Advertisements



Jamie Dimon Offers Hasty Apology After Joking JPMorgan Will Outlast Chinese Communist Party

The mea culpa underscores the bank's desire to keep cordial relations in China, where it has nearly $20 billion of exposure and has ambitions to expand further. JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon knew as soon as the words came out of his mouth that the joke about China could land him in hot water. “I was just in Hong Kong, I made a joke that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. And I’ll make you a bet we last longer,” he said on Tuesday at a Boston event. Then he added: “I can’t say that in China. They probably are listening anyway.” Dimon, no stranger to brashness, also knew the bank would have to engineer a hasty retreat. Soon, members of the firm’s government-relations team and China offices were corralled to discuss the remarks and decide whether to acknowledge them or let them lie. Some 18 hours later, when it became clear that the comments attracted global attention, Dimon issued a statement of regret. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “Hundreds of individuals, companies and organizations have apologized for hurting the feelings of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Isaac Stone Fish, founder of Strategy Risks, which specializes in corporate relationships with China. The way Dimon said that he regrets his comment “is a smarter way to do it.” Dimon’s remarks, made during a visit to the Boston College Chief Executives Club, follow a slew of domestic and international trips as JPMorgan’s chief executive officer continues to tout a U.S. economic boom that’s also put him at the front of Wall Street’s return-to-office push. But his recent travel efforts have been somewhat problematic — the quarantine exemption he earned for his Hong Kong visit, a dispensation also afforded to actress Nicole Kidman, garnered much local criticism. Now he’s having to downplay his Boston comments—and it’s not the first time. Dimon has a history of provocative remarks that he’s been forced to walk back. In 2018, he vowed at a philanthropy event that he could beat Donald Trump in an election because he was smarter than the president, only to put out a statement hours later saying he shouldn’t have said it. Dimon’s brag and apology reminded another Wall Street chief executive whose firm is a big JPMorgan shareholder of Lloyd Blankfein’s joke years ago that Goldman Sachs Group was doing “God’s work.” The attempts bank bosses make to be witty take on lives of their own, said the executive, who asked for anonymity to avoid connecting his name to a mess. Dimon will also likely get through any fallout, just as Blankfein did, but the distraction will be unwelcome, the executive said. The mea culpa underscores JPMorgan’s desire to keep cordial relations in China, where it has nearly $20 billion of exposure and has ambitions to expand further. Earlier this year, the bank won approval from Chinese regulators to fully own its China securities venture and wants to maintain its good standing in the country for further licensing requests, particularly ahead of major leadership changes in the party expected next year. And while Dimon’s remarks have been met at least so far with silence from Chinese government officials, the country has a history of taking action against companies and individuals that appear to challenge its policies, especially on sensitive issues like the Communist Party’s legitimacy or Taiwan. UBS Group AG came under pressure to fire its chief economist in 2019, Paul Donovan, after he made a comment about a “Chinese pig” in a note about rising consumer prices. He later apologized, saying it was “innocently intended.” Dimon’s retreat also highlights the road businesses have to tread carefully when dealing with a government sensitive to perceived slights in a country where potential profits are high. In 2019, after the Houston Rockets general manager tweeted a message of support for Hong Kong protesters, National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver was criticized for trying to appease both sides in his initial response. Last year, when facing a backlash for referring to Hong Kong and Taiwan as countries, fashion brands Coach and Versace quickly sent apologies to calm consumers and correct their websites to show their respect for “the feelings of the Chinese people” and “national sovereignty. China Opportunity Still, Dimon has enjoyed plenty of goodwill in China, which he has long eyed for its huge opportunities. He’s also attuned to the risks. In his 66-page annual letter to shareholders this year, Dimon dedicated more than a page to the country, writing that over the last 40 years, China has “done a highly effective job” with economic development. But he cautioned that in the next 40 years, the country will have to confront serious issues including lack of resources, corruption and income inequality. Dimon stopped short of calling out the CCP by name, but noted that only 100 million people in China “effectively participate” in the nation’s one-party political system, a lower participation level than any other developed nation. “China’s recent success definitely has its leadership feeling confident,” Dimon wrote in April. “Growing middle classes almost always demand political power, which helps explain why autocratic leadership almost always falters in a larger, more complex economy.” His comments also come as the U.S. and China continue to grapple with protracted standoffs on issues such as market access, data security and international stock listings. Wall Street has also been trying to improve relations with the country in a bid to gain access to its $54 trillion financial system. It remains to be seen if Dimon’s comments will spark any retaliation from China, said Stone Fish, though he suspects that this may be where the debacle ends. “Companies and individuals are waking up to the idea that what happens in China or the China space doesn’t stay in China,” he said. “It has real world implications for them and their businesses in the United States.” —With assistance from Max Abelson, Zijia Song and Sridhar Natarajan......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 24th, 2021

Jamie Dimon Offers Hasty Apology After Joking JPMorgan Will Outlast Chinese Communist Party

The mea culpa underscores the bank's desire to keep cordial relations in China, where it has nearly $20 billion of exposure and has ambitions to expand further. JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon knew as soon as the words came out of his mouth that the joke about China could land him in hot water. “I was just in Hong Kong, I made a joke that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. And I’ll make you a bet we last longer,” he said on Tuesday at a Boston event. Then he added: “I can’t say that in China. They probably are listening anyway.” Dimon, no stranger to brashness, also knew the bank would have to engineer a hasty retreat. Soon, members of the firm’s government-relations team and China offices were corralled to discuss the remarks and decide whether to acknowledge them or let them lie. Some 18 hours later, when it became clear that the comments attracted global attention, Dimon issued a statement of regret. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “Hundreds of individuals, companies and organizations have apologized for hurting the feelings of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Isaac Stone Fish, founder of Strategy Risks, which specializes in corporate relationships with China. The way Dimon said that he regrets his comment “is a smarter way to do it.” Dimon’s remarks, made during a visit to the Boston College Chief Executives Club, follow a slew of domestic and international trips as JPMorgan’s chief executive officer continues to tout a U.S. economic boom that’s also put him at the front of Wall Street’s return-to-office push. But his recent travel efforts have been somewhat problematic — the quarantine exemption he earned for his Hong Kong visit, a dispensation also afforded to actress Nicole Kidman, garnered much local criticism. Now he’s having to downplay his Boston comments—and it’s not the first time. Dimon has a history of provocative remarks that he’s been forced to walk back. In 2018, he vowed at a philanthropy event that he could beat Donald Trump in an election because he was smarter than the president, only to put out a statement hours later saying he shouldn’t have said it. Dimon’s brag and apology reminded another Wall Street chief executive whose firm is a big JPMorgan shareholder of Lloyd Blankfein’s joke years ago that Goldman Sachs Group was doing “God’s work.” The attempts bank bosses make to be witty take on lives of their own, said the executive, who asked for anonymity to avoid connecting his name to a mess. Dimon will also likely get through any fallout, just as Blankfein did, but the distraction will be unwelcome, the executive said. The mea culpa underscores JPMorgan’s desire to keep cordial relations in China, where it has nearly $20 billion of exposure and has ambitions to expand further. Earlier this year, the bank won approval from Chinese regulators to fully own its China securities venture and wants to maintain its good standing in the country for further licensing requests, particularly ahead of major leadership changes in the party expected next year. And while Dimon’s remarks have been met at least so far with silence from Chinese government officials, the country has a history of taking action against companies and individuals that appear to challenge its policies, especially on sensitive issues like the Communist Party’s legitimacy or Taiwan. UBS Group AG came under pressure to fire its chief economist in 2019, Paul Donovan, after he made a comment about a “Chinese pig” in a note about rising consumer prices. He later apologized, saying it was “innocently intended.” Dimon’s retreat also highlights the road businesses have to tread carefully when dealing with a government sensitive to perceived slights in a country where potential profits are high. In 2019, after the Houston Rockets general manager tweeted a message of support for Hong Kong protesters, National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver was criticized for trying to appease both sides in his initial response. Last year, when facing a backlash for referring to Hong Kong and Taiwan as countries, fashion brands Coach and Versace quickly sent apologies to calm consumers and correct their websites to show their respect for “the feelings of the Chinese people” and “national sovereignty. China Opportunity Still, Dimon has enjoyed plenty of goodwill in China, which he has long eyed for its huge opportunities. He’s also attuned to the risks. In his 66-page annual letter to shareholders this year, Dimon dedicated more than a page to the country, writing that over the last 40 years, China has “done a highly effective job” with economic development. But he cautioned that in the next 40 years, the country will have to confront serious issues including lack of resources, corruption and income inequality. Dimon stopped short of calling out the CCP by name, but noted that only 100 million people in China “effectively participate” in the nation’s one-party political system, a lower participation level than any other developed nation. “China’s recent success definitely has its leadership feeling confident,” Dimon wrote in April. “Growing middle classes almost always demand political power, which helps explain why autocratic leadership almost always falters in a larger, more complex economy.” His comments also come as the U.S. and China continue to grapple with protracted standoffs on issues such as market access, data security and international stock listings. Wall Street has also been trying to improve relations with the country in a bid to gain access to its $54 trillion financial system. It remains to be seen if Dimon’s comments will spark any retaliation from China, said Stone Fish, though he suspects that this may be where the debacle ends. “Companies and individuals are waking up to the idea that what happens in China or the China space doesn’t stay in China,” he said. “It has real world implications for them and their businesses in the United States.” —With assistance from Max Abelson, Zijia Song and Sridhar Natarajan......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 24th, 2021

Victor Davis Hanson: The Afghanistization Of America

Victor Davis Hanson: The Afghanistization Of America Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via AmGreatness.com, The United States should be at its pinnacle of strength. It still produces more goods and services than any other nation—China included, which has a population over four times as large. Its fuel and food industries are globally preeminent, as are its graduate science, computer, engineering, medical, and technology university programs. Its constitution is the oldest of current free nations. And the U.S. military is by far the best funded in the world. And yet something has gone terribly wrong within America, from the southern border to Afghanistan.  The inexplicable in Afghanistan—surrendering Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night, abandoning tens of billions of dollars of military equipment to the Taliban, and forsaking both trapped Americans and loyalist Afghans—has now become the new Biden model of inattention and incompetence.  Or to put it another way, when we seek to implant our culture abroad, do we instead come to emulate what we are trying to change? COVID Chaos Take COVID-19. Joe Biden in 2020 (along with Kamala Harris) trashed Trump’s impending Operation Warp Speed vaccinations. Then, after inauguration, Biden falsely claimed no one had been vaccinated until his ascension (in fact, 1million a day were being vaccinated before he assumed office). Then again, Biden claimed ad nauseam that he didn’t believe in mandates to force the new and largely experimental vaccinations on the public. Then, once more, he promised that they were so effective and so many Americans had received vaccines that by July 4 the country would return to a virtual pre-COVID normality.  Then came the delta variant and his self-created disaster in Afghanistan.  To divert his attention away from the Afghan morass, Biden weirdly focused on an equally confused new presidential COVID-19 mandate, seeking to subject federal employees, soldiers, and employees of larger firms to mandatory vaccinations—right as the contagious delta variant seemed to be slowly tapering off, given the millions who have either been vaxxed, have developed natural immunity, or both. Consider other paradoxes. American citizens must be vaccinated, but not the forecasted 2 million noncitizens expected to cross the southern border illegally into the United States over the current fiscal year. Soldiers who bravely helped more than 100,000 Afghan refugees escape must be vaccinated, but not the unvetted foreign nationals from a premodern country? Scientists now are convinced naturally acquired COVID-19 immunity from a previous infection likely provides longer and better protection than does any of the current vaccinations.  Yet those who suffered COVID-19, and now have antibodies and other natural defenses, must likewise be vaccinated. That anomaly raises the obvious logical absurdities: will those with vaccinations—in reciprocal fashion—be forced to be exposed to the virus to obtain additional and superior natural immunity, given the Biden logic of the need for both acquired and vaccinated immunity?  Tribal Lands  We have Afghanistanized the border as well, turning the United States into a pre-state whose badlands borders are absolutely porous and fluid. There is no audit of newcomers, no vaccinations required, no COVID-19 tests—none of the requirements that millions of citizens must meet either entering the United States or working at their jobs. Our Bagram abandonment is matched by abruptly abandoning the border wall in mid-course.  Yet where the barrier exists, there is some order; where Joe Biden abandoned the wall, there is a veritable stampede of illegal migration.  October 7, 2019. Mark Wilson/Getty Images Coups, Juntas and Such Third-World countries suffer military coups when unelected top brass and caudillos often insidiously take control of the country’s governance in slow-motion fashion. The latest Bob Woodward “I heard,” “they say,” and “sources reveal” mythography now claims that General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, discussed separating an elected commander-in-chief from control of the military. Woodward and co-author Robert Costa also assert that Milley promised his Chinese Communist military counterpart that he would tip off the People’s Liberation Army of any planned U.S. aggressive action—an odd paranoia when Donald Trump, of the last five presidents, has proved the most reluctant to send U.S. troops into harm’s way.  If that bizarre assertion is true, Milley himself might have essentially risked starting a war by eroding U.S. deterrence in apprising an enemy of perceived internal instability inside the executive branch, and the lack of a unified command. (So, Woodward wrote: “‘General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable, and everything is going to be okay,’ Milley said. ‘We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.’ Milley then added, ‘If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.’”) More germanely, when Milley called in senior officers and laid down his own operational directives concerning nuclear weapons, he was clearly violating the law as established and strengthened in 1947, 1953, and 1986 that clearly states the Joint Chiefs are advisors to the president and are not in the chain of command and are to be bypassed, at least operationally, by the president. The commander in chief sets policy. And if it requires the use of force, he directs the secretary of defense to relay presidential orders to the relevant theater commanders. Milley had no authority to discuss changing nuclear procedures, much less to convey a smear to an enemy that his commander in chief was non compos mentis. Milley has been reduced to a caricature of a caricature right out of “Dr. Strangelove”—and is himself a danger to national security. After Milley’s summer 2020 virtue-signaling “apology” for alleged presidential photo-op misbehavior (found to be completely false by the interior department’s inspector general); after leaked news reports that Milley considered resignation (promises, promises) to signal his anger at Trump in summer 2020; after his dismissal of the 120 days of rioting, 28 deaths, 14,000 arrests, and $2 billion in damage as mere “penny packet protests”; after his “white rage” blathering before Congress; after the collapse of the U.S. military command in Kabul; and after his premature and hasty assessment of a U.S. drone strike that killed 10 innocent civilians as “righteous,” Woodward’s sensationalism may not sound as impossible as his usual fare.  Milley should either deny the Woodward charges and demand a real apology or resign immediately. He has violated the law governing the chain of command, misused his office of chairman of the Joint Chiefs, politicized the military, proved inept in his military judgment and advice, and may well have committed a felony in revealing to a hostile military leader that the United States was, in his opinion, in a crisis mode.  Yet, Milley did not act in isolation. Where did this low-bar Pentagon coup talk originate? And who are those responsible for creating a culture in which unelected current and retired military officers, sworn to uphold the constitutional order and the law of civilian control of the military, believe that they can arbitrarily declare an elected president either incompetent or criminal—and thus subject to their own renegade sort of freelancing justice? As a footnote, remember that after little more than a week of the Trump presidency, Rosa Brooks, an Obama-era Pentagon appointee, published in Foreign Policy various ways to remove the newly inaugurated president. Among those mentioned was a military coup, in which top officers were to collude to obstruct a presidential order, on the basis of their own perceptions of a lack of presidential rectitude or competence.  We note additionally that over a dozen high-ranking retired generals and admirals have serially violated the uniform code of military justice in demonizing publicly their commander in chief with the worst sort of smears and slanders. And they have done so with complete exemption and in mockery of the very code they have sworn to abide.  Two retired army officers, colonels John Nagl and Paul Yingling, on the eve of the 2020 election, urged Milley to order U.S. army forces to remove Trump from office if in their opinion he obstructed the results of the election—superseding in effect a president’s elected powers as well as those constitutional checks and balances of the legislative and judicial branches upon him.  We know that these were all partisan and not principled concerns about an alleged non compos mentis president, because none of these same outspoken “Seven Days in May” generals have similarly violated the military code by negatively commenting publicly on the current dangerous cognitive decline of Joe Biden and the real national security dangers of his impairment, as evidenced by the disastrous skedaddle from Afghanistan and often inability to speak coherently or remember key names and places. In short, is our new freelancing and partisan military also in the process of becoming Afghanized—too many of its leadership electively appealing to pseudo-higher principles to contextualize violating the Constitution of the United States and, sadly, too many trying to reflect the general woke landscape of the corporate board to which so many have retired? Like tribal warlords, our top brass simply do as they please, and then message to us “so what are you going to do about it?” Achin, Afghanistan, 2011. John Moore/Getty Images The Constitution as Construct How paradoxical that the United States has sent teams of constitutional specialists to Iraq and Afghanistan to help tribal societies to draft legal, ordered, and sustainable Western consensual government charters that are not subject to the whims of particular tribes and parties. Yet America itself is descending in the exact opposite direction.  Suddenly in 2021 America, if ancient consensual rules, customs, and constitutional mandates do not facilitate and advance the progressive project, then by all means they must end—by a mere one vote in the Senate. It is as if the centuries of our history, the Constitution, and the logic of the founders were analogous to a shouting match among a squabbling Taliban tribal council of elders. Junk the 233-year-old Electoral College and the constitutional directive to the states to assume primary responsibilities in establishing voting procedures in national elections. End the 180-year-old Senate filibuster. Do away with the now bothersome 150-year nine-justice Supreme Court. And scrap the 60-year-old tradition of a 50-state union.   Impeachment was intended by the founders as a rare reset of the executive branch in extremis. Now it is to be a pro formaattack on the president in his first term by the opposite party as soon as it gains control of the House—without a special counsel, without witnesses and cross-examinations, without any specific high crimes and misdemeanors or bribery and treason charges. And why not from now on impeach a president twice within a year—or try him in the Senate when he is out of office as a private citizen?  When private citizen Joe Biden is retired from the presidency, will his political enemies dig up his sketchy IRS records alleging that he never paid income taxes on the “big guy’s” “10 percent” of the income from the Hunter Biden money machine? American Tribes  We may think virtue-signaling pride flags, gender studies, and George Floyd murals in Kabul remind the world of our postmodern sophistication. Yet, in truth, we are becoming far more like Afghanistan in the current tribalization of America—where tribal, racial, and ethnic loyalties are now essential to an American’s primary identity and loyalty—than we were ever able to make Afghanistan like us. When we read leftist heartthrob Ibram X. Kendi’s endorsement of overt racial discrimination or academic and media obsessions with a supposed near-satanic “whiteness,” or the current fixations on skin color and first loyalties to those who share superficial racial affinities, then we are not much different from the Afghan tribalists. We in America apparently have decided the warring badlands of the Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks have their advantages over a racially blind, consensual republic. They are the model to us, not us of the now-discredited melting pot to them. How sad in our blinkered arrogance that we go across the globe to the tribal Third World to teach the impoverished a supposedly preferrable culture and politics, while at home we are doing our best to become a Third-World country of incompetency, constitutional erosion, a fractious and politicized military elite, and racially and ethnically obsessed warring tribes.  Tyler Durden Mon, 09/20/2021 - 23:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

US Companies Are "Hostages" To China

US Companies Are "Hostages" To China Authored by Emel Akan via The Epoch Times, Foreign firms doing business in China should be aware of the costs of transacting with a totalitarian regime that controls everything in society and can easily bend any company to its will. Heads of U.S. corporations don’t dare to criticize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) even in private settings. They know Big Brother is always watching them. JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon’s quick apology over a joke he made recently about the country’s communist regime provides a good example of how business leaders fear retribution from Beijing. Clyde Prestowitz, author and strategist on Asia and globalization, explains the true cost of doing business in China in his latest book “The World Turned Upside Down: America, China, and the Struggle for Global Leadership.” He was a presidential advisor and a leader of the first American trade mission to China in 1982. The U.S. companies that are highly coupled with China face all kinds of risks, from intellectual property theft to commercial cyber espionage. But the biggest, most fundamental risk is “the loss of free speech,” Prestowitz says in his book. Dimon is not alone as there are many examples of free-world CEOs and presidents making apologies or backtracking when they anger the Chinese regime. During Hong Kong protests in 2019, for example, Apple pulled from its app store a map application widely used by pro-democracy protestors that showed the location of police patrols and tear gas deployments, citing security reasons. The move was made after Chinese state media piled pressure calling for the app’s removal. Google also sparked controversy when it removed a Hong Kong protest role-playing game from its app store. These are by no means the only apparently self-censorship incidents by U.S tech companies. Apple, for example, removed nearly 55,000 active apps from its app store in China since 2017, according to a New York Times report. They include apps made by minorities oppressed by the regime, including Uyghurs and Tibetans. Over the years, the list of entities that have caved to Beijing’s censorship demands has grown long. The Gap, Disney, Delta Airlines, Medtronic, Marriott, the NBA, and many others have all bowed to the Chinese regime over issues ranging from Taiwan to Uyghurs to Hong Kong. Such actions by U.S. firms, though, have drawn criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, who accuse companies of sacrificing American values for the allure of profits in the world’s second-largest economy. For the CEO of Apple Tim Cook and other U.S. corporate executives navigating the Chinese market, they effectively become “hostages” to the whims of the Chinese regime. “They may be perceived as the heads of American companies, but they fear Beijing far more than they fear Washington,” Prestowitz writes in his book. Since there’s no rule of law in China, they become “captive,” he adds. In Washington, they have lawyers and lobbyists that give them the power to influence or sue the U.S. government. In Beijing, however, they can’t sue the Chinese regime because they know they would lose—the courts in China are controlled by the Communist Party—and would face retaliation from the regime for even trying. Beijing is aware of this leverage and hence can freely use companies as a tool. As I wrote in a previous column, the Chinese Embassy in Washington is pressuring U.S. companies and trade groups that have business interests in China to lobby against a comprehensive China bill that aims to enhance U.S. competitiveness and hold Beijing accountable for its human rights abuses. According to Prestowitz, entities that are under pressure could be giants like Walmart, Apple, General Electric, and FedEx as well as organizations like the U.S.-China Business Council. None of this should come as a surprise. As The Epoch Times readers will know, China exerts significant influence in the United States. It spent more than $67 million on lobbyists last year, a sixfold increase since 2016, according to OpenSecrets. And this is only the tip of the iceberg, as it only covers the overt influence operations that need to be disclosed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The FARA, passed in 1938, requires a person who represents a foreign interest to register as a foreign agent. The law, however, falls short in addressing less overt political influence operations conducted through proxies, including corporations, trade associations, and think tanks. Many China hawks in Washington are urging Congress to close this loophole in foreign influence. “It’s really something that must be addressed,” Prestowitz tells me. If heads of corporations have substantial business operations in China, “they should not be allowed to make political donations in the United States,” he said. “When they testify before Congress, they should be compelled to declare that they are testifying as the leaders of Chinese businesses. They should be made to tell the public and the Congress that they in fact, are subject to pressure and influence by the Chinese Communist Party.” Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 22:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge7 hr. 4 min. ago

SCOTT GALLOWAY: Jack Dorsey has finally stepped down — and a new era of "superapps" is dawning

"An executive who spends 90% of his time running another company ... looked like a recipe for poor shareholder returns. Spoiler alert: It was." Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Scott Galloway is a bestselling author and professor of marketing at NYU Stern. The following is a recent blog post, republished with permission, that originally ran on his blog, "No Mercy / No Malice." In it, Galloway describes superapps and why they matter both short-term and long-term. Finally.Two years ago I wrote a letter to the chairman of Twitter calling for Jack Dorsey to be replaced as CEO. Or, more to the point, for the board to appoint a full-time CEO. An executive who spends 90% of his time running another company and plans to spend half the year on a different continent looked like a recipe for poor shareholder returns. Spoiler alert: It was.This past February, as there were now directors on the board acting as fiduciaries, I predicted Dorsey would be replaced by the end of the year.Scott GallowayBetween the day @jack reclaimed the CEO position and the day he resigned (six years), Twitter's stock increased 33%. The S&P 500, Facebook, and Google rose by 121%, 283%, and 447%, respectively.My next prediction? Twitter will be acquired by the end of 2022, most likely by SalesForce or a fintech company like PayPal or Stripe with inflated currency. Jack could also reunite his sister-wives — in a man-bites-dog scenario, the company formerly known as Square could acquire Twitter. Why? For the same reason it's now called Block. superapps.A superapp offers a suite of internet services on one platform. Block already boasts an armament of superapp services: peer-to-peer payments (CashApp), crypto and stock trading (also CashApp), lending (AfterPay), food delivery (Caviar), music streaming (Tidal), and its core merchant-payment platform (Square). Building social into the platform is the logical next step to becoming America's first superapp.I wrote about superapps last week in New York magazine, and excerpts from that article appear below. It was timely: superapp stories have been in the news ever since.Square changed its name to Block — this was announced 48 hours after Dorsey exited Twitter. "Square" will be reserved for the merchant-payment business; the three-dimensional moniker encapsulates all its various products. Twitter would give Block even more dimension.ByteDance (TikTok's parent company) invested in iMile, a last-mile courier service that connects mostly Chinese e-commerce companies to consumers in the Middle East. Dance videos are just the bait — commerce is the hook, and ByteDance is building services for more than limber-limbed teens.Grab, the "everyday everything app" from Singapore, made its public debut yesterday after a $40 billion SPAC deal. It's the biggest SPAC to date, though the stock fell more than 20% by the closing bell.Indian superapp Paytm IPO'd with a $20 billion valuation — the largest public listing in the nation's history. However, however … it, too, shed more than a fifth of its value on the first day of trading. Then slid further before maybe finding solid ground at $14 billion.In sum, it's getting crowded in the superapp lobby. The competition in India now includes: Amazon Pay, Google Pay, WeChat, and PhonePe (owned by Flipkart/Walmart). Southeast Asia also hosts many players: Gojek, Line, Sea Limited, Tokopedia, Zalo, and more.And for good reason. The superapp market is the digital Iron Throne. superapps live on mobile, and mobile is the internet in emerging markets. India, for example, has three times as many cellular subscribers as the U.S., and Indians spend 17% more time per day on their phones.Scott GallowayLong term, however, it's the world's largest economy that is the biggest prize. A platform that services every aspect of the consumer experience in any market will be one of the most valuable companies in that market. The firm that establishes superapp leadership in America will be the most valuable company in history. Some thoughts below, with excerpts from our piece originally published in New York magazine on November 24, 2021.The metaverse is best described as a consensual hallucination between Mark Zuckerberg and the media — a fantasy that we'll trade pleasurable activities in the physical world, like cooking and dating, for nausea-inducing hours in a virtual realm full of legless avatars. To most ordinary people, the Facebook CEO's aspiration to be the god of a universe we can enter only by affixing a prophylactic to our heads seems megalomaniacal. They're correct. However, every time you hear Zuckerberg say metaverse, swap in superapp and the plan sounds less stupid.A superapp is a single mobile app that offers basic services including chat and payments, along with a suite of "mini-apps" from third parties, ranging from stores and restaurants to government agencies. Westerners aren't familiar with them, but across much of Asia, superapps are the internet. The largest is China's WeChat, possibly the most used piece of software on the planet. On WeChat, you can find a date, hail a cab, pay utilities, even get divorced. An app reaches super status when it knits together a critical mass of services, makes them so easy to toggle across that, even if they aren't as good as sole-purpose apps, the app becomes your OS for your digital life. The more services, the less reason to ever leave.Scott GallowayA superapp can start small: WeChat began in chat; Indonesia's Gojek started in ride hailing; and in India, Paytm was originally for buying prepaid mobile minutes. All eventually expanded from their niche and snowballed to dominance. The economics of superapps are powerful — and possibly inexorable. I'm convinced that constructing a U.S. superapp is the strategic-imperative of the next decade and could result in the first $5 trillion company.Already, there are a host of companies looking to replicate the Asian model — but to do so, they'll have to get past Apple and Google, the nearly hegemonic mobile-OS providers, which are investing billions to prevent a superapp from inserting itself between consumers and the OS. The radical transformation of Apple under Tim Cook has been a decade-long project to extend the company's ecosystem to nullify the potential for a superapp to sit on top of iOS. It explains why Apple now offers both credit and debit payment systems, why you can use your Apple ID to sign in to a huge range of third-party services, and why Cook is giving Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston hundreds of millions of dollars to produce an inferior version of Murphy Brown.​​Who are the strongest challengers to Apple and Google? Most apparent, the other Big Tech behemoths, Amazon and Facebook/Meta, who aim to leapfrog by building alternative interaction paradigms, a pretentious way to say "voice" (Amazon) and "VR" (Meta). And while they are both trying to skate to where the puck is headed, Meta is on thin ice with a portal that makes you nauseous. Voice is underhyped, and VR overhyped.The likely epicenter for aspiring superapps is fintech. Payments in particular: PayPal, which owns Venmo, and Block né Square. And new fintech unicorns are being birthed weekly, including crypto-based businesses that are also in a position to leapfrog with long legs of capital, vaulting over the entire existing financial system. Fintech companies that reach scale have valuable infrastructure, acquisition currency in the form of overheated stock, and trust. Traditional Big Tech leaders, social media companies especially, have burned through acres of PR heat shields over the past years, relentlessly assaulted by bad press as they ask people to come for teen depression and stay for insurrection. Fintech has been (relatively) unscathed. Plus, these companies begin their assault from higher ground: payments.Payment processing is the foundation of a superapp. It's the glue that integrates core features with those provided by third parties on the platform, and it gives users the convenience of not needing to enter credit-card information across apps and sites. A shift in the arbitrage of attention, from ads to the more potent payments business, promises to fuel a historic merger-and-acquisition binge that will reshape the array of industries that tech derisively labels "content." The likely biggest acquirers will be in finance — not just start-ups but Wall Street's Old Guard, whose imminent panic will manifest in M&A banker fees.Financial-services firms are already expanding into new markets. Not long ago, American Express acquired the reservation service Resy. There was a brand logic to that deal, as AmEx has long offered concierge services. In addition, JPMorgan recently purchased the Infatuation, the restaurant-review site and owner of Zagat, which is considerably more curious. In March, Square paid nearly $300 million for the music streamer Tidal, prompting a wave of WTF? coverage. You'll know the superapp conquest has hit another level when Jack Dorsey combines Square with the other company he used to stop by on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, Twitter, and offers useful services.I've lived through half a dozen of these techno-social transitions, from the PC era to "dot-coms" (ask your parents), through mobile and social, and now this. Every shift has created more wealth than the one before — but also levied more harm. One thing they all had in common is that we never really saw them coming. In hindsight, these things look obvious, but none of these transitions have manifested as we expected. For the most part, they're worse. The difference now is that we can see superapps coming. In Asia, they're already here. As consumers, investors, and political leaders, we have a chance to do better. To set the stage for competition and empowerment, not co-option and enragement. Whether our future is mediated by Siri, Alexa or by Meta, it doesn't need to be a world of addiction and exploitation. The virtual world isn't "it is what it is," but what we make of it.Life is so rich,Scott GallowayP.S. Making predictions can be dangerous. It might put you in the Twitter crosshairs of Elon Musk. Yet I persist. Join my free Predictions livestream on December 7. You probably won't regret it.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

Onto (ONTO) Appears a Key Pick With Sustainable Business Focus

With healthy fundamentals and sustainable business practices, Onto Innovation (ONTO) appears to be a solid investment option at the moment. Shares of Onto Innovation Inc. ONTO have surged 109.4% over the past year, driven by healthy revenues on the back of a flexible business model and solid market response for cost-effective solutions. Earnings estimates for the current and next fiscal year have increased 46.9% and 37.5%, respectively, over the past year, implying strong growth potential. Onto has reaffirmed its commitments toward corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices to realize its goal of being a more ESG (environmental, social, and governance) focused company. With healthy fundamentals, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) consumer and electronic equipment manufacturer appears to be a solid investment option at the moment.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchGrowth DriversHeadquartered in Wilmington, MA, Onto operates as the leading manufacturer of avant-garde process control tools that perform macro defect inspections and metrology, and lithography systems. As a global leader of process and yield management solutions, the company plays a significant role in designing, manufacturing and marketing process control systems for 2D and 3D macro inspection, optical critical dimension metrology and wafer inspection. It boasts a broad portfolio of leading-edge technologies — metal interconnect composition, factory analytics and lithography for advanced semiconductor packaging. Also, it develops innovative analytical software for certain industrial applications.With state-of-the-art inspection, measurement and data analysis solutions, Onto reduces operating costs and accelerates product and process development. This enables customers to get first-hand access to premium products at optimum prices. The company has an extensive geographical footprint and supports a diverse range of customers in more than 20 countries. It is one of the few companies that are an end-to-end supplier of products and applications, ranging from un-patterned wafer quality to advanced packaging lithography, with enterprise software solutions spanning across the entire value chain. The company believes that its evolving product portfolio and surging customer base are the cornerstones of its long-term growth across diverse markets.Onto invests in research and development to provide differentiated products and services, which adds value to its manufacturing processes. Backed by its expertise in core technologies of optics and software, the rapid and ongoing development of new products and enhancements to existing products enable it to quickly respond to dynamic industry trends as well as competitive challenges. It caters to various markets such as Bare Wafer, Image Sensors, Flat Panel Display, Probe Test and RF/MEMS (radio-frequency/microelectromechanical system), among others.The company has enhanced its product inspection and detection portfolio with the launch of the Dragonfly G3 inspection platform. Designed to meet the most advanced 2D and 3D sensitivity requirements for advanced packaging and specialty device manufacturers, the product is likely to be a boon in identifying low contrast defects that hitherto went unnoticed. Notably, the Dragonfly G3 platform offers sub-micron sensitivity for complex packaging designs requiring redistribution lines to the tune of 1µm. Such high-tech product attributes have become more relevant with the growing specialty device market, including next-generation power devices, RF filters and amplifiers. These products require impeccable quality standards and process control equipment beyond legacy systems' capabilities to detect smaller and new defect types. The Dragonfly G3 platform perfectly fits the bill with highly sensitive tools, providing repeatable and accurate data for high-precision product materials. The product has already garnered significant interest among customers and resulted in multiple orders from unnamed third-party packaging and test services providers and image sensor manufacturers.  With a VGM Score of B, the stock delivered a positive earnings surprise of 20.8%, on average, in the trailing four quarters. Onto is housed within the Nanotechnology industry, which carries a Zacks Industry Rank #24, which places it among the top 9% of more than 250 Zacks industries. The stock’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates encouraging prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1. Consequently, the stock appears to be an enticing investment option in the volatile market.Other Key PicksAnother top-ranked stock in the broader industry is Clearfield, Inc. CLFD, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Clearfield delivered an earnings surprise of 50.8%, on average, in the trailing four quarters. Earnings estimates for the current year for the stock have moved up 68.2% since January 2021. Over the past year, Clearfield has gained a solid 168.1%.Qualcomm Incorporated QCOM, carrying a Zacks Rank #2, is another solid pick for investors. It has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 15.3% and delivered an earnings surprise of 11.2%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Earnings estimates for the current year for the stock have moved up 35.4% over the past year. Qualcomm is likely to benefit in the long run from solid 5G traction and a surge in demand for essential products that are the building blocks for digital transformation in the cloud economy.Sierra Wireless, Inc. SWIR carries a Zacks Rank #2. It has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 12.5% and delivered an earnings surprise of 34.2%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Over the past year, Sierra Wireless has gained 9.4%. The company continues to launch innovative products for business-critical operations that require high security and optimum 5G performance. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM): Free Stock Analysis Report Sierra Wireless, Inc. (SWIR): Free Stock Analysis Report Clearfield, Inc. (CLFD): Free Stock Analysis Report Onto Innovation Inc. (ONTO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 3rd, 2021

Germany Falls Completely To Davos

Germany Falls Completely To Davos Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, If anyone was under any illusions that Germany wasn’t completely under the control of the Davos Crowd then I think this article from Politico should burn that perception into your retinas. The article details what’s in the new German government’s agreement between the parties. It lays out the goals of the coalition as well as the roadmap for its policy priorities. In short, this is literally a laundry list of everything Davos has been demanding and it ensures the complete neutering or submission of the FDP’s Christian Lindner to the Davos agenda. I’m not going to go through them all point by point, the Politico article does that well enough. What’s important here is that in light of the media release of OmicronVID-9/11 that the new German government is keen on serving its Davos masters agenda fully. Even though OmicronVID-9/11 looks to be the mildest and least interesting strain of COVID-9/11 that isn’t deterring European governments from announcing enforced vaccination programs, including from Germany’s new, fragile coalition. NEW - Designated Minister of Justice, Buschmann (FDP), wants to have the parliament vote on compulsory vaccination for the population in Germany. — Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 29, 2021 This tweet confirms that Lindner fully caved here. New Chancellor Olaf Scholz and a majority of state Presidents are pushing this legislation into the Bundestag as I write. Sadly, no one should really be surprised by this. While I hoped Lindner would be the thorn in Davos’ side in Germany, it doesn’t look that way at all. This cave was presaged by the ‘retirement’ of uber monetary hawk, Jens Wiedmann, as President of the Bundesbank ‘to spend time with his family.’ Yeah, pull the other one Jens, it plays “Jingle Bells.” The best Lindner can do under the circumstances is slow the roll out of this but he won’t do it now unless this compulsory vaccination program pushes through the Bundestag and is deeply unpopular with German voters. But, back to the coalition agreement. This is a document that reads like a German takeover of the entire continent. And I guess that was the bribe offered the FDP to go along with this. On the surface it cements the idea that Germany is in charge of the EU’s evolution from a collection of independent states into a full political and fiscal union which supersedes all national government considerations. But, at the same time it will further erode any sovereignty left in Germany, as well as any other EU member state. Davos is clear about what the plan here is, full evolution of the EU into a transnational bureaucratic superstate with zero direct accountability of its leadership to the people. Expecting this coalition to back down, for example, on “Rule-of-Law” issues with Poland and Hungary is a fantasy.  If anything, now Berlin is giving Brussels a blank check to go after these two countries harder than ever. And the clincher to that argument is in these two provisions highlighted below: More broadly, the three parties set the highly ambitious goal of changing the EU’s treaties. The deal says the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe — a discussion forum for possible EU reforms — “should lead to a constitutional convention and the further development of a federal European state.” That stance won’t go down well in some other EU capitals like Warsaw or Budapest, which would likely veto any such moves. On foreign policy and defense, the treaty demands a reform of the EU’s foreign policy division, the European External Action Service. And it pushes the EU to move away from requiring unanimity for all foreign policy moves — a barrier the bloc has struggled to overcome on basic matters like issuing statements on China’s crackdown in Hong Kong. Moreover, to sell this transformation into a depraved technocracy, the Germans will push for more direct democratic ‘elections’ across the entire bloc to decide on leadership within the European Commission. Look everyone! Democracy! This is simply a stalking horse for getting further political integration as the national governments still control who represents them on the Commission. Since, as we’ve seen time and again, Davos and the EU are in full control of the party apparatuses in each major country and the people’s loyalty so split up across five to seven parties in each of these countries, elections themselves are a complete joke since the coalitions that end up ruling look nothing like what the majority of the people actually voted for, c.f. Italy, Chechia, Austria. Davos controls the governing coalitions in every country other than Hungary and Poland. This is an illusion of more democracy and furthering ‘European values’ while cementing total control within the Brussels bureaucracy. The most insidious thing in the document to me is Germany’s call for ending unanimity within the European Council on foreign policy matters.  This is where both Hungary and Poland have been able to fight off the worst advances by Brussels for years and retain some semblance of independence. By holding EU foreign policy hostage multiple times in recent years, both countries have been able to slow down and/or force course corrections onto Brussels while retaining some semblance of their autonomy. These have been attrition moves by Prime Ministers Orban and Morawiecki hoping to outlast the EU while popular uprisings against Brussels matured. But Poland has repeatedly betrayed its Visigrad neighbors with its virulent Russophobia which the Eurocrats and the British have used time and again to their advantage. The Poles continue to play footsie trying to play the EU off Russia to get what they want, but all that ends up happening is they bind themselves tighter in the EU’s geopolitical Chinese finger trap while alienating the Russians even further. If the Germans are able to push this through, by the complete rewriting of the European Treaties as advocated by this coalition agreement, then during their time in office they will have completed the transformation of the EU into the EUSSR for all intents and purposes. This agreement is worse than any version I could have expected given the FDP’s involvement in this.  The pressure on Lindner must be immense and he likely went along with this, like many, hoping he can at least slow this down by withholding the purse strings. With AfD not rallying into the September elections, there simply wasn’t the political will to oppose what is happening at this point. That may change in 2022 as things progress from here so German polling will bear very close scrutiny. That said, I suspect this agreement will go down very well with German voters as it looks like one in which Germany’s power within the EU, which they are still overwhelmingly in favor of, expands greatly. Notice, however, how quickly Olaf Scholz, the new Chancellor, after rejecting Merkel’s call for new lockdowns over COVID-19 last week and looking surprisingly independent, changed course with the release of OmicronVID-9/11 this week. In the end, this is close to the government Davos wanted.  The FDP can still be a wildcard here depending on how the polls in Germany shift over the next six months. But it looks pretty obvious at this point there is no will to move against the Davos agenda of crashing the European economy and destroying capital formation absent a full takeover of EU institutions first. The dangerous buildup of tensions in Ukraine with Russia over the breakaway republics of the Donbass is inextricably linked to this shift in Germany’s governance. As are the wranglings over the Nordstream 2 pipeline, which the Scholz government is in favor of. As always, the EU and Davos want Russia as their energy supplier but as a vassal not as a partner. If anyone is using Nordstream 2 as a political tool over the rest of Europe it is Germany, not Russia, as they will control the distribution of gas internally after Nordstream 2 is live, not Russia. They will use that as a cudgel to get through many of these policy prescriptions. I am still convinced that Nordstream 2 will be live, delivering gas soon. It may take further negotiations to get it done but it will happen. Don’t discount Germany leaking the letter to the U.S. Congress lobbying them not to further sanction the pipeline because it will do irreparable damage to U.S./German relations. Whether morons like Ted Cruz (R-TX) finally get this or not is still unknown. With the power vacuum at the top of the U.S. political system, where the Neocon Flying Monkeys are being allowed to bring us to the brink of a NATO war with Russia over Ukraine, all bets are off as to what happens next. I still feel a real sovereign debt crisis is on the horizon and with FOMC Chair Jerome Powell putting the final nail in the coffin of the “transitory inflation” narrative, it’s clear that the U.S. political faction hostile to selling the country out to Obama and Davos are winning.   And because of this the new German coalition staking their flag in the ground saying, “if EU integration is going to happen, it’s going to happen somewhat on terms we control,” may actually be too little, too late. Lindner may not be privy to everything going on here either. If he isn’t aware of the nuances at play it may explain why he went along with this insanity. Once he, like Powell and a few others here in the U.S., get a sense of what’s really going on, what the real plan is, he may pull out of this coalition during the height of the debt crisis in2022. In fact, a collapse of this government could be the catalyst for the very debt crisis we’ve been preparing for.  But for now, I’d consider Germany Davos Occupied Territory completely and Germany as an economic powerhouse of any import a thing of the recent past. *  *  * Join My Patreon if you don’t want to fall. BTC: 3GSkAe8PhENyMWQb7orjtnJK9VX8mMf7ZfBCH: qq9pvwq26d8fjfk0f6k5mmnn09vzkmeh3sffxd6rytDCR: DsV2x4kJ4gWCPSpHmS4czbLz2fJNqms78oELTC: MWWdCHbMmn1yuyMSZX55ENJnQo8DXCFg5kDASH: XjWQKXJuxYzaNV6WMC4zhuQ43uBw8mN4VaWAVES: 3PF58yzAghxPJad5rM44ZpH5fUZJug4kBSaETH: 0x1dd2e6cddb02e3839700b33e9dd45859344c9edcDGB: SXygreEdaAWESbgW6mG15dgfH6qVUE5FSE Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 03:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

AOC accuses McCarthy of tolerating "his Ku Klux Klan caucus" because he"s desperate to be House Speaker

AOC said the GOP has been given "freedom to incite" without consequences: "They don't have to pay for the security required from their acts — we do." Rep. Kevin McCarthy; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images; J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo AOC suggested McCarthy tolerates Republican bigotry because he's "desperate" to be House Speaker. AOC referred to House Republicans as the "Ku Klux Klan caucus." McCarthy has not explicitly condemned Lauren Boebert over Islamophobic comments toward Ilhan Omar. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday accused House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of tolerating violent threats against women of color in Congress because of his political ambitions. The New York Democrat referred to House Republicans as the "Ku Klux Klan caucus," suggesting that McCarthy tolerates bigotry among GOP members because he wants to be House Speaker.  Ocasio-Cortez was responding to a tweet featuring a video of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota discussing a  death threat she received following recent Islamophobic attacks from GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado. Omar, who is one of the first two Muslim women members of Congress in US history, has faced numerous death threats during her time as a lawmaker. "People truly don't understand the scale, intensity, & volume of threats targeting @IlhanMN. Kevin McCarthy is so desperate to be speaker that he is working with his Ku Klux Klan caucus to look aside & allow violent targeting of [women of color] members of Congress. This cannot be ignored," Ocasio-Cortez said. "While people toss out clichés like 'we condemn all forms of racism & bigotry,' the fact is Islamophobia is far too often tolerated and ignored," she added. "Bigotry is not made unacceptable by what one says about it, it's made acceptable based on whether there are consequences for it or not."Ocasio-Cortez said that the GOP has been given "freedom to incite" without consequences. "They don't have to pay for the security required from their acts — we do. They make money off it," she said, adding that Republicans target "those least likely to be institutionally protected first."McCarthy's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 1, 2021Some Democrats have called for Boebert to be stripped of her commitee assignments over remarks she's made toward Omar, including implying that the Minnesota Democrat is a terrorist because she's Muslim. Among other things, Boebert said Omar is part of a "jihad squad."—andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) November 30, 2021McCarthy has not explicitly condemned Boebert over her remarks.Boebert, for her part, apologized to the Muslim community in a tweet last Friday. The House GOP leader and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer worked together to facilitate a call between the Colorado Republican and Omar, but it didn't go well. Omar hung up on Boebert.Omar said Boebert "refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments," adding that she "instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call.""To date, the Republican Party leadership has done nothing to condemn and hold their own members accountable for repeated instances of anti-Muslim hate and harassment," Omar went on to say. "This is not about one hateful statement or one politician; it is about a party that has mainstreamed bigotry and hatred. It is time for Republican Leader McCarthy to actually hold his party accountable." In an Instagram video posted after the call on Monday, Boebert said she told Omar that as a "strong Christian woman who values faith deeply, I never want anything I say to offend someone's religion.""She said that she still wanted a public apology because what I had done wasn't good enough," Boebert added. "She kept asking for a public apology, so I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric." A schism has emerged in the GOP over Boebert's anti-Muslim comments. After Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina rebuked Boebert, GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called Mace "the trash in the GOP Conference." This prompted a back and forth on Twitter.GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who is not seeking reelection in 2022, has also criticized McCarthy over his refusal to explicitly condemn Boebert and other far right-leaning Republicans. "@GOPLeader continues his silent streak that would make a monk blush," Kinzinger said in a tweet. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

Papa John"s (PZZA) Shares Gain 44% YTD: More Upside Left?

Papa John's (PZZA) continues to focus on unit expansion to develop and maintain a strong franchise system. Also, emphasis on digital initiatives bodes well. Papa John’s International, Inc. PZZA is poised to benefit from digital efforts, robust comps growth, expansion initiatives and menu innovation. Also, focus on the loyalty program and third-party delivery aggregators have been driving sales in the last few quarters.So far this year, shares of Papa John’s have gained 43.7% compared with the industry’s 7.3% growth. The price performance was backed by a solid earnings surprise history. Papa John’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. Earnings estimates for 2021 and 2022 have moved up 6.7% and 4.3%, respectively, in the past 60 days. This positive trend signifies bullish analysts’ sentiments and justifies the company’s Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), indicating robust fundamentals and the expectation of outperformance in the near term. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Major Growth DriversDigitization Efforts: Papa John’s is investing heavily in technology-driven initiatives like digital ordering to boost sales. The company’s online and digital marketing activities have increased significantly in the past several years in response to higher utilization of online and mobile web technology. In fact, Papa John’s is committed toward providing better customer experience with enhancements to digital ordering process. The company’s loyalty program continues to witness a rise in digital transactions during third-quarter fiscal 2021. Higher transaction sizes and better targeting of offers and promotions have been benefitting the company.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchSolid Comps Growth: Papa John’s continues to impress investors with robust comparable sales growth. The company recorded positive comparable sales growth in third-quarter fiscal 2021, which marks the eighth straight quarter of comps growth. It benefited from initiatives related to menu innovation, operational efficiencies and cost-saving efforts. Also, solid contributions were reported from third-party delivery aggregators.In the fiscal third quarter, total comparable sales rose 7.3% year over year compared with 23% growth reported in the prior-year quarter. At North America franchised restaurants, comps rose 6.8% compared with 25.6% growth in the year-ago quarter. Comps in North America restaurants increased 6.9% compared with 23.8% growth in the year-ago quarter. Comps in the region benefited from solid customer acquisition from the successful launch of Epic Stuffed Crust, Shaq-a-Roni and Parmesan-Crusted Papadias. Comps at international restaurants were up 8.3% year over year compared with 20.7% growth in the prior-year quarter.Emphasis on Expansion: Papa John’s is committed to develop and maintain a strong franchise system. The company is striving to eliminate barriers for expansion in existing international markets and identify new market opportunities. In August 2021, the company expanded its partnership with Drake Food Service International to open more than 220 Papa John’s restaurants by 2025. This includes more than 170 stores across Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Drake Food Service plans to open 50 new restaurants in the U.K. over the next four years. The company already purchased 60 Papa John’s restaurants in London, making it the brand’s largest franchisee in the country. Under the terms of this expanded partnership, Drake Food Service will operate more than 560 Papa John’s restaurants by 2025. Apart from this, the company signed a new deal with Sun Holdings (in September 2021) to open 100 new locations in Texas and the south by 2029.Focus on Menu Innovation: Additionally, the company continues to focus on product introduction to drive growth. Notably, menu innovations like Epic Stuffed Crust and toasted handheld Papadias continue to witness solid popularity among customers, thereby boosting the top line. Backed by better brand positioning, the new products have driven higher ticket and traffic across dayparts without cannibalizing core premium products as well as complicating operations at other stores. During the fiscal third quarter, the company initiated a new BaconMania promotion that comprises bacon servings across three different product platforms - Pizza, Papadias and Jalapeno Popper Rolls side. With primary results in the positive trajectory, the company anticipates the initiative to drive traffic and new customers in each menu platform, thereby enhancing the top line in the long term.Other Key Restaurant PicksDave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. PLAY, which has been benefiting from reopening initiatives, ramped up vaccinations and excellent operational execution, sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company anticipates sustaining the momentum in the days ahead, backed by its strategic initiatives that include a new menu, optimized marketing and technology investments.Dave & Buster's has reported better-than-expected earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 201.8%. The company’s fiscal 2022 earnings is likely to witness growth of 147.7%. PLAY stock has gained 25.5% in the past year.Darden Restaurants, Inc. DRI currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 15.3%, on average. Shares of the company have gained 25.8% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Darden Restaurants’ current financial year sales and earnings per share (EPS) suggests an improvement of 32.5% and 76.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.Kura Sushi USA, Inc. KRUS carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 15.6%, on average. Shares of the company have soared 267.4% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kura Sushi’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 108% and 85.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI): Free Stock Analysis Report Papa John's International, Inc. (PZZA): Free Stock Analysis Report Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. (PLAY): Free Stock Analysis Report Kura Sushi USA, Inc. (KRUS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2021

Germany"s New Chancellor Says Mandatory Covid Jabs "Necessary" To Contain Fourth Wave

Germany's New Chancellor Says Mandatory Covid Jabs "Necessary" To Contain Fourth Wave By AFP/TheLocal.de Germany on Tuesday inched closer to mandatory coronavirus vaccines after incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz said they were necessary to contain a fierce fourth wave of the pandemic. Following crisis talks with acting Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s 16 states, Scholz said he wanted parliament to vote on the matter before the end of the year. “Too many people have not got vaccinated,” Scholz told Bild television. Making jabs compulsory is justified “to protect us all”. The compulsory vaccinations should be in force “in the beginning of February or March so we must move quickly now,” Scholz said, promising that lawmakers would be allowed to vote according to their conscience. Generally, MPs are expected to vote with their parties on key issues, but with ethically sensitive issues, exceptions can be made to allow parliamentarians to be guided by their conscience alone.  In the meeting, Scholz had signalled his personal support for such a measure. He said he was “aware that there were cross-party debates” among lawmakers about making the vaccine compulsory, a source said. “Scholz signalled his sympathy for such a regulation,” added the source, who is from Scholz’s centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD). The introduction of a general vaccine mandate has been a hot topic in Germany after Austria announced the move. It has previously been ruled out in Germany but fears are growing over the dramatic fourth Covid wave and the newly detected Omicron variant.  According to sources of German news magazine Spiegel, Scholz said that compulsory vaccinations should be in place “when everyone has had a realistic chance to be double-vaccinated.” What else is happening in the talks? Scholz, Merkel and the heads of Germany’s 16 states had been discussing tougher curbs to confront record-high infection rates and rapidly filling intensive care beds. Among the measures discussed were the closures of bars and clubs, and limiting large events. Several hard-hit German regions have already cancelled Christmas markets and barred the unvaccinated from public spaces like gyms and leisure facilities. But critics say the patchwork of rules is confusing, and Tuesday’s crisis talks are aimed at coming up with more uniform rules for the whole country. Scholz reportedly spoke to Merkel and the state premiers about a “national task” in which solidarity had to be shown with the German states experiencing extreme infection figures. The incoming Chancellor said he wanted to see 30 million Covid jabs administered to people in Germany by Christmas – and that this  would help to break the wave. He said for this to happen, more vaccination offers were needed – involving pharmacists, dentists and vets in giving out shots. According to German media, Scholz has also told participants at the talks that he is in favour of barring the unvaccinated from more parts of public life, including non-essential retail. It comes after Germany’s highest court ruled that extreme Covid measures like curfews and contact bans – dubbed the emergency brake – were lawful, possibly paving the way for authorities to bring in tougher restrictions again if the situation calls for it.  The scheduled meeting between the federal government and state leaders has been moved forward by a week to December 2nd.   Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2021

Buchanan: Return Of The "Law And Order" Issue

Buchanan: Return Of The "Law And Order" Issue Authored by Pat Buchanan, According to Gallup, on the issue of crime, President Joe Biden is 18 points underwater. While 57% of Americans disapprove of how he is handling crime, only 39% approve. Biden’s dismal rating was recorded before the verdict came in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial — not guilty on all five counts — a verdict Biden declared had made him “angry.” Biden’s rating also came before career criminal Darrell Brooks, free on $1,000 bail after running over his girlfriend, drove his Ford Escape into the Waukesha Christmas parade, killing six and injuring 60. Biden’s low rating on crime came before “flash mobs” of thieves in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York looted Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Apple, cleaning them out in minutes. It came before the guilty verdicts came in against the three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, the Black jogger, in Georgia. Media efforts to infuse a racial motive to Rittenhouse’s action, however, failed. Rittenhouse is white, as were the three rioters he shot. As were the lead prosecutor and his deputy. As were Rittenhouse’s defense attorney and his deputy. And as was the judge. Race never came up during Rittenhouse’s time on the witness stand. And nothing in his background suggests any link to “white supremacists,” as was insinuated by Biden, who has made no apology. But what these incidents, involving killings with racial connotations, portend is that crime, race, law and order will be blazing issues in 2022 and 2024. And as of now, Biden and his Democratic Party are not on the side of America’s majority. The latest statistics on homicide and murders for 2021 seem to guarantee that this mega-issue remains front and center. A day before Thanksgiving, The Washington Post reported that Washington, D.C., had recorded its 200th homicide this year, surpassing last year’s total five weeks before this year’s end. Homicides in 2020 were up 30% from 2019. Though Baltimore has a smaller population than D.C., there have been 300 killings there this year, half again as many as in D.C. In Philadelphia, America’s sixth most populous city, there have been 503 victims of homicides thus far in 2021, a new record. Who is doing all this shooting, knifing and killing on the savage streets of our great cities, and who are the principal victims? Heather MacDonald, among the nation’s foremost statisticians of crime, relates, using the figures for New York: “In 2020, blacks were over 72% of all shooting suspects; we know that from victim and witness descriptions. Whites were 1.4% of all shooting suspects … based on victim and witness descriptions.” “A black New Yorker is roughly 50 times as likely to commit a shooting as a white New Yorker. Blacks were 63.4% of murder suspects; whites, 6.3%. (That white share of homicide suspects represents domestic violence incidents, not street crime.)” Bottom line: Disproportionately, the perpetrators, the shooters and the killers in America, are Black. As are their victims. If Black Lives Matter wants to preserve Black lives, they should look to their own communities because that is whence almost all of the killers come. Indeed, of all of the Black folks who will have died of homicide or murder in D.C., Baltimore, Philly and New York this year, how many will have been shot or stabbed by Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, white vigilantes, white supremacists or rogue white cops? 2022 and 2024 could prove to be a political rerun of the mid-’60s. Then it was that “law and order,” a slogan liberals called code words for racism, helped propel conservatives to preeminence in the GOP and thence to national power. And between then and now, the similarities are many. Then, there were the riots in Harlem and Watts in 1964 and 1965, Newark and Detroit in 1967, and D.C. and 100 other cities after the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. During those years, there was also a national explosion in violent street crime. Then came the anti-war protests and riots, which kept Lyndon B. Johnson locked up in the White House in his final days in 1968 and tore apart the Democratic convention in Chicago. Today’s Democratic Party is associated with defunding the police, ending cash bail for arrested felons, emptying prisons, and embracing the BLM and antifa “social justice protests” of 2020 that often involved looting, arson and assaults upon police. As for Biden, the 2021 model bears little resemblance to the tough-talking Delaware senator who pushed the principal anti-crime bill of the 1990s and explained his approach in a 1994 Senate speech: “Every time Richard Nixon, when he was running in 1972, would say, ‘Law and order,’ the Democratic match or response was, ‘Law and order with justice’ — whatever that meant. And I would say, ‘Lock the S.O.B.s up.'” Today, the progressive wing of his party prevents Biden from taking that kind of stand. But that is what his country is calling for. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/30/2021 - 16:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

Meet the Florida Democrats running to oust GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis

These three Democrats told us why they're the right leader to defeat DeSantis, who's a rising GOP star and 2024 presidential contender. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesLocked out of a trifecta of majority control in the state legislature and governorship since 1992, these three Democrats are vying to take back Tallahassee's corner office for the first time since 1998.Beloved by the GOP base for bucking pandemic restrictions, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is already considered a rising star and contender for the 2024 Republican presidential primaries.Before getting there, he'll have to defeat one of the Democrats seeking to thwart his 2022 reelection bid.Insider spoke with three of them: US Rep. Charlie Crist, who is a former Republican governor; Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Florida State Sen. Annette Taddeo.Although DeSantis' approval rating ebbed at a few points in the pandemic, he remains the seventh most popular governor in the country and helped former President Donald Trump carry the Sunshine State in the 2020 election by a healthy margin of 3 percentage points. DeSantis' comments and culture war clashes have heightened his profile on cable TV, such as fining hospitals that require staff to receive COVID-19 vaccines and for mandating public universities teach different political viewpoints or risk their funding. The GOP's statewide dominance since the mid-1990s has led some Florida political observers to declare any of the Democratic candidates beating DeSantis as a longshot.DeSantis' office declined Insider's requests for comment or an interview.Insider's Global Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Carlson interviewed each of these candidates this fall. Their responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity. Insider: What do you think President Biden got wrong about Florida in 2020? Fried: We didn't fight back. There was a lot of disorganization. We spent just barely enough to force Trump to spend money in the state. We didn't have a game plan for the Hispanic community. We didn't have a game plan for combating the socialism narrative. And so, we weren't organized. We weren't on the ground. And we allowed the narrative and the rhetoric to control the airwaves.Crist: The Democratic Party didn't really have a ground game. Probably for the right reasons. The pandemic was not exactly the best environment to be going knocking on people's doors. So, my hope and my prayer is that by the time we get to next fall and have a robust field program this virus will be more significantly in the rear-view mirror. In addition, voter registration is incredibly important. We've seen the numbers diminish for the Democratic Party statewide.Thirdly, I think fighting back on socialism or whatever they're going to throw out — particularly in Miami-Dade, South Florida where that kind of a message has a better opportunity to stick than anywhere in the U.S., simply by the fact that so many of our residents in southeast Florida have come from such regimes. You know, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba. I've been fighting back on that instead of sort of ignoring it. Just fighting back can make an enormous difference instead of almost being silent on the issue.Taddeo: It's not just the Biden campaign, it's also just Democrats, and it's been going on for a little bit. And to be exact, a while. It's the erosion of the Hispanic vote and the lack of defending what are outrageous attacks — but nonetheless successful attacks — in many instances, toward Democrats. What I mean by outrageous is socialist, communist — this has been the way campaigns are done, especially in Miami, Florida. And in South Florida specifically.But it seems to have expanded throughout, and certainly has made inroads with the Hispanic community. So that criticism of mine was before Biden and during Biden.The reason why it didn't work on me is because we fought back, we fought back hard. And we did it with my personal story. But even if you don't have a personal story, you still have to push back. It's almost like, if you're in the fighting ring, and you keep getting major blows to your head, you know, at some point you start bleeding and eventually they knock you out. You must fight back. And I fight hard.Annette Taddeo at a 2018 rally.Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallInsider: Sen. Taddeo, in plain terms, could you explain the difference between progressive Democrats and some of these socialist governments the Florida GOP compares your party to? Taddeo: When it comes to issues, I can tell you that I know in my community, most people are like looking forward to turning 65 and having Medicare. And that is a Democratic Party policy that no one would say, including Republicans, "Oh I'm 65, I don't want it because that's a government handout." It is not. The same thing where, you know, Social Security for example. I don't see anybody sending back a check.So we as Democrats need to do a much better job of explaining what these programs mean and why they are so popular. And through the history of the United States, why we as Democrats have actually brought more people into the middle class, have had programs that have been long-standing and no politician would dare take them back.Insider: Commissioner Fried, there hasn't been a trifecta of Democratic control in the Florida legislature and the governorship since 1992. The legislature has had Republican majorities in both chambers since 1997. If that's the way things are gonna go, how do you get anything done as governor?Fried: Well first, I am masterful at bringing people together. Having got elected, that's who I am. My first legislative session I passed the majority of my bills because I know how to work across the aisle and work with the Republicans. And I know them all. Having done government consulting for seven years, I know the incoming leadership. I know the current leadership and there's also a very powerful tool, two powerful tools.One is the veto pen and the second is calling the legislature back into session and calling special session. So, if you're unwilling to work with me, they will then become a full-time legislator. And that's not a tool that I would like to use, but certainly there's gonna be a lot of things that we're gonna be able to really come together on.Fried, pictured in 2019, is the only statewide elected Democrat in Florida.Gustavo Cabellero /NBC News/MSNBC/Telemundo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesInsider: Why do you think DeSantis doesn't want cruise ships to be able to check if passengers are vaccinated?Crist: I can't imagine in my wildest imagination why he would be opposed to having a safety-first policy. That's what the cruise industry itself wants to do desperately for good reason. They want to protect their crew members. They want to protect their customers. They want to be a good business operation and do the right thing. Why that's objectionable to the governor of the third-largest state in the country is beyond my comprehension. And I think it's hurting him.It appears to me, and I think a lot of people, that he's auditioning for the hard right Republican primary vote for the 2024 presidential election.What he's done on COVID, resulting in a total of over 55,000 Floridians having lost their lives? Not advocating masking, not advocating social distancing, not advocating getting a vaccine, you know? All for the cause of God knows what. The results have been horrific.Taddeo: It is not policy. It is all about primary voters in Iowa, which has nothing to do with Floridians. And this is why I say, we need a governor that actually will represent all Floridians and not be more worried about primary voters in Iowa. That's what we currently have.And look, I represent a Trump district, and I can tell you, I don't just represent the people who voted for me, I represent everyone. Yes, not everyone is going to like your positions. But you have to look in the best interests of everyone, not your future political ambitions. It's outrageous.Fried: He created a culture war when it came to COVID. Whether it was masks or the vaccine. He took the position — which was the position of the very small minority of our state — that he was not going to allow our businesses to require or ask that their consumers be vaccinated. It's contrary to everything I've ever known about the Republican party: the free market and allowing businesses to do what they believe is in their best interest.Insider: What would you have done differently in handling the pandemic?Taddeo: I do have many differences with DeSantis and many criticisms with regards, clearly, especially with our children's safety. And trying to mandate no masks in our schools and trying to remove duly elected people. So, I mean look I am a mom first and foremost, with a daughter in public school. And that was definitely something that I felt he crossed the line.When we have a governor that is trying to tell private businesses what they can and cannot do, again, go back to the dictatorships of Latin America, that's what they do there. Where you are trying to punish businesses for trying to do what they feel is in their best interest to get their business back up and running after a very tough time dealing with this global pandemic.So do I think it will be an issue by Election Day?  It probably is going to be an issue. It should be an issue. But it may not. I mean, we are more than a year away.Fried: He created chaos by not giving accurate information, by creating this culture war, getting very angry at reporters, and dividing our state. During times of turmoil, people are supposed to come together. You saw that after 9/11. You see that after hurricanes and fires out west. People come together during these tragedies. Instead, he created chaos. He divided our state attacking our local schools and our local officials. It was his way or the highway when it came to COVID response. I would do it very differently. Very transparent. Giving people all the information. I can't tell you how many times during this pandemic, people, reporters, and local communities were asking for information. Whether that was information coming out about nursing homes; information coming out of our schools; information coming out of the jails. And we never got accurate information. So it made people doubt science; made people doubt government; and it really created this frenzy in our state. During the Delta surge, he went MIA. He didn't encourage the vaccine after seniors and his donors received it.Crist: I would have listened to the CDC. I would have listened to healthcare providers. I would have respected science. I would have respected Dr. Fauci rather than mocking him. I would have advocated for getting the vaccine. I mean, I'm doing it as a member of Congress, in fact. I just got a booster. We sent out a photo on social media about it, just to encourage people, like President Biden has done. I would have advocated mask wearing. I would advocated social distancing. I would just follow the science, and listen to healthcare professionals and the CDC and do what some other states have done and kept their numbers down while ours have exploded.Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), candidate for Governor of Florida, participates in a Voting Rights Tour event held at the Lallos Restaurant in Lauderhill, Florida, on June 10, 2021.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesInsider: Rep. Crist, do you think DeSantis' handling of COVID will still be an issue on voters' minds by November 2022?Crist: Conventional wisdom says they have a short memory, and that once things get better, all if forgotten. Well maybe that's generally true if you're talking about not increasing teacher salaries, for example. But when you're talking about over 55,000 dead Floridians, that's a completely different genre. I live in St. Pete, in Pinellas County. We do not have a mask mandate in Pinellas County. And I have a five-year-old niece that went to elementary school. She contracted COVID. She brought it home. She has a younger sister who's two months old, who last week contracted COVID. Those kinds of real stories that are personal, that are heartfelt, that matter to people and are not the kind of thing that are forgotten.They're remembered. They're vivid. And you know, as the numbers have skyrocketed over the summer in Florida, I think that he's got a real problem, and it's reflected in his approval dropping like 14 [percentage] points in a month. In the latest public poll,  our campaign's up on him by 10 points. That's pretty dramatic stuff.Insider: Do you support mandates from the government that require citizens to get vaccinated if they want to use public spaces like schools, workplaces, airplanes, et cetera?Fried: I am not there yet on government mandates. What I am in favor of is obviously letting businesses make their decisions for their own businesses, whether it's their employees or their customers. I'm in favor of allowing each local government municipality to make decisions for themselves. Taddeo: Look I think the federal government has every right to impose certain mandates. We have done it historically. That is how we got rid of polio. And I can't believe we're having this discussion where, you know, this is- this is actually somehow something outrageous when history does tell us that this is one way to make sure that we get rid of this virus. And frankly, once and for all, we should try to do that. But again, I do think that when you overreach into businesses and trying to tell businesses what to do, at times to tell local communities what they think is best for their community, I think that's when you are overstepping in your role.Crist: The reality is that we do it for an awful lot of vaccines already for school – measles, mumps, the list goes on. It's like, double digits of different viruses that we vaccinate against. So now we're dealing with this pandemic that's been one of the most deadly in over 100 years. It actually surpassed the Spanish flu, or whatever people want to refer to it as, of 1918, 1919. We're at a point in our history where we've never really faced something quite this devastating. So if now isn't the time to do it I'm not sure when. If I were governor now I would have required all state employees to be vaccinated. And I understand there may be some religious concerns for some about that. I would try to be respectful of that of course to the degree that you can be. But maybe they would have to work remotely out of respect for others in the workplace who have decided to get a vaccine under the strong encouragement of the state government under a Crist administration.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2021

Free Trades - A World Without Payment-For-Order-Flow

Free Trades - A World Without Payment-For-Order-Flow Authored by Marc Rubinstein via 'Net Interest', Anyone who’s seen the Apple TV show Ted Lasso will be well versed in the differences between American and British behaviours. Tea and biscuits, football draws, the underhand nature of the British press – it’s all in there. One thing that’s not in there, though, is financial services. Which is a shame because there are lots of differences between financial practices in the US and the UK. One of them is the role of payment for order flow in retail stock trading. Payment for order flow underpins the business model of Robinhood, an American company named after a British legend. Yet in the UK, it is banned. If Ted were to pull out his phone to buy some UK-listed shares, the way his order is routed to the market would be very different to anything he may be used to back home.  It’s a topic worth exploring because European regulators are in the process of banning payment for order flow too and US regulators may very well follow. Against this backdrop, new business models are emerging. What is Payment for Order Flow? Payment for Order Flow (PFOF) is a fee that a broker receives in return for routing trades to specific exchanges or dealers for execution. Hit confirm on the purchase of a few shares of Citigroup in your trading app [this is not investment advice] and rather than sending it to the stock exchange to be executed, your broker will typically send it to a wholesale market maker. There are about eight of these market makers active in the US. The largest is Citadel Securities, then there’s Virtu, G1 Execution, Goldman Sachs, Jane Street, Two Sigma Securities, UBS Securities and Wolverine. Their pitch is that they can deliver a better price for the end customer than if the trade was routed direct to an exchange. That’s because as well as trafficking between exchanges, these market makers tap into so-called dark pools of liquidity. And increasingly, that’s where the action is. These days, more shares can be executed in private, dark venues than on public exchanges. In the case of some stocks, where retail participation is high, 60-70% of trading can occur in the dark. One such dark venue is the market maker’s own balance sheet. Given their scale, market makers are often able to match up trades from within their flow. There are around 200 retail brokers in the US but once their orders are aggregated among the eight wholesalers, there is ample opportunity for matching. Retail orders tend to be small, dispersed and uninformed, so the chances that a Citigroup sell order comes in on the same day as a Citigroup buy order are quite high. Virtu, one of the largest market makers, reckons that around 60% of the retail volume it handles is dealt with internally.  The advantage for the customer is a better price. Brokers are required to offer the best available price, but only with reference to what’s posted on public exchanges. For Citigroup, that price may be $67.20 to sell or $67.40 to buy. Scour these dark pools and better prices emerge. If the market maker itself can execute the trade at $67.25 for the seller and $67.35 for the buyer, both are better off and there’s still something left in the middle for the market maker. In aggregate, market makers reckon they delivered $3.6 billion of price improvement to retail investors last year. Virtu argues that if you adjust for order size, price improvement is even higher and on that metric they alone delivered $3 billion of improvement.  In order to attract flow, market makers offer payments. This is where the payment for order flow comes in. Some brokers – Fidelity, for example – don’t take it, but many do. In particular, several have crafted a business model around it, using payment for order flow to subsidise the cost of trades. Over the full year 2020, Robinhood earned $691 million in payments for order flow, representing 72% of its total revenue.  Payment for order flow allows the broker to share in any value captured by channeling orders through wholesalers, along with the wholesaler and the end customer (through price improvement). Bloomberg estimates that for every $100 of value captured, around $49 stays with the wholesaler, $13 goes to the broker and $38 ends up with the customer. Neat as all this sounds, it is highly controversial. There’s a reason they don’t allow it in the UK (or Canada). The issue is the potential conflict of interest it presents. The European Securities and Markets Authority sounds the alarm: “PFOF causes a clear conflict of interest between the firm and its clients, because it incentivises the firm to choose the third party offering the highest payment, rather than the best possible outcome for its clients when executing their orders.” Such conflicts were exposed at Robinhood last December, leading to the firm being fined $65 million. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) discovered that Robinhood had locked in unusually high payment for order flow rates but wasn’t getting much price improvement on customer orders. According to the SEC, inferior trade prices deprived customers of $34.1 million in the 30 months up to June 2019, even after taking into account the savings from not paying a commission.     The controversy around payment for order flow is nothing new, it’s just that entire business models have been built while it’s been simmering. Twenty years ago, Bernie Madoff defended the practice – not someone you really want fighting your corner. “No one tells a firm how they can advertise. If I want to hire salesmen to generate order flow, no one is going to object. I don’t have them. So if I want to use Fidelity’s salesmen and pay part of my trading profits in the form of a rebate, why shouldn’t I be allowed to do it? It was characterized as this bribe and kickback and something sinister, which was very easy to do. But if your girlfriend goes to buy stockings at a supermarket, the racks that display those stockings are usually paid for by the company that manufactured the stockings. Order flow is an issue that attracted a lot of attention but is grossly overrated.” In the UK, financial regulators classified payment for order flow as an inducement at odds with best execution back in 2012 and banned it just as it was beginning to take off. A study has since shown that the ban did not have a detrimental effect on pricing, with customers benefiting from a more competitive market for retail orders.  This week, Europe has followed suit. The European Commission updated a broad set of rules around capital markets, including amendments “to stop the controversial practice of trading operators offering incentives to brokers for directing client orders to them, regardless of whether or not doing so is in their clients’ best interests (‘payment for order flows’).” For new brokers like Trade Republic in Germany – valued in a recent funding round at $5 billion – this is potentially very damaging. Payment for order flow accounts for around half their revenue. Another broker, flatexDEGIRO has disclosed that payment for order flow makes up only 3% of its revenues, leaving it better placed.  Nowhere is payment for order flow more embedded though than in the US. Yet here, too, there are rumblings that it may be banned. The newly appointed Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission has put a full ban “on the table.” Interviewed by my close namesake David Rubenstein recently, he added: “You’re supposed to get best execution out of your broker and is that happening when…a few wholesalers are buying the order flow and a lot of that’s getting concentrated around a few wholesalers?” A World Without Payment for Order Flow A ban on payment for order flow would leave brokers with two choices: They could reverse into the market making business themselves. Historically, retail brokers including E*Trade, Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers did operate such businesses. But the rise of electronic and high frequency trading narrowed bid/offer spreads, convincing them to sell to scale providers. Charles Schwab sold its execution services business to UBS in 2004, E*Trade sold to Susquehanna in early 2014, and Interactive Brokers sold to Two Sigma in 2017. When it sold to Susquehanna, E*Trade argued it wouldn’t suffer a decline in profit because new sources of payment for order flow would offset lost trading profits. Payment for order flow is a higher margin activity than market making, so E*Trade may have been right at the profit level. But on the revenue line, the firm did lose out. In the three years prior to the sale, E*Trade earned an average of $90 million a year from trading, of which around 60% was internal flows; payment for order flow increased by only around $30 million a year subsequent to the sale. Source: E*Trade financial reports If payment for order flow disappears, a reverse back into trading could make sense for E*Trade, especially now it has access to a better trading platform as part of Morgan Stanley (which bought it in 2020). More broadly, larger brokers have a particular advantage at being able to internalise trades. Robinhood alone does more retail equity trading than any market maker outside the big two (Citadel Securities and Virtu).  A second option is to seek out alternative revenue sources. This is where the UK experience comes in. In 2016, a new broker was founded in the UK, Freetrade. The firm set out to offer Robinhood-style trading without recourse to payment for order flow: “We do not receive financial or non-financial benefit from any trade execution venues or counterparties in return for sending our customers’ orders to them (sometimes known as ‘payment for order flow’).” Freetrade now has around 600,000 funded accounts in the UK, of which 475,000 have been active in the last thirty days. In the third quarter of this year, it processed 2.6 million trades. Like Robinhood, it has an engaged user base with a similar average age (34). Unlike Robinhood, it has used that customer base to fund its growth. Following an original crowdfunding raise in 2016 (for £170,000), the company has launched seven further rounds. This week, Freetrade launched its latest round, valuing the company at £650 million. Within a few hours, the company raised £3.7 million from existing investors and a further £1.3 million from others who signed up for early access. After four hours, the company had raised £8 million from over 6,000 investors. Unusually, Freetrade sometimes offers investors secondary trading opportunities, allowing them to lock in profits. How much of that gets recycled back into the platform though is unknown. The company has over £1 billion in assets on its platform, the two largest cohorts being the pre-Dec 2019 cohort and the first quarter 2021 cohort.  Freetrade funding rounds So how does Freetrade make money?  Here’s how the company puts it: I’m not too sure how optimising costs enables free investing, but looking beyond that, Freetrade makes money from subscriptions with upside from FX and interest income.  In 2020, the company made £3 million revenue. For 2021, they are forecasting £15 million, less than original projections because of a slower rollout into Europe. Leaving 2021, they are doing £2 million in revenue a month, so that’s around £40 per funded account on an annualised basis. The projection for 2022 is £50 million of revenue. Gross margins are around 90% but staff and overhead costs are expected to continue to consume revenues until 2023.  The core subscription model creates an alignment with customers – Freetrade isn’t incentivised to get them to trade more. Which is a good thing! Its customers trade an average 17x per year compared with Robinhood’s 25x (in equities) as at the third quarter. It’s also a more resilient model – revenues won’t collapse with trading velocity, although they are subject to churn. With higher interest rates, Freetrade will be able to secure a larger stream of interest income on uninvested cash. Freetrade remains very small next to the giants in the industry like Robinhood. But it’s an interesting model to watch, particularly as payment for order flow comes under pressure. The model may be foreign to Ted Lasso but, as Rebecca tells him, “every disadvantage has its advantage.” *  *  * This is a free version of Net Interest, my newsletter on financial sector themes. For additional content and supplementary features, please consider signing up as a paid subscriber. Tyler Durden Sun, 11/28/2021 - 16:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 28th, 2021

The many alleged identities of Bitcoin"s mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto

The identity of Bitcoin's mysterious creator is at the center of a Florida lawsuit that seeks to claim half of Satoshi Nakamoto's $54 billion stake. Blue bitcoinYuichiro Chino The identity of Bitcoin's creator is at the center of a Florida lawsuit over Satoshi Nakamoto's $54 billion stake. Since it was created in 2009, bitcoin has become a top digital currency. Many names have been dropped as Bitcoin potential creators, but none have been proven. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. The mystery behind the creator of Bitcoin and their over $54 billion stake has captured public attention once more, as a court case in Florida seeks to verify the creator's identity — an unlikely effort toward unraveling an enigma that has been over a decade in the making.The family of a deceased man, David Kleiman, is claiming their family member helped create the popular digital currency and is suing Kleiman's alleged business partner in the endeavor, Craig Wright, for half of Satoshi Nakemoto's 1.1 million cache of Bitcoin. For the past five years, Wright has been claiming on and off that he created Bitcoin, but has failed to provide any proof of his ownership.The creator could easily prove their identity by moving even a fraction of the cache of Bitcoin, or using the private key that controls the account.The identity of Bitcoin's creator, known only as "Satoshi Nakamoto," has long been a point of major interest, especially as their personal wealth continues to grow. Since it was created in 2009, Bitcoin has experienced significant highs and lows. In the past year, the currency has risen over 400%.Bitcoin is considered the top cryptocurrency in the world by market value, but there's still plenty of mystery surrounding its creation. Who came up with Bitcoin? Was it created by more than one person? And who is Nakamoto?Here's a rundown on the currency's strange beginnings:In 2008, the first inklings of bitcoin began to circulate the web.HoworthIn August 2008, the domain name bitcoin.org was quietly registered online. Two months later, a paper entitled 'Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System' was passed around a cryptography mailing list.The paper is the first instance of the mysterious figure, Satoshi Nakamoto's appearance on the web, and permanently links the name "Satoshi Nakamoto" to the cryptocurrency.    On January 3, 2009, 30,000 lines of code spelled out the beginning of Bitcoin.A copy of bitcoin standing on PC motherboard is seen in this illustration pictureThomson ReutersBitcoin runs through an autonomous software program that is 'mined' by people seeking bitcoin in a lottery-based system. Over the course of the next 20 years, a total of 21 million coins will be released.To date, about 90% of Bitcoin or about 18.7 million have been mined. Satoshi Nakamoto didn't work entirely alone.Hal FinneyVimeoAmong Bitcoin's earliest enthusiasts was Hal Finney, a console game developer and an early member of the "cypherpunk movement" who discovered Nakamoto's proposal for Bitcoin through the cryptocurrency mailing list. In a blog post from 2013, Finney said he was fascinated by the idea of a decentralized online currency. When Nakamoto announced the software's release, Finney offered to mine the first coins — 10 original bitcoins from block 70, which Satoshi sent over as a test.Of his interactions with Nakamoto, Finney says, "I thought I was dealing with a young man of Japanese ancestry who was very smart and sincere. I've had the good fortune to know many brilliant people over the course of my life, so I recognize the signs."Finney has flatly denied any claims that he was the inventor of Bitcoin and has always maintained his involvement in the currency was only ever secondary. In 2014, Finney died of the neuro-degenerative disease ALS. In one of his final posts on a Bitcoin forum, he said Satoshi Nakamoto's true identity still remained a mystery to him. Finney says he was proud of his legacy involving Bitcoin, and that his cache of bitcoins were stored in an offline wallet, left as part of an inheritance to his family. "Hopefully, they'll be worth something to my heirs," he wrote.As of today, one bitcoin is worth over $54,000.  Nearly a year later, Bitcoin is slowly on its way to becoming a viable currency.Mike LazloIn 2010, a handful of merchants started accepting bitcoin in lieu of established currencies.One of the first tangible items ever purchased with the cryptocurrency was a pizza. Today, the amount of bitcoin used to purchase those pizzas is valued at about $100 million. Other companies have also started to invest in the currency. In February, Tesla purchased over $1 billion in bitcoins and moved to allow customers to pay for electric cars with the digital currency, before back-tracking a few months later.In September, Bitcoin gained the status of legal tender within El Salvador. The country plans to build "Bitcoin City," which would operate as the world's first cryptocurrency-based city.In 2011, the Silk Road, an online marketplace for illegal drugs, launched. It used bitcoin as its chief form of currency.A snapshot of Silk Road's websiteScreenshotBitcoin is inherently trace-less, a quality that made it the ideal currency for facilitating drug trade on the burgeoning internet black market. It was the equivalent of digital cash, a self-governing system of commerce that preserved the anonymity of its owner.With bitcoin, anyone could take to the Silk Road and purchase cannabis seeds, LSD, and cocaine without revealing their identities. And the benefit wasn't entirely one-sided, either: in some ways, the drug trafficking site legitimized Bitcoin as a means of commerce, even if it was only being used to facilitate illicit trade.Two years later, the mysterious figure known as "Satoshi Nakamoto" disappeared from the web.Clark MoodyOn April 23, 2011, Nakamoto sent Bitcoin Core developer Mike Hearn a brief email. "I've moved on to other things," he said, referring to the Bitcoin project. The future of Bitcoin, he wrote, was "in good hands."In his wake, Nakamoto left behind a vast collection of writings, a premise on the workings of Bitcoin, and the most influential cryptocurrency ever created.  Who is this Japanese-American guy named Satoshi Nakamoto?Dorian S. Nakamoto, a man who had zero involvement in the creation of Bitcoin.REUTERS/David McNewGoogle "Satoshi Nakamoto" and the results will lead you straight to image after image of an elderly Asian man. This is Dorian S. Nakamoto, named "Satoshi Nakamoto" at birth. He is almost 70 years old, lives in Los Angeles with his mother, and, as he has reminded people hundreds of times, is not the creator of Bitcoin. In 2014, Newsweek reporter Leah Goodman published a feature story pinning the identity of Bitcoin's creator on Nakamoto due to his high profile work in engineering and pointedly private personal life. Following the story's immediate release, Nakamoto was dogged by reporters, who trailed him as he drove to a sushi restaurant. Nakamoto told a journalist from the Associated Press that he had only heard of Bitcoin weeks earlier, when Goodman had contacted him about the Newsweek story.Two weeks later, he issued a statement to Newsweek, stating he "did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin." Dorian Nakamoto's claim was corroborated by the actual Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto a day later, with Satoshi's username mysteriously surfacing in an online forum to post: "I am not Dorian Nakamoto."  The Craig Wright controversyAustralian entrepreneur Craig WrightScreenshot Via BBCIn 2016, Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright claimed to be the creator of Bitcoin and provided disputed code as proof. Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen further corroborated Wright's gesture, saying he was "98 percent certain" that Wright was the pseudonymous Nakamoto.But others were quick to disagree, and Wright's claim drew fierce skepticism from the cryptocurrency community online as well as alleged interest from the FBI. Amid the sudden influx of scrutiny, Wright deleted his post and issued a cryptic apology. "I'm sorry," he wrote, "I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage."Five years later, Wright continues to claim that he created the digital currency, but has yet to provide any publicly accepted proof.In November, the family of a deceased man, David Kleiman, sued Wright for half of Nakamoto's cache of 1.1 million Bitcoins. The family claims the two men created the cryptocurrency together. The Florida court case is currently in the process of being reviewed by a jury.  Nick Szabo has been repeatedly identified as the creator of Bitcoin, a claim he denies.The mysterious Nick SzaboBusiness Insider/Rob PriceIn the course of determining the identity of Nakamoto, there's one person who has been thumbed again and again: hyper-secretive cryptocurrency expert Nick Szabo, who was not only fundamental to the development of Bitcoin, but also created his own cryptocurrency called "bit gold" in the late '90s. In 2014, a team of linguistic researchers studied Nakamoto's writings alongside those of thirteen potential bitcoin creators. The results, they said, were indisputable. "The number of linguistic similarities between Szabo's writing and the Bitcoin whitepaper is uncanny," the researchers reported, "none of the other possible authors were anywhere near as good of a match."A story in the New York Times pegged Szabo as Bitcoin's creator, as well. Szabo, a staunch libertarian who has spoken publicly about the history of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, has been involved in cryptocurrency since its earliest beginnings.Szabo firmly denied these claims, both in The New York times story and in a tweet: "Not Satoshi, but thank you."  Here's how the real "Satoshi Nakamoto" could prove his identity:Flickr/Rachel JohnsonHe could use his PGP keyA PGP key is a unique encryption program associated with a given user's name — similar to an online signature. Nakamoto could attach his to a post or a message indicating his identity. He could move his bitcoinNakamoto has amassed a fortune in bitcoin: He's thought to possess over one million coins, which today would be valued in excess of a billion dollars. Theoretically, Nakamoto could move those coins to a different address.    Dorian Nakamoto, Nick Szabo, and Craig Wright aren't the only ones who have been pinned as the inventor of Bitcoin.REUTERS/Stephen LamThere's a laundry list of people who have been pegged with this claim, but so far, they've all been struck down. Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has been accused of being Bitcoin's creator — a theory he adamantly denied in 2018. The Wikipedia entry on Satoshi Nakamoto names at least 13 potential candidates as being responsible for the creation of Bitcoin. It's been over a decade since Bitcoin's creation, and we're still not any closer to confirming who invented it.  Why would the inventor of the world's most important cryptocurrency choose to remain anonymous?Bernard von NotHaus, the creator of the Liberty DollarYouTubeAs it turns out, experimenting in new forms of currency is not without its consequences. In 1998, Hawaiian resident Bernard von NotHaus dabbled in a fledgling form of currency called "Liberty Dollars" to disastrous results: He was charged with violating federal law and sentenced to six months of house arrest, along with a three-year probation. In 2007, one of the first digital currencies, E-Gold, was shut down amid contentious circumstances by the government on grounds of money laundering. In January, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggested steps that could be taken to "curtail" Bitcoin.If the inventor of Bitcoin wants to remain anonymous, it's for good reason: by maintaining anonymity, they've avoided adverse legal consequences, making their anonymity at least partially responsible for the currency's success.  Besides, one of the founding principles of Bitcoin is that it's a decentralized currency, untethered to conspicuous institutions or individuals. In his original proposition on Bitcoin, Nakamoto wrote, "What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party."According to a public filing from top US digital currency trading platform, Coinbase, if Nakamoto chose to come forward it could cause bitcoin's value to plummet.Why would someone go to all the trouble of creating a decentralized currency without sticking around to receive any of the credit?Bill Hinton/Getty ImagesMuch of the mystery surrounding Nakamoto involves his motivations. Why would someone go to the trouble of creating a detailed and brilliant decentralized currency, only to later completely disappear from the public view? A closer look at one of Nakamoto's original postings on the proposal of Bitcoin sheds some light on his possible motivations.In February 2009, Nakamoto wrote, "The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts."In Bitcoin forums, it's been speculated that Nakamoto might be "a libertarian and hates the corrupt rich people and politicians." Other Bitcoin enthusiasts suggest the timing of Bitcoin's emergence is a clear indication of its raison d'être: The currency, which was created in the years following the housing bubble burst in 2007, might have been invented as a means of disrupting the corrupted banking system. Here's what we know about Satoshi Nakamoto for sure:Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesThey're a geniusIn a New Yorker article from 2011, a top internet security researcher describes Bitcoin code as an inscrutable execution that nears perfection: "Only the most paranoid, painstaking coder in the world could avoid making mistakes."They speak fluent EnglishNakamoto has written extensively about Bitcoin, authoring close to 80,000 words on the subject in the course of two years. His work reads like that of a native English speaker. They might be BritishJudging by their spelling, and their use of British colloquialisms (they refer to their apartment as a "flat" and call the subject math "maths"), it's thought they might hail from the UK.The timing of his posts seem to indicate this fact as well: It's been pointed out that Nakamoto posted during UK daylight hours.They might be more than one personThe foolproof brilliance of Bitcoin's code have left many wondering if it isn't the work of a team of developers. Bitcoin security researcher Dan Kaminsky says Nakamoto "could be either a team of people or a genius." How does its creator feel about its success?Publican Grant Fairweather talks with a customer from behind the bar where a bitcoin sign is displayed in Sydney, Australia, September 29, 2015.REUTERS/David GrayJoshua Davis, who spent four months researching the possible identity of Bitcoin's creator for a New Yorker story, says he's deeply curious about how the cryptocurrency's creator feels about its success. "Every time I see a news post about the rise of the value of the Bitcoin, I wonder if Satoshi is seeing that too. What's he thinking? Is he proud? Is he thinking that, at some point, some day, he'll finally reveal himself?"If "Satoshi Nakamoto" hasn't revealed himself by now, it's unlikely we'll ever know who is. Zoe Bernard contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 28th, 2021

Bovard Blasts The Biden Crackdown On Thought Crimes

Bovard Blasts The Biden Crackdown On Thought Crimes Authored by Jim Bovard, The Biden administration is seeking to radically narrow the boundaries of respectable American political thought. The administration has repeatedly issued statements and reports that could automatically castigate citizens who distrust the federal government. We may eventually learn that the new Biden guidelines spurred a vast increase in federal surveillance and other abuses against Americans who were guilty of nothing more than vigorous skepticism. Biden is Nixon on steroids The Biden team is expanding the federal Enemies List perhaps faster than any time since the Nixon administration. In June, the Biden administration asserted that guys who are unable to score with women may be terrorist threats due to “involuntary celibate–violent extremism.” That revelation was included in the administration’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which identified legions of new potential “domestic terrorists” that the feds can castigate and investigate. The White House claims its new war on terrorism and extremism is “carefully tailored to address violence and reduce the factors that …infringe on the free expression of ideas.” But the prerogative to define extremism includes the power to revile disapproved beliefs. The report warns that “narratives of fraud in the recent general election … will almost certainly spur some [domestic violent extremists] to try to engage in violence this year.” If accusations of 2020 electoral shenanigans are formally labeled as extremist threats, that could result in far more repression (aided by Facebook and Twitter) of dissenting voices. How will this work out any better than the concerted campaign by the media and Big Tech last fall to suppress all information about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the election? And how can Biden be trusted to be the judge after he effectively accused Facebook of mass murder for refusing to totally censor anyone who raised doubts about the COVID-19 vaccine? The Biden administration is revving up for a war against an enemy which the feds have chosen to never explicitly define. According to a March report by Biden’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “domestic violent extremists” include individuals who “take overt steps to violently resist or facilitate the overthrow of the U.S. government in support of their belief that the U.S. government is purposely exceeding its Constitutional authority.” But that was the same belief that many Biden voters had regarding the Trump administration. Does the definition of extremism depend solely on which party captured the White House? The Biden report writers were spooked by the existence of militia groups and flirt with the fantasy of outlawing them across the land. The report promises to explore “how to make better use of laws that already exist in all fifty states prohibiting certain private ‘militia’ activity, including … state statutes prohibiting groups of people from organizing as private military units without the authorization of the state government, and state statutes that criminalize certain paramilitary activity.” Most of the private militia groups are guilty of nothing more than bluster and braggadocio. Besides, many of them are already overstocked with government informants who are counting on Uncle Sam for regular paychecks. Some politicians and pundits might like to see a new federal crime that labels any meeting of more than two gun owners as an illegal conspiracy. The Biden report promises that the FBI and DHS will soon be releasing “a new edition of the Federal Government’s Mobilization Indicators booklet that will include for the first time potential indicators of domestic terrorism–related mobilization.” Will this latest publication be as boneheaded as the similar 2014 report by the National Counterterrorism Center entitled “Countering Violent Extremism: A Guide for Practitioners and Analysts”? The new Red Guard As the Intercept summarized, that report “suggests that police, social workers and educators rate individuals on a scale of one to five in categories such as ‘Expressions of Hopelessness, Futility,’ … and ‘Connection to Group Identity (Race, Nationality, Religion, Ethnicity)’ … to alert government officials to individuals at risk of turning to radical violence, and to families or communities at risk of incubating extremist ideologies.” The report recommended judging families by their level of “Parent-Child Bonding” and rating localities on the basis in part of the “presence of ideologues or recruiters.” Former FBI agent Mike German commented, “The idea that the federal government would encourage local police, teachers, medical, and social-service employees to rate the communities, individuals, and families they serve for their potential to become terrorists is abhorrent on its face.” Biden’s “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism” report also declared that “enhancing faith in American democracy” requires “finding ways to counter the influence and impact of dangerous conspiracy theories.” In recent decades, conspiracy theories have multiplied almost as fast as government lies and cover-ups. While many allegations have been ludicrously far-fetched, the political establishment and media routinely attach the “conspiracy theory” label to any challenge to their dominance. According to Cass Sunstein, Harvard Law professor and Oba- ma’s regulatory czar, a conspiracy theory is “an effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.” Reasonable citizens are supposed to presume that government creates trillions of pages of new secrets each year for their own good, not to hide anything from the public. “Conspiracy theory” is a magic phrase that expunges all previous federal abuses. Many liberals who invoke the phrase also ritually quote a 1965 book by former communist Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style in American Politics. Hofstadter portrayed distrust of government as a proxy for mental illness, a paradigm that makes the character of critics more important than the conduct of government agencies. For Hofstadter, it was a self-evident truth that government was trustworthy because American politics had “a kind of professional code … embodying the practical wisdom of generations of politicians.” The rise of conspiracy theories In the early 1960s, conspiracy theories were practically a non-issue because 75 percent of Americans trusted the federal government. Such credulity did not survive the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Seven days after Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson created a commission (later known as the Warren Commission) to suppress controversy about the killing. Johnson browbeat the commission members into speedily issuing a report rubber-stamping the “crazed lone gunman” version of the assassination. House Minority Leader Gerald Ford, a member of the commission, revised the final staff report to change the location of where the bullet entered Kennedy’s body, thereby salvaging the so-called “magic bullet” theory. After the Warren Commission findings were ridiculed as a whitewash, Johnson ordered the FBI to conduct wiretaps on the report’s critics. To protect the official story, the commission sealed key records for 75 years. Truth would out only after all the people involved in any coverup had gotten their pensions and died. The controversy surrounding the Warren Commission spurred the CIA to formally attack the notion of conspiracy theories. In a 1967 alert to its overseas stations and bases, the CIA declared that the fact that almost half of Americans did not believe Oswald acted alone “is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization” and endangers “the whole reputation of the American government.” The memo instructed recipients to “employ propaganda assets” and exploit “friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out … parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists.” The ultimate proof of the government’s innocence: “Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States.” The New York Times, which exposed the CIA memo in 1977, noted that the CIA “mustered its propaganda machinery to support an issue of far more concern to Americans, and to the C.I.A. itself, than to citizens of other countries.” According to historian Lance deHaven-Smith, author of Conspiracy Theory in America, “The CIA’s campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited … with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time.” In 2014, the CIA released a heavily-redacted report admitting that it had been “complicit” in a JFK “cover-up” by withholding “incendiary” information from the Warren Commission. The CIA successfully concealed a wide range of assassinations and foreign coups it conducted until congressional investigations in the mid-1970s blew the whistle. “Conspiracy theory” allegations sometimes merely expose the naivete of official scorekeepers. In April 2016, Chapman University surveyed Americans and announced that “the most prevalent conspiracy theory in the United States is that the government is concealing information about the 9/11 attacks with slightly over half of Americans holding that belief.” That survey did not ask whether people believed the World Trade Centers were blown up by an inside job or whether President George W. Bush secretly masterminded the attacks. Instead, folks were simply asked whether “government is concealing information” about the attacks. Only a village idiot, college professor, or editorial writer would presume the government had come clean. Three months after the Chapman University survey was conducted, the Obama administration finally released 28 pages of a 2003 congressional report that revealed that Saudi government officials had directly financed some of the 9/11 hijackers in America. That disclosure shattered the storyline carefully constructed by the Bush administration, the 9/11 Commission, and legions of media accomplices. (Lawsuits continue in federal court seeking to force the U.S. government to disclose more information regarding the Saudi government role in the attacks.) Conspiracy theories a tool for control “Conspiracy theory” is often a flag of convenience for the political-media elite. In 2018, the New York Times asserted that Trump’s use of the term “Deep State” and similar rhetoric “fanned fears that he is eroding public trust in institutions, undermining the idea of objective truth and sowing widespread suspicions about the government and news media.” However, after allegations by anonymous government officials spurred Trump’s first impeachment in 2019, New York Times columnist James Stewart cheered, “There is a Deep State, there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law…. They work for the American people.” New York Times editorial writer Michelle Cottle proclaimed, “The deep state is alive and well” and hailed it as “a collection of patriotic public servants.” Almost immediately after its existence was no longer denied, the Deep State became the incarnation of virtue in Washington. After Biden was elected, references to the “Deep State” were once again labeled paranoid ravings. Much of the establishment rage at “conspiracy theories” has been driven by the notion that rulers are entitled to intellectual passive obedience. The same lèse-majesté mindset has been widely adopted to make a muddle of American history. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., the court historian for President John F. Kennedy and a revered liberal intellectual, declared in 2004, “Historians today conclude that the colonists were driven to revolt in 1776 because of a false conviction that they faced a British conspiracy to destroy their freedom.” What the hell is wrong with “historians today”?! Was the British imposition of martial law, confiscation of firearms, military blockades, suspension of habeas corpus, and censorship simply a deranged fantasy of Thomas Jefferson? The notion that the British would never conspire to destroy freedom would play poorly in Dublin, where the Irish suffered centuries of brutal British oppression. Why should anyone trust academics who were blind to British threats in the 1770s to accurately judge the danger that today’s politicians pose to Americans’ liberty? How does the Biden administration intend to fight “conspiracy theories?” The Biden terrorism report called for “enhancing faith in government” by “accelerating work to contend with an information environment that challenges healthy democratic discourse.” Will Biden’s team rely on the “solution” suggested by Cass Sunstein: “cognitive infiltration of extremist groups” by government agents and informants to “undermine” them from within? Does the Biden administration also propose banning Americans from learning anything from the history of prior federal debacles? Nixon White House aide Tom Charles Huston explained that the FBI’s COINTELPRO program continually stretched its target list “from the kid with a bomb to the kid with a picket sign, and from the kid with the picket sign to the kid with the bumper sticker of the opposing candidate. And you just keep going down the line.” A 1976 Senate report on COINTELPRO demanded assurances that a federal agency would never again “be permitted to conduct a secret war against those citizens it considers threats, to the established order.” Actually, the FBI and other agencies have continued secretly warring against “threats,” and legions of informants are likely busy “cognitively infiltrating” at this moment. Permitting politicians to blacklist any ideas they disapprove won’t “restore faith in democracy.” Extremism has always been a flag of political convenience, and the Biden team, the FBI, and their media allies will fan fears to sanctify new government crackdowns. But what if government is the most dangerous extremist of them all? Tyler Durden Sat, 11/27/2021 - 22:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 28th, 2021

What Is The Relationship Between The Political Left And Globalism?

What Is The Relationship Between The Political Left And Globalism? Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, No one educated and sane likes the political left. This is not a shocking revelation. As I have been outlining for many years (but specifically in the past few years), leftists are the ONLY people in the country that consistently support draconian government policies and oppressive corporate monopoly. They are the only people that support mass censorship of opposing viewpoints through Big Tech and social media. They are the only people demanding the deplatforming and “canceling” of public personalities that dare to utter any views that are contrary to the leftist narrative. They are the only group that has a vast majority in support of the authoritarian covid lockdowns and mandates. They are the only people that aggressively call for forced vaccinations of the populace. They are the only people demanding that the unvaxxed be removed from their jobs or face potential criminal charges. They are the only people that push for the indoctrination of school children with Critical Race Theory (which is essentially racism repackaged as academic activism). And, they are also the only people that are hyper-obsessive about propagating sexual politics in public schools. These folks are exceedingly unlikable. One would think that they would remain on the very fringes of society where they can do little harm, but this has not been the case. Why? Well, it’s not because they are the majority, at least not in any traditional way. They are actually a minority on most issues with a few exceptions. However, they are highly organized, single minded (some would say hive-minded), and, they have the full support of our national power structures. Here’s the thing – A lot of conservatives wrongly assume that the political left has become some kind of autonomous force within our culture that has the power to influence massive government and corporate interests, bending these interests to their will. This is simply not true and these groups do not think for themselves. The reality is that it’s the opposite dynamic; it is government, corporate and decidedly GLOBALIST institutions which have direct influence and control over the political left. Leftists are tools of the globalist system, they are not some “grassroots” movement “sticking it to the patriarchy.” They are all slaves on the globalist plantation. Where do the leftists of the social justice cult actually derive their power from? Is it the pervasive threat of mob violence? No, it’s not. Ask yourself, when was the last time you saw an organized police presence and riot response to leftist mobs looting and burning down cities? In almost every case the police are told to stand down by city and state officials; they are told to do nothing. I have seen actual riot control used against actual peaceful protesters at events like G20. I have witnessed it personally, and it’s not pretty. When cops actually want to control and disperse a crowd, they have a lot of weapons in their arsenal to make this happen. The fact is, leftist riots continue for several days at a time exactly because they are ALLOWED to continue for several days at a time. When they do get arrested for their activities they are usually released without charge. What about the prevalence of “cancel culture” and the use of online mobs to discredit or deplatform people that leftists don’t like? This has been working less and less because the rest of the public has been made aware of the tactic through the tireless efforts of the alternative and liberty media, but for around four years the leftists had free rein to destroy the lives and careers of anyone they pleased. Just look at Actress Gina Carano or Virginia police officer William Kelly as a prime examples of cancel culture in action. The problem is, leftists would have no power to cancel anyone without the constant support of Big Tech, Hollywood, the mainstream media and international corporations. These companies don’t actually care what social justice warriors think, and they’re certainly not afraid of a tiny minority of lunatics with zero consumer leverage. Yet, they are the base of control that allows leftists to wield legitimate tools for deconstructing people’s lives. The corporate world aids the leftists because leftist goals serve corporate interests (for now). And what about government overall? I remember a few years ago I warned people that the extreme end of the leftist spectrum would become the norm for the Democratic Party by the time Trump was out of office. I noted that people like AOC and Ilhan Omar were the intended future successors of the party and that cultists like them would dictate the Democrat platform. Many people said that I was crazy and that the rise of Trump indicated that the opposite would happen. Now look at them. Biden and half of all Democratic leaders spout off about white supremacy and social justice on a regular basis. The party has become exactly what is was always intended to become – a vehicle for communist subversion. Regular democrats and moderates might not agree with this kind of extreme ideological zealotry, but most of them keep their mouths shut because they are fearful of being labeled heretics and cast out. Many say they support the cause just to avoid standing out from the herd. Being called a “bigot” or “misogynist” or “racist” only works on people that actually care and think those words still have meaning. That is to say, most social justice control mechanisms are designed to entrap other leftists, not free thinking conservatives. Leftist activists would have no political influence at all without the avid support of leaders within the Democratic party. The politicians give leftists the teeth they use to bite the ankles of their opponents. This brings us to the underlying center of all sociopolitical influence – The globalist foundations. Where do leftist groups get all the funding to launch organizations like Black Lives Matter? How do programs like social justice and Critical Race Theory find their way into college academia and all the way down to the public school system? What is the source for cultural Marxism and how did it become so pervasive in the first place? Globalist foundations like Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Tavistock Institute, George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, etc. are usually the source of the seed money and often the curriculum for most leftist movements. For example, Open Society and Ford Foundation, partnered with Borealis Philanthropy, were key in the creation of BLM, funneling hundreds of millions of dollars into the movement in its early days. Ford Foundation, Open Society, Rockefeller Foundation and dozens of other globalist institutions are also deeply involved in the funding and proliferation of Critical Race Theory and gender studies programs. Once again pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into social justice groups as well as university indoctrination. By extension, globalist institutions and international corporations have invested around $50 billion total in the development of social justice programs. Corporations implement indoctrination courses for their employees, but they also spread SJW propaganda to the public subconscious through commercials and popular media. This has actually been going on a very long time by more subversive and secretive means. It was globalist institutions like the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation that funded different elements of the feminist movement and “gender studies” movements from the late 1960’s onward. We can’t forget to include the Rockefeller Foundation’s large donations to ‘The Feminist Press’ and the Ford Foundation’s programs to groom teachers for inserting social justice talking points in their curriculum. This is openly admitted in Alison R. Bernstein’s book ‘Funding The Future: Philanthropy’s Influence On America’s Higher Education’. Bernstein is the vice president of Education at the Ford Foundation and the former Associate Dean of Faculty at Princeton. It is no coincidence that almost every facet and goal of leftist activism is also listed within the goals of the UN’s Agenda 2030 initiative, which mixes some very nice sentiments about “equality” and ending poverty into a disturbing mission statement about “transforming the world” through global “inclusivity”, aggressive “sustainability” and racial and gender “equity.” If you are not familiar with these buzzwords you should be; they represent an Orwellian program of social engineering which the UN is seeking to spearhead. I have been asking this question of leftists lately and I have yet to receive any concrete or meaningful answer: If you are supposed to be the underdogs and the revolutionaries, then why is it that all of the evil money elites are on your side? Why are the all the people you say you are fighting against giving you billions of dollars and enforcing your political will? Is it possible that corporatists, globalists and you leftists are all part of the same machine? Think about it… The relationship between the agenda of globalists and the agenda of the political left is growing increasingly obvious and intertwined. The globalists want to dismantle traditional western structures, and so do leftists. Globalists want to dictate economic growth through carbon controls and climate change doom mongering, and so do leftists. Globalists promote a decidedly communistic approach to private property and economy, arguing in favor of the “Sharing Economy”, Universal Basic Income (UBI) and a world in which “we own nothing and are happy.” Leftist are embracing this concept because many of them are self serving and they prefer to take what others have worked for rather than earning it for themselves. Of course, the money elites will continue to keep their wealth and influence while the rest of us are made “equal” through the equality of poverty, but let’s not dwell on that… What I see moving forward is that the left is becoming the Cheka, or the political commissars of the globalist “Great Reset.” They have been molded for decades for this role and their purpose is to provide an element of social force and the illusion of consensus. The interesting thing about this strategy is that it seeks to exploit people who feel as if they are “oppressed” by the existing system, or they have been taught to feel oppressed. As with any Marxist takeover, Globalists use the “have-nots” as a shield while they grab more power. Every time any conservative criticizes the lies and manipulation of the Black Lives Matter movement, for example, we are accused of “racism.” And this is the big trick: We all know that BLM (founded by devout Marxists and funded by globalists) has nothing to do with civil rights or racial justice, it’s just a means to destroy western society and replace it with a dystopian nightmare. That’s what we are criticizing. Black lives are not the issue, globalism and communism are the issue. Social justice and leftists movements are a smokescreen for a bigger agenda, and the leftists love to be used. Why do they do this? It’s a mistake to assume they are merely “useful idiots.” Yes, some of them are, however, I think the people that fall into the leftist cult are people that are naturally inclined to do so. They are narcissists, psychopaths, degenerates, lazy, spoiled, and weak. They are people that are generally not capable of surviving independently and they know it, so they seek out collectivist frameworks to join and feed off of. Question: How does a mob of BLM leftists attack Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha and EVERY SINGLE PERSON he shoots or tries to shoot ends up having an extensive and violent criminal record? It is because leftist movements attract such people in droves (look are what a BLM advocate and career criminal just did in Waukesha, Wisconsin). They are not innocent in all of this. They don’t care if they are being exploited by the elites because they think it’s a trade for power and control they would not have otherwise. They are partners with globalism, and globalism breeds and encourages evil. It is important to understand this dynamic going forward because I see the argument often that the globalists are trying to “divide and conquer” America. In truth, we are ALREADY divided and have been for some time. Trying to talk with and educate moderates on the facts is one thing, but there is very little point in trying to engage in diplomacy with leftists. They have already chosen a side, and it’s not the side of reason or freedom. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Sat, 11/27/2021 - 00:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 27th, 2021

Telecom Stock Roundup: VZ Gets FCC Nod for TracFone, ERIC to Buy Vonage & More

While Verizon (VZ) secures approval from the FCC for the acquisition of TracFone, Ericsson (ERIC) inkes a deal to acquire Vonage for $21 per share or almost $6.2 billion in cash. U.S. telecom stocks declined on average over the past week as increasing coronavirus cases raised fresh lockdown fears across Europe. Higher infection rates across the country fueled speculations about the potency of the vaccines and the need for booster doses, with more Americans heading indoors as temperatures dropped. Lingering concerns regarding the potential interference of the C-Band spectrum with aviation safety standards further forced the telecom industry to tread with caution. However, the downtrend was partially offset by a modest upswing led by a strong rally by some blue-chip stocks and optimism surrounding the nomination of Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell for a second term.Two leading U.S. House Democrats urged the FCC to consider the gravity of the issue raised by the Federal Aviation Administration about aviation safety being likely compromised by the planned use of spectrum for 5G wireless communications. The lawmakers sought an immediate restraining order from the FCC for the deployment of the C-Band for wireless use until a thorough risk assessment is conducted. Although the FCC did not comment, a coalition of industry trade groups pointed out that further delay in the deployment of 5G technology would likely hamper the country’s economic growth.Notable company-specific news that grabbed the spotlight over the past week includes Verizon Communications Inc.’s VZ FCC approval for TracFone acquisition and Ericsson’s ERIC buyout deal for Vonage. Also, Nokia Corporation NOK upgraded its 5G facility, Knowles Corporation KN introduced a two-way balanced armature receiver in hearing aids and Viasat, Inc.’s VSAT mobile network became operational in China.Meanwhile, President Biden continued his hard stance against Beijing and invited Taiwan to the virtual Summit for Democracy, further aggravating the bilateral relations. This followed the signing of the Secure Equipment Act that empowers the FCC to prevent the use of any telecommunications equipment manufactured by China-backed entities in the domestic markets. The FCC also continued to oppose an appeal by China Telecom in the federal court against an earlier directive to bar it from operating in the United States over national security concerns. Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories1.     Verizon has secured approval from the FCC for the acquisition of TracFone Wireless, Inc., paving the way for the likely closure of the deal inked in September 2020 by this week. The buyout of this subsidiary of Mexico’s largest telecommunications firm, América Móvil, S.A.B. de C.V., is expected to offer enhanced access to Verizon’s wireless network and a suite of mobility products and services to its huge customer base.Following the merger, Verizon plans to bring its 4G LTE, 5G networks and other innovative technologies to TracFone’s customers. The transaction aligns with Verizon’s growth-oriented Network as a Service strategy and more U.S. consumers will have access to its wireless plans with better experiences.      2.     Ericsson has inked a deal to acquire Vonage Holdings Corp. for $21 per share or almost $6.2 billion in cash. Vonage’s presence in the Communication Platform as a Service segment will allow Ericsson to access a substantial and high growth segment. Ericsson’s leadership in 5G technology will boost the developing space for open network application programming interfaces.The transaction is expected to deliver near-term revenue synergy opportunities. Ericsson also expects to achieve some cost efficiencies following the completion of the transaction. On completion, Vonage will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ericsson and will continue to operate under its current name.3.    Nokia has announced that it has upgraded its 5G testing lab located in Guadalajara, Mexico, to support testing across new uses cases. The state-of-the-art facility will enable the testing of new 5G products and support growing sales and supply chain operations in the region.The lab provides services to both Latin America and North America. Further, Nokia’s soon-to-come 5G deployments in Mexico and Latin America will be supported by its own operations. It will also benefit from the free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada.4.    Knowles recently augmented its portfolio by introducing a new two-way balanced armature receiver in hearing aids to boost the audio capabilities of hearing-impaired persons. The product was developed in collaboration with Lucid Hearing, a pioneering company delivering hearing aid solutions to enable people of all ages to hear better with natural sound quality and reduced distortion. The new product from Knowles is likely to enable the users to experience audiophile-quality music performance. The Westone Audio High Fidelity DWT is a premium hearing aid with a Receiver in Canal that enhances sound quality for music-listening for the hearing impaired. The balanced armature receiver from Knowles offers discreet size for a comfortable fit, long battery life for all-day wear and unmatched sound clarity for optimal vocal and full-spectrum sound.  5.    Viasat has announced that its mmobility network has become operational in China. This, in turn, is likely to enable the company to offer in-flight connectivity solutions in domestic and international airlines operating in and out of the communist nation’s airspace by leveraging the Ka-band ChinaSat-16 satellite system.Viasat deployed the network in collaboration with China Satellite Communications, Co. Ltd., which provided it regional access to the country’s highly regulated satellite communication services. The improved IFC services will offer enhanced Internet capabilities with best-in-class in-flight entertainment options to entice customers and likely contribute to the uptrend in leisure air travel demand.Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some of the major telecom stocks over the past week and six months.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the past five trading days, Motorola has been the best performer, with its stock gaining 3.5% while Bandwidth has declined the most, with its stock falling 4.3%.Over the past six months, Arista has been the best performer, with its stock appreciating 33.8% while Bandwidth has declined the most, with its stock falling 63%.Over the past six months, the Zacks Telecommunications Services industry has declined 12.1% while the S&P 500 has rallied 12.1%. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhat’s Next in the Telecom Space?In addition to 5G deployments and product launches, all eyes will remain glued to how the administration implements key policy changes to safeguard the interests of the industry and address the bottlenecks to spur growth. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Ericsson (ERIC): Free Stock Analysis Report Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report Nokia Corporation (NOK): Free Stock Analysis Report Viasat Inc. (VSAT): Free Stock Analysis Report Knowles Corporation (KN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 25th, 2021

Equinix (EQIX), EllaLink Team Up on Subsea Cable System

Equinix (EQIX) partners with EllaLink on a high-capacity subsea cable system between Europe and Latin America, offering a 50% increase in network performance. Equinix Inc. EQIX recently partnered with EllaLink and announced the full operation of a high-capacity subsea cable system between Europe and Latin America. The new system offers a 50% increase in network performance among the data centers in Brazil, Portugal and Spain. The routes had to previously transit through North America.The new system was delivered at Equinix's International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers, namelySP4 in São Paulo, LS1 in Lisbon and MD2 in Madrid.Equinix has proficiency in providing state-of-the-art subsea infrastructure. Because of its access to dense, rich ecosystems of networks, clouds, and financial and IT service providers, EQIX was chosen by EllaLink. Moreover, Equinix  earned much reputation and serves as an interconnection partner to 40 and more current subsea cable projects.Equinix is well-positioned, globally, to bank on robust demand for data-center spaces with its Platform Equinix, which comprises more than 237 data centers across 65 metros and 27 countries.Recently, Equinix partnered with DISH DISH to provide digital infrastructure services. The partnership will support DISH’s first cloud-native, open RAN-based 5G network in the United States.With access to Equinix's IBX data centers, DISH will be able to deliver secure critical interconnections across the U.S. 5G network.Robust growth in cloud computing, the Internet of Things and big data, and a greater call for third-party IT infrastructure are spurring demand for data-center infrastructure. This uptrend is likely to benefit Equinix and other data-center landlords like Digital Realty Trust DLR and CyrusOne Inc. CONE.Strength in the artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicle and virtual/augmented reality markets is anticipated to be strong in the upcoming year. As infrastructure providers for the rapidly-growing digital economy, Equinix, Digital Realty and CyrusOne are well-placed for sustainable growth.Shares of Equinix have gained 8.4% over the past six months, outperforming the industry's growth of 4.7%. EQIX currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchHowever, the fierce rivalry could propel competitors to resort to aggressive pricing policies, making Equinix vulnerable to pricing pressure.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for DISH’s current-year fund from operations (FFO) per share has been raised marginally in the past month. DISH currently has a Zacks Rank of 3.Over the last four quarters, DISH’s FFO surpassed the consensus estimate on three occasions and missed the mark on the remaining one, the average surprise being 25.3%. Shares of DISH have appreciated 4.3% year to date, outperforming the industry’s rally of 0.5%.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Digital Realty’s 2021 FFO per share has been raised marginally over the past month. DLR carries a Zacks Rank of 3, currently.Over the last four quarters, Digital Realty’s FFO surpassed the consensus estimate in all the trailing four quarters, the average being 2.57%. Shares of DLR have appreciated 4.7% in the past three months, outperforming the industry’s rally of 2.7%.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CyrusOne’s 2021 FFO per share has moved marginally north in the past month. CONE is currently Zacks #3 Ranked.Over the last four quarters, CyrusOne’s FFO surpassed the consensus mark on all occasions, the average being 2.32%. Shares of CONE have appreciated 20.9% in the past three months, outperforming the industry’s rally of 2.7%.Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Equinix, Inc. (EQIX): Free Stock Analysis Report DISH Network Corporation (DISH): Free Stock Analysis Report Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (DLR): Free Stock Analysis Report CyrusOne Inc (CONE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 25th, 2021

Beijing Praises Jamie Dimon"s "Sincere" Bootlicking Reversal As "Right Attitude"

Beijing Praises Jamie Dimon's 'Sincere' Bootlicking Reversal As "Right Attitude" The irony and hypocrisy of JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon's rapid volte face on his 'joke' about his bank's outliving China's Communist Party is becoming clearer this morning. It turns out that during the even, the CEO of the world's most important bank commented that: "If they start to tell you what you can say here, because you do business in China, that’s a problem." Each time a country or company challenges the status quo on China it makes it easier for others to recalibrate their own relationship, according to Wen-Ti Sung, a lecturer in the Australian National University Taiwan studies program. He noted that Beijing has been restrained toward the WTA compared with other organizations that received more aggressive treatment.  “It decreases the cost of each new participant considering hopping onto the bandwagon,” Sung said. “Beijing cannot reasonably take on them all at the same time.” And the same should go for companies: “Companies, in particular, are realizing more and more that they can’t ignore political risks of doing business in China, and will have to answer to shareholders and other constituencies at home,” said Natasha Kassam, director of the Lowy Institute think-tank’s public opinion and foreign policy program, and a former Australian diplomat in China. “As views towards China sour, we can see increased expectations that governments and companies will be more forthright on China’s many human rights issues.” But hey, as we detailed below, there's at least 20 billion reasons why a bank CEO could shrug off the totalitarian censorship of the communist regime. The good news for Dimon this morning, as he prepares for his Thanksgiving, it appears his sycophantic bootlicking has worked. As Bloomberg reports, at a briefing in Beijing on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said he “noticed the sincere reflection” by Dimon. “We believe this is the right attitude,” he said. Let's all give thanks for China! *  *  * As we detailed yesterday, this past week saw the Basel-based Financial Stability Board release its latest annual rankings of systematically important banks. JPMorgan was moved back up to the highest tier and now stands alone as the world's most important bank. (Chinese banks which are generally bigger have explicit state support and as such as broadly viewed as less risky). Also yesterday, JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon quipped that his bank is likely to outlast China’s Communist Party: “We hope to be there for a long time,” Dimon said of China on Tuesday. He relayed a “joke” he made during a recent visit to Hong Kong: “The Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. And I’ll make you a bet we last longer.” Dimon made the remarks while speaking Tuesday at a panel discussion at the Boston College Chief Executives Club (and admittedly he did reiterate his company’s commitment to the country in wide-ranging comments). When asked for comment at a regular press briefing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said: “Is it really necessary to cite such remarks that are merely to attract people’s attention?” Apparently that did not go down well in Beijing as this morning Dimon has issued a quick statement, apologizing for his comments: “I regret and should not have made that comment,” Dimon said in a statement from the bank Wednesday. “I was trying to emphasize the strength and longevity of our company.” We suspect this is why... Yep, 20 billion reasons for why the CEO of the world's most important bank joined the likes of LeBron James in genuflecting at the altar of Xi. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/25/2021 - 10:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 25th, 2021

Futures Drift Higher In Quiet, Holiday Session

Futures Drift Higher In Quiet, Holiday Session US equity futures rose (ahead of a cash session that is closed for Thanksgiving holiday), European stocks were mixed and Asian snapped a three-day losing streak on Thursday, hurt by the U.S. dollar which continued to march higher as investors bet on interest rates rising more quickly in the United States than in other major economies such as Japan and the euro zone. Overnight Goldman (which only a few weeks ago brought forward its liftoff forecast by one year to July 2002) said that it now expects the Fed "to announce at its December meeting that it is doubling the pace of tapering to $30bn per month starting in January." That forecast, however, has not spooked futures with S&P 500 and Nasdaq eminis rising by 7 points (0.14%) and 28 points (0.17%) respectively, in a listless session - trading volumes on the MSCI’s gauge of world equities slid 18% from its 30-day average. The dollar rose again, hitting a fresh 16-month high. Remy Cointreau SA jumped 11% in Europe on an earnings beat. Base metals rallied, with nickel near the highest level in seven years. Unlike recent sharp drawdowns, on Wednesday U.S. stocks proved resilient to a slew of strong economic data and Fed minutes on Wednesday that hinted at stagflationary concerns and supported expectations for a quicker removal of stimulus by the Fed. And while inflation concerns deepened, and traders appeared in no mood to miss a year-end calendar meltup, rising bets not only for a quicker taper, but also an earlier liftoff of interest rates, suggest caution may return after Thanksgiving. “The market mood is rather OK-ish after the minutes,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote, wrote in a note. “At this point, it makes sense to expect an earlier, and maybe a steeper rate normalization from the Fed.” European stocks traded off opening highs with Euro Stoxx 50 up as much as 0.7% before stalling and trading up 0.25% last. Utilities, tech and financial services are the strongest performers; travel remains under pressure as Covid measures are still in focus. MSCI’s global equity benchmark headed for the biggest advance since Nov. 16 as European traders shrugged off a worsening Covid-19 situation in the continent. The Stoxx 600 gauge was boosted by utilities and real estate companies. Remy Cointreau soared to a record high after the French distiller reported first-half results that Citigroup Inc. called “truly exceptional.” Earlier in the session, Asian equities were poised to snap a three-day losing streak, as traders continued to weigh the prospects of higher inflation and faster-than-expected tapering by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 0.3% Thursday, with Japanese stocks among the leaders as the dollar held a three-day advance against the yen. In Hong Kong, shares of Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd's (1638.HK) rose as much as 24% on their return to trading, after the embattled Chinese developer said it was offering bondholders an option to exchange existing bonds with new bonds having an extended maturity, to improve financial stability. In India, Reliance shares returned to a price level reached prior to the scrapping of the Indian conglomerate’s deal with Saudi Aramco.  Asian stocks are hovering near a six-week low as a strong dollar remains a headwind for emerging-market equities, while higher U.S. Treasury yields have dragged down technology and other growth stocks around the region. The latest Fed minutes suggested it will accelerate the pace of tapering and rate hikes if inflation persistently stays above the targeted rate and maintains its uptrend, said Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment. “Strong dollar concerns remain intact on earlier-than-expected rate hikes, intensifying the inflation of emerging markets.” South Korean stocks were among the biggest decliners after the nation’s central bank hiked its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 1%, as expected, citing faster inflation. In broad terms, "when it comes to regional equities allocation, we're watching the U.S. dollar which is making new highs and that is a headwind for emerging market equities," said Fook-Hien Yap, senior investment strategist at Standard Chartered Bank wealth management. "The market is now pricing in more than two hikes next year, but we think that is overly aggressive. We are only looking for about one hike next year," said Yap. These expectations have pushed U.S. treasury yields higher, albeit inconsistently, with benchmark 10 year notes last yielding 1.6427% having risen as high as 1.6930% on Wednesday. U.S. Treasuries will not trade on Thursday because of the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. stock markets will also be closed and will have a shortened session on Friday. Sure enough, fixed income markets are quiet. Bund and gilt curves bull flatten a touch, cash Treasuries remain closed for Thanksgiving. In other central bank news, the Bank of Korea raised its policy interest rate by 25 basis points on Thursday, as widely expected, as concern about rising household debt and inflation offset uncertainty around a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar index recovered Asia’s small weakness to trade flat. SEK is the best performer in G-10 with EUR/SEK down 0.4% after the Riksbank tweaked inflation forecasts slightly and signaled that they see a case for a higher benchmark rate in 2024. NZD and AUD lag with most majors trading a narrow range. The dollar is trading near its highest in almost five years versus the Japanese currency at 115.3 yen, and nearly 18 months to the euro which was at $1.1206. In commodities, oil prices were mixed after a turbulent few days in which the United States said it would release millions of barrels of oil from strategic reserves in coordination with China, India, South Korea, Japan and Britain to try to cool oil prices after calls to OPEC+ to pump more went unheeded. However, investors laughed at the programme's effectiveness, leading to price gains. Brent crude was last at $82.14 a barrel, down 0.1%. Action continued to heat up in the base metals market. Nickel rose in London toward the highest level since May 2014 on a closing basis as shrinking inventories pointed to tight supply. Aluminum and copper extended their two-day increase to at least 2% each. Looking at the day ahead, it's a fairly quiet calendar given the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. On the central bank side however, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, and the ECB’s Villeroy, Elderson and Schnabel, along with BoE Governor Bailey and the BoE’s Haskel. On top of that, the ECB will release the account of their October meeting, and data releases include the German GfK consumer confidence reading for December. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities traded mixed following on from the tentative mood in US where the major indices headed into the Thanksgiving holiday with a slight positive bias although upside was capped as participants digested a deluge of mixed data releases and hawkish leaning FOMC Minutes which suggested an increased likelihood of a taper adjustment. ASX 200 (+0.1%) was choppy as outperformance in tech and miners was counterbalanced by losses in consumer stocks, energy and the top-weighted financials sector, while mixed capex data which showed a larger than expected contraction for Q3 further added to the headwinds. Nikkei 225 (+0.7%) outperformed and reclaimed the 29,500 level after the recent favourable currency flows and stimulus optimism with Japan considering offering a JPY 5k inbound travel subsidy and is planning a JPY 22.1tln government bond sale as part of economic stimulus and extra budget. KOSPI (-0.4%) softened amid a widely expected 25bps rate hike by the BoK and with BoK Governor Lee suggesting the potential for another hike in Q1 next year. Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) lacked direction amid ongoing frictions including issues related to Taiwan and after the US Commerce Department placed 12 Chinese companies/entities on its entity list due to national security concerns, while EU ambassadors approved to renew sanctions on four Chinese officials and one Chinese entity for human rights abuses. However, the downside for Chinese bourses was limited after another tepid PBoC liquidity effort and with a local press report noting that China is to use more fiscal policy to support growth. There were also reports that Chengdu city launched measures to help developers with cash problems in obtaining funds, while Kaisa Group shares saw a double-digit percentage jump on reopen from a three-week trading halt after it offered to exchange bonds for new bonds with an extended maturity in an effort to improve financial stability and remain afloat. Finally, 10yr JGBs were rangebound after the sideways price action seen in global counterparts and cautious risk tone in Asia, while the results of the latest 40yr JGB auction were also inconclusive with a weaker b/c offset by an increase in the low price. European cash equities (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.3%; Stoxx 600 +0.2%) trade on a modestly in the green but off best levels as bourses’ attempt to reclaim some of the lost ground seen throughout the week somewhat lost momentum, with the Stoxx 600 down 1.3% WTD. Macro drivers for the region remain a combination of this week’s (slightly stale) survey metrics, ECB speak and COVID angst with the latter providing a bulk of the direction for European assets this week. The handover from the APAC region was a somewhat mixed one as the Nikkei 225 (+0.6%) continued to benefit from favourable currency flows and ongoing stimulus hopes whilst Chinese stocks (Shanghai Comp -0.2%) digested a combination of US-China tensions over Taiwan, EU sanctions on China and expectations of domestic fiscal measures to support growth. Futures in the US (ahead of the early close) are currently on a mildly firmer footing (ES +0.3%) however, traders will likely not pay much credence to these moves given that the cash markets are closed today. The latest BofA flow show noted that stocks saw just their second week of outflows for the year, albeit equities have posted USD 839bln of inflows in 2021 which is more than the USD 785bln seen in the past 19 years combined. Elsewhere, SocGen is of the view that the bull market is not over for European equities and the cycle has further room to run into next year as inflation peaks and Fed-ECB policy diverges. SocGen’s end-2022 target of 520 implies a 9% upside from current levels. Sectors in Europe are mostly firmer with the Food & Beverage sector a top performer amid gains in Remy Cointreau (+11%) who sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 post-earnings which saw the Co. raise its profit outlook. In sympathy, Pernod Ricard (+2.0%), Campari (+1.1%) and Diageo (+0.8%) are all seen higher. To the downside, Travel & Leisure names lag amid ongoing losses in sector-heavyweight Evolution (-5.6%) with the latest update for the Co. noting it has contacted New Jersey regulators and launched an internal probe following accusations the company is conducting business in US blacklisted countries. Also of note for the sector, reports suggest that the EU is set to endorse a 9-month limit on COVID-19 vaccine validity in travel. Finally, Vivo Energy (+20%) is seen higher on the session after Vitol reached an agreement to purchase the Co. for USD 1.85/shr. In FX, the index sees a mild pullback in early European trade on Thanksgiving Day Holiday, after notching a fresh YTD peak yesterday at 96.938 with traders also weighing end-of-month flows. Yesterday's FOMC Minutes had little impact on the Buck, but the release stated the Fed should be prepared to adjust the pace of asset purchases and raise the target range for FFR sooner if inflation continued to run higher than levels consistent with the Fed objective. Some participants preferred a somewhat faster pace of reductions. DXY trades within a narrow 96.649-832 range. Ahead, the calendar is empty from a US standpoint. EUR, GBP - The single currency stands are the current G10 winner, albeit within narrow ranges in holiday-thinned trade. Desks suggest that light short-covering may warrant given the recent COVID-led downside. On the COVID front, reports suggested the EU is to endorse a 9-month limit on COVID-19 vaccine validity in travel. Sources earlier in the week suggested that updated EU travel guidance will likely be released today, whilst France is also today poised to provide more colour on COVID-related restrictions. EUR/USD has reclaimed a 1.1200 handle but trades within yesterday's 1.1184-1.1250 range. GBP/USD meanwhile is relatively flat within a 20-pip parameter, with not much to report aside from overnight commentary highlighting the 'substantial distance' between the UK and EU on the Northern Ireland protocol. Ahead, participants will be on the lookout for commentary from BoE governor Bailey and Haskel. Note, some participants also highlight chunky OpEx tomorrow in GBP/USD comprising of some GBP 1.3bln around 1.3400-10. AUD, NZD - Antipodeans are on the back foot, with the NZD continuing to lag post-RBNZ and following a narrower NZ trade deficit as the AUD/NZD cross inches closer towards 1.0500 after confirming support around the 1.0450 region. AUD/USD was unfazed by lower-than-expected Q3 Aussie Capex. Desks highlight support at 0.7170 (Sept 29th low) ahead of the YTD low at 0.7106. Technicians may also be cognizant of the 21 DMA (0.7346) set to cross through the 100 DMA (0.7346) and 50 DMA (0.7344). JPY - The JPY is relatively flat on the day within a 115.30-45 band, with desks suggesting bids are eye towards 115.00 and offers above 115.50. OpEx is interesting; USD/JPY sees USD 1.2bln between 115.10 and around USD 800mln at strike 115.50. SEK, HUF - The Riksbank maintained its Rate at 0.00% and asset holdings unchanged as expected and said the repo rate will be raised in the latter part of 2024 – with the Q4 2024 rate path seen averaging at 0.19%. Overall, the decision was in-line with expectations. The SEK saw some modest upside heading into the announcement, but on the largely as-expected release, EUR/SEK remained in proximity to the pre-announcement level of 10.20. Meanwhile, the Hungarian Central Bank announced a 40bps hike to its 1-week Repo Rate in an expected but unscheduled move. EUR/HUF moved from 367.25 to 365.40 on the hike. In commodities, WTI and Brent futures are choppy following the earlier softness at the start of the session, which was seemingly a function of a mild deterioration across equity markets, also coinciding with Ifax reports that the US is trying to persuade Russia to lift oil output. Sticking with OPEC+, the morning also saw commentary out of Kuwait and the UAE, who both signalled open-mindedness heading into next week’s meeting, although WSJ sources yesterday suggested the UAE does not see the need to pause current plans. WTI Jan has dipped back under USD 78/bbl (vs high USD 76.65/bbl) while Brent Feb resides just north of USD 80.50/bbl (vs high 81.40/bbl). Ahead, participants will be balancing OPEC+ sources and commentary to get a more solid idea on which route the group will likely take next week. Elsewhere, spot gold remains caged within a cluster of DMAs including the 100 (1,793), 200 (1,791) and 50 (1,789). Base metals are once again firmer with traders citing bullish commentary on Chinese infrastructure. LME copper inches closer towards USD 10k/t whilst Dalian iron ore futures overnight stretched their rally to a fifth consecutive session, spot prices topped USD 100/t. DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that this week we published our 2022 credit strategy outlook. See here for the full report. Craig has also put out a more detailed HY 2022 strategy document here and Karthik a more detailed IG equivalent here. Basically we think spreads will widen as much as 30-40bps in IG and 120-160bps in HY due to a response to a more dramatic appreciation of the Fed being well behind the curve. This sort of move is consistent with typical mid-cycle ranges through history. We do expect this to mostly retrace in H2 as markets recover from the shock and growth remains decent and liquidity still high. Today will likely prove a quieter one in markets given the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. But ahead of that, risk assets eventually climbed a wall of worry yesterday as investors moved to dial up their hawkish bets on the Fed’s policy trajectory, just as the latest Covid wave in Europe further contributed to investor concerns. Nevertheless, after trading in the red most of the day, global equity markets just managed to finish the day in positive territory, with the S&P 500 gaining +0.23% and the STOXX 600 advancing +0.09%. First, on the hawkish Fed policy trajectory, our US economics team updated their calls to expect just that. In a note yesterday (link here), they outlined expectations for the Fed to double the pace of tapering at the December FOMC meeting following better-than-expected inflation and employment data since the November FOMC. This would bring monthly reductions in Treasury purchases to $20bn and MBS purchases to $10bn, which would bring the end of taper forward to March. In line, they’re bringing their call for liftoff forward a month to June 2022. Our econ team weren’t the only ones to adjust their outlook. San Francisco Fed President Daly, one of the biggest doves on the FOMC and a voter in December, said in an interview that, “if (strong inflation and jobs data continue) then those are the things that would say, looks like we need faster tapering”. Furthermore, she also said that “I am very open and, in fact, leaning towards that we’ll want to raise rates from the zero lower bound at the end of next year”. So if one of the Fed’s biggest doves is feeling this way, then that showcases the shift in thinking that could be taking place more broadly on the committee. Front-end US rates sold off following the comment and yesterday’s data releases, which did nothing to change the recent hawkish turn from Fed officials. In fact, by the close of trade investors were fully pricing in a hike by June, and pricing about two-thirds probability of a May hike. They are still projecting three full hikes in the next calendar year. You’ll know from the credit outlook that we continue to think the Fed is way behind the curve and that catch-up will likely cause some volatility in H1 with notably wider credit spreads. See the link at the top for more on our view. Those moves were given some fresh impetus by stronger-than-expected US data, of which plenty arrived in advance of the holiday today. First, the weekly initial jobless claims for the week through November 20 fell to 199k (vs. 260k expected), which is their lowest level since 1969 and the first time we’ve seen a reading comfortably around or beneath their levels immediately before the pandemic. Claims are always a bit all over the place around Thanksgiving due to seasonal adjustments so we may need a couple of weeks before the trend can be confirmed. Secondly, we then had the second estimate of Q3 GDP in the US, which was revised up a tenth to show an annualised growth rate of +2.1%. Third, the personal income and spending data came in above expectations in October, with personal income up +0.5%, and personal spending up +1.3%, which in both cases was three-tenths higher than expected. And finally, although the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index was still at a decade low, the final measure came in at 67.4, above the preliminary reading of 66.8. Long-term inflation expectations edged back up a tenth to 3.0%, where it was in September and May this year, the joint highest readings since 2013. All that created additional momentum in front-end US rates, with the 2yr yield (+2.6bps) and the 5yr yield (+0.3bps) both rising to fresh post-pandemic highs as the prospect of faster tapering and earlier rate hikes came into view. That put further upward pressure on the dollar as well, with the index strengthening by +0.33% yesterday to hit a 16-month high, having now risen by over +6% since its low in late May just 6 months ago. Of course the flip side was that a number of currencies shifted lower vis-à-vis the dollar, and the euro dipped below the $1.12 mark at the end of the day for the first time since June 2020. Amidst the moves higher in front-end Treasury yields, another round of curve flattening saw longer-dated ones fall back yesterday, with the 10yr yield down -3.1bps to 1.63%. That flattening took the 5s30s curve down -6.9bps to its lowest level since the initial market turmoil at the start of the pandemic back in March 2020, having fallen by over 100bps since its intraday high back in February. 2s10s twisted -5.7bps flatter as well, as investors priced in near-term Fed policy action that could engender a hard landing that hurts longer term growth. It was a different picture in Europe however, where curves steepened for the most part and the moves lower in long-end rates were much more subdued. By the close, yields on 10yr bunds (-0.8bps), OATs (+0.0bps) and BTPs (+1.3bps) had seen relatively little movement, as investors continue to expect that the ECB will take a much more cautious approach to raising rates relative to the Fed. Overnight in Asia markets are again mixed but being led by the Nikkei (+0.68%) and the Hang Seng (+0.14%), while the Shanghai Composite (-0.10%), CSI (-0.31%) and KOSPI (-0.34%) are losing ground. In a widely expected move the Bank of Korea raised rates for a second time since August, taking the policy rate to 1.0%. The BOK revised its inflation outlook to 2.3% for 2021 and 2% for 2022 which was expected. Futures markets are higher with the S&P 500 (+0.28%) and DAX (+0.35%) trading in the green. Treasuries are closed. Back to yesterday, and one of the main pieces of news came from Germany, where there was finally confirmation that the centre-left SPD, the Greens and the liberal FDP had agreed a full coalition deal. In terms of the economic measures, the notable ones include a restoration of the debt brake from 2023, which has been suspended during the pandemic, as well as an increase in the minimum wage to €12 per hour. We’ll wait to see if dealing with the climate emergency is carved out to some degree from the debt brake. I suspect it will be in some form. Assuming the deal is agreed by each of the parties, who will put the agreement to internal party approval processes, that could see the SPD’s Olaf Scholz become Chancellor in the week commencing December 6, bringing an end to Chancellor Merkel’s 16-year tenure. That new coalition will be coming into office at a difficult time in light of the latest covid wave across Europe, and in his remarks yesterday, Scholz said that they would consider targeted vaccination mandates for those working with vulnerable groups. That came as the Bild newspaper reported that Chancellor Merkel asked the members of the new coalition to impose a 2-week nationwide lockdown, but this was rejected in a meeting on Tuesday evening. Overnight Germany reported 75,961 new cases, up from 66,884 on Tuesday. Other countries are also moving to ramp up restrictions across the continent, with French health minister Veran expected to announce fresh measures at a news conference today, whilst Italy approved new curbs on the unvaccinated, including entry restrictions to enter restaurants and cinemas. Elsewhere, Slovakia announced a new lockdown that will see residents only permitted to leave home for work, education, or essential activities, with the closure of restaurants and non-essential shops for two weeks. A reminder that we are adding a daily G7 plus important country new cases chart every day in this email blast and a fatalities chart in the full pdf under “view report”. The day ahead has a fairly quiet calendar given the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. On the central bank side however, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, and the ECB’s Villeroy, Elderson and Schnabel, along with BoE Governor Bailey and the BoE’s Haskel. On top of that, the ECB will release the account of their October meeting, and data releases include the German GfK consumer confidence reading for December. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/25/2021 - 08:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 25th, 2021

How to watch local channels on your Roku for free or with a subscription

You can get local channels on Roku via the Roku Channel Store, third-party apps, or even an antenna. There are a few different ways to find free or subscription-based local channels on Roku.Roku You can get local channels on Roku via the Roku Channel Store, third-party apps, or even an antenna. The Roku Channel Store is a good place to start looking for local channels. If you have a cable subscription, you can watch local  channels on your Roku via the service's app. Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. You can watch content from popular subscription streaming services like Netflix and Hulu on your Roku, but did you know that you can also watch local and national channels? Some local channels are available for free, while others require a subscription. Here are  five different ways to get local channels on Roku. How to get local channels on RokuOn your Roku streaming device, you can access official Roku local TV channels, third-party local TV channels, and more.Official Roku local TV channelsIf you're looking to watch local channels using Roku, the Channel Store is a good place to start. In the Roku Channel Store, you'll find more than 100 free, network-affiliated local news channels. To see a list, go to the News and Weather section on your Roku device or online.Some of the free local channels you can get through the Roku Channel Store include:WTVF News Channel 5WBRC FOX 6 NewsWPXI Channel 11 NewsNews 12Boston 25Download third-party local TV appsIf you can't find your local TV station in the Roku Channel Store, it's because they don't have a Roku app. Third-party apps like NewsON and Haystack TV are alternative options to accessing these channels.On NewsON, you can access more than 170 TV stations from across the U.S. for free. Major TV station groups like ABC, Cox Media Group, and Raycom Media came together to create this app.Haystack TV is a similar app that gives users access to national and local news channels. They have partnerships with more than 150 local news stations, including CBS Los Angeles KCAL, CBS New York WCBS, and NBC Nebraska.Sign up for subscription-based live TV appsIf you're already subscribed to an app that offers live TV, there's a good chance you can use it to watch local TV on your Roku device. All of these Roku apps stream local channels:CBS All Access streams local CBS stations in over 200 markets. Watch live and on-demand content from the national broadcaster and local stations too. Content also includes CBS All Access originals.A CBS All Access subscription will get you access to local channels and live TV.CBSDirecTV Now allows you to watch local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC content in select markets.Hulu + Live TV streams local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC content in select markets.PlayStation Vue allows you to watch local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC content in select markets.Sling TV streams local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC content in select markets.YouTube TV streams local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC content in select markets.Some local news channels are included with a YouTube TV subscription.Roku/YouTubeQuick tip: If you have an active cable TV subscription, you can also download official network apps (like ABC, NBC, FOX, etc.) to watch these channels on your Roku.Hook an antenna up to your Roku TVHooking up an HDTV antenna to a Roku TV is another way to pick up local and national channels. Follow the on-screen instructions on your TV to set up over-the-air television via Roku.Screen-mirror from another deviceYou can mirror your iPhone to your Roku device using the Roku mobile app or Apple AirPlay.The screen mirroring controls are found in the System section of Roku Settings.Dave Johnson/Business InsiderIf the local TV channel you're looking for isn't on Roku or a third-party app and only streams online, you can try Miracast if you have an Android or Windows device.Miracast, as you can probably guess from the name, mirrors your screen on supported devices (which includes Roku). To use Miracast on Windows, open the Action Center and click Connect. On your Android device, tap Settings, then Connected Devices, then Cast.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 24th, 2021