programs for our emerging vice-president leaders, and our Black and Latinx managing directors and directors, and increasing our sponsorship programs.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: I have seen the difference HR can make in people's lives. Helping people navigate the loss of a loved one or a colleague, supporting the family of an employee we've lost, recognizing and helping those suffering from mental-health challenges, being there to listen and act when an employee does not feel like they belong, growing our benefits to respond to what employees are dealing with in their lives — these are just some of the things that HR does that are not always seen.Karsten Vagner, senior vice president of people at Maven ClinicKarsten Vagner.Courtesy of Karsten VagnerWhat their company does: Maven Clinic is a virtual platform that provides support across fertility, pregnancy, adoption, parenting, and pediatrics.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Some of the companywide initiatives and programs included Donut, a Slack-integrated app, to help employees maintain that serendipitous connection they've all come to love at the office.We also experimented with other virtual events, like weekly "coffeehouse cabaret" sessions with Broadway talent over Google Hangouts, cooking challenges, a companywide talent show, Halloween in April for employees' children, and more. How they've supported their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: Working with Maven's people team, the company created employee working groups devoted to getting feedback about various aspects of Maven's business. While it was rewarding to see employee feedback come to life, what I'm most proud of is the fact that neither I nor the executive team did this work in a silo.Our DEI program was completely ground up and centered on employee needs. And it continues to be to this day. The work our organization has done — in recruiting, partnerships, volunteering, product— it's all been led by our employees.How they've supported their employees during the Great Resignation: To combat work-related stress, Maven introduced new programs to support employees' mental health, including group sessions with Maven's mental-health providers and career coaches, mandatory mental-health days, twice-a-week no-meeting blocks, and several weeks where employees had time to recharge and unwind.Elaine Mak, chief people officer at ValimailElaine Mak.Courtesy of Elaine MakWhat their company does: Valimail is a cloud-native platform for validating and authenticating sender identity to avoid phishing, spoofing, and brand hijacking.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: As the pandemic unfolded, it was an opportunity to lay a strategic foundation on Valimail's organizational design to serve a dual purpose: Drive talent acquisition and retention and seat people at the table to become an integral voice in making decisions that affect them.In 18 months, my team has refreshed Valimail's company mission, values, and strategy to explicitly prioritize and resource people and DEI efforts. My team has also pivoted the leadership model to a cross-functional structure that distributes power, agency, and autonomy of decision-makers across levels.I've also led the people team to expand and diversify the leadership team at Valimail to ensure appropriate voices and perspectives have a seat at the table to inform strategic decisions. How they've supported their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: We empowered a DEI committee resourced with an executive sponsor and budget focused on wellness initially to address burnout. Along with other company efforts, we have the foundation to execute a strategic road map on DEI education and development and further cement DEI at the heart of our business and people strategy.Lastly, our efforts in people and DEI culminated in an employer-brand makeover that authentically reflects a day-to-day reality where people-first is core to our culture.Kerris Hougardy, vice president of people at AdaKerris Hougardy.AdaWhat their company does: Ada is an automation platform that powers brand interactions between companies and their customers.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Ada's first priority during the pandemic was to assess the health and safety of its employees and to implement an immediate change to the work environment.The transition to a full-remote, digital-first culture required Ada to ensure its employees could work and communicate effectively.Our employee-relations team is on hand to support anyone going through work or personal issues. We have a wellness fund for each employee to get access to support — mental health and physical, access to ClassPass, and lunch and learns where they can listen to speakers around burnout and resiliency.How have the events of the pandemic affected your view of HR's role? HR is no longer only about hiring and firing employees, but about supporting and engaging with employees as whole humans.People should be able to show up authentically and do their best work, to feel acceptance and belonging, and to feel supported with life's ups and downs.Cheryl Johnson, chief human-resources officer at PaylocityCheryl Johnson.Courtesy of Cheryl JohnsonWhat their company does: Paylocity provides cloud-based payroll- and human-capital-management software.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: My HR leaders collaborated with Paylocity's Diversity Leadership Council to ensure that company benefits intentionally built an inclusive and equitable culture for current and future employees and their families.The group also confirmed that medical plans aligned with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People.For financial flexibility, we rolled out a loan program, offering interest-free loans to any employees in need, along with on-demand payment for early access to earned wages if needed. At the same time, we introduced voluntary furloughs for up to 90 days and implemented an international work program to allow employees to work abroad for up to 90 days.How they've supported their employees during the Great Resignation: We formed task forces to understand why people were leaving but, more importantly, why people were staying. Recently our HR team has found success socializing "stay interviews," which help managers to improve their direct-report relationships, keep at-risk talent, and provide broader insights to build culture and connection.Giving employees greater transparency helps them spot career opportunities and paths to growth. Our HR team is implementing succession planning efforts to identify and develop key talent and give employees more freedom to impact how, where, and when they work. Dave Carhart, vice president of people at LatticeDave Carhart.Courtesy of Dave CarhartWhat their company does: Lattice is a people-management platform that helps leaders build engaged, high-performing teams.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Work was stressful in "normal" pre-COVID times, but the pandemic has created new levels of burnout and exhaustion.Recognizing this, in 2020, I oversaw the rollout of Lattice "recharge days," a number of designated days where the entire company is off on the same day with the explicit goal of stepping away from work mentally. The recharge days has since been made permanent, with six annual recharge days added to our annual calendar on top of national holidays and flexible PTO. How have the events of the pandemic affected your view of HR's role? It's reminded us how critical it is to lead with empathy and represent a very human voice within our workplaces. We are asking people to bring their whole selves and all of their energy and commitment.With that will also come their personal passions, their family commitments, and the individual challenges that they are facing. We need to embrace all of that and come with support for the whole person and their family, too.Marlee Raber Proukou, director of people operations at JetsonMarlee Raber Proukou.Courtesy of Marlee ProukouWhat their company does: Jetson is a personal-mobility-devices company that sells electric bikes, electric scooters, and hoverboards.How they've supported their employees during the Great Resignation: In addition to navigating a global pandemic, our employees have had to adjust to the company's rapid growth, resulting in many being spread thin and approaching burnout.We've tried to address this two ways — focusing on both recruitment and employee appreciation. We built a larger people-operations team to increase our recruitment efforts, bringing in much needed full-time and contract hires to assist with our ever-increasing workload so our employees can enjoy more of a balance.Through bigger efforts, like rewarding our employees with promotions, bonuses, and raises to smaller changes like our new "all-star award" — a peer-nominated cash award presented monthly to an employee who is impacting their teammates — we continuously try to let our employees know we are grateful for them.How have the events of the pandemic affected your view of HR's role? The role has evolved from what many people thought of as traditional HR functions, like payroll and benefits administration, to encompass more people-centric priorities like supporting employees' work-life balance, ensuring a work environment that is both productive and safe, and creating an increasingly diverse workforce.In today's world, a successful HR team is quick-thinking, strategic, and empathetic. Most importantly, we are working to understand and support our employee's personal and professional experiences in what has been an extremely turbulent two years.Karen Craggs-Milne, vice president of ESG at ThoughtExchangeKaren Craggs-Milne.Courtesy of Karen Craggs-MilneWhat their company does: ThoughtExchange is a patented antibias enterprise tool that leaders use to gain insights that inform decision-making.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: With the pandemic causing a global shift to remote work, and recognizing the diverse circumstances of the company's employee base, we brought an equity lens to the people team's COVID-response initiatives.By asking diverse employees what they needed most to navigate the pandemic and how to best support employee well-being across different employee populations, we helped ThoughtExchange identify tailored solutions that made a big difference to employees.Listening to its employees, we offered financial support during school closures so parents could hire tutors, purchase memberships to educational sites or resources, and continue to ensure their children's educational needs were met.What are the skills you have used to be successful in HR? Empathy and patience are arguably the two most important characteristics to grasp when being a leader in HR.Employees want to feel heard and recognized during their time at an organization, and leveraging the ability to understand where all opinions are coming from, and then negotiating the best collective outcomes, is key to maintaining top talent that feels safe and valued within their work environment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 18th, 2022

The 23 best mods for Skyrim that you can install right now

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim supports hundreds of thousands of fan-made mods that overhaul the engine, add new enemies, and more. If you're bored of "vanilla" Skyrim, try these mods.Bethesda The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim supports hundreds of thousands of fan-made mods, with more being added every day. Some of the best Skyrim mods overhaul the game's engine, while others add new enemies. Here are 23 of the best Skyrim mods out there, with links and a short description for each. Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. There are few PC games out there with more mods than The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. It's been more than a decade since the game's original release, giving fans more than enough time to design thousands of unique mods. And like with most games, you can download all of these mods for free and start playing right away.But with so many mods out there, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are worth your time and which are just filler. That's where this guide comes in.We've gathered up 23 of the best, most fun, and most useful mods for any Skyrim fan. Each one comes with a link to the page that you can download it from, and a short primer on what it offers.Important: This guide focuses exclusively on the original PC version of Skyrim — also sometimes called Classic, "Oldrim," or Legendary Edition — not the newer Special Edition. But if you're playing the Special Edition and find a mod here that you're interested in, try searching for it on Nexus Mods' Skyrim Special Edition page. There's a good chance that you'll find a compatible version.The essential Skyrim modding appsBefore you install any mods, you'll need to prepare your copy of Skyrim to work with them. There are two programs in particular that you should install before adding new mods.Skyrim Script ExtenderThe Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE for short) helps Skyrim understand and use mod files, which it wouldn't be able to do normally. This add-on is mandatory for most Skyrim mods.You can download SKSE from its official website. You'll want to use the "classic build" download links. Follow the instructions inside the README file to install it into your computer's main Skyrim directory.VortexThe best place on the internet to find Skyrim mods is Nexus Mods, and for years they offered their own app called Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) to help users organize and keep track of their downloads. NMM is still available, but the Nexus team recently released a heavily upgraded version called Vortex.Vortex can help manage which order your mods load in (very important for Skyrim), quickly download or delete mods, and even set up "profiles" so you can run different sets of mods at different times.You can download Vortex from its Nexus Mods page here. If you scroll down you'll find links to NMM too, if you prefer to go old-school.Vortex is a complete mod manager for Skyrim, along with other games like Fallout and Dark Souls.Nexus ModsLOOT (optional)If you're not going to use a mod manager like Vortex, then you'll still need a way to manage your mods' load order. The best standalone app for that is LOOT, the Load Order Optimization Tool.LOOT will automatically sort your mods for you, making sure that they don't cause any errors when they run. If the app finds any issues, it'll tell you what they are and how to fix them.You can get LOOT from its official Github page here.The best Skyrim modsYou can find Skyrim mods for almost any occasion on Nexus Mods or from the Steam Workshop. Some will add new enemies or weapons, but others just help the game run smoother. Here are our favorites from across the spectrum.Important: Mods can be finicky pieces of software. While we endorse all the following mods, there's no guarantee that they'll work perfectly on your system, or work when running alongside each other. Make sure to follow each mod's instructions carefully when installing them.Mods that make Skyrim run betterIt's no secret that Skyrim is an incredibly buggy game. These mods squash most of those bugs, as well as make the game look better.Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch (USLEEP)Even if you're not interested in mods, you should install USLEEP. This mod fixes hundreds of bugs and glitches from the original release, both minor and game-breaking. It's also designed to run smoothly with most other mods, meaning that it's a great place to start your modding journey.Just note that you'll either need to be playing Legendary Edition or have all of the DLC installed to run this one.SkyUIThe gold standard for Skyrim mods, SkyUI totally revamps the game's menus, world map, inventories, and more. It includes a full-text search bar for sorting through your items, a favorites menu for quickly accessing your best tools, and even a HUD that shows and tracks all the magical effects you're currently under.A comparison between Skyrim's "vanilla" menus (left) and the upgraded menus with SkyUI (right).Bethesda; SkyUI TeamThere are a lot of mods that will require SkyUI to be installed before they'll work, and that's because one of the new menus offered lets you customize your mods while in-game. If you ever see a mod description refer to something called the "MCM," it's SkyUI's "Mod Configuration Menu."SkyUI is easier to use for mouse-and-keyboard players, and takes up less space on the screen than Skyrim's standard UI. Check it out before you start your next playthrough.BethINIOn a Windows computer, .INI files help applications run correctly. Without them, your favorite apps might not know what fonts to use, what size to make the windows, or even how to launch. Unfortunately, Skyrim's .INI files are messy and complicated, which can lead to worse graphics and sometimes even game crashes. BethINI scans Skyrim's .INI files and organizes them in a more coherent fashion. This not only improves the graphics, but can also boost the framerate and keep your game running when it would normally crash.Skyrim HDBack in 2011, Skyrim was a pretty good looking game. But it hasn't aged well in the decade since — something that the Skyrim HD mod seeks to fix.Skyrim HD redesigns nearly every texture in the game, along with all the lighting and weather effects. The result is a vastly prettier and more immersive world to run around in.A comparison between textures in the original Skyrim (left) and the new textures with Skyrim HD (right).Bethesda; NebuLaThe authors of the mod also offer a "Lite" version, which has less upgrades but is designed to run on slower PCs. Download whichever version will run best for your setup.Quality of life modsThese mods reinvent some of Skyrim's more frustrating design choices, making any playthrough much more enjoyable.A Quality World MapThe world map in vanilla Skyrim is pretty barebones. All you get is a cloudy overview of the land with 2D icons to mark fast travel spots — not exactly a cartographer's dream.The Quality World Map mod fixes this by giving you three options for how the map should look, along with an option to remove the clouds overhead. It also draws out every road in the game so you'll always stay on track.You'll see every road in Skyrim clearly laid out on the map.Bethesda; NebuLaJust note that if you're playing the standard version of Skyrim, you'll need to have at least the Dragonborn DLC installed to use this one.Optional Quick StartSkyrim's opening scene, which features your character waking up in the back of a prison wagon, has become an incredibly popular meme over the past few years. But if you're tired of walking through the same scripted cutscene and dungeon, you can skip it.The Optional Quick Start mod lets you skip the game's prologue, dropping you at the end of Helgen Keep. In place of all the gear and weapons you'd usually find by looting, it'll give you a chest with some items instead.Unread Books GlowThere are 337 unique books to read in Skyrim. Almost none of them are mandatory to find, but reading them is a great way to learn more about the game's world and lore.The Unread Books Glow mod keeps track of which books you've read and which ones you still need to check out. Any book that you haven't opened yet will glow blue. It also includes a SkyUI menu that lets you change how bright the glow is.There are three brightness settings for unread books in this mod.Bethesda; duggelzSimply KnockIf you're trying to get past a locked door in Skyrim, you'll need to pick the lock. But why can't you just ask someone else to let you in?The Simply Knock mod adds a special menu to most locked doors that gives you the option to knock instead of breaking in. Every house and some businesses will have an NPC inside that can open the door for you — if you're able to convince them. And if the person living there is your friend, they'll always let you in.Immersive HUDWant to get a better look at the world around you? Immersive HUD is a simple mod that automatically hides the HUD (your health, magic, compass, etc.) when you don't need it. As soon as you enter combat, the HUD will reappear.Mods that improve the AI and NPCsBetween animals, civilians, and enemies, there are hundreds of NPCs in Skyrim. And like in most Elder Scrolls games, they tend to act pretty robotic. These mods make NPCs smarter and stronger, giving your game a bit more realism.Immersive CitizensThe Immersive Citizens mod revamps how Skyrim's citizens react to the world around them. This includes sensible daily schedules, a "Survival Instinct" that keeps them out of danger, the chance to comment on the daily weather, and more. It even tracks which NPCs are family members, making sure they sit down for a meal together each day. Every citizen has a schedule, and different NPCs might cross paths as the day goes on.Bethesda; Arnaud d'OrchymontEvery citizen is assigned a personality and job which decides how they react to you, and what you might find them doing at any given moment. The mod also adds more citizen-to-citizen conversations for you to eavesdrop on. It might sound mundane, but this is one of the best mods for bringing realism to Skyrim. Interesting NPCsSimilarly, the Interesting NPCs mod adds hundreds of fully voiced NPCs, along with over 50 new quests. More than two dozen of these NPCs can be recruited as followers, and you can even marry a few.The mod also comes with its own custom soundtrack, with almost two-dozen "bard songs" composed and performed by members of the modding community. It's like its own miniature DLC pack.Immersive PatrolsSkyrim's open world environment can sometimes feel empty. The Immersive Patrols mod spawns patrolling soldiers around the world, giving you more chances to chat or fight.Every type of soldier also comes with their own set of alliances and enemies. This means that if you're a member of the wrong faction, a patrolling group might attack you on sight — or you might walk into a battle that's already started between two groups.Immersive CreaturesHumans aren't the only ones who deserve mods. The Immersive Creatures mod adds angry goblins, horrible bugmen, wild skeletons, and more to your world. All of these creatures have their own AI, as well as strengths and weaknesses. They're also tougher than the game's standard enemies, making this mod great for anyone who wants a challenge. This monster, called an Ash Hunter, is exclusive to the Immersive Creatures mod.Bethesda; lifestorockUltimate Follower OverhaulThe Ultimate Follower Overhaul (UFO) mod upgrades the follower system in a variety of ways. Not only can you now have up to 15 followers, but they've all got more dialogue, can ride horses, and are easier to control. And depending on when you install the mod, you can remove their level caps too.Alongside a few other quality of life improvements — your followers won't start fights while you're sneaking anymore, for example — this mod is essential for any player who's looking to lead a group of followers.My Home is Your HomeAnother mod for followers, My Home is Your Home lets you give each follower a daily schedule. You can set when they eat, when they work, where they live, and more. You can also create "groups" of followers that will always stick together and follow the same schedules. It works for most pets and horses, too.Convenient HorsesSpeaking of horses, the Convenient Horses mod is a must for any player who prefers to ride on horseback. The mod adds horseback combat to the game, lets you buy armor and equipment for your horses, and adds an "instant horse call" that will get you riding in seconds. It also lets you choose how your horse will act when in combat as well as customize its health and stamina.High Level EnemiesOnce you play Skyrim for long enough, most enemies go from threats to mere annoyances. It's not that their AI is bad — it's just that you're too strong for them to even scratch.The High Level Enemies mod adds special new foes to Skyrim that level up alongside you, meaning that they'll never be outclassed. They won't stop growing until you do.If you're finding Skyrim's late game too easy, check this one out.Mods that add new features or weaponsSome of the best mods for any game are the ones that make you feel like you're playing something entirely new. These mods run the gamut from adding important new items to completely reinventing how you play.Immersive WeaponsTo start, Immersive Weapons adds over 200 new melee weapons to Skyrim. You can find these weapons scattered around the world, or just craft and upgrade them like vanilla ones. The mod's author puts a big emphasis on immersion, so the items fit perfectly into Skyrim's world and lore. If you're just playing for the first time, chances are you won't be able to tell which weapons are new and which ones were always there.The weapons added in this mod are incredibly detailed.Bethesda; Hothtrooper44, Ironman5000, EckssImmersive ArmorsA companion to Immersive Weapons, the Immersive Armors mod adds dozens of new armor pieces to the game, nearly 400 new shields, and a wealth of cosmetic items like capes. You can craft or buy them like normal, or earn them through quests.VioLensIn Skyrim, your character has a variety of "killmoves," which are special animations they might perform when killing the last enemy in a battle. The VioLens mod is one of several that lets you customize your killmoves, as well as change how often they occur. If you've got a favorite killmove — Who doesn't love the German Suplex? — choose it in the mod so it always triggers. It'll even let you perform your killmoves on dragons.iNeed - Food Water and SleepiNeed turns Skyrim from a simple RPG into a survival game. The mod gives your character hunger, thirst, and rest meters which need to be managed daily. Ignoring your character's needs will debuff you, while keeping the meters full helps you. And drinking too much alcohol in a short time will get you drunk, which effects your stats and graphics. If you want to get even more extreme, you can change the mod's settings so letting your meters drop will harm and eventually kill you. And installing two other mods — Wet and Cold and Dangerous Diseases — will add food spoilage and illness too.Trade and BarterSkyrim is a massive country. And yet, most shops offer similar products for the same prices.The Trade and Barter mod adds a new layer to Skyrim's economy by letting you haggle with merchants. Depending on your relationships, you might earn discounts or be forced to overpay. Big cities will charge more than small towns, and the more you spend in one place, the more items they'll offer.Be careful when you approach the merchant too. If you have a weapon drawn, they might get mad and charge you more — or charge you less out of fear.Really Useful DragonsPossibly the most famous Skyrim mod of all time, Really Useful Dragons changes every dragon in the game into a Thomas the Tank Engine character. That's it.Happy modding!The dragon roars are replaced with train whistles, too.Bethesda; TrainwizRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 16th, 2022

US Futures Ignore China Implosion, Reverse Overnight Losses as Oil Tumbles

US Futures Ignore China Implosion, Reverse Overnight Losses as Oil Tumbles Welcome to another rollercoaster session where US equity futures first tumbled alongside the second consecutive day of stocks plunging in China, which also dragged Europe lower, only to hit a U-turn around 5am at which point sentiment reversed higher, ahead of tomorrow’s expected Federal Reserve rate hike and amid mounting risks from the war in Ukraine and a Chinese equity rout. Nasdaq 100 contracts trade 0.5% higher at 7:15 a.m. after earlier slumping as much as 0.8% following the first bear-market close for the first time since March 2020. S&P 500 futures also turned 0.3% green, as did Dow futures. Much of the reversal in sentiment has been attributed to the latest drop in oil which tumbled over $8/bbl or 5.5%, sliding as low as $98 after hitting $139 one week ago. WTI crude oil also fell below $100 a barrel a barrel as traders reassessed the potential impact of disruptions in Russian oil supplies and a decline in demand from China. Iron ore futures fell for a sixth day, the longest streak since September. In other words, commodities are not sliding because of hopes for Russia peace, but because of fears about a global recession, but try explaining it all to algos. Treasuries gained, though the 10-year yield remains near the highest level since 2019. Yields across the euro region also declined. The dollar slipped, while the euro pushed higher and bitcoin dropped again. Earlier in the session, a selloff across Chinese equities deepened as concerns about ties with Russia, a growing covid crisis, and persistent regulatory pressure sent a key index to its lowest level since 2008. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, which tracks Chinese shares listed in Hong Kong, sank 6.6%, following a plunge in the previous session that was the biggest since the global financial crisis. The Hang Seng index tumbled Tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. led the decline. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index slumped 5.7%, its biggest fall since July 2015. China’s equities are looking increasingly risky on concerns that Beijing’s ties with Russia could spark new U.S. sanctions. That’s adding to worries from regulatory developments including a possible delisting from the U.S. exchanges. While upbeat economic data was a rare bright spot in the market, growing lockdowns in major Chinese cities are dimming the outlook. "The selloff is overdone, but so is everything else,” said Andy Maynard, head of equities at China Renaissance Securities. "The market is crazy -- there’s no fundamentals anymore. This might be worse than the 2008 financial crisis." “Risk-off sentiment stemming from both the Russia-Ukraine war and the current wave of Covid-19 in China has driven equity markets sharply weaker this morning,” Siobhan Redford, an analyst at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, said in a client note.  “This has been compounded by falling commodity prices as the intersection between limited supply -- given sanctions on Russia and the war in Ukraine -- and a weaker demand trajectory -- given further waves of the pandemic -- create a perfect storm of sorts.” With zero liquidity, and trigger happy traders looking to sell any rally, swings in S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures signaled another volatile day ahead for U.S. stocks. U.S.-listed Chinese stocks sank again on Tuesday, following a brutal rout in Asia, amid concerns that China’s ties with Russia may bring sanctions to Beijing, while persistent regulatory pressures also weighed. Alibaba (BABA US) fell 6.5% in premarket trading, while rival JD.com (JD US) declined 4.5%. Apple Inc. inched lower, heading toward a bear market -- defined as a 20% drop from recent highs -- on worries that lockdowns in China to contain a surge in Covid-19 cases could worsen supply-chain constraints. Other notable premarket movers: Shares in big U.S. energy companies slide in premarket trading as crude price fall, declining after last week’s rally as worries over growing coronavirus cases in top crude importer China weigh. Exxon Mobil (XOM US) -3.1% and Chevron (CVX US) -3.7%. Coupa Software (COUP US) slides 30% in postmarket trading after the company’s revenue forecast for the first quarter misses the average analyst estimate. Gitlab (GTLB US) shares rose 12% in extended trading on Monday, after the software company reported fourth-quarter revenue that beat expectations and gave a full-year forecast that is stronger than the analyst consensus. U.S. technology stocks have been particularly hard hit in the past week with the Federal Reserve expected to begin a rate-hike cycle on Wednesday, another negative for growth stocks valued on future profits. Investors are also looking for cues from the central bank about how aggressively it plans to continue tightening monetary policy as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent commodity prices soaring when inflation was already running high. A reading on the producer price index is due on Tuesday. “If we are entering a world of above-target inflation for several years to come, investors should ditch the easy answers,” said Sahil Mahtani, strategist at Ninety One. “Conventional 60-40 type portfolios are likely to struggle. Investors should reflect about what specifically is driving the inflationary process and invest in equities that have pricing power but are not at frothy valuations.” The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell more than 1.5%, with basic resources, consumer and technology stocks leading a broad-based decline.  All sectors are in the red. Euro Stoxx 50 slumps 2.4%. IBEX outperforms peers but still trades off ~1.5%. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Ahold Delhaize shares gain as much as 3.2%, the best performer in the Stoxx 600’s personal care, drug and grocery stores subgroup, after being upgraded to buy from neutral at UBS, which says the stock is at an “attractive entry point.” S&T rallied in Frankfurt, climbing as much as 18%, after the Austrian company said a forensic audit by Deloitte found allegations by short seller Viceroy Research were almost completely inaccurate. Sensirion shares spike as much as 13%, the most since June 2020, after the Swiss sensor manufacturer reported full- year sales and gave a revenue forecast that blew past analysts’ estimates. Stifel says the company’s growth is driven by all end markets and the performance of new environmental sensors looks “impressive.” Wacker Chemie shares gain as much as 6.9%, as Baader sees dividend proposal 56% above and midpoint ‘22 Ebitda guidance 3% ahead of consensus. Tecan falls as much as 16% after reporting sales for the full year that missed the average analyst estimate, and as the outlook disappointed. Dr. Martens shares tumble as much as 11% to the lowest since listing in January 2021 after RBC cut its price target to a Street-low, citing the bootmaker’s growth outlook. Swedish Match drops as much as 8.4%, the most intraday since February 2021, after the company suspended the spinoff of its U.S. cigar business. The move highlights regulatory risk, according to JPMorgan. Meanwhile, Russia has started the payment process of two bond coupons due this week. Investors are waiting to see if the nation defaults after the U.S. and its allies froze Russia’s foreign-currency reserves. The ruble gained in Moscow trading. Asian stocks plunged, on track for a third-straight daily loss, as the selloff in Chinese technology stocks continued after Monday’s plunge, while traders tried to gauge the impact of an imminent interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell as much as 1.9%, heading for its lowest close since August 2020. Tencent and Alibaba Group were among the biggest drags on the regional index, along with TSMC. The sustained selling pressure came as investors mulled the potential consequences of China’s assistance for Russia’s war in Ukraine and delisting risk for Chinese stocks traded in the U.S. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index tumbled 5.7%, its biggest fall since July 2015, while the Hang Seng Tech Index lost 8.1% following a wild intraday swing. Read: Relentless Selling in China Stocks Evokes Memories of 2008 Crash China’s CSI 300 Index slumped 4.6% as the nation’s strong set of economic data failed to lift sentiment amid market jitters on the rising case numbers of Covid-19. Japanese stocks rose for a second day as a weaker yen boosted the outlook for the nation’s exporters. “There are plenty of storms blowing through China right now,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda Asia Pacific. “Fears continue to dog stock markets, that lockdowns could spread, which would severely impact China’s growth.” The risk of tighter monetary policies globally remained on investors’ minds as the Fed this week is expected to announce its first interest rate hike in three years in a bid to curb rising inflation amid surging commodity prices. Markets are now pricing in as many as seven quarter-point hikes for the full year. Lockdowns in major Chinese cities are dimming the outlook for economic growth and posing risks for energy and raw-materials demand, just as concerns about the country’s relationship with Russia stoke a relentless stock selloff.  The virus is also making a comeback in Europe: Germany on Tuesday set a fresh record for infection rates for the four straight day. Austria has also reached new highs, while cases in the Netherlands have doubled since lifting curbs on Feb. 25. Japanese equities rose, extending their rebound to a second day, supported by gains in exporters on a weaker yen. Auto and chemical makers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which climbed 0.8%. KDDI and Recruit were the biggest contributors to a 0.2% rise in the Nikkei 225, while Fast Retailing fell. The Japanese currency extended its loss against the dollar to a seventh-straight session, weakening more than 3% in that span. Despite its “haven” status,” the yen has dropped as Russia’s war in Ukraine has driven up prices of oil and other raw materials which Japan imports. “The market has already factored in a lot of bad news” regarding Russia and Ukraine, said Hajime Sakai, chief fund manager at Mito Securities. “The weakening of the yen is positive for exporting, but looking further on we need to think of the negative effect from import costs.” In rates, Treasuries unwound a portion of Monday’s sharp selloff with yields richer by up to 4.5bp across front-end of the curve into early U.S. session. U.S. 10-year yield near 2.12% is down ~2bp vs Monday’s close, outperforming bunds and gilts in the sector by ~1bp; 2-year yield drop back to ~1.83% after topping near 1.89% during Asia session. Gilts and bund curves bull-flatten while Treasuries bull-steepen; short-dated USTs outperform bunds and gilts by roughly 2bps. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1% after rising to its highest level since July 2020 in early Asian trade. Treasury yields fell by up to 4bps led by the front-end after rising in early Asian session, when the 10-year yield climbed to 2.17%, the highest since June 2019. Antipodean currencies as well as the Canadian dollar and Norwegian krone were steady to lower as commodities extended losses. The euro extended an Asia session gain, to touch $1.1020 before paring. European benchmark bond yields also fell, yet underperforming Treasuries. Sweden’s krona advanced after inflation expectations rose considerably for the coming two years. Australia’s dollar pares reased an intraday loss, in part on short covering seen after Chinese economic data beat estimates. Reserve Bank said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has the potential to prolong a period of elevated consumer-price growth and is clouding the economic outlook, minutes of its March 1 policy meeting showed. The yen whipsawed in the spot market as stocks and oil turned south, but options wagers suggest fresh lows versus the dollar may be in store. Whether the greenback can extend its recent rally and maintain its bullish momentum for long depends on options pricing changing course. In commodities, crude futures decline. WTI drifts 5.3% lower to trade around $97.50. Brent falls 5.3% but holds above $101. Most base metals trade in the red; LME aluminum falls 2.3%, underperforming peers. LME tin outperforms, adding 0.4%. Spot gold falls roughly $17 to trade near $1,934/oz. Elsewhere, nickel trading will resume on the London Metal Exchange on Wednesday, over a week after being suspended amid a historic short squeeze. Looking to the day ahead now, markets have PPI for February in the US. In Europe, Germany’s ZEW survey expectations, UK jobless claims change, ILO unemployment rate 3 months, Eurozone ZEW survey expectations and industrial production are all due. Elsewhere, housing starts and manufacturing sales in Canada will be released. Earnings include Volkswagen, RWE and Generali. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 4,154.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.7% to 429.03 MXAP down 1.7% to 165.53 MXAPJ down 2.9% to 531.41 Nikkei up 0.2% to 25,346.48 Topix up 0.8% to 1,826.63 Hang Seng Index down 5.7% to 18,415.08 Shanghai Composite down 5.0% to 3,063.97 Sensex down 1.4% to 55,702.16 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.7% to 7,097.45 Kospi down 0.9% to 2,621.53 Brent Futures down 5.7% to $100.79/bbl Gold spot down 0.9% to $1,934.19 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.21% to 98.79 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.33% Euro up 0.5% to $1.0995 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Germany is preparing to boost the supply of a scarce bond entangled in Russian sanctions, a move that will likely ease pockets of tension in European repo markets. The nation is looking to sell on Tuesday an additional 5.5 billion euros ($6.1 billion) of the notes maturing 2024, which the German government believed became difficult to source after sanctions were imposed against some bondholders Chinese stocks suffered another deep selloff on Tuesday as concerns about the country’s ties with Russia and persistent regulatory pressure sent shares on a downward spiral. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, which tracks Chinese shares listed in Hong Kong, sank 6.6%, following a plunge in the previous session that was the biggest since the global financial crisis Fund managers are leery of buying Chinese stocks as the country’s close ties to Russia, extreme Covid-19 curbs and lack of clarity on the end of regulatory crackdowns overwhelm the dip buying opportunity presented by the 75% plunge from their peak China wants to avoid being impacted by U.S. sanctions over Russia’s war, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, in one of Beijing’s most explicit statements yet on American penalties that are contributing to a historic market selloff The global economy is bracing for greater disruption as China scrambles to contain its worst outbreak of Covid-19 since the pandemic began Russia’s economy is fraying, its currency has collapsed, and its debt is junk. Next up is a potential default that could cost investors billions and shut the country out of most funding markets The dollar has powered ahead of every major currency over the past nine months due to the prospect of Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes but the end of its rally may be in sight, if history is any guide. The U.S. currency has weakened by an average of 4.1% during the Federal Open Market Committee’s four previous tightening cycles Traders are ramping up their bets on the amount of Federal Reserve rate hikes in 2022 but are still toying with the possibility of a rate cut as soon as next year U.K. unemployment dropped below its pre- pandemic level for the first time as companies generated more jobs and granted higher wages than expected. The jobless rate fell to 3.9% in the three months through January, the lowest since the start of 2020 US Event Calendar 8:30am: Feb. PPI Final Demand YoY, est. 10.0%, prior 9.7%; MoM, est. 0.9%, prior 1.0% 8:30am: Feb. PPI Ex Food and Energy YoY, est. 8.7%, prior 8.3%; MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.8% 8:30am: March Empire Manufacturing, est. 6.1, prior 3.1 4pm: Jan. Total Net TIC Flows, prior -$52.4b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Some hints of positive diplomatic developments in the Ukraine crisis that materialised on Sunday night helped contribute to another major sell-off in bonds and a mild risk on move in European equities yesterday. While in the States, the reality of the impending Fed tightening cycle pushed yields higher and drove equities lower. Bonds are in a strange situation at the moment as we seem to have reached a point where higher energy prices are deemed to be signalling recessionary risks and encourage flight to quality flows that push nominal yields lower, outweighing the potentially savage inflationary impact. Conversely, the collapse in the likes of oil and gas since early last week has led to a huge rise in yields as it appears policy tightening is back on the central bank menu. Brent is around -25% from its intra-day highs last Tuesday and 10yr bunds are +46.6bps higher since hitting -0.10% last Monday morning. Meanwhile, 1-month futures on Dutch Gas have fallen from a high of 335 last Monday morning to 110.50 at the close last night. Remarkable moves. On the conflict, Russia and Ukraine finished a fourth day of negotiations yesterday and decided to take a pause to assess outcomes. Still, it seems that negotiations are making some progress. Meanwhile, President Zelensky is set to address the US Congress tomorrow, while there were reports that President Biden was considering a trip to Europe to express the US’s steadfast support for NATO allies. Overnight in Asia, most equity markets are down with Hong Kong and Chinese stocks leading regional losses. The Hang Seng (-3.56%) opened sharply lower, slipping more than 4% before recovering slightly as a resurgence of Covid-19 in Hong Kong and China and potential delisting of Chinese stocks from US exchanges weighed on sentiment. The Shanghai Composite (-2.18%) and CSI (-1.75%) are also down even if losses were pared following the release of stronger-than-anticipated economic data. A fresh lockdown in China’s Jilin province of 24 million people is offsetting this. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.33%) is advancing while the Kospi (-0.56%) is lagging. Moving forward, equity futures on the S&P 500 (+0.17%) and Nasdaq (+0.47%) are higher while DAX contracts (-0.45%) are weak. On that China data, industrial output rose a more-than-expected +7.5% y/y in January and February, (vs market estimates of +4.0%) and against a +9.6% gain in December while retail sales grew +6.7% y/y in the same period compared with analyst estimates of a +3.0% increase amid rising demand during the Lunar New Year holidays and the Winter Olympic Games. Meanwhile, fixed asset investment also beat, up by +12.2% y/y YTD in February and well above the forecast for a +5.0% increase. Separately, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) unexpectedly kept the one-year medium-term lending facility rate (MLF) at 2.85%, resulting in a net injection of 100 billion yuan in fresh funds. The central banks’ action dashed hopes of a rate cut as the policymakers may want to avoid widening policy divergence with the US ahead of their expected hike tomorrow. Oil prices have extended their recent declines this morning with Brent futures sliding -4.0% to trade at $102.64/bbl and with WTI futures -4.2%, breaking below $100/bbl. It saw a similar fall yesterday after opening the week above $109/bbl. Elsewhere, the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note is roughly flat at 2.138%. As discussed at the top, the calm in yields overnight followed a rout yesterday. 10yr bunds eventually rose +11.9bps yesterday as risk premium eased, and to the highest level since November 2018. With a modest +2.2bps uptick in breakevens, most of the move was in real yields. Note that page 24 of the “Dislocations” chart book shows that 10yr real bund yields last week hit all-time low levels. Since those lows last week we’ve backed up +48.8bps. The move in other European sovereign yields was remarkably similar to bunds yesterday with BTPs (+11.3bps), Spanish (+11.0bps) and even Greek (+11.8bps) bonds seeing hardly any change in spreads. US Treasury yields sold even more (10yr +14.1bps) and unlike in Europe, higher yields were met with falling breakevens (-2.3bps) with real yields +16.4bps putting in their biggest daily move since February 2021. No small feat given the considerable sell-off in real rates that marked the beginning of this year. The 2s10s (+2.8bps) curve steepened a little which might be welcomed by the Fed. Yields across the US curve notched fresh cycle highs, with those on 2y (+11.3bps) and 10y reaching the highest levels since summer 2019. Notably, US futures moved to fully price in 7 Fed hikes in 2022 for the first time this cycle, in line with our US econ team’s view. While there were reports of incoming corporate issuance and hedging flows driving the Treasury rate sell-off, it appears markets are waking up to the magnitude of tightening the Fed is about to embark on, starting this week. If the war wasn’t enough to get the ECB to strike a dovish tone, the Fed will be all the more emboldened given fewer direct linkages to growth shocks from the conflict and the higher starting point for inflation. Indeed, in a new periodical we launched yesterday, Questions for the Chair, link here, DB Research personnel offer the questions they would ask Chair Powell at his FOMC press conference. A common question was wouldn’t policy rates need to be higher than current forecasts given the inflationary outlook. It seems markets are coming around to that view. That line of thinking passed through to US equities, where the S&P 500 slid -0.74%. The tech-heavy NASDAQ, which is more exposed to rising rates, underperformed, falling -2.04%. Sector-wise, amid plummeting oil prices energy stocks (-2.93%) performed the worst after a sustained run of outperformance, while financials (+1.23%) were the top performers in the S&P 500 amid a steeper yield curve. European stocks outperformed their American counterparts, with the positive geopolitical noise outweighing a tighter monetary policy path to push major indices into positive territory. The STOXX 600 rallied +1.20%, but gains in country-level benchmarks like the German DAX (+2.21%) and the French CAC 40 (+1.75%) were even more startling amid recent sharp underperformance relative to their US counterparts. The same positive risk sentiment pushed commodity prices lower. We've already mentioned the slump in Oil but European gas prices also fell, with front month Dutch TTF contracts losing -17.29%. Oil prices fell despite no additional supply via Iran, US, Venezuela, or OPEC appearing likely. Instead, it seems as though Russian supply may make its way to buyers such as China and India with fewer frictions than were previously feared. As a secondary consideration, reports of Covid-19 lockdowns in China may have pushed prices lower due to potential lower demand needs. Industrial metals lost steam as well, with aluminium and copper falling -4.69% and -2.24%, respectively, while gold lost -1.89% as markets revised geopolitical risks downwards. One developing story with unclear implications so far is Russia’s request for Chinese support of its invasion. There have been conflicting reports about the veracity of the original claims. We do know that the US National Security Advisor met with his Chinese counterpart yesterday to try and dissuade China from offering any such support. One to keep a very close eye on. To the day ahead now. In today’s data releases, markets have PPI for February in the US. In Europe, Germany’s ZEW survey expectations, UK jobless claims change, ILO unemployment rate 3 months, Eurozone ZEW survey expectations and industrial production are all due. Elsewhere, housing starts and manufacturing sales in Canada will be released. Earnings include Volkswagen, RWE and Generali. Tyler Durden Tue, 03/15/2022 - 07:53.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 15th, 2022

Order Out Of Chaos: How The Ukraine Conflict Is Designed To Benefit Globalists

Order Out Of Chaos: How The Ukraine Conflict Is Designed To Benefit Globalists Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, Within the next couple of months it is likely that there will be direct US military involvement in Ukraine, with Russia now openly supporting and recognizing separatist groups in the Donbass region on the eastern edge of the country and apparently moving to aid them militarily in separation. This is not the first time Russia has sent military units into Ukraine, but it is the first time since 2014 and the annexation of Crimea that the threat of military action has been overt rather than covert. When conflict erupts, you are going to see a swarm of media stories in western nations trying to outline the complexity of the relationship between Russia and Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union, while ignoring certain inconvenient truths. You will see many of these stories construct a narrative which then oversimplifies the situation and paints Russia as the monstrous aggressor. The goal will be to convince the public that our involvement in Ukraine is a moral and geopolitical necessity. There will be attempts to gain American favor and a call for US boots on the ground. Joe Biden will be at the forefront of this push. The surface trigger for the confrontation is obviously rooted in the 2009 decision by western powers and Ukrainian officials to consider the country for membership in NATO. Most of Russia’s actions when dealing with Ukraine can be owed to NATO involvement in the region, including the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014. Strategically, it makes sense. Imagine if Mexico suddenly announced it was joining a military alliance with China and that Chinese military assets were going to be transferred near the US southern border? It probably would not end well. To be sure, Russia has a history of hypocritical behavior when it comes to its involvement in the affairs of its neighbors. For example, only a few months ago Kazakhstan was facing mass protests which the government claimed were caused by “foreign manipulation.” Zero proof was presented to justify this assertion. However, the claim was enough to rationalize the deployment of 2300 Russian troops over the border to shut down the protests. In reality, citizens of Kazakhstan were angry over a spike in inflation and high gas prices which continue to grind down the middle class and those in poverty (sound familiar?). In 2019, only 4% of the population lived under the official poverty line. In 2020, that number exploded to 14% of the population. Accurate numbers are difficult to find for 2021, but it is likely that poverty levels are now closer to 16%-20%. The reasons for civil unrest were obvious and justified, but the protesting Kazakhs were accused of being pawns of foreign enemies. As I have noted in many articles lately, this is a typical strategy of corrupt governments trying to retain power when the people rise up and rebel for legitimate reasons. Again, imagine if the Canadian government under Trudeau asked for US military assistance in scattering the trucker protests against his draconian vaccine mandates? We need to look at these decisions in context in order to grasp how insane they really are. Ironically, Russia is happy to support the unrest of separatists in Ukraine while also helping to silence unrest in Kazakhstan. Keep this pattern in mind because it will help in understanding how events surrounding Russia reflect a global trend that might effect Americans in the future. The diplomatic mess between Ukraine and Russia can be blamed in part on both sides, and it’s this kind of historical ambiguity where globalists tend to thrive. The fog of war helps to obscure establishment activities and often it is hard for people to see who is truly benefiting from the chaos until it’s too late. It is my belief that the Ukraine problem is at least partially engineered and that it is designed as a first domino in a chain of intended crises. I don’t think there is anything unique to the Ukraine conflict for the globalists; they could have just as easily tried to initiate a regional war in Taiwan, North Korea, Iran, etc. There are numerous powder keg countries that they have been cultivating for a couple of decades. We should not hyperfocus on who is to blame between Ukraine or Russia, we should focus on the effects that will result from any major regional disaster and how the globalists exploit such catastrophes to further the agenda of total centralization of power. The Ukraine scenario could be easily defused if both sides took some basic diplomatic measures, but this is not going to happen. NATO officials could take a step back from their pursuit of adding Ukraine to the ranks. The US could stop pouring cash and weaponry into Ukraine to the tune of $5.4 billion since 2014. Over 90 tons of military equipment has been sent to the country in 2022 alone. Russia could stop sending covert special operations units into the Donbass and be more willing to come to the table to discuss diplomatic solutions. The reason these things do not happen is because they are not allowed to happen by the power brokers behind the curtain. We are all aware of the globalist influences behind US and NATO leaders, we present the undeniable evidence of this on a regular basis. Biden’s penchant for globalist institutions is well known. But what about Russia? There are some in the alternative media and the liberty movement who falsely believe that Russia is anti-globalist – Nothing could be further from the truth. As with many political leaders Putin will sometimes use anti-globalists rhetoric, but his relationships tell another story. In Putin’s first autobiography, titled ‘First Person’, he discusses with fondness his first encounter with New World Order globalist Henry Kissinger as a member of the FSB (formerly the KGB). As Putin rose through the political ranks he maintained a steady friendship with Kissinger and to this day they have regular lunches and Kissinger has been an adviser to multiple branches of the Kremlin. It doesn’t stop there, though. Putin and the Kremlin have also kept a steady dialogue with the World Economic Forum, the project of the now notorious globalist Klaus Schwab. In fact, only last year Russia announced it was joining the WEF’s “Fourth Industrial Revolution Network” which focuses on economic socialization, Artificial Intelligence, the “internet of things” and a host of other globalist interests which will all lead to worldwide technocracy and tyranny. Again, the Russian government is NOT anti-globalist. This claim is nonsense and always has been. I would attribute the fantasy of Russian opposition to a steady stream of propaganda and what I call the False East/West Paradigm – The fraudulent notion that the globalist agenda is a purely Western or American agenda and that countries like China and Russia are opposed to it. If you look at the close interactions between the east and the globalists, this idea completely falls apart. It’s important to understand that most conflicts between the East and the West are engineered conflicts and the leaders of BOTH SIDES are not really at odds with each other. Rather, these wars are Kabuki Theater; they are wars of convenience to achieve covert ends while mesmerizing the masses with moments of terror and calamity. For anyone who has doubts about this, I highly recommend they read the thoroughly researched and evidenced works of professional historian and economist Antony Sutton, who quite accidentally stumbled onto the facts surrounding the globalist conspiracy and went on to expose their habit of playing both sides of nearly every war over the past century from the Bolshevik Revolution to WWII and onward. The strategy of order out of chaos is nothing new, it’s something the globalists have been doing for a very long time. The number of open revelations post-Covid about the ‘Great Reset’ that globalists have publicly admitted to is so staggering that their plans can no longer be denied. Any skeptics at this point should be suspected of having a single digit IQ. So, now that we have established the reality of globalist involvement in both the west and in Russia, we need to ask ourselves how they benefit from initiating a crisis between these powers over Ukraine? What do they get out of it? As I have noted in recent articles, it appears to me that Ukraine is a Plan B attempt to conjure more smoke and mirrors where the covid pandemic failed to satisfy the Great Reset plan. As Klaus Schwab and the WEF has constantly asserted, they saw the pandemic as the perfect “opportunity” to force the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the world. As globalist Rahm Emanual once opined in the wake of the 2008 economic crash: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” The WEF is an old hand at this tactic. Klaus Schwab also used the same exact language right after the credit crash of 2008 as he has used after the spread of covid, always trying to sell global governance as the solution to every disaster: “What we are experiencing is the birth of a new era, a wake-up call to overhaul our institutions, our systems and, above all, our thinking, and to adjust our attitudes and values to the needs of a world which rightly expects a much higher degree of responsibility and accountability,” he explained. “If we recognize this crisis as being really transformational, we can lay the fundaments for a more stable, more sustainable and even more prosperous world.” – Klaus Schwab on the Global Redesign Initiative, 2009 Schwab jumped the gun back then just as he jumped the gun in 2020 when he declared the Great Reset an inevitability in the face of covid. The globalists must have expected a much higher death rate from the virus because they were practically dancing in the streets, elated over the amount of power they could steal in the name of “protecting the public from a global health threat.” If you look at the WEF and Gates Foundation simulation of a covid pandemic, Event 201 which was held only two months before the REAL THING happened, they clearly expected covid to do way more damage, predicting an initial death tally of 65 million. This never happened; it isn’t even close. It’s hard to say why an obvious bioweapon like covid failed to do the job. Viruses tend to mutate rapidly in the wild and behave differently than they do in a lab setting. I would even consider the possibility of divine intervention. Whatever the reason, the globalists did not get what they wanted and now they need yet another crisis to oil the gears of the Reset machine. With the already tiny death rate of covid now dropping even further with the Omicron variant and half the states of the US in full defiance of the vax mandates it is only a matter of time before the rest of the world asks why they are still under medical authoritarianism? War in Ukraine and the mere threat of that war expanding beyond the region could accomplish a number of things covid has not. It provides an ongoing cover for the stagflationary collapse which is now in full swing in the US, the supply chain problems that continue globally as well as the destabilization of the European economy. In particular, the EU is strongly reliant on Russian natural gas in order to heat homes and maintain its economy. Russia has strangled natural gas supplies to Europe in the past and they will do it again. Russian oil exports also fill demand gaps globally, and these exports will be strangled by sanctions or by the Kremlin deliberately cutting supplies to certain nations. War is always a distraction from economic sabotage. Even though the seeds of financial crashes are often planted and watered well in advance by central banks, the banks never get the blame because international conflicts conveniently take center stage. By extension, economic crisis causes mass poverty, mass desperation, and mass hysteria, and globalists will say that these dangers require an international solution that they will happily provide in the form of centralization. In the US and in many other western nations which have a large number of people still defending individual freedom, the globalists clearly want to use tensions with Russia as a means to silence public dissent over authoritarian policies. Already I am seeing numerous instances of establishment officials and leftists on social media suggesting that liberty activists are “pawns of the Russians” and that we are being used to “divide and conquer.” This is nonsense backed by nothing, but they are trying out the narrative anyway to see if it sticks. I have no doubt that any rebellion in the US against the globalists will be blamed on foreign interference. As mentioned earlier, the last thing the elites want is movements of free people obstructing the Reset in the name of liberty. We witnessed this in Canada where Trudeau announced unilateral emergency powers against the trucker protests, giving himself totalitarian levels of control. Even the Russian government has intervened in such public actions to prevent any kind of activist momentum. Biden will try to do the same thing, and war, even a smaller regional war, gives him a rationale to oppress dissent in the name of public security. Interestingly, martial law in the US is also much easier to legally and historically justify for the government as long as it is done in response to the invasion of a foreign enemy. The Russian influence narrative may very well be in preparation for martial law within America. Whether or not this actually succeeds is another matter. The consequences of a shooting event in Ukraine will be far reaching well beyond a distraction for the American public; my intent here is not to suggest only Americans will be affected. My point is that there are certain places in the world that are naturally resistant to the globalist scheme, and freedom minded Americans are a primary obstacle. If there is a large scale rebellion against the Great Reset, it’s going to start here. The globalists know this as well, which is why the US will undoubtedly be centrally involved in the Ukraine quagmire. While the event would be disastrous for Ukrainians and probably many Russians, there are deeper and more dangerous underlying threats intended for the US and a war in Ukraine acts as an effective scapegoat for many of them. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Thu, 02/24/2022 - 21:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytFeb 24th, 2022

Sunday Collum: 2021 Year In Review, Part 3 - From "Insurrection" To Authoritarianism

Sunday Collum: 2021 Year In Review, Part 3 - From 'Insurrection' To Authoritarianism Authored by David B. Collum, Betty R. Miller Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology - Cornell University (Email: dbc6@cornell.edu, Twitter: @DavidBCollum), I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance. ~  Carl Sagan, 1995, apparently having invented a time machine Every year, David Collum writes a detailed “Year in Review” synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year’s is no exception. Read Part 1 - Crisis Of Authority & The Age Of Narratives here... Read Part 2 - Heart Of Darkness & The Rise Of Centralized Healthcare here... So, here we are at the third and final part of the 2021 Year in Review and it’s no longer 2021. Sorry about that pfuck-up. Think of it as not in 2021 but from 2021. You may have noticed that the first 200 pages (parts 1 and 2) were laced with a recurring catchphrase, “WTF is happening?” It was a literary device for noting that the events ceased to make sense within a conventional worldview, suggesting it is time to torch the old model and start anew. Our response to a disease that was killing a very small slice of the population was to sequester and vaccinate the entire population with an experimental drug of real but unquantified fatality rate. The apparent scientific illiteracy was not some mass psychosis. Y’all just got suckered by America’s Most Trusted Psychopathic Mass Murderer assisted by an epic media blitz sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry that had a distinct authoritarian quality. Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. ~ Albert Einstein During the brief period after uploading part 2 while grinding on this last portion, the Supreme Court took on the vaccine mandate issue, ruling that the only people forfeiting control of their own healthcare are the healthcare workersref 2 The court also illustrated their profound ignorance of the pandemic and what they were even charged to assess—the Constitutionality of mandates, not the efficacy.ref 3 The CEO of a major insurer reported a 40% spike in fatalities within the 18–65 age bracket that was not from Covid.ref 4 He said 10% would be a 3-sigma, once-every-200-year event: 40% is unheard of. Although he refrained from identifying a cause—deaths of despair, neglected healthcare, or a toxic vaccine—he knows precisely what did them in. They have been studying this stuff for centuries. I suspect his real message was that the insurance industry is about to contribute to inflation with rising premiums. Meanwhile, the pathological liars running the covid grift decided after two years the masks you’ve been wearing served no medical purpose and that the vaccines don’t work either. Wait: who said the masks and vaccines don’t work? We have known for many months that COVID-19 is airborne and therefore, a simple cloth mask is not going to cut it…Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations. ~ Leana Wen, MD, CNN medical expert with no admitted ties to the CCPref 5 Two doses of the vaccine offers very limited protection, if any. Three doses with a booster offer reasonable protection against hospitalization and deaths. Less protection against infection. ~ Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEOref 6 Here is my most heartfelt response to them: You psychopathic lying sacks of shit. You had us wear rags across our faces and put rags across the kids’ faces when clinical studies that could be read by people with half your IQs showed they were worthless. Suicide rates and other deaths of despair soared while you petty tyrants played your little games and generated billions of dollars of profits while destroying the middle class. You have maimed or killed an unknown number of gullible victims with your lockdowns, vaccines, remdesivir, and oppression of Ivermectin. You jammed a vaccine that bypassed animal trials into the fetuses of pregnant women, assuring them it was safe. If we spoke up, we got muzzled. If we refused the vaccine, we got fired. You should all hang from your necks until dead. I will piss on your graves. I feel better already. Very refreshing. Meanwhile, many of my friends and colleagues look at the same data and say, “Oh. I guess I better get the booster and a KN95 mask.” You have got to unfuck yourselves. You’ve been duped. It will get worse. The tactics used to oppress us would have made Stalin smirk. Australia was a beta test for what is to come in the rest of the west if we don’t wake up soon. They are gonna keep coming for one simple reason: we accepted it. We got bent over and squealed like pigs. What normalization does is transform the morally extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have always been. ~ Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works A person is considered ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ by the community simply because he accepts most of its social standards and behavioral patterns; which means, in fact, that he is susceptible to suggestion and has been persuaded to go with the majority on most ordinary or extraordinary occasions. ~ William Sargant, in Battle of the Mind Meanwhile, the financial world became even more dominated by central bankers who haven’t the slightest understanding of free-market capitalism. These twits or criminals—maybe both—have blown the most colossal bubble in history if you account for both price and breadth across the spectrum of asset classes. For the layperson, that means they have set us up for a colossal failure. Go back and re-read Valuations if you cannot picture the epic financial carnage lying dead ahead. The gap between the Fed funds rate and headline inflation has never been this large. These pinheads believe that if the markets do not coincide with their world views, the markets must be wrong. I am not an economist, but it appears that none of them are either. The notion that a dozen nitwits should set the most important price of them all—the price of capital—rather than letting the markets set it through price discovery is financial authoritarianism or what some call State Capitalism. I am angry in case it doesn’t show. Meanwhile, in 2020–21 the Fed contributed to destroying upwards of a half-million mom ’n’ pop businesses—they gutted the middle class—while giving BlackRock credit at 0.15% interest rates to buy up all their houses. Here is my advice to those day trading criminals: look both ways as you enter crosswalks. What I believe the response of society to a severe downturn given the current political climate will be epic. Big downturns come after euphorias. We have never entered a downturn with society at large this grumpy. We are in the early stages of The Fourth Turning.ref 7 The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded. ~ Charles-Louis De Secondat When a State has mortgaged all of its future revenues the State, by necessity, lapses into tranquility, langor, and impotence. ~ David Hume, 1752 So, WTF is going on here? In this final part, I address geopolitics. It begins with a relatively benign analysis of Biden’s first year in office, culminating with what I think Afghanistan is really about. The second section addresses my view of what may prove to be the most important day in US History—January 6, 2021. Although it is my best shot—Dave’s Narrative—I will not attempt to nor will I inadvertently spread the love to both sides of the political spectrum. It is a right-wing view that most right-wing politicians and pundits are too cowardly to state in polite company. The final section addresses the Rise of Global Authoritarianism. For a topic covered by thousands of treatises to call my knowledge skeletal is a reach. I have merely created an intellectual foundation—a chalk outline—to ponder why authoritarianism is here and what could stop it. (Plot spoiler: I do not believe it can be stopped.) They know where we are, they know our names, they know from our iPhones if we’re on our way to the grocery store or not. But they haven’t acted on that to put people in camps yet. They could do it. We could be East Germany in weeks, in a month. Huge concentration camps and so forth. ~ Daniel Ellsberg (@DanielEllsberg), author of The Pentagon Papers and Secrets Before moving on, let me give a plug for a book.ref 8 I have not even finished it yet, but it will change your worldview. Look at those ratings! I can guarantee none of those readers enjoyed it. Kennedy will curdle your bone marrow describing 35 years of atrocities commited by America’s Most Trusted Madman. It is emblematic of a much larger problem. Evil is powerless if good men are unafraid – Americans don’t realize what they have to lose. ~ Ronald Reagan The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ~ H. L. Mencken Biden – Freshman Year Scorecard Let’s go, Brandon! ~ Cheers across America Most presidents begin their reign with a calling. Reagan raised our national self-esteem after a period of economic and political malaise. Bush Sr. took on the Gulf War, for better or worse. Clinton oversaw the economic boom and bank deregulation, again for better or worse. Bush Jr. was handed 9/11 and, in my opinion, boned it badly. Obama had to wrestle with the Great Financial Crisis. Trump was charged with disturbing the peace—drain the swamp if you will. Biden undeniably needed to begin healing the social discord that, regardless of its source, left the country wounded and divided. Maybe that was not Biden’s calling, but I wanted to see him become the president of all the people. This is not revisionist history of my failing memory: Biden’s the last of the Old Guard, which is probably why he was slipped into the office by the DNC old guard. I am guessing there will be no Supreme Court stacking; that was just rhetoric (I hope). There will be wars just like every president (except Trump, who brought troops home.) Congress is more balanced again and, at the time of this writing, the Senate is still in Republican hands. Hopefully, the gridlock will usher in some garden-variety dysfunction. I have subtle concerns about a Harris presidency. Admittedly, my opinion is based on precious few facts, but Harris displays a concerning shallowness of character, a lack of a moral compass, and the potential to slide to the left of Bernie. (I sometimes reflect on what it must have been like raising the teenaged Kamala.) I am trying to reserve judgment because first impressions scavenged from the digital world are sketchy if not worthless. ~ 2020 Year in Review By this description, Biden tanked his GPA. He ushered in a Crusade to erase the Trump era and its supporters. The weaponizing of social media and censorship against one’s opponents was probably unavoidable, but the downside will be revealed when the wind changes. Team Biden took banishing of political opponents on social media to new levels by, as noted by Jen Psaki, flagging “problematic posts” and the “spread of disinformation” for censorship. NY Timeslapdog Kevin Roose called for a “reality Czar,” not noticing the Russian metaphor problem. The War on Domestic Terror may prove to be a turning point in American history, one that risks extinguishing the flame of the Great American Experiment. Significant erosions of Constitutionally granted civil liberties discussed throughout the rest of this document may not have been Biden’s fault, but they occurred on his watch. If you see an injustice and remain silent, you own it. I can’t remain silent. Biden is the epitome of the empty, amoral creature produced by our system of legalized bribery. His long political career in Congress was defined by representing the interests of big business, especially the credit card companies based in Delaware. He was nicknamed Senator Credit Card. He has always glibly told the public what it wants to hear and then sold them out. ~ Chris Hedges, right-wing hatchet man Team Biden. Books have been written about Trump’s fumbles in the first months (or four years) of his presidency. See Josh Rogin’s Chaos Under Heaven in Books or Michael Lewis’ less balanced The Fifth Risk reviewed in last year’s YIR. The Cracker Jack team assembled for Joe reveals a glob of feisty alt-left activists and omnipresent neocons. According to Rickards, two dozen players on Biden’s roster were recruited from the consulting firm WestExec Advisors (including Psaki and Blinken.)ref 1 That’s power and groupthink. David Axelrod: You must ask yourself, ‘Why are we allowing him to roll around in the hallways doing impromptu interviews?’ Jen Psaki: That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions.’ Young black entrepreneurs are just as capable of succeeding given the chance as white entrepreneurs are, but they don’t have lawyers; they don’t have accountants. ~ Joe Biden Joe Biden, President – Joe is the Big Guy. In an odd sense, he is immunized from criticism because he is visibly losing his marbles. His cognitive decline is on full display; this 52 seconds of gibberish about inflation is emblematic.ref 2 He’s 80 years old, for Cripes sake. I read a book this year entitled, When the Air Hits Your Brain, which derives from a neurosurgical aphorism that finishes with “you ain’t never the same.” Wanna guess who had two brain aneurysms (one rupturing) years ago leading to a miraculous recovery?ref 3 You’re the most famous African-American baseball player. ~ Joe Biden to the Pope, context unknown (possibly even a deep fake)ref 4 I am neither reveling in Joe’s problems nor do I believe he is calling the shots. Claims that the puppet master is Harris are, no offense, on the low side of clueless. Obama seems like a better guess but Barrack was a front man too. Having an impaired leader of a superpower, however, is disquieting and potentially destabilizing, especially with Taiwan in play. Biden’s energy policy that clamped down on fossil fuel production only to ask OPEC to open the spigots is one for the ages. The covid policies bridging both administrations were catastrophic, but throwing workers out of jobs into the teeth of unprecedented labor shortages makes zero sense. The nouveau inflation—Bidenflation—may stick to him like it stuck to Jimmy Carter, but that is unfair to both presidents. Look to the Fed in both cases for blame. Troubles at the southern border and the Afghanistan pullout are a couple of serious logs for a raging inferno that represents Biden’s first year in office. As discussed in a later section, demonizing “white supremacists”—not just political opponents but opponents labeled by their race—will not be viewed well by historians unless history is at a serious fork and Joe is ultimately protrayed as the founder of some new Fatherland. Kamala Harris, Vice President – Whenever situations heat up, Harris is off like a prom dress. During the crisis at the border that she was charged with overseeing, she took off to Europe, cackling about never even visiting the border. Kamala endorsed and claimed credit for the Kabul evacuation.ref 5,6 Realizing she had pulled yet another boner she pulled out before they renamed it Kamalabad. (Hey: At least I had the decency to pass on the Kamalatoe joke.) In a moment of surreal comedy, Harris hosted a public chat with Bill Clinton on “empowering women.”ref 7 She can even serve up semi-reasonable ideas with dollops of cringe. If the Democrats nominate her in 2024, may God have mercy on their souls—she is unelectable—or maybe on our souls—I could be wrong. Jen Psaki, Press Secretary – The role of any press secretary is to calm the press down with nuggets of insight—to feed the birds. When that fails, lie your ass off, all with a cold, calculating sociopathy. I would say she did the best job imaginable given the hand she was dealt. Disagree? I’ll just have to circle back with you on that. Ron Klain, Whitehouse Chief of Staff – This guy might be the rainmaker, but I haven’t quite figured him out. He has the durability of Andrei Gromyko, maintaining a central role through three democratic administrations. Keep an eye on him. Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury – We have yet to find out Yellen’s role because she has not been pressed into service by a crisis. To resolve the minor “meme stock” bruhaha, which did not call for a resolution, she needed an ethics waiver owing to the soft corruption of her bank-sponsored million-dollar speaking tour. My expectations of her are quite low, and I imagine she will meet them. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State – He has a good resume. Like Psaki, he is forced to play a weak hand. He lacks Psaki’s skills. Jennifer Mulhern Granholm, US Energy Secretary – In a press conference she was asked how many barrels of oil a day the US consumes and said, “I do not have those numbers in front of me.” ‘Nuff said. Get her out of there. Merrick Garland, Attorney General – The press will tear anybody a new one so snippets with bad optics are always dangerous. I would say, however, ordering the FBI to investigate parents who get irate at school boards—even those who seem rather threatening—is over the top. Leave that to the local and state police. His role in the January 6th event and push into domestic terrorism is potentially sinister and moves him onto my shitlist. Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency – This one blows my circuits. She is what in the vernacular is called “a commie” straight from Kazakhstan with a thesis on Marxism—a devout believer that the State should run the show. She also hails from Cornell Law School. (Yeah. I know. STFU.) Matthew Continetti of the National Review noted she is, “an activist intellectual who is—and I say this in the kindest way possible—a nut.”ref 8 There will be no more private bank deposit accounts and all of the deposit accounts will be held directly at the Fed. ~ Saule Omarova, Cornell Law Professor   We want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change. ~ Saule Omarova, on oil and gas companies For those who have seen the horror movie The Ring, Cornell tried to exorcise the demon by sending “the VHS tape” to Washington, D.C., but it came back stamped “Return to Sender.” She withdrew. Hey Team Biden: you could want to snatch up MIT’s Venezuelan-derived president who is already on the board of the World Economic Forum and was instrumental in pushing Aaron Swartz to off himself.ref 9 John Kerry, Climate Czar – Don’t we have enough Czars? John is charged with flying around the world in his private jet, setting the stage for a 30-year $150 trillion push to make many bank accounts much My disdain for the climate movement catches Kerry in the splash zone. Pete Buttegieg, Transportation Secretary – I must confess to liking Mayor Pete and would have been happier if he had gotten the crash course in the oval office rather than Joe. The one criticism I would make is that taking two months of paternity leave during the nation’s greatest transportation crisis seemed odd. I think when you are in such an important position you find a way. Get a nanny. Bring the twins to your office. Leave them with your spouse. For Pete’s sake (sorry), stay at your post. For the record, after my youngest son was born my wife had health problems. I used to bring him to work and lecture with him in a Snugly and changed a shitload of diapers. You could have done it too, Pete. Samantha Power, Head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) – Sam is a garden-variety neocon, having served as ambassador to the UN and on the National Security Council, both under Obama. She was central to the planning behind destabilizing Libya,ref 10 which sure looks like a bad idea unless destabilizing the Middle East is our foreign policy. Please just don’t fuck up too much. Cass Sunstein, Homeland Security employee. This is not really an appointment, per se. Cass is the Harvard-employed husband of neocon Samantha Powers. In his 2008 book, Conspiracy Theories, Cass declared “the existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories” to be our greatest threat, outlining five possible solutions, and I quote, “(1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might engage in counter-speech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counter-speech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help.” Guys like Cass who come out of Harvard’s CIA training camps are menaces to society. Marvelous hire, Joe. Victoria Nuland, Undersecretary for Political Affairs – She is famous for her hot mic “Fuck the EU” comment and for engineering the coup in Ukraine—a Wonder Bread neocon. William J. Burns, Head of the CIA – I’ve got nothing on Bill, not even a fingerprint. It would be difficult for me to grade him poorly on a curve with the likes of John Brennan, William Casey, and Alan Dulles. (I once had dinner with a former CIA head John Deutch. What a dick.) Christopher Wray, Head of the FBI – As the FBI increasingly looks like the Praetorian Guard for the power elite (both in and out of public office), Wray has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors like J. Edgar Hoover and James Comie to be both top cop and dubious scoundrel. Wray’s fate might be dictated by the ongoing Durham investigation, but I have not seen any heads roll inside the Beltway since Watergate a half-century ago. Tony Fauci, Director of NIAID – That bipartisan, power-hungry authoritarian—The Most Trusted Madman in America—is a recurring theme. He doesn’t know any science. He is a political hack—a chameleon—who survived 35 years multiple administrations by being able slither out of anybody’s claws and regrow his tail. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC – She got serious attention in part 2. I am horrified by her sociopathy. I think she is evil. Amy Gutmann, Ambassador to Germany – Guttman was given the job after giving the Big Guy more than $900,000 in speaking fees and an honorary degree from UPenn when she was the University’s president. I am sure every ambassador pays market rates for the job.  Cathy Russell, Biden’s Director of Presidential Personnel–She is married to Tom Donlin, Chairman of the gargantuan multinational investment firm, BlackRock. Their daughter made it into the Whitehouse National Security Council. A talented family enjoying the political respect accorded to billionaires. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Head of the Office of Science – Despite scientific chops as a climate-change-supporting agronomist, she has no administrative experience and is inexperienced in the scientific programs that she is overseeing. Of course, everything is now about the $150 trillion climate grift, so she’s our girl. Jared Bernstein, Whitehouse Economic Advisor – He is highly educated, with a bachelor’s degree in music, master’s degrees in social work and philosophy, and a Ph.D. in social welfare. His greatest strength may be his complete lack of training in economics. Shalanda Baker, Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Department of Energy – Is that a salaried position? ‘Nuff said. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Mark transitioned from the Trump administration. It caused a stir when he went more “woke” than Chelsea Manning. We will no longer defeat our enemy but assign them pronouns and include them. This was followed by a scandal outlined in Bob Woodward’s book in which he instructed military leaders in a secret meeting to bypass Trump on important military decisions.ref 11 He then unilaterally told his peer in the Chinese military that he would drop a dime if there was an impending military conflict. He tried to hang it on the Secretary of Defense, but the Secretary spit the bit fast.ref 12 My theory is that the sudden wokeness was to commandeer allies on the far left knowing that scandal was coming. It worked. He looks like he is right out of Dr. Strangelove without the lip gloss and eye shadow. Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services. He refuses to acknowledge the merits of natural Covid-19 immunity. That puts him near the top of my shitlist. Becerra has no medical or scientific training. He’s a lawyer, but at least he is from an underrepresented group. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services – I know little about her. She might be the most qualified candidate, certainly more so than her boss Becerra. Call me skeptical of a purely merit-based appointment. Hunter Biden. I was going to place Hunter in the bullets and call him Head of the DEA and National Association of the Arts, but I had reservations. There are sad, heartwarming, and troubling roles played by Hunter Biden. His addiction is a highly personal problem that is difficult for the first family to deal with, especially given other tragedies in their lives. Joe Rogan succinctly explained Hunter’s remarkably odd behavior: “he is a crackhead.” They are part and parcel of being dopesick. Leaked emails from the laptop show Dad to be a compassionate and loving father struggling to save his son. Ironically, old footage surfaced of Joe ranting about how we have to deal with crackheads severely no matter whom they know.ref 13 It did not age well. It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious. If these emails are false, this is a major story. If they are true, this is a major scandal. ~ Jonathan Turley Before you start blubbering, however, recall that Hunter’s laptop revealed that he was playing critical roles in Russian and Chinese dealings for the Biden family. The Kleenex gets tossed and the gloves now come off. Hunter’s business partner stepped forward admitting nefarious deals were made with Joe involved. Joe denied knowing the clown, but a then photo of the two surfaced.ref 14 This year Hunter also began selling his artwork for up to $500,000 a pop behind a “Chinese Wall”—a veil that ensures we cannot find out who bought the art.ref 15,16,17 The money might literally be from behind a Chinese wall. That buys a lot of crack even after the Big Guy’s 10% cut. Figure 1 shows two paintings, one by a Hunter and the other by two elephants. (No joke, elephants have been painting brilliant pictures free-trunk for decades.) Figure 1. Biden art (left) brought $500,000. The elephant painting (shown being painted) brought $39,000. We are a democracy…there are things you can’t do by executive order unless you are a dictator. ~ Joe Biden, several years ago Executive Orders. Before the first week of his presidency was over, Biden had signed 37 of those beauties. Some, such as the order extending rent moratoria, were overtly unconstitutional. Some merely unwound Trump’s orders that had unwound Obama’s orders. This is dodge ball. While Yale was battling a civil rights case for discriminatory admissions practices, the Biden DOJ dismissed it without comment.ref 18 Yale is said to have promptly destroyed the evidence, which shows they have good lawyers. Transgender athletes were reinstated in women’s sports, ensuring that longstanding records will be shattered.ref 19 It got surreal when UPenn’s transgender swimmer was beaten by Yale’s transgender swimmer.ref 19a An executive order giving the IRS direct access to our bank accounts seems both sinister and inevitable…death and taxes as they say.ref 20 There are a lot of Republicans out there giving speeches about how outraged they are about the situation at the border. Not many who are putting forward solutions. ~ Jen Psaki, forgetting about the wall idea Crisis at the Border. The mainstream press covered this one exhaustively. There are parallels here with the North Africans crossing into Europe several years back. It looks intentional, but why? Don’t tell me about building a democratic base. That is too far in the future and too simplistic. It is far easier to control the elections at the server level. Baffling details include the administration’s suggestion that border agents should be empowered to authorize the immigration of “climate migrants.”ref 21 That could boost a few agents salaries. Rumors of US military planes transporting illegals into the US suggests somebody could punk the elite: load up a boat and drop a couple hundred on Martha’s Vineyard. On further thought, rather than offering Vineyardians more gardeners, drop off some Afghans.ref 22Whoever is calling the shots, this is neither about civil rights nor climate change. Attorney General Merrick Garland clarified the immigration challenge: Today marks a step forward in our effort to make the asylum process fairer and more expeditious. This rule will both reduce the caseload in our immigration courts and protect the rights of those fleeing persecution and violence. If you do that, that will set off a mass migration that’s like nothing that we have ever seen in this country because the entire world will then come on through to get their asylum, essentially legalizing illegal immigration, in a very clever way. ~ Attorney General Merrick Garland WTF did Garland just say? Both his meaning and intent are unclear. The immigrants, of course, were all unvaccinated, which would have been OK by me had the administration not gone Third Reich to vaccinate US citizens. The administration also wanted to offer $450,000 to every immigrant family separated from their loved ones: why?ref 23They seemed to walk that third-trimester idea back and then walked it forward again. A half-billion-dollar, no-bid contract to manage the immigrants went to friends of the administration.ref 24 Your tax dollars at work. At least we are back to business as usual. By the way, where is Border Czar Kamala Harris while all this is going on? Making creepy videos.ref 25,26 People who like quotes love meaningless generalizations. ~ Graham Greene Miscellaneous issues surfaced that either went away or are still festering quietly. On the positive side, stacking the Supreme Court—increasing the number of justices to get a left-leaning majority—seems to have been only a political football. Granting Washington DC statehood, while to a plebe like me doesn’t seem nuts, has the trappings of a massive powershift to the left in national elections. Joe invaded the legal process by declaring Chauvin guilty and Kyle Rittenhouse a white supremacist. Would Obama have done this? I don’t think so. Rittenhouse may get his “10% for the Young Guy” in defamation suits against Joe and every media outlet on the planet. Joe checking his watch five times at the funeral of dead marines didn’t play well,ref 27 but if you put a camera on me I wouldn’t make it to lunchtime without serving up Jim Acosta fresh meat. The main drama of Biden’s first year, however, played out in a distant land.   Afghanistan—where empires go to die. ~ Mike Malloy Afghanistan. I’ve been groping for nomenclature — Afghazi, Afghazistan, Benghanistan, Benghazistan, Saigonistan, Clusterfuckistan, and Bidenistan—to describe this odd moment in history. That 20-year skirmish cost an estimated $2.3 trillion.ref 28 The idea that it was only a few thousand troops with no fatalities in the last year or two makes me question my wisdom, but I can’t start revising history. Whether for right or wrong, I was glad we were getting out. The ensuing Crisis in Kabul looked like the graveyard of a presidency—a combination of the Bay of Pigs and the Iran Hostage Crisis that would dog us for years. They are chanting “Death to America”, but they seemed friendly at the same time. ~ CNN reporter wearing a burka looking for a husband Even before the evacuation started we were hearing about huge caches of weapons that would be abandoned.ref 29 In an eat-and-dash that would make an IHOP waiter wince, we bugged out at 2:00 AM without telling anybody.ref 30Jalalabad Joe had assured us repeatedly the 300,000-strong Afghan army would hang tough. They were defeated in time to chow down on some goat stew for dinner. Images of desperate Afghan’s clinging to transport planes brought up images of the Saigon Embassy rooftop. We left service dogs in cages.ref 31 Marines would never do that. Stranded Americans and Afghan collaborators were begging for help to get to the airport and even to get into the airport.ref 32The administration used a drone to strike on some kids and their dads loading water into a truck to change the news cycle briefly.ref 33 The Afghan who is credited with saving Joe Biden and John Kerry in a disastrous excursion to Afghanistan years earlier got left behind pleading for help:ref 34 Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family. Don’t forget me here. Mercenaries like Blackwater’s Erik Prince tried to prevent Americans from taking The Final Exit,ref 35 only to get stonewalled by the Whitehouse. Meanwhile, the top commander and four-star Wokie, Mark Milley, was too mired in scandal.ref 36 Retired generals were calling for the active-duty generals to resign.ref 37 The withdrawal could not be botched worse if you tried. The populace are now facing a winter of profound famine.ref 38 Rural Afghanistan has been rocked by climate change. The past three decades have brought floods and drought that have destroyed crops and left people hungry. And the Taliban — likely without knowing climate change was the cause — has taken advantage of that pain. ~ CBS News, sticking it like a Russian gymnast This vexing story was from the Theater of the Absurd. Starting with the caches of military equipment left behind, I have two simple solutions that a group of teenagers could have concocted: Announce Blow Shit Up Friday (BSUF). Provide the military personnel with some grenade launchers and a few kegs of beer, grill up some goat burgers, and start blowing shit up. That would be a blast. If that is too unprofessional, you gather all armaments and anything of else of value into an open space. Once the wheels go up on the last troop transport, drop a MOAB—Mother of All Bombs.ref 39 Tough luck for those who were trying to hotwire the stuff when the MOAB arrives. It will take a year to get them out…If you use those billions of dollars of weapons behind I promise they’ll be using them against your grandchildren and mine someday. ~ Joe Biden, Presidential Candidate, 2007ref 40 The collapse of the Afghan Army also couldn’t have come as a surprise. The military and CIA certainly knew that those troops wouldn’t withstand a West Side Story-level brawl.ref 41 The soldiers were paid by the US for their service COD, and there was no C left. Shockingly, most of the payroll booty had long-since been snarfed up by the politicians and top military brass from the only swamp in Afghanistan.ref 42 Whocouldanode? Taliban can murder as many people as they want. But if they keep trolling Biden like this they’re gonna get kicked off of social media. ~ Jesse Kelley, noting the Taliban has an active Twitter feed Here is a script playing out in my noggin. The Crisis in Kabul was an arms deal—Fast and Furious 2.0. One of our top diplomats called the Taliban and said, “We are pulling out in a month. We’ll leave the keys in the ignition and pallets of $100 billsref 43 to help pay for upkeep. If you guys let us sneak out unmolested, you can party like it’s 999—an authentic Taliban-themed fraternity party. We will leave you guns, money, nice facilities, and even a few wives. If you fuck this up, however, we will be right back here.” The Whitehouse also lent a legitimizing tone to the regime when speaking about “working with the Taliban” as part of the deal. In return, the State Department called on the Taliban to form an “inclusive and representative government,”ref 44 so there’s that bit of risible nonsense. Neville Chamberlain couldn’t have done any better. The bottom line: 90% of Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan were able to leave Afghanistan. ~ Jalalabad Joe Biden That might be a great poll number or inflated final exam grade at a college Joe erroneously claimed to attend, but I am not sure “90%” is impressive in this context. The actual evacuation was ineptly executed from the get-go. Mr. Rogers, with the help of his viewing audience of toddlers, could have Kabuled together a better plan based on the simple precept, “pull out the civilians then the military.” Baffling claims the Whitehouse was obstructing evacuations of charter flights containing Americans was not right-wing propaganda: Where are they going to land? A number of these planes have a handful of Americans, but they may have several hundred individuals who do not have proper documentation of identity….we don’t have manifests for them, we don’t know what the security protocols are for them, we don’t know what their documentation is…hard choices you face in government. ~ Jen Psaki, press conference WTF actually happened? When nothing makes sense your model is wrong. Glenn Greenwald got the scent that withdrawal was intentionally mishandled, suggesting this is “fully within the character of the deep-state operatives.”ref 45We also forgot to destroy our sophisticated FBI-derived software and a complete database containing the biometrics of Friends of the USA,ref 46,47,48 enabling the Taliban to find potential detractors for an attitude correction. Think of it as Afghanistan’s high-tech War on Domestic Terror. The stonewalling of help from other countries also makes no sense using a conventional model.ref 49 Biden’s CIA Director met with Taliban leadership covertly—so covertly we all knew about it—to concoct a “deal”, but what kind of deal?ref 50 During the evacuation, we gave the Taliban names of American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies supposedly to let them pass through the militant-controlled perimeter of the city’s airport.ref 51 They would never abuse this list, right? A large number of Afghan refugees—possibly as many as 100,000 according to Tucker Carlson—entering the US are consistent with our open border policy along the Mexican border, but what is that all about? Afghans, by the way, are reputed to be always recalcitrant to assimilate in Europe just in case you’re thinking of renting out your basement as an Airbnb.ref 52 What happened in Afghanistan is not incompetence. We are not that incompetent. ~ General George Flynn The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the US and Europe through Afghanistan and back into the hands of a transnational security elite. The goal is an endless war, not a successful war. ~ Julian Assange, 2011ref y I have no doubt that blood was shed after we left. More than a few US sympathizers surely lost their heads. As to the stranded Americans, why were they still there? China had evacuated their citizens months earlier.ref 53(Hmmm…Chinese citizens were there?) Two dozen students from the Cajon Valley Union School District and 16 parents there for an enriching summer trip were stranded.ref 54 How did they get visas? That field trip will generate a few college essays that will beat any written about dead grandparents, although Kabul State College may be their only option. This is now on-track, Peter, to be the largest airlift in U.S. history. I would not say that is anything but a success. ~ Jen Psaki to Peter Doucy The media can create, steer, or smother narratives at will. I have a question: Where are all the dead Americans—thousands of them—said to be left behind? Horror stories should be surfacing daily, but they’re not. We shit a mudbrick when One Dead Kashoggi (ODK) got fed to the camels in Saudi Arabia. Three thousand fatalities on 9/11 got us into Afghanistan in the first place. We supposedly left behind “thousands of Americans” but without generating a single headline? So much for that Bay of Pigs­–Iran Hostage Crisis analogy. So here are my next questions and I am deadly serious: Did we get duped? Was the whole thing more sham than farce? There is no such thing as a true account of anything. ~ Gore Vidal Here is Dave’s Narrative. We installed the Taliban as the rulers of Afghanistan as the best of many bad options. The winners are the Taliban and China. The two are inking deals for mineral rights as I type. The chaos was intentional. But why accept such a profound humiliation and dashed hopes of future alliances in global hotspots? I think that the Taliban winning the war in Afghanistan, and then the way our exit happened, has absolutely inspired jihadists all over the world. The Taliban is saying, we just didn’t defeat the United States, we defeated NATO. We defeated the world’s greatest military power, ever. I think, not only will the jihadists be inspired, but a lot of them are going to come to Afghanistan to be part of the celebration, to be part of jihadist central. We are more at risk, without a doubt. ~ Michael Morell, former CIA Director under Obama Maybe China has way more than just Hunter’s laptop to blackmail us and is about to take possession of Taiwan soon. While we await the next Kyle Rittenhouse trial to preoccupy ourselves, take a peek at this video. Skip over the election stuff since we all have rock-hard opinions on that and go to minute 55:30. Xi Jinping’s right-hand man, Di Dongsheng, publicly explained the extent Beijing controls US politics:ref 55 There is nothing in the world that money can’t fix, right? If one wad of cash can’t handle it, then I’ll have two wads. (laughter) Of course this is how I do things. In fact, to be a bit blunt, in the past 30 years or past 40 years, we manipulated the core power circle in the United States, right? I mentioned earlier that Wall Street started to have a very strong influence on U.S. domestic and foreign affairs in the 1970s. So we figured out our path and those we could be dependent on. But the problem is that Wall Street’s status has declined after 2008. More importantly, starting in 2016 Wall Street has no influence on Trump. Why? It is awkward. Trump had a soft breach of contract on Wall Street once, so the two sides had conflicts. They tried to help during the Sino-US trade war. As far as I know, friends from the U.S. told me that they tried to help, but they were too weak. But now we see that Biden has come to power. (crowd laughs) The traditional elites, political elites, and the establishment have a very close relationship with Wall Street. You all see it: Trump talked about Biden’s son, “You have investment funds around the world.” Who helped him build the funds? You understand? There are transactions involved. (laughter) So at this point in time, we use an appropriate way to express a certain kind of goodwill. (applause) ~Di Dongsheng, Vice Director and Secretary of the Center for Foreign Strategic Studies of Chinaref 55 January 6th Capitol Insurrection Alec Baldwin killed more people in 2021 than did the January 6th insurrectionists. Anybody reading this far knows that the January 6th riots stemmed from the right-wing voters who doubted the veracity of the 2020 election. Twitter polls show that view is not as partisan or as rare as the media would lead you to believe. I happen to doubt U.S. election integrity but have for quite a few election cycles. ref 1 Hacked Stratfor emails show the democrats rigged the vote in ’08 ref 2 and Republicans rigged it in ’04.ref 3 It is bipartisan Capture the Flag with red and blue pinnies.ref 4 In any event, Trump’s Green Goblin strategy was to beckon the MAGA faithful to the Capitol to protest the Electoral College signing off on the results. It was not so different than the mobs outside the courthouses trying to subvert the Rittenhouse and Chauvin trials, but the scale of January 6th was much larger and the optics were Biblical. It got out of hand and, at times, even a little Helter Skelter. Mob psychology elicits dramatic changes in brain chemistry and has been the topic of many laboratory studies.”ref 5 Temporary insanity is not a crazy defense. My Tweet got some hysterically hateful responses from the Right who missed the sarcasm and the Left who did not. I think I squandered more of my valuable time left on this planet burrowing through the January 6th story than on the Covid-Vaccine combo platter. I should preface this section by noting that I was praised by a thoughtful long-time reader for being “balanced and measured and carefully worded, even on edgy topics.” I may be on the cusp of disappointing him. It’s impossible to peer at the The Great Insurrection through a non-partisan lens. Both sides may find common ground in the belief that January 6th is a profound fork in the road of the American Experiment. The sock-starching Left will celebrate it as a national holiday every year while the bed-wetting Right will try to ignore it. Both are wrong. Look at that photo and pause to ponder its implications. Put a funny caption to it. Let’s hear from some Republicans first: We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House — every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during, and after the attack. ~ Liz Cheney I think Lizard nailed it. We’re on the same page. Let’s keep going… January 6 was worse than 9/11, because it’s continued to rip our country apart and get permission for people to pursue autocratic means, and so I think we’re in a much worse place than we’ve been. I think we’re in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War. ~ Michael Dowd, former Bush strategist I would like to see January 6th burned into the American mind as firmly as 9/11 because it was that scale of a shock to the system. ~ George Will, syndicated columnist Mike and George are as unhinged as I am but on different hinges. I think they are delusional and offensive. Edging forward… The 1/6 attack for the future of the country was a profoundly more dangerous event than the 9/11 attacks. And in the end, the 1/6 attacks are likely to kill a lot more Americans than were killed in the 9/11 attacks, which will include the casualties of the wars that lasted 20 years following. ~ Steve Smith, Lincoln Project co-founder Now I’m getting the heebie-jeebies if for no other reason than the Lincoln Project is filled with Democratic operatives (or at least neocons) pretending to be Republicans—as authentic as the Indians at the Boston Tea Party or stepmoms on PornHub. We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within…There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home… But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. ~ George W. Bush, a thinly veiled allusion to January 6 George got some serious guff from more than a few of the 80 million Fox-watching extremists including the Grand Wizard: So interesting to watch former President Bush, who is responsible for getting us into the quicksand of the Middle East (and then not winning!), as he lectures us that terrorists on the ‘right’ are a bigger problem than those from foreign countries that hate America. ~ Donald Trump He nailed it. I have stated previously that Bush committed war crimes. Of course, the National Security Machine chimed in… The No. 1 national security threat I’ve ever seen in my life to this country’s democracy is the party that I’m in — the Republican Party. It is the No. 1 national security threat to the United States of America. ~ Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Dude! You just tarred about 80 million asses with that brushstroke. Let’s move further left to find some middle ground: They swooned for him on 9/11 because he gave them what they most crave: the view that Al Qaeda is comparable to those who protested at the Capitol on 1/6. ~ Glenn Greenwald, on George Bush’s comments Glenn is part of a growing cadre of liberals including Matt Taibbi, Tim Pool, Bill Maher, The Weinstein Brothers, and Joe Rogan who are unafraid to extend olive branches across The Great Partisan Divide at risk of being labled white supremacists and Nazis, but they are hardly emblematic of the Left. From the elite Left… I think we also had very real security concerns. We still don’t yet feel safe around other members of Congress.  ~ AOC AOC’s comment prompted one pundit to tell her to “get a therapist”, which seems correct given her moment of maximum drama was when a security guard was screaming outside her door, “Are you OK, Ma’am?” #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett began trending on social media when it was disclosed that she was not even in the building when Ragnar and his buddies showed up.ref 6 They will have to decide if Donald J. Trump incited the erection…the insurrection. ~ Chuck Schumerref 7 What ya thinking about Chuckie? We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole. Since the Civil War. The Confederates back then never breached the Capitol as insurrectionists did on Jan. 6. ~ Joe Biden Joe may be on the A-Team, but he hasn’t found his way out of the locker room. The blue-check-marked liberals did not mince words… The 9/11 terrorists and Osama bin Laden never threatened the heart of the American experiment. The 1/6 terrorists and Donald Trump absolutely did exactly that. Trump continues that effort today. ~ S.V. Dáte, Huffington Post’s senior White House correspondent The only effective way for the government to respond to an act of war by domestic terrorists is to be prepared to meet them with machine guns and flamethrowers and mow them down. Not one of those terrorists who broke through police lines should have escaped alive. ~ a Washington Post commenter Moving as far left as you can by tuning into the most cunning commie who can outfox any Western leader… Do you know that 450 individuals were arrested after entering the Congress? They came there with political demands. ~ Vladimir Putin The Cast of this Drama. This Kafkaesque narrative will be scrutinized by historians and democratic operatives for years to come. The Left will cast this event as a truly unique moment in US history, but it was precedented. I see parallels with the 1920’s Bonus Army in which World War I veterans were pissed off about unpaid post-war benefits.ref 8 In the saddest of ironies, many were killed by Army regulars. Some authorities, including a young Dwight Eisenhower, thought it was a benign protest while others thought it was an assault on America. Grumpy crowds appear at the Capitol only on days of the week that end in “y.” Recently, f.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 6th, 2022

Fear And Panic As Bitcoin Crashes 50% From All Time High

Fear And Panic As Bitcoin Crashes 50% From All Time High Just two months after cryptos hit an all time high amid widespread euphoria that the newly launched bitcoin ETF would lead to even more substantial upside, the two largest tokens have lost half of their value, with the broader crypto sector suffering more than $1 trillion in losses amid an accelerating liquidation panic that the Fed's tightening cycle will lead to another crypto winter.  Such is the volatility in the sector where, as Bloomberg put it overnight, there has been just one constant recently: "decline after decline after decline." Of course, for veteran hodlers, Bloomberg hyperbole seems trivial in a world where 80% drawdowns are the norm and the current drop may have a ways to go before it hits a bottom, before a new all time high is hit. Where Bloomberg is right however, is that superlatives for the latest carnage have been easy to come by: Friday’s decline led to the liquidation of more than $1.1 billion in crypto futures positions and overall more than $1 trillion in market value has been destroyed since the last peak. In other words, "the meltdown is pouring salt on an already-deep wound." After the latest furious puke that pushed Bitcoin RSI's indicator to the most oversold level since the covid crash in March of 2020... ... Bitcoin, which lost more than 12% on Friday, saw its price drop just above $34,000 with Ethereum sliding as low as $2,400, as the two largest digital assets now trade at a 50% discount from their all time highs and are back to levels last seen in late July, early August. Other digital currencies have suffered just as much, if not more, most meme coins mired in similar drawdowns. While the selling has been relentless for the past two months, it accelerated in the past three weeks, after the latest Fed minutes - published in early January - showed its intention to not only hike rates but to accelerate the unwind of its balance sheet, which has sent all "bubble baskets" plunging, with bitcoin getting hit especially hard amid the carnage. And while there have been much larger percentage drawdowns for both Bitcoin and the aggregate market, according to Bespoke,  this marks the second-largest ever decline in dollar terms for both. “It gives an idea of the scale of value destruction that percentage declines can mask,” wrote Bespoke analysts in a note. “Crypto is, of course, vulnerable to these sorts of selloffs given its naturally higher volatility historically, but given how large market caps have gotten, the volatility is worth thinking about both in raw dollar terms as well as in percentage terms.” Another fact that Bloomberg gets right, is that over the past year, cryptos have transformed from relatively uncorrelated assets providing diversification during market turbulence, into what is effectively a high beta stock. This is easily seen in the following chart showing the 60d correlation between cryptos and stocks. One can thank institutional adoption for that, because the same institutions that are now facing margin calls on their tech holdings, are also dumping cryptos to provide much needed liquidity. “Crypto is reacting to the same kind of dynamics that are weighing on risk-assets globally,” said Stephane Ouellette, chief executive and co-founder of institutional crypto-platform FRNT Financial. “Unfortunately for some of the mature projects like BTC, there is so much cross-correlation within the crypto asset class it’s almost a certainty that it falls, at least temporarily in a broader alt-coin valuation contraction.” Antoni Trenchev,, co-founder of Nexo, cites Bitcoin’s correlation to the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100, which right now is near the highest in a decade. “Bitcoin is being battered by a wave of risk-off sentiment. For further cues, keep an eye on traditional markets,” he said. “Fear and unease among investors is palpable.” According to  Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, it’s useful to think of cryptocurrencies as living in the same space as other speculative sectors, including special-purpose acquisition companies and electric-vehicle makers. “When we’re in an environment where all of those riskier assets are selling off, crypto is going to find itself doing the same,” Hogan said. “When the Nasdaq 100 or any of the other more-speculative, rapid-growth, momentum-type asset classes start to gain some traction, so will cryptocurrencies.” Unfortunately for Bitcoin longs, one place where the token's correlation is especially high is that to such market naplam as Cathie Wood’s sinking ARK Innovation ETF, a pandemic poster-child of speculative risk-taking. That correlation stands at around 60% year-to-date, versus about 14% for the price of gold, according to Katie Stockton, founder and managing partner of Fairlead Strategies, a research firm focused on technical analysis. It’s “reminding us to categorize Bitcoin and altcoins as risk assets rather than safe havens,” she said. Perhaps unaware what "hodling" means, data from Coinglass shows that more than 342,000 traders had their positions closed over the past 24 hours, with liquidations totaling roughly $1.1 billion. “Digital-currency markets in total have been challenged this month,” said Jonathan Padilla, co-founder of Snickerdoodle Labs, a blockchain company focused on data privacy. “There’s definitely some pain there.” Though liquidations have spiked, the numbers are rather muted when compared to previous declines, according to Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis Global Trading. Acheson points out that Bitcoin’s one-week skew, which compares the cost of bearish options to bullish ones, spiked to almost 15% on Wednesday compared to an average of about 6% in the past seven days. “This flagged a jump in bearish sentiment, in line with overall market jitters given the current macro uncertainty,” she said. Amid the pain, some of bitcoin's most faithful are professing patience... HODLing #Bitcoin is painful. If you survive the journey, you will truly know what HODL means. — Dan Held (@danheld) January 21, 2022 ... while others are starting to wonder out loud at what point the battering might end. Famed crypto investor and (former?) billionaire Mike Novogratz mused on Twitter that “this will be a year where people realize being an investor is a difficult job.” 2600 $Eth would be the next support. Hoping and thinking it holds. Unfortunately Russel has like 14 percent more to go before it bottoms. Won’t be a straight line down. This will be a year where people realize being an investor is a difficult job. — Mike Novogratz (@novogratz) January 21, 2022 Unfortunately for Novogratz, 2600 did not hold and Eth is now trading below 2,400. Still, many point out that like on all previous occasions when cryptos crashed, they eventually rebounded to new all time highs. At some point, sellers will become exhausted and the market could see some capitulation soon, said Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. “When that happens, the institutions will come back in in a meaningful way,” he said. “Once the asset class becomes more washed-out, they’ll have a lot more confidence to come back in and buy them. They know that cryptos are not going away, so they’ll have to move back into them before long.” But it's not just central bank tightening fears and liquidation technicals that have depressed cryptos: one can also throw in a relentless news cycle, where just in recent days, regulators from Russia, the U.K., Singapore and Spain all announced interventions that could undermine crypto companies looking to grow in those regions. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is preparing to release an initial government-wide strategy for digital assets as soon as next month and task federal agencies with assessing the risks and opportunities that they pose, Bloomberg reported late on Friday. Testing the resilience and patience of the faithful, so far the sharp drop below the psychological level of $40,000 has failed to serve as an upward inflection point. Crypto proponents say heavy liquidations often serve to cut out the froth in easy-win asset speculation, helping to solidify new bottoms in the market. Ultimately, the real support will come from none other than the Fed, which will soon realize that it is hiking into a slowing economy... Tightening into a slowdown… Déjà vu? pic.twitter.com/pczXzMVSxb — Julien Bittel, CFA (@BittelJulien) January 22, 2022 ... and will be forced to be far more dovish during this week's FOMC meeting, a reversal which should serve to send risk assets sharply higher. “Fear and unease among investors is palpable,” Nexo's Trenchev,said. “If we see a bigger selloff in equities, expect the Fed to verbally intervene to calm nerves and that’s when Bitcoin and other cryptos will bounce.” In other words, the more the Fed tightens - or the more the Fed scares markets into believing it will tighten - the bigger the market selloff, and the worse the economic slowdown, until eventually Powell will be forced to ease, a key point brought up by  Bank of America CIO Michael Hartnett yesterday. Incidentally, it also means that the faster markets crash, the faster the Fed panics, and is forced to stabilize stocks because even if the new and improved Powell Put is well below previous levels, the Fed can't risk a market crash just to appease Biden's demands for an inflationary slowdown so Democrats aren't destroyed in the midterms. And incidentally, this weekend's ongoing selloff in cryptos means that while stocks are currently mercifully not trading, Monday should be another bloodbath, as Jim Bianco reminds us. The BTC/SPX correlation is "significant" Or as @jeffdorsman says, crypto is a 24/7 VIX. See the table, as of this writing, Crypto is down another 10% since Friday's NYSE Close. If this hold, no-coiners have about 36 more hours to gloat before it is their turn. pic.twitter.com/JpWeMJZbAf — Jim Bianco biancoresearch.eth (@biancoresearch) January 22, 2022 One thing is certain: several more 2% drops in the Nasdaq, and Powell - who two years ago crossed the Fed's final rubicon and bought corporate bonds to halt a catastrophic collapse - will be making emergency phone calls to put an end to the carnage. As such, a continuation of the meltdown may just be the best thing that the bitcoin faithful can hope for. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 13:04.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 22nd, 2022

Fractured MLS Landscape Begins Embracing Tech, Consolidation

It is not the flashiest or most dynamic part of the real estate industry. The concept of a Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, goes back more than 100 years when local boards would meet in a dusty office and exchange paper copies of listings. Eventually, these were consolidated into larger volumes accessible by members of […] The post Fractured MLS Landscape Begins Embracing Tech, Consolidation appeared first on RISMedia. It is not the flashiest or most dynamic part of the real estate industry. The concept of a Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, goes back more than 100 years when local boards would meet in a dusty office and exchange paper copies of listings. Eventually, these were consolidated into larger volumes accessible by members of local or regional associations, before the dawn of the internet blurred regional lines and gave broad access to listing data for both consumers and real estate professionals. Today, the MLS landscape retains vestiges of that fractured, paper-driven local data sharing. But as technology has improved, regulations have tightened and consumers have found other avenues to access home listing data, the traditional MLS needed to evolve. Exactly what this means, though, varies widely, and companies across the country are taking very different approaches to consolidation, expansion and tech investments—all of which could upend the traditional methods real estate data is shared and accessed. “The real benefit is modernization, and giving the consumer something they expect in the year 2022,” says Michael Barbaro, President of SmartMLS in Connecticut Like many regions, Connecticut was once divided into dozens of individual MLS organizations, which eventually consolidated into two larger companies with overlapping and sometimes arbitrary boundaries. Barbaro describes all-too familiar scenarios with agents paying multiple fees and signing into different systems, and consumers receiving clunky, redundant and inconsistent listing data. But in 2017, following a blitz of meetings, surveys and compromises, SmartMLS became the state’s main—though still not sole—MLS service, consolidating the two previous systems and staff to serve over 90% of the state. This merger was the subject of a glowing case study report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), which lauded Barbaro’s ability to foster relationships and come up with innovative solutions (having co-CEOs for the new company and realigning fee structures, among other things). Almost five years later, Barbaro says this process—which took a lot of work but only about six months to put together—has allowed the combined MLS to better serve both real estate professionals and consumers while also investing in the technology that will be needed to keep SmartMLS from falling behind. “We are looking to change the game of real estate,” Barbaro says. “I’ve been encouraged by the fact that MLSs are starting to see the writing on the wall.” But in the enormous, diverse landscape of the U.S., how applicable is the experience of one small Northeast state? How realistic is it to expect big metros and tiny villages, huge national brokerages and small local teams to use the same platforms and data? Not too unrealistic, according to Jon Coile, vice president of MLS & Industry Relations for HomeServices of America and former chair of BrightMLS, a large, multi-regional MLS in the Washington D.C. and Philadelphia area. Coile is currently helping lead NAR policy studies focused on the MLS industry, which has considered state-wide standards to help eliminate some of the obvious issues with the current landscape. “I have a state license, I can sell anywhere in the state,” he says. “But in states where they don’t share data, I might have to and belong to 15 or 20 MLSs to get access to the data. Meanwhile the consumer, they just go to one website—Zillow or Redfin or whatever—and they can access everything. So, the consumer knows more about real estate than I know as a REALTOR®, and that makes no sense.” Data-sharing, with some number of MLS companies creating a separate database that contains all their listing data and standardizes platforms or entries is not a new concept, and seems like common sense in the face of Zillow. Some have still resisted—Barbaro says there are a couple MLSs in small, affluent Connecticut towns that are holding onto their independence. Brian Donnellan is the CEO of BrightMLS. He made it clear that the data-sharing approach is both “extremely effective” and widely beneficial to consumers, real estate professionals and the MLSs themselves. “By providing both more access to listings on the buying side, and more exposure on the seller side, consumers have more choice among a wider range of listings,” Donnellan says. “The shift toward working from home for many buyers and sellers has opened up a larger area of possibilities for many consumers.  More options presented in a simple and straightforward way helps agents and brokers serve consumers more efficiently.” One solution to the regionalization problem is to disregard these local boundaries entirely. Dawn Pfaff runs My State MLS, which offers a national platform that attempts to create flexibility and an expansive, unrestricted listing landscape—including auctions and manufactured homes. “The biggest advantage to My State MLS, is that you can list anywhere you are licensed,” Pfaff says. “We believe that cooperation is essential, and we agree to cooperate with everyone who is also licensed in the same state.” Joe Rand is the CEO of another national initiative called the Broker Public Portal (BPP), which powers consumer portal HomeSnap.The idea is to create a set of standards behind a Zillow-type national portal that is more agent-focused and doesn’t monetize leads, instead creating a more level playing field that will still provide the national MLS experience for consumers. “I just don’t see how MLS systems can be cordoned off the way they used to be,” Rand says.  “Smart MLSs realize they can’t shield themselves from the outside world. As brokerages get bigger, they’re increasingly frustrated by having to deal with multiple MLS systems that don’t collaborate with each other. Given that MLSs themselves espouse cooperation among brokers, it makes sense that they should also be cooperative with each other. “ Ruth Hackney is the CEO of the REALTORS® Association of Southwest Wisconsin, and former CEO of the Montana Regional MLS. She says Wisconsin has had state-wide data sharing for more than a decade now, with the platform owned by the three largest MLSs in the state while smaller companies maintain some independence. Those relationships have been defined by convivial discussion and consideration of each other—something that not every state or region can claim. “Wisconsin is a very friendly place. Nobody wants to hurt anyone’s feelings or make anyone upset, so when we go forward, we want to make sure we’re going forward together,” she said. Because everyone is essentially happy with the current system, Hackney says there is no strong impetus for further consolidation right now. But at the same time, having larger, more formal partnerships and centralized resources is becoming vital to the success of any MLS. Tech Savvy New York City is an almost incomparably unique geographic and political area, and therefore unique as far as real estate as well. The Real Estate Board of New York, or REBNY, is independent of NAR unlike most local associations, having essentially seceded from the national body in 1994 in a dispute over membership fees. REBNY owns its own listing database which technically is not called an MLS, instead christened “RLS,” or “Residential Listing Service.” Other associations around and in the city—which are affiliated with NAR—continue to compete for territory and offer their own MLSs. In this much more cutthroat environment, (REBNY Board of Governors member Fredrick W. Peters described the history of MLS in the city as “warring fiefdoms”) the priority is to provide a better product. Because MLS companies are tech companies at heart, that means having the best technology. Ninve James is the senior vice president of the RLS serving 12,000 agents and $45 billion in listings. Set to launch in the second quarter of 2022, James touts “Citysnap,” a proprietary consumer-facing website and app exclusive to the RLS built by HomeSnap. “I know it’s something the industry has been looking to have for a while,” she says. For real estate professionals, leads are routed directly to the listing agent or broker at no cost, James says, and there are no listing fees. It is also meant to ensure all listings comply with the complex advertising and fair housing laws in the city. Creating that product, which is molded to the unique NYC landscape, along with migrating the RLS to national software and data standards, is the “big thing” for the organization, James says, and Citysnap is an “all hands on deck” project. Though REBNY, as the oldest and most established real estate association in the country’s largest metro, has a huge head start on the competition, James makes it clear that they will not be sitting back. “It’s going to provide much needed data transparency for New Yorkers, which is a huge win for our city’s real estate industry and consumers,” she says. Donnellan highlights BrightMLS’s hub for showing service, which became an especially important tech integration in the “incredibly busy market” of the last year or so. “It’s about speed—what’s coming on the market, what’s available at any given moment, etc. Agents and brokers need to be able to present the fullest, most complete representation of the market to their clients as quickly as possible,” he says. Not everyone in the MLS world has reacted in a timely manner to innovations and opportunities, according to Barbaro, particularly around technology. Companies and products that are pushing the industry forward are being bought out at “ridiculous valuations,” and he argues there is no reason that MLS companies can’t begin investing in these products themselves rather than relying on vendors. “I’ve been talking about this for years, I don’t understand why we don’t own the technology, why we don’t develop the technology,” he says. “We use them, we’re a captive audience. Now we’re finally starting to see come out there.” Barbaro points to one of the largest MLSs in the country, California Regional MLS, which recently invested $15 million in a venture capital fund to take a more direct hand in its own tech future. My State MLS also owns their own tech, and Pfaff says their clients can feel confident knowing their membership fees are being invested directly into improving software and data technology. But even small MLSs can band together, he adds, and take control of their technology future, with Barbaro saying there are numerous cases of half a dozen or so small companies getting together to buy a product or invest in a technology, to the benefit of all. “I think that the most important tech advancements are all about integration of tools by smart tech providers,” Rand says. “People want technology to be seamless, which you can’t achieve if you’re not ethically sharing data across platforms to better service agents and consumers.” In Wisconsin, Hackney says the three largest MLS companies own the software that powers the state-wide shared database. She describes tech advancement as “staff-driven” and mostly starting with leadership in the larger organizations, with any big decision or change inclusive of all the members who share and use it. “We just sit down and start to brainstorm,” Hackney says. “We’re just constantly kind of keeping our eye out—is an MLS already doing something and it’s working? Then how can we adopt that and make it work for our unique system?” The Devil in the Details It is not these big-picture questions that are hampering growth and cooperation in the MLS industry today, according to Barbaro. Nearly everyone has now woken up to the fact that consumers are turning to Zillow and Redfin for listings, and that technology can and must make the MLS experience simpler and more straightforward for real estate professionals. What makes things difficult is every little structural and bureaucratic line that has been drawn. That can be everything from what data fields to use to staffing responsibilities, and can take an enormous amount of effort and time to find consensus among dozens of organizations with their own histories and structure. Barbaro says the case study on SmartMLS did not allow any specific discussions about staff ahead of the merger and created a new streamlined fee structure and had the state association offset costs of legal fees and meeting expenses. A lot of real estate professionals are happy with their MLS staff and service, Barbaro suggests, and even though there were obvious improvements to be made in Connecticut they still wanted to hang on to staff “People are like, ‘I get good service,’ and I thought that was interesting. Most people really care about that, and there is an amount of that,” he says. All these things were worked out, though, in a relatively short time through a lot of conversations and listening to people’s concerns, according to Barbaro—with the NAR case study saying his role was “highly praised” as he “created a partnership atmosphere” through the delicate process. Though REBNY is not in the same situation as far as mergers or consolidation, James says that the RLS also must work hard to listen to their stakeholders, who are made up of a particularly vibrant and diverse real estate community. “We’re in constant communication,” James says. “We have multiple committees across the city that basically get updates and meet on a constant cadence to make sure that we send out communications and stay in touch with our constituents.” Understanding how New York City functions—whether that means adding data fields for things like which buildings have doormen and elevators, or mapping distance to parks and transportation—will be vital to the success of any system in the city, and James says the RLS is building that through feedback. “When you look at Citysnap it will cater to what’s expected in New York City,” she says. Coile says that the Real Estate Standards Organization, or RESO has come up with what he calls a “data dictionary” that can actually translate those regional differences automatically and eliminate the sticking points for MLSs. For example, checking the same box would result in a property being designated “waterfront” in one region or “shorefront” in another depending on the preference. “All the computer knows is that field F42 is on or off,” he says. “There could be 10 different words in there.” Fees and pricing will always be an issue and will definitely need to be worked out, though Coile says that consolidation almost always results in lower costs for technology as companies can get a lower price per agent if they serve hundreds or thousands instead of dozens. Pfaff touts My State MLS for not having any fines or board membership requirements, which is another way to attract more business, and says that they also offer webinars on things like digital marketing to help add value to the service. Membership to a single, national MLS also makes sense in more rural areas where properties are spread out, she says. Even though BrightMLS exists in a limited geographic region, Donnellan agrees that eliminating “digital boundaries” that are often arbitrary and mean nothing to the consumer will be the future of the industry. “We…have the opportunity to continue to lead the way on further market transparency for the benefit of consumers,” he says. “Ultimately, this clear open market is in the best interest of all. Transparency and a complete most accurate picture of the market puts them in a position to help their clients succeed.” MLSs are businesses, and at the end of the day if they are not serving the best interests of clients and consumers, they are not going to survive, and no amount of history or pushback from the old guard will change that. Hackney says that she experienced some of the difficulties in getting different organizations to work together in her previous role in Montana, which was in the process of merging MLSs at the time. Now in the very convivial landscape of Wisconsin, she says she still holds on to that lesson: that an MLS is first and foremost a tool for clients and consumers. While everyone does their utmost to avoid disruption and maintain staffing, there still has to be a willingness—especially at the top—to accept the inevitability of change. “The goal is to create efficiencies, and as staff it’s our job to serve the best interests of the member,” she says. “When you have a really strong MLS executive, those people are going to see the benefit of it, they’re going to be willing to make compromises.” Jesse Williams is an associate online editor at RISMedia. Email him with your real estate news ideas jesse@rismedia.com The post Fractured MLS Landscape Begins Embracing Tech, Consolidation appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJan 21st, 2022

The 24 best subscription boxes for food, drink, style, beauty, hobbies, and pets in 2022

From coffee and snacks to games and books, these are the best subscription boxes you can buy as gifts for yourself and everyone else in 2022. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Birchbox Subscription box services are great for anything you love to receive on a regular basis. They can help you discover new products, develop your hobbies, or add convenience to your life. If you're looking for more great products, check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. By now, the subscription concept has been widely applied to pretty much anything you can buy, but it's most useful for the things you actually use and enjoy regularly. Whether that's razor blades for your daily shaving routine or books to read during your commute, a subscription box helps automate the process for buying and receiving products so you have more time to use said products. Subscription boxes can help you discover new products in an arena you're already interested in or figure out if you want to pursue a hobby further. They're like trial runs for your various interests or needs and usually a lot more affordable than a full commitment. Plus, subscription boxes are great for gifting. With one fell swoop, you can gift three whole months of discovering new wine or trying out different perfumes.If you do change your mind about your subscription, all the following services make it easy to skip next month's shipment or cancel your subscription.Here are the best subscription boxes in 2022Food and drinkBest wine subscriptionConnie Chen/InsiderWinc Monthly Wine Subscription (4 bottles)$29.95 FROM WINCOriginally $52.00 | Save 42%Subscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: $9 for orders of three bottles or fewer; free for orders of four bottles or moreA la carte shop: Yes Gifting available: YesWinc's straightforward ordering process, on-trend wine curation, and reliable shipping make it the best online wine club we've tried in the last few years. If your interest in a wine subscription stems not only from the need for convenience but also the desire to expand your wine knowledge, Winc offers informative resources, easy-to-digest bottle descriptions, and a community ratings system to help you develop your palate. Winc delivers wine every month, but it's easy to adjust your membership to skip automatic shipments. Although it matches you to wines that it thinks you'll like based on your profile of tastes and preferences, you can also customize your shipment and browse Winc's complete catalog of varietals from all over the world.Runners-up: Firstleaf, for affordable wine and big discounts ($80/month)Plonk, for natural and biodynamic wines ($110/month) Read more about the best wine subscriptions we tested in 2022. Read our reviews of Winc and Firstleaf.Best coffee subscriptionTrade/InstagramTrade Coffee Monthly Membership$14.75 FROM TRADESubscription frequency: Every 1, 2, or 4 weeksShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesTrade is where you can order top-quality coffee from cool roasters all over the country, like Verve (Santa Cruz, CA), Cuvee (Austin, TX), and Huckleberry (Denver, CO). If you're the type to immediately seek out the local specialty coffee shop when you travel to a new city, then Trade's the best coffee subscription for you — and you don't even have to leave your house to receive your beans. All you have to do is tell Trade about how you take your coffee and it'll show you the best coffee you should be drinking every morning. It'll also provide the roaster's schedule for roasting and when your bag was roasted.Runners-up: Driftaway, for sustainability-focused, single-origin coffee ($14.40/shipment)Atlas, for exploring the global coffee scene ($14/shipment)Read more about the best coffee subscriptions we tested in 2022. Read our reviews of Trade, Driftaway, and Atlas.Best tea subscriptionSips bySips by Monthly Tea Subscription$16.00 FROM SIPS BYSubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesSips by is a personalized tea subscription that sends you four different teas (enough to make at least 16 cups) every month, so your tea rotation always stays new and exciting. You'll get to explore teas from big and familiar brands as well as local tea shops and farms and choose from loose leaf, bagged, herbal, and caffeinated teas. If you weren't already familiar with all the benefits of tea, how to steep your tea, and the differences among all the tea types, Sips by shares plenty of educational resources to strengthen your tea knowledge. Plus, the subscription considers your taste and steep preferences — we loved the personal touch. Runners-up: Atlas Tea Club Starter Pack, for single-origin and global teas ($14/shipment)David's Tea Tasting Club, for exclusive and seasonal tea blends ($35/shipment)Read our review of Sips by.Best beer subscriptionBeer of the Month ClubBeer of the Month Club Subscription$31.95 FROM BEER OF THE MONTH CLUBSubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: $15 A la carte shop: No Gifting available: YesChoose from five different beer memberships in this club: Microbrewed, Hop Heads, Rare Beers, International, and US and International. Each of these clubs gives you 12 12-oz beers in different styles from a few different breweries, plus brewery profiles and tasting notes. It's the most convenient way to tour breweries in the US and around the world. The original club started in 1994, and its panel of brewmasters and beer judges only pick out a mix of the most interesting and innovative craft beers every month. The diversity of options means you can stop pigeonholing yourself into drinking (and pretending to enjoy) IPAs.Runners-up: Tavour, for mobile-first beer orders (Price varies)Craft Beer Kings, for fun and creative flavors ($70/shipment)Best cocktail subscriptionCocktail Courier/InstagramCocktail Courier Classic Cocktail Kit Subscription$49.99 FROM COCKTAIL COURIERSubscription frequency: Every 1, 2, or 4 weeksShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesUnless you keep your bar cart fully stocked and meticulously updated, it can be a hassle to source all the ingredients for a specialty cocktail you want to make. Let's also not forget that going out for happy hour requires putting on clothes. Cocktail Courier makes kits based on recipes from top bartenders and sends you all the ingredients you need, including the spirits. Keep in mind, though, you do need your own basic equipment, like glassware and a shaker. For the subscription, just choose your favorite spirits and you'll only be sent kits with those spirits. There's also an option for just the mixers and garnishes, if you prefer to use your own alcohol. Runners-up: Shaker & Spoon, for a variety of cocktails that focus on one spirit (from $40/shipment)SaloonBox, for group cocktail parties (from $57/shipment)Best snack subscriptionSnackCrate/InstagramSnackCrate Original Snack Box Subscription$21.99 FROM SNACKCRATEOriginally $26.99 | Save 19%Subscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: NoGifting available: YesOne of our favorite things to do when visiting a new country is to scour the snack aisles of the local grocery store. SnackCrate brings that same excitement and discovery process to your door. Every month's snack box focuses on a different country and includes full-sized snacks directly imported from that country. You'll also get a music playlist and booklet of games and facts related to the country. There are three box sizes available to suit everyone from occasional grazers to snack aficionados. Runners-up: Mouth, for gourmet snacks from indie makers ($60/month)Bokksu, for authentic Japanese snacks ($49.95/month)Read our review of Bokksu.Best cheese subscriptionMurray’s Cheese/InstagramMurray’s Classic Cheese of the Month Club$63.00 FROM MURRAY'SSubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesNew York City institution Murray's Cheese offers a few different monthly clubs that let you get your fix for creamy, stinky, soft, smoky, and hard cheeses. It's part indulgence, part educational experience. The Classic Club is great for people who want a reliable way to enjoy cheeses you might not have heard of but still have an approachable flavor profile — think Montealva, a flaky and citrus-y goat's milk cheese from Spain or The Farm at Doe Run's butterscotch-infused cheese. If you want something more adventurous, try the Cheesemonger's Picks club instead. Runners-up: Curdbox, for cheese plates including sweet and savory pairings ($49.95/month)Jasper Hill, for special release and limited-edition cheese from Vermont ($100/month)Read our review of Murray's Cheese of the Month Club.Best meat subscriptionButcherBox/InstagramButcherBox Mixed Box$137.00 FROM BUTCHERBOXSubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: NoGifting available: YesIn addition to pre-curated boxes of grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, and crate-free pork, ButcherBox lets you choose from more than 25 different cuts to make your own custom box. It's an easy way to get high-quality meat (up to 14 pounds every month) without having to visit your local butcher or farmer's market. The subscription is also flexible in case you don't need that much meat every month. But if you're feeding a lot of mouths, hosting a barbeque, or just enjoy eating meat, you'll want to take advantage of ButcherBox's value every month.Runners-up: Porter Road, for underrated cuts of meat and the best variety (Price varies) Snake River Farms, for high-end meat like American Wagyu ($225/shipment)Read more about the best meat subscriptions we tested in 2022. Read our reviews of ButcherBox, Porter Road, and Snake River Farms. Best meal kit subscriptionBlue Apron/InstagramBlue Apron Meal Kits (3-meal, 2-serving)$53.94 FROM BLUE APRON Subscription frequency: Every weekShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: NoGifting available: YesBlue Apron's flavorful, creative takes on familiar recipes and reliable, accurate delivery make it the best meal kit you can subscribe to. It's versatile and flexible, with meal options for all kinds of dietary preferences, a variety of plans for two- and four-person families, and add-ons like meat and seafood bundles, spice blends, and cookware and tools. There's even a wine add-on to complete your dining experience. The meals (like chimichurri tilapia, one-pan prosciutto gnocchi, and sambal-peanut chicken noodles) are always delicious and the portions are generous — you'll even have leftovers,  sometimes. The menu updates frequently and we rarely see the same recipe twice.Runners-up: Sunbasket, for organic ingredients and health-conscious recipes ($71.94/3-meal, 2-serving plan)Everyplate, for the most affordable yet filling meals ($39.93/3-meal, 2-serving plan)Read more about the best meal kit subscriptions we tested in 2022.Beauty, grooming, and styleBest beauty subscriptionBirchbox/InstagramBirchbox Beauty Subscription Box$13.00 FROM BIRCHBOXSubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesBirchbox's mission is to make the vast world of beauty and skincare fun and less intimidating by giving you the freedom to sample tons of different products. Every month's affordable beauty box contains five samples you might like based on your Beauty Profile, featuring a variety of new and upcoming brands and products (makeup, skincare, haircare, fragrance).The brands included reflect Birchbox's core values of sustainability, inclusivity, and supporting women. For example, there's a limited edition Brown Girl Jane box which is made by and for Black women's wellness. Once you've tried a sample you really love, you can directly shop the full-sized product at Birchbox's shop. There's also a Grooming section with hair, face and body, and shaving essentials.Runners-up: Kura, for clean skincare bundles customized to your needs (from $99/shipment)Prose, for personalized haircare like shampoo and hair masks (Price varies)Read more about the best beauty subscription boxes we tested in 2022. Read our reviews of Birchbox and Prose.Best shaving subscriptionDollar Shave Club/InstagramDollar Shave Club Starter Set$10.00 FROM DOLLAR SHAVE CLUBSubscription frequency: Every 2, 3, or 4 monthsShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: Yes Gifting available: YesThere are a variety of ways you can get sharp and budget-friendly razor shipments from Dollar Shave Club: the first is the Starter Set, which costs just $5 ($20 every two months afterward) and acts as your trial run for the shave subscription. Or, you can take the site's quiz to receive a personalized recommendation of products based on your hair type and shaving needs. Either way, this famous online shave club offers plenty of flexibility so that you'll always have a supply of razor blades and soothing post-shave essentials whenever you need it. Runners-up: Billie, for fun yet practical razors ($9/shipment)Harry's, for sleek designs and other body care products ($15/shipment)Read our reviews of Billie and Harry's.Best men's clothing subscriptionAmir Ismael/InsiderMenlo Club Subscription$20.00 FROM MENLO CLUBOriginally $60.00 | Save 67%Subscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesMenlo Club, the styling service loved by NBA stars and our own senior style reporter, curates two to three pieces for you per month based on your style preferences and clothing sizes. Brands include Five Four, Grand AC, and New Republic, and the pieces are easy to incorporate into your existing wardrobe. It's your best bet if you don't like or have time for clothing shopping because it offers high-quality clothing with plenty of variety. You can exchange sizes for free and you'll also get perks like exclusive discounts and early access to drops.Runners-up: Stitch Fix, for clothing picks made by your own personal stylist ($20/shipment)Gentleman's Box, for stylish accessories like ties and socks ($35/shipment)Read more about the best men's clothing subscriptions we tested in 2022.Read our review of Menlo Club.Best women's clothing subscriptionRent the RunwayRent the Runway 2 Swaps$85.00 FROM RENT THE RUNWAYOriginally $135.00 | Save 37%Subscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesWith over 750 designers to choose from, Rent the Runway is the closet of your dreams for special occasions like weddings, workwear essentials, or simply to add excitement to your regular wardrobe. Its most popular plan lets you rent four pieces at a time, twice a month, for just $99 a month (for the first two months). We've always found it easy to pick out, wear, and return dresses, tops, loungewear, and accessories from the service. It's all the fun and excitement of wearing designer clothing, without the exorbitant price tags or complicated dry cleaning.Runners-up: Stitch Fix, for clothing picks made by your own personal stylist ($20/shipment)Nuuly, for affordable rentals from Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People ($88/shipment)Read our review of Rent the Runway.Best jewelry subscriptionRocksbox/InstagramRocksbox Monthly Jewelry Subscription$21.00 FROM ROCKSBOXSubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesThe right jewelry can bring an outfit to the next level, and with Rocksbox, the search for the perfect ring, earring, necklace, or bracelet is easy and very affordable. The $21 monthly membership gets you three pieces of jewelry from brands like Kendra Scott, Slate, 8 Other Reasons, and more, and the best part is you can swap the pieces as many times as you want during the month. If you fall in love with a piece and decide to buy it, your membership fee turns into a credit towards your purchase, saving you even more money.Runners-up: Switch, for luxury and fine jewelry like Hermes and Chanel (from $40/shipment)Rowan, for hypoallergenic earrings and fun freebies ($35/shipment)Best underwear subscriptionMeUndies/InstagramMeUndies Monthly Subscription$14.00 FROM MEUNDIESSubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesMeUndies makes incredibly soft and comfy underwear in a variety of cuts and a huge selection of fun, ever-rotating prints and patterns. Though new underwear every month may seem unnecessary, you might just change your tune once you try a pair from MeUndies. All its fabrics are breathable and stretchy and last through years of washes. The part to look forward to the most? Collecting all the unique prints, which have included sharks, a "Space Jam" collaboration, and sun-tanning alligators in the past.Runners-up: Underclub, for designer underwear in a range of styles (from $15/shipment)Savage by Fenty Xtra VIP, for access to monthly drops and exclusive deals from Rihanna's lingerie brand ($49.95/shipment)Read our review of MeUndies.Best subscription for perfume and cologneScentbird/InstagramScentbird Subscription Box$15.95 FROM SCENTBIRDSubscription frequency: Every 1, 2, or 3 monthsShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesFragrance is so personal to each individual person that it only makes sense to turn buying perfume or cologne into a sampling experience. Scentbird is home to over 500 fragrances from designer and indie brands, letting you discover your signature scent, add some variety to your current fragrance lineup, or simply try fragrances you wouldn't have access to otherwise. You'll be able to try perfume and cologne from Versace, D&G, Acqua di Parma and more. Each 8 mL sampler bottle holds about 140 sprays — enough to use a couple times a day, every day of the month.Runners-up: Scentbox, for an even larger variety of fragrances to choose from ($9.72/shipment)Skylar Scent Club, for limited-edition rollerballs made with clean ingredients ($20/shipment)Hobbies and interestsBest flower subscriptionLauren Savoie/InsiderBloomsyBox Flower Subscription Service$44.99 FROM BLOOMSYBOX$38.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $44.99 | Save 13%Subscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesSome people like food or shoes or jewelry, but for us, flowers are the ultimate monthly pick-me-up. BloomsyBox's monthly flower delivery service features one unique bouquet of 22-24 stems, and though you can't pick the exact flowers you want, the ones we've received from the service have always been gorgeous. It's a lovely way to liven up your home with new and interesting arrangements and the flowers arrive fresh and undisturbed. Be on the lookout for cool, limited-time collaborations, like the current partnership with the New York Botanical Garden.Runners-up: UrbanStems, for timeless arrangements and deliveries as frequent as every week ($55/shipment)Read more about the best flower delivery services we tested in 2022. Read our reviews of Bloomsybox and UrbanStems.Best plant subscriptionHorti/InstagramHorti Month-to-Month Plant Subscription$28.00 FROM HORTISubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: $8-$12A la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesHorti is best for beginner plant enthusiasts who are interested in starting a plant collection but may not know where to start or how to learn the basics of plant care. Horti's subscription is strategically designed so you begin with hardy, low-maintenance plants but eventually graduate to more complex species as you develop your confidence and experience. Each one always comes in a hand-painted pot (or you can opt for just the naked plants) and sometimes you'll also receive planting tools and accessories. Runners-up: The Sill, for a robust variety of medium-sized, easy care plants ($50/shipment)The Plant Club, for unique, seasonal plants ($39/month)Read our review of The Sill. Best book subscriptionBook of the Month Club/InstagramBook of the Month Membership$9.99 FROM BOOK OF THE MONTHOriginally $15.99 | Save 38%Subscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: YesA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesAs the OG national book club (since 1926!), Book of the Month has book curation down to a science, with its finger on the pulse of all the books that everyone seems to be reading and talking about lately. Every month you have the opportunity to choose from five hardcover books representing a variety of genres. Whether you're trying to start up a reading habit or already a voracious reader, the consistent shipments will keep you on track and make you a more well-read citizen. It also offers a separate, formal Book Club service where you can organize your own book club with anyone in your circle.Runners-up: Owl Crate, for signed young adult books and extra freebies ($32.99/shipment)Next Big Idea Club, for nonfiction books curated by big names in business and psychology ($21/month)Read our review of Book of the Month. Best game subscriptionUnbox Boardom/FacebookUnbox Boardom Monthly Subscription$29.99 FROM UNBOX BOARDOMSubscription frequency: Every 1, 2, or 3 months Shipping fee: $5 A la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesIf you like to unplug and unwind with a board game, try the cleverly named Unbox Boardom subscription. Each month, you can either choose a new game yourself or let the gaming experts choose one for you. The membership has all kinds of unique games (strategy, family, trivia, and more) that you haven't heard of before and will keep you well occupied throughout the year. Soon enough, you'll have a healthy stack of games to choose from any time you want to exercise your brain a bit. Past games have included Photosynthesis, a strategy game where you chase the sun to grow trees and Sabordage, a mayhem-filled pirate adventure.Runners-up: Video Games Monthly, for classic and retro video games (from $34.99/shipment)Finders Seekers, for mystery and escape room games ($30/shipment)Best crafting subscriptionThe Crafter’s Box/InstagramThe Crafter's Box Monthly Membership$65.00 FROM THE CRAFTER'S BOXSubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesFor people who love working with their hands, The Crafter's Box offers the convenient and affordable opportunity to try out different kinds of crafts and learn from real working crafters. In addition to the kit of materials, you'll receive access to a digital workshop and live chat with a community of fellow craft lovers. The exciting lineup of craft options include fabric weaving, leather sandal making, paper making, soap making, and contemporary quilting. Since The Crafter's Box sends you all the materials you need, you can test drive various crafting types and figure out the one you love the most before you drop an entire month's paycheck at Michael's.Runners-up: Kiwi Doodle Crate, for creative projects designed for teens ($22.95/shipment)Adults and Crafts, for small, approachable projects ($33/shipment)Read our review of KiwiCo Crates. Best subscription for kidsAlicia Betz/InsiderKiwico Crates$19.95 FROM KIWICOSubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesCreated by an engineer and mother of three, KiwiCo makes kits with toys and activities for kids of every age, from newborns to 14-year-olds. The science and art projects, designed by educators and scientists including but not limited to mechanical and industrial engineers, are age-appropriate and teach kids important skills like creative problem-solving, curiosity and tinkering, and hands-on craft. The beauty of KiwiCo is it frees up time for parents: time spent researching activities to do, and time spent participating in those activities with their kids. Though parents can certainly join in on the fun, the kits work best when the child can play independently.Runners-up: Lovevery, for developmental play kits for babies and toddlers (Price varies)Baketivity, for kid-friendly baking kits ($32.95/shipment)Read our reviews of KiwiCo and Lovevery. Best subscription for dogsKate Barrington/InsiderBarkBox Single Box$35.00 FROM BARKBOXSubscription frequency: Every monthShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesDogs and their owners love this popular subscription box, which sends toys, treats, and chews revolving around a creative theme each month. When you sign up, you'll share info about your dog, including its breed, birthday, and dietary restrictions, so that Barkbox can send a personalized collection of items. The plush toys in particular are a pup favorite. Soft, squeaky, and durable, they're made for play. Barkbox also has the best themes and collaborations we've seen around, from movie character chews and toys to a winter cabin getaway bundle.Runners-up: Pupbox from Petco, for treats, toys, and training resources specifically for puppies ($39/shipment)Kongbox, for highly rugged Kong products and especially playful dogs ($44.95/shipment)Read our review of Barkbox.Best subscription for catsMeowboxMeowbox Monthly Subscription$22.95 FROM MEOWBOXSubscription frequency: Every 1 or 2 monthsShipping fee: FreeA la carte shop: YesGifting available: YesSometimes hair ties, lights, and cardboard boxes just won't cut it for your cat. That's where Meowbox comes in. Every box has five to six items, including high-quality toys and organic or grain-free treats that are always produced in the US or Canada. Plus, for every box sold, Meowbox donates a can of food to a cat shelter. It even provides a unique code you can use to track exactly where your donation has gone. Like Barkbox, Meowbox offers adorable themed products, like a summer fishing bucket hat or a "skippy kitty rope" and kettlebell for cat-owner workouts. The a la carte shop also features paraphernalia for the owner so you don't feel left out of the fun.Runners-up: KitNipBox, for extra treats and toys if you have more than one cat ($22.99/shipment)RescueBox, for a subscription box with high impact ($29.95/shipment)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

The Cloud Kitchen Industry: Revolutionizing Traditional Restaurants for Evolving, New-Age Consumer Needs

Businesses, particularly dine-in restaurants, are struggling worldwide, and this now seems to be the new normal. It is a fact that unprecedented challenges trigger innovation; cloud kitchens are one such innovation, revolutionizing how traditional kitchens adapt to meet the increasing demand for online food delivery. In the current situation, when people are hesitant to visit […] Businesses, particularly dine-in restaurants, are struggling worldwide, and this now seems to be the new normal. It is a fact that unprecedented challenges trigger innovation; cloud kitchens are one such innovation, revolutionizing how traditional kitchens adapt to meet the increasing demand for online food delivery. In the current situation, when people are hesitant to visit crowded restaurants to enjoy their favorite meals, your stagnant business could not just survive but scale new heights with cloud kitchen technology. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more What Is A Cloud Kitchen? The world is heading towards virtualization faster than expected; blame the pandemic or simple operational inefficiency, but the demand for door-step food is at an all-time high and is expected to grow even further. Whether you call it a cloud kitchen, ghost kitchen, shared kitchen, or virtual kitchen, it is where foods are prepared for delivery and take-out only. Food delivery isn’t new, as the pizza industry has relied on it for years. However, thanks to the technological advancements made in recent years, and consumer habits, anyone with a small space or even no space can start a new food delivery business or transform an existing restaurant into a roaring success with a cloud kitchen. Since cost is a big challenge, cloud kitchens allow you to start, scale, and explore innovative concepts and new markets without the stress of the hefty cost involved in building new kitchens. It is all about improving operational efficiency by optimizing resources, ordering, inventory, and delivery and minimizing additional costs. One option is to use a shared cloud kitchen, having your staff prepare and produce food for delivery using space and equipment owned by a third party. Here you will be sharing a common area with other similar businesses, so you save money to build dedicated kitchens in specific target markets. Alternatively, you could opt for a dedicated-space cloud kitchen - a rented space used exclusively by your brand. This way, you have the liberty of using the area to experiment with different concepts. In addition, if you want to test some new ideas, you can use already established kitchens without the need for heavy investment in a new kitchen. Cloud Kitchen vs. Ghost kitchens Virtualization is the key here, so call it a ghost, virtual, commissary, dark, or cloud kitchen. Ultimately it is a kitchen conceptualized for delivery or take-away only, with no dine-in food. Instead, you take orders online or via call and prepare food in a cloud kitchen to be delivered to the doorstep quickly. Both offer you the benefits of space optimization, and you remain focused on delivering quality food and exploring new markets. Technically, cloud kitchens give you a kitchen-as-service for rent, complete with all necessary services, including delivery solutions. As a result, you can launch a new delivery-only digital restaurant or expand your existing business with minimal risk and low capital. How Does A Cloud Kitchen Operate? “In simple words, you don’t invest your money in building a state-of-art fully equipped kitchen, but use a fully maintained kitchen to prepare foods and deliver at doorsteps. All your customers come via your website or from food-booking and delivery apps,” says Per Tannenberg, founder of Nivito, who has supplied kitchen equipment to various cloud kitchens. Thanks to the tech advancements, your operational processes can be streamlined for easy monitoring and management. You can focus solely on building and positioning your digital restaurant brand, exploring new markets, and experimenting with new concepts without the stress of additional rent and labor costs. In addition, cloud kitchens allow you to maximize orders at a minimum price. In recent years, the success of cloud kitchen enterprises suggests that restaurants are successfully leveraging the potential and expanding their businesses. You are free of the burden of investing money in creating an exclusive dine-in experience to attract and retain customers. In addition, unlike traditional restaurants, your margin improves significantly as you save money that goes to waste in high rental costs, maintenance, and waitstaff. Cloud kitchens work on the concept of “economy of scale.” Hence, these ghost kitchens are state-of-the-art, full-service facilities with complete operational control using the most up-to-date technology, which is difficult for small and medium-sized restaurants. As a result, you get access to a world-class, highly advanced kitchen with highly trained staff to prepare quality foods and, most importantly, a highly-efficient food delivery system. Advantages Of Cloud Kitchens Using a cloud kitchen for your digital-only restaurant brand gives you the advantage of speed and scale at a  low cost. With minimal paperwork and capital, you can start your food delivery business almost instantly. In addition, if you want to test your concept, a cloud kitchen could be the best possible option before launching your full-fledged brick-and-mortar restaurant in the location of your choice. Some of the benefits that cloud kitchens offer are: Low Capital: Restaurants are capital-intensive businesses, especially when launching in a busy market. You can avoid the exorbitantly high rent of an active marketplace using a cloud or ghost kitchen. Also, unlike traditional businesses, delivery-only digital restaurants don’t need to worry about the costs involved in maintenance, staffing, and creating a pleasant dine-in experience. Highly Efficient: Besides cost-efficiency, cloud kitchens also offer you the benefit of operational efficiency, as you are using a highly-advanced, custom-built, state-of-the-art kitchen to prepare and deliver quality foods. Depending on your business model, you can use a cloud kitchen to operate several brands and menus from a single location. Flexible Menu: The digital identity of your restaurant brand gives you the freedom to change the menu according to demand without any additional cost. You know your demand cycle, be it daily or seasonal, so you change the menu and ingredients and make them more cost-friendly for the target market. Freedom to Experiment: No matter what, people’s tastes change, so you need to keep on experimenting without affecting your brand’s value. Cloud kitchens allow you to experiment with new concepts at a very minimal cost and make changes on the go. Smooth Customer Relationship: Unlike traditional restaurants, cloud restaurants are fully digitalized to capture all relevant data from start to finish. So, you get high-quality customer data with feedback, allowing you to improve food quality accordingly. You can further optimize the process and staffing based on consumer data insights to make business more profitable. Easy Marketing: You can leverage the potential of highly user-friendly third-party food delivery apps, who invest heavily in attracting customers. These apps offer you several features to get more exposure with several deals. You don’t have to waste money in blind marketing; invest wisely to reach the need-driven target audience. Disadvantages Of Cloud Kitchens Easy access to need-driven customers and maximum exposure to food-delivery apps is a great advantage. Still, competition can be fierce as several players vie to acquire the same customer. So, of course, you have to be intelligent and efficient in building a brand of trust to remain ahead of the competition both in terms of quality and efficiency. The extraordinary dine-in ambiance of a walk-in establishment might be a tempting model, and it will remain an excellent option for many, at least on weekends. But when it comes to business and profitability, cloud kitchens give you the cost advantage to beat even the best-decorated local restaurants. Modern food delivery is all about speed. Cloud kitchens located away from your target market could be a challenge if your target market is highly diversified and spread out. You might be preparing the finest food using the finest ingredients, but when it goes out for delivery, anything can happen; there’s no telling how the food quality might be affected on the journey, so your reputation is at stake if delivery isn’t perfect. Packaging your food is a big challenge, as sub-standard materials fail to offer the temperature maintenance required for quality food delivery. A slight delay and your customer will be flooding social media with feedback, and you won’t want your prospective customers to see that. Cloud Kitchen In Here, But How To Choose Right Technology Your digital restaurant brand will get orders from digital platforms, so your cloud kitchen technology must offer smooth streamlining of orders, payment processing, and seamless kitchen management. Cloud kitchens cut your rent and labor costs, but a highly-effective, integrated point-of-sale system is of the utmost importance. Your cloud kitchen must offer easy capture and display of customer data and any other relevant data so that you can use them effectively to improve profitability. The choice depends on the stage and goal of your business, so you should check suitability and options to scale. Speed is the key; the interface should be straightforward so that kitchen staff, delivery boy, and inventory manager can execute tasks effortlessly without a glitch. In just a week or so, you will notice a significant improvement in operational efficiency, reflected in your bottom line. Updated on Jan 6, 2022, 1:42 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 6th, 2022

19 underrated part-time jobs that pay well and how to get them

If you can't find a full-time job, want to make extra income, or need schedule flexibility, part-time work is a promising option. The number of people employed part-time has skyrocketed in the past year.Getty Part-time jobs have become a popular to bring in extra cash with a low commitment. Accountants, physician assistants, and programmers are among the highest paid part-time roles. Writing, tutoring, fitness instructing, and graphic designing are also in-demand options. In recent years, it has felt outdated to think about a career in terms of working long hours for many years in a single job and climbing the career ladder in the same profession you chose as a teenager or 20-something. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic really exploded stereotypes around how and when we do our work.Part-time jobs have expanded since the pandemic hit, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons (because employers downgraded full-time jobs, laid people off, or otherwise had to alter their workforce) more than doubled from 4.4 million in February 2020 to 10.9 million in April 2020. And even a year into the global health crisis that number remained higher than it was pre-pandemic. As of September 2021, over 20 million people were working part-time for noneconomic reasons such as balancing school or family — an increase of more than 1.3 million year over year.Below, you'll find 19 high-paying part-time jobs covering a mix of functions, industries, and levels of experience — along with the median hourly rates and links to help you find current job openings. Each rate, pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2020 data, is at least $20 an hour (with one exception). It's worth noting that since these are median wages, half of earners in these roles fall below and half fall above this rate. In other words, entry-level positions may pay less, but there are also opportunities to make significantly more.Why work part-time?Almost every industry has part-time jobs. These opportunities, typically requiring less than 30 hours of work per week, can give you some consistency without the demands of a full-time job. You might be able to work remotely and, depending on context and employment status, you may earn paid time off or holidays off, too.You might pursue part-time work because you can't find a full-time job, need or want to make extra income on top of your existing employment, or enjoy the flexibility or variety these positions offer. "More and more people are pursuing their passions, and this means multiple roles," said Muse career coach Jennifer Sukola. Working part-time in a competitive field also lets workers "get their foot in the door, gain experience, and find out if they will eventually want to do [the role] full-time."As someone who's been working as a freelancer for a decade, I've taken on many, many part-time jobs — sometimes simultaneously — in order to work the equivalent of one full-time job. I currently work part-time as a writer since it's a competitive field and I live in a city with few staff jobs. But I've previously held part-time roles in tutoring, administration, and marketing.I love having free time during the day, pursuing work I find interesting, working from home (as many of my part-time roles have allowed me to do), seeking out clients, being able to take on — and say no to! — assignments as I see fit, and having a multifaceted career that's not tied to one role or employer.1. WriterMedian hourly rate: $32.27A writer creates communication materials: in print, online, or both. Short-form content might include social media or blog posts, pamphlets, and email copy, while long-form content could mean articles, web content, newsletters, reports, white papers, and even books. You might be assigned to a topic, or you might pitch and create content on your own. Regardless, you may also have to conduct interviews and research and will usually work with an editor or someone who oversees the quality of your work. Some writers specialize in a particular topic or form — science or finance journalist, technical or medical writer, or grant writer, for example — while others might write more broadly. Entry-level writing gigs usually require at least one year of experience, which could be in the form of an internship.Increasingly, media companies have listed part-time writing jobs that can be done remotely — though they usually request that work be done during business hours. In 2021, I obtained a 20-hour a week writing position at Bustle, which is located in New York, and worked 20 hours a week from Boston. Don't limit yourself to just media, though; lots of organizations — from nonprofits to financial institutions and everything in between — need writers.Find writer jobs on The Muse2. Tutor(Note: BLS groups tutors with other teachers and instructors and does not provide hourly wage information.)Tutors help students — children or adults — learn a subject or skill. The material could range from more fundamental subjects like basic math to high-level content like the SAT or college-level physics. Tutoring doesn't always take place during "normal" business hours, with many clients preferring to meet after work or school hours or on the weekends. Unlike teachers, tutors don't need formal accreditation, but they do need a deep knowledge of the subject they're teaching; that usually translates to at least an undergraduate degree in the subject.Rates can vary pretty widely depending on the subject, your experience, and the location: Tutors in cities like DC and New York City can charge $50 an hour and up, for example. If you work on your own, you can charge more, but working with a tutoring agency means they help find students and take care of some of the employment paperwork. When I worked with an agency in DC, I made $33 an hour, but when I worked on my own I made at least $60 an hour and usually more.Find tutor jobs on The Muse3. Marketing specialistMedian hourly rate: $31.64A marketing specialist is responsible for promoting or selling products or services to new or existing customers — which might be individuals and/or organizations. Specialties include email marketing, market research, social media, ecommerce, and search engine marketing (SEM), but the work fundamentally centers around understanding a target audience and knowing how to reach and persuade them to take action. You may need an undergraduate degree in marketing, communications, or even journalism.Companies sometimes hire part-time marketing specialists to help with particular campaigns or to provide expertise in a particular type of marketing. Smaller organizations might only need — or have the budget for — 10 or 20 hours of marketing and communications work per week. In my case, I offered my copywriting and editing skills on a per-project basis, bidding for work based on my availability and the rate I would charge for the work ($40 and above).Find marketing specialist jobs on The Muse4. Graphic designerAverage hourly rate: $25.66A graphic designer supports a business by creating illustrations, graphics, and other visual concepts and content. Projects can vary from a short-term deliverable like a flyer that needs to be visually appealing to a large-scale project like a book or magazine. According to BLS, a college degree or equivalent coursework is usually essential for developing the necessary skill set, which may include web management if they're putting these designs online. Graphic designers can be hired with a year or less of experience, which students can bridge with an internship, summer job, or pro bono work with a club or faculty member.Part-time graphic designers can work consistently with one organization or with many clients by the project as part of an agency or as freelancers, but they usually need to have more significant experience before striking out on their own.Find graphic designer jobs on The Muse5. Exercise trainer or group fitness instructorMedian hourly rate: $19.48Fitness instructors work with individuals or groups on developing their strength, fitness, flexibility, and related skills. They can work with a variety of ages and experience levels and teach various types of classes (such as kickboxing, Zumba, pilates, or spin), depending on their own experience and training.A personal trainer certification can take several months to complete, but you only need to be 18 and have completed high school to be eligible. You may not need credentials to teach group classes, but some employers will require or encourage certifications in the specific type of fitness (for example, a yoga studio might only hire instructors who've completed a yoga teacher training program). Instructors usually teach classes or train clients part-time at gyms, studios, camps, community centers, and other locations. As a trainer, you might also work directly with clients, scheduling by the session.Find exercise trainer and fitness instructor on The Muse6. Massage therapistMedian hourly rate: $20.97A massage therapist works with clients on the muscles and soft tissues of the body to decrease pain and tightness, relieve pressure, and improve health. They can work with a variety of client types in a variety of settings, from salons to doctors' offices to hospitals. Usually massage therapists complete a program with 500 or more hours of study and hands-on training and most states require a certification or license (the exact requirements vary by location).There may be the opportunity to focus on a specialty like sports massage or deep tissue massage. Depending on the workplace, a massage therapist may work in shifts or as scheduled with clients, but there's often flexibility based on the workload and clientele.Find massage therapist jobs on The Muse7. Insurance sales agentMedian hourly rate: $25.08An insurance sales agent sells policies to prospective customers. The policies mitigate against certain types of risk: Life insurance provides financial compensation to an insured person's beneficiaries in the event of the policy holder's death, for example. Like a number of sales jobs, this type of role requires you to talk to strangers every day, identify their needs, and work with them as they complete a detailed application.The actual position could range from working a call center to meeting clients in person. You only need to have completed high school according to BLS, though employers often look for a bachelor's degree, and in any case, you'd be required to obtain a license. There might be flexibility around working from home, especially if you're selling over the phone, and working non-traditional hours.Find insurance sales agent jobs on The Muse8. Executive assistantMedian hourly rate: $30.34An assistant might be expected to handle administrative tasks in and outside of the office: managing calendars and meetings, handling expenses, greeting visitors, answering the phone, and dealing with other clerical tasks. But an executive assistant, who usually supports one or more leaders in an organization, might also do higher-level work including pulling together research, sales material, and other important information for one or more executives.Usually the more senior the executive you work for, the higher the salary. Employers usually look for an undergraduate degree in a business-related field like marketing or accounting, especially if the candidate has no prior experience.Find executive assistant jobs on The Muse9. AccountantMedian hourly rate: $35.37An accountant prepares, reviews, and files financial documents and maintains and organizes detailed tax and other records. In some cases, they might also weigh in on business decisions, suggest strategies to reduce costs or increase revenue, and make other recommendations. They can work for individuals who have complex financial needs or larger organizations, either in-house or at an accounting firm that works with multiple external clients.An accountant needs an undergraduate degree to work, and becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or getting another relevant certification can make an accountant look more attractive to employers. Many accountants do work full time, but smaller businesses might only require assistance during tax season or at the end of every quarter. If you pursue the part-time route, you may need more than one client or job to maintain regular work.Find accountant jobs on The Muse10. Real estate agentMedian hourly rate: $24.63A real estate agent is a professional who helps clients sell, buy, or rent a property. This could include a house, an apartment, a residential building, or a commercial property (and less frequently industrial or agricultural properties). Agents keep track of what's on the market, show properties, facilitate interactions and negotiations between parties, and help clients complete relevant paperwork and records to close deals. They also stay on top of trends in the market so they can advise on how much a property might be worth.You do need your real estate license to become an agent, which requires some pre-licensing courses, but besides that, you only need a high school degree. Many real estate professionals do have bachelor's degrees, so sometimes it helps, but employers look for your ability to close on a sale first and foremost. Real estate agents work odd hours (since many people can only go to open houses or viewings at night and on the weekends) but they also have a lot of flexibility to set their own schedules.Find real estate jobs on The Muse11. Physician assistantMedian hourly rate: $55.48 per hourA physician assistant (PA) works in a variety of medical settings (including hospitals and outpatient clinics) and can diagnose and treat patients as well as assist — as the name implies — doctors and other medical professionals. They can work with a doctor doing surgery, help a patient manage a treatment plan as the provider they see most often, order tests, write prescriptions, and handle a long list of other responsibilities. PAs could work in emergency medicine, trauma surgery, transplants, family medicine, pediatrics, and other specialties — meaning you can choose the area of healthcare that interests you once you decide that this career path is of interest.You'll need a master's degree to become a physician assistant. Though most PAs work full time, smaller practices can use part-time PAs, and sometimes larger clinics and hospitals only require part-time shift work (but bear in mind those shifts could be overnight or on weekends).Find physician assistant jobs on The Muse12. Computer programmerMedian hourly rate: $42.88A computer programmer makes sure that an application or software runs correctly by writing code for new software and features and/or testing and fixing code on a regular basis as bugs are discovered. A bachelor's degree is helpful, but some programmers can obtain positions with an associate's degree or no degree at all. Some companies hire part-time programmers, or you can pursue freelance or contract opportunities.Find computer programmer jobs on The Muse13. Software developerMedian hourly rate: $52.95A software developer designs applications and programs — unlike programmers, who typically execute on a plan or optimize a program, developers are more involved in the creative ideation and problem-solving when an app is in its early stages. They might analyze user needs, brainstorm ways to address those needs via an application or feature, design the various elements of that software, lay out different pieces of the project for programmers to execute on, and handle documentation.Developers are in high demand: BLS projects developer jobs will grow 22% between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the 8% average growth for all occupations. Some companies require an undergraduate degree, although it isn't essential. A developer can potentially work remotely and part-time — it just depends on the context and workload. Developers can sometimes work more flexible hours, too.Find software developer jobs on The Muse14. Occupational therapistMedian hourly rate: $41.48When someone is struggling to complete everyday tasks due to injury, illness, pain, and/or disability, an occupational therapist (OT) helps that person adapt their movement and behavior to manage those tasks more effectively. They might focus on helping people do professional work or on enabling them to simply get out of bed and dress themselves. They could work in a person's home or in a professional setting like a hospital or school.This position requires a master's degree as well as licensing. If a school only needs assistance for a few children, for example, an occupational therapist may only need to work part-time hours in that environment. Like some other medical professionals on this list, they can also manage their own businesses and set their own hours.Find occupational therapist jobs on The Muse15. Physical therapistMedian hourly rate: $43.75Like an OT, a physical therapist (PT) can help someone with an illness or injury, but in this case they're working on pain management and mobility. They're an integral part of someone's recovery after a stroke, for example, or in the wake of surgery. A PT might work with a variety of patients — from senior citizens to professional athletes — wherever those patients are, from nursing homes to hospitals to outpatient settings like sports teams or physical therapy clinics.PTs need to be licensed and complete their doctor of physical therapy degree, and some go on to do residencies or fellowships to further specialize. They can work part-time during regular business hours, on evenings and weekends, or a combination of both.Find physical therapist jobs on The Muse16. Dental hygienistMedian hourly rate: $37.06A dental hygienist assists a dentist in cleaning teeth, assessing patients for teeth and gum disease, and communicating best practices around oral health. A dental hygienist often interacts with the patient more frequently than the dentist, which means they need strong customer service and interpersonal skills as well.This role requires completion of a three-year associate's degree (instead of a bachelor's degree) as well as a licensing program. A lot of dental hygienists work part-time, coming in a few days a week, according to BLS, and some may work for more than one dentist or office.Find dental hygienist jobs on The Muse17. Speech-language pathologistMedian hourly rate: $38.69A speech-language pathologist (sometimes called a speech pathologist) helps both children and adults with communication issues. If someone has a challenge, whether it be a speech, language, swallowing, or other communication disorder — which might result from a stroke, hearing loss, developmental delay, Parkinson's disease, autism, or other causes—the pathologist can work with them to mitigate or overcome it.Some speech-language pathologists work in schools or other places where children might be present — before or after school as well as during free periods and as an alternative to their regular classwork. Others work in settings such as hospitals, assisted living centers, private practices, corporations, and the military.It varies by state, but a master's degree is essential and licensing may be required too. On the bright side, the number speech-language pathologist roles is projected to grow 29% from 2020 to 2030, so those who've completed their training and licensing are in high demand.Find speech pathologist jobs on The Muse18. Translator or interpreterMedian hourly rate: $25.16Translators and interpreters convert one language into another — translators via the written word and interpreters via spoken languages. They might assist non-English speaking patients in a hospital or work at a conference center or meeting place where individuals speaking different languages are congregating. They could also work to translate written work such as a manual or book from one language to another.It's essential to have a deep knowledge of languages in this role — with complete fluency in both (whether you grew up bi- or multilingual, majored in a foreign language in college, or otherwise gained competency). An undergraduate degree can sometimes be enough, according to BLS, but sometimes organizations look for continuing education or certifications in the case of court or medical interpreters or translators. Many translators can work remotely. Those who are self-employed tend to have variable hours.Find translator and interpreter jobs on The Muse19. PlumberMedian hourly rate: $27.08Plumbers are the professionals who install, maintain, clean, and repair water, gas, septic and other systems as well as fixtures from toilets to dishwashers. You could be working in a person's home or in a commercial or municipal building, depending on the context and your specialty. As companies work to be more sustainable, plumbers may also help with conserving water.To become a plumber, you would only need a high school degree but there's often vocational training, apprenticeship, and licensing involved. Plumbers are very much dependent on client work, so depending on your boss (and especially if you're self-employed) you can set a limit on how many clients you take on or the hours you're available to work.Find plumber jobs on The MuseEven though they're increasing in popularity, part-time jobs can sometimes be hard to find. It's estimated that up to 85% of all jobs are obtained through networking, and part-time work is no exception.So how do workers go about finding and procuring a high-paying, part-time job? "They can first identify the industries or type of work they want, and then make a list of companies within those industries," Sukola said. Then network actively and often, both with employees at the companies they're interested in to see if part-time work is available and with other part-time workers who hold the kinds of roles they'd like to get into.The key, says Sukola, is having an entrepreneurial spirit: Sometimes positions only materialize because you asked if part-time work was available and a role was adapted or created for you.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 3rd, 2022

The Catalyst for The Great Rotation – Crescat Capital

Crescat Capital’s commentary for the month of November 2021, discussing the catalyst for the great rotation. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The Catalyst for The Great Rotation Based on the firm’s current equity and macro models, and our investment team’s analysis, we believe we are in the explosive first wave of an […] Crescat Capital’s commentary for the month of November 2021, discussing the catalyst for the great rotation. 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 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The Catalyst for The Great Rotation Based on the firm’s current equity and macro models, and our investment team’s analysis, we believe we are in the explosive first wave of an inflationary cycle in the US and globally that will elevate consumer prices at a much higher annualized rate and for significantly longer than priced into financial markets today. The factors driving our view include structural shortages in primary resource industries due to chronic underinvestment, incipient wage-price spirals, and unsustainably high government debt-to-GDP imbalances which make a new inflationary trend the policy path of least resistance. As an overarching macro investment theme at Crescat today, we are calling for what we have dubbed the Great Rotation. This theme is a highly probable and pending shift, in our view, out of crowded, hyper-overvalued, long-duration financial assets, including mega-cap tech and negative-real-yielding fixed income securities, and into the less populated and more undervalued segment of the market that is focused on the tangible assets at the core of the global economy. In our analysis, the companies involved in these industries are driven by both intrinsic and calculable fundamental value and offer some of the best value and appreciation potential in the market. Rising inflation expectations and the Fed attempting to tighten financial conditions are the catalyst for this critical inflection point. Policy makers are far from doing what is necessary to halt what is already the most inflationary environment since the 1970s when they are instead: Running twin deficits at double digit percentages of GDP. Holding the Fed funds rate at 0% for another seven months. Planning to add $400 billion more in QE before beginning to raise rates. Restricting commodity companies from exploring, developing, and producing natural resources.   Crescat’s Global Macro and Long/Short Equity strategies are hedge funds with significant short positions in the overvalued areas that we believe the investor masses will be rotating out of, as well as long positions in the undervalued areas, where we believe the smart money will be rotating into, in this likely-to-be epic regime change. At Crescat, these two strategies are the most comprehensive ways to play the Great Rotation. Large Cap and the Precious Metals strategies, on the other hand, are ways to play the long side of the Great Rotation without the short component. Note how the relative fundamental valuation, using enterprise value relative to sales, between the Russell Growth vs. Value indices is re-testing the peak tech bubble levels that we saw in 2000. Tech Looks Ready to Roll Over Technology stocks have retained the limelight in the press and investor consciousness year to date as well as price momentum but are now facing an outlook of significantly deteriorating growth and profitability. Meanwhile, primary resource stocks in the energy, materials, and industrial sectors have had equally strong momentum since the March 2020 Covid crash but possess eminently better intermediate-term growth, value, and appreciation potential as the world continues to emerge from the pandemic. The real aggregate free-cash-flow yield among tech companies in the S&P 500 is now even lower than it was at the peak of the Tech Bubble. With three of the big-five mega cap tech stocks (FB, AMZN, AAPL) missing Q3 revenue and/or earnings expectations and warning of a weak Q4, this is a fundamental signal of a major US market top in the making. Add to that Elon Musk boldly cashing in on $6.9 billion worth of his Tesla shares this week, the largest sale ever by a CEO. This at the same time as one of the best performing and most persistent hedge fund short sellers of the last decade was forced to throw in the towel due to client redemptions. Those clients are fools. Russell Clark is a legend and so is his performance on this much needed and now almost vacant side of the market. Hat tip to him. Our research shows that, across a composite of valuation metrics, the stock market is more overvalued than it was in 2000, as well as any other time in history, including 1929. However, our models also show that we are headed towards an inflationary bubble burst, like that of 1973-74, when popular large cap growth stocks were decimated at the same time as commodity prices and resource stocks exploded to the upside. This is a unique type of bear market and economy that we envision, because it is much different than the deflationary-style meltdowns of 1929-32 or 2008-09. The 2000-02 tech bust and 1973-74 stagflationary shock are much better case studies for the type of macro environment we envision and want to be positioned for over the next one-to-three years. These were abrupt regime shifts in macro environments where bubbles burst in overpopulated segments while new secular bull markets began in others. There was much money to be made on both the long and short side of the market by being in the right industries on each side. There was also much pain for those who ignored valuation, changing fundamentals, and macro indicators in their approach and just kept hanging on, or worse if they bought the dip of the prior popular trend instead. Crypto Software based crypto assets, in the CIO’s opinion, are in a broad speculative mania along with the entire software industry akin to the Dotcom bubble on steroids. No doubt, distributed ledger technologies and tokenization are brilliant innovations that have value and will have endurance, just like the Internet did at its investment craze peak in early 2000. Crescat is not short crypto assets though the idea has been tempting due to the excessive level of speculation, along with their abundance and questionable intrinsic value. They are not securities with underlying fundamentals that can be valued based on a discounted-free-cash-flow model or with macro data that makes any sense to us today. For now, we see too much risk to being short crypto assets due to their crazy popularity and dogmatic following, including as a form of inflation protection. We couldn’t agree more with the need for inflation protection, but fervently believe there is a much more prudent way to get that when one’s nest egg is considered. Primary Resources Industries According to our macro and fundamental models, the most desirable assets to own in today’s changing investing climate, are the hard and soft commodities that are the core building blocks of the global economy. In our analysis, some of the best prospective risk-adjusted performance in the financial markets over the next three years (our target investment horizon) should accrue to the companies that own and produce these resources. These firms offer some of the highest relative revenue, earnings, and free cash flow growth for the foreseeable future along with low stock price multiples today, a powerful setup. These companies are spread throughout the energy, materials, industrial, and agricultural sectors of the economy. Based on a discounted free cash flow valuation approach, they predominate the list of highest appreciation potential stocks in Crescat’s fundamental equity model. We expect the leadership in primary resource industries of the economy to continue over the next several quarters and years due to acute raw material shortages at the root of the supply chain, as well as increased demand due to fiscal and monetary policies, including the resource intensive push to a cleaner and greener economy. Heightened environmental and social pressure have only made the supply and demand imbalances more extreme. Strong fiscally driven tailwinds including the new $1.1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act just passed by Congress, and about to be signed by the president, add fuel to this fire. Supply-side constraints to producing the materials needed to run the new as well as the existing economy are not easily reversed due to long lead times and the multiple years of declining capital investment trends. We are already experiencing a domino effect among natural resources. It started with spikes in lumber prices, then oil and gas, lead, zinc, and coal. If we look at ammonia prices, a key ingredient in fertilizer, agricultural commodities are a whole new set of commodities likely to be spiking next, potentially creating food shortages. Crescat’s Large Cap, Global Macro, and Long/Short strategies own many positions in the broad resource sectors identified by our models. Among our favorites is precious metals. The Fundamental Opportunity in Precious Metals Gold and silver producers are trading at historically low free-cash-flow multiples and strong near-term growth prospects. We love them. But even more, we are enamored with high-quality gold, silver, and select copper and base metal explorers with high-grade targets who are aggressively growing new resource ounces in top mining jurisdictions globally. The companies with competent management and technical teams in this segment offer unbelievable value and appreciation potential according to our DCF model. Owning gold in the ground in a carefully constructed portfolio of these firms is one of the most asymmetric reward-to-risk opportunities we have ever seen. Precious Metals, A Key Focus Today With inflation continuing to surprise to the upside, precious metals mining stocks are ripe for a major breakout after taking the strong early lead among all S&P industry groups in the immediate four months after the March 2020 Covid crash. Until last month, gold and silver stocks had been consolidating, but with their underlying fundamentals only getting better, we believe they are poised for another major leg up. We are constructive regarding our potential to deliver a strong finish to 2021 based on the incredibly strong fundamental and macro set-up. That is our goal. At Crescat, we recently became so excited about the deep-value opportunity for precious metals ahead of a likely new secular bull market, that we created two focused strategies based on it, the Precious Metals separately managed account strategy launched in June 2019 and the private Precious Metals Fund in August of 2020, both industry specific mandates. Here is some quick math to illustrate the set up likely ahead of us. The monthly price of gold is now above its 2011 highs. If miners were to re-test the same levels, it would imply a 61% appreciation from here. More importantly, the fundamental story behind these companies today is unquestionably better than back then. Precious Metals Fund Description The Precious Metals Fund is an activist private fund. It is a macro and fundamental-driven industry specialist fund focused exclusively on the precious metals. This fund can short, in addition to going long, but chooses to be long-only today, given where we believe we are in the precious metals cycle, early in a new secular bull market. It also has an active futures account associated with it. The Precious Metals Fund participates in private as well as public transactions and holds a substantial equity warrant portfolio. We have partnered with renowned exploration geologist, Quinton Hennigh, PhD to help us manage the precious metals portfolios across the firm. He has been advising Crescat for the past two years and has recently joined the team full-time as an equity owner/member of the firm and its geologic and technical advisor. We remain locked and loaded with an extensive portfolio of undervalued gold and silver in the ground. We have significant copper and other base metal exposure too where gold and silver are significant byproducts. Our activist precious metals portfolio companies are focused on substantial organic growth in high-grade resource ounces through exploration and drilling. We expect industry M&A to heat up significantly over the next several quarters and our companies to be coveted. In a segment that has seen declining exploration spending for a decade,we have over 300 million target gold equivalent resource ounces in our portfolio which is thanks to Quinton’s expertise. Total global gold production in not even 100 million ounces. Global Macro Fund Description Crescat Global Macro remains the firm’s most comprehensive strategy and can trade any asset class globally, long and short, across currencies, commodities, fixed income, and equites. The Global Macro Fund was launched in 2006 to express investment themes via a broad set of instruments in addition to equities. The Global Macro Fund includes an active futures account and as well as equity account and several ISDA relationships with large bank counterparties to trade swaps that are not otherwise traded on an active exchange, such as our Chinese yuan and Hong Kong dollar put options that we own today. Long/Short Fund Description Long/Short is a classic equity hedge fund and is our second broadest mandate. It also exploits Crescat’s firmwide themes but is focused exclusively on equities. Long/Short is Crescat’s second longest running strategy. It was launched in 2000 and has persistently delivered strong alpha through multiple business cycles. Large Cap SMA Description Large Cap is a separately managed account strategy also focused on equities, but in the large and mid-cap realm. Think of it as a souped-up, blue-chip portfolio. Like all Crescat strategies, Large Cap is driven by our firmwide models and themes. It is focused on the best large and mid-cap long equity opportunities therein. It is diversified across select industries without being “diworsified” across all of them. Large Cap is Crescat’s longest running strategy. It was launched in 1999. It has been through the Tech Bubble, Tech Bust, Housing Bubble, Global Financial Crisis, and the longest bull market ever followed by both the Covid Crash and recovery. Precious Metals SMA Description The Precious Metals separately managed account strategy is a long-only separately managed account strategy designed for investors who do not qualify for our private fund, but who still want exposure to our management and publicly listed holdings. The Precious Metals SMAs do not participate in private placements and pre-IPO investments, nor do they get the warrants frequently associated with those investments, but they can still participate in our favorite public gold and silver stocks in a managed portfolio. We are long a selective basket of miners in the precious metals industry across all five strategies at Crescat today due to rising actual and expected inflation worldwide and ultra-cheap valuations. However, it is important to understand that Crescat is more than a precious metals focused investment firm. We remain a comprehensive, value-driven investment firm guided by fundamental equity and macro models across five differentiated strategies. In addition to the two precious metals strategies, we manage a Large Cap long-only SMA, a Long/Short Equity hedge fund, and a Global Macro hedge fund. Each of these three strategies has an increasingly broader mandate in that order. Crescat Hedge Fund Term Sheet Crescat SMA Term Sheet Fundamental Equity Quant Model Both Crescat Large Cap and Long/Short have beaten their benchmarks since inception, net of fees, on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis over multiple business cycles. One constant behind these strategies has been Crescat’s fundamental equity quant model. The CIO originally began developing it in 1995. He, along with Crescat and its predecessor firms, have continuously refined and applied the equity model to managing client money since 1997. The equity model has always been an important tool in driving the firm’s stock picking in addition to helping define macro themes. Crescat has invested heavily in improving our equity model over the last year. We are more excited than ever about its current condition and potential to continue to help the firm deliver alpha. Macro Models Crescat also relies on macro models for developing its investment themes. Co-portfolio manager, Tavi Costa, helped take Crescat’s macro modeling to a new level after he joined the firm in 2014. Today, Crescat applies a variety of its own macro models in addition to our equity model to source and support its firmwide investment themes and positions. Global Macro Positioning Crescat Global Macro, being our most comprehensive strategy, maintains exposures to Crescat’s themes and most of the positions in our equity-oriented mandates, but it will also add exposures to currencies, commodities, and/or fixed income asset classes. Today, Global Macro holds two substantial fixed income short positions in asymmetric reward-to-risk put options, because we are at the lowest level of real yields in post-World War II history without a bond bear market already having occurred. One is overdue, in our view, and most investors are not ready. The first fixed income position is a junk bond short via the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF which long investors today are effectively paying, in the form of negative real yields at an historic level, for the dubious privilege of accepting default risk. The second is a significant put option position in 10-year Treasury Note futures. With rising inflation in the form of both CPI and expectations, the Fed must do something credible to fight the steep rise in the price of consumer goods and services. It has already announced that it will be tapering its fixed income asset purchases. At the same time, the Treasury department is in extreme deficit spending mode relative to GDP while aggressively extending its maturities post a record Covid-T-Bill issuance. With the Fed out of the game, who is going to take-up the slack to digest the increased supply of long-duration Treasuries in a rising inflation environment? Shorting UST 10s from a starting nominal yield of 1.5% with CPI running at 6.2% simply makes a ton of sense to us here. China is the Black Swan trade of the century that the market still just doesn’t get in our view. We remain committed to Plan A here in Global Macro, an asymmetric trade with minimal downside risk through low volatility option premium paid and large upside potential through long USD calls versus short CNH and HKD puts. We have been risking about 1 to 1.5% quarterly with notional upside to devaluation and de-peg that has ranged from 500 to 1000%. China has been melting down before the world’s eyes all year. We believe its currency is the ultimate shoe to drop. We are continuing with this strategy. Summary The Fed is trapped into moving forward with its plan to scale back its debt monetization. For now, this includes pressure from the yield curve to raise rates next year. The taper matters big time as the catalyst for financial asset bubbles to burst along with actual inflation. This reduction of monetary stimulus is a huge liquidity drain on the margin given the formerly outrageous QE levels and asset bubbles they have created. Whether it is now or within just several months from now, we believe we are very close to a major twin top in US equity and credit markets. We need to be ready and positioned for it now. Across the firm, we are doing everything we can on that front. We are determined to make money on short side of the market in Global Macro and Long/Short when the Great Rotation burst gets going in earnest. The shorts have been holding those funds back YTD but we strongly believe that will not be the case forever. Many fund managers are precluded from shorting. We are not. The team here is working extremely hard and focused on delivering value across all our strategies. October Performance Crescat delivered robust performance in October across all strategies with precious metals long positions being the biggest driver. These holdings comprise our highest conviction forward-looking expected return vs. risk macro theme at Crescat. Thus, precious metals, and gold and silver mining equities, are widespread positions across all Crescat’s strategies. November has started off extremely well MTD, with short positions adding value in Global Macro and Long Short on top of strong gains in precious metals. Download PDF Version Sincerely, Kevin C. Smith, CFA Member & Chief Investment Officer Tavi Costa Member & Portfolio Manager For more information including how to invest, please contact: Marek Iwahashi Client Service Associate miwahashi@crescat.net Cassie Fischer Client Service Associate cfischer@crescat.net Linda Carleu Smith, CPA Member & COO lsmith@crescat.net © 2021 Crescat Capital LLC Article by Crescat Capital Updated on Dec 20, 2021, 3:29 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 20th, 2021

Flaviar"s online spirits club helped me appreciate rum and mezcal more — it"s expensive at $300, but it"s a fun way to try new and rare liquors

Flaviar provides a fun, accessible way to get into top-notch whiskey, vodka, tequila, and more via its subscription-based tasting boxes. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.I tested Flaviar's Tasting Box, which contains one full-size bottle and a few sample vials of a variety of spirits.Connie Chen/Business Insider Flaviar is an online spirits club for people who want to explore whiskey, vodka, tequila, and more.  Membership ($349/year or $109/quarter) includes a Tasting Box of samples and a full-sized bottle. Members can also access Flaviar's reviews, articles, and rare collections.  See also: ReserveBar luxury wine and spirits review and 8 places to buy alcohol online now and get it delivered right to your door This content is intended for readers 21+. Please drink responsibly. If you or anyone you know is dealing with alcohol abuse, get help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) provides a free, confidential, 24/7, treatment referral, and information service.Flaviar Annual Subscription$349.00 FROM FLAVIARThe world of fine and niche spirits can be overwhelming, especially if you're new to the scene. But if you're interested in trying small-batch whiskeys, vodkas, tequilas, and more, personalized spirits subscription service Flaviar is an excellent place to start.In addition to providing quality options (including rare bottles) at great prices, Flaviar also serves as an online community for fellow fans to get together and talk about everything spirits-related. What is Flaviar?An annual membership billed once a year is $349, while a quarterly membership is $109 and billed every three months. As a member, you can choose one tasting box and one full-size bottle every three months, plus you'll receive access to distillery and bottle profiles, member reviews, free distillery tours, and exclusive events. There's also a Digital Home Bar, where you can revisit all the bottles you own and receive personalized recommendations based on your tastes and preferences. The Tasting Box contains 1.5-ounce sample vials of a variety of spirits and there's usually a different theme every three months, like "Mezcalistas" or "The Cognac Track." Meanwhile, the full-size bottles come from popular brands like Johnnie Walker and Glenlivet, as well as smaller distilleries like Journeyman. Flaviar carries more than 20,000 different spirits, and they're all vetted by industry professionals and a "resident flavor magician." Review of FlaviarThe Tasting Box was packaged well and everything arrived safely.Connie Chen/Business InsiderI picked out my Tasting Box and bottle, which arrived safely and securely. I didn't want to get just one type of spirit, so I opted for the Flaviar Awards 2020 Tasting Box, a "best of" collection as voted on by the Flaviar community. It contained English whiskey, Scotch whisky, brandy, rum, and mezcal. For my bottle, I went for a Glenrothes 12-Year-Old scotch. The Tasting Box I chose is no longer available, but there are a lot of other boxes themed around whiskey, gin, cognac, and more.The site was laid out well, making it easy to browse all the different spirits and read through "specs," tasting notes, and reviews. I loved the design of the at-home tasting experience, too. The vials sit inside a sturdy container and even come with coasters that include tasting notes and "specs" of the spirits.Connie Chen/Business InsiderIt was packaged nicely (Flaviar even included a coaster), and it encouraged me to actually sit down and take my time with each of the samples. The box included small cards with tasting notes (which the brand calls "Flavor Spirals"), and I had to try and match each one to an unlabeled sample.I don't think I'm a spirits connoisseur just yet, but I thought the "Flavor Spirals" were spot-on and not too difficult to pair up with the corresponding samples. Still, it was fun to go into the process blindly and test my abilities to recognize flavors like the banana and honeycomb in the Larga Vida rum or the peach and blackberry in the Copper & Kings brandy. Since there was no packaging, I found myself focusing more on how each sample smelled and the sequence of different flavors that hit my tongue. Though I did this by myself, I could see the tasting process being an excellent social activity to do with a friend or family member. Ideally, the Tasting Box would help you further refine your tastes, as you explore and discover your likes and dislikes. Personally, I know I'm already a fan of rum and mezcal, but I'm hoping to become more knowledgeable about those spirits so I don't feel as lost the next time I'm shopping for myself or ordering at a bar.Surprisingly, I didn't love the mezcal in the Tasting Box and actually found myself enjoying the other types of spirits more. With so many to choose from, it seemed like a shame not to take advantage of the variety. In the end, I think I'd need another round with the Tasting Box to further hone my preferences and then decide what full-size bottle to order. Other perks of a Flaviar membershipOnce you've enjoyed your spirits, the experience isn't over. You can also spend time reading member reviews, articles about different spirits, cocktail recipes, and interviews with industry experts. Some of the member reviews are particularly intensive, which will help you make a decision when you're stuck. You can also buy individual bottles from the shop. Compared to other online stores, Flaviar's bottles are generally sold at retail price or a little cheaper. In some cases, like with this $400 Orphan Barrel Bourbon, Flaviar can be around $100 less expensive than competitors. Once a month, you'll receive free shipping credits, which can be used on one order of any size. Meanwhile, for people who love rare and exclusive varieties, there's The Vault, which is open once a month and allows access to a private collection of spirits. Finally, membership usually includes free distillery tours and events, but due to the pandemic, these are still on hold right now. In the meantime, Flaviar hosts online shows on its Instagram, where hosts interview bartenders, hold live tastings with a variety of guests, and put on virtual pub quizzes. The bottom line Flaviar is an accessible starting point and community for people who want to expand their knowledge of spirits, and it offers no shortage of member-exclusive features to dive into and explore.Since it holds a large stock of spirits and resources all in one place, you won't need to juggle various forums, shops, and articles — instead, you'll find everything you need once you log in. For $300 a year, it's a bit pricey, but compared to the costs of doing all the work yourself and buying from more expensive competitors, Flaviar is definitely worth it. Flaviar Annual Subscription$349.00 FROM FLAVIARRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 10th, 2021

These 9 brands make the best couches and sofas you can buy online in 2021

We talked to interior designers about what makes a great couch. Here's where you can find the best couches and sofas. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Article; Benchmade Modern; Burrow; Crate and Barrel; West Elm; Alyssa Powell/InsiderA new couch can be a big investment. Whether you're planning to relax, work, or even sleep on your couch, you'll need a sofa that's built for comfort. You'll also want to purchase a couch that is durable enough to survive spills, accidents, and everyday wear and tear. We spoke with Stephen Kuhl, co-founder, and CEO of popular furniture brand Burrow, Beth Wangman, an interior designer of over 25 years who currently works as a senior designer for non-profit Digs with Dignity in addition to running her own design business, and Bailey Li, an interior designer and decorative artist who specializes in commercial and residential design. We compiled their advice to curate a selection of brands that combine striking designs, durable materials, and a great customer experience. Our selection also features brands that cater to various price points, making it easy to find a solid couch no matter your budget. Kuhl, Wangman, and Li also shared advice on shopping for couches on a budget, the best materials to look for when shopping, and how to navigate shopping for a couch online versus in-store.Here's where you can find the best sofas in 2021WayfairWayfair sofaPopular home brand Wayfair offers customers multiple designs and styles, all available at a variety of price points.Typical price range: $200 to $10,000Shipping costs: Orders over $35 qualify for free shipping in the contiguous U.S.Experiencing shipping delays: May experience some pandemic-related delaysAverage shipping time: 1 to 3 weeks for large items In-store pickup: NoReturn policy: 30 days for most itemsRestocking/return fees: Return shipping deducted from return amount Warranty: Protection plans available for an additional cost at time of purchaseFabric swatch samples available: NoFinancing options: Wayfair Credit Card, Affirm, and moreSpecial features: Customer service available daily until midnight ESTIf you're unsure exactly what style couch you're looking for or are working with a tight budget and still want tons of options, you'll want to shop with Wayfair as it offers various styles and unique brands. Some of the brands available at Wayfair include pieces from its sister brand AllModern, as well as from family-owned brand, Novogratz. You can also avoid extreme delays some other retailers are experiencing by shopping with Wayfair. However, if you're looking for a custom-designed sofa, Wayfair may not be the best choice as most of its options are pre-made. Wayfair offers some of the most extensive customer service hours in the industry; its team is available daily until midnight EST, ensuring you'll be able to get in contact with someone if you experience any issues. Assembly varies widely by model, but each product page includes assembly instructions, which we recommend looking through before deciding to purchase. Wangman likes Wayfair for its budget-friendly prices but strongly suggests closely reading reviews prior to making a purchase.What to buy:AllModern Hailee 84'' Genuine Leather SofaBest known for offering modern, contemporary designs, AllModern is a great brand to start with if you’re looking for the mid-century modern style. The Hailee Sofa is constructed of durable, genuine tan leather. The sofa also has removable cushions, which is a rare find in a leather couch. This couch is a great option for those that prefer a firmer seating option.$1800.00 FROM WAYFAIROriginally $2550.00 | Save 29%Novogratz Brittany 81.5" Round Arm SleeperFounded by a husband and wife duo, Novogratz offers smartly designed sofas that are both durable and unique. The Brittany Sleeper is beautifully designed and comes in eight bold shades. It’s also constructed for sleeping; the back of the sofa reclines to accommodate comfortable sleeping positions. $409.99 FROM WAYFAIROriginally $622.00 | Save 34%BurrowBurrowIf you're looking to avoid the typical challenges associated with purchasing furniture online, Burrow offers a seamless shopping experience, speedy delivery, and durable sofas and couches.Typical price range: $795 to $4,295Shipping costs: Free on all ordersExperiencing shipping delays: Slight delays due to increased demand and the pandemic Average shipping time: 6 to 8 weeks In-store pickup: NoReturn policy: Within 30 days of receipt Restocking/return fees: 10% return shipping fee, 20% fee for returns without original packaging, fee is capped at $250Warranty: 1-year manufacturer warranty, 3 or 5-year warranty available through third party service Fabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: AffirmSpecial features: Free design consultations, AR viewer, Showroom in NYCWhen creating Burrow, its founders sought to address the pain points of shopping for large furniture, including poor delivery experiences, unfair warranties, subpar quality, and high prices. Burrow offers "very simple elegant solutions to designing furniture so that it can be shopped more easily, delivered more conveniently, and be more functional and durable in people's homes," said Kuhl.The brand uses a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model to offer high-quality, customized sofas at a fraction of the cost of traditional retailers and is also very open about its production process, which includes rigorous testing. As "Burrow is meant to be the evolution of furniture" said Kuhl, it offers many modular sofas designed to grow with you as your seating needs change over time.This feature persuaded Insider Reviews' senior editor Lauren Savoie to purchase a Burrow model after a lengthy search. "One concern was how we were even going to get a sofa up our staircase (the previous tenants had to take a chainsaw to their couch to get it out!). When I saw Burrow's Nomad sofa comes apart in chair-sized sections, I was sold," she says. "I love that it's not going to be a nightmare to move, and that we can add or remove sections to suit whatever apartment we end up in next."All Burrow couches are equipped with built-in USB ports, and offer easy, tool-free assembly. Each is designed to prioritize comfort, with a layered foam design. Customers can customize their couch in several ways, such as choosing fabrics and colors, leg finishes, and arm shape. Add-ons are also available, including matching chaises, ottomans, and pillows depending on the design of the sofa. Read our full review of the Burrow Nomad Sofa here.What to buy:Burrow Nomad SofaOwned by senior editor, Lauren Savoie, and one of Burrow’s bestsellers, the fabric Nomad Sofa offers a modern design at a great price point. The sofa can comfortably seat three people and is made with stain- and scratch-resistant olefin fabric. The design is modular, so you can add or remove sections or chaises to accommodate your changing space and needs.$1495.00 FROM BURROWBurrow Field 6-Piece Sectional Double LoungerBurrow's newest sofa line, the Field collection features Burrow's signature modular design but with a sleek, minimalist design that suits a variety of different styles. Like Burrow's other sofas, you can add or remove sections on the Field collection to fit changes to your needs and space over time. $2785.00 FROM BURROWBurrow Range 2-Piece SofaIf you’re looking for a smaller sofa that still offers some customization, the Range Sofa should be your top choice. The sofa’s arm panels can swap sides for more variety and the couch can be added on to in the future if you ever need a larger seating arrangement.$1070.00 FROM BURROWBenchmade ModernBenchmade ModernWhile custom-made sofas can take several months to arrive, Benchmade Modern offers custom options constructed in about five weeks.Typical price range: $2,600 to $3,200Shipping costs: $99 contactless curbside delivery with options to upgrade to white glove delivery for an additional $295Experiencing shipping delays: May experience some pandemic related delays Average shipping time: 5 weeks to make, and about 7 to 15 days to ship depending on locationIn-store pickup: NoReturn policy: 100-day return periodRestocking/return fees: None Warranty: Lifetime frame warranty, 1-year manufacturer warranty Fabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: AffirmSpecial features: Sofa printouts available to ensure perfect sofa fitBenchmade Modern specializes in furniture for those looking to purchase custom on a tight timeline. Compared to the industry standard of waiting 14 weeks to receive your handcrafted sofa, Benchmade Modern takes a shorter amount of time, while maintaining high quality.The brand also prioritizes creating sofas that are made to be lived on and enjoyed, so it uses durable family-friendly, and pet-friendly performance fabrics. It also offers a wide color and fabric selection, allowing you to choose from bold pops of color or more neutral tones. You can also customize legs and cushion type depending on whether you'd prefer to fluff your cushions frequently or not. As for assembly, most of Benchmade Modern's furniture is shipped fully assembled and only requires a quick leg assembly. Although the brand specializes in fast construction, it is currently experiencing some pandemic-related delays, so we strongly recommend paying close attention to estimated delivery timelines if you're in a crunch.What to buy:Benchmade Modern OG Couch Potato SofaDesigned to represent relaxation, the OG Couch Potato Sofa offers medium support and a slight recline, which is perfect for movie nights or impromptu naps. The couch is available in multiple sizes including a two-seater size and a wide variety of colors.$3027.00 FROM BENCHMADE MODERNOriginally $3561.00 | Save 15%Benchmade Modern Catwalk SofaThe Catwalk Sofa has a subtle mid-century design, good support, and a lowered seat height for comfortable lounging. Aside from fabric and cushion customizations, the sofa also has two leg finish options.$2580.00 FROM BENCHMADE MODERNOriginally $3035.00 | Save 15%ZinusZinusPopular mattress brand Zinus also offers affordable sofas, all priced under $500.Typical price range: $370 to $480Shipping costs: Free on all items Experiencing shipping delays: May experience some pandemic-related delays Average shipping time: Typically 5 to 12 days In-store pickup: NoReturn policy: 100-day trial periodRestocking/return fees: Free returns Warranty: 1-year limited warranty Fabric swatch samples available: NoFinancing options: Affirm Special features: Generous trial periodWhile splurging on a couch is an option for some, many of us are working on a tighter budget, making Zinus' affordable sofa selection the best place to start shopping. While most of the brand's best-selling items are priced under $500, you'll still be getting something solidly built. The sofas are pre-made, but the brand offers unique designs that you likely won't find elsewhere at a similar price. All of Zinus' couches have a no-tool assembly and take less than 30 minutes to fully assemble. Each model's product page includes assembly instructions just in case you misplace them, as well as care and cleaning instructions. The brand also offers a generous 100-day trial period on all of its products.What to buy:Zinus Mikhail Mid-Century SofaThe Mikhail Sofa has a unique, modern design and eye-catching red fabric color. Its fabric is designed to be easily cleaned in the case of spills or other messes. The sofa also comes in a smaller size, which is perfect for those looking to furnish small spaces.$588.00 FROM ZINUSZinus Jackie Classic SofaA classic design that’s available in four neutral colors, the Jackie Sofa is likely to stay in style for a long time. Although the sofa has two cushions, it can comfortably seat three people and is made with supportive foam. $567.00 FROM ZINUSCrate & BarrelCrate and BarrelCrate & Barrel offers structurally unique couches that can be customized to your liking.Typical price range: $799 to $6,000+Shipping costs: Dependent on cost and weight of item purchased Experiencing shipping delays: Yes, dependent on fabrics and models ordered Average shipping time: Typically 7 to 10 days, longer for custom itemsIn-store pickup: Yes, dependent on availability Return policy: 30 days on pre-made furniture, no returns on custom furnitureRestocking/return fees: Customer's responsibility to handle any return costs Warranty: Reach out to customer service if you experience any issuesFabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: Available through Crate & Barrel Credit CardSpecial features: Can go see items in-store, View In Your Room Feature, Free design servicesIf you're looking to add a high-quality piece to your living area, Crate & Barrel offers several options. The brand has more than ten sofa collections, each available in different fabric colors. Many of its models are made of sustainably-sourced materials such as chenille, velvet, and polyester. It also offers full fabric breakdowns, which can be found by simply hovering over each fabric option on the website, and includes information on the fabrics origin and durability. Although on the pricier side, the quality is unmatched, making Crate & Barrel worth the splurge.While assembly varies by sofa, Crate & Barrel offers white-glove assembly for an additional fee. The brand is currently experiencing delays across its wide selection, but offers stock color options that are ready to ship if you don't want to wait for a custom couch.What to buy:Crate & Barrel Axis 2-Piece Sectional SofaAssociate travel editor Hannah Freedman purchased this two-piece sofa when she moved last year and loves its custom nature, comfortability, and stain resistance. Due to its custom construction, the couch did take a few months to arrive, but was definitely worth the wait. The sofa’s deep seats and low back cushions are optimal for comfortable lounging. $2998.00 FROM CRATE & BARRELCrate & Barrel Pershing Curved-Arm 79" SofaOffering a unique design, the Pershing sofa will give a modern pop to your home. The design is a Crate & Barrel exclusive and is constructed with comfortable foam and down.$1699.00 FROM CRATE & BARRELWest ElmWest ElmWell known for its modern, stylish designs, you're sure to find a stunning couch while shopping at West Elm.Typical price range: $500 to $5,000Shipping costs: Dependent on cost and weight of item purchased, white glove service available at an additional cost Experiencing shipping delays: Yes, dependent on model and fabrics purchasedAverage shipping time: 4 to 5 days for in-stock items, up to 12 weeks for customIn-store pickup: Yes, depends on store availabilityReturn policy: 30 days on most items, no returns on custom productsRestocking/return fees: Customers may be responsible for return shipping and processing costs Warranty: Covers against manufacturer's defects only, reach out to customer service if you experience any issues Fabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: West Elm Credit Card, Affirm Special features: Free design services, AR room planner West Elm is another must-shop brand if you're looking for a modern, conversation-starting couch. The brand specializes in quality furniture and iwith options to customize size, fabric, color, and more. Assembly varies by item, and instructions, as well as care instructions, are listed on the site, with some couches even having care instruction videos. While the retailer is currently experiencing delays on certain models, it has many options that are in stock and ready to ship. We recommend reading estimated ship times carefully before purchasing. As some customers have experienced issues with certain West Elm sofas, we also strongly recommend reading the reviews of any you're interested in to ensure you'll receive the best quality.What to buy:West Elm Leon Wood Frame Leather SofaAvailable in two size options and 18 leather colors, the Leon Sofa combines modern and antique design. The couch is also available in regular top-grain leather or animal-friendly vegan leather depending on your preference. Although the couch is made of leather it’s also very plush.$1499.00 FROM WEST ELMWest Elm Haven Loft SofaThe Haven Loft Sofa is available in custom materials and colors as well as three ready-to-ship fabric color options. The sofa has deep, plush seating with reversible cushions. A fun feature of the Haven Sofa is its adjustable leg levelers that can fit to different floor levels. $1299.00 FROM WEST ELMArticleArticleArticle provides customers with long-lasting furniture at a fair price point.Typical price range: $899 to $4,300Shipping costs: $49 for orders under $999, free shipping on orders over $999Experiencing shipping delays: May experience some pandemic-related delays Average shipping time: Will receive shipping estimate when placing orderIn-store pickup: NoReturn policy: 30 days on all ordersRestocking/Return fees: $49 return shipping fee, free exchanges, $50 restocking fee for returns without original boxWarranty: Basic manufacturer warranty, reach out to customer service if you experience any issuesFabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: Affirm Special features: Sofa Finder featureArticle uses a DTC model to offer its stylish furniture at prices up to 30% cheaper than traditional retailers. The brand has a mix of pre-made ready-to-ship models as well as customizable sofas. Article's designs are both modern and vintage influenced, making it easy for customers to find unique couches that will complement their living spaces. Many of the brand's options are modular and can be arranged to be left- or right-facing depending on your preferences. With few exceptions, Article's sofas either don't require assembly, or have a simple assembly that should take under 15 minutes. Article is also Wangman's top retailer for purchasing a quality couch online; she said she loves the brand's great pricing, high quality, and fair return policy.What to buy:Article Sven Green Velvet Left SectionalThe ultimate statement couch, Article's Sven sofa series comes in fabric, leather, or colorful velvet and you can choose from a left-hand or right-hand sectional. Like many of Article's sofas, this one features 5-minute assembly.$2599.00 FROM ARTICLEArticle Ceni Fresh White SofaA modern twist on the classic mid-century design, the Ceni Sofa provides flexibility through its detachable cushion seats, backrests, and armrests. The sofa is available in six fabric colors and two size options and doesn’t require any assembly. $1149.00 FROM ARTICLERaymour & FlaniganRaymour & FlaniganRaymour & Flanigan has been providing quality furniture at various price points for several decades, and is well trusted by many consumers.Typical price range: $500 to $5,000Shipping costs: Dependent on cost and weight of item purchasedExperiencing shipping delays: May experience some pandemic-related delaysAverage shipping time: 5 to 10 days In-store pickup: Select items available in storeReturn policy: Only items labeled "Free Shipping" are eligible for returns, if item arrives damaged reach out to customer serviceRestocking/return fees: 15% restocking feeWarranty: Covers against manufacturer's defects, protection plans available for purchaseFabric swatch samples available: Yes Financing options: Custom-fit financing and lease-to-own financing options, 6-month layaway program Special features: Free showroom pickup available on select items, price matching, free design consultations, 7-day deliveryRaymour & Flanigan is a well-known option for furniture shopping due to its wide variety of durable, high-quality furniture. Search the site by your preferred back style, color, fabric, reclining features, and more to find the sofa of your dreams. The retailer is great for those looking for classically designed models that will remain in style as home design trends shift. The brand is one of the few in this guide that offers in-person shopping, with some products available for pickup directly from its showrooms, which quickly eliminates long waiting times. Each couch requires different levels of assembly, with instructions available on each product page.What to buy:Raymour & Flanigan Skye Microfiber Power Reclining SofaArguably the best choice for movie nights, the Skye Sofa provides “cloud soft comfort” and seats that recline at the simple press of a button. The couch is also made of stain-resistant materials, which is great news for messy theater snacks. $1529.95 FROM RAYMOUR & FLANIGANOriginally $1699.95 | Save 10%Raymour & Flanigan Glendora Microfiber SofaPerfect for minimalists, the Glendora Microfiber Sofa is simply designed and available in two neutral shades. The sofa features a foam and spring construction for plush comfort. The sofa’s legs are also removable.$1169.95 FROM RAYMOUR & FLANIGANOriginally $1299.95 | Save 10%Interior DefineInterior DefineInterior Define allows customers to create a totally unique custom sofa completely from scratch.Typical price range: $995 to $5,000Shipping costs: $149 flat rate (includes white glove service)Shipping delays: Experiencing some pandemic-related delays Average shipping time: 18 to 22 weeks due to custom nature of sofasIn-store pickup: NoReturn policy: 30 days for in-stock items, 60 days for custom itemsRestocking/return fees: 15% for in-stock items 50% for custom items deducted from total refund amountWarranty: 10-year frame warranty Fabric swatch samples available: YesFinancing options: Affirm Special features: AR app, free design services, option to buy throw pillows and sofa legs separately, Quick Ship page features items that ship within 2 to 3 weeksIf you're looking for a full custom experience, Interior Define specializes in offering its customers total control when designing their sofas. You can choose fabric type and color, legs, couch size, couch depth, seat cushions, and cushion fill for thousands of possible combinations. The brand also offers short clips of people of varying height sitting on each sofa, so that you can get a feel for its true fit. The brand has several different types of performance fabrics available including performance velvet, performance basketweave, performance tweed, and more. These fabrics are key to a durable and stain-resistant sofa. Interior Define also offers options for those who don't want to wait for a custom product to be constructed, with its Quick Ship page featuring items that usually ship within 2 to 3 weeks.What to buy:Interior Define Caitlin by The Everygirl Fabric SofaStunningly designed, the Caitlin Sofa is sure to grab attention no matter what fabric color you end up choosing. The sofa is made for soft seating and will match both minimal and modern decor styles.$1795.00 FROM INTERIOR DEFINEInterior Define Sloan Fabric 2-Seat SofaThe Sloan Sofa has a more structured design while also offering supportive comfort. It features a layered cushion for that extra soft feel. $1395.00 FROM INTERIOR DEFINEFAQsAlyssa Powell/InsiderWhat are the differences between sofas and couches?While many designers prefer to use the word "sofa" to indicate luxury or higher quality, the terms "sofa" and "couch" can be used interchangeably and refer to the same item, so search both while shopping.What are the best materials for couches and sofas? If you're spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a new sofa you'll want to make sure your investment will last through everyday wear and tear, spills, and other accidents that are bound to happen. You'll also want a couch that continues to feel comfortable over time. Kuhl recommends looking for products made with olefin yarn as "it's sustainable, it's super durable and soft." What type of couch or sofa should I buy if I have kids or pets?If you have children or pets, you should look for fabrics labeled as "performance." Performance fabric has been treated to be more durable against spills and heavy usage. You can find performance versions of your favorite fabrics including velvet, linen, microsuede, chenille, tweed, and more. Parents and pet parents might want to look for sofas with removable covers that can be washed or replaced as needed. Our experts also recommend parents choose a couch with fewer cushions, as cushions will eventually show signs of heavier use.Where do I start when looking for a sofa online?Start your process by establishing a realistic budget that will ensure quality while also allowing you to avoid overpaying. "Sofas are definitely a category where you get what you pay for, for the most part," said Kuhl. You'll also want to think about the main functions you desire from your sofa. Whether you're looking for a couch based on aesthetic, design, comfort, or durability, you'll want to establish these factors prior to shopping. After you've determined the key functions you're looking for, you'll want to seek out brands that offer those features and go from there. Do some research and become familiar with the brand's return and warranty policies and make sure you have a clear way to contact customer service in the case that any issues arise. Pay close attention to reviews, as they will quickly help you determine quality, comfort, and even if there are any major design flaws. Li suggests ordering swatches of any materials you're interested in as they are a great indicator of true color, quality, and durability. How do I choose the best sofa size and proportions for my space?In addition to taking accurate measurements, it's important to consider size, scale, and proportion when purchasing a new sofa. Wangman recommends that customers sketch out a floor plan of their space that includes the length and width of the room as well as the ceiling height. If you're not comfortable drawing a floor plan out by hand, she also recommends using free floor plan software programs such as SketchUp, SmartDraw, or Draft It.What does a good couch cost?Type of couchBudgetMid-pricedHigh-pricedCustom2-seater$500+$1,000+$2,000+$1,5000+3-seater$800+$1,500+$2,500+$3,000+4-seater$1,000+$2,000+$3,000+$3,500+Sectional$2,000$3,000+$4,000+$4,000+How can I afford a couch on a budget? Many brands currently offer financing through third-party partners such as Affirm, or through opening a store credit card. Many of these options include a 0% APR time period that can last anywhere from 12 to 18 months depending on the price of the items purchased. However, if you don't pay off the entire balance by the end of the 0% APR time period you'll be stuck paying off high amounts of interest. If you don't have a huge budget but are in need of a new sofa, you have a few options. First, consider shopping with more budget-friendly retailers such as Wayfair and Zinus. You can also wait for sales, which typically occur during the summertime and during major sale events like Black Friday. A great way to save money while shopping is to find out if any of the brands you're interested in have a retail outlet. "If you are willing to do a little research and possibly a minor repair here and there, you can score a quality sofa for 30% less than the MSRP by locating the retail outlets of some of your favorite manufacturers," said Li.Our experts recommend, if you can, spending more money initially to ensure you'll purchase a piece that will last you a long time versus having to constantly replace cheaper-made furniture every few years. Another tip is to buy modular furniture (Burrow is a popular option) that can be added on to and adjusted over time, allowing you to slowly expand your seating as your budget increases. You can also purchase a smaller sofa with a chaise, which will allow for additional seating space at a lower price.Should I purchase a pre-made or custom couch?When deciding whether to purchase a pre-made or custom couch, you should consider two main factors: budget and timeframe. While custom products allow you to choose the fabric, style, and even the legs, you'll also have to wait several weeks to months for the couch to arrive. Custom also typically comes at a higher price. While pre-made couches don't allow customers as much design flexibility, they are available in many designs and fabrics, typically have a lower price point, and offer faster shipping times. Overall, if you have time to wait and a higher budget, a custom couch can be a unique fixture in your home and better match the rest of your decor.Check out more furniture guidesArticle; Fully; IKEA; Union & Scale; Gilbert Espinoza/InsiderThe best futonsThe best bed framesThe best outdoor furnitureThe best desksThe best online interior design serviceRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 7th, 2021

Mainstream Economists Are Struggling To Hide The Incoming Economic Collapse

Mainstream Economists Are Struggling To Hide The Incoming Economic Collapse Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, For many years now there has been a contingent of alternative economists working diligently within the liberty movement to combat disinformation being spread by the mainstream media regarding America’s true economic condition. Our efforts have focused primarily on the continued devaluation of the dollar and the forced dependence on globalism that has outsourced and eliminated most U.S. manufacturing and production of raw materials. The problems of devaluation and stagflation have been present since 1916 when the Federal Reserve was officially formed and given power, but the true impetus for a currency collapse and the destruction of American buying power began in 2007-2008 when the Financial Crisis was used as an excuse to allow the Fed to create trillions upon trillions in stimulus dollars for well over a decade. The mainstream media’s claim has always been that the Fed “saved” the U.S. from imminent collapse and that the central bankers are “heroes.” After all, stock markets have mostly skyrocketed since quantitative easing (QE) was introduced during the credit crash, and stock markets are a measure of economic health, right? The devil’s bargain Reality isn’t a mainstream media story. The U.S. economy isn’t the stock market. All the Federal Reserve really accomplished was to forge a devil’s bargain: Trading one manageable deflationary crisis for at least one (possibly more) highly unmanageable inflationary crises down the road. Central banks kicked the can on the collapse, making it far worse in the process. The U.S. economy in particular is extremely vulnerable now. Money created from thin air by the Fed was used to support failing banks and corporations, not just here in America but also banks and companies around the world. Because the dollar has been the world reserve currency for the better part of the past century, the Fed has been able to print cash with wild abandon and mostly avoid inflationary consequences. This was especially true in the decade after the derivatives crunch of 2008. Why? The dollar’s global reserve status means dollars are likely to be held overseas in foreign banks and corporate coffers to be used in global trade. However, there is no such thing as a party that goes on forever. Eventually the punch runs out and the lights shut off. If the dollar is devalued too much, whether by endless printing of new money or by relentless inflationary pressures at home, all those overseas dollars will come flooding back into the U.S. The result is an inflationary avalanche, a massive injection of liquidity exactly when it will cause the most trouble. We are now close to this point of no return. The difference between a crisis and a real crisis As I have said for some time, when inflation becomes visible to the public and their pocketbooks take a hit, this is when the real crisis begins. A Catch-22 situation arises and the Fed must make a choice: To continue with inflationary programs and risk taking the blame for extreme price increases Taper these programs and risk an implosion of stock markets which have long been artificially inflated by stimulus Without Fed support, stock markets will die. We had a taste of this the last time the Fed flirted with tapering in 2018. My position has always been that the Federal Reserve is not a banking institution on a mission to protect American financial interests. Rather, I believe the Fed is an ideological suicide bomber waiting to blow itself up and deliberately derail or destroy the American economy at the right moment. My position has also long been that the bankers would need a cover event to hide their calculated economic attack, otherwise they would take full blame for the resulting disaster. The Covid pandemic, subsequent lockdowns and supply chain snarls have now provided that cover event. Two years after the pandemic started and the Fed has pumped out approximately $6 trillion more in stimulus (officially) and helicopter money through PPP loans and Covid checks. On top of that, Biden is ready to drop another $1 trillion in the span of the next couple years through his recently passed infrastructure bill. In my article ‘Infrastructure Bills Do Not Lead To Recovery, Only Increased Federal Control‘, published in April, I noted that: “Production of fiat money is not the same as real production within the economy… Trillions of dollars in public works programs might create more jobs, but it will also inflate prices as the dollar goes into decline. So, unless wages are adjusted constantly according to price increases, people will have jobs, but still won’t be able to afford a comfortable standard of living. This leads to stagflation, in which prices continue to rise while wages and consumption stagnate. Another Catch-22 to consider is that if inflation becomes rampant, the Federal Reserve may be compelled (or claim they are compelled) to raise interest rates significantly in a short span of time. This means an immediate slowdown in the flow of overnight loans to major banks, an immediate slowdown in loans to large and small businesses, an immediate crash in credit options for consumers, and an overall crash in consumer spending. You might recognize this as the recipe that created the 1981-1982 recession, the third-worst in the 20th century. In other words, the choice is stagflation, or deflationary depression.” It would appear that the Fed has chosen stagflation. We have now reached the stage of the game in which stagflation is becoming a household term, and it’s only going to get worse from here on. Lies, damned lies and statistics According to official consumer price index (CPI) calculations and Fed data, we are now witnessing the largest inflation surge in over 30 years, but the real story is much more concerning. CPI numbers are manipulated and have been since the 1990’s when calculation methods were changed and certain unsavory factors were removed. If we look at inflation according to the original way of calculation, it is actually double that reported by the government today. In particular, necessities like food, housing and energy have exploded in price, but we are only at the beginning. To be clear, Biden’s infrastructure bill and the pandemic stimulus are not the only culprits behind the stagflation event. This has been a long time coming; it is the culmination of many years of central bank stimulus sabotage and multiple presidents supporting multiple dollar devaluation schemes. Biden simply appears to be the president to put the final nail in the coffin of the U.S. economy (or perhaps Kamala Harris, we’ll see how long Biden maintains his mental health facade). But how bad will the situation get? “Collapse” is not too strong a word I think most alternative economists have called the situation correctly in predicting a “collapse.” This is often treated as a loaded term, but I don’t know what else you could call the scenario we are facing. The covid lockdowns and the battle over the vax mandates have perhaps distracted Americans from an even larger danger of financial instability. That fight is important and must continue, but stopping the mandates does not mean the overarching threat of economic chaos goes away, and both serve the interest of central bankers and globalists. Some of the key policies within the literature for the “Great Reset” and what the World Economic Forum calls “The 4th Industrial Revolution” includes Universal Basic Income (UBI), the “Sharing Economy” and eventually a global digital currency system using the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket as a foundation. Essentially, it would be a form of global technocratic communism, and if you enjoy individual freedom, being forced into total reliance on the government for your very survival does not sound appealing. To obtain such a system would require a catastrophe of epic proportions. The Covid pandemic gets the globalists part of the way there, but it’s obviously not enough. Covid has not convinced many hundreds of millions of people around the world to give up their freedoms for the sake of security. But maybe a stagflationary collapse will accomplish what Covid has not? Accelerated price spikes in necessities including housing and food will generate mass poverty and homelessness. There is no chance that wages will keep up with costs. The government might step in with more stimulus to help major corporations and businesses increase wages, but this would basically be the beginning of a universal basic income (UBI, or free money for everyone) and it would only cause more dollar devaluation and more inflation. They could try to freeze prices as many communist regimes have in the past, but this only leads to increased manufacturing shut downs because the costs of production are too high and the profit incentives too low. I suspect that the establishment will bring back regular checks (like the Covid checks) for the public now struggling to deal with ever increasing expenses and uncertainty, but with strings attached. Don’t expect a UBI check, for example, if you refuse to comply with the vax mandates. If you run a business, don’t expect stimulus aid if you hire non-compliant workers. UBI gives the government ultimate control over everything, and a stagflationary crisis gives them the perfect opportunity to introduce permanent UBI. The mainstream can no longer deny the fact that stagflation is happening and it is a threat, so hopefully those people that have not been educated on the situation will learn quickly enough to complete the preparations necessary to survive. Countering stagflation will require localized production, decentralization and a move away from reliance on the global supply chain, the institution of local currency systems, perhaps using state banks like the one in North Dakota as a model, barter markets and physical precious metals that rise in value along with inflationary pressures. There is a lot that needs to be done, and very little time to do it. At bottom, the fight against economic collapse and the “Great Reset” starts with each individual and how they prepare. Each person caught by surprise and stricken with poverty is just another person added to the hungry mob begging the establishment for draconian solutions like UBI. Each properly-prepared individual is, as always, an obstacle to authoritarianism. It’s time to choose which one you will be. *  *  * With global tensions spiking, thousands of Americans are moving their IRA or 401(k) into an IRA backed by physical gold. Now, thanks to a little-known IRS Tax Law, you can too. Learn how with a free info kit on gold from Birch Gold Group. It reveals how physical precious metals can protect your savings, and how to open a Gold IRA. Click here to get your free Info Kit on Gold. Tyler Durden Tue, 12/07/2021 - 08:16.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 7th, 2021