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Kamehameha Schools to invest $10M in Hawaii food systems

A $300,000 investment has gone to the Hawaii Island-based Hawaii Ulu Cooperative to scale up business operations......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 24th, 2021

Black Friday on Global Bourses: 5 Picks to Protect Portfolio

We have selected five large-cap (market capital > $30 billion) technology stocks to invest. These are: GOOGL, VEEV, ANSS, MTD and CDNS. Nov 26 was a black Friday in reality across the global financial markets. In the United States, Black Friday is associated with massive consumer spending. However, on Nov 26, market participants were busy liquidating their long positions worldwide. This was courtesy of the resurgence of a new variant of coronavirus — B.1.1.529 — in South Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) named it “omicron” and warned that it could be more transmissible than the previous variants.It seems that volatility may persist in early December. At this stage, it will be prudent to invest in large-cap technology stocks with a favorable Zacks Rank. Here are five of them — Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, Cadence Design Systems Inc. CDNS, Veeva Systems Inc. VEEV, Mettler-Toledo International Inc. MTD and ANSYS Inc. ANSS.   Panic Selling on Black FridayVery few cases with the omicron variant have been detected so far and medical scientists or virologists are clueless regarding the spread of the infection or the physical destructive power of the new variant of COVID-19.Currently, the medical science space is divided with contradictory opinions regarding omicron owing to lack of data. However, several countries including the United States have taken preventive measures like travel restrictions, wearing masks and giving more emphasis on vaccination.However, markets always react more on sentiments, tensions and panic rather than factual reality. Consequently, on Nov 26, the Dow recorded its worst single-day drop in 2021 and the biggest Black Friday selloff since 1931. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite posted the biggest Black Friday decline in history. Bourses including European Union, the U.K., Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and emerging markets like Australia, India and Singapore tumbled 2.5% to 4%.  As investors shifted their funds from risky-asset like equities to safe-haven government bonds, the yield on the benchmark 10-Year U.S. Treasury Note plunged 16.2 basis points to 1.482%. Fearing lack of demand, the prices of the U.S. benchmark WTI crude oil and global benchmark Brent crude oil slid 13% and 11.5%, respectively.Near-Term PositivesMedical science is well advanced now to combat the mutating strings of coronavirus than it was a year ago. A section of medical experts has also said that omicron may not be as infectious as the Delta. The spread of omicron may create a short-term hurdle to global economic recovery but a pandemic-era lockdown is highly unlikely.Moreover, if omicron poses a genuine threat to U.S. economic recovery, the Fed may delay its bond-buy tapering process and the benchmark interest rate hike, and may continue its ultra-dovish monetary policies. In fact, over the past two months, an expected change in Fed’s monetary stance due to skyrocketing inflation was the primary source of volatility on Wall Street.Finally, fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain robust. Both consumer spending and business spending remain strong despite mounting inflation and supply-chain disruptions. Both manufacturing and services PMIs stayed elevated. The struggling labor market is showing a systematic recovery. The last reported weekly jobless claims data for the week ended Nov 20, came in at the lowest level since Nov 15, 1969.Our Top PicksAt this stage, analyzing the pros and cons of the resurgence of COVID-19 and panic selling in stock markets, investment in technology stocks will be a good strategy. The technology sector has a secular uptrend potential irrespective of any pandemic-led market downturn.We have selected five large-cap (market capital > $30 billion) technology stocks as these companies have well-established business models. These stocks have sloid growth potential for the rest of 2021 and have seen positive earnings estimate revisions in the last 60 days. Each of our picks carries either a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The chart below shows the price performance of our five picks in the past month.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchAlphabet Inc. has been strongly emphasizing AI techniques and the home automation space, which should aid business growth over the long term. Solid momentum across search, advertising, cloud and YouTube businesses aided the results of Alphabet. Further, the growing proliferation of consumers’ online activities and rising advertiser spending remained as tailwinds.Alphabet's robust cloud division continues to be the key catalyst. Expanding data centers will continue to bolster its presence in the cloud space. Further, major updates in its search segment are enhancing the search results. Moreover, GOOGL’s mobile search is constantly gaining traction.Zacks Rank #1 Alphabet has an expected earnings growth rate of 84.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 0.4% over the last 7 days.Cadence Design Systems Inc. offers products and tools that help customers to design electronic products. Through the System Design Enablement strategy, CDNS offers software, hardware, services and reusable IC design blocks to electronic systems and semiconductor customers.Cadence’s performance is being driven by strength across segments like digital & signoff solutions and functional verification suite. CDNS is also gaining from higher investments in emerging trends like IoT and autonomous vehicle sub-systems along with strength in the semiconductor end-market. Frequent product launches are expected to help the company sustain top-line growth.Zacks Rank #2 Cadence Design Systems has an expected earnings growth rate of 16.1% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 2.5% over the last 30 days.Mettler-Toledo International Inc. is the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of weighing instruments for use in laboratory, industrial and food retailing applications. MTD focuses on the high value-added segments of the weighing instruments market by providing solutions for specific applications.Mettler-Toledo is also a leading provider of analytical instruments for use in life science, reaction engineering and real-time analytic systems used in drug and chemical compound development, and process analytics instruments used for in-line measurement in production processes. MTD’s portfolio strength, cost-cutting efforts, robust sales, marketing strategies, and margin and productivity initiatives are expected to continue aiding its performance.Zacks Rank #2 Mettler-Toledo has an expected earnings growth rate of 29.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 1.7% over the last 30 days.Veeva Systems Inc. offers cloud-based software applications and data solutions for the life sciences industry. Strength in Veeva Systems’ data business and Veeva OpenData raise optimism. The steady adoption of Veeva Systems’ products is also encouraging. Revenue uptick in Veeva Commercial Cloud with 21 new Veeva CRM customer wins and good traction with Veeva CRM add-ons look impressive.The expansion of both margins bodes well for VEEV. Veeva System’s focus on cloud-based software and a strong product suite buoy optimism. A strong liquidity position is an added plus for VEEV.  Zacks Rank #2 Veeva System has an expected earnings growth rate of 21.4% for the current year (ending January 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 0.3% over the last 60 days.ANSYS Inc. develops and globally markets engineering simulation software and services widely used by engineers, designers, researchers and students across a broad spectrum of industries and academia. ANSYS is also gaining from the robust adoption of its engineering simulation software in 3D printing and additive manufacturing applications.Solid recurring revenue growth and improving business conditions at small- and medium-sized customers acted as a tailwind. The sound acquisition strategy of ANSS bodes well for the long haul.Zacks Rank #2 ANSS has an expected earnings growth rate of 7.6% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 2.4% over the last 30 days. Investor Alert: Legal Marijuana Looking for big gains? Now is the time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $13.5 billion in 2021 to an expected $70.6 billion by 2028. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could kick start an even greater bonanza for investors. Zacks Investment Research has recently closed pot stocks that have shot up as high as +147.0% You’re invited to immediately check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (CDNS): Free Stock Analysis Report MettlerToledo International, Inc. (MTD): Free Stock Analysis Report ANSYS, Inc. (ANSS): Free Stock Analysis Report Veeva Systems Inc. (VEEV): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacks16 hr. 24 min. ago

3 ways employers can decenter whiteness in the workplace and promote inclusivity

"Too many employees of color in corporate America are held back as they are held against white standards of leadership," says CEO Jean Lee. Jean Lee, president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA).Jean Lee Jean Lee is president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, an organization focused on improving DEI in the workplace. Decentering white-centric expectations at work is key to improving equity for people of color, Lee says.  Employers should focus on overcoming hiring bias and rethinking talent retention and promotion criteria.    When Brittanie Rice first showed up to interview at the offices of a major aerospace company, she traded her trademark twists for a slicked-back bun. It was safer that way.  Although she wore her hair naturally in her daily life, she knew corporate America operated on a different set of standards — and that she risked judgement if she didn't fit them. As she put it, "I can't really be looked down upon because of how I wear something that is as natural as the hair on top of my head."  This is just one of the ways employees of color often contort themselves to fit the white-centric assumptions and expectations about professionalism that govern our workplaces. These standards dictate everything from the way they speak, to the way they dress, to the work they are given. And the end result is always the same: an environment that makes it harder for people of color to do their best work.  As the President and CEO of the MCCA, I often hear from lawyers of Black, Asian, and Hispanic/Latinx descent who are tired of navigating a corporate America that wasn't designed with them in mind. One lawyer, who regularly fielded questions about her appearance as the only Black woman on her team, recently told me: "I have to work 20 to 30% harder thinking about microaggressions, while others can spend their full energy focused on their work."  What's the cost of a corporate culture that excludes large segments of the workforce?  The answer: Too much. That's why we see investors demanding racial audits of companies they invest in, and policymakers in states like California and Washington mandating greater board diversity. That's why the SEC may require diversity disclosures as part of companies' environmental, social, and governance (ESG) obligations to improve accountability.  But one group hasn't fully embraced this shift: corporate leaders. Since George Floyd's murder, I've seen waning interest on diversity issues — or worse, a quiet dismissal of employees of color and their experiences. Diversity leaders are underfunded, under-supported, and saddled with unrealistic expectations that focus on programmatic window-dressings. Overcoming hiring bias  Time and again, I've seen well-meaning allies across corporate America fail to adopt inclusive recruitment practices.  They'll search for diverse candidates by recruiting from elite schools, where students of color are already underrepresented due to a host of well-studied historical and contemporary factors. These disparities are magnified in areas like the legal field, where many of the largest corporations recruit people who previously worked in elite law firms, and where — surprise — white lawyers are overrepresented, since those firms themselves recruited from the same exclusive, top schools.  And so, the cycle goes. This cycle reinforces the white standard that only graduates of top schools are qualified for top roles, without accounting for the reality that qualified candidates of color may have faced barriers to reaching those schools.  As a leader, you need to step outside your current process to meet qualified candidates. As the MCCA's Bias Interrupters Survey Report shows, this means: Considering candidates from beyond the Ivy League and focusing on schools that cater to people of color and candidates from non-professional backgrounds.Tracking the candidate pool from start to finish and analyzing the data to determine where candidates from underrepresented groups are falling out of the hiring process.Setting tangible targets and insisting on a diverse applicant pool – and, it doesn't yield the results, collect data on the process to understand gaps.Establishing clear grading rubrics and ensuring that all candidates are measured on the same scale.  Retaining talent by being better ourselves  I still remember one white male manager who approached me after one of our Interrupting Bias workshops. Somewhat embarrassed, he said quietly, "I had no idea that women of color faced so many barriers in the office. How can I make sure my white managers understand these issues?"  We all have unconscious biases. And until we recognize that a professional culture centered  around whiteness creates barriers for all who don't fit that mold, we will continue to reinforce those biases — in everything from inequitable job assignments to microaggressions.  Here's my advice. To find solutions, start building awareness of what inequity looks like by:  Auditing your retention policies to ensure, for example, that more glamorous assignments are spread evenly across employees and developmental opportunities are equitable.Implementing processes to ensure managers are distributing assignments equitably. Conducting manager workshops to help mid-level managers recognize bias.Establishing a regular check-in cycle between managers and employees to give employees the space to safely voice concerns. Educating top leaders on systemic barriers that perpetuate inequities so they can find solutions to systemic bias.Revamping a biased promotion structure  "She's not assertive enough in meetings."  That was the feedback given for an Asian American colleague's performance review, and the justification provided for why she was passed over for a promotion — not once, but twice. It was only after she pointed to her body of work and explained that her mindfulness was being confused for meekness — perhaps due to stereotypes related to her ethnicity — that her concerns were heard, and she was promoted  Too many employees of color in corporate America are held back as they are held against white standards of leadership. Are some employees considered "inspired" for speaking passionately, while others are deemed "aggressive"? Are some communication styles valued over others, like sharing an idea during a meeting instead of over email afterwards? These are all signs that a workplace is measuring success within a white corporate mold.  Employers can break this mold by:  Implementing specific and transparent performance criteria for the promotion process.Providing team managers with targeted training to spot bias and involving them in each step of the evaluation process. Holding reviewers accountable for providing evidence to justify their evaluations. Separating personality issues from skillsets to limit bias against women and people of color.Educating and holding top leaders accountable for eliminating or reducing systemic barriers in promotion.  Homogeneity does not exist in a vacuum. A lack of diversity is the result of systems, processes, and standards that benefit white male professionals and exclude so many others. Changing these white standards will take work from all of us — advocates and people from diverse backgrounds. But true systemic change requires the active involvement and leadership of those in positions of power, and only then can we unleash the full potential of our workforce.  Jean Lee is president and chief executive officer of the MCCA, the leading national organization focused on improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace by providing strategic solutions based on scientific research and data analytics.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider19 hr. 52 min. ago

Kamehameha Schools to invest $10M in Hawaii food systems

A $300,000 investment has gone to the Hawaii Island-based Hawaii Ulu Cooperative to scale up business operations......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 24th, 2021

Millennials, Remote Work Are Upending Cities—What It Means for Real Estate

Location is, and has always been, everything in real estate. The truism that where a property sits must be its most important characteristic remains undisputed. But what is location, really? What does it mean to homebuyers, and what are the consequences when changes come? The truth is, street layouts, public transportation systems, commuting routes, open […] The post Millennials, Remote Work Are Upending Cities—What It Means for Real Estate appeared first on RISMedia. Location is, and has always been, everything in real estate. The truism that where a property sits must be its most important characteristic remains undisputed. But what is location, really? What does it mean to homebuyers, and what are the consequences when changes come? The truth is, street layouts, public transportation systems, commuting routes, open space, walking paths, restaurants or shopping, parks, schools and scenic views are malleable both in how they are valued and how they come to be. While location might seem like a relatively static feature when talking about properties, shifting priorities from policymakers as well as evolving consumer preferences can quickly cool off a hot neighborhood or revitalize a lagging market. Both these processes are happening all the time, but the current shift is maybe more dramatic and moving more rapidly than at any time in recent memory as Americans completely reevaluate exactly where they want to live—and why. Dr. Sam Chandan is a professor at NYU and Academic Dean of the school’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. He says a multitude of changes are manifesting now that could impact both city planning and real estate for decades to come. “Millennials are not necessarily looking for something that looks like Levittown,” says Chandan, referring to the hyper-planned suburban Long Island community that is often cited as a model of postwar housing philosophy. “It’s not sort of a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ scenario.” With people born in the 1980s and 1990s becoming the largest segment of homebuyers, understanding that demographic’s needs and preferences is a holy grail for real estate professionals. But how is that information guiding the growth of towns and cities, and what does it mean for the housing market? Chandan says that like most things real-estate related, the answers are always going to be local. But as the temporary supply constraints currently preventing the housing market from reaching its full potential fade, Chandan predicts that areas that allow higher densities through zoning reforms and follow a more centralized, community-oriented plan of development will be best positioned to capitalize and grow. “We’re talking about wanting to be in easy reach of a set of cultural and social amenities, and I think that is quite different from what we would have seen as the profile of a comparably-aged young family 30 years ago,” he says. Waiting on the World to Change Manhattan Beach nestles in the southwest corner of Los Angeles. The median sale price for a home exceeds $2 million, according to U.S. census data, with a mostly white and Asian population in a county that is almost 45% Hispanic. Most residential areas are composed of close-set, adobe-roofed single-family constructions on narrow streets, bisected with a commercial thoroughfare that feeds into the city’s bustling beach-adjacent downtown—a spread of health food stores, cafes and boutique retail shopping pressed right up against the water. Kristi Ramirez-Knowles is a team leader for Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty and a long-time Manhattan Beach resident, though she works in many of the surrounding southwest LA cities. In an area that is historically resistant to change, COVID has potentially provided a kick-start for generational changes in living preferences. “Now, post COVID—though we’re still in COVID—we still have a mix. We still have people that are willing to go almost anywhere,” she says. “ it’s a safe community.” Woburn, Massachusetts is a sprawling suburb about 25 minutes outside of Boston. It can trace its European colonization back to the mid 1600s, and is now characterized by its rustic winding streets and big colonials with plenty of forested areas and parks filling the margins. The town offers a wider range of price points, from $150,000 ranch fixer-uppers to a handful of multi-million-dollar estates. Eileen Dohtery is a ninth-generation resident of Woburn with 40 years of real estate experience, currently working for Lamacchia Realty. She says even as homebuyer preferences have evolved rapidly, change in policy and infrastructure often creeps up more gradually. “ are beside themselves because there’s so much development—if anything they’d like to restrict it and make it less per acre,” she says. Dan Forsman is President & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties. Overseeing the Atlanta region, he says dozens of thriving suburbs—many of which were originally vacation or resort communities—have begun “revitalization” efforts to begin serving changing needs and desires of longer-term residents. “Eclectic, farm to table restaurants—people are looking for that, access to that, and looking to where they can get that when they’re away from what I call ‘white noise,’” he says. Though these three disparate regions will certainly evolve along different lines at a more granular level, Chandan says that broadly the narrative of mass migration to different states or cities is overblown. People—especially young people—are looking to live within or near traditional metros like New York or Boston, but specifically for towns that can offer them a specific index of amenities. “What the data actually tells us is the dominant trend is greater dispersion in the metropolitan area,” he says. “They’re able to sort of optimize in a way that also accounts for all these other things that they care about.” What’s My Age Again? One of the most direct methods of addressing these needs is “upzoning” to allow for more density around what Chandan describes as the “quasi-urban core” of smaller towns and suburban cities. This has proved effective in combating land scarcity, affordability and transportation access, and often allows for developments of mid-rise condo complexes, townhomes or repurposed mixed-used construction that previously might have been disallowed or heavily regulated. These changes are also becoming more politically viable in many places as a new generation arrives—a generation that is more comfortable with diversity and living close to others, according to Chandan. In Woburn, this is only partly true, as Dohtery says she has observed some attitudes changing while others have not—starting with acceptance of racial diversity. “In the older parts of the center…it was more mixed nationalities. The older people wouldn’t walk down there. Younger people are that much more liberal, they don’t care, they like it. That’s where you see changing,” she reflects. In recent years there has been a big push to tear down old buildings in Woburn’s centuries-old central hub, putting up some multifamily living units and opening restaurants and retail stores. Doherty herself owns a multi-family home right in the city center, where her niece currently lives with some younger roommates. “They absolutely love being there, they walk downtown—literally in their backyard—to a different restaurant every night,” she laughs. At the other extreme, some neighborhoods in towns abutting Woburn can only be reached by unpaved, pothole-ridden streets—not because the town cannot afford to fix or pave them, but because people who live there have lobbied against it, according to Doherty. The idea, she says, is to discourage anyone who doesn’t live there from even driving past, keeping noise and nuisance to an absolute minimum. “That’s old Yankee money,” Doherty says. “It keeps the people out of their neighborhood.” Some of these folks are likely fighting a losing battle if they’re hoping to prevent development to that extreme (Doherty is currently involved with a 147-unit townhome development in Woburn). While resistance from locals can certainly slow down the evolution of a city, eventually both policymakers and developers are going to find ways to meet consumers with what they want. One thing that is changing in Los Angeles is at least a partial removal of one of the biggest barriers there: commuting. In the past, Ramirez-Knowles says she would tell potential homebuyers to rent a hotel for a night near a neighborhood they were considering and see if they could endure the level traffic and smog on a day’s commute before deciding to live there. But now with remote work, as well as a renewed emphasis on transportation and now-ubiquitous electric cars, Ramirez-Knowles says that areas that used to be defined by their freeway access and distance to business centers are trying to become self-sustaining. “So many millennials are doing a lot of their jobs—-they can work from home,” she says. “They don’t want to get out and drive. It’s important for them to walk or if they have to drive, drive a very short distance.” That is not to say that traffic does not matter anymore—commuters still end up driving as much as four hours a day to go a handful of miles cross-town, Ramirez-Knowles says. But areas that have more space, better views and nice schools are now options for many more families who do not have to worry about prohibitively lengthy drives. Another offset of the millennial lifestyle and work-from-home opportunities that is influencing city layouts is loneliness. Starting with the pandemic isolation, Ramirez-Knowles says people began seeking out “community amenities” where they could at least encounter another friendly (even mask-wearing) face. That has continued as people who work from home have limited excuses to just get outside, meet neighbors and learn about their town. “They want to be able to go walk their dogs, walk with their kids, get outside and get vitamin D,” she says. “You’re not getting out very much…you need places to go walk, you need a walkway—a green belt, if you will—a park, a pier.” In the Atlanta area, several towns are realizing that they can provide a lot more for their changing communities, according to Forsman. People who have second homes in the suburbs are spending more and more time away from the white noise of their working lives, he says, and are beginning to look for the same amenities in these areas as they have in their primary homes. Though this trend is hardly analogous to what is happening in Woburn or Los Angeles, the effect is the same: cities are re-developing downtowns and shifting the kind of access and amenities they provide. “They’ve had a face lift and an upgrade, because people aren’t going to malls the way they used to,” Forsman says. This applies even to areas in the north that historically have been made up of mostly seasonal resort towns in the mountains. As flexible work allows residents to spend more time here, businesses move in to provide more grocery shopping, entertainment and year-round services, which in turn draws even more people to make those towns their permanent—or semi-permanent—homes. Stop, Collaborate and Listen There are many other barriers and unintended consequences stemming from the types of changes happening right now as well, he adds. Cities that are too successful with these tactics will quickly see the price of land and homes balloon, slowing real estate growth and creating more racial and economic segregation. In places like Woburn, there is also the possibility of political backlash, and policymakers must balance the often-powerful backlash from residents and other stakeholders who fear loss of so-called community character or outsides. Real estate professionals can make a big difference in these situations. Doherty says that as a longtime resident she is trusted by even the most stalwart Woburnites and can navigate the complicated landscape of local politics and land use laws, where trust and experience make all the difference. Doherty speaks of being contacted by a local politician one time, who invited her to attend a campaign event emphasizing that she was maybe the most well-known public figure in the area. “I said to him, ‘I have to go, I sold you your house!’” she laughs. In Woburn, developments, zoning tweaks and infrastructure investments happen gradually, and becomes much easier with any local support, according to Doherty, with projects eeking through the approval process one by one. On the other side of the country, Ramirez-Knowles says the overpricing and lack of homes has pushed people to settle in areas where the schools or neighborhoods maybe aren’t what they had originally hoped for. Developers are building brand new, more affordable condos inland in cities that haven’t historically been “family friendly” like Torrance and Gardena, and people are snatching them up, she says. “I would say that’s attracting families even though the school district may not be that great. I think it’s the appeal of brand new and something they can afford,” she posits. Many of these units are selling out before they are even framed, she adds, during the current inventory crunch. If cities approve the kind of housing units people are looking for— which Ramirez-Knowles describes as narrow, multi-floored condo communities with built-in recreation centers, pools and gyms—even more business investment and development often follows. The result of all this movement and new development, of offering wider varieties of housing types and densities in different parts of a given city creates demographic diversity, according to Chandan. A place that can accommodate young and old, wealthy and lower income folks, families and retirees is much healthier for everyone, and especially for the real estate market. Though convincing some people of these benefits will be difficult—and sometimes impossible— Chandan argues that even those who prefer their “Leave it to Beaver” lifestyle will eventually benefit from this type of change. “The person who is a young family right now in a two or three-bedroom rental unit in that quasi-urban core—in five years, that person is a potential buyer for your home,” Chandan says. Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Please email him your real estate news ideas to jwilliams@rismedia.com. The post Millennials, Remote Work Are Upending Cities—What It Means for Real Estate appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaNov 22nd, 2021

A Top CEO Was Ousted After Making His Company More Environmentally Conscious. Now He’s Speaking Out

(To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) The battle within Danone—producer of Activia and Oikos yogurts, Silk soy milk, and Evian water, among others—might have been dubbed a “food fight,” had it not erupted in such serious times. But it was no laughing matter. Months of… (To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) The battle within Danone—producer of Activia and Oikos yogurts, Silk soy milk, and Evian water, among others—might have been dubbed a “food fight,” had it not erupted in such serious times. But it was no laughing matter. Months of tension within the executive board of the $36-billion global food giant exploded in March 2021, just as the world began easing its lockdowns and launching mass vaccination campaigns. In a gloves-off power struggle, two small stakeholders maneuvered a coup, ousting the company’s CEO and chairman Emmanuel Faber, whose four-year leadership had made him a star among environmentalists and climate activists. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Faber had turned Danone into an “enterprise à mission,” France’s new category similar to an American B-Corp, whose purpose was far broader than profits and growth. He named his strategy “One Planet, One Health,” and created a carbon adjusted earnings per share indicator, pegging Danone’s success directly to its environmental performance. While that brought applause from climate activists, the company’s shares lagged behind peers like Nestlé and Unilever during the pandemic, as sales of some key Danone products like Evian water plummeted. Amid the shock of Faber’s ouster, there were roiling questions over what it all meant. Do CEOs now face an impossible dilemma: Either to please their shareholders, or to join the fight for climate justice and social equity? Faber had placed those issues at the core of the company. And outside it, he threw himself into activist CEO coalitions like the B Team and Business for Inclusive Growth, or B4IG. Little wonder, then, that his firing left palpable distress in some circles, from Paris to the U.N. “Are these two objectives, environmental and economic, irreconcilable?” asked France’s liberal Le Monde of Faber’s ouster. “It plunges us into a confusion of emotions over the ethics of capitalism,” the paper said. Faber, for his part, was more sanguine. At 57, he escaped to his beloved Alps, where he was born and raised, and climbed the peaks, reflecting on what to do, after a 24-year career at Danone. In October, he took a partnership at agritech impact fund Astanor Ventures. Far from irreconcilable, environment and economic objectives are, he believes, becoming inexorably aligned. Over green tea and Perrier in Paris on Nov. 16, Faber spoke with TIME about the role business leaders must play in solving the world’s urgent crises. Fresh off the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, he believes companies will be key—perhaps the key—to fighting climate change and inequity. (This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.) It’s been a very strange year for you. Did you feel sideswiped by what happened at Danone? Danone had grown to become my family, so it’s like leaving your family. I didn’t choose that. But I suddenly discovered that I was totally free to reinvent myself, in terms of where I do want to spend time and with whom and how. Which is a privilege, really. What happened was a few people that saw a window of opportunity and for personal reasons pursued that opportunity at the moment where it was easy to destabilize the governance of the company. The outside world believed you wanted to create a climate-driven company, and were punished for it. You know, they had voted the equivalent of public Benefit Corporation [B-Corp] status, 99%, not even a year before, they had agreed with the €3 billion climate and digital acceleration plan that we had announced a year before. … None of them were opposed to what we were doing. You need to read the end of the story, which is unfortunately on the 29th of July. The whole board had to resign. They said they would not seek any reappointment, and all of them would step down with one year in advance. The board had lost total credibility to shareholders. How should corporate boards be changed? What needs to happen in this new generation of corporate leaders? Climate change is there. I don’t think you would find one CEO in the business ecosystem that would say it is not there. That is behind us, different from five years ago… Five years ago, that recently? Oh yeah. I think the pandemic has also taught us lessons, about the fact that there were elements in our supposedly well-controlled and old system that we did just not control. This virus is only half a living organism, and yet it played havoc with the health system. Suddenly we discovered that our food systems were entangled in such a complex web that food sovereignty became huge in the agenda. We suddenly learned that what we felt was a predictable model and a safe model wasn’t, that we hadn’t been super good at being efficient, but we were tested in our resilience in the system. The other thing is, I think last summer’s extreme weather events, fires all over the place, floods all over the place, brought to the public attention that climate change was not in five or 10 years, it was not for remote countries. It is here now. Agriculture is the first victim of climate change warming. The yields are declining, water stress all over the place, soils are eroded. We see a number of situations where civil society and citizens are going after governments for action or inaction against climate change. Governments will have no other way than turning to companies and corporations to do the job, because governments are not doing the job themselves. The private sector will be front and center of the climate transition. So that’s one. Employees collectives are asking questions about ESG [Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance], big time. More and more, the war for talent is there for the larger companies. So many of the highly educated talents don’t want to work for these large companies. More and more employers are asking the new generation what they want: Meaning, they want impact. And then you have the shareholders. Already now it’s harder for the most carbon-emitting companies to find the right appeal from shareholders. I’ll just give you one example. Anglo American [Corporation] wanted to spin off their coal-mining operations, Thungela. Typically, the market would be ready to pay you 20 years of your current earnings because they believe these earnings have great potential to grow in the future. In the case of Thungela, when they spun it off, they got four months of EBITDA [Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization] multiple. They couldn’t find enough investors that would be willing to pay the cost on their reputation to consciously, in 2021, choose to invest in the business which is purely coal mining. So how do you even keep a business like that going? Well, that’s exactly my point. The global financial markets are increasingly reluctant to finance these assets. So far, ESG has been sort of an easy path for CEOs and boards that wanted to look good, but weren’t ready to really walk the talk. That’s the whole question of greenwashing. I think there will always be greenwashing. All this greenwashing noise is paralyzing everybody. It’s penalizing the people that are doing the real stuff, because they can’t prove that, and it’s favoring the people that are not doing the real stuff, because they can claim without being challenged on the reality of this stuff, because there are no metrics. The big announcement at COP26 for me was when the IFRS [International Financial Reporting Standards, which sets rules for public companies] said that they have prepared a prototype for a climate standard that is going to be transparent, comparable, and reliable and audited. It’s huge news. What they are essentially saying is by 2023, all companies will be able to—and in some cases compelled to—report under these new standards. Essentially, 140 countries already agreed to be part of the IFRS metrics in the past, so they would take the additional metric on climate, and adopt it as part of their IFRS. Each company will have to report on its targets on CO2 emissions and its pathway to reduce that. If a company is ahead of its plan, the market will look at this positively. If you’re late, it means that there are some capital expenditures that you need to do in the future. That will mean additional debt. So immediately, the valuation of companies in the stock market will be impacted. Which means as for profits, when you are ahead of your forecast, you get a bump on your share price, and a bump down if you’re super late on your emissions trajectory. Suddenly you can be compared, within peers, within an industry. And you start having a situation where the capital allocation can be based not only on profit but also on carbon. So it’s a huge change. How many companies followed your model of using a carbon-adjusted earnings per share metric, to show the financial cost of the company’s carbon emissions? Zero. Because it takes time. There was a whole journey for those shareholders to understand where I was coming from. We took them into the fields. We had food scientists coming to speak to them. We had been constantly and consistently over years speaking about this to our shareholders. When we decided to become a B-Corp, we were puzzled about how to explain that to our shareholders. I received a short note from my friend Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, and he said, “Emmanuel, that’s so great.” So I call him and say, “Would you shoot a short video saying why you think it’s great? You’re my biggest customer.” So he he did that. It was 2017. The Investor Day started with a video of my biggest customer, saying why it was great. It cut 80% of the questions. So when like two years later, we come up with this CO2 adjusted metric, they knew that this carbon charge was not just here to save the planet, it was to save the business, because we needed that carbon in the soil, not in the air. Beyond the food and agriculture system, you don’t have the same magic of telling a story that it’s actually good for the business to put carbon back into the soil. The absence of metrics on carbon made it very difficult to do this. I think the day you have those climate metrics it will become obvious. Maybe we were just ahead by a few years. … The metrics may not be the ones that we had, but there will be one, which will make it a market conversation instead of just one company that had this crazy idea. What got a lot of people’s attention from COP26 in Glasgow was Greta Thunberg’s protests. I think maybe most people will remember her saying, “It’s all blah, blah, blah.” Is that just cynical? And what’s the impact of that on the real work being done? Is it just a sideshow? Unfortunately, it’s a combination of all of that. I don’t think this is only cynicism. I think there has been blah blah. I have myself said that we had not moved either fast or far enough. But I can see many things moving fast. We’re still behind the curve, but we have never been as close as coming to a tipping point. CEOs are held back in talking, by their legal teams, by their comms teams, by their PR teams. They have this polished, you know, sometimes bullshit kind of communication. Shareholders were not so interested in all these discussions three years ago, but now they got very interested, and so everyone is super nervous. But in themselves, [CEOs] know that there is a problem, and they know that there is an opportunity. The food industry, your industry, is a big carbon business. We started the journey on carbon emissions in 2008. By 2009, all the team managers at Danone had a significant incentive [to reduce our] carbon footprint. An incentive bonus. A third [of the bonus] was on social and environmental issues, among which was carbon. The EBITDA level of the company and the carbon footprint had an equal weight in my bonus. So that’s how far we and I went into walking the talk and putting our money where our mouth was. Were you losing some money because that was part of the equation? No, I was making money. We established in 2009 a trajectory that said our peak carbon emissions would be in 2025. And the result of the hard work of 15,000 team leaders, incentivized in their bonuses, led us to reach peak carbon six years in advance, in 2019. So we have constantly been ahead of our plan and the reduction of the intensity of carbon. When you speak about agriculture, carbon is 60% of the organic matter of the soils. And the intensive agriculture, the monoculture kind of agriculture that is the dominant food system, is actually extracting carbon from the soil. Danone was the first—Patagonia and ourselves—to start a regenerative organic certification in the U.S. in 2015. When we started, no one understood what that was. It started by saying we need to regenerate the soil health by going from intensive agricultural practices to practices that actually put carbon back into the soil. We know how to do that. How big has the idea of putting carbon back in the soil become? In 2019, I gathered 30 of the largest companies in the world that that are using resources from the soil: Textile companies, fashion companies, cosmetics, food retailers, some data companies, Microsoft, Google, joined…. So we are now two years after, we have a set of indicators, a framework for what regenerative agriculture stands for. And you find these huge companies. After Danone, you have Nestlé, that this year said by 2030, we will supply from regenerative agriculture. These people needed a safe place where they could incubate and think and work and get their teams to meet together and discuss as an ecosystem. You talk about monoculture agriculture—growing only one type of crop at a time, as is popular at large American farms—ruining soils and the need to put carbon back into the soil, so they’re actually seeing the effects in terms of the quality of their crops? The International Union for Nature Conservation, which is a UN agency on biodiversity, ran a big study. They looked at the wild relatives of the varieties that are being used in the fields. Wild vanilla. Wild coffee, etc. They found out that a third of all the wild relatives in beans are under threat of extinction. They found out that 100% of the sample they used on vanilla’s wild relatives are under the threat of extinction. The seeds of those wild varieties, they constantly adapt to the climate conditions, to the water availability, to the shades or no shades, to the temperature, to the sun, to everything. They mutate naturally. So with climate change, these wild varietals are going to be just way more able to deal with things, and it is so important that we bring them on board. If you are a Cargill or others, or the big coffee companies or the big cocoa companies, that are directly dealing with this reality, with the farmers who see their yields declining and the water scarcity more and more, they have either the choice of going up in altitudes—meaning lower lands at lower volumes, more expensive to adapt—or to find alternatives. This is one of these topics on which I see CEOs’ minds just opening when they realize that there is this opportunity. Because climate change is knocking on the door saying, “Here is the huge problem we have.” But also nature is saying, “Here are the huge abilities that I have to solve your problems.” In your new role in Astanor Ventures, are you going to be putting investments in the future of agriculture? I think at the juncture of technology and nature-based solutions. I’ll say something which is terribly unpopular, but which I’ve been saying for 10 years: We are not paying the true cost of food. We are just not. Do you think that should be reflected when we go to the supermarket? Yes, it should be more expensive. Because it’s not sustainable in terms of farmer income, in terms of animal welfare, in terms of your health sometimes. When we walk into a supermarket in 10 years’ time, is it going to look different? Will there be different products on the shelves? What do you think, and what would you like to see? I hope it is going to be different. There is one aspect that I think I am absolutely convinced about: The food system will relocalize. The second biggest topic for governments through the pandemic has been to make sure that there would be enough food. And they suddenly realized that with the complexity of the food system, there were these bottlenecks. The reduction of the food system carbon emissions will also come from the fact that the ingredients will travel less. In 20 years from now, you will have much more local food. I would like to see more diverse local food, and more expensive than you have today. Some subsidies should be redirected in order to make sure that the people that cannot afford to pay are being given the possibility to do that. At the end of the day, we know where the food systems have led us: About two billion people that are overweight in the world, about 700 million people that have diabetes. Instead of dealing with these obesity and diabetes issues, by providing better food aid and supporting people that need to be supported, you’d actually save money for the future. This is the whole theory of where I think we can gradually move. And climate change will force us to move there. I want to get back to the original thing we were talking about: What we call “conscious capitalism.” You sound almost kind of optimistic, that there are really big changes to come out of this pandemic. And yet inequality is worse, and the profit motivation seems as strong as ever. What makes you so hopeful that people are going to act in the common good rather than in their own self interest? I’m not sure they will. I’ve seen the worst and the best in this pandemic. We see all over the place that growing inequalities are a danger for democracies. So I’m not optimistic. But we’ve seen solidarity, social bonding, people changing their behaviors in many ways, again for the worse and for the best. I see climate change as such a huge frontier for us as a species, that I’m sure it will bring the worst. And I see signs that it can also bring the best. It would be illogical to blame capitalism and the global financial markets for ruining the resilience of our species. I’ve defined myself as a business activist. I’m an activist of business being part of the solution, being the fundamental solution, the solution. I saw you said that when you were 33, you thought of leaving business. Now you think it is the place to be. Yes, I really think so. Do you think the next generation of CEOs is going to be quite different? The next, I don’t know. But the next-next? I think yes. Maybe they will not join the companies. That’s the point. And this is why CEOs are paying a lot of attention to these collectives of employees that have started all around the world. They are highly educated, talented managers. And they will be candidates for CEOs. They are part of a generation that was born with these questions already. So it’s not a cultural shift [for them]. We were talking about this climate skilling and upskilling. How to make people aware of [climate change]. This is not a problem for that generation. They’re entirely into it already, sometimes too much, with climate anxiety and everything. So they will leave these large companies, in which case I think these large companies will simply not survive, because they will not have the skills. Put it this way, if you’re not able to lead climate strategy 10 years from now, you should not be a CEO. It’s as simple as that. Your company will not find capital. I’m pretty clear on that......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 21st, 2021

SCOTT GALLOWAY: Higher education in the US has become un-American

Kids are still getting into college but are shuffled down to lower-tier schools that charge a top-tier price for a credential worth far less. Galloway says the rising costs of higher education is disastrous for lower- and middle-income Americans.Eva-Katalin/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 discussed how inflation impacts access to colleges and universities.  In 1980 a gallon of gasoline cost $1.19. Today it's $3.41, a 2.7% annual increase. But undergraduate tuition has risen nearly three times as fast: 6.7% a year at public colleges, for an increase of nearly 1,400%. The greatest assault on middle-class America's prosperity may be the relentless, four-decade-long inflation in higher education. Student loan debt ($1.7 trillion) is now greater than credit card debt. And that doesn't account for the busted 401(k)s, second mortgages, and general financial oppression me and my colleagues have levied on lower- and middle-income households. The number of Americans who have more than $100,000 in student debt is greater than the population of Utah.(Note: Huge thanks to College101 and Stig Leschlyf for much of the data in this piece.)Scott GallowayThis sustained inflation has been devastating for lower- and middle-income households.Scott GallowayAnd this ability to raise prices faster than inflation is really impressive given the industry is one of the most heavily subsidized in the US. Scott GallowayHow did we get here?Higher education's ability to soak America is a function of limiting the supply of freshman seats at our best universities in concert with the continued fetishization of their brands. We can scale Salesforce, Facebook, and Google by 25% to 60% per annum, but we can't seem to bust above 1% per year at our great public universities. The top 200 schools in America educate only 10% of college attendees. And these universities raise prices in perfect lockstep, miraculously, resulting in millions of kids who get arbitraged to mediocre universities but pay an elite price. It's a cartel, enforced by the accreditation organizations, institutions who are as corrupt as the NCAA … minus the charm. Accreditation has teeth because it determines access to federally guaranteed student loans. And in the last 20 years, these organizations have blessed only 159 new institutions — most of them small and specialized schools — which have collectively grown total enrollment by less than 0.15% per year. The result is an ossified industry near void of real innovation, as … why would we?RejectionismAcceptance rates have plummeted, turning senior spring from a time of optimism and opportunity to one of anguish and sacrifice. Kids are still getting into college (total enrollment has kept pace with the growth in graduating seniors) but more and more are shuffled down to lower-tier schools that charge a top-tier price for a credential worth far less.College deans boast about low admissions rates. But if you accept five of every 100 applications, that's not a 5% admission rate. It's a 95% rejection rate.This is un-American. Despite well-publicized stories of billionaire college dropouts, a college education remains the most powerful tool for upward mobility. In my age cohort, it's common to hear people say of their alma mater, "I never would have gotten in today." Many of the same deans and administrators crowing over their sky-high rejection rates are enjoying lofty six-figure salaries, at 60, from institutions that would reject them if they were 18 today. They're immigrants who, on the day they're sworn in as citizens, vote to militarize the border.Just as we're beginning to sentence the insurrectionists, who didn't believe in democracy and wished to take power by force and deceit, we must also register the threat to America of rejectionists. These are institutions and people that unwittingly sequester upward mobility to the rich and freakishly remarkable … at 17. Elite school alumni who wish to pull up the ladder to prosperity behind them. Higher education decries insurrectionism, but it's ground zero for rejectionism.Rejectionism is cloaked in progressive policies. It's true that the student body at these institutions is more diverse than it was 40 years ago. And that's great. But it's not an excuse for maintaining a rejectionist posture. The mission is to expand opportunity, not reallocate elites. Bigotry is prejudice against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group. Haven't we in higher education become bigoted against unremarkable kids from lower- and middle-income households?BloatToo much money has gone to the establishment of colleges' administrative super state. Virtually every other industry has leveraged technology and volume to create leverage (i.e., decreased the burden of overhead costs).Administration should not grow 1:1 with faculty or 3:1 with students. The Yale Daily News recently reported that, "the number of managerial and professional staff that Yale employs has risen three times faster than the undergraduate student body." Longtime professors described how burdensome and inefficient they found the swelled ranks of administrative functionaries. Elite schools are rife with recently created centers and departments that are noble in mission but have no measurable output. Many provide a way station or rest home for formerly important people or faculty who aren't pulling their weight.There are, to be fair, good reasons for increases in administration in targeted areas that need to be addressed. The greatest need is in mental health: 47% of college students are depressed, up from 23% in 2007; and only 40% of those depressed have received mental health treatment. Between 2007 and 2017, suicidal ideation among college students nearly doubled. Today, roughly 1 in 10 college students report that they've attempted suicide. Black college students are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide as their white peers. Trans students are three times as likely as their cisgender peers. But unchecked bureaucratic power is cancer even with the best intentions. Especially with the best intentions. Nobody wants to criticize a "center for diversity" or "sustainability." But to the extent exorbitant tuition is the product of an increased budget to build stronger support systems for a more diverse body of students, it isn't working.Scott GallowayAnd that's a kind interpretation, because student-directed programs are not where all the flab is to be found. At the Ivies, student services expenses as a share of total expenses have actually gone down since 2000 (from 4.8% to 4.4%). The real bloat at these schools is the inward-looking bureaucracy. Academic administration, executive management, business operations, and the like. Across the Ivy League, the share of total expenses allocated to institutional and academic support has gone from 19% in 2000 to 24% in 2020.At four-year colleges nationwide, it's bloat and more bloat. Between 2010 and 2018, spending on administration far outpaced instructional outlays. And there's one more place the bloat is endemic. Senior leadership salaries.Some examples: In 2018, after being ousted, USC President Max Nikias received a $7.7 million payout. He was one of a dozen university presidents to make more than $2 million that year. Even presidents of relatively unknown schools, including Bryant and Johnson & Wales, enjoy multimillion-dollar salaries. Many public college leaders register enormous paydays: Last year the president of the University of Kentucky made $1.7 million, the presidents of Texas A&M and the University of Florida each made $1.6 million, and another 13 clocked more than a million. Nearly all of the 100 highest-paid civil servants in Massachusetts are employed by (wait for it) the University of Massachusetts.Faculty and leadership should be paid well. But my boss at NYU, President Andrew Hamilton, makes over $2 million dollars per year. He donates $75,000 of it to a scholarship fund. In case you're wondering, I've returned all my NYU compensation for the past decade (#virtuesignalling). This isn't an option for most faculty.  Should Andy be making 16 times the average salary of an NYC school principal? The fiduciary boards of these institutions will claim they're victims of supply/demand and the market. Bullshit. We'd have a line out the door of applicants who would take a modest salary of … a million a year. Anyone who would take the job of university president for $2 million per year, but would turn it down for $1 million probably shouldn't be a university president. That $1 million per year could fund 12 undergrads' full-ride scholarships, or increase the number of freshman seats.What can be done?Private company leadership needs to increase the number of entry-level jobs based on a skills assessment, vs. certification (see above: fetishization of elite colleges). Develop relationships with local public institutions, including two-year schools, that charge modest tuition: That's where you'll find the unremarkables with the potential to become remarkable.State governments also have leverage. We need a Grand Bargain. In a time of scarcity, be bold. Offer to increase state system budgets, but demand that the enrollment grow faster than revenue, not the other way around. Every state should be aiming to increase undergraduate seats by 50% in the next decade.The FTC/DOJ should evaluate the accreditation cartel and the dollar-for-dollar price increases taken by supposedly competing universities over the past 40 years for compliance with antitrust law.Schools of all types should embrace distance learning and other technological tools. These are force multipliers, allowing the institutions to serve more students without building more ivy-covered temples to bloat.Nonprofit should mean public service, not a dragon's hoard of endowment riches. Schools with multibillion-dollar endowments should increase their class sizes or be taxed on endowment gains.The accreditation system should be revamped to encourage the founding of strong, public-service-minded, nonprofit institutions, not protect the incumbents.Dramatically increase student loan forgiveness programs. Canceling all student debt is a bad idea, rife with inequity and moral hazard. But our human capital is over-encumbered by debt incurred under false pretenses.Crimp the firehose of student loan money by putting schools on the hook for a portion of the bad debt; encourage Pell Grant acceptance; and invest in financial literacy for 18-year-olds being asked to make one of the most consequential financial decisions of their lives.74The best things in my life — kids who made headslist this semester, a supportive mate, and financial security that (generally) enables me to do whatever I want, whenever I want — are a function of one thing: 74. Specifically, in the eighties, UCLA had an acceptance rate of 74%. I (no joke) had to apply twice. I was the first person on either side of my family to graduate from high school, must less get to attend amazing institutions for undergraduate and graduate degrees. The cost? $7,000 (total) in tuition for a BA and an MBA.In addition, I was presented this opportunity as a function of being good, not great … much less remarkable. Higher ed catalyzed an upward spiral of prosperity for me and my family that's been good for the commonwealth — we love America and are good citizens.Today the acceptance rate at UCLA is 12%. Since I graduated, the number of graduating high school seniors in California has grown nearly twice as fast as the number of undergraduate seats at UCLA. To its credit, the UC system has announced plans to add 20,000 more seats to the system by 2030.At night, alone with the dogs, I hear voices. (No shit.) Not strange voices like the dogs telling me to head to Kroger's in my underwear. But the voices of millions of kids who have one question: "Boss, you got yours, where is mine? When do I get my shot?"  America is not about making the children of rich people and the remarkable billionaires, but giving everyone a shot at being a millionaire and/or making a contribution.  American higher ed has become un-American. We need to fall back in love with the unremarkables, and return to America.Life is so rich,ScottP.S. Making predictions can be dangerous. It might put you in the Twitter crosshairs of Elon Musk. Yet I carry on. Join my free Predictions livestream on December 7. You probably won't regret it.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 19th, 2021

Shellenberger: Why $6 Billion Won"t Solve World Hunger

Shellenberger: Why $6 Billion Won't Solve World Hunger Authored by Michael Shellenberger via michaelshellenberger.substack.com (emphasis ours), In late October, David Beasley, the Director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) urged billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk to “step up now, on a one-time basis” to address hunger globally. “Six billion [dollars] to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated.”  But would you be surprised to learn that saving those 42 million lives is, in fact, complicated?   Part of the problem is how the money is spent. Musk tweeted back, “If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.” Musk added, “it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.” Beasley responded, “I can assure you that we have the systems in place for transparency and open-source accounting.”  If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2021 There have been problems in the past with the financial accounting and transparency of WFP and other United Nations agencies, but the larger problem is with food aid itself. After WFP won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020, it should have been a time of self-celebration. Instead, it enabled longtime critics of food aid to renew their criticisms of the WFP for dumping food on poor nations, driving down prices and bankrupting farmers, ultimately making it harder for poor nations to become self-sufficient.  This scenario has happened time and again around the world. In the 1950s and 1960s, surplus wheat from the US was sent to India, undermining local farmers. In 1976, the US sent wheat to Guatemala, in response to an earthquake, even though the country had just produced record yields. The decline of prices was so harmful to farmers that the government banned grain imports. Six years later, the Peruvian government asked the US government to stop dumping rice on the country, given its impact on poor farmers.   In 2002, Michael Maren, a former food aid monitor for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Somalia published a book called “The Road to Hell,” documenting how food aid prolonged that nation’s civil war in three ways.  First, much of the food aid was stolen and sold to buy arms, furthering the conflict.  Second, the food aid helped destroy the centuries-old credit system that allowed pastoral farmers to borrow money during droughts to pay for food, which they repaid later during good times. By undermining the credit system, foreign food aid had helped undermine the social ties that had kept the nation together.  And third, the food aid undermined the very incentive to farm. The WFP says it has learned from the past by giving one-third of its support in the form of cash aid, which is viewed as both more efficient, and more likely to avoid bankrupting small farmers. But cash aid can also fuel corruption, as I discovered the hard way 30 years ago when attempting to support a small, worker-owned coffee cooperative in Nicaragua.  My friends and I raised a few thousand dollars and gave it to the coop’s leaders. One year later, we returned to see how the money was spent. We were told one night by the coop’s angry cook that the coop’s all-male leadership had spent the money on alcohol and partying. None had gone towards upgrading the coop’s infrastructure. Naturally, the coop’s leaders denied it all, and said the money wasn’t sufficient, and they needed more. The lesson? When there is poor governance, aid money makes the situation worse, not better. An even bigger problem is that what causes hunger in most cases is not the absence of food but the presence of war and political instability.  A few days after his Twitter exchange with Elon musk, the WFP’s Beasley released a list of recipient nations and how much they would each receive in food aid and cash aid if Musk, Bezos, or someone else ponied up the more than $6 billion WFP said was needed to save 42 million lives. The list included the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Sudan, Venezuela, Haiti and Syria. Notice anything in common between them? They are all at war or in political turmoil, which is preventing farming and the transportation of food. Not all nations suffering from hunger and famine are at war. Some, like Madagascar, are suffering from drought. But we have known since economist Amartya Sen published his landmark 1981 book, “Poverty and Famines,” that most famines are deliberately caused as a weapon of war. They weren’t, for the most part, the result of food supplies in general or drought in particular, which farmers and societies have learned to deal with for millennia. Today, the world produces a 25 percent surplus of food, the most in recorded human history. To his credit, Beasley acknowledged that “$6 billion will not solve world hunger,” adding that that “it WILL prevent geopolitical instability [and] mass migration.”  If that were true, then that $6 billion would be the greatest philanthropic investment in human history. Unfortunately, it’s not.  Just look at Democratic Republic of the Congo, the eastern region of which is again at war. In the 1990s and again in the early 2000s, Congo was the epicenter of the Great African War, the deadliest conflict since World War II, which involved nine African countries and resulted in the deaths of three to five million people, mostly because of disease and starvation. Another two million people were displaced from their homes or sought asylum in neighboring countries. Hundreds of thousands of people, women and men, adults and children, were raped, sometimes more than once, by different armed groups.  When I was there in 2014, armed militias roaming the countryside had been killing villagers, including children, with machetes. Some blamed Al-Shabaab terrorists coming in from Uganda, but nobody took credit for the attacks. The violence appeared unconnected to any military or strategic objective. The national military, police and United Nations Peacekeeping Forces, about 6,000 soldiers, were either unable or unwilling to do anything about the terrorist attacks.  The sad truth is that wars are rarely settled from the outside and, when they are, it’s through long-term military occupation, not food aid. Even 20 years is not long enough, as the US failure to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan shows. We have known for more than two centuries that almost every nation escapes hunger and famine in the same way. First, there is sufficient stability to allow farmers to produce and transport their crops to the cities, and for businesses in the cities to operate without being bombed or shelled. The ugly truth is that such stability is often won the hard way, after years or decades of war and even genocide. Stability allows farmers to become more productive, and cities to develop new industries, such as manufacturing. Rising farm productivity means fewer people are required to work in farms, and many of them move to the city for work in factories and other industries. In the cities, the workers spend their money buying food, clothing and other consumer products and services, resulting in a workforce and society that is wealthier and engaged in a greater variety of jobs.  The use of modern energy and machinery means a declining number of workers required for food and energy production, which diversifies the workforce and grows the economy. During the last 200 years, poor nations found that they didn’t need to end corruption or educate everyone to develop. As long as factories were allowed to operate freely, and the politicians didn’t steal too much from their owners, manufacturing could drive economic development. And, over time, as nations became richer, many of them, including the US, became less corrupt.  While a few oil-rich nations like Saudi Arabia have achieved very high standards of living without ever having embraced manufacturing, almost every other developed country in the world, from Britain and the United States to Japan to South Korea and China, has transformed its economy with factories.  This remains the case today. Ethiopia had to end and recover from a bloody 17-year civil war, which resulted in at least 1.4 million deaths, including one million from famine, before its government could invest in infrastructure. Today, factory workers in the capital city of Addis Ababa continue to make clothing for Western labels including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and H&M. Ethiopia has been competitive both because of its low wages compared to places like China and Indonesia, where they have risen in recent years, as well as its investments in hydroelectric dams, the electricity grid and roads. As a result, Ethiopia has seen more than 10 percent annual growth over the last decade. But all of that is now in jeopardy. There is a growing war in the northern Tigray region, and the Ethiopian government has blocked aid from being delivered, which has resulted in nearly a half million people suffering from famine. Now, the US and other nations are considering imposing trade sanctions in response, putting in jeopardy the livelihoods of factory workers in Addis Ababa. The reason for continuing famines in a world of plenty is not just complicated but also tragic. Over the last 20 years, economists and other experts have criticized development aid for being counterproductive, making nations dependent upon outsiders, and undermining efforts at internal development. Those complaints have mostly been ignored. Today, many developed nations continue to see charitable aid as an alternative to economic development. The latest guise to sell charity as development comes in the form of “climate adaptation.” The idea is that poor nations should forgo the use of fossil fuels, a necessary ingredient to industrialization and development, and instead rely on foreign hand-outs to adapt to higher temperatures. For poor nations to finally free themselves from the clutches of would-be rescuers from the rich world, they will need to defend their right to develop, including through the use of fossil fuels, and seek to trade with rich nations on equal terms. That may be starting to happen. In response to calls by rich world leaders that Africa not use fossil fuels, South Africa’s energy minister on Wednesday called for united resistance. “Our continent collectively is made to bear the brunt for polluters,” complained Gwede Mantashe. “We are being pressured, even compelled, to move away from all forms of fossil fuels… a key resource for industrialization.”  He’s right. From climate change to food aid, rich nations are demanding the poor nations develop in ways radically different from the way they developed centuries ago, without agricultural self-sufficiency, industrialization and fossil fuels. It can’t work. The harsh truth is that poor nations must go through the same, often painful steps toward development, including, often civil war, in order to achieve the political stability they need to develop. Rich nations can be partners to poor nations. But we should stop trying to be their saviors. Michael Shellenberger is author of Apocalypse Never (Harper Collins 2020), San Fransicko(HarperCollins 2021), and President of Environmental Progress. He lives in Berkeley, California. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/18/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 18th, 2021

Industrial Production Rebounds in October: 4 Stocks to Buy

People are spending more on goods than services, driving industrial output and helping stocks like Welbilt (WBT), Helios Technologies (HLIO), Ferguson (FERG) and Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT). U.S. industrial production rebounded strongly in October as the adverse effect of Hurricane Ida faded. The country’s economy is trying to bounce back to normal and an increase in industrial production is a major sign that the recovery is taking place faster than expected.Industrial production has been on the rise but unexpectedly declined in September as Hurricane Ira wreaked havoc and hampered production at factories. However, October’s jump again proves that the momentum is not lost and is likely to continue as the economy reopens further. This is likely to benefit stocks like Welbilt WBT, Helios Technologies HLIO, Ferguson plc FERG and Applied Industrial Technologies AIT in the near term.Industrial Production RisesThe Federal Reserve said on Nov 16 that industrial production grew 1.6% in October after declining 1.3% in September. The Fed attributed October’s jump to the fast recovery from the effects of Hurricane Ida.October’s jump was higher than analysts’ expectation of a 0.7% rise.The rebound in production was led by a solid increase in the production of automobiles and motor vehicle parts that increased 11% in October.Capacity utilization for the overall industrial sector rose 1.2% to 76.4%.Moreover, manufacturing activity rose 1.2%. Mining, which includes oil and natural gas, grew 4.1% in October. Manufacturing accounts for nearly 11.9% of the total U.S. economy. The sector is being supported lately by low interest rates and continued higher demand for goods.Economy Recovering Faster Than ExpectedSeptember was a bad month, particularly for motor vehicles, as semiconductor shortages hampered vehicle production. Moreover, Hurricane Ida slowed down production, which somewhat eased in October.The massive fiscal stimulus that totaled more than $5 trillion coupled and broad-based vaccination drive gave people confidence and the power to make purchases. The huge stimulus, which saw direct payments being made via checks to millions of Americans, has been driving their spending. U.S. households amassed a massive $1.6 trillion in savings in just the third quarter.Moreover, the government, too, has been relaxing restrictions in a bid to reopen the economy faster. Although manufacturing activity somewhat slowed down in October, it has been gathering steam in the United States ever since the economy started reopening.Manufacturing activity came up with a reading of 60.8 in October. Anything above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing.Our ChoicesGiven this scenario, it would be ideal to invest in the four stocks we have picked below. All these stocks have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and assure good returns. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Applied Industrial Technologies is a distributor of value-added industrial products, including engineered fluid power components, bearings, specialty flow control solutions, power transmission products and miscellaneous industrial supplies. AIT is also well known in the market for its engineering, design and systems integration services. Moreover, Applied Industrial Technologies’ inventory management solutions and maintenance training services boost the value of end users in the market. Applied Industrial Technologies recently reported first-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings of 1.36 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.19. AIT posted revenues of $891.68 million for the quarter ended September 2021, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.56%.Applied Industrial Technologies’ expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 14.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 1.9% over the past 60 days. Shares of Applied Industrial Technologies have gained 10.2% in the past 30 days. AIT has a Zacks Rank #2.Welbilt designs, manufactures and supplies food and beverage equipment for foodservice market. WBT operates primarily in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Welbilt’sbrands include Cleveland, Convotherm, Delfield, fitkitchen, Frymaster, Garland, Kolpak, Lincoln, Manitowoc Ice, Merco, Merrychefand Multiplex. Earlier this month, Welbilt reported third-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings of 21 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 15 cents. Over the last four quarters, WBT surpassed the consensus EPS estimates each time.Welbilt’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 3.2% over the past 60 days. Shares of WBT have gained 2.3% in the past 60 days. Welbilt has a Zacks Rank #1.Helios Technologies is an industrial technology company. HLIO develops and manufactures hydraulic and electronic control solutions. Helios Technologies’operating subsidiaries include Sun Hydraulics, Enovation Controls and Faster Group. Its operating business segment consists of Hydraulics and Electronics. The Hydraulics segment includes material handling, construction equipment, agriculture, specialized vehicles and energy.On Nov 7, Helios Technologies reported third-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings of $1.07 per share, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 82 cents per share. Helios Technologies’expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 82.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 6.8% over the past 60 days. Shares of HLIO have gained 30% in the past 30 days. Helios Technologies sports a Zacks Rank #1.Ferguson plc distributes plumbing and heating products in the United States and Canada. FERG offers plumbing and heating solutions to customers in the residential, commercial, civil/infrastructure, and industrial end markets.Ferguson plc also distributes pipes, valves, fittings, plumbing supplies, water heaters, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and appliances; heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration products and supplies; and plumbing parts and supplies, fire sprinkler systems, hangers, struts, and fasteners. Ferguson plc’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 9.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 10.5% over the past 60 days. Shares of FERG have gained 10.6% in the past 30 days. Ferguson plchas a Zacks Rank #2. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (AIT): Free Stock Analysis Report Welbilt, Inc. (WBT): Free Stock Analysis Report Helios Technologies, Inc (HLIO): Free Stock Analysis Report Wolseley PLC (FERG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 18th, 2021

A Food Industry Reset Can Cut At Least 10% Of Global Emissions

S&P Global Ratings’ most recent report has found that the food system is responsible for about one-third of global GHG emissions, including up to 10% from lost or wasted food. Food supply disruptions due to the pandemic and extreme weather have further brought this issue into the spotlight. However, if it optimises its food production […] S&P Global Ratings’ most recent report has found that the food system is responsible for about one-third of global GHG emissions, including up to 10% from lost or wasted food. Food supply disruptions due to the pandemic and extreme weather have further brought this issue into the spotlight. However, if it optimises its food production and supply chain by adopting more efficient systems, the food industry could reduce food waste which would, in turn, help pave the way to a more sustainable future. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Key Takeaways Each year, a staggering one-third of food produced globally--worth almost $1 trillion--is lost or wasted, with unconsumed food contributing up to 10% of global greenhouse gases (GHG) in addition to emissions from farming, processing, and other activities. More efficient food systems will help eliminate food loss and waste while reducing the impact on the environment, especially since about 14% of the world's food is lost before reaching supermarket shelves. With the U.N.'s 2030 target for halving per capita food waste fast approaching, we believe the food industry can create a path to more sustainable food production and supply through closer collaboration and process integration. Companies able and willing to adjust their business models and adopt sustainable agronomic practices can strengthen their resilience to operating setbacks and reduce food-related emissions, while delivering higher margins through value-added product offerings. Studies suggest that the food system is responsible for about one-third of global GHG emissions, including up to 10% from lost or wasted food. This stands out when compared with about 12% from manufacturing and construction and 14% for the transportation sector, according to data from the World Resources Institute (WRI). Food supply disruptions, especially over the past two years due to the pandemic and extreme weather, have brought this issue further into the spotlight. Last year, for example, one of the warmest on record according to the World Meteorological Organization, thunderstorms, wildfires, plagues, and drought destroyed millions of hectares of crops and displaced thousands of people. In addition, COVID-19-related restrictions severely hampered the transport of agricultural commodities over air, land, and sea. This increased the amount of food lost or wasted at the production and retail stages, already vulnerable to storage capacity, freight availability, and political instability among other factors. S&P Global Ratings believes agribusinesses can strengthen the food production and supply chain through closer collaboration at every stage, both downstream and upstream. There are meaningful gains to be had, for example by companies expanding into advanced food ingredient technologies to improve product shelf life, or by integrating transport with processing and sales. Some companies are already rethinking their long-term strategies, putting greater emphasis on managing environmental and social risks. We believe they stand to gain a competitive advantage using this approach. The big question is whether they can do enough to have a visible impact on food-related emissions by 2030. The High Cost Of Food Loss Although limited data is available, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates (2016) show that, excluding retail and households, about 14% of the world's food is lost between the harvest and retail stages. Before and during consumption, the highest food loss and waste per capita occurs in Asia, according to a World Economic Forum report, followed by North America and Europe. The report states that "if food waste were a country, it would rank behind only the U.S. and China for greenhouse gas emissions." The UN Environment Program (UNEP)'s Food Waste Index indicates that, in 2019, 61% of food waste came from households, 26% from food service, and 13% from retail. A large share of food waste stems from consumers, food providers, and retailers in developed markets. In North America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that, in 2010, 31% of the domestic food supply was lost, to the tune of about $161 billion. Seven years later, a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures showed that about 40% of food produced in the U.S. is wasted throughout the supply chain, from farms to households, while 41 million Americans faced food insecurity in 2016. In the U.K., despite considerable progress in this area, estimates show that households and businesses still waste around 9.5 million tonnes (mt) of food per year (70% intended for human consumption) valued at over £19 billion. The edible portion of this food (6.4 mt) would have been enough to feed the entire U.K. population three meals a day for 11 weeks. Food is wasted in many ways. Here are just three of them: Edible fresh produce not meeting certain criteria, for example in terms of shape, size, and color, is dumped during sorting operations. Foods that are close to, at, or beyond the "best before" date are often discarded by retailers and consumers. Large quantities of edible food not eaten by households and restaurants are often thrown away. More Businesses Need To Focus On Sustainability While the world is focusing on the energy transition, the U.N.'s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) are keeping the attention on issues such as hunger, poverty, climate action, and sustainable cities and communities. Resolving these clearly also support the reduction of GHG emissions. In particular, SDG 12 is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, including a target (SDG 12.3) to halve--by 2030--per capita food waste at the retail and consumer levels, while reducing food losses during production and supply. Over 190 countries formally agreed to the SDGs, set in 2015, as part of the U.N.'s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Yet only 1% of food companies' business models support responsible consumption and production, according to a September 2020 Trucost survey of 3,500 companies representing 85% of global market capitalization. And not much time is left before 2030. The Trucost report also states that about 90% of the companies it examined provide products and services related to food logistics, including taking products from harvest through to consumption. Among the largest global food corporations working with farmers, retailers, and other organizations in support of the SDGs are market leader Cargill, which has launched several initiatives under its Sustainable Supply Chains program (beef, cocoa, corn, and cotton, among others). Similarly, ADM (food and beverage ingredients) has SDG-aligned environmental targets it aims to achieve by 2035, including a 25% drop in GHG emissions. Nestle (more than 2,000 food and beverage brands) has committed to tackling emissions through 100% deforestation-free supply by 2022, 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025, and food loss/waste reduction targets. Bunge (the world's largest oilseed processor) has an ambitious goal that includes a deforestation-free supply chain by 2025. Mondelez (brands include Cadbury, Philadelphia, and Oreo) reports that it's on track with its 2022-2025 sustainable-ingredients targets. Danone (including Activia, Alpro, and Silk) has pledged a 50% reduction of food waste from the 2016 level, plus 100% next-generation, recyclable, biodegradable packaging by 2025. There Are Many Possible Solutions Several global companies plan to effect changes to reduce the environmental impact of their own activities, but this is not enough to transform the entire food production and supply chain. Successful collaboration and consolidation won't be easy, but food companies have several options open to them. Support for farmers and the local salesforce through better data, technology, and training. We believe direct links with farmers and closer relationships with salespeople where crops are grown are increasingly important to limit loss at production. In large crop-producing regions such as the eastern coast of Latin America, South East Asia, and the Black Sea, local currency inflation and volatility often mean that farmers make storage, sale, and process decisions every week, depending on trading data. Such fragmented decision-making means that transport companies operating with long-term contracts might see their freight capacity underutilized if farmers renege on supply contracts. This is a particular risk if the monetary penalty for farmers is small relative to the potential gain of diverting the sale. Value-added products in food processing can help reduce waste further down the line and offer agribusinesses opportunities for profitable growth. Innovative technologies can help reduce waste at consumer level by improving the shelf life and appearance of staple foods. In addition, they can promote more efficient crop use by improving the taste and texture of more environmentally friendly plant-based food. Many companies are investing in this are also looking at new materials, to be used, among other things, in food handling and packaging. Collaboration with retailers is key to cutting distribution inefficiencies and food waste at households. This will enable large agribusinesses and consumer product companies to reap the full benefits of their measures to tackle food waste. Grocers, for instance, can play a huge role in influencing consumers' food choices and attitude toward waste. In recognition of this, leading agribusinesses, consumer products groups, and food retailers have joined the WRI's "10x20x30" initiative since it launched in 2019. The program aims to drive progress on SDG 12.3, using a "whole chain" approach, with participating companies pledging to engage with at least 20 of their suppliers and--together--halve their food loss and waste by 2030. Adoption of the "Target-Measure-Act" strategy can help track sources of waste/loss, find solutions, and record progress. The strategy was launched by U.K. sustainable resources advocate WRAP and the IDG (Institute of Grocery Distribution) in 2018 as part of the country's Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, which is geared toward the U.N.'s SDG 12.3 target. Three years into the program, nearly 200 companies, including top global names like Unilever, Nestle, Mondelez, and PepsiCo have committed to using the Target-Measure-Act method to speed up food loss/waste reduction in their operations, and make the results public. U.K.-based Tesco was the first retailer to use the approach, inviting 27 suppliers to take part in 2017. WRAP has also called on COP26 delegates to adopt to Target-Measure-Act to tackle climate change. The U.K.'s September 2021 Food Waste Reduction Roadmap progress report showed that businesses had lowered food waste by an estimated 17%--worth £365 million--over the previous year. The U.K. is the first nation to create a plan to achieve SDG 12.3's target of reducing food loss and waste by 50% by 2030. Increased use of processed food byproducts and restaurant waste for renewable fuels. Animal fats and meal resulting from meat processing, well as cooking oils from food-service establishments, are increasingly being used to produce renewable fuel, thereby reducing the amount of waste as well as reliance on fossil fuel. Under initiatives such as the U.S. National Renewable Fuel Standard Program, gasoline refiners are required to increase their blend of such biofuels into the gasoline supply, with production mandates for renewable and biofuels expected to increase by more than 20% in 2022 compared with 2020 levels. Continued biofuel demand growth will also increase the economic value of such byproducts for recycling into fuels. In fact, a market for various grease grades (for example yellow grease, choice white grease, and poultry grease) already exists, with prices rising more than 100% year over year in the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2021, according to the Jacobson Index. What Food Companies Are Already Doing We see global agri-commodity companies consolidating their agricultural platforms (such as for grain, coffee, and cotton), while pursuing geographic expansion and shifting their product mix toward more sustainable alternatives. Scale and cost efficiencies should enable them to deliver affordable products. However, they are increasingly recognizing that to improve supply chain sustainability, they have to invest upstream as well as downstream to reduce reliance on less sustainable food inputs even though they may be more cost effective. The related investments typically stop short of direct ownership of farmland and crop production, but look at all parts of the food system's infrastructure. This includes partnering with growers and supporting them with new sustainable technologies and processes. Such an approach could entail optimizing drying, storage, and quality controls, land transit, and the high volume of crops passing through port terminals. Article by S&P Global Ratings Updated on Nov 17, 2021, 11:56 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 17th, 2021

Countries contributing the least to the climate crisis are feeling the worst of its effects

Some of those countries include Bangladesh, India, Philippines, and multiple countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and South America. In this Sept. 25, 2015, file photo, a woman holds her daughter stands awaiting her husband who went to collect drinking water after flood waters enter their house following heavy monsoon rains in Gauhati, India. Anupam Nath, File/Associated Press More than 1 billion children are at extreme risk for weather disasters, a UNICEF report found. The majority of these kids live in countries that contribute the least to carbon emissions. High-risk countries are already facing extreme heat, water scarcity, flooding and other impacts. Tahsin Uddin, a 23-year-old climate activist who lives in the southern city of Barisal in Bangladesh, has already lost one family home to coastal flooding and rising sea levels. Within the next few years, he expects his current home to be submerged under water as well.Uddin is just one of the millions of Bangladeshis and others across the globe facing the brutal consequences of the climate crisis.By 2050, more than 20 million Bangladeshis will be displaced and nearly 20% of the country's land will be underwater because of rising sea levels, a direct impact of the changing climate, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit climate advocacy group.Uddin told Insider the impact of those rising sea levels can be seen throughout the country: "I go to different coastal areas. I saw how much people are suffering. They are trying to survive by drinking salty water. Saline water is very dangerous for their health."While the consequences of climate change are pummeling Bangladesh, it contributes very little to carbon emissions. Villagers wade through waist-deep waters to reach their homes in Pratap Nagar that lies in the Shyamnagar region, in Satkhira, Bangladesh on Oct. 5, 2021 Mahmud Hossain Opu/AP Photo In 2020, more than 34 billion metric tons of carbon (CO2) were emitted worldwide, but the countries that contributed the least to that total are already facing some of the most significant impacts of the climate crisis.A UNICEF report published in August found more than 1 billion children, nearly half the world's kids, lived in places with a high risk of extreme weather events. The 33 countries where the climate crisis poses the most risk to children contributed only 9% of global CO2 emissions, while 70% of emissions were attributed to just 10 countries.A 2016 study found 20 of the 36 highest-emitting countries were among the least vulnerable to the effects of a warming climate, while 11 of the 17 countries with low or moderate emissions were significantly vulnerable.Some of the countries with low emissions per capita that are at a high risk include Bangladesh, India, Philippines, and multiple countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and South America.They are facing heat waves, water scarcity, coastal flooding, and water-borne disease, among other hazards, which in turn can lead to poor sanitation, lack of food, scarce income, and deteriorating living conditions. Meanwhile, many of the places currently experiencing these effects lack the infrastructure or resources to mitigate them.Experts and climate activists have said that while countries contributing the most need to reduce emissions, poorer countries are in need of immediate funding to address current challenges.Heat waves have killed thousands in India in recent yearsIn the summer of 2019, large swaths of India were scorched by temperatures greater than 113 degrees Fahrenheit for nearly three weeks. In some regions, officials closed local schools. Medical authorities canceled time off for doctors to ensure hospitals could handle the influx of patients.Four passengers fell ill on board an express train that lacked air conditioning, and died by the time the train reached a station in Jhansi, south of New Delhi."Shortly after we left Agra, the heat became unbearable and some people started complaining of breathing problems and uneasiness. Before we could get some help, they collapsed," a passenger told India Today.By the end of that summer heat wave, more than 200 people had died. The heat wave of 2015 was far worse, with extreme heat causing the deaths of more than 2,000 people. In the past decade, more than 6,000 people in India have died as a result of excessive heat, according to government data. In this Thursday, May 30, 2019, file photo, children returning from school walk through a dried pond on a hot summer day on the outskirts of Jammu, India. Channi Anand, File/Associated Press "Climate change is leading to more frequent, more intense, and longer heat waves around the world," said Olga Wilhelmi, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, adding that the link has been well-documented.An estimated 820 million children, more than a third of kids worldwide, are highly exposed to heat waves, according to the UNICEF report."Extreme heat is probably one of the least appreciated weather hazards, but it's actually one of the more deadly weather hazards in the US and worldwide," Wilhelmi said. "Studies show that in the US, somewhere on average between 600 and 1,800 people die from extreme heat every year, but we don't usually read about that in the news."Health complications of extreme heat can vary from dehydration to heatstroke. Heat waves can also exacerbate cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Groups at a higher risk include older people, children, people with pre-existing conditions, and those who are lower-income and do not have access to air conditioning.Heat waves can also shut down electric grids when they don't have the capacity to handle the increased demand for air conditioning.Lack of water leads to poverty and hunger Water scarcity, the lack of adequate access to clean water, is another way people are feeling the climate crisis.While scarcity can be due to institutional failures to deliver water, in many instances it's due to dwindling water sources or growing populations that need more water. More than a third of kids worldwide, 920 million are currently highly exposed to water scarcity. This issue affects kids in various parts of the world including parts of India, South America, Australia, and the Middle East. For example, while parts of India are at extreme risk of scarcity, the country only contributed to 3.14% of overall emissions in 2019. Tonchuiwon Tinphei, 34, right, and her sister-in-law Chirmi carry water in baskets and walk home on the eve of World Water Day in Shangshak village, in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, Saturday, March 21, 2020. Yirmiyan Arthur/AP Photo Greg Pierce, the co-director of the Water Resources Group: Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, told Insider the biggest effect could be felt in rural areas. Pierce said rural areas tend to be poorer and have one water source. Residents are usually already walking long distances to get to that water which may not always be clean. Water isn't just needed for drinking, but for producing and selling agriculture. Water is very much tied to livelihoods. "The scarcity issue makes it harder to do agriculture, which is what most rural populations rely on for livelihoods. So, there's a hunger, inability to grow food and inability to earn any money," Pierce told Insider. "That lack of water leads directly to people starving and that is going to become a lot more common, unfortunately again, in many parts of the world."When those resources dry up, residents would be forced to travel even further or move, further straining resources. While many parts of India are dealing with water scarcity, other regions are also experiencing flooding, Pierce said. However, the flooding comes with other complications and doesn't counter the consequences of water scarcity. Coastal flooding, which destroys property and resources, is already taking a heavy toll in BangladeshIn Uddin's home of Bangladesh, rising seas and extreme precipitation have inundated communities with flooding in recent years.The village of Bonnotola, once home to more than 2,000 people, has less than 500 residents left, as the flooding and salt water-tainted soil destroyed many people's homes and livelihoods, the Associated Press reported.One woman from the village of Gabura told AP everyone used to grow food in their backyards, but that salt water flooding has disrupted the once-fertile lands and freshwater that many relied on."We have water everywhere, but we don't have a drop anymore to drink from ponds or wells," she said.Almost every ocean on Earth is experiencing a sea-level rise, according to William Sweet, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.One in 10 children, or 240 million, are currently exposed to coastal flooding, according to the UNICEF report. Sea-level rise is exacerbated by extreme rainfall events, which are also a consequence of warming."The same heating that's causing oceans to rise, ice caps and ice sheets to melt, and oceans to expand, is also enabling more moisture to be held within the atmosphere," Sweet said, adding that the result is frequent heavy rains. "The combined effect of course is flooding with nowhere for that water to go."While the threat of entire cities being underwater is the most commonly talked about result of rising sea levels, there are many significant issues that arise well before a city or property is actually underwater."It's not when you're underwater, it's when the system fails," Sweet said, adding that flooding can overwhelm infrastructure and destroy roadways, stormwater and wastewater systems, and people's personal property.He said by the time areas are actually underwater, people are already gone by then, driven out by the flooding. Bangladeshi flood victim man carrying their houses by boat during flood in Kurigram, Bangladesh on July 27, 2019. zakir hossain chowdhury / Barcroft Media via Getty Images Coastal flooding creates more problems where water infrastructure is lacking, Pierce told Insider."Flooding doesn't typically increase water supply. It can have a direct impact on water-borne illness, especially because there's poor sanitation in a lot of places and when there's flooding, it gets into wherever the waste is being contained or into the open sewers and spreads," he said. Diseases are becoming more prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and South America because of the climate crisisAs temperatures rise, cities flood and water becomes scarce, there's also a rise of waterborne illnesses with an estimated 600 million children currently exposed to diseases like malaria and dengue fever, according to the UNICEF report. The impact can be most immediately felt in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Martin Muchangi, AMREF water and sanitation specialist based in Kenya, told Insider he studies waterborne illnesses across much of sub-Saharan Africa, and that a vast majority of people are dealing with water scarcity which in turn is driving up waterborne diseases.Muchangi said the issue is twofold: changing temperatures pushing things like mosquitoes into more places and increasing pathogens that cause diarrhea illnesses like cholera and typhoid and the lack of water leading to poor hygiene and diseases like scabies or glaucoma. He told Insider the problem is leading to harming both people and the economy. "So now at the end of the day, if you combine the sum total, you realize that there's major economic loss, there's serious effects to the health, there's serious effects to the thriving of children," he said. Many countries facing the worst of the climate crisis also have the least resources to address it While nowhere on earth will escape the effects of the climate crisis, some countries have infrastructure and resources that make them more prepared to respond.Pierce told Insider many of the impacts can be mitigated with robust public health initiatives and proper infrastructure. Water filtration systems, for example, can mitigate the risks of water-borne disease.Muchangi and Uddin told Insider the countries they live and work in, however, don't have the funds they need to address the issues they're facing. In Bangladesh, Uddin said funding is needed to direct towards researching ways to remove salt from saltwater and towards building infrastructure that can withstand flooding, including fortifying schools, hospitals, homes, and other essential buildings. Muchangi said that while finding ways to mitigate the immediate impacts of the changing climate is necessary, limiting CO2 emissions would greatly reduce the burden."If we are able to alleviate climate change itself, then the effects of climate change are going to become lesser and we are going to be able to thrive in a better way," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 13th, 2021

Gowanus locals reach deal that paves way for rezoning

Council Members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, leaders of Brooklyn Community Board 6, and members of the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice, announced this morning that they have reached consensus with the de Blasio Administration on “Points of Agreement” (POA) that ensure the Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning will meet community goals.... The post Gowanus locals reach deal that paves way for rezoning appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Council Members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, leaders of Brooklyn Community Board 6, and members of the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice, announced this morning that they have reached consensus with the de Blasio Administration on “Points of Agreement” (POA) that ensure the Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning will meet community goals. The Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning, the largest under the de Blasio Administration, will enable the construction of approximately 8,000 new housing units, nearly 3,000 of them affordable to low- and moderate-income families in a mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood around a remediated and revitalized Gowanus Canal. The rezoning includes the most stringent affordability and sustainability requirements of any previous neighborhood rezoning. The “Points of Agreement” between City Hall and the Council Members, the result of extensive community organizing and public engagement, provides that every one of the 1,662 units in NYCHA’s Gowanus Houses and Wyckoff Gardens developments will receive a comprehensive interior modernization estimated at $200 million. The City will invest hundreds of millions more in flooding and stormwater infrastructure, parks, schools, and workforce development, and substantial funding commitments for renovations at the Pacific Branch Library ($14.7 million) and the Old Stone House ($10.95 million).  Community conversations about the future of the neighborhood have been active for nearly a decade, including the “Bridging Gowanus” community planning process convened by Council Member Lander’s office in 2013, that worked to identify shared principles for any development in the area. The Department of City Planning commenced its community engagement in 2016 with five working groups open to all community members and scores of public meetings, attended by thousands of residents and stakeholders. The Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice, a coalition of tenants, homeowners, public housing residents, small business owners, artists, environmentalists, and affordable housing advocates, organized hundreds of residents to elevate the voices of community members usually left out of the City’s planning processes. GNCJ developed a broad community platform, including three key demands that today’s Points of Agreement address: Upfront funding to meet the capital needs of the public housing in the Gowanus neighborhood, with oversight by NYCHA residents.POA commitment: The City will fund comprehensive in-unit renovations of all apartments at Gowanus Houses (1,134 units) and Wyckoff Houses (528 units) at an estimated cost of $200m. This work includes replacement of kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing, electrical, flooring, interior doors, and lighting fixtures. The City has additionally committed to regular reporting and consultation with residents through the construction process to oversee commitments and protect tenant rights. The City will also fulfill previous commitment to renovate and reopen the Wyckoff Gardens and Gowanus Houses community centers.Mandate “net-zero” combined sewage overflow (CSO) from new construction created as a result of the rezoning.POA commitment: In order to ensure that new development does not pollute the Gowanus Canal, the City has adopted the stringent new 2021 Unified Stormwater Rule that will go into effect before any construction begins. The rule increases on-site requirements for stormwater detention and introduces new retention requirements, which will reduce CSO volumes and events, and help address localized flooding. The City is also committing to a $174 million upgrade to sewer infrastructure to address long-standing flooding along 4th Avenue, which is especially severe at the intersection of Carroll Street.   Gowanus Rezoning Oversight Task Force to monitor compliance with public and private commitments.POA commitment: To ensure compliance with public and private commitments, the agreement includes commitments by all relevant City agencies to regular reporting as well as senior agency staff participation in a Community Oversight Task Force dedicated to monitoring rezoning-related commitments. The Task Force will be supported by an independent facilitator, and include representation from elected officials, CB6, NYCHA residents and leaders, and core community organizations and stakeholders.  On June 3, 2021, Community Board 6 held a highly-attended, indoor/outdoor, hybrid in-person and online public hearing as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Process (with additional opportunities for public input ordered by Judge Katherine Levine pursuant to a lawsuit). Out of that hearing, CB6 voted “Yes with Modifications,” including an extensive set of recommendations that are reflected in today’s agreement. Borough President Eric Adams also recommended to approve the rezoning with modifications, and stood with public housing residents, GNCJ members, and the Council Member to insist on adequate funding for public housing. The Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning is the first MIH neighborhood rezoning in a whiter, wealthier neighborhood. For the first time ever, a Racial Impact Study was completed providing strong evidence that the plan will result in a more racially and economically inclusive neighborhood.  In addition to historic investments in public housing, stormwater retention, and flood readiness, the Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning includes:  Nearly 3,000 units of affordable housing, including a commitment to 100% affordability on the City-owned Public Place site. The plan for Gowanus Green includes approximately 950 units priced for extremely low to low income tenants and homeownership opportunities for moderate income families, as well as a new 1.5 acre park and space for a potential new school. The Gowanus Green site will be extensively remediated, under the supervision of the EPA, NYS DEC, and NYC DEP. The EPA has stated that it is feasible for the site to be cleaned up to safely allow for these uses.On sites, the rezoning will require either Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) Option 1, which requires 25% of units affordable to households at or below 60% of AMI, with 10% of units affordable to households at or below 40% of AMI; or the “deep affordability” MIH option of 20% of units affordable to households at our below 40% of AMI ($43,000 for a family of 3). This is anticipated to generate approximately 2000 affordable units.Investments in new open space, including a resilient waterfront esplanade along the Gowanus Canal. The City has committed to renovations, following meaningful community engagement, at the new Gowanus Green public park and Boerum Park, and Thomas Greene Park. It has committed to build new public spaces on the Salt Lot and the Head End CSO site, following construction of each Superfund-mandated CSO tank, the Bond Street Street-End and at “Transit Plaza” along the Canal by the Smith/9th subway station. Canal developers will be required to build and maintain a new 40-foot public esplanade, following detailed guidelines to ensure continuity and public access between sites, and designed for flood resiliency through the year 2100.Environmental requirements on new development. In addition to the waterfront esplanade and new stormwater management requirements, all new buildings must: Dedicate 100% of their rooftop area to solar, wind, or green infrastructure pursuant to City legislation from 2019. Meet city flood elevation standards, determined on a site-by-site basis, which exceed FEMA standards. Complete remediation of any contamination indicated by the new e-designation, with oversight by the City and State. Innovative new zoning tools to address infrastructure needs. To ensure local school capacity can accommodate neighborhood growth, on certain large sites around the canal, developers can exempt floor area leased to NYC School Construction Authority for the development of new public schools as new seat-need comes online.The plan includes an easement requirement and new citywide transit bonus available for developers along 4th Avenue in exchange for transit improvements. Historic preservation and tools to keep Gowanus creative and mixed-use.  Five historic buildings were designated as landmarks during the rezoning process, including the Old American Can Factory and Powerhouse Arts.Mid-block areas will remain zoned for industrial and commercial use, with modest additional development rights that do not allow for hotels or self-storage. The new “Gowanus Mix” use group codified in zoning will generate over 300,000 square feet dedicated space for light manufacturing, arts, and non-profits.Community, social service, and workforce development resources.City Hall will expand the MAP (Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety) initiative to Gowanus Houses and Wyckoff Gardens, an investment of approximately $2 million annually. MAP brings together neighborhood residents and government agencies to reduce crime. Strategies including youth development and employment, conflict mediation, sports and arts programs aim to address concentrated disadvantage and physical disorder and promote neighborhood cohesion and strong citywide networks.Investments of approximately $1 million annually in workforce development for local residents, with a focus on NYCHA residents, including dedicated funding for industrial job training.Commitments to street safety improvements at high-crash intersections and a comprehensive traffic study of 3rd avenue and the IBZ to address road safety and truck circulation issues. The City will provide over $10 million for new curb extensions and widened sidewalks, bioswales and other green infrastructure, and street furniture such as benches, wayfinding signs, bike racks, and street trees.Tenant protections including an expanded Certificate of No Harassment program (recently adopted citywide through legislation sponsored by Council Member Lander), resources for tenant outreach, and a tailored rezoning that protects rent-stabilized units.  The full Points of Agreement document will be available at the City Council’s Zoning Subcommittee meeting prior to the vote today. In addition to the public commitments in the rezoning plan, developers in Gowanus have committed to additional affordability and use restrictions to preserve the industrial and arts character of the neighborhood. Affordable artists studios: 10 property owners of large sites along the Canal and bordering Thomas Greene Park have committed to enter an agreement with Arts Gowanus to provide over 150 permanently-affordable artist studios in new developments. Arts Gowanus will match eligible artists with available spaces. A portion of the studios will be available for low-income artists, including NYCHA residents, to rent at a more deeply reduced rate. As a part of the agreement, Arts Gowanus will occupy and manage a Gowanus Community Arts Center, including a gallery. Parks Improvement District: Ten developers have committed to cooperate in the formation of a Gowanus Waterfront Business Improvement District focused on stewardship, access, and public programming of open spaces, especially the new waterfront esplanade along the canal. This entity will provide maintenance, public programming, technical assistance, and environmental and ecological advocacy. The steering committee is expected to hold its first meeting in December 2021, and will flesh out details and develop support with input from community members and stakeholders.  All told, the Gowanus Rezoning’s 3,000 new units of permanently affordable housing, a continuous public esplanade along the waterfront, climate-resilient buildings and landscaping, and use restrictions to preserve arts and industry are among the most aggressive, forward-looking set of requirements ever imposed on developers in the United States.  “Today’s agreement shows that community-led, inclusive, sustainable growth is possible. After nearly a decade of conversations among neighbors, and in partnership with the Department of City Planning and City Hall, this community has created one of the best models for inclusive growth anywhere, with strong attention to equity and affordability, and mindful of the environmental history and future of this area. Debates about development are not easy, but I am truly proud of the way we’ve engaged them here. Together, we are setting the stage for a more diverse, more sustainable, thriving, creative neighborhood that will welcome new residents while improving and preserving the ability of public housing residents, artists, small businesses, and neighbors to continue to thrive here for generations to come,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “The Gowanus Rezoning will be a milestone in land use actions in New York City,” said Council Member Stephen Levin.  “Discussions about the Gowanus neighborhood, one of the most vibrant and historic in Brooklyn, have been ongoing for decades. And today we reach a turning point where those discussions have resulted in action. This rezoning will result in not only new housing including a substantial increase in affordable units, but unprecedented investments in our public housing, improvements in the sewer systems and monitoring of our combined sewer overflows, preservation of manufacturing and light industry, and a commitment to protect our artists and public spaces.  There are so many people that helped bring us here but first and foremost I want to thank the residents of Wyckoff Gardens and GowanusHouse and the members of the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice. They provide a guide to making sure we are always focused on what is most important. And of course thanks to all the staff and Councilmember Lander who attended more meetings then we can count in the name of true engagement. This process only begins here and it is up to the future elected officials to ensure that all the promises are met but we couldn’t have given them a better place to start.” The post Gowanus locals reach deal that paves way for rezoning appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyNov 10th, 2021

5 Staffing Stocks to Buy on October"s Impressive Jobs Report

Hiring is finally rebounding after a dull summer, which is likely to benefit staffing companies like KornFerry International (KFY), Cross Country Healthcare (CCRN) and Kforce (KFRC). As the economy continues to reopen, industries are getting back to functioning, and people have started finding new jobs. Those furloughed last year due to the pandemic are also being rehired. This saw hiring at U.S. companies finally rebounding in October to the maximum since July.The rebound comes as more people are now going back to work as they are vaccinated. The jump in new job creations and hiring is thus directly helping staffing companies as they are getting busy helping people find jobs.Hiring Surges in OctoberThe Labor Department said on Nov 5 that U.S. companies added 531,000 jobs in October, the highest since July. Interestingly, hiring jumped at a record pace in July, the fastest in almost a year, as the economy started functioning in full swingbut slowed again during summer.However, things finally seem to be changing, as millions of vaccinated people are now confident about going back to work. Industries,too are getting back to functioning at the optimum level, increasing demand for workers.This has resulted in employers stepping up hiring. Also, the Labor Department report showed that the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in October from 4.8% in September. Although the rate is higher than the pre-pandemic levels, it is still one of the lowest in recent times.The report further showed that while hiring was on the higher side in October,it wasn’t as weak as initially reported in August and September. The hiring estimate by the government for August and September was revised by a combined 235,000 jobs.Moreover, hiring in October increased across all sectors expect for government employers reporting loss of jobs. Shipping and warehousing companies added 54,000 jobs, while retailers reported a gain of 35,000 new jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurants, bars, hotels and entertainment venues, added 164,000 jobs.Signs of Economic RecoveryHigher job additions, particularly in the retail, and leisure and hospitality sectors showed signs of economic reopening followed by a steady recovery. Widespread vaccination has made people confident about planning vacations and eating out.Also, consumer confidence, which had taken a hit in the past few months, bounced back in October as fears of the Delta variant of coronavirus eased somewhat. Consumer confidence increased to 113.8 in October from September’s reading of 109.8.The retail sector too has been trying to bounce back, with sales jumping 0.7% in September. Sales at restaurants grew 0.3% month over month in September and 29.5% year over year. This once again shows that the above industries are making a fast recovery, which is helping to drive hiring.Also, average hourly earnings for employees jumped 4.9% in October on a year-over-year basis. The jump in hiring and a decline in unemployment is backed by a steady decline in COVID-19 cases. This is likely to further boost consumer confidence in the coming days and encourage employers to hire more.Our ChoicesHiring will be on the rise as the economy further reopens. This thus makes for an ideal opportunity to invest in staffing stocks.KornFerry International KFY is the world's leading and largest executive recruitment firm with the broadest global presence in the executive recruitment industry.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 23.8% over the past 60 days. KornFerry International carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Kforce KFRC is a full-service, web-based specialty staffing firm, providing flexible and permanent staffing solutions toorganizations and career management for individuals in the specialty skill areas of information technology, finance & accounting, human resources, engineering, pharmaceutical, health care, legal, e-solutions consulting, scientific and insurance and investments.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 35.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 10.3% over the past 60 days. Kforce sports a Zacks Rank #1.Robert Half International Inc. RHI is one of the world's largest providers of professional consulting and staffing services. The company's specialized staffing divisions include Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 95.9% The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 5.4% over the past 60 days. Robert Half International has a Zacks Rank #1.Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. CCRN is a national leader in providing innovative healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services. Their diverse client base includes both clinical and nonclinical settings, servicing acute care hospitals, physician practice groups, outpatient and ambulatory-care centers, nursing facilities, both public schools and charter schools, rehabilitation and sports medicine clinics, government facilities, and homecare.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 44.9% over the past 60 days. Cross Country Healthcare has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).DLH DLHC serves clients throughout the United States as a full-service provider of healthcare, logistics, and technical support services to DoD and Federal agencies. Its healthcare delivery solutions include professional services, such as case management, health and injury assessment, critical care, medical/surgical, emergency room/trauma center, counseling, behavioral health and trauma brain injury, medical systems analysis, and medical logistics, and allied support services in the areas of MRI technology, diagnostic sonography, phlebotomy, dosimetry, physical therapy and pharmaceuticals. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 28.8%. DLH shares have gained 16.6% in the past 30 days. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related 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 KornFerry International (KFY): Free Stock Analysis Report Robert Half International Inc. (RHI): Free Stock Analysis Report Kforce, Inc. (KFRC): Free Stock Analysis Report Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. (CCRN): Free Stock Analysis Report DLH Holdings Corp. (DLHC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 8th, 2021

Seven Reasons Democrats Lost Virginia

Seven Reasons Democrats Lost Virginia Authored by Carl. M. Cannon via RealClear Politics (emphasis ours), When Terry McAuliffe kicked off his third gubernatorial candidacy last December, some leading Virginia Democrats had mixed emotions. On one hand, party activists believed that in Jennifer Carroll Foy and Jennifer McClellan — two female African American lawmakers in the state legislature — they had credible candidates waiting in the wings to make history. The worry, which turned out to be accurate, was that the presence of a former governor with a famous fundraising prowess would squeeze them out. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) At the same time, party elders figured that McAuliffe’s candidacy would prevent the worst-case scenario: namely, that Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who was accused of forcing himself sexually on two women, would somehow win the Democratic primary. So Democrats consoled themselves. “Terry” had been a popular governor the first time around, they told themselves, and was always an energetic campaigner. “Certainly, he comes into the race in a very formidable position,” veteran Virginia political scholar Bob Holsworth said at the time. “He’s a popular former governor. He has tons of resources. And he loves to campaign. At the same time, the open question in this campaign is whether he is the person for the moment.” The answer turned out to be no. On Tuesday, after a rolling election that lasted two full months, none of those assets was enough. McAuliffe lost a close election to Republican neophyte Glenn Youngkin. The tally, with 94% of the vote counted, is 50.7% to 48.6%. Meanwhile, in a potentially shocking upset in New Jersey, Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli holds a 1,200-vote edge over incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy with 97% of the total counted. If Ciattarelli holds on for victory, the result will defy the pre-election polling — and leave Democrats stunned and Republicans counting the days until the 2022 midterms. In Virginia, a large and diverse state, a close election hinges on many factors. Here are seven. Reason 1: McAuliffe’s previous tenure in office wasn’t an advantage. Because Old Dominion governors cannot succeed themselves, McAuliffe was hampered from running on his record in the traditional way, i.e., boasting how well the state’s economy is doing, for instance, because someone else currently occupies the governor’s mansion. At the same time, McAuliffe was an old familiar warhorse who ran in 2009 (when he lost the primary) and 2013 (when he won the general election), and who was a top Clinton fundraiser and foot soldier and Democratic Party leader for decades. By contrast, Glenn Youngkin was a fresh face in a year in which the electorate in Virginia, as elsewhere, is in a sour and restive mood and incumbency itself — as Gov. Murphy may have learned in New Jersey — is its own liability.  Also, McAuliffe’s tenure in Richmond seems like a long time ago in U.S. politics, even though it really wasn’t. Since he left office, Americans have endured a lethal and disruptive pandemic, the turbulence of the Donald Trump years, and a spike in the culture wars. And the Virginia campaign was sucked into the vortex of all of it.  Reason 2: Terry McAuliffe rarely said why he wanted to be governor again. Did he want to be in a position to run for president in 2024, a goal he hinted at in 2018? Was he bored? Is he simply addicted to competitive politics? On the rare occasions when McAuliffe engaged this subject, his utterances were anodyne. “This pandemic is a turning point in our lives, and our goal can’t be just to go back to where we were before,” he said as he began his campaign. “We need to think big and act bold to take Virginia to the next level. And the one thing that has the opportunity to lift up all Virginians is education.”  In one sense, this boilerplate rhetoric proved prescient: Education — specifically, how and who should run the commonwealth’s public schools — was the issue that probably decided the outcome, albeit not in a way Democrats foresaw. Reason 3: It’s the parents, stupid. On Sept. 29, a day when the RealClearPolitics polling average showed McAuliffe leading with 46.9% support (to Youngkin’s 43.4%), the candidates squared off in a debate. That night, Youngkin made two points that resonated with many voters with school-age children. The first was a broad, pandemic-era complaint: “What we’ve seen over the course of the past 20 months is school systems refusing to engage with parents.”  To illustrate this claim, Youngkin invoked an issue usually associated with cultural conservatives: a bill Gov. McAuliffe vetoed that would have given parents more agency over sexually explicit books in school libraries. “I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education,” Youngkin added. McAuliffe took the bait — and then some. He began his rebuttal by scoffing at Youngkin for being “clueless” because he’d never held elective office. “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions,” McAuliffe added. That would have been sustainable, possibly even deft. But for some reason, he punctuated that thought with these 12 fateful words: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”  The Youngkin campaign promptly ran ads consisting simply of a video clip of the exchange. By Election Day, Youngkin pressed his advantage repeatedly. “This is no longer a campaign,” he said. “It is a movement where we are … standing up and saying we have a fundamental right to be engaged in our kids’ education.”  Youngkin may have been a political novice, as McAuliffe pointed out snidely, but his instincts were better than those of an opponent who’d been in politics all his adult life. McAuliffe, with controversial teachers’ union president Randi Weingarten at his side, managed to galvanize thousands of tiger moms in opposition. Dads, too. Exit polling showed that 53% of voters said that parents should have “a lot of say” in their children’s education.  “That was a disaster for him,” veteran political strategist David Axelrod said Tuesday night as the votes rolled in. “I think the context was a little skewed … but it clearly galvanized voters.”  Reason 4: As the race tightened, McAuliffe doubled down on his approach to education. In the homestretch, he sounded less like the moderate middle-aged swing state Democrat who won the governorship eight years ago and more like a Gen-Z social justice warrior angling for a sinecure in a teachers’ union local. Critical race theory? Not taught anywhere in Virginia, McAuliffe maintained repeatedly — and inaccurately. Merely mentioning CRT, he sneered, is “a racist dog whistle.” McAuliffe also accused Glenn Youngkin of plotting to make abortion illegal in Virginia — which is not a power the governor possesses — and did so without feeling constrained by the facts.  By the last days of the campaign, McAuliffe was in full-on identity politics mode, asserting that minority students are made uneasy by the mere presence of white teachers. “In Virginia schools, K-12, 50% are students of color and yet 80% of teachers are white,” he said. “We all know what we have to do in a school to make everybody feel comfortable in school, so let’s diversify.”  What was the strategy here? To pump up the African American and Hispanic vote, one assumes, by making race a central component of the campaign. It may have backfired. At the least, it didn’t galvanize enough minority voters. Nor did the presence on the stump of Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris change the equation. President Biden campaigned in Virginia, too, echoing all of McAuliffe’s negative talking points, most especially the one that ultimately became the Democrats’ whole ballgame: trying to morph Glenn Youngkin into Donald Trump’s clone.  [ZH]: Turns out telling parents that they have no say in their kids education and their kid is also a racist was a bad campaign strategy — Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) November 3, 2021 Reason 5: For his part, Youngkin threaded the needle nicely on Trump. When this race began last summer, Glenn Youngkin was unknown in Virginia politics. Those who did know his name remembered him as a high school basketball star in the Tidewater area whose father played hoops at Duke. Youngkin himself played collegiately at Rice before going into business. With wealth accrued as a partner in a private equity firm, Youngkin was able to self-fund a Republican primary campaign in which he dispatched with not one, but two, Trump disciples. But he managed to do so without alienating the former president. Trump might have preferred one of the others, especially when Youngkin quietly rebuffed his offer to come campaign. But Trump clearly appreciated that Youngkin never bad-mouthed him, and the 45th president responded accordingly: He told his supporters to flood to the polls. Successfully negotiating the mine field of Trump’s prickly ego not only helped Youngkin win on Tuesday. It also illuminated the path for future GOP candidates competing in states and districts that aren’t deep Republican red. Reason 6: Virginia gubernatorial elections are traditionally tough for the party in the White House. Of the last 12 Virginia governors going back to 1977, when Republican John Dalton won office during Jimmy Carter’s first year in the Oval Office, 11 of them belonged to a different party than the president. This phenomenon can’t be blamed on Joe Biden any more than it can be blamed on Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, the Bushes, Barack Obama — or Donald Trump. In some years, the Virginia results portend a sea change, as was the case in 1993 when George Allen’s victory was an early sign of the “Republican Revolution” that gave the GOP control of both houses on Capitol Hill just one year later. Other times, such as in 1997, it foreshadowed nothing. One historical footnote: The only time in the past 44 years that a Virginia gubernatorial candidate belonging to the same party as the president won was in 2013 when Barack Obama was president (and Joe Biden was vice president). That candidate? None other than Terry McAuliffe. It was asking a lot of him to repeat that feat. As it happened, it was asking too much. Reason 7: Something was afoot Tuesday night, not just in the Virginia governor’s race — and not just in Virginia. In the Old Dominion, Republicans also picked up the lieutenant governorship — electing the first black woman to win statewide in Virginia history — while ousting a Democratic attorney general. In Minneapolis, voters overwhelmingly rejected a change in the city charter that would have restructured the much-maligned local police department. In Buffalo, a socialist who had won the Democratic primary for mayor was defeated by a write-in vote that went overwhelmingly to the incumbent. New York City’s new mayor is an ex-police officer who favors gun rights. Across the river in New Jersey — in the shock of the night —Ciattarelli has the incumbent Murphy on the ropes. This, in a state Joe Biden carried by 16 percentage points just one year ago. Is President Biden a disappointment to voters, a drag on down-ticket Democrats? Perhaps, but that seems too tidy an explanation. It’s true that after a healthy honeymoon with voters, Biden’s job approval rating has plummeted amid continued spikes in violent crime, the debacle in Afghanistan, chaos at the border, the continuing coronavirus pandemic, inflation in food and energy prices, and economic uncertainty propelled by a novel problem — employers can’t find enough workers to fill the jobs they have. And though it’s also true that Republicans are giddy this morning about finishing what they started come next year’s midterms, one plausible conclusion from Tuesday’s vote is that a majority of voters want Biden to be the president he promised to be. He was the moderate who defeated a slew of presidential contenders to his left — the one who vowed to work for all Americans, not just those who supported him. Yet he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi somehow find themselves under the thumb of the left wing of their own party. This nation’s electorate rejected the excesses of Trumpism. Tuesday was another corrective, a reminder to the Democratic Party that although few moderates remain in Washington, tens of millions of them live outside the Beltway. They are paying attention and they vote. Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/03/2021 - 20:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 3rd, 2021

If You Invested $1000 in Idexx Laboratories 10 Years Ago, This Is How Much You"d Have Now

Holding on to popular or trending stocks for the long-term can make your portfolio a winner. For most investors, how much a stock's price changes over time is important. Not only can it impact your investment portfolio, but it can also help you compare investment results across sectors and industries.FOMO, or the fear of missing out, also plays a role in investing, particularly with tech giants and popular consumer-facing stocks.What if you'd invested in Idexx Laboratories (IDXX) ten years ago? It may not have been easy to hold on to IDXX for all that time, but if you did, how much would your investment be worth today?Idexx Laboratories' Business In-DepthWith that in mind, let's take a look at Idexx Laboratories' main business drivers. Headquartered in Delaware NJ, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is a developer, manufacturer and distributer of products and services primarily for the companion animal veterinary, livestock and poultry, water testing and dairy markets. The company also sells a series of portable electrolytes and blood gas analyzers for the human point-of-care medical diagnostics market.IDEXX operates through four segments:Companion Animal Group (CAG) (88.1% of revenues in 2020, up 12.6% from 2019): This segment provides veterinarians with diagnostic capabilities and information management solutions that enhance the health and well-being of pets. The complementary nature of these products and services provides a unique competitive advantage known as the IDEXX Diagnostic Advantage, providing vets with tools and services necessary to offer advanced veterinary medical care.Water (4.8%, down 3.2 %): Through this segment, IDEXX provides innovative testing solutions for easy, rapid and accurate detection and quantification of various microbiological parameters in water, helping to ensure water safety for people around the world.Livestock, Poultry and Dairy (LPD) (5.4%, up 10%): Within this segment, IDEXX provides diagnostic tests and related instrumentation required to manage the health status of livestock and poultry, to improve bovine reproductive efficiency, and to ensure the quality and safety of milk and food. These products are purchased by government and private laboratories that provide testing services to cattle, swine and poultry veterinarians, producers and processors. this segment).Other (1.7%, up 108.7%): The company’s OPTI Medical operating segment has been combined and presented with the remaining pharmaceutical product line and the out-licensing arrangements in an ‘Other’ category, primarily because they do not meet the quantitative or qualitative thresholds for reportable segments.Bottom LineAnyone can invest, but building a successful investment portfolio takes a combination of a few things: research, patience, and a little bit of risk. So, if you had invested in Idexx Laboratories a decade ago, you're probably feeling pretty good about your investment today.A $1000 investment made in October 2011 would be worth $17,646.80, or a gain of 1,664.68%, as of October 29, 2021, according to our calculations. This return excludes dividends but includes price appreciation.In comparison, the S&P 500 gained 257.67% and the price of gold went up -0.91% over the same time frame.Looking ahead, analysts are expecting more upside for IDXX. IDEXX exited the second quarter of 2021 with better-than-expected results. Solid organic-revenue growth is encouraging. The top line in the quarter was driven by strong sales at the CAG, LPD and Water businesses. The company witnessed sturdy gains in CAG Diagnostics’ recurring revenues, supported by sustained strong global trends in pet healthcare in the quarter under review. Further, veterinary software, services and diagnostic imaging systems revenues grew strongly. The acquisition of ezyVet also contributed to growth. The raised 2021 outlook is indicative that this bullish momentum will continue through the rest of the year. Over the past six months, IDEXX has outperformed its industry. Yet, contraction of gross margin and escalating operating costs are discouraging. A weak capital structure and foreign exchange headwind remain concerns. Over the past four weeks, shares have rallied 5%, and there have been 1 higher earnings estimate revisions in the past two months for fiscal 2021 compared to none lower. The consensus estimate has moved up as well. Tech IPOs With Massive Profit Potential: Last years top IPOs surged as much as 299% within the first two months. With record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs and a record-setting stock market, this year could be even more lucrative. See Zacks’ Hottest Tech IPOs 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 IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (IDXX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 29th, 2021

The True Feasibility Of Moving Away From Fossil Fuels

The True Feasibility Of Moving Away From Fossil Fuels Authored by Gail Tverberg via Our Finite World blog, One of the great misconceptions of our time is the belief that we can move away from fossil fuels if we make suitable choices on fuels. In one view, we can make the transition to a low-energy economy powered by wind, water, and solar. In other versions, we might include some other energy sources, such as biofuels or nuclear, but the story is not very different. The problem is the same regardless of what lower bound a person chooses: our economy is way too dependent on consuming an amount of energy that grows with each added human participant in the economy. This added energy is necessary because each person needs food, transportation, housing, and clothing, all of which are dependent upon energy consumption. The economy operates under the laws of physics, and history shows disturbing outcomes if energy consumption per capita declines. There are a number of issues: The impact of alternative energy sources is smaller than commonly believed. When countries have reduced their energy consumption per capita by significant amounts, the results have been very unsatisfactory. Energy consumption plays a bigger role in our lives than most of us imagine. It seems likely that fossil fuels will leave us before we can leave them. The timing of when fossil fuels will leave us seems to depend on when central banks lose their ability to stimulate the economy through lower interest rates. If fossil fuels leave us, the result could be the collapse of financial systems and governments. [1] Wind, water and solar provide only a small share of energy consumption today; any transition to the use of renewables alone would have huge repercussions. According to BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy data, wind, water and solar only accounted for 9.4% 0f total energy consumption in 2017. Figure 1. Wind, Water and Solar as a percentage of total energy consumption, based on BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy. Even if we make the assumption that these types of energy consumption will continue to achieve the same percentage increases as they have achieved in the last 10 years, it will still take 20 more years for wind, water, and solar to reach 20% of total energy consumption. Thus, even in 20 years, the world would need to reduce energy consumption by 80% in order to operate the economy on wind, water and solar alone. To get down to today’s level of energy production provided by wind, water and solar, we would need to reduce energy consumption by 90%. [2] Venezuela’s example (Figure 1, above) illustrates that even if a country has an above average contribution of renewables, plus significant oil reserves, it can still have major problems. One point people miss is that having a large share of renewables doesn’t necessarily mean that the lights will stay on. A major issue is the need for long distance transmission lines to transport the renewable electricity from where it is generated to where it is to be used. These lines must constantly be maintained. Maintenance of electrical transmission lines has been an issue in both Venezuela’s electrical outages and in California’s recent fires attributed to the utility PG&E. There is also the issue of variability of wind, water and solar energy. (Note the year-to-year variability indicated in the Venezuela line in Figure 1.) A country cannot really depend on its full amount of wind, water, and solar unless it has a truly huge amount of electrical storage: enough to last from season-to-season and year-to-year. Alternatively, an extraordinarily large quantity of long-distance transmission lines, plus the ability to maintain these lines for the long term, would seem to be required. [3] When individual countries have experienced cutbacks in their energy consumption per capita, the effects have generally been extremely disruptive, even with cutbacks far more modest than the target level of 80% to 90% that we would need to get off fossil fuels.  Notice that in these analyses, we are looking at “energy consumption per capita.” This calculation takes the total consumption of all kinds of energy (including oil, coal, natural gas, biofuels, nuclear, hydroelectric, and renewables) and divides it by the population. Energy consumption per capita depends to a significant extent on what citizens within a given economy can afford. It also depends on the extent of industrialization of an economy. If a major portion of industrial jobs are sent to China and India and only service jobs are retained, energy consumption per capita can be expected to fall. This happens partly because local companies no longer need to use as many energy products. Additionally, workers find mostly service jobs available; these jobs pay enough less that workers must cut back on buying goods such as homes and cars, reducing their energy consumption. Example 1. Spain and Greece Between 2007-2014 Figure 2. Greece and Spain energy consumption per capita. Energy data is from BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy; population estimates are UN 2017 population estimates. The period between 2007 and 2014 was a period when oil prices tended to be very high. Both Greece and Spain are very dependent on oil because of their sizable tourist industries. Higher oil prices made the tourism services these countries sold more expensive for their consumers. In both countries, energy consumption per capita started falling in 2008 and continued to fall until 2014, when oil prices began falling. Spain’s energy consumption per capita fell by 18% between 2007 and 2014; Greece’s fell by 24% over the same period. Both Greece and Spain experienced high unemployment rates, and both have needed debt bailouts to keep their financial systems operating. Austerity measures were forced on Greece. The effects on the economies of these countries were severe. Regarding Spain, Wikipedia has a section called, “2008 to 2014 Spanish financial crisis,” suggesting that the loss of energy consumption per capita was highly correlated with the country’s financial crisis. Example 2: France and the UK, 2004 – 2017 Both France and the UK have experienced falling energy consumption per capita since 2004, as oil production dropped (UK) and as industrialization was shifted to countries with a cheaper total cost of labor and fuel. Immigrant labor was added, as well, to better compete with the cost structures of the countries that France and the UK were competing against. With the new mix of workers and jobs, the quantity of goods and services that these workers could afford (per capita) has been falling. Figure 3. France and UK energy consumption per capita. Energy data is from BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy; population estimates are UN 2017 population estimates. Comparing 2017 to 2004, energy consumption per capita is down 16% for France and 25% in the UK. Many UK citizens have been very unhappy, wanting to leave the European Union. France recently has been experiencing “Yellow Vest” protests, at least partly related to an increase in carbon taxes. Higher carbon taxes would make energy-based goods and services less affordable. This would likely reduce France’s energy consumption per capita even further. French citizens with their protests are clearly not happy about how they are being affected by these changes. Example 3: Syria (2006-2016) and Yemen (2009-2016) Both Syria and Yemen are examples of formerly oil-exporting countries that are far past their peak production. Declining energy consumption per capita has been forced on both countries because, with their oil exports falling, the countries can no longer afford to use as much energy as they did in the past for previous uses, such as irrigation. If less irrigation is used, food production and jobs are lost. (Syria and Yemen) Figure 4. Syria and Yemen energy consumption per capita. Energy consumption data from US Energy Information Administration; population estimates are UN 2017 estimates. Between Yemen’s peak year in energy consumption per capita (2009) and the last year shown (2016), its energy consumption per capita dropped by 66%. Yemen has been named by the United Nations as the country with the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” Yemen cannot provide adequate food and water for its citizens. Yemen is involved in a civil war that others have entered into as well. I would describe the war as being at least partly a resource war. The situation with Syria is similar. Syria’s energy consumption per capita declined 55% between its peak year (2006) and the last year available (2016). Syria is also involved in a civil war that has been entered into by others. Here again, the issue seems to be inadequate resources per capita; war participants are to some extent fighting over the limited resources that are available. Example 4: Venezuela (2008-2017) Figure 5. Energy consumption per capita for Venezuela, based on BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy data and UN 2017 population estimates. Between 2008 and 2017, energy consumption per capita in Venezuela declined by 23%. This is a little less than the decreases experienced by the UK and Greece during their periods of decline. Even with this level of decline, Venezuela has been having difficulty providing adequate services to its citizens. There have been reports of empty supermarket shelves. Venezuela has not been able to maintain its electrical system properly, leading to many outages. [4] Most people are surprised to learn that energy is required for every part of the economy. When adequate energy is not available, an economy is likely to first shrink back in recession; eventually, it may collapse entirely. Physics tells us that energy consumption in a thermodynamically open system enables all kinds of “complexity.” Energy consumption enables specialization and hierarchical organizations. For example, growing energy consumption enables the organizations and supply lines needed to manufacture computers and other high-tech goods. Of course, energy consumption also enables what we think of as typical energy uses: the transportation of goods, the smelting of metals, the heating and air-conditioning of buildings, and the construction of roads. Energy is even required to allow pixels to appear on a computer screen. Pre-humans learned to control fire over one million years ago. The burning of biomass was a tool that could be used for many purposes, including keeping warm in colder climates, frightening away predators, and creating better tools. Perhaps its most important use was to permit food to be cooked, because cooking increases food’s nutritional availability. Cooked food seems to have been important in allowing the brains of humans to grow bigger at the same time that teeth, jaws and guts could shrink compared to those of ancestors. Humans today need to be able to continue to cook part of their food to have a reasonable chance of survival. Any kind of governmental organization requires energy. Having a single leader takes the least energy, especially if the leader can continue to perform his non-leadership duties. Any kind of added governmental service (such as roads or schools) requires energy. Having elected leaders who vote on decisions takes more energy than having a king with a few high-level aides. Having multiple layers of government takes energy. Each new intergovernmental organization requires energy to fly its officials around and implement its programs. International trade clearly requires energy consumption. In fact, pretty much every activity of businesses requires energy consumption. Needless to say, the study of science or of medicine requires energy consumption, because without significant energy consumption to leverage human energy, nearly every person must be a subsistence level farmer, with little time to study or to take time off from farming to write (or even read) books. Of course, manufacturing medicines and test tubes requires energy, as does creating sterile environments. We think of the many parts of the economy as requiring money, but it is really the physical goods and services that money can buy, and the energy that makes these goods and services possible, that are important. These goods and services depend to a very large extent on the supply of energy being consumed at a given point in time–for example, the amount of electricity being delivered to customers and the amount of gasoline and diesel being sold. Supply chains are very dependent on each part of the system being available when needed. If one part is missing, long delays and eventually collapse can occur. [5] If the supply of energy to an economy is reduced for any reason, the result tends to be very disruptive, as shown in the examples given in Section [3], above. When an economy doesn’t have enough energy, its self-organizing feature starts eliminating pieces of the economic system that it cannot support. The financial system tends to be very vulnerable because without adequate economic growth, it becomes very difficult for borrowers to repay debt with interest. This was part of the problem that Greece and Spain had in the period when their energy consumption per capita declined. A person wonders what would have happened to these countries without bailouts from the European Union and others. Another part that is very vulnerable is governmental organizations, especially the higher layers of government that were added last. In 1991, the Soviet Union’s central government was lost, leaving the governments of the 15 republics that were part of the Soviet Union. As energy consumption per capita declines, the European Union would seem to be very vulnerable. Other international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, would seem to be vulnerable, as well. The electrical system is very complex. It seems to be easily disrupted if there is a material decrease in energy consumption per capita because maintenance of the system becomes difficult. If energy consumption per capita falls dramatically, many changes that don’t seem directly energy-related can be expected. For example, the roles of men and women are likely to change. Without modern medical care, women will likely need to become the mothers of several children in order that an average of two can survive long enough to raise their own children. Men will be valued for the heavy manual labor that they can perform. Today’s view of the equality of the sexes is likely to disappear because sex differences will become much more important in a low-energy world. Needless to say, other aspects of a low-energy economy might be very different as well. For example, one very low-energy type of economic system is a “gift economy.” In such an economy, the status of each individual is determined by the amount that that person can give away. Anything a person obtains must automatically be shared with the local group or the individual will be expelled from the group. In an economy with very low complexity, this kind of economy seems to work. A gift economy doesn’t require money or debt! [6] Most people assume that moving away from fossil fuels is something we can choose to do with whatever timing we would like. I would argue that we are not in charge of the process. Instead, fossil fuels will leave us when we lose the ability to reduce interest rates sufficiently to keep oil and other fossil fuel prices high enough for energy producers. Something that may seem strange to those who do not follow the issue is the fact that oil (and other energy prices) seem to be very much influenced by interest rates and the level of debt. In general, the lower the interest rate, the more affordable high-priced goods such as factories, homes, and automobiles become, and the higher commodity prices of all kinds can be. “Demand” increases with falling interest rates, causing energy prices of all types to rise.   Figure 6.   The cost of extracting oil is less important in determining oil prices than a person might expect. Instead, prices seem to be determined by what end products consumers (in the aggregate) can afford. In general, the more debt that individual citizens, businesses and governments can obtain, the higher that oil and other energy prices can rise. Of course, if interest rates start rising (instead of falling), there is a significant chance of a debt bubble popping, as defaults rise and asset prices decline. Interest rates have been generally falling since 1981 (Figure 7). This is the direction needed to support ever-higher energy prices. Figure 7. Chart of 3-month and 10-year interest rates, prepared by the FRED, using data through March 27, 2019. The danger now is that interest rates are approaching the lowest level that they can possibly reach. We need lower interest rates to support the higher prices that oil producers require, as their costs rise because of depletion. In fact, if we compare Figures 7 and 8, the Federal Reserve has been supporting higher oil and other energy prices with falling interest rates practically the whole time since oil prices rose above the inflation adjusted level of $20 per barrel! Figure 8. Historical inflation adjusted prices oil, based on data from 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, with the low price period for oil highlighted. Once the Federal Reserve and other central banks lose their ability to cut interest rates further to support the need for ever-rising oil prices, the danger is that oil and other commodity prices will fall too low for producers. The situation is likely to look like the second half of 2008 in Figure 6. The difference, as we reach limits on how low interest rates can fall, is that it will no longer be possible to stimulate the economy to get energy and other commodity prices back up to an acceptable level for producers. [7] Once we hit the “no more stimulus impasse,” fossil fuels will begin leaving us because prices will fall too low for companies extracting these fuels. They will be forced to leave because they cannot make an adequate profit. One example of an oil producer whose production was affected by an extended period of low prices is the Soviet Union (or USSR). Figure 9. Oil production of the former Soviet Union together with oil prices in 2017 US$. All amounts from 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. The US substantially raised interest rates in 1980-1981 (Figure 7). This led to a sharp reduction in oil prices, as the higher interest rates cut back investment of many kinds, around the world. Given the low price of oil, the Soviet Union reduced new investment in new fields. This slowdown in investment first reduced the rate of growth in oil production, and eventually led to a decline in production in 1988 (Figure 9). When oil prices rose again, production did also. Figure 10. Energy consumption per capita for the former Soviet Union, based on BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy data and UN 2017 population estimates. The Soviet Union’s energy consumption per capita reached its highest level in 1988 and began declining in 1989. The central government of the Soviet Union did not collapse until late 1991, as the economy was increasingly affected by falling oil export revenue. Some of the changes that occurred as the economy simplified itself were the loss of the central government, the loss of a large share of industry, and a great deal of job loss. Energy consumption per capita dropped by 36% between 1988 and 1998. It has never regained its former level. Venezuela is another example of an oil exporter that, in theory, could export more oil, if oil prices were higher. It is interesting to note that Venezuela’s highest energy consumption per capita occurred in 2008, when oil prices were high. We are now getting a chance to observe what the collapse in Venezuela looks like on a day- by-day basis. Figure 5, above, shows Venezuela’s energy consumption per capita pattern through 2017. Low oil prices since 2014 have particularly adversely affected the country. [8] Conclusion: We can’t know exactly what is ahead, but it is clear that moving away from fossil fuels will be far more destructive of our current economy than nearly everyone expects.  It is very easy to make optimistic forecasts about the future if a person doesn’t carefully examine what the data and the science seem to be telling us. Most researchers come from narrow academic backgrounds that do not seek out insights from other fields, so they tend not to understand the background story. A second issue is the desire for a “happy ever after” ending to our current energy predicament. If a researcher is creating an economic model without understanding the underlying principles, why not offer an outcome that citizens will like? Such a solution can help politicians get re-elected and can help researchers get grants for more research. We should be examining the situation more closely than most people have considered. The fact that interest rates cannot drop much further is particularly concerning. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 22:10.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 26th, 2021

Work begins on advanced research center at BNY

The Pratt Institute, New York City College of Technology (City Tech) and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) are partnering to create a new  advanced research and applied learning facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Construction on the project, which received funding from the New York City Council, Brooklyn... The post Work begins on advanced research center at BNY appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The Pratt Institute, New York City College of Technology (City Tech) and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) are partnering to create a new  advanced research and applied learning facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Construction on the project, which received funding from the New York City Council, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and New York State, is expected to be complete by early 2022. The Research Yard will connect faculty and students from both Pratt and City Tech with the Yard’s ecosystem of more than 500 businesses. The co-location of a public and private university facility within a community of businesses will create the opportunity for faculty and entrepreneurs to collaborate on industry-relevant research and new product development.  Students, faculty, and industry professionals will work together on research projects, sharing cutting-edge technology and equipment and co-producing finished projects. This unique partnership offers students the rare opportunity to build their professional networks to help them secure internships and jobs in the fields they’re interested in working in. The concept of a shared research facility between Pratt faculty, Brooklyn Navy Yard, and the community was originally conceived as the “Pratt Research Yard.” The initiative has since expanded and become a public/private partnership that is now called the “Research Yard of Pratt Institute, City Tech, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” or, informally, the Research Yard. The Research Lab will be located in Building 3 “In bringing two renowned academic institutions to a major job hub, the Research Yard will open doors for students by offering a hands-on learning environment,” said David Ehrenberg, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “This unique partnership is an extension of the Yard’s mission to create a pipeline of quality jobs, while also providing the experiential learning and skill building that make these jobs accessible to the local community. We look forward to starting work on this exciting project and welcoming a new generation to the Navy Yard.” “Building this advanced creative research facility just blocks from the Pratt campus and alongside the businesses and entrepreneurs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is crucial for New York City, and especially for the Borough of Brooklyn. The Research Yard of Pratt Institute, City Tech, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard will further enable our research leaders to work with the local community on today’s important challenges,” said Pratt Institute President Frances Bronet. “We are deeply appreciative of the funding support we have received from the city and state, and with this latest investment from the City Council.” “Nearly half of our students live and work in Brooklyn and over 90% of our students reside in New York City.  The Research Yard will provide a seamless and braided experience for our students and faculty to work alongside local workforce talent and tech industries,” said City Tech’s Dean of the School of Technology & Design, Dr. Gerarda Shields. “Funding for the Research Yard is a testament to the NY City Council’s commitment of forwarding City Tech as a national engine of economic mobility in Downtown Brooklyn.” The Research Yard will be headquartered in a 27,000 s/f  space in the Navy Yard’s eleven-story Building 3, originally built in 1918 at the end of World War I. The space, which was configured as a traditional warehouse and fulfillment center, will be transformed by architectural firm Smith-Miller + Hawkinson, LLP into a 21st century industry-education research model supporting the creative economy. With Pratt consolidating and relocating all its research centers and accelerators to the Research Yard, the newly designed open plan facility will include fabrication labs as well as research areas for the study of robotics, information visualization, sustainability, community development, environmental sensing, design incubation in rural areas, and digital archeology, along with a number of accelerators.  The space will also house a facility for the New York City College of Technology (CUNY City Tech), where CUNY students and faculty will gain hands-on experience collaborating with industry professionals from the Yard’s ecosystem of more than 500 businesses, along with their peers from Pratt. A total of $6 million has been earmarked for the Research Yard, including $4.2 million from the New York City Council, with an additional $1.8 million coming from Pratt, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY). At the same time, the facility will provide much-needed fabrication space for City Tech staff and students. The Research Yard will expand access for City Tech faculty and students to gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge technologies and the industry professionals that use them. By providing real-time feedback loops from learning to industry application, City Tech faculty and students will benefit from industry-immersed research and applied learning within an authentic work environment. Industry partners will benefit from an infusion of knowledge and research, while helping to invest in the development of a skilled pipeline of City Tech students who are equipped with the skills and experiences needed to fill entry-level roles at their businesses.  The Research Yard under City Tech will focus on the following technologies: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Collaborative Robot (Cobots) and Automation technology focuses on robotic solutions that make manufacturing and warehouses more efficient, cost-effective and safe with collaborative robots sharing workspace with people and allowing for products to be made with more precision than ever before. Building Performance and Digital Fabrication is a response to the need for more sustainable and energy efficient structures, now with the emphasis on healthy buildings in a pandemic era and beyond.  Digital fabrication has been embraced by both the architectural and engineering industries.  The Yard will enable faculty and students to utilize three types of digital fabrication methods: additive manufacturing, subtractive manufacturing and robotic manipulation. Remote Sensing Technology for a Climate Resilient Future requires accurate, precise data – and a lot of it.  With the assistance of drone technology, data can be collected real-time and with increased spatial, spectral and temporal resolution allowing for more accurate climate predictions. With Pratt research centers and accelerators housed at the facility, the Research Yard will support the local community in a variety of research initiatives. Pratt’s Consortium for Research and Robotics will incubate small businesses and expand its community engagement and corporate research partners, while local manufacturing members at the Navy Yard that are already part of the Pratt Center for Community Development’s Made in NYC initiative will extend this network. The Pratt Sustainability Center plans to create a GIVE/TAKE program overseen by students where art supplies and other materials can be recycled and reused by the community, and the Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative, which uses geographic information systems (GIS)-centered research as well as mapping, data, design and visualization to understand and empower urban communities. The centers that are being relocated to the Research Yard include: The Consortium for Research and Robotics (CRR) is a new model for collaboration, competition, and creativity with New York City’s largest industrial robot. Currently housed in the BNYDC, the CRR has unique facilities, professional and academic networks, and various other resources. The CRR will move from its current location to the PRY facility. Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative (SAVI) is a geographic information systems-focused research center that uses mapping, data and design to better understand urban communities. The lab provides technical solutions, and resources to nonprofit organizations that need to better understand their data to make informed decisions. In addition to engagement with BNYDC tenants, The Research Yard will connect Pratt and City Tech students, faculty and staff with the Brooklyn Navy Yard STEAM Center, a career and technical training high school for 11th and 12th grade students who come from eight Brooklyn public high schools. Alongside faculty, college and high school students will participate in research addressing real world problems ranging from sustainability in manufacturing processes, an important focus for the Navy Yard in adapting 20th-century industrial buildings for 21st-century uses. Inviting high school students to participate in this crucial research will allow students to improve the landscape of today as New York recovers from the toll of the pandemic while offering them pathways to become leaders in future resiliency efforts. The post Work begins on advanced research center at BNY appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyOct 26th, 2021

Transcript: Soraya Darabi

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

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureOct 20th, 2021

Futures Top 4,500 As Market Meltup Accelerates

Futures Top 4,500 As Market Meltup Accelerates Over the weekend, a Goldman flow trader explained why it expected a powerful market meltup to emerge in coming days, and this time Goldman was right because after trading at 4317 just one week ago, spoos are now almost 200 points higher, rising above 4500 this morning after a powerful ramp pushed US equity futures and global markets as an upbeat profit forecast from Johnson & Johnson which boosted (get it "boosted") its Revenue and EPS guidance, added to the positive momentum in corporate earnings generated by big banks last week and helped counter concerns about elevated inflation. At 715 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 183 points, or 0.52%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 22.75 points, or 0.51%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 61.75 points, or 0.40%. Treasury yields were unchanged at 1.60% and the dollar slumped to a 4 week low. In premarket trading Johnson & Johnson - whose covid vaccine will soon be "mixed and matched" with mRNA platforms - rose 1.7% after it raised its 2021 adjusted profit forecast, even as it stuck to its outlook of $2.5 billion in sales from its COVID-19 vaccine this year. Walmart rose 2% after Goldman Sachs added the world’s largest retailer to its “Americas Conviction List”. Travelers Cos Inc rose 2.7% after the property and casualty insurer beat estimates for third-quarter profit. Large-cap FAAMG names all rose between 0.3% and 0.7%. Netflix Inc rose 0.1% ahead of its quarterly results later in the day, where it is expected to report blowout guidance for subscriber growth on the back of Squid Games. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Crypto stocks in spotlight as Bitcoin continued its climb toward all-time highs, bolstered by optimism over the launch of the first Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund in the U.S. on Tuesday Hive Blockchain (HIVE US) +1.8%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +2.3%, Marathon Digital (MARA US) +0.9%, Bitfarms (BITF US) +3.9% AgEagle Aerial Systems (UAVS US) shares rise as much as 16% in U.S. premarket after the provider of drones, sensors and software entered into a definitive agreement to buy Sensefly from Parrot at a valuation of $23m in cash and stock Steel Dynamics (STLD US) +1.5% in U.S. premarket trading after it reported 3Q adj. EPS above average analyst estimate Frontline (FRO US) jumps 6.5% in U.S. premarket trading, helped by rising oil prices Apple (AAPL US) marginally higher Tuesday premarket after analysts were upbeat on the company following an event where it showcased a revamp of its MacBook Pro laptops, along with new audio products EverQuote (EVER US) shares slipped Monday postmarket after co. cut 3Q revenue outlook TaskUS (TAS US) fell 6.8% Monday postmarket after holders offered shares via Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Markets have taken comfort from robust earnings, but also grappling with the prospect of tightening monetary policy to quell price pressures. As Bloomberg notesm, traders are waiting to see if a slate of Federal Reserve speakers this week will try to calm the jitters stemming from the scaling back of pandemic-era policy support. “The world is watching interest rates more closely than it has for some time -- and rightly so, the moves have been emphatic, especially in the short-term maturities,” Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Financial Pty, wrote in a note. He added it’s “impressive how resilient and calm markets are in the face of the rates repricing.” Still, the recent bounce in the Nasdaq 100 index has failed to shoo away the bears, with net short positions on the tech-heavy benchmark higher than at the peak of the pandemic, Citigroup strategists said. J&J, P&G, Philip Morris, Netflix and United Airlines are scheduled to report today. “We’ve seen companies post some fairly decent beats,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in London. “While it’s been notable that most have cited concerns about rising costs, as well as supply-chain disruptions, we haven’t seen many significant profit downgrades yet.” In Europe, gains for mining companies outweighed a retreat for the travel industry, lifting the Stoxx Europe 600 Index up 0.2%. Danone dropped 2.2% in Paris after the French food giant reported sales that were overall in line with expectations, but warned of rising costs of milk, packaging and transportation. Ericsson AB fell after sales were hit by supply chain issues.  Miners and oil & gas are the strongest sectors, healthcare and travel underperform. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Moneysupermarket.com shares climb as much as 8.9% after the British price comparison website posted its 3Q update and announced the acquisition of cashback site Quidco for GBP101m in cash. Hochschild gains as much as 6.8% after the silver miner said it plans to spin off the rare earths project it bought two years ago and list the new company in Canada. Software AG drops as much as 14%, the most since 2014, after the company cut its FY bookings growth guidance in the Digital Business segment, which analysts highlight as a negative. Bachem falls as much as 11% to CHF745 after placing 750,000 new shares at CHF778 apiece to raise CHF584m for growth. Beijer Ref trades down as much 7.2% after the cooling and heatings systems manufacturer missed analyst estimates on both sales and profit in 3Q. Earlier in the session, Asian equities gained, buoyed by a rebound in technology shares listed in Hong Kong and elsewhere in the region amid better-than-expected earnings and lower valuations. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1%, as TSMC and Alibaba provided some of the biggest boosts. The Hang Seng Tech Index rose to its highest since Sept. 13, as Chinese authorities are said to be considering opening up access for content on Tencent and ByteDance platforms to search engines such as Baidu. “Markets are currently adjusting their expectations around regulatory risks,” said Jun Rong Yeap, market strategist at IG Asia.  Most benchmarks in the region were in the green as the earnings season comforted edgy investors, who are keenly watching inflation figures, supply chain bottlenecks and China’s growth slowdown. The Asian measure crossed above a key technical level that it’s been flip-flopping around for most of 2021. Some material and energy stocks took a breather, even as supply shortages and strong demand cause a price surge for raw materials. Profits for Asian oil refiners have shot back up to pre-pandemic levels as the shortage of gas and coal sparks a rush to secure alternative supplies. “The policy misstep, which I think is unlikely, is for central banks to confuse themselves by saying there’s inflation because of us, as aggregate demand is way too strong and so let’s fix a supply chain, Covid-driven pickup in costs by tightening monetary policies,” Ajay Kapur, head emerging markets strategy at BofA Global Research told Bloomberg Television. In a notable development, China Evergrande Group’s main onshore unit paid interest due Tuesday on a yuan bond, Reuters reported, citing four people with knowledge of the matter. Japanese equities rose, powered by advances in technology stocks as cyclicals fell. Electronics makers and telecommunications providers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which gained 0.4%. Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group were the largest contributors to a 0.7% rise in the Nikkei 225. Australian stocks snapped a 3-day winning streak as banks, miners declined. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.1% to close at 7,374.90, edging lower after three consecutive days of advances. Mining stocks and banks were the biggest drags on the benchmark. Appen was among the top performers, extending gains for a fifth straight session. Chalice Mining retreated, snapping a four-day winning streak. Higher interest rates would remove some of the heat from the nation’s property market, though it would come at the cost of fewer jobs and weaker wages growth, the Reserve Bank of Australia said in minutes of its October meeting released Tuesday.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5% to 13,065.92. “We are going to get a lot of information on whether margins are being squeezed by these shortages and higher prices and wages continuing to go up,” JoAnne Feeney, Advisors Capital Management partner and portfolio manager, said on Bloomberg Television. She added the delta-plus Covid variant could be among sources of volatility in the next few months. In rates, Treasury yields fell, led by the front end; Bund yields were also lower but by less than U.S. peers. Yields are richer by 2bp-3bp across front-end of the curve, cheaper by ~1bp across long-end, with 2s10s, 5s30s spreads steeper by 2bp-3bp; 10-year is little changed at 1.597%, with bunds, gilts lagging by ~2bp. Daily ranges remain narrow while bunds and gilts underperform. Stock index futures are rising, lifting S&P 500 futures to highest level in more than a month.  In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index plunged as the dollar steepened its losses throughout the day; the greenback fell versus all of its Group-of-10 peers and risk-sensitive antipodean and Scandinavian currencies were the best performers.  The euro advanced a fifth consecutive day against the greenback to touch an almost three-week high of $1.1663. Options suggest the euro will rise above a string of resistance levels that it faces in the spot market. Australian and New Zealand dollars both advanced to the strongest in more than a month as lower Treasury yields dragged down the U.S. currency. Australia’s sovereign bonds rebounded after minutes from the nation’s latest central bank meeting prompted a rollback of early rate-hike bets. The central bank said it is committed to maintaining a supportive policy until actual inflation is sustainably within its 2%-3% target range. The yen snapped a three-day decline aided by falling U.S. yields and as traders saw the recent losses as excessive; Japan’s 20-year debt sale drew the lowest bid-to-cover ratio since 2015. In commodities, oil gained as Russia signaled that it won’t go out of its way to offer European consumers extra gas to ease the current energy crisis unless it gets regulatory approval to start shipments through the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Spot gold rallied, clawing back half of Friday’s losses to trade near $1,780/oz. Base metals are well bid. LME nickel and tin outperform, both rising over 2%. Looking at the day ahead, and we’ll hear from an array of central bank speakers, including the BoE’s Governor Bailey, Pill and Mann, the ECB’s Rehn, Centeno, Elderson, Panetta and Lane, along with the Fed’s Daly, Barkin, Bostic and Waller. Otherwise, US Data releases including September’s housing starts and building permits, and earnings today include Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Netflix, Philip Morris International and BNY Mellon. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 4,488.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 467.87 MXAP up 1.0% to 200.25 MXAPJ up 1.2% to 658.33 Nikkei up 0.7% to 29,215.52 Topix up 0.4% to 2,026.57 Hang Seng Index up 1.5% to 25,787.21 Shanghai Composite up 0.7% to 3,593.15 Sensex up 0.5% to 62,070.31 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,374.85 Kospi up 0.7% to 3,029.04 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $84.63/bbl Gold spot up 1.0% to $1,782.67 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.36% to 93.61 German 10Y yield rose 4.7 bps to -0.155% Euro up 0.4% to $1.1652 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau says there is no reason to raise rates next year as inflation will come back below ECB’s 2% target, according to France Info radio interview U.S. Treasuries, European sovereigns, U.K. gilts and emerging-market credit are all set to lose money over the 12 months through September as dwindling coupons provide little cushion against rising yields, according to forecasts from Bloomberg Intelligence. Adding to the potentially toxic environment for bonds is the prospect of major central banks unwinding debt purchases and raising interest rates U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to find a solution to Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol, a sign that a compromise will be reached with the European Union in a dispute that had threatened to spiral into a trade war. Bitcoin continued its climb toward all-time highs, bolstered by optimism over the upcoming launch of the first Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund in the U.S. by asset manager ProShares China’s property and construction industries contracted in the third quarter for the first time since the start of the pandemic, weighed by a slump in real estate China’s central bank has room to cut the amount of cash banks must hold in reserve in order to boost liquidity and support economic growth, a government adviser said Contagion effects on inflation from the recent surge in energy prices can’t be excluded, but they are not the most likely scenario, Riksbank Deputy Governor Martin Floden says in parliamentary hearing A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets were kept afloat with the region encouraged after the mostly positive lead from US, where equity markets shrugged off the hawkish calls on global rates and big tech gained including Apple which benefitted following its hardware event. ASX 200 (-0.1%) was initially marginally higher as tech mirrored the outperformance of the sector stateside and with notable gains in property stocks, although the advances in the index were capped and upside faded ahead of resistance at the 7,400 level and due to weakness in mining-related stocks following yesterday’s cooldown in commodity prices, as well as lower production results from BHP. Nikkei 225 (+0.7%) was underpinned as exporters benefitted from favourable currency flows, while the KOSPI (+0.7%) was also firmer with the index unfazed by the latest North Korean projectile launches which were said to be ballistic missiles and therefore banned under UN Security Council resolutions. Hang Seng (+1.5%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.7%) adhered to the upbeat mood with Hong Kong the biggest gainer in the region amid strength across a broad range of sectors aside from energy due to the recent pullback in oil and with casino names also underwhelmed by weaker Q3 Macau gaming revenue compared with the prior quarter. Finally, 10yr JGBs nursed some of yesterday’s losses after global counterparts also found reprieve from the latest bout of bond selling pressure but with the recovery only marginal amid the mostly positive risk tone and following mixed results from the 20yr JGB auction. Top Asian News Alibaba Unveils One of China’s Most Advanced Chips Secretive Body Leads Xinjiang’s AI Policing, Report Finds China’s Central Bank Should Cut RRR, Government Adviser Says China’s Curbs on Fertilizer Exports to Worsen Global Price Shock European equities (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.1%; Stoxx 600 +0.2%) trade with an upside in an attempt to claw back some of yesterday’s losses with fresh macro impulses relatively light since Monday’s close. The Asia-Pac session was predominantly firmer with indices kept afloat by the mostly positive lead from the US and performance in the tech sector. As it stands, US equity index futures are marginally firmer with performance across the majors relatively even (ES +0.4%) as markets await a slew of large-cap earnings. In terms of market commentary, JP Morgan notes that global EPS revisions remain plentiful as sell-side analysts’ global EPS upgrades continue to outnumber EPS downgrades. That said, JPM is of the view that the trend is slowing. In terms of the sector breakdown, analysts note that Defensive Sectors show improving EPS revisions, whilst Global Cyclicals sectors such as Technology, Financials, Energy, Industrials and Discretionary dominate the largest upgrades. Back to Europe, sectors are mostly firmer with outperformance in Basic Resources amid upside in underlying commodity prices. Elsewhere, Retail names also outperform peers with some of the French luxury names such as Kering, LVMH and Hermes trying to claw back some of yesterday’s post-Chinese GDP losses with the former set to release earnings after-hours. To the downside, the Telecoms sector sits in modest negative as Ericsson (-0.3%) acts as a drag post-Q3 results. In terms of individual movers, Pearson (+3.6%) stands at the top of the Stoxx 600 after being upgraded at Credit Suisse, whilst Iberdrola (+3.2%) is also a notable gainer amid news that it is to invest USD 8.3bln into a North Sea wind farm complex – its largest global investment. Laggards include Teamviewer (-4.8%) following a broker downgrade at Exane, whilst broker action has also hampered IAG (-3.5%). In terms of large cap earnings, Danone (-1%) shares are seen lower after flagging rising costs and a slowdown in sales growth. Top European News European Gas Prices Drop on Windy and Mild Weather Forecasts Most of Barclays’ U.S. Workers Now Back in Office, Staley Says Poland Escalates Rule-of-Law Dispute, Risking EU Recovery Money Goldman Sachs Investment Banker Joins Nordic Venture Fund Hadean In FX, a downbeat session for the Dollar thus far as the index retreats further from the 94.000 mark to extend the lower bound of a two-week range. There has been little in terms of fundamental catalysts to trigger the selloff as yields remain elevated (albeit off recent highs), and market sentiment remains tentative. State-side, there is a lack of developments Capitol Hill, with US President Biden stating that he is "right now" going to try for a deal with Moderate Democratic Senator Manchin, while it was separately reported that Senator Manchin said he does not see how a deal on Biden's agenda will happen by October 31st. The DXY is more interesting from a technical standpoint after falling just short of the 100 WMA (94.213) during yesterday's session to a high of 94.174 and losses exacerbated overnight by a breach of support at the 21 DMA (98.879) – with the line acting as firm support over the past three consecutive trading sessions. The next levels to the downside naturally reside at the 93.500 mark – with clean air seen until the psychological mark. Below that, the September 28th low resides at 93.360, followed by the 50 DMA at 93.242 and the 27th Sept base at 93.206. Ahead, the data docket remains light, but Fed speak is abundant, although from regulars. AUD, NZD, CAD - The antipodeans top the G10 chart, with the NZD the marked outperformer as participants mull stepper RBNZ rate hikes following yesterday's hot Kiwi CPI metrics. ANZ Bank brought forward its forecast for the RBNZ to lift the OCR to a neutral rate of 2% by August 2022 from a prior forecast of a neutral rate by the end of 2022. NZD/USD surpassed its 200 DMA - which matches the 0.7100 psychological level (vs low 0.7079). The pair now probes 0.7150 with some potential resistance seen at 0.7156 (September 10th high), 0.7167 (September 6th high), and 0.7170 (September 3rd high). The Aussie meanwhile saw a relatively mundane RBA minutes release, but the AUD optimism is likely spurred by the rebound in base metals. AUD/USD found support at its 100 DMA (0.7406) and inches closer towards 0.7450. Gains in the CAD are still somewhat hampered by the slide in crude prices yesterday; nonetheless, USD/CAD re-eyes levels last seen in July. EUR, GBP, JPY - All benefit from the softer Dollar, although the Sterling fares slightly better as BoE market pricing provides further tailwinds; markets are currently assigning a 78% probability of a 25bps hike at the November 4th confab. HBSC weighed in this morning and suggested the economic fundamentals do not appear to have changed sufficiently to warrant the recent market move, with market pricing looking too aggressive given the balance of supply and demand in their view. This followed GS and JPM reeling in their BoE hike forecasts yesterday. GBP/USD extends upside above 1.3800 and topped its 100 DMA situated at 1.3809. On the UK docket, BoE’s Mann and Chief Economic Pill could provide some more meat on the bones following Governor Bailey’s weekend remarks. EUR/USD was bolstered above its 21 DMA (1.1620) and posts gains north of 1.1650 at the time of writing, with the pair also eyeing chunky OpEx with EUR 1.3bln between 1.1600-15 and EUR 581mln between 1.1670-75. EUR/GBP meanwhile tests 0.8450 to the downside from a current 0.8463 high. USD/JPY has pulled back after failing to breach resistance just ahead of the 114.50 mark, with the softer Buck bringing the pair back towards the 114.00 ahead – with Friday's base at 113.63. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are nursing yesterday’s wounds and prices remain elevated despite a lack of fresh catalysts and with the macro landscape little changed as of late. The themes remain a) OPEC+ supply, b) supply crunch in the natural gas, LNG, electricity, and coal markets and c) winter demand. Elsewhere, the White House said it is continuing to press OPEC members to address the oil supply issue and is also addressing logistics of supply. Furthermore, the White House will use every lever at its disposal and the FTC is also looking at possible price gouging. WTI Nov extends gains above USD 83/bbl (vs 82.05/bbl low) while Brent Dec aims at USD 85/bbl (vs low 83.83/bbl). Elsewhere, metals have been spurred by the retreat in the Dollar, with spot gold topping its 50 DMA (1,778/oz) after testing its 21 DMA (1,760/oz) overnight, with the yellow metal also seeing its 200 and 100 DMAs at 1,793/oz and 1,794/oz respectively. Over to base metals, Dalian iron ore futures snapped a four-day losing streak, with iron ore shipments departing from Australia and Brazil lower W/W according to Mysteel data. Copper prices meanwhile are buoyed with the LME future holding onto comfortable gains north of USD 10k/t. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. Building Permits MoM, est. -2.4%, prior 6.0%, revised 5.6% 8:30am: Sept. Housing Starts MoM, est. -0.2%, prior 3.9% 8:30am: Sept. Building Permits, est. 1.68m, prior 1.73m, revised 1.72m 8:30am: Sept. Housing Starts, est. 1.61m, prior 1.62m DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap At home we have recently bought a wooden bench for our kitchen table with the names of our three kids carved into the seats. We are pretty confident that there’ll be no need for more names. The problem was though that we chose an elegant, flamboyant font. The twins have just started to learn how to recognise and write their own names with the school having a very strict letter formation. As such last night when we were discussing it, young James refused to accept that this was his name on the bench and was hysterical with anger screaming that the bench needed to go as it was wrong. He kept on shouting “that’s not my name”. Nothing could persuade him otherwise. I thought I was defusing the situation by playing the famous Ting Tings song “that’s not my name” on the kitchen speakers but this just made matters far worse just before bedtime. So if anyone wants a bench with Edward, Maisie and James carved into it let me know as it’s causing a lot of grief at home. It seems like rate hikes are increasingly being carved into markets at the moment as Bank of England Governor Bailey’s hawkish Sunday comments that we discussed yesterday set the tone for the last 24 hours. Rates opened very weak across the globe but a similar pattern broke out to that seen over the last couple of weeks where higher yields have either brought in fresh bond buyers or markets have decided that the higher rate story is enough of a potential risk-off or negative growth story that dip buying mentality sets in. So yields have been a bit 3 steps higher, two steps lower over the last couple of weeks even though the inflation data has been largely one way higher. It was the UK that saw the most seismic shifts yesterday after Governor Bailey’s comments, with yields on 2yr UK gilts (+13.1bps) seeing their biggest daily move higher since August 2015, and the 2s10s curve (-9.8bps) flattening by the most since the height of the pandemic in March 2020. Markets are now pricing in a move in the Bank Rate up to around 0.45% by the December meeting (from 0.1%), and up to around 0.95% by the June meeting, around 15-30bps more priced in across the next several meetings from Friday’s close. So tomorrow’s CPI release from the UK will be interesting in light of this but it will likely be the calm before the storm given favourable base effects and with other pipeline inflation items yet to feed into the data. You can get a sense of how the UK is moving much faster than others in its rate hike pricing in that the spread between 2yr gilts and treasury yields is now at its widest in favour of gilt yields since late 2014. Yields on shorter maturities saw the most sustained movement elsewhere as well as investors began to anticipate imminent rate hikes. In fact, by the close of trade yesterday, markets were just shy of pricing in 2 Fed hikes by the end of 2022, which is some way ahead of the Fed’s dot plot from last month, when half the members didn’t see any hikes until at least 2023. Indeed, December 2022 Eurodollar futures have increased some 40 basis points over the last month, whilst September 2022 futures have increased more than 20 basis points. 10yr Treasury yields climbed +3.0 to 1.600%, with the rise entirely driven by higher real yields (+4.6bps). They were at 1.625% at the session highs, though. Those movements were echoed in the Euro Area, although the main difference to the US and the UK was that higher inflation breakevens rather than real rates drove the moves higher in yields. By the close of trade, yields on 10yr bunds (+2.1bps), OATs (+2.2bps) and BTPs (+3.0bps) had all moved higher even if again a few bps off the highs for the session. On the inflation side, the 10yr German breakeven hit a post-2013 high of 1.85%, just as the 5y5y forward inflation swap for the Euro Area was up +4.5bps to 1.91%, its highest closing level since 2014. The prospect of faster rate hikes put a dampener on equities, especially earlier in the day, though the S&P 500 (+0.34%) recovered to close just -1.13% beneath its all-time closing high from early September. Cyclical industries led the index higher, with the FANG+ index of megacap tech stocks (+1.99%) seeing a strong outperformance as all but 1 of its 10 constituents moved higher on the day. It was a different story in Europe however, where the STOXX 600 fell -0.50% in line with the losses elsewhere on the continent. At the sectoral level, energy was the outperformer in Europe but faded into the US close. After 8 successive weekly advances for WTI oil prices, yesterday saw it hit fresh multi-year highs (again…) intraday, gaining as much as +1.89% during the London session. However WTI made an about turn after the London close, and ultimately finished only slightly higher (+0.19%) on the day. Elsewhere, Bitcoin increased +3.31% yesterday and is up another +1.95% this morning to $62,564, bringing it within 1.5% of its own all-time closing high back in April and 3.6% beneath its all-time intraday high. The cryptocurrency has rallied in recent weeks as news picked up that the first US bitcoin ETF would be approved. Later today the ProShares ETF is expected to start trading, offering US retail investors a new avenue to trade the world’s largest cryptocurrency. The ETF will offer exposure to bitcoin futures contracts rather than “physical” bitcoin. Stocks are trading higher in Asia overnight, with the Hang Seng (+1.30%), CSI (+1.01%), Shanghai Composite (+0.74%), the Nikkei (+0.73%) and the KOSPI (+0.61%) all advancing thanks to an outperformance from technology stocks. For now at least, positive earnings are outweighing the impact from the prospect of faster than expected interest rate hikes. However, the issues stemming from Evergrande will continue to remain in focus as the developer has a Yuan bond interest due today. Outside of Asia, futures are pointing towards modest gains at the open, with those on the S&P 500 (+0.06%) and the DAX (0.11%) moving higher. Turning to the pandemic, the continued decline in global cases over the last couple of months and the lack of new variants has rather taken it off the front business pages of late. That said, there were a few concerning indications yesterday when it came to the health picture. Firstly, China is dealing with a fresh cluster in its northwestern provinces, with further positive tests reported overnight. Second, there are signs that we could be facing a more severe flu season as we approach winter in the northern hemisphere, with the Walgreens Boots Alliance reporting that flu cases are 23% higher in the US relative to a year ago. Third, there were some questions from the UK, as former US FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote on Twitter on Sunday that given the recent rise in UK cases and the “delta-plus” variant, that there should be “urgent research” to discover if it was more transmissible or had partial immune evasion. Finally, New Zealand (which had been pursuing a zero-Covid strategy in the past) reported a record 94 cases yesterday as Auckland remains in lockdown. There wasn’t a massive amount of data yesterday, though US industrial production fell -1.3% in September (vs. +0.1% expected), and the August number was also revised down half a percentage point to now show a -0.1% contraction. Partly that was thanks to the continuing effects of Hurricane Ida, which contributed around 0.6 percentage point of the overall drop in production, but the contraction also reflected supply-chain issues (eg auto chip shortages). Otherwise, the NAHB housing market index for October unexpectedly rose to 80 (vs. 75 expected). To the day ahead now, and we’ll hear from an array of central bank speakers, including the BoE’s Governor Bailey, Pill and Mann, the ECB’s Rehn, Centeno, Elderson, Panetta and Lane, along with the Fed’s Daly, Barkin, Bostic and Waller. Otherwise, US Data releases including September’s housing starts and building permits, and earnings today include Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Netflix, Philip Morris International and BNY Mellon. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/19/2021 - 07:50.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 19th, 2021

Retail Sales Swell in September: 3 Fund Picks

Retail sales accelerated in September as coronavirus cases declined and students and employees returned to schools and offices. On Oct 15, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that retail and food services sales rose 0.7% in September, outpacing the consensus estimate of a 0.1% decline. August’s retail sales figure was also upwardly revised to 0.9%. For the month, spending accelerated as coronavirus cases declined and students and employees returned to schools and offices. This, in turn, boosted sales across sporting goods, music and book stores, highlighting a 3.7% jump from August.Sales across general merchandise and miscellaneous retailers also rose 2% and 1.8%, respectively, while online sales rose 0.6%. However, the fear of coronavirus’ Delta variant spread capped gains across restaurants and bars to 0.3% for the month, while overall food and beverage spending increased 0.7%. Consumers reduced spending on dining out, renting hotel rooms or getting on plane due to the spreading of the Delta variant. But as cases are declining, demand for discretionary products and services will continue to rise.Retail sales, excluding auto and related product sales, rose 0.8%, higher than the forecasted 0.5%. August’s retail sales, excluding auto, were revised upward to a 2% increase.  Auto sales increased 0.5% despite supply-side constraints caused by a shortage in semiconductors, resulting in major production delays. Spending across fuel stations also jumped 1.8% last month.Consumers had to pay extra as the country recorded the highest inflation in three decades. However, Americans have sufficient money to spend as they saved during the pandemic, and government stimulus keeps the economy afloat. Moreover, the labor market is tight and wages have been rising sharply in the past months.3 Top Fund PicksGiven the rebound in retail sales in September, we are optimistic that the trend will continue for the last quarter of the year. Hence, we have shortlisted three mutual funds that are poised to grow. These funds carry a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). Moreover, these funds have encouraging one and three-year returns. Additionally, the minimum initial investment is within $5000.We expect these funds to outperform peers in the future. Remember, the goal of the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank is to guide investors to identify potential winners and losers. Unlike most fund-rating systems, the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank is not just focused on past performance but also the likely future success of the fund.The question here is: why should investors consider mutual funds? Reduced transaction costs and portfolio diversification without several commission charges associated with stock purchases are primarily why one should be parking money in mutual funds (read more: Mutual Funds: Advantages, Disadvantages, and How They Make Investors Money).Fidelity Select Retailing Portfolio FSRPX fund aims for capital appreciation. This non-diversified fund invests a large portion of its assets in the common stock of companies engaged in merchandising finished goods and services, primarily to individual consumers.This Zacks Sector-Other product has a history of positive total returns for more than 10 years. Specifically, FSRPX has returned 18.4% and 21.6% over the past three and five-year period, respectively. To see how this fund performed compared in its category, and other 1 and 2 Ranked Mutual Funds, please click here.FSRPX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 and an annual expense ratio of 0.73%, which is below the category average of 0.79%.Fidelity Select Leisure Portfolio FDLSX fund aims for capital appreciation. This non-diversified fund invests a majority of assets in common stocks of companies principally engaged in the design, production, or distribution of goods or services in the leisure industries.This Zacks Sector-Other product has a history of positive total returns for more than 10 years. Specifically, FDLSX has three and five-year return of 16.6% and 17.1%, respectively. To see how this fund performed compared in its category, and other 1 and 2 Ranked Mutual Funds, please click here.FDLSX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 and an annual expense ratio of 0.77%, below the category average of 0.79%.Fidelity Select Consumer Staples Portfolio FDFAX fund aims for capital growth. It invests a majority of assets in securities of companies primarily engaged in manufacturing, marketing or distribution of consumer staples products. The non-diversified fund invests in both U.S. and non-U.S. issuers.This Zacks sector – Other product has a history of positive total returns for more than 10 years. Specifically, FDFAX has returned 11.1% and 7.1% over the past three and five years, respectively. To see how this fund performed compared to its category, and other 1 and 2 Ranked Mutual Funds, please click here.FDFAX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #2 and an annual expense ratio of 0.75% versus the category average of 0.76%.Want key mutual fund info delivered straight to your inbox?Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing mutual funds, each week.Get it free >> Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Get Your Free (FSRPX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (FDFAX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (FDLSX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research 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.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 18th, 2021

Inside the rise of BiggerPockets and real-estate investing star Brandon Turner

Plus, leaked Microsoft salaries and gender-pay disparity, and the rise of boomer parents taking out cheap loans to buy their adult kids homes. Welcome back to Insider Weekly! I'm Matt Turner, a co-EIC of business at Insider.Not many of us get to popularize an acronym of our own making. But the real-estate influencer Brandon Turner has done just that with BRRRR, which stands for buy, rehabilitate, rent, refinance, and repeat. It's a phrase he says often on his podcasts, as he counsels his listeners on how to achieve financial independence through buying homes and renting them out for passive income.As Daniel Geiger reported this week, there's a lot more to Turner than BRRRR and BiggerPockets, the real-estate media company that produces his podcast and where he's a shareholder. He's raised millions of dollars from his fans to invest in real estate, charging them hefty fees and sinking most of the money into mobile-home parks across the country. For more on Turner, BRRRR, and the red-hot housing market, check out our Q&A with Dan and his editor Hana Alberts below. Also in this week's newsletter:A leaked Microsoft spreadsheet disclosed 1,200 salaries, while leaked emails showed women sharing stories of gender discrimination and wage gaps at the company.Wealthy boomer parents are taking out cheap loans to buy homes for their millennial children and saving on taxes in the process.The next chapter of the Great Resignation is here - employees who quit during the pandemic are starting to ask for their old jobs back.Let me know what you think of all our stories at mturner@insider.com.Subscribe to Insider for access to all our investigations and features. New to the newsletter? Sign up here. Download our app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android.The story behind the BiggerPockets star's rise BiggerPockets' Brandon Turner. Samantha Lee/Insider Correspondent Daniel Geiger and senior editor Hana Alberts gave us the behind-the-scenes story of their profile of the real-estate influencer Brandon Turner.Why were you interested in speaking with Brandon Turner in the first place?Dan: Brandon Turner has a large social-media following and has appeared to raise tens of millions of dollars for real-estate investment through that fan base. He is also a popular podcast host, and it's fun - and maybe a bit challenging - to interview someone who is deft at speaking and telling their own story.What was one of the most surprising things you learned while working on this profile?Dan: I think the sheer amount of money he has raised was striking. He has really been effective at gathering a fan base and monetizing it. Real-estate investment is a staid business that has long been dominated by established big-brand, blue-chip players. Turner shows the rise of something new.What do you think readers will take away from this profile?Hana: I love the way Dan positioned Turner's meteoric rise and big following within the zeitgeist of Reddit and meme stocks and crypto. It's part of this broader shift to follow - and invest money with - personalities rather than faceless corporate entities. Is that necessarily better? I think Dan set out to state plainly the complexities involved.Read our full profile here: Brandon Turner makes millions selling real-estate investing dreams. Even he says you'll lose money right now.A Microsoft leak showed 1,200 salaries and disclosed stories of gender pay disparities Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Legions of Microsoft employees compiled compensation and promotion data in a shared spreadsheet to encourage pay equity in the company. The leaked charts - which have made their way around the company in an internal email chain - showed salaries, bonuses, years of experience, promotions, and demographic data. Seen by Insider, the leak also disclosed a gender pay disparity between female technical employees and their male counterparts. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company is listening to its staffers, and that it acknowledges that there's more work to be done.See the leaked Microsoft data here.Wealthy parents are buying their kids homes Wealthy parents are buying their kids homes to save on taxes. Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Getty Images Securities-based lending has surged amid low interest rates and a red-hot housing market. Wealthy parents have capitalized on this: They see these loans as a way to pass on their wealth to their children at a low cost. Now, banks are targeting baby boomers who are looking to help their millennial children purchase their first homes. Taking a loan instead of liquidating securities is a no-brainer in high-tax states, one wealth-planning expert said. Buyers just have to navigate the strings attached to those loans. Here's how it all works.'Boomerang employees' are coming back around Anthony Klotz coined the phrase The Great Resignation. His next prediction: a wave of quitters returning to their previous employers. Samantha Lee/Insider Employees quit their jobs in droves during the pandemic - in what is being called the Great Resignation. You probably know someone who quit their job this year, or maybe you did it yourself. But some workers are now returning to the jobs they recently quit."We're going to see lots of boomerang employees, who a year from now miss their jobs and decide their novel isn't going as well as expected," said Anthony Klotz, a management professor at Texas A&M University. He encouraged companies to embrace their ex-staffers as a pool for future staff because of how difficult it is to hire good employees. Read about the latest workplace trend that's already begun.More of this week's top reads:The ad giant WPP suspended three staffers at its Finecast agency following a whistleblower complaint and investigation. Amazon aggregators are buying up third-party merchants. Sellers are set to be acquired at an unprecedented rate next year, a new survey found.This freelance writer stopped relying on Google Calendar to manage her life. Now, she swears the move has been her ultimate productivity hack.Grant Wonders became one of the most profitable analysts in Viking Global's history. Here's how the hedge-fund giant became a training ground for a new generation of big-money investors. The prosecution in the Elizabeth Holmes trial just scored a $275 million point. Watch out, FedEx and UPS, two of America's biggest regional delivery companies are banding together as a new competitor. Lululemon is about to make a splash in the footwear industry. See what its sneakers could look like. Mark your calendar:We've got two events for you.Tuesday, October 26, at 12 p.m. ET: "Feeding the Future," sponsored by Kellogg's, is set to explore how to support food security and sustainable food systems. Register here.Thursday, October 28, at 12 p.m. ET: "Accelerating Action to Combat Climate Change," presented by Deloitte, is set to focus on actionable ways to hold institutions accountable and accelerate efforts toward sustainability. Register here.Compiled with help from Phil Rosen.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 17th, 2021