Finding Value in Writing

7   Over the years, I have discussed my publishing about investing and related topics. (See this, this, this, or this). Many of us began doing this before monetizing content was a thing. Spend time reading any of the RWM Mafia and you a pattern as to why we put words to page emerges. We… Read More The post Finding Value in Writing appeared first on The Big Picture. 7   Over the years, I have discussed my publishing about investing and related topics. (See this, this, this, or this). Many of us began doing this before monetizing content was a thing. Spend time reading any of the RWM Mafia and you a pattern as to why we put words to page emerges. We write to: Figure out what we think Explore a topic or idea Memorialize an investment position (or potential trade) Share expertise Educate readers Publicize a concept Express outrage Signal interest in a topic Influence decision-makers Debate / argue around an issue Defend an idea or position Educate ourselves about a thing Resolve a noisy internal dialogue I am going to share a few examples, and I want you to look for the consistent thread that runs through all of them: They each add value, search for truth, expound on deeply held beliefs, are sincere, and reflect curiosity about the world. If only everything we read had those 5 attributes. Michael Batnick is Head of Research at RWM, a founding principal, and a crucial component of our investment committee (he does the heavy-lifting, I get all of the credit). This post is a perfect example of teaching readers even as he admits what he doesn’t understand: I Don’t F*ckn Get It All of this stuff is incredibly confounding. On the one hand, you have normal people speculating on Doge, which is cute and mostly harmless. I mean, it says right there on the website that “Dogecoin is an open-source peer-to-peer digital currency, favored by Shiba Inus worldwide” Silly, sure, but hard to get too worked up over this. And then on the other side are wealthy people who buy pet rocks as status symbols. I understand this drawing your ire, but I hope now, or at least after reading Packy’s piece, that you understand people’s motivations. And then, in the middle, you have brilliant investors like Chris Dixon who swear that this is web 3.0. Blair duQuesnay is a triple threat: She is a CFA who sits on our investment committee, advisor/CFP, and also manages RWM’s UHNW practice. A recent discussion reveals her curiosity and insight: Pluto is a Planet I find myself rebelling against this change like a cranky old man. Back in my day, Pluto was a planet! I refuse to call it a silly dwarf planet. Bah humbug! I’ll probably get angry again when my kids start learning the solar system in school. I notice this tendency among professional investors. The sands of time shift the way the world of money works, if only ever so slightly. What worked in investing 40 years ago, may not work today. We cling to the groundbreaking academic papers of yonder days – mean-variance optimization, the small-cap premium, the value premium, and book value. We read the masters – Ben Graham, Modigliani, Miller, Fama, French, and Merton – and we deem their work Gospel. Has anyone pursued the financial well-being of teachers more than Tony Isola? That is what he and Dina Isola do for RWM. This is first-rate: How To Escape Your Financial Cocoon Self-deception is a raging epidemic. A myriad of factors influences our point of view. Genes, family life, friends, experiences, and other items determine perceptions. Why do we believe our experiences are reality? James Low reinforces this concept. These stories have a tilt or bias. This generates a selectivity in our attention which blocks many of the other possibilities we might entertain. Delusion becomes fact. The worst part- We aren’t aware. Neither is anyone else. Nobody wants to rock the U.S.S. Delusion. Everyone’s wearing tinted sunglasses. Viewing reality in different shades turns fantasies into reality. Nick Maggiulli is our resident quant/data wonk/COO. This post is classic “Nickie Numbers” – take generally accepted wisdom, crunch the numbers, prove it is bullshit: Why Buying the Dip is a Terrible Investment Strategy But today, I’m going to change all that. Because today I’m going to give Buy the Dip the proper burial that it deserves and demonstrate without a reasonable doubt why it is a terrible investment strategy. Ben Carlson may be the best financial writer today who regularly uses data to demonstrate points on investing strategies. He works with our institutional clients. I could show you countless examples but let me simply go his most recent: The Worst Stock and Bond Returns Ever The U.S. stock market is up 13.5% per year since 2009. Valuations have been well above historical averages this entire time and moving ever higher. Interest rates are about as low as they’ve ever been. Add all this up and it’s hard to argue with the idea that investors should lower their return expectations going forward. The problem with this equation is you could have said this very same thing in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and so on yet it hasn’t happened. The low return environment that seemed like a sure thing has been nothing but high returns. There are few people in the world who can identify connections between disparate ideas like my partner and co-founder Josh Brown does. His ability to see what everyone else misses is unprecedented. And his writing is so sincerely beautiful. Like this piece: I Collect Cashflows I collect shares of businesses. Been doing it since my late teens. Not always successfully. I use a certain type of non fungible token called a stock certificate for this. I never lay hands on the certificate, it’s in digital form, living somewhere in the multiverse. A company called DTC makes sure the shares I’ve bought are the shares I get. And then I hold them. Sometimes I will trade them for digital dollars that I also don’t ever see or touch, but then soon after I am trading those dollars for another pile of virtual stock certificates. People will say “You’re crazy, why would you want to buy a fraction of a company you will never touch and hold in your hands?” And I’m like “You just don’t understand.” When ideas come together in a way that is informative, entertaining, and educational it is a thing of joy. Beautiful.   The post Finding Value in Writing appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureOct 13th, 2021

On The Quasispecies Origins Of SARS-CoV-2"s Enigmatic Furin-Cleavage Site

On The Quasispecies Origins Of SARS-CoV-2's Enigmatic Furin-Cleavage Site Via, A Grin Without a Cat Bottling-Up the Quasispecies Origins of SARS-CoV-2’s Enigmatic Furin-Cleavage Site.  From the co-author of the first peer-reviewed paper examining a laboratory origin for SARS-CoV-2, as well as its addendum, which formally linked the H1N1 Spanish Flu pandemic strain release of 1977 to gain-of-function research. Although it started as a point of obscure technical reference back in early 2020 as our ongoing pandemic was still in the early stages of spreading its now-ubiquitous wings, it’s now nearly two years later and debates are still raging about the origins and relevance of SARS-CoV-2’s notorious furin-cleavage site, or FCS.  This four-base amino-acid insert immediately drew the attention of the Sirotkin & Sirotkin father-and-son team as they were working on their paper covering the possible laboratory-engineered origins of the COVID-19 Pandemic, which was submitted back in April 2020, long before anyone else was discussing any of this with meaningful scientific detail: The genetic signatures in question includes two distinctive features possessed by SARS-CoV-2's spike-protein: the unique sequence in the receptor binding domain (RBD), a region known to be critical for SARS-CoV-2's utilization of human angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE2), which is the cell surface receptor used by both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 for fusion with target cells and subsequent cell entry. The second feature is the presence of a polybasic furin cleavage site, which is also known as a multibasic cleavage site (MBS)—a four amino acid insertion with limited sequence flexibility—within the coronavirus's novel spike-protein, that is not found in SARS-CoV or other lineage B coronaviruses.  This furin cleavage site, which is poly or multibasic by definition since its composed of multiple basic amino acids, is an important virulence feature observed to have been acquired by fusion proteins of avian influenza viruses and Newcastle Disease Virus either grown under experimental conditions or isolated from commercial animal farms—settings that mimic the conditions of serial laboratory passage.  In fact, no influenza virus with a furin cleavage site has ever been found [to originate] in nature, and it is a feature that has been thoroughly investigated in the literature since it appears to allow the influenza viruses that carry it to establish a systemic multiorgan infection using different cell types including nerve cells,  is correlated with high pathogenicity, and also plays a key role in overcoming the species barrier.   More generally, despite the fact that not all serially passed viruses have demonstrated an increase in pathogenicity, the fact remains that every highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, defined by having a furin cleavage site, has either been found on commercial poultry farms that create the pseudo-natural conditions necessary for serial passage, or created in laboratories with gain-of-function serial passage experiments. The first glaring sign that the virological community had something to hide was the fact that all of the studies covering the notorious 2012 gain-of-function experiments with ferrets and influenza referred to this four amino-acid FCS insert as multi-basic instead of poly-basic, like it was in all of the 2020 studies discussing this feature in the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  Granted scientific writing always has a load of jargon, but this really seemed intentional, to try a little syntactical shield to draw attention away from the serial passage gain-of-function experiments down with ferrets back in 2012 by hiding behind the fact that polybasic was somehow different from multibasic.  However there’s still something that seems to get in the way of tying SARS-CoV-2’s FCS directly to serial passage gain-of-function vaccine work, since there doesn’t appear to be any molecular room for SARS-CoV-2 to have gotten its FCS simply during serial passage as an insert, as it apparently occurs with influenza viruses during serial passage. Based on the genetics involved, there doesn’t appear to be any clear genomic pathway for SARS-CoV-2 to have gained it’s four amino-acid FCS insert as influenza strains presumably did back in 2012, allowing our novel coronavirus to molecularly spread its wings and achieve airborne transmission. With influenza the insertion matches up based on what we know about assumed genomic behavior, with our novel coronavirus that isn’t the case. So which is it, does the FCS lead us conclusively to a laboratory origin or not?  “You may have noticed, I’m not all there myself.” - The Cheshire Cat In 2012 during the serial passage experiments with ferrets and influenza viruses, two different teams carried out similar experiments with the H5N1 strain of influenza, which was and still is proliferating all across large commercial poultry farms, and back then was beginning to draw concern that it might gain the ability to jump all the way into human populations - isolated cases had emerged in farm workers in close contact with poultry all across the globe in the years leading up to these gain-of-function experiments, but there way no recorded human-to-human transmission yet.  It’s probably worth a brief moment to consider that every major industrial poultry farm on earth is stuffed to the wattles with potential viral hosts which are unable to self-segregate when they get sick like they are in wild populations, and so despite the fact that modern poultry farms have vaccination programs with 100% genomic coverage, 100% compliance, and 100% surveillance  - a perfect experimental situation with far more controllability that human societies - the emergence highly-pathogenic influenza strains that easily cull half the flock in a matter of days and sometimes result in 100% mortality are a constant threat.  Turns out you can’t vaccinate your way out of highly-transmissible RNA viruses in crowded commercial settings, but it also turns out that humans have a little issue trying to play God, and as so here we are.  So the H5N1 strain being used for serial passage experiments back in 2012 was a close cousin to the H1N1 1918 pandemic strain: Instead of spike-proteins like coronaviruses, the part of an influenza virus that is able to access host receptor-cells consists of a hemagglutinin protein right next to a neuraminidase protein, both of which come in different assortments, and so are referred to together as HxNy - with numbers from 1 to 18 possible to represent the different hemagglutinin proteins, and 1 to 11 indicating which neuraminidase protein is present. So as a unit, the HxNx surface-protein complex in influenza viruses fills an analogous role - penetrating and successfully infecting host cells - as the spike-protein does for coronaviruses, where SARS-CoV-2 has its FCS.  In the first experiment with H5N1, a Japanese team lead by Dr. Yoshiro Kawaoka wanted to try and measure how likely this strain was to move past only jumping from poultry to people and actually establish human-to-human transmission, by taking the gene for the H5 protein from H5N1, and splicing it onto a virus with the seven other genes - not including this H5 hemagglutinin gene - from the pandemic H1N1 strain, and then seeing what happened when the strains that emerged from this process got a chance to infect a bunch of lab ferrets sharing air in the same room but isolated in separate cages.  A Dutch team lead by Dr. Ron Fouchier conducted a similar study, in this one they also took this H5N1 influenza strain, but instead of making a chimeric Frankenvirus with genes from H1N1, alternatively but to a similar effect: they jacked it full of mutagens to accelerate the evolutionary process, and then also let it run amok through a whole bunch of lab ferrets in a similar set-up - watching to see which strains were eventually able to establish airborne transmission among the critters.  And in both cases it was only strains with our notorious FCS, albeit described without that exact term and instead using multibasic inserts and other language, which were able to reliably establish airborne transmission between laboratory ferrets, telling both teams of scientists it was this furin-cleavage site which was especially dangerous and might open the door to another human influenza pandemic if a virus with it was able to jump completely off of poultry farms and into human populations.  However there’s been a fundamental misunderstanding going on, one that rests at the very base of scientific exploration, that’s caused everyone talking about the FCS to argue that it’s an insert that appeared within the virus during these serial passages between ferrets, and was an evolutionary adaptation which allowed for airborne transmission to occur.  Because if you look carefully, that’s not what happened at all.  “How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual, I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning?” -The Cheshire Cat Fortuitously for us, the easiest way to correct the misconception around the FCS only emerging after airborne transmission between animal hosts, or being an insert that got added directly into the genome by evolution as a response to that pressure, is to examine SARS-CoV-2 and its behavior during serial passage as a quasispecies mutant swarm. The quasispecies swarm model approaches RNA viruses not as discrete genotypes transmitted on by discrete strains, but instead as quasispecies of mutant swarms of virions which carry distinct but complimentary sets of alleles - collections of genes thought to work together - which work in concert in real-time to establish and expand infections. One of the first empirical changes that comes once you consider an RNA virus as a quasispecies is that at any point in time an average of all the extant variants’ genomes serves as the smallest selective unit, as opposed to using individual virions or any single extant genome in a population, the classical approach.  This quasispecies viral swarming is an amorphous behavior that describes the search for fitness that occurs as each successive generation of the swarm produces another spectra of mutations, with the term “quasispecies” specifically describing “distributions of non-identical but related genomes subjected to a continuous process of genetic variation, competition, and selection, and which act as a unit of selection.” Each of these distributions can be considered clouds of allelic statistical possibilities, each of which represents the spectrum of mutations that can be expected to emerge within a set number of generations, so their ratios will be constantly changing over successive generations and in different environmental settings. This type of effect has just begun to be explored within the classical model, by quantifying the antigenic waves that shimmer across the surface of quasispecies mutant swarms as they shift between the host populations, and using these measurements to indirectly measure the quasispecies swarm itself without really getting the full picture of what’s really going on.  With quasispecies viruses replicating continually once a successful infection has set in and begun to smolder, the most-fit variant for a given tissue will predominate in that one tissue when a sample is taken only from it. However, although only one variant will appear in the smoky quasispecies mutant swarm infecting the tissue, the smoldering infection will be continually throwing off new variants which represent different points in the possible mutational spectrum – some of which will be better adapted to neighboring tissue, and others acting as accelerants for the predominate variant, intensifying its virulence. And just like one gas acting as an accelerant for another’s combustion can be modeled mathematically by looking at their relative binding tendencies to different elements and how they react at different concentrations, the mathematical inevitability of quasispecies mutant swarms fully exploring their mutational spectrum and finding variants to fuel their spread isn’t any different. It’s only the language that varies, as the literature currently describes the positive selection quasispecies mutant variants resulting in “hitchhiking” between mutations on variants in the same swarm, the exact same concept as different variants and their mutations acting as accelerates for each other during gaseous chemical combustion. Or in a more traditional sense, quasispecies mutant swarms likely depend on a sort of accidentally eusocial viral altruism to prosper. As one study revealed, although its usually possible to identify a majority consensus sequence from a sample of a host infected by COVID-19, the sample had a broad median variant count of 23, with nearly 250 different variants found in total just within one single host.  And considering that about half of the observed mutations thought to have a significant impact on gene expression and samples differing throughout the day even in the same organ system, as well as the fact that barely 2% of the minority variants were found to overlap at all between any two hosts - the inherently nebulous quasispecies mutant swarming nature of SARS-CoV-2 begins to coalesce even more. So as with any virus, but especially with coronaviruses, it’s important to keep in mind that hidden within their large genomes are entire suites of accessory genes which only appear functional while actually living inside their hosts, in vivo, and whose function won’t be observable within the virtual environment in lab Petri dishes, in vitro: “the coronavirus group-specific genes are not essential for growth in cell culture but function in virus-host interactions.” This means that some coronavirus genes get effectively muted when the virus isn’t being challenged by the immune system of an entire host body, which also helps explain why SARS-CoV-2 violates the “canyon hypothesis,” and has a region of its genome which appears never to have been challenged by a full host immune system like every other human coronavirus.  And so with the quasispecies model in mind, maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise that our friendly neighborhood novel coronavirus has an FCS that isn’t exactly permanent, and can pull a little bit of a disappearing act - or at least what appears to us as outside scientific observers to be a disappearing act. Since it turns out SARS-C0V-2’s quasispecies swarm almost immediately loses its FCS when it’s passaged through Vero cells, which are derived from a line of African green monkey kidney cells that’s commonly used for cell culture, or in vitro, experiments.   These cells don’t present the same set of immune challenges as a full host, hardly a tiny fraction of them, and so it turns out SARS-CoV-2’s quasispecies swarm no longer needs the group-specific genes to cleave certain cell types conferred by an FCS when its in these friendly isolated cell-culture kidney cells - meaning it drops off, almost entirely in a single passage.  Almost, but not entirely. A phrase that defines trying to understand quasispecies mutant swarms overall.  But okay, the FCS can be almost entirely lost without all the immune challenges posed by a full host, but then how did it get there in the first place? The exact same way the H5N1 strains “gained” it during the 2012 experiments with ferrets and influenza: It was always there to begin with.  “When the day becomes the night and the sky becomes the sea, when the clock strikes heavy and there’s no time for tea; and in our darkest hour, before my final rhyme, she will come back home to Wonderland and turn back the hands of time.” - The Cheshire Cat In each of the 2012 serial passage experiments with influenza strains and ferrets, the FCS didn’t appear as a response to the challenge of airborne transmission between hosts, it existed in a very small frequency within each H5N1 swarm prior to each experiment, and then quickly reached majority status once the bottleneck of jumping from ferret-to-ferret in the air was presented.  It was observed by each team after successful airborne transmission between ferrets, however before this challenge was presented to the H5N1 swarms, they were both first heavily mutated by artificial outside means - directly splicing in genes from H1N1 in the case of Dr. Yoshiro Kawaoka and bathing the swarm in a mutagen in the cast of Dr. Ron Fouchier - artificial, inherently sloppy, and unpredictable processes a long way from surgically splicing precise nucleotides in-and-out, which led to the emergence of the FCS in small minority subpopulations of their swarms prior to their presentation to ferrets for passaging. This was the challenge that created the FCS during those experiments, the outside intervention of scientists intent on carrying out their gain-of-function experiments, not the challenge of jumping through the air between ferrets. Once it exists anywhere in the swarm, the FCS is going to remain at levels that are too small for typical detection until its special ability is called for: Airborne transmission between mammalian hosts.  Directly supporting this is the reemergence of SARS-CoV-2’s FCS within Calu-3 cells - cells grown from the surface of human lungs - after it falls off in Vero cells. The swarm doesn’t need an FCS to flourish inside monkey kidney cells, inside Vero cells, however once it gets placed into human airway cells - now the chance of airborne transmission is back on the table, and so the FCS quickly returns to dominance inside the swarm, reaching fixation in just a single passage.  SARS-CoV-2’s affinity for human kidneys - up to 25% of its patients can suffer an acute kidney injury - is likely linked to this past history being passaged through Vero kidney cells during its development as a live-attenuated vaccine (LAV) - a vaccine built from an entire virus that’s supposed to be weakened down to the point where it can never establish symptomatic infections, but still serves as enough of a mock-up to provide our immune systems with the ability to recognize and neutralize the actual live version of that virus.  LAVs were discovered by Louis Pasteur of preserving dairy-products fame, who accidentally discovered that samples of chicken cholera left out in the elements got weakened to the point where they effectively became vaccines: Exposing healthy chickens to samples of cholera that’d been weakened, or attenuated by the elements, protected the chickens from infection by the full-strength virus without creating any symptoms during inoculation by the weakened strain. And although this version of a LAV wasn’t known to revert, the modern LAV that protects against Polio, called OPV, can and does revert all the way back to full virulence and cause paralysis in its hosts.  And to design a LAV against Yellow Fever, the only type of vaccine that would confer protection since it creates the strongest type, the first step was building a highly-pathogenic chimera built from genes of several different strains of that virus. This was also the first step to develop OPV, which has recently begun the paradoxical phenomenon of reassembling itself within vaccinated populations and establishing full paralytic virulence. In 2019 there were 176 cases of poliomyelitis derived from the OPV strain reverting back to virulence worldwide, when only 33 had been seen the year prior.  This enigmatic process, of a LAV reverting or deattenuating back to virulence, is one of the worst nightmares for the virological and vaccinological communities - in part because in the case of OPV, the fully reverted strains are able to infect absolutely everyone, even if they’ve been fully vaccinated or previously infected. And its a possibility virologists and vaccine-designers are all well-aware of.   After all, as our Dr. Ron Fouchier of ferret and influenza serial passage gain-of-function fame noted rather presciently in July of 2019, a few months before the start of the Wuhan Military Games: “That’s what happened in the 70s, people were trying to do live-attenuated vaccines and do human challenge studies and that might be the way the H1 re-emerged in the 70s. Some people say it was a lab accident. I don’t believe that. I think it was actually human challenge studies and live-attenuated vaccines that reverted that are the likely candidates of the 1970 reemergence of H1. And we need to make sure that doesn’t happen again.” Because when a LAV reverts, the viral swarm that emerges in the case of OPV at least runs right through both natural and vaccine-induced immunity, and this is even with a virus like Polio where the OPV vaccine is considered 100% effective and permanent.  Turns out OPV vaccine was almost, but not entirely effective.  And so SARS-CoV-2 and the experimental H5N1 viral swarms both expressing their FCS when they need to achieve airborne transmission serves as a canonical example of  “the convergent evolution that dominates virus–host interactions, since viral proteins evolve convergently and often accumulate many of the same linear motifs that mediate many functionally diverse biophysical interactions in order to manipulate complex host processes.” They’re both products of serial passage gain-of-function experiments, and both display the ability to gain and lose their FCS depending on whether or not mammalian airborne transmission is on the table. When SARS-CoV-2 is taken out of kidney cells where an FCS won’t possibly be needed for airborne transmission, it seems to disappear back into the shadows as it only remains within a small minority sub-population of the swarm, but when it’s placed back in human airway cells - in just one passage it can appear to reach fixation, although in reality there will always be a small minority subpopulation without it. But of course in the case of SARS-CoV-2, this ability for the minority population with the FCS to almost immediately become the dominant strain wasn’t first observed in the laboratory, but unfortunately for humanity occurred in the field during the Wuhan Military Games, when this unexpected emergence of the FCS-dominant swarm allowed for airborne transmission and kicked off our pandemic as the virus spread through the air all across Wuhan. The fact SARS-CoV-2 had an FCS in the first place was suppressed from the start, because of its obvious ties to the gain-of-function serial passage work of 2012. And because of the nature of quasispecies swarms, which often create the illusion that only one discrete variant is extant in a population since each isolated organ system tends to predominately host the variant that’s best suited for it at the time, this novel coronavirus appeared to have a rather immutable and stable genome - since nasal swabs will only ever catch the one variant happens to be winning in your nose at a given time.  However the full quasispecies swarm will always be there, it’s just not going to appear unless you look for it with far more exacting tools than just a nasal swab. And just like OPV and its perpetually reverting quasispecies swarm, SARS-CoV-2 is going to continue to revert back towards its original highly-pathogenic form so long as any transmissions are ongoing at all, going through gatekeeping mutations as it makes unexpected evolutionary leaps back towards full virulence.  “Only a few find the way, some don’t recognize it when they do – some… don’t ever want to.” -The Cheshire Cat H1N1 is the highly-pathogenic state of human influenza, it is not an alien virus - it is completely and entirely adapted to our genome and has been with us for thousands of years. H1N1 doesn’t create a pandemic by simply by existing in a population, it is the strain that wins out and emerges once there’s enough crowding and transmission events to trick human influenza into thinking that its host population is about to die off completely, and so it goes into a highly-pathogenic state in an attempt to jump into a new host species, in its case from humans and into pigs.   Highly-pathogenic avian influenzas are identified by the existence of an FCS, something H1N1 doesn’t need for our cells because its perfectly adapted to human populations to begin with:  “In 1997, small fragments of viral RNA were obtained for sequence analysis from an autopsy sample of a victim of the 1918 influenza. The initial characterization of the virus confirmed the H1N1 subtype and demonstrated that the 1918 HA did not possess the cleavage site mutation seen in the lethal H5 and H7 viruses. This finding eliminated the HA cleavage site mutation as an appealing explanation for the virulent behavior of the 1918 virus.” And although there haven’t been any more published gain-of-function experiments with avian influenza due to the very-selectively-enforced moratorium against the practice, in the years since poultry farms have served as their own handy real-life Petri dishes.  Studies of the H7N9 avian influenza as its emerged off of poultry farms in a highly-pathogenic state and managed to infect workers have revealed that the process of jumping from birds into people doesn’t just happen out of nowhere in one magic moment. In fact, it takes five successive waves of infections before the H7N9 swarm begins to regularly jump from birds into farm-workers, the only people in close-enough contact to the avian swarm for all five of these waves to antigenically wash over them, building up a swarm within their prospective new humans hosts, and also slowly altering the nature of H7N9’s swarm within both host species.  And of course since there’s a highly-pathogenic avian influenza forming, the FCS is the distinguishing feature found in the fifth wave that indicates humans are now at risk. However it’s not only found in the fifth wave, and begins to show up in earlier waves along with other genomic features that fully reach majority fixation in the fifth wave - again showcasing how the quasispecies mutant swarm will invariably change its shape over time, and depending on the challenges its facing. So in the many months since the COVID-19 Pandemic began, it’s abundantly clear the people who started it and are profiting the most from it have instructed the media not to talk about “serial passage” at all, nor the past links to vaccine research and past viral outbreaks, including the 1977 H1N1 outbreak linked to military vaccine gain-of-function work as well as the 2009 H1N1 endemic, both likely from serially passaged LAVs that were able to make their way back to full strength much faster than the scientists who designed them anticipated.  And so the silence from absolutely everyone when it comes to the connections our ongoing pandemic might have with vaccine research and serial passage is mirrored by the media’s refusal to discuss the millions and millions of culled farm-minks as a link to the obvious intermediate animal host. Since mink point directly to lab ferrets, their very close cousins, which were used during the 2012 gain-of-function experiments that led to a moratorium against the practice, and were almost certainly used to attenuate the SARS-like LAV, that would emerge at the Wuhan Military Games as SARS-CoV-2 - ferrets are the go-to animal to use for airborne vaccine work.  Which is why this novel virus was able to create a second simultaneous pandemic across mink farms all across dozens of nations on multiple continents, because the virus was still incredibly well-acclimated to their physiology, since it so closely mimics the ferrets that the virus was serially passaged through as it was attenuated and weakened down into a LAV - appearing to the scientists building it to lose its FCS at some past point along the way, when in reality it was always there, hiding and waiting for when its unique ability might be needed to smile on humanity.  And it’s almost certainly the past reversions of H1N1 LAVs in 1977 and 2009 that seemed to eventually just melt away, which sociopaths like Richard Ebright and the rest of his sweaty socially-retarded buddies at JASON are using to assure everyone that SARS-CoV-2, another LAV that’s reverting, will just melt away in just a few more months - just like H1N1 seems to have done twice. Unfortunately, unlike their mythical buddy: Each and everyone one of these arrogant old hacks was drawn into the siren song of multi-billion dollar defense and pharmaceutical contracts long ago, and they’re going to remain pushing for a fascist and entirely ineffective vaccination program because they’re rotten, filthy, diseased whores, and that is exactly what they are being paid to do.  Our novel coronavirus is not a naturally spreading and evolving virus, and it has not become endogenous to human populations after thousands of years of coevolution - it is reverting back towards a highly-pathogenic SARS-like chimera that our immune systems will be entirely helpless against, and is going through the same unexpected epistatic gatekeeping mutations that OPV does on its way back to full virulence, which vaccines are also entirely helpless against.  In the case of SARS-CoV-2, this gatekeeping results in the sudden emergence of new strains that appear evolutionarily impossible - like Omicron.  And so long as transmission is ongoing, there is nothing that is going to stop this pandemic except more death, because transmission means more gatekeeping, and gatekeeping means continued steps closer to the original strongest version of this highly-pathogenic virus.  Being completely and entirely acclimated to the human genome is not at all the case with OPV, a LAV against the Polio virus that’s reverting all across the third world and bringing back Polio’s terrible paralytic poliomyelitis. So OPV serves as a much more accurate analogy for SARS-CoV-2 than the H1N1 LAVs. Our novel coronavirus is a LAV derived from the work being done at UNC, the only place on earth trying to make a LAV for SARS-like viruses, which are also obviously not going to be fully acclimated to the human genome like the human influenza virus, which seems to have been with us at least since the Trojan War thousands of years ago.  Until SARS-CoV-2 is understood as a LAV that’s deattenuating towards a highly-pathogenic chimeric coronavirus that’s going through gatekeeping mutations and has no intention whatsoever of following the assumptions drawn from observing natural evolution or even the paths of the H1N1 LAVs which melted back into their original endogenous human hosts - humanity is going to continue to be standing on its head as it attempts to battle this pandemic, and misunderstanding the basic fundamental nature of what its up against.  It’s something we seem to be particularly good at, since all the way back in 1977 when the first H1N1 LAV emerged to a mass global panic, a massive push was made to create and distribute vaccines against what was thought to be a potentially pandemic strain. But it turns out that one of the ways a LAV isn’t a natural virus, is that when you attempt to vaccinate against it, neurological side-effects appear to proliferate among the vaccinated population, as the virus blows through this attempt at protection.  Because unfortunately for all of us, this isn’t the first time we’ve all been down the horrific rabbit-hole of trying to rush out an incredibly profitable vaccine against an enigmatic mystery virus that’s really a military LAV that deattenuated faster than expected. A vaccine which only provides only weak and temporary protection - but also causes wide-spread side-effects because it turns out the pharmaceutical companies were lying about their vaccine studies, and knowingly risked the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans so they could make as much money as quickly as possible: “We are all victims in-waiting.” -The Cheshire Cat Tyler Durden Mon, 12/06/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 7th, 2021

An important school board group is unraveling after it sent a letter to Biden likening threats against school officials to ‘domestic terrorism and hate crimes’

The National School Boards Association is under fire after writing to the president and comparing threats against educators to "domestic terrorism." Amy Jahr sings the Star Spangled Banner after a Loudoun County School Board meeting in Northern Virginia was halted because the crowd refused to quiet down.Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters The National School Boards Association compared threats to school leaders to "domestic terrorism." The message, and Attorney General Merrick Garland's swift response, backfired. Now state school board associations are distancing themselves from NSBA. The National School Boards Association wanted to help protect education leaders from threats of violence and acts of intimidation that were playing out across the nation.So its leaders penned a controversial letter — one they'd later regret — to President Joe Biden, asking the feds to step in against threats the group compared to "a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes."That message, and Attorney General Merrick Garland's swift response, only led to more mayhem, inflaming parents, and gift wrapping talking points for Republicans eager to use the issue as a springboard back to power in 2022 and 2024. Welcome to the culture wars of 2021, where a skirmish enveloping state school board associations across the nation has education leaders fed up and finding ways to distance themselves from the group and its hot mess. "Unfortunately, the NSBA needlessly caused substantial controversy this fall, which has negatively impacted relationships among school boards, parents and community members," wrote The Wisconsin Association of School Boards, which voted in November to withdraw participation in the NSBA programs and activities.In all, associations in 27 states have distanced themselves from NSBA since that late September letter to Biden. Seventeen of those states have taken further steps, by either withdrawing membership, participation, or dues, according to the latest tracking by Parents Defending Education, an organization that says it fights "indoctrination" in the classroom. "We would have readily pointed out the mischaracterization of parents and patrons in our communities as domestic terrorists who merited federal investigation," the Idaho School Boards Association wrote in its response, which said they had not been asked for input on the letter. "We want parents and patrons engaged in our public schools – we have sought that for years," the Idaho group added.'Domestic terrorism and hate crimes'The NSBA is a nonprofit that has operated since 1940 as a federation of state associations (and the US Virgin Islands), advocating for public school board leaders. As wild parent protests at school board meetings grabbed headlines, the group and AASA, the School Superintendents Association raised alarms about threats and violence around COVID-19 guidelines at the beginning of the school year.Later, in their September 29 letter to Biden, NSBA said school boards members have been attacked for face-mask policies and threatened over false claims about "critical race theory" being taught in K-12 classrooms.The advocacy group did not characterize parents in the letter as "domestic terrorists," as has been reported, but they asked for federal assistance against threats, and requested a review examining enforceable actions under a host of federal statutes, including the post-9/11 PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism. "As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes," the letter from the group's president Viola Garcia and Chip Slaven, who was then the interim executive director.NSBA did not respond to a request for comment.Weeks later, NSBA apologized on Oct. 22 to its members for writing the letter, saying "there was no justification for some of the language" in it. But Garland, who in a memo called on the FBI to address illegal threats against public servants, defended his response during a Senate Judiciary Committee. "The only thing that Justice Department is concerned about is violence and threats of violence," he said, according to CNN.Republicans, hoping to be viewed as the party of parents in the midterm elections, have seized on the controversy. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of California, issued an October 5 statement in response to Garland's memo, saying Democrats want to "silence parents, and prevent them from having a say in their own children's education."Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, said in a statement, "We don't need the federal government investigating and intimidating parents in an attempt to squelch dissent." The Florida School Boards Association withheld their dues in July over various concerns with NSBA and stated in an October 11 letter that they would continue to do so.Former President Donald Trump weighed in on the issue, too, with Fox News' Sean Hannity, saying parents don't want "all of this nonsense that's being fed to their children," and "they're trying to make them out to be terrorists … How crazy is this?"Erika Sanzi, outreach director for Parents Defending Education, told Insider her group had "major concerns" about what seemed like a deliberate attempt to intimidate parents and the DOJ's quick response, giving NSBA what they wanted. But she said she's glad the NSBA letter backfired."There's moms out there, right, that are like wearing domestic terrorist T-shirts now in response to that letter as a way of saying, 'I am not going to be silenced. I am going to speak out about my concerns at my kids' school,'" she said. "They're taking that domestic terrorist accusation and they're having fun with it."A crowd of angry, largely unmasked people objected to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' mask mandate for schools during an August school board meeting in Baton Rouge.AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte'Fractured relationships'School board associations acknowledged in their statements that education leaders do indeed face threats. The Idaho association pointed to "disruptive and – at times, frightening – behavior" at school board meetings in the state and across the country.But some groups said it was "overreach" to ask for federal law enforcement intervention when local law enforcement should handle protests, and they were angry that they were not consulted about the letter. The Missouri School Boards' Association, which withdrew from NSBA, said federal intervention in most cases shouldn't be the first step and it runs contrary to their tradition of local control. "Further, the use of inflammatory terms in the NSBA letter is not a model for promoting greater civility and respect for the democratic process," the statement said. While the apology was a "step in the right direction," the Missouri association wrote that NSBA has "significant work ahead" to prevent similar problems and repair their "fractured relationships."States may have decided to leave the group for reasons beyond their letter to Biden, Brian Farmer, executive director of the Wyoming School Boards Association, wrote in a letter to members. Farmer noted that NSBA has been struggling with "internal governance issues." Rather than withdraw from NSBA, the Wyoming association's board decided to continue to "monitor the situation" and not automatically renew their membership.The Pennsylvania School Boards Association withdrew from NSBA for multiple reasons, according to a letter to its members reported by The Hill, but the controversy over the letter "suggesting that some parents should be considered domestic terrorists was the final straw." The NSBA letter "fomented more disputes and cast partisanship" on their work on behalf of school directors, the Pennsylvania association wrote."Now is not the time for more politics and posturing, it is the time for solutions to the many challenges facing education," they wrote.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 6th, 2021

Devin Nunes Leaving Congress To Become Trump Media SPAC CEO

Devin Nunes Leaving Congress To Become Trump Media SPAC CEO 10-term congressman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) announced his retirement from Congress at the end of this month to serve as CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group. "Recently, I was presented with a new opportunity to fight for the most important issues I believe in. I’m writing to let you know I’ve decided to pursue this opportunity, and therefore I will be leaving the House of Representatives at the end of 2021," Nunes said in a vaguely worded Monday statement. "Rest assured, I have not, by any means, given up our collective fight—I’ll just be pursuing it through other means." Concurrent with his announcement, the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) announced in a press release that Nunes - currently the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee - had been selected to join the company as Chief Executive Officer. "Mr. Nunes is currently a sitting U.S. House Representative, representing California's 22nd congressional district, and formerly the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Mr. Nunes will be leaving the U.S. House of Representatives and will begin his new role as Chief Executive Officer of TMTG in January 2022." Former President Trump said of the move: "Congressman Devin Nunes is a fighter and a leader. He will make an excellent CEO of TMTG. Devin understands that we must stop the liberal media and Big Tech from destroying the freedoms that make America great. America is ready for TRUTH Social and the end to censorship and political discrimination." Nunes, meanwhile, said "The time has come to reopen the Internet and allow for the free flow of ideas and expression without censorship. The United States of America made the dream of the Internet a reality and it will be an American company that restores the dream. I'm humbled and honored President Trump has asked me to lead the mission and the world class team that will deliver on this promise." The news comes after TMTG announced a $1 billion private capital infusion over the weekend - formally known as as "PIPE" which values the company at $4 billion. Shares sold off on Monday, however, after the company revealed in an 8-k filing that it has received notifications from both FINRA and the SEC demanding documents. The company insists it's cooperating. DWAC has received certain preliminary, fact-finding inquiries from regulatory authorities, with which it is cooperating. Specifically, in late October and in early November 2021, DWAC received a request for information from FINRA, surrounding events (specifically, a review of trading) that preceded the public announcement of the October 20, 2021 Merger Agreement. According to FINRA’s request, the inquiry should not be construed as an indication that FINRA has determined that any violations of Nasdaq rules or federal securities laws have occurred, nor as a reflection upon the merits of the securities involved or upon any person who effected transactions in such securities. Additionally, in early November 2021, DWAC received a voluntary information and document request from the SEC which sought, inter alia, documents relating to meetings of DWAC’s Board of Directors, policies and procedures relating to trading, the identification of banking, telephone, and email addresses, the identities of certain investors, and certain documents and communications between DWAC and TMTG. According to the SEC’s request, the investigation does not mean that the SEC has concluded that anyone violated the law or that the SEC has a negative opinion of DWAC or any person, event, or security. Both regulators are sniffing around for rule violations, but at least the SEC is being somewhat transparent about the fact that this is a massive fishing expedition. But we can't help but wonder if they would be as aggressive under a Republican administration? Shares in TMTG (Symbol: DWAC) were up as much as 10% after hours. Tyler Durden Mon, 12/06/2021 - 17:28.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 6th, 2021

Transcript: John Doerr

   The transcript from this week’s, MiB: John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This… Read More The post Transcript: John Doerr appeared first on The Big Picture.    The transcript from this week’s, MiB: John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have, yes, an extra special guest, John Doerr of the famed venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins is here to discuss all things venture capital and climate related. He has a new book out that’s really quite interesting. We talk about everything from crypto to Tesla to beyond me, to all of the opportunities that exist in order to help moderate and reduce carbon in the atmosphere and the potential climate crisis that awaits us if we don’t change our ways. So, Doerr is a venture capitalist. He invests money in order to generate a return. These aren’t just finger-wagging-be-green-for-green sake. He describes their venture fund which they put nearly a billion dollars into it 10 years ago and now, it’s worth over three billion. That’s how successful the returns have been. He describes the climate crisis as a multitrillion dollar opportunity. Yes, we need to do something in order to make sure we leave our children and grandchildren a habitable Earth. At the same time, there is a massive opportunity in everything from food to electrical grid, to transportation, on and on and on. It really is quite fascinating somebody like him sees the world from both perspectives, from the, hey, we want to make sure we have a habitable place to live but he can’t take off his VC hat and he sees just massive opportunities to do well by doing good. Really, a fascinating conversation. With no further ado, my interview with Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr. ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My extra special guest this week is John Doerr. He is the famed venture capitalists known for his work at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The venture capital firm operates 32 funds. They’ve made more than 675 investments, including such early-stage funding for companies like Google, Twitter, Amazon and too many others to list. Doerr still holds a substantial stake in his initial investment in Google. His most recent book is “Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving our Climate Crisis Now.” John Doerr, welcome to Bloomberg. JOHN DOERR, CHAIRMAN, KLEINER PERKINS: It’s thrilled to be here with you, Barry. Thank you. RITHOLTZ: And I’m thrilled to talk to you. Let’s go back to the early parts of your career before we start to get current. You originally joined Intel because you couldn’t land a gig as a venture capitalist. Tell us a little bit about that. DOERR: I came to Silicon Valley with no job, no place to live and incidentally, no girlfriend. The lady I’ve been dating decided I was too persistent and dumped me. So, I — my real goal was to win my way back into her heart and to join with some friends to start a company. I wanted to start a company and I heard that venture capital had something to do with that. So, I cold called all the venture capitalists and some of them returned my call in the mid-70s and they looked at my experience and uniformly included that I should go get a real job. That was their advice. I remember Dick Gramley (ph) said, we just backed a small new chip company called Intel, why don’t you interview for a job there, and I did. And lo and behold, unbeknownst to me, my former girlfriend, Ann Howland, now Ann Howland Doerr, has gotten a job at Intel. I got a job there and when I arrived that first summer day, I was surprised to see her there and she was not happy to see me. So, it took the rest of the summer to put our relationship back together again. But I love Intel, it was a dynamic place. They just invented the microprocessor and I’ve seriously considered abandoning my graduate education in business as it turns out to just stay at Intel. But I returned there after graduating and worked for, I guess, four or five years helping democratize computing as to get microprocessors used in everything from traffic lights to defibrillators, to nuclear resonance magnetic imaging systems, and it was all because I wanted to be part of new rapidly growing companies. RITHOLTZ: How did you work your way from Intel to venture investing? How did you find your way to Kleiner Perkins? DOERR: I got a phone call one day from a friend who said, hey, John, I just finished interviewing for job at a venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. It sounded to me like a law firm. I really didn’t know them. But he said, you should go interview there because what they want to add to their team is someone younger professional with a strong technical background, a good network in Silicon Valley, and a passion for startups. I think you and they would make a great fit. So, I didn’t — they ran an ad actually in the “Wall Street Journal” for this position which I didn’t see. But I called up, I interviewed and got a job there as an entry level professional, a gofer, I did everything. I carried people’s bags. I read business plans. But there was one important condition that I had and that is I made them promise that they would back me with my friends in starting a company. I went to work there because, honestly, I wasn’t interested in venture capital. I wanted to be an early ’80s entrepreneur. And they had — they agreed to that and pointed out that they had backed other young partners at Kleiner in writing business plans. Bob Swanson had written a business plan for Genentech that led to the whole biotech industry and Jimmy Treybig had done the same thing with Tandem Computers. My current partner, Brook Byers as the young partner at Kleiner wrote the business plan for hybrid tech. So, Eugene Kleiner and Tom Perkins were unusual and I’d even say mythic or epic figures in that they had technical backgrounds. They started their own companies and they felt that was part of what their venture capital firm ought to do. RITHOLTZ: So, here’s the key question, how come you never left Kleiner Perkins? Why didn’t you launch your own startup? DOERR: Well, I did. They backed me in doing it. The first was one called Silicon Compilers. I became the full-time CEO and founder of that with a Cal Tech professor, Carver Mead. RITHOLTZ: Sure. DOERR: Then as I worked with companies like Compaq, Sun Microsystems, they were growing really rapidly, I realized I was not at all qualified to advise these entrepreneurs. So, I took another 18-month leave of absence from Kleiner to run the desktop division of Sun and almost left Kleiner permanently to do that. But Ann and I wanted to start a family and she said, you know, you’re doing this Sun thing and keeping involved in Kleiner, it’s just not going to work, we have to make some choices here. And so, I left my operating role at Sun. But never gave up an interest in starting new companies and did that again at a later time with a company called @Home. You may remember that they … RITHOLTZ: Sure. DOERR: … standardized and commercialized the cable modem to access the Internet. Before the @Home venture, access to the Internet was really very slow and cable modem swept the United States and our company was key in making that happen. RITHOLTZ: So, I like this quote from you, “If you can’t invent the future, the next best thing is to fund it.” And so, I guess that helps to explain your move from Sun over back to Kleiner Perkins. DOERR: Exactly. It was Alan Kay, the Chief Scientist at Apple, who said the best way to predict the future is to invent it and while I’ve made some inventions, they’re modest, my better fortune has been to find amazing entrepreneurs, identify them and then help fund and accelerate their success. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. Amazon, Netscape, Applied Materials, Citrix, Intuit, Genentech, EA Sports, Compaq, Slack, Uber, Square, Spotify, Robinhood, that is just an amazing, amazing list of startups that you guys were fairly early investors in. Any of them stand out as uniquely memorable to you? DOERR: Well, two of the standouts got to be Amazon and Google, now, Alphabet, because, what are they, they’re two of the four or five most valuable companies in the world and I think both of them have profoundly changed the way that we live, communicate, educate, inform, conduct commerce, see the world. They both — what they both have in common is exceptional founders and really strong management teams who have a sense of urgency and a focus on either large new markets or large existing markets that deserved and have benefited from disruption. So, I remember when I was first offered a position at Kleiner Perkins, I told them that I thought it was kind of unfair that they would pay me to do the job. I would pay them for the privilege of working with these amazing entrepreneurs and founders. RITHOLTZ: So, when you’re thinking about putting money into the Amazon in the mid ’90s or Google in the late ’90s, at any point in that process, are you thinking, sure, these can become $2 trillion companies soon? DOERR: Well, I had no really good idea how big they could be. So, I put the question to Jeff Bezos and his response was, well, John, I don’t know but we’re going to get big fast. At that time, I kicked up something of a firestorm by proclaiming that the Internet had been under hyped and it might be the largest legal creation of wealth in our lifetimes. But I was more clear and explicit with Larry Page when I met with him and Sergey and I asked Larry, how big Google would get. I’ll never forget this, Barry. He responded to me without missing a beat, 10 billion, and I said, just to test myself, I said, surely, you mean market capitalization, don’t you, and he said, no, John, I mean revenues. We’re just beginning in the field of search and you cannot imagine how much better it’s going to get over time. And sure enough, he was, he was more than right. RITHOLTZ: To say the very least. So, let’s talk a bit about Google. You are known for introducing to both Larry and Sergey your concept of, OKRs, objectives and key results. What was the impact of that on Google? How did they respond to your suggestion on come up with objectives and come up with ways to measure your progress? DOERR: So, for everyone in your audience, objectives and key results or OKRs is a goalsetting system that Andy Grove invented at Intel and that’s because in the semiconductor industry, I’m a refugee from the semiconductor industry, you got to get tens of thousands of people to get lines that are a millionth of a meter, one micron wide, exactly right or nothing works, the chips fail. So, you need exceptional discipline, attention to detail, focus and execution. And so, Andy came up with the system. I was so enamored of it. When I left Intel, I took it everywhere I went from nonprofits to startups to large companies. The Gates Foundation in the nearly days, for example, how — they were — I mean, they were a very large nonprofit startup and an important one for the planet. So, I took Andy Grove’s system to Larry and Sergey, the founders of Google, in the very early days and I went through it with them and at the end of it asked them, so, guys, what you think, would you use this in growing Google, and Larry was — had no comment whatsoever. But Sergey, he was more like brilliant. I’d like to tell you, Barry, that he said, we love this, we’re going to adopt it wholeheartedly. Well, the truth of the matter is what he said was, we don’t have any better way to manage this Google company. So, we’ll give it a try, which I took as a ringing endorsement because what’s happened since then to this day, every Googler, every quarter, writes down her objectives and key results and publishes them for the entire company to see and interestingly, they never leaked. So, there’s 140,000 Googlers who are doing this four times a year. They’re graded. But at the end of each quarter, they’re swept aside because they’re not used for bonuses or promotions. They serve a higher purpose and that’s a collective social contract to get everybody focused and aligned and committed in tracking their progress to stretch for almost impossible to achieve goals. And I’m telling you this story because the same system that Andy Grove invented has now spread pretty broadly through the technology and other sectors of the economy and it’s at the heart of this plan that we have called speed and scale to deal with climate crisis. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. I want to stick with some of the early investments that you made and ask a really broad general question, how likely is it that a company you made in early stage investment in ends up looking like the company you thought you were investing in, meaning, how often do companies iterate or pivot into something totally different from what you thought you were getting involved with? DOERR: Well, I was going to say not often if it’s totally different. But if it’s meaningfully different, that happens all the time. And that’s why in the venture capital work that we do, it’s so important to back — to find fund and build a relationship with the right people because the people and the quality of the team is going to affect how they pivot, how they adapt their business plan to changing markets, changing technologies, changing opportunities. RITHOLTZ: Very interesting. So, you mentioned Amazon and Google as just uniquely memorable startups. What about some memorable ones that you thought would work out that didn’t or I know VCs love to talk about look how silly we are, we had an opportunity to invest in X and we passed and now X is fabulously successful, what stands out in that space? DOERR: Well, the standout in that space is the bad decision we made to invest in Fisker instead of in Tesla and at that time, they had similar strategies, which was to enter the electric vehicle market with high-end luxury, pretty expensive car and then to drive the cost of that vehicle down over time. Both companies were struggling to raise money. One of them had experienced executive from the automobile industry, fundamentally a designer by the name of Henrik Fisker as its founder and CEO. The other had Elon Musk who had no automobile industry experience but was determined to reinvent every part of the automotive car doing it more as a machine to run software than a collection of subsystems procured from the automobile industry. We made the wrong call and the rest is history. RITHOLTZ: That Fisker, that first Fisker car was just a gorgeous design and at that time, Tesla was taking old Lotus convertibles and filling them with laptop batteries. Between the two, it’s pretty easy to see how the Fisker opportunity really looked more intriguing than Tesla did way back when. How typical is that for the world of venture? DOERR: It happens all the time. RITHOLTZ: All the time. DOERR: That’s what makes the job of finding funding and accelerating the success of entrepreneurs hard. RITHOLTZ: To say the very least. So, there was just a new report that came out. It said, renewable energy in the U.S. has quadrupled over the past decade. So, we’re all good, right? There’s nothing else to worry about with the climate? DOERR: I wish that was true. I came to this project, this passion back in 2006 when Al Gore’s movie, you remember “An Inconvenient Truth” appeared. RITHOLTZ: Sure. DOERR: And I took my family and friends to see it and we came back for a dinner conversation and went around the table to see what people thought. When it came turn for my 16-year-old daughter Mary Doerr, she said, I’m scared and I’m angry. She said, dad, your generation created this problem, you better fix it. And, Barry, I was speechless, I had no idea what to say. So, I set out with partners at Kleiner Perkins to understand the extent of the climate crisis, even hired Al Gore as a partner and over time, over three funds, invested a third up to a half of the funds, total about $1 billion in some 70 climate ventures, most of which failed and, in fact, it’s hard, it’s very hard to grow a climate tech or green tech venture. It’s pretty lonely in the early days of doing that. And we almost lost all of our investments but we stood by these entrepreneurs and they produced companies like Beyond Meat or Enphase or the NEST smart thermostats and today are worth some $3 billion. But that was then, this is now. I think what’s important about now is we need way greater ambition and speed to avert catastrophic, irreversible climate crisis. I mean, the evidence is all around us. We’ve got devastating hurricanes and floods and wildfires and 10 million climate refugees. The IPCC says that if we don’t reduce our carbon emissions by 2030 by 55 percent, we will see global warming overshoot by more than 2°C, nearly 4°F. And the Paris accords, which were agreed to in 2015, if we were achieving them, it would still cause us to land at around 2°C. The bad news is we’re not close to achieving any of those goals. So, the latest report from the UN said this is a code red problem and I also see all problems as opportunities. Barry, I think this is going to be the greatest opportunity, human opportunity, social opportunity, economic opportunity for the 21st century. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk a little bit about that opportunity. You talked in the book about cutting emissions in half by 2030 and net zero by 2050 and you referenced six main areas of attack, transportation, the electrical grid, food, protecting nature, cleaning up industry, and then removing carbon from the atmosphere. Let’s talk a little bit about each of those because they’re all quite fascinating. We were talking about Tesla, how quickly do we think that we’re going to be past internal combustion engines with a fully electrified transportation network? DOERR: Well, that’s a great question and we can — I want to put this in context. Every year, we dump 59 gigatons of carbon, greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere as if it’s some kind of free and open sewer. And so, the book and the research behind it has built a plan in electrifying transportation and the other five for which each of the objectives has three to five key results. These are Andy Grove Intel style, very measurable specific steps in transportation. It says that electric vehicles will achieve parity, price performance parity with combustion engines in the U.S. by 2024. It says one of two new personal vehicles purchased worldwide are electric vehicles by 2030. So, what I’m trying to say is this is a global plan. RITHOLTZ: Right. DOERR: We’ve seen some nations of the world, some states like California say they’re going to ban the sale of internal combustion vehicles. And there’s also key results for buses, for trucks, for miles driven, for airplanes and maritime and this whole plan is available for free. You can download it at the website So, it’s pragmatic, it’s ambitious, it’s almost unachievable. It’s a total of 55 key results for the world, numeric time bound, and we’ve got to get after them all at once. We can’t take turns. We’re not going to achieve all of these, Barry. It’s — but if we fall short on one, we can make ground faster in others. Now, I don’t want to intimidate people by how big — how tall an order this is. The book also includes 35 stories from entrepreneurs and policymakers and leaders and innovators, leaders of indigenous tribes that describe in their own words their struggle, their successes, their journey to change the world. One of my favorites is of a cross-country team who got together to petition their school district to go to cleaner busses. They were sick and tired of running behind diesel buses with polluted air and it shows that something that I deeply believe and that is we’re fast running out of time. And so, yes, we need individuals to take individual action to eat less meat, use photovoltaic solar and buy an electric vehicle if you can afford it. But I’ve really written this book for the leader inside of everyone, their inner leader, and that’s their ability to influence others to act as a group like this cross-country team of runners in Maryland who got their school district to adopt electric buses. What the book shows is that we can get this job done but, as I said, we’re fast running out of time. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk a little bit about — by the way, the bus discussions in the book are quite fascinating not just because China leapt out to a big lead and have been very aggressively replacing diesel buses with electric buses but you helped fund an entrepreneur in the U.S. that’s gone around and has done a great job getting cities to purchase electric buses. The transportation grid is clearly an issue but as you point out, that’s only six gigatons. A bigger issue is the grid, the electric grid, which produces 21 gigatons of emissions. Tell us about what we need to do to decarbonize the electrical grid. DOERR: 100%, you’re right. If we move to electric vehicles but we still use coal to generate electricity, we won’t have reduced emissions. And the biggest opportunity is to decarbonize the grid and that’s to take today’s 24 gigatons of emissions mostly from goal, also natural gas to generate electricity. Take that 24 down to three gigatons. So, the first key result, the biggest of them, is to get 50 percent of our electricity from zero emission sources globally by 2025 and get it down to 38 percent — get a 90 percent by 2035. That would save us 16.5 gigatons. Simply put, we need to move to renewable sources like wind and solar and invest in longer-term durable storage so that we have reliable energy when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk about that battery technology a little bit. We’ve seen a series of incremental improvements over time but nothing has been like an order of magnitude improvement. Will we be able to get there soon enough? Do we need a Manhattan project for batteries or are all those incremental improvements compounding and we’ll get there eventually? DOERR: Much of the improvement that is needed in all of these technologies is lowering their costs. And so, batteries today are still too expensive for electric vehicles in India and in China. They’re barely affordable in the U.S. marketplace. RITHOLTZ: Right. DOERR: And so, the book tells the story of QuantumScape, I’ll disclose, a public company that I’ve invested in and served on the board of, an entrepreneur by the name of Jagdeep Singh and he is going for a quantum improvement in batteries to more than double their energy density. The energy density of a battery is how much energy you’ll get out of it for a pound of weight of a battery and it’s especially important in electric vehicles because the most expensive part of the vehicle is the battery and it’s the heaviest part and you got use energy to move the weight around. So, if you double the energy density of a battery, you can get a three or four times systems improvement in the vehicle itself. I’m not expecting, I don’t think anyone is forecasting an order of magnitude improvement. We’ve seen considerable lowering costs of batteries over time. But the QuantumScape innovation, which is an all solid-state battery, would be a genuine breakthrough. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk a little bit about food, another key source of emissions. How can we become more efficient in growing the food affecting the menu of what we eat and reducing enough food waste to make a difference? DOERR: There’s three big things t to do about food. The first is to reduce the meat and dairies in our diet and I’m not saying cut them out entirely but to replace some of that with delicious, healthy plant-based proteins. And the book tells a story of Beyond Meat and the crusade of its founder. He struggled and mortgaged his house to lead the revolution in plant-based protein. It turns out that there’s a billion cows on the planet. The book tells you their story as well. If they were a nation, it would be the third largest country in terms of the emissions. The second big thing to do about food is to reduce food waste. Globally, 30 percent of the food that we produce is wasted and taking some straightforward measures we think that can be reduced. Our goal is to reduce it to 10 percent of the food that we produce, particularly when you consider the population will grow to 10 billion by the end of the century. Finally, we got to get more efficient with how we grow food and we can, for example, apply fertilizer much more precisely with new technologies. All in all, the food sector is a way for us to reduce nine gigatons of emissions to two gigatons by 2050 or a net gain of seven out of the 59 gigatons that we got to drive to zero. RITHOLTZ: So, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about beef and agriculture generally. But let’s talk about commercial fishing, what’s the impact of our fishing practices on the health of the oceans and its ability to absorb carbon and reflect heat? DOERR: Well, over fishing together with over drilling and over development have released huge amounts of carbon from the ocean floor and life and if we prevented the destruction of mangroves and other ocean life, we could prevent a gigaton of emissions from entering the atmosphere every year. Our plan calls to eliminate deep sea bottom trawling, which is an especially destructive practice. Bottom trawling releases one and a half gigatons of CO2 equivalent emissions. It also calls for increasing the protection of oceans to 30 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050. I want to call out, this is an area of climate ambition that Walmart is staking out an important and powerful leadership position. Not only that they said they’re going to have their supply chain be carbon neutral by 2040 but they are going to preserve, protect millions of acres of land and ocean water in the effort to become the first scale regenerative company. RITHOLTZ: Really, really interesting. So, very often, the average person listening to a conversation like this thinks, well, what can I do, I’m just one person. What’s the balance of responsibility between individuals on one side and government and institutions on the other? DOERR: We need all the forces in our economy, in our society to come together and work on this. We need innovators. We need entrepreneurs. We need policymakers. We need investors. We need to hear more from impassioned youth. In 2018, Greta Thunberg was a single high school student skipping school on Fridays. A year later, in 2019, in December, she organized a million-person march in a hundred cities around the world and specifically, she made the climate crisis atop two voting issue in the nations in Europe. Barry, it is not a top voting issue in the U.S. It is not a top issue in China or even in India. So, we have work to do and that’s one of our accelerants, the ways we get all this done faster and that’s to turn movements into specific actions. We really need individuals to lead others in powerful ways. That’s, for example, employees, pushing your employers to make net-zero commitment or shareholders and investors demanding changes in the board rooms. It turns out that changing the lightbulbs and eating less meat is important but we’ve got to go further. We’ve got to change our laws or even our lawmakers in order to avert this climate crisis. RITHOLTZ: Quite fascinating. I want to talk about some of the things you’ve said in the book that apply everywhere but are especially applicable to the climate crisis. Let’s start with, quote, “It seems every dozen years we witness magical ever-exponentially larger waves of innovation.” So, let’s start first with climate, how and where are those waves of innovation coming that’ll help ameliorate the climate crisis? DOERR: Well, the innovations are happening on many fronts, the material sciences, electrochemistry, biology. The opportunity that the climate transition to a clean energy the economy represents is the largest of our lifetime. It’s a bigger mobilization than even the effort of the allies to defeat the Nazi Axis in World War II. You’ll remember then, we shut down for four years all manufacturing of automobiles and appliances and instead, created 268,000 fighter aircrafts, 20,000 battleships. It was a monumental effort dealing with an existential threat. And that same level of innovation and ambition is required to win in this climate campaign. Other areas of breakthroughs or innovations, I’m even becoming a believer that we’ll see nuclear fusion. That’s the kind of clean energy that comes from the sun, practical within a decade. Concrete and steel that’s carbon free, long duration storage, the opportunities to reimagine and reinvent how we create, share, transmit and use energy in every facet of our lives is as big an opportunity as we’ll see in our lifetime. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s stay focused on that opportunity for a minute. This isn’t a charity or a foundation that’s doing this for free. When we look around, there are actual venture investments that you’ve been making successfully. So, you past on Tesla but somebody put money into Tesla. Wind turbines, solar, Beyond Meat is now public company. You are an early investor into that. You’re looking at this as more than just, hey, we have to do this in order to make sure that we don’t have a runaway greenhouse effect and Earth turns into Venus and becomes uninhabitable. But there are also very legitimate economic opportunities here also. Expound on those a little bit. DOERR: Well, there’s no better example than Tesla which had gone from a struggling company reliant on loans, thank you, United States taxpayers, to the sought most valuable company in the world. And by some measures, Elon Musk is the most — is the richest individual in the world. He took on huge risks and he delivered for his customers and shareholders, his country and his planet. And the best of the work that Elon has done is inspire, perhaps, through fear but certainly by example the rest of the automobile industry to accelerate their shift to clean and electric vehicles. So, this is, how I like to say, the mother of all markets. It’s a monster market. Batteries alone, the batteries to move from internal combustion vehicles to electric vehicles, are estimated to be $400 billion per year, Barry, for 20 years. We are going to — we must recreate all the infrastructure that we use to power out planet. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about something we haven’t gotten to when we were talking about those larger waves of innovation. Lots of folks are excited about blockchain and crypto and Web 3.0. But when we look at things like Bitcoin, it’s a big energy hog, how do we reconcile all the wealth that’s being created there with its massive electricity consumption? DOERR: Its electricity consumption is sustainable and so, we’re going to have to move to clean Bitcoin, green Bitcoin and we’ll get there by regulation, if not, by other market forces I would predict. Today, I believe that Bitcoin uses as much energy as the entire nation of Sweden. So, Bitcoin, I believe, is here to stay but it — we can’t fuel it through dirty electricity. RITHOLTZ: You mentioned concrete earlier and I also read in the book that you want to end single-use plastics. What does the world of material science promised us for replacing things in those spaces? How do you replace concrete? How do you replace single-use plastic? DOERR: Concrete is probably the hardest problem of all because in the production of the concrete, you almost must create carbon emissions. We can reduce the energy use to make concrete. There are some concrete innovations that absorb the CO2 into the material. But that’s an area where we need more innovation. What was your second area? RITHOLTZ: Single-use plastics. DOERR: Single-use plastics. The plan calls for the banning and really the replacement of single-use plastics. The banning of single-use plastics and in general to replace plastics with compostable materials that can be recycled and I am confident that with investment and entrepreneurial work, we can get that done. RITHOLTZ: So, we haven’t really talked about pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. I get the sense from some people that they’re expecting some technological magic bullet that’s going to solve climate change. Tell us about how we can remove carbon from the atmosphere and is there a magic bullet coming. DOERR: The speed and scale plan calls for us to remove 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. I emphasize remove. This will be gigatons of CO2 emissions that we were not able to eliminate, we were not able to cut, we were not able to slash. They’ll be some uses of aviation fuel as an example or other stubborn carbon. Two approaches to this, one of which is to innovate around nature-based ways of removing CO2. For example, growing greater kelp forest in the oceans. But the other that has captured a lot of attention is called direct air capture or that’s engineered removal of carbon. Think of them as kind of mechanical trees and this technology works today but only at small scale. It sucks the CO2 out of the air. It requires a lot of electricity in order to do that. And so, it’s very expensive today, some $600 per ton. If we’ve got to remove five gigatons per year at $600 per ton, that’s $3 trillion a year and it’s hard to see how that’s affordable. So, entrepreneurs are hard at work to lower those costs and I hope they do. RITHOLTZ: So, there’s a quote I like from another venture capitalist who said venture capital properly deployed can solve the biggest problems, filling the void left by shrinking scientific ambitions of governments, foundations and international organizations. What are your thoughts on that approach? How crucial is venture capital to our future and can it replace these other entities? DOERR: Venture capital is crucial and it’s stepping up to the challenge. There will be an estimated $30 billion invested venture capital in climate technologies this year. Our plan calls for 50 billion this year. But venture capital is not going to get this job done on its own. We need government-funded research and development to grow in the U.S. alone to 40 billion a year. Other countries have got to triple their funding. We need project financing. We need philanthropic investing. Jeff Bezos’ commitment of $10 billion to the Bezos Earth Fund is the largest philanthropic commitment to climate crisis that we’ve ever witnessed or enjoyed. There’s really four accelerators that will get this job done. One of them is investing. Another is innovation, the work of entrepreneurs. But I think the hardest are going to be to turn our movements into actions so we get the politics and the policy correct because it’s going to take a massive, collective, coordinated effort to achieve our ultimate OKR and that’s to take 59 gigatons of emissions to net zero by 2050. RITHOLTZ: That’s an ambitious target and if we miss that target, what are the ramifications? DOERR: We’ll leave our kids and our grandkids an uninhabitable planet. We’ll see the Arctic sea ice surely melts away. We’ll have — estimates are up to a billion climate refugees. There’s 10 million of them already. Hundreds of millions of people will starve. It’s unthinkable. And so, we must get this done. RITHOLTZ: So, let me turn this back to what’s going on in the world of venture now. When the early decades of you work at Kleiner Perkins was into a very friendly IPO market, how much does timing matter broadly, meaning, hey, if there’s an exit available, if there’s a big IPO market that makes it more likely people are going to invest in these companies and have a successful exit. Tell us a little bit about timing. DOERR: Well, investors, myself included, will stop at nothing to copy success. So, the timing of today’s markets for climate technologies whether it’s Tesla or Rivian or better batteries or Beyond Meat, it’s good and I would say in the long run, it’s going to continue to be good because the size of the markets and the need, the economic need, the opportunity, and the planetary pressures. RITHOLTZ: So, if a younger venture capitalist or a newfound venture fund came to you and ask for advice, what would you tell them about this opportunity? DOERR: There’s so many different venture firms and strategies. I would say to them that this is the greatest opportunity with 21st century that they should be strategic about their contribution. Is it to work with early-stage entrepreneurs and removing technical risks or at the other extreme, is it to be smart and sharp about project financing? But the overall costs of the transition from a dirty fossil economy to a clean new energy economy is $4 trillion per year, per year. That sounds like a big number until you compare it with the cost of dirty energy, the social cost, the disruption, the premature deaths. One in five deaths are premature due to carbon pollution. Those come in at about $10 billion per year. So, it’s literally cheaper to save the Earth than it is to ruin it. RITHOLTZ: And there’s just seems to be endless amounts of cash pouring into the venture capital sector. Arguably, it’s never been higher. What are your thoughts on this? Does it worry you? What’s the driver of all this money sloshing around? DOERR: Some people say that we’re experiencing a bubble, a bubble in fintech or Bitcoin or climate technologies. I see it very differently. I think it’s a boom and historically, whether it was the advent of transcontinental railroads or the automobiles, we saw booms which led to full employment, overinvestment, rapid innovation. And, no, not all those car companies survive. But I think the same will be true of the other fields of innovation. I think one of the things that gives me great hope is the power of human ingenuity. We got ourselves into these specs and, Barry, I’m betting, we’re going to figure our way out. RITHOLTZ: So, what do you say to people who sort of posture Silicon Valley’s best days are behind it? Do you have a response to any of those folks? DOERR: I think they’re wrong. I think provided we deal with this existential threat, the climate crisis, and that is not guaranteed, but provided we do that and we get a 50% reduction in the next decade, I think we’re on track for a wonderful, prosperous, healthy planet. RITHOLTZ: Can I tell you and I should have mentioned this earlier but I read a ton of books for the show and I found the book really quite fascinating and it’s pretty obvious to me that an engineer was behind this. There’s just a lot of great slides and charts and graphs and it’s not just all texts. Parts of it are narrative and parts of it are historical and it reminds me of a well-made slide deck. So, nice job on the book. DOERR: Well, thanks for sharing that. I want to send you a bound version of the book if you’ll email me your physical mailing address. There’s one other thing — other story I might tell you about the book. RITHOLTZ: Sure. DOERR: I was talking the other day with a reader, a mom who told me that every night, she takes two or three pages of the book and she reads them together with her daughter and then they talk about together what that means for the world her daughter is going to inherit, and I thought, wow, that’s the use of the book I never imagined and one that I’m honestly proud of. RITHOLTZ: How — it looks like this was the work of a lot of different people. How did you end up researching and writing this? DOERR: We talked to hundred different leaders in the field, policymakers, researchers, modelers, activists and from those, selected some 35 stories. We ended up with a thousand different data points that we needed to verify and collected those into 500 end notes, which are in the book. And I did it with an amazing small team of three or four on research and writing stuf. I’m an engineer as you know and so I’m not so good with words and I had the benefit of a writing team that helped make this much more readable. RITHOLTZ: Well, it shows, you can see the book is a fast read. I sat down with a bunch of stickies and highlighter and found myself just plowing through chapter after chapter. It was a relatively quick read and very easy to put down and then pick back up again. Each chapter is very distinct and you’ve really laid out a plan to prevent climate catastrophe from taking place. So, thank you for that. DOERR: One thing I want to make sure your audience know is this, they can get a free infographic, it’s a single poster-sized piece of paper that has on both sides of it all the objectives, all the key results, all the measures. And it’s reassuring for people who are fearful that there is a plan and that if we do these things, we can find a way to a habitable planet. That’s what we’ve got to do. RITHOLTZ: So, I know I only have you for a limited amount of time. Let me jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of my guests starting with tell us what you’ve been streaming these days, give us your favorite Netflix or Amazon Prime or whatever podcast you’re listening to. DOERR: So, I haven’t had time for streaming on Netflix. I’ve been doing research, reading books and papers on the climate crisis itself. But getting this word out, I’ve listened to a — I’ve started listening to a couple of new podcast, John Heilemann’s Hell & High Water … RITHOLTZ: Sure. DOERR: … and Tim Ferriss Show, both of which, I think, have a distinctive imprint from their hosts (ph). RITHOLTZ: Tell us about your mentors who helped to shape your career. DOERR: So, the biggest influence on my life was my dad Lou Doerr, an engineer, entrepreneur and hero and I’ve been blessed by a number of mentors, perhaps most notable of them, Andy Grove, and what I learned from him at Intel prompted me to write a first book called “Measure What Matters” and that tells stories of a dozen different organizations using OKRs, which is what then I applied to the climate crisis. I would tell you Al Gore is a hero of mine. He’s wonderfully resolute man who’s impassioned, effective and funny. He and I talked regularly about the climate crisis. RITHOLTZ: Tell us about some of your favorite books, what are your all-time favorites and what are you reading right now. DOERR: So, my current reading, no surprise, is largely around the climate crisis. I love Elizabeth Colbert’s “Under a White Sky” which described climate futures. And two other books are “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” by Bill Gates, very accessible book, and a profile — a new profile of Winston Churchill called “The splendid and the Vile.” RITHOLTZ: Two good recommendations. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who wanted to pursue a career in venture investing? DOERR: I would say to her gain experience as an entrepreneur. I’d repeat the advice that I was given early in my career which was go get a real job in a real growing tech company and sharpen your skills in the real hard world of business economics and then take that experience to help other entrepreneurs succeed. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of venture investing today that you wish you knew 40 years ago? DOERR: I wish I knew 40 years ago how important the team is, the leadership of the team, the recruiting of the team, the growing of the team because in the end, it’s more than large market, it’s more than compelling technologies. It’s teams who know how to execute well. RITHOLTZ: Really, really fascinating stuff. Thanks, John, for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with John Doerr. He is a partner at famed venture firm Kleiner Perkins and the author of the new book, “Speed and Scale: An Action Plan for Solving our Climate Crisis Now.” If you enjoy this conversation, be sure and check out all of our previous discussions. You can find those wherever you find your favorite podcast, iTunes, Spotify, Acast, wherever. We love your comments, feedback and suggestions. Write to us at Sign up for my daily reads Follow me on Twitter, @Ritholtz. I would be remiss if I do not thank our crack staff that helps with these conversations together each week, Michael Batnick is my head of research, Atika Valbrun is our project manager, Paris Wald is our producer, I’m Barry Ritholtz, you’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~   The post Transcript: John Doerr appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureDec 6th, 2021

BP’s CEO Is Trying to Convince the World He’s Serious About Going Green

(To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) Nothing in Bernard Looney’s youth suggested that he would find himself, at 50, leading one of the world’s biggest oil giants at the most tumultuous moment in its history. The CEO of the 112-year-old British company was raised in… (To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) Nothing in Bernard Looney’s youth suggested that he would find himself, at 50, leading one of the world’s biggest oil giants at the most tumultuous moment in its history. The CEO of the 112-year-old British company was raised in relative poverty on a farm in rural Ireland, and joined BP straight out of college 30 years ago. Then he rose through the ranks, and nailed the top job in February 2020. Now he says he is determined to remake BP entirely. Just weeks after becoming chief exec. last year, Looney announced the company would cut its oil and gas production by 40% by the end of this decade, plow billions into solar, wind and other renewables, and roll out electric-vehicle charging points at its convenience stations worldwide. By 2050, he says, BP will zero out its polluting carbon emissions—a whopping 415 million metric tons a year in 2019. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Climate activists are deeply skeptical, fearing Looney is tinkering at the edges, and claiming big loopholes in his plan; they hear echoes of BP’s failed attempt in the 1990s to ramp up clean energy, when it dropped its old name British Petroleum. Such skepticism was underlined in October, when the organizers of the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow rebuffed requests of BP and other oil companies to formally join the massive confab of governments, businesses, and climate activists. BP’s plans, they said, did not match the climate goals. Looney says he understands the doubts, but insists he is “all in,” to use one of his favorite phrases. On November 22, he sat down with TIME in his sleek executive offices on London’s St. James’s Square, to explain the reach—and limitations—of his strategy, and to describe the immense complexity in resetting the company’s direction after a century of putting carbon into the atmosphere. (This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.) Some might say it’s an unenviable job leading a Big Oil company now. You’re the villain in the climate debate. We must change. We have to lean into the transition. We must give society what it wants and needs, and that is clean, reliable, affordable energy, and to do that, we have to change. And of course, we want to change and we want to change because our employees are part of society too. They have children, they have neighbors, they have friends. They want to make a difference in the world. And we also believe in this. And it’s an enormous business opportunity for us, because trillions of dollars are going to get spent rewiring and replacing the Earth’s energy system. So yes, it is complex. Yes, there are times when it is hard. But tell me something in life that was worthwhile, that was neither complex nor hard. People are skeptical that you are actually for real. We understand why people feel like that. They see us as part of the problem, not part of the solution. I believe that we are and will be and need to be part of the solution. I would go further and say that if BP doesn’t transition, the world won’t transition. Energy is where the emissions are. Tesla sells close to a million cars a year today. The world needs 70 million cars a year. Toyota, Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan: They make 30 million cars a year. When they go electric, the world goes electric. When companies and sectors like BP start to transition, the world will transition. You just cannot scale and build enough green companies fast enough at the pace enough to make the difference. Even so, climate activists say that word “ambition” is a fuzzy word. It’s not a real commitment. Any objective person would struggle to say we are not all in on this. We took the painful decision to cut our dividend in half last year. We wrote off over $20 billion worth of assets last year that we said neither should be produced nor could be produced. We took the difficult decision to have 10,000 people leave the organization. We are reallocating capital. We are increasing our spend. We are the only company who said that they’re going to reduce their production of oil and gas. We’re not doing this to window dress and we’re not greenwashing. We’re trying to do what is the right thing for our company, for its stakeholders and importantly, for its shareholders. Environmentalists say that’s all very well, but this does not include, for example, your joint venture with [Russian oil giant] Rosneft, which is a considerable amount of BP’s production—something like a third, I believe. It’s about a million barrels a day, about a third. We’ve been absolutely transparent. We said we will reduce our production by 40%. If you include Russia, it’s 28%—still a huge amount. It’s not like we control Rosneft. We’re a 20% shareholder. You would you be surprised to hear that Rosneft’s greenhouse gas intensity per barrel of oil is lower than BP’s. They have a plan to eliminate routine flaring. They’re reducing emissions as we speak. The question is, is the world better off by BP being there or not? It’s the same argument I would use for an investor: An investor has a choice to divest from BP or invest in BP. Some people feel that they should divest, they feel that’s the right thing for the world. I think many people feel they should divest. BP is hardly alone in this. Many people, many funds, endowments, are basically getting out of fossil fuel companies. How worrying is that for you? I can assure you that is not the right thing. Our shareholders own our company. We listen to our shareholders. The way to bring about change is to invest and make your views known. We need people to back the agenda that we’re on. A transition like this is going to be messy, it’s going to be complex. It does not lend itself to a simple, ‘Who’s good, who’s bad? Who’s green, who’s not?’ There is no simple solution here. The best thing you can do for climate is to invest in a carbon-intensive company like BP and back them going green. We’re going to reduce our emissions by between 35% and 40% by 2030. We’re going to invest 10 times more in low carbon than we do today by 2030, eight times by 2025. We’re going to install 70,000 charging points for electrification. We have the scale and the resources and the cash flows and the skills to do that. But you are also in the next several years adding barrels. If I read the the third-quarter results correctly, there has been an increase in production. I read that you have added 900,000 barrels a day. Yes, between 2016 and 2021, five years. We brought on seven projects this year, and we will bring on projects next year, and the year after. We will start up new oil fields and we will invest in new oil fields, but only the ones that have the best carbon intensity, only the ones that have the best economics, the shortest paybacks, the highest returns. But we will do that because we have a three-part strategy: Part one is resilient hydrocarbons. Part number two is convenience and mobility. Part three is low carbon energy. So part one of our strategy is hydrocarbons and will be for decades to come. We’re not shying away from that. Any scenario has oil and gas in the system in 2050. Our job is to produce those hydrocarbons with the lowest possible emissions. Oil and gas will continue to be needed. People may not like to hear that. It may be an unpopular truth. We will do that and we will use those cash flows to help us make the transition. We will continue very clearly to sanction and develop new oilfields. The existing oil fields decline, and some of them decline very quickly. So net-net our production goes down by 40% through this decade: 20% by 2025, 40% by 2030. The International Energy Agency projects something like 20 million barrels of oil a day global consumption by 2050. That’s a fraction of current demand. Yes, 80% less. Very, very much smaller. We’ve projected [BP’s production will be] 1.5 million barrels a day by 2030, down from 2.6 million today. Our focus is on is developing reserves on two criteria: How do we produce barrels with the lowest possible environmental footprint? Number two: What produces the best returns. We will invest in only the best because less barrels will meet those investment thresholds. Does this mean that from your reserves of 18 billion barrels of oil equivalent, a chunk of that will never be touched, that it will remain in the ground? We’ve said things like we are no longer going to explore into new basins for exploration, right? We are no longer going to enter a new country to find the next giant oilfield. But, for example, you are in Norway. So you are going to explore new oil prospects in Norway, correct? We have a joint venture in Norway, and they will develop new oil fields. And BP will explore for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, where we have existing infrastructure: It’s been growing and it will grow. It was a great success story for America and the world, and we believe we can grow it over the next three to four years. But that doesn’t mean that the overall picture doesn’t decline. That’s what we mean by “high grading.” We will develop the best barrels, will make the portfolio higher value. How much of your overall greenhouse gas emissions targets will rely on things like carbon capture and storage technology, which climate activists see as not a solution? We can do what we’ve set out to do between now and 2030 without using carbon capture. Beyond that, we believe that the world will need sort of every tool available to it to meet its net-zero. In the longer term, things like natural climate solutions, things like carbon capture and storage will be a very big part. What about offsets, like planting trees? That’s what I mean by natural climate solutions. Planting trees or preventing trees from being cut down. There is no silver bullet. I wish there was. The world is going to have to use every tool to help it get there. People like Mark Carney, Prince Charles, activists that I’ve spoken to, Conservation International, these people believe that this is part of the solution and it will be part of our toolkit in the medium term. The barrels where we have existing infrastructure are very positive, because you’re not having to build new infrastructure and start up new facilities. So places like the Gulf of Mexico will be very important to the company for a very long time to come. Our position in the onshore in the United States is very important to the company for a long time. We’re mainly in Texas. But you will still be exploring and producing new fields. It is a three-part strategy and there is not a light switch. We cannot turn off the business that generates the cash flow overnight. There is 100 million barrels a day being used in the world today. BP produces about 2.5 million barrels a day right now. If BP is somehow removed from the system, the 100 million demand isn’t going to go away. People still need the product they need. And you would somehow have just removed one of the greatest contributors for positive change. Why would you want to do that? What you really want to do is back those people, to make the transition a real success. But you can’t do it overnight. You simply cannot flick a switch. The market has not been particularly giddy with enthusiasm about your strategy. Why do you think that is? I don’t know. You tell me. Well, look, I think this is a big change. The most important part of our strategy is what we call performing while transforming. You have to do multiple things at once. It’s about reducing emissions, and it’s about growing cash-flow. It’s about purpose. We just had our third quarter in a row of strong results. Our business is running really, really well. I was struck by the testimony of oil executives before the U.S. Congress in late October. The whole framing of that was this is like the Big Tobacco testimony, which was so memorable. Hollywood movies were made of it. Firstly, what’s it like to be compared to Big Tobacco in the media? I think the provision of energy to the world is a very, very different proposition to tobacco. The energy that the world has consumed over the last many, many decades has brought about enormous increases in standards of living. So that’s how I think about it. Talking of that, climate activists say the industry never deals with its historic carbon emissions, and the fact that they have taken so much out of the world’s carbon budget. It has been a century. Aside from transitioning to green energy now, is there also a kind of debt to be paid to the planet? I’m not the best person to ask about that. What I can tell you is that in 1997, BP’s chief executive Lord Browne gave a speech at Stanford University, where he was the first leader in our industry to acknowledge that there was a link between human activity and carbon emissions. And if you look at the work that we have done since then, including investing $10 billion and writing off most of it between 2000 and 2010, because we were simply too early, the world wasn’t really ready for renewable energy. We established an internal emissions trading system. We’ve been doing everything that we can to put this on the agenda and be do something about it. We have both an opportunity and a responsibility to help the world transition. I actually believe that with the thousands of engineers and the thousands of scientists and one of the world’s largest trading organizations and decades of experience in the energy markets, we actually can help. Society wants reliable, affordable, clean energy. This is not easy when you have wind, solar, hydro, natural gas, nuclear in the mix. Somebody has to take those forms of energy and knit them together to give a hospital or give a data center what it needs. Think about it. We spent decades going offshore, drilling for oil, finding it, building big facilities, producing it, refining it, putting it into our retail network into your car. We’re going to take offshore wind. We’re going to build that. And this time we’re going to generate electrons rather than molecules, and we’re going to take those electrons in our energy system, take them to our charging network, and put them into your car. I am thinking of buying a car, trying to figure out what to get. Will you buy an electric vehicle? I think it may be a hybrid. The hybrid is a nice representation of a world in transition. You mentioned your trading business, which is a big business. The 40% cut in oil and gas production does not include that. How much of your oil and gas is from trading, selling oil and gas that other producers drill? I don’t have a number in terms of volume. A barrel might change hands 10 times. That’s why we focused on our aim, which is the oil and gas that we take out of the ground and introduce to the world. We’re going to reduce it by 40%. I genuinely believe that if we stick to our plot, and perform while we transform, that’s the formula for success. It’s not one at the expense of the other. We have to do both. Shareholders like what we’re doing. And increasingly, they understand it and back it. Moody’s credit agency published a report in October saying the oil and gas industry has a high probability for default, because they are the least prepared for the energy transition. Even if you are a standout in the industry, are you concerned that investors, that a major credit rating agency, sees the oil and gas industry as just not the place to put your money? Well, allow me to make the value argument. Oersted used to be an oil company called the Danish National Oil Company. It transformed itself from being an oil and gas company into being the world’s largest offshore wind company, and in the process, its value went up by 30 or 40 times. We are at the beginning of a journey that will take time. That has the potential to create enormous amounts of value for our shareholders who invest in us. Good for the world and good for the bottom line. You think you can convince the young generation of that? You talk to our employees, talk to our own young people. They’re very committed. They know this transition is not a light switch. It’s going to be hard work......»»

Category: topSource: timeDec 6th, 2021

I tried working in a never-ending Zoom call that"s like a "virtual WeWork," and it made my day more social while maintaining my productivity

Creator Cache Bunny started the Zoom call 18 months ago as a place for creatives to come watch each other work and stay productive. Zoom screen of Edit.PartyCache Bunny Edit.Party, a viral virtual work meeting, helped fill people's social need after COVID took it away. The zoom call hosts 50 people on average at a given time from 72 countries around the world. The "party" was not distracting — it actually helped me feel more productive at times. In the thrust of the COVID pandemic, many remote workers sat at home, configuring their homes into office spaces and struggling to recapture the feel of working in-person. As offices plan to reopen for in-person work, workers across industries have pushed to remain remote to stay "flexible." According to a report from BambooHR, one-in-three workers who are sent back to in-person work in August with highly-restrictive social settings feel worse than they did at the height of COVID quarantine. A survey from PwC in August showed that 41% of remote workers wouldn't want to go back to the office at all.I felt largely in the same boat as most remote workers, except with an eagerness to be social and work in-office. Recently, I stumbled across a Tik Tok showing a Zoom call titled, "Edit.Party," whose express goal was providing the social element of working in an office to remote workers.So I decided to try it out for a few days to see if this zoom gathering was a sustainable place to work. I've spent the last 4 months of my workdays working from home in Southern California for a company based in New York.Francis AgustinAs a sociable person, I found it hard adjusting to working in a room by myself. Sometimes, I would even long for team meetings just to inject my day with some social variety.For Cache Bunny, a Los Angeles video director and visual effects artist, COVID quarantine effectively killed the creative inspiration and human connection that came with working physically alongside other people.Cache BunnyCache Bunny originally started streaming her editing work on Twitch, but felt the five to eight hour streams were unsustainable.She found a way to repurpose Zoom, the video communications app, into a thriving co-working social community.Cache Bunny/Edit.Party"I realized I don't want to be showing my work necessarily. I don't want to be talking at all. I really just want to like be alongside people while they're also focused," Cache Bunny told Insider. "So then that's where I kind of came up with the idea for the format."Upon entering, Edit.Party looked like any other Zoom call. I went on grid-mode to fully take in the experience of seeing everyone, and it was definitely strange to be sharing my name, social handles, and face to dozens of strangers.Cache Bunny (center) welcomes me (top left) on the for the first time.Francis AgustinCache bunny said many of those on the call are from a range of professional backgrounds – from musicians, to video editors, coders, and analysts — and are not part of a particular company.Mics are silenced for all users to minimize potential distractions as a mix of EDM, Lo Fi, and indie tracks play in the background, but there is an ongoing chat on the sidebar so people can talk and interact.Francis AgustinPeople use the chat box to share more about themselves, their hobbies, interests, or what they're doing that day. Users immediately jumped in the chat to say hello to me.I even got to join what are called "Focused Sprint" sessions, where people completely mute their computers and concentrate on a project for a given time.Cache Bunny/edit.partyIt forced me to hold myself accountable for the time I was spending on work while having the support of others who were doing it too. It also got my creative juices flowing and I was able to do more writing, researching, making phone calls, sending emails, and organizing my schedule as a result.Edit.Party has evolved over the past year-and-a-half, developing its own sense of workplace culture and quirks.Much of the cultural characteristics of the zoom call are built around their artistic backgrounds, with members talking about or sharing their work with other members. Meanwhile, occasional glances at the screen showed people eating lunch, chatting with housemates, and wrangling their kids or pets.During the work day, one of the Edit.Party house creators, Collin O'Malley, showcased a drone flyby of the house for all of the zoom call attendees, getting to share his creative passions with his community.—francis agustin (@francisnagustin) November 22, 2021 O'Malley, an early user of Edit.Party who piloted the drone, quit his IT job and moved to LA to join Edit.Party members to pursue FPV drone piloting."It would be safe to say that has completely changed my life," O'Malley (left) told Insider.Cache Bunny/edit.partyHe told Insider he now runs part of the back-end of Edit.Party, finding an appreciation for the community.The relationships forged were so unique and unlike anything they had experienced, several Zoom attendees told Insider. A few original members would even move in together in a house in LA.Members met up for the first time since the pandemic began in Los Angeles, CA in July 2021.Cache Bunny/"I have all my friends with me and they're also being productive," Cache Bunny said. "So it just sort of turns something that was once the least social activity in the world into this fully social activity.""It felt so nice to be able come into a 24/7 open space full of amazing creators and just have people to edit with or hang out," said Jacob Rodier, a video content creator I met on the Zoom. "We even had a meetup recently where I met some of them in real life."New York Edit.Party members meet in October 2021Edit.PartyAccording to Cache Bunny, the call hosts users from over 72 countries around the world, who plan meetups in their respective countries, including Morocco, Colombia, and Belgium.Edit.Party members meet up in Antwerp, Belgium in November 2021.Edit.Party[This experiment] is absent any of the political intrigue of an organization and the kind of competition for resources that you typically find in organizational settings," said Stewart Friedman, a professor at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.A staff members sits at his work station in Facebook's office at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany, 17 February 2016.Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images"It creates a whole different template for the kinds of relationships people can develop that are among the many real benefits that people gain from the social affiliations that they have through work," Friedman added."Personalizing a virtual goodbye party to the individual will make the event will make it less awkward and more memorable.Morsa Images/Getty ImagesSome firms, like PayPal and Citrix, have recently tested virtual headquarters or workspaces for their employees in an attempt to meet those social needs.Workers using Facebook's Horizon Workrooms, an early version of a metaverse workplace.FacebookMeta, formerly Facebook, has also made big strides in the virtual space, redirecting focus and investment into building a "metaverse" workplace for employees to interact with each other.It might be tricky for the easily distracted, but the welcoming vibe and inherent kinship made for a stimulating work experience. It surprised me that this type of community existed out there.Francis AgustinEdit.Party is evidence of this unique overlap of people with a demand for a hybrid workspace — people who want to experience the camaraderie of the office from home. I remain uncertain on whether a forum like Edit.Party could be the future of the workplace, but from what I've gathered using it, it's proved to be an entertaining and productive place to spend my workday.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 4th, 2021

The latest news about the public relations industry, from pay and hiring to growth areas

Here's the latest on salaries, M&A, and growth areas in public relations. Protesters against abortion restrictions gathered at the Texas State Capitol on May 21, 2019.Eric Gay/AP PR is getting more complex as companies and public figures seek help navigating social issues. The industry is also booming as firms see opportunity in areas like financial communications and data. Insider rounded up its coverage of all the big trends in the industry, from hiring to growth areas to M&A. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The public relations industry is going through big changes as PR firms scramble to invest in data and analytics and fend off competition and as corporate America faces increasing public scrutiny.Firms are also seeing opportunity in areas like advertising, digital, and ecommerce. They're taking advantage of booming areas like financial communications and diversity, equity, and inclusion, creating lucrative if high-pressure jobs.Insider has been tracking these trends at some of the largest PR firms including Edelman, Weber Shandwick, and Sard Verbinnen. Here's a roundup of our coverage on everything from hot practice areas, how to get hired, and pay. Hiring, pay trendsThe PR industry employed around 270,000 people in the US as of 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It employs people who work in-house at brands as well as agencies of all sizes.PR firms have cut hundreds of jobs in the downturn, but the field remains high-paying and competitive, with growing opportunities in pharma, tech, and healthcare communications.Read more:PR industry salaries revealed: How much top firms like Teneo, BCW, and FTI pay employees, from consultants to managing directorsHere's a rundown of new perks and benefits public relations firms are offering, from big bonuses to extra vacation daysTough interview questions public relations execs can expect as social issues and politics become a bigger part of the jobWhy I quit PR agencies: 5 public relations pros share why they left and tips for former colleaguesHow to get a job at PR giant Edelman and what to expect if you land an interview, according to the company's recruitersMeet 12 top public relations recruiters to know right nowWhat it takes to get high-paying jobs at strategic consulting firms like Finsbury and Kekst CNC, from handling tricky questions to nailing writing testsThe industry is attracting new investmentPrivate equity firms used to view public relations agencies and software companies as a volatile industry, but now they're pouring money into the industry, drawn to its high recurring revenues, diversified businesses, and cash flow.Read more: 8 big investors like Golden Gate Capital and Stagwell Group that are pouring billions into public relations firmsA new Enero exec who's hunting for PR acquisitions revealed what she's looking for as it tries to grab share from holding companies like WPP and Omnicom9 public relations companies are challenging the status quo and taking on giants like Edelman and BCWInvestment giant Apollo is planning to sell Notified, one of the biggest PR software companies10 public relations firms that experts say are plum acquisition targetsSome areas of PR are thrivingFirms like Edelman, BCW, and FleishmanHillard have seen growth as new pitches pick up and companies seek help with crisis situations and communicating to the public and employees about office reopening and diversity and inclusion issues.Read more: Crypto and blockchain companies are snapping up public relations execs from Google, Twitter, and Edelman, as regulation loomsPR giants like Edelman and Sard Verbinnen are seeing a surge in demand as companies seek to minimize damage from the coronavirus pandemicPR shops like Edelman bag millions as companies struggle with back to work messInternal communications business is booming for PR firms like Edelman, Prosek, and Kekst CNC as CEOs scramble to reassure remote workforces and plan for a return to the officeThe world's two largest PR firms, Edelman and Weber Shandwick, pledged to hire more people of color in senior positionsFirms see opportunity in advertising and consultingA lucrative but less understood niche is strategic communications, which involves crisis, litigation, financial, and other high-stakes public relations and comprises firms like Finsbury, Kekst CNC, and Gladstone Place Partners.PR firms are increasingly finding themselves in competition with advertising, consulting companies, and even law firms as the lines between these industries blur.Read more: A consulting firm backed by mega-law firm Dentons is offering an unusual perk to lure top talent from public relations heavyweights like Edelman and FTICEOs of PR firms like Edelman and BCW reveal why they're focused on winning business from advertising and consulting companies coming out of the pandemic.With the Texas abortion law, CEOs face pressure on what to say on another hot-button social issue — but few have spoken outPorter Novelli's CEO lays out his plan to revive the PR firm after office closures and years of declinePublic relations heavyweight Edelman has quietly built a 600-person creative team and says it's becoming a 'serious alternative' to ad agencies, winning clients like Ikea and TazoHealthcare marketing giant W2O just snapped up two more companies as it seeks to take on consultancies like Accenture and CognizantMeet 18 top PR pros that companies like SoFi and Talkspace are turning to in the SPAC IPO crazeMeet PR exec Jennifer Prosek, who built a $60 million business spinning for clients like Goldman Sachs and The Carlyle Group, and now faces her biggest challenge yetThese are the top 15 financial public relations pros CEOs call when their companies are on fireHow tech is changing PRPublic relations pros are facing increased pressure to prove the value of their services, giving rise to a $4.5 billion communications software industry that helps PR firms do things like monitor news coverage and social media, provide accurate measurements, and identify influencers and journalists.Firms like Edelman and MSL have developed their own tools to monitor news and track the impact of PR for clients.Read more:Private equity firm Tritium Partners acquired an up-and-coming PR tech company to take on giants like Cision and Meltwater11 tech firms that top companies like Coca-Cola and Samsung rely on to prove their PR worksThe top 27 software companies serving the public relations industryPR agencies are beefing up their data services to keep consulting firms like Deloitte and Accenture from eating their lunchPR giant MSL breaks down how it's using tech tools to prove its work drives results for clients like P&G and CadillacPublic relations giant Edelman is poaching execs from WPP, Google, and others to build a data analytics powerhouseOmnicom is boosting its data arm with a new tool to convince skeptics that PR can drive business resultsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 26th, 2021

Black Friday Turns Red On "Terrible News" - Global Markets Crater On "Nu Variant" Panic

Black Friday Turns Red On "Terrible News" - Global Markets Crater On "Nu Variant" Panic The Friday after thanksgiving is called black Friday because that's when retailers finally turn profitable for the year. Not so much for market, however, because this morning it's red as far as the eye can see. The culprit: the same one we discussed late last night - the emergence of a new coronavirus strain detected in South Africa, known as B.1.1.529, which reportedly carries an "extremely high number" of mutations and is “clearly very different” from previous incarnations, which may drive further waves of disease by evading the body’s defenses according to South African scientists, and soon, Anthony Fauci. British authorities think it is the most significant variant to date and have hurried to impose travel restrictions on southern Africa, as did Japan, the Czech Republic and Italy on Friday. The European Union also said it aimed to halt air travel from the region. "Markets have been quite complacent about the pandemic for a while, partly because economies have been able to withstand the impact of selective lockdown measures. But we can see from the new emergency brakes on air travel that there will be ramifications for the price of oil," said Chris Scicluna, head of economic research at Daiwa. As a result, what was initially just a 1% drop in US index futures, has since escalated to a plunge of as much as 2% with eminis dropping the most since September, at one point dropping below 4,600 after closing on Wednesday above 4,700 as a post-Thanksgiving selloff spread across global markets amid mounting concerns the new B.1.1.529 coronavirus variant - which today will be officially called by the Greek lettter Nu - could derail the global economic recovery.  Russell 2000 contracts sank as much as 5.4%. Technology shares may be caught in the net too as Nasdaq 100 futures slid. The VIX increased as much as 9.4 vols to 28, it's biggest jump since January. It was last seen up 7.4 points, or the biggest increase since February. Adding to the pain, there is nothing on today's macro calendar and the US market closes early which will reduce already dismal liquidity even more, exacerbating some of the moves throughout the session. Headlines are likely to center on various nations preventing travel from South Africa whilst potentially imposing more stringent COVID measures domestically, as well as which countries "find" the Nu variant. Amid the panicked flight to safety, 10Y TSY yields tumbled as traders slashed bets on monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve (just hours after Goldman predicted that the Fed would double the pace of its taper and hike 3 times in 2022, oops) ... ... as did oil amid fears new covid lockdowns will lead to a collapse in crude demand (they will also certainly force OPEC+ to put on pause their plans to keep hiking output by 400K every month). Paradoxically, even cryptos are tumbling, which is surprising since even the dumbest algos should realize by now that a new covid outbreak means more dovish central banks, no tightening, and if nothing else, more QE and more liquidity which is precisely what cryptos need to break out to new all time highs. Cruise ship operator Carnival slumped 9.1% in premarket trading and Boeing slid 5.8% as travel companies tumbled worldwide. Stay-at-home stocks such as Zoom Video rallied.  Didi Global shares fell after Chinese regulators reportedly asked the ride-hailing giant to delist from U.S. bourses. Here are some of the other big premarket movers: Airlines and other travel stocks slumped in premarket trading on growing concern about a new Covid-19 variant identified in southern Africa. The European Union is proposing to halt air travel from several countries in the area and the U.K. will temporarily ban flights from the region. United Airlines (UAL US) fell 8.9%, Delta Air (DAL US) -7.9%, American Airlines (AAL US) -6.7%; cruiseline-operator Carnival (CCL US) -12%; hotelier Marriott (MAR US) -6.1%; lodging company Airbnb (ABNB US) -6.9%. Stay-at-home stocks that benefit from higher demand in lockdowns rose in premarket, with Zoom Video (ZM US) gaining 8.5% and fitness equipment group Peloton (PTON US) +4.7%. Vaccine stocks surged in premarket, while Pfizer and BioNTech got an added boost after their coronavirus shot won European Union backing for expanded use in children. Moderna (MRNA US) rose 8.8%, Novavax (NVAX US) +6.2%, Pfizer (PFE US) +5.1%, BioNTech (BNTX US) +6.4%. Small biotech stocks gained in premarket as investors sought havens. Ocugen (OCGN US) added 22%, Vir Biotechnology (VIR US) +7.8%, Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE US) +5%. Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks fell as Bitcoin dropped as investors dumped risk assets. Marathon Digital (MARA US) declined 9%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) -8.8%, Coinbase (COIN US) -4.6%. Didi Global (DIDI US) declined 6% in premarket after Chinese regulators were said to have asked the ride-hailing giant to delist from U.S. bourses. Selecta Biosciences (SELB US) dropped 13% in Wednesday’s postmarket ahead of Thursday’s Thanksgiving closure, after saying the U.S. FDA placed a clinical hold on a trial. Quotient Technology (QUOT US) gained 3.9% in Wednesday’s postmarket on news that a board member bought $150,000 of shares. What happens next will matter and so, all eyes are on the opening bell for the U.S. markets, set to return from the holiday for a shortened trading session. Tumbling futures and a soaring VIX signaled that the rout in Asia and Europe won’t spare New York equities, while lack of liquidity will only make the pain worse. The Japanese yen emerged as the main haven currency of the day, with the dollar languishing. “Every trader in New York will be rushing to the office now,” said Salm-Salm & Partner portfolio manager Frederik Hildner, adding that news of the new variant could mean the end of the inflation and tapering debate. The worsening pandemic poses a dilemma for central banks that are preparing to tighten monetary policy to curb elevated price pressures, according to Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote. “It’s terrible news,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote, said in emailed comments. “The new Covid variant could hit the economic recovery, but this time, the central banks won’t have enough margin to act. They can’t fight inflation and boost growth at the same time. They have to choose.” “We now have a new Covid variant that’s ‘very’ different from the ones we knew so far, a rising inflation, and a market bubble,” she said.  “The only encouraging news is the easing oil prices, which could tame the inflationary pressures and give more time to the central banks before pulling back support.” In the meantime, the World Health Organization and scientists in South Africa were said to be working “at lightning speed” to ascertain how quickly the B.1.1.529 variant can spread and whether it’s resistant to vaccines. The new threat adds to the wall of worry investors are already contending with in the form of elevated inflation, monetary tightening and slowing growth. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index headed for the biggest drop in 13 months plunging 2.7%; travel and banking industries led the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down as much as 3.7%, the biggest intraday drop since June 2020. Airbus slumped 8.6% in Paris and British Airways owner IAG tumbled 12% in London, while food-delivery stocks gained.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Stay-at-home stocks and Covid testing firms such as TeamViewer and DiaSorin are among the biggest gainers as worries over a new Covid variant send the Stoxx 600 tumbling on lockdown fears TeamViewer and DiaSorin rise as much as 6% and 7%, respectively On the down side, travel and leisure stocks plunge, with the likes of IAG, Lufthansa and Carnival posting double- digit falls IAG drops as much as 21% Software AG shares rise as much as 9.5% after Bloomberg reported that the firm is exploring strategic options, including a potential sale, with Morgan Stanley saying the company’s biggest headwinds are behind it. Evolution gains as much as 4.6%, recouping part of Thursday’s 16% plunge, with Bank of America saying the share price’s “crazy time” amounts to a good buying opportunity. Skistar rises as much as 3.7%, bucking steep declines for travel and leisure stocks, after Handelsbanken upgraded the stock, saying bookings for the Scandinavian ski resort operator are “set to surge.” Telecom Italia climbs as much as 2.8% following a Bloomberg report that private equity firms KKR and CVC are considering teaming up on a bid for the company. ING Groep falls as much as 11% after Goldman Sachs analyst Jean-Francois Neuez cut his recommendation to neutral from buy. Getlink drops as much as 6% as French fishermen start protests aimed at stepping up pressure on the U.K. in a post-Brexit fishing dispute. Earlier in the session, MSCI's index of Asian shares outside Japan fell 2.2%, its sharpest drop since August. Casino and beverage shares were hammered in Hong Kong, while travel stocks dropped in Sydney and Tokyo. Japan's Nikkei skidded 2.5% and S&P 500 futures were last down 1.8%. Giles Coghlan, chief currency analyst at HYCM, a brokerage, said the closure of the U.S. market for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday had exacerbated moves. "We need to see how transmissible this variant is, is it able to evade the vaccines - this is crucial," Coghlan said. "I expect this story to drag on for a few days until scientists have a better understanding of it." Indian stocks plunged as the detection of a new coronavirus strain rattled investor sentiment globally, raising concerns over a likely setback to the nascent economic recovery.  The S&P BSE Sensex lost 2.9%, the most since mid-April, to 57,107.15 in Mumbai, taking its loss this week to 4.2%, the biggest weekly drop since January. The NSE Nifty 50 Index declined by a similar magnitude on Friday. Reliance Industries was the biggest drag on both measures and declined 3.2%.  “There is fear of this new variant spreading to other countries which might again derail the global economy,” said Hemang Jani, head of equity strategy at Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.   Of the 30 shares in the Sensex index, 26 fell and 4 gained. All but one of 19 sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. retreated, led by a index of realty companies. The S&P BSE Healthcare index was the only sub-index to gain, surging 1.2%. While researchers are yet to determine whether the new virus variant is more transmissible or lethal than previous ones, authorities around the world have been quick to act. The European Union, U.K., Israel, and Singapore placed emergency curbs on passengers from South Africa and the surrounding region. Travel stocks were among the hardest hit. InterGlobe Aviation Ltd. fell 8.9%, Spicejet Ltd. slipped 6.7% and Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. plunged 11.2%, the most since March 2020.  “Nervousness on the new variant of coronavirus and expectations of the U.S. Fed increasing the pace of tapering have led to recent market weakness,” Amit Gupta, fund manager for portfolio management services at ICICI Securities Ltd. said. “This trend may take some time to recover as the WHO meeting on the new mutant variant impact and hospitalization rates in US and Europe will be watched by the market very closely.” Crude oil to emerging markets completed this picture of mayhem. In rates, fixed income was firmly bid as Treasuries extended their advance led by the belly of the curve, outperforming bunds, while money markets pared rate-hike bets amid fears that a new coronavirus strain may spread globally, slowing economic growth. Cash Treasuries outperformed, richening 12-14bps across the short end, with Thursday’s closure exacerbating the optics. As shown above, 10Y Treasury yields shed as much as 10 basis points while the Japanese yen jumped the most since investors’ March 2020 rush for safety. Yields across the curve are lower by more than 8bp at long end, 13bp-15bp out to the 7-year point, moves that if sustained would be the largest since at least March 2020 and in some cases since 2009. Short-term interest rate futures downgraded the odds of Fed rate increases. Gilts richened 10-11bps across the curve, outperforming bunds by 4-5bps. Peripheral and semi-core spreads widen. In FX, JPY and CHF top the G-10 scoreboard with havens typically bid. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after earlier touching a fresh cycle high, and the greenback was mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers as the yen and the Swiss franc led gains while the Canadian dollar and Norwegian krone were the worst performers as commodity prices plunged. Traders pushed back the timing of a 25-basis-point rate increase by the Federal Reserve to July from June, with only one further hike expected for the remainder of 2022. It’s a similar story in the U.K. where the Bank of England is now expected to tighten policy in February instead of next month. Wagers that the ECB will raise its deposit rate by the end of next year have also been slashed, with only a six basis-point increase priced in, half of that seen earlier this week. The European Union is proposing to follow the U.K. in halting air travel from southern Africa after the new Covid-19 variant was identified there. The yen is at the epicenter of skyrocketing currency volatility as the new virus variant shakes markets. The cost of hedging against swings in the Japanese currency over the next week, which captures the release of the next U.S. payrolls report, is the most expensive in more than a year. In commodities, crude futures are hit hard. WTI drops over 7% before finding support near $73, Brent drops over 5% before recovering near $78. Spot gold grinds higher, adding $21 to trade near $1,809/oz. Base metals are sharply offered with much of the complex off as much as 3%. Looking at the otherwise quiet day ahead, data releases include French and Italian consumer confidence for November, as well as the Euro Area M3 money supply for October. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, Vice President de Guindos, and the ECB’s Visco, Schnabel, Centeno, Panetta and Lane, and BoE chief economist Pill. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.9% to 4,607.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 2.8% to 468.04 MXAP down 1.8% to 193.33 MXAPJ down 2.2% to 628.97 Nikkei down 2.5% to 28,751.62 Topix down 2.0% to 1,984.98 Hang Seng Index down 2.7% to 24,080.52 Shanghai Composite down 0.6% to 3,564.09 Sensex down 2.7% to 57,234.83 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.7% to 7,279.35 Kospi down 1.5% to 2,936.44 Brent Futures down 5.8% to $77.46/bbl Gold spot up 0.9% to $1,805.13 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.33% to 96.46 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.31% Euro up 0.4% to $1.1259 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The European Union is proposing to halt air travel from southern Africa over growing concern about a new Covid-19 variant that’s spreading there, as the U.K. said it will also temporarily ban flights from the region Those close to the Kremlin say the Russian president doesn’t want to start another war in Ukraine. Still, he must show he’s ready to fight if necessary in order to stop what he sees as an existential security threat: the creeping expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in a country that for centuries had been part of Russia Bitcoin tumbled 20% from record highs notched earlier this month as a new variant of the coronavirus spurred traders to dump risk assets across the globe Germany’s Greens tapped their two co- leaders to run the foreign ministry and take charge of an influential portfolio overseeing economy and climate protection in the country’s next government under Social Democrat Olaf Scholz A more detailed breakdown of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets declined and US equity futures were also on the backfoot on reopen from the prior day’s Thanksgiving lull with markets spooked by new COVID variant concerns related to the B.1.1.529 variant in South Africa that was first detected in Botswana. The new variant showed a high number of mutations and was said to be the most evolved strain ever which spurred fears it could be worse than Delta and is prompting both the UK and Israel to halt flights from several African nations. ASX 200 (-1.7%) was negative with heavy losses in energy and broad underperformance in cyclicals leading the downturn across all sectors, while the much better than expected Australian Retail Sales data was largely ignored. Nikkei 225 (-2.5%) underperformed and gave up the 29k status as selling was exacerbated by detrimental currency inflows and with SoftBank shares among the worst hit on reports that China is said to have asked Didi to delist from US exchanges on security fears, which doesn't bode well for SoftBank given that its Vision Fund is the top shareholder in the Chinese ride hailing group with a stake of more than 20%. Hang Seng (-2.5%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.7%) conformed to the risk aversion with the mood not helped by ongoing geopolitical concerns after a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson noted they are ready to crush Taiwan independence bid "at any time”, while China also said it opposes US sanctions on its companies and will take all necessary measures to firmly defend the rights of Chinese companies. Beijing interference further contributed to the headwinds amid the request by China for Didi to delist from US which reports stated regulators could backtrack on and with Tencent subdued after some Chinese state-run companies restricted the use of Tencent's messaging app. Top Asian News Stocks in Asia Set for Worst Day Since March on Virus Woes Mizuho CEO Steps Down After Regulator Hit on System Issues Meituan 3Q Revenue Meets Estimates Japan’s Kishida Delivers $316 billion Extra Budget for Recovery European equities are trading markedly lower (Stoxx 600 -2.9%) with losses in the Stoxx 600 extending to 3.8% WTD. Sentiment throughout the week has been hampered by various lockdown measures imposed across the region with the latest leg lower accelerated by new COVID variant concerns related to the B.1.1.529 variant in South Africa. The new variant has shown a high number of mutations and is said to be the most evolved strain so far. This has spurred fears it could be worse than Delta and has prompted multiple nations to halt flights from several African nations.The handover from the overnight session was an equally downbeat one with the Nikkei 225 (-2.5%) dealt a hammer blow by the risk environment and unfavourable currency flows. Stateside, futures are lower across the board with the RTY the clear laggard with losses of 4.2% compared to the ES -1.8%, whilst the tech-heavy NQ is faring better than peers but ultimately still lower on the session to the tune of 1.6%. Note, early closures in the US and subsequent liquidity conditions could exacerbate some of the moves throughout the session. With the macro calendar light, focus for the session is likely to centre on various nations preventing travel from South Africa whilst potentially imposing more stringent COVID measures domestically. Any further clarity on the spread of the variant and its potential to evade vaccines will be of great interest to the market and likely be the main driving force of price action today. Sectors in Europe are lower across the board with the Stoxx 600 Banking (-5.1%) sector bottom of the pile amid the declines seen in global bond yields as markets scale back expectations of central bank tightening (e.g. pricing now assigns a 63% chance of a 15bps hike by the BoE next month vs. 93% a week ago). Oil & Gas names (-4.8%) are suffering on account of the declines in the crude space with WTI crude in freefall with losses of 6.7% given the potential impact of travel restrictions on demand. Travel restrictions on South Africa (from UK, Israel, EU et al) and the potential for further announcements has crushed the Travel & Leisure sector (-5.7%) with airline names dealt a hammer blow; IAG (-13.5%), easyJet (-11%), Deutsche Lufthansa (-12%), Air France (-9.5%). Elsewhere, there are a whole raft of other laggards which are very much in-fitting with the March 2020 playbook but there are simply too many to list for the purpose of this report. Defensives and Tech are faring better than peers but ultimately still lower on the session to the tune of 1% and 1.9% respectively. Finally, for anyone wanting some positivity from today’s session, the potential for further lockdowns has proved to be beneficial for the likes of HelloFresh (+3.2%), Ocado (+2.1%) and Delivery Hero (+1.9%). Top European News Airlines Skid on South Africa Travel Bans Tied to Variant German Coalition Proposes a Combustion-Car Ban Without Saying So Putin Pushes Confrontation With NATO as Hardliners Prevail Siemens Is Said to Kick Off Sale of Postal Logistics Business In FX, the index has been under pressure in the risk-averse environment amid a slump in yields and gains in its basket components – namely the JPY, CHF, EUR (see below) – and with liquidity also thinned by Thanksgiving. From a technical perspective, the index has declined from its 96.787 overnight high, through the 96.500 mark, to a low of 96.332 – with the weekly trough at 96.035. Ahead, the US calendar is once again light, with the US also poised for an early Thanksgiving closure; thus, impulses will likely be derived from the macro environment. JPY, CHF, EUR - Haven FX JPY and CHF are the clear outperformers as a function of risk-related inflows. USD/JPY has retreated from a 115.37 peak and fell through its 21 DMA (114.15) to a base around 113.66 - with the current weekly low around 113.64. USD/CHF retreated from 0.9360 to 0.9260 – with the 50 and 100 DMAs seen at 0.9234 and 0.9219, respectively, ahead of 0.9200. EUR/USD meanwhile gains on what is seemingly an unwind of the carry trade amid a spike in volatility. EUR/USD found support near 1.1200 before rebounding to a current 1.1288 peak. AUD, NZD, CAD, GBP - The non-US Dollar risk currencies bear the brunt of the latest market downturn, with losses across industrial commodities not helping. The Loonie has taken the spot as the biggest G10 loser as hefty COVID-induced losses in the oil complex keep the currency suppressed. USD/CAD trades towards the top of a current 1.2647-2774 range. AUD is also weighed on by softer base metal prices – AUD/USD fell from a 0.7200 overnight high to a current low at 0.7110. On that note, Westpac sees AUD/USD pushed down to 0.7000 by Jun 2022 (prev. 0.7700) amid rate differentials with the US; Westpac made significant changes to its FOMC policy forecast and now expect consecutive increases in the fed funds rate in Jun, Sept, and Dec 2022. NZD/USD is slightly more cushioned amid smaller exposure to commodities, and as the AUD/NZD cross takes aim at 1.0450 to the downside. GBP, meanwhile, was initially among the losers amid its high-beta status but thereafter nursed losses in a move that coincided with EUR/GBP rejecting an upside breach of its 21 DMA at 0.8475. EM - The ZAR is the standout laggard given the new South African COVID variant - B.1.1.529 COVID-19 variant (expected to be named Nu) – which is said to be the most evolved strain so far and thus prompted several countries to halt travel to the country of origin. USD/ZAR currently trades within a 15.9375-16.3630 intraday band. Meanwhile, the downturn oil sees USD/RUB north of 75.00 and closer to 76.00 from a 74.2690 base. The Lira also feels some contagion despite the lower oil prices (Turkey being a large net oil importer) – USD/TRY is back on a 12.00 handle and within 11.92-1226 parameters at the time of writing. In commodities, the crude complex has been hit by compounding COVID fears which in turn triggered various travel restrictions and subsequently took its toll on global crude demand prospects. The new and more evolved South African variant prompted the UK, Singapore, and Israel to expand their travel red lists to include some African nations (Israel reported its first case of the new COVID-19 variant known as B.1.1.529). Japan also imposed tighter border restrictions. China’s Shanghai city see flights impacted by its own outbreak. Europe also tackles its surge in daily cases - German Green Party's Baerbock (incoming Foreign Minister) does not rule out a German lockdown, according to Spiegel. EU Commission President von der Leyen is also to propose activation of the emergency air brake, to halt travel from southern Africa due to the B.1.1.529 COVID-19 variant. Losses in oil have exacerbated - with WTI Jan and Brent Feb now under USD 74/bbl (vs high 78.65/bbl) and USD 77/bbl (vs high 80.42/bbl), -6.0% and -5.0% respectively. This comes ahead of the OPEC+ confab next week, whereby OPEC watchers have suggested that oil prices will be a large contributor to the final decision. It is difficult to see how OPEC+ will increase output to the levels the US et al. will be content with, with the latest COVID downturn building the case for a pause in planned output hikes. Elsewhere, haven demand sees spot gold extend on gains above USD 1,800/oz after topping the 100 DMA (1,792.95/oz), 200 DMA (1,791.38/oz), 50 DMA (1,790.13/oz) overnight. Base metals are softer across the board amid the risk aversion. LME copper posts losses of around 3% at the time of writing, as prices threaten a more convincing downside breach of USD 9,500/t. US Event Calendar Nothing major scheduled DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Things have escalated on the covid front quite rapidly over the last 12 hours. Yesterday new covid variant B.1.1.529 was slowly starting to gather increasing attention but overnight it has begun to dominate markets and has caused a notable flight to quality with 10 year USTs -8bps lower. It was originally identified in Botswana and is starting to spread rapidly in Africa. The South African Health Minister has said it is "of serious concern". Almost 100 cases have already been identified in South Africa and the UK moved to put the country back (along with 5 other African nations) on a reinstated red travel list last night with others following this morning. The variant is said to be the most heavily mutated version yet and the WHO will meet today to decide if it is a variant of interest or a variant of concern. So a lot of eyes will be on how severe it is and whether it completely evades vaccines. At this stage very little is known. Mutations are often less severe so we shouldn’t jump to conclusions but there is clearly a lot of concern about this one. Also South Africa is one of the world leaders in sequencing so we are more likely to see this sort of news originate from there than many countries. Suffice to say at this stage no one in markets will have any idea which way this will go. Overnight in Asia all benchmarks are trading lower on the news with the Shanghai Composite (-0.50%), CSI (-0.64%), KOSPI (-1.27%), Hang Seng (-2.13%) and the Nikkei (-2.90%) all lower. Airlines and other travel stocks have obviously fallen heavily. Hong Kong has detected two confirmed cases of the new variant just as Hong Kong and China were considering quarantine-free travel. S&P 500 (-0.93%) and DAX (-1.82%) futures are also much weaker. Elsewhere, in Japan, CPI rose +0.5% year-on-year (+0.4% consensus and +0.1% previously), on the back of 16-month high fuel prices. With the US out on holiday for Thanksgiving, there wasn’t much going on yesterday after a very quiet day in markets. The variant news was only slowly creeping into the news flow so it hardly impacted trading. But in keeping with the theme of recent days, both inflation and the latest covid wave in Europe remained very much in the picture as jitters continue to increase that we could see further lockdowns as we move towards Christmas. Starting with the headline moves, European equities did actually show signs of stabilising yesterday, with the STOXX 600 up +0.42% thanks to a broad-based advance across the continent. In fact that’s actually the index’s best daily performance in over three weeks, although that’s not reflecting any particular strength, but instead the fact the index inched steadily but persistently towards a record high before selling off again a week ago. Other indices moved higher across the continent too, with the FTSE 100 (+0.33%), the CAC 40 (+0.48%) and the DAX (+0.25%) all posting similar advances. These will all likely reverse this morning. One piece of news we did get came from the ECB, who released the account of their monetary policy meeting for October. Something the minutes stressed was the importance that the Governing Council maintain optionality in their policy settings, with one part acknowledging the growing upside risks to inflation, but also saying “it was deemed important for the Governing Council to avoid an overreaction as well as unwarranted inaction, and to keep sufficient optionality in calibrating its monetary policy measures to address all inflation scenarios that might unfold.” Against this backdrop, 10yr bond yields moved lower across multiple countries, with those on bunds (-2.3ps), OATs (-2.3bps) and BTPs (-1.9bps) all declining. There was also a flattening in all 3 yield curves as well, with the 2s10s slope in Germany (-3.0bps), France (-3.7bps) and Italy (-2.8bps) shifting lower. And the moves also coincided with a continued widening in peripheral spreads, with both the Spanish and the Greek spreads over 10yr bund yields widening to their biggest levels in over a year. Of course, one of the biggest concerns in Europe right now remains the pandemic, and yesterday saw a number of fresh measures announced as policymakers seek to get a grip on the latest wave. In France, health minister Veran announced various measures, including the expansion of the booster rollout to all adults, and a reduction in the length of time between the initial vaccination and the booster shot to 5 months from 6. Meanwhile in the Czech Republic, the government declared a state of emergency and approved tighter social distancing measures, including the closure of restaurants and bars at 10pm. And in Finland, the government have said that bars and restaurants not using Covid certificates will not be able to serve alcohol after 5pm. All this came as the European Medicines Agency recommended that the Pfizer vaccine be approved for children aged 5-11, which follows the decision to approve the vaccine in the US. Their recommendation will now go to the European Commission for a final decision. There wasn’t much in the way of data at all yesterday, though German GDP growth in Q3 was revised down to show a +1.7% expansion (vs. +1.8% previous estimate). Looking at the details, private consumption was the only driver of growth (+6.2%), with government consumption (-2.2%), machinery and equipment (-3.7%) and construction (-2.3%) all declining over the quarter. To the day ahead now, and data releases include French and Italian consumer confidence for November, as well as the Euro Area M3 money supply for October. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, Vice President de Guindos, and the ECB’s Visco, Schnabel, Centeno, Panetta and Lane, and BoE chief economist Pill. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/26/2021 - 08:12.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 26th, 2021

The Best Essay Writing Services: Top 5 Reviewed and Ranked

Any essay writer out there who does their job well can probably be proud of themselves because they are helping out students a lot. When a student decides to use one of the writing services available to them, they do it for a variety of reasons. It can help students get better grades, but it […] Any essay writer out there who does their job well can probably be proud of themselves because they are helping out students a lot. When a student decides to use one of the writing services available to them, they do it for a variety of reasons. It can help students get better grades, but it can also help them feel less anxious and give them more personal time. 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 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 Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (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 That being said, when choosing one of the best paper writing services, you have to understand that simply looking at the top essay writing services is not enough. You should also be able to understand which service is the right fit for you. Hence, here’s everything you should know about essay writing services and how to choose one for your needs. The Benefits of Using Top Essay Writing Services As mentioned above, there are many different reasons why students would want to turn to college paper writing services to do their assignments for them. But it’s also worth looking specifically at the benefits of using an essay writing service, whether you do it once or you decide to use it multiple times. Professional essay writers know what they are doing because of their knowledge of the field, relevant experience, and advanced skillset. This is why a professional essay writer could probably give you the best version of your assignment, something you might not be able to pull off. It’s the best way to start getting better grades. At the same time, having an essay writer do your assignments for you also means you can learn from these assignments. If you are too anxious about doing the assignment yourself, you can always rely on a specialist and then analyze their work to learn from it. This can be particularly helpful for students who are struggling with their studies and catch up or don’t have enough time for all the assignments they should complete. Top List of Every Best Paper Writing Service Best of the Best: Best Price/Quality: Best Writers: Best Price: Top Speed: - Best Service All-Around This is by far the best paper writing service from all currently available. GrabMyEssay combines all of the best things a great essay writing service should have: affordable prices, high-quality papers, free plagiarism reports, complete confidentiality, and so much more. The service is easy to use. First, you submit instructions for your assignment. Second, you make a payment for your assignment. Third, you get a writer assigned to do the job. Last, you approve the assignment and download it. GrabMyEssay has a huge catalog of samples available for anyone to check out that range in topic, length, formatting style, etc. Customer reviews are also proudly displayed on the website to show why past clients favor this paper writing service. This service also offers a number of freebies that go along with the assignments, including revisions upon request, plagiarism reports, table of contents, title page, reference page, and 24/7 customer support. The main reasons to choose GrabMyEssay are: 93% satisfaction rate 3-hour delivery option Wide range of services Many years of writing experience - Best Price-to-Quality Ratio Another one of the best paper writing services is TrustMyPaper which has the best price-to-quality ratio. It doesn’t matter if it’s a college paper you need written or something else – this service will probably be able to get it done for you as there is a wide range of writing options. It’s easy to use the service. First, you provide instructions on your assignment. Second, you pay for the paper. Third, a writer is assigned to do the job. Fourth, you can communicate with your writer during the process. Last, you download your paper when it is complete. TrustMyPaper lets you check its samples to see what quality of writing you can expect from the service. They pride themselves on diligent quality control and always check for plagiarism which means you will never get a paper of poor quality. This service is particularly ideal for college paper writing as they cover all kinds of subject areas, including business, law, literature, history, music, IT, and more. The biggest reasons to choose TrustMyPaper are: 98% loyalty rate 36 thousand papers written annually Over 2000 qualified writers 85 different subject areas - Best Website to Find the Right Writer Though this is not an essay writing website, it will still be very useful to you. EssaySupply is a website for finding the right writer. It’s a platform for bidding on your project which is how you can find writers for your assignments. Here’s how it works. First, you provide details. Second, you choose a writer for your assignment. Third, you track the entire process. Last, you get amazing results. EssaySupply is known for the ultimate quality of its services as every essay writer here will get exactly what you need. In fact, you can even contact your writer anytime, but what truly sets it apart from all the other writing services is that you don’t have to pay upfront. Moreover, the prices on the platform start quite low and there is also a money-back guarantee provided. The top reasons to choose EssaySupply are: 9.6/10 average quality score 2500+ active writers 100% secure payments Wide range of writing services - Best Price As the name suggests, this is a top essay writing service with the best price on the market. Among other writing services, TopEssayWriting stands out as the one that is the most budget-friendly for students. The process is simple. First, you lay out your assignment requirements. Second, you complete the order form and pay. Third, you get a writer and work with them together through communication. Last, you download your order. TopEssayWriting has an easy price calculator on its website to easily get an idea of how much your assignment will cost. There are different discounts for returning clients and additional services offered (e.g. annotated bibliography, outline, formatting). You can also easily get in touch with customer support and check out testimonials on their website. Here’s why you would want to choose TopEssayWriting: 50+ subject areas Big writer database Money back guarantee 24/7 customer service - Best Service for Speedy Assignments Yet another great essay writing service you might want to check out is BestEssayEducation. This service is the best one for when you need an assignment completed as fast as possible. Their essay writers will help you choose and research your assignment topic, create a basic layout for your paper, write your assignment, edit, and proofread it. In other words, they work through the complete cycle. When placing your order, you can specify any details for the assignment such as the formatting style (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard), word count, and so on. Once the paper is ready, you can request a revision if something isn’t right. If you don’t have much time for the assignment, BestEssayEducation is by far your best choice, but other reasons to choose it are: Paper and essay samples freely available Complete assignment writing cycle Professional and experienced team How to Choose the Best of Essay Writing Services So, how do you choose the right essay writing service for your needs? Not only is it important to consider your circumstances (e.g. you need an assignment done quickly), but it is also necessary to look at the reputation of the service itself. Here are the main things to pay attention to when choosing between the best essay writing services on the Internet: Plagiarism: Because you need an academic assignment done it is extremely important that the work you get from the writing service is plagiarism-free. To check what percentage of plagiarism you can expect, ask the service about the tool they use for checking plagiarism and the requirements they have for plagiarism percentage. You can try out the tool and then get an idea of what you can expect from the completed assignment you will receive. Money Back Guarantee: Most legitimate and respectable essay writing services will offer a money-back guarantee. When they do so, they are able to build trust in their clients which is often a top priority. Check the Terms of Service to see whether the service you want to use offers a money-back guarantee. Price: It’s true that most students have tight budgets and are usually looking for affordable options and bargains. This is why you might want to opt for a service that is cheaper. However, this doesn’t usually translate into quality. Good service usually has prices starting at a minimum of $11. Prices over $20 are usually an exaggeration. Reviews: Probably one of the best ways to check a service’s reputation is by looking at its reviews online. These can be displayed both on its website and on other platforms specifically designed for leaving reviews and rating such services. You can also ask around and see what other students are using, especially those you know or study with. Writing Quality: In case you want to get to know the service more, you can look at the writing quality its writers usually produce. To do this, find samples on the service’s website. If there are no samples on the website, you can get in touch with customer support and request samples. Most reputable services will readily and gladly provide them to you. Customer Service: Speaking of customer support, it’s also a good idea to pay attention to the quality of customer service you receive. Even if you haven’t had any interactions with the service yet, get in touch with them to ask some questions and see how they respond. Professionalism and the availability of the customer service team are good signs. Website Navigation: Every respected business nowadays has a well-functioning website – and the situation is no different for essay writing services. A good service will have a website that is easy to use and navigate even if it’s your first time seeing it. It should also be easy to place an order as UX is usually a priority. Payment Security: Something directly related to the point above is the security of your payments. Not only should you be able to place an order easily, but your banking details should also be protected. There is not much you can do to check these things yourself, but it’s a good idea to pay attention to the messages your browser is sending you. They are usually a good indicator of whether the website is safe and secure. Data Privacy: Just like protecting your banking data, your other personal details have to be protected too. However, you probably shouldn’t worry about data privacy too much because businesses usually rely on customer loyalty and know that they can only get it if customers trust them for handling their data correctly. If you use all of the points above to guide you in your choice of essay writing service, you can expect to find the best one for your needs. In addition to that, this service will be able to provide you with good customer service, secure shopping and data privacy, high-quality papers, and a good grade at school. Reviews of The Best Paper Writing Services Even when you have done extensive research, you might still be unable to choose the best paper writing service for your needs. This is when you should turn to which is an unbiased source of reviews about all kinds of paper writing services. The website features a comprehensive list of different writing services with their prices, quality, and delivery ratings. Users can leave reviews and ratings of their experiences using these services. Because there are so many reviews and ratings, you can easily get a good idea of which services are worth it and which ones should be avoided. Q&A Is it okay to use an essay writing service? Obviously, this question is highly individual and personal. It will often depend on what you find ethical and unethical, moral and immoral, acceptable and unacceptable. That being said, for many people, the answer will probably be, “It’s totally okay.” Indeed, an essay writing service can be the perfect solution in many cases. It can help you relieve anxiety, give you more personal time, and simply help you get better at your studies when you are confused about the assignment. And that’s exactly why you shouldn’t shy away from using an essay writing service when you truly need one. Besides, you might only decide to use it once or twice (or perhaps you decide to use it regularly which could also be beneficial to you). How to get the best essay possible? If you are writing the essay yourself, it can be very difficult to make things perfect. There are so many different things you need to consider and keep in mind while writing your essay, including proper citing, extensive research, grammar, and spelling, etc. On the other hand, if you chose to work with one of the best essay writing services on the web, you probably shouldn’t worry all that much. Essay writers know how to do their job correctly and will pay close attention to detail. Your responsibility is to provide enough details about the assignment and continue communicating with the writer to ensure that everything goes just the way you want it to. What is the best essay writing service? It’s difficult to say for sure what is the best essay writing service out there. However, the services listed in this article are a good starting point. Each of them has its own advantages, but all are the best of the best. For example, if you want to find one of the best paper writing services that offers affordable prices, you will likely want to choose TopEssayWriting. If you want an assignment done quickly, BestEssayEducation should be your top pick. But if you are still unsure, you can always use BestWritersOnline to compare different services and decide which one is the best for your needs. What kind of essay writing is available for purchase? There are all kinds of assignment writing services you can choose from, so you will probably find the right option for your needs. Truly, there is no need to worry about identifying the choice that is the right fit for you. For instance, most essay writing services cover a wide range of subjects which is why you can expect even an assignment on a niche topic to be done quickly and professionally. At the same time, many paper writing services offer to write different types of college assignments. From short essays to Bachelor papers to literature reviews – all of these are available, you just have to find the right service. What top essay writing service would you recommend? It depends on your personal needs and priorities. If you are looking for lower prices, you will likely prefer essay writing services that offer relatively affordable options, just like in the case of But if you want something done quickly, you will find other services more helpful, is the one. However, in both cases, you should look at other factors and consider how these indicators could impact the quality of the final paper you receive. That’s where the top of the list strikes in - and are a prime choice. In other words, you should look at the service’s reputation as much as you do at your own priorities. Remember that the service you choose may be very good, but it ultimately comes down to the writer who works on your paper. A professional essay writer will always communicate with you and ensure the highest quality for the finished product. Updated on Nov 19, 2021, 3:17 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; 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: valuewalkNov 20th, 2021

Strong decision-making skills will give you a leg up in the job search — here"s how to show them off

To highlight these skills during a job interview, share personal examples of team achievements and tough decisions you've made in the past. Decision-making skills will not only help you thrive at work, but navigate your career in a meaningful way.Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images Decision-making skills are crucial in all phases of your career, from interviewing to managing. When making a decision, define the problem and then assess the costs and benefits to find an ideal solution. Show off your decision-making skills in the job search by demonstrating them in your résumé, cover letter, and interview. Whether you're a first-time intern or president and CEO, decision-making is a crucial component of success at every rung on the career ladder. Companies rely on top talent to keep the business moving with quick, thoughtful decisions — from small, individual choices about the best way to tackle your to-do list to major strategic overhauls that affect the entire organization."Different employers look for various skills and strengths depending on their job requirements, but all organizations seek decision-making skills," said executive career consultant Susan Peppercorn. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking to assess decision-making skills for just about every role they need to fill. Your ability to develop and maintain those skills, and also show them off as a candidate, can make or break your chances at landing that dream job — and then, of course, determine whether or not you succeed in it.What are decision-making skills and why are they important at work?Decision-making skills hinge on your "ability to see, understand, and articulate the outcomes of actions," said executive coach Debbie Radish-Respess. They help you quickly and efficiently analyze a situation so you can choose paths that will ultimately lead to the best possible outcomes.Radish-Respess had to fine-tune her own decision-making skills in her years working in human resources, five of which she spent as a VP, before transitioning into executive and leadership coaching. One of the things she learned is that it isn't enough to simply know which decision to make; you also have to be able to communicate potential outcomes in order to convince other team members and leaders that your choices are the most sound. When an employee is able to do both, all aspects of the business (from financial to operational to interpersonal) benefit."Whether it's a question of deciding which candidate to hire, which consultant to use, what project to implement or product to develop, having the capacity to make the best decision is critical for an organization's success," said Peppercorn, who has become a bit of a decision-making expert herself, building her own business guiding professionals in their careers. "Employees who can demonstrate the ability to identify all the options and compare both cost and effectiveness have an advantage over those who can't."But it's not just about the company. It's also about you. Decision-making skills are crucial in helping you figure out what jobs you even want — and in successfully going after those opportunities. In other words, these skills will help you land jobs, thrive at work, and enable your team and organization to meet goals, sure. But they'll also help you navigate your career and steer it in the directions that are meaningful and fulfilling for you.When do you need decision-making skills in your career?There are countless work-related scenarios in which decision-making skills come in handy. One of the first is the hiring process — on both sides.Hiring managers are constantly having to evaluate the qualifications each candidate has and which set of skills might be a better fit for the role that needs to be filled, Radish-Respess says. At the same time, candidates are typically doing the same thing — assessing whether or not a position and company are right for them. The decision-making skills of everyone involved in a typical job search scenario could mean the difference between an engaged and productive employee, and a person who is miserable in a job they merely took for a paycheck.From choosing the right format for your résumé to selecting a contractor to help complete your next project, decision-making skills are a crucial component to succeeding in both the job search and your career.Other common work-related scenarios where decision-making comes into play might include:Organizing a team and assigning roles and responsibilitiesMaking a go-no-go decision on a projectDetermining which strategy to use to meet company goals and how to execute itCreating a work-from-home policySelecting board membersPicking when — and what — to delegateResponding appropriately to an upset customerFixing a production problem as soon as it's discoveredWhat steps can you use to make any decision?Peppercorn explains that there are six important steps in the decision-making process:1. Define the problem, challenge, or opportunityThe decisions we make in our day-to-day lives and careers are most often responses to problems or opportunities we may be presented with. For instance, if you're searching for a job, your problem may be narrowing down current opportunities. Or if you're assembling a team for a new project, your problem may be choosing team members who will work well together.Whatever the situation may be, you first need to identify what the goal of the decision is. When responding to an upset customer, for example, the goal is probably to have them leave the conversation feeling like their problem has been resolved or their voice has been heard. Whereas if you're creating a hybrid work strategy, your goal may be to balance employee happiness, productivity, and collaboration.Before you start exploring different steps and strategies, make sure you're clear on what you're trying to achieve — and let that objective guide you throughout the rest of the process.2. Generate several possible solutions or responsesOnce you've defined the problem, challenge, or opportunity your decision will hopefully address, you can begin to think about possible solutions. In the job search, this could mean establishing a list of available job openings in your career field. And on the job, it could mean first pulling together the list of people who are available for your project.How you develop that list of solutions depends entirely on what your goal may be, but in most cases it involves looking at the decision that needs to be made from as many angles as possible and allowing yourself the time to brainstorm options — either alone or in a group.You might want or need to get input from others while in the early stages, Radish-Respess says. "Decisions may be based on a client outcome, an organizational strategy, or a department project," she explained, and you'll need information and insights from your colleagues. Plus, we aren't always equipped to recognize our own biases or limitations, but a team approach can help to ensure you explore all avenues.In some cases, you may also have to ask yourself if you have the authority to make this decision on our own. For example, you may need to bring your supervisor into the decision-making process and make a judgment about when. Perhaps you need to turn to your boss at the very beginning to confirm you're reaching for the right goal or to ask them to be involved in the brainstorming phase or you may be able to simply share your suggested solution for approval.3. Evaluate the costs and benefits, or pros and cons, associated with each optionOnce you've generated several possible ways forward, it's time to examine each one more closely. Evaluating your options could be as simple as creating a pro/con list for each or as detailed as designing a scoring metric that allows you to rate each choice based on your pre-determined list of desires.When it comes to looking for a job, for example, it doesn't usually make sense to apply to every opening you find. Not only are there likely to be at least a few that aren't a good fit, it's also harder to tailor your résumé and personalize your cover letter when you are applying to 50 jobs as opposed to five. So instead of taking your initial list and applying everywhere, you'd be better off taking some time to narrow down your options and to apply only to the positions that you might be the best fit for. You might select three to five things you are looking for in your next role (salary, location, flexibility, etc.) and then rank all potential openings based on those categories.Similarly, if you were looking to put together a team for an important project, look at the qualifications of each candidate available to join your team, and consider carefully how those skills might fit together in different combinations. For each potential grouping, you might go through a checklist of the skill sets you need, consider how those employees would work together, and weigh the benefits of each worker's participation against the cost of them deprioritizing other tasks.4. Select a solution or responseIn a perfect world, the obvious answer would appear after a little evaluation. And sometimes, that's exactly what happens: One choice is clearly better than all the others.In the real world, however, you're often faced with choices that have comparable appeals and drawbacks. For instance, you might be offered two jobs: one in the exact field you want to work in, but for about $10,000 less a year than you want to make, and the other offering your goal salary, but with the caveat being that you would have to relocate. Neither choice fulfills everything, but both provide something, at which point you have to decide which one comes closest to being what you want. This may mean you have to drill your original pros and cons list down further, ranking each category by level of importance to you. Or it could mean adding additional categories you hadn't initially considered, like room for growth or position prestige.You may have to keep tweaking your evaluation methods until the right decision becomes clear — or at a certain point, you may have to simply select one path and move forward with it.5. Implement the option you've chosenWhen making important decisions, it is always important to commit. Don't allow yourself to look back at the other options you could have chosen, or to what-if yourself into inaction and failure. Instead, commit to the choice you've settled on and focus on implementing the steps necessary to make it a success.6. Assess the impact of the decision and modify the course of action as neededOf course, committing doesn't mean you can't course-correct when necessary. What seemed like your dream job could turn out to be a nightmare if your direct supervisor is a bully. And what appeared to be the perfect solution for an upset customer could backfire if they've been offered the same solution in the past and aren't satisfied.Give yourself room to monitor your progress and to switch lanes if necessary. That doesn't mean looking back. It just means starting from where you're at and finding another way to get to where you want to be if your current choice isn't getting you there.What are some examples of decision-making skills?As you work through the decision-making steps, you may wonder what types of skills actually make a person a strong decision maker. Here are a few of the key skills you'll need:Problem-solving: Understanding the variables that influence the decision is crucial, as is understanding the impact of each decision you might make, Radish-Respess says. Being able to evaluate and solve a problem is the basis for making most decisions.Judgement: Of course, you can't adequately evaluate anything without sound judgment. The ability to look at a situation clearly, identify potential problems and solutions, be aware of potential biases, and predict outcomes and repercussions will help you make better decisions.Intuition: Trusting your instincts can be a good start, Radish-Respess says. Our instincts are often based on our real-life experiences and the lessons we've learned along the way. We don't always have a lot of time to make decisions, and in those moments when quick thinking is necessary, our intuition can be incredibly valuable.Teamwork: Collaboration, trust, and respect help teams make critical decisions, Radish-Respess says. When focusing on client deliverables, for instance, you must work with the client, and often other team members, to figure out what the client is looking for, how to best meet their needs, and how to improve the overall quality of the project. So many decisions you make at work require input from colleagues and approval from above as you work toward shared goals, and strong working relationships can help make the process as smooth and effective as possible, even when you disagree.Emotional intelligence: Like intuition, our emotions can often serve as a guide for where we need to go. When you're hit with a burst of excitement, or a sudden wave of panic, it can be worth listening to those emotions and following them where they may lead. But it goes beyond self-awareness. When you're working with a team to make an important decision, being attuned to others' emotions and reactions can help you gather the right information, evaluate the options, and ultimately select a way forward.Time management: Scheduling, project management, and deadlines help decision-makers address the most pressing issues, challenges, and projects in a timely manner, Radish-Respess says. When you know what your deadline is, you can identify the steps necessary to reach your goal on time. This also allows you to track your progress and speed up or slow down your decision-making process as necessary. Because let's be honest: Your well-thought out decision loses all value if you make it too late to matter.How can you improve your decision-making skills?It's one thing to recognize the importance of decision-making skills, it's another entirely to evaluate and improve your own. But that's exactly what you need to do if you want to hone this skill set into an asset you can rely on both on and off the job.The best ways to improve your decision-making skills often involve seeking out learning opportunities, Radish-Respess says, such as:Taking a decision-making course: Believe it or not, there are online courses for everything these days, including soft skills like decision-making. You can look for options on Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning, and other online learning platforms.Working with a coach: If you're looking to tackle a really major decision or are otherwise hoping for more personalized guidance, you might consider turning to a career coach who's an expert in helping people with job search strategy, for example, or even to a decision coach more specifically.Reflecting on past decisions: When reflecting on past decisions, Radish-Respess suggests asking yourself some important questions: What did I do well? What decision could I have made instead of the one I did make? How many options were available that I didn't take into consideration at the time? What did I like about the result? What did I not like about the result?Practicing: The more you flex your decision-making skills, the more confident you will become in your ability to make those important decisions when the time comes. Like anything else, these are skills you have to use in order to grow and maintain them. Even if you're an entry-level employee, you can practice your decision-making skills by approaching your boss with proposed solutions instead of just presenting them with the problem or challenge. They may not always agree, but you'll learn immensely from the process.Asking questions and getting input from others: As part of your practice, don't be afraid to ask for help and advice — whether it's from your manager or someone else involved in a particular decision or from a trusted colleague or mentor whose decision-making skills you admire. Hearing how others would approach a particular decision will help inform how you might do so in the future.How do you show off your decision-making skills during the job search?Your decision-making skills are something you should be flaunting while searching for your next job (and if you're still looking for roles to apply to, you can find hundreds of thousands of job openings on The Muse!). After all, hiring managers and recruiters are looking for employees who possess exactly the abilities you've worked so hard to gain. You can put them forward when you're:Building your résuméNumbers are important, Radish-Respess says. Any percentages, dollars, time frames, or numbers of clients served that can demonstrate the value of your decision-making skills should be highlighted here.In other words: You don't want to simply write "excellent decision maker" on your résumé. You want to actually show what that means in terms of results wherever possible. And you can do that by writing quantified bullet points that highlight not just duties but also accomplishments.Personalizing the cover letter"Cover letters provide an opportunity to address the posted job description with a short anecdote that shows your decision-making skills and how they align with the needs of that company," Radish-Respess said.So let's say the job description calls for someone who can think quickly under pressure. This would be a perfect place to tell a story about a time you had to do just that, relying on your decision-making skills to guide you.Nailing the interviewYou can use your cover letter to paint a picture, and then your interview to connect the dots, further detailing how your decision-making skills have benefited you and your employers in the past.One of the best ways you can show off your decision-making skills at the interview phase is by providing examples of how you've used them in the past, Radish-Respess says. "Did you perform an interview with a client to get a better understanding of their needs and therefore [increase] a project scope and revenue?" she asked. "Did you lead a team in which you chose the members?" And in doing so, did your team successfully complete their goals or work together in a way that was notable?Keep those examples in mind and throw them out liberally in response to interview questions that focus on past successes — such as behavioral questions that prompt you to "tell me about a time when…"If the hiring manager's decision-making skills are as strong as yours, they'll recognize what a mistake it would be to let another company scoop you up.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 18th, 2021

Morgan Stanley Releases 2022 Outlook, Sees S&P Closing 6% Lower At 4,400

Morgan Stanley Releases 2022 Outlook, Sees S&P Closing 6% Lower At 4,400 Back in August, Wall Street's biggest sellside bear, Morgan Stanley chief US equity strategist Mike Wilson, reluctantly and grudgingly lifted his year-end S&P price target from 3,800 - tied for lowest at the time to... 3,900 but not before telling his clients how he really felt about the added boost of optimism - "on net, the risk reward skew looks poor to us at the index level." Well, three months later, and not only was the risk reward skew poor - but to the upside, with the S&P trading just shy of all time highs and some 800 points higher than Wilson's target (granted there are still 32 trading days left in the year so everything can happen)... ... but it's time for Morgan Stanley to issue its 2022 full year forecasts. And, as those who have been following his recent weekly notes can already predict, there is no capitulation from Morgan Stanley's chief equity strategist, who remains just as bearish for 2022 as he was for 2021. As part of Morgan Stanley's broader global strategy outlook for 2022, which is titled "The Training Wheels Come Off", and which we summarized yesterday courtesy of the report's organizer Andrew Sheets, the bank writes that "Growth improves and inflation moderates, but central bank buying slows and rates rise. Own equities in Europe and Japan, securitized credit, and CAD/CHF, and resist buying Treasuries, US stocks, and EM assets until more is in the price." It is the italicized text that matters most, because the coming end of central bank generosity means all major central bank balance sheets peak in the coming 1-2 years (at least until they reverse and resume QE)... ... which coupled with high valuations, that has prompted Morgan Stanley to urge clients to stay away from U.S. stocks and bonds next year even as growth (supposedly) improves and inflation moderates, while seeking better returns in Europe and Japan where central bankers will be more patient and inflationary pressures are lower, according to the strategists in their annual investment outlook. This is how Morgan Stanley's Chief Cross-Asset Strategist summarizes where markets now stand: 'Normal' is the last word any of us would use to describe the last few years, but our core thesis remains that markets are following many 'normal' cycle-based patterns at an accelerated pace. In mid-2019, inflation was above-trend, the yield curve inverted, and our cycle model entered ‘downturn’. In early 2020, activity collapsed and then 'early cycle' investment strategies led a blistering recovery. In early 2021, this early-cycle leadership stalled, and gave way to a mid-cycle transition. For 2022, we think that this 'hotter and faster' recovery continues, powered by strength in consumer spending and capital investment. We are above-consensus on 2022 growth in the US, Europe, and China, and see the US unemployment rate falling all the way to 3.6% by the end of 2022. Good growth and moderating inflation would seem like another version of 'Goldilocks', and for some assets we think that the backdrop does look benign. But we think that 2022 is really about 'mid-to-late cycle' challenges: better growth squaring off against high valuations, tightening policy, rambunctious investor activity, and inflation being higher than most investors are used to. Navigating these will be about finding an alignment of risk premiums and fundamentals. We think that this exists in Europe and Japan equities, loans and junior securitized tranches, oil and US equity volatility, and the US and Canadian dollars. At the same time, we see plenty of challenges, including downside to the S&P 500 and US 10-year yields being well above forwards, and think that it is too early to turn bullish on EM assets. With that big picture in mind, we shift to equities where Mike Wilson picks up the baton to tell clients clients that going into 2022 he is Underweight US stocks due to "slower EPS growth and higher starting valuations versus global peers leave us underweight the S&P."  And yes, the bank's year-end 4400 price target (about 500 points higher than its 2021 year-end PT) implies 5% downside potential. Having predicted downside in the US, Wilson then turns optimistic on Europe and Japan where he sees risk/reward more appealing: "We are overweight Europe and Japan (8% and 12% upside potential, respectively), where we see the best EPS growth for 2022 and where valuations have already reset to more attractive levels. We remain neutral on EM and China for now." His recommendation: since the potential for sector and style dispersion feels more limited than usual, Wilson is "overweight financials across all regions and positive on energy in Europe and EM. Consumer discretionary is a high-conviction underweight in the US." Taking a closer look at equities, it will not be a surprise to anyone who has followed Wilson's thoughts in recent weeks why he has been especially bearish on stocks. He carried that pessimism into his year-ahead forecast, writing that he expects more volatile equity markets in 2022: At face value our global macro forecasts suggest a continued benign backdrop for equities in 2022 with strong nominal (and real) GDP growth, moderating inflation through the year and no rate hikes from any of the G3 central banks. However, underneath the surface we think there are a number of reasons to suggest that global equities' serene progress over the last 18 months will become somewhat more volatile going forward as earnings growth slows, bond yields rise, and corporates continue to juggle the challenges of disrupted supply chains and elevated input costs. We think that these issues weigh most heavily on the US equity market but are more optimistic elsewhere, especially in Europe and Japan, where our risk/reward frameworks still look quite appealing. Wilson next details why he is cautious on US equities versus global peers. There are three main reasons: 1) Greater EPS uncertainty in the US... The persistent price outperformance of MSCI USA versus MSCI ACWI for much of the last decade has been driven by superior and more durable EPS trends. While our US equity strategists see solid EPS growth in 2022, uncertainty around that expectation goes up materially given cost pressures, supply issues, and tax/policy uncertainty that is unique to the US. The recovery in rest of world EPS has lagged the US so far and hence offers (1) more ‘catch-up’ potential and (2) less earnings volatility over the next 12 months. 2) …against a backdrop of a record US P/E premium… It is natural for P/E ratios to de-rate as we progress through the initial phase of the earnings recovery and towards a more mid-cycle environment. While this has happened to a reasonable degree for non-US equities, Exhibit 18 shows that the S&P de-rating remains modest so far, with the current N12M P/E of 21 still close to a 20-year high. Consequently, US equities currently trade at a record valuation premium to global peers. 3) …and the prospect of higher bond yields that tend to favor Europe and Japan: This record valuation premium also exists at a time when bond yields look set to rise further, a situation that has typically favored the likes of Europe and Japan more than the US or EM. In particular, the US's high exposure to growth stocks means that its relative performance has been inversely correlated to real bond yields in recent years – our bond strategists expect the latter to increase materially through 2022 While US equity underperformance has indeed been rare post-GFC, the secular backdrop may be shifting: Wilson predicts that while a decade of strong and steady outperformance from US stocks may have made the potential for sizeable underperformance versus global peers unlikely, the strategist warns that "it is worth noting that such occurrences were not so uncommon before the GFC, as shown in Exhibit 23 . In effect, US equities have been large relative beneficiaries of the secular stagnation environment of the last cycle, "but a shift towards  stronger nominal growth in this new cycle (which would be consistent with higher real yields) makes a return to pre-GFC performance patterns more plausible." Curiously, Morgan Stanley's equity strategist is bearish on stocks even as the bank's rates strategists are surprisingly dovish, and don't see the Fed hiking until 2023, well beyond when the market is pricing in the first two rate hikes in (2022), an outlook that coincides with that of Morgan Stanley CEO, James Gorman, himself who is far more hawkish. it is these rate hike delays that will eventually lead to dollar weakness after a period of strength at the beginning of next year, according to the note. Outside of developed markets, Sheets’ team urged patience, suggesting investors wait until the greenback weakens before considering emerging market stocks and bonds. In currencies, they favor the Canadian dollar and Norwegian krone and expect a largely stable yuan. On the commodity front, the bank prefers oil to gold and suggested metal prices face a challenging outlook. Here is a bigger picture snapshot of what the bank expects across various asset classes: We will cover the bank's outlook on other key assets - and its top preferred trades - in a subsequent note. However, those who wish to read the full 64 page report, it is available to professional subs in the usual place. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/15/2021 - 12:50.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 15th, 2021

The billionaires" tax that Elon Musk hates so much would raise $557 billion over a decade, according to nonpartisan committee

Democrats want to tax billionaires on how much their stocks go up, and Musk and some other billionaires don't want that. Now there's a dollar figure. Elon Musk would pay an estimated $50 billion under the billionaires' tax. Picture Alliance/Getty Images A proposal to tax billionaires' stock gains would raise $557 billion over 10 years, a committee found. Sen. Ron Wyden proposed the tax as a measure to offset Biden's planned social spending. Some billionaires - like Leon Cooperman and Elon Musk - have come out swinging against it. Elon Musk really doesn't like the idea of a new billionaires' tax, but it would raise $557 billion over a decade, according to an estimate from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden proposed a Billionaires Income Tax as a way to offset President Joe Biden's social spending package and greater equalize tax burden. According to his office, the first five years alone of the tax would bring in $346.2 billion of revenue from billionaires. "This makes crystal clear the extent to which the tax code is simply not equipped to tax billionaires fairly, or ensure they pay any taxes at all," Wyden said in a statement. "Working Americans like nurses and firefighters are rightly disgusted by the status quo."Musk looks at it differently, registering his opposition in late October on Twitter. "Eventually, they run out of other people's money and then they come for you," he wrote.The joint committee's finding means that Wyden's proposal alone would more than pay for the new spending from the bipartisan infrastructure bill that the House passed on Friday, which comes to $550 billion. A White House analysis found that, with unrealized gains factored into income, the 400 wealthiest families in America pay just 8.2% in income taxes annually. This also means that those 400 families, whose wealth has grown massively during the pandemic, could pay for many of Americans' new roads, bridges, and broadband connections over the next decade.Wyden's proposal actually would target around 700 billionaires, all those that earn over $100 million annually, or hold at least $1 billion for three years. An analysis from economist Gabriel Zucman found that the top 10 billionaires alone would owe $275 billion under the proposal.The ultrawealthy's taxes have come into greater focus this yearWyden's proposal is not an outright wealth tax, but rather a reconsideration of income.Specifically, the measure would tax the gains that assets like stocks accrue. Currently, gains are pretty much only taxed when someone opts to sell of their stocks; that's called a capital gain, and it's still taxed at a lower rate than income. Many of the ultrawealthy derive most of their income from their stock holdings gaining value - what's called unrealized gains - but they usually don't sell those massive portfolios, because that would trigger a tax burden.A study from IRS researchers and academics found that the top 1% of Americans fail to report about a quarter of their income to the IRS. Income underreporting is nearly twice as high for the top 0.1%, which could account for billions in unreported taxes. A bombshell ProPublica report also revealed the extent to which America's wealthiest use the tax code in their favor and pay shockingly little in taxes, kickstarting discussions of potential tax reform.Wyden's tax may not even make it into the final package working through Congress. House and Senate Democrats seemed to disagree on whether it would move forward, and it didn't appear in Biden's $1.75 trillion social spending framework, although Wyden told Insider's Joseph Zeballos-Roig afterward, "this is not done."The proposed tax has been hit with mixed reviews. Billionaire Leon Cooperman told Insider that it was "baloney" and probably unconstitutional. Nearly 250 millionaires, though, have called on Democrats to pass it.In early November, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took a Twitter poll to see if he should sell 10% of his stock in Tesla, writing: "Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock." He said he'd "abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes." Under Wyden's proposal, Musk faces potentially $50 billion in taxes for the first five years.Ultimately, the denizens of Twitter voted that Musk should sell. Wyden hit back on Twitter, saying that "whether or not the world's wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn't depend on the results of a Twitter poll." In response, Musk made a crude joke about Wyden.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 8th, 2021

Futures Hit Fresh All-Time Highs, Treasuries Rise On Post-Fed Euphoria

Futures Hit Fresh All-Time Highs, Treasuries Rise On Post-Fed Euphoria US equity futures plowed on to record-er highs overnight, propped up by a slew of stellar earnings reports and as investors shrugged off the Federal Reserve's first steps to begin paring its pandemic-era support as Powell reiterated that the central bank can be patient on raising interest rates (even if rate hikes odds pricing in lliftoff in July were virtually unchanged after Powell's announcement). The Fed Chair announced Wednesday that the central bank will start reducing bond purchases, adding that officials won’t flinch from action if warranted by inflation. The U.S. dollar and Treasuries advanced. “There was no dramatic Hulk-like metamorphosis from the Fed last night as they kept close to expectation," DB's Jim Reid said in a note. At 730 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 7 points, or 0.02%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.15%, having earlier tagged a record high 4,662.5, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 61.25 points, or 0.39%. The U.S. dollar and Treasuries advanced. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched record all-time closes for their fifth straight sessions on Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a record close for the fourth session in a row. A cheery third quarter earnings season coupled with upbeat commentary about future growth from corporate America has helped Wall Street largely dismiss concerns around rising prices, supply chain snags and a mixed macro-economic picture. A widely expected move by the Fed on announcing its plan to start tapering its monthly bond purchases beginning this month, while sticking to the belief about the "transitory" nature of inflation and waiting for more job growth - before raising interest rates, also helped sentiment. Fed policy makers announced a stimulus-tapering plan as expected, but expressed no hurry to raise benchmark rates even though inflation may run hot for months. While that supported risk-taking in stock markets, a second-day reality check appeared to have emerged in the bond and currency markets. A tug-of-war looked set to continue between dovish central banks and markets pricing in quicker-than-expected rate hikes. Data due at 08:30 a.m. ET is expected to show the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a fresh 19-month low last week; It will be followed by a more comprehensive nonfarm payrolls report on Friday: "The risks are now skewed towards the (payrolls data) finally aligning with signals elsewhere in the U.S. economy, after a few months of disappointments," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, at OANDA. "A number north of 500K could cause equity markets to reconsider ignoring the implications of the Fed taper. Similarly, a low print will keep the lower-for-longer monetary party in equities going well into the night." Elsewhere, U.S. Representative Rick Larsen said on Wednesday his fellow House Democrats could complete votes on President Joe Biden's social spending and infrastructure bills as early as midday on Friday In premarket trading, shares of Qualcomm jumped 8.1% after the chipmaker forecast better-than-expected profit and revenue for its current quarter on soaring demand for chips used in phones, cars and other internet-connected devices. Tesla added 1.9% and was set for a record open, while mega-cap tech titans GAMMA (f/k/a FAAMG) edged higher. Oil firms including Exxon and Chevron rose 0.9% and 0.5%, respectively, tracking crude prices. Biotech darling Moderna imploded as much as 11% after it missed expectations and guided sharply lower. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Qualcomm (QCOM US) gains 8% premarket as results at the chip giant showed a robust performance against a backdrop of supply constraints, while strength in Android handsets is underpinning growth. Booking (BKNG US) gained 3.7% in post-market trading Wednesday after the company reported gross bookings that beat analysts’ forecasts, as an increase in Covid-19 vaccination rates helped spur a rebound. Roku (ROKU US) falls 7% in premarket after third-quarter results that missed expectations on key metrics for the maker of streaming equipment. Upland Software (UPLD US) slumps 22% in premarket after results, with Jefferies downgrading the stock as it’s the third quarter in a row the firm has not delivered a beat on the top line. Skilz (SKLZ US) drops as much as 13% in premarket after the mobile games platform operator reported a net loss for the third quarter. TDH (DOGZ US) surges as much as 173% in U.S. premarket trading after the pet food firm and meme-trader favorite announced a placement. Magnite (MGNI US) falls 10% in premarket after the advertising solutions firm reported adjusted revenue for the third quarter that lagged behind the average analyst estimate. Qorvo (QRVO US) falls 7% in premarket trading after a sales forecast for the communications systems-maker that fell short of the average analyst estimate. Fastly (FSLY US) jumped 11% in premarket after the infrastructure software maker reported quarterly revenue that surpassed the average analyst estimate after misses in the past two quarters. QuinStreet (QNST US) climbs 21% premarket as the online marketing company raises its full year outlook. European stocks popped higher on the open, then drifted off best levels. The Euro Stoxx 50 rose as much as 0.7% with real estate, oil & gas and healthcare the strongest sectors. Alstria Office REIT AG soared as much as 20% after Brookfield Asset Management Inc. made a bid to take it private. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose, headed for their first gain in three days, after the Federal Reserve moved to taper stimulus while saying it will be patient on raising interest rates.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.7%, driven by gains in technology shares including Tencent, Alibaba and Keyence. Japan and China led gains around the region, with stocks also climbing in Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong. The Fed indicated it was alert to inflation risks but still sees them as transitory due to pandemic-related supply and demand imbalances. The S&P 500 climbed to a fresh record high after the Fed comments, pushing its gain for 2021 to 24%, while the Asian benchmark is little changed on the year. “The Fed seems to create market expectations that the decoupling of asset purchases reduction and rate hikes remains intact,” said Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp. “Widening negative real interest rates also provide continued support to Asian equities.” Markets in Singapore, India and Malaysia are closed for holidays In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to close at 7,428.00, boosted by banks, real estate and technology shares. Eight of the 11 industry groups closed higher. Nib rose after the insurance provider reported premium revenue A$669.5 million, up 8.5% year on year. Domino’s Pizza plunged after the pizza chain operator outlined some inflationary risks for 2022 and flagged weaker sales in Japan. Australia’s bright trade picture was underpinned by strong commodities exports. September trade data revealed the surplus narrowing to A$12.2 billion, after an estimated A$12.4 billion. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.4% to 12,943.94 In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index recovered Wednesday’s drop and advanced 0.3% versus all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen amid speculation that a buoyant U.S. economy will support the currency. The Bloomberg Dollar index erased its losses this week, staying within a bullish technical range it has traded in since June. The Treasury curve bull-flattened with U.S. 10-year Treasury yields falling 3bps to 1.57%. “Dollar-yen looks to be finding some support” as it seems reasonable to expect Treasury yields to trend higher, said Sean Callow, senior currency strategist at Westpac. The Fed “may not be moving any more swiftly than expected to the exit from emergency levels of policy accommodation, but it is still exiting,” Ryan Wang, a U.S. economist at HSBC Holdings Plc, wrote in a note. “This should be enough to support the dollar against a number of currencies where central-bank guidance is more overtly dovish. The continued moderation in global activity is also likely to support the USD.” The euro fell to its weakest level this week and was the worst performer among G-10 currencies; European bond yields fell, led by the short end. The pound fell against a stronger dollar and gained against the euro as investors weighed up the Bank of England’s upcoming monetary policy announcement. The pound’s volatility skew versus the dollar has shifted modestly higher this week ahead of the Bank of England policy decision, yet remains deeply in favor of downside exposure. Norway’s krone extended losses against both the dollar and the euro, even as Norges Bank left its key rate unchanged at 0.25% as expected while reitirating that the policy rate will most likely be raised in December. In rates, curves flattened as 5-, 10- and 30-year bond yields fell at least two basis points each on Thursday, while the two-year rate was little changed. Treasuries were higher with the curve flatter, erasing a portion of Wednesday’s post-FOMC bear-steepening losses. The 10-year yield was richer by ~3bp at 1.57%, outperforming bunds by ~2bp, gilts by ~1bp; Bank of England rate decision priced into overnight swaps is a hike, while analysts favor no change. Treasuries outperformed European bond markets, with stock futures holding Wednesday’s record highs. Bank of England rate decision at 8am ET may deliver first increase since the pandemic. U.S. curves were flatter, unwinding some of Wednesday’s steepening, with 2s10s tighter by ~2bp. In commodities, crude futures rally, recouping over half of Wednesday’s losses. WTI rises 0.9% to regain a $81-handle, Brent adds over 1% before stalling near $83 ahead of OPEC+ gathering. Spot gold holds Asia’s narrow range near $1,775/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME copper and nickel are the best performers; tin and zinc are in the red. Looking at the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the aforementioned BoE meeting, while there’ll also be remarks from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s de Cos, Elderson and Schnabel, and BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. On the data side, releases include German factory orders for September, the Euro Area October services and composite PMIs and September PPI reading, whilst from the US there’s the September trade balance and the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting to discuss output, and earnings releases today include Moderna, Square, Airbnb, Uber, Duke Energy and Regeneron. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 4,659.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 483.53 MXAP up 0.6% to 199.02 MXAPJ up 0.4% to 647.67 Nikkei up 0.9% to 29,794.37 Topix up 1.2% to 2,055.56 Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 25,225.19 Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,526.87 Sensex down 0.4% to 59,771.92 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,427.99 Kospi up 0.3% to 2,983.22 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.18% Euro down 0.5% to $1.1551 Brent Futures up 0.8% to $82.57/bbl Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,776.28 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.37% to 94.21 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The Bank of England will decide Thursday whether to deliver its first interest-rate hike since the pandemic as a divided Monetary Policy Committee grapples with spiking inflation and slowing growth The U.S. is asking OPEC+ to increase output by as much as 800,000 barrels a day, said delegates and diplomats, but the organization is expected to stick to its planned gradual increase, according to a Bloomberg survey Investors are hoping the Federal Reserve can manage the path toward rate hikes as smoothly as its taper announcement, according to strategists, who are cautiously optimistic the coming months will see moderate advances for yields, the dollar and equities. Friday’s labor report is seen as the next flash point for markets, given rates traders remain relatively aggressive about the need for Chair Jerome Powell to avoid being overly patient about hiking borrowing costs Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida helped further shore up the nation’s commitment to its 2% inflation goal and tamp down any lingering speculation of a rethink of the target or tapering plans Having abandoned its experimental bond-yield target two days ago, the Reserve Bank of Australia is now left with the trusty old tools of policy making -- facing traders who still reckon it’s behind the curve Here is a more detailed breakdown of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded higher amid tailwinds from the fresh record highs stateside in the aftermath of the FOMC where the Fed announced it is to begin tapering asset purchases but suggested it was in no rush to hike rates. ASX 200 (+0.5%) was kept afloat by advances in tech and financials but with gains in the index capped after weak Retail Sales data and rising COVID-19 cases for Australia’s most populous states, while the energy sector underperformed after oil prices tumbled 4.5% yesterday due to bearish inventory data and the announcement that Iran nuclear talks will resume on November 29th in Vienna. Nikkei 225 (+0.9%) was buoyed on return from holiday as it coat-tailed on the recent advances in USD/JPY and with Japan mulling easing border controls as soon as next Monday, with Toyota also holding on to gains after a jump in H1 profits and JPY 150bln buyback announcement, although the Nikkei finished well off intraday highs after stalling on approach to the 30k level. Hang Seng (+0.8%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.8%) conformed to the broad upbeat mood but was slow to start after another substantial liquidity drain by the PBoC despite the suggestion by Chinese press that recent reverse repo action showed stabilisation efforts. In addition, COVID-19 concerns continued to linger with Beijing having suspended inbound trains from 23 regions to curb the spread of the virus, while there was also attention on the geopolitical front after the US Department of Defense warned that China’s nuclear stockpile is outpacing forecasts and with China conducting week-long live-fire drills in the East China Sea. Finally, 10yr JGBs were steady with only a slight pullback seen from yesterday’s advances and with prices largely ignoring the subdued picture in T-notes which were pressured heading into the Fed taper announcement, while JGBs were also kept afloat after the 10yr inflation-indexed auction from Japan which showed an increase in both the b/c and lowest accepted prices. Top Asian News From Pianos to Paint, the Chip Crunch Is Hurting Japan Earnings Toyota’s Swelling Profits Belie Global Auto Parts Shortages EU Lawmakers’ Call for High Level Taiwan Ties Defies China Shimao Halts Retail Investors’ Bids for Local Bonds After Plunge Stocks in Europe hold onto the positive bias (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%; Stoxx 600 +0.5%) - which originally emanated from the post-FOMC Wall Street session and later reverberated across APAC. US equity futures have been consolidating following yesterdays post-Powell ramp, with the NQ (+0.4%) outperforming the RTY (+0.2%), ES (+0.1%) and YM (Unch). Back to Europe, bourses are posting broad-based gains in what was a morning doused in European corporate updates, whilst the UK’s FTSE 100 (+0.4%) is on standby for the BoE policy decision (full preview available in the Newsquawk Research Suite). Sectors in Europe are mostly firmer with no real overarching bias. Oil & Gas lead the gains following yesterday’s underperformance and in the run-up to the JMMC/OPEC+ meetings later today. Healthcare meanwhile is boosted by pharma-behemoths Roche (+2.5%) and Novartis (+1.6%) after the firms agreed on a bilateral transaction for the sale of 53.3mln (approximately 33%) Roche bearer shares held by Novartis for a total consideration of USD 20.7bln. This in turn has pushed the SMI (+0.8%) to modestly outperform the region. The Telecoms sector is also buoyed by BT (+5.7%) amid constructive earnings, but gains for the sector are capped Telefonica (-1.6%), who hold a larger sector weighting, following their metrics. The morning has been busy in terms of bank earnings, although the sector is constrained by yield dynamics. Nonetheless, SocGen (+3.3%), ING (+1.1%), Commerzbank (+5.2%) and Credit Suisse (+0.7%) all reported today – with the latter also announcing the exit of its prime brokerage activities and will be shifting its focus on to its wealth management business in a bid to better manage risks. Over to the consumer sector, Sainsbury’s (-4.3%) trundles lower after flagging complications from supply chain issues. Finally, in terms of M&A, Alstria Office (+17.5%) soars after Brookfield offered to buy the Co. for EUR 19.50/shr in cash, a premium to yesterday’s EUR 16.62/shr closing price. Top European News Brookfield Enters German Real Estate Fray With Bid for Alstria Credit Suisse Flags Loss Next Quarter to Cap Year to Forget Novartis Unwinds Roche Ties With $20.7 Billion Stake Sale Aston Martin Counts on $3 Million Valkyrie as SUV Drives Rebound In FX, the Dollar has erased all and more of its initial or knee-jerk declines in wake of the FOMC policy meeting that confirmed the start of QE tapering in a few days' time at the pre-announced pace, but kept clear distance between the unwinding of asset purchase and rate lift-off. However, there was a subtle tweak to the language regarding inflation to indicate less of a transitory assessment and Fed chair Powell refrained from using the ‘t’ word in his press conference before responding to a question by saying that it is also used to convey the view that prices rises caused by bottlenecks and supply-demand imbalances will not leave a legacy of persistently higher inflation. In index terms, a marginally higher peak at 94.280 vs 94.217 at best on Wednesday follows a fractionally higher low of 93.818 vs 93.809 and brings Monday’s w-t-d apex (94.313) back into contention ahead of Challenger Lay-offs, jobless claims, trade data and Q3 labour costs that were highlighted by Powell as a key gauge of tightness in the labour market, which he expected to reach max employment levels by mid-2022. EUR - Mixed Eurozone services and composite PMIs have not afforded the Euro any protection from the aforementioned Greenback revival, while the yield backdrop is also weighing as EGB/UST spreads widen, but Eur/Usd might glean some support from option expiries as 1.1 bn resides at 1.1550 and 1.1525. Moreover, the headline pair has found underlying bids around the half round number and a recent trough comes in at 1.1535 (October 29) ahead of the double 2021 low of 1.1525. GBP - Sterling is also succumbing to the broad Buck bounce, but also treading cautiously into the BoE amidst a marked unwind of rate hike pricing via Short Sterling contracts alongside a recovery in UK debt. Cable is hovering around 1.3620 having pulled up just shy of 1.3700 and options are anticipating an 80 pip break-even for the live MPC event that is far from certain even though ‘markets’ are anticipating a 15 bp hike. Note also, implied volatility on the Eur/Gbp straddle suggests a 43 pip move either way, though the cross may also be prone to movement from the current 0.8491-65 range pending developments in France where Brexit Minister Frost is aiming to untangle crossed lines over fishing licences. NZD/AUD/CAD - The Kiwi, Aussie and Loonie are all weaker vs their US counterpart, with Nzd/Usd and Aud/Usd hovering in the low 0.7100s and 0.7400s respectively, and the latter not far off post-RBA reversal lows after downbeat Q3 retail sales and exports within the overall trade balance overnight. Meanwhile, only a tame rebound in crude prices appears to be capping Usd/Cad around a 1.2400 axis in advance of Canadian trade and the jobs face-off with the US on Friday. CHF/JPY - Relative outperformers, or at least holding up better than other majors in the face of the Dollar rebound, as the Franc meanders between 0.9144-11 irrespective of a deterioration in Swiss consumer sentiment and the Yen contains losses below 114.00 on the return of Japanese markets from Culture Day to a benign bond backdrop overall. Note, hefty option expiry interest may keep Usd/Jpy restrained as 2.1 bn sits at the round number and a further 1.8 bn at 114.30. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures have firmer on the day as the benchmarks clamber off yesterday’s worst levels despite the rampant Dollar and in the run-up to the JMMC and OPEC+ meetings slated for 13:00GMT and 14:00GMT respectively (full preview available in the Newsquawk Research Suite). Markets expect a continuation of the current plan to ease output curbs by 400k BPD/m. Outside calls have been getting louder for the producers to open the taps more than planned amid inflationary feed-through to consumers and company margins, although ministers, including de-facto heads Saudi and Russia, have been putting weight behind current plans, with no pushback seen from members within OPEC+ thus far. Furthermore, the COVID situation in China is deteriorating, hence ministers will likely express a cautious approach. However, the US is asking OPEC+ to increase supply by 600-800k BPD, according to delegates. Note some journalists noted that there are three options the US has offered OPEC+, 1) a 600k BPD hike, 2) an 800k BPD hike and 3) 100% compliance on a 400k BPD hike. Nonetheless, sources suggested OPEC+ is likely to stick to plans to raise output by 400k BPD despite calls from the US for extra supply; adding that the US has plenty of capacity to raise output itself. The US-OPEC+ dynamics will be worth keeping on the radar following this meeting. As a reminder, the US threatened the release of its SPR whilst also refusing to rule out oil export bans – suggesting that all tools are being looked at in a bid to lower prices. It’s also worth being cognizant of the knock-on effect the OPEC+ decision will have on Iranian nuclear talks – scheduled to resume on November 29th – with higher oil prices and a lack of OPEC+ coordination, possibly providing more incentives for the US to offer more concessions. WTI Dec takes aim at USD 82/bbl (vs 79.74/bbl low) at the time of writing whilst Brent Jan extends above USD 83/bbl (vs 81.07/bbl low). Metals markets are less interesting this morning, spot gold and silver are consolidating and trade relatively flat, with the former around USD 1,775/oz and the latter just north of USD 23.50/oz. Meanwhile, LME copper is modestly firmer but trades on either side of USD 9,500/t. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 275,000, prior 281,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.15m, prior 2.24m 8:30am: 3Q Unit Labor Costs, est. 7.0%, prior 1.3%; Nonfarm Productivity, est. -3.1%, prior 2.1% 8:30am: Sept. Trade Balance, est. -$80.2b, prior -$73.3b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap This morning I’m actually going to put a suit on for the first time in nearly 20 months. In a way I’ll be upset if it fits me as I’ve been doing my Bryson DeChambeau weights routine for much of this time between pockets of injuries and surgery. However, I suspect 30-40mins 3 or 4 times a week won’t leave my suit too vulnerable to an “Incredible Hulk” moment when I put it on. There was no dramatic Hulk-like metamorphosis from the Fed last night as they kept close to expectations and delivered the $15/bn a month taper that our US econ team and consensus expected (Their full review is here). They pre-announced the purchase pace for November and December, whilst remarking that a similar pace would likely prevail so long as the economy evolves as expected. The Fed maintained the pace of taper would change in step with any changes to the outlook. The statement slightly tweaked the characterisation of inflation, noting that it was expected to be transitory. Chair Powell explained this in the press conference, maintaining the institutional view that elevated inflation was not expected to remain persistent and would return to the Fed’s long-term goal as supply bottlenecks abated and Covid-19 moved to the rear-view mirror. He also admitted the change reflected the reality that inflation has been much higher than they had expected, and recognised the burdens that it created for everyday consumers. The press conference spent a lot of time focusing on the dichotomy between high near-term inflation and the Committee’s assessment of full employment, as the market moves to pricing when lift-off will take place. The Chair noted the Committee will need to be flexible when judging what constitutes full employment, as it is a moving target and has moved since before the pandemic. A key point he returned to multiple times is the Committee would need to judge how the labour market evolves once the Delta variant is well and truly behind us. While stressing patience in evaluating these incoming data, he maintained optionality by also noting the Fed would stand ready to raise rates if inflation were threating to move persistently above the Fed’s goal. This risk management consideration is why they’re maintaining flexibility over the pace of taper. STIR markets were still pricing lift-off to take place sometime in 3Q 2022, and for there to be 2 hikes next year, unchanged from before the meeting. Equities were mostly flat on the day before the announcement but progressively climbed higher during and after the presser, with the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and DJIA finishing the day +0.65%, +1.04%, and +0.29% higher, respectively. 2yr yields increased +1.8bps on the day but closed roughly where they were pre-announcement. 10yr yields were +5.3bps higher on the day though with around +4bps added post FOMC and around +9bps from the early lows when fixed income was rallying across the globe. Elsewhere, 10yr breakevens were wider, increasing +3.6bps to 2.56%. Meanwhile, ECB President Lagarde sounded in no hurry to follow the BoE (preview immediate below for today) and the Fed on rate hikes. In a speech yesterday, she said that their three conditions for raising rates “are very unlikely to be satisfied next year”, as “the outlook for inflation over the medium term remains subdued” in spite of the recent surge in inflation. She re-emphasised the point in an interview almost verbatim later in the day while the Fed presser was ongoing, stating a 2022 hike was very unlikely, offering more forceful pushback of market pricing than she opted for during last week’s Governing Council meeting. Central banks will remain in the spotlight again today thanks to the BoE’s policy decision, which is out at 12:00 London time. Our UK economists are expecting that they’ll deliver their first post-pandemic rate hike of 15bps, taking the Bank Rate up to 0.25%, as well as end their current QE program. Similarly to the US, this comes amidst inflation readings that have persistently surprised to the upside over recent months, with CPI at +3.1% in September, and our economists write that they see the BoE’s forecasts being upgraded to show peak CPI nearer to 5%, remaining above target for nearly all of next year, which is broadly in line with recent comments from Chief Economist Pill in a recent FT interview. For more details see their preview (link here). Against this backdrop of central bank action, we had some solid economic data out of the US yesterday that further supported risk appetite. First, there was the ISM services index for October, which rose to a record high of 66.7 (vs. 62.0 expected), so a very promising sign at the start of Q4, even if the prices paid measure rose to 82.9, which was the highest since 2005. Before that we also had the ADP’s report of private payrolls for October, which showed an increase of +571k (vs. +400k expected), which is the strongest growth since June. That comes ahead of tomorrow’s US jobs report, where our economists are looking for growth of +400k in the headline nonfarm payrolls number, with the unemployment rate ticking down to 4.7%. I’ve been trying to get my mantra of the US more likely travelling down a “growthflation” path (over “stagflation”) into the vernacular. However, I think I’ll need a better term if I want it to rival say “BRICs”! That backdrop of positive data supported European markets ahead of the Fed, where the STOXX 600 advanced +0.35% to hit another all-time high. Sovereign bonds advanced too, with yields on 10yr bunds (-0.3bps), OATs (-0.8bps) and BTPs (-2.4bps) all moving lower, though gilts (+3.6bps) were the exception ahead of the BoE later. The strong data also lifted us off the yield lows of the day as we started with a big bond rally. We also saw some significant movements in energy prices, with European natural gas futures surging back +13.23% yesterday amidst a recent decline in fuel shipments from Russia, whilst both Brent crude (-3.22%) and WTI (-3.63%) oil prices saw a major pullback ahead of today’s OPEC+ meeting. In Asia, most major indices are trading higher this morning, including the Nikkei 225 (+0.74%), the KOSPI (+0.30%), the Hang Seng (+0.27%) and the Shanghai Composite (+0.64%), amid gains in US equities yesterday. S&P 500 futures (+0.01%) are almost unchanged, while the 10y US Treasury is at 1.60% (-0.5bps). Meanwhile on the political scene, the US Democrats were reacting to a bad set of results in Tuesday’s election, after the Republicans won the Virginia governor’s race. However, the New Jersey governor’s race was won by Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy 50.2% vs 49%, but came in much closer than the polls had suggested before the election. Gov. Murphy is the first Democrat to win re-election as governor in the state since 1977. Overall though, since President Biden won those two states in 2020 by 10pts and 16pts, respectively, the results have obviously come as a shock to many Democrats. The situation has strong echoes of 2009, a year after President Obama’s election when the Democrats also had control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, when they were trying to push through Obamacare. That round of elections saw the Republicans win the gubernatorial elections in both Virginia and New Jersey (following Democratic victories on the previous occasion), before the Republicans went onto make sizeable gains in the 2010 midterm elections the following year. There’s still just over a year until President Biden’s first set of midterm elections, but the Democrats will be hoping this doesn’t presage a repeat of those 2010 losses. Lastly on the data front, US factory orders grew by +0.2% in September (vs. +0.1% expected). Separately, the UK’s composite PMI was revised up a point from the flash reading to 57.8, and the US composite PMI was also revised up three-tenths to 57.6. To the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the aforementioned BoE meeting, while there’ll also be remarks from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s de Cos, Elderson and Schnabel, and BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. On the data side, releases include German factory orders for September, the Euro Area October services and composite PMIs and September PPI reading, whilst from the US there’s the September trade balance and the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting to discuss output, and earnings releases today include Moderna, Square, Airbnb, Uber, Duke Energy and Regeneron. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/04/2021 - 07:53.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 4th, 2021

Why America’s Corporate Boards Keep Failing to Diversify

Corporate America is making some gains in expanding its commitment to diversity. According to a new study from The Conference Board, 2021 marks the first time that a majority of S&P 500 companies—59%—have disclosed the racial makeup of their boards. The increased transparency is widely considered an important step in advancing equity and inclusion. At… Corporate America is making some gains in expanding its commitment to diversity. According to a new study from The Conference Board, 2021 marks the first time that a majority of S&P 500 companies—59%—have disclosed the racial makeup of their boards. The increased transparency is widely considered an important step in advancing equity and inclusion. At the same time, The Conference Board’s study found that even with these increased efforts, from the S&P 500 companies that disclose this data, more than 75% of their board members identify as white. Another recent study from Spencer Stuart confirmed this same finding: while S&P 500 companies are adding more people of color to their boards, more than three-quarters of them are white and 70% are men. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Last December, Nasdaq filed a proposal with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to advance diversity on corporate boards. In August 2021, more than nine months later, the SEC approved the rules. Now, all Nasdaq-listed companies are expected to disclose board-level diversity annually. Their boards will also be expected to have two directors from underrepresented groups, including one who is female and another who is either an ethnic minority or LGBTQ+; companies that fail to meet this standard will be required to explain in writing why they do not or if they are taking an alternate approach to meeting diversity expectations. Some have opposed the measures, including the two Republicans on the SEC. Commissioner Hester Peirce registered her opposition in a lengthy statement that, among other things, argued that the new requirements “encourage discrimination and effectively compel speech by both individuals and issues in a way that offends protected Constitutional interests.” Others, such as Harvard Professor Jesse Fried, refuted Nasdaq’s claims that diverse boards are linked to enhanced financial performance, arguing that they do not result in higher stock prices, “the outcome investors actually care about.” Two groups have already filed challenges against these new rules. On October 5, The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank, submitted a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. This followed an earlier petition filed by the Alliance for Fair Board Recruitment in opposition to the decision. The Alliance has a history of opposing diversity measures: This past July, after California announced its own mandates to help diversity corporate boards, the Alliance took legal action against the state, calling the measures “unconstitutional and patronizing social engineering.” While many have debated Nasdaq’s proposal and although many continue to do so, what’s missing is a larger conversation about board diversity. Rather than focusing on symptoms and which band-aids to apply, perhaps it’s time to ask a more pressing question: Why are corporate boards failing to become more diverse? In 2020, the Institutional Shareholder Service’s ESG division found that underrepresented ethnic and racial groups make up only 12.5% of corporate boards. This proportion does not reflect the composition of America, 40% of which is made up of ethnic and racial minorities. Moreover, the 12.5% number reflects a mere 2.5% jump since 2015. Despite claims to change, corporate boards have remained overwhelmingly white. They have remained overwhelmingly male, too. In Deloitte’s 2017 study on Women in the Boardroom, women—who make up more than half the world’s population—made up less than 15% of board seats at the largest companies and less than 4% of board chairs. Two years later, the same study found that women held only 16.9% of board seats globally and 5.3% of board chairs. These are marginal gains in an industry clamoring for more diverse representation. To quote the authors of a 2021 study by the Alliance for Board Diversity and Deloitte, “progress has been painfully slow.” The greatest obstacle to board diversification is outmoded approaches to board recruitment. Typically, boards rely on their own networks to recruit for positions in their boards. And our networks are not socially neutral. For instance, the 2013 American Values Survey found that 75% of white Americans have “entirely white social networks without any minority presence.” Juxtapose this with Deloitte’s 2021 report on board diversity, and it comes as no surprise that about 80% of board directors in the Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 are white. This also helps explain their finding that the fastest growing underrepresented group in these boards is white women. In addition to their relatively low numbers, 36% of underrepresented directors serve on multiple Fortune 500 boards, a “recycle rate” far higher than their white counterparts. The industry’s overreliance on a select few individuals who meet their diversity goals reveals a deeper recruitment problem. In addition to expanding their networks, leaders must also expand their definition of who will bring value to their boardroom. Until that happens, our pools will remain limited—and the ocean will remain largely untapped. We hear this refrain often when working with corporate boards to help them diversify. There just aren’t that many candidates to choose from. But there’s an affinity bias here that remains unchecked. Board members have a bias towards what a good board member looks like, and too often, it looks a lot like what they have seen before. This does not just refer to visible attributes that reflect our own; we measure value based on what we have known to be valuable. The challenge, though, is that our outlooks are limited by our experiences. Acknowledging our affinity bias is the first step to recruiting and retaining diverse talent. If we can recognize our own barriers to valuing diversity, then we can begin working to remove those barriers. This step requires us to look within, honestly and openly, and identify how our biases might be driving our behaviors and our decision-making. A second practical step is to appreciate what the research bears out: that different kinds of diversity bring value to a boardroom. To truly unlock value, corporate boards must expand their views of what diversity means. Instead of focusing on single aspects that directors can offer, they must begin balancing the unique skillsets, perspectives, and cognitive approaches that each director brings to the table. Third, in recognizing their biases and in expanding their views of diversity, corporate boards must look to expand their recruiting pipelines. There’s not a talent gap. There’s an equity gap. The reason we have difficulty finding people from marginalized groups for corporate boards is encoded in the way we refer to them: they are marginalized. Board directors have to make the concerted effort to go beyond their existing networks in order to recruit diverse talent. Change comes slowly, yes, and institutional change is even slower. But change is inevitable, and our future course is clear. So the only outstanding question is this: Will corporate leaders have the courage to lead change, or will they remain stuck in the past?.....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 29th, 2021

Interview With John Doerr and Ryan Panchadsaram From CNBC’s ESG Impact Conference

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Kleiner Perkins Chair & “Speed & Scale” Co-Author John Doerr and Fmr. Deputy CTO of the United States & “Speed & Scale” Co-Author Ryan Panchadsaram at CNBC’s ESG Impact conference, which took place today, Thursday, October 28th. Video from the interview will be available at […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Kleiner Perkins Chair & “Speed & Scale” Co-Author John Doerr and Fmr. Deputy CTO of the United States & “Speed & Scale” Co-Author Ryan Panchadsaram at CNBC’s ESG Impact conference, which took place today, Thursday, October 28th. Video from the interview will be available at 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 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 Our Icahn eBook! Get our entire 10-part series on Carl Icahn and other famous investors in PDF for free! Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet or print it! Sign up below. NO SPAM EVER (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 Interview With John Doerr and Ryan Panchadsaram ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Thank you, sir and it is great to see both of you. We are, we are with two legends, if you will, for this important conversation about climate and what are really the opportunities to get there. Yeah, John? JOHN DOERR: We're, we're with three legends Andrew. You're one also. SORKIN: You know, I'm just pretending to to be here with you. Let's talk about this because both of you have written a book that's about to come out called “Speed & Scale” and John, you talk about the plan to cut carbon emissions and reach net zero of course by 2050. Everybody's trying to do it. Everybody wants that to be the goal. The question, of course, is how do you get there and you have some ideas. Top level, what's the most important thing that that investors and the folks who are listening need to be thinking about? DOERR: The most important thing that we need is a plan. There are lots of goals. There's lots of ambition. We, we are not on track to meet a net zero goal by 2050. The UN Emissions Gap Report just out in the last couple of days said that if we achieve the pledges from the world's countries, will reduce emissions by 2030 by just 7%. We need to reduce them by 50% to get to a one and a half degrees C world. So this is an existential crisis. It's an economic, unparalleled economic opportunity. And it's, it's really the challenge of our lifetimes. SORKIN: Ryan, you've said that currently the plan doesn't really even begin to get to there to maybe 2070 at best. In terms of the, the public private role that we can have here given your experience in Washington and the valley now, how do you see it what, what is the opportunity set in front of us? RYAN PANCHADSARAM: Totally. So when you look at the plan, right, the book outlines a plan that has six big solutions you know to get to net zero but the plan also includes four different levers that we can pull on, right, everything from winning the policy and politics, right. Government set the direction for how a country should like the future for essentially giving businesses confidence, consumer confidence, but governments have to make those hard commitments Andrew and then follow through on them, but that's just one of the many levers. We have to also turn movements into action from the ballot box to the corporate boardroom, as well as invest and innovate. So these are the four levers that we have. We've got to pull on all four equally. And if we do, we can get to net zero not in 2070, but in that 2050 timeframe. SORKIN: Okay, but John, you break down the, the climate action as far as I can tell in six parts, electrifying transportation, decarbonizing the grid with alternatives like wind, solar nuclear, fixing food, the food industry, protecting nature, cleaning up businesses and removing carbon. You got, you have a slide better yet you brought props. So okay, but let's talk about what's doable in terms of the priority there on that, on that sheet. How you do it, what's, what's the low hanging fruit? What's the hard stuff? DOERR: So this whole plan for our audience is available for free. It fits on one page. It's at And the biggest single thing we can do is decarbonize the grid around the world. That'll eliminate 24 gigatons out of our 59 gigaton target. And that means moving to zero emissions technologies across the board like wind and solar instead of coal and gas. But the key to these six objectives is the magic, the power is in the key results. So for each of these, there's a concrete measurable time bound goal which must be achieved. If we don't achieve that goal, we'll find out early on that we're off track and we can make adjustments. None of these are going to be easy and each of them is a realm all unto itself but the difference between goals and having an action plan is having real key results. SORKIN: Ryan maybe help us with this with it, with his prop as well though. In term he said sort of the low hanging fruit was that was the grid perhaps I don't know how low hanging fruit that is. Let's also talk about the hard stuff on that list. What is the hardest thing on that list in your mind? PANCHADSARAM: Totally. The hardest stuff is actually objective number six, right, removing the carbon that's left but like the 1, 2, 3 punch that gets us almost 80% of the way there is that switching to clean energy, getting gas out of our buildings, switching to electric vehicles, stopping deforestation, right, those just three very concrete things reduce the emissions aggressively but in writing the book, looking at the models, whether it's the IPCC work or our work, we're still gonna be left with five to 10 gigatons of emissions a year in 2050. And so we've got to do the hard thing which is carbon removal, both nature based as well as engineered, and we've got to start doing that now and doing it well. But it shouldn't be the crutch Andrew, right, like companies today, they're making net zero commitments. They can't say, Well, I'm buying offsets. I'm doing carbon removal. For those companies, they first have to look at their emissions, their carbon footprint and say, how do we cut? Then how do we conserve and then and then they can leave on the, lean on the carbon removal pieces. SORKIN: John, I saw a tweet of yours. You said, “In the course of writing this book, I was reminded of a quote that helped inspire the green growth fund.” The quote, “The green economy is poised to be the mother of all markets. It's the economic investment opportunity of a lifetime.” It very well may be one of the great opportunities of a lifetime. The question though is how do you pick which ones are the right opportunities? Because as you know, over the last 20 years, there have been a lot of people who've invested in this space and unfortunately for them, they have lost. DOERR: Well, I think the crucial thing is to be data driven and to go for the gigatons, go for the largest economic opportunities that exist. One of my favorite ones is electrification of transportation and in particular, the holy grail of that revolution is advanced batteries, battery breakthroughs. That's the equivalent of the microprocessor for this new clean energy future. Some estimates are that market is $400 billion per year for 20 years to replace all the internal combustion engines with electric vehicles. If that's not a monster market, I don't know what is. But Larry Fink is on record. He's, he's forecasting that there will be 1,000 unicorns coming out of the climate clean tech energy revolution. I agree with that. SORKIN: Hey Ryan, one of the things I want to ask is effectively a public policy question. PANCHADSARAM: Oh, yeah. SORKIN: One is the question, one is the question of what do you do about China, India and other places that are not doing this let's just say as fast as we may be doing it? The other is, and we're already seeing it right now, the price of oil today is going up materially and there's a debate and discussion now that that may be a function of the fact that we are not either investing fast enough in some of these renewables or we're moving too fast to effectively de-invest in fossil fuels. PANCHADSARAM: Yeah, I’ll take the last one than the first one. So, when you look at oil prices, the fluctuation in gas, that's always what's happened with scarce resources, right. If we invest in more solar and more wind and more battery storage, those are things that are predictable, right. We've gone to wars over the price fluctuations of oil and gas and so to kind of blame it on renewables is pretty unfair. And so when we think about how we navigate this energy crisis, we're going to have to navigate it well, but when you think the 2022 and beyond, it's not about drilling more or finding more gas, it's deploying more clean energy because we can rely on it. On the first piece about the US, China, India and other countries, I think there's something that's pretty clear is that the alpha emitters, like ourselves in the US, we've got to go first, right. We've got to show the world it's possible and in the course of that, and by deploying more clean energy, we get to drive down the costs. The wealthy nations like China and Europe, they got to be on that train as well too, right. There's no more excuses. We've got to lead and the kind of competitive nature here too from a policy side is likely the countries that lead on this transition are going to create the businesses that matter the most around them, right, the valuable ones. And so it is effectively a race. A race who can create and own these markets of the future. SORKIN: Right. Hey John, I noticed it seemed like you wanted to jump in on this very issue and debate around whether we are either de-investing too quickly or investing too slowly. Steve Schwarzman runs Blackstone just warned yesterday he said that he believes this energy shortage, he believes is gonna ultimately lead to unrest and call for government, it will, will result in government intervention perhaps on the other side of the green debate. DOERR: Well, this is a revolution, this and in revolutions, there are winners and there are losers. It's not some kind of green kumbaya party that we're having among all the, all the participants. China made a strategic decision. They said they wanted to own the solar photovoltaic future. And so as a matter of policy, internal demand and global economic leadership, they funded solar manufacturers in every province and in every region and the result today is that they're 80% of the solar market. Now hot on their heels is India. Modi has declared he wants to install 450 gigawatts of solar by 2030. That would make him as large as the US market is for solar and they intend to distribute that globally to be a global supplier and powerhouse. So the energy transition will be rugged. We must though pay attention to environmental justice to make sure that populations that historically have been left behind in this transition have an opportunity to participate in the jobs of the new clean energy future. SORKIN: Right. John, you've always invested in some of the great entrepreneurs of our time so I have an investment and valuation question which is here we have Tesla, which just this week surpassed a trillion dollars in valuation that after Hertz announced it was going to be ordering 100,000 vehicles and I'm curious how you see that valuation. There's a lot of people that are buying into Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and buying into other companies that are in this space because there are so few of them. DOERR: Well, I think the fundamental driving this is the size of the market and the excellence of the product. If you haven't driven a Tesla, people aren't buying Tesla because it's green. They're buying it because it's a great automobile and the powerful thing that Tesla has done beyond creating a trillion dollar company that's worth as much as their next four competitors is they've put the global auto industry on notice that the future of electric transportation is what consumers will demand when we get cost and prices to be competitive globally. For an electric vehicle to prosper in India, you've got to displace an internal combustion vehicle with an average price of $12,000 to $14,000. We are not there yet in terms of batteries and we are not there yet today in terms of the market penetration. Globally, electric vehicles are about 4% of the worldwide fleet. That gives you a sense of how far we have to go and why I think the Tesla bulls are probably right. SORKIN: Probably right so I was gonna ask you is the valuation right that you know you often talk about being a first mover. Their first mover 5, 10 years from now, you want to hope that lots of other automobile makers are also following that lead but the question is how big, how big will the market ultimately be? DOERR: I think ultimately transportation will be electric globally. That's what the Speed & Scale plan calls for. As an anecdote, I think it was just a week ago that Elon was the guest of the leadership of Volkswagen. They want to know how that company moves so nimbly and they are committed to being a global leader. I believe they will be in the transportation future. SORKIN: Ryan, you said that the hardest piece of this is going to be the carbon capture piece and, and it's critical to so many of the plans that are out there to getting us to 2050 the right way. A number of major corporations have also made some pretty ambitious plans that require carbon capture. What are the most promising technologies that you found thus far in that space? PANCHADSARAM: Yeah, the most promising technologies in the carbon removal space, right, like using engineer mechanisms to pull carbon from the sky. You got the direct air capture world, right. This is climate works, carbon engineering, you've got other companies like Charm and Heirloom that are using other approaches as well too. I mean this market is so young Andrew, right, there are barely 4,000 tones that have been actually pulled out from the sky and we've got to get to 5 billion tons. And so the market opportunity here over the course of the next you know two decades is going to be quite incredible. But it's got to start now, right. That market needs to be instigated and the work you're seeing from Microsoft and Stripe and others to pay ahead, right, to pay that green premium for carbon removal because the cost something on the order of like 600 bucks a ton today is what's getting things kick started. We're going to need things like a price on carbon to actually make it, to drive down that actual cost from 600 to 100 to maybe 50 as time goes on and people start to scale these things up. But that's the kind of nut of it, we're going to need it. There's going to be a market there. The companies that are paying ahead are doing the right thing they're instigating but there's also going to have to be truly a cost on polluting carbon that goes towards carbon removal. DOERR: So Andrew, besides— SORKIN: Yes sir. Go ahead. DOERR: I was just gonna say besides, besides the mechanical or engineered approaches, there are natural approaches to remove carbon such as growing greater kelp forests which can rely on the awesome powers of nature to capture and sequester this stubborn carbon that will be leftover. SORKIN: Gentlemen, I want to thank— PANCHADSARAM: One thing I— SORKIN: Go ahead. We're gonna leave it there in about a second but, but let's, tell us the one thing about technology. PANCHADSARAM: Oh yeah, the one thing though to look at too is there are carbon capture technologies when in the use of natural gas and other places but always look at those with a skeptical eye because of the added cost of that compared to the renewable option, the cleaner one, and the truth is you're going to find that the market wins on that side, Andrew. SORKIN: Okay, Ryan and John. The book is called “Speed & Scale.” Appreciate it. Congratulations on the on the book. Hope to see you guys in person very, very soon. Thanks. DOERR: Let's do that. Updated on Oct 28, 2021, 3:34 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; 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: valuewalkOct 29th, 2021

Alluvial Fund 3Q21 Commentary: P10 Goes Public

Alluvial Fund commentary for the third quarter ended September 2021, discussing the IPO of P10 Holdings Inc (NYSE:PX). Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dear Partners, Alluvial Fund Performance I am happy to report Alluvial Fund enjoyed another strong quarter, up 8.5% as small-cap and micro-cap stock indexes struggled. To date, it has […] Alluvial Fund commentary for the third quarter ended September 2021, discussing the IPO of P10 Holdings Inc (NYSE:PX). 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 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 Warren Buffett Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Warren Buffett 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 Dear Partners, Alluvial Fund Performance I am happy to report Alluvial Fund enjoyed another strong quarter, up 8.5% as small-cap and micro-cap stock indexes struggled. To date, it has been a very good year for our enterprise. It feels good to see the market validate the thought and effort that has gone into building our very unusual portfolio. Much more commonly, the market treats our holdings with a disinterest bordering on disdain. Therein, of course, lies the opportunity, but it is not an enjoyable environment to occupy. It’s nice to have a strong quarter, just like it’s nice when your favorite baseball team wins a game or a series. But just as a strong quarter does not make a successful investment, winning a game or a series does not bring home the pennant. (As a fan of baseball’s sorriest franchise of the modern era, the Pittsburgh Pirates, I know this well.) I am enjoying our recent success as much as anyone, but I won’t let it distract me from the disciplined pursuit of long-term results, whatever ups and downs we may experience. A Market Debut For P10 Inc. And downs arrive in due course. For quite a while, I have been anticipating the day when our largest holding, P10 Inc., would conduct an IPO and up-list its shares to a major exchange. The day has come! Unfortunately, the company’s IPO has arrived with more of a dull thud than a splash, pricing below the indicated range. I can think of multiple reasons why the IPO failed to live up to expectations. It was a small offering, with the company and insiders looking to raise only $300 million or so. The shares being offered have little voting power, meaning buyers will have no ability to affect the company’s governance or strategic direction. Despite P10’s success thus far, it remains a new and unproven company, and a small one in the context of public companies. Whatever the reasons, this represents only a temporary set-back, not a change in narrative. I remind myself that at the IPO price of $12 (postreverse split) P10 shares have returned to where they traded just six weeks ago, before rumors of an IPO began to circulate. And compared to then, P10 is now better capitalized, more profitable, and an SEC-reporting NYSE company. At $12, shares of P10 offer remarkable value. Following the IPO, P10 has a market capitalization of $1.5 billion and debt of $180 million. Within six months, P10’s fee-paying assets under management should reach $17 billion, resulting in annual revenue of $170 million and normalized cash operating income of $94-102 million. Against this, P10’s interest expense will be around $11 million, resulting in free cash flow of $83-91 million, or 66-73 cents for a free cash flow yield close to 6%. Remember that P10 has virtually no need for capital expenditures and will not pay cash taxes for quite some time thanks to its large net operating loss carryforwards. This is my near-term outlook, but I believe P10’s free cash flow per share will climb past $1 in short order. Under the current capital structure, this would require assets under management to climb to $23 billion, a figure that I expect to be achieved inside of two years from a combination of internally generated AUM growth and ongoing acquisitions activity. P10’s business is among the best I have ever seen. It is supremely predictable and robust through all economic conditions. Its margins and returns on invested capital are tremendous, as is its runway for growth. I have confidence in the leadership of Robert Alpert and Clark Webb, each of whom has over $170 million at stake in P10 and his career and reputation on the line. 17x nearterm free cash flow is a bargain price to pay for a firm that could be worth multiples of its current value just a few years hence. P10’s underwhelming IPO is a short-term detour that costs us a little, but nothing about the longterm story or investment thesis has changed. Dips and declines are a fact of life in investing. This is the fourth or fifth time that P10 has fallen 20% or more since we have owned our shares, and it will not be the last. From time to time, I have sold some P10 shares for risk control purposes or to fund other opportunities. I had planned to let more shares go if the IPO priced in the high teens, but at $12, good luck to anyone trying to pry them from my fingers! Telcos: Comings And Goings Communications, as usual, remains an important theme for Alluvial Fund. Broadband is the new electrification. Much as the early and middle 20th century saw electricity reaching remote and rural areas, the story of our era is high-speed internet becoming available to most of humanity for the first time. Broadband, whether provided by traditional incumbent telcos and cable companies or upstarts like satellite providers and fibercos, is simply indispensable for participating fully in modern social and economic life. I believe providers of modern communications infrastructure should be valued much like gas, water, and electric utilities. It seems the market is slowly coming around to this view, particularly for our Italian fiber companies, Intred SpA (BIT:ITD) and Unidata SpA (BIT:UD). Both are up handsomely this year on growing revenue and excellent cash flow, and each continues to have a remarkable growth outlook at Italy races to catch up with its Western European peers. Intred will soon begin receiving revenue related to its winning tender to provide over 4,000 schools with broadband. Unidata’s joint venture with the Central Europe Broadband Fund will see the company invest in greenfield projects in suburban, exurban, and rural areas in the Rome metropolitan area. While each company remains a good valued, Unidata is the more attractive of the two and I have sold some Intred shares in favor of Unidata. On the domestic telecom front, LICT Corporation (OTCMKTS:LICT) just keeps performing its usual routine: generating cash, reinvesting in the business, and buying back stock with the excess. On a yearover- year basis, LICT repurchased 3.4% of shares outstanding. I expect the same or more this year. Meanwhile, LICT’s strategic review continues. The most likely outcome appears to be a spin-off of the company’s Michigan assets, which are cable-heavy and should trade at a reasonable multiple. Last week, LICT disclosed it had received an offer to buy the entire company at a premium, but that the offer was insufficient. I value LICT shares at $35,000-$40,000, and significantly more if the company is successful in buying back substantial additional shares. We are parting ways with our other domestic telecom, Nuvera Communications Inc (OTCMKTS:NUVR). Not for any particular failing by the company or concerns about valuation, but rather a loss of credibility. Over the years, management has assured me repeatedly that Nuvera would step into the spotlight, quit being the “quiet company” and begin telling its story to investors. Also, that the company would be active on the acquisitions front. Here we are, years later, with no changes and no activity. Nuvera still eschews press releases and any other attempt to build familiarity with investors. Even as Minnesota broadband mergers and acquisitions activity has heated up, Nuvera has sat on the sidelines. Any of a half dozen recent transactions in Minnesota would have been beneficial for Nuvera, but the company was either uninterested or unsuccessful in acquiring these assets. Meanwhile, the company’s balance sheet is rock solid with debt the lowest since the acquisition of Scott-Rice in 2018. To me, the economic rationale for acquiring assets at 6-10x free cash flow and funding these deals with debt at 4% is unassailable, but Nuvera apparently believes otherwise. There is nothing really wrong with being a sleepy company. Countless tiny banks and utilities operate quietly, serving their communities well and paying regular dividends, but otherwise doing little for shareholders. But companies like these owe it to investors to be honest about their goals and ambitions so investors may value them accordingly. And so, on to the next opportunity, having realized a healthy gain on our Nuvera shares. I don’t doubt that Nuvera will do fine in the coming years, but we are attempting to do better than just “fine.” Special Situations And Other Updates In other disappointing IPO-related news, I was elated see our acquisitive Cleveland industrial holding company, Crawford United Corp (OTCMKTS:CRAWA), file for an IPO in August only to withdraw the filing earlier this month. Crawford intended to use the IPO proceeds to strengthen its balance sheet and fund additional acquisitions. The company did not comment on the development. I suspect Crawford may be feeling the effects of the tight labor market and higher raw materials costs, which will put pressure on short-term results. Whatever the company’s short-term results may be, its long-term value will be driven by its ability to identify and acquire attractive manufacturing assets. Costrelated stresses on small manufacturers could actually prove a boon for Crawford if it enables them to acquire assets at lower valuations. It was a mixed quarter for our special situations investments. On one hand, Pegroco preferred shares moved up as the Swedish investment company reported strong results and prepared for the IPO of its largest holding, Nordisk Bergteknik (STO:NORB-B). The preferred shares are now trading just under face value. I expect the company to catch up on its dividend arrearage in the next few quarters. Plenty of upside remains. On the other hand, Series D preferred shares of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust Inc (NASDAQ:WHLR) trended slightly downward. The company and certain shareholders are at loggerheads over the treatment of Series A and B preferred shares, with a large holder threatening litigation. The most likely scenario in the months ahead remains a large repurchase of the Series D preferred shares, though it is also possible that a negotiated exchange agreement is reached with holders of the various series. Wheeler’s underlying properties must be worth at least $390 million or so for Series D preferreds to be worth at least their current trading price of $16. That is equal to 87% of gross property value and an implied cap rate of 9.5%. Wheeler’s grocery-anchored strip malls are nobody’s trophy assets, but they produce cash flow and are worth more than that. With a hard catalyst in the 2023 conversion option on the Series D preferreds, I am willing to wait for resolution. Markets may be at all-time highs, but I continue finding plenty of value in small, off-the-run companies and overlooked markets. Lately, I have identified several promising opportunities in Poland, where vibrant, profitable, and growing companies trade at one-third or less the multiples that similar companies fetch on US exchanges. More than one US post-bankruptcy/postrestructuring situation is wildly cheap, as well. I am adding to these holdings as the market allows. Expect more detail in the next quarterly letter. Thank you for your confidence in Alluvial. As always, I appreciate the opportunity to manage capital on your behalf. I know your investment represents years of hard work and prudent investing, and I will do my utmost to be a responsible steward of that legacy. The entirety of my family’s investable assets are invested in Alluvial Fund. I had planned to host some sort of partners’ gathering in New York this autumn, but I have decided to forgo any such event out of an abundance of caution. Perhaps I will see many of you in the spring. My associate, Tom Kapfer, and his wife Bailey welcomed a baby girl last month. All are doing well! Tom also passed level 2 of the CFA exam earlier this year. How he did it while juggling a fulltime job, house, and growing family, I do not know. It was certainly easier for me to pull off as a 20-something single guy sitting in my cheap apartment most evenings. Congrats! I remain available to discuss the portfolio in greater detail at any time. Please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail. And if you find yourself in the greater Pittsburgh area, dinner is on me! I hope you and your families are well, and I look forward to writing to you again in the new year. Best Regards, Dave Waters, CFA Alluvial Capital Management, LLC Updated on Oct 28, 2021, 2:16 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; 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: valuewalkOct 28th, 2021

The 5 best robot vacuums we tested in 2021

We tested 30 vacs to determine which robot vacuums work best for carpet, hardwood, pets, and more. Here are the best robot vacuums in 2021. Alyssa Powell/Insider A good robot vacuum cleans floors with little work from you, clearing debris with a button push. We tested 30 robot vacuums and consulted three experts to find the best options for different needs. The iRobot Roomba i3+ is the best robot vac; it cleans well and features a self-emptying dock. Find out more about how Insider Reviews tests and reviews home products. A robot vacuum will make the small but time-consuming task of vacuuming a little easier. However, you'll want one that's powerful and relatively quiet and doesn't require constant attention. I've tested 30 robot vacuums to find the best ones and consulted health experts and engineers on how to use them properly. A robot vac needs maintenance like any other small appliance. While using it takes just a press of a button, all our experts stressed the importance of regularly cleaning brushes and filters, and running the vac when no one is in the room to keep the indoor air quality clean and avoid resuspended particles. We get into details over here. I tested each robot vac's cleaning abilities along with its extra features and app. You can find the details of how we tested, what else we recommend, how to shop for a robot vacuum, and more at the end of our guide.Here are the best robot vacuums in 2021Best robot vacuum overall: iRobot Roomba i3+ Robot VacuumBest budget robot vacuum: Eufy RoboVac 15C Max Robot VacuumBest robot vacuum with a mop: Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot VacuumBest robot vacuum for hardwood floors: iRobot Roomba s9+ Robot VacuumBest robot vacuum for pet hair: Bissell SpinWave Robot VacuumTable of Contents: Masthead Sticky Best robot vacuum overall James Brains/Insider With its automatic dirt disposal, strong suction, and large main brushes, the iRobot Roomba i3+ Robot Vacuum is an excellent, low-maintenance solution for any home.Robot vacuum size: 13.34" x 13.26" x 3.63"Main brush length: two brushes, each 6.75"Dust bin capacity: 380 mLBattery life (per manufacturer): 75 minutesWarranty: One year parts and laborFeatures: Wi-Fi app connectivity (available for iOS and Android), compatible with Alexa and Google Home, schedulingExtras: Auto-empty station, two disposable dust bags, extra air filterPros: Excellent performance on carpeting, cleans well on hardwood, pairs with the app and Alexa, comes with an automatic dirt disposal base, doesn't get stuck easilyCons: Loud, virtual wall barriers cost extra, not impressive in corners The iRobot Roomba i3+ Robot Vacuum is iRobot's most affordable option that features automatic dirt disposal, which empties the vac's dustbin automatically. You just replace the disposable dust bag every month or two.  In our carpet tests, the i3+ picked up all of the coffee grounds, kitty litter, and pet hairs we laid out and left behind only about 5% of the flour — the best performance of all the robot vacs we tested. In corners, it came within an inch of the wall but left behind about half the flour.It performed better on hardwood floors, picking up all of the coffee grounds and pet hair, and only left behind 5% of the kitty litter and about 10% of the flour. The robot vac didn't get stuck during its cleaning sessions.Whereas some robot vacuums sense carpeting and boost suction, the i3+ provides consistently strong suction, and when it detects excess dirt, it automatically performs multiple passes. Setup is a breeze, only taking about 10 minutes, including connecting to the user-friendly app. Unfortunately, the app doesn't allow you to set up no-go zones, so you must buy virtual wall barriers. The barriers work as advertised, but at around $40 each, I prefer using everyday household objects to keep the Roomba out of areas I want to protect.The other negative with the i3+ is how loud it is. My sound meter recorded 68 dB, and you can't adjust the suction power for a quieter clean. Best budget robot vacuum Amazon With its sub-$200 price, the Eufy RoboVac 15C Max Robot Vacuum offers an impressive suite of features, including smart connectivity, and performs well picking up most debris on carpeting and hardwood.Robot vacuum size: 12.75" x 12.75" x 2.85"Main brush length: 5.5"Dust bin capacity: 600 mLBattery life: 100 minutesWarranty: One yearFeatures: Wi-Fi app connectivity (available for iOS and Android), compatible with Alexa and Google Home, schedulingExtras: Extra side brushes, a remote control, extra air filter, cleaning toolPros: Good performance on carpeting and hardwood, doesn't get stuck easily, quiet, supported by an app, Alexa and Google Assistant compatible, fits into small spacesCons: Did poorly in corner cleaning tests and picking up flour on carpeting, app doesn't let you set no-go zonesOf the vacuums that cost under $250, the Eufy RoboVac 15C Max Robot Vacuum had the best overall performance in our tests.It picked up all of the coffee grounds, kitty litter, and pet hair we laid out on carpeting and hardwood. It had a more challenging time with flour, leaving 10% of the flour on hardwood and a disappointing 40% of the flour on the carpeting.Another area where the unit showed poor performance was in corners. It only came within about 3 inches of the hardwood corner, and though it came within an inch of the carpeted corner, it didn't pick up much of the flour.On the plus side, the RoboVac 15C Max only got stuck during its cleaning cycles about a quarter of the time, which is impressive in my messy home. Also, it's the quietest of the units we tested, registering 60 decibels on its highest suction power.Beyond quickly testing to make sure it worked, I didn't use the controller because the vacuum pairs with your phone and is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. Unfortunately, the app (available for iOS and Android) doesn't allow you to set up no-go zones or virtual barriers.Additionally, setup and connecting to the app were seamless experiences, taking a total of 10 minutes. The vacuum also has a small footprint so it can squeeze into tight spaces. Best robot vacuum with a mop James Brains/Insider The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo Pro Mopping System thoroughly cleans floors as opposed to pushing a wet cloth around. When paired with the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot Vacuum, the two make easy work of time-consuming chores.  Robot vacuum size: 13.7" x 13.7" x 3.6"Main brush length: 6.25"Dust bin capacity: 600 mL (estimated)Battery life (per manufacturer): 3 hoursWarranty: One yearFeatures: Wi-Fi app connectivity (available for iOS and Android), compatible with Alexa and Google Home, scheduling, virtual no-go zones, zoned cleaning, HD video surveillanceExtras: Adjustable flow water tank, mop cloths and mounting plate, extra side brushes, extra sponge filter, extra air filter, cleaning tool, auto-empty station (sold separately), scrubbing mop system (sold separately)Pros: Excellent performance on carpeting and hardwood, automatically empties the dustbin, HD video surveillance, impressive deep-cleaning mop attachment, quiet operationCons: Got stuck on the threshold in our tests, doesn't get deep into cornersThe Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo Pro Mopping System attachment is the best mopping system I've tested. The 480-vibrations-per-minute scrubbing motion offers a deep clean. It made the powerful Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot Vacuum even better. The 240mL water tank was large enough to complete at least two passes over the 500-square-foot test floor. With the app, you can choose from four water-flow levels to reach a balance of moistness and quick drying and two mopping patterns. The deep scrubbing option provides thorough cleaning, and the quick scrubbing is for routine mopping. And, I appreciated that it automatically avoids carpeting.As for the robot vac itself, the Ozmo T8 AIVI has HD video and a microphone so you can watch your pets or check for open windows and doors from your phone. I didn't find the home surveillance features particularly useful, but they could be handy if you're concerned about security. The more helpful feature is the auto-empty station that automatically empties the dustbin after cleaning sessions. You just replace the disposable pouch every month or two. The Ozmo T8 AIVI was among the best at removing the debris types we tested on carpeting and hardwood. Plus, it remains relatively quiet at just 67 dB on the highest cleaning setting and 58 dB on Quiet mode. However, the vac consistently got stuck on a 1-inch lip between rooms. It also wasn't able to come within 2 inches of corners.The setup was seamless. I plugged in the dock to charge the vacuum, connected the app, updated the firmware, and set a schedule for cleaning. After two cleanings, the vac created a map of my layout so I could set no-go zones to keep the T8 AIVI away from sensitive areas.Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot Vacuum Best robot vacuum for hardwood floors James Brains/Insider The D-shaped iRobot Roomba s9+ Robot Vacuum did the best in our hardwood floor tests and features a self-emptying dustbin, an impressive app that lets you set no-go zones, and large main brushes that pick up debris on the first pass.Robot vacuum size: 12.25" x 12.25" x 3.5"Main brush length: two brushes, each 9.5"Dust bin capacity: 380 mLBattery life (per manufacturer): 2 hoursWarranty: One year parts and laborFeatures: Wi-Fi app connectivity (available for iOS and Android), compatible with Alexa and Google Home, scheduling, virtual no-go zones, zoned cleaningExtras: Auto-empty station, two disposable dust bags, extra side brush, extra air filter, cleaning toolPros: Cleans well on hardwood flooring, good performance on carpeting, rarely gets stuck, comes with a charging dock that empties the dustbin, large main brushes, has a helpful app with virtual no-go zonesCons: Loud, poor performance in carpeted cornersAs iRobot's top-of-the-line model, the Roomba s9+ Robot Vacuum is packed with features. It empties itself and is supported by an app that allows you to schedule cleanings effortlessly, set no-go zones, and customize your cleaning experience. You can even pair it with the iRobot Braava Jet M6 (sold separately) to mop after it finishes its vacuum cycle.In testing, the Roomba s9+ performed the best of any robot vac on hardwood flooring. After the cleaning cycle, there was only a trace of flour left. Its D-shaped design came within an inch and a half of the corner, picking up everything it could reach. The performance was still solid on carpeting with only about 10% of the flour left, 5% of the kitty litter, and no coffee grounds or pet hairs to be found after testing. The unit didn't get stuck in our testing area either. At 77 dB (about as loud as a busy city street) on high suction power, the s9+ was by far the loudest model we tested, and even in quiet mode, the vacuum is not unnoticeable. Additionally, the vac got within an inch of the carpeted corner. But it left behind about 70% of the flour, which suggests it doesn't do as well picking up fine debris on carpeting, especially in areas the main brushes have trouble reaching.Installation was easy, but it took about 25 minutes. I spent most of that time installing firmware updates after connecting to the app. Best robot vacuum for pet hair James Brains/Insider The Bissell SpinWave Robot Vacuum picked up all the pet hair on carpet in our tests and has a great assortment of mop attachments and accessories. The company is also committed to helping homeless pets and helps them find loving homes. Robot vacuum size: 12.25" x 12.25" x 3.25"Main brush length: 5.75"Dust bin capacity: 400 mLBattery life (per manufacturer): 130 minutesWarranty: One year limitedFeatures: Wi-Fi app connectivity (available for iOS and Android), schedulingExtras: Water tank with spinning mop pads, extra mop pads, trial-size cleaning formula,  damp-proof mat, extra side brushes, extra air filter, cleaning toolPros: Excellent job on hardwood and corners, picked up all of the pet hair in our tests, great mop attachment and accessories, app connectivity, small size, quiet operationCons: Can't set up no-go zones, gets stuck easilyThe Bissell SpinWave Robot Vacuum is created specifically for pet hair and has a 5.75-inch tangle-resistant main brush, a useful mop attachment, and powerful suction. Specs aside, a portion of each sale also goes to the Bissell Pet Foundation, which is committed to finding loving homes for pets.The Bissell SpinWave picked up all the cat and dog hair we laid out on carpeting and hardwood. Additionally, on the hardwood, it only left a trace of kitty litter and flour. It came within 2 inches in corners and picked up more than 60% of the flour on both the carpet and hardwood.It's also among the quietest vacs we tested – 58 decibels on quiet mode (slightly softer than a normal conversation) and 65 on high suction. If you have particularly skittish pets, the low-decibel output is less likely to startle your fur friends. The vacuum's extras are helpful to any pet parent, including a mop tank attachment, spinning mop pads, and a trial-size bottle of cleaning formula. Plus, you receive a cleaning tool that helps remove hairs from the brushes and clean the filter.In testing, the mop attachment worked seamlessly. You just fill the tank with water and some cleaning formula and attach it to the vacuum in place of the dustbin. The mop pads spin to scrub away stuck-on debris while avoiding carpeting.The SpinWave has a quick setup that takes five minutes, including installing the app and connecting the unit. The most significant limitation is it consistently got stuck on the 1-inch threshold between rooms.  What else we tested James Brains/Insider We've tested 30 robot vacuums and counting; here are the ones that didn't make our top picks.What else we recommend and whyUnder $400Ecovacs U2 Pro: This vac did excellent cleaning hardwood and carpeting and rarely got stuck. The U2 Pro also comes with a mop attachment, which didn't do a good job of cleaning up dried Tang on linoleum. Despite good performance, it couldn't compete with our current top picks and was too expensive for consideration as our best budget pick. Other negatives include loud operation, poor corner cleaning, and boundary strips for setting no-go zones that are sold separately.Proscenic 850T: When it comes to cleaning hard flooring, the 850T is outstanding. It picked up almost all of the debris on hardwood in our testing, got deep into the corners, and got all of the grounds, hair, and litter on the carpet. However, it left 20% of the flour behind, got stuck easily, and ran loudly. Plus, the vac regularly disconnected from the app in my long-term testing and required my attention to run on schedule.Eufy RoboVac G30 Edge: Eufy usually makes more affordable robot vacuums, so at this price, the G30 Edge is considered the company's top-end model. The variety of extras — no-go zone strips, a user-friendly app, and Alexa and Google Home compatibility — make it worth the price, but you'll have to compromise some power. It performed poorly on carpeting and in corners during our testing, and it was in the middle of the pack on hardwood. Despite the underwhelming performance, it remains a good value for the price.Under $600ILife A10: If setting no-go zones is essential to you, the A10 might be a good option. After it maps your house, you can set up virtual barriers in the app. This model also does an outstanding job of cleaning hardwood and carpet. But, there are plenty of cons: The A10 barely picked up any flour in carpeted corners, it runs loudly, and it gets stuck easily.Proscenic M7 Pro: I enjoy the automation afforded by self-empty charging docks, and the M7 Pro has one that works well. You can also set no-go zones in the app. Plus, the vac didn't get stuck easily and performed well on carpeting and hard flooring. Yet, it had trouble cleaning corners and was loud. Plus, with a height of 4 inches, it doesn't fit under low-clearance furniture.iRobot Roomba i7+: The Roomba i7+ was the first robot vacuum to feature an automatic dirt disposal charging dock. Since then, iRobot has introduced two other models that improve upon the i7+. Though this Roomba has great high-end features, its performance doesn't justify its price. It only did a satisfactory job on carpeting and hardwood, and it got stuck relatively often. If you find the i7+ on sale, we recommend picking it up. Otherwise, consider the s9+ or i3+ instead. Read our full review.Under $800Roborock S7: I tested this Roborock with the optional auto-empty dock ($299.99), which looks incredible, is super convenient, and performed flawlessly. The vac itself has powerful suction and avoided getting stuck in our tests. The mop scrubs at up to 3,000 cycles per minute, which translated to one of the top performances in our mop test. However, it didn't do well vacuuming in corners and operated loudly. It came close but did not perform well enough to unseat any of our top picks. Still, if the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI isn't available, this is a worthy substitute.Roborock S6 MaxV: For the most part, Roborock is doing a terrific job in the robot vac space. We recommend the S6 MaxV because of its excellent performance in our carpeting, hardwood, and corner tests. It also has video surveillance, no-go zones, and a useful app. But it's oversized and kept getting stuck on the 1-inch lip leading into the kitchen of our testing course. The S6 MaxV is louder than most vacs we've tested. What we don't recommend and whyEufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S: At one time, the RoboVac 11S was our budget pick, but after putting it through our testing alongside other affordable options, we no longer recommend it. The 11S doesn't have WiFi connectivity, which has become standard at every price point in the industry. The vac performed well on carpeting but left a lot of debris behind on hardwood and in corners. You'd be much better off with the Moosoo MT-720. Read our full review.Proscenic M6 Pro: After testing two other Proscenic models I recommend, I was surprised by how poorly the M6 Pro cleans. It left significant debris behind on carpeting and hard flooring and in corners. The vac also got stuck easily and ran loudly. Plus, the app is slow to respond to finger taps and commands. Yeedi K650: The attractive price doesn't make up for the fact that the Yeedi K650 does a poor job cleaning any surface. It also gets stuck often, is noisy, and doesn't have many of the features we like, such as the ability to set no-go zones.iRobot Roomba e5: This appears to be iRobot's attempt to make a budget Roomba, but it's the worst-performing Roomba I've come across in my years of testing. It didn't come with any extras – not even an additional filter. You can schedule it easily in the app, and it's compatible with Alexa and Google Home, but you have to buy virtual wall barriers separately. Also, it gets stuck easily and doesn't clean well on hardwood.  Neato Botvac D7 Connected: We're dropping the Neato Botvac D7 Connected from our guide this time around because it's relatively big, got stuck about half the time during our initial testing, and it only comes with two extra filters and a magnetic barrier, which isn't necessary since you can set no-go zones in the app. We think there are more affordable alternatives that perform better and are more feature-rich in our guide. Read our full review.Eufy RoboVac 11S Max: The 11S Max updates the 11S, but we feel the original 11S is better. If you're spending this much, though, the 15C Max performed much better in our testing. The 11S Max did poorly on carpeting and hardwood and in corners. It also relies on a remote controller rather than app connectivity, which means you need to turn to and keep track of another device.Roborock S5 Max: The S5 Max is loud, big, and it did poorly in corners and on carpeting in our tests.  Our testing methodology James Brains/Insider I've been reviewing vacuums for the past few years, writing numerous buying guides and reviews, so I leaned on my background when developing our testing methodology.I also consulted three experts and took their advice and expertise into consideration — Dr. Luis Javier Peña-Hernández, a lung and sleep health specialist at the Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Disorders Institute of South Florida; Andrea Ferro, Ph.D., a professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Clarkson University and the current president of the American Association for Aerosol Research; and Jill Notini, the Vice President of Communication and Marketing for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.In addition to using each robot vacuum daily for at least several weeks, I tested each for its suction on various types of flooring, including corners, ability to maneuver around obstacles, noise, and special features.Our testing methodology has gotten more comprehensive over the years. For any models that I'd previously tested but didn't have the vacuums on hand anymore, I extrapolated the data as best as possible based on previous testing and manufacturer info. Those vacuums are the iRobot Roomba i7+, Neato Botvac D7 Connected, and Eufy 11S Max and 15C Max. Here's a breakdown of the percentages of each material the top picks cleaned up on each surface in our tests:Surface - MaterialiRobot Roomba i3+Eufy RoboVac 15C MaxEcovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVIiRobot Roomba s9+Bissell  SpinWaveCarpet - Flour95%60%98%90%80%Carpet - Coffee100%100%98%100%100%Carpet - Litter100%100%98%95%98%Carpet - Hair100%100%100%100%100%Carpet corner - Flour50%20%35%30%65%Carpet corner - Proximity1 inch1 inch2 inches1 inch2 inchesHardwood - Flour90%90%95%98%98%Hardwood - Coffee100%100%100%100%100%Hardwood - Litter95%100%98%100%98%Hardwood - Hair100%100%100%100%100%Hardwood corner - Flour80%0%80%85%75%Hardwood corner - Proximity1 inch3 inches2 inches1.5 inches1.5 inchesHere are the main attributes we look for and how we test them:Size: I note the specs of the overall unit, main brush, and side brushes. This gives me an idea of how well a vacuum can clean floors and carpet — the larger the brushes, the more they can usually sweep up. The main brushes are often between 5 to 10 inches long, and side brushes are usually 2 to 3 inches long. Of the vacs I've tested, only Roomba models have two main brushes; others have one. I've noticed that longer brushes tend to facilitate faster cleaning. If this appeals to you, consider a unit with a longer brush, such as the Roomba s9+.Carpet cleaning: I poured a tablespoon each of flour, coffee grounds, and kitty litter on 18-inch-square sections of carpeting. I also collected pet hairs from my rat terrier and two cats to place on carpeting. I ran the vacuum on its most powerful mode for two cleaning cycles and compared before-and-after photos to estimate the percentage of each material picked up or left behind.Hardwood floor cleaning: This is the same test as the carpet cleaning test but on hardwood flooring.Corner cleaning: To test corner cleaning abilities, I poured a teaspoon of flour in an approximately 4-inch radius in a corner on hardwood and carpeting. I took pictures of the messes before and after running the robot vac for two cleaning cycles to compare how much flour was left over. I also measured how close to the corner the vac was able to reach.Obstacle avoidance: You don't want your robot vac to get stuck while it's cleaning or when it's returning to its charging dock, both of which force you to hunt it down while it's sending you notifications or making annoying error sounds. I tested the vacuum in an approximately 500-square-foot room with several obstacles, including stairs, a 1-inch threshold to a kitchen, and a table with chairs.Loudness: I used a sound meter to measure the decibel output of each of the robot vacuums from 12 inches away as they ran on the highest and lowest settings. For vacuums I no longer had in my possession for testing, I relied on manufactures' info and my previous notes. Brushes: I noted the lengths of the main and side brushes as they'll likely indicate performance in our cleaning tests.Robot vacuums work using a combination of suction and brushes. There are two types of brushes on robot vacuums: the side brush and the main brush. Units have either one or two side brushes that are about 3 inches in diameter and protrude from the forward portion of the vac. They move in a circular motion, get into corners, and feed debris to the main brush. There appears to be little difference in the performance of vacuums with two side brushes versus those with one.The main brush is between five and ten inches long, located under the unit, and is made of a rubber-like material. The vacuum sucks debris into the main brush, which spins to feed the materials into the dustbin. Of the vacs I've tested, only Roomba models have two main brushes. Other models have just one. I've noticed that longer brushes tend to facilitate faster cleaning. If this appeals to you, consider a unit with a longer brush, such as the Roomba s9+.Extras: I note if the vacuums included extras such as filters and side brush replacements, mop attachments, a cleaning tool, and more.   Special features: All of the vacuums featured some method for scheduling and returning to their charging dock on their own, so those weren't useful differentiators. Auto-dirt disposal, voice control, and home surveillance aren't universal, so you may want to consider if those are important. (There's more information on those and other features here.) What we're testing next Amazon Amazon We're constantly testing new vacuums to update our guide. Below are a few models we are currently testing or will be testing soon:Shark AI with XL HEPA Self-Empty Base: This is an update to the Shark IQ self-emptying vac, and the improvements appear to be pronounced. The self-empty dock has a 33% larger capacity and has HEPA filtration. The main brush is designed to tangle less frequently. Plus, you can set no-go zones in the SharkClean app (available for iOS and Android).iRobot Roomba i7 - Certified Refurbished: This will be my first time testing a certified refurbished robot vacuum. I'm curious to see if it performs as well as the new i7, which we recommend. Choosing certified refurbished only saves you $100 right now, so I expect its performance to be virtually indistinguishable from a new unit.Samsung JetBot AI+: Samsung announced the release of an AI-based robot vac at the 2021 CES trade show, and we're looking forward to testing its smart-learning capabilities to avoid obstacles. It also has cameras and can be connected to the brand's SmartThings hub for another layer of home security. Trifo Lucy: In addition to powerful suction and an outstanding app, Lucy has HDR video, a two-way microphone, and the ability to detect noise and people in your home as part of a home security setup. I'm interested in testing its vacuuming abilities alongside the home security features. Why we don't measure Pascal Pressure Unit James Brains/Insider A robot vacuum's suction power is measured in Pascal (Pa). Generally speaking, the higher the Pa, the better, but that's a misleading metric of comparison. When I talked to engineers at iRobot about a year ago, they told me that there are several ways to measure suction power, but there are no industry standards. They viewed the reported Pa measurements as essentially useless, hence why it's nearly impossible to find suction power for iRobot vacs. It's also difficult to find the Pa for Ecovacs, though Eufy and Roborock report the measurements for their models.Due to the inconsistent reporting from manufacturers, we don't include Pa as a part of our testing methodology and criteria. How to shop for a robot vacuum James Brains/Insider While using a robot vacuum is easy enough, shopping for one can be overwhelming. Here are the main aspects to look for when considering which one to buy. Size: If you have furniture that's hard to move or low-clearance pieces like sofas or bed frames, you'll want to pay attention to the height of a robot vacuum; the other dimensions are usually within the range of reason for a normal household.For example, I have several radiators in my house with a 3.5-inch clearance that slim vacuums can get under, while just-slim-enough models sometimes get stuck, and too-thick models bump up against and go elsewhere. If you want your robot vacuum to get under your low-clearance furniture, make sure you choose a model that is slim enough to do so. Features: It's important to think about what features you actually need. For instance, if you work from home and are rarely away, HD cameras aren't useful since you can keep tabs on your home with your own eyes. If your floors are covered with carpet, you don't need your robot vac to mop. I also rarely use voice control out of personal habit, but if you use Alexa or Google Assistant for everything, then compatibility with those services is a must.Extras: You can easily purchase extra filters or brushes for robot vacs, but we think having them included with the unit is better. All of our top picks include useful extras like brushes or dirt disposal bags.Price: Robot vacuums go on sale often, and the discounts are steepest during Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. We expect most of the models we recommend in this guide to go on sale, so it pays to wait until those sale days. How to use a robot vacuum James Brains/Insider Robot vacuums make keeping your house clean easier, but there's still some regular maintenance needed to improve the performance and longevity and help your indoor air quality. Run your robot vac when no one is around: Andrea Ferro, Ph.D., a professor at Clarkson University and president of AAAR, and Dr. Luis Javier Peña-Hernández, a lung and sleep health specialist at PCSI, both recommend running your robot vacuum in unoccupied areas. The robot vacs can kick dust, pollutants, and microbes back into the air as it vacuums floors, which can lead to subpar indoor air quality. "Every vacuum, including a robot vacuum, has the potential to release some dust, particles, and allergens back into the air, but the benefits still outweigh the risks," said Peña-Hernández. And run it regularly: Ferro and Peña-Hernández agree that you should run your robot vac at least once per week and more if you have pets and heavy-traffic areas. Ferro even suggests that daily cleaning isn't a bad idea. I generally set my vacuums to run in the early morning before I wake up or when the level of my house where the vacuum is running will be unoccupied, especially since I live in a large house with three pets and no HVAC system.Clean the dustbin and filter: If you're regularly vacuuming your space, you'll need to make sure to empty the dustbin and clean the filter. According to Peña-Hernández, you should clean the vacuum's filter at least once a week, or twice a week if you have a pet.  You'll also need to replace the filter and brushes every few months. Manufacturers usually give guidelines in the vac's user manual on how often you should replace these components. A good sign that it's time to replace your filters or brushes is if they appear to be damaged or if your vac just isn't doing as good of a job of cleaning as it once did. Fortunately, many models come with extra filters and brushes, but eventually, you'll have to purchase replacements. Manufacturers usually link to their parts store in your robot vac's app, but you can also usually find parts on Amazon, so it's worth shopping around. Just make sure that you are buying the right parts for your model.Use it in addition to a traditional vacuum:  Despite how far robot vacuums have come in the last decade, they won't replace your stick and upright vacuums anytime soon. Robot Vacuum FAQs Do you still need another vacuum if you have a robot vac?While the dream is to set your robot vacuum on a schedule and have it do all the floor cleaning for you, it's just not the reality at the moment. Robot vacuums don't clean as much dirt and debris as upright vacuums. "I think you'd still need a stick or upright vacuum for spots that the robot vac can't reach," Ferro said.Robot vacs function best as maintenance cleaners. Having them run a couple times a week will make your floors less gunky, especially if you have pets. But these vacuums also need babysitting. You need to clear their path of anything that might get tangled in their wheels, and some have trouble getting into or out of tight spaces. Their bins are fairly small, so you'll need to empty them more regularly than an upright or stick version. Even squarish robot vacuums — as opposed to round ones — aren't perfect at getting into corners. Some are too tall to fit under certain types of furniture. They obviously avoid stairs, too. Upright vacuums typically come with attachments that are useful for cleaning things like drapes or furniture, which robot vacs can't handle. "Research indicates that robot vacuums are not meant to replace upright vacuums," Peña-Hernández said. "That likely has to do with their smaller motor size. They're good for touch-ups and in-between uses."When it comes to robot vacuums, expect maintenance not miracles.How have robot vacuum cleaners improved?Since iRobot's first Roomba came on the market in the early 2000s, robot vacuum technology has improved a lot. You can now find square-ish models in addition to round ones, and the mapping technology is much better. Cameras and optical sensors can help with obstacle recognition, and LiDAR-based navigation uses lasers to detect objects. These capabilities aren't perfect, but vacuums are now more adept at finding their way back to charging docks than they were even a few years ago. Another new feature is self-emptying bins, which suck the debris out of the robot and into a canister in the charging dock. Many robot vacuums are now smart, letting you start a cleaning session from an app or by asking a smart speaker. Some, like the iRobot Roomba s9+ Robot Vacuum, let you block off entire rooms in an app, so you don't have to worry about them getting stuck on your kid's clothing piles. With cameras and connectivity come some privacy concerns. Some interesting features aren't universal, such as auto-dirt disposal and home surveillance. To get more guidance on these features, I spoke with Jill Notini, Vice President of Communications and Marketing for AHAM.A few of the new features she's excited about — and that are found in many if not all of the models in our guide — include:Advanced navigation: "Many of today's models have the ability to map a home and remember how to get around objects and stay out of tough spots. You can also program the robots to vacuum specific areas of the home." You can also set no-go zones that the vacuum should avoid on your phone via the app.Mopping ability: "Robots are evolving into floor care multitaskers," said Notini. "In addition to vacuuming, some models now have the ability to mop, both wet and dry."Voice control: "Robotic vacuums can now respond to voice commands, either directly or through an outside system like Amazon Alexa."Remote operation: "You can start, stop, or control your robotic vacuum with your mobile device."Cameras: "Cameras have been incorporated into some models to help the robot map the room and allow you to get a robot's eye view of cleaning and keep an eye on your house while you're away."Fall prevention: "Even with all of the new features and technological advances, robotic vacuums still have not gained the ability to climb stairs. Many models now utilize sensors to prevent themselves from taking a tumble down the stairs or off a higher level." All of the robots in our testing were able to sense cliffs and avoid falling down stairs.Automatic dirt disposal: One of the most useful features that's becoming more ubiquitous is the charging dock that automatically empties the vacuum's dustbin. Even the largest bins need to be emptied with regular use, so it's a maintenance task you'll need to perform once a week — at best. But with the self-emptying dock, the chore is no longer necessary. You just throw away and replace the disposable dust bag every month or two.Can a robot vacuum prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus?The novel coronavirus is most easily spread through face-to-face interactions and in close quarters. If someone in your household has been sick — even if it's not with COVID-19 — it's recommended to clean and disinfect the area.  "Currently, the CDC recommends that we take precautionary measures for vacuuming during the COVID-19 outbreak although there are no reported cases of COVID-19 associated with vacuuming," Peña-Hernández said. "It recommends using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation, and not vacuuming areas with people in it." How do you clean a robot vac?Though robot vacuums automate cleaning your floors, they are not completely hands-off. There are several care and maintenance steps you should take to ensure your vac operates properly for many years to come. Manufacturers provide clear instructions for cleaning and maintaining your robot vacuum in the user manual or app. Here are some general maintenance tasks:Empty the dustbin: Depending on how dirty your home is, you will want to empty your robot vacuum's dustbin after every use. If you run your vac daily and don't have pets, you can get away with doing this chore once a week.Clean the filter and dustbin: This is a weekly task. Cleaning the filter is important because the vacuum doesn't clean as well when the filter is dirty. You can clean most models' filters and dustbins with water. I usually clean and thoroughly dry the dustbin while letting the filter air dry. While the filter is air drying, I insert the extra filter that most units come with. Whatever you do, make sure the filter and dustbin dry completely before you use them again.Clean front wheel, brushes, sensors, and charging contacts: You should do this every two to four weeks. Most robot vacuums come with a cleaning tool with a brush on one end and a cutting blade on the other. Use these to cut out hairs that are wrapped around the brushes and wheel and brush away debris. Use a soft dry cloth to dust the sensors and charging contacts per the manufacturer's instructions.Additionally, after about two months of use, it's time to replace the filter. The front caster wheel and brushes — both the main brush and side brushes — should be replaced every year or so.Can you fix a robot vac?This depends entirely on the problem. In my years of testing robot vacuums, I've probably run into every problem a robot vacuum can experience: falling down stairs (surprisingly uncommon), running through pet accidents, attempts at taking up crocheting, etc. I've learned that these machines are resilient. That said, any attempt to fix a problem with your robot vacuum should start with consulting customer service. After I determined there was no chance I could clean the pet waste off my robot vacuum, I reached out to the manufacturer. And, even though the warranty specifically states these accidents aren't covered, they still provided me with a replacement unit for free. The most common problem I face is the vacuum finding my wife's yarn and wrapping it around its wheels and brushes. When this happens, you can usually work the thread free if you're patient. I usually just cut it free.  The best deals on robot vacuums from this guide A robot vacuum can make a huge difference in your life by cleaning messes for you with the touch of a button, but they can be pricey — at least on the surface. Every week, we see discounts on robot vacuums. However, the product category is so saturated that it can be difficult to figure out which sales are worth your time.Robot vacuum deals during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day are almost always worth your time. During these events, we've seen our top picks drop by more than $200. There are currently no updated deals at this time.Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us. Check out our guides to more great vacuum cleaners Connie Chen/Insider The best vacuumsThe best affordable vacuum cleanersThe best cordless vacuums Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 21st, 2021

Futures Slide On Stagflation Fears As 10Y Yields Spike

Futures Slide On Stagflation Fears As 10Y Yields Spike US index futures dropped after IBM and Tesla fell after their quarterly results, with investors turned cautious awaiting more reports to see the see the adverse impact of supply chain disruption and labor shortages on companies even as jitters remained over elevated inflation and the outlook for China’s property sector. The dollar reversed an overnight drop, while Treasuries fell pushing the 10Y yield to a 5-month high of 1.68%. At 745 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 98 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 14 points, or 0.31%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 49.25 points, or 0.32%. In the premarket, Tesla fell 1% in premarket trading as it said on Wednesday its upcoming factories and supply-chain headwinds would put pressure on its margins after it beat Wall Street expectations for third-quarter revenue. AT&T rose 1% in pre-market trading after exceeding Wall Street’s expectations for profit and wireless subscriber growth. PayPal Holdings also climbed as it explores a $45 billion acquisition of social media company Pinterest Inc., in what could be the biggest technology deal of the year. Dow gained 1.1% after it posted a more than a five-fold jump in third-quarter profit as economic recovery boosted prices for chemicals. IBM plunged 4.7% after it missed market estimates for quarterly revenue as its managed infrastructure business suffered from a decline in orders. Some other notable premarket movers: Digital World Acquisition (DWAC US) surges 30% after the blank-check company agreed to merge with Trump Media & Technology. Former U.S. President Donald Trump says the new company plans to start a social media firm called Truth Social. Denny’s (DENN US) rises 1.4% as the restaurant chain is upgraded to buy from hold at Truist Securities, which sees upside to 3Q estimates, partly due to expanding operating hours. ESS Tech (GWH US) adds 4.6% as Piper Sandler says the stock offers a compelling entry point for investors seeking exposure to energy storage, initiating coverage at overweight. As Bloomberg notes, corporate results have tempered but not dissipated worries that cost pressures could slow the pandemic recovery. Among S&P 500 companies that have disclosed results, 84% have posted earnings that topped expectations, a hair away from the best showing ever. Yet, the firms that surpassed profit forecasts got almost nothing to show for it in the market. And misses got punisheddearly, by the widest margin since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 2017. European equities faded early losses but remain in small negative territory. Euro Stoxx 50 is 0.4% lower having dropped ~0.8% at the open. IBEX lags peers. Miners led a retreat in Europe’s Stocks 600 index, while industrial commodities including copper and iron ore reversed earlier gains; retail and banks were also among the weakest sectors. Concerns about the inflationary impact of higher prices have risen in recent days, with everyone from Federal Reserve officials to Tesla weighing in on cost pressures. Unilever Plc pushed rising raw material costs onto consumers, increasing prices by the most in almost a decade. Meanwhile, Hermes International said sales surged last quarter, showing resilience compared to rival luxury-goods makers. European autos dropped after Volvo Group warned that the global semiconductor shortage and supply-chain challenges will continue to cap truckmaking. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Soitec shares gain as much as 7.3% in Paris, the stock’s best day since June, after reporting 2Q results and raising its full- year sales forecast. BioMerieux shares rise as much as 5.9%. Sales in 3Q were well ahead of expectations on strong U.S. demand for BioFire respiratory panels, Jefferies (hold) writes in a note. Randstad shares rise as much as 4.7%, the most intraday since Dec. 2020, with RBC (sector perform) saying the staffing firm’s 3Q earnings topped estimates. Sodexo shares rise as much as 4.8% after activist investor Sachem Head took a stake in the French catering co., saying the investment is passive and that Sodexo is going “activist on itself.” Zur Rose shares fall as much as 8.1% after the Swiss online pharmacy cut its growth guidance and posted 3Q sales that Jefferies says missed consensus expectations. Nordic Semi shares drop as much as 7% before recovering some losses, after results; Mirabaud Securities says any weakness in the stock is a “great buying opportunity.” Eurofins shares drop as much as 7.5%, the most in nearly a year, after the laboratory-testing company left its 2021 Ebitda and free cash flow guidance unchanged, which Morgan Stanley says implies a lower Ebitda margin versus previous guidance. Bankinter shares fell as much as 6.6%, most intraday since December. Jefferies highlighted the weaker trend for the Spanish lender’s 3Q net interest income. Earlier in the session, Asian equities fell in late-afternoon trading as investors sold Japanese and Hong Kong-listed tech shares, which helped trigger broader risk aversion among investors. Ailing China Evergrande Group sank on a worsening cash squeeze, while other developers rallied after regulators said their funding needs are being met. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid as much as 0.8%, with Japanese equities slumping by the most in over two weeks as the yen -- typically seen as a safe haven -- strengthened against the dollar, likely boosted by technical factors. Toyota Motor and Alibaba were the biggest drags on the regional benchmark as higher bond yields weighed on sentiment toward the tech sector. The story “shapes up to be worries about higher inflation and the follow-on policy response,” said Ilya Spivak, head of Greater Asia at DailyFX. Bucking the downtrend were Chinese developers, which shrugged off China Evergrande Group’s scrapping of a divestment plan and climbed after regulators said risks in the real estate market are controllable and reasonable funding needs are being met. China was one of the region’s top-performing equity markets.  Still, Asian stocks continue to feel pressure from higher U.S. bond yields as the 10-year rate surpassed 1.6%. In addition, earlier optimism about earnings is being muted by the outlook for inflation and supply-chain bottlenecks. Chinese growth, global supply constraints and inflation are “acting as a bit of a brake on markets,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy & chief economist at AMP Capital. However, with U.S. equities trading near a record high, investors are “a bit confused,” he said. Japanese equities fell by the most in over two weeks, extending losses in afternoon trading as the yen strengthened against the dollar. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 1.3%, with all 33 industry groups in the red. Tokyo Electron and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 1.9% loss in the Nikkei 225. S&P 500 futures and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index similarly extended drops. “There has been a general turn in equity market sentiment evident by the afternoon decline in U.S. equity futures and main regional equity indexes,” said Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign-exchange strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd. “The reversal in risk-sensitive FX pairs like the AUD is reflecting this u-turn.” The Japanese currency gained 0.2% to 114.05 per U.S. dollar, while the Australian dollar weakened. The yen is still down 9.5% against the greenback this year, the worst among major currencies. Yen Faces Year-End Slump as U.S. Yield Premium Spikes With Oil The gain in the yen on Thursday probably followed technical indicators suggesting the currency was oversold and positioning seen as skewed, said Shusuke Yamada, head of Japan foreign exchange and rates strategy at Bank of America in Tokyo. The rally may be short-lived, as rising oil prices are expected to worsen Japan’s terms of trade, and monetary policies between Japan and overseas are likely to diverge further In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an earlier loss to rise as much as 0.2% as the greenback advanced versus all its Group- of-10 peers apart from the yen; risk-sensitive currencies, led by the New Zealand dollar, were the worst performers. The pound weakened against the dollar and was little changed versus the euro into the European session. U.K. government borrowing came in significantly lower than official forecasts, but a surge in debt costs sent a warning to the government ahead of the budget next week. The U.K.’s green gilt may price today, subject to market conditions, after being delayed earlier this week. The Australian and New Zealand dollars reversed intraday gains on sales against the yen following losses in regional stock indexes. A kiwi bond auction attracted strong demand. The yen headed for a second session of gains as a selloff in Japanese equities fuels haven bids. Government bonds consolidated. In rates, the Treasury curve flattened modestly as yields on shorter-dated notes inched up, while those on longer ones fell; the bund curve shifted as yields rose about 1bp across the curve. Yields were richer by less than 1bp across long-end of the curve, flattening 2s10s, 5s30s spreads by ~1bp each; 10-year yields rose to a 5 month high of 1.68%, outperforming bunds by 2bp and gilts by 4bp on the day. Long end USTs outperform, richening ~2bps versus both bunds and gilts. Peripheral spreads tighten slightly. U.S. breakevens are elevated ahead of $19b 5Y TIPS new issue auction at 1pm ET. In commodities, oil slipped from 7 year highs, falling amid a broad-based retreat in industrial commodities, though trader focus was glued to a surging market structure as inventories decline in the U.S.; Oil’s refining renaissance is under threat from the natural gas crisis; American drivers will continue to face historically high fuel prices. WTI was lower by 0.5% to trade near $83 while Brent declined 0.8% before finding support near $85. Spot gold is range-bound near $1,785/oz. Base metals are mixed. LME nickel and copper are deep in the red while zinc gains 1.5%.  Bitcoin was volatile and dropped sharply after hitting an all time high just above $66,500. Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, existing home sales for September, the Conference Board’s leading index for September, and the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook for October. Central bank speakers will include the Fed’s Waller and the ECB’s Visco, while the Central Bank of Turkey will be making its latest monetary policy decision. Otherwise, earnings releases include Intel, Danaher, AT&T and Union Pacific. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,515.25 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 469.02 MXAP down 0.7% to 199.61 MXAPJ down 0.4% to 659.34 Nikkei down 1.9% to 28,708.58 Topix down 1.3% to 2,000.81 Hang Seng Index down 0.5% to 26,017.53 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,594.78 Sensex down 1.1% to 60,560.47 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,415.37 Kospi down 0.2% to 3,007.33 Brent Futures down 1.0% to $84.98/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,785.09 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.11% to 93.67 German 10Y yield up 0.7 bps to -0.119% Euro down 0.1% to $1.1639 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China Evergrande Group scrapped talks to offload a stake in its property-management arm and said real estate sales plunged about 97% during peak home-buying season, worsening its liquidity crisis on the eve of a dollar-bond deadline that could tip the company into default. Its shares plunged as much as 14% on Thursday. China’s goods imports from the U.S. have only reached about 53% of the $200 billion worth of additional products and services it promised to buy under the trade deal signed last year, far behind its purchasing target. Signs that policy makers are accelerating toward an interest-rate hike have traders fumbling around to figure out what that means for sterling. Money managers at Jupiter Asset Management and Aberdeen Asset Management turned neutral in recent days, following similar moves by Amundi SA and William Blair Investment Management. The price on eight out of 10 bonds sold in the first three quarters of this year by European investment-grade borrowers fell after issuance, wiping almost 23.5 billion euros ($27.3 billion) from portfolios. The Turkish lira is looking vulnerable as speculation grows that policy makers will cut interest rates again despite the deteriorating inflation outlook. Option traders see a more than 60% chance that the currency will weaken to an all-time-low of 9.50 per U.S. dollar over the next month, according to Bloomberg pricing. That’s the next key psychological threshold for a market trading largely in uncharted territory ahead of Thursday’s decision. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac indices traded somewhat mixed after the similar performance stateside where the broader market extended on gains in which the DJIA touched a fresh record high and the S&P 500 also briefly approached within 5 points of its all-time peak as attention remained on earnings, although the Nasdaq lagged with tech and duration-sensitive stocks pressured by higher longer-term yields. ASX 200 (+0.1%) was positive as Victoria state approaches the end of the lockdown at midnight and with the index led by outperformance in mining stocks and real estate. However, gains were capped amid weakness in energy as shares in Woodside Petroleum and Santos were pressured following their quarterly production results in which both posted a decline in output from a year ago, albeit with a jump in revenue due to the rampant energy prices, while Woodside also flagged a 27% drop in Wheatstone gas reserves. Nikkei 225 (-1.9%) felt the pressure from the pullback in USD/JPY and with focus shifting to upcoming elections whereby election consulting firm J.A.G Japan sees the LDP losing 40 seats but win enough to maintain a majority with a projected 236 seats at the 465-strong Lower House. Hang Seng (-0.5%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) were varied despite another respectable PBoC liquidity effort with the mood slightly clouded as Evergrande concerns persisted with Co. shares suffering double-digit percentage losses after it resumed trade for the first time in three weeks and after its deal to sell a stake in Evergrande Property Services fell through, while reports that Modern Land China cancelled its USD 250mln bond repayment plan on liquidity issues added to the ongoing default concerns although it was later reported that Evergrande secured a three-month extension on USD 260mln Jumbo Fortune bond which matured on October 3rd. Finally, 10yr JGBs traded flat with the underperformance in Japanese stocks helping government bonds overlook the pressure in global counterparts and continued losses in T-note futures following the weak 20yr auction stateside, although demand for JGBs was limited by the absence of BoJ purchases. Top Asian News China Vows to Keep Property Curbs, Evergrande Risk Seen Limited Abu Dhabi Funds Hunt for Asian Unicorns Ahead of IPOs: ECM Watch Biden’s Pick for China Envoy Draws Sharp Lines With Beijing Carlyle, KKR Among Firms Said to Mull $2 Billion Tricor Bid Bourses in Europe have held onto the downside bias seen since the cash open, but with losses less pronounced (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.4%; Stoxx 600 -0.2%) despite a distinct lack of news flow in the EU morning, and as Chinese property woes weighed on APAC markets, but with earnings seasons picking up globally. US equity futures are also softer with modest and broad-based losses ranging from 0.2-0.3%. Back to Europe, the Netherland’s AEX (+0.3%) outperforms as Unilever (+3.3%) also lifts the Personal & Household Goods sector (current outperformer) following its earnings, whereby underlying sales growth of +2.5%, as +4.1% price growth offset a -1.5% decline in volumes, whilst the group noted: "Cost inflation remains at strongly elevated levels, and this will continue into next year". The AEX is also lifted by Randstad (+4.5%) post earnings after underlying EBITDA topped forecasts. Sectors in Europe are mixed with a slight defensive bias. On the downside, there is clear underperformance in Basic Resources as base metals pull back, whilst Oil & Gas names similarly make their way down the ranks. In terms of individual movers. ABB (-5%) resides at the foot of the SMI (+0.2%) as the group sees revenue growth hampered by supply constraints. Nonetheless, flows into Food & Beverages supports heavy-weight Nestle (+1.0%) which in turn supports the Swiss index. Other earnings-related movers include Barclays (-0.4%), SAP (+1.5%), Carrefour (+1.5%), Nordea (-1.8%), and Swedbank (+2.7%). Top European News Volvo Warns More Chip Woes Ahead Will Curtail Truck Production Hermes Advances After Dispelling Worries on China Demand Stagflation Risk Still Means Quick Rate Hikes for Czech Banker Weidmann Exit Could Pave Way for Bundesbank’s First Female Chief In FX, the Dollar has regained some composure across the board amidst a downturn in broad risk sentiment, but also further retracement in US Treasuries from bull-flattening to bear-steepening in wake of an abject 20 year auction that hardly bodes well for the announcement of next week’s 2, 5 and 7 year issuance, or Usd 19 bn 5 year TIPS supply due later today. In index terms, a firmer base and platform around 94.500 appears to be forming between 93.494-701 parameters ahead of initial claims, the Philly Fed and more housing data as the focus switches to existing home sales, while latest Fed speak comes via Daly and Waller. However, the DXY and Greenback in general may encounter technical resistance as the former eyes upside chart levels at 93.884 (23.6% Fib of September’s move) and 93.917 (21 DMA), while a major basket component is also looking in better shape than it has been of late as the Yen reclaims more lost ground from Wednesday’s near 4 year lows to retest 114.00 in the run up to Japanese CPI tomorrow. NZD/AUD/NOK - No real surprise to see the high beta Antipodeans bear the brunt of their US rival’s revival and the Kiwi unwind some of its post-NZ CPI outperformance irrespective of the nation’s FTA accord in principle with the UK, while the Aussie has also taken a deterioration in NAB quarterly business business confidence into consideration. Nzd/Usd is back below 0.7200 and Aud/Usd has retreated through 0.7500 after stalling just shy of 0.7550 before comments from RBA Governor Lowe and the flash PMIs. Elsewhere, the Norwegian Crown has largely shrugged off the latest Norges Bank lending survey showing steady demand for credit from households and non-financial institutions, but seems somewhat aggrieved by the pullback in Brent from just above Usd 86/brl to under Usd 85 at one stage given that Eur/Nok is hovering closer to the top of a 9.7325-9.6625 range. EUR/CHF/GBP/CAD - All softer against their US counterpart, albeit to varying degrees as the Euro retains a relatively secure grip around 1.1650, the Franc straddles 0.9200, Pound pivots 1.3800 and Loonie tries to contain declines into 1.2350 having reversed from yesterday’s post-Canadian CPI peaks alongside WTI, with the spotlight turning towards retail sales on Friday after a passing glance at new housing prices. SEK/EM - Some traction for the Swedish Krona in a tight band mostly sub-10.0000 vs the Euro from a fall in the nsa jobless rate, but the Turkish Lira seems jittery following a drop in consumer confidence and pre-CBRT as another 100 bp rate cut is widely expected, and the SA Rand is on a weaker footing ahead of a speech by the Energy Minister along with Eskom’s CEO. Meanwhile, the Cnh and Cnh have lost a bit more momentum against the backdrop of ongoing stress in China’s property market, and regardless of calls from the Commerce Ministry for the US and China to work together to create conditions for the implementation of the Phase One trade deal, or fees on interbank transactions relating to derivatives for SMEs being halved. In commodities, WTI and Brent Dec futures have gradually drifted from the overnight session peaks of USD 83.96/bbl and USD 86.10/bbl respectively. The downturn in prices seems to have initially been a function of risk sentiment, with APAC markets posting losses and Europe also opening on the back foot. At the time of writing, the benchmark resides around under USD 83/bbl for the former and sub-USD 85/bbl for the latter. Participants at this point are on the lookout for state interventions in a bid to keep prices from running. Over in China, it’s worth keeping an eye on the COVID situation – with China's Beijing Daily stating "citizens and friends are not required to leave the country, do not gather, do not travel or travel to overseas and domestic medium- and high-risk areas", thus translating to lower activity. That being said, yesterday’s commentary from the Saudi Energy Minister indicated how adamant OPEC is to further open the taps. UBS sees Brent at USD 90/bbl in December and March, before levelling off to USD 85/bbl for the remainder of 2022 vs prev. USD 80/bbl across all timelines. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are relatively flat around USD 1,785 and USD 22.25 with nothing new nor interesting to report thus far, and with the precious metals moving in tandem with the Buck. Base metals meanwhile are softer across the board as global market risk remains cautious, with LME copper trading on either side of USD 10k/t. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Oct. Continuing Claims, est. 2.55m, prior 2.59m 8:30am: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 297,000, prior 293,000 8:30am: Oct. Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. 25.0, prior 30.7 9:45am: Oct. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 51.2 10am: Sept. Existing Home Sales MoM, est. 3.6%, prior -2.0% 10am: Sept. Leading Index, est. 0.4%, prior 0.9% 10am: Sept. Home Resales with Condos, est. 6.09m, prior 5.88m DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I watched the first of the new series of Succession last night. I like this program as it makes me think I’ve got a totally normal and non-dysfunctional family. It’s a good benchmark to have. There are few dysfunctional worries in equities at the moment as even with the pandemic moving back onto investors’ radars, the resurgence in risk appetite showed no sign of diminishing yesterday, with the S&P 500 (+0.37%) closing just a whisker below early September’s record high. It’s an impressive turnaround from where the narrative was just a few weeks ago, when the index had fallen by over -5% from its peak as concerns from Evergrande to a debt ceiling crunch set the agenda. But the removal of both risks from the immediate horizon along with another round of positive earnings reports have swept away those anxieties. And this has come even as investors have become increasingly sceptical about the transitory inflation narrative, as well as fresh signs that Covid-19 might be a serious issue once again this winter. Starting with the good news, US equities led the way yesterday as a number of global indices closed in on their all-time highs. As mentioned the S&P 500 rallied to close just -0.02% beneath its record, which came as part of a broad-based advance that saw over 75% of the index move higher. Elsewhere, the Dow Jones (+0.43%) also closed just below its all-time high back in August. After the close, Tesla fell short of revenue estimates but beat on earnings, despite materials shortages and port backlogs that have prevented production from reaching full capacity, a common refrain by now. Overall 17 out of 23 S&P 500 companies beat expectations yesterday, meaning that the US Q3 season beat tally is now 67 out of 80. Meanwhile in Europe, equities similarly saw advances across the board, with the STOXX 600 (+0.32%) hitting its highest level in over a month, as it moved to just 1.2% beneath its record back in August. For sovereign bonds it was a more mixed picture, with 10yr Treasury yields moving higher again as concerns about inflation continued to mount. By the close of trade, the 10yr yield had risen +2.0bps to 1.57%, which was driven by a +4.6bps increase in inflation breakevens to 2.60%, their highest level since 2012. That came as oil prices hit fresh multi-year highs after the US EIA reported that crude oil inventories were down -431k barrels, and gasoline inventories were down -5.37m barrels, which puts the level of gasoline inventories at their lowest since November 2019. That saw both WTI (+1.10%) and Brent crude (+0.87%) reverse their earlier losses, with WTI closing at a post-2014 high of $83.87/bbl, whilst Brent hit a post-2018 high of $85.82/bbl. Yields on 2yr Treasuries fell -1.0bps however, after Fed Vice Chair Quarles and President Mester joined Governor Waller in pushing back against the more aggressive path of Fed rate hikes that has recently been priced in. Even so however, money markets are still implying around 1.75 hikes in 2022, about one more hike than was priced a month ago. Separately in Europe, sovereign bonds posted a much stronger performance, with yields on 10yr bunds (-2.0bps), OATs (-2.6bps) and BTPs (-3.4bps) all moving lower. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading higher this morning with the Shanghai Composite (+0.46%), CSI (+0.35%) and KOSPI (+0.23%) all advancing, whilst the Hang Seng (-0.20%) and the Nikkei (-0.45%) have been dragged lower by healthcare and IT respectively. Meanwhile Evergrande Group (-12.60%) fell sharply in Hong Kong after news that it ended talks on the sale of a majority stake in its property services division to Hopson Development. And we’ve also seen a second day of sharp moves lower in Chinese coal futures (-11.0%) as the government is mulling measures to curb speculation. And there have also been a number of fresh Covid cases in China, with 21 new cases reported yesterday, as the city of Lanzhou moved to shut down schools in response. Elsewhere in Asia, with just 10 days now until Japan’s general election, a poll by Kyodo News found that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party would likely maintain its parliamentary majority. Futures markets are indicating a slow start for markets in the US and Europe, with those on the S&P 500 (-0.09%) and the DAX (-0.05%) both pointing lower. As we’ve been mentioning this week, the Covid-19 pandemic is increasingly returning onto the market radar, with the number of global cases having begun to tick up again. This has been reflected in a number of countries tightening up restrictions, and yesterday saw Russian President Putin approve a government proposal that October 31 to November 7 would be “non-working days”. In the Czech Republic, it was announced that mask-wearing would be compulsory in all indoor spaces from next week, and New York City moved to mandate all municipal workers to get vaccinated, with no alternative negative test result option now available. In Singapore, it was announced that virus restrictions would be extended for another month, which includes a limit on outdoor gatherings to 2 people and a default to work from home. Finally in the UK, the weekly average of cases has risen above 45k per day, up from just under 30k in mid-September. There is lots of talk about the need to put in place some additional restrictions but it feels we’re a fair way from that in terms of government-mandated ones. From central banks, it was announced yesterday that Bundesbank president Weidmann would be stepping down on December 31, leaving his position after just over a decade. He said that he was leaving for personal reasons, and in his letter to the Bundesbank staff, said that “it will be crucial not to look one-sidedly at deflationary risks, but not to lose sight of prospective inflationary dangers either.” It’ll be up to the next government to decide on the new appointment. Staying on Europe, our economists have just released an update to their GDP forecasts, with downgrades to their near-term expectations as supply shortages for goods and energy have created headwinds for the recovery. They now see 2021 growth at +4.9% (down -0.1pp from their previous forecast), whilst 2022 has been downgraded to 4.0% (-0.5pp). Alongside that, they’ve also included the latest oil and gas price movements into their inflation forecasts, and now project Euro Area 2022 HICP at 2.3%, although they don’t see this above-target inflation persisting, with their 2023 HICP forecast remaining unchanged at 1.5%. You can read the full note here. Speaking of inflation, we had a couple of inflation releases yesterday, including the UK’s CPI data for September, which came in slightly beneath expectations at 3.1% (vs. 3.2% expected), whilst core CPI also fell to 2.9% vs. 3.0% expected). As we discussed earlier this week though, there was some downward pressure from base effects, since in September 2020 we had a recovery in restaurant and cafe prices after the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August ended, and that bounce back has now dropped out of the annual comparisons. UK inflation will rise a fair amount in the months ahead. Otherwise, we also had the CPI release from Canada for September, which rose to 4.4% (vs. 4.3% expected), which is its highest reading since February 2003. Finally, bitcoin hit an all-time high, with the cryptocurrency up +2.92% to close at a record $65,996, which was slightly down from its intraday peak of $66,976. Bitcoin has surged over recent weeks, and as it stands it’s up +49.3% so far this month at time of writing, which would mark its strongest monthly performance so far this year. This latest move has occurred along with the first trading of options on Bitcoin-linked ETFs, which the US first listed the day prior. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, existing home sales for September, the Conference Board’s leading index for September, and the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook for October. Central bank speakers will include the Fed’s Waller and the ECB’s Visco, while the Central Bank of Turkey will be making its latest monetary policy decision. Otherwise, earnings releases include Intel, Danaher, AT&T and Union Pacific. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/21/2021 - 08:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 21st, 2021

Transcript: Soraya Darabi

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Soraya Darabi, TMV, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This… Read More The post Transcript: Soraya Darabi appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Soraya Darabi, TMV, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have an extra special guest. Her name is Soraya Darabi. She is a venture capital and impact investor who has an absolutely fascinating background working for, first with the New York Times Social Media Group then with a startup that eventually gets purchased by OpenTable, and then becoming a venture investor that focuses on women and people of color-led startups which is not merely a way to, quote-unquote, “do good” but it’s a broad area that is wildly underserved by the venture community and therefore is very inefficient. Meaning, there’s a lot of upside in this. You can both do well and do good by investing in these areas. I found this to be absolutely fascinating and I think you will also, if you’re at all interested in entrepreneurship, social media startups, deal flow, how funds identify who they want to invest in, what it’s like to actually experience an exit as an entrepreneur, I think you’ll find this to be quite fascinating. So with no further ado, my conversation with TMV’s Soraya Darabi. VOICEOVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. My special guest this week is Soraya Darabi. She is the Co-Founder and General Partner of TMV, a venture capital firm that has had a number of that exits despite being relatively young, 65 percent of TMV’s startups are led by women or people of color. Previously, she was the cofounder of Foodspotting, an app named App of the Year by Apple and Wire that was eventually purchased by OpenTable. Soraya Darabi, welcome to Bloomberg. SORAYA DARABI; GENERAL PARTNER & FOUNDER; TMV: My goodness, Barry, thank you for having me. RITHOLTZ: I’ve been looking forward to this conversation since our previous discussion. We were on a Zoom call with a number of people discussing blockchain and crypto when it was really quite fascinating and I thought you had such an unusual and interesting background, I thought you would make a perfect guest for the show. Let’s start with your Manager of Digital Partnerships and Social Media at the “New York Times” when social media was really just ramping up. Tell us about what that was like. Tell us what you did in the late aughts at The Times. DARABI: Absolutely. I was fresh faced out of a university. I had recently graduated with mostly a journalism concentration from Georgetown and did a small stint in Condé Nast right around the time they acquired Reddit for what will soon be nothing because Reddit’s expecting to IPO at around 15 billion. And that experience at Reddit really offered me a deep understanding of convergence, what was happening to digital media properties as they partnered for the first time when nascent but scaling social media platforms. And so the “New York Times” generously offered me a role that was originally called manager of buzz marketing. I think that’s what they called social media in 2006 and then that eventually evolved into manager of digital partnerships and social media which, in essence, meant that we were aiming to be the first media property in the world to partner with companies that are household names today but back in the they were fairly unbalanced to Facebook and Twitters, of course, but also platforms that really took off for a while and then plateaued potentially. The Tumblers of the world. And it was responsibility to understand how we could effectively generate an understanding of the burgeoning demographics of this platform and how we could potentially bring income into The Times for working with them, but more importantly have a journalist that could authentically represent themselves on new media. And so, that was a really wonderful role to have directly out of University and then introduce me to folks with whom I still work today. DARABI: That’s quite interesting. So when you’re looking at a lot of these companies, you mentioned Facebook and Twitter and Tumbler, how do you know if something’s going to be a Facebook or a MySpace, so Twitter or a Tumbler, what’s going to survive or not, when you’re cutting deals with these companies on behalf of The Times, are you thinking in terms of hey, who’s going to stick around, wasn’t that much earlier that the dot-com implosion took place prior to you starting with The Times? DARABI: It’s true, although I don’t remember the dot-com implosion. So, maybe that naivete helped because all I had was enthusiasm, unbridled enthusiasm for these new companies and I operated then and now still with a beta approach to business. Testing out new platforms and trying to track the data, what’s scaling, what velocity is this platform scaling and can we hitch a ride on the rochet ship if they will so allow. But a lot of our partnerships then and now, as an investor, are predicated upon relationships. And so, as most, I think terrific investors that I listen to, who I listen to in your show, at least, will talk to you about the importance of believing and the founder and the founder’s vision and that was the case back then and remains the case today. RITHOLTZ: So, when you were at The Times, your tenure there very much overlapped the great financial crisis. You’re looking at social media, how did that manifest the world of social media when it looked like the world of finance was imploding at that time? DARABI: Well, it was a very interesting time. I remember having, quite literally, 30-second meetings with Sorkin as he would run upstairs to my floor, in the eighth floor, to talk about a deal book app that we wanted to launch and then he’d ran back down to his desk to do much more important work, I think, and — between the financial crisis to the world. So, 30-second meetings aside, it was considered to be, in some ways, a great awakening for the Web 2.0 era as the economy was bottoming out, like a recession, it also offered a really interesting opportunity for entrepreneurs, many of whom had just been laid off or we’re looking at this as a sizeable moment to begin to work on a side hustle or a life pursuit. And so, there’s — it’s unsettling, of course, any recession or any great awakening, but lemonade-lemons, when the opening door closing, there was a — there was a true opportunity as well for social media founders, founders focusing on convergence in any industry, really, many of which are predicated in New York. But again, tinkering on an idea that could ultimately become quite powerful because if you’re in the earliest stage of the riskiest asset class, big venture, there’s always going to be seed funding for a great founder with a great idea. And so, I think some of the smartest people I’d ever met in my life, I met at the onset of the aftermath of that particular era in time. RITHOLTZ: So you mentioned side hustle. Let’s talk a little bit about Foodspotting which is described as a visual geolocal guide to dishes instead of restaurants which sounds appealing to me. And it was named App of the Year by both Apple and Wired. How do you go from working at a giant organization like The Times to a startup with you and a cofounder and a handful of other coders working with you? DARABI: Well, five to six nights a week after my day job at the “New York Times,” I would go to networking events with technologists and entrepreneurs after hours. I saw that a priority to be able to partner from the earliest infancy with interesting companies for that media entity. I need to at least know who these founders were in New York and Silicon Valley. And so, without a true agenda other than keen curiosity to learn what this business were all about, I would go to New York tech meetup which Scott Heiferman of who’s now in charge LP in my fund would create. And back then, the New York Tech Meetup was fewer than 40 people. I believe it’s been the tens of thousands now. RITHOLTZ: Wow, that’s … DARABI: In New York City alone. And so, it was there that I met some really brilliant people. And in particular, a gentleman my age who’s building a cloud-computing company that was essentially arbitraging AWS to repopulate consumer-facing cloud data services for enterprises, B2B2C play. And we all thought it would be Dropbox. The company ultimately wasn’t, but I will tell you the people with whom I worked with that startup because I left the “New York Times” to join that startup, to this day remain some of the most successful people in Silicon Valley and Alley. And actually, one of those persons is a partner at our firm now, Darshan. He was the cofounder of that particular company which is called but I stayed there very quickly. I was there for about six months. But at that startup, I observed how a young person my age could build a business, raise VC, he was the son of a VC and so he was exceptionally attuned to the changing landscape of venture and how to position the company so that it would be attractive to the RREs of the world and then the DFJs. And I … RITHOLTZ: Define those for us. RREs and BFJs. DARABI: Sorry. Still, today, very relevant and very successful venture capital firms. And in particular, they were backing a lot of the most interesting ideas in Web 2.0 era when I joined this particular startup in 2010. Well, that startup was acquired by Facebook and I often say, no, thanks to me. But the mafia that left that particular startup continues to this day to coinvest with one another and help one another’s ideas to exceed. And it was there that I began to build the confidence, I think, that I really needed to explore my own entrepreneurial ideas or to help accelerate ideas. And Foodspotting was a company that I was advising while at that particular startup, that was really taking off. This was in the early days of when Instagram was still in beta and we observed that the most commonly posted photos on Instagram were of food. And so, by following that lead, we basically built an app as well that activity that continues to take place every single day. I still see food photos on Twitter every time I open up my stream. And decided to match that with an algorithm that showed folks wherever they were in the world, say in Greece, that might want spanakopita or if I’m in Japan, Okinawa, we help people to discover not just the Michelin-rated restaurants or the most popular local hunt in New York but rather what’s the dish that they should be ordering. And then the app was extremely good was populating beautiful photos of that particular dish and then mirroring them with accredited reviews from the Zagats of the world but also popular celebrity shots like Marcus Samuelsson in New York. And that’s why we took off because it was a cult-beloved app of its time back when there were only three geolocation apps in the iTunes apparently store. It was we and Twitter and Foursquare. So, there was a first-mover advantage. Looking back in hindsight, I think we sold that company too soon. OpenTable bought the business. A year and a half later, Priceline bought OpenTable. Both were generous liquidity events for the founders that enabled us to become angel investors. But sometimes I wish that that app still existed today because I could see it being still incredibly handy in my day-to-day life. RITHOLTZ: To say the least. So did you have to raise money for Foodspotting or did you just bootstrapped it and how did that experience compare with what that exit was like? DARABI: We did. We raised from tremendous investors like Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures whom I think of as being one of the best angel investors of the world. He was on the board. But we didn’t raise that much capital before the business is ultimately sold and what I learned in some of those early conversations, I would say, that may have ultimately led to LOIs and term sheets was that so much of M&As about wining and dining and as a young person, particularly for me, you and I discussed before the show, Barry, we’re both from New York, I’m not from a business-oriented family to say the least. My mom’s an academic, my father was a cab driver in New York City. And so, there are certain elements of this game, raising venture and ultimately trying to exit your company, that you don’t learn from a business book. And I think navigating that as a young person was complicated if I had to speak economically. RITHOLTZ: Quite fascinating. What is purposeful change? DARABI: Well, the world purpose, I suppose, especially in the VC game could come across as somewhat of a cliché. But we try to be as specific as possible when we allude to the impact that our investment could potentially make. And so, specifically, we invest in five verticals at our early stage New York City-based venture fund. We invest in what we call the care economy, just companies making all forms of care, elder care to pet care to health care, more accessible and equitable. We invest in financial inclusion. So this is a spin on fintech. These are companies enabling wealth creation, education, and most importantly literacy for all, that I think is really important to democratization of finance. We invest in the future of work which are companies creating better outcomes for workers and employees alike. We invest in the future of work which are companies creating better outcomes for workers and employers alike. We invest in purpose as it pertains to transportation. So, not immediately intuitive but companies creating transparency and efficiency around global supply chain and mobility. I’m going to talk about why we pick that category in a bit. And sustainability. So, tech-enabled sustainable solutions. These are companies optimizing for sustainability from process to product. With these five verticals combined, we have a subspecies which is that diverse founders and diverse employee bases and diverse cap table. It is not charity, it’s simply good for business. And so, in addition to being hyper specific about the impact in which we invest, we also make it a priority and a mandate at our firm to invest in the way the world truly look. And when we say that on our website, we link to census data. And so, we invest in man and women equally. We invest in diverse founders, almost all of the time. And we track this with data and precious to make sure that our investments reflect not just one zip code in California but rather America at large. RITHOLTZ: And you have described this as non-obvious founders. Tell us a little bit about that phrase. DARABI: Well, not obvious is a term you hear a lot when you go out to Silicon Valley. And I don’t know, I think it was coined by a well-known early PayPal employee turned billionaire turned investor who actually have a conference centered around non-obvious ideas. And I love the phrase. I love thinking about investment PC that are contrary because we have a contrary point of view, contrarian point of view, you often have outlier results because if you’re right, you’re taking the risk and your capturing the reward. When you’re investing in non-obvious founders, it should be that is the exact same outcome. And so, it almost sort of befuddled me as a person with a hard to pronounce name in Silicon Valley, why it was that we’re an industry that prides itself on investing in innovation and groundbreaking ideas and the next frontier of X, Y, and Z and yet all of those founders in which we were investing, collectively, tended to kind of look the same. They were coming from the same schools and the same types of families. And so, to me, there was nothing innovative at all about backing that Wharton, PSB, HBS guy who is second or third-generation finance. And what really excites me about venture is capturing a moment in time that’s young but also the energy is palpable around not only the idea in which the founder is building but the categories of which they’re tackling and that sounded big. I’ll be a little bit more speficic. And so, at TMV, we tried to see things before they’re even coming around the bend. For instance, we were early investors in a company called Cityblock Health which is offering best in class health care specifically for low income Americans. So they focus on the most vulnerable population which are underserved with health care and they’re offering them best in class health care access at affordable pricing because it’s predominantly covered through a payer relationship. And this company is so powerful to us for three reasons because it’s not simply offering health care to the elite. It’s democratizing access to care which I think is absolutely necessary in term out for success of any kind. We thought this was profoundly interesting because the population which they serve is also incredibly diverse. And so when you look at that investment over, say, a comparable company, I won’t name names, that offers for-profit health care, out-of-pocket, you can see why this is an opportunity that excites us as impact investors but we don’t see the diversity of the team it’s impact. We actually see that as their unfair advantage because they are accessing a population authentically that others might ignore. RITHOLTZ: Let me see if I understand this correctly. When you talk about non-obvious find — founders and spaces like this, what I’m hearing from you is you’re looking at areas where the market has been very inefficient with how it allocates capital … DARABI: Yes. RITHOLTZ: … that these areas are just overlooked and ignored, hey, if you want to go on to silicon valley and compete with everybody else and pay up for what looks like the same old startup, maybe it will successful and maybe it won’t, that’s hypercompetitive and hyper efficient, these are areas that are just overlooked and there is — this is more than just do-goodery for lack of a better word. There are genuine economic opportunities here with lots of potential upside. DARABI: Absolutely. So, my business partner and I, she and I found each other 20 years ago as undergrads at Georgetown but we went in to business after she was successful and being one of the only women in the world to take a shipping business public with her family, and we got together and we said we have a really unique access, she and I. And the first SPV that we collaborated on back in 2016 was a young business at the time, started by two women, that was focused on medical apparel predominantly for nurses. Now it’s nurses and doctors. And they were offering a solution to make medical apparel, so scrubs, more comfortable and more fashionable for nurses. I happen to have nurses and doctors in my family so doing due diligence for this business is relatively simple. I called my aunt who’s a nurse practitioner, a nurse her life, and she said, absolutely. When you’re working in a uniform at the hospital, you want something comfortable with extra pockets that makes you look and feel good. The VCs that they spoke to at the time, and they’ve been very public about this, in the beginning, anyway, were less excited because they correlated this particular business for the fashion company. But if you look back at our original memo which I saved, it says, FIGS, now public on the New York Stock Exchange is a utility business. It’s a uniform company that can verticalize beyond just medical apparel. And so, we helped value that company at 15 million back in 2016. And this year, in 2021, they went public at a $7 billion market cap. RITHOLTZ: Wow. DARABI: And so, what is particularly exciting for us going back to that conversation on non-obvious founders is that particular business, FIGS, was the first company in history to have two female co-founders go public. And when we think of success at TMV, we don’t just think about financial success and IRR and cash on cash return for our LPs, of course we think about that. But we also think who are we cheerleading and with whom do we want to go into business. I went to the story on the other side of the fence that we want to help and we measure non-obvious not just based on gender or race because I think that’s a little too precise in some ways. Sometimes, for us non-obvious, is around geography, I would say. I’m calling you from Athens, as you know, and in Greece, yesterday, I got together with a fund manager. I’m lucky enough to be an LP in her fund and she was talking about the average size of a seed round in Silicon Valley these days, hovering around 30 million. And I was scratching my head because at our fund, TMV, we don’t see that. We’re investing in Baltimore, Maryland, and in Austin, Texas and the average price for us to invest in the seed round is closer to 5 million or 6 million. And so, we actually can capture larger ownership of the pie early on and then develop a very close-knit relationship with these founders but might not be as networked in the Valley where there’s 30 VC funds to everyone that exist in Austin, Texas. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And so, yes, I think you’re right to say that it’s about inefficiencies in market but also just around — about being persistent and looking where others are not. RITHOLTZ: That’s quite intriguing. Your team is female-led. You have a portfolio of companies that’s about 65 percent women and people of color. Tell us how you go about finding these non-obvious startups? DARABI: It’s a good question. TMV celebrates its five-year anniversary this year. So the way we go about funding companies now is a bit different than the way we began five years ago. Now, it’s systematic. We collectively, as a partnership, there are many of us take over 50 calls a month with Tier 1 venture capital firms that have known us for a while like the work that we do, believe in our value-add because the partnership comprised of four more operators. So, we really roll up our sleeves to help. And when you’ve invested at this firms, enough time, they will write to you and say I found a company that’s a little too early for us, for XYZ reason, but it resonates and I think it might be for you. So we found some of our best deals that way. But other times, we found our deal flow through building our own communities. And so, when I first started visit as an EM, an emerging manager of a VC firm. And roughly 30 percent of LP capital goes to EM each year but that’s sort of an outsized percentage because when you think about the w-fix-solve (ph) addition capital, taking 1.3 billion of that pie, then you recognize the definition of emerging manager might need to change a bit. So, when I was starting as an EM, I recognize that the landscape wasn’t necessarily leveled. If you weren’t, what’s called the spinout, somebody that has spent a few years at a traditional established blue-chip firm, then it’s harder to develop and cultivate relationships with institutional LPs who will give you a shot even though the data absolutely points to there being a real opportunity in capturing lightning in a bottle if you find a right EM with the right idea in the right market conditions which is certainly what we’re in right now. And so, I decided to start a network specifically tailored around helping women fund managers, connecting one another and it began as a WhatsApp group and a weekly Google Meet that has now blown into something that requires a lot of dedicated time. And so we’re hiring an executive director for this group. They’re called Transact Global, 250 women ex-fund managers globally, from Hong Kong, to Luxembourg, to Venezuela, Canada, Nigeria, you name it. There are women fund managers in our group and we have one of the most active deal flow channels in the world. And so two of our TMV deals over the last year, a fintech combatting student debt and helping young Americans save for retirement at the same time, as an example, came from this WhatsApp deal flow channel. So, I think creating the community, being the change, so to speak, has been incredibly effective for us a proprietary deal flow mechanism. And then last but not least, I think that having some sort of media presence really has helped. And so, I’ve hosted a podcast and I’ve worked on building up what I think to be a fairly organic Twitter following over the years and we surprise ourselves by getting some really exceptional founders cold pitching us on LinkedIn and on Twitter because we make ourselves available as next gen EMs. So, that’s a sort of long-winded answer to your question. But it’s not the traditional means by any means. RITHOLTZ: To say the least. Are you — the companies you’re investing in, are they — and I’ll try and keep this simple for people who are not all that well-versed in the world of venture, is it seed stage, is it the A round, the B round? How far into their growth process do you put money in? DARABI: So it is a predominantly seed fund. We call our investments core investments. So, these are checks that average, 1 and 1.5 million. So for about 1.25 million, on average, we’re capturing 10-15% of a cap payable. And in this area, that’s called a seed round. It will probably be called a Series A 10 years ago. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And then we follow on through the Series A and it max around, I think, our pro rata at the B. So, our goal via Series B is to have, on average, 10% by the cap. And then we give ourselves a little bit of wiggle room with our modeling. We take mars and moonshot investments with smaller checks so we call these initial interest checks. And initial interest means I’m interested but your idea is still audacious, they won’t prove itself out for three or four years or to be very honest, we weren’t the first to get into this cap or you’re picking Sequoia over us, so we understand but let’s see if we can just promise you a bit of value add to edge our way into your business. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And oftentimes, when you speak as a former founder yourself with a high level of compassion and you promise with integrity that you’re going to work very hard for that company, they will increase the size of their round and they will carve out space for you. And so, we do those types of investments rarely, 10 times, in any given portfolio. But what’s interesting in looking back at some of our outliers from found one, it came from those initial interest checks. So that’s our model in a nutshell. We’re pretty transparent about it. What we like about this model is that it doesn’t make us tigers, we’re off the board by the B, so we’re still owning enough of the cap table to be a meaningful presence in the founder’s lives and in their business and it allows us to feel like we’re not spraying and praying. RITHOLTZ: Spraying and praying is an amusing term but I’m kind of intrigued by the fact that we use to call it smart money but you’re really describing it as value-added capital when a founder takes money from TMV, they’re getting more than just a check, they’re getting the involvement from entrepreneurs who have been through the process from startup to capital raise to exit, tell us a li bit about how that works its way into the deals you end up doing, who you look at, and what the sort of deal flow you see is like. DARABI: Well, years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a world-class advertiser and I was at his incredibly fancy office down in Wall Street, his ad agency. And he described to me with pride how he basically bartered his marketing services for one percent of a unicorn. And he was sort of showing off of it about how, from very little time and effort, a few months, he walked away with a relatively large portion of a business. And I thought, yes, that’s clever. But for the founder, they gave up too much of their business too soon. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And I came up with an idea that I floated by Marina back in the day where our original for TMV Fund I began with the slide marketing as the future of venture and venture is the future of marketing. Meaning, it’s a VC fund where the position itself more like an ad agency but rather than charging for its services, it’s go-to-market services. You offer them free of charge but then you were paid in equity and you could quantify the value that you were offering to these businesses. And back then, people laughed us even though all around New York City, ad agencies were really doing incredible work and benefiting from the startups in that ecosystem. And so, we sort of changed the positioning a bit. And now, we say to our LPs and to our founders, your both clients of our firm. So, we do think of ourselves as an agency. But one set of our marketplace, you have LPs and what they want is crystal clear. The value that they derive from us is through a community and connectivity and co-investment and that’s it. It’s pretty kind of dry. Call me up once a year where you have an exceptional opportunity. Let me invest alongside you. Invite me to dinners four times a year, give me some information and a point of view that I can’t get elsewhere. Thank you for your time. And I love that. It’s a great relationship to have with incredibly smart people. It’s cut and dry but it’s so different. What founders want is something more like family. They want a VC on their board that they can turn to during critical moments. Two a.m. on a Saturday is not an uncommon time for me to get a text message from a founder saying what do I do. So what they want is more like 24/7 services for a period of time. And they want to know when that relationship should start and finish. So it’s sort of the Montessori approach to venture. We’re going to tell them what we’re going to tell them. Tell them what they’re telling them. Tell them what we told them. We say to founders with a reverse pitch deck. So we pitch them as they’re pitching us. Here’s what we promise to deliver for you for the first — each of the 24 months of your infancy and then we promise you we’ll mostly get lost. You can come back to use when your business is growing if you want to do it tender and we’ll operate an SPV for you for you or if you simply want advice, we’re never going to ignore you but our specialty, our black belt, if you will, Barry, is in those first 24 months of your business, that go-to-market. And so, we staffed up TMV to include, well, it’s punching above our weight but the cofounder of an exceptionally successful consumer marketing business, a gross marketer, a recruiter who helps one of our portfolio companies hire 40 of their earliest employees. We have a PR woman. You’ve met Viyash (ph), she’s exceptional with whom, I don’t know, how we would function sometimes because she’s constantly writing and re-editing press releases for the founders with which we work. And then Anna, our copywriter who came from IAC and Sean, our creative director, used to be the design director for Rolling Stone, and I can go on and on. So, some firms called us a platform team but we call it the go-to-market team. And then we promise a set number of hours for ever company that we invest into. RITHOLTZ: That’s … DARABI: And then the results — go ahead. RITHOLTZ: No, that’s just — I’m completely fascinated by that. But I have to ask maybe this is an obvious question or maybe it’s not, so you — you sound very much like a non-traditional venture capital firm. DARABI: Yes. RITHOLTZ: Who are your limited partners, who are your clients, and what motivates them to be involved with TMV because it sounds so different than what has been a pretty standard model in the world of venture, one that’s been tremendous successful for the top-tier firms? DARABI: Our LP set is crafted with intention. And so, 50% of our investors are institutional. This concludes institutional-sized family offices and family offices in a multibillions. We work with three major banks, Fortune 500 banks. We work with a couple of corporate Fortune 500 as investors or LPs and a couple of fund to funds. So that’s really run of the mill. But 50 percent of our investors and that’s why I’m in Athens today are family offices, global family offices, that I think are reinventing with ventures like, to look like in the future because wealth has never been greater globally. There’s a trillion dollars of assets that are passing to the hands of one generation to the next and what’s super interesting to me, as a woman, is that historically, a lot of that asset transferred was from father to son, but actually, for the first time in history, over 50 percent, so 51% of those asset inheritors are actually women. And so, as my business partner could tell because she herself is a next gen, in prior generations, women were encouraged to go into the philanthropic or nonprofit side of the family business … RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And the sons were expected to take over the business or the family office and all of that is completely turned around in the last 10 years. And so, my anchor investor is actually a young woman. She’s under the age of 35. There’s a little bit of our firm that’s in the rocks because we’re not playing by the same rules that the establishment has played by. But certainly, we’re posturing ourselves to be able to grow in to a blue-chip firm which is why we want to maintain that balance, so 50 percent institutional and 50 percent, I would call it bespoke capital. And so, the LPs that are bespoke, we work at an Australian family office and Venezuelan family office and the Chilean family office and the Mexican family office and so on. For those family offices, we come to them, we invite them to events in New York City, we give them personalized introductions to our founders and we get on the phone with them. Whenever they’d like, we host Zooms. We call them the future of everything series. They can learn from us. And we get to know them as human beings and I think that there’s a reason why two thirds of our Fund I LPs converted over into Fund II because they like that level of access, it’s what the modern LP is really looking for. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk a little bit about some of the areas that you find intriguing. What sectors are really capturing your attention these days? What are you most excited about? DARABI: Well, Barry, I’m most excited about five categories for which we’ve been investing for quite some time, but they’re really being accelerated due to the 2020 pandemic and a looming recession. And so, we’re particularly fascinated by not just health care investing as has been called in the past but rather the care economy. I’m not a huge fan of the term femtech, it always sounds like fembot to me. But care as it pertains to women alone is a multitrillion dollar opportunity. And so, when we think of the care economy, we think of health care, pet care, elder care, community care, personal care as it pertains to young people, old people, men, women, children, we bifurcate and we look for interesting opportunities that don’t exist because they’ve been undercapitalized, undervalued for so long. Case in point, we were early investors Kindbody, a reproductive health care company focused on women who want to preserve their fertility because if you look at 2010 census data, you can see that the data has been there for some time that women, in particular, were delaying marriage and childbirth and there are a lot of world-famous economists who will tell you this, the global population will decline because we’re aging and we’re not necessarily having as many children as we would have in the past plus it’s expensive. And so, we saw that as investors as a really interesting opportunity and jumped on the chance to ask Gina Bartasi who’s incredible when she came to us with a way to make fertility preservation plus expenses. So she followed the B2C playbook and she started with the mobile clinic that helps women freeze their eggs extensively. That company has gone on to raise hundreds — pardon me — and that company is now valued in the hundreds of million and for us, it was as simple as following our intuition as women fund managers, we know what our peers are thinking about because we talk to them all the time and I think the fact that we’re bringing a new perspective to venture means that we’re also bringing a new perspective to what has previously been called femtech. We invest in financial inclusion. Everyone in the world that’s investing fintech, the self-directed financial mobile apps are always going to be capitalized especially in a post Robin Hood era but we’re specifically interested in the democratization of access to financial information and we’re specifically interested in student debt and alleviating student debt in America because not only is it going to be one of the greatest challenges our generation will have to overcome, but it’s also prohibiting us from living out the American dream, $1.7 trillion of student debt in America that needs to be alleviated. And then we’re interested in the future of work, and long have been, that certainly was very much accelerated during the pandemic but we’ve been investing in the 1099 and remote work for quite some time. And so, really proud to have been the first check into a company called Bravely which is an HR chatbot that helps employees inside of a company chat a anonymously with HR representatives outside of that company, that’s 1099. That issue is like DEI, an inclusion and upward mobility and culture setting and what to do when you’re all of a sudden working for home. So that’s an example of a future of work business. And then in the tech-enabled sustainable solutions category, it’s a mouthful, let’s call that sustainability, we are proud to have been early investors of a company called Ridwell, out of Seattle Washington, focused on not just private — privatized recycling but upcycling and reconnaissance. Where are our things going when we recycle them? For me, it always been a pretty big question. And so, Ridwell allows you to re and upcycle things that are hard to get rid of out of your home like children’s eyeglasses and paints and battery, single-use plastic. And it shows you where those things are going which I think is super cool and there’s good reason why it has one of the highest NPS scores, Net Promoter Scores, of any company I’ve ever worked with. People are craving this kind of modern solution. And last but not least, we invest in transportation and part because of the unfair advantage my partner, Marina, brings to TMV as she comes from a maritime family. And so, we can pile it, transportation technology, within her own ecosystem. That’s pretty great. But also, because we’re just fascinated by the fact that 90 percent of the world commodities move on ship and the biggest contributor to emissions in the world outside of corporate is coming from transportation. SO, if we can sort of figure out this industry, we can solve a lot of the problems that our generation are inheriting. Now, these categories might sound massive and we do consider ourselves a generalist firm but we stick to five-course sectors that we truly believe in and we give ourselves room to kick out a sector or to add a new one with any given new fund. For the most part, we haven’t needed to because this remain the categories that are not only most appealing to us as investors but I think paramount to our generation. RITHOLTZ: That’s really intriguing. Give us an example of moonshot or what you called earlier, a Mars shot technology or a company that can really be a gamechanger but may not pay off for quite a while. DARABI: We’ve just backed a company that is focusing on food science. Gosh, I can’t give away too much because they haven’t truly launched in the U.S. But maybe I’ll kind of allude to it. They use crushed produce, like, crush potato skins to make plastic but biodegrades. And so, it’s a Mars shot because it’s a materials business and it’s a food science business rolled off into both the CPG business and an enterprise business. This particular material can wrap itself around industrial pellets. Even though it’s audacious, it’s not really a Mars shot when you think about the way the world is headed. Everybody wants to figure out how do we consume less plastic and recycle plastic better. And so, if there are new materials out there that will not only disintegrate but also, in some ways, feed the environment, it will be a no-brainer and then if you add to the equation the fact that it could be maybe not less expensive but of comparable pricing to the alternative, I can’t think of a company in the world that wouldn’t switch to this solution. RITHOLTZ: Right. So this is plastic that you don’t throw away. You just toss in the garden and it becomes compost? DARABI: Yes, exactly. Exactly. It should help your garden grow. So, yes, so that’s what I would call a Mars shot in some ways. But in other ways, it’s just common sense, right? RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about your investment vehicles. You guys run, I want to make sure I get this right, two funds and three vehicles, is that right? DARABI: We have two funds. They’re both considered micro funds because they’re both under 100 million and then we operate in parallel for SPVs that are relatively evergreen and they serve as opportunistic investments to continue to double down on our winners. RITHOLTZ: SPV is special purpose investment … DARABI: Vehicles. Yes. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And the PE world, they’re called sidecars. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. So how do these gets structured? Does everything look very similar when you have a fund? How quickly do you deploy the capital and typically how long you locked for or investors locked up for? DARABI: Well investors are usually in private equity are VC funds locked up for 10 years. That’s not usual. We have shown liquidity faster, certainly, for Fund I. It’s well in the black and it’s only five years old less, four and a half years old. So, how do we make money? We charge standard fees, 2 on 20 is the rubric of it, we operate by. And then lesser fees for sidecars or direct investments. So that’s kind of how we stay on business. When you think about an emerging manager starting their first fund, management fees are certainly not so we can live a lavish rock and roll life on a $10 million fund with a two percent management fee, we’re talking about 200K for the entire business to operate. RITHOLTZ: Wow. DARABI: So Marina and I, not only anchored our first fund with their own capital but we didn’t pay ourselves for four years. It’s not glamorous. I mean, there’s some friends of mine that thing the venture capital life is glam and it is if you’re on Sand Hill Road. But if you’re an EM, it’s a lot more like a startup where you’re burning the midnight oil, you are bartering favors with your friends, and you are begging the smartest people you know to take a chance on you to invite you on to their cap table. But it somehow works out because we do put in that extra effort, I think, the metrics, certainly for Fund I have shown us that we’re in this for the long haul now. RITHOLTZ: So your fund 1 and Fund 2, are there any plans of launching Fund III? DARABI: Yes. I think that given the proof points between Fund I and Fund II and a conversation that my partner and I recently had, five years out, are we in this? Do we love this? We do. OK. This is our life’s work. So you can see larger and more demonstrable sized funds but not in an outsized way, not just because we can raise more capital now but because we want to build out a partnership and the kind of culture that we always dreamed of working for back when we were employees, so we have a very diverse set of colleagues with whom we couldn’t operate and we’ll be adding to the partnership in the next two or three years which is really exciting to say. So, yes, the TMV will be around for a while. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. I want to ask you the question I ask any venture capitalist that I interview. Tell us about your best and worst investments and what did you pass on that perhaps you wish you didn’t? DARABI: Gosh. The FOMO list is so long and so embarrassing. Let me start with what I passed on that I regret. Well, I don’t know she really would have invited me to invest, but certainly, I had a wonderful conversation a peer from high school, Katrina Lake, when she was in beta mode for Stitch Fix. I think she was still at HBS at the time or had just recently graduated from Harvard. When Katrina and I had coffee in Minneapolis were we went to high school and she was telling me about the Netflix for clothing that she was building and certainly I regret not really picking up on the clues that she was offering in that conversation. Stitch Fix had an incredible IPO and I’m a proud shareholder today. And similarly, when my friend for starting Cloudflare which luckily they did bring me in to pre-IPO and I’m grateful for that, but when they were starting Cloudflare, I really should have jumped on that moment or when my buddy Ryan Graves whom I still chat with pretty frequently was starting out Uber in beta with Travis and Garrett, that’s another opportunity that I definitely missed. I was in Ireland when the Series A term sheet assigned. So there’s such a long laundry list of namedropped, namedropped, missed, missed, missed. But in terms of what I’m proud of, I’d say far more. I don’t like Sophie’s Choice. I don’t like to cherry pick the certain investments to just brag about them. But we’ve talked about someone to call today, I’d rather kind of shine a light — look at my track record, right? There’s a large realized IRR that I’m very proud of. But more on the opportunity of the companies that we more recently backed that prevent damages (ph) of CRM for oncology patient that help them navigate through the most strenuous time of their life. And by doing so, get better access to health care. And we get to wrote that check a couple of months ago. But already, it’s becoming a company that I couldn’t be more excited about because if they execute the way I think Shirley and Victor will, that has the power to help so many people in a profound way, not just in the Silicon Valley cliché way of this could change the world but this could actually help people receive better care. So, yes, I’m proud of having been an early investor in the Caspers of the world. Certainly, we’re all getting better sleep. There’s no shame there. But I’m really excited now today at investing in financial inclusion in the care economy and so on. RITHOLTZ: And let’s talk a little bit about impactful companies. Is there any different when you’re making a seed stage investment in a potentially impactful company versus traditional startup investing? DARABI: Well, pre-seed and seed investing isn’t a science and it’s certainly not a science that anyone has perfected. There are people who are incredibly good at it because they have a combination of luck and access. But if you’re a disciplined investor in any asset class and I talk to my friends who run hedge funds and work for hedge funds about 10 bets that they take a day and I think that’s a lot trickier than what I do because our do due diligence process, on average, takes an entire quarter of the year. We’re not making that many investments each year. So even though it sounds sort of fruity, when you look at a Y Combinator Demo Day, Y Comb is the biggest accelerator in Silicon Valley and they produce over 300 companies, three or four times a year. When you look at the outsized valuations coming out of Y Comb, it’s easy to think that starting company is as simple as sort of downloading a company in a Box Excel and running with it. But from where we sit, we’re scorching the earth for really compelling ideas in areas that have yet to converge and we’re looking for businesses that may have never pitched the VC before. Maybe they’re not even seeking capital. Maybe it’s a company that isn’t so interested in raising a penny eventually because they don’t need to. They’re profitable from day one. Those are the companies that we find most exciting because as former operators, we know how to appeal to them and then we also know how to work with them. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. Before I get to my favorite question, let me just throw you’re a curveball, tell me a little bit about Business Schooled, the podcast you hosted for quite a while. DARABI: So, Synchrony, Sync, came to me a few years ago with a very compelling and exciting opportunity to host a podcast with them that allowed me a fortunate opportunity to travel the country and I went to just under a dozen cities to meet with founders who have persevered past their startup phase. And what I loved about the concept of business school is that the cities that I hosted were really focused on founders who didn’t have access to VC capital, they put money on credit card. So I took SBA loans or asked friends and family to give them starter capital and then they made their business work through trying times and when you pass the five-year mark for any business, I’m passing it right now for TMV, there’s a moment of reflection where you can say, wow, I did it. it’s incredibly difficult to be a startup founder, more than 60 percent of companies fail and probably for good reason. And so, yes, I hosted business school, Seasons 2 and 3 and potentially there will be more seasons and I’m very proud of the fact that at one point we cracked the top 20 business podcasts and people seem to be really entertained through these conversations with insightful founders who are vulnerable with me about what it was like to build their business and I like to think they were vulnerable because I have a good amount of compassion for the experience of being founder and also because I’m a New Yorker and I just like to talk. RITHOLTZ: You’re also a founder so there’s going to be some empathy that’s genuine. You went through what they’re going through. DARABI: Exactly. Exactly. And so, what you do, Barry, is quite similar. You’re — you host an exceptionally successful business podcast and you’re also an allocator. You know that it’s interesting to do both because I think that being an investor is a lot like being a journalist. In both professions, you won’t succeed unless you are constantly curious and if you are having conversations to listen more than you speak. DARABI: Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret since it’s so late in the podcast and fewer people will be hearing this, the people I invite on the show are essentially just conversations I want to have. If other people come along and listen, that’s fantastic. But honestly, it’s for an audience of one, namely me, the reason I wanted to have you on is because I’m intrigued by the world of venture and alternatives and impact. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people have been somewhat disappointed in the results of ESG investing and impact investing that for — it’s captured a lot more mindshare than it has captured capital although we’re seeing signs that’s starting to shift. But then the real question becomes, all right, so I’m investing less in oil companies and more in other companies that just happen to consume fossil fuels, what’s the genuine impact of my ESG investing? It feels like it’s sort of de minimis whereas what you do really feels like it has a major impact for people who are interested in having their capital make a positive difference. DARABI: Thank you for saying that. And I will return the compliment by saying that I really enjoyed getting to know you on our one key economist Zoom and I think that you’re right. I think that ESG investing, certainly in the public markets has had diminished returns historically because the definition has been so bizarre and so all over the place. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And I read incredible books from people like Antony Bugg-Levine who helps coin the term the Rockefeller Foundation, who originally coined the term you read about, mortgage, IRR and IRS plus measurement and it’s so hard to have just standardization of what it means to be an impact investor and so it can be bothered but we bother. Rather, we kind of come up with our own subjective point of view of the world and we say what does impact mean to us? Certainly, it means not investing in sin stocks but then those sin stocks have to begin somewhere, has to begin with an idea that somebody had once upon a time. And so, whether we are investing in the way the world should look from our perspective. And with that in mind, it doesn’t have to be impact by your grandpa’s VC, it can be impact from modern generation but simply things that behave differently. Some folks with their dollars. People often say, well, my ESG portfolio is underperforming. But then if you dig in to the specifics, are you investing in Tesla? It’s not a pretty good year. Did you back Beyond Meat? Had a great year. And so, when you kind of redefine the public market not by a sleeve and a bank’s version of a portfolio, but rather by company that you think are making demonstrable change in the world, then you can walk away, realizing had I only invested in these companies that are purpose driven, I would have had outsized returns and that’s what we’re trying to deliver on at TMV. That’s the promise. RITHOLTZ: Really, really very, very intriguing. I know I only have you for a few minutes so let’s jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of our guests starting with tell us what you’re streaming these days. Give us your favorite, Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any podcast that are keeping you entertained during the pandemic. DARABI: Well, my family has been binging on 100 Foot Wave on HBO Max which is the story of big wave surfer Garrett McNamara who is constantly surfing the world’s largest waves and I’m fascinated by people who have a mission that’s sort of bigger than success or fame but they’re driven by something and part of that something is curiosity and part of it is insanity. And so not only is it visually stunning to kind of watch these big wave surfers in Portugal, but it’s also a mind trip. What motivates them to get out of bed every day and potentially risk their lives doing something so dangerous and so bananas but also at the same time so brave and heroic. So, highly recommend. I am listening to too many podcasts. I listen to, I don’t know, a stream of things. I’m a Kara Swisher fan, Ezra Klein fan, so they’re both part of the “New York Times” these days. And of course, your podcast, Barry. RITHOLTZ: Well, thank you so much. Well, thank you so much. Let’s talk a little bit about who your early mentors were and who helped shape you career? DARABI: It’s going to sound ungrateful but I don’t think, in like a post lean in definition of the word, I ever truly had a mentor or a sponsor. Now, having said that, I’ve had people who really looked at for me and been incredibly gracious with their time and capital. And so, I would absolutely like to acknowledge that first and foremost. I think about how generous Adam Grant has been with his time and his investments for TMV in Fund I and Fund II and he’s a best-selling author and worked on highest-rated business school professor. So shout out to Adam, if he’s listening or Beth Comstock, the former Vice Chair of GE who has been instrumental in my career for about a decade and a half now. And she is also really leaning in to the TMV portfolio and has become a patient of Parsley Health, an early investment of ours and also an official adviser to the business. So, people like Adam and Beth certainly come to mind. But I don’t know, I just — I’m not sure mentors really exist outside of corporate America anymore and part of the reason why we started Transact Global is to kind of foster the concept of the peer mentor, people who are going through the same thing as you at the same time and allowing that hive mentality with an abundance mentality to catalyze people to kind of go further and faster. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about some of your favorite books and what you might reading right now. DARABI: OK, so in the biz book world, because I know your listeners as craving, I’m a big fan of “Negotiation Genius.” I took a crash course with one of the authors, Max Bazerman at the Kennedy School and it was illuminating. I mean, he’s one of the most captivating professors I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing lecture and this book has really helped me understand the concept of the ZOPA, the Zone of Possible Agreement, and how to really negotiate well. And then for Adam whom I just referenced, of all of his incredible books, my favorite is Give and Take because I try to operate with that approach of business. Give more than you take and maybe in the short term, you’ll feel depleted but in the long term, karma pays off. But mostly, Barry, I read fiction. I think the most interesting people in the world or at least the most entertaining at dinner parties are all avoid readers of fiction and history. So I recently reread, for instance, all of my favorite short stories from college, from Dostoyevsky’s “A Gentle Creature” to “Drown” Junot Diaz. “Passing” by Nella Larsen, “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” by Fitzgerald. Those are some of my very favorite stories of all time. And my retirement dream is to write a book of short stories. RITHOLTZ: Really, really quite intriguing. Are they all available in a single collection or these just, going back to your favorites and just plowing through them for fun? DARABI: Those are just going back to my favorites. I try to re-read “Passing” every few years which is somehow seems to be more and more relevant as I get older and Junot Diaz has become so incredibly famous when I first read “Drown” about 20 years ago which is an original collection of short stories that broadened my perspective of why it’s important to think about a broader definition of America, I guess. And, yes, no, that’s just — that was just sort of off the top of my head as the offering of a few stories that I really love, no collection. RITHOLTZ: That’s a good collection. And we’re down to our final two questions. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who was interested in a career in either venture capital or entrepreneurship? DARABI: Venture capital or entrepreneurship. Well, I would say, learn as early as possible how to trust your gut. So, this could mean a myriad of things. As an entrepreneur, it could mean under the halo effect of an institution, university or high school or maybe having a comfortable day job, tinker with ideas, get feedback on that idea, don’t be afraid of looking or sounding dumb and build that peer network that I described. People who are rooting you on and are also insatiably curious about wonky things. And I would say that for venture capital, similar play on the same theme, but whether it’s putting small amounts of money into new concept, blockchain investing, or whether it’s meeting with entrepreneurs and saying maybe I only have $3,000 save up but I believe in you enough to bet amongst friends in Brooklyn on your concept if you’ll have me as an investor. So, play with your own money because what it’s really teaching you in return is how to follow instincts and to base pattern recognition off your own judgement. And if you do that early on, overtime, these all become datapoints that you can point to and these are lessons that you can glean while not taking the risk of portfolio management. So, I guess the real advice to your listeners is more action, please. RITHOLTZ: Really very, very intriguing. And our final question, what do you know about the world of venture investing today that you wish you knew 15 or 20 years ago when you first getting started? DARABI: Twenty years ago, I was a bit of a Pollyanna and I thought every wonderful idea that simply is built by smart people and has timed the market correctly will work out. And I will say that I’m slightly more jaded today because of the capital structure that is systematically allowing the biggest firms in the world to kind of eat up a generous portion of, let’s call it the LP pie, which leaves less capital available to the young upstart VC firms, and of course I’m biased because I run one, that are taking outsized risks on those non-obvious ideas that we referenced. And so, what I wish for the future is that institutional capital kind of reprioritizes what it’s looking for. And in addition to having a bottom line of reliable and demonstrable return on any given investment, there are new standards put into play saying we want to make sure that a portion of our portfolio goes to diverse managers. Because in turn, we recognize that they are three times more likely to invest in diverse founders or we believe in impact investing can be broader than the ESG definitely of a decade ago, so we’re coming up with our own way to measure on sustainability or what impact means to us. And if they go through those exercises which I know is hard because, certainly, I’m not trying to add work to anyone’s plate, I do think that the results will more than make up for it. RITHOLTZ: Quite intriguing. Thank you, Soraya, for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with Soraya Darabi who is the Co-Founder and General Partner at TMV Investments. If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure and check out any of the prior 376 conversations we’ve had before. You can find those at iTunes or Spotify, wherever you buy your favorite podcast. We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at MIB You can sign up for my daily reads at Check out my weekly column at Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack team that helps me put these conversations together each week. Tim Harrow is my audio engineer. Paris Walt (ph) is my producer. Atika Valbrun is our project manager, Michael Batnick is my head of research. I’m Barry Ritholtz, you’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~     The post Transcript: Soraya Darabi appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureOct 20th, 2021

The daughter of the Russian journalist who won the Nobel Peace Prize told us why the big win is really an honor for their dad"s "dead colleagues"

Finley Muratova is the daughter of journalist and Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov. They spoke to Insider about their dad's historic win and why they've decided to be a reporter as well. Finley Muratova, pictured here at age 10 taking a selfie with their father's camera. Photo courtesy of Finley Muratova The daughter of Dmitry Muratov, one of the winners of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, is studying to be a journalist at New York University. Finley Muratova, 21, sees the honor as a win for the Russian newspaper their father leads, as well as for the journalists killed protecting the freedom of the press. Among those was investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in 2006. Muratova knew her as a child, and they said she's inspired their career. Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov phoned his daughter Finley Muratova last Friday after he'd won the Nobel Peace Prize - but because Muratova is a college student in New York, the call reached them at 6 a.m while they were still in bed."I got scared that something bad must have happened," Muratova, 21, told Insider. "And then he told me the news, and I was quite dumbfounded in a good way."Muratova is used to feeling dread when family calls from Russia. Their dad may be one of the biggest names in the world of reporting after co-winning the Peace Prize with Filipina journalist Maria Ressa, but he also leads a newsroom in a country where watchdog groups say 23 journalists have been killed in the last 10 years.This harsh reality has been part of Muratova's life since they were a child, when their dad would share tales from the life of a slain reporter instead of bedtime stories. And now as a journalist in training completing their last year of school at New York University, Muratova said that the sacrifices made by champions of free speech are what drove them to follow in their father's footsteps."I just always knew that I wanted to be a journalist, because of my dad and because of the people that I grew up around," they said in a Zoom interview with Insider. Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, talks to the media. Sergei Bobylev/TASS via Reuters As a child, Muratova would run down the hallways of Novaya Gazeta, the Russian newspaper that Muratov co-founded in 1993 (he currently serves as its editor-in-chief). The Nobel Committee described the outlet as "the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power."One of its most influential staffers was Anna Politkovskaya, an internationally renowned investigative reporter who spoke out against human-rights abuses. She was shot and killed in her Moscow apartment building in 2006."When Anna was murdered, life changed a lot," said Muratova, who was 6 years old at the time. "I don't think it was ever particularly safe for my father or his colleagues. But it felt like life changed a lot - for me at least."Though Muratova doesn't remember their childhood interactions with Politkovskaya, they said the slain reporter has been a major influence in their career as a burgeoning reporter. Muratova has written about Politkovskaya for The Nation, and they've translated the subtitles in a documentary released by Novaya Gazeta on Oct. 6, a day before the statute of limitations on the murder's investigation was set to expire. (The Nobel Committee announced the Peace Prize on Oct. 8.)"I think that for a solid while, I felt like I was losing hope in journalism or human-rights defenses, or in goodness, for that matter," Muratova said. "And the way she never gave up was something that always made me feel like there has to be a reason to not give up. And I think that that's why writing about her was the path I took."In their own work as a journalist in the U.S., Muratova reports on Title IX cases and investigates the ways that the Department of Education has failed survivors of sexual violence.Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment and campus violence, at educational institutions that receive federal funding.Muratova said they found their current calling when NYU rehired a professor it had previously suspended after finding she had sexually harassed a student. Muratova, who describes themselves as someone who rarely gets angry, was furious.As a writer for Washington Square News, the independent student-run newspaper at NYU, Muratova wrote an opinion piece that revealed that they had been sexually assaulted as a teenager.Going public with their experience was not Muratova's original intent for the piece, but the admission allowed others to reach out to them directly."I started receiving a cascade of emails from people who went for Title IX at NYU [and felt] let down by the school, either by incompetence or by the school's self-preservation instinct," Muratova said. "My father taught me the sheer importance of being humane and available to people who might need me."The show of support pushed them to dig deeper into the issue, and it's just one of many topics they hope to continue covering after graduating this coming spring."I hope I can do justice to the people who choose to trust me with their stories," Muratova said. "I hope I have a strong enough moral compass that I can keep holding on to that hope no matter where I go."For now, Muratova is taking time to reflect on their dad's historic win, which they're quick to emphasize is really a win for the newsroom he runs. (Muratov has pledged to donate the Nobel's cash winnings to charities and special causes, including a prize named after Politkovskaya.)Both Muratova and their dad have said the Nobel is a symbolic honor for murdered reporters like Politkovskaya."It's an award handed to his dead colleagues. And I know that he said that, but I also solemnly believe that I don't think it's just his by any means," Muratova said. "I hope that it shows the international community that there's a need to pay attention to what's happening to the free media in Russia. So for now, I would say fingers crossed that it brings attention to the issue. And then we'll see where we move from there."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 13th, 2021