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GameStop Nears The End Of A Large Pennant: What"s Next?

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) shares are trading higher Wednesday. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaOct 13th, 2021

Disneyland attendance nears pre-pandemic levels, report says

Disneyland was closed for more than a year due to California's COVID restrictions, but the park reached 85% of 2019 attendance levels this summer. Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort Visits to Disneyland reached 85% of its 2019 levels this summer, according to firm Placer.ai. California's COVID-19 restrictions closed the park for over a year. The state recommends all guests be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID test before visiting. See more stories on Insider's business page. The Happiest Place on Earth is getting back on its feet as attendance rose this summer to nearly pre-pandemic levels.Disneyland in Anaheim, California, saw about 85% of its 2019 attendance levels by the end of the summer, according to the Orange County Register, citing a report from Placer.ai, a data firm that tracks foot traffic at theme parks, retailers, and restaurants. The California-based park saw a much slower recovery than its Florida counterpart primarily because of varying COVID restrictions at the state level, according to Placer.ai's report. California has stricter limitations on vaccine and mask policies, and Disneyland saw a 27.1% decrease in visits during the month of August, compared to 2019, as coronavirus cases rose in the state. Florida's Disney World only saw a 15.3% decrease that same month.In the month of July, Disneyland visits were down about 25.3% from 2019's attendance levels, and Disney World's were only 8.2% lower. Other factors impacted the number of visitors to the parks, the report noted, such as weather, an increase in visitors' household income, and Labor Day Weekend falling in early September this year as compared to large August in 2019.Disneyland was closed for more than a year due to California's coronavirus restrictions. The park returned to full capacity in June after reopening in April. Currently, all guests planning on visiting Disneyland must make a reservation in advance and wear a face covering while indoors, according to the park's policy.While it is not mandatory, the state of California strongly recommends that all guests be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the Disneyland Resort.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 6th, 2021

Crypto funding for Palestine"s Hamas nears $1 million and far outstrips hauls for other militant groups, Coinbase says

Hamas first began to seek crypto funds using a single donation address back in January 2018, Coinbase's report said. Members of the Al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas. Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has raised nearly $1 million in crypto donations, Coinbase said on Tuesday. Hamas made staggering fundraising efforts in comparison to other militant groups, research found. The group began to seek crypto funds in January 2018 using a single donation address, but later provided new addresses. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. Hamas, the Palestinian militant Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip, has raised the highest amount of funds via cryptocurrencies among a number of organizations linked to terror-related financing, according to Coinbase's special investigations team.Research conducted by the team, using data across various blockchains, found Hamas raised nearly $1 million in cryptocurrencies, mostly in bitcoin."This is likely because Hamas actively solicits donations primarily in the form of BTC on their website and related Telegram channels," Coinbase said. Coinbase Coinbase described Hamas' fundraising efforts as "staggering" in comparison to other organizations it analyzed. The militant group first began to seek crypto funds using a single donation address in January 2018, the report said. A few months later, Hamas attempted to blur the number of funds already raised by providing fresh donation addresses on its website.The team noted that periods of geopolitical conflict correlated to a boost in crypto donations for the nationalist group, specifically in May 2021 when Israel and Hamas were engaged in the worst violence in the region since 2014.It was found that crypto funding for other armed groups trended for a limited period of time. For instance, ISIS' fundraising took place between February and October 2020, possibly due to authorities being able to take down its fundraising website for a short period before it later reappeared.While bitcoin has been the most donated cryptocurrency for militant groups, fundraising with ether, ERC-20, and Ripple's XRP has also taken place. The growing interest in donating through altcoins began in August 2020 through August this year.Coinbase attributed this form of fundraising to a Saudi-led jihadi activist movement, whose unnamed leader advocated for the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan and appears to have fueled violence against countries including Pakistan, Israel, and the US on Twitter. This movement was found to have primarily raised funds via altcoins. Coinbase As a crypto exchange that works with global law enforcement agencies to track down illicit crypto operations, Coinbase said it plans to prevent such fundraising tactics through three steps:Blocklist crypto addresses associated with terror financing-related organizations to prevent funds transferUse Coinbase Analytics to uncover wider terror organization campaigns and identify involved participantsCollaborate with regulatory bodies such as the FinCen and FBICoinbase said unlawful activity accounted for less than 1% of activity in the crypto space in 2020, and is not a greater concern for the crypto-economy than the traditional financial system.Transactions linked to terror-linked financing in 2020 made up only a fraction, or 0.05%, of all illicit volume last year, the exchange said. This means terror funding via crypto does not count towards a considerably large part of the crypto economy.Read More: Crypto investor Pablo Heman shares 6 altcoins he's betting will outperform this bull run - and explains why altcoins like ethereum may be on the verge of flipping bitcoin for goodRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2021

Avinger Technical Levels To Watch Following Patent News

Avinger Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGR) is forming what technical traders call a pennant on the daily chart below. The pennant is considered to be speculatively bullish because the large move that precedes the pennant goes upwards. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaMar 2nd, 2021

S&P 500 nears its best year since 1997

The S&P 500 large-cap index could post best annual performance since 1997.....»»

Category: topSource: moneycentralDec 18th, 2019

S&P 500 nears its best year since 1997

The S&P 500 large-cap index could post best annual performance since 1997.....»»

Category: topSource: moneycentralDec 18th, 2019

Amazon halts Seattle growth, flexing muscles on tax threat

Amazon.com Inc. is playing hardball with its hometown of Seattle as the city council nears a vote on a new tax targeting large employers to address homelessness and housing affordability......»»

Category: topSource: moneycentralMay 2nd, 2018

Amazon halts Seattle growth, flexing muscles on tax threat

Amazon.com Inc. is playing hardball with its hometown of Seattle as the city council nears a vote on a new tax targeting large employers to address homelessness and housing affordability......»»

Category: topSource: moneycentralMay 2nd, 2018

S&P 500 nears turning point, could break out to 3,000 says Randy Watts

William O'Neil's chief investment strategist tells Reuters' Fred Katayama the S&P 500's pennant formation suggests the index will soon make a decisive move. He also comments on oil prices in light of the U.S. move to exit the Iran nuclear deal......»»

Category: videoSource: reutersMay 8th, 2018

Small, "quaint" brewery nears summer opening in central Triad location

The partners in a soon-to-open Triad brewery want potential customers to know their establishment won't resemble Foothills, Wise Man, Natty Greene's, Fiddlin' Fish, Joymongers, or any of the other large brewery/taproom establishments that continue t.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 27th, 2018

David Hogg Rebuked Again, Youth Gun Sports Leagues See "Record-Setting" Participation

David Hogg Rebuked Again, Youth Gun Sports Leagues See "Record-Setting" Participation Op-Ed via The Machine Gun Nest (TMGN).  Gun Control activist David Hogg can't seem to catch a break. His viewpoint that younger people are more anti-gun appears to be continuously rebuked by new reports from this post-COVID world.  Most recently, the NRA reported that the USA Clay Target League (USACTL) had its biggest year yet for student-athletes. Almost 40,000 will be participating in programs in the fall. Both male and female students compete on the same team, meaning that not just young males are represented here.  "Despite constant challenges both last year and this year, we are pleased to have our largest fall registration numbers ever," said John Nelson, president of the USACTL. "The record-setting participation this fall is the result of the incredible efforts of coaches and families to overcome ongoing issues with the pandemic and ammunition shortages." In this post-COVID world, not only are people connecting more with the outdoors, but they're also starting to connect with shooting sports as well. The popularity of shooting sports has grown exponentially since 2020. We can speak to that here at TMGN as many of new customers have become increasingly interested in competitive shooting, especially our millennial customers.  This is a big sign, as we wrote about before and continued to highlight that David Hogg's assertations that this large crowd of young anti-gun voters chomping at the bit to saw AR15s in half is a fantasy at best. The interesting thing about people who get into competitive shooting as opposed to someone who bought a gun during the panic buy is, while those who bought during the panic buy are likely to change their minds on gun ownership, they may not continue to engage heavily with those in firearms culture or have conversations that advance their views. On the other hand, those who compete are exposed to more ideas and have more informed opinions on firearms, typically leading them to be more pro-gun.  The reality of the situation is that millennials and Gen Z are becoming more conservative and have positive attitudes towards guns. According to Forbes, "Gen Z is more individualistic, more conservative both social and fiscally…" naturally, this idea lends itself to firearms. It's no wonder Gen Z is more pro-gun, raised with access to the internet, first-person shooting games, and action movies. Not to mention watching the debt crisis and student loans spiral out of control. Their views seem to align more with Libertarians or moderate republicans. Researching each of their ideas independently through the internet has allowed them to come to a logical conclusion instead of an emotionally influenced one. Only time will tell, but it seems like more and more data is showing that David Hogg is wrong as his anti-gun campaign fades into the darkness.  Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 23:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge3 hr. 47 min. ago

Bitcoin Makes Run Toward Record High Amid ETF Exuberance

The world’s largest digital token has surged some 8% over Friday and Saturday to about $62,100 Bitcoin-to-the-moon traders are back with a vengeance as the cryptocurrency approaches its all-time high and demand jumps for bullish contracts across crypto exchanges. The world’s largest digital token has surged some 8% over Friday and Saturday to about $62,100 — taking this month’s rally to over 40% — after Bloomberg News reported the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission looks poised to allow the country’s first futures-based cryptocurrency ETF. As institutional and retail demand grows for the more than $1 trillion asset, speculators are eyeing a return to April’s $64,869 record peak while premiums are rising for derivatives betting on higher prices. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “The U.S. was always the big prize and signals further regulatory validation and acceptance of cryptocurrencies,” said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of crypto lender Nexo. “Momentum is clearly with Bitcoin right now and it’s only a matter of time before the April high is taken out.” All month long, speculation of imminent ETF approval has driven up Bitcoin, helping it outperform smaller tokens to reclaim 46% of the crypto ecosystem’s total market value. An exchange-traded fund is expected to draw more interest from investors that prefer buying a familiar, regulated product over navigating digital-currency exchanges. In a sign of rising animal spirits, the seven-day average funding rate on Bitcoin futures — the cost of keeping a bullish bet open — rose to 5% on the Binance platform. That compares with just 1.9% at the end of September in Bybt data compiled by The Block, a crypto information service. The value of outstanding futures on crypto exchanges rebounded to $21.5 billion, compared with the $27 billion peak earlier this year, according to Bybt. Similarly, the curve has steepened in CME futures, indicating an increasingly optimistic outlook for Bitcoin’s trajectory. The gap between December contracts and this month’s widened to 990 basis points, the most since April. Ki Young Ju, chief executive officer at analytics firm CryptoQuant, said on Twitter prices have been driven by whales buying large amounts of the cryptocurrency through derivatives. It all marks a shift from recent months, when Bitcoin bulls were left subdued after the May crash and attention turned to a host of other speculative manias like non-fungible tokens. “With a well integrated ETF structure, crypto is poised to go mainstream,” said Peter Rosenstreich, head of market strategy at Swissquote Bank......»»

Category: topSource: time8 hr. 19 min. ago

After a near-record run at the top of Netflix"s US Top 10 list, pop culture smash "Squid Game" has been bumped by another show

The Netflix show, which became a cultural phenomenon and the streamer's most-watched show with 111 million views, is now second on the list after "You." A still from "Squid Game." Netflix "Squid Game" fell to second place on Netflix on Saturday as the third season of Netflix's "You" took the top spot. The Korean drama about strangers competing in deadly children's games became Netflix's most-watched show globally. The show fell five days short of the record for longest show to stay at number one on Netflix in the US. Much like the infamous Korean death match itself, only one show can come out on top of Netflix's US Top 10 list. While "Squid Game" remained number one on the list for weeks, the hit Netflix television series fell to number two on Saturday after it was dethroned by the streaming platform's popular thriller series "You," fresh off its season 3 release.The South Korean drama, which centers on a group of strangers competing in twisted and deadly children's games for a large cash prize, spent 24 days in the top spot for the streamer in the US. It fell short of the longest-reigning program on the streaming service, "Ginny & Georgia," which stayed at the top spot for 29 days in the US earlier this year. "Squid Game" does, however, set the record for a non-English program in the coveted spot.Netflix's "You" - which is now in its third season and centers on a murderous couple raising a newborn son in the suburbs - clinched the top spot after premiering on Friday. "Squid Game," became Netflix's most watched showafter it premiered in September, drawing 111 million views. It snowballed into a global phenomenon, spawning viral memes, thousands of prank calls, a candy craze, pop-up stores, and even talks of developing of a real-life game.Though the show lost its number one spot in the US, it remains at the top of Netflix's Top 10 in almost 50 countries, including the UK, France, Russia, and Hong Kong, according to the most recently released numbers shared on Friday. However, the show also lost its number one spot in its home country of South Korea, falling to fellow Korean show "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha." "Squid Game" still remains number one for the streaming service globally at 24 days, behind the record set by Netflix's pandemic hit "Queen's Gambit," which earned the longest streak for number one worldwide earlier this year with a whopping 46 days. The show's high performance indicates promise for the streamer's investment strategy, which has involved leaning into international productions following the successes of shows like the Spanish series "Money Heist (La Casa de Papel)" and the French drama "Lupin." Meanwhile, a second season for "Squid Game" remains unconfirmed, though fans are speculating about a follow-up to the series' first season.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt9 hr. 47 min. ago

Investors Rush To Buy Nearly 1 In 4 Homes

Investors Rush To Buy Nearly 1 In 4 Homes Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com, Investors are buying huge percentages of existing home sales... Corelogic reports Single-Family Investor Activity Surges in the Second Quarter. Large investors (those who retain 100 or more properties) are largely responsible for this rise. Of all investor purchases made in June 2021, 20% were made by large investors. This is much higher than 11% in 2020 or 14% in 2019. Small investors (those who retain between 3 and 10 properties), have declined slightly and now account for less than half of investor purchases at 46% in June. Mid-sized investors (those who retain 11-99 properties) have stayed constant, oscillating around 35% percent in the past 30 months. The pandemic seemed to drive away large investors, but they are now making up their largest share of investor purchases seen in the past decade. If you have been outbid on a home there's nearly a 1 in 4 chance it was to an investor or group of investors. *  *  * Like these reports? If so, please Subscribe to MishTalk Email Alerts.   Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 16:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge10 hr. 47 min. ago

North American Crane Count Decrease Signals Growing Uncertainty

North American Crane Count Decrease Signals Growing Uncertainty By Zachary Phillips of ConstructionDive Summary: Rider Levett Bucknall's Crane Count decreased by 4.5% from Q1 to Q3 2021. The index measures the number of fixed cranes across cities in the U.S. and Canada, as a representation of the active construction workload in those cities. Of the 14 cities measured, only three — Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto — saw an increase in the number of cranes in that period. Five of the cities — Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Portland — saw what RLB called a "significant decrease" in the number of cranes; dropping by 30% or more. The dip in Q3 comes after a spike in Q1 of 2021, which also followed a decrease in the crane count. Toronto has continued to tower over U.S. cities when it comes to the total number of cranes. One thing connects all the cities, RLB's report said: uncertainty, which remains significant to construction everywhere. Commercial cranes are down collectively 36% — or 20 cranes — across North American cities. "We anticipate better times ahead with previously delayed projects being brought back online," the report said. "However, this is conditional upon market conditions as the AEC industry continues to experience the effects of COVID-19." The most popular sectors for crane usage were mixed-use and residential. In Los Angeles, RLB counted 25 cranes for mixed-use and 12 for residential projects. In Toronto, those numbers were 47 and 133, respectively. Other findings from the report include: A 40% increase of cranes used in the education construction sector. Los Angeles saw the highest percentage increase from Q1 to Q3, by 19%. The number of cranes in Toronto increased by 81% when compared to Q3 2020. Here are some of the highlights for U.S. cities: Los Angeles: The second most populous city in the U.S. saw its second straight report with an increase in the number of cranes, jumping from 43 to 51. The growth can likely be attributed to an increase in major transportation projects in the city, RLB said. The number of cranes on commercial projects have declined, in addition to a dip in the hospitality sector, but there has been a spike in demand for residential construction. San Francisco: The number of cranes in San Francisco grew by two from Q1 to Q3, but 10 new cranes have been erected within the last six months, RLB said, as some projects leave and others arrive. Most of the new cranes are for residential projects, which has seen an increase in demand, though others are for mixed-use and industrial projects.  Chicago: In January of 2017, RLB counted 56 cranes in Chicago. A steady, though not constant, decline in those numbers led to only seven counted cranes in Q3 of 2021. This, however, is due to a large number of projects downtown topping off and now leasing to new renters. The number of cranes is not anticipated to increase in the near future, RLB reported. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 17:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge10 hr. 47 min. ago

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

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

Category: blogSource: zerohedge10 hr. 47 min. ago

After a near-record run at the top of Netflix"s US Top 10 list, a new show has bumped the pop culture smash "Squid Game"

The Netflix show, which became a cultural phenomenon and the streamer's most-watched show with 111 million views, is now second on the list after "You." A still from "Squid Game." Netflix "Squid Game" fell to second place on Netflix on Saturday as the third season of Netflix's "You" took the top spot. The Korean drama about strangers competing in deadly children's games became Netflix's most-watched show globally. The show fell five days short of the record for longest show to stay at number one on Netflix in the US. Much like the infamous Korean death match itself, only one show can come out on top of Netflix's US Top 10 list. While "Squid Game" remained number one on the list for weeks, the hit Netflix television series fell to number two on Saturday after it was dethroned by the streaming platform's popular thriller series "You," fresh off its season 3 release.The South Korean drama, which centers on a group of strangers competing in twisted and deadly children's games for a large cash prize, spent 24 days in the top spot for the streamer in the US. It fell short of the longest-reigning program on the streaming service, "Ginny & Georgia," which stayed at the top spot for 29 days in the US earlier this year. "Squid Game" does, however, set the record for a non-English program in the coveted spot.Netflix's "You" - which is now in its third season and centers on a murderous couple raising a newborn son in the suburbs - clinched the top spot after premiering on Friday. "Squid Game," became Netflix's most watched showafter it premiered in September, drawing 111 million views. It snowballed into a global phenomenon, spawning viral memes, thousands of prank calls, a candy craze, pop-up stores, and even talks of developing of a real-life game.Though the show lost its number one spot in the US, it remains at the top of Netflix's Top 10 in almost 50 countries, including the UK, France, Russia, and Hong Kong, according to the most recently released numbers shared on Friday. However, the show also lost its number one spot in its home country of South Korea, falling to fellow Korean show "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha." "Squid Game" still remains number one for the streaming service globally at 24 days, behind the record set by Netflix's pandemic hit "Queen's Gambit," which earned the longest streak for number one worldwide earlier this year with a whopping 46 days. The show's high performance indicates promise for the streamer's investment strategy, which has involved leaning into international productions following the successes of shows like the Spanish series "Money Heist (La Casa de Papel)" and the French drama "Lupin." Meanwhile, a second season for "Squid Game" remains unconfirmed, though fans are speculating about a follow-up to the series' first season.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt14 hr. 31 min. ago

Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema received the legal maximum of donations from several known GOP donors, new FEC filings show

Progressives have grown frustrated with Arizona Sen. Sinema, who has made headlines in recent months for posing roadblocks to Biden's agenda. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat of Arizona. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema received the maximum donation allowed by law from several GOP donors. Donors previously donated to pro-Trump PACs and a PAC to elect Republicans to the Senate. Sinema, a Democrat, has positioned herself as a key obstacle to President Joe Biden's agenda. Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, received the maximum donation allowed by law by several longtime GOP donors, according to a campaign fundraising report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission. According to the FEC data, first reported by Mother Jones, Sinema raised $1.1 million between July and September this year, about the same amount she raised in previous fundraising cycles, according to the report, despite growing frustration among Arizona Democrats.Included in the FEC disclosure are several GOP donors who have previously supported efforts to elect former President Donald Trump and to help Republicans get the majority in the Senate. The maximum individual contribution limit is $2,900 per election, with a maximum of $5,800 in a two-year period, according to FEC guidelines. Among those who made the maximum donation was Minnesota billionaire Stan Hubbard, who regularly donates to the RNC and supported Scott Walker and eventually Trump's campaign for president through donations to a super PAC, Mother Jones reported. Jimmy Haslam, the owner of the Cleveland Brown's and Pilot truck stops, and his wife, Susan, individually donated the maximum legal amount to Sinema on September 30, Mother Jones reported, citing the FEC data. According to the report, Haslam has given at least $425,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC associated with Sen. Mitch McConnell that works to elect Republicans in the Senate.Other GOP donors who backed Sinema include Marc Rowan, the CEO of the private equity firm Apollo who backed Trump's failed bid for reelection, and his wife, Carolyn, who individually donated the maximum legal limit. Private equity executive Anthony De Nicola, who also has backed the Senate Leadership Fund, also donated the maximum legal limit to Sinema, according to Mother Jones.Progressives and other Democrats have grown frustrated with Sinema, who has made headlines in recent months for her reluctance to support key pieces of President Joe Biden's agenda. Sinema is currently fundraising in Europe, per The New York Times. Both Sinema and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin have been opposed to parts of a Democratic spending plan to invest in climate, education, and healthcare spending. While Manchin has been clear about wanting to cut the price tag of the proposal, it's largely unclear what Sinema would support, as Insider previously reported.Sinema, however, has reportedly been opposed to raising tax rates for individuals and large corporations, said two Senate Democratic aides familiar with the matter. Her position threatens to deprive the package of over $700 billion in revenue to pay for Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda. Sinema, a first-term lawmaker, is not up for re-election until 2024.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt15 hr. 31 min. ago

We"re Living In A Chaos Economy... Here"s How To End It

We're Living In A Chaos Economy... Here's How To End It Authored by Mark Thornton via The Mises Institute, The Federal Reserve has been increasing the money supply at an explosive rate. The federal budget, deficits, and the trade deficit are record levels. Governments, both foreign and domestic, have locked down people, restricting production and consumption. How should this be viewed by an economist? There is clearly chaos in the economy, and hardly a day goes by when I don’t find unusual if not unprecedented situations in day-to-day economic life. However, many people and economists are either oblivious to the problems or in denial. Things are normal for them. Politicians are mostly in this camp. For economists and investment promotors, inflation is “transitory.” They don’t know how the economy works and they expect near perfection from the economy and entrepreneurs. This view is wrong. The chaos is all too real for most others. Homemakers who spend household income are seeing their purchasing power shrink, their choices disappearing, and more of their time consumed stretching the family budgets. Christmas shopping will be worse than normal. Chaos deniers are further entrenched in their experience by the mainstream media (MSM). The problems are either not reported by the MSM or are masked by aggregate statistics like price inflation, i.e., the Consumer Price Index, low unemployment, wage increases, and extremely high stock markets and real estate, especially housing prices. These stats make people feel good, or at least less nervous. Below the government economists’ radar there is real economic suffering. Small businesses are hurting and going out of business. Based on Help Wanted signs I drive by every day, it is extremely difficult to hire employees or purchase inputs. One local BBQ restaurant recently had a sign that said, “Out of Chicken, Pork and Beef.” Big business is likewise finding roadblocks throughout their supply chains, primarily because of lockdowns and covid restrictions. This government roadblock to economic life is epitomized by the five hundred thousand shipping containers stuck off the port of Long Beach, California. Meanwhile, domestic inventories are dwindling for everything from houses to mayonnaise.  Austrian economics provides an understanding of the causes of this chaos and the way to solve it. The Fed’s actions have been a tidal wave force against the economy. Printing money has given some signs of prosperity, but its main known effect tangible effects are higher prices, malinvestment, and more wealth redistributed from the middle class to the very wealthy. The solution is straightforward. The central bank needs to stop its policy of propping up the markets for government bonds and home mortgages and the perverse effects it is creating on the general loan market in the form of ultralow interest rates. Promises of the Fed “tapering,” where they do fewer asset purchases, is really too little too late. Completely ending assets purchases by the Fed would stop their mischief, limit the damage, and would make stocks, bonds, and homes more affordable for Americans. Lockdowns and restrictions are a great harm to the US and world economies. Why are so many cargo ships sitting waiting for unloading? Why are others going unfilled in the first place? Why aren’t truckers driving product to market? Why isn’t product being placed on shelves? There are millions of details here, but in many cases, workers are not available or are unwilling to comply with covid restrictions and requirements. Production is stuck in a quagmire of government intervention. A big piece of the problem are the restrictions and subsidies in the US labor markets. Special unemployment benefits and stimulus checks from the government mean that not working pays more than working, plus more leisure time for those that accept being on the public dole. In one recent week I engaged with three small businesses. They could not have continued to operate if they had not been able to hire a few new workers who were unwilling to be on the dole or, more likely, had not realized how easy it is to collect unemployment. Locally, McDonalds is offering 50 percent higher than minimum wage for fourteen-year-old kids, and they are still having trouble attracting workers! The bottlenecks, empty shelves, business closures, reduced hours, and “worker wanted” signs are not the direct result of price controls nor are they the fault of the market economy. Rather prices in some areas of the economy need to rise so high and so fast to harmonize supply and demand that entrepreneurs can hardly keep pace in this environment dominated by government interventions and heightened uncertainty. I truly sympathize with entrepreneurs who are trying to save jobs, keep food on our tables, plus pay a huge chunk of taxes. Locally, an ice cream stand that has been successfully in business for almost seven decades had to shut down. It wasn’t the complexity of the business, the lack of product or even the higher prices it charged. They could not find and maintain a workforce through the maze of restrictions of unemployment subsidies. The current owner of this beloved multigeneration family-owned business explained, “We don’t really know what’s going to happen. It just depends on COVID and when people want to start working.” It is unclear what aspect(s) of covid is their primary concern, but the main complaint is that “[n]obody wants to work anymore.” The federal government, in a variety of ways, is what killed this business. It is evident and increasingly clear that unemployment insurance bonuses and government stimulus checks must be stopped for the economy to recover. It’s not just retail products that are not readily available even at higher prices. People who repair and replace things that wear out or break in normal circumstances are also much scarcer. Repair-and-replace service dealers are having a hard time finding parts, replacement models, and workers to make parts and products and to service and replace them in a timely manner. I have had several such companies not answer their phone and not be able to offer appointments or show up on time because of a lack of parts and employees. All of these companies were reliable and showed up on time for repair appointments before the government-caused chaos. Buying a new car or large flat-screen smart TV is a joyous occasion in a family’s material life. We know that we will get years of enjoyment for a good price. How does this compare to going without a refrigerator, hot-water heater, or air conditioner because the product was not available? It should be clear that the cause of our new economic problems is massive across-the-board government intervention here and abroad. Among the negative consequences are these harms and dislocations we face. The solution is to remove those government interventions. Not only have they caused a great deal of interference in economic transactions, but they have destroyed businesses and people’s lives. Many have also even died as a result, from the despair and chaos, not the disease. Meanwhile, social media and internet giants, and pharmaceutical companies, among others, have received an enormous unearned windfall. This is an economic crisis, and it is one of the government’s making. Economic statistics and stock markets (led by a small number of superwinners from the lockdowns) have masked the calamity. The sure remedy is to end the interventions, especially the Fed’s inflationary policy and the restrictions and subsidies on production and consumption. This would help restore the market economy to a functioning state. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 13:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge15 hr. 47 min. ago

A restaurant owner mistook a teenager"s Lego gun for a real weapon, sparking a major police operation, reports say

A 15-year-old boy carrying a Lego gun sparked a major incident, causing multiple patrols cars to race to the scene in the German town of Lindau. Officers rushed to the scene in southern Germany. Photo by Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images A teenager carrying a Lego gun sparked a large-scale police operation, Reuters reported. A restaurant owner mistook the toy for a real weapon and called for emergency assistance. The event occurred in the southern German town of Lindau. A restaurant owner in Germany mistook a boy's Lego gun for a real weapon, sparking a large-scale police response, Reuters reported. According to the news agency, authorities were called to the scene after the boy, who was dressed in a camouflage outfit, was spotted running nearby and holding what was thought to be a rifle. The incident took place in the southern German town of Lindau. "Of course, we had to go immediately," an officer from the Lindau police force told a German news outlet, per Reuters. Reuters reported that several patrol cars, as well as federal police, rushed to confront the unnamed teenager, only to find the gun was made from Lego bricks.He has now been charged, according to Austrian news agency APA. Earlier this year, Lego asked a gun company to stop producing a product that looked like its toys, AP reported. Lego said in a statement at the time that the Utah-based company had agreed to remove the product from its website and not sell anything similar in the future.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt17 hr. 47 min. ago

Adam Schiff says appointing Kevin McCarthy to the House speaker role would be like appointing Donald Trump

If Republicans take back Congress in the upcoming midterm elections next year, McCarthy could replace current Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at a news conference on September 21, 2021. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images Adam Schiff is warning against the prospect of appointing Kevin McCarthy to the House speaker role. If Republicans take back Congress next year, McCarthy could replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "If Kevin McCarthy were ever to become speaker, essentially Donald Trump would be speaker," Schiff said. Rep. Adam Schiff is speaking out against the possibility of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy slipping into the House speaker role. If Republicans take back Congress in the upcoming midterm elections next year, McCarthy could replace current Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the role. "If Kevin McCarthy were ever to become speaker, essentially Donald Trump would be speaker," Schiff said, according to the Associated Press.This isn't the first time Schiff has levied criticism against McCarthy, a Republican representing California's 23rd district. In a Tuesday interview with CNN, he blasted the dozens of Republican lawmakers, including McCarthy, who latched onto and amplified misinformation about the 2020 election from Trump. He also criticized Republican lawmakers for challenging the results of the election on January 6. "What angered me the most, I think, about that day were these insurrectionists in suits and ties who were still, even after the bloody insurrection, even after the shattered glass and the death of that day, were back on the House floor trying to overturn the election," Schiff told CNN's John Berman. "Unlike those people climbing outside the building, they knew it was a lie," he added. "The true believers were out there attacking the building. But inside the chamber, my Republican colleagues know it's a big lie."Trump and GOP allies had for months after the November 2020 election pushed a baseless argument that said the results had been rigged because of widespread voter fraud. State and federal officials have debunked the claims numerous times. But nearly 150 Republican lawmakers, including McCarthy, voted against now President Joe Biden's certification in January, prompting backlash from large companies and Democrats. Schiff has also continued to speak out against Trump, even after the former president left office in January. He told Insider earlier this week that Russian President Vladimir Putin "very easily figured out how to play Trump like a fiddle."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt19 hr. 47 min. ago