Fintech Focus For October 14, 2021

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Category: blogSource: benzingaOct 13th, 2021

Will Fee Income Growth Buoy Fifth Third"s (FITB) Q3 Earnings?

While efforts to curb expenses and grow fee income are likely to have aided Fifth Third's (FITB) Q3 earnings, uncertainty surrounding regulatory and economic backdrop have affected lending activity. Fifth Third Bancorp FITB is scheduled to report third-quarter 2021 results on Oct 19, before the opening bell. The company’s earnings and revenues are expected to have risen year over year.In the last reported quarter, the bank’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate.The company’s performance displays a solid capital position along with rising revenues, aided by fee income. Also, benefits from credit losses were tailwinds. However, marginally higher expenses and muted loan growth played spoilsports.The Cincinnati, OH-based lender has an impressive earnings surprise history. It topped on earnings in all of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 29.9%.Fifth Third Bancorp Price and EPS Surprise Fifth Third Bancorp price-eps-surprise | Fifth Third Bancorp QuoteHere are the factors that are expected to have influenced the company’s quarterly performance:Net Interest Income (NII):  In the third quarter, the yield curve spread widened, with the 10-year Treasury yield rising significantly at the quarter end, thereby, likely propelling NII. Overall growth in loans was moderate in the third quarter. Per the Fed’s latest data, real estate, consumer loan, auto loan and card loan portfolio growth has supported the lending business. Additionally, the deposit balance is likely to have been stable or grown modestly, supported by government stimulus. This too is likely to have aided NII.The consensus mark of $1.19 billion for NII indicates an improvement from $1.17 billion reported a year ago. Management expects interest income to rise $7 million in the third quarter.Conversely, commercial and industrial loan portfolio remained weak as the low-interest rate environment has made borrowing through other avenues like capital markets more attractive. Hence, Fifth Third’s interest income is expected to have received lesser support from this avenue in the quarter under review, as 62% of its loan portfolio consists of commercial loans.High levels of pay downs and payoffs as well as uncertainty surrounding tax, regulatory and economic backdrop have also likely been dampeners for a recovery in the lending space. Management expects average loans and leases to be down 1%, and NII to be down 1-2% sequentially.Non-Interest Revenues: The company has been focusing to grow and diversify its fee revenues over the past few quarters on the back of acquisitions and partnerships to support commercial verticals. This is likely to have enhanced its fee-based abilities and offset some interest-rate headwinds in the third quarter.Digital adoption and enhanced capital market capabilities have likely bumped up its presence in league table rankings and improved capital market fees.Deposit service charges should have continued to normalize as the pandemic-related concessions continue to retract. The consensus estimate of $152 million for the same suggests an improvement from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure of $144 million.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for non-interest income is pegged at $782 million, suggesting an 8.3% year-over-year increase.The company expects non-interest income to increase 2% on a sequential basis.This excludes pre-tax gain of approximately $60 million associated with the sale of the company’s HSA business, which it expected to close in the third quarter.However, mortgage originations, both purchase and refinancing, continued to normalize in the third quarter. Mortgage banking revenues have been facing tough comps from the origination boom in 2020, which was driven by then ultra-low mortgage rates.In the quarter under review, mortgage rates increased sequentially. Mortgage origination activities are estimated to have decreased dramatically, with rising rates discouraging refinancing activity. Nonetheless, given the strong housing market conditions, homebuying activities continued in the quarter under review. Hence, purchase originations are likely to have offered some relief. The factors are expected to have limited Fifth Third’s mortgage banking fee growth in the to-be-reported quarter.Expenses: Fifth Third’s ongoing investments in areas like technology are expected to have escalated expenses. Nonetheless, the company is anticipated to have been successful in offsetting the rise through branch network optimization, continued business and corporate real estate rationalization efforts.On a sequential basis, management expects non-interest expenses to remain flat.Share Buyback Activities: In third-quarter 2021, Fifth Third repurchased 14.5 million shares per a SEC filing as of Sep 28, 2021. Such share repurchases are expected to have propelled the company’s bottom-line growth.Key Developments During the QuarterIn early August, Fifth Third completed the buyout of Provide, a fintech company that specializes in handling lending and banking for healthcare providers. The acquisition advances Fifth Third’s efforts in the digital innovation front and expands its focus on the healthcare sector by providing a digital platform for healthcare practices, and catering to the lending and banking needs of retail healthcare providers.The transaction is a strategic fit as it will enable Fifth Third to offer new clients its range of banking solutions and will facilitate it to capture growth opportunities. Moreover, it offers scope to diversify and increase fee revenues.Let’s have a look at what our quantitative model predicts:Fifth Third has the right combination of the two key ingredients — a positive Earnings ESP and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or higher — for increasing the odds of an earnings beat.You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.Earnings ESP: The Earnings ESP for Fifth Third is +0.46%.Zacks Rank: Fifth Third currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy).Prior to the third-quarter earnings release, Fifth Third’s quarterly activities were adequate to gain adequate analyst confidence. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for third-quarter earnings has been revised marginally upward to 91 cents over the past week. It suggests a 7.1% year-over-year increase.The consensus mark for third-quarter revenues is pegged at $2 billion, indicating a year-over-year rise of 5.3%.Other Bank Stocks Worth a LookHere are a few other bank stocks that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these too have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this time around:KeyCorp KEY is slated to report quarterly results on Oct 21. The company has an Earnings ESP of +1.43% and a Zacks Rank of 3, currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.BankUnited, Inc. BKU is scheduled to release third-quarter results on Oct 21. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 and has an Earnings ESP of +1.90%.M&T Bank Corporation MTB is slated to report quarterly results on oct 20. The company has an Earnings ESP of +1.89% and a Zacks Rank of 3, currently. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB): Free Stock Analysis Report M&T Bank Corporation (MTB): Free Stock Analysis Report KeyCorp (KEY): Free Stock Analysis Report BankUnited, Inc. (BKU): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

FEMSA (FMX) Looks Prim on Distribution Business Expansion

FEMSA (FMX) is poised for growth on its focus on creating a national distribution platform in the United States through the expansion of footprint in the specialized distribution industry. Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A.B. de C.V. FMX, alias FEMSA, is witnessing momentum, owing to improved consumption patterns and strong business momentum, resulting from the easing of restrictions across most markets. Its focus on offering customers more options to make contactless purchases by intensifying digital and technology-driven initiatives across operations also bodes well. Additionally, its efforts to create a national distribution platform in the United States through the expansion of footprint in the specialized distribution industry positions it for growth in the long term.However, we cannot ignore the headwinds arising from supply-chain disruptions and the rise in COVID-19 Delta cases in many markets. The uneven trends across markets are likely to continue hurting the company’s earnings. Escalating industry-wide freight costs and an increase in other input costs are headwinds impacting the company.Factors Likely to Support GrowthFEMSA has exposure in various industries, including beverage, beer and retail, which gives it an edge over its competitors. The company participates in the beverage industry through Coca-Cola FEMSA KOF, which is the world’s largest franchise bottler for Coca-Cola KO products. In the beer industry, it enjoys a notable position, with its 14.76% stake in Heineken HEINY, a leading brewer with operations in 70 countries.The company’s share in the retail space relates to the operation of various small-format store chains, including OXXO, through its FEMSA Comercio subsidiary. Apart from these, FEMSA provides logistics, point-of-sale refrigeration solutions, and plastic solutions to its business units and third-party clients through its FEMSA Strategic Businesses subsidiary.We are convinced of FEMSA’s efforts to expand its presence in the specialized distribution industry. The company recently took a leap in the expansion of its specialized distribution business in the United States. Envoy Solutions, which is FEMSA’s specialized distribution subsidiary in the United States, entered a deal to acquire the Philadelphia, PA-based Penn Jersey Paper Co. The acquisition of Penn Jersey will bolster FEMSA’s distribution presence in the East Coast, including the Philadelphia metro area and New York City. Penn Jersey generated annual revenues of more than $200 million as of June 2021. FEMSA expects to seal the deal in third-quarter 2021 after the customary closing conditions are satisfied.Earlier, the company agreed to acquire Maryland-based Daycon Products Co., which will fortify its specialized distribution presence on the East Coast of the United States, including Washington DC and Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It also announced the acquisition of two independent specialized distribution businesses — Spartanburg, SC-based Southeastern Paper Group, Inc., and Wichita, Kansas-based Southwest Paper Company, Inc. The companies together generated annual revenues of nearly $380 million as of September 2020.The company’s venture in the specialized distribution industry relates to its plan of investing in adjacent businesses, which can leverage capabilities across different markets, providing an opportunity for attractive growth and risk-adjusted returns. With the presence of its OXXO business and other retail operations, the company has become an expert in the organization and management of supply chains and distribution systems.FEMSA serves large numbers of businesses and retail customers through millions of interactions in different industries. The recent transactions are likely to complement its investment in WAXIE Sanitary Supply and North American Corporation in March 2020. This marked the company’s entry into the U.S. specialized distribution industry, which covers a wide variety of sectors, including fresh and frozen products, decoration, DIY, office supplies, furniture, and stock clearance.The company’s Coca-Cola FEMSA is leading the way with its omni-channel business, while FEMSA Comercio is progressing with the adoption of digital initiatives. Within its OXXO store chains, the company is on track with investment in digital offerings, loyalty programs and fintech platforms to evolve stronger after the pandemic and over the long term. It has also been benefiting from its growth via acquisition strategy.In second-quarter 2021, FEMSA witnessed improved trends across its business units and markets, owing to the recovery in consumption as consumers returned to stores with the lifting of mobility bans, which aided top-line growth. The company witnessed an increased demand for all products categories, including thirst, hunger and the occasional treat, which aided growth across all segments.Few Headwinds to CounterDespite the strong results, FEMSA reported net majority earnings per ADS of 43 cents (Ps. 86 cents per FEMSA unit) in second-quarter 2021, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The lower-than-expected earnings per ADS can be attributed to uneven trends across markets despite strong top-line growth and improved margins.Though the improvement was not linear across markets or segments, the company seems to be well-positioned compared with the prior-year quarter in all its units and also better than second-quarter 2019 in some units. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report CocaCola Company The (KO): Free Stock Analysis Report Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A.B. de C.V. (FMX): Free Stock Analysis Report Coca Cola Femsa S.A.B. de C.V. (KOF): Free Stock Analysis Report Heineken NV (HEINY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 12th, 2021

Is Fintech Turning Green?

Fintech is one of the fastest-growing tech sectors. Sustainability is one of the most urgent challenges of modern times. Are the two related? Should they be? Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more BX3 recently spoke with Pete Blackshaw, CEO of Cintrifuse, about how Fintech will be shaped by climate change. Cintrifuse, a startup […] Fintech is one of the fastest-growing tech sectors. Sustainability is one of the most urgent challenges of modern times. Are the two related? Should they be? .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 Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more BX3 recently spoke with Pete Blackshaw, CEO of Cintrifuse, about how Fintech will be shaped by climate change. Cintrifuse, a startup hub with more than $90 million in venture capital invested and more than 600 startups in its pipeline aims to make Greater Cincinnati the top tech startup hub in the midwest and among the most attractive innovation hubs in the nation. For Blackshaw, the question of Fintech’s role in mitigating climate change has been top of mind for him recently especially as next month Cintrifuse is hosting a FinTech pitch competition featuring over $75,000 in prizes to showcase the most innovative FinTech startups of tomorrow, including those focused on environmental impact. He has come to the conclusion that the greening of Fintech will be among one of the most important transitions the industry will face over the next decade. Companies are prioritizing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) more than ever before. Consider the data: Bank of America reports ESG assets swelled to a record $329 billion in July, more than doubling year over year. Bloomberg Intelligence predicts Global ESG assets will exceed $53 trillion by 2025. And recently, financial services leader Mastercard announced the launch of a Sustainability Innovation Lab, which will spearhead the further development of the company’s portfolio of environmentally conscious digital products and solutions. “Fostering innovative solutions with practical applications is urgently needed to achieve global climate change goals,” said Kristina Kloberdanz, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mastercard, in a press release. The Lab will focus on ways to empower businesses and consumers to transform how they produce, distribute and purchase products and services, ensuring both people and the planet can thrive as the global economy rapidly digitizes. Other major banks like Barclays are setting bold “net zero” ambitions, putting aside over $100 billion of financing for green activity that supports low-carbon transition, including for renewables, energy efficiency and sustainable transport. “Amidst this global urgency to address climate change, what bold territory might FinTech entrepreneurs tackle with so-called “Green Fintech” — the intersection of climate, finance, and digital technology?” asked Blackshaw. Green Fintech is a huge tent in which to drive solutions in both B2B and B2C environments. The possibilities are manifold, and exciting to think about; including: Consumer-facing shopper apps that measure the carbon footprint of products Blockchain applications in sustainability to drive radical transparency Gamification of transactions, green incentives, and green habits B2B carbon measurements and analytics Green digital wallets and mobile payments Carbon credits for sustainable behavior Home energy bills translated into habit-shifting behavior Insurance products that reward or decrease premiums based on personal carbon footprints A wave of “Green Trust marks for online shopping” Sustainable eCommerce Transactions and Connections Blockchain - The Mother of All Green Tech We can’t talk about Green Fintech without also mentioning the mother of all green fintech technologies: blockchain. “I received my first exposure to this while at Nestle when we used blockchain to vet supply chain sustainability standards,” says Blackshaw. Blockchain is a vital enabler in tracking the connected world of carbon emissions and energy consumption and overall supply chain. One interesting example of a blockchain-based company in the ESG space is YvesBlue, which has created a platform for investors that pulls together the disparate and growing number of ESG data sources, and presents a consolidated view of the impact characteristics of the companies in a portfolio. The company's platform offers sector-specific metrics, streamlined onboarding, consolidated dashboard, tailored reporting, carbon budget insights, and news-based analysis, providing investment companies and institutions with a clear picture of their portfolio health and associated risks. Another,, which is part of the Cintrifuse Fund Network, helps businesses prove their ethical and sustainable practices, billing itself as ‘The World's First Blockchain Built to be a Global Impact Monetization Engine’. The company's technology offers a novel blockchain that empowers businesses to prove and monetize ethical and sustainable practices, enabling businesses to transform the impact into an asset. Measurements & Reporting 2020 is also a historic year both for the energy transition and for the flow of capital which finances decarbonization. Nossa Data, an alumnus of the 2021 New York Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars is streamlining the ESG world for corporations, simplifying all parts of their long and complex reporting journey. Nossa Data provides companies with a platform with simple ESG reporting templates, data collection, workflow optimization, and robust peer and investor analytics. Patch is using the smart application of APIs to help digital banks calculate carbon footprints and identify offset projects to programmatically remove carbon from their operations. Growing Momentum for Green FinTech While the upcoming Cintrifuse Pitch competition is looking for Green Fintech ideas (among many other Fintech topics such as Data & Privacy, Supply Chain, and Increasing Access) other events are 100 percent dedicated to the issue. Just recently, New Energy Nexus announced a Climate Fintech: Cards & Payments Challenge (C&P Challenge) to catalyze innovation across the financial sector to address climate change. The program is supported by Barclays US Consumer Bank; Rise, created by Barclays; Mastercard; Doconomy; and Patch. The evidence is clear: the financial technology sector has an opportunity to enable radical changes in business and society at large that can immediately make an impact on carbon emissions and contribute to the health of our planet. The movement is underway, and we’ll only continue to see the greening of Fintech, as the sector grows more and more focused on ESG. “Tackling climate change is an essential component of the global sustainability agenda and one in which financial services can make an important contribution,” says Blackshaw. Additional Resources and Articles: What is Climate Tech by New Energy Nexus Climate FinTech by Barclay's Rise Doconomy Impact Calculator by Doconomy Updated on Oct 1, 2021, 1:11 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 1st, 2021

Two Facebook whistleblowers have publicly attacked the company this year. Here"s how their claims overlap.

Speaking to Insider, Sophie Zhang said although she and Frances Haugen saw completely different sides of Facebook, Haugen's testimony felt familiar. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Drew Angerer/Getty Images Two Facebook whistleblowers, Sophie Zhang and Frances Haugen, have publicly criticised the company in 2021. Zhang told Insider she sees a common link between their criticisms of the company - profit. Both whistleblowers say Facebook under-resources countries it doesn't consider important. Facebook has been rocked by a public relations nightmare after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked internal documents to The Wall Street Journal before appearing in front of Congress to publicly denounce the company.Haugen isn't the only Facebook whistleblower to emerge this year. Former data scientist Sophie Zhang went public with her criticism of the company in April 2021. This came after she posted an internal memo in September 2020 after she was fired for "poor performance," saying she felt like she had blood on her hands.Haugen worked inside Facebook's civic integrity team, focusing on elections. Zhang was part of its authenticity team, where she identified networks of fake accounts being created by authoritarian regimes around the world posing as their own citizens.Speaking to Insider, Zhang said although she and Haugen saw completely different sides of the company, Haugen's testimony felt familiar."There is basically no overlap between any of our details. What overlaps is our overall message," she said.Haugen told Congress Facebook routinely places "profit before people" - a claim the company denies."I think it's important to remember that ultimately Facebook is a company whose goal is to make money. We don't expect Philip Morris Tobacco to have a division that reimburses people and agencies for lung cancer treatment," Zhang told Insider."We have absolutely no commercial incentive, no moral incentive, no company-wide incentive to do anything other than to try to give the maximum number of people as much of a positive experience as possible on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson told Insider. Former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen arrives to testify before a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. Drew Angerer/Pool via AP A linking detail between Haugen and Zhang's criticisms of Facebook was the allegation that Facebook under-resources its work in countries it doesn't think will get much attention.Zhang told The Guardian in April she repeatedly tried to get the company to act against authoritarian governments, which were engineering fake engagement on the platform.She was successful in some cases, but an interaction with the company's VP of Integrity Guy Rosen showed Zhang was fighting an uphill battle trying to get the company to act in countries that were either not Western or not the focus of Western media attention. These countries included Russia and Iran, for example."I get that the US/Western Europe/etc is important, but for a company with effectively unlimited resources, I don't understand why this cannot get on the roadmap for anyone," Zhang told Rosen in private conversation, per The Guardian's report."I wish resources were unlimited," replied Rosen.Haugen said during her testimony that Facebook's moderation of hate speech in non-English speaking countries was severely underresourced, partly because the company does not employ enough native-speakers for the countries in which it operates."In the case of Ethiopia, there are 100 million people and six languages. Facebook only supports two of those languages for integrity systems," Haugen told Congress, adding that Facebook's lack of action in countries like it is: "literally fanning ethnic violence."Insider asked Zhang whether she thinks Facebook ignoring countries is an overarching problem at the company."I think there are many overarching problems at the company, this is one of them ... What I would call the overarching problem fundamentally is the fact that Facebook is a company whose goal is to make money and therefore has no incentive to fix things and not lose sleep about it unless it affects the company's ability to make money," she said.Facebook's spokesperson said: "We have invested $13 billion and have 40,000 people working on the safety and security on our platform, including 15,000 people who review content in more than 50 languages working in more than 20 locations all across the world to support our community... Our track record shows that we crack down on abuse outside the US with the same intensity that we apply in the US."They added that Ethiopia is a "company priority" and that Facebook has "partnered extensively with international and local experts to better understand and mitigate the biggest risks on the platform."Haugen told Congress she wasn't in favour of breaking up Facebook, and Zhang told Insider she was "neutral" on the issue - but emphasized that she thinks it would negatively impact integrity efforts on Facebook and its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp."I am suggesting some regulation to require companies to work with each other and work on issues that transcend the problems between the companies because they have no incentive to," said Zhang.Zhang is due to give testimony to the UK parliament on Monday and said that she gave evidence to a European committee earlier this year. Although she told CNN she is willing to testify before Congress, Zhang told Insider she has not been contacted by US lawmakers.Haugen is due to appear before Facebook's independent Oversight Board, and to give evidence to the UK parliament on October 25. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider39 min. ago

Leader Of California"s Largest Labor Union Quits After Tax, Embezzlement Charges

Leader Of California's Largest Labor Union Quits After Tax, Embezzlement Charges Authored by Matthew Vadum via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The executive director of California’s largest labor union has resigned from her post after the state charged her and her husband with embezzlement, tax fraud, perjury, and failure to pay unemployment insurance taxes. Then-Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California Executive Director Alma Hernandez and her husband, Jose Moscoso, were charged in a seven-page felony complaint filed with the Sacramento County Superior Court earlier this month. Hernandez had held the position since 2016. The charges, which came about as a result of a multiagency investigation led by California’s Tax Recovery in the Underground Economy Task Force, were made public this week by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Democrat. SEIU represents more than 700,000 workers across California. Hernandez campaigned to defeat the September recall effort against Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. Her organization reportedly donated upward of $6 million to the anti-recall campaign. Newsom easily won the vote. “The union is also a major player in the Capitol, pushing for policies such as a $15 minimum wage,” The Sacramento Bee reported. “It represents local government employees, state workers, in-home caregivers, lecturers, janitors, and health and care professionals, among others.” In announcing the criminal proceeding on Oct. 13, Bonta defended the role of labor unions. “Labor unions are an integral part of what makes California strong. Unions are working people standing together to demand fair wages, quality healthcare, a safe work environment, and the ability to retire with dignity,” he said in a statement. “Working people deserve leaders they can depend on to help them achieve these goals at the bargaining table and through political advocacy, but also leaders they can trust. When there is reason to believe trust has been broken and crimes have been committed, we have an ethical duty to investigate—we owe that to the people of California.” The California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation began probing the married couple’s finances after the Fair Political Practices Commission alleged following an investigation that Hernandez had embezzled $4,500 from an SEIU California-sponsored political action committee, or PAC. It’s also alleged that she declared on a form that the PAC paid $11,700 to her husband for food vendor services that she knew hadn’t been provided. The California Franchise Tax Board alleges that Hernandez and Moscoso underreported their income by $1.4 million from 2014 to 2019. The Employment Development Department also claims that Moscoso’s air duct cleaning business failed to report and remit taxes on employees’ wages from 2017 to 2020 and that he paid employees under the table. The complaint also included a so-called white-collar crime enhancement that would force the couple to serve time in state prison if convicted. Family spokesperson Mari Hernandez told The Sacramento Bee that Hernandez quit her job so that she could focus on “legal issues facing her family.” “Those who know her know she has devoted her entire working life to the cause of justice and dignity for working people, especially those without power, privilege, or papers,” she said. Timothy Snowball, California litigator for the Freedom Foundation, which has been critical of public-sector unions, said malfeasance in labor unions is commonplace. Timothy Snowball, California litigator for Freedom Foundation (courtesy Timothy Snowball) “This kind of corruption at the highest echelons of leadership of SEIU California or any other union,” comes as no surprise “unfortunately,” according to Snowball. “We’ve been documenting and spending time for years explaining to public employees about this type of corruption,” he told The Epoch Times. “So the way this works is public employees show up at their jobs the first day, and like many jobs, you’re handed a pile of paperwork to fill out.” That paperwork typically contains union membership cards, according to Snowball. “A lot of times they don’t even explain what these cards are,” he said. “Sometimes, they’ll send in union representatives to strongarm people into signing these things. They find them, and then they have money taken out every paycheck to unions like SEIU California, who then take that money and spend it on political causes that those members very well may oppose. “And when people find out about this, they go, ‘Oh, my gosh. I had no idea you’re going to be spending this on fighting the recall or anything else. And hey, I don’t want my money spent that way.’ And the union winds up saying, ‘Sorry, you signed this card. You didn’t read the fine print, and now you’re out luck.’ And it’s absolutely outrageous.” Steve Smith, a spokesman for the California Labor Federation, implied that criticism now being leveled at SEIU wasn’t sincere. These charges “provide fuel” to union opponents, Smith told The Sacramento Bee, but stated that every union leader in the state “takes the responsibility of being a good steward of members’ funds very seriously.” “The way we fight back against politically motivated attacks is by continuing to show what a strong, unified labor movement accomplishes for working people,” he said. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 20:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge9 hr. 39 min. ago

Just How Big Is China"s Property Sector, And Two Key Questions On Policy And Tail Risks

Just How Big Is China's Property Sector, And Two Key Questions On Policy And Tail Risks While the broader US stock market was giddily melting up in the past week, things in China were going from bad to worse with Evergrande set to officially be in default on Oct 23 when the grace period on its first nonpayment ends, and with contagion rocking the local property market - which as we explained last week just saw the most "catastrophic" property sales numbers since the global financial crisis - sending dollar-denominated Chinese junk bonds to all time high yields. So even though it is now conventional wisdom that China's property crisis is contained (just as its concurrent energy crisis is also somehow contained), we beg to differ, and suggest that the crisis hitting the world's largest asset class is only just starting and is about to drag China into a "hard landing", with the world set to follow. And yes, with a total asset value of $62 trillion representing 62% of household wealth, the Chinese real estate sector is not only 30 times bigger than the market cap of all cryptos and also bigger than both the US bond and stock market, but is the key "asset" that backstops China's entire financial system whose deposits at last check were more than double those of the US. In other words, if China's property sector wobbles, the world is facing a guaranteed depression. So given the escalating weakness in China’s property sector, which has been in focus given intense regulatory pressure on developers’ leverage and banks’ mortgage exposure, and consequent contraction in sales and construction activity, it is natural to ask how significant a hit this could pose to both China's and the global economy. To help people get a sense of scale, below we excerpts some of the key findings from a recent note from Goldman showing just how big China's property sector is. A wide range of estimates for the scale of China’s property sector — up to about 30% of GDP — have been reported in the media and by other analysts. Different definitions of the scope of the sector largely account for the disparity. The most important distinctions are what types of building are included (residential, nonresidential, or all construction including infrastructure), what economic activity is included (only the construction itself, or all the value-added embedded in the finished residence e.g. domestically produced materials), and whether related real estate services are also included. A narrow definition of “residential construction activity as a share of GDP” could be as low as 3.6% of GDP. Expanding this to include all related domestic activities - e.g. materials like metals, wood, and stone produced domestically and used in housing construction, as well as services like financial activities and business services used directly or indirectly by the housing sector - would account for 12.4% of GDP. Adding nonresidential building construction and its associated activity would take it to 17.7%. Finally, including real estate services—which show a high correlation with broader property trends—would take the number to 23.3%. (All these numbers are based on detailed 2018 data, and exclude infrastructure spending not directly related to residential and nonresidential buildings.) The property sector’s share of the Chinese economy has grown fairly steadily over the past decade, after surging in the stimulus-fueled recovery just after the 2008 financial crisis. Digging into the definition of the “property sector”, there are three main questions that need to be kept in mind: 1. What types of construction? One important difference is in what types of construction activities are included. Construction broadly consists of three categories: residential housing, nonresidential buildings, and infrastructure-related construction. In China, residential construction appears to be about half of total construction—the rest is either non-residential building construction or civil engineering works, plus a small amount of installation/decoration activity. Specifically, residential and nonresidential buildings represent around 70% of total construction, and residential floor space under construction is typically about 70% of total floor space under construction. Note that this ~50% share for residential share of total construction is not unusual in international perspective. For example, the residential share is similar in the United States—though it reached into the 60-70% range during the peak years of the housing bubble—and has been about 40-50% in South Korea for some time. 2. What types of economic activity (only construction, or everything necessary to complete the finished building)? An even more important distinction is what types of activities one counts. Strictly speaking, the construction industry itself represents about 7% of China’s GDP. This represents wages, profits, and taxes from the construction sector (regardless of what type of construction or what end users). This is the value added of the construction sector itself, or the narrowly defined activity of building things. However, the construction industry uses a lot of output from other sectors – both materials (cement, wood, steel, etc.) and services (transportation of materials, financial services) to create finished buildings. Put another way, there are a lot of “backward linkages” from the construction sector: a home purchase requires not just the value added from construction industry, but also the value added from the “upstream” industries that provided the materials and were otherwise involved in the completion of the finished product. To gain some intuition for this, in the chart below, Goldman shows how much of each industry’s domestic value added ultimately goes into “final demand” of the construction industry (purchases of property by consumers or investment in property by businesses). For example, about one-third of value added in “wood products” goes into construction, about one-half of basic metals value added goes into construction, and essentially all of construction’s value added goes into construction final demand. (Note that this includes direct and indirect requirements—for example, basic metal output that is sold to firms in the metal fabrication industry that then sell to the construction sector would be counted as part of final demand for construction.) The next chart shows what fraction of the final demand for construction is provided by each sector. Roughly speaking, if we think about this as “the total domestic value added embedded in an apartment”, almost 30% of this is provided by construction activity, 8% from nonmetallic mineral products, etc. From the perspective of total domestic value added from all industries embedded in the final demand of the construction industry, the overall construction industry’s final demand accounts for roughly one-quarter of China’s GDP. This estimate is based on China’s most recent (2018) “input-output” table—which indicates the final output of each industry, as well as how much input is used from every other. 3. Should real estate services be included. Some analysts focus on property construction only, while others add the “real estate services” sector e.g. the leasing and maintenance of buildings when estimating the impact of the housing sector of the economy. These activities contribute roughly 6-7% of GDP in China. In many countries, real estate services are somewhat less volatile than housing construction. The likely reason is that real estate services relate in part to the stock of existing buildings than the flow of new building construction. Even if there were a housing crash and building construction stopped, most real estate services could theoretically continue.  As evidence of this, in the US housing crash, construction sector GDP fell by ~30% peak to trough but real estate services never declined. That said, in China the “real estate services” sector has been significantly more volatile, almost as volatile as the construction sector itself. Contributions by type of demand and activity Taking these three factors into consideration, Goldman next shows estimated shares of China’s activity in the next chart, and breaks down construction into its main components while showing the share attributable to real estate services. The “sector activity” column shows the share of GDP accounted for directly by activities of that sector. In other words, companies and workers engaged in all types of construction activity accounted for 7.1% of China’s GDP in 2018. The “final demand” column shows the share of GDP accounted for by all the domestic economic activities embodied in final demand for that sector. In other words, the demand for buildings and other construction also generates demand for materials and other types of services — and adding the value added in construction and all of these “upstream” sectors together gives the numbers in the right column Putting the above together, the size of China’s property sector therefore depends on the question we want to answer: What share of Chinese economic activity do workers/companies involved in residential construction represent? Here, one should look at domestic value-added (the left column). This is 7.1% for overall construction and just 3.6% for residential construction only. How much economic activity is driven by demand for residential property construction? Residential property demand drives 12.4% of GDP (right column, second row in table), because in addition to the construction activity it creates demand for all the materials and other services involved in building construction. What about the impact of total demand for property construction? Including non-residental buildings as well as residential, and the total upstream requirements of both, we want to look at the “domestic value added in final demand” of construction of residential + nonresidential buildings. This is 17.7% of GDP (12.4%+5.3%). How much of the economy is at risk from a property downturn? Here, we could potentially add end demand for real estate services to the above calculation. This would be another 5.6% of GDP, suggesting 23.3% of the economy—nearly a quarter—would be affected. Finally, if one adds all construction and all real estate and all their associated activities, we get just over 30% of the economy (24.5%+5.6%), although it is worth caveating that this may be an overly broad definition for the property sector, as it includes infrastructure-related activity, which if anything is likely to be ramped up by policymakers in the event of severe property sector weakness. * * * Yet even a nice big, round 30% estimate for how much China's property sector contributes to GDP, does not encompass all the potential spillovers from a construction sector downturn. There are at least three others: Second-round effects. A shock to construction (or any other sector) implies a drop in wages and company profits in that sector. This in turn implies lower income for the household and business sectors — and incrementally lower consumption and investment respectively. Such “second-round” or “multiplier” effects aren’t included in the estimates above. Fiscal spillovers. Land sales represent an important part of local government revenues in China (roughly 1/3 in gross revenue terms). Governments acquire land usage rights from rural occupants and sell them at a premium via auctions to developers. If land sales revenues fall because of a housing downturn (through some combination of fewer successful auctions and/or lower land prices), budgets will be squeezed, which could limit local governments’ spending and investment. Spillovers abroad via imports. As the world’s largest trading nation, China does not get all of its construction materials and other intermediate inputs domestically. In addition to the estimates above, which focus on domestic value-added, about 11% of the total value added embedded in China’s construction final demand is from foreign sources. (This is about 3% of China’s GDP, although it makes more sense to look at each trading partner’s exposure relative to the size of its own economy.) So, if we wanted to look at the total size of China’s construction sector in terms of driving economic activity, regardless of where that economic activity occurs (perhaps to compare China’s construction sector to other countries with different levels of import intensity) the figure in the top right cell in Exhibit 3 would be 3% larger. Putting it all together, and China's property sector emerges as the mother of all ticking financial time bombs. * * * Which brings us to what is Beijing's latest policy action (if any) to prevent this potential financial nuke from going off, and what are any additional tail risks to be considered. Well, as noted above, China's property sector began the week with sharp price falls across the board, with China's junk bonds cratering to near all time lows and with signs that the concerns are spilling over to the broader China credit market with spreads widening across the board. Some key updates: Recent news suggest China property stresses are building up. A number of China property HY developers have made announcements over recent weeks regarding their upcoming bond maturities. On 11 Oct, Modern Land launched a consent solicitation to extend the maturity on its USD 250mn bond due on 25 Oct by 3 months Xinyuan Real Estate announced on 14 Oct that the majority of holders of its USD 229mn bond due on 15 Oct have agreed to an exchange offer. Note that Fitch considers both transactions to be distressed exchanges. Furthermore, Sinic announced on 11 Oct that they are not expecting to make the principal and interest payments on its USD 250mn bond due on 18 Oct. These indicate that stresses amongst developers are building. Meanwhile, the grace period on Evergrande's missed coupon payments is ending soon. Evergrande missed coupon payments of USD 148MM on 11 Oct. This came after missing an earlier coupon payment on 23 Sep. The earlier missed coupon has a 30-day grace period, which ends on 23 Oct, and should that not be remedied in the coming week, the company will be in default on this bond. With Evergrande USD bonds priced at around 20, a potential default is unlikely to have large market impact, though if the company is able to remedy the earlier default, this could provide a positive surprise for the market. Despite these mounting risks, the market staged a sharp rebound at the end of the week, with news emerging that policymakers are seeking to speed up mortgage approvals (if not followed by much more aggressive easing, this step will do nothing but delay the inevitable by a few days). And while Goldman's China credit strateigst Kenneth Ho writes overnight that valuation is cheap across the lower rated segments within China property HY, market direction hinges on whether they will be able to refinance and avoid defaults. In particular, he notes that with $6.2bn of China property HY bonds maturing in Jan 2022, policy direction in the coming two months will be key. And since Goldman remains in the dark as to what Beijing will do next, as it remains "difficult to foresee how policy developments will play out in the coming weeks", Goldman prefers to wait for clearer signs of policy turn before shifting lower down the credit spectrum. * * * This brings us to what Goldman calls two key questions on China property - policy and tail risks, which will dictate the direction of the China property HY market. As discussed in depth in recent days, Beijing's tight regulatory stance is increasingly affecting a broader set of developers, as slowing activity levels are adding to worries across China property HY. For the period from early August to the first week of October, the volume of land transactions cratered by 42.5% compared with the same period last year, and for property transaction volume, this fell by 27.0%. Difficult credit conditions and weak presales add pressure to developers’ cash flows, and these factors are what led to the pick up in defaults and stresses in China property HY. Therefore, unless there are clear signs of an easing in policy direction, Goldman warns that tail risks concerns are unlikely to subside, and these will dictate the direction of China property HY market. As noted by Goldman's China economics team, credit supply holds the key to China’s housing outlook in the near term, emphasizing the need for policy adjustments in order to stabilize the housing market. Incidentally, the latest monthly Chinese credit creation numbers showed a modest miss to expectations, as total TSF flows came in at 2.928TN, just below the 3.050TN consensus, and up 10.1% Y/Y, lower than the 10.3% in August (the silver lining is that M2 rose 8.3%, up from 8.2% in August and above the 8.2% consensus). That said, given the sharp slowdown in residential property activity levels over the past two months, policy stance appears to have relaxed over the past two weeks if somewhat more slowly than most had expected. The table below summarizes a number of policy announcements and news reports that suggest some easing of policies are taking place. That said, the announcements and policymakers’ statements do not signal a large shift in overall policy direction yet. For example, the more concrete measures such as home buyer subsidies and the reduction in home loan interest rates are conducted at a city, and not national, level. And whilst Bloomberg reported that the financial regulators have informed a number of major banks to accelerate mortgage approvals, the precise details are lacking. The recent actions are therefore mostly in line with the overall policy stance. On one hand, policymakers remain focused on the medium term goal of deleveraging, and will want to avoid over-stimulating and reflating the property sector; on the other hand, policymakers have stated that they want a stable property market and to avoid systemic risks from emerging, suggesting that they would seek to avoid over-tightening. The problem is that they can't have both, and one will eventually have to crack. Goldman is somewhat more optimistic and writes that finding a balance will take time, adding that "given the need to balance the competing policy objectives, further measures could continue to emerge piecemeal, and visibility on the timing and the type of policy actions are limited." Furthermore, there may need to be further downside risk towards the property sector before we see a more decisive change in direction in the policy stance. This means that tail risks concerns are unlikely to subside, despite signs that policy direction is gradually shifting. * * * Assuming help does not come on time, the next key question is how fat is the tail as large amounts of bonds trading at stressed levels. Currently, the China property market is pricing in elevated levels of stress. Their price distribution is shown below indicating that 38% of bonds (by notional outstanding and excluding defaulted bonds) are trading at a price below 70, and 49% of bonds are below a price of 80. Are market prices overly bearish on tail risk, or are they accurately reflecting the stresses amongst property developers? With policymakers likely to maintain their medium term goal to delever the property sector, it is unlikely that tail risk concerns for higher levered developers will not subside. However, how “fat” the tail is will depend on the policy stance over the next two months. A big challenge going forward is that there are sizeable bond maturities in the next year, which will heavily influence tail risk. As noted above, a number of developers have conducted or are seeking to complete distressed buybacks, and defaults rates amongst China property HY companies are soaring. As such, the policy stance in the next two months will be critical. As shown in Exhibit 2, China property HY bond maturities are relatively light for the remainder of 2021, but pick up substantially in 2022, with USD 6.3bn of bonds maturing in January alone! A full list of bond maturities from now to February 2022, is shown below. It goes without saying, that should policy easing over the next two months be insufficient to ease the financial conditions amongst developers, there could potentially be a meaningful pick up in credit stresses at the start of 2022 just as the Fed launches its taper and just as a cold winter sends energy costs to unprecedented levels. Finally, for any investors seeking some exposure to China's HY market assuming that the worst is now over, Goldman agrees that while valuation is cheap across the lower rated segments within China property HY, the key determinant on market direction won't be valuation, but rather hinges on whether developers will be able to refinance and avoid defaults - i.e., can the Ponzi scheme continue. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 18:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge11 hr. 38 min. ago

Distraction As Policy While Our Economic Rome Burns

Distraction As Policy While Our Economic Rome Burns Authored by Matthew Piepenberg via, Desperation and distraction are masquerading as economic policy. Below we see how and why...and at what cost... COVID: The Great Economic and Political Hall-Pass If every time I stole a cookie from the jar in front of my mom (age 8), or drove dad’s car (sometimes into a tree) without permission (age 16), failed a dorm-room inspection (age 17), broke a lawnmower for driving over a fence post (each year) or forgot a key anniversary (eh-hmm), it would have been so convenient to have a universal “hall pass” to excuse what is/was otherwise just plain stupid behavior. Luckily for the grown children running our global financial system into the ground, the COVID pandemic is becoming precisely that: “A global hall pass for excusing decades of stupid.” As we’ve written many times, inexcusably high debt levels, tanking growth data, struggling work force figures, embarrassing wealth disparity and insider market rigging between Wall Street and DC was well in play long before COVID made the headlines. But now, the architects of such “pre-COVID stupid” have the current COVID narrative to justify and excuse even, well… more stupid. The Latest Jobs Report “Explained” … Take, for example, the latest job reports data from those DC-based creative writers at that comic-book publication otherwise known as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Known for years on Wall Street as mathematical magicians capable of turning 12% inflation into a 2% CPI lie, that same BLS is operating yet again to fib away the latest (and otherwise telling) jobs data. The September jobs report was the second consecutive and disappointing report from the BLS, which they were quick to blame on “pandemic-related staffing fluctuations.” Hmmm. That’s a nice phrase, no? “Pandemic-related staffing fluctuations.” But the real description boils down to something more PRAVDA-like under the new Biden Vaccine Mandate, namely: “Obey or we take your job away.” Needless to say, not everyone is obeying. Since 2020, employment in local government education is down by 310,000; in state government education, employment is down by 194,000 jobs, and in private education the numbers are down by 172,000. Ouch. Why such “staffing fluctuations”? The answer is simple: Many educated folks in the education sector don’t like being mandated to inject a vaccine into their bodies which by all reports from vaccinated infection rates, is no vaccine at all, but a debatable form of treatment at best. Thankfully for all of us, I’m not interested in debating the hard vaccine data here, as folks like me should not be proffering unwanted medical expertise, which I clearly lack. No one, myself included, really knows everything about mutating virology, but I’d wager to say that many of us are more mathematically dubious than Fauci is medically honest… Jefferson (and History) Ignored For followers of American history and markets, however, certain ideals and facts are easier to track despite distraction-as-policy tactics. We are reminded, for example, of how passionately Thomas Jefferson warned us circa 1776 that a private central bank would eventually destroy our nation, and that only an educated population could save it. Sadly, the new President is taking the inverse approach: Firing teachers and propping bankers. Fast-forward some 240+ years from our founding fathers to our semi-conscious Biden, and we discover a nation wherein a private central bank effectively finances our national debt while the teachers, students and institutions charged with making citizens wiser, educated and free now find themselves locked out of their offices, classrooms and lecterns. Seems a little upside down, no? Red or blue, most of us can agree than nothing coming out of the White House in recent memory remotely resembles the vision or freedom-driven intellect of founding fathers like Jefferson, despite his known flaws. Instead, we have seen red and blue administrations whose grasp on coherency, let alone math, history, economics or even Afghan geography is questionable at best. Biden’s Response And what does Biden (or his “advisors”) have to say about the recent and scary numbers within a gutted and “locked-out” educational labor force? Well, you’ll have to see it to believe it.. Really? Really? Really? That’s right folks. The President of the United States, home to the world’s reserve currency and former beacon of global freedom, is telling Americans not to worry about the slow death of genuinely informed dissent (as well as educational access and jobs) or the attempted popularizing of otherwise tyrannical mandates, but to focus instead on the vaccine rates at United Airlines? Yes. Really. The leader of the free world is boastfully telling us that the “bigger story” is a fully vaccinated United Airlines (who were forced to choose between a jab or job), so why worry about the problems in that silly ol’ educational sector or outdated Bill of Rights? Playing with Minnows While Ignoring Whales Where ever one stands on the understandably divisive vaccine issue, how can anyone compare a private airline’s vaccine rate to a national education, civil liberty and employment crisis? Why are politicians, Davos dragons, statisticians, media bobble-heads and central bankers focusing our/your attention more on a virus with a case fatality rate of less than 0.5% than they are on openly addressing whale-sized issues like unsustainable debt, rising inflation, embarrassing labor inequality, a dying currency or even more declining GDP? Deliberate and Desperate Distraction as Policy Well, history tells us why. As anyone not banned from a classroom knows, the history of desperate leaders seeking to distract, censor and control the masses in times of a self-inflicted and debt-induced cycle of internal economic rot is long and distinguished. As Biden doubles down on the bad (yet deliberately distracting) hand of what was hoped to be an optically humanitarian policy of vaccine mandates, the masses are getting restless as well as fired… Solution? Criminalize the non-consenting as anti-vaccine, anti-science or anti-American “flat-earthers” while denying open discussion on such otherwise relevant topics as basic math, constitutional law, calm science or individual rights… Meanwhile, those who won’t tow Biden’s increasingly incoherent mandate (or Don Lemmon’s always coherent ignorance) are losing jobs and/or forced to prioritize (in a Jeffersonian way) individual liberty over financial security. Ben Franklin, of course, said those who surrender liberties for security deserve neither. In such a polarized backdrop, everyone, pro or anti-vaccine, loses. Informed, open and calm debate has been replaced by a contradictory, censored, sanctimonious and hysterical autocracy from prompt-readers to political puppets. So much for leading the free world… Let me remind Biden to consider the words of another founding father, Thomas Paine: “I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.” As someone who studied and practiced constitutional law, worked within a rigged Wall Street and read nearly every book I could find on America’s founding fathers, I can say without hyperbole that I no longer recognize the country (or values) of my birth nation. As Franklin also noted, “All democracies eventually die; usually by suicide.” Hmmm. But let’s get off my high-horse and back to those job reports… Conviction vs. Employment As Bloomberg recently noted, the result of these “pandemic-related staffing fluctuations” is a bit alarming. The following critical industries are witnessing the following job-loss percentages: Nursing and Residential Care (-1.26%); Local Government Education (-1.83%); Community Care for the Elderly (-2.20%) and lodging (-2.25%). But thank goodness that despite a deliberate weaning of nurses, teachers and elderly care experts, United Airlines is nearly fully vaccinated and our Motion Picture Industry (universally known for its astounding political and financial wisdom) is seeing a +4.21% job increase. Awe, but as Johny Mellencamp would say, “Aint that America?” Now instead of more employed and free-thinking nurses, teachers and students allowed to gather, speak and think freely at their own campus or clinic, we can be glad that jobs in Hollywood, like DC, are growing to keep us living on more fantasy rather than actual, informed and hard-earned knowledge. Oh, and the Economy… But rather than just rant otherwise rhetorical sarcasm, let’s get back to those other barbaric (and soon-to-be empty) old-school disciplines like economics… Biden’s mandates are more than just evidence of distraction as policy and constitutional interpretation/usurpation, they have direct impacts on our financial lives outside of the deliberately exaggerated vaccine debacle/debate. Let’s go down the list of what economics taught us years ago, when we were allowed to enter a classroom: Stagflation Ahead. As more and more folks are locked out of work, the entitlement costs for these “un-American” free-thinkers will rise, placing greater inflationary pressures upon a deliberately constrained rather than open economy. Rising inflation + slowing economic activity = stagflation. Prepare for this, as that’s what’s coming. Inflation, by the way, is an invisible tax on those who can afford it the least. Thanks again Powell et al for shafting the middle class… A Divided States of America A country which once revered open rather than censored debate, investigative rather than complicit journalism, and respected rather than polarized differences of opinion, is becoming increasingly factionalized, divided and angry. Jab or no jab, I fully respect both views. Can’t we all do the same without a “mandate”? Like Thomas Paine, I hope so, because as Thomas Jefferson warned, we face far greater economic and political threats ahead than COVID. Rather than accountability, transparency and cooperation, leadership today is defined by fantasy and magic, from magical money created at the Fed to magical employment and CPI data downplayed at the BLS. Such left or right fantasy-as-policy is as old as history—it’s darker side, that is. Just ask Lenin, Castro, Nixon or Greenspan. Whenever backed into a debt corner of their own design, leaders employ a familiar combo of boogeyman and salvation narratives to divert the masses away from the slow-drip erosion of their personal liberties, dying currencies and debt-driven stagnation. This distraction-as-policy is happening right now. The rise of the COVID narrative in 2020 is more than a coincidence. It’s a conveniently exploited opportunity for political and financial opportunists. More Centralized Controls and Fake Markets With debt levels far beyond the Pale of productivity levels (i.e., embarrassing debt to GDP ratios), the U.S. and other developed economies are mathematically and factually unable to ever grow their way out of the debt hole they have been digging us into for years. Period. Full stop. If I know this, and if you know this, well…they certainly know this too in DC. The only difference is that these policy makers, like most kids caught with a hand in the cookie jar, are incapable of admitting fault. Instead, today’s “leadership” can blame their economic and policy failures (and self-preservation rather than “service” instincts) on something else—i.e., “COVID did it.” But as we’ve voiced elsewhere, the debt time bomb, growth declines, social unrest, wealth disparity and failing political credibilities in play today were already a major problem BEFORE COVID. Now, as then, the empirical data objectively confirms that tanking manufacturing data, jobs growth, economic productivity, broken supply chains, scary transport numbers and political mistrust can never service the over $28.5T in public debt sitting on Uncle Sam’s bar-tab. As a natural result, we can therefore expect far more “accommodation” (i.e., monetary expansion) from the Fed, and far more “Fiscal Stimulus” (i.e., deficit spending) from our comical legislature ahead. Stated otherwise: Get ready for more real debt, fake money, centralized controls and hidden wealth destruction. Zombie Stocks, Bonds and Bankers: Too Big to Fail 2.0 Sadly, one of the only forms of income which Uncle Sam enjoys today is the capital gains receipts from a bloated, rigged and artificially Fed-supported stock market. This means we can anticipate more “stimulus” for a zombie, crack-up-boomed market well past its natural expiration date. The same is true of for government IOU’s.  No one wants our bonds. 2020 saw $500B in foreign outflows rather than inflows for US Treasuries. So, who will pay Uncle Sam’s bar tab now? Easy:  Uncle Fed at the Eccles Building down the avenue from a Treasury Department now led by a former Fed Chairwoman. One really can’t make this crazy up. It’s all that real, that rigged and that true. The U.S. debt crisis is now being “solved” by a circular loop of a Wall Street and a White House children tossing their hot potatoes of bad debt (MBS and sovereign) around until they are bought with money created out of thin air by the Fed. And yet despite such insider support, rigged markets and “accommodated” securities, even the rising tax receipts from these bloated markets are not enough to cover the interest expense on Uncle Sam’s bar tab. In short, US Treasury bonds and stocks are openly supported Frankenstein-assets kept alive by a central bank and White House cabal (sorry, Mr. Jefferson…) who blame every problem (and justify every expenditure) on a virus rather than confess to the cancerous reality of over 20+ years of their open and obvious mismanagement of a rigged banking and distorted financial system. But rather than account for such sins, we can expect a bigger bail-out rather than an honest confession… In 2008, for example, the response from DC and NYC to bankers gone mad was to declare bankrupt banks as “Too Big to Fail.” Fast-forward some 13 years later and that same toxic duo of bankers and politicos have now effectively telegraphed that bankrupt government bonds and private stocks are also “too big to fail.” That ought to anger an informed population. But instead, we are fighting about masks, vaccine shaming and Prince Harry’s sensitive upbringing. So far, the distraction-as-policy technique seems to be working in favor of the foxes guarding our financial henhouse. Signal More Currency-Debasing “Miracle Solutions” Which brings us right back to a harsh but increasingly undeniable yet ironic reality. If objectively broken bonds, stocks and financial regimes are too big to fail, then the only way to “save” them is with more mouse-click-created currencies which are too debased to succeed. As precious metal and other long-term, real-asset investors long ago understood, currency expansion is just another name for currency debasement. In other words, eventually, all that “system saving” new money simply drowns the system it was allegedly designed to save in ever more debased dollars. Again, it’s just that tragic and just that simple. Yes: More monetary and debt expansion can buy time and rising markets. But those markets are measured in currencies which time has equally taught us lose their value with each passing second. And the only ones paying for that time are you and I–with dollars, euros, yen and pesos whose purchasing power and inherent value are tanking faster than the credibility of the folks who brought us to this historical and debt-driven turning point. Stated bluntly: The financial and political leadership of the last 20+ years has placed the global financial system into a debt corner for which there is no exit other than deliberate inflation (and hence currency debasement). This foreseeable disaster, however, is now conveniently blamed on a current pandemic rather than a grotesque history of equally grotesque mismanagement by policy markets who have confused debt with prosperity and double-speak with accountability. Wouldn’t it be nice if such economic topics were making at least as many headlines as the latest infection rates? Meanwhile, the mainstream media pursues plays chess with context-empty headlines, bogus job data and ignored debt bombs as our economic Rome (and currencies) burns silently around us all. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 10:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge18 hr. 55 min. ago

Salisbury Bancorp (SAL) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Salisbury Bancorp (SAL) have what it takes? Let's find out. Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.Salisbury Bancorp in FocusSalisbury Bancorp (SAL) is headquartered in Lakeville, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 37.51% since the start of the year. The bank holding company is paying out a dividend of $0.31 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.42% compared to the Banks - Northeast industry's yield of 1.95% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.38%.Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1.24 is up 6.9% from last year. In the past five-year period, Salisbury Bancorp has increased its dividend 2 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 1.53%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Salisbury Bancorp's current payout ratio is 21%. This means it paid out 21% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Looking at this fiscal year, SAL expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $5.92 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 40.95%.Bottom LineFrom greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, SAL is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. (SAL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

Why Texas Instruments (TXN) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Texas Instruments (TXN) have what it takes? Let's find out. Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.Texas Instruments in FocusHeadquartered in Dallas, Texas Instruments (TXN) is a Computer and Technology stock that has seen a price change of 17.28% so far this year. The chipmaker is currently shelling out a dividend of $1.02 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.12%. This compares to the Semiconductor - General industry's yield of 0.68% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.38%.Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $4.08 is up 9.7% from last year. Texas Instruments has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 18.90%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Texas Instruments's current payout ratio is 57%, meaning it paid out 57% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Earnings growth looks solid for TXN for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $7.92 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 32.66%.Bottom LineInvestors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide a quarterly payout.Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that TXN is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

3 Stocks to Buy on Rising Cloud Infrastructure Spending

The cloud-based service market that includes IaaS and SaaS has been growing in importance since the coronavirus outbreak, which is helping companies like Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOGL). The cloud infrastructure market was already doing great and the pandemic provided it a further boost. The pandemic saw millions working, learning, playing and shopping from home, which helped the cloud business grow further.Given that the pandemic is far from over and people are still reeling under fears of the coronavirus, cloud business is only going to grow further. This has seen major players shelling out billions of dollars to expand their cloud services.Cloud Infrastructure Spending GrowingAccording to a new report from Synergy Research Group, the past-year-and-a-half has seen billions of dollars getting invested by companies to enhance their cloud business. The report mentions that the cloud ecosystem market recorded revenues of $235 billion globally in the first half of 2021.The cloud infrastructure services accounted for $150 billion or 63% of this total amount. The cloud infrastructure services include software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and hosted private cloud services.Although the pandemic has somewhat eased this year, the work and learn-from home trend is still continuing. In fact, the pandemic has made millions dependent on technology, which is further helping the cloud services market. According to the report, revenues from cloud infrastructure services grew 37% year over year in the first half of 2021.Of this, revenues from SaaS grew over 25%. Besides spending on colocation, leasing and data centre construction grew by 17% in the first half of this year.As more people worked and learned remotely, demand for storage soared. This made organizations shift focus to building business resiliency. Several companies started to accelerate their digital transformation, which made them adopt and consume cloud services.Cloud Market Poised to GrowSince the onset of the pandemic the concept of working, learning and shopping has changed. This has seen companies fast adopting SaaS. At the same time, most businesses are shifting data and information to technological and digital platforms to safely remain afloat amid this competition. This, in turn, is benefiting the cloud business.And to keep things going cloud providers are boosting infrastructure spending.A separate report form Canalys shows, global cloud infrastructure spending hit $47 billion in the second quarter, growing 36% quarter over quarter. This means expenditure was higher by over $5 billion in the second quarter and more than $12 billion on a year-over-year basis.Increasing spending has led to companies earning higher revenues, with big players leading the race. According to Canalys, the top three cloud service providers in the second quarter were, Inc.’s AMZN Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Corporation’s MSFT Microsoft Azure and Alphabet, Inc.’s GOOGL Google Cloud.According to a report from IDC, spending on compute and storage cloud infrastructure is expected to witness a CAGR of 11.3% from 2021 to 2025.Our ChoicesBox, Inc. BOX is a provider of a cloud content management platform. The platform enables internal and external collaboration on content, automation of content-driven business processes, development of custom applications, data protection, security and compliance features.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 15.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 5.7% over the past 60 days. Box carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Microsoft Corporation is one of the largest broad-based technology providers in the world.  It is also a public cloud provider that can deliver a wide variety of IaaS and PaaS solutions at scale.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 8.4%. The company’s shares have gained 7% in the past three months. Microsoft carries a Zacks Rank #2.Alphabet Inc. is one of the most innovative companies in the modern technological age. Over the last few years, the company has evolved from primarily being a search-engine provider to cloud computing, ad-based video and music streaming, autonomous vehicles, healthcare providers and others.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 73.8%. The company’s shares have gained 10.1% in the past three months.  Alphabet carries a Zacks Rank #2. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report Box, Inc. (BOX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

Top Analyst Reports for Edwards Lifesciences, DexCom & Twitter

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 12 major stocks, including Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (EW), DexCom, Inc. (DXCM), and Twitter, Inc. (TWTR). Friday, October 15, 2021The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 12 major stocks, including Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (EW), DexCom, Inc. (DXCM), and Twitter, Inc. (TWTR). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>Shares of Edwards Lifesciences have outperformed the Zacks Medical Instruments industry in the year to date period (+19.1% vs. +6.5%). The Zacks analyst believes that the huge untapped potential in emerging markets will act as a positive catalyst for Edwards Lifesciences. The company is consolidating its foothold across all its operating businesses through strong pipeline development.Strong adoption of the SAPIEN 3 Ultra platform and the PASCAL system across Europe is another positive. The solid demand for the company’s products used in high-risk surgeries is impressive too. Stiff competition in the THV business, however, continues to ail the company. Persistent forex woes are also a concern.(You can read the full research report on Edwards Lifesciences here >>>)DexCom shares have gained +35.7% over the past year against the Zacks Medical Instruments industry’s gain of +6.6%. The Zacks analyst believes that a strong product portfolio, collaborative agreements with several companies and focus on international markets are key catalysts for growth.DexCom’s Sensor and other revenue arm's contribution, and domestic and international revenue growth were key catalysts in second-quarter 2021. The company made continued advancements with respect to key strategic objectives and ended the quarter with new patient additions. Intensifying competition, entry of new products, reimbursement risks, supply constraints and working capital problems are some of the major concerns.(You can read the full research report on DexCom here >>>)Shares of Twitter have lost -10.9% over the past six months against the Zacks Internet Software industry’s loss of -7%, however, things seem to be improving for the company. The Zacks analyst believes that the company’s initiatives to add features and focus on effectively tackling abuse issues are helping it expand its monetized user base.Twitter is, however, suffering from stiff competition for ad dollars from the likes of Facebook and Google. Rising investments on international expansion, product innovation and marketing & sales are also expected to hurt profitability in the near term.(You can read the full research report on Twitter here >>>)Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Cigna Corp. (CI), T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (TROW) and Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR).Mark VickerySenior EditorNote: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>> Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (TROW): Free Stock Analysis Report Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (EW): Free Stock Analysis Report Cigna Corporation (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report DexCom, Inc. (DXCM): Free Stock Analysis Report Twitter, Inc. (TWTR): Free Stock Analysis Report Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

"Why I"m Leaving My California Teachers" Union"

"Why I'm Leaving My California Teachers' Union" Authored by Beth Richardson via, I have been a middle school special education teacher for 18 years. Every day I spend in the classroom is a joy – the work is hard, but so rewarding – and with almost two decades of experience, I know how my students learn best. Imagine my surprise when the California Teachers Association – which spends zero days per year with students – tries to tell teachers how to run their classrooms. Like many teachers across the state, I have watched nervously as schools begin to adopt curriculums that include Critical Race Theory – a concept I believe would do incredible harm to our children and our country, as it requires every lesson we teach to be presented and understood through the lens of race. While my school, thankfully, has yet to embrace this unproven theory, I fear it may only be a matter of time. Adopting CRT certainly seems to be the direction our state union is taking, following the lead of the National Education Association, which recently announced that it will promote the theory and actively push back against anything it sees as “anti-CRT rhetoric.” We’re already seeing how these kinds of ideas can creep into the classroom and harm student education. Some educators in my state are pushing to redefine math, taking the focus off of the “right answer” because pointing out a wrong answer is supposedly a form of white supremacy. If we can no longer teach the difference between correct and incorrect, what is the point of teaching?  I’ve been a dues-paying union member for about three years, and while I frequently disagreed with the political direction of my union, I maintained my membership because I thought it necessary to keep my benefits. This desperate push for critical race theory, and the forcing of teachers to adopt this curriculum, no matter our beliefs, is the final straw. I could tolerate being told whom to vote for. I could tolerate paying for legal representation that is, frankly, subpar. What I cannot tolerate is being told how to teach by people who have never stepped foot in my classroom. So I’m leaving my union. Or at least I’m trying to leave. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus, which states that collecting union dues from non-members is a violation of the First Amendment, my request to leave the union was met with: “Sorry, try again.” After submitting my request to forgo membership, I received a letter from the CTA informing me that I must continue to pay my dues. “While you may drop your membership through your local,” the letter says, “the agreement to pay dues continues… regardless of membership status.” Indeed, a teacher can only “revoke [their] dues authorization by sending written notice… not less than thirty (30) days and not more than sixty (60) days before the annual anniversary date of the agreement.” Let me get this straight: I have to continue paying dues to an organization I do not support for an entire year? Next time I’ll make sure my political breaking point lines up with the union’s arbitrary 30-day period. I’m not alone in this battle with the union – at least eight other teachers in my district are trying to leave, for various reasons. They, too, missed this arbitrary 30-day window and are stuck financially supporting a radical political platform for another year. As the educator entrusted to lead my classroom, I should have a say in what and how I teach. I want to make sure all my students succeed and are set up for a life of purpose and fulfillment. CRT threatens that future, replacing equal opportunity in the classroom with a curriculum that pits groups against one another. I feel that it’s my responsibility to stand up for my students. The day I’m told that I have to change my curriculum is the day I’ll retire. Until then, I’d rather not be compelled to give part of my paycheck to an organization that puts its political agenda above the education of America’s kids. *  *  * Beth Richardson is a middle school special education teacher in San Diego, California. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 21:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 15th, 2021

Global Auto Names On Watch After Toyota Slashes November Production Estimate By (Another) 15%

Global Auto Names On Watch After Toyota Slashes November Production Estimate By (Another) 15% We wrote just hours ago that European auto stocks would likely be next on watch after disappointing data out of China. This morning, after a Nikkei report stating that Toyota would cut its global auto production target for November, those same stocks are on watch. Names like Stellantis, Daimler, GM, BMW and Renault will all be in focus on Friday as a result of the announcement.   Toyota said it was cutting auto production in November  by 15% from its latest plan. This will equate to a drop-off of about 150,000 vehicles. Toyota had already cut production targets by 40% from its initial plan for September to October, Nikkei reported.  The company said it was negatively affected (like everyone else in the industry) by the ongoing semiconductor shortage. Toyota also cited power outages in China as a reason for cutting its production targets.  Recall, days ago we reported that passenger vehicle wholesales in China fell 16.5% YOY to 1.75 million units. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers predicts for a weaker full year auto market - also due to chip and power shortages, it said. It expects the chip shortage to ease up in Q4 of this year, marking yet another prediction amongst a sea of confusion between manufacturers and analysts as to when the global shortage will end. Other analysts and several automakers have commented that the chip shortage could continue into 2022. Despite the dip, there were a couple silver linings. The CAAM has been forecasting pickup truck sales to rise by more than 1 million units by 2030, from 414,000 in 2020.  New energy vehicle wholesales also continued to be robust, up 148.4% to 357,000 units. Toyota, meanwhile, is expected to keep its full year production target of 9 million units.  Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 21:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 15th, 2021

Luongo: "When You Buy Into Fear, You Sell Your Reason"

Luongo: "When You Buy Into Fear, You Sell Your Reason" Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, It’s Time For All Good Men to Stop Fearing John Galt “Who is John Galt?" AYN RAND – ATLAS SHRUGGED There comes a point in every person’s life when they have to reckon with the person in the mirror. Who am I? What do I want? Where am I going? Since the beginning of the COVID-9/11 story I’ve watched it break so many people who couldn’t answer these basic questions. The fear of the virus uncovered a lot about all of us. For many, unfortunately, it provoked their inner tyrant. Last year, during the height of the COVID insanity after publicly hanging up on an unhinged Lee Stranahan live on Sputnik Radio I tweeted this out. When you hit someone's existential fear that's when you uncover their inner tyrant. When something is beyond their capacity to understand, that's when they turn to projecting that fear on other people. This is what was done to justify the lockdown. #endthelockdownnow — Tom Luongo (@TFL1728) April 27, 2020 This wasn’t just directed at Lee, but it really was. The hard investigative journalist of February 2020 turned into a sniveling, state-worshipping baby by late April. Fear of death uncovered his Room 101. That incident, among others, eventually took down his radio show with certified stand-up guy, Garland Nixon. Today it’s a shadow of its former self. I don’t know if my action was the catalyst for the changes that came, but I do know after that day nothing was the same. The sad truth is that Lee wasn’t alone. His collapse was just the most public version I ran into personally. When you buy into fear, you sell your reason. Gone is your skepticism as your world collapses. Your eyes focus on your next step too afraid to raise them to the horizon. There is no bigger picture, there is only the moment. For 20 months now, we have lived among people terrorized by a story, not a virus but a story, that told them they are the heroes for being afraid and the skeptics are the villains. To save ourselves we just have to give up our humanity and submit to an authority incapable of telling us the truth. Because the truth is we had very little to actually fear. These are the real villains, the Faucis, Bidens, Schwabs, Psakis, Trudeaus and anyone who still believes their patter. It was never about the disease, it was about control and the real damage being done to our psyches, our bodies and our communities, exactly as I argued to Lee on the radio eighteen months ago before I hung up on him. They created the fear and then manipulated it into something violent. They preyed on our common decency and humanity, twisting it into something evil which is now plain for anyone who lifts his eyes off the ground to see. Because vaccine mandates are the ultimate form of state violence, the death penalty notwithstanding. Once they had a large enough segment so terrorized they would rather die than admit they had been duped, those villains pushed the ultimate Hobson’s Choice on us: get the vaccine against COVID-9/11 and you can have your life back. But it was never their life to take in the first place. We gave it to them, hoping they weren’t as evil as many suspected. It’s amazing how just one year after a summer of looting and burning over police brutality against a black man who overdosed on fentanyl, these same people are making excuses for even worse police violence against people walking around in sunshine unmasked. To them we are the Untermenschen, the unvaxxed, the unclean. And that makes their violence justified because, to them, we are the ones keeping things from getting back to normal. Once the threat from COVID-9/11 was well established, rationality should have returned. But it hasn’t. Too many people are still stuck in Room 101, wedded to their shame over being duped by villains. They now wish death by COVID on those who refuse to get a shot for a virus that has a defined low probability of killing them and for which multiple therapeutic options are available. If they would just shut up, trust the science and let doctor’s practice medicine, life would really return to something close to normal. But it’s increasingly obvious to enough people that these mandates don’t measure up to the threat of the virus. Every day it becomes clearer that this is about their fear of us seizing back the power we gave them. To save themselves from The COVID they wish it on us, just like Winston Smith, who looked in the mirror and betrayed his love to serve a master who hates him as much as he hates himself. It doesn’t matter if the vaccines are ‘safe’ and ‘effective’ or not. I’m not here to argue that. That’s your personal choice, make it as you see fit. No blame. No shame. What’s important is that it is no one else’s choice. Further, it’s not your personal choice to tell me that I can’t partake in civil society if I don’t get the shot or, like Joe Rogan, choose a different path to treating COVID-9/11 than you would. Joe Rogan asks Sanjay Gupta if it bothers him that CNN outright lied about Rogan taking horse dewormer to recover from covid. This is fantastic: — Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 14, 2021 Because Winston always had a choice. He could choose to face his fear and finally become a man, like Joe Rogan. Or he can project his fear onto real men and stay in his personal hell for all the world to laugh at: Hey @joerogan nice to hear you paused from gargling Goat Urine or whatever you did instead of overcoming your fear of the Vaccine, to call me "unhinged" for pointing out what terrified snowflakes you and your clown car of followers are. Here's the video that set off Mr. Afraid: — Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 13, 2021 Watching this man’s Two Minutes of Hate is revealing of everything that is wrong with the COVID-9/11 story. And that same choice is now directly in our path, vaxxed or unvaxxed. COVID-9/11 is never going away. Neither will the flu, the common cold or any other virus endemic to the environment. Life is risk and it belongs to those willing to face those risks to keep the world from breaking. Cower in fear if you like, but scapegoating the unvaxxed won’t save you. I saw this in March 2020 saying we have to be brave and celebrate everyone willing to go to work to make the things we need to treat the sick and protect the healthy. In a real economy, everyone is an essential worker. This is because everyone contributes in their small way to the fully functional world that ensures the shelves are stocked, the energy flows and our meager triumphs over nature’s hostility to our presence remain in place. For months now we have been openly threatened with having our lives taken away because we don’t have our party registration papers up to date. We’ve all wrestled, at some level, with our disbelief that things would degrade this badly and this quickly. The Olbermensch tells us we can be friends again after we just get the damn shot. What he won’t admit is that we know he’s lying. Keith hates us for the mirror we hold up in front of him. Take a long look, that is the face of shame. Because ideals are judges. Those ideals only shame men capable of admitting it. The rest sink into solipsism and insanity. In Rand’s novel, John Galt built the engine that could change the world. But he refused to give it to the world he lived in. The Olbermensches would just use it to perpetuate their power, their evil. Who is John Galt? He’s that best version of ourselves that knows who we are, what we want and where we will end up. And it’s past time we stopped fearing the loss that comes with stating that directly. The strike of the productive and the self-aware Rand envisioned is here. The airline pilots, an Ubermensch class of people if there is one in this sick, sad world, walked out over last weekend taking most of Southwest Airlines’ staff with them. The Olbermensches are furious, openly lying about what happened and castigating anyone who says otherwise. But we shouldn’t care. Just like we shouldn’t care that Sanjay Gupta, after Rogan’s shaming, was forced into a public Struggle Session to retain his place at CNN, proving to all the world that he is a man without principles, ideals or shame. As I write this, on October 15th, vaccine mandates go into effect all around the Davos-controlled world. The choice is now in front of hundreds of millions of people. Becoming your own version of John Galt comes with loss. It means giving up something today to retain not just your integrity but provide strength to those not quite there yet. Everything rests on giving them your consent. The Olbermensches do not negotiate, they bully. Bullies are cowards. Your consent today feeds their addiction to fear. Previously I told you to quietly, “Just Say No” to them. Now I’m telling you that takes the form of withdrawing consent completely, risking today’s comfort for tomorrow’s benefit. The strength you display today is the foundation of a world we build back better than the one that is gone. I had a good gig with Sputnik Radio. But I owed them nothing. But when the mask of civility fell, it was time to go. We all wear that mask at times but only with those worthy of reciprocating. All things come to an end, good and bad. What matters is who we choose to be, what we want and unafraid of where those choices lead us. Note: These images are from the classic DC Comic from the 1980’s The Question, Issue #5, where Vic nearly kills himself over guilt for setting in motion the final collapse of the city he’s sworn to protect, but has sunk into depravity, violence and apathy. *  *  * Join my Patreon if you question your premises. BTC: 3GSkAe8PhENyMWQb7orjtnJK9VX8mMf7ZfBCH: qq9pvwq26d8fjfk0f6k5mmnn09vzkmeh3sffxd6rytDCR: DsV2x4kJ4gWCPSpHmS4czbLz2fJNqms78oELTC: MWWdCHbMmn1yuyMSZX55ENJnQo8DXCFg5kDASH: XjWQKXJuxYzaNV6WMC4zhuQ43uBw8mN4VaWAVES: 3PF58yzAghxPJad5rM44ZpH5fUZJug4kBSaETH: 0x1dd2e6cddb02e3839700b33e9dd45859344c9edcDGB: SXygreEdaAWESbgW6mG15dgfH6qVUE5FSE   Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 21:50.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 15th, 2021

​​philanthropy, More Important Than Ever To Lessen Pandemic Impact On Education

The Global Education Summit that took place in London in July brought to light the impact of COVID-19 on school education –especially in developing countries. School closures played a key part in the low learning results and the increase of young girls’ pregnancies and early marriages. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more With […] The Global Education Summit that took place in London in July brought to light the impact of COVID-19 on school education –especially in developing countries. School closures played a key part in the low learning results and the increase of young girls’ pregnancies and early marriages. 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 Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more With governments in these countries reducing expenses on several fronts to palliate the pandemic, plus a reduction in household income due to unemployment or informal employment, funding of education is at a critical point. How is the philanthropic sector working to dampen the pandemic’s impact on the education of millions of children and what actions need to be taken? Negative Impact According to the Financial Times, “Education systems in most developing countries already faced serious challenges. In 2019, half of 10-year-old learners in these nations could not read or fully comprehend a simple story.” The statistic is way higher in the poorest countries, the newspaper asserts. The numbers left by the 18-month school closures are staggering. According to UNESCO, about 131 million students have lost three-quarters of their face-to-face learning and, despite this, around 27% of the countries still have totally or partially closed schools. Fernando Reimers, professor of the International Educational Policy program and director of the Global Initiative for Innovation in Education at Harvard University, says that if the appropriate measures are not taken, things are bound to get worse. He warns that, if the right measures are not taken, the world could be “on the verge of the greatest educational calamity in the history of humanity since public school exists and that means that in many countries there is a real risk of going back ten or twenty years.” For Nick Maughan, founder of the Nick Maughan Foundation (NMF) the education attainment gap has been gravely exacerbated by the pandemic. “This will have devastating long-term effects on disadvantaged young people even though we are presently unable to quantify it.” Near-Future Outlook According to the latest study by the OECD Centre on Philanthropy, grant-makers and wealthy donors gave at least $20.2 billion to education globally during 2020. Further, corporate foundations and corporate giving programs accounted for $9.4 billion –or 44%– of total Covid funding. The report asserts that “While financial information is scarce, available data suggest education foundations are protecting and, in some cases, increasing their education giving in 2020 and 2021.” Out of the 25-foundation sample, 18 disclosed financial figures for the 2018-2021 period with 14 maintaining or increasing their funding for developing countries between 2019-20. Half of those increased it by 20% or more. According to the document, only four foundations reported a decrease in their 2020 development budgets, a move that depicts the financial shifts specific to the education sector, “with 12 foundations sustaining or increasing their education giving from 2019-20, and 6 reporting a decrease.” There is cautious optimism for 2021, as 14 foundations will have maintained or increased their funding in education by the end of this year, according to the report. Shifting Focus Due to COVID-19, foundations are focusing on bridging the access gap to remote learning in the short term, mainly through a broad spectrum of delivery formats. In India, for instance, the Aga Khan Foundation is generating contextually relevant and low-cost learning kits for those children unable to access technology-enabled learning. The kits were conceived with the input of students themselves, their families, and teachers. The Jacobs Foundation in Côte d’Ivoire is working with the government to further remote learning opportunities by the use of local radio broadcasts. The initiative is supplemented with free access to a mobile device learning platform. In Brazil, the largest education foundations and multilateral organizations teamed up to synchronize their initiatives against the Covid crisis and cooperatively offer remote learning spaces across the country. Their response included creating educational content and broadcasting remote classes on TV channels with an estimated audience of 8 million students. “These approaches ensure that the most marginalized children –those without access to Internet connectivity or even electricity– are not falling too far behind. Foundations also see a window of opportunity in the crisis to remove some barriers to connectivity,” the OECD report underlines. A Greater Contribution To augment the impact of their contributions, foundations should follow specific recommendations by the OECD. In the short term, donors should prioritize initiatives that can fast-track a safe school reopening while inspiring learners to return and support teachers in delivering targeted instruction. This can be achieved through student-focused incentives in a context where many households are under economic stress. Also, foundations should “Place educators at the center of mitigation and recovery strategies. Professional development and change management skills of teachers, school leaders, and local administrators are the cornerstone of any sustainable transformation in education delivery.” The OECD asserts that private philanthropy can also focus on measuring social and emotional learning (SEL), “teaching and certification strategies, and in demonstrating the feasibility of whole child approaches in low-income settings.” With regards to remote learning, there is a gargantuan benefit in working on partners to help them understand how technology-enabled instruction can best enhance teaching and learning in school and at home. Every initiative, the OECD asserts, must be done by adopting a future-oriented culture, as strategic foresight becomes more critical than ever. “Scenarios for the future of schooling are a framework to guide long-term strategic thinking in education.” Updated on Oct 15, 2021, 4:12 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 15th, 2021

Traders Are Pushing Oil, Rates, & The Dollar. Are They Right?

Traders Are Pushing Oil, Rates, & The Dollar. Are They Right? Authored by Lance Roberts via, With inflation fears getting stoked by the mainstream media, traders are pushing oil, interest rates, and the dollar higher. Are they right? Or, are they about to get smacked by a slower economy and deflationary headwinds? Once a quarter, I dig into the Commitment of Traders data to see where speculators are making their bets. Such is an excellent metric to watch from a contrarian view. Generally, when traders are positioned either very long or short in a particular area, it is often a good bet something will reverse. Positioning Review The COT (Commitment Of Traders) data, which is exceptionally important, is the sole source of the actual holdings of the three critical commodity-trading groups, namely: Commercial Traders: this group consists of traders that use futures contracts for hedging purposes. Their positions exceed the reporting levels of the CFTC. These traders are usually involved with the production and processing of the underlying commodity. Non-Commercial Traders: this group consists of traders that don’t use futures contracts for hedging and whose positions exceed the CFTC reporting levels. They are typically large traders such as clearinghouses, futures commission merchants, foreign brokers, etc. Small Traders: the positions of these traders do not exceed the CFTC reporting levels, and as the name implies, these are usually small traders. The data we are interested in is the second group of Non-Commercial Traders (NCTs.) NCT’s are the group that speculates on where they believe the market will head. While you would expect these individuals to be “smarter” than retail investors, we find they are just as subject to “human fallacy” and “herd mentality” as everyone else. Therefore, as shown in the charts below, we can look at their current net positioning (long contracts minus short contracts) to gauge excessive bullishness or bearishness. Volatility  Since 2012, the favorite trade of bullish speculators has been to “short the VIX.” Shorting the volatility index (VIX) remains an extraordinarily bullish and profitable trade due to the inherent leverage in options. Leverage is one of those things that works great until it doesn’t. Currently, net shorts on the VIX are still very elevated but reduced from 2020 levels. However, speculators have once again started to increase their net short-positioning over the last several weeks as the market declined. The current positioning is large enough to fuel a more substantial correction if markets fail current support levels. Moreover, as noted on Tuesday, weekly signals suggest that downside risk is present. To wit: “The recent decline triggered both weekly signals for the first time since the March 2020 correction. (The chart below is the same model we use to manage 401k allocations. You can see therelated models and analysis here)“ Given that volatility has remained compressed during the entirety of the September correction, a break below recent support will trigger short-covering of VIX options. Such would also be coincident with a more significant decline in the index. Crude Oil Extreme Crude oil has gotten a lot more interesting as of late. After a brutal 2020, the price of oil futures going negative at one point, oil is now pushing above $80/bbl. Given current views of “inflation” from the massive liquidity infusions and supply chain disruptions, the focus on speculative positioning is not surprising. As shown in the monthly chart below, the price advance in crude oil is now back to historical extremes that have previously denoted tops in oil prices. As a result, the current extreme overbought, extended, and deviated positioning in crude will likely lead to a rather sharp correction. (The boxes denote previous periods of exceptional deviations from long-term trends.) The speculative long-positioning is driving the dichotomy in crude oil by NCTs. While levels fell from previous 2018 highs during a series of oil price crashes, they remain elevated at 398,307 net-long contracts and rising quickly. The good news is that oil did finally break above the long-term downtrend. However, it is too soon to know if these prices will “stick.”  Furthermore, the deflationary push and the dollar rally will likely derail oil prices if it continues. U.S. Dollar Rally Is Here As I stated earlier this year: “There are two significant risks to the entire ‘bull market’ thesis: interest rates and the dollar. For the bulls, the underlying rationalization for high valuations has been low inflation and rates. In February, we stated: Given an economy that is pushing $87 trillion in debt, higher rates and inflation will have immediate and adverse effects:“ The Federal Reserve gets forced to begin talking tapering QE, and reducing accommodation; and, The consumer will begin to contract consumption as higher costs pass through from producers.  “Given that personal consumption expenditures comprise roughly 70% of economic growth, higher inflation and rates will quickly curtail the ‘reflation’ story.‘ A few months later, the Fed started to talk about tapering their balance sheet purchases. With the market currently priced for perfection, the disappointment of economic growth caused by the rising dollar, interest rates, and a contraction in consumer spending is a significant risk to the market. As shown, the rally in the dollar is already starting to weaken the inflationary impact of higher import prices and suggests a peak in CPI. The one thing that always trips the market is what no one is paying attention to. For me, that risk lies with the US Dollar. As noted previously, everyone expects the dollar to continue to decline, and the falling dollar has been the tailwind for the emerging market, commodity, and equity risk-on trade.  As noted previously, “Whatever causes the dollar to reverse will likely bring the equity market down with it.” The dollar has been rising very quietly, and traders are becoming more aggressively long the dollar trade. Interest Rate Conundrum Over the latest several years, I have repeatedly addressed why financial market “experts” remain confounded by rates failing to rise. In March 2019, I wrote: “The Bond Bull Market,” which followed our earlier calls for a sharp drop in rates as the economy slowed. At that time, the call was a function of the extreme “net-short positioning” in bonds, which suggested a counter-trend rally was likely. Then, in March 2020, unsurprisingly, rates fell to the lowest levels in history as economic growth collapsed. Notably, while the Federal Reserve turned back on the “liquidity pumps,” juicing markets to all-time highs, bonds continue to attract money for “safety” over “risk.”  Recently, “bond bears” have again returned, suggesting rates must rise because of inflationary concerns. However, again, such is unlikely as economic growth is quickly stalling as liquidity runs dry. Currently, traders are more aggressively long contracts suggesting rates could still rise a bit further. However, while there is upside to rates, it is likely limited to less than 2% before economic growth gets impacted. Conclusion The markets are oversold enough on a short-term basis to rally. However, numerous headwinds are mounting from higher rates, inflation, oil prices, and the dollar. So while traders are piling into inflationary trade, they are likely going to be disappointed. While the markets can undoubtedly discount these headwinds short-term, they won’t be able to do it indefinitely. Such is why we remain concerned over the weekly and monthly “sell signals,” which are suggestive of increasing risk. The biggest problem is that technical indicators do not distinguish between a consolidation, a correction, or an outright bear market. As such, if you ignore the signals as they occur, by the time you realize it’s a deep correction, it is too late to do much about it. I suggest that with our “sell signals” triggered, taking some action could be beneficial.  Trim back winning positions to original portfolio weights: Investment Rule: Let Winners Run Sell positions that simply are not working (if the position was not working in a rising market, it likely won’t in a declining market.) Investment Rule: Cut Losers Short Hold the cash raised from these activities until the next buying opportunity occurs. Investment Rule: Buy Low There is minimal risk in “risk management.” In the long term, the results of avoiding periods of severe capital loss will outweigh missed short-term gains. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 14:12.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

Bitcoin Nears $63k As ProShares Signals ETF Launch Imminent, Dorsey Plans Mining System

Bitcoin Nears $63k As ProShares Signals ETF Launch Imminent, Dorsey Plans Mining System Update (1650ET): Confirming the earlier headlines that set the stage for a Bitcoin (futures) ETF to start trading next week, Bloomberg's James Seyffart tweeted that Proshares' 8A just hit which registers the ETF's shares with the SEC for trading on an exchange. If anyone needs more evidence that this is happening on Tuesday. Proshares' 8A just hit which registers the ETF's shares with the SEC for trading on an exchange. — James Seyffart (@JSeyff) October 15, 2021 Additionally, ETFStore President Nate Geraci told CoinDesk that the form is “a step forward” for digital assets and bridging them with the more traditional financial sector. He confirmed that the filing of a post-effective amendment is confirmation of the SEC’s tacit approval. “It’s an encouraging sign for the future of crypto to see SEC Chairman Gensler get comfortable in helping mainstream investors more easily access bitcoin exposure,” he said in an email. “The availability of a bitcoin ETF will now bring more investors under the crypto tent and facilitate greater education across the space.” As UBS warned in its latest Crypto Compasss, so as not to tempt fate, one veteran investor offered the tongue-in-cheek observation that anticipated SEC approval for a futures-based ETF may mark a local top in prices, much like the Coinbase IPO, per the old adage: "buy the rumour, sell the fact." The same thing occurred on the exact day that BTC futures debuted on the CME on December 17, 2017. We wouldn't bank on it but also wouldn't be surprised to see such a milestone marking the point where some long-term dip buyers begin to lighten up. They have been accumulating steadily for the past seven months. But, options markets are signaling a lot of upside still for BTC (and positive gamma)... However, UBS notes that stablecoin intervention is a more potent threat, with authorities actively throwing sand in the wheels of further development.  *  *  * Update (1635ET): Square (and Twitter) CEO Jack Dorsey has been a long-time advocate for cryptocurrencies and this evening he tweeted about his latest plans to create a Bitcoin mining system: Square is considering building a Bitcoin mining system based on custom silicon and open source for individuals and businesses worldwide. If we do this, we’d follow our hardware wallet model: build in the open in collaboration with the community. First some thoughts and questions. — jack⚡️ (@jack) October 15, 2021 As he detailed in a brief thread: 1/ Mining needs to be more distributed. The core job of a miner is to securely settle transactions without the need for trusted 3rd parties. This is critical well after the last bitcoin is mined. The more decentralized this is, the more resilient the Bitcoin network becomes. True?  2/ Mining needs to be more efficient. Driving towards clean and efficient energy use is great for Bitcoin’s economics, impact, and scalability. Energy is a system-level problem that requires innovation in silicon, software, and integration. What are the largest opportunities here?  3/ Silicon design is too concentrated into a few companies. This means supply is likely overly constrained. Silicon development is very expensive, requires long term investment, and is best coupled tightly with software and system design. Why aren’t more companies doing this work?  4/ There isn’t enough focus on vertical integration. Considering hardware, software, productization, and distribution requires accountability for delivering to an end customer vs improving a single technology in the chain. Does seeing this as a single system improve accessibility?  5/ Mining isn’t accessible to everyone. Bitcoin mining should be as easy as plugging a rig into a power source. There isn’t enough incentive today for individuals to overcome the complexity of running a miner for themselves. What are the biggest barriers for people running miners?  Our team led by @JesseDorogusker will start the deep technical investigation required to take on this project. We’d love your thoughts, ideas, concerns, and collaboration. Should we do this? Why or why not? We’ll update this thread as we make our decisions. And now over to Jesse.  That headline was enough to push Bitcoin even higher on the day, nearing $63k at its peak... *  *  * Cryptos are all rallying this morning but Bitcoin is making headlines as it broke back above the $60,000 level for the first since April... Source: Bloomberg This has extended a recent run from around $40,000 which has been driven by increasingly optimistic signs of a Bitcoin ETF being imminent... Source: Bloomberg This has pushed Bitcoin back up to be the world's 8th largest asset (just below that of Silver), and well above $1 trillion market cap... Source Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg has reported that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is poised to approve the first Bitcoin futures ETFs in the country. The anonymous sources said: “The regulator isn’t likely to block the products from starting to trade next week.” Bloomberg's Eric Balchunas recently laid out his odds for which of the numerous ETF proposals will be accepted first... And for those in the "digital gold" camp, this analog from the '70s is interesting. CoinTelegraph reports that Austrian investor and analyst Niko Jilch this week referenced famed investor Paul Tudor Jones while explaining the “excitement” over the Bitcoin ETF. Tudor Jones had previously highlighted Bitcoin’s cycles being similar to gold in the 1970s — just when it had become a futures product itself and enjoyed a 10-year bull run followed by a 50% correction. Gold’s 1970s rip, TechDev additionally noted, fits extremely neatly over Bitcoin’s performance since October 2020. Finally, not to be forgotten, Ethereum is holding above $3800... Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 16:42.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

COP-Out? World"s Largest Polluter Won"t Attend Climate Summit, Kerry Pessimistic On Progress

COP-Out? World's Largest Polluter Won't Attend Climate Summit, Kerry Pessimistic On Progress Update: As if to confirm the shitshow we expected below, just two weeks before a crucial summit in Rome, Bloomberg reports that the world’s major economies are gridlocked in their efforts to agree concrete steps to tackle climate change. Preparatory talks between G-20 officials this week failed to end in an agreement to reduce coal subsidies and curb methane emissions. There wasn’t even a consensus on striving toward net-zero emissions and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees from pre-industrial levels, according to three people familiar with the matter. China and India, two of the world’s biggest emitters and largest coal users, have failed to submit updated climate pledges. One person described the negotiating round as a disaster. Are they all suddenly realizing at once - amid the glorious FUBAR situation occurring in global energy markets - that their goals are a) infeasible, b) a giant waste of time and money without China's firm commitmentm and c) will create social unrest and lead to them losing their political power. *  *  * The imminent COP26 Climate Summit - heralded with the mighty goal of 2050 net-zero emissions - looks like being a giant nothing-burger (vegan of course). According to the study co-authored by a former Obama admin climate policy official, energy modelers and emissions experts (just go with it), China is now responsible for 27% of total global emissions - more than the combined total produced by the United States (11%), India (6.6%) and the 27 EU member nations together (6.4%). In fact, as we have noted previously, China's emissions exceed those of the United States and the rest of the developed world combined... In 2019, China’s emissions not only eclipsed that of the US—the world’s second-largest emitter at 11% of the global total—but also, for the first time, surpassed the emissions of all developed countries combined (Figure 2). When added together, GHG emissions from all members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as all 27 EU member states, reached 14,057 MMt CO2e in 2019, about 36 MMt CO2e short of China’s total. -Rhodium Group So it makes you wonder just what can be achieved given that Chinese officials have informed G-20 envoys that Xi does not currently plan to attend a summit in Italy later this month in person, and diplomats have said that means he’s unlikely to go to COP26 either. Which is quite a change from his previous "commitment": "We must be committed to multilateralism," Xi has said in the recent past. "China looks forward to working with the international community, including the United States, to jointly advance global environmental governance." With China in the middle of a serious energy crisis that sees it ramping up its coal production to meet energy demand (sending Thermal Coal prices to the moon), we suspect Xi is missing the Glasgow trip to focus on putting "China first"... Finally, we note that even Bloomberg is admitting that in an interview with AP, US Climate Envoy John Kerry has already downplayed hopes of success, saying nations could fall short of a new agreement on more aggressive action on global warming. Specifically, he warned that two weeks of talks could end with countries still short of the emissions targets set by those pushing for more action on climate change. “We will hopefully be moving very close to that,” he was quoted as saying. “Though there will be a gap and … we’ve got to be honest about the gap, and we have to use the gap as further motivation to continue to accelerate as fast as we can.” Greta is going to be so mad at you!! Lauri Myllyvirta (lead analyst at @CREACleanAir) explains why in the following Twitter thread... If your theory of how we're going to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees was that Xi is going to fly to Glasgow, strike a deal with OECD countries where everyone commits to 1.5-degree compatible emissions pathways, and flies home, I have bad news for you. Continued growth in China's CO2 emissions until late in the decade is absolutely not acceptable, and that needs to be made clear to Chinese negotiators. But China was never going to "cave" and commit to an earlier peaking date in Glasgow than pledged by Xi. It will take a lot more pressure and coaxing and leverage than offering a photo-op in Glasgow to change the mind of Chinese decision-makers. And however much leverage you bring to bear, that's going to be one factor at most alongside domestic considerations. Also anyone decrying China not going substantially further needs to ask "were we prepared to go much further as a part of a deal" and/or "does our own current commitment rank much higher on the scale of fair and equitable effort than China's". I want the whole climate problem to be sorted at least as much as the next guy, but it's going to be a long slog. In the past year and a bit, we've had China, South Korea, Japan, EU, UK, US commit to carbon neutrality. That's not enough but it's progress. Consolidate that, get holdout countries to pledge something comparable, make clear that's not yet enough, call it a year. We look forward to hearing from Larry Fink and the rest of the China apologists to explain just how committed to ESG etc China is after this. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 16:50.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

New airline ITA has officially taken over for Alitalia - see the full history of Italy"s troubled flag carrier

Alitalia has officially ceased operations and handed the baton to newcomer ITA, which stands for Italian Air Transport. ITA Airways Chairman Alfredo Altavilla poses with rendering of new livery ITA Press Office/Handout via REUTERS Government-owned Alitalia ceased operations on October 15, marking the end of its 74-year era. Alitalia has been replaced by ITA Airways, a brand new airline that will not be responsible for the old carrier's debt. ITA plans to buy 28 Airbus jets, create a new aircraft livery, and launch a new loyalty program. Alitalia has officially ceased operations and handed the baton to newcomer ITA Airways, which stands for Italian Air Transport.Italy's national carrier Alitalia has had a rocky past full of financial struggles, employee strikes, and other damaging events, forcing it to make the decision to cease operations on October 15 after 74 years of service. The airline stopped the sale of tickets in August and has committed to refunding all passengers who were booked on flights after October 14.On Thursday, the airline flew its final flight from Cagliari, Italy to Rome, according to FlightAware, officially sealing the fate of Alitalia. On Friday, the country's new flag carrier ITA took its place with a new livery, airplanes, and network, flying its first route from Milan Linate Airport to Bari International Airport in southern Italy.-João ☕ (@joaointhesky) October 14, 2021 Here's a look at Alitalia's storied past and the plan of its successor. Alitalia as a brand began in 1946, one year after World War II ended, first flying in 1947 within Italy and quickly expanding to other European countries and even opening intercontinental routes to South America. Passengers disembarking from an Alitalia Douglas DC-3 aircraft. Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia The full name of the airline was Italian International Airlines, a joint effort between the United Kingdom through British European Airways - a precursor to British Airways - and the Italian government. A British European Airways Vickers Viscount. Museum of Flight/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia True to its name, Alitalia flew its first with Italian aircraft produced by now-defunct manufacturers in aerospace including Fiat and Savoia-Marchetti. An Alitalia Fiat G-12. Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Following a merger with Italy's other airline, aptly named Italian Airlines or Linee Aeree Italiane, in 1957, Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane became Italy's top carrier. A Linee Aeree Italiane Douglas DC-3. Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Armed with a sizeable fleet of 37 aircraft including the four-engine Douglas DC-6 and Corvair 340, the airline was ranked 12 in the world for international carriers. Passengers disembarking an Alitalia aircraft. Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia As Europe returned to normalcy following the war, so did Italy and the 1960s became a pivotal decade for both the country and its airline as the 1960 Summer Olympics would be held in Rome. An Alitalia poster highlighting the upcoming Olympic Games in Rome. David Pollack/Corbis via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia The year saw Alitalia carry over one million passengers, introduce jets into its fleet, and move to a new home at Rome's Fiumicino Airport. Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport in 1961. Carlo Bavagnoli/Mondadori via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Alitalia entered the jet age with a mix of European and American aircraft such as the Sud Caravelle SE210… An Alitalia Sud Caravelle. Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia And the Douglas DC-8. An Alitalia DC-8. Adams/Fairfax Media via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia American aircraft largely comprised the airline's fleet once settled into the jet age with a short-haul fleet featuring the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and later the McDonnell Douglas MD-80... An Alitalia MD-80. Etienne DE MALGLAIVE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Complemented by a similarly American-dominated long-haul fleet consisting of aircraft such as the Boeing 747. An Alitalia Boeing 747 chartered by Pope John Paul II. Scott Peterson/Liaison/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia The arrival of the 747 was a seminal moment for Alitalia and it was the first aircraft to wear the airline's famed green, white, and red livery with an "A" shape on the tail. Alitalia's red and green "A" tail design. Etienne DE MALGLAIVE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Alitalia was the first European airline to transition fully into the jet age and continued the switch with more wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A300. An Alitalia Airbus A300. Images Group/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Other aircraft that would join the Alitalia jet fleet included the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, McDonnell Douglas DC-10... An Alitalia McDonnell Douglas MD-11. Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia And Boeing 767-300ER for long-haul flights. An Alitalia Boeing 767-300ER. JOKER/Hady Khandani/ullstein bild/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Alitalia even had uniforms designed by Georgio Armani, who also contributed to aircraft interior designs. Italian designer Georgio Armani. Vittoriano Rastelli/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Source: Alitalia The airline's short-haul fleet later included a European favorite, the Airbus A320 family. An Alitalia Airbus A320 airplane approaches to land at Fiumicino airport in Rome Reuters Source: Boeing As Italy's national airline, Alitalia was also known for flying the Pope with the papal plane using the flight number AZ4000, better known as Shepherd One An Alitalia plane chartered by the Pope. AP Photo/Plinio Lepri Source: Telegraph Despite rising traffic throughout its history with Italy being a popular European tourist and leisure destination, the airline struggled with profitability. Alitalia check-in desks at Rome's Fiumicino Airport. ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty As a state-owned airline, Alitalia could always depend on the government to keep it flying, until the European Union stepped in and forbade financial support in 2006. An Alitalia Airbus A330. AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca Source: New York Times The 2000s then saw serious discussion into Alitalia's future with the Italian government wanting to sell its stake in the airline. The airline was opened for bidders in 2007 but yielded no results. A crow flying passed an Alitalia plane. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia Source: New York Times Air France-KLM Group, the parent company of Air France and KLM as well as several smaller European airlines, then offered to buy the struggling airline but couldn't get labor unions on board and the deal collapsed. Alitalia and Air France-KLM Group signage. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Source: Reuters The Italian government, not wanting to lose its flag carrier, continued to prop up its airline via emergency loans in violation of European Union rules. The European Commission in Brussels. Greg Sandoval/Business Insider Source: European Union The third attempt in two years to sell the airline came after the Air France-KLM Group deal collapsed with an investors group forming the Compagnia Aerea Italiana to purchase the airline, despite heavy pushback from labor unions. An Alitalia Boeing 777. VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Source: Reuters This Alitalia began operations in 2009, with Air France-KLM soon coming back into the picture taking a 25% stake from CAI. Alitalia meeting with Air France, Delta, and KLM executives. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Source: Financial Times The new airline quickly began differentiating itself from its former self, leasing aircraft instead of purchasing them with the fleet consisting of the Airbus A330 family… An Alitalia Airbus A330. Alberto Lingria/Reuters Source: FlightGlobal And Boeing 777 family comprising the airline's long-haul fleet. An Alitalia Boeing 777. Abner Teixeira/Getty Source: FlightGlobal It wasn't long before Alitalia was plagued with issues ranging from union strikes to underperforming subsidiaries and even a sting operation that saw Alitalia employees arrested for theft, according to contemporaneous news reports. Alitalia workers protesting at Fiumicino Airport. AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino Source: New York Times and BBC With bankruptcy looming in 2013, Alitalia secured another bailout with help from the government that highlighted the need for restructuring. An Alitalia Airbus A320. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni Source: New York Times Alitalia saw a new investor in 2015, Eithad Airways, which would take a 49% stake in the airline and Alitalia - Compagnia Aerea Italiana became Alitalia - Societa Aerea Italiana. Alitalia and Etihad celebrating a new partnership. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni Source: Alitalia With a new investor in tow, Alitalia began cost-cutting measures but facing a backlash from employees due to planned job cuts, the airline began bankruptcy proceedings and the government announced Alitalia would be auctioned. Alitalia and Etihad's merger livery. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni Source: Reuters Meanwhile, another airline was positioning itself to become the new Italian flag carrier, the aptly named Air Italy. An Air Italy Airbus A330-200. Air Italy Rebranded from Meridiana, a regional Italian airline, Air Italy was jointly owned by private company Alisarda and Qatar Airways. A Qatar Airways Boeing 777-200LR. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider The airline chose Milan as its main hub ceding Rome to Alitalia. Long-haul flights from Milan to New York began in June 2018, with expansion to Asia happening soon after. Air Italy's inaugural ceremony for Milan-New York flights. David Slotnick/Business Insider Affected by the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max and without the Italian government as a benefactor, Air Italy closed up shop in early 2020, giving back full control of Italy to Alitalia. An Alitalia Airbus A320. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty While Air Italy was getting its start, the Italian government would once again seek outside investors with European, North American, and Asian airlines expressing interest in Alitalia. Alitalia aircraft in Italy. Alberto Lingria/Reuters Among those interested were UK low-cost carrier EasyJet... EasyJet airplanes are pictured at Tegel airport in Berlin. Reuters Source: Bloomberg Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair… A Ryanair commercial passenger jet takes off in Blagnac near Toulouse. Reuters Source: The Guardian The Lufthansa Group… Strike of Germany's cabin crew union UFO at Frankfurt airport. Reuters Source: CNBC Delta Air Lines… A Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200. James D. Morgan/Getty Source: Bloomberg And China Eastern Airlines… A China Eastern Airlines Airbus A320. REUTERS/Jon Woo Source: Reuters As well as Italian railway group Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane. A Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane train. TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Source: Reuters One after the other, the airlines dropped their interest, and ultimately, the Italian government re-nationalized the airline on March 17 during the coronavirus pandemic. Alitalia was re-nationalized amid the coronavirus pandemic. Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Source: Reuters  Despite bailouts from the state, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown of Italy took the ultimate toll on Alitalia, forcing it to make the decision to close the airline and launch a new one. Alitalia aircraft at the Frankfurt airport Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock Source: The Local On August 25, the airline stopped selling tickets and announced on its website that it would be offering free flight changes or refunds for passengers booked on Alitalia flights after October 14. People at Alitalia check in counter TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock Source: The Local When the airline ceased operations, its successor, Italia Transporto Aereo, took its place. Alitalia's last flight flew from Cagliari, Italy to Rome on October 14, and ITA launched operations with a flight from Milan to Bari, Italy on October 15. ITA app and logo rarrarorro/Shutterstock Source: AeroTime Talks between the European Commission and Italy over Alitalia and ITA began in March 2021, with Rome designating 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) to establish the new flag carrier. ITA signage at Catania airport rarrarorro/Shutterstock Source: Reuters Initially, ITA was slated to begin operations in April 2021, but lengthy discussions between Italy and the European Commission delayed its launch. Flags outside European Commission building in Brussels VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock Source: Reuters Part of the negotiations focused on confirming ITA's independence of Alitalia to ensure it did not inherit the billions of debt the old carrier owed to the state. Alitalia Airbus A319 Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock Source: Reuters Talks also included asking ITA to forfeit half of Alitalia's slots at Milan Linate Airport, which the airline was unwilling to do. Alitalia aircraft sit at Milan Linate airport Gabriele Maltinti/Shutterstock Source: Reuters ITA determined giving up that many slots at Linarte would be too big of a loss and proposed forfeiting slots at Rome Fiumicino Airport as a compromise. Alitalia check in counter Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino airport TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock Source: Reuters At the end of the discussions, negotiators agreed to allow ITA to keep 85% of slots at Linate and 43% at Fiumicino. Green ribbon barrier with the ITA airline logo inside the Leonardo da Vinci airport rarrarorro/Shutterstock Source: Reuters Also under negotiation was Alitalia's brand and its loyalty program, MilleMiglia. The European Commission said ITA would have to give up both. Alitalia Airbus A320 Yaya Photos/Shutterstock Source: Reuters Under European Commission rules, MilleMiglia cannot be bought by ITA and must be put out for public tender, meaning another airline or entity outside the aviation industry can purchase the program. There are an estimated five million MilleMiglia miles that customers have not been able to use. Customer checking into an Alitalia flight Sorbis/Shutterstock Source: EuroNews However, ITA was able to bid on Alitalia's brand, which it did the day before its launch. The airline bought the Alitalia name for €90 million ($104 million), though ITA executives say they don't plan on replacing the ITA name. Alitalia aircraft Light Orancio/Shutterstock Source: Reuters ITA began operations on October 15, the day after Alitalia's last flight. The new airline secured €700 million ($830 million) in funding earlier this year, which helped it purchase some of Alitalia's assets. Alitalia employees with new livery in 2015 Simone Previdi/Shutterstock Source: Reuters The successor acquired 52 of Alitalia's aircraft, seven being wide-bodies, and has plans to purchase and lease new ones, the first of which will enter the fleet in early 2022. Alitalia Boeing 777 Deni Williams/Shutterstock Source: Reuters By 2025, the airline expects to have 105 aircraft in its fleet and earn over 3.3 billion euros in revenue. ITA logo with Alitalia aircraft Yaya Photos/Shutterstock Source: Reuters, Airways Magazine Moreover, ITA plans to renew its fleet with next-generation aircraft, which is expected to make up 77% of its fleet in four years. According to ITA, the aircraft will reduce CO2 emissions by 750 thousand pounds from 2021 to 2025. Milan Linate Airport Alexandre Rotenberg/Shutterstock Source: Airways Magazine, ITA Airways The 31 new-generation planes, which include short, medium, and long-haul aircraft, will be leased by Air Lease Corporation. Airbus A320neo Airbus Source: Airways Magazine Meanwhile, 28 new Airbus jets, including ten Airbus A330neos, seven Airbus A220 family aircraft, and 11 Airbus A320neo family jets, will be purchased. Airbus A220 Airbus Source: Airways Magazine As part of a carbon-reducing project, the first 10 flights to depart Rome on October 15 will use sustainable aviation fuels made by Italian energy company Eni. The project will contribute to the EU's "Fit for 55" proposal, which strives to reduce carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Eni headquarters in Rome Source: Airways Magazine ITA introduced a new livery on launch day, which includes a light blue paint scheme representing unity, cohesion, and pride of the nation, as well as homage to Italy's national sports team, which wears sky blue during competitions. On the tail will be the Italian tricolor of red, white, and green. ITA Airways Chairman Alfredo Altavilla poses with rendering of new livery ITA Press Office/Handout via REUTERS Source: Airways Magazine In regards to its network, the carrier launched with 59 routes to 44 destinations. ITA plans to increase its routes to 74 in 2022 and 89 by 2025, while destinations are expected to increase to 58 in 2022 and 74 by 2025. ITA logo ITA Airways Source: Airways Magazine ITA will focus its operation out of Rome's Leonardo da Vinci International Airport and Milan Linate Airport, establishing itself as a "reference airline" for both business and leisure travelers. bellena/ Source: Airways Magazine The carrier also plans to target the North American market, with flights from Rome to New York launching on November 4. Joey Hadden/Insider Source: CNN As for the over 11,000 Alitalia workers, 70% were hired to work for ITA, which has 2,800 employees. 30% of that came from outside Alitalia. The company plans to add 1,000 new jobs in 2022 and reach 5,750 employees by 2025. Alitalia staff at Milan Linate Sorbis/Shutterstock Source: Reuters, Airways Magazine ITA plans to improve upon Alitalia's services, including incentivizing good customer service by attaching employee salary with customer satisfaction. Alitalia staff Sorbis/Shutterstock Source: CNN ITA has set up a loyalty program called Volare, effective October 15, which is split into four levels: smart, plus, premium, and executive. Customers can use accrued points for any flight in ITA's system. ITA app rarrarorro/Shutterstock Source: Airways Magazine According to ITA executives, the company plans to join a major international alliance, though it has not stated which one it prefers. Alitalia was aligned with the SkyTeam alliance, which is comprised of carriers like Delta, Air France, and KLM. Alitalia Embraer 190LR SkyTeam livery InsectWorld/Shutterstock Source: CNN, Reuters However, ITA chairman Alfredo Altavilla said it was open to all options. "ITA can't be a stand-alone carrier forever," he said. Alitalia Boeing 767 SkyTeam livery Eliyahu Yosef Parypa/Shutterstock Source: Reuters While it is the end of an era with the closing of Alitalia, there are high hopes for its successor. "ITA Airways has been created to intercept the recovery of air traffic in the coming years on the strength of the foundations of its strategy: sustainability, digitalization, customer focus, and innovations," said ITA CEO Fabio Lazzerini. Alitalia plane with ITA logo Yaya Photos/Shutterstock Source: Airways Magazine Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

Domino"s has a shortage of delivery drivers, so its CEO is hoping you"ll drive to the restaurant to pickup your pizza instead

Domino's same-store sales fell last quarter for the first time in a decade, and management is blaming a shortage of workers including delivery drivers. Sunday Alamba / AP Images Domino's same-store sales fell last quarter for the first time in a decade. Pizza chains thrived during the pandemic with delivery. Now, a lack of drivers may be ending the pizza boom. In Domino's just-released earnings results, and same-store sales dropped for the first time in 10 years. Before the 1.9% decline in sales of the last three months, the pandemic created a boom for pizza businesses. Domino's, like other pizza chains, was able to keep nearly all US stores open as other restaurants were forced to shut down dining rooms. Early on in the pandemic, restaurant industry analysts Saleh and Roger Lipton named Domino's as one of the chain's best positioned to survive the pandemic. Pizza chains had a major advantage over competitors for the last year and a half. They already had the infrastructure and customer base for delivery - on-premise dining was a much smaller part of their business than other chains, so they had less business to lose. Growth was strongest in the early days of the pandemic, with same-store sales growth topping 10% in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2020. Shrinking sales might not reflect lower demand, but Domino's doesn't have enough workers to keep up the earlier pace. CEO Richard Allison acknowledged the labor shortage as an issue for the chain in an earnings call, saying "staffing has been a challenge." Business owners across the industry say they're unable to find staff and in some cases even cite a lack of desire to work, while workers say they can demand better pay and benefits in the tight labor market.Allison said that overall staffing levels in the quarter were lower in the first half of 2021. While there are labor shortages across the business, the chain is most lacking drivers, he said. Domino's plans to focus on growing carryout orders, which do not require drivers, Allison said. Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 15th, 2021