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Fusion GPS Loses Its Fight Over "Privileged" Documents

Fusion GPS Loses Its Fight Over "Privileged" Documents Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary, We’ve documented the ongoing battle to obtain Fusion GPS e-mails and documents in the Michael Sussmann case. At issue in the Sussmann case are 38 e-mails and attachments between and among Fusion GPS, Rodney Joffe, and Perkins Coie. These 38 e-mails and attachments are among approximately 1,500 documents that Fusion GPS withheld from production to the grand jury based on “privilege.” What Fusion GPS has to produce. Today, the court in the Sussmann case made an important ruling and rejected, in large measure, Fusion’s assertion of attorney-client or work-product privilege: Fusion GPS will have to produce these documents to Special Counsel Durham by May 16, 2022. What do these e-mails and documents contain? The court’s order provides guidance, stating they relate to: Internal Fusion GPS e-mails discussing the Alfa Bank data and e-mails circulating draft versions of the Alfa Bank white papers that were “ultimately provided to the press and the FBI.” Here are some examples of what these e-mails might include. These are privilege logs in Fusion GPS’s other litigation relating to the Alfa Bank hoax. The other emails. This leaves 16 e-mails and documents remaining. For now, Durham will not get them. These are divided into two categories: Eight of the e-mails involve internal communications among Fusion GPS employees. The court was “unable to tell from the emails or the surrounding circumstances whether they were prepared for a purpose other than assisting Perkins Coie in providing legal advice to the Clinton Campaign in anticipation of litigaiton.” Coming from the court, that’s a long way of saying that the sworn declarations of Fusion/Clinton lawyers (Levy and Elias) were sufficient to meet the “privilege” burden. This doesn’t mean that Durham can’t overcome this hurdle - just that it hasn’t been overcome yet. The other eight e-mails and attachments include those among Fusion GPS’s Laura Seago, Sussmann, and Rodney Joffe. The court observed that the e-mails are consistent with Joffe’s assertion of privilege. With respect to the Joffe e-mails, we note that he is still a subject - perhaps a target - of the Special Counsel’s investigation. Here’s a portion of the transcript from an evidentiary hearing in the Sussmann case that discusses their ongoing investigation into Joffe: Because the investigation into Joffe is ongoing, it makes sense that the Special Counsel is hesitant to disclose to the court information that could overcome this purported “privilege.” Keep in mind the crime-fraud exception, where communications are not considered privileged where they “are made in furtherance of a crime, fraud, or other misconduct” (citation omitted). In other words, the Special Counsel may still be able to get Joffe’s e-mails - assuming Joffe is charged under 18 USC 1031. He can also get them through the grand jury process, as we saw with Mueller’s investigation of Paul Manafort.1 I’ll also add that the fact that privilege applies to some of these documents strengthens the Special Counsel’s argument that Sussmann was representing a client when he met with then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in September 2016. As to the e-mails and documents Durham will obtain, he cannot use them during trial. The court considered Durham’s efforts to be too close to the May 16, 2022 trial date to allow these e-mails and documents into trial. I’m not sure that matters. Sussmann is facing a false statement charge, and the court observed these e-mails are not “particularly revelatory.” Finally, while “Court takes no position on the other approximately 1500 documents that Fusion GPS withheld as privileged,” we can assume based on this ruling that the majority of those documents would not be privileged. Durham will likely get most of them.For those interested: After I wrote this post, New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau filed this request for a protective order. Lichtblau will be called as a witness by Sussmann’s attorneys to discuss “communications between Mr. Sussmann and Mr. Lichtblau” - meetings at which Rodney Joffe was present (that confidentiality privilege was waived). The Special Counsel has refused to limit Lichtblau’s testimony to that narrow topic: Durham is taking this position because Lichtblau was in contact with Peter Fritsch (and Glenn Simpson) of Fusion GPS leading up to the 2016 election. Fritsch was feeding Lichtblau Fusion “opposition research” (what we might accurately call bullshit), and Lichtblau was at least somewhat receptive, though not salivating like Franklin Foer. These are relevant to the broader “media relations” strategy that Sussmann and Fusion GPS pursued on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Here are the e-mails: Tyler Durden Fri, 05/13/2022 - 18:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 13th, 2022

Futures Slide Before Fed Minutes, Dollar Jumps As China Lockdown Fears Return

Futures Slide Before Fed Minutes, Dollar Jumps As China Lockdown Fears Return Another day, another failure by markets to hold on to even the smallest overnight gains: US futures erased earlier profits and dipped as traders prepared for potential volatility surrounding the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes which may provide insight into the central bank’s tightening path, while fears over Chinese lockdowns returned as Beijing recorded more Covid cases and the nearby port city of Tianjin locked down a city-center district. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 were each down 0.5% at 7:30 a.m. in New York after gaining as much as 1% earlier, signaling an extension to Tuesday’s slide that followed a profit warning from Snap. In premarket trading, Nordstrom jumped 10% after raising its forecast for earnings and revenue for the coming year suggesting that the luxury consumer is doing quite fine even as most of the middle class has tapped out; analysts highlighted the department store’s exposure to higher-end customers.Meanwhile, Wendy’s surged 12% after shareholder Trian Fund Management, billionaire Nelson Peltz' investment vehicle, said it will explore a transaction that could give it control of the fast-food chain. Here are the most notable premarket movers in the US: Urban Outfitters (URBN US) shares rose as much as 5.7% in premarket trading after Nordstrom’s annual forecasts provided some relief for the beaten down retail sector. Shares rallied even as Urban Outfitters reported lower-than-expected profit and sales for the 1Q. Best Buy (BBY US) shares could be in focus as Citi cuts its price target on electronics retailer to a new Street-low of $65 from $80, saying that there continues to be “significant risk” to 2H estimates. Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS US) sinks as much as 20% premarket after the retailer cut its year adjusted earnings per share and comparable sales guidance for the full year. Peers including Big 5 Sporting Goods, Hibbett and Foot Locker also fell after the DKS earnings release 2U Inc. (TWOU US) shares drop as much as 4.3% in US premarket trading after Piper Sandler downgraded the online educational services provider to underweight from neutral, with broker flagging growing regulatory risk. Verrica Pharma (VRCA US) shares slump as much as 61% in US premarket trading after the drug developer received an FDA Complete Response Letter for its VP-102 molluscum treatment. Shopify’s (SHOP US) U.S.-listed shares fell 0.7% in premarket trading after a second prominent shareholder advisory firm ISS joined its peer Glass Lewis to oppose the Canadian company’s plan to give CEO Tobi Lutke a special “founder share” that will preserve his voting power. Cazoo (CZOO US) shares declined 3.3% in premarket trading as Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the stock with a neutral recommendation, saying the company is well positioned to capture the significant growth in online used car sales. CME Group (CME US Equity) may be in focus as its stock was upgraded to outperform from market perform at Oppenheimer on attractive valuation and an “appealing” dividend policy. US stocks have slumped this year, with the S&P 500 flirting with a bear market on Friday, as investors fear that the Fed’s active monetary tightening will plunge the economy into a recession: as Bloomberg notes, amid surging inflation, lackluster earnings and bleak company guidance have added to market concerns. The tech sector has been particularly in focus amid higher rates, which mean a bigger discount for the present value of future profits. The Nasdaq 100 index has tumbled to the lowest since November 2020 and its 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of 19.7 is the lowest since the start of the pandemic and below its 10-year average. “The consumer in the US is still showing really good signs of strength,” said Michael Metcalfe, global head of macro strategy at State Street Global Markets. “Even if there is a slowdown it’s going to be quite mild,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Meanwhile, Barclays Plc strategists including Emmanuel Cau see scope for stocks to fall further if outflows from mutual funds pick up, unless recession fears are alleviated. Retail investors have also not yet fully capitulated and “still look to be buying dips in old favorites in tech/growth,” the strategists said. "Our central scenario remains that a recession can be avoided and that geopolitical risks will moderate over the course of the year, allowing equities to move higher,” said Mark Haefele,  chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “But recent market falls have underlined the importance of being selective and considering strategies that mitigate volatility." The Fed raised interest rates by 50 basis points earlier this month -- to a target range of 0.75% to 1% -- and Chair Jerome Powell has signaled it was on track to make similar-sized moves at its meetings in June and July. Investors are now awaiting the release of the May 3-4 meeting minutes later on Wednesday to evaluate the future path of rate hikes. However, in recent days, traders have dialed back the expected pace of Fed interest-rate increases over worse-than-expected economic data and the selloff in equities. Sales of new US homes fell more in April than economists forecast, and the Richmond Fed’s measure of business activity dropped to a two-year low. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped for a second day to 2.73%. “Given the risks to growth and our view that positive real rates will be unmanageable for any significant length of time, we expect the Fed to deliver less tightening in 2022 overall than it and markets currently expect,” Salman Ahmed, global head of macro and strategic asset allocation at Fidelity International, wrote in a note. In Europe, stocks pared an earlier advance but hold in the green while the dollar rallies. The Stoxx 600 gave back most of the morning’s gains with autos, financial services and travel weighing while miners and utilities outperformed. The euro slid as comments by European Central Bank officials indicated policy normalization will be gradual. The ECB is in the midst of a debate over how aggressive it should act to rein in inflation. Here are some of the most notable European movers today: SSE shares rise as much as 6.3% after strong guidance and amid reports that electricity generators are likely to escape windfall taxes being considered by the U.K. government. Air France-KLM jumps as much as 13% in Paris after falling 21% on Tuesday as the airline kicked off a EU2.26 billion rights offering. Mining and energy stocks outperform the broader market in Europe as iron ore rebounded, while oil rose after a report that showed a decline in US gasoline stockpiles. Rio Tinto gains as much as 2.3%, Anglo American +2.6%, TotalEnergies +2.8%, Equinor +3.7% Elekta rises as much as 9.3% after releasing a 4Q earnings report that beat analysts’ expectations. Torm climbs as much as 12% after Pareto initiates coverage at buy and says the company may pay out dividends equal to 40% of its market value over the next 3 years. Mercell rises as much as 104% to NOK6.13/share after recommending a NOK6.3/share offer from Spring Cayman Bidco. Luxury stocks traded lower amid rekindled Covid-19 worries in China as Beijing continued to report new infections while nearby Tianjin locked down its city center. LVMH declines as much as 1.4%, Burberry -2.6% and Hermes -1.7% Sodexo falls as much as 5.7% after the French caterer decided not to open up the capital of its benefits & rewards unit to a partner following a review of the business. Ocado slumps as much as 8% after its grocery joint venture with Marks & Spencer slashed its forecast for FY22 sales growth to low single digits, rather than around 10% guided previously. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks were steady as traders continued to gauge growth concerns and fears of a US recession. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1%, paring an earlier increase of as much as 0.5%, as gains in the financial sector were offset by losses in consumer names. New Zealand equities dipped on Wednesday after the central bank delivered an expected half-point interest rate hike to combat inflation. Chinese shares stabilized after the central bank and banking regulator urged lenders to boost loans as the nation grapples with ongoing Covid outbreaks. The benchmark CSI 300 Index snapped a two-day losing streak to close 0.6% higher. Asian equities have been trading sideways as the prospect of slower growth amid tighter monetary conditions, as well as China’s strict Covid policy and supply-chain disruptions, remain key overhangs for the market. In China, the country’s strict Covid policy is outweighing broad measures to support growth and keeping investors wary. Its commitment to Covid Zero means it’s all but certain to miss its economic growth target by a large margin for the first time ever. The nation’s central bank and banking regulator urged lenders to boost loans in the latest effort to shore up the battered economy. “The valuation is still nowhere near attractive and you have a number of leading indicators, whether its credit, liquidity or growth, which are not yet indicating that we want to take more risks on the market,” Frank Benzimra, head of Asia equity strategy at Societe Generale, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. He added that the preferred strategy in equities will focus on defensive plays like resources and income. Investors will get further clues on the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate policies with the release in Washington of minutes from the latest meeting on Wednesday. Concerns that the Fed’s tightening will plunge the nation into recession had spurred a sharp selloff in US shares recently. Japanese stocks ended a bumpy day lower as investors awaited minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting and continued to gauge the impact of China’s rising Covid cases. The Topix fell 0.1% to close at 1,876.58, while the Nikkei declined 0.3% to 26,677.80. Nintendo Co. contributed the most to the Topix Index decline, decreasing 4.3%. Out of 2,171 shares in the index, 793 rose and 1,257 fell, while 121 were unchanged. Meanwhile, Australian stocks bounced with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.4% to close at 7,155.20, with banks and miners contributing the most to its move. Costa Group was the top performer after reaffirming its operating capex guidance. Chalice Mining dropped after an equity raising. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7% to 11,173.37 after the RBNZ’s policy decision. The central bank raised interest rates by half a percentage point for a second straight meeting and forecast further aggressive hikes to come to tame inflation. India’s key equity indexes fell for the third consecutive session, dragged by losses in software makers as worries grow over companies’ spending on technology amid a clouded growth outlook. The S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.6% to 53,749.26 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.6%. The benchmark has retreated for all but four sessions this month, slipping 5.8%, dragged by Infosys, Tata Consultancy and Reliance Industries. All but two of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell on Wednesday, led by information technology stocks. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 12 rose and 18 fell. The S&P BSE IT Index has lost nearly 26% this year and is trading at its lowest level since June.  In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index resumed rising, up 0.3% with all G-10 FX in the red against the dollar. The euro slipped and Italian bonds extended gains after comments from ECB officials. Executive board member Fabio Panetta said the ECB shouldn’t seek to raise its interest rates too far as long as the euro-area economy displays continuing signs of fragility. Board Member Olli Rehn said the ECB should raise rates to zero in autumn. The pound was steady against the dollar and gained versus the euro, paring some of its losses from Tuesday. Focus is on the long-awaited report into lockdown parties at No. 10. The BOE needs to tighten policy further to fight rising inflation, but it’s also wary of acting too quickly and risking pushing the UK into recession, according to Chief Economist Huw Pill. Sweden’s krona slumped on the back of a stronger dollar and amid data showing that consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since the global financial crisis. Yen eased as Treasury yields steadied in Asia from an overnight plunge.  China’s offshore yuan weakened for the first time in five days as Beijing recorded more Covid cases and the nearby port city of Tianjin locked down a city-center district. New Zealand dollar and sovereign yields rose after the RBNZ hiked rates by 50 basis points for a second straight meeting and forecast more aggressive tightening, with the cash rate seen peaking at 3.95% in 2023. Most emerging-market currencies also weakened against a stronger dollar as investors await minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting for clues on the pace of US rate hikes.  The ruble extended its recent rally in Moscow even as Russia’s central bank moved up the date of its next interest-rate meeting by more than two weeks to stem gains in the currency with more monetary easing. Russia has been pushed closer to a potential default. US banks and individuals are barred from accepting bond payments from Russia’s government since 12:01 a.m. New York time on Wednesday, when a license that had allowed the cash to flow ended. The lira lagged most of its peers, weakening for a fourth day amid expectations that Turkey’s central bank will keep rates unchanged on Thursday even after consumer prices rose an annual 70% in April. In rates, Treasuries were steady with yields slightly richer across long-end of the curve as S&P 500 futures edge lower, holding small losses. US 10-year yields around 2.745% are slightly richer vs Tuesday’s close; long-end outperformance tightens 5s30s spread by 1.4bp on the day with 30-year yields lower by ~1bp. Bunds outperform by 2bp in 10-year sector while gilts lag slightly with no major catalyst. Focal points of US session include durable goods orders data, 5-year note auction and minutes of May 3-4 FOMC meeting. The US auction cycle resumes at 1pm ET with $48b 5-year note sale, concludes Thursday with $42b 7-year notes; Tuesday’s 2-year auction stopped through despite strong rally into bidding deadline. The WI 5-year yield at ~2.740% is ~4.5bp richer than April auction, which tailed by 0.9bp. In commodities, WTI pushed higher, heading back toward best levels of the week near $111.60. Most base metals trade in the red; LME aluminum falls 2.3%, underperforming peers. Spot gold falls roughly $10 to trade around $1,856/oz. Spot silver loses 1.1% to around. Bitcoin trades on either side of USD 30k with no real direction. Looking to the day ahead now, and central bank publications include the FOMC minutes from their May meeting and the ECB’s Financial Stability Review. Separately, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Rehn, Panetta, Holzmann, de Cos and Lane, BoJ Governor Kuroda, Fed Vice Chair Brainard and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Otherwise, data releases from the US include preliminary April data on durable goods orders and core capital goods orders. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 3,942.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 433.41 MXAP little changed at 163.41 MXAPJ up 0.3% to 531.42 Nikkei down 0.3% to 26,677.80 Topix little changed at 1,876.58 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 20,171.27 Shanghai Composite up 1.2% to 3,107.46 Sensex down 0.5% to 53,763.20 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,155.24 Kospi up 0.4% to 2,617.22 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.94% Euro down 0.5% to $1.0677 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $114.69/bbl Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,856.22 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.30% to 102.16 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg New Zealand dollar and sovereign yields rose after the RBNZ hiked rates by 50 basis points and forecast more aggressive tightening, with the cash rate seen peaking at 3.95% in 2023 The euro slipped and Italian bonds extended gains after comments from ECB officials. Executive board member Fabio Panetta said the ECB shouldn’t seek to raise its interest rates too far as long as the euro-area economy displays continuing signs of fragility. Board Member Olli Rehn said the ECB should raise rates to zero in autumn The pound was steady against the dollar and gained versus the euro, paring some of its losses from Tuesday. Focus is on the long-awaited report into lockdown parties at No. 10 The BOE needs to tighten policy further to fight rising inflation, but it’s also wary of acting too quickly and risking pushing the UK into recession, according to Chief Economist Huw Pill Sweden’s krona slumped on the back of a stronger dollar and amid data showing that consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since the global financial crisis Yen eased as Treasury yields steadied in Asia from an overnight plunge A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were mostly positive but with gains capped and price action choppy after a lacklustre lead from global counterparts as poor data from the US and Europe stoked growth concerns, while the region also reflected on the latest provocations by North Korea and the RBNZ’s rate increase. ASX 200 was led higher by commodity-related stocks despite the surprise contraction in Construction Work. Nikkei 225 remained subdued after recent currency inflows and with sentiment clouded by geopolitical tensions. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were marginally higher following further support efforts by the PBoC and CBIRC which have explored increasing loans with major institutions and with the central bank to boost credit support, although the upside is contained amid the ongoing COVID concerns and with Beijing said to tighten restrictions among essential workers. Top Asian News US SEC official said significant issues remain in reaching a deal with China over audit inspections and even if US and China reach a deal on proceeding with inspections, they would still have a long way to go, according to Bloomberg. China will be seeing a Pacific Island Agreement when Senior Diplomat Wang Yi visits the region next week, according to documents cited by Reuters. North Korea Fires Suspected ICBM as Biden Wraps Up Asia Tour Luxury Stocks Slip Again as China Covid-19 Worries Persist Asia Firms Keep SPAC Dream Alive Despite Poor Returns: ECM Watch Powerlong 2022 Dollar Bonds Fall Further, Poised for Worst Week In Europe the early optimism across the equity complex faded in early trading. Major European indices post mild broad-based gains with no real standouts. Sectors initially opened with an anti-defensive bias but have since reconfigured to a more pro-defensive one. Stateside, US equity futures have trimmed earlier gains, with relatively broad-based gains seen across the contracts; ES (+0.1%). Top European News Aiming ECB Rate at Neutral Risks Hurting Economy, Panetta Says M&S Says Russia Exit, Inflation to Prevent Profit Growth Prudential Names Citi Veteran Wadhwani as Insurer’s Next CEO EU’s Gentiloni Eyes Deal on Russian Oil Embargo: Davos Update UK’s Poorest to See Inflation Hit Near Double Pace of the Rich FX Buck builds a base before Fed speak, FOMC minutes and US data - DXY tops 102.250 compared to low of 101.640 on Tuesday. Kiwi holds up well after RBNZ hike, higher OCR outlook and Governor Orr outlining the need to tighten well beyond neutral - Nzd/Usd hovers above 0.6450 and Aud/Nzd around 1.0950. Euro pulls back sharply as ECB’s Panetta counters aggressive rate guidance with gradualism to avoid a normalisation tantrum - Eur/Usd sub-1.0700 and Eur/Gbp under 0.8550. Aussie undermined by flagging risk sentiment and contraction in Q1 construction work completed - Aud/Usd retreats through 0.7100. Loonie and Nokkie glean some underlying traction from oil returning to boiling point - Usd/Cad capped into 1.2850, Eur/Nok pivots 10.2500. Franc, Yen and Sterling all make way for Greenback revival - Usd/Chf bounces through 0.9600, Usd/Jpy over 127.00 and Cable close to 1.2500. Fixed Income Choppy trade in bonds amidst fluid risk backdrop and ongoing flood of global Central Bank rhetoric, Bunds and Gilts fade just above 154.00 and 119.00. Eurozone periphery outperforming as ECB's Panetta urges gradualism to avoid a normalisation tantrum and Knot backs President Lagarde on ZIRP by end Q3 rather than going 50 bp in one hit. US Treasuries flat-line before US data, Fed's Brainard, FOMC minutes and 5-year supply - 10 year T-note midway between 120-21/09+ parameters. Commodities WTI and Brent July futures are firmer intraday with little newsflow throughout the European morning. US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude +0.6mln (exp. -0.7mln), Gasoline -4.2mln (exp. -0.6mln), Distillates -0.9mln (exp. +0.9mln), Cushing -0.7mln. Spot gold is pressured by the recovery in the Dollar but found some support at its 21 DMA. Base metals are pressured by the turn in the risk tone this morning. US Event Calendar 07:00: May MBA Mortgage Applications -1.2%, prior -11.0% 08:30: April Durable Goods Orders, est. 0.6%, prior 1.1% -Less Transportation, est. 0.5%, prior 1.4% 08:30: April Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 0.4% 08:30: April Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 1.3% Central Banks 12:15: Fed’s Brainard Delivers Commencement Address 14:00: May FOMC Meeting Minutes DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap This morning we’ve launched our latest monthly survey. In it we try to ask questions that aren’t easy to derive from market pricing. For example we ask whether you think a recession is a price worth paying to tame inflation back to target. We also ask whether you think the Fed will think the same. We ask whether you think bubbles are still in markets and whether the bottom is in for equities. We also ask you the best hedge against inflation from a small list of mainstream assets. Hopefully it will be of use and the more people that fill it in the more useful it might be so all help welcome. The link is here. Talking of inflation I had a huge shock yesterday. The first quote of three came back from builders for what I hope will be our last ever renovation project as we upgrade a dilapidated old outbuilding. Given the job I do I'd like to think I'm fully aware of commodity price effects and labour shortages pushing up costs but nothing could have prepared me for a quote 250% higher than what I expected. We have two quotes to come but if they don't come in nearer to my expectations then we're either going to shelve/postpone the project after a couple of years of planning or my work output might reduce as I learn how to lay bricks, plumb, tile, make and install windows and plaster amongst other things. Maybe I could sell the rights of my journey from banker to builder to Netflix to make up for lost earnings. Rather like my building quote expectations, markets came back down to earth yesterday, only avoiding a fresh closing one-year low in the S&P 500 via a late-day rally that sent the market from intra-day lows of -2.48% earlier in the session to -0.81% at the close and giving back just under half the gains from the best Monday since January. Having said that S&P futures are up +0.6% this morning so we've had a big swing from the lows yesterday afternoon. The blame for the weak market yesterday was put on weak economic data alongside negative corporate news. US tech stocks saw the biggest losses as the NASDAQ (-2.35%) hit its lowest level in over 18 months following Snap’s move to cut its profit forecasts that we mentioned in yesterday’s edition. The stock itself fell -43.08%. Indeed, the NASDAQ just barely avoided closing more than -30% (-29.85%) from its all-time high reached back in November. The S&P 500's closing loss leaves it +1.03% week to date as it tries to avoid an 8th consecutive weekly decline for just the third time since our data starts in 1928. Typical defensive sectors Utilities (+2.01%), staples (+1.66%), and real estate (+1.21%) drove the intraday recovery, so even with the broad index off the day’s lows, the decomposition points to continued growth fears. Investors had already been braced for a more difficult day following the Monday night news from Snap, but further fuel was then added to the fire after US data releases significantly underwhelmed shortly after the open. First, the flash composite PMI for May fell to 53.8 (vs. 55.7 expected), marking a second consecutive decline in that measure. And then the new home sales data for April massively underperformed with the number falling to an annualised 591k (vs. 749k expected), whilst the March reading was also revised down to an annualised 709k (vs. 763k previously). That 591k reading left new home sales at their lowest since April 2020 during the Covid shutdowns, and comes against the backdrop of a sharp rise in mortgage rates as the Fed have tightened policy, with the 30-year fixed rate reported by Freddie Mac rising from 3.11% at the end of 2021 to 5.25% in the latest reading last week. The strong defensive rotation in the S&P 500 and continued fears of a recession saw investors pour into Treasuries, which have been supported by speculation that the Fed might not be able to get far above neutral if those growth risks do materialise. Yields on 10yr Treasuries ended the day down -10.1bps at 2.75%, and the latest decline in the 10yr inflation breakeven to 2.58% leaves it at its lowest closing level since late-February, just after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine that led to a spike in global commodity prices. And with investors growing more worried about growth and less worried about inflation, Fed funds futures took out -11.5bps of expected tightening by the December meeting, and saw terminal fed funds futures pricing next year close below 3.00% for the first time in two weeks. 10 year US yields are back up a basis point this morning. Over in Europe there was much the same pattern of equity losses and advances for sovereign bonds. However, the decline in yields was more muted after there was further chatter about a potential 50bp hike from the ECB. Austrian central bank governor Holzmann said that “A bigger step at the start of our rate-hike cycle would make sense”, and Latvian central bank governor Kazaks also said that a 50bp hike was “certainly one thing that we could discuss”. Along with Dutch central bank governor Knot, that’s now 3 members of the Governing Council who’ve openly discussed the potential they could move by 50bps as the Fed has done, and markets seem to be increasingly pricing in a chance of that, with the amount of hikes priced in by the July meeting closing at a fresh high of 32.5bps yesterday. In spite of the growing talk about a 50bp move at a single meeting, the broader risk-off tone yesterday led to a decline in sovereign bond yields across the continent, with those on 10yr bunds (-4.9bps), OATs (-4.3bps) and BTPs (-5.9bps) all falling back. Equities struggled alongside their US counterparts, and the STOXX 600 (-1.14%) ended the day lower, as did the DAX (-1.80%) and the CAC 40 (-1.66%). The flash PMIs were also somewhat underwhelming at the margins, with the Euro Area composite PMI falling a bit more than expected to 54.9 (vs. 55.1 expected). Over in the UK there were even larger moves after the country’s flash PMIs significantly underperformed expectations. The composite PMI fell to 51.8 (vs. 56.5 expected), which is the lowest reading since February 2021 when the country was still in lockdown. In turn, that saw sterling weaken against the other major currencies as investors dialled back the amount of expected tightening from the Bank of England, with a fall of -0.44% against the US dollar. That also led to a relative outperformance in gilts, with 10yr yields down -8.3bps. And on top of that, there were signs of further issues on the cost of living down the tracks, with the CEO of the UK’s energy regulator Ofgem saying that the energy price cap was set to increase to a record £2,800 in October, an increase of more than 40% from its current level. Asian equity markets are mostly trading higher this morning with the Hang Seng (+0.64%), Shanghai Composite (+0.58%), CSI (+0.17%) and Kospi (+0.80%) trading in positive territory with the Nikkei (-0.03%) trading fractionally lower. Earlier today, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), in a widely anticipated move, hiked the official cash rate (OCR) by 50bps to 2.0%, its fifth-rate hike in a row in a bid to get on top of inflation which is currently running at a 31-year high. The central bank has significantly increased its forecast of how high the OCR might rise in the coming years with the cash rate jumping to about 3.4% by the end of this year and peaking at 3.95% in the third quarter of 2023. Additionally, it forecasts the OCR to start falling towards the end of 2024. Following the release of the statement, the New Zealand dollar hit a three-week high of 0.65 against the US dollar. Elsewhere, as we mentioned last week, today marks the expiration of the US Treasury Department’s temporary waiver that allowed Russia to make sovereign debt payments to US creditors. US investors will no longer be able to receive such payments, pushing Russia closer to default on its outstanding sovereign debt. To the day ahead now, and central bank publications include the FOMC minutes from their May meeting and the ECB’s Financial Stability Review. Separately, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Rehn, Panetta, Holzmann, de Cos and Lane, BoJ Governor Kuroda, Fed Vice Chair Brainard and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Otherwise, data releases from the US include preliminary April data on durable goods orders and core capital goods orders. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/25/2022 - 08:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 25th, 2022

"Do The F-ing Alfa-Bank Story": The Fight Over "Privileged" Fusion GPS Emails

"Do The F-ing Alfa-Bank Story": The Fight Over "Privileged" Fusion GPS Emails Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary, We have the transcript to yesterday’s hearing in the Michael Sussmann case, where the judge heard argument relating to the privilege dispute over the following: Documents involving Fusion GPS’s provision of opposition research and media-related strategies to Hillary for America, the DNC, and Perkins Coie. This includes the Fusion GPS/Perkins Coie contract and 38 e-mails and attachments between and among Fusion GPS, Rodney Joffe, and Perkins Coie. Communications between Fusion GPS and Rodney Joffe relating to the Alfa Bank allegations, and “other emails that precede, and appear to relate to, those communications.” This include emails between Joffe and Laura Seago, whom Durham has subpoenaed as a trial witness. Hillary for America (or what we might call the Clinton campaign), the DNC, Rodney Joffe, Perkins Coie, and Fusion GPS have all been involved in this privilege fight, submitting declarations in support of their motions against Durham’s access to these documents/e-mails. Here we discussed the Clinton Campaign’s dubious assertion that Fusion GPS was providing “legal advice” to the campaign’s lawyers, Perkins Coie. We’ve been confident that Durham would win this fight, especially in light of newly-available FEC General Counsel Reports which concluded “there is no evidence that Fusion provided services other than this opposition research.” Yesterday’s hearing only seems to confirm that Durham will get these records - to an extent (more on that “extent” below). As we updated on Twitter, the Court granted Durham’s motion to compel production of documents for in camera review (meaning review by the judge). The purpose of this step is so the judge can determine whether the attorney-client privilege and/or the work product protections apply to these documents and communications. The key part of the Clinton Campaign’s “privilege” argument is that Fusion GPS was providing “legal support” or “legal advice” to their attorneys at Perkins Coie. For the 38 e-mails in question, the judge asked the Clinton Campaign lawyer about whether those e-mails might support that theory. (This is important because the judge will look at these e-mails individually - and because the judge recognized that “opposition research . . . does not, under the case law, fall within the attorney-client or work product privileges.”) The Clinton Campaign lawyer response to that question was a damning “I don’t”: The transcript also sheds light on the content of the e-mails - or at a minimum, the subject matter of the e-mails. All 38 e-mails relate to the Alfa Bank allegations. 30 of those are “internal Fusion emails” and 8 are correspondence involving Rodney Joffe. The judge also pressed the Hillary for America attorney about the broader Fusion GPS role in “media relations”: The transcript also provides additional info on Fusion GPS witness Laura Seago, who was in meetings with Sussmann and Joffe and has been granted immunity to testify. She will speak on the following topics. Another issue the court faced yesterday was the fact that there are more e-mails the Special Counsel might want to access. While the Sussmann case involves a dispute over 38 e-mails, Fusion has asserted privilege over some “1,500 documents” at the direction of “the privilege-holder’s counsel” (either Hillary for America or Rodney Joffe, or both). If the court grants access, that could open up access to the other e-mails. The court asked whether Durham’s team would come back for the other 1,500 e-mails. They responded in the negative - with a curious “not for this trial” - and stated the court’s decision would be “important for other investigations.” Near the end of the hearing, the judge granted Durham’s request for an in camera review of the 38 emails. In doing so, he observed “there is a distinction between hiring a public relations firm to provide fact-checking or consulting on litigation risk and the affirmative creation and dissemination of research about an opposing candidate or business, for that matter.” I mentioned that Durham will get these records “to an extent.” We believe he’ll likely get the 30 the Clinton Campaign was fighting to keep secret. As to the rest? The judge was “dubious” about Durham’s argument that the 8 e-mails regarding Rodney Joffe weren’t privileged, seemingly buying the argument from Joffe’s counsel that “as Mr. Joffe understood, Fusion was a third party that was hired by his counsel to supply resources and expertise that were essential to the legal advice that Mr. Joffe was seeking from Mr. Sussmann on an extremely complex and sensitive matter.” Now it’s a question of whether those 8 Joffe e-mails change the court’s mind. With Joffe’s participation in orchestrating the Alfa Bank hoax, it’s entirely possible. Here is a link to the transcript. Tyler Durden Fri, 05/06/2022 - 09:05.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 6th, 2022

The F-22 is finally getting some much needed upgrades

Twenty-five years after it entered service, the F-22 is scheduled to receive some major upgrades to keep its edge over future adversaries. F-22 Raptors.USAF After 25 years in service, the F-22 is getting major upgrades to keep its edge over future adversaries. The new upgrades for the F-22 have been teased both in official Air Force artworks and FY23 budget. Twenty-five years after it entered service in the US Air Force, the F-22 Raptor is scheduled to receive some major upgrades to keep its edge over future adversaries.Some of these upgrades were unveiled last week in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget request documentation and in an official artwork shared by Gen. Mark Kelly, the commander of Air Combat Command, in a post about the 15th anniversary of the approval of the first F-22 flight demonstration.In the artwork we can see three Raptors loaded with new stealthy external fuel tanks, two underwing faceted pods and a new unknown air-to-air missile, but there are even more novelties in the documents, which unveils a previously undisclosed relationship between the F-22 and the development of the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD), the "system of systems" which includes the first Air Force's 6th-gen fighter aircraft.Let's now see what we know about the upgrades that have been disclosed so far.—Gen Mark Kelly (@ACC_Commander) April 27, 2022The two pods installed under the outer underwing hardpoints have already been spotted during flight testing on an F-22 at the Air Force's Plant 42 facility in Palmdale, California, in February.It is not known yet what kind of systems are housed inside the two pods. One of the possibilities is this being a new Electronic Warfare (EW) pod, specifically developed for the Raptor in order not to dangerously degrade its Radar Cross Section (RCS).The F-22 is already equipped with highly sophisticated EW systems but, considering the ever-evolving EW world, it might be worth to trade a small fraction of the Raptor's low observability for new advanced capabilities. Also, the pod would make a simpler and less expensive way to rapidly integrate new capabilities on the aircraft as they become available.One of the two pods seems to have a faceted aperture for a sensor of some kind, perhaps for an Infrared Search And Track System (IRST), as hypothesized also by The War Zone. This type of sensor was initially among the various systems being developed for the Advanced Tactical Fighter program, but it was later cancelled.F-22 Raptors.US Air ForceThe Air Force, however, is now looking again to get this capability for the Raptor, as shown in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) documentation that has been recently released: "The F-22 Program Office is seeking novel hardware and software solutions that provide long-range infrared sensing and object detection capabilities.[…] If a contractor is able to develop a product that meets the requirement, the Air Force will evaluate it, with the intention of integrating it on the fighter."The addition on the F-22 of an IRST system like the F-35's Electro Optical Targeting System (EOTS) would require heavy and expensive modifications to the airframe, so a podded solution seems the most reasonable possibility. The addition of an internal IRST sensor on the Raptor was also considered not possible by Lockheed Martin some years ago.It is worth noting that the same SBIR documentation that we just mentioned also calls for other F-22-related requirements, such as cyber intrusion detection and prevention, predictive maintenance, synthetic data generation, sensor fusion, improved sensing (radar), manned-unmanned teaming, pilot-assisted autonomy, alternative navigation to GPS, Scorpion Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD), Red Air threat replication application, optimized intercept, real-time debriefing (basic fighter maneuvers), and combat identification.The HMD is another capability that was cancelled during the development of the Raptor, but the Air Force later began investigating about integrating it on the aircraft once in service. The first system that was looked at for integration was, obviously, the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, the Air Force's standard HMD, but various problems related to the aircraft characteristic prevented the works to go forward.Years later, the Air Force looked at another HMD system for integration, the Scorpion, but, due to unknown issues, it did not succeed again.An F-22 Raptor.US Air ForceAnother upgrade featured in the artworks is the couple of new external fuel tanks, which is officially known as Low Drag Tank and Pylon (LDTP) and designed to be stealthier and more aerodynamically efficient than the current 600-gallon fuel tanks. This is description given in the FY23 budget request documentation:"The F-22 Low Drag Tank and Pylon (LDTP) capability is critical to maintaining Air Superiority in the joint fight and combating emerging threats. Due to the advancement of adversary technologies in detection and emergence of fighter, cargo, and refueling platforms increasing engagement ranges, it is critical to future mission execution and success to provide the Raptor with an increased range capability while maintaining own-ship survivability.The F-22 LDTPs are advanced technological designs providing increased persistence and range while maintaining lethality and survivability. The low drag tanks are intended to reduce drag, facilitate supersonic flight with external tanks and extend the range of the F-22.The pylons are equipped with smart rack pneumatic technology to accurately control ejection performance and smooth wind swept surface for minimum drag without store. LDTP risk reduction activities are captured under the Advanced Technology Development (ATD) major thrust. Documentation of the development and integration components as part of the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) program will be captured under the LDTP major thrust."The focus both on range and low observability is not unexpected, since the US are now looking strategically to get an edge over near-peer adversaries like China, which owns stealth aircraft and would force the US to operate over the Pacific Ocean, thus requiring longer range of action for its aircraft.Obviously, having external fuel tanks that do not impact excessively the Raptor's characteristics would be a huge advantage.An F-22 Raptor with its internal weapons bay open.US Air National GuardThe last upgrade featured in the artwork is a new unknown air-to-air missile. While there are a number of air-to-air missile programs in the works, it is possible that the one in the image could be a representative design, which may or may not correspond to the real deal, for the highly secretive AIM-260 missile. So far, the missile has never been depicted in any kind of image and details about the program are very scarce.The development of the AIM-260, also called Joint Advanced Tactical Missile, was first unveiled in 2019 and has been in the works at least since 2017.The goal of the new long-range air-to-air missile is to replace the AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) and counter the threat posed by the Chinese PL-15 missile, while avoiding any foreign threats being able to outrange the AIM-120.Among the few known technical details, the new missile will be compatible with the AMRAAM dimensions, but obviously with greater range, and is planned to be carried in the F-22 weapons bay and on the F/A-18 at first, with the F-35 to follow.Flight tests are already in progress and the missile is expected to be fielded by next year. Because of these reasons, it would be reasonable to suppose that the one shown in the image could be at least a hint at the AIM-260.—Air Power (@MIL_STD) April 23, 2022Now, as we mentioned in the opening of this story, the FY23 documents link the F-22's upgrades to the development of the NGAD. As it appears, the Raptor is being used as a test bed for the new technologies being developed, but it is also scheduled to benefit itself from them, in a technology transfer both from and to the NGAD.Here is what the documents say:"Technology maturation, risk reduction, studies, demonstrations and prototypes of classified F-22 development efforts. The F-22 Advanced Technology Development (ATD) program is conducted using a rapid acquisition construct leveraging commercial best practices such as agile and lean. This allows the F-22 Raptor enterprise to develop, test, and field software/hardware from multiple programs (product lines) using a scheduled cadence for capabilities as they mature.The F-22 program attempts to maximize efficiency by utilizing technology transfer both to the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) portfolio, and from the NGAD portfolio based on emerging threats, AF priorities, and development pipeline capacity. Incorporating NGAD developed technologies will include developing, integrating, and testing capabilities on the F-22 weapon system."One of the new technologies for which the F-22 might be acting as test bed is the mirror-like coating that, since late 2021, is being spotted on a couple of Raptors at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.The real reason behind these coatings, which present some differences between the two aircraft, is currently unknown, but now seems to be even more related to the 6th-gen "system of system."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 4th, 2022

Elon Musk Exposes The Tyranny Of The Minority

On April 8, 1985, a Texas-based energy company called Mesa Petroleum launched a hostile takeover bid for the Union Oil Company of California, or Unocal. A “Poison Pill” Mesa had been founded in 1956 by legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens; and by the 1980s, Pickens had become a well-known corporate raider in the oil and […] On April 8, 1985, a Texas-based energy company called Mesa Petroleum launched a hostile takeover bid for the Union Oil Company of California, or Unocal. A “Poison Pill” Mesa had been founded in 1956 by legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens; and by the 1980s, Pickens had become a well-known corporate raider in the oil and gas industry, i.e. someone who acquires struggling companies at a discount, and then sells off their assets for a profit. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pickens’ reputation was so ominous that whenever he set his sights on an acquisition target, that company’s board would usually pay him ‘greenmail’ to leave them alone. But Unocal’s Board of Directors wasn’t having any of that. So once Pickens announced his takeover offer, Unocal’s Board launched what has become known as a “poison pill”. Poison pills are corporate tactics that a company employs in order to make a hostile takeover as difficult as possible; they can take a variety of different forms, but in general they are legal remedies designed to deliberately injure the hostile bidder. Pickens sued Unocal immediately in Delaware’s Court of Chancery—a specialty court in Delaware that exclusively hears corporate cases. Pickens initially won the case; the court ruled that Unocal’s Board has the responsibility to treat all shareholders equally, and therefore it was illegal to launch a plan that would specifically injure Mesa/Pickens. But Unocal appealed. And eventually the Delaware Supreme Court overturned the initial ruling and sided with Unocal. This was a landmark corporate case, and it set a clear standard for company boards. The judges established what is now known as the ‘Unocal Standard’, which states that a corporate board CAN implement a poison pill to injure a single shareholder, but only if: 1) The shareholder represents an existential threat to the business, i.e. a corporate raider who intends to shut the company down and sell off its assets; 2) The poison pill must be proportionate to the threat. This Unocal Standard has given rise to some absurd poison pill plans over the years. The Williams Companies In March 2020, for example, another energy group called The Williams Companies saw its stock price plummet in the early days of the COVID-19 panic. So the Board decided to pre-emptively adopt a poison pill plan to make their stock unattractive to any potential activist investors… as well as to any changes that existing shareholder would want to make. According to internal documents, the directors wanted to “insulate the Board and management” from the stockholders’ wishes, and to prevent stockholders from “voting erroneously out of ignorance” for new directors. Clearly the directors had no interest in those pesky shareholders, i.e. the actual owners of the business, expressing their views. At least one director referred to this poison pill as a “nuclear weapon”. Everyone would suffer. So a few shareholders sued the company in Delaware’s Chancery Court, and the judges quickly invalidated the poison pill. The Williams Companies’ poison pill in no way met the Unocal test. First, there was no existential threat to the business. The Board was essentially launching a nuclear weapon in order to defend against some perceived hypothetical threat, as opposed to a threat that actually existed. And more importantly, their response was not proportionate to even the hypothetical threat. Moreover, in their ruling, the judges hilariously mocked the arrogance of the Board, referring to the Board’s deep “entrenchment” and “we know better” mentality. Tyranny of the Minority This is what I call the ‘Tyranny of the Minority’. It’s when a small handful of people, or sometimes even one person, holds a fanatical view that “I and I alone should be in charge.” Often this person/group doesn’t even have much of a stake, if any. So their incentives are clearly not aligned with the rest of the stakeholders, yet they have enormous power. We most recently saw this with Twitter, which, up until this weekend, was fighting against Elon Musk’s takeover offer. Twitter’s Board of Directors famously owns almost no stock in the company. Instead, they receive absurdly generous director fees… which means their incentives are completely misaligned with those of the shareholders. Unsurprisingly, Twitter’s stock price has gone nowhere. The company loses money, its content policies are a mess, and users are abandoning the platform. Yet when faced with a takeover bid that would actually benefit shareholders and put real money in people’s pockets, the directors rejected Elon and came up with their own poison pill plan. Elon Musk's Bid For Twitter Now, Elon Musk is not a corporate raider, i.e. he’s not threatening to shut the company down and sell off its assets. So he does not represent an existential threat to Twitter. This means that the Board already fails the Unocal legal test, which means their poison pill would be easily invalidated in court. My guess is that they received sobering counsel over the weekend that they had no real legal options to challenge Elon’s bid. So they’ve now changed their tune and have signaled a desire to negotiate. But it’s still a great example of the Tyranny of the Minority—a tiny, uninvested elite who have the power to decide outcomes for everyone else. And they consistently get it wrong. This is how government works too. And I’m not talking about elected officials; I’m talking about people like Anthony Fauci, who on Thursday blasted a federal judge for overturning the airline mask mandate. Fauci told CBS News that the court ruling was “disturbing” because it was “a public health matter. . . not a judicial matter.” Fauci embodies this “we know better” entrenched mentality; he believes that he shouldn’t be subject to oversight, and that he should be insulated from interference and criticism. The rest of us peasants shouldn’t be allowed to express a view on the matter. And in a way, he essentially launched his own ‘poison pill’ in 2020 to strip all the other stakeholders, i.e. everyone in the country, of their rights. Fauci decided that he and he alone should be allowed to decide what is #science and what is misinformation. And he coordinated with the world’s largest tech companies to make sure of it. Larry Fink is another example; his firm, Blackrock, manages more than $10 trillion in other people’s money, primarily through ‘passive’ exchange traded funds and mutual funds. Chances are, if you’re one of the millions of people who invested in one of Blackrock’s funds, like the iShares S&P 500 ETF, you never expressly gave Fink the power to vote on your behalf. But he has seized that power anyhow… and weaponized it to force companies into his reimagined view of woke stakeholder capitalism; he has even bragged that “at Blackrock, we are forcing behaviors” across Corporate America. This Tyranny of the Minority is growing. The media elites, the top universities, Big Tech—they all wield enormous power. Yet their views and incentives are totally misaligned with everyone else. Google, for example, recently made changes to its online Docs editor to police your writing and suggest more “inclusive” and often gender-neutral language. The good news is that it’s easy to fight back. Just stop using them. Stop investing in Blackrock’s funds (and start exercising your own corporate votes). Stop watching cable news. Stop consuming the products of woke companies who don’t have any backbone. Stop using Big Tech. After all, there are plenty of alternatives. It costs nothing, for example, to stop using Google’s search engine, and start using Brave Search. Honestly, if you’re concerned about the Tyranny of the Minority, but you’re not willing to take even the most simple step, you might want to ask yourself how strong your convictions really are. Article by Simon Black, Sovereign Man Updated on Apr 26, 2022, 11:31 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkApr 26th, 2022

Clinton Lawyers Scramble To Keep Fusion GPS Docs Secret In Sussman Case

Clinton Lawyers Scramble To Keep Fusion GPS Docs Secret In Sussman Case Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary, The battle over documents and e-mails in the Michael Sussmann case just got hotter. Back in August 2017, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee, explaining how his firm was retained to gather “lots of facts about Donald Trump.” He admitted that Fusion GPS met with reporters leading up to the 2016 election to spread opposition research against then-candidate Trump. The context of Perkins Coie’s retention of Fusion GPS was further explained in a book co-authored by Simpson and Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch. They documented an April 20, 2016 meeting with Mark Elias (Perkins Coie partner and counsel for the DNC/Clinton Campaign), where Elias requested their services for opposition research: Now the stories have changed. Fusion GPS is no longer an opposition research firm, and they weren’t hired to dig-up dirt against Trump. Instead, they would have you believe, after the phony dossier and the Alfa Bank hoax, that Fusion GPS was retained to provide legal advice to the Hillary Clinton Campaign. Remarkable. Background On April 6, Durham filed this motion to compel in the Michael Sussmann case, requesting the court require the production of “emails and attachments between and among” Perkins Coie, Rodney Joffe, and Fusion GPS. These emails and documents, according to Durham, “appear or involve or relate to” Fusion GPS’s provision of research and media services to Hillary for America, the DNC, and Perkins Coie. (Some documents had been produced pursuant to grand jury subpoenas dating back to the 2021.) Yesterday’s Filings Faced with this pressure, today there was a flurry of filings from interested entities in the Sussmann case, seeking to intervene to petition the court to keep these emails and documents secret. The DNC, Rodney Joffe, Perkins Coie, and Hillary for America all filed motions to intervene and memorandums in opposition to Durham’s motion to compel. Notably, we saw arguments to the court that Fusion GPS wasn’t retained for opposition research. Hillary for America, for example, asserted “attorney-client privilege and work product protection over communications and work product of its attorneys (at Perkins Coie) and their consultant (Fusion GPS).” In support of that motion, Hillary for America included declarations from John Podesta, Robby Mook, and their attorney, Marc Elias. Declarations which contradict the public record. To prove my point, John Podesta declared that to his knowledge, Perkins Coie has “consistently maintained” confidentiality, despite the fact that Perkins Coie (Sussmann in particular) assisted in distributing to the press the materials and allegations prepared by Fusion GPS and other researchers. Compare Podesta’s declaration to Sussmann’s December 2017 testimony (h/t FoiaFan): Not to be outdone, Robby Mook (Hillary’s campaign manager) told the court that he believed that contractors for Perkins Coie – which would include Fusion GPS – were providing “legal services and legal advice” to the Clinton campaign. Unfortunately for Hillary for America, Mook’s belief is insufficient for the purposes of privilege. Clinton lawyer Mark Elias also submitted a declaration, stating the role of Fusion GPS was to “provide consulting services in support of the legal advice” Perkins Coie and Elias were providing their clients. This contradicts the Elias’s own statements cited above. Fusion GPS, in its filing today, made similar arguments: “Elias retained Fusion to expressly support his legal advice . . . and the retention specifically contemplated the need for such advice for potential and ongoing litigation.” This is the pattern of Fusion GPS, which previously refused to produce correspondence in the Alfa Bank (Fridman, et al.) case. Having already produced thousands of pages of materials requested by grand jury subpoenas, they’re all desperate to keep these remaining records secret. We can’t help but think the information is damaging. How damaging might it be? Damaging enough for this fight. We also can’t help but believe Hillary for America, Fusion GPS, Sussmann, and the rest of them will lose this fight to keep these records secret. Here’s a quick rundown of why (Durham’s motion to compel goes into more detail on the legal arguments, if you’re curious) Durham will likely get these documents and e-mails: The actual work was political, not legal. Previous statements confirm that Fusion GPS was retained for political research, and not for “legal advice” or for the purposes of litigation. Fusion was hired to perform “political work” – specifically, “deep research on Trump.” As Simpson and Fritsch wrote, Elias “loved” the Trump/Russia narrative and “Fusion’s research team would soon be hired and given wide latitude to go where the story led it.” As Durham observed, Fusion GPS wasn’t providing legal advice when it met with Rodney Joffe or promoted the Alfa Bank allegations. Fusion GPS shared its findings with the U.S. government and the press (related to #1). I won’t provide all contacts, but will summarize some briefly. Christopher Steele met with the FBI in July 2016, and continued his contacts with them until he was terminated as a source for his contacts with David Corn. The FBI would later use Bruce Ohr as a conduit to Steele. Fusion GPS would meet with reporters leading up to the 2016 election and pressure newsrooms and reporters to publish the Alfa Bank hoax. Likewise, Sussmann would provide the Fusion GPS opposition research to reporters. The “privilege” was always a pretext. In Fusion GPS’s initial meeting with Marc Elias, he said “Fusion would only be reporting to him” for “legal reasons: if Fusion’s communications were with a lawyer, they would be considered privileged and kept confidential.” Elias then structured the retention agreement with Fusion GPS to be for “legal advice” – despite their conversation that Fusion GPS would be conducting opposition research. Or are we to believe that the mighty Marc Elias needs legal advice from Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele? While Hillary for America, et al. make sweeping generalities about legal services Fusion GPS provided, they did not address the communications and documents that are subject to Durham’s motion to compel. The court will look at the emails/documents specifically and make his own judgment. Finally, keep in mind there are some important dates coming up in the Sussmann case: April 20, 2022: There will be a hearing on Sussmann’s motion in limine to preclude evidence and on his motion to exclude the government’s proposed expert witness testimony. April 27, 2022: The court will hear the motion to compel. We expect the Court to require production - date uncertain. Stay tuned. Tyler Durden Wed, 04/20/2022 - 15:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 20th, 2022

"Legal Advice"? Clinton Lawyers Scramble To Keep Fusion GPS Docs Secret

'Legal Advice'? Clinton Lawyers Scramble To Keep Fusion GPS Docs Secret Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary, The battle over documents and e-mails in the Michael Sussmann case just got hotter. Back in August 2017, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee, explaining how his firm was retained to gather “lots of facts about Donald Trump.” He admitted that Fusion GPS met with reporters leading up to the 2016 election to spread opposition research against then-candidate Trump. The context of Perkins Coie’s retention of Fusion GPS was further explained in a book co-authored by Simpson and Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch. They documented an April 20, 2016 meeting with Mark Elias (Perkins Coie partner and counsel for the DNC/Clinton Campaign), where Elias requested their services for opposition research: Now the stories have changed. Fusion GPS is no longer an opposition research firm, and they weren’t hired to dig-up dirt against Trump. Instead, they would have you believe, after the phony dossier and the Alfa Bank hoax, that Fusion GPS was retained to provide legal advice to the Hillary Clinton Campaign. Remarkable. Background On April 6, Durham filed this motion to compel in the Michael Sussmann case, requesting the court require the production of “emails and attachments between and among” Perkins Coie, Rodney Joffe, and Fusion GPS. These emails and documents, according to Durham, “appear or involve or relate to” Fusion GPS’s provision of research and media services to Hillary for America, the DNC, and Perkins Coie. (Some documents had been produced pursuant to grand jury subpoenas dating back to the 2021.) Yesterday’s Filings Faced with this pressure, today there was a flurry of filings from interested entities in the Sussmann case, seeking to intervene to petition the court to keep these emails and documents secret. The DNC, Rodney Joffe, Perkins Coie, and Hillary for America all filed motions to intervene and memorandums in opposition to Durham’s motion to compel. Notably, we saw arguments to the court that Fusion GPS wasn’t retained for opposition research. Hillary for America, for example, asserted “attorney-client privilege and work product protection over communications and work product of its attorneys (at Perkins Coie) and their consultant (Fusion GPS).” In support of that motion, Hillary for America included declarations from John Podesta, Robby Mook, and their attorney, Marc Elias. Declarations which contradict the public record. To prove my point, John Podesta declared that to his knowledge, Perkins Coie has “consistently maintained” confidentiality, despite the fact that Perkins Coie (Sussmann in particular) assisted in distributing to the press the materials and allegations prepared by Fusion GPS and other researchers. Compare Podesta’s declaration to Sussmann’s December 2017 testimony (h/t FoiaFan): Not to be outdone, Robby Mook (Hillary’s campaign manager) told the court that he believed that contractors for Perkins Coie – which would include Fusion GPS – were providing “legal services and legal advice” to the Clinton campaign. Unfortunately for Hillary for America, Mook’s belief is insufficient for the purposes of privilege. Clinton lawyer Mark Elias also submitted a declaration, stating the role of Fusion GPS was to “provide consulting services in support of the legal advice” Perkins Coie and Elias were providing their clients. This contradicts the Elias’s own statements cited above. Fusion GPS, in its filing today, made similar arguments: “Elias retained Fusion to expressly support his legal advice . . . and the retention specifically contemplated the need for such advice for potential and ongoing litigation.” This is the pattern of Fusion GPS, which previously refused to produce correspondence in the Alfa Bank (Fridman, et al.) case. Having already produced thousands of pages of materials requested by grand jury subpoenas, they’re all desperate to keep these remaining records secret. We can’t help but think the information is damaging. How damaging might it be? Damaging enough for this fight. We also can’t help but believe Hillary for America, Fusion GPS, Sussmann, and the rest of them will lose this fight to keep these records secret. Here’s a quick rundown of why (Durham’s motion to compel goes into more detail on the legal arguments, if you’re curious) Durham will likely get these documents and e-mails: The actual work was political, not legal. Previous statements confirm that Fusion GPS was retained for political research, and not for “legal advice” or for the purposes of litigation. Fusion was hired to perform “political work” – specifically, “deep research on Trump.” As Simpson and Fritsch wrote, Elias “loved” the Trump/Russia narrative and “Fusion’s research team would soon be hired and given wide latitude to go where the story led it.” As Durham observed, Fusion GPS wasn’t providing legal advice when it met with Rodney Joffe or promoted the Alfa Bank allegations. Fusion GPS shared its findings with the U.S. government and the press (related to #1). I won’t provide all contacts, but will summarize some briefly. Christopher Steele met with the FBI in July 2016, and continued his contacts with them until he was terminated as a source for his contacts with David Corn. The FBI would later use Bruce Ohr as a conduit to Steele. Fusion GPS would meet with reporters leading up to the 2016 election and pressure newsrooms and reporters to publish the Alfa Bank hoax. Likewise, Sussmann would provide the Fusion GPS opposition research to reporters. The “privilege” was always a pretext. In Fusion GPS’s initial meeting with Marc Elias, he said “Fusion would only be reporting to him” for “legal reasons: if Fusion’s communications were with a lawyer, they would be considered privileged and kept confidential.” Elias then structured the retention agreement with Fusion GPS to be for “legal advice” – despite their conversation that Fusion GPS would be conducting opposition research. Or are we to believe that the mighty Marc Elias needs legal advice from Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele? While Hillary for America, et al. make sweeping generalities about legal services Fusion GPS provided, they did not address the communications and documents that are subject to Durham’s motion to compel. The court will look at the emails/documents specifically and make his own judgment. Finally, keep in mind there are some important dates coming up in the Sussmann case: April 20, 2022: There will be a hearing on Sussmann’s motion in limine to preclude evidence and on his motion to exclude the government’s proposed expert witness testimony. April 27, 2022: The court will hear the motion to compel. We expect the Court to require production - date uncertain. Stay tuned. Tyler Durden Wed, 04/20/2022 - 10:32.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 20th, 2022

New Hearing In Sussman-Russiagate Case Reveals Why Clinton Emails Will Likely Come Out

New Hearing In Sussman-Russiagate Case Reveals Why Clinton Emails Will Likely Come Out Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary, Today, there was a hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the matter of the United States v. Michael Sussmann, the former DNC/Clinton/Perkins Coie lawyer accused of providing false statements relating to the Alfa Bank/Trump Organization hoax to then-FBI general counsel James Baker in the fall of 2016. Here is more background on his indictment and how Sussmann and his allies passed Trump transition data to the CIA. About the hearing - we have the transcript (link at the bottom). The hearing related to Sussmann’s efforts to dismiss the indictment, with the defense alleging that Sussmann’s alleged lies were not material. The Court looked on that argument with skepticism. And rightly so, as the issue of materiality is typically a question for the jury. Sussmann’s lawyers did him no favors by admitting it was a “closer call” on whether the government’s arguments of materiality should be presented to the jury. The Special Counsel’s argument on materiality was more more effective, explaining what Sussmann did and why his lies mattered: Interestingly, the Court also asked if the underlying information - the Alfa Bank/Trump Organization data that Sussmann provided the FBI - was “false”. On that question the Special Counsel declined to show their hand. Why does this matter? Because it has been long-suspected that the the Alfa/Trump data was manipulated, if not outright invented. Recall this discussion in the Sussmann indictment, where the researchers discussed the inability “to defend against the criticism that this is not spoofed traffic”: Now we get to the juicy parts of the hearing. The Special Counsel is in possession of a number of documents from the Clinton Campaign, Rodney Joffe (more about him here), and Hillary for America. And there is a fight over whether some of those documents are privileged. The Special Counsel provided one example, stating that the Clinton Campaign is putting out bogus claims of privilege over the communications of Rodney Joffe. These are likely to fail. The Clinton Campaign was not copied on the e-mails, there might very well be a crime-fraud exception to any assertion of privilege, and because Joffe wasn’t providing legal advice to Hillary. Fusion GPS is making similar claims of privilege to keep their documents secret. They’ve tried these types of abuses of “privilege” in a civil case, and we previously discussed why those efforts were bound to fail, perhaps most notably because Fusion GPS has admitted they were doing political work not subject to privilege. Fusion GPS cannot now claim they were performing legal or litigation-focused work. Moreover, even if this were legal work, Fusion GPS waived privilege when leaking their research to the media, government officials, and other third parties. Oops. Finally - here is the transcript. Happy reading. -Techno Tyler Durden Thu, 03/31/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 1st, 2022

Special Counsel Durham Found The E-Mails Fusion GPS Tried To Hide

Special Counsel Durham Found The E-Mails Fusion GPS Tried To Hide Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary, Back in May, we reported on the fight brewing in a DC federal court, where Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson were trying to keep secret their internal correspondence and records relating to their role in pushing the Alfa Bank/Trump hoax. New court filings indicate Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson improperly failed to disclose some of their most damning e-mails. Overview For background, the fight arises out of a lawsuit – Fridman, et al. (Alfa Bank) v. Bean LLC a/k/a Fusion GPS, and Glenn Simpson, where the owners of Alfa Bank have sued Fusion GPS and Simpson for falsely accusing “the Plaintiffs—and Alfa (“Alfa”), a consortium in which the Plaintiffs are investors—of criminal conduct and alleged cooperation with the ‘Kremlin’ to influence the 2016 presidential election.” The case was filed in October 2017. Litigation has been ongoing for over four years – with Alfa Bank still fighting to obtain written discovery from Fusion GPS that is material to its case. Our previous report had to do with that very discovery dispute. Back in May, Alfa Bank “filed a motion to compel, asking the Court to require Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson to produce nearly 500 critically important documents improperly withheld as privileged.” (More background here.) These documents included e-mail correspondence within Fusion GPS regarding the “Alfa Playbook” and showed the early development of the Fusion GPS/Simpson work on Trump/Russia. One would assume this entails the early or emerging thought process of the “intelligence” group as they sought to falsely accuse the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia. In a later post from July 2021, we observed that records indicated Fusion GPS had been in contact with Michael Sussmann of Perkins Coie regarding Alfa Bank. More communications Fusion GPS is trying to keep secret. What nobody realized at the time, however, was the importance of these communications. Michael Sussmann – the DNC/Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer – would later face false statement charges and be basically accused of being part of a conspiracy to defraud the federal government with respect to the Trump/Alfa Bank allegations. The Latest Developments Today, the attorneys for Alfa Bank filed this their “Supplement to Plaintiffs’ Second Motion to Compel Defendants to Produce Documents Improperly Withheld as Privileged.” The motion was filed to inform the court that Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson (and/or their attorneys) “possess numerous documents responsive to Plaintiffs’ RFPs [requests for production] that [Fusion/Simpson] neither produced nor included in their privilege log.” [Brief interlude: generally, the parties request and exchange documents in a federal civil case like this. A party can avoid producing documents where they claim a privilege – they just need to typically submit a “privilege log” to the other side. This doesn’t mean the privilege will ultimately prevail.] What does the latest filing by Alfa Bank reveal? Fusion GPS/Glenn Simpson (or their attorneys) failed to submit in the privilege log certain communications ultimately uncovered by Special Counsel John Durham. I’ll let the Alfa Bank motion explain: In other words, Fusion GPS/Simpson deliberately withheld the disclosure of these e-mails in their privilege log. The very e-mails that very likely point to a conspiracy to push the Alfa Bank/Trump hoax by Perkins Coie, Glenn Simpson, and Rodney Joffe (“Tech Executive-1” listed in the Sussmann complaint), et al. Once Alfa Bank discovered their misconduct, Fusion GPS/Simpson were quick to list these e-mails in their latest privilege log. An example: This is a serious non-disclosure by Fusion and Simpson (or their attorneys). The consequences could include sanctions (such as reimbursing Alfa Bank for having to file various motions to compel). Or the court could determine this to be an abuse of the discovery process and outright force Fusion GPS/Simpson to produce all e-mails they are currently withholding relating to Alfa Bank and Perkins Coie. From the outset of this dispute, we believed Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson would be forced to produce to Alfa Bank nearly all e-mails it possesses relating to the Alfa Bank hoax. These latest developments reinforce that belief - and the belief that they’re fighting to keep secret e-mails that are extremely important to understand their role in deceiving the public in the Trump/Russia hoax. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 13:37.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 4th, 2021

The Economic Doom-Loop Has Begun

The Economic Doom-Loop Has Begun Authored by 'Adam Mill' via AmGreatness.com, No communist was ever as dedicated to economic suicide as the current class of idiots who rule us... High inflation, over-regulation, and a general sense that things are going in the wrong direction remind us of the late 1970s and early ’80s. But today the underlying problems that were responsible for our woes in that time are vastly worse. The coming reckoning for Washington’s insanely irresponsible monetary policy may dwarf the troubles from all recent recessions and periods of inflation.  The Federal Reserve has created a doom loop between the housing market and inflation. For years it has printed tens of billions of dollars each month to buy sketchy securities meant to subsidize the housing market and favor bond traders. This continues even now, in spite of inflation and a red-hot housing market. But the housing market has become dependent on unearned, newly printed money, and stopping the flow might cause a catastrophic correction. If it doesn’t stop, however, inflation will explode.  Let me walk you through some of the math. Inflation closes the gap between money earned and money spent. Since the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve expanded M2 money supply from just under $8 trillion to around $22 trillion today. During that time GDP has increased from around $14.6 trillion to around $24.5 trillion today. We’ve gone from a ratio of one dollar chasing $2.20 in goods in services to an almost 1 to 1 ratio today. Inflation during the same period, according to the government, has eroded the dollar by a mere 33 percent.  You think 8 percent inflation is high? Prices need to double to restore any semblance of balance between currency and the things you can buy with currency. We have a long way to go. To understand how dire the situation has become, we need to review a curious practice the Fed began shortly after the 2008 crash. In November 2008, the Federal Reserve began an extraordinary program of purchasing mortgage-backed securities (MBS) Using newly created money (not tax dollars or private investments), the Fed dumped billions of dollars per month with the stated goal of helping the government stimulate the economy.  A mortgage-backed security is simply a pool of mortgages. As homeowners pay their mortgages, the money then flows to bondholders. The 2008 financial crisis resulted from problems valuing these securities. In order to sell a MBS, the buyer had to gain some confidence in the likelihood of repayment. Because this involved so many complex and unknowable factors relating to each of the individual mortgages, the debt could sometimes turn “toxic” or drop in value quickly when buyers lost faith in the future performance of homeowners. Years passed and a recovery seemed to abate the emergency. Yet the Fed just kept buying more and more. Traditionally, the Fed stimulated the economy by purchasing U.S. treasuries. This avoided the sticky problem of establishing a fair price for the security because the treasury’s value is relatively easy to establish. An MBS, however, cannot be easily valued because reasonable minds can make different predictions about the likelihood of individual homeowners repaying their loans. Thus, unlike purchases of treasuries, bulk purchases of mortgage-backed securities are ripe for waste, fraud, and abuse. There’s no easy way to audit whether the Fed is overpaying for the securities.  The sheer scale of the Fed’s involvement in the mortgage market caused an unstable bubble. As the president of the Kansas City Fed recently said, “by owning roughly one-quarter of the MBS market along with a significant portfolio of longer-term Treasuries, our presence in financial markets muddies price signals, encourages excessive risk-taking, and can foster financial instability. Asset prices remain historically high and remain vulnerable to economic and policy uncertainty.”  In other words, lenders don’t need to worry about lending to risky borrowers because the Fed is buying all the crap nobody else will touch. Although the Fed promised it would stop buying mortgage-backed securities by March of this year, the promise came with a giant asterisk. As old bonds mature and disappear from its balance sheet, “monthly purchase schedules will continue to be issued to reflect reinvestment of principal payments . . .” In other words, when the Fed receives a dollar from an MBS payout, it just uses it to buy another bond.  Thus, in the face of red-hot inflation, the Fed bought another $38 billion in mortgage-backed securities in March. In April, it bought another $40.1 billion. This month, the Fed is in the process of buying another $34.5 billion. Until recently, the Fed has been on an unprecedented buying spree. It increased its total MBS holdings from $1.7 trillion in 2020 to $2.7 trillion today. Indeed, the Fed made roughly $400 billion of those purchases after its chairman’s June 2021 testimony in which he famously labeled 5 percent inflation “temporary.” It was obvious then that inflation was just getting started. So all of this might seem like terrible news. But it’s nothing compared to the doom loop that has begun to turn. The coming reckoning could be savage and apocalyptic. Let’s walk through what might happen next. The problem with inflation is not just how high it is, it’s how quickly it is increasing. Again, the money supply has increased so much that prices would have to almost triple to restore balance between goods and the dollars chasing them. So the Fed’s mandate requires it to intervene to stop inflation. It typically does that by raising interest rates and selling back its bonds. When the Fed sells a bond, the cash flows out of the economy relieving the inflation pressure.  To fight inflation, interest rates need to exceed the inflation rate. That means a dollar saved loses purchasing power unless savings interest rates climb from less than 1 percent to something over current inflation (now around 8 percent). One rule of thumb provides that savings interest rates should reach 150 percent of inflation in order to reverse the trend. The theory holds that high interest rates encourage saving cash thus slowing down the speed at which money chases assets. If interest rates are less than inflation, it makes holding cash a losing proposition. But in this environment, raising interest rates will cause a cascade of problems. The higher interest rates will slow the economy and cause unemployment. It will also swallow up tax revenue as the government has to pay interest on its massive debt. But more critically, it will increase the rate of default on home mortgages. Those defaults will make mortgage-backed securities less valuable and more unpredictable. That’s how the 2008 housing market seized up.  Thus, the doom loop.  The more the Fed props up the mortgage industry, the more it encourages inflation. The more inflation increases, the more urgent it becomes to stop printing money. When the printing press stops and interest rates rise, those MBSs likely will turn toxic again, freezing the market at the exact moment the Fed needs buyers for its bonds. Alternatively, the Fed could just let inflation rip as it continues to pour gasoline on the fire. At this point, the latter scenario appears more likely as the Fed engages in half-hearted symbolic inflation-fighting measures. Not surprisingly, the inflation numbers get scarier and scarier. At some point, runaway inflation will force the Fed to take real action. One thing is certain: the longer it waits, the more it will hurt. Closing the gap between money earned and money spent means cutting government spending, raising interest rates, reducing regulation, and lowering taxes. Government can and should facilitate increases in productivity by reducing its interference in every private transaction. More Americans get a check from the government than pay taxes. The labor participation rate is dangerously low. There just aren’t enough people pulling their weight to make the things needed to sop up all of this excess money.  Even communist countries have resorted to my suggested reforms when markets smash their utopian plans. But no communist was ever as dedicated to economic suicide as the current class of idiots who rule us. Tyler Durden Fri, 05/27/2022 - 16:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt10 hr. 32 min. ago

"Davos Man" says billionaires are the problem — but fall short of offering a solution

New York Times correspondent Peter Goodman documents the global "wreckage" cased by Davos billionaires but is unsure how to fix it. Peter Goodman's book criticizes the solutions proposed by Davos billionaires, but falls short of offering an alternative remedy.Lambert/Ullstein Bild/Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images; Blue Origin; Samantha Lee/Insider The World Economic Forum is being held at Davos, Switzerland this week.  In "Davos Man," Peter Goodman argues that billionaires are responsible for many of the problems they purport to solve at Davos.  Contributor Noam Cohen says Goodman's analysis falls short of offering any real solutions of his own.  In the 1940s, the young screenwriter Budd Schulberg dreamed up a dashing character, Sammy Glick, who in barely a decade rises from New York City's Jewish slums to the peak of the Hollywood studios by stepping over or double-dealing nearly every person he meets. The novel, which became a runaway best seller, is narrated by an idealistic, older screenwriter obsessed by the question: "What Makes Sammy Run?" How, he wonders, can you explain a person who "emerged sprinting out of his mother's womb, turning life into a race in which the only rules are fight for the rail and elbow on the turns and the only finish line is death?"Later in his life Schulberg would wonder if he asked the wrong question. The better questions raised by Sammy, he wrote, are "How do we slow him down?" and the deeper one, "How do we slow down the whole culture he threatens to run away with and that threatens to run away with us?"The same might be helpful to ask about the men and women attending this week's World Economic Forum, held each year in the Swiss mountain village of Davos. Peter Goodman, the global economics correspondent for the New York Times, sees the menace clearly, as is evident from the subtitle of his recent book, "Davos Man: How Billionaires Devoured the World." In over 400 pages, Goodman documents the wreckage from these exceedingly wealthy men (yes, all men) and their mad dash to be the wealthiest and most powerful. There's Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, whom the director of the UN's World Food Program called upon to "step up" and end world hunger at this year's forum. There's also Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA from Sweden, and the French business magnate, Bernard Arnault. Each in their own way, as Goodman puts it about Arnault, a "master at the art of avoiding taxation." Founded in 1971, the World Economic Forum serves dual purposes: It is both a reliable gathering place for the world's economic and political leaders to make deals on a global scale and a conference meant to assure the public that those in attendance are "Committed to Improving the State of the World," as its mission statement proclaims. This last bit, in Goodman's eyes, represents the Cosmic Lie, namely that "when the rules are organized around greater prosperity for those who already enjoy most of it, everyone's a winner." From India to Finland, Compton to Argentina, Goodman shows that even as Davos Men have grown immensely more prosperous those on the bottom are hardly "winners." One eye-popping statistic: In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, the collective wealth of billionaires worldwide had increased by $3.9 trillion while half a billion people descended into poverty. "Their recovery likely to take a decade or more," he writes. In another section, we see the lengths Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, goes to make the Argentinian government, struggling as the pandemic rages, pay back its debts at 55 cents to the dollar instead of 53 cents. Goodman writes succinctly on Argentina: "The billionaire who ran the world's largest asset management company had menaced a desperate country for two pennies on the dollar."To document a recent textbook case of billionaire wreckage, one need only sit still and observe Musk's recent Glick-like cynicism in purchasing Twitter. With swift assurance of being the company's savior, he made a bid to acquire it at a premium, trashed its executives, cast doubt on its business model and whether he would even go through with sale, made common cause with those who would "own the libs." Today, the value of the company is roughly where it was when Musk first arrived on the scene and, spoiler alert: no one was saved.In light of all this billionaire damage, Goodman's solutions can seem rather tame and no remedy wins his full praise. He waffles on Universal Basic Income — seemingly a favorite of socialists and billionaires alike. On one hand it's a "utopian flight of fancy," on the other, perhaps UBI can be applied "to expanding employment and encouraging economic growth." He suggests there isn't a simple way to finesse ourselves out of this current predicament with a clever new policy. "Absent substantial economic redistribution, the very concept of democracy is endangered," he explains. But then pulls up short of making any real demands: "Reclaiming power from Davos Man requires no insurrection or revolution of ideas. It demands the thoughtful use of a tool that has been there all along: democracy." One hopes democracy can save us. It's the only path I'd want to take.  But we need to recognize the depths of our problem and focus laser-like on reducing wealth inequality and boosting the power of workers through labor unions as a vital check on the powerful. In other words, the kinds of solutions you'd rarely see bandied about at an event like the World Economic Forum at Davos.It is important to replace the image of sophisticated, two-faced Davos Men that Goodman portrays with a more Glick-ish one – manic folk running madly to the top for some mysterious reason and without concern for the rest of us.We must slow them down for the sake of society and our planet.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2022

Live election updates: Democratic runoff goes down to the wire in Texas while Trump-backed candidates have a bad night in Georgia

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and ex-Sen. David Perdue are vying for the GOP nomination, pitting a sitting governor against a Trump-backed challenger. InsiderInsider is be bringing you real-time election votes tonight for governor races, congressional races, a high-profile GOP primary over a safe Alabama senate seat, and state legislature primaries from Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and even a few high profile runoffs in Texas.Here's what we're paying attention to:Alabama's ruby-red Senate seat is up for grabs, with a congressman vying against a former Senate chief of staff in a GOP primary for the seat.And in Texas, incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar is facing a progressive challenger from Jessica Cisneros in a runoff election after their March primary went into overtime.Katie Britt advances in AlabamaAlabama Republican Senate candidate Katie Britt at the NASCAR Cup Series YellaWood 500 in Talladega, AL.Sean Gardner/Getty ImagesKatie Britt, a former aide and chief of staff to Sen. Richard Shelby, will advance to a June 21 primary against either Rep. Mo Brooks or businessman Mike Durant in the Alabama Senate race.— John DormanA Georgia election chief attacked by Trump holds his ownGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a presser in AtlantaAP Photo/John BazemoreEarlier in the night, Georgia Republican voters resoundingly rejected Sen. David Perdue, President Donald Trump's pick to run an election grievance-based campaign against Gov. Brian Kemp. And GOP voters now may be on track to either outright reelect Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger or at least send him to a runoff against Trump's pick for the top election job, Rep. Jody Hice. As of 11 p.m. Tuesday night, Raffensperger sat just above the threshold to avoid a runoff with Hice taking about a third of the vote. -Grace Panetta Trump's tumultuous gubernatorial endorsement track recordFormer President Donald Trump.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesFor the third week in a row, a gubernatorial candidate has lost a primary election despite receiving former President Donald Trump's support. The first candidate was Charles Herbster in Nebraska — he lost his May 10 primary by three percentage points. He was followed by Janice McGeachin, who lost her Idaho primary by a landslide on May 17. And tonight, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp handily defeated Trump-endorsed David Perdue to move on to the general election.For a former president with such a powerful hold on his party, Trump's backing has not been as impactful as expected. Insider recently published an analysis breaking down Trump's endorsement power and its limitations.Trump's endorsement did, however, help in two gubernatorial races so far: incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott's in Texas and state Sen. Doug Mastriano's in Pennsylvania.— Madison HallAbrams and Kemp set for a rematch in GeorgiaStacey Abrams.Zach Gibson/Getty ImagesGeorgia's 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams easily cleared the field on Tuesday to secure the her party's nomination for 2022. She will again face off against Gov. Brian Kemp, who easily jettisoned Trump-backed primary challenger David Perdue. Kemp's win sets up a repeat of the contentious 2018 battle that catapulted Georgia into the spotlight as a possible blue-trending swing state — and made Abrams a household name. While Abrams lost that contest, which she decried as unfair and tainted by voter suppression, she spent the subsequent time at the forefront of a nationwide push for voting rights. The 2022 rematch will reopen old wounds, bring in tons of outside money, and ultimately decide Georgia's path as a battleground state. — Grace Panetta Rep. Lucy McBath beats Rep. Carolyn Bordeaux in Georgia member-vs-member primary.US House of RepresentativesRep. Lucy McBath defeated Democratic challengers Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux and Donna McLeod on Tuesday, according to Decision Desk HQ. McBath will go on to face the winner of tonight's GOP primary race to become the next representative for Georgia's 7th Congressional District.- Madison HallSarah Huckabee Sanders, former Trump White House Press Secretary, wins GOP nomination for Arkansas governorChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSarah Huckabee Sanders was a fixture in the Trump White House for years, and cruises to the nomination. She secured the Republican nomination for governor of Arkansas on Tuesday night, Decision Desk HQ has called. She hopes to take the job once held by her father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. - Madison Hall and Walt HickeyMarjorie Taylor Greene cruises to victory in bid to retain House seatRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.John Bazemore-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene easily coasted to victory on Tuesday night, bringing in well over the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. She is vying to retain her seat in Georgia's 14th Congressional District. Click here to follow the other Georgia congressional races.— Madison HallMo Brooks, mo' (financial disclosure) problemsRepublican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama conducts a news conference.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesMo Brooks, who's on the comeback trail in Alabama after getting dumped by former President Donald Trump, is one of 60 members of Congress who violated the STOCK Act in the past year. His, however, was one of the most memorable.Brooks previously railed against the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, accusing it of playing politics with its vaccine data. Despite his disdain for the pharmaceutical giant, Brooks sold up to $50,000 in Pfizer stock in August 2021, but failed to disclose it until October of the same year, violating the federal STOCK Act. The reason for the late filing? Brooks' wife, Martha. She told Insider that she runs the family's investments, including her husband's, in addition to filing disclosures. Martha also told Insider that she's in charge of deciding which stocks to buy and sell in accordance with their family's financial advisor, but never with Mo's knowledge.According to Martha, her husband didn't even know he owned any Pfizer stock to begin with.— Madison HallBush loses, embattled AG wins another termGeorge P. BushJoe Skipper/ReutersTexas AG Paxton defeated Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a primary runoff for another term as attorney general. Paxton has been under indictment for securities fraud since 2015 but has yet to stand to trial and is reportedly facing an FBI investigation for abusing his office to benefit a wealthy donor, scandals Texas' senior Sen. John Cornyn called "embarrassing." But Paxton's role in helping Trump unsuccessfully overturn his 2020 election loss earned him Trump's support and helped him defeat the last member of the Bush dynasty in elected office. -Grace Panetta  The 'Unbreakable Nine' could get broken upRep. Henry CuellarKevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesA pair of moderate House Democrats who launched a short-lived rebellion against President Joe Biden's economic agenda are battling for their political survival this evening.Reps. Henry Cuellar of Texas and Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia are facing off against rivals in a pair of closely-watched primary races. Cuellar is competing against Jessica Cisneros, a 28-year-old immigration attorney with endorsements from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. And Bourdeaux is locked in a tight race against Rep. Lucy McBath, another candidate with strong progressive support.Progressives are hoping to oust moderates who they argue helped tank Biden's expansive social and climate spending package once known as Build Back Better. In particular, they're focused on unseating Cuellar, one of the "Unbreakable Nine" House Democrats who nearly derailed Biden's agenda. Sanders recently campaigned with Cisneros in San Antonio, Texas. He cast the race as a "battle against the billionaire class."Last year, both Cuellar and Bordeaux joined a rebellion with seven other House Democrats to split the bipartisan infrastructure law from passing alongside the Build Back Better bill. The latter measure eventually died in the Senate.— Joseph Zeballos-RoigArkansas polls have closedSen. John BoozmanBallotpediaArkansas closed its polls at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday and results should begin to trickle in soon. We've got two pages tracking Arkansas races: One for the Senate, where incumbent Sen. John Boozman is looking to retain his seat, and one for Arkansas' gubernatorial and local races.— Madison HallThe state of play in AlabamaAlabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks during a news conference in Montgomery.AP Photo/Kim ChandlerIncumbent Republican Gov. Kay Ivey is believed to be a strong frontrunner to win renomination in deeply conservative Alabama, on the road to a likely GOP win this fall.And in the GOP Senate primary, GOP Rep. Mo Brooks, Katie Britt, who is Sen. Richard Shelby's former chief of staff, and businessman Mike Durant have been in a heated race for months. The 50-percent threshold is a tall one, and the top two candidates will likely head to a June 21 runoff. — John L. DormanGov. Brian Kemp trounces Trump-backed David PerdueGeorgia Gov. Brian Kemp walks onstage for a campaign event in Kennesaw, Georgia.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump endorsed David Perdue, an ex-US senator, to punish Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for not supporting his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. But Perdue's campaign struggled to keep pace with Kemp's spending, and Kemp resoundingly defeated Perdue early on Tuesday night, dealing a huge blow to Trump.Perdue is now the third Trump-endorsed candidate to lose in three weeks, following Charles Herbster in Nebraska and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in Idaho. — Grace PanettaInsider on the ground in GeorgiaGeorgia gubernatorial hopeful David Perdue poses alongside a cardboard cutout of former President Donald Trump during a campaign stop in Augusta, Georgia.Warren Rojas/InsiderOver the past few days, Insider correspondent Warren Rojas has traveled across Georgia attending events headlined by many of the leading Republican contenders and speaking with voters about everything from Gov. Brian Kemp's standing in the party to the influence of former President Donald Trump.Here are some of the highlights:Former Vice President Mike Pence on Monday traveled to Georgia to campaign on behalf of Kemp, putting him at odds with his former boss, who is all-in for ex-Sen. David Perdue. While Kemp was thought to be vulnerable over his defense of the integrity of the 2020 presidential vote in the state, Perdue has lagged in fundraising and endorsements, and the incumbent has also effectively used his bully pulpit to work in tandem with the GOP-controlled legislature to enact conservative legislation.While Perdue has had trouble gaining traction in the polls, controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene remains a major draw for conservatives. She remains a powerful force in the MAGA movement, and is highly regarded as the favorite this fall in her congressional district, which was drawn to elect a Republican.— John L. DormanWhat is Herschel Walker's John Hancock worth?Herschel Walker speaks at a Trump rally in Georgia.Sean Rayford/Getty ImagesRepublican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker has some significant — and complicated — personal finances. So significant and complicated, apparently, that Walker failed for months to properly report millions of dollars in earnings that he's required by federal law to disclose, as Insider reporter Madison Hall revealed last week.But here's another financial curiosity: If Walker wins his primary tonight as expected, then defeats incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in November's general election, he'll stand to earn a standard Senate salary of $174,000.That's less than Walker, a former football star, earned last year from "memorabilia autograph services" he provided to Gary Takahashi Sports Marketing LLC, a firm known for monetizing athletes' John Hancocks.Walker's most recent personal financial disclosure, submitted May 15 to the US Senate, indicates Gary Takahashi Sports Marketing LLC paid Walker "wages" of $211,544. — Dave LevinthalMarjorie Taylor Greene: Disney fan or no?Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.Megan Varner/Getty ImagesRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia faces a handful of Republican primary challengers tonight, most notably "no-nonsense conservative" Jennifer Strahan. But the bombastic freshman is expected to win her party's nomination on the strength of her ultra-MAGA platform. Recently, Greene picked a fight with Walt Disney Co. for its opposition to a new Florida law that outlaws lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation. But what many Georgia voters probably don't realize is that the lawmaker personally invests in Disney stock. Asked about this, Greene told Insider that she doesn't make her own stock trades.She reiterated this assertion during a candidate debate earlier this month when one of her opponents, Seth Synstelien, asked her about her investments in defense contractor stocks."I usually find out about stock trades when I read them in the news just like you have," Greene said. "I signed an agreement with our financial advisor that I don't know anything about trades made on behalf of me or my husband. I always find out about them when they are written by leftists like Business Insider just like you are talking about."— Dave Levinthal Stacey Abrams' campaign is spending big bucks on securityStacey Abrams addresses the Gwinnett County Democratic Party fundraiser in Norcross, Georgia.Akili-Casundria Ramsess/ APStacey Abrams will cruise to victory in Georgia's gubernatorial primary today but is gearing up for one of the most contentious races in the country.As one of the most high-profile Democrats in the nation, she's spent a substantial sum on security. In fact, her security agency, Executive Protection Agencies, was the third highest payee in her campaign expense reports, costing her campaign a total of $390,132. As Insider's C. Ryan Barber previously reported, Abrams' voting rights PAC, Fair Fight, spent more than $1.4 million on security in 2020 and 2021, with the bulk of that money going toward Executive Protection Agencies.And while these expenditures are significantly more than that of most politicians and candidates in the US, the threats are real: former congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head in 2011 at a constituent meeting and GOP Whip Rep. Steve Scalise was shot at a Congressional baseball game in 2017.— Madison HallPolls close in the Peach StateGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount.AP Photo/Brynn AndersonPolls have just officially closed in Georgia. We're watching a Senate primary, former Sen. David Perdue's challenge to Gov. Brian Kemp, another Trump-backed challenge to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and a number of House primaries, including two Democratic House members facing off for the same Georgia district. Our Warren Rojas reports from the Kemp watch party that some counties are keeping polling locations open until 8 p.m. to account for delays at the beginning of the day, so we won't get statewide race calls until after then.–Grace PanettaInsider's Warren Rojas is in Georgia covering the governor raceGeorgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and former US Vice President Mike Pence attend a campaign event at the Cobb County International Airport.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesFor a primer on the high stakes for the GOP in Georgia, check out this rundown of the race for Governor from Insider's Warren Rojas and Elvina Nawaguna. Rojas is in Georgia and will be reporting live from The Peach State all night. Both the former president and the former vice president have come down on opposite sides in the tense primary, they write:Perdue supporters are threatening to sit out the November elections if their candidate loses the primary rather than vote for Kemp, who they still hold responsible for Trump's 2020 loss in Georgia. Trump's team did not respond to a request for comment on the tele-rally, which comes days after news reports that he was backing away from Perdue as polls showed the candidate losing.Meanwhile, Kemp is already anticipating that pro-Trump Republicans could try to challenge his primary win after the Tuesday vote. He's trying to get ahead of it by assuring voters that any "mechanical" issues that might have marred the 2020 election have already been solved through a bill he signed into law last year.- Walt HickeyDonald Trump's funky winning ratePennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz joins former President Donald Trump onstage during a rally in support of his campaign at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.Jeff Swensen/Getty ImagesHere's what we know about former President Donald Trump's primary endorsee win record: His numbers are great when the person he's endorsing is running unopposed or faces tepid or token opposition. It's easy to pick winners when you know they're going to win, right?Where things get funky for Trump: When he endorses a candidate in a tight, tough Republican primary race.In these kinds of contests, Trump's picks have often faltered or underperformed, as Jake Lahut, Madison Hall, Brent D. Griffiths, and Warren Rojas report in this analysis with lots of cool charts.What does that mean for tonight's races? It means that in Georgia, for example, Republican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker — a Trump endorsee — will likely cruise to victory because he has minimal opposition. But on the same ballot, Trump's gubernatorial pick, former US Sen. David Perdue, could very well lose to Trump nemesis and current Gov. Brian Kemp. — Dave LevinthalLive election results start streaming in at 7 p.m. ET. Here's where to find the results.Georgia election officials counting ballots.Jessica McGowan/Getty ImagesWe're covering dozens of primary races up and down the ticket in four states — click on the links below to see live results for each race Georgia Senate Georgia governor  Georgia secretary of stateGeorgia House and state legislature Alabama Senate & HouseAlabama governor & state legislatureTexas' 28th District Democratic primary runoffTexas attorney general and congressional runoffsArkansas Senate & HouseArkansas governor & state legislaturePolls close at 7 p.m. ET in Georgia, 8 p.m. ET in Alabama and most of Texas, and 8:30 p.m. ET in Arkansas  -Grace Panetta Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 25th, 2022

Live election updates: Sarah Huckabee Sanders wins nomination in Arkansas, Kemp beats Trump-backed Purdue in Georgia

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and ex-Sen. David Perdue are vying for the GOP nomination, pitting a sitting governor against a Trump-backed challenger. InsiderInsider is be bringing you real-time election votes tonight for governor races, congressional races, a high-profile GOP primary over a safe Alabama senate seat, and state legislature primaries from Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and even a few high profile runoffs in Texas.Here's what we're paying attention to:Alabama's ruby-red Senate seat is up for grabs, with a congressman vying against a former Senate chief of staff in a GOP primary for the seat.And in Texas, incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar is facing a progressive challenger from Jessica Cisneros in a runoff election after their March primary went into overtime.Abrams and Kemp set for a rematch in GeorgiaStacey Abrams.Zach Gibson/Getty ImagesGeorgia's 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams easily cleared the field on Tuesday to secure her party's nomination for 2022. She will again face off against Gov. Brian Kemp, who easily jettisoned Trump-backed primary challenger David Perdue. Kemp's win sets up a repeat of the contentious 2018 battle that catapulted Georgia into the spotlight as a possible blue-trending swing state — and made Abrams a household name. While Abrams lost that contest, which she decried as unfair and tainted by voter suppression, she spent the subsequent time at the forefront of a nationwide push for voting rights. The 2022 rematch will reopen old wounds, bring in tons of outside money, and ultimately decide Georgia's path as a battleground state. — Grace Panetta Rep. Lucy McBath beats Rep. Carolyn Bordeaux in Georgia member-vs-member primary.US House of RepresentativesRep. Lucy McBath defeated Democratic challengers Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux and Donna McLeod on Tuesday, according to Decision Desk HQ. McBath will go on to face the winner of tonight's GOP primary race to become the next representative for Georgia's 7th Congressional District.- Madison HallSarah Huckabee Sanders, former Trump White House Press Secretary, wins GOP nomination for Arkansas governorChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSarah Huckabee Sanders was a fixture in the Trump White House for years, and cruises to the nomination. She secured the Republican nomination for governor of Arkansas on Tuesday night, Decision Desk HQ has called. She hopes to take the job once held by her father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. - Madison Hall and Walt HickeyMarjorie Taylor Greene cruises to victory in bid to retain House seatRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.John Bazemore-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene easily coasted to victory on Tuesday night, bringing in well over the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. She is vying to retain her seat in Georgia's 14th Congressional District. Click here to follow the other Georgia congressional races.— Madison HallMo Brooks, mo' (financial disclosure) problemsRepublican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama conducts a news conference.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesMo Brooks, who's on the comeback trail in Alabama after getting dumped by former President Donald Trump, is one of 60 members of Congress who violated the STOCK Act in the past year. His, however, was one of the most memorable.Brooks previously railed against the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, accusing it of playing politics with its vaccine data. Despite his disdain for the pharmaceutical giant, Brooks sold up to $50,000 in Pfizer stock in August 2021, but failed to disclose it until October of the same year, violating the federal STOCK Act. The reason for the late filing? Brooks' wife, Martha. She told Insider that she runs the family's investments, including her husband's, in addition to filing disclosures. Martha also told Insider that she's in charge of deciding which stocks to buy and sell in accordance with their family's financial advisor, but never with Mo's knowledge.According to Martha, her husband didn't even know he owned any Pfizer stock to begin with.— Madison HallBush loses, embattled AG wins another termGeorge P. BushJoe Skipper/ReutersTexas AG Paxton defeated Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a primary runoff for another term as attorney general. Paxton has been under indictment for securities fraud since 2015 but has yet to stand to trial and is reportedly facing an FBI investigation for abusing his office to benefit a wealthy donor, scandals Texas' senior Sen. John Cornyn called "embarrassing." But Paxton's role in helping Trump unsuccessfully overturn his 2020 election loss earned him Trump's support and helped him defeat the last member of the Bush dynasty in elected office. -Grace Panetta  The 'Unbreakable Nine' could get broken upRep. Henry CuellarKevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesA pair of moderate House Democrats who launched a short-lived rebellion against President Joe Biden's economic agenda are battling for their political survival this evening.Reps. Henry Cuellar of Texas and Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia are facing off against rivals in a pair of closely-watched primary races. Cuellar is competing against Jessica Cisneros, a 28-year-old immigration attorney with endorsements from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. And Bourdeaux is locked in a tight race against Rep. Lucy McBath, another candidate with strong progressive support.Progressives are hoping to oust moderates who they argue helped tank Biden's expansive social and climate spending package once known as Build Back Better. In particular, they're focused on unseating Cuellar, one of the "Unbreakable Nine" House Democrats who nearly derailed Biden's agenda. Sanders recently campaigned with Cisneros in San Antonio, Texas. He cast the race as a "battle against the billionaire class."Last year, both Cuellar and Bordeaux joined a rebellion with seven other House Democrats to split the bipartisan infrastructure law from passing alongside the Build Back Better bill. The latter measure eventually died in the Senate.— Joseph Zeballos-RoigArkansas polls have closedSen. John BoozmanBallotpediaArkansas closed its polls at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday and results should begin to trickle in soon. We've got two pages tracking Arkansas races: One for the Senate, where incumbent Sen. John Boozman is looking to retain his seat, and one for Arkansas' gubernatorial and local races.— Madison HallThe state of play in AlabamaAlabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks during a news conference in Montgomery.AP Photo/Kim ChandlerIncumbent Republican Gov. Kay Ivey is believed to be a strong frontrunner to win renomination in deeply conservative Alabama, on the road to a likely GOP win this fall.And in the GOP Senate primary, GOP Rep. Mo Brooks, Katie Britt, who is Sen. Richard Shelby's former chief of staff, and businessman Mike Durant have been in a heated race for months. The 50-percent threshold is a tall one, and the top two candidates will likely head to a June 21 runoff. — John L. DormanGov. Brian Kemp trounces Trump-backed David PerdueGeorgia Gov. Brian Kemp walks onstage for a campaign event in Kennesaw, Georgia.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump endorsed David Perdue, an ex-US senator, to punish Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for not supporting his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. But Perdue's campaign struggled to keep pace with Kemp's spending, and Kemp resoundingly defeated Perdue early on Tuesday night, dealing a huge blow to Trump.Perdue is now the third Trump-endorsed candidate to lose in three weeks, following Charles Herbster in Nebraska and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in Idaho. — Grace PanettaInsider on the ground in GeorgiaGeorgia gubernatorial hopeful David Perdue poses alongside a cardboard cutout of former President Donald Trump during a campaign stop in Augusta, Georgia.Warren Rojas/InsiderOver the past few days, Insider correspondent Warren Rojas has traveled across Georgia attending events headlined by many of the leading Republican contenders and speaking with voters about everything from Gov. Brian Kemp's standing in the party to the influence of former President Donald Trump.Here are some of the highlights:Former Vice President Mike Pence on Monday traveled to Georgia to campaign on behalf of Kemp, putting him at odds with his former boss, who is all-in for ex-Sen. David Perdue. While Kemp was thought to be vulnerable over his defense of the integrity of the 2020 presidential vote in the state, Perdue has lagged in fundraising and endorsements, and the incumbent has also effectively used his bully pulpit to work in tandem with the GOP-controlled legislature to enact conservative legislation.While Perdue has had trouble gaining traction in the polls, controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene remains a major draw for conservatives. She remains a powerful force in the MAGA movement, and is highly regarded as the favorite this fall in her congressional district, which was drawn to elect a Republican.— John L. DormanWhat is Herschel Walker's John Hancock worth?Herschel Walker speaks at a Trump rally in Georgia.Sean Rayford/Getty ImagesRepublican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker has some significant — and complicated — personal finances. So significant and complicated, apparently, that Walker failed for months to properly report millions of dollars in earnings that he's required by federal law to disclose, as Insider reporter Madison Hall revealed last week.But here's another financial curiosity: If Walker wins his primary tonight as expected, then defeats incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in November's general election, he'll stand to earn a standard Senate salary of $174,000.That's less than Walker, a former football star, earned last year from "memorabilia autograph services" he provided to Gary Takahashi Sports Marketing LLC, a firm known for monetizing athletes' John Hancocks.Walker's most recent personal financial disclosure, submitted May 15 to the US Senate, indicates Gary Takahashi Sports Marketing LLC paid Walker "wages" of $211,544. — Dave LevinthalMarjorie Taylor Greene: Disney fan or no?Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.Megan Varner/Getty ImagesRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia faces a handful of Republican primary challengers tonight, most notably "no-nonsense conservative" Jennifer Strahan. But the bombastic freshman is expected to win her party's nomination on the strength of her ultra-MAGA platform. Recently, Greene picked a fight with Walt Disney Co. for its opposition to a new Florida law that outlaws lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation. But what many Georgia voters probably don't realize is that the lawmaker personally invests in Disney stock. Asked about this, Greene told Insider that she doesn't make her own stock trades.She reiterated this assertion during a candidate debate earlier this month when one of her opponents, Seth Synstelien, asked her about her investments in defense contractor stocks."I usually find out about stock trades when I read them in the news just like you have," Greene said. "I signed an agreement with our financial advisor that I don't know anything about trades made on behalf of me or my husband. I always find out about them when they are written by leftists like Business Insider just like you are talking about."— Dave Levinthal Stacey Abrams' campaign is spending big bucks on securityStacey Abrams addresses the Gwinnett County Democratic Party fundraiser in Norcross, Georgia.Akili-Casundria Ramsess/ APStacey Abrams will cruise to victory in Georgia's gubernatorial primary today but is gearing up for one of the most contentious races in the country.As one of the most high-profile Democrats in the nation, she's spent a substantial sum on security. In fact, her security agency, Executive Protection Agencies, was the third highest payee in her campaign expense reports, costing her campaign a total of $390,132. As Insider's C. Ryan Barber previously reported, Abrams' voting rights PAC, Fair Fight, spent more than $1.4 million on security in 2020 and 2021, with the bulk of that money going toward Executive Protection Agencies.And while these expenditures are significantly more than that of most politicians and candidates in the US, the threats are real: former congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head in 2011 at a constituent meeting and GOP Whip Rep. Steve Scalise was shot at a Congressional baseball game in 2017.— Madison HallPolls close in the Peach StateGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount.AP Photo/Brynn AndersonPolls have just officially closed in Georgia. We're watching a Senate primary, former Sen. David Perdue's challenge to Gov. Brian Kemp, another Trump-backed challenge to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and a number of House primaries, including two Democratic House members facing off for the same Georgia district. Our Warren Rojas reports from the Kemp watch party that some counties are keeping polling locations open until 8 p.m. to account for delays at the beginning of the day, so we won't get statewide race calls until after then.–Grace PanettaInsider's Warren Rojas is in Georgia covering the governor raceGeorgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and former US Vice President Mike Pence attend a campaign event at the Cobb County International Airport.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesFor a primer on the high stakes for the GOP in Georgia, check out this rundown of the race for Governor from Insider's Warren Rojas and Elvina Nawaguna. Rojas is in Georgia and will be reporting live from The Peach State all night. Both the former president and the former vice president have come down on opposite sides in the tense primary, they write:Perdue supporters are threatening to sit out the November elections if their candidate loses the primary rather than vote for Kemp, who they still hold responsible for Trump's 2020 loss in Georgia. Trump's team did not respond to a request for comment on the tele-rally, which comes days after news reports that he was backing away from Perdue as polls showed the candidate losing.Meanwhile, Kemp is already anticipating that pro-Trump Republicans could try to challenge his primary win after the Tuesday vote. He's trying to get ahead of it by assuring voters that any "mechanical" issues that might have marred the 2020 election have already been solved through a bill he signed into law last year.- Walt HickeyDonald Trump's funky winning ratePennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz joins former President Donald Trump onstage during a rally in support of his campaign at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.Jeff Swensen/Getty ImagesHere's what we know about former President Donald Trump's primary endorsee win record: His numbers are great when the person he's endorsing is running unopposed or faces tepid or token opposition. It's easy to pick winners when you know they're going to win, right?Where things get funky for Trump: When he endorses a candidate in a tight, tough Republican primary race.In these kinds of contests, Trump's picks have often faltered or underperformed, as Jake Lahut, Madison Hall, Brent D. Griffiths, and Warren Rojas report in this analysis with lots of cool charts.What does that mean for tonight's races? It means that in Georgia, for example, Republican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker — a Trump endorsee — will likely cruise to victory because he has minimal opposition. But on the same ballot, Trump's gubernatorial pick, former US Sen. David Perdue, could very well lose to Trump nemesis and current Gov. Brian Kemp. — Dave LevinthalLive election results start streaming in at 7 p.m. ET. Here's where to find the results.Georgia election officials counting ballots.Jessica McGowan/Getty ImagesWe're covering dozens of primary races up and down the ticket in four states — click on the links below to see live results for each race Georgia Senate Georgia governor  Georgia secretary of stateGeorgia House and state legislature Alabama Senate & HouseAlabama governor & state legislatureTexas' 28th District Democratic primary runoffTexas attorney general and congressional runoffsArkansas Senate & HouseArkansas governor & state legislaturePolls close at 7 p.m. ET in Georgia, 8 p.m. ET in Alabama and most of Texas, and 8:30 p.m. ET in Arkansas  -Grace Panetta Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 24th, 2022

Live updates: Gov. Brian Kemp triumphs over Trump-backed David Purdue in Georgia

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and ex-Sen. David Perdue are vying for the GOP nomination, pitting a sitting governor against a Trump-backed challenger. InsiderInsider is be bringing you real-time election votes tonight for governor races, congressional races, a high-profile GOP primary over a safe Alabama senate seat, and state legislature primaries from Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and even a few high profile runoffs in Texas.Here's what we're paying attention to:Alabama's ruby-red Senate seat is up for grabs, with a congressman vying against a former Senate chief of staff in a GOP primary for the seat.And in Texas, incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar is facing a progressive challenger from Jessica Cisneros in a runoff election after their March primary went into overtime.Marjorie Taylor Greene cruises to victory in bid to retain House seatRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.John Bazemore-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene easily coasted to victory on Tuesday night, bringing in well over the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. She is vying to retain her seat in Georgia's 14th Congressional District. Click here to follow the other Georgia congressional races.— Madison HallMo Brooks, mo' (financial disclosure) problemsRepublican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama conducts a news conference.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesMo Brooks, who's on the comeback trail in Alabama after getting dumped by former President Donald Trump, is one of 60 members of Congress who violated the STOCK Act in the past year. His, however, was one of the most memorable.Brooks previously railed against the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, accusing it of playing politics with its vaccine data. Despite his disdain for the pharmaceutical giant, Brooks sold up to $50,000 in Pfizer stock in August 2021, but failed to disclose it until October of the same year, violating the federal STOCK Act. The reason for the late filing? Brooks' wife, Martha. She told Insider that she runs the family's investments, including her husband's, in addition to filing disclosures. Martha also told Insider that she's in charge of deciding which stocks to buy and sell in accordance with their family's financial advisor, but never with Mo's knowledge.According to Martha, her husband didn't even know he owned any Pfizer stock to begin with.— Madison HallBush loses, embattled AG wins another termGeorge P. BushJoe Skipper/ReutersTexas AG Paxton defeated Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a primary runoff for another term as attorney general. Paxton has been under indictment for securities fraud since 2015 but has yet to stand to trial and is reportedly facing an FBI investigation for abusing his office to benefit a wealthy donor, scandals Texas' senior Sen. John Cornyn called "embarrassing." But Paxton's role in helping Trump unsuccessfully overturn his 2020 election loss earned him Trump's support and helped him defeat the last member of the Bush dynasty in elected office. -Grace Panetta  The 'Unbreakable Nine' could get broken upRep. Henry CuellarKevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesA pair of moderate House Democrats who launched a short-lived rebellion against President Joe Biden's economic agenda are battling for their political survival this evening.Reps. Henry Cuellar of Texas and Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia are facing off against rivals in a pair of closely-watched primary races. Cuellar is competing against Jessica Cisneros, a 28-year-old immigration attorney with endorsements from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. And Bourdeaux is locked in a tight race against Rep. Lucy McBath, another candidate with strong progressive support.Progressives are hoping to oust moderates who they argue helped tank Biden's expansive social and climate spending package once known as Build Back Better. In particular, they're focused on unseating Cuellar, one of the "Unbreakable Nine" House Democrats who nearly derailed Biden's agenda. Sanders recently campaigned with Cisneros in San Antonio, Texas. He cast the race as a "battle against the billionaire class."Last year, both Cuellar and Bordeaux joined a rebellion with seven other House Democrats to split the bipartisan infrastructure law from passing alongside the Build Back Better bill. The latter measure eventually died in the Senate.— Joseph Zeballos-RoigArkansas polls have closedSen. John BoozmanBallotpediaArkansas closed its polls at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday and results should begin to trickle in soon. We've got two pages tracking Arkansas races: One for the Senate, where incumbent Sen. John Boozman is looking to retain his seat, and one for Arkansas' gubernatorial and local races.— Madison HallThe state of play in AlabamaAlabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks during a news conference in Montgomery.AP Photo/Kim ChandlerIncumbent Republican Gov. Kay Ivey is believed to be a strong frontrunner to win renomination in deeply conservative Alabama, on the road to a likely GOP win this fall.And in the GOP Senate primary, GOP Rep. Mo Brooks, Katie Britt, who is Sen. Richard Shelby's former chief of staff, and businessman Mike Durant have been in a heated race for months. The 50-percent threshold is a tall one, and the top two candidates will likely head to a June 21 runoff. — John L. DormanGov. Brian Kemp trounces Trump-backed David PerdueGeorgia Gov. Brian Kemp walks onstage for a campaign event in Kennesaw, Georgia.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump endorsed David Perdue, an ex-US senator, to punish Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for not supporting his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. But Perdue's campaign struggled to keep pace with Kemp's spending, and Kemp resoundingly defeated Perdue early on Tuesday night, dealing a huge blow to Trump.Perdue is now the third Trump-endorsed candidate to lose in three weeks, following Charles Herbster in Nebraska and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in Idaho. — Grace PanettaInsider on the ground in GeorgiaGeorgia gubernatorial hopeful David Perdue poses alongside a cardboard cutout of former President Donald Trump during a campaign stop in Augusta, Georgia.Warren Rojas/InsiderOver the past few days, Insider correspondent Warren Rojas has traveled across Georgia attending events headlined by many of the leading Republican contenders and speaking with voters about everything from Gov. Brian Kemp's standing in the party to the influence of former President Donald Trump.Here are some of the highlights:Former Vice President Mike Pence on Monday traveled to Georgia to campaign on behalf of Kemp, putting him at odds with his former boss, who is all-in for ex-Sen. David Perdue. While Kemp was thought to be vulnerable over his defense of the integrity of the 2020 presidential vote in the state, Perdue has lagged in fundraising and endorsements, and the incumbent has also effectively used his bully pulpit to work in tandem with the GOP-controlled legislature to enact conservative legislation.While Perdue has had trouble gaining traction in the polls, controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene remains a major draw for conservatives. She remains a powerful force in the MAGA movement, and is highly regarded as the favorite this fall in her congressional district, which was drawn to elect a Republican.— John L. DormanWhat is Herschel Walker's John Hancock worth?Herschel Walker speaks at a Trump rally in Georgia.Sean Rayford/Getty ImagesRepublican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker has some significant — and complicated — personal finances. So significant and complicated, apparently, that Walker failed for months to properly report millions of dollars in earnings that he's required by federal law to disclose, as Insider reporter Madison Hall revealed last week.But here's another financial curiosity: If Walker wins his primary tonight as expected, then defeats incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in November's general election, he'll stand to earn a standard Senate salary of $174,000.That's less than Walker, a former football star, earned last year from "memorabilia autograph services" he provided to Gary Takahashi Sports Marketing LLC, a firm known for monetizing athletes' John Hancocks.Walker's most recent personal financial disclosure, submitted May 15 to the US Senate, indicates Gary Takahashi Sports Marketing LLC paid Walker "wages" of $211,544. — Dave LevinthalMarjorie Taylor Greene: Disney fan or no?Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.Megan Varner/Getty ImagesRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia faces a handful of Republican primary challengers tonight, most notably "no-nonsense conservative" Jennifer Strahan. But the bombastic freshman is expected to win her party's nomination on the strength of her ultra-MAGA platform. Recently, Greene picked a fight with Walt Disney Co. for its opposition to a new Florida law that outlaws lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation. But what many Georgia voters probably don't realize is that the lawmaker personally invests in Disney stock. Asked about this, Greene told Insider that she doesn't make her own stock trades.She reiterated this assertion during a candidate debate earlier this month when one of her opponents, Seth Synstelien, asked her about her investments in defense contractor stocks."I usually find out about stock trades when I read them in the news just like you have," Greene said. "I signed an agreement with our financial advisor that I don't know anything about trades made on behalf of me or my husband. I always find out about them when they are written by leftists like Business Insider just like you are talking about."— Dave Levinthal Stacey Abrams' campaign is spending big bucks on securityStacey Abrams addresses the Gwinnett County Democratic Party fundraiser in Norcross, Georgia.Akili-Casundria Ramsess/ APStacey Abrams will cruise to victory in Georgia's gubernatorial primary today but is gearing up for one of the most contentious races in the country.As one of the most high-profile Democrats in the nation, she's spent a substantial sum on security. In fact, her security agency, Executive Protection Agencies, was the third highest payee in her campaign expense reports, costing her campaign a total of $390,132. As Insider's C. Ryan Barber previously reported, Abrams' voting rights PAC, Fair Fight, spent more than $1.4 million on security in 2020 and 2021, with the bulk of that money going toward Executive Protection Agencies.And while these expenditures are significantly more than that of most politicians and candidates in the US, the threats are real: former congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head in 2011 at a constituent meeting and GOP Whip Rep. Steve Scalise was shot at a Congressional baseball game in 2017.— Madison HallPolls close in the Peach StateGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount.AP Photo/Brynn AndersonPolls have just officially closed in Georgia. We're watching a Senate primary, former Sen. David Perdue's challenge to Gov. Brian Kemp, another Trump-backed challenge to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and a number of House primaries, including two Democratic House members facing off for the same Georgia district. Our Warren Rojas reports from the Kemp watch party that some counties are keeping polling locations open until 8 p.m. to account for delays at the beginning of the day, so we won't get statewide race calls until after then.–Grace PanettaInsider's Warren Rojas is in Georgia covering the governor raceGeorgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and former US Vice President Mike Pence attend a campaign event at the Cobb County International Airport.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesFor a primer on the high stakes for the GOP in Georgia, check out this rundown of the race for Governor from Insider's Warren Rojas and Elvina Nawaguna. Rojas is in Georgia and will be reporting live from The Peach State all night. Both the former president and the former vice president have come down on opposite sides in the tense primary, they write:Perdue supporters are threatening to sit out the November elections if their candidate loses the primary rather than vote for Kemp, who they still hold responsible for Trump's 2020 loss in Georgia. Trump's team did not respond to a request for comment on the tele-rally, which comes days after news reports that he was backing away from Perdue as polls showed the candidate losing.Meanwhile, Kemp is already anticipating that pro-Trump Republicans could try to challenge his primary win after the Tuesday vote. He's trying to get ahead of it by assuring voters that any "mechanical" issues that might have marred the 2020 election have already been solved through a bill he signed into law last year.- Walt HickeyDonald Trump's funky winning ratePennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz joins former President Donald Trump onstage during a rally in support of his campaign at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.Jeff Swensen/Getty ImagesHere's what we know about former President Donald Trump's primary endorsee win record: His numbers are great when the person he's endorsing is running unopposed or faces tepid or token opposition. It's easy to pick winners when you know they're going to win, right?Where things get funky for Trump: When he endorses a candidate in a tight, tough Republican primary race.In these kinds of contests, Trump's picks have often faltered or underperformed, as Jake Lahut, Madison Hall, Brent D. Griffiths, and Warren Rojas report in this analysis with lots of cool charts.What does that mean for tonight's races? It means that in Georgia, for example, Republican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker — a Trump endorsee — will likely cruise to victory because he has minimal opposition. But on the same ballot, Trump's gubernatorial pick, former US Sen. David Perdue, could very well lose to Trump nemesis and current Gov. Brian Kemp. — Dave LevinthalLive election results start streaming in at 7 p.m. ET. Here's where to find the results.Georgia election officials counting ballots.Jessica McGowan/Getty ImagesWe're covering dozens of primary races up and down the ticket in four states — click on the links below to see live results for each race Georgia Senate Georgia governor  Georgia secretary of stateGeorgia House and state legislature Alabama Senate & HouseAlabama governor & state legislatureTexas' 28th District Democratic primary runoffTexas attorney general and congressional runoffsArkansas Senate & HouseArkansas governor & state legislaturePolls close at 7 p.m. ET in Georgia, 8 p.m. ET in Alabama and most of Texas, and 8:30 p.m. ET in Arkansas  -Grace Panetta Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 24th, 2022

Mitt Romney Calls On NATO To Prepare For Potential Russian Nuclear Strikes

Mitt Romney Calls On NATO To Prepare For Potential Russian Nuclear Strikes Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times, The United States and other NATO nations should prepare a devastating response to a possible Russian nuclear strike, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on Saturday. Romney, in an opinion article for the New York Times, said that “Russia’s use of a nuclear weapon would unarguably be a redefining, reorienting geopolitical event,” adding:  “We should imagine the unimaginable, specifically how we would respond militarily and economically to such a seismic shift in the global geopolitical terrain.” There is little evidence to suggest that Russia is going to use a nuclear weapon in its conflict with Ukraine, as doing so would risk a significant escalation under the doctrine of mutual assured destruction. Several weeks ago, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson downplayed concerns Moscow may use nukes in a bid to avoid defeat in Ukraine, where Russian forces have struggled. But Romney, 75, claimed that if Russian President Vladimir Putin “loses in Ukraine, he not only will have failed to achieve his life’s ambition to reverse what he sees as the ‘greatest geopolitical catastrophe’ of the 20th century—the collapse of the Soviet Union—but he will also have permanently diminished Russia as a great power and reinvigorated its adversaries.” Neither Putin nor other top Kremlin officials have said they would launch a nuclear strike in connection with the Ukraine war, although Russia’s leadership has often said they would respond with nuclear force if Russia’s existence is threatened. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in May that Russia would use a nuclear weapon if conditions written into its military doctrine are met. One of those says that Russia can use nuclear weapons if its enemies are also using them or using other weapons of mass destruction against Russian territories or allies. If Russia’s critical military or government sites are attacked, that could also trigger a nuclear response. Romney, a former GOP presidential candidate in 2012, also suggested that the United States or NATO “could engage” in Ukraine and “potentially obliterat[e] Russia’s struggling military” if nuclear weapons are deployed. As President Joe Biden signed a $40 billion military package Saturday to provide assistance to Ukraine, Western nations, Romney said, should continue to provide support to the country by sending weapons or other forms of aid in its fight against Russia. It comes as Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines suggested that Russia may use a nuclear weapon if top officials believe they are losing the war. “We’re supporting Ukraine, but also we don’t want to ultimately end up in World War III, and we don’t want to end up in a situation where actors are using nuclear weapons,” Haines told the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 10. “We perceive that as something that [Putin] is unlikely to do unless there is effectively an existential threat to his regime and to Russia from his perspective. But in somewhat of a contrast to Romney’s comments, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) last week called on the White House to deescalate the conflict and guarantee that the United States won’t engage in a first-use nuclear strike against Russia. Markey called on the administration to announce a no-first-use during a Senate hearing with Haines. “I think that, increasingly, people in our country and around the world are worried that this could escalate and that nuclear weapons could become involved,” Markey remarked. “So, from my perspective, I think it would be wise for our country to say flat out, ‘We will not use nuclear weapons if nuclear weapons have not been used against Ukraine or the United States.’” Tyler Durden Mon, 05/23/2022 - 23:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 23rd, 2022

Zelensky Says If Ukraine Falls, American Lives Will Be At Risk

Zelensky Says If Ukraine Falls, American Lives Will Be At Risk On the same day he addressed Davos' World Economic Forum wherein he urged Western countries to impose "maximum economic sanctions" against Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Axios' Jonathan Swan in an interview for HBO that if Ukraine loses the war, American lives will be put at risk. Zelensky was speaking in reference to NATO's collective defense treaty, suggesting that 'Russian imperialism' means there will be a domino effect of US-NATO allies to fall if Ukraine fails to achieve victory. "Members of the alliance should know and believe that if any country tries any aggression against them, then NATO, collectively, will provide for their defense," Zelensky told Swan. "If we fall, if we don't hold the line, Russia will proceed, attacking the Baltic states — Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia" and smaller states to follow, resulting in NATO's Article 5 being invoked, which would see American troops sent to the region to face Russia directly. Zelensky's mid-March address to US Congress, Anadolu Agency via Getty Images. "The US military will have to go to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, according to the fifth article, and they will have to fight there and die there," Zelensky emphasized in the interview.  Per the Axios summary of the fresh interview, Zelensky cast the current crisis as akin to the domino effect of Hitler's invasion of its neighbors in WWII: The history of World War II shows "what would have happened" if the U.S did not come to Europe's defense, Zelensky responded. "Ukraine is bordering with the Russian Federation, and we are the ones being attacked. If we fall, if we don't hold the line, Russia will proceed and attack the Baltic states" — forcing the U.S. to deploy troops to defend a NATO ally, Zelensky argued. "So what can I say to the people who think that this is just for Europe, this is far away, this is not in our backyard? This is somewhere in the world, but the world is much smaller than we think." This is a variation of a continuing theme he's been echoing since at least early March: "If Ukraine falls, Europe falls," he's previously warned. But it's anything but certain that Russia's President Vladimir Putin has ever had his sights set on expanding the 'special military operation' beyond Ukraine. For months leading up to the Feb. 24 invasion, he and his top officials warned constantly against the deepening relationship between Kiev and NATO, and Ukraine's militarization supported by Western allies. It seems from Moscow's point of view, the question of Ukraine's path to NATO was the 'last straw'. It still remains, fortunately, that many Americans are simply still not buying it as pressure grows for more and more direct Washington involvement in the war against nuclear-armed Russia... The karens and coffee shop baristas who want us to start WW3 because Zelensky is cute wouldn't put themselves at risk of breaking a nail on behalf of their own family... but they'll cheer on sending other Americans to die for something we have no business being in. — Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) March 17, 2022 But as has been shown going back to his address before US Congress, Zelensky hasn't held back in utilizing emotional appeals aimed at US leaders and the American public more broadly. He previously urged Washington to "close the sky" - or impose a no fly zone which would ensure a direct shooting war between the US and Russia - rhetoric which he's since backed off of after Biden made it clear this was off the table. As for Zelensky's virtual address to the Davos WEF, he urged global powers led by the US to implement a full range of "maximum sanctions" - listed as including a full embargo on Russian oil,  barring Russian banks global systems, companies leaving the Russian IT sector, and for a ban on all trade with Russia. Zelensky said via a translator on Monday, "This is what sanctions should be: They should be maximum, so that Russia and every other potential aggressor that wants to wage a brutal war against its neighbor would clearly know the immediate consequences of their actions." And coming just days after the Group of Seven countries pledged $19.8 billion to keep Ukraine's wartime economy afloat, the Ukrainian president added, "The amount of work is enormous: we have more than half a trillion of dollars in losses, tens of thousands of facilities were destroyed. We need to rebuild entire cities and industries." He further described that earlier full support would have resulted in "tens of thousands of lives saved." With these latest comments to Axios, it seems Zelensky is casting Ukraine as the anti-Russian 'wall' of sorts holding back Russian aggression aimed at the rest of Europe. Tyler Durden Mon, 05/23/2022 - 16:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 23rd, 2022

New Jersey Sued For Illegally Concealing Election Records Policy

New Jersey Sued For Illegally Concealing Election Records Policy Authored by Matthew Vadum via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), An election integrity group is suing New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way for allegedly violating the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) by refusing to disclose documentation explaining how election officials resolve duplicate voter registrations. Voters use an optional paper ballot voting booth as they cast their ballots early for the May 3 Primary Election at the Franklin County Board of Elections polling location on April 26, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images) The Indianapolis-based Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) says it needs to view the documents because recent studies show thousands of New Jersey residents possess duplicate, triplicate, or quadruplicate voter registrations. “Americans have a fundamental right under federal law to see precisely how their voter rolls are maintained,” stated PILF President J. Christian Adams, a former civil rights attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. “We can’t let New Jersey set a trend for concealing standard operating procedures for data entry and hygiene as if they were state secrets—especially when we are seeing persons registered three, four, five, and even six times.” PILF, a nonprofit, describes itself as “the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity.” It “exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections.” The group states that it has brought lawsuits and won victories in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. PILF isn’t the first to complain to Way about the state’s lack of transparency on voter registrations. State Sen. Kristin Corrado, a Republican, has expressed her concerns in a series of letters to Way. “Since September 2020, I have written several letters to New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way to request that the election process be made fully transparent while ensuring both County Clerks and the Board of Elections can deliver fair and accurate election results,” Corrado wrote in an October 2021 statement. “I have heard from many constituents who are justifiably concerned about the numerous cases of voter fraud, ballot tampering, incorrect counting, and postal issues over the past year. We need to ensure the accuracy and fairness of the many crucial local, county, state, and federal elections so the rightful winners may represent the people of New Jersey.” The case, PILF v. Way, court file 3:22-cv-2865, was filed on May 17 in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Way, a Democrat, is the state’s chief election official. Before filing suit, PILF told Way’s office that there were widespread errors in the voter roll. There were thousands of examples of registrations stored in duplicate. Tens of thousands of other voter records were missing or contained false biographical information such as dates of birth. Way’s office stonewalled, according to PILF. The lawsuit recites federal law, stating: “Each State shall maintain for at least two years and shall make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters … [The NVRA] contemplates an indefinite number of programs and activities.” By withholding the requested documents, Way is inflicting a “concrete informational injury” on PILF, which “does not have records and information to which it is entitled under federal law.” Way also is “impairing the Foundation’s ability to … assess compliance by New Jersey with state and federal voter list maintenance programs and activities.” Way’s office didn’t respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment. Tyler Durden Mon, 05/23/2022 - 10:40.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 23rd, 2022

A union leader representing 50,000 flight attendants says they"re "not just another accessory on Musk"s little rocket"

An Insider investigation found that SpaceX paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Elon Musk in 2018. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has hit back at a sexual misconduct claim.AP A union boss representing 50,000 flight attendants responded to a sexual misconduct claim against Elon Musk. Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said attendants "are not just another accessory on Musk's little rocket." An Insider investigation found SpaceX paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk. The leader of a union representing 50,000 flight attendants has said they're "not just another accessory" on Elon Musk's "little rocket."Insider reported Thursday that SpaceX, the aerospace firm founded by Musk, paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk in 2018.Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said late Friday that Musk's alleged actions were a "stark reminder" of why flight attendants first decided to unionize 76 years ago and claim "our power to put misogyny and the privileged corporate class of men in check."In a statement shared on Twitter, she said: "Flight attendants are not just another accessory on Musk's little rocket."According to interviews and documents obtained by Insider, the flight attendant accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage.  A friend of the flight attendant told Insider that SpaceX "encouraged her to get licensed as a masseuse, but on her own time, on her own dime," and implied that she would get to fly more because she would be able to give Elon proper massages.Nelson said: "The fact that he required flight attendants to become licensed masseuses on their own dime demonstrates what we see all too often — the super rich think they own everything and have to pay for nothing. This attitude is all too common to flight attendants and something all workers have had to deal with from day one." In a declaration seen by Insider, the flight attendant said "she was being pushed out and punished for refusing to prostitute herself" in the aftermath of the incident, eventually finalizing a $250,000 severance payment in November 2018.SpaceX didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider made outside normal working hours. After Insider contacted Musk for comment, he emailed to ask for more time to respond and said there is "a lot more to this story.""If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light," he wrote, calling the story a "politically motivated hit piece."After Insider published its story, Musk posted a series of rebuttals on Twitter, among other things calling the woman who accused him of sexually harassing her flight-attendant friend a "far left" actor "with a major political axe to grind."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 21st, 2022

20 members of Congress personally invest in top weapons contractors that"ll profit from the just-passed $40 billion Ukraine aid package

War is "big business to our leaders," says Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of 20 lawmakers Insider identified with defense industry investments. In this image taken from footage provided by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Press Service, a Ukrainian soldiers use a launcher with US Javelin missiles during military exercises in Donetsk region, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.Ukrainian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP Defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon manufacture weapons that are heading to Ukraine.  At least 20 members of Congress or their spouses hold stock in these companies.  Some lawmakers sit on congressional committees that regulate defense policy. Some members of Congress stand to personally profit off Russia's war on Ukraine.At least 20 federal lawmakers or their spouses hold stock in Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin, which manufacture the weapons Western allies are sending Ukraine to fight Russian invaders, according to an Insider analysis of federal financial records.The stock holdings by members of Congress come as Congress, on Thursday, approved $40 billion in defense and other aid to Ukraine. Both companies' stock — especially that of Lockheed Martin — have risen since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.Among the weapons the US and NATO members have dispatched to Ukraine are the so-called "fire and forget" Javelin and Stinger missiles that troops carry on their shoulders during battle. The joint Raytheon/Lockheed Martin-made Javelin missile is touted as "the world's premier shoulder-fired anti-armor system" capable of destroying battle tanks. Raytheon's Stinger missiles are designed to shoot down helicopters and other low-flying aircraft. Raytheon advertises the Stinger as "rapidly deployed by ground troops" and credited with "more than 270 fixed- and rotary-wing intercepts."Among those investing in the defense contractors is Republican Rep. John Rutherford of Florida who purchased between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of Raytheon stock on February 24 — the day Russia invaded Ukraine.Rutherford sits on the House Appropriations Committee that's in charge of federal government spending. In that role he serves on the subcommittee for Homeland Security as well as the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies subcommittee. "What we're seeing in Ukraine is the tragic consequence of an evil & aggressive dictatorship," Rutherford tweeted on February 24. "Putin invaded a sovereign nation for no legitimate reason, & he must be held accountable. The U.S. and our allies must impose the maximum possible sanctions & leave nothing off the table."Rutherford's office did not return Insider's requests for comment. Rutherford's office previously said the congressman's stocks are managed by a third party.Another Republican, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, bought between $1,001 and $15,000 in Lockheed Martin shares on February 22. Two days after her purchase, Greene wrote in a Twitter thread: "War is big business to our leaders."In a statement to Insider, Greene said her investment advisor made the purchase and noted it was only one among several other new purchases. But her critics seized on the trade as emblematic of what they consider an endemic problem in Congress: lawmakers personally buying and selling stock in ways that could conflict with their official responsibilities and position of public trust. —Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 7, 2022 "Add this to the list of why members of Congress should never be allowed to trade stocks," quipped Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota on Twitter, sharing a subtweet that showed Greene's financial disclosure document. Rep. Lois Frankel, Democrat of Florida, holds stock in health insurance company Cigna.Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty ImagesSome members long held stock in the companies, others traded recentlyOther federal lawmakers have traded stock in the defense contractors in recent weeks. Republican Rep. Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee and her husband made three separate Raytheon trades worth up to $15,000 and Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida sold up to $15,000 in Lockheed Martin stock but retained shares in the company.  All trades happened in January — close to when the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States permitted Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to dispatch the Javelin and Stinger missiles to Ukraine. Representatives for Frankel and Harshbarger did not respond to Insider's request for comment. Harshbarger has previously violated the 2012 Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, by reporting trades made by her financial advisor past a federally mandated deadline.More than a dozen other members of Congress or their families hold similar investments at a time when President Joe Biden approved a $350 million Ukraine military aid package last week. The US government is also poised to deliver another $6.5 billion for defense purposes in Ukraine as part of a new spending package heading to the president's desk.CNN reported that the US and other NATO members have so far sent Ukraine 17,000  anti-tank missiles and 2,000 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.Most lawmakers who hold shares in Raytheon and Lockheed Martin did not reply to Insider's request for comment. The list includes: Sen. Deb Fischer, a Republican of Nebraska, inherited between $50,001 to $100,000 in Lockheed Martin stock from her mother after she died on December 26, 2021. Fischer is the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.Sen. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat of Colorado, held between $100,001 and $250,000 in Raytheon shares, according to his most recent annual disclosure. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat of Rhode Island, held $15,001 to $50,000 in Lockheed Martin stock. He also held between $50,001 and $100,000 in stock in United Technologies, which was acquired by Raytheon.Thomas Daffron, a former longtime Hill chief of staff and the husband of Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, held between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock United Technologies, which was acquired by Raytheon. Annie Clark, Collins' spokeswoman, said he first acquired United Technologies at least as far back as 2014, before the Raytheon acquisition. "Tom Daffron has no involvement in the purchase or sale of any of the stocks in his diversified portfolio," she said. "These investment decisions are made solely by a third-party advisor." Clark also added that the senator herself does not own any stocks. Abigail Perlman Blunt, a lobbyist for Kraft Heinz who is also the wife of retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, held between $100,001 and $250,000 in Lockheed Martin shares.Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican of West Virginia, held between $1,001 and $15,000 in Lockheed Martin stock, her annual disclosures indicate. Her husband, Charlie Capito, who previously worked in finance, held between $1,001 and $15,000 in United Technologies, now acquired by Raytheon.Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat of Michigan, held between $1,001 and $15,000 in Raytheon stock. Peters chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as well as the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Martha Stacy, the wife of Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, held between $1,001 and $15,000 in Raytheon stocks and between $1,001 and $15,000 in Lockheed Martin stocks. Carper serves on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. His spokeswoman, Rachel Levitan, said the couple has "always been careful to ensure that their financial investments are handled separately by a financial advisor who makes decisions and transactions independently." She added that Carper "fully supports ongoing conversations in Congress on how to strengthen the legislation and improve transparency and accountability for our elected officials." John Axne, the husband of Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne of Iowa who operates a digital design firm, sold between $1,001 and $15,000 in Lockheed Martin shares twice in February but still appears to hold stock in the company. Axne previously violated the STOCK Act through failing to properly report trades. Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican of Oklahoma who built his wealth through McDonald's franchises, traded both Raytheon and Lockheed Martin stock throughout 2021. He most recently purchased shares of between $1,001 and $15,000 in both Raytheon and Lockheed Martin in December, documents show. Representatives for Hern, who has past STOCK Act violations, didn't reply to Insider's most recent inquiry but previously said a financial advisor manages the trades and that Hern "does not have any input or control over stock purchases." Rep. Fred Upton, a Republican of Michigan who is retiring after his term ends in 2022, held between $1,001 and $15,000 in Raytheon shares. Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat of Tennessee, held between $15,001 to $50,000 in Raytheon stock. Rep. John Curtis, a Republican of Utah, purchased between $1,001 and $15,000 in Raytheon shares in June 2021. He also held Lockheed Martin stock but public disclosures appear to show that he sold it in November 2021. His office did not reply to questions over whether he still held shares in the company. Rep. David Price, a Democrat of North Carolina, held between $15,001 and $50,000 in United Technologies which was then acquired by Raytheon.Rep. Dwight Evans, a Democrat of Pennsylvania, held between $1,001 and $15,000 in United Technologies which was acquired by Raytheon stock and in May 2021 he purchased between $1,001 and $15,000 in Lockheed Martin stock. Margaret Kirkpatrick, who is married to Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and retired from her role as general counsel for NW Natural Gas, held up to $15,000 in Raytheon shares as part of her retirement portfolio. Additional members of Congress appear to have shed their shares in recent months. They include Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee's Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. Documents appear to show Wittman sold his shares in Lockheed Martin in January of this year. His office did not respond to Insider's most recent inquiry but previously said that a financial advisor has "all control" of his investments. Insider previously reported that Wittman was among at least 15 lawmakers who both invest in the stock of defense contractors and hold powerful positions on a pair of House and Senate committees that control US military policy. Together, these 15 lawmakers' defense contractor investments were worth up to nearly $1 million at the end of 2020. Another lawmaker who appears to have sold stock in defense contractors this year was Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican of Alabama. It wasn't immediately clear from available financial filings whether he still retained any stock in the companies. His office didn't respond to Insider's request for comment on whether he still holds the shares but previously said outside advisors manage the senator's investments.Tuberville, who sits on the armed services committee, violated the federal STOCK Act last year by disclosing nearly 130 stock trades weeks or months late. Tuberville isn't alone in violating the STOCK Act — more than 1 in 10 members of Congress have done so, Insider's Conflicted Congress investigation found.In March alone, Insider found Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi of New York, Republican Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, and Whitehouse to each be in violation of the STOCK Act's disclosure provisions.Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat of Virginia, introduced the bipartisan TRUST in Congress Act, which would require all members of Congress put certain investment assets in a blind trust.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesCongress is considering a stock trading ban No law prohibits lawmakers from sitting on congressional committees, writing legislation, or voting on bills that might affect them financially. But momentum is growing for banning lawmakers from trading stocks altogether. A House hearing was set for March 16 to explore the matter, although it didn't take place as scheduled because Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren contracted COVID-19. A new date hasn't yet been set. Numerous federal policymakers have defense contractors in their states and districts, who call up lawmakers as the defense spending bills are being drafted to warn that people will lose jobs if defense funding decreases. The latest spending bill making its way through Congress represents another victory for the industry as it includes $782 billion in defense spending, a 5.6% increase over last year.Government watchdog organizations say investments like those in defense contractors muddle lawmakers' decision making abilities and reduce public trust in government officials. Political action committees linked to defense contractors are among the largest political donors in the United States. Defense contractors likewise spend millions of dollars lobbying the federal government to prod elected officials, shape policy, and win lucrative government contracts. During 2021, Raytheon spent nearly $15.4 million on federal lobbying efforts while Lockheed Martin spent more than $14.4 million, according to federal records compiled by nonpartisan research organization OpenSecrets."This is a case study in why there is a lot of concern around congressional stock trading," said Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette, government affairs manager at the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight. The investments indicate that war isn't only profitable for defense contractors "but members of congress who invest," he added. POGO supports a ban on members' trading individual stocks. "The easiest way to clear all this up and make the scandal not exist is to have clear, straightforward restrictions and have them apply to everybody," Hedtler-Gaudette said. This article was originally published March 11, 2022, and updated to include new information made available about members of Congress purchasing or otherwise acquiring defense contractor stock.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 19th, 2022

Market Rout Extends With Futures Tumbling To Verge Of Bear Market

Market Rout Extends With Futures Tumbling To Verge Of Bear Market US stock futures slumped again, extending yesterday’s brutal selloff that erased $1.5 trillion in market value on concerns about everything from slowing growth, to Chinese lockdowns, to soaring inflation and tightening monetary policy. Contracts on the S&P 500 were down 1.2% 7:30 a.m. in New York, having earlier dropped to 3,856, one point away sliding 20% from January's all time highs, and triggering a bear market. The underlying index tumbled 4% on Wednesday, the most since June 2020, as consumer shares cratered after Target slashed its profit forecast due to a surge in costs. Nasdaq 100 futures were down 1.2%. 10Y TSY Yields slumped about 7bps, dropping to 2.833, while the dollar also dropped after yesterday's surge; bitcoin was flat around $29K. The retail rout continued on Thursday: shares of US retailers again tumbled in premarket trading amid growing worries over the impact of rising inflation and the ability of companies to pass on higher costs to consumers; with Bath & Body Works becoming the latest retailer to cut its guidance. Major technology and internet stocks were also down, pointing to further losses in major technology and internet stocks a day after the tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped to its lowest since November 2020. Apple (AAPL US) -1.2%, Microsoft (MSFT US) -1.2%, Meta Platforms (FB US) -1.1%, Netflix (NFLX US) -0.9% and Nvidia (NVDA US) -2.2% in premarket trading. US rail stocks may be in focus as Citi cuts ratings on Norfolk Southern (NSC US), Union Pacific (UNP US) and US Xpress Enterprises (USX US) to neutral from buy, while lowering 2023 estimates “across the board.”Here are some other notable movers: Cisco Systems (CSCO US) plunged 13% in premarket trading after the network-gear maker spooked investors with a warning that Chinese lockdowns and other supply disruptions would wipe out sales growth in the current quarter. Shares of networking equipment makers drop after Cisco cuts outlook, with Broadcom (AVGO US) -3.6% and Juniper Networks (JNPR US) -5.9% in premarket trading. Synopsys (SNPS US) rises 3.8% in premarket trading after the supplier of software used to design semiconductors boosted its profit and revenue guidance for the full year. Target (TGT US) shares fall 2.2% in premarket trading, Walmart (WMT US) -0.3%; Kohl’s (KSS US) is in focus after two senior executives depart Under Armour (UAA US) shares dropped as much as 6% in US premarket trading, with analysts saying that the departure of the sportswear maker’s CEO Patrik Frisk is a surprise and adds uncertainty. Bath & Body Works’s (BBWI US) outlook cut was a little greater than expected, though analysts noted that it was due to higher costs and investment. The company’s shares fell almost 4% in premarket trading. United Wholesale Mortgage (UWMC US) will struggle to main its 1Q earnings level in coming quarters, Piper Sandler says in a note downgrading the stock to underweight from neutral. Shares drop as much as 7% in US premarket trading. The S&P 500 is on track for its longest weekly losing streak since 2001 as traders flee risk assets over fears that the Federal Reserve will push the economy into a recession as it tries to curb inflation. The benchmark is close to falling into a bear market, after dropping 18% from a record high in January. "The US selloff was rather orderly and the market isn’t oversold, yet. That tells us that we are likely not at the bottom yet,” said Joachim Klement, head of strategy, accounting and sustainability at Liberum Capital. “Consumer sentiment remains depressed and we are seeing consumers retrenching on some discretionary spending.”  Speaking on Tuesday in his most hawkish remarks to date, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank will keep raising interest rates until there is “clear and convincing” evidence that inflation is in retreat. JPMorgan's Marko Kolanovic, meanwhile, said - what else - that things can get better for US stocks. “There will be no recession this year, some summer increase in consumer activity on the back of reopening, China increasing monetary and fiscal measures,” he said.  Bolstering his opinion is a conviction that US inflation has probably peaked, or is about to do so, paving the way for a pullback in price pressures that will eventually allow the Federal Reserve to moderate the pace of monetary tightening.  "Since we are pricing in a growth scare but not yet a recession, we could see further downside in the coming weeks, but we are starting to price in a very negative picture already, suggesting we should, at some point, be closer to the bottom,” said Esty Dwek, chief investment officer at Flowbank SA. US stock investors are pricing in stronger odds of a recession than are evident from positive macroeconomic indicators, according to Goldman Sachs strategists. "A recession is not inevitable,” Goldman strategists led by David J. Kostin wrote in a note. “Rotations within the US equity market indicate that investors are pricing elevated odds of a downturn compared with the strength of recent economic data.” Bets that robust earnings can help investors weather this year’s turbulence were thrown in doubt after US consumer titans signaled growing impact of high inflation on margins and consumer spending. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve officials reaffirmed that tighter monetary policy lies ahead, and investors fretted over stagflation risks. “We are pricing in a growth scare,” Lori Calvasina, the head of US equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told Bloomberg TV. “There is a lot of uncertainty in this market right now about whether or not that recession is going to come through or if it’s going to be another near-death experience.” There was some more good news on the China covid lockdown front: Shanghai Vice Mayor said Shanghai port throughput recovered to around 90% of the levels a year ago and that Shanghai will expand work resumption in areas with no COVID risk in early June. Furthermore, Shanghai is to gradually restore inter-district public transport from May 22nd and will require residents to show negative PCR tests taken within 48 hours before using public transport, while an economy official said Shanghai will reduce rents for small and medium-sized enterprises by more than CNY 10bln and the city extended CNY 72.3bln of loans to over 10,000 firms since March, according to Reuters. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 retreated 1.8%, after sliding more than 2% earlier, with all industry sectors in the red and personal care and financial services leading the decline as Wednesday’s retailer trouble in the U.S. spills over into Europe. FTSE 100 lags regional peers, dropping 2%. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: HomeServe shares jump as much as 12% after Brookfield agrees to buy the home emergency and repair services company for GBP4.1b. Societe Generale shares rise as much as 1.5%, as it was raised to outperform from market perform at KBW, with the broker saying the sale of Russian activities removes a key overhang for the bank and should result in a re-rating. Generali shares rose as much as 1.4% after 1Q profit beats analyst estimates as EU136m impairments on Russian investments were more than offset by higher operating income. PGNiG shares rise as much as 6.2% after reporting 1Q results that, according to analysts, support Polish gas company’s outlook. Nestle shares drop as much as 5.3% after Bernstein downgraded the stock to market perform from outperform, saying the shares will “struggle” if market sentiment improves and investors exit havens. Royal Mail shares fall as much as 14% after the postal group’s FY results slightly missed estimates and analysts said its outlook is “disappointing.” National Grid shares fall as much as 2.5%, erasing gains from yesterday’s record high, after the utility company reported full-year results. Earlier in the session, shares of Asian retailers follow their US counterparts lower after Target became the second big retailer in two days to trim its profit forecast. Australia: JB Hi-Fi retreats 6.6%, Wesfarmers -7.8%, Harvey Norman -5.5%, Woolworths -5.6% South Korea: E-Mart - 3.4%; apparel makers Hansae -9.4%, F&F -4.2%, Youngone -8.2% Japan: Fast Retailing - 3.1%, MatsukiyoCocokara -1.4%, Ryohin Keikaku -1.7%, Nitori -3% Singapore: Grocery chain operator Sheng Siong slips as much as 1.3% Hong Kong: Sun Art Retail down as much as 4.1% In China, Tencent Holdings Ltd. plunged 6.6% after warning it will take time for Beijing to act on promises to prop up the Chinese tech sector. Cisco Systems Inc. slid in extended US trading on a disappointing revenue outlook. Japan's Nikkei 225 suffered firm losses amid reports the ruling coalition is considering increasing the corporate tax rate and after several data releases in which Machinery Orders topped estimates but Exports missed as China-bound exports declined by the fastest pace since March 2020. Indian stocks declined to a ten-month low, tracking a sell-off across Asia, on concerns the US Fed’s hawkish stance on inflation may cool economic activity and hurt consumer demand.  The S&P BSE Sensex plunged 2.6% to 52,792.23, its lowest level since July 30, in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index slipped 2.7% to 15,809.40  Software exporter Infosys Ltd. fell 5.4% to a 11-month low and was the biggest drag on the Sensex, which had 27 of 30 member stocks trading lower. All 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined, led by S&P BSE Information Technology index, that dropped the most in over two years.   “Deteriorating macro sentiment such as soaring inflation, recession fears, and the prospect of the Federal Reserve getting even more hawkish will continue to keep benchmarks on the edge,” Prashanth Tapse, an analyst at Mehta Equities Ltd., wrote in a note.  In earnings, of the 36 Nifty 50 firms that have announced results so far, 21 have either met or exceeded analyst estimates, while 15 have missed forecasts. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.7% to close at 7,064.50, tumbling with global shares as concerns over inflation, interest-rate hikes and Ukraine piled up. All sectors dropped, except for health. Consumer shares were among the worst performers, following their US peers lower after Target became the second big retailer in two days to trim its profit forecast. Aristocrat rose after it released its 1H results and unveiled buyback plans. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 11,206.93 And in emerging markets, Sri Lanka fell into default for the first time in its history as the government struggles to halt an economic meltdown that prompted mass protests and a political crisis. An index of developing-nation stocks slumped more than 2%. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index declines, with all G-10 majors rising against the greenback. CHF is the strongest G-10 performer with USD/CHF snapping lower on to a 0.97 handle and EUR/CHF slumping below 1.03. The Swiss franc diverged from Japanese yen and dollar after hawkish comments from SNB’s Thomas Jordan Wednesday, which assured traders CHF rates could follow EUR higher. Options trades may also be behind the latest move in the spot market. In rates, Treasury yields dropped about seven basis points as investors sought insurance against further declines in risk assets. Treasury yields richer by up to 6bp across belly of the curve, richening the 2s5s30s fly by 2.2bp on the day; 10-year yields around 2.83% with German 10-year outperforming by 2.5bps. Treasuries extended Wednesday’s rally as stocks resume slide with S&P 500 futures dropping under 3,900 to lowest level in a year; on the curve, the belly led the advance while bunds outperform in a more aggressive bull-flattening move as European stocks tumble. US session highlights include 10-year TIPS reopening at 1pm ET. Flurry of block trades during London session follows a spate of trades Wednesday; five blocks worth a combined cash-equivalent $1.2m/DV01 between 3:38am and 5:35am similarly entailed price action consistent with sales. Most European bonds also gained, with the yield on German 10-year securities falling more than basis points.  German yield curve bull-flattens: 30-year yield drops ~9bps before stalling near 1.05% which has acted as support for much of May so far. The Dollar issuance slate empty so far; eight borrowers priced $8.5b Wednesday, and new issue activity is expected to be muted during remainder of the week. Three-month dollar Libor +2.69bp to 1.50486%. Economic data slate includes May Philadelphia Fed business outlook and initial jobless claims (8:30am), April existing homes sales and leading index (10am). In commodities, crude oil extended declines, while most industrial metals were in the red as global growth fears damped the demand outlook. WTI reverses Asia’s gains, dropping back below $110 but holding above Wednesday’s lows. Spot gold is comparatively quiet, holding above $1,810/oz. Most base metals trade in the green; LME tin rises 2.1%, outperforming peers while copper held near a seven-month low and zinc extended losses. Bitcoin is modestly softer in a relatively contained range that lies just shy of the USD 30k mark. Crypto exchange FTX to start rollout of new stock-trading service on Thursday, WSJ reports; will not accept payment for order flow on stock trades. Looking to the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, along with April’s existing home sales and the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook survey for May. Central bank speakers include ECB Vice President de Guindos, the ECB’s Holzmann and the Fed’s Kashkari. Finally, the ECB will be publishing the minutes from their April meeting. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.1% to 3,879.25 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.7% to 426.41 MXAP down 1.8% to 161.60 MXAPJ down 2.2% to 527.30 Nikkei down 1.9% to 26,402.84 Topix down 1.3% to 1,860.08 Hang Seng Index down 2.5% to 20,120.68 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,096.97 Sensex down 2.4% to 52,926.71 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.6% to 7,064.46 Kospi down 1.3% to 2,592.34 Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,814.49 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.28% to 103.52 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.96% Euro up 0.3% to $1.0496 Brent Futures down 0.1% to $109.00/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg President Joe Biden is set to meet on Thursday with Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson at the White House to discuss the Nordic nations’ NATO bids. China’s top diplomat again warned the US over its increased support for Taiwan, showing the island democracy remains a major sticking point between the world’s biggest economies as Beijing sent more military aircraft toward the island Sri Lanka fell into default for the first time in its history as the government struggles to halt an economic meltdown that prompted mass protests and a political crisis The yuan’s outlook is finally looking more balanced after a 6.5% dive versus its major trading partner currencies since March. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were pressured on spillover selling after the worst day on Wall St in almost two years. ASX 200 was led lower by consumer staples following the retailer woes stateside and mixed Australian jobs data. Nikkei 225 suffered firm losses amid reports the ruling coalition is considering increasing the corporate tax rate and after several data releases in which Machinery Orders topped estimates but Exports missed as China-bound exports declined by the fastest pace since March 2020. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp initially weakened with the Hong Kong benchmark dragged lower by heavy losses in tech after Tencent’s profit declined by more than 50% and with the mainland pressured as Beijing conducts a fresh round of mass COVID testing, although the mainland bourse recovered most of its losses after Shanghai announced a further gradual easing of restrictions. Xiaomi (1810 HK) Q1 adj. net profit CNY 2.859bln (vs 6.069bln Y/Y), Q1 revenue CNY 73.4bln (vs. 76.9bln Y/Y); global smartphone shipments -10.5% Y/Y at 38.5mln units. Top Asian News Shanghai Vice Mayor said Shanghai port throughput recovered to around 90% of the levels a year ago and that Shanghai will expand work resumption in areas with no COVID risk in early June. Furthermore, Shanghai is to gradually restore inter-district public transport from May 22nd and will require residents to show negative PCR tests taken within 48 hours before using public transport, while an economy official said Shanghai will reduce rents for small and medium-sized enterprises by more than CNY 10bln and the city extended CNY 72.3bln of loans to over 10,000 firms since March, according to Reuters. Japanese MOF official said China's COVID curbs are among the factors that caused a decline in China-bound exports from Japan which fell by the fastest pace since March 2020, while Japan's April imports reached the largest amount on record, according to Reuters. Japan's ruling coalition is reportedly considering increasing the corporate tax rate, according to Jiji. New Zealand sees 2021/22 OBEGAL at NZD -18.98bln (prev. forecast -20.44bln), 2021/22 net debt at 36.9% of GDP (prev. forecast 37.6%) and Cash Balance at NZD -31.78bln (prev. forecast -34.10bln), while Finance Minister Robertson said the economy is expected to be robust in the near term and they see a return to OBEGAL surplus in 2024/25, according to Reuters. European bourses are pressured across the board in a broader risk-off moves after yesterday's Wall St. sell off, as European players look past the brief respite seen overnight on Shanghai's reopening; Euro Stoxx 50 -2.3%. Stateside, the magnitude of the downside is somewhat more contained given newsflow has been limited since Wednesday's downside commenced, ES -1.2%. Top European News EU is reportedly considering a targeted trade war on troublesome Brexiteer MPs and Tory ministers to force UK PM Johnson to do a U-turn on the Northern Ireland protocol, according to The Telegraph. Top UK Economist Defends BOE’s Handling of Inflation Crisis EasyJet Bookings Pick Up Ahead of Uncertain Summer Season Apax-Owned Rodenstock Acquires Spanish Rival Indo European Gas Slips With LNG Imports Helping Boost Stockpiles In FX Franc resurgence and re-emergence as a safe haven currency continues; USD/CHF touches 0.9750 vs 1.0060+ peak on Monday, EUR/CHF sub-1.0250 vs circa 1.0500 at one stage only yesterday. Dollar loses momentum as US Treasury yields retreat further and curve re-flattens amidst ongoing risk rout, DXY ducks under 103.500 after peaking just shy of 104.000 on Wednesday. Kiwi and Aussie find positives via fiscal and fundamental factors to evade aversion; NZD/USD back above 0.6300 after NZ budget and AUD/USD hovering around 0.7000 post- Aussie jobs data. Yen retains underlying bid irrespective of mixed Japanese data, USD/JPY below 128.00 again. Euro firmer beyond EUR/CHF cross ahead of ECB minutes and Sterling off UK inflation data lows awaiting retail sales on Friday, EUR/USD retains sight of 1.0500 and Cable near 1.2400. Rand meandering ahead of SARB in anticipation of 50 bp rate hike, USD/ZAR around 16.0000, irrespective of Gold taking firmer hold of USD 1800/oz handle. Fixed Income Debt resumes safe-haven rally as market mood continues to sour. Bunds top 154.00, Gilts get close to 120.00 and 10 year T-note even nearer the same psychological level. BTPs lag amidst the ongoing aversion to risk, while OATs and Bonos reflect on somewhat mixed auction results. Commodities WTI and Brent are pressured in-fitting with broader sentiment as initial resilience on demand-side positives re. China/COVID were overpowered by the risk move. However, the benchmarks are around USD 1.00/bbl off lows of USD 104.36/bbl and USD 106.76/bbl respectively, following reports that China is discussing the purchase of Russian crude. China is said to be in talks with Russia to purchase oil for strategic reserves, according to Bloomberg sources; detailed on terms and volume reportedly not decided yet Qatar Energy was reportedly selling July Al-Shaheen crude at premiums of USD 5.80-6.40/bbl above Dubai quotes which is the highest in 2 months, according to Reuters sources. Spot gold is bid as it draws haven allure, with the yellow metal marginally surpassing USD 1830/oz. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Initial Jobless Claims, est. 200,000, prior 203,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.32m, prior 1.34m 08:30: May Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. 15.0, prior 17.6 10:00: April Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -2.2%, prior -2.7%; Home Resales with Condos, est. 5.64m, prior 5.77m 10:00: April Leading Index, est. 0%, prior 0.3% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Today is my last day at work this week before I head up to Cambridge tomorrow for my Masters’ graduation. Before you send in a flood of congratulations though, I didn’t actually do any work for this qualification, with not even a single hour of revision. Now at this point you’re probably thinking I’m either a genius or guilty of some serious academic malpractice. I’m hoping the former. But the truth is that I’m benefiting from a quirky tradition that somehow means Cambridge, Oxford and Dublin will upgrade your Bachelors into a Masters after a few years. With the wedding two months away, it appears as though I’m losing all my bachelor status at once. Markets seem ready for a holiday too after the last 24 hours, with the selloff resuming at pace after the brief respite on Tuesday. In fact it was nothing short of a rout with the S&P 500 ending the day down -4.04%, marking its worst daily performance since June 2020, and leaving the index at a fresh one-year low. There wasn’t a single catalyst behind the slump, but weak housing data out of the US along with Target’s move to cut its profit outlook helped feed investor concern that the consumer might not be in as strong a position as previously thought. And that’s on top of all the other worries of late that the global economy is heading in a stagflationary direction amidst various supply-chain issues, alongside the prospect that tighter central bank policy is going to further dent growth and risks tipping various economies into recession. In terms of the specific moves, the S&P 500 gradually tumbled as the day went on, with its -4.04% decline more than reversing its +2.02% bounceback on Tuesday. The decline was an incredibly broad-based one, with just 8 constituents in the index ending the day higher, which is the lowest number since November. That earnings report we mentioned at the top meant that Target (-24.93%) saw the worst performance in the entire S&P 500, after saying they now expected their full-year operating income margin rate to be around 6%. That follows a disappointing report from Walmart the previous day, and meant that consumer staples (-6.38%) and consumer discretionary (-6.60%) were the worst-performing sectors in the S&P yesterday. The latest declines also mean that the S&P is back on track for a 7th consecutive weekly decline, having shed -2.49% since the start of the week, and S&P 500 futures are only up by +0.18% this morning. If the S&P 500 does see a 7th week in negative territory, then that would be the longest run of weekly declines for the index since 2001. Other indices lost ground too given the risk-off move, with the Dow Jones (-3.57%), the NASDAQ (-4.73%), and the small-cap Russell 2000 (-3.56%) all experiencing sizeable declines of their own. European indices had a better performance after closing before the worst of the US declines, and the STOXX 600 was “only” down -1.14% to just remain in positive territory for the week. With recessionary concerns back in focus, sovereign bonds rallied on both sides of the Atlantic as investors sought out safe havens. Yields on 10yr US Treasuries fell by -10.2bps to 2.88%, with the decline mostly led by a -9.6bps move lower in real yields, and nominal yields are only back up +2.5bps this morning. The yield curve also continued to flatten and the 2s10s slope (-6.9ps) fell to its lowest in over two weeks, at 21.0bps, although it’s been over 6 weeks now since the curve last traded in inversion territory. We did get some Fedspeak but to be honest there weren’t any major headlines relative to what we already knew, with Chicago Fed President Evans saying it was “quite likely” the Fed would be at a neutral setting by year-end, whilst Philadelphia Fed President Harker was making the case for more gradual rate hikes after the next few 50bp hikes are delivered. More important for the outlook was the release of various housing data yesterday, where housing starts fell to an annualised rate of 1.724m in April (vs. 1.756m expected), and that was from a downwardly revised 1.728m in March. That comes against the backdrop of rising mortgage rates, and the MBA reported that mortgage purchase applications fell -11.9% in the week ending May 13, leaving them at their lowest levels since May 2020 when the numbers were still recovering from the pandemic slump. Over in Europe, sovereign bond curves also became flatter as investors became increasingly aggressive on the near-term ECB rate path. Indeed the amount of ECB rate hikes priced in by the December meeting hit a fresh high of 108bps, or equivalent to at least four rate hikes of 25bps by year-end. That came amidst further ECB speakers over the last 24 hours, including Finnish central bank governor Rehn, who had already endorsed a July hike and said yesterday that the initial hike was “likely to take place in the summer”. Furthermore, he said that it seemed “necessary that in our policy rates we move relatively quickly out of negative territory”. We also heard from Estonian central bank governor Muller, who also endorsed a July hike and said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the deposit rate were in positive territory by year-end. However, Spanish central bank governor De Cos said that rate hikes should be gradual as he called for APP purchases to end at the start of Q3, with rate hikes to follow shortly afterwards. Those growing expectations of tighter policy saw shorter-dated yields move higher in Europe once again, with 2yr German yields hitting their highest level since 2011 despite only a marginal +0.1bps move to 0.36%. However, the broader risk-off tone meant it was a different story for their longer-dated counterparts, and yields on 10yr bunds (-1.6bps) and OATs (-2.2bps) both moved lower on the day. Peripheral spreads widened as well, whilst iTraxx Crossover neared its recent highs with a +26.2bps move to 468bps. In terms of the fight against inflation, there was a potential boost on the trade side yesterday as US Treasury Secretary Yellen confirmed ahead of a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governments that the she favoured removing some tariffs on goods that are not considered strategic. Separately the risk-off move also saw oil prices move lower for a 2nd day running yesterday, with Brent crude down -2.52%, although it’s since taken back a decent chunk of that loss this morning with a +1.51% move higher to $110.76/bbl. Over in Asia, equity markets have tracked those steep overnight losses on Wall Street to move sharply lower this morning. Among the key indices, the Hang Seng (-2.25%) is the largest underperformer amidst a broad weakness in tech stocks as the Hang Seng Tech index fell by an even larger -3.40%. Mainland Chinese stocks have performed relatively better however, even if the Shanghai Composite (-0.08%) and CSI (-0.25%) have both moved slightly lower, while the Nikkei (-1.91%) and the Kospi (-1.29%) have seen more substantial losses. Finally there was some important employment data out of Australia this morning ahead of their election on Saturday, with the unemployment rate falling to its lowest since 1974, at 3.9%. The employment gain was a bit softer than expected with just a +4.0k gain (vs. +30.0k expected), but that included a +92.4k gain in full-time employment, offset by a -88.4k decline in part-time employment. Elsewhere on the data side, there were fresh signs of inflationary pressure in the UK after CPI inflation rose to a 40-year high of +9.0% in April. But in spite of the 40-year high, that was actually slightly beneath the +9.1% reading expected by the consensus, which marked the first time in over 6 months that the reading hasn’t been higher than expected. Gilts outperformed following the release as it was also beneath the BoE’s staff projection of +9.1%, and 10yr gilt yields closed down -1.6bps on the day, whilst sterling underperformed the other major currencies leave it -1.28% weaker against the US Dollar. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, along with April’s existing home sales and the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook survey for May. Central bank speakers include ECB Vice President de Guindos, the ECB’s Holzmann and the Fed’s Kashkari. Finally, the ECB will be publishing the minutes from their April meeting. Tyler Durden Thu, 05/19/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 19th, 2022

Inside Nike"s high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit, where plaintiffs claim unequal pay and more thanks to a "boys" club" culture

Former female employees sued Nike over alleged gender discrimination in 2018. A judge will soon rule on a motion to make the lawsuit a class action. A "Do the right thing" sign at Nike's headquarters.Natalie Behring/Stringer/Getty Images Former female Nike employees sued the company over alleged gender discrimination in 2018. The case is one of the most high-profile cases filed in the wake of the #MeToo movement.  Here's a guide to Insider's coverage of the lawsuit, which awaits a decision on class certification. In March 2018, the Wall Street Journal first reported on allegations of a "boys' club" culture at Nike. Two former female Nike employees filed a potential class-action lawsuit against the company over alleged gender discrimination and sexual harassment less than six months later. Nike has repeatedly said it has zero tolerance for discrimination. Fast forward to January 2022, plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, marking a critical stage in the lawsuit, which has become one of the most-watched corporate cases in the wake of the #MeToo movement. If successful, the case would proceed on behalf of roughly 5,000 women who have worked at Nike's headquarters since October 2017, instead of the 14 plaintiffs named currently.The case is proceeding under a protective order, which means numerous documents remain sealed. In April, Insider, the Oregonian, and the Portland Business Journal intervened in the lawsuit in an effort to get more of the case unsealed. Nike has so far unsealed its motion against class certification and some supporting documents. A ruling on the motion for class certification and Insider's motion to unseal the lawsuit could come as early as June.Here's a rundown of the history of Nike's gender discrimination lawsuit:Nike infuriated employees and helped spark a lawsuit with a 'tone-deaf' declaration about pay equity. Here's the leaked memo that drew so much scorn.A catalyst of the lawsuit, Nike's top human resources official proclaimed victory on pay equity in a company-wide email in April 2017, saying women earned 99.6% of what men earned. The self-congratulatory tone of the email spurred an independent survey of pay practices that ultimately landed on the desk of then-CEO Mark Parker. Nike is fighting to keep a massive gender-discrimination case from going forward. 3 lawyers walked us through what's at stake.Motions for class certification are a "central moment" in such cases. Three lawyers explained the process and why companies like Nike fight so hard to defeat them.Nike files motion to keep sensitive records in sweeping gender discrimination lawsuit sealedIn March 2022, Nike said in a legal filing it was willing to make the "overwhelming majority" of the lawsuit public, but it wanted several other records to remain sealed, including a plaintiffs' analysis of aggregate pay shortfalls and documents about three former employees who were the subject of complaints. Nike pay and HR practices coming to light as part of lawsuit alleging gender discriminationNike unsealed more than 700 pages of records at the end of March that showed the company will likely argue in court that individual hiring managers make decisions about pay, therefore any disparities are isolated, not systemic. Nike unseals internal memos and human-resource documents as it gears up to defend itself against allegations of gender discriminationIn late April, Nike also unsealed its motion against class certification. The motion, and supporting documents, give the fullest picture yet of Nike's internal response to the allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Insider among publications working to unseal records in Nike's gender discrimination lawsuitInsider, the Oregonian, and the Portland Business Journal have intervened in the lawsuit in an effort to get more of the case unsealed. Hundreds of court filings, including corporate records and witness testimony, remain off limits to the public. The judge is expected to rule on the motion in June. Do you work at Nike or have insight to share? Contact reporter Matthew Kish via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-971-319-3830) or email (mkish@insider.com). Check out Insider's source guide for other tips on sharing information securely.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 19th, 2022