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Starfish Finance Proposes DeFi-NFT Convergence on Polkadot

Paris, France, 30th September, 2022, Chainwire Starfish Finance, the DeFi project running on Astar Network, has shared its vision of how NFTs and decentralized finance will coalesce on Polkadot. The community-driven project predicts the worlds of DeFi and NFTs will eventually fuse and form a brighter star, with Starfish Finance ($SEAN) serving as the fortress […] Paris, France, 30th September, 2022, Chainwire Starfish Finance, the DeFi project running on Astar Network, has shared its vision of how NFTs and decentralized finance will coalesce on Polkadot. The community-driven project predicts the worlds of DeFi and NFTs will eventually fuse and form a brighter star, with Starfish Finance ($SEAN) serving as the fortress that hosts this union. Starfish Finance is one of many planets orbiting the Astar Network ecosystem, one of the brightest parachains in the Polkadot galaxy. Living on its primary planet is a starfish named Sean, who has vowed to venture into the galaxy and build new castles. The Starfish protocol is based on Balancer v2. It gives users the freedom to create liquidity pools of up to eight different crypto assets on top of a full stack DeFi product suite. Beyond its DeFi capabilities, users can stake NFTs on their native chain through Celer Network’s IM framework, an inter-chain messaging mechanism, to enjoy cross-chain collateralized NFT lending and borrowing. The Starfish Finance protocol has been audited by CertiK and the Starfish team has stressed that the community’s security is their number one priority. The team is now in the process of entering into collaboration with renowned NFT projects to provide liquidity that will empower owners to access capital without relinquishing ownership of their cherished collectibles. Starfish Finance is already listed on Huobi, a major top tier centralized exchange, and the team aspires for more listings which might be announced as the protocol develops. From the beginning, Starfish Finance has positioned itself as a one-stop shop that offers multi-token stable and weighted swaps and embraces a multi-chain future. Starfish started the year with conception, fundraising, forming strategic partnerships, building an inclusive community, and testnet launch. For the rest of 2022, the team will roll out their DeFi suite and refine their NFT collateralized lending and borrowing launch in the roadmap. The eventual formation of Starfish DAO, dubbed The Aquarium, will pave the way for everything that comes next. The community council will be tasked with nurturing different parts of the project, from product to art, and from technology to marketing. Community members will play a big part in onboarding and whitelisting new NFT projects as eligible collateral for Starfish’s NFT-Fi, in addition to managing events and activities to grow the multi-chain Web3 economy. Learn more about Starfish Finance Contact Partnership Lead mars@starfish.finance.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 30th, 2022

Why Is Liberty Global PLC (LBTYA) Up 12.9% Since Last Earnings Report?

Liberty Global PLC (LBTYA) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues. A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Liberty Global PLC (LBTYA). Shares have added about 12.9% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Liberty Global PLC due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts. Liberty Global Q3 Earnings Increase Y/Y, Revenues FallLiberty Global's earnings from continuing operations in third-quarter 2022 amounted to $2.431 billion, increasing 670.5% year over year.Revenues declined 4.9% year over year to $789.8 million. On a rebased basis, revenues increased 1.5% year over year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings and revenues were pegged at break-even per share and $1.72 billion, respectively.Liberty Global lost 14,000 customer relationships in the reported quarter compared with 5,400 customers lost in the year-ago quarter.Top-Line DetailsThe average revenue per unit (“ARPU”) per cable customer relationship declined 10.6% to $61.62.Mobile ARPU (including interconnect revenues), on a reported basis, decreased 10.9% to $26.02. On a rebased basis, the figure dropped 1.2%.Mobile ARPU (excluding interconnect revenues), on a reported basis, decreased 8.5% to $23.80.In Belgium, Liberty Global lost 7,700 customer relationships compared with a loss of 2,300 in the year-ago quarter.Belgium’s revenues, on a reported basis, declined 12% year over year to $665.1 million. On a rebased basis, revenues inched up 3.1%.In Switzerland, Liberty Global lost 3,200 customer relationships compared with the loss of 1,600 in the year-ago quarter.Switzerland’s revenues, on a reported basis, declined 4.9% year over year to $789.8 million. On a rebased basis, revenues increased 1.5%.The company lost 1900 customer relationships in Ireland compared with a loss of 1100 in the year-ago quarter.Ireland’s revenues, on a reported basis, fell 14.6% to $116.1 million.In Slovakia, Liberty Global lost 1200 customer relationships compared with a loss of 400 in the year-ago quarter.Central and other revenues, on a reported basis, decreased 2.2% to $177.4 million. On a rebased basis, the top line increased 22.3%Joint Venture DetailsSunrise revenues of $789.8 million decreased 4.9% year over year on a reported basis and increased 1.5% year over year on a rebased basis, driven by low-margin business wholesale revenues and strong trading momentum in yallo and handset revenues. Broadband performance was flat in the third quarter, given the ongoing phase-out of the UPC brand. Fixed mobile convergence (“FMC”) penetration remained high at 57% of Sunrise's broadband base, supported by a strong mobile offering along with the powerful fixed line network.Telenet reported and rebased revenues decreased 12% and increased 3.1%, respectively, to $665.1 million in the third quarter. The increase in rebased revenues was primarily driven by higher fixed subscription revenues following the June price increase and an increase in mobile roaming revenues. The continued growth of Telenet's FMC customer base in the third quarter was driven by the continued uptake of “ONE(Up)” bundles as growth in the mobile customer base accelerated with 18,000 postpaid mobile net additions.Liberty Global’s non-consolidated joint venture — Virgin Media O2 — reported revenues of $3.042 billion. This was due to the net effect of a decline in consumer fixed revenues due to a change in customer mix and a decline in B2B fixed revenues.Growth in VMO2's fixed customer base and continued demand for fast, high-quality connectivity drove the quarter’s broadband net additions to 19,000. Postpaid mobile continued to show growth with net adds of 47,000 during the quarter. Average speed across the company's broadband base increased 29% year over year and has reached 261Mbps, more than 4x the national average.Vodafone Ziggo revenues declined 13.6% on a reported basis and increased 1% on a rebased basis, year over year, to $1.041 billion. The increase in rebased revenues was primarily driven by ARPU growth and mobile postpaid and B2B fixed customer base growth, partially offset by B2C fixed customer base decline.Operating DetailsAdjusted EBITDA declined 12.5% year over year to $664 million in the third quarter. On a rebased basis, EBITDA increased 1.6%.Switzerland’s EBITDA, on a rebased basis, declined 2.3% from the year-ago quarter.Belgium’s EBITDA, on a rebased basis, increased 4.8% year over year.Ireland’s EBITDA, on a rebased basis, decreased 2% year over year.Operating income was $108.9 million in the reported quarter compared with $101 million in the year-ago quarter.Balance Sheet & Cash FlowAs of Sep 30, 2022, Liberty Global had $3.968 billion of cash, investments under SMAs and unused borrowing capacity compared to $5.6 billion in the previous quarter.In the third quarter, the total principal amount of debt and finance leases was $13.263 billion for continuing operations compared with $13.3 billion in the previous quarter. The average debt tenor is six years, with approximately 94% not due until 2028 or later.Cash provided by operating activities was $540.5 million, down 11.8% year over year.Moreover, adjusted free cash flow was $147.5 million in the third quarter compared with a free cash flow of $427 million in the previous quarter and $292.4 million in the year-ago quarter.How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?Analysts were quiet during the last two month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Liberty Global PLC (LBTYA): Free Stock Analysis Report Charter Communications, Inc. (CHTR): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2022

Housing affordability is so bad that it"s the only thing liberal and conservative voters can agree on

The cost of living has become so high for Americans that voters of all stripes are largely in support of measures that bolster affordable housing. Americans at a voting station.Getty Images Despite a cooling trend in real estate prices, housing remains unaffordable for many Americans. On Tuesday, millions of voters nationwide casted ballots in favor of affordable housing measures. Data from Moody's Analytics shows it's one of the only issues that voters of all political stripes largely agreed on. On Tuesday, Americans across the country showed up to cast ballots and vote on issues that most affect their daily lives. While social issues like healthcare, voters rights, and education were top of mind, housing affordability was another top concern.Indeed, a report from economic research firm Moody's Analytics shows that many affordable housing proposals were approved with nearly 70% of the vote  — making it one of the only issues that all voters, regardless of political ideology, largely agreed on."It's especially heartening to see many ballot measures that support affordable housing pass this year with a clear majority of votes." Rosalie Manansala, the CEO of affordable housing financier DOT Capital Advisors, said in the report. "It's solid proof that this issue is truly important for voters." During 2020 and 2021, the average worker could rent or purchase a home without breaking the bank thanks to historically low mortgage rates and pandemic-era rental support. But in 2022, the story couldn't be any more different. While home price growth, as well as demand, is slowing — largely thanks to the Fed's intense battle against inflation — US home prices are still up 13.3% year over year, a November report from Realtor.com detailed. And although rents are moderating to some degree, data in a Harvard study from April indicates that more than 19 million renter households were "burdened," or spending more than 30% of their take-home pay on rent."The results of these ballot measures may indicate one area where both political parties may be finding common ground," Moody's researchers wrote in the report, adding that "for the foreseeable future, housing supply and insecurity will likely remain salient in the national discourse."Red and blue cities say yes to affordable housingIn Austin, a popular pandemic zoomtown, a proposed $350 million housing bond was approved by voters on Tuesday. Austin's council members say they intend to use the funds for the "creation, rehabilitation, and retention" of affordable rental and ownership housing in the area. "This is the third housing bond that this city has passed in the last eight years, 10 years," Adler told KXAN News. "It's the second one that we've passed in the last four years. And I think that's real significant because it demonstrates the priority that our city has."Austinites aren't the only voters desperate for affordable housing.Kansas City voters gave the green light to a $50 million affordable housing bond that will create 2,000 units in the city. And despite opposition from groups concerned with the tourism industry, residents in Steamboat Springs, Colorado approved a measure that would use funds generated from a 9% tax on short-term rentals to finance affordable workforce housing projects. Andrew Beckler, a spokesperson for House Our Community, the nonprofit group that supported the measure, told The Steamboat Pilot & Today that voters made a step in the right direction. "There's still a lot of work ahead that has to be done," he said. "This just ensures that we have a significant amount of funding to help this process begin and help turn our housing crisis around."LA proposes "mansion tax" on the sale of pricey homesVoters in California, where housing affordability has plummeted to a 15-year low, are also hoping several new efforts will lead to reform in the state's notoriously expensive real estate market. This year, lawmakers brought forward proposed affordable housing bonds via Measure U in Oakland, Measure L in Berkeley and Measure ULA in Los Angeles. LA's Measure ULA, also known as the "mansion tax," is easily one of the state's most controversial housing proposals. It aims to fund affordable housing and tenant assistance programs by placing a tax on real estate sales that exceed $5 million. Critics of the bill say the tax could harm residents and that it could also lead to less housing construction as well as higher rents. "I'm against it," LA mayoral candidate and housing developer Rick Caruso told The Wrap. "The city has done a terrible job of managing and spending taxpayer dollars," adding that "to say we're going to create another tax without having accountability of where the money is currently going makes no sense to me."However, regardless of opposition, real estate publication The Real Deal reports that the measure is on track to pass at the polls."The private market's inability to adequately supply cost-effective housing commensurate with the country's income distribution is a structural failure of our society," Moody's reasearchers wrote in their report. "It is this recognition that has prompted voters in both red and blue states to overwhelmingly support ballot measures meant to address housing insecurity in Tuesday's mid-term elections."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 11th, 2022

The US is creating a carbon-offset plan for corporations that would fund developing countries" moves to clean energy

A US plan would let companies that finance renewable-energy projects count resulting emissions reductions toward their own climate goals. The US's special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, at the UN's climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.Sean Gallup/Getty Images The top US climate envoy John Kerry has announced an effort to let corporations use carbon offsets. The plan would create revenue to fund developing countries' moves toward clean energy. Companies could count the resulting emissions reductions toward their own goals. SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — The US wants to unlock tens of billions of dollars in private capital for the clean-energy transition in developing countries by scaling up carbon offsets for corporations trying to meet their climate goals.The voluntary program, the Energy Transition Accelerator, would allow companies that finance the retirement of coal plants and that fund renewable-energy projects to count resulting reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions toward their own climate goals."No government in the world has enough money to get this job done," the US's top climate envoy, John Kerry, said Wednesday during an event at the UN's COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, flanked by supporters from Microsoft, Pepsi, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Bezos Earth Fund. "This is a critical tool that will supplement, not replace, other sources of climate finance."The idea is already dividing climate groups, with one activist shouting at Kerry for "promoting false solutions" before security officials escorted the man away from the event.Voluntary carbon markets allow polluters to buy credits that are supposed to represent one ton of carbon-dioxide emissions either avoided or removed from the atmosphere. But numerous investigations have found that projects from protecting forests to building renewable energy didn't reduce emissions or would have been completed anyway without issuing credits, ultimately negating their climate impacts."Carbon markets have, at best, a fraught record of delivering real carbon reductions, and there are a number of ways that this program could go wrong," Cherelle Blazer, Sierra Club's international climate and policy-campaign director, said in a statement.Kerry acknowledged that past abuses had discredited the use of carbon credits but said the initiative wouldn't repeat those mistakes. There will be strict standards to ensure that companies don't buy carbon credits instead of decarbonizing their own operations and supply chains, he said. The US will also consult with organizations that are trying to improve the scientific integrity of carbon credits.Fossil-fuel companies can't participate and companies must have their net-zero goals verified by the Science Based Targets initiative, which requires companies to aim for a 90% or more emissions cut before relying on carbon offsets to compensate for the rest. The UN Tuesday published its own guidance on corporate net-zero claims to police "greenwashing.""While the announcement proposes some improvements to the current market — like supporting adaptation and excluding fossil fuel providers — it should not be branded as a climate-finance tool if it's being used to generate carbon offsets," said Jonathan Crook, a policy expert at Carbon Market Watch, a watchdog group. "Buying emissions reductions from developing countries is not the same thing as channeling climate finance and raises questions about who can count the reductions."The announcement arrived on "finance day" at COP27 and after a UN-backed report estimated that developing and emerging economies, other than China, needed $1 trillion a year from rich countries, development banks, and investors to achieve the Paris-agreement goals of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial times. (The planet has already warmed about 1.2 degrees since preindustrial times.)Passing the 1.5-degree threshold would mean catastrophic damage to humanity and the environment, including deadly storms, heat waves, and drought.More than a decade ago, rich nations promised to put up $100 billion a year by 2020 for poorer nations to build out clean-energy and other infrastructure that reduces emissions and is more resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis. That promise hasn't been kept, with adaptation finance still needing to be an estimated five to 10 times as much as it is now, according to the UN.Developing countries also want compensation for the loss and damage they've experienced as a result of the pollution rich countries caused after more than a century of using fossil fuels to industrialize their economies.These enormous funding needs can't be met with public finance alone, Kerry said, adding that's why voluntary carbon markets should play a role. He said the Energy Transition Accelerator didn't absolve any nation or company from its obligations. Kerry said he hoped the plan could be developed over the next year, in time for the UN's 2023 climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.African nations unveiled their own carbon-market initiative Tuesday, with an aim to supply 300 million carbon credits each year by 2030 and raise up to $6 billion. Damilola Ogunbiyi, the CEO and special representative of the UN secretary-general for Sustainable Energy for All, said the market could spur investment in clean energy on the continent, where so many have no access to electricity, including 90 million in her home country of Nigeria.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 9th, 2022

Liberty Global (LBTYA) Q3 Earnings Increase Y/Y, Revenues Fall

Liberty Global's (LBTYA) third-quarter 2022 results reflect a year-over-year decline in revenues in Belgium, Switzerland and Ireland. Liberty Global's LBTYA earnings from continuing operations in third-quarter 2022 amounted to $2.431 billion, increasing 670.5% year over year.Revenues declined 4.9% year over year to $789.8 million. On a rebased basis, revenues increased 1.5% year over year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings and revenues were pegged at break-even per share and $1.72 billion, respectively.Liberty Global lost 14,000 customer relationships in the reported quarter compared with 5,400 customers lost in the year-ago quarter.Liberty’s shares are down 38.6% in the year-to-date period, underperforming the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector’s decline of 36.7%.Top-Line DetailsThe average revenue per unit (“ARPU”) per cable customer relationship declined 10.6% to $61.62.Mobile ARPU (including interconnect revenues), on a reported basis, decreased 10.9% to $26.02. On a rebased basis, the figure dropped 1.2%.Mobile ARPU (excluding interconnect revenues), on a reported basis, decreased 8.5% to $23.80.In Belgium, Liberty Global lost 7,700 customer relationships compared with a loss of 2,300 in the year-ago quarter.Belgium’s revenues, on a reported basis, declined 12% year over year to $665.1 million. On a rebased basis, revenues inched up 3.1%.In Switzerland, Liberty Global lost 3,200 customer relationships compared with the loss of 1,600 in the year-ago quarter.Switzerland’s revenues, on a reported basis, declined 4.9% year over year to $789.8 million. On a rebased basis, revenues increased 1.5%.The company lost 1900 customer relationships in Ireland compared with a loss of 1100 in the year-ago quarter.Ireland’s revenues, on a reported basis, fell 14.6% to $116.1 million.In Slovakia, Liberty Global lost 1200 customer relationships compared with a loss of 400 in the year-ago quarter.Central and other revenues, on a reported basis, decreased 2.2% to $177.4 million. On a rebased basis, the top line increased 22.3% Liberty Global PLC Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Liberty Global PLC price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Liberty Global PLC QuoteJoint Venture DetailsSunrise revenues of $789.8 million decreased 4.9% year over year on a reported basis and increased 1.5% year over year on a rebased basis, driven by low-margin business wholesale revenues and strong trading momentum in yallo and handset revenues. Broadband performance was flat in the third quarter, given the ongoing phase-out of the UPC brand. Fixed mobile convergence (“FMC”) penetration remained high at 57% of Sunrise's broadband base, supported by a strong mobile offering along with the powerful fixed line network.Telenet reported and rebased revenues decreased 12% and increased 3.1%, respectively, to $665.1 million in the third quarter. The increase in rebased revenues was primarily driven by higher fixed subscription revenues following the June price increase and an increase in mobile roaming revenues. The continued growth of Telenet's FMC customer base in the third quarter was driven by the continued uptake of “ONE(Up)” bundles as growth in the mobile customer base accelerated with 18,000 postpaid mobile net additions.Liberty Global’s non-consolidated joint venture — Virgin Media O2 — reported revenues of $3.042 billion. This was due to the net effect of a decline in consumer fixed revenues due to a change in customer mix and a decline in B2B fixed revenues.Growth in VMO2's fixed customer base and continued demand for fast, high-quality connectivity drove the quarter’s broadband net additions to 19,000. Postpaid mobile continued to show growth with net adds of 47,000 during the quarter. Average speed across the company's broadband base increased 29% year over year and has reached 261Mbps, more than 4x the national average.Vodafone Ziggo revenues declined 13.6% on a reported basis and increased 1% on a rebased basis, year over year, to $1.041 billion. The increase in rebased revenues was primarily driven by ARPU growth and mobile postpaid and B2B fixed customer base growth, partially offset by B2C fixed customer base decline.Operating DetailsAdjusted EBITDA declined 12.5% year over year to $664 million in the third quarter. On a rebased basis, EBITDA increased 1.6%.Switzerland’s EBITDA, on a rebased basis, declined 2.3% from the year-ago quarter.Belgium’s EBITDA, on a rebased basis, increased 4.8% year over year.Ireland’s EBITDA, on a rebased basis, decreased 2% year over year.Operating income was $108.9 million in the reported quarter compared with $101 million in the year-ago quarter.Balance Sheet & Cash FlowAs of Sep 30, 2022, Liberty Global had $3.968 billion of cash, investments under SMAs and unused borrowing capacity compared to $5.6 billion in the previous quarter.In the third quarter, the total principal amount of debt and finance leases was $13.263 billion for continuing operations compared with $13.3 billion in the previous quarter. The average debt tenor is six years, with approximately 94% not due until 2028 or later.Cash provided by operating activities was $540.5 million, down 11.8% year over year.Moreover, adjusted free cash flow was $147.5 million in the third quarter compared with a free cash flow of $427 million in the previous quarter and $292.4 million in the year-ago quarter.Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to ConsiderLiberty Global currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Some other top-ranked stocks in the Consumer Discretionary sector are AMC Entertainment AMC, Reservoir Media RSVR and American Public Education APEI, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.AMC Entertainment, Reservoir Media and American Public Education are each scheduled to report quarterly results on Nov 8.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AMC Entertainment’s third-quarter 2022 loss is pegged at 27 cents per share, down from a loss of 25 cents over the past 30 days.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Reservoir Media’s third-quarter 2022 earnings is pegged at 5 cents per share, unchanged over the past 30 days.The consensus mark for American Public Education’s third-quarter 2022 earnings is pegged at 25 cents per share, unchanged in the past 30 days.  Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report American Public Education, Inc. (APEI): Free Stock Analysis Report Liberty Global PLC (LBTYA): Free Stock Analysis Report AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (AMC): Free Stock Analysis Report Reservoir Media, Inc. (RSVR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 2nd, 2022

The War On Crypto Privacy Intensifies Amid OECD"s "Massive Overreach"

The War On Crypto Privacy Intensifies Amid OECD's "Massive Overreach" Authored by Wesley Thysse via DecentralizedLegalSystem.com, The War on Crypto Privacy Intensifies. Automatic Reporting of All Trades and Transactions Soon Mandatory. Massive overreach of international regulators to force all service providers in the industry to: Record ALL crypto trades on exchanges, DEFI and DEXs; Record (large) purchases from private wallets; Record all transfers to cold storage and make lists with private wallet addresses; Send all this info annually to the (tax) authorities; And finally, force governments to pass these rules into domestic law. The war on privacy continues. The aim: to tackle anonymous spending and exchanging of crypto. As you’ll discover, these new regulations force upon us a system of complete surveillance and control. This report explains exactly what to expect from the latest developments launched in October 2022… What is Going On? ​Last year, the crypto world was shaken to its core when the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), acting in behalf of the G20, released their guidance on virtual assets.1) This document laid out a set of rules regarding stablecoins, distinctions between private and hosted wallets, extensive KYC requirements, the tackling of privacy tools, and more.2) FATF has also provided a final definition of the type of service provider tasked with reporting on crypto: the Virtual Asset Service Provider. Fast forward to today, and these rules are quickly being implemented across the world.3) But as usual, it didn’t stop there. Another international regulator, the OECD, is already building on this framework in an attempt to massively increase the grip of authorities on crypo. What is the OECD? The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a Paris-based international organisation that works to “build better policies for better lives.” Its goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all.4) Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, the OECD works on finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and creating jobs, to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion. The organisation provides a unique forum and knowledge hub within which to discuss and develop public policies and international standard setting.5) This “international standard” setting is what we will look at next. Automated Exchange of Financial Information with Authorities Since 2014 In 2014, the OECD published the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters.6) This publication created a “Common Reporting Standard” (CRS), which forces financial institutions to automatically exchange account information with the authorities of the country of residence of their account holders. The goal: to prevent persons from holding financial accounts in offshore jurisdictions and not reporting them back home. This is why all financial service providers request utility bills: they prove where you live, and hence where they have to report to. All financial institutions that are subjected to these regulations are forced to automatically report to the authorities the name, address, Tax Identification Number(s), date and place of birth, the account number, and the account value as of the end of the relevant calendar year (or other appropriate reporting period).7) Now, there is no more hiding of accounts held with a foreign financial institutions. The authorities enlisted all financial institutions as involuntary (but powerful) assistants in collecting facts and evidence needed for tax compliance. The Panama Papers; Just in Time to Boost Worldwide Implementation of Automated Reporting… After publishing their standards in 2014, the OECD needed to get countries and their financial institutions in line. By August 2015, the OECD had released the first version of a CRS Implementation Handbook.8) It provided practical guidance to assist government officials and financial institutions in implementing CRS. But while the standards set by the OECD came into force in 2016 in early-adopting states, by March of that year these standards were still far from being fully integrated into the global financial system.9) This was especially true in the offshore jurisdictions that were the main target. What was needed was a shift in conscience… On April 3rd, 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published a giant leak of offshore financial records, better known as the Panama Papers.10) These revelations caused public outrage. The G5, the five largest Western European countries, were quick to jump on the bandwagon and call for more international cooperation to tackle “tax dodging and illicit finance.”11) The message did not fall on deaf ears; the next day, on April 15th, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met in Washington and issued the following Communiqué: “…we call on all relevant countries including all financial centers and jurisdictions, which have not committed to implement the standard on automatic exchange of information by 2017 or 2018 to do so without delay and to sign the Multilateral Convention. We expect that by the 2017 G20 Summit all countries and jurisdictions will upgrade their Global Forum rating to a satisfactory level. We mandate the OECD working with G20 countries to establish objective criteria by our July meeting to identify non-cooperative jurisdictions with respect to tax transparency. Defensive measures will be considered by G20 members against non-cooperative jurisdictions if progress as assessed by the Global Forum is not made.”12) Thus, within 12 days of the publication of the Panama Papers, the world’s 20 most powerful governments had collectively agreed to start pushing CRS reporting requirements aggressively, and to punish non-cooperative (offshore) jurisdictions—regardless of their local laws. This is how offshore finance was brought into the fold, and financial privacy died. Why Can the OECD Regulate Financial Institutions Around the World? Isn’t this a Task of Democracy? The OECD isn’t a government agency of any individual country. As such, it cannot create law. It issues what is known as “soft laws,” or “recommendations” and “guidance.” Only when this guidance is transposed into the laws of individual countries does it becomes “hard” law, with real world power. In theory, this process is subjected to the formal (democratic) law-making processes of the implementing countries. However, countries that don’t participate face restricted access to the financial system and ostracism from the international community. For this reason, almost all nations are compelled to implement these recommendations. It must also be said that national governments, especially in the Western world, highly value this kind of international cooperation, and the control it gives them without the need to deal with the “inconveniences” of democracy. They simply hide behind the fact that these are “international standards” which they have to follow because “everybody” does. Neither does it help that few of our representatives, journalists and fellow citizens seem to understand the impact of these treaties. Those in the legal industry who do understand the implications just look at it as “business as usual” and a new way to generate income. As such, most standards are passed into domestic law with little opposition or delay. International Standards Aim to Supersede National Law Once these treaties are accepted, they become part of a body of law called “international law,” which in many cases supersedes national laws. Unknown to the general public, international law is increasingly being used as a backdoor for passing invasive regulations such as those we are discussing here, and establishing a global bureaucracy with real power over our (financial) lives. It is also worth noting that the people working for this Paris-based institution have not been elected, their procedures and budget are not subjected to democratic oversight, and they are almost impossible to remove from power. Like most international organizations, their operations fall under the Vienna Conference on Diplomatic Intercourse and Immunities.13) As such, they enjoy immunity for their actions taken whilst in office, are exempt from administrative burdens (such as taxes and fines), and enjoy less stringent (COVID) travel restrictions. AUTOMATIC Exchange of Transaction Info For Crypto Last October 10th, the OECD published the “Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework and Amendments to the Common Reporting Standard.”14) This applies the tax reporting guidance of the existing CRS to crypto―and makes it FAR more invasive… The OECD first published a public consultation version of the document on 22nd March 2022.15) The deadline for feedback from the public was 29th April 2022. This gave the public just over a month to analyze a 101-page document, figure out what it meant for them and their clients in multiple jurisdictions, and formulate a public statement on company letterhead. This is not a sign that the OECD takes public input seriously. When comparing the two documents, there is no material difference between the public consultation and the final version in the section that matters most, the actual rules…16) Public consultations give these recommendations the appearance of being widely supported by “stakeholders.” It creates the illusion that the public has a say in the matter. It doesn’t. When you read the questions carefully, they only seek feedback on details, such as which intermediaries are to be included or excluded, which type of NFTs are to be in scope, what reporting thresholds there should be, and how much time should be reserved for implementation.17) Furthermore, if you read the commentaries submitted, which can be downloaded here, most respondents just talk their own book, trying to elicit amendments that perhaps exempt them from a specific reporting requirement, or trying to get a longer time-frame for implementation. In all fairness, there were also a number of industry insiders who highlighted the double standards created for the crypto industry, and how much of a burden the regulations would represent. In the end, none of this mattered. The regulations have been published and are now the new worldwide standard. What Are The New Guidelines for Crypto? ​ As was the case with earlier regulations, Bitcoin will not be banned. Instead, the OECD builds on the approach set by FATF: to regulate the service providers who facilitate transactions. In this instance, the OECD developed a new global tax transparency framework which provides for the automatic exchange of tax info on transactions in a standardised manner. This is the “Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework” or “CARF.”18) As previously mentioned, automatic exchange of information used to contain only the details of the individual and the account value. New reporting obligations, however, apply to all transactions in an account. This is a major extension of the reporting obligations that currently exist for non-crypto financial services. Reporting of Transactions (and their Nature) by VASPS The OECD proposes that those providing crypto transaction services, for or on behalf of customers, are to report under the CARF. We are talking here about the reporting entities that are defined by FATF, i.e. “Virtual Asset Service Providers,” or “VASPs.”19) Before we look at the details of the information that is going to be exchanged, let us remind ourselves of what a VASP is: “VASP: Virtual asset service provider means any natural or legal person who is not covered elsewhere under the Recommendations, and as a business conducts one or more of the following activities or operations for or on behalf of another natural or legal person: i. exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies;ii. exchange between one or more forms of virtual assets;iii. transfer of virtual assets;iv. safekeeping and/or administration of virtual assets or instruments enabling control over virtual assets; andv. participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and/or sale of a virtual asset.”20) As you can see, the definition of VASP is so wide that it covers many of projects currently operating in the crypto space. According to the OECD, reporting obligations also apply to companies facilitating Decentralized Finance and Decentralized Exchanges.21) What Type of Transactions are to be Reported? What needs to be reported? In particular, the following three types of transactions: Exchanges between Crypto Assets and Fiat Currencies; Exchanges between one or more form(s) of Crypto Assets; Transfers of Crypto Assets (including Reportable Retail Payment Transactions).22) Transactions will be reported by type of Crypto Asset, and will distinguish between outward and inward transactions. In order to enhance the usability of the data for tax administrations, the reporting is to be split out between Crypto-to-Crypto and Crypto Asset-to-fiat transactions. Reporting service providers will also be forced to label transfers (e.g. airdrops, income derived from staking or a loan), in instances where they have such knowledge.23) In short, the CARF mandates that information an all trades, including the type of coin, the amount of coins, the market value, and what was paid, be submitted. This info is then aggregated and automatically exchanged.24) The goal is to inform the tax authorities of how much you own and what kind of income you generated from your holdings. And if that is not enough, the OECD allows lawmakers the option to request lists of private wallet addresses of users.25) Reporting of Retail Transactions from Private Wallets On a final note, the OECD has come up with a trick to limit the opportunity for crypto users to spend their coins anonymously. The CARF also applies to merchant providers facilitating crypto payment for goods or services. In such instances, the merchant provider is required to treat the customer of their customer as its own customer, and report the value of the transaction to the tax authorities of the buyer.26) For now, this only applies to “large” purchases of over USD 50,000.27) What About US Citizens and Green-Card Holders? The CRS has been implemented worldwide. All developed nations and all international financial centers have been included in the list, leaving few of the world’s financial highways untouched.28) Surprisingly, the United States is not on that list. The reason is that the US came up with their own automatic reporting framework even before the OECD did. It is called the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, and requires that foreign financial Institutions and certain other non-financial foreign entities report on the foreign assets held by their U.S. account holders.29) Up until now, FATCA did not directly apply to crypto. But the new 2023 budget proposal seeks to amend section 6038D(b) of the Internal Revenue Code to require reporting for a new third category, namely any account that holds digital assets maintained by a foreign digital asset exchange or other foreign digital asset service provider (a “foreign digital asset account”).30) There is also another US-specific reporting obligation, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. Regarding FBAR, FinCEN has issued Notice 2020-2, stating that it also intends to make reporting foreign virtual currency accounts mandatory.31) Moreover, US tax payers are already required to report their crypto transactions on their tax returns.32) The question is, will the United States also implement a CARF like system, as in the automatic reporting of all transactions? This question remains unanswered for now. But President Biden’s Executive Order from earlier this year clearly stated that the current administration is committed to these international standards, including those commissioned by the G20 and FATF, and that the US has a leading role in developing and adopting these international standards on digital assets.33) Despite all this, it is still unclear what the regulatory landscape in the US will look like. Regardless, US-based companies with clients in other countries (i.e. most of them) will have to implement these policies. It is hard to imagine the US government not wanting to have this information for itself, especially since the legal framework is largely in place. But we will have to wait and see. What Will Be the Outcome of These Regulations? ​The outcome of these new international standards will be full transparency towards tax authorities. The aim of these standards is to get automatic insight into all your trades, even laying the foundation to prevent you from spending coins anonymously with retailers that use a third party payment provider. This means in practice that although you can hold coins in your private wallet, you cannot easily spend or exchange them anonymously. In short: no more privacy when you use third party services. One might say this will be the death of third party services, because accepting online payments is as simple as installing a piece of code on your website and taking the payments yourself. But most companies do not have the capacity to run their own payment system, and are likely going to require payments through a regulated merchant. As long as there isn’t a Bitcoin standard, meaning accounting and payments regularly done in Bitcoin, there will be a need for fiat on- and off ramps. As such, even when you do business in crypto, your suppliers or clients are likely to make use of a service provider with reporting obligations. As a result, expect far more scrutiny on transactions; from exchanges, but also from the people and businesses you are dealing with in everyday crypto activity. Even if you do not need to report on certain transactions, they might be forced to do so. You might be okay with accepting direct peer-to-peer transactions, but could run into issues later when you are obliged to prove where the payments came from. Regulators Are Out of Control The reality is that these regulators are out of our control. Without (direct) democratic mandates or oversight they are flooding the world with regulation. Just like totalitarian regimes, they effectively force private parties to police each other. The service providers, forced into unpaid financial surveillance, carry the rising compliance costs. Obliged to make hard decisions as to whom they can take on as customers, they are likely to cut services to those they consider not worth the compliance costs, such as small or “high risk” businesses, and people in developing nations. The cost of compliance might become so great that at least some of them might want to facilitate transactions only with fully-vetted wallets tied to a digital ID, such as the EU is implementing.34) New Precedent: Centralized Surveillance of Individual Transactions This is a good example of regulations being built on top of one another, and raising the bar with each step. It should not come as a surprise if at some point regular financial service providers are forced into similar obligations to get in line with these new “international standards.” This step might be taken with the introduction of Central Bank Digital Currencies, currently being developed all around the world.35) Door Open to Further Monitoring and Restricting of Payments It is not hard to imagine that once all transactions are transparent, more actions can be taken as to which type of payments and type of persons are allowed or not. We can see this financial “cancel culture” already happening around the world.36) As a result of all this surveillance, it is not only privacy that is at risk right now; this starts to touch the very idea of maintaining a payment system where you can freely transact and engage in economic activity. Only a massive and radical decentralization movement away from third party service providers can prevent this dystopia. Stay tuned for a next report and a roadmap for just that… Tyler Durden Mon, 10/24/2022 - 06:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 24th, 2022

Futures Green After Bouncing From Session Lows As Overnight Swings Turn Violent

Futures Green After Bouncing From Session Lows As Overnight Swings Turn Violent US equity-index futures have swung wildly in the illiquid, overnight session, and after earlier dropping as much as 0.5% following the rapid move higher in US Treasurys and UK gilts, they have since erased all losses to trade near session highs, up 0.3% with Nasdaq futures also up 0.2%, as investors the surge in yields fizzled and as investors assessed disappointing earnings from Tesla against resilient reports from AT&T and IBM. Oil jumped, Chinese stocks spiked (but then fizzled) and both the offshore and onshore yuan rose after a Bloomberg report sparked market optimism that Chinese officials are mulling shortening the amount of time people coming into the country must spend in mandatory quarantine, an implicit tempering of the country's much maligned coved zero policies. The US dollar slumped as sterling spiked as UK Prime Minister Liz Truss began meetings with a key Conservative party official, stoking speculation that a change in leadership may be afoot. US 10-year yield holds steady at about 4.12%. In other notable overnight developments, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index tumbled to the lowest level since 2009 amid continued liquidations and outflows from China... ... while the yen finally weakened past the closely watched 150 per dollar level, marking a 32-year low and keeping investors on high alert for further intervention to support it. And sure enough, the BOJ promptly jumped in sparking a big move lower in the pair. The move followed a surge in US Treasury yields to multi-year highs that widened the gap with Japanese equivalents. In premarket trading, bank stocks were mostly higher following their worst day in more than a month. In corporate news, the world’s biggest banks have already had to use about $30 billion of their own cash this year to fund loans for acquisitions and buyouts that they weren’t able to offload to investors. US-listed Chinese stocks bounced in premarket trading, a day after Wednesday’s selloff sent the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index down to its lowest closing level since July 2013. The KraneShares CSI China Internet Fund ETF rises 2.1% as of 7:20 a.m. in New York. Here are the other notable premarket movers: Tesla (TSLA US) falls 5.5% in premarket trading after the world’s most valuable automaker missed third-quarter revenue estimates as it struggled to get its cars to customers. Fellow EV firms lower in premarket trading include: Nikola (NKLA US) -2%, Faraday Future (FFIE US) -2%, Rivian (RIVN US) -1.8%, Canoo (GOEV US) -0.7% Alcoa (AA US) drops 9.3% in premarket trading after the aluminum giant reported worse-than-expected results for the third quarter, putting pressure on its global peers. International Business Machines (IBM US) shares rise 3.1% in premarket trading after the IT services company reported third-quarter revenue that beat expectations. Ally Financial (ALLY US) shares drop 2.5% in premarket trading as Morgan Stanley downgraded the car-finance company to equal-weight from overweight following Wednesday’s third-quarter results. Sunrun (RUN US) shares slump 4.1% in premarket trading after Wolfe downgrades the stock in a note to peer perform, citing headwinds from a rising interest-rate environment. Las Vegas Sands (LVS US) shares rise 1% in US premarket trading after posting better- than-expected 3Q adjusted property Ebitda. That was driven by a solid performance in Singapore while uncertainty remains around Macau. US stocks slipped on Wednesday after a two-day rally saw the S&P 500 reclaim $1.2 trillion in market capitalization amid support from technical levels and optimism about earnings. Higher bond yields and Tesla’s sobering report provided reminders of the tough macroeconomic backdrop as costs for companies remain high and the Federal Reserve pushes forward with interest rate hikes. “We continue to see plenty of macroeconomic headwinds,” said Marija Veitmane, a senior strategist at State Street Global Markets. “As central banks tighten financial conditions, earnings will crack. So we are very much in the sell-the-rally camp.” Investors continue to closely monitor events in the UK where Liz Truss’s chaotic premiership looked close to imploding as backbench Conservative lawmakers openly said she should resign and even Cabinet ministers discussed her future. The pound weakened and 10-year UK bond yields climbed, but were off their highs. A generally strong start to the third-quarter earnings season has bolstered sentiment toward equities. But investors are having to balance signs of corporate resilience against fears about the impact of persistent inflation, hawkish moves by the Federal Reserve and other central banks and threats to the economy. “I think the market now is looking at 2023 and baking some kind of mild downturn into the price,” Hugh Gimber, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “The key is that inflation number coming down, because if it does, 5% for the Fed looks to me roughly as the right figure and then the market can have a clearer picture.” In Europe, the Stoxx 50 fell 0.5% with Spain's IBEX flat but outperforming peers; the DAX lags, retreating 0.8%. Telecoms, financial services and retailers are the worst-performing sectors. Oil and gas shares are the only rising sector in Stoxx Europe 600 index on Thursday as crude extended gains amid a report that China debates easing some Covid restrictions, while European gas advanced after a five-day losing run. The Stoxx Energy sub-index advanced 1.3% as of 10:45 a.m. in London, while the broader equity benchmark declined 0.5%. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Oil and gas shares are the only rising sector in Stoxx Europe 600 index on Thursday as crude extended gains amid a report that China is debating easing some Covid restrictions, while European gas advanced after a five-day losing run. BP gained 1.5%, Shell +1.4% and TotalEnergies +1.5% Saipem soars as much as 13% in Milan, the most intraday since July 14, after winning a $4.5 billion engineering and construction contract from Qatargas. Jefferies upgraded the stock to buy after the “material” award Yara shares gain as much as 7.2% after fertilizer maker’s 3Q adjusted Ebitda beat analyst estimates and was seen as very strong in an uncertain quarter. Declining gas prices are also pointing toward restarting fertilizer capacity in Europe as demand is rising Brunello Cucinelli shares soar as much as 11.5%, the most since March, after it delivered a significant beat in its 3Q results as well as a major uptick in FY guidance Nokia shares fall as much as 6.8% after a mixed set of results, with sales beating consensus estimates while profit and margin lagged. The bottom-line was dragged down by the network equipment maker’s Technologies segment, which continued to be hobbled by a delay in patent contract renewals Ericsson shares slide as much as 16%, the most since Oct. 2016, after reporting third-quarter operating profit and margin that missed analyst estimates. While the Swedish telecom equipment maker pledges to change pricing and cut costs, analysts still see margin pressure persisting into the next year Volvo shares fall as much as 5.9% in Stockholm trading, the most intraday since May 2, as analysts highlight that focus for 3Q results is on the weaker Truck division margin, which is driving a miss at Ebit level GB Group shares plummet as much as 20%, hitting the lowest since September 2017, after identity verification company published a first-half trading update. Davy said the revenue was below consensus expectations Earlier in the session, Asian equities headed for a second day of declines, as the recent selloff in Hong Kong shares deepened amid investor concerns on China’s zero-Covid approach. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 1.6%, as tech shares faced fresh losses after bond yields spiked overnight. The gauge pared some of its earlier losses after a report that Chinese authorities were considering a shorter quarantine for inbound travelers. Hong Kong led declines in the region, with its benchmark falling to the lowest since 2009 as Chief Executive John Lee’s maiden policy speech left investors disappointed. Traders remained concerned about consumer demand in China amid lockdowns and rising Covid cases, as well as the spillover into earnings for the region.  “History suggests it is hard for stocks to rally in the face of EPS cuts,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management in a note. “While stock prices should trough before EPS estimates bottom, there is still a lot of wood to chop.” Benchmarks in Taiwan, South Korea and Australia also fell, with the latter extending declines after government data showed that Australian hiring almost stalled in September. Japan’s gauges slid even as the yen weakened past the closely-watched 150 per dollar. Indexes in Indonesia and Malaysia defied the broader gloom to gain more than 1%. The Hang Seng Tech index has now tumbled more than 70% from its Jan 2021 high. China’s possible cut in quarantine period for inbound travelers is a small step in the right direction but a lot more is needed to lift investor sentiment dented by the country’s Covid Zero policy.  US futures pared losses after the Bloomberg report on the news. The offshore yuan briefly gained as much as 0.5% to 7.2353 against the dollar. According to Amir Anvarzadeh, a strategist at Asymmetric Advisors: “A cut to quarantine rules for inbound travelers will not be enough for the Chinese market to rebound” Japanese stocks slid as investors refocused on the impact of higher US interest rates and a looming global recession after a two-day rally. The Topix fell 0.5% to close at 1,895.41, while the Nikkei declined 0.9% to 27,006.96. Hoya Corp. contributed the most to the Topix decline, decreasing 3.5%. Out of 2,166 stocks in the index, 596 rose and 1,454 fell, while 116 were unchanged. Australian stocks declined with global growth fears in focus; the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1% to 6,730.70, in step with most markets in Asia and on Wall Street amid worries of a global slowdown. Miners contributed the most to the gauge’s retreat as investors weighed quarterly production reports. They also assessed jobs data that suggest the RBA will continue to slow the pace of interest rate increases. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.8% to 10,832.03. Key Indian stock gauges gained for a fifth straight day, their longest run of advances in two months, before a key festival next week and as robust corporate earnings boost investor sentiment. The S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.2% to 59,202.90 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced 0.3%. The indexes overcame decline of as much as 0.5% as weekly derivative contracts expired Thursday. The key benchmarks have risen more than 2% this week and were trading near their highest level since Sept. 21. Twelve of 19 sector sub-gauges compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by oil & gas companies while consumer durables were the worst performers. For the week, information technology stocks are the best performers, helped by stronger-than-expected earnings. Out of 11 Nifty 50 companies, which have so far reported earnings, eight have either met or exceeded average estimates, while three have trailed. Asian Paints’ quarterly results trailed estimates, dragged by weaker revenue growth and rising costs, while Bajaj Finance’s numbers matched consensus In rates, 10-year TSY yields trade near session lows at around 4.12%, richer by 1bp on the day after earlier rising 5bps to 4.17% while German 10-year yield rises 5.5bps to 2.43%. Treasuries pared losses in the early US session, rising with gilts which stretch to fresh session highs and outperform on the day as Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent says UK rates may not rise as much as markets foresee. Gilts outperformed by 4bp while bunds lag Treasuries by 2bp; belly outperformance tightens 2s5s30s fly by 4bp on the day. Dollar issuance slate empty so far and expected to be light; Wednesday saw three borrowers price $6.5b. Three-month dollar Libor +4.70bp at 4.32457% In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index hovered as the greenback traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers, though most pairs consolidated recent moves. Treasury yields rose by as much as 2bps, led by the short end. The euro erased a modest loss to near $0.98. Bunds fell for a third session as traders continued to digest Wednesday’s unexpected German Finance Agency decision to increase its own securities holdings for repo purposes, with schatz swap spreads narrowing for a sixth day, the longest streak since December UK bonds pared an earlier loss and traders cut bets on BOE tightening after Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent said it’s not clear that UK interest rates need to rise as much as the market expects. The pound fell below $1.12 as Liz Truss’s premiership looks close to imploding after she fired one minister over a security breach and two others were heard resigning amid the fallout from a chaotic parliamentary vote before agreeing to stay in their posts The yen fluctuated in a tight range, and briefly rose above 150 per dollar. Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said excessive and sudden moves in the foreign exchange market triggered by speculation can’t be tolerated. Japan’s benchmark yield climbed above the central bank’s policy ceiling and monetary authorities announced unscheduled bond purchases to rein it back in. Demand for long gamma in dollar-yen gains traction as spot breaches the psychologically-key 150 level Australia’s dollar slid as much as 0.7% amid a weak jobs print, before reversing following a report that Chinese officials were debating whether to shorten quarantine for inbound travelers. Bonds fell. Australia’s employment rose by just 923 people in September, below the forecast of 25,000, government data showed In commodities, WTI and Brent December contracts are firmer intraday with the former around USD 86/bbl (84.49-86.27 range) whilst the latter resides around USD 93.50/bbl (91.95-93.92 range). The crude complex is buoyed by the pullback in the Dollar after receiving a boost from source reports that China is considering easing its COVID rules for travellers. Spot gold sees some support from the DXY remaining under 113.00, although remains well off recent highs, with the yellow metal still around the USD 1,630/oz mark (vs yesterday’s 1,654.50/oz high). LME metals are mixed but 3M copper receives a boost from the Buck alongside the aforementioned China source reports, but the red metal remains under USD 7,500/t. Overall, Bitcoin is contained and essentially unchanged on the session around USD 19.1k with specific updates relatively limited and participants focused on broader market action. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims and existing home sales for September, whilst in Germany there’s the PPI reading for September. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker, Jefferson, Cook and Bowman, the ECB’s de Cos and BoE Deputy Governor Broadbent. Earnings releases include Danaher, Philip Morris International, Union Pacific, AT&T and Blackstone. Finally, EU leaders will gather for a summit in Brussels. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.5% to 3,690.25 MXAP down 0.8% to 136.26 MXAPJ down 0.9% to 440.36 Nikkei down 0.9% to 27,006.96 Topix down 0.5% to 1,895.41 Hang Seng Index down 1.4% to 16,280.22 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,035.05 Sensex down 0.3% to 58,948.91 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.0% to 6,730.73 Kospi down 0.9% to 2,218.09 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.5% to 395.57 German 10Y yield up 3% to 2.45% Euro little changed at $0.9777 Brent Futures up 0.9% to $93.26/bbl Gold spot little changed at $1,630.01 U.S. Dollar Index down -0.1% at 112.86 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Giorgia Meloni, the right-wing leader poised to form a new Italian government, said she’d give up on the fledgling coalition if her allies can’t commit to supporting Ukraine along with Italy’s European Union and NATO partners France’s Economy & Finance minister Bruno Le Maire targets inflation of 4% by the end of 2023, AFP reports, stressing these are “objectives, not forecasts” Turkey’s central bank is poised to take another step toward cutting interest rates into single digits this year, a gamble masterminded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to power economic growth ahead of elections next June German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that a proposal to introduce a European Union-wide cap on gas prices could backfire as the region seeks to offset a drastic supply cut from Russia. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newquawk Asia-Pacific stocks were pressured following the weak handover from Wall Street owing to the higher yield environment and as global inflationary headwinds offset the recent earnings momentum. ASX 200 was led lower by the underperformance in tech and following disappointing jobs data, although the energy sector bucked the trend after gains in oil prices and strong quarterly output updates from Woodside Energy and Santos. Nikkei 225 briefly fell beneath 27,000 with participants on intervention watch, while stronger-than-expected Exports and Imports failed to spur risk appetite as the data also contributed to a record trade deficit for the fiscal first half. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. declined from the open with the former on course for its lowest close since 2009 amid heavy losses in tech and with the mainland also downbeat after the lack of surprises from the PBoC which maintained its benchmark lending rates unchanged as widely expected, although news of China mulling shortening its quarantine eventually lifted the Shanghai Comp into the green. Top Asian News PBoC 1-Year Loan Prime Rate (Oct) 3.65% vs. Exp. 3.65% (Prev. 3.65%); 5-Year Loan Prime Rate (Oct) 4.30% vs. Exp. 4.30% (Prev. 4.30%) China reportedly held emergency talks with chip firms after US curbs, according to Bloomberg. China is reportedly mulling cutting inbound quarantine to 7 days from 10 days which will be presented to the top leaders, according to Bloomberg. Indonesian 7-Day Reverse Repo (Oct) 4.75% vs. Exp. 4.75% (Prev. 3.75%); will intervene in FX to prevent imported inflation. Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki provides no comment on FX levels; cannot tolerate speculative moves; will take action against any speculative, excessive and sudden moves, via Reuters. Japanese currency diplomat Kanda says excessive and disorderly FX moves have a negative impact on the economy, will not comment on whether Japan is intervening now or has intervened today European cash bourses trade mixed with the breadth of the market narrow (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.2%; Stoxx 600 -0.4%). Sectors in Europe are mostly negative with no overarching theme – Energy and Banks outperform amid price action in underlying crude and yields respectively. Meanwhile, Telecom names sit at the bottom of the pile as Ericsson (-14%) and Nokia (-5.3%) slide following red flags on margins. US equity futures are softer across the board but to varying degrees, with the NQ (-0.9%) lagging the ES (-0.5%) and RTY (-0.4%), with Tesla carrying a larger weight in the NDX (circa. 4.0%) than the SPX (circa. 1.8%). Tesla Inc (TSLA) - Q3 2022 (USD): Adj. EPS 1.05 (exp. 1.00), Revenue 21.45bln (exp. 21.96bln). Q3 FCF USD 3.30bln (exp. 2.89bln). Q3 Automotive gross margin +27.9% (exp. +28.4%). Tesla sees initial phase of semi deliveries begin in December 2022. Tesla still sees 50% avg. annual growth in vehicle deliveries. Raw material cost inflation impacted quarterly profitability along with ramp inefficiencies from Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg, Gigafactory Texas, 4680 cell production. Battery supply constraints will be main limiting factor. CEO Musk said looking forward to a record-breaking Q4 and the Co. is gaining rapid traction in 4680 cell production. -5.0% in the pre-market Top European News BoE's Broadbent says the MPC is likely to respond relatively promptly to news about fiscal policy. Remains to be seen if rates need to rise as much as currently priced in by markets, via BoE. The justification for tighter policy is clear. If government support mitigates the effect of import costs, there is more at the margin for monetary policy to do. If Bank Rate really were to reach 5.25%, the cumulative impact on GDP of the entire hiking cycle would be just under 5% - of which only around one quarter has already come through UK Tory 1922 Committee officers are expected to meet on Thursday to discuss the leadership crisis in the Tory party, according to The Telegraph's Editor. However, recent reporting indicates the Committee will not be meeting today. UK PM Truss's office noted that the Tory party's chief whip and deputy chief whip remain in their posts. ITV's Peston, citing a member of UK Cabinet, that it is clear there is a will among ministers to attempt to keep PM Truss in office until October 31st (when the budget will be announced). A view that contrasts the recent update from ITV's Brand, citing a 1922 member, that the “odds are against” PM Truss surviving the day as PM FX Pound precarious as pressure continues to build against UK PM Truss and BoE's Broadbent infers that market expectations on rates may be too hawkish, Cable pivots 1.1200 Yen slips under 150.00 mark vs Dollar as yields continue to rally, but rebounds amidst further Japanese verbal, if not actual intervention Franc remains on the backfoot due to as a funding currency, but Euro gleans traction from data and EGB/UST spread convergence, USD/CHF straddles 1.0050 and EUR/USD bounces ahead of 0.9750 to reclaim 10 and 21 DMAs Aussie labours after payrolls miss consensus by some distance and before recovery in tandem with Yuan on reports that China may relax some Covid rules for inbound travellers, AUD/USD eyes 0.6300 from sub-0.6250 and USD/CNH off peaks near 7.2800 Riksbank's Ingves, to Swedish parliament, says easing mortgage repayment rules would be inappropriate. RBI is continuing spot USD sales and receiving December forwards, according to traders cited by Reuters. Fixed Income Debt remains depressed though notably off worst levels after dovish remarks from BoE's Broadbent lifted Gilts to the mid-98.00 region. In turn, both USTs and Bunds have climbed off lows of 109.19+ and 134.86 respectively, though still post downside of circa. 3 and 50 ticks respectively. The complex looks to US data and Fed speak while BTPs await updates out of Italy as potential PM Meloni is set to begin constructing her cabinet, with particular focus on the Berlusconi's Foreign Minister nominee. Commodities WTI and Brent December contracts are firmer intraday with the former around USD 86/bbl (84.49-86.27 range) whilst the latter resides around USD 93.50/bbl (91.95-93.92 range). The crude complex is buoyed by the pullback in the Dollar after receiving a boost from source reports that China is considering easing its COVID rules for travellers. Spot gold sees some support from the DXY remaining under 113.00, although remains well off recent highs, with the yellow metal still around the USD 1,630/oz mark (vs yesterday’s 1,654.50/oz high). LME metals are mixed but 3M copper receives a boost from the Buck alongside the aforementioned China source reports, but the red metal remains under USD 7,500/t. MMG's (1208 HK) Las Bambas copper mine in Peru reportedly halted copper transportation due to protests. German Energy Regulator says potential gas emergency is now end of February at the earliest, rather than end of November which was part of the scenario analysis in the August forecast, via Reuters. Geopolitical Russia's Deputy UN envoy said Russia would reassess cooperation with the UN Secretariat if the UN chief sends experts to Ukraine to inspect downed drones and is not optimistic about the renewal of the Ukraine grain Black Sea export deal, according to Reuters. US State Department said the US, UK and France raised the issue of Iran's transfer of drones to Russia at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, according to Reuters. US Treasury senior official travelled to Turkey this week and discussed sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia, according to Reuters. US and South Korea are conducting military drills at their fastest pace in years to show their readiness as tensions rise on the divided Korean Peninsula, according to Nikkei Asia Review. EU states have agreed on new sanctions against Iran regarding the supply of drones to Russia, according to the Czech EU presidency; to freeze assets of three individuals and one entity responsible for the drone sale. US Event Calendar 08:30: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 232,000, prior 228,000 08:30: Oct. Continuing Claims, est. 1.38m, prior 1.37m 08:30: Oct. Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. -5.0, prior -9.9 10:00: Sept. Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -2.1%, prior -0.4% 10:00: Sept. Home Resales with Condos, est. 4.7m, prior 4.8m 10:00: Sept. Leading Index, est. -0.3%, prior -0.3% Central Bank Speakers 12:00: Fed’s Harker Discusses the Economic Outlook 13:30: Fed’s Jefferson Makes Opening Remarks at Careers Event 13:45: Fed’s Cook Speaks on Panel at Careers Event 14:05: Fed’s Bowman Has Opening Remarks at Community Development... DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It's half-term and unfortunately I can't completely escape my responsibilities. Tomorrow I'm off to Center Parcs for the first time for a few days. It's fair to say I'm the least excited of the five of us going. All tips on how to survive the experience welcome. I'll be broadcasting the EMR live from there on Monday morning whilst on holiday as my co-authors are both off with Tim getting married. So many congratulations to him. Since I started the EMR nearly 16 years ago I think 9 of my co-authors have got married while working on it, 10 including me. It's a publication that breeds stability and wholesome values. All are still going strong as far as I'm aware! The honeymoon rally of the last few days petered out yesterday, with Treasury yields hitting multi-year highs as investors turned their focus back to central banks and how fast they’ll hike rates. All the big central banks are deciding policy over the next couple of weeks, so it’s not surprising that’s happening, but sentiment wasn’t helped either by further inflation surprises from the UK and Canada for September, which echoed what we’d already seen from the US last week. and added to the sense that the hiking cycle will be extended. After the close, we then heard from Tesla who missed revenue estimates, sending their shares -7% lower in after hours trading. Supply chain issues continued to beleaguer the company, particularly around batteries. Nevertheless, they still forecast strong growth and Elon Musk said a meaningful share buyback was likely. For whatever it’s worth on the macro side, Musk also believes commodity prices will continue to fall. Meanwhile, in overnight trading, futures tied to the S&P 500 (-0.3%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.6%) are pointing to further losses. However these losses have halved as I type, possibly on breaking news on Bloomberg that China is considering cutting quarantine for arrivals from abroad from 10 to 7 days. I'd imagine there are hopes the zero covid policy is loosening a bit. Back to bonds and treasury yields rose to new highs for this cycle across the yield curve, with the 10yr yield up +12.7bps at 4.13%. This morning in Asia, they are another +1.25bps higher trading at a fresh 14-yr high of just under 4.15% as I type. This comes as investors move to expect an increasingly aggressive tightening cycle from the Fed over the months ahead, with the rate priced in for the December meeting up a further +3.2bps to 4.51%. It's gone just above the previous high for this cycle of 4.52% overnight. Furthermore, the peak rate for this hiking cycle priced in for May went up by +8.6bps to 4.97%. This morning in Asia it's gone above 5% for the first time in this cycle. We heard from a few Fed officials yesterday, including Presidents Bullard, Evans, and Kashkari. President Bullard noted the Fed could yet still bring forward tightening into 2022. If policy got tight enough, he noted that 2023’s inflation profile could look better. A point often cited by those expecting a rapid improvement in inflation is the composition of certain rent measures the Fed follows presents a lagged reading, and therefore inflation is not currently as bad as they expect. Bullard directly addressed that point in his remarks and that unsurprisingly, the Fed is aware of such methodological shortcomings and takes them into account when evaluating the stance of policy. President Kashkari spoke along similar lines, noting the Fed still needed tighter policy but could wind up pausing tightening come next year. Evans struck the same tone, expressing hope that the September dot plot would prove the optimal amount of tightening, so a much slower pace of tightening next year. Regardless of the above, we still have more than 75bps priced for November at 78.1bps. As we await their next decision in just under a couple of weeks from now, there was further evidence yesterday that the Fed’s hikes were filtering their way through to the real economy, with data from the mortgage Bankers Association showing the contract rate on a 30yr fixed mortgage hit 6.94% in the week ending October 14. That’s the highest it’s been since 2002, and came as their gauge of applications to purchase or refinance a home fell a further -4.5% to its lowest level since 1997, which echoes the decline in other housing indicators we’ve seen recently. US housing starts for September were also down more than expected, hitting an annualised rate of 1.439m (vs. 1.461m expected), with the previous month’s number also revised down by -9k. On the other hand, building permits rose to an annualised rate of 1.564m (vs. 1.530m expected). For equities it was also a rough session, with the S&P 500 coming down -0.67% after having gained +3.82% over the two days at the start of the week. Netflix (+13.09%) was the top performer in the index following its earnings release the previous day, but otherwise it was a broad-based decline that saw over 76% of the index move lower. The Nasdaq underperformed, falling -0.85%, and that was before Tesla’s earnings miss after the close. The major indices lost ground in Europe too, with the Stoxx 600 (-0.53%) bringing an end to its run of 4 consecutive gains. Back in Europe, sovereign bonds also lost ground across much of the continent as we approach the ECB’s decision next week. Yields on 10yr bunds were up +9.0bps to a post-2011 high of 2.37%, which followed comments by Slovenian central bank governor Vasle that the ECB should hike by 75bps at the next two meetings in October and December. Here in the UK, gilts outperformed other European sovereign bonds for a third day running, with markets remaining calm as they looked forward to the government’s fiscal announcement on October 31. That outperformance was particularly noticeable among long-dated gilts, with yields on 30yr gilts down -31.9bps after the BoE’s announcement the previous evening that their Q4 gilt sales as part of quantitative tightening would only involve short- and medium-maturity gilts, rather than long-dated ones. To be fair though, gilts rallied right across the curve, and that came in spite of the latest UK inflation data for September, which showed CPI rising to +10.1% (vs. +10.0% expected), so back up to its level in July. In addition, core inflation continued to accelerate, hitting a 30-year high of +6.5% in September (vs. +6.4% expected). Whilst UK markets were more subdued yesterday, there was fresh turmoil on the political front as Home Secretary Suella Braverman left the government after what was reported as a security breach. In Braverman’s resignation letter, the strong implication was that Truss herself should go, saying that “The business of government relies upon people accepting responsibility for their mistakes. Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see that we have made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics.” A chaotic parliamentary vote late in the session won't make life any easier for PM Truss in the short-term. Back on inflation, there wasn’t much respite elsewhere, as Canadian inflation similarly surprised on the upside with a +6.9% reading in September (vs. +6.7% expected). That prompted investors to ratchet up their expectations of future rate hikes from the Bank of Canada, with another 75bp move at their meeting next week now fully priced in. That said, there was some marginally better news from the Euro Area on inflation, as the final CPI release for September was revised down a tenth to +9.9%, having come in at +10.0% on the earlier flash reading. But although that revision takes it out of double-digit territory, it’s worth noting that’s still the fastest inflation since the single currency’s formation. Asian equity markets are tumbling this morning with the Hang Seng (-2.36%) leading losses, after briefly sliding -3.0% in early trade, its lowest intraday level since 2009 due to a selloff in Chinese listed tech shares. Elsewhere the KOSPI (-1.47%) and the Nikkei (-1.11%) are also deep in the red. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite (-0.39%) and the CSI (-0.80%) are also falling. Early morning data showed that exports in Japan advanced +28.9% y/y (v/s +26.6% expected), increasing for the 19th consecutive month in September and compared to the prior month’s +22.0% rise. This was on the back of strong demand for autos and mineral fuels. At the same time, imports surged +45.9% y/y (v/s +44.9% expected) and against a +49.9% gain in the previous month. Staying on Japan, yields on 10yr JGBs again briefly moved beyond the BoJ's upper limit of 0.25%, prompting the central bank to announce unscheduled bond buying for the first time this month to bring it back within its target range. Adding to the challenge for policy makers, the Japanese yen continues to press towards the 150 level, as it reached yet another fresh 32-yr low of 149.96 against the US dollar, thus increasing the possibility for further government intervention to support the battered currency. Separately, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) left its benchmark lending rates unchanged for a second month, keeping the 1-yr loan prime rate at 3.65% and the 5-yr rate at 4.3%. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims and existing home sales for September, whilst in Germany there’s the PPI reading for September. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker, Jefferson, Cook and Bowman, the ECB’s de Cos and BoE Deputy Governor Broadbent. Earnings releases include Danaher, Philip Morris International, Union Pacific, AT&T and Blackstone. Finally, EU leaders will gather for a summit in Brussels. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/20/2022 - 07:49.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 20th, 2022

Futures Slide As OPEC+ Cut Sparks Gas Inflation Fears And "Tighter For Longer" Fed

Futures Slide As OPEC+ Cut Sparks Gas Inflation Fears And "Tighter For Longer" Fed Two days ago, when stocks were melting up even as oil was storming higher and threatened to rerate inflation expectations sharply higher, we mused that algos were clearly ignoring this potentially ominously convergence. Stock algos still haven't noticed what oil is doing. impressive — zerohedge (@zerohedge) October 4, 2022 And while yesterday we saw the first cracks developing in the meltup narrative as oil extended gains following OPEC's stark slap on the face of the dementia patient in the White House, it was only today that the "oil is about to push inflation sharply higher" discussion entered the broader financial sphere, with JPM writing this morning that "OPEC+ presents inflation risk", Bloomberg echoing JPM that "OPEC+ alliance’s plan to cut oil supply stoked inflation fears and as traders awaited labor-market data to gauge the risk of recession" and Saxo Bank also jumping on the bandwagon, warning that OPEC+ supply cut will worsen global inflation which "raises the risk of inflation staying higher for longer” and “sends the wrong signal to the US Federal Reserve... It could send a signal that they have to keep on their foot on the brake for longer.” And sure enough, with oil rising above its 50DMA for the first time since Aug 30, futures have slumped overnight as oil kept its gains, with S&P and Nasdaq 100 futures both sliding 0.5% as of 730am, while Europe’s Stoxx 600 erased an advance and traded near session lows. US crude futures held on to weekly gains of about 11% after the oil cartel said it would cut daily output by 2 million barrels. Treasuries were steady, the 10Y trading around 3.77%, with the 2Y rate hovering about the 4.15% level. In pre-market trading, Credit Suisse jumped as much as 5.2% after JPMorgan upgraded to neutral from underweight, saying it sees $15bn as a minimum value for the lender, in-line with the estimated value of the Swiss legal entity. Shares were 2% higher by 13:20pm CET in Zurich, after Bloomberg News reported that the lender is trying to bring in an outside investor to inject money into a spinoff of its advisory and investment banking businesses, citing people with knowledge of the deliberations. Other banks did not do as well, and slumped in premarket trading Thursday, putting them on track to fall for a second straight day. Twitter shares fell as much as 1.1% to $50.75, trading nearly 7% below Elon Musk’s offer price of $54.20 as investors await progress in the revived deal. Here are the other notable premarket movers: Pinterest (PINS US) shares jump as much as 5.8% in US premarket trading after Goldman Sachs upgraded the social networking site to buy from neutral on improving user growth and better engagement trends, even as the backdrop for digital advertising remains uncertain. Biohaven Ltd. (BHVN US) shares rise 9.7% in US premarket trading, set to extend a 75% gain over the past two days as regular trading in the newly constituted drug developer began following an unusual deal with Pfizer Inc. SurgePays (SURG US) shares soar as much as 11% in premarket trading after the company gave an update on subscriber numbers for its subsidiary SurgePhone Wireless. Flutter (FLTR LN) gained 3.3% in premarket trading as it was initiated at outperform at Exane as the best-placed online gambling name, while Entain also at outperform and DraftKings started at underperform. Richardson Electronics (RELL US) rose 8.2% in extended trading after reporting year-over-year growth in net sales and earnings per share for the fiscal first quarter. While higher energy prices could stoke inflation, some have speculated that this will also divert discretionary income from core items thus pushing core inflation lower and hit company earnings -- potentially encouraging the Federal Reserve to slow monetary tightening. All else equal, as economy slows and oil/gas prices rise due to OPEC/supply constraints, there will be less disposable income for "core" purchases, pushing core PCE lower faster — zerohedge (@zerohedge) October 6, 2022 While such expectations fueled equity gains this week, several money managers are cautioning that the economic path to a less aggressive Fed could be painful: “If you want to preempt the Fed, you are playing a very high-stakes game,” said Kenneth Broux, a strategist at Societe Generale SA. “The Fed do not want financial conditions to loosen; they don’t want equity markets to take off and get too comfortable.” That said, investors are wary of placing large-scale equity bets as they await a report on US initial jobless claims later Thursday and the official nonfarm payrolls data Friday. A Bloomberg survey shows the US economy will have added 260,000 jobs last month; a higher-than-anticipated number may spook markets. In Europe, the Stoxx 50 dropped -0.3% to session lows. Stoxx 600 outperforms peers, adding 0.2%, FTSE MIB lags, dropping 0.5%. Energy and insurance underperform while real estate and travel lead gains. Here are all the notable European movers: Imperial Brands shares rise as much as 4.7% after the tobacco company said it will buy back up to £1b worth of stock. The move was welcomed by analysts, with RBC calling it a “big deal” and Citigroup saying the announcement was earlier than expected. Home24 SE gains as much as 126% to EU7.53 after XXXLutz offered to buy all outstanding shares in the German online furniture retailer for EU7.50 apiece. The bid is generous and the deal is straightforward from a regulatory perspective, according to Tradition. Credit Suisse jumps as much as 5.2% after JPMorgan upgraded to neutral from underweight, saying it sees $15b as a minimum value for the lender, in-line with the estimated value of the Swiss legal entity. CMC Markets climbs as much as 6.5% after the online trading firm said it sees first- half net operating income up 21% y/y, with market volatility in August and September boosting the results. Numis upgraded the stock to add from hold following the report. Shell drops as much as 5% as analysts say the oil and gas major’s trading update looks “weak” and may mean that FY consensus proves too ambitious. Kloeckner falls as much as 12% as the company faces a “high likelihood” of an imminent profit warning, Bankhaus Metzler says, double-downgrading the stock to sell from buy. Swiss Re is among the weakest members of the Stoxx 600 insurance index on Thursday, declining as much as 4.0%, as Morgan Stanley lowers its price target ahead of third-quarter earnings. Accor drops as much as 2.5% after the hotel chain owner was downgraded to underweight from equal-weight at Barclays, which sees short-term risks as bigger for the company compared with peers and feels investors are looking more at potential negative factors heading into FY23 than 2022 upgrades. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose for a third day as hardware technology stocks in South Korea and Japan advanced on views they may have reached a bottom. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.9%, lifted by TSMC, SoftBank and Sony. The benchmark trimmed gains later in the day, but remains on track to advance for the week, following a seven-week losing streak that was the longest since 2015.Korea’s Kospi Index was the region’s best-performing major benchmark, jumping about 1%. The advance was helped by chipmakers extending their gains amid Morgan Stanley’s bullish view on the sector. Hong Kong stocks retreated after Wednesday’s catch-up rally. Trading volume in the region was light as mainland China remains closed for the Golden Week holiday. The MSCI’s Asian benchmark has rebounded this week from its lowest in more than two years. The move tracked a nascent revival in global equities on bets that the Federal Reserve may turn less aggressive in its tightening. In a potential harbinger of shifting market views, Morgan Stanley strategists upgraded emerging-market and Asia ex-Japan stocks to overweight from equal-weight.   Investors are also optimistic that monetary policies in China and Japan, which have bucked the global wave of tightening to remain loose, could provide further support to the nations’ equities.  “While the rest of the world is tightening, Japan and China are still easing, especially China where we are going to see more easing policies going forward,” Chi Lo, senior investment strategist for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas Asset Management, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “That makes us more positive on EM Asia.” Japanese equities gained for a fourth day as investors awaited domestic corporate earnings coming out later this month.  The Topix rose 0.5% to 1,922.47 as of the market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.7% to 27,311.30. Sony Group contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 1.7%. Out of 2,168 stocks in the index, 1,564 rose and 490 fell, while 114 were unchanged. “There is relatively little concern about corporate earnings for Japanese stocks with the economy restarting and the yen weakening,” said Shogo Maekawa, a strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index consolidated within the recent day’s ranges, while Britain’s pound slipped 0.4% and gilt yields rose after Fitch Ratings lowered its outlook on the nation to negative. The greenback advanced against most of its G-10 peers. The euro steadied just below $0.99. Euro hedging costs are on the rise again as traders position ahead of Friday’s payrolls print and next week’s US inflation report. Commodity currencies were the worst performers along with the pound. Australian and New Zealand dollars gave up an Asia-session advance. The yen traded in a narrow range. In rates, Treasuries were slightly cheaper across the curve after paring declines led by gilts in London trading after a Bank of England survey found expectations for higher prices. Focal points of US session include several Fed speakers and potential for risk-reduction ahead of Friday’s September jobs report Friday. US yields cheaper by less than 2bp across the curve in bear- flattening move, 10-year by 2bp vs 17bp for UK 10-year, the downside leader in developed market sovereign bonds.  German and Italian bond curves flattened modestly as yields on shorter-dated notes rose, while those further out fell. In commodities, West Texas Intermediate futures traded near $88 a barrel, while Brent crude held near $93.30. The output-cut plan drew a warning from the White House about negative effects on the global economy. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its fourth-quarter price target for Brent to $110 a barrel. To the day ahead now, and data releases include German factory orders for August, the German and UK construction PMIs for September, Euro Area retail sales for August, and the weekly initial jobless claims from the US. Meanwhile from central banks, we’ll get the ECB’s account of their September meeting, as well as remarks from the Fed’s Evans, Cook, Kashkari, Waller and Mester, and the BoE’s Haskel. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 3,783.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.3% to 400.25 MXAP up 0.4% to 145.05 MXAPJ up 0.3% to 471.37 Nikkei up 0.7% to 27,311.30 Topix up 0.5% to 1,922.47 Hang Seng Index down 0.4% to 18,012.15 Shanghai Composite down 0.6% to 3,024.39 Sensex up 0.6% to 58,403.02 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 6,817.52 Kospi up 1.0% to 2,237.86 German 10Y yield little changed at 2.05% Euro little changed at $0.9886 Brent Futures up 0.3% to $93.62/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,716.69 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 111.24 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg UK bond markets face a potential “cliff edge” when the Bank of England exits the market at the end of next week, leaving traders to navigate a turbulent backdrop without the support of a buyer of last resort Millions more Britons will be dragged into higher rates of income tax over the next three years, costing twice as much as Prime Minister Liz Truss’s personal tax cuts, according to calculations by the Institute for Fiscal Studies Britain’s construction industry turned more pessimistic in September after rising interest rates and the risk of recession held back new orders The European Union plans to examine whether Germany’s massive plan to shelter companies and households from surging energy costs respects the bloc’s rules on public subsidies, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton said German factory orders dropped in August after the previous month was revised to show an increase, hinting at a lack of momentum as the economy stands on the brink of a recession Societe Generale SA cut its exposure to counterparties on trades in China by about $80 million in the past few weeks as global banks seek to guard against any potential fallout from rising geopolitical risks in the world’s second-largest economy A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed as the region partially shrugged off the lacklustre lead from the US where the major indices snapped a firm two-day rally and finished the somewhat choppy session with mild losses amid higher yields and as Fed rhetoric essentially pushed back against a policy pivot. ASX 200 lacked direction amid underperformance in the Real Estate and the Consumer sectors, although the downside was also limited by strength in energy after oil prices were lifted by the OPEC+ output cut. Nikkei 225 was positive with notable gains in exporter names and with Rakuten leading the advances as Mizuho looks to acquire a 20% stake in Rakuten Securities for USD 555mln. Hang Seng was lacklustre and took a breather after the prior day’s more than 5% jump with the mood also not helped after Hong Kong PMI slipped into contraction territory for the first time in 6 months. Top Asian News Haikou city in China's Hainan imposed a COVID lockdown for Thursday, according to Bloomberg. Malaysia PM May Propose Parliament Dissolution, Bernama Reports Why Polio, Once Nearly Eradicated, Is Rebounding: QuickTake Legoland Korea’s Default Flags Risks for Nation’s Developers Paris Club Seeks China Collaboration in Sri Lanka Debt Talks Yen Rout Is Over on Peak US Rate Hike Bets, Says Top Forecaster European bourses are under modest pressure as sentiment broadly takes a slight turn for the worst amid limited newsflow as participants look to Friday's NFP. Currently, European benchmarks are lower by 0.1-0.3% while US futures are posting slightly larger losses of circa 0.7 ahead of Fed speak. Top European News Fitch affirmed the UK at AA-; Outlook revised to Negative from Stable, while it stated that the fiscal package announced as part of the new UK government's growth plan could lead to a significant increase in deficits over the medium-term, according to Reuters. The UK Treasury is set to impose GBP 21bln of additional income taxes despite the "tax-cutting mini-budget", according to a study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. (Times) BoE Monthly Decision Maker Panel data - September 2022; looking ahead, DMP members expected CPI inflation to be 9.5% one-year ahead, up from 8.4% in the August survey, and 4.8% in three years’ time. BoE's Cunliffe says the FPC will publish its next financial policy statement and record on October 12th, liquidity conditions in the run up to the BoE gilt intervention were "very poor", MPC will make a full assessment of recent developments at its November 3rd meeting. UK government has proposed easing the fee cap for illiquid assets in pensions, according to a rule consultation publication by the government. Swedish Economy Shrinks More Than Estimated on Weak Industry UK Tech M&A Spree Pauses as Buyers Pull Out Amid Chaotic Markets FX USD benefits from the mentioned risk tone, with the DXY extending to a 111.35 peak to the modest detriment of peers. However, EUR is relatively resilient and holding around 0.99 vs the USD as we await the ECB Minutes account for near-term guidance. Cable faded sub-1.1400 and reversed through 1.1300 again amid the USD's move and prior to a letter exchange from the BoE to Treasury re. the Gilt Intervention. Antipodeans under pressure given the USD move and associated action in metals, while the Yuan initially lent a helping hand but this has since dissipated. Given the broader tone, the traditional havens are holding near unchanged levels though yield dynamics are a hinderance. Fixed Income Gilts are once again the standout laggard following rating agency action and the BoE DMP showing inflation pressures were already elevated MM before the fiscal update. As such, the UK yield has extended back above 4.10%; in the US, yields are also bid though to a much lesser extent before Fed speak and Friday's jobs. Back to Europe, Bunds are pressured though only modestly so vs UK counterparts awaiting the ECB's September account Commodities Crude benchmarks are modestly firmer at present, extending marginally above yesterday’s best levels with fresh newsflow limited as participants digest yesterday’s OPEC+ action. WTI and Brent are towards the mid-point of circa. USD 1/bbl ranges, though Brent Dec’22 briefly surpassed the 200-DMA at USD 94.11/bbl before moving back below the figure. Acting Kuwaiti Oil Minister said the OPEC+ decision to cut output will have positive ramifications for oil markets, while they understand consumers' concerns about prices increasing but added that the main motive in OPEC+ is balancing supply and demand, according to Reuters. US National Security official stated the US sanctions policy on Venezuela remains unchanged and there are no plans to change the sanctions policy without constructive steps from Maduro, according to Reuters. Norway's Budget proposes changing the temporary tax rules for the petroleum sector, entails that the uplift is reduced to 12.40% (prev. 17.69%), via Reuters. Saudi sets the November Arab Light OSP to N.W Europe at Ice Brent +USD 0.90/bbl; to the US at ASCI +USD 6.35/bbl, via Reuters citing a document; to Asia at Oman/Dubai +USD 5.85 (Unch.), via Reuters sources. Geopolitics North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles which were fired from Pyongyang and landed outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone, according to the South Korean military cited by Yonhap. Furthermore, North Korea said that its missile launches are counteraction measures against the US and South Korean military drills. North Korean jets and bombers have been seen flying in an exercise, according to Yonhap; South Korean jets take off in response, via Reuters. US State Department condemned North Korea's ballistic missile launch and said North Korea's missile launches pose a threat to regional neighbours and the international community, while it added that the US remains committed to a diplomatic approach to North Korea and called on North Korea to engage in dialogue, according to Reuters. The EU has approved the 8th round of Russian sanctions; as expected. US Event Calendar 08:30: Sept. Continuing Claims, est. 1.35m, prior 1.35m 08:30: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 204,000, prior 193,000 Central bank Speakers 08:50: Fed’s Mester Makes Opening Remarks 09:15: Fed’s Kashkari Takes Part in Moderated Q&A 13:00: Fed’s Evans Takes Part in Moderated Q&A 13:00: Fed’s Cook Speaks on the Economic Outlook 13:00: Fed’s Kashkari Discusses Cyber Risk and Financial Stability 17:00: Fed’s Waller Discusses the Economic Outlook 18:30: Fed’s Mester Discusses the Economic Outlook DB's Henry Allen concludes the overnight wrap After an astonishing rally at the beginning of Q4, markets reversed course yesterday as investors became much more sceptical that we’ll actually get a dovish pivot from central banks after all. The idea of a pivot has been a prominent theme over recent days, particularly after the financial turmoil during the last couple of weeks, thus sparking the biggest 2-day rally in the S&P 500 since April 2020 as the week began. But over the last 24 hours, solid US data releases have created a pushback against that narrative, since they were seen as giving the Fed more space to keep hiking rates over the coming months. And if markets had any further doubt about the Fed’s intentions, San Francisco Fed President Daly explicitly said yesterday that she didn’t expect there to be rate cuts next year, in direct contrast to futures that are still pricing in rate cuts from Q2. Indeed for a sense of just how volatile the reaction has been, 10yr bund yields were up by +16.3bps yesterday, which is their largest daily rise since March 2020 during the initial wave of the pandemic. Looking at the details of those releases, it was evident that markets are still treating good news as bad news at the minute, since they sold off even as data pointed to a more resilient performance from the US economy than had been thought. For example, the ISM services index came in above expectations at 56.7 (vs. 56.0 expected), and the employment component moved up to a 6-month high of 53.0. So that’s a noticeably different picture to the manufacturing print on Monday, when there was a surprise contraction in the employment component. Furthermore, there was another sign of labour market strength from the ADP’s report of private payrolls, which came in at +208k in September (vs. +200k expected), and the previous month’s reading was also revised upwards. We’ll see if that picture is echoed in the US jobs report tomorrow, but there was a clear reaction to the ISM print in markets, as investors moved to upgrade the amount of Fed hikes they were expecting whilst the equity selloff accelerated. Those expectations of a more hawkish Fed were given significant support by comments from Fed officials themselves. The most obvious came from San Francisco Fed President Daly, who was asked about the fact that futures were pricing in rate cuts, and said “I don’t see that happening at all”. In fact when it came to rates, she not only said that they were raising them into restrictive territory, but that they would be “holding it there” until inflation fell. Atlanta Fed President Bostic struck a similar tone, emphasising rate cuts in 2023 were not likely and that “I am not advocating a quick turn toward accommodation. On the contrary.” He said he wanted fed funds rates between 4% and 4.5% by the end of this year, “and then hold at that level and see how the economy and prices react.” That backdrop led to a sizeable cross-asset selloff yesterday on both sides of the Atlantic. The effects on the rates side were particularly prominent, with 10yr US Treasury yields bouncing back +12.0bps to 3.75%. And that move was entirely driven by real yields, which rose +15.1bps as investors moved to price in a more hawkish Fed over the months ahead. You could see that taking place in Fed funds futures too, with the rate priced in for December 2023 up by +8.9bps to 4.19%, thus partially reversing the -22.2bps move lower over the previous two sessions. This morning, 10yr yields are only down -1.0 bps, so far from unwinding those moves. The hawkish tones also proved bad news for equities, with the S&P 500 taking a breather following its blistering start to the week, retreating -0.20% after being as low as -1.80% in the New York morning. European equities did not enjoy the benefits of a New York afternoon rally, leading to a transatlantic divergence, and the STOXX 600 was down -1.02% on a broad-based decline. The energy sector outperformed in both the S&P 500 and STOXX 600 following a rally in crude oil which saw both Brent crude (+2.81%) and WTI (+2.53%) oil prices hit a 3-week high. That followed a decision from the OPEC+ group, who cut output by 2 million barrels per day. Those gains have continued in overnight trading as well, with Brent Crude now at $93.48/bbl. In Europe, the performance of sovereign bonds echoed that for US Treasuries, as yields on 10yr bunds (+16.3bps), OATs (+17.6bps) and BTPs (+29.0bps) all saw their largest daily increases since March 2020. As in the US, that reflected growing scepticism about a dovish pivot from the ECB, but another factor not helping matters was the rebound in energy prices, with natural gas futures up +7.25% on the day to close at €174 per megawatt-hour, alongside the oil rebound mentioned above. That’s been reflected in inflation expectations too, with the 10yr German breakeven up another +8.0bps yesterday to 2.15%, after having closed beneath 2% on Monday for the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. Here in the UK, we also saw several key assets lose ground once again following their rally over the last week. For instance, sterling ended a run of 6 consecutive daily gains against the US Dollar to close -1.31% lower, closing back at $1.13. And that wasn’t simply a story of dollar strength, as the pound weakened against every other G10 currency as well. Gilts were another asset to struggle, with real yields in particular seeing significant daily rises of at least +30bps across most of the yield curve, including a +33.0bps rise for the 10yr real yield, and a +36.7bps rise for the 30yr real yield. That came as the Bank of England said they didn’t buy any gilts under their emergency operation for a second day running. In the meantime, there were fresh signs that the turmoil after the fiscal announcement was impacting the mortgage market, with Moneyfacts saying that the average 2yr fixed-rate mortgage had risen to 6.07%, which is the highest since November 2008. Last night that was then followed up by the news that Fitch had downgraded the UK’s outlook from stable to negative. Overnight in Asia there’s been a mixed performance from the major equity indices. Both the Nikkei (+0.94%) and the Kospi (+1.25%) have recorded solid advances, which continues their run of having risen every day this week. In addition, futures in the US and Europe are both pointing higher, with those on the S&P 500 up +0.49%. However, the Hang Seng is down -0.43% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 is down -0.05%, whilst markets in mainland China remain closed for a holiday. The dollar index has also lost ground overnight, falling -0.25%, which comes in spite of those hawkish comments from Fed officials pushing back against rate cuts next year. Looking at yesterday’s other data, the final services and composite PMIs mostly echoed the data from the flash readings. The composite PMI for the Euro Area was revised down a tenth to 48.1, and the US composite PMI was revised up two-tenths to 49.5. There was a bigger rise in the UK however, where the composite PMI was revised up seven-tenths to 49.1. To the day ahead now, and data releases include German factory orders for August, the German and UK construction PMIs for September, Euro Area retail sales for August, and the weekly initial jobless claims from the US. Meanwhile from central banks, we’ll get the ECB’s account of their September meeting, as well as remarks from the Fed’s Evans, Cook, Kashkari, Waller and Mester, and the BoE’s Haskel. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/06/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 6th, 2022

Starfish Finance Proposes DeFi-NFT Convergence on Polkadot

Paris, France, 30th September, 2022, Chainwire Starfish Finance, the DeFi project running on Astar Network, has shared its vision of how NFTs and decentralized finance will coalesce on Polkadot. The community-driven project predicts the worlds of DeFi and NFTs will eventually fuse and form a brighter star, with Starfish Finance ($SEAN) serving as the fortress […] Paris, France, 30th September, 2022, Chainwire Starfish Finance, the DeFi project running on Astar Network, has shared its vision of how NFTs and decentralized finance will coalesce on Polkadot. The community-driven project predicts the worlds of DeFi and NFTs will eventually fuse and form a brighter star, with Starfish Finance ($SEAN) serving as the fortress that hosts this union. Starfish Finance is one of many planets orbiting the Astar Network ecosystem, one of the brightest parachains in the Polkadot galaxy. Living on its primary planet is a starfish named Sean, who has vowed to venture into the galaxy and build new castles. The Starfish protocol is based on Balancer v2. It gives users the freedom to create liquidity pools of up to eight different crypto assets on top of a full stack DeFi product suite. Beyond its DeFi capabilities, users can stake NFTs on their native chain through Celer Network’s IM framework, an inter-chain messaging mechanism, to enjoy cross-chain collateralized NFT lending and borrowing. The Starfish Finance protocol has been audited by CertiK and the Starfish team has stressed that the community’s security is their number one priority. The team is now in the process of entering into collaboration with renowned NFT projects to provide liquidity that will empower owners to access capital without relinquishing ownership of their cherished collectibles. Starfish Finance is already listed on Huobi, a major top tier centralized exchange, and the team aspires for more listings which might be announced as the protocol develops. From the beginning, Starfish Finance has positioned itself as a one-stop shop that offers multi-token stable and weighted swaps and embraces a multi-chain future. Starfish started the year with conception, fundraising, forming strategic partnerships, building an inclusive community, and testnet launch. For the rest of 2022, the team will roll out their DeFi suite and refine their NFT collateralized lending and borrowing launch in the roadmap. The eventual formation of Starfish DAO, dubbed The Aquarium, will pave the way for everything that comes next. The community council will be tasked with nurturing different parts of the project, from product to art, and from technology to marketing. Community members will play a big part in onboarding and whitelisting new NFT projects as eligible collateral for Starfish’s NFT-Fi, in addition to managing events and activities to grow the multi-chain Web3 economy. Learn more about Starfish Finance Contact Partnership Lead mars@starfish.finance.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 30th, 2022

5E Advanced Materials Reports Full Year 2022 Results

HIGHLIGHTS Major milestones achieved: Critical Infrastructure designation by the U.S. government Letters of Intent with Corning Inc. and Borman Specialty Materials Enhanced project scope to increase boron capacity and include lithium Successful Nasdaq listing supported by BofA Securities as capital markets advisor Equity research initiations Large Institutional investment by Bluescape Energy Partners University partnerships established to develop novel advanced materials IP and technology Customer activities accelerating with positive market outlook for boron and lithium Small-Scale Boron Facility ("SSBF") progresses on-schedule towards target mechanical completion in CQ4 2022 Balance sheet strengthened with $68 million in available cash as of August 26, 2022 HOUSTON, Sept. 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 5E Advanced Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:FEAM) (ASX: 5EA) ("5E" or the "Company"), a boron and lithium company with U.S. government Critical Infrastructure designation for its 5E Boron Americas (Fort Cady) Complex, today announced its financial results for the fiscal year end 2022. Corporate Strategy 5E and boron sit at the convergence of three global mega-trends: decarbonization, food security, and domestic supply of critical materials. The Company is positioned strategically to benefit from the expected surge in demand for boron and lithium as a result of high-growth decarbonization technologies which commonly utilize these advanced materials as key inputs, the recognition of boron's importance to keep the world fed as an essential micronutrient required by crops, and the move to reduce reliance on foreign sourcing and processing in a critical supply chain. Given existing geological limitations, there are few major known boron projects globally. 5E possesses the largest, and only substantially permitted, of these six projects. The 5E Boron Americas (Fort Cady) Complex in Southern California, which hosts the largest known new conventional source of boron in the world, is designated as Critical Infrastructure by the U.S. government. With approximately 85% of global supply coming from two commodity miners, 5E is well positioned to execute its corporate strategy of becoming a high-margin, high-value, vertically integrated producer of boron and lithium specialty and advanced materials. With this strategy, the Company will be positioned to take advantage of its boron and lithium supply and potentially favorable cost position, particularly in the highly fragmented downstream boron market with few vertically integrated suppliers. In May 2022, 5E announced plans to expand the production capacity of its large-scale complex to 500,000 tons per year of boric acid. The Company also announced its goal to sell boron advanced materials to take advantage of higher pricing, operational synergies, and the currently fragmented market. The global advanced materials supply chain is at risk of disruption, with an over-reliance on Turkey and China for sourcing and processing, respectively. The U.S. government, as well as certain of 5E's customers, has also sought to domesticate the boron supply chain, which aligns with 5E's strategy to create a vertically integrated U.S. based complex. 5E also announced potential lithium carbonate production of several thousand tons per year upon completion of the large-scale complex, which could make 5E one of the largest producers of lithium in the U.S. Customer and Strategic Partnerships As part of the commercialization plans, 5E has dedicated resources to secure strategic collaboration agreements with customers that could include offtake and financing support linked to the supply of boric acid, boron advanced materials, and lithium carbonate. During the fiscal year, the Company signed non-binding letters of intent with Corning Incorporated and Borman Specialty Materials. Corning Inc. is a Fortune 300 company and one of the largest technical glass manufacturers in the world. Under the letter of intent, 5E would supply boron specialty materials while collaborating with Corning to develop and supply boron advanced materials. Borman is a U.S. producer of boron and other advanced materials that supply future facing global markets within the semiconductor, life sciences, aerospace, military, and automotive industries. Under the letter of intent, 5E would supply Borman with boric acid and boron advanced materials. The Company is also advancing discussions with other customers who are also interested in ensuring domestic supply of boron and lithium. The Company executed research agreements with leading academic institutions Georgetown University ("Georgetown") and Boston College. Both research agreements position 5E to potentially develop intellectual property and commercialization pathways within downstream boron-based decarbonization applications. 5E's research agreement with Georgetown aims to enhance the performance of permanent magnets by increasing the use of boron. The Company's research agreement with Boston College intends to advance boron-based materials within solar energy systems. Solar energy is expected to play an important role in serving the increased demand for a carbon-neutral global economy and the agreement has the potential to create boron-based materials that serve the accelerating, future-facing solar marketplace. 5E Boron Americas (Fort Cady) Complex The SSBF is expected to serve as a foundation for the design of the large-scale complex and to support potential cost optimization and value engineering. The SSBF is also an essential step for the Company to deliver product to potential customers and to progress downstream boron advanced materials capabilities. The Company has made substantial progress on the SSBF this year after completing detailed engineering, procuring and receiving long-lead item equipment, increasing staffing, completing four supply wells, assigning the construction contract to Matrix Service, and breaking ground on construction. Importantly, there have been no lost time injuries for any 5E sites during the year, as the Company continues to prioritize the safety and well-being of personnel. The SSBF is on schedule for mechanical completion in CQ4 2022 and first production in early 2023. With a target production of 2,000 tons per year of boric acid, the SSBF provides considerable optionality for the Company to continue delivering on its corporate strategy. Engineering, design, and construction for the large-scale complex is targeted to occur after operations of the SSBF with mechanical completion in 2025. Initial production capacity of the large-scale complex is targeted at 250,000 tons per year of boric acid and several thousand tons per year of lithium carbonate. Capacity is later targeted to increase to 500,000 tons per year of boric acid and several thousand tons per year of lithium carbonate with incremental capacity expansions. Photos of Construction at the 5E Boron Americas (Fort Cady) Complex Marketing Initiatives In December 2021, the Company announced the engagement of Bank of America as capital markets advisor and the fiscal year-end culminated with the Company's inclusion in the Russell 2000®, 3000®, and Microcap® indices, the MSCI Global Small Cap Australia index, and, most recently, the ASX 300 index. Inclusions in these major indices has placed the Company's securities in the portfolios of some of the world's largest global asset management firms. The Company continues to pursue further index inclusions to increase investor awareness and demand for 5E securities. The Company has participated in several investor conferences, including the Baird 2022 Vehicle Technology & Mobility Conference, Canaccord Genuity 42nd Annual Growth Conference, and the Credit Suisse 35th Annual Specialties and Basics Conference. The Company continues to increase its marketing efforts, recently launching a new investor presentation that highlights the significance of boron and lithium in enabling three global mega trends: decarbonization, food security, and onshoring critical materials. The Company also hired a Chief Marketing Officer and a Marketing Manager to further promote 5E and boron to investors and other stakeholders. Over the coming months, 5E plans to launch extensive marketing campaigns that includes in-person and virtual investor presentations, social media outreach, and print and video press. The Company will also participate in several other investor conferences and host site tours of its 5E Boron Americas (Fort Cady) Complex. Boron remains a relatively unknown material to the investment community despite its use in everyday and future facing applications. As such, adding resources to educate and mainstream boron could unlock value for shareholders as the Company is focused on becoming a global leader in the material. Corporate Activities 5E's team in California and Texas continues to grow with several new hires across operations, administration, marketing and finance, including a VP of Operations with more than 19 years of experience at Albemarle Corporation that spans across multiple disciplines including process design, purchasing, M&A, and general management. The Company also hired a Chief Accounting Officer with more than 29 years of accounting experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers and natural resources companies. As of fiscal year-end, the majority of administrative and operational personnel have transitioned to the U.S. after a successful reorganization and U.S. listing on Nasdaq in March 2022. Local hiring in California is expected to increase as the Company works towards completion of the SSBF and scaling of the business. In light of the recent Presidential Executive Orders and U.S. government initiatives to onshore and secure production of critical materials, the Company has increased its government affairs effort by engaging a specialized management consulting firm in May 2022 to pursue federal, state, and local funding opportunities. In February 2022, the Integrated Boron Facility successfully received Critical Infrastructure designation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, validating the domestic security pillar of the three global mega-trends. 5E continues to advance its efforts around environmental, social, and governance ("ESG"), and has been working with a North American sustainability consulting firm to bolster our ESG and sustainability strategy and future reporting framework. Photos of 5E's Nasdaq listing Full Year FY2022 Financial Highlights As of year-end, the Company maintained a cash balance of $31.0 million and working capital of $23.6 million. Construction in progress balance was $25.6 million, compared to $12.7 million in the prior year as the Company continues construction of the SSBF. Project expenses increased 119% year-over-year given increased construction preparation for the SSBF. General and administrative expenses increased by $43.0 ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 29th, 2022

Synthetic Salvation - On Genomics, Mind Uploads, & The Quest For Immortality

Synthetic Salvation - On Genomics, Mind Uploads, & The Quest For Immortality Submitted by Joe Allen's substack, Singularity Weekly. Our elites want to live forever. The rest of us will make for rich compost Fear of death is intrinsic to human life. As our years accumulate, we watch friends and family drop off, one by one, disappearing from our presence and lingering only in memories. Barring some miracle, divine or otherwise, we’re all soon to follow, down to the sweetest baby ever born. Unfazed by this horror, the faithful are emboldened by belief in resurrection or reincarnation—a direct participation in the eternal. For religious people, the body is just a vehicle for a transcendent soul. The mystery of death is a rite of passage. For the materialist, there is only this world, beyond which the dying meet total annihilation. The brain dissolves into black nothingness. Consciousness stops with the Big Zero at the end of our lives. And for all sentient beings, and all memory of our existence, there awaits the Big Zero at the end of the universe. The cosmos is nothing but atoms and the void. To make matters worse, the atoms are slowly freezing to death. Wallowing in this trance of sorrow, our elites, and most anybody else, would pay anything to live forever—or just a little longer. Held in thrall by old age, disease, and death, they put faith in biomedical protection racketeers who swear they can keep the Reaper at bay. Today, it’s the vaxx-addicts and maskholes. Tomorrow, it’ll be needle-pocked mutants with blinking devices stuck all over them, who pray to AI for a place in the cloud. Transhumanism offers synthetic salvation through three basic methods—bio longevity, bionic continuity, and digital immortality. Genomics will stop aging on the cellular level. Bionics will keep the body running with replacement parts. Once artificial intelligence is sufficiently advanced, mind uploads will allow eternal communion with the digital deities whom techies are busy creating. “I think that there’s a good probability,” the human-reptile hybrid, Jared Kushner, recently said, “that my generation is—hopefully with the advances in science—either the first generation to live forever, or the last generation that’s gonna die.” A more likely scenario? This is the first generation to merge with machines, and the last generation to regret it. Kushner is not alone. Many of our credulous elites, from Wall Street to the World Economic Forum, have been ensnared by a techno-religion. Its unfrocked priests are the scientists and futurists who push radical gene therapies, brain-computer interfaces, and various life-logging gadgets. As the actual technology becomes more and more sophisticated, you can be sure every atheist and his lapsed uncle will fall prey to this cosmic scam. And for those who can’t afford it? Well, you know, there’s only so much room on the lifeboat. Bio Longevity In order to cheat death, at least for awhile, the first method is to preserve the body at the cellular level. One proposed line of attack is to correct defective genes and defuse the cell’s innate self-destruct programs. With the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 complex in 2012, geneticists now have the power to more easily knock out faulty genes, and even insert new, superior genetic codes. Joe Biden’s recent executive order, the National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative, has slated $2 billion for these “high-risk, high reward” projects to “write circuitry for cells and predictably program biology in the same way in which we write software and program computers.” There are also less invasive procedures, to be used in conjunction with gene-editing, such as munching vitamins morning, noon, and night, or gaining self-knowledge through Internet of Bodies surveillance devices—wearable trackers which feed every biometric data point into an artificial intelligence system, putting flesh on the bones of your “digital twin.” In theory, the resulting simulation could be used as a reference for targeted gene-editing. “By preventing 90 percent of medical problems,” Ray Kurzweil wrote in The Singularity is Near, “life expectancy grows to over five hundred years. At 99 percent, we’d be over one thousand years. We can expect that the full realization of the biotechnology and nanotechnology revolutions will enable us to eliminate virtually all medical causes of death.” Inspired by this sort of statistical fantasy, Big Tech oligarchs are pouring billions into various life extension laboratories: SENS Research Foundation – Co-founded by the transhumanist Aubrey de Grey in 2009, this organization seeks to halt and reverse aging. “No matter what caused a given unit of damage in the first place,” they assure us, “the same regenerative therapeutics can be used to repair it.” Altos Labs – Founded by Jeff Bezos and the corporate transhumanist Yuri Milner in 2021, this is a “new biotechnology company focused on cellular rejuvenation programming to restore cell health and resilience, with the goal of reversing disease to transform medicine.” Calico Labs  – Acquired by Google in 2015 at the behest of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, this company is focused on “the convergence of biology and technology, coupled with a long-term perspective and funding” with high hopes of “curing death.” Methuselah Foundation – Bankrolled by Peter Thiel (along with many other immortality start-ups), this foundation is on a mission to “make 90 the new 50 by 2030.” And the list goes on and on. By all appearances, billionaires fear death as if hell awaits, and they’ll pay any amount to avoid it. If you’re lucky, you too might add a few years to your life through trickle-down immortality. Should these gene-therapies and 3D-printed organs fail to keep your carcass shambling along, there are always cryonic doctors who’ll freeze you right before you die, then thaw you out once these transhumanists finally get their shit together. Alcor Life Extension Foundation, for example, charges $80,000 to freeze your head, and $200,000 for the full body treatment. It’s a small price to pay for a shot at immortality. Bionic Continuity The second method is to replace failing tissues and organs with mechanical parts. We do this already with pacemakers, prosthetic limbs, cochlear implants, dental implants, deep brain stimulation devices, and flag-raising penile implants. In a real sense, the entire plastic surgery industry—from hair transplants to rubber duck lips to silicone boobs—is a means to stave off our inevitable dissolution, if only on a superficial level. Transhumanists foresee a day, just over the horizon, when more advanced prosthetics will offer superior functionality—including brain function. We’ll have Swiss Army knives for fingers and versatile artificial genitals, sort of like today’s transgenders, but presumably way better. Any prospective immortal had better hope so. This cyborg dream was fleshed out in the early 20th century by the Marxist thinker J.D. Bernal. “Already we know the essential electrical nature of nerve impulses,” he wrote in 1929, “it is a matter of delicate surgery to attach nerves permanently to apparatus which will either send messages to the nerves or receive them. And the brain thus connected up continues an existence, purely mental and with very different delights from those of the body, but now perhaps preferable to complete extinction.” Bernal compared this bionic transformation to the metamorphosis of a butterfly, albeit one with hideous wings. “Apart from such mental development as his increased faculties will demand from him,” he speculated, “he will be physically plastic in a way quite transcending the capacities of untransformed humanity.” Screenshot: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) As we hurtle toward this nightmare in the 21st century, futurists claim it’ll soon be possible to model the entire human brain—down to the last electrochemical thought pattern—using artificial intelligence. The transhumanist guru Ray Kurzweil predicts this will be accomplished by 2029. (It’s unclear if that will be early in the year, or just in time for Christmas.) Following an AI-created digital template, doctors will replace our dying neurons with artificial neurons. Bit by bit, our meat brains will be transformed into a latticework of lightning fast transistors. It’s an upgraded mind-brain that could last forever—so be sure to get a warranty. Would this mechanical monster still be you, though? The idea is that a pattern is a pattern, and the human “soul” is just a pattern of information. It doesn’t matter what the medium may be. Think of it this way—if you replaced every thread in a sweater, strand by strand, with artificial wool, it would still feel like the same old sweater. Maybe even better. In a similar manner, many believe your personal consciousness will survive the transition from gray matter to circuitry. This mind-machine merger would be like looking out at the world through your smartphone—forever. You’d hardly notice the difference. “If you think about replacing the neurons one at a time by prosthetic neurons made of silicon,” explains the philosopher of consciousness and NYU-employed transhumanist, David Chalmers: Just say I replace ten percent of my brain with silicon chips…do it one at a time, and keep going and keep going…and they interconnect with the other ones in a perfect way. … I think as long as you do it gradually, and replace the neurons one by one, then it’s gonna be like getting prosthetic limbs or [an] artificial heart. You’re gonna be replacing parts of me, but I’m gonna be present throughout, and I think I could even stay conscious. Of course, these artificial neurons haven’t been developed yet—not even close—but they will be one day. You’ll see. Have a little faith. Scientists are working hard. It’s a solid investment. Digital Immortality The third method to attain quasi-eternal life is basically the digital side of bionic continuity. Rather than, or in addition to, replacing neurons with artificial neurons, the mind will be gradually uploaded to a computer, where the patterns of one’s personality can be entombed in perpetuity. Transhumanists delight in pointing out we’re already doing this. Everyone from toddlers to creaky old codgers is feeding their inner self into Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, third-party data vultures, and any intelligence agencies with backdoor access to these companies. Perhaps one day they’ll sell our digital twins back to us so we can inhabit our virtual wraiths. “Currently, when our human hardware crashes,” Ray Kurzweil wrote, “the software of our lives—our personal ‘mind file’—dies with it. However, this will not continue to be the case when we have the means to store and restore the thousands of trillions of bytes of information represented in the pattern that we call our brains.” Kurzweil believes injectable nanobots are the key to this uploading process. These microscopic robots will travel through the brain, mapping every neuron and synapse, creating a perfect facsimile of the “soul” in a computer. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat. As with most transhumanists, Kurzweil was deeply influenced by the Carnegie Mellon roboticist Hans Moravec, who in 1988 described a gruesome uploading procedure now known as the “Moravec Transfer.” Basically, the patient commits suicide by having his or her brain scraped off, like whittling an onion, with each skin copied in silico: You are fully conscious. The robot surgeon opens your brain case and places a hand on the brain’s surface. This unusual hand bristles with microscopic machinery, and a cable connects it to the mobile computer at your side. … The surgeon’s hand sinks a fraction of a millimeter deeper into your brain, instantly compensating its measurements and signals for the changed position. The process is repeated for the next layer, and soon a second simulation resides in the computer, communicating with the first and with the remaining original brain tissue. Layer after layer the brain is simulated, then excavated. Eventually your skull is empty…your mind has been removed from the brain and transferred to a machine. Some would call this biohorror, but transhumanists revere the “Moravec Transfer” as a pioneering vision of synthetic salvation. Screenshot: “The Lawnmower Man” (1992) One of Kurzweil’s distinguished disciples, the transgender tech innovator Martine Rothblatt, proposes a kinder, gentler man-machine merger by way of mind-cloning. “This blessing of emotional and intellectual continuity or immortality,” she (he? whatever) wrote in Virtually Human, “is being made possible through the development of digital clones, or mindclones: software versions of our minds, software-based alter egos, doppelgängers, mental twins.” In other words, with sufficiently detailed surveillance, our personal data can be processed through artificial intelligence to create a new, more durable “soul” in silico. “When the body of a person with a mindclone dies,” Rothblatt goes on, “the mindclone will not feel that they have personally died, although the body will be missed in the same ways amputees miss their limbs but acclimate when given an artificial replacement. … The mindclone is to the consciousness and spirit as the prosthetic is to an arm that has lost its hand.” Having been baptized in electromagnetic waves, you will become your digital ghost, floating forever among the AI angels. The metaphysics of this process make no sense, but then, why should the transhuman techno-cult be any more realistic than traditional cults? Their delusions would be funny if they weren’t constantly intruding upon our lives through ubiquitous screens and surveillance devices, and blasted into our brains with wall-to-wall propaganda. “If anything,” Rothblatt conceded in a TED interview, “I’m perhaps a bit of a communicator of activities that are being undertaken by the greatest companies in China, Japan, India, the U.S., Europe.” You have to wonder if we’ll have social credit scores in heaven. So You Want To Live Forever—Good Luck With That Humanity is composed of three primary elements—the spiritual, the biological, and the technological. At best, we are eternal souls enshrined in bodies, with exceedingly powerful tools in our hands. At worst, we’re bumbling monkeys in the Machine. As the materialist worldview erodes our spiritual consciousness, we’re left with nothing but mortal bodies. When God is dead, technology is exalted as the highest power, holding out the promise of free WiFi and synthetic salvation. The delusion of physical immortality, whether bodily or digital—or both—is capturing our elites’ imaginations. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to figure out that if they actually managed to live forever, and the planet has finite space and resources, some number of us will have to become compost for their biomechanical gardens. Personally, I don’t mind the idea of being turned into mulch. That’s the fate of every man and woman ever born. What is eternal will endure. My fear, writhing deep in my paranoid brain stem, is that our technocratic rulers, sweating over flawed calculations, are willing to huck us into the mulchers long before our time. God will not be mocked. Nor will Mother Nature. I’m certain that, in the course of time, every billionaire cyborg and half-retarded upload will shuffle off this mortal coil. Unfortunately, I also suspect they’d happily push the rest of us offstage while they do their apocalyptic jig. *  *  * Joe Allen is the tech editor for War Room: Pandemic and host of Singularity Weekly on Substack. Follow him at @JOEBOTxyz on Gettr or Twitter. Tyler Durden Mon, 09/26/2022 - 17:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 26th, 2022

Columbia Property Trust Secures Lease with Lightspeed Venture Partners at 799 Broadway

Columbia Property Trust announced today that it has finalized a 9,300-square-foot lease with Lightspeed Venture Partners at 799 Broadway, its newly completed 12-story office building located at the convergence of Manhattan’s iconic Greenwich Village and Union Square neighborhoods. Lightspeed is a multi-stage venture capital firm with $18B under management focused on accelerating disruptive innovations... The post Columbia Property Trust Secures Lease with Lightspeed Venture Partners at 799 Broadway appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Columbia Property Trust announced today that it has finalized a 9,300-square-foot lease with Lightspeed Venture Partners at 799 Broadway, its newly completed 12-story office building located at the convergence of Manhattan’s iconic Greenwich Village and Union Square neighborhoods. Lightspeed is a multi-stage venture capital firm with $18B under management focused on accelerating disruptive innovations in the enterprise, consumer, fintech, and health sectors. Over the past two decades, the firm has backed hundreds of early and growth-stage entrepreneurs and helped build more than 500 companies globally. Columbia has now leased 85 percent of 799 Broadway’s office space to five separate, prominent firms in the investment and technology sectors. Other tenants include investment management firms Wellington Management and Bain Capital Ventures, as well as national mortgage lending and servicing organization Rithm Capital (formerly New Residential Investment Corporation). “We are pleased to welcome Lightspeed to 799 Broadway,” said Dave Cheikin, Executive Vice President – East Coast for Columbia. “799 Broadway, with its state-of-the-art design, health and wellness features, high-end amenities and unbeatable location, has quickly established itself as a leading destination for the world’s tech-forward finance and investment firms.” Designed by Perkins + Will, 799 Broadway sets the standard for sustainable ground-up construction by emphasizing occupant health and wellness. The 182,000 square-foot, LEED Gold-certified building features efficient mechanical systems, touchless access, and the highest standards of indoor air quality. The building has been designed to meet the rigorous criteria of the highly respected WELL Building certification program and was also awarded a coveted Fitwel® 2-Star Rating. Columbia’s only remaining availabilities at 799 Broadway are a 22,400-square-foot full-floor space and 8,700 square feet of ground floor space on the corner of 11th and Broadway. Columbia was represented in the transaction by Mitchell Konsker, Benjamin Bass, and Sam Seiler of JLL, while Lightspeed was represented by Steven Rotter, Brett Harvey, Hugh Scott, and Derek Johnson of JLL. To learn about the final opportunities available at 799 Broadway, please visit 799broadwaynyc.com. The post Columbia Property Trust Secures Lease with Lightspeed Venture Partners at 799 Broadway appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklySep 8th, 2022

Eurasian Alliance Plans A Moscow World Standard To Destroy LBMA"s Monopoly In Precious Metals Pricing

Eurasian Alliance Plans A Moscow World Standard To Destroy LBMA's Monopoly In Precious Metals Pricing Submitted by Ronan Manly, BullionStar.com Towards the end of July, news emerged in the Russian media that Moscow and a number of its Eurasian allies are now reviewing a proposal to create an entirely new trading and pricing infrastructure for the international precious metals in order to both destroy London and New York’s monopoly over global precious metals pricing, and to stabilize the Russian gold market. This infrastructure would take the form of: a Moscow World Standard (MWS) for precious metals trading, akin to the London Good Delivery List of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) a new international precious metals exchange (trading venue) headquartered in Moscow based on the MWS, and known as the Moscow International Precious Metals Exchange a Price Fixing Committee, with price discovery and new precious metals price fixings based on the MWS, and reference prices derived in the national currencies of participant countries or in new international settlement units This article will review these developments, explain who has proposed them, explore the potentially wide range of countries that could participate in such a system, and look at the originators’ thinking on what gold and other precious metals pricing should be based on. The reported sources discussing this new precious metals ‘proposal’ information primarily come from 3 Russian news sites, namely Prime (part of media group RIA Novosti), RBC business daily (part of RBC media group), and URA news (a Yekaterinburg based news site). All of the sources have been translated from Russian into English. Russian Finance Ministry to Market Participants Early on 28 July, in an article titled “The Ministry of Finance of Russia proposes to create the Moscow Standard for Precious Metals”, business news site Prime (RIA Novosti) stated that based on a letter sent from the Russian finance ministry to financial industry participants and seen by RIA Novosti:   “The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation proposes to create a new international standard for the precious metals market – Moscow World Standard (MWS) – to normalize the functioning of the precious metals industry.” Later that same day, in an article titled “The Ministry of Finance explained the idea to create a new standard for the precious metals market”, RBC news site said that: “The Ministry of Finance did not come up with a proposal to create a new international standard for the precious metals market, the ministry’s press service said.” “’As a regulator of the industry, the Ministry of Finance redirected the proposal received by it to market participants to evaluate it and provide a position on the advisability of its implementation,’ the press service said." So according to RBC, the Russian finance ministry did not propose the World Moscow Standard and the precious metals exchange idea, but merely forwarded it to industry participants in the Russian financial markets. Then the question arises, who did create the proposal? For the answer, we turn to news site URA. Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) On 29 July in an article titled “The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation launched a discussion on the reform of the world gold market”, news site URA said that: “The discussion on the new gold standard was initiated by the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the regulatory body of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the EEC press service told URA.RU on July 29.” Note, the Member-States of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation. The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) website in English can be seen here.  The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) website in English can be seen here. URA continues: “According to a EEC spokesman – ‘On July 11, Sergey Glazyev, Minister for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission, held a meeting to discuss a proposal to create an international standard for the precious metals market as an alternative to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and infrastructure for the circulation of tokenized gold and precious metals. The meeting with Glazyev was attended by experts from the ministries of finance and central banks, national exchanges, producers of precious metals, as well as other interested organizations of the EAEU states. This is a pretty incredible and high level list of entities who attended the meeting with Sergey Glazyev and would be expected to send shockwaves through the Western central banks and their bullion bank counterparts. URA continues:  The participants exchanged views, and following the meeting, the EEC sent letters to the governments of the parties with a request to form a position on this issue.’” So now it becomes clearer. Following the 11 July meeting, the Russian Ministry of Finance (in theory anyway) received the new precious metals infrastructure proposal in a letter from the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), and then subsequently sent out its own letter to relevant participants in the Russian financial sector. According to URA, the Russian Ministry of Finance “as regulator of the industry” “redirected the proposal received by it to market participants to evaluate it and provide a position on the feasibility of its implementation”, and sent out its letter 2 weeks after 11 July: “Two weeks later, the Ministry of Finance organized a discussion between the Russian authorities and market participants on the creation of a new international industry standard by sending out letters.” This is why the first Russian media reports only picked up the new in the week beginning 25 July. Russian news site Pravda adds some color. In an article dated 6 August, Pravda states that: “In fact, the idea was proposed not by the Ministry of Finance in the person of Anton Siluanov, but by the Eurasian Economic Commission and its minister Sergei Glazyev. On July 11, Glazyev held a meeting where this proposal was first discussed in a wide circle, after which it was drawn up in letters and sent to the national governments of various countries, including the Ministry of Finance, which in Russia acts as a regulator of the precious metals trade industry.” Before looking at who is Sergey Glazyev (Сергей Глазьев in Russian), lets look at what the actual letter from the Russian Finance Ministry to Russia’s financial industry participants actually contained. The Min Fin letter – MWS and An Exchange The actual letter from the Russian Ministry of Finance (Min Fin) to Russian financial market participants is not (as far as I can see) available anywhere on the web. I asked Russia’s National Financial Association (SRO NFA), the representative body of the Russian financial sector and precious metals sector, if they could send me a copy, but they didn’t respond. I also asked the press office of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) for documents and information on the Moscow World Standard proposal, but they didn’t respond. Therefore, the content of the letter from the Russian Min Fin to Russia’s financial sector participants has to be pieced together using Russian media news sources.  A Moscow World Standard (MWS) Prime (RIA Novosti) and RBC say that the Russian Ministry of Finance letter proposes the creation of “a new international standard for the precious metals market – Moscow World Standard (MMC) – Moscow World Standard (MWS). MMC is the Russian version = Московский мировой стандарт Given that as part of Western sanctions against Russia, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) ejected all of Russia’s Good Delivery gold and silver refineries from the LBMA Good Delivery List on 7 March 2022 (the 6 refineries namely Krastsvetmet, Novosibirsk, Uralelectromed, Prioksky, Shyolkovsky, and Moscow Special Alloys Processing Plant), then this new proposed Moscow World Standard (MWS) looks like a replacement for and new competition to the LBMA Good Delivery List. Note that the CME (COMEX) also removed all of the same 6 Russian refiners from the COMEX gold and silver approved brands lists on 7 March 2022. See BullionStar article “US tees up ‘Stop Russian Gold Act’, triggering LBMA and COMEX to eject Russian refiners” for full details of the LBMA / COMEX removal of the Russian refiners. Note that the LBMA also removed 3 Russian banks from the LBMA membership list in late February 2022, namely, VTB, Otkritie and Sovcombank. See here for details. Also note that in early April 2022, the LBMA’s sister organisation, the London Platinum and Palladium Market (LPPM) removed two Russian refiners from its LPPM Good Delivery List, namely Krastsvetmet and Prioksky. A Moscow International Precious Metals Exchange Given the proposed Moscow World Standard (MWS), RBC says that “the basis of the new structure may be a specialized international precious metals exchange headquartered in Moscow (MBDM).” Note, in Russian, MBDM = МБДМ = международную биржу драгоценных металлов  Москве (МБДМ) = Moscow International Precious Metals Exchange Prime (RIA Novosti) and URA both say that the Russian Ministry of Finance letter states that: “In order to normalize the functioning of the precious metals industry, it is critical to create an independent international infrastructure that is alternative in its functions to the LBMA. It is proposed to base the proposed structure on a specialized international precious metals exchange headquartered in Moscow (MBDM), using the new international standard MWS” URA refers to the existing global status quo on gold price discovery which the new Russian exchange and new Moscow World Standard aim to be an alternative to: “The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation launched a discussion on the reform of the international gold market, which is now controlled by the US and the UK. To this end, the Russian authorities are discussing the creation of an international precious metals exchange headquartered in Moscow and a new market standard – the Moscow World Standard (MWS) as an alternative to the generally recognized London Standard (LBMA). If the initiative is implemented, the Russian Federation will be able to bypass Western sanctions on the sale of its gold abroad.” Moscow Gold Standard – Gold’s Re-Awakening?   Price Discovery / Pricing Mechanism – Independent of LBMA / COMEX According to Prime (RIA Novosti) and RBC, the Russian Min Fin letter says that: “As part of the work of the exchange, it is proposed to create a Price Fixing Committee, which will include the Central Banks of the EAEU member countries and their largest banks operating in the precious metals market, subject to the application of the MWS standard.” Price Fixing here refers to daily reference or benchmark prices. The five central banks of the EAEU countries are the Bank of Russia, National Bank of Kazakhstan, National Bank of Belarus, National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Central Bank of Armenia. The “largest banks operating in the precious metals market” for each country would refer to commercial banks in each respective market that are involved in the precious metals market, e.g. for Russia it would be banks such as VTB, Bank Otkritie, Sovcombank, Sberbank, and Gazprombank. Regarding fixing or reference prices, Prime (RIA Novosti) and URA also say that the Russian Min Fin letter says that: “the bet should be placed on fixing prices in the national currencies of the key participating countries, or on new units of international settlements, such as the new unit of settlements proposed by the President of Russia within the member countries of the BRICS organization.” URA links the above text on a new BRICS settlement unit to a URA article from 22 June 2022 titled “Putin is preparing a replacement for the dollar”  which states that: “The Russian financial messaging system is open to connecting banks from the five [BRICS] countries. The geography of use of the Russian payment system “Mir" is being expanded. The issue of creating an international reserve currency based on a basket of currencies of our countries is being worked out,” Vladimir Putin said. Note that while the BRICS group currently consists of the five countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, two other countries, namely both Argentina and Iran, recently expressed an interest in joining BRICS.  All of this is huge news. The EAEU countries aim to develop precious metals pricing mechanisms independent of the LBMA and COMEX, as well as independent of the LBMA and LPPM fixings such as the daily LBMA Gold Price auctions, and daily LBMA Silver Price auction, and the daily LPPM Platinum Price and Palladium Price auctions. Everyone Invited – Coalition of the Willing Beyond the EAEU countries of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, the Prime (RIA Novosti) news agency states that the Russian Min Fin letter is envisioning an even wider participation within the proposed new system: “It is necessary to make membership in this organization attractive to all, without exception, foreign participants in the precious metals market, especially China, India, Venezuela, Peru, and other countries of South America and Africa, according to the Ministry of Finance.” Throughout the Russian media coverage of the Min Fin letter to Russian financial sector participants, they stress the objective of the new system is in ending the LBMA / COMEX dominance of precious metals price discovery. Russia's Objective – To Destroy the LBMA monopoly URA says that “the reform of the world gold market” is “proposed to deprive London and New York of the monopoly” RBC says that “The Ministry of Finance believes that the creation of a new structure: can destroy the LBMA monopoly, create a powerful international association of participants in the precious metals industry, and ensure the stable development of the industry both in Russia and around the world. In fact, all three news sources use the word ‘destroy’ in relation to the LBMA monopoly on precious metals pricing: RBC – “The Ministry of Finance believes that the creation of a new structure can destroy the LBMA monopoly” Prime – “The creation of such a structure will be able to destroy the LBMA monopoly in the shortest possible time” URA – “The creation of a new gold standard in the future is capable of destroying London’s monopoly on pricing in the precious metals market.” While the LBMA, LPPM and COMEX ejecting Russian refiners from the ‘good delivery’ and ‘approved refiners’ lists can conveniently be used as a catalyst for explaining this new ‘proposal’ from the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) to create a Moscow World Standard and a Moscow based precious metals exchange, if you look at the thinking of Sergei Glazyez, this proposal has probably been planned and researched well in advance and has been sitting on a shelf waiting to be implemented at the correct time.   Sergei Glazyev – Commissioner for Integration and Macroeconomics, Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC)   Eurasian Economic Commissioner So who is this Sergei Glazyev, who through the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), is leading the proposal to create an entirely new, Russian led, trading and pricing structure for the global precious metals markets? Currently, Glazyev, who was born in the Ukraine to a Russian father and Ukrainian mother, is a Russian politician and one of Russia’s leading economists, and is on the Board of the EEC as Commissioner for Integration and Macroeconomics. His EEC bio/profile can be seen here.   During his career, Glazyev has been, among other things, a deputy in the State Duma, the minister of Foreign Economic Relations of the Russian Federation, advisor to the President of the Russian Federation (2012 – 2019), a candidate for the Russian Presidency, and is also a university professor of economics, and a full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In April 2022, Glazyez gave an interesting interview to Pepe Escobar about his views on a new global financial system, and why in his opinion, the US dollar dominated system is destined to fail. As regards the EEC / EAEU ‘proposal’, a number of points stand out.  Glazyez refers to preparatory work he and colleagues have done on “a new synthetic trading currency based on an index of currencies of participating countries" to which “around twenty exchange-traded commodities can be added“. Upon this, a monetary unit can be based. Glazyez says that “after Russia’s reserves in dollars, euro, pound, and yen were ‘frozen,’ it is unlikely that any sovereign country will continue accumulating reserves in these currencies. Their immediate replacement is national currencies and gold."  The phase of price formation “driven by prices at various exchanges, denominated in dollars" is nearly over, says Glazyez. Price formation will now move to national currencies. Following that, the “final stage on the new economic order transition will involve a creation of a new digital payment currency founded through an international agreement based on principles of transparency, fairness, goodwill, and efficiency." Glazyez expects “that the model of such a monetary unit that we developed will play its role at this stage.“ “A currency like this can be issued by a pool of currency reserves of BRICS countries“, and “the basket could contain an index of prices of main exchange-traded commodities: gold and other precious metals, key industrial metals, hydrocarbons, grains, sugar, as well as water and other natural resources“. “an independent system of international settlements in the EAEU, SCO and BRICS, which could eliminate critical dependence of the U.S.-controlled SWIFT system.“ Another Sergei This currency device representing a basket of currencies and commodities is something which another Sergei, namely Sergei Silvestrov of the Russian Security Council’s scientific council, talked about in a 4 July 2022 article by URA. Silvestrov says that the Russians have worked on an algorithm which values a range of commodities in terms of gold, and adds commodities to a basket of gold and currencies to produce an intrinsic value for a means of payment. This algorithm is called ‘settlement gold’.  Silvestrov says that: “As a result, the Russian ruble and monetization will not be determined by the balance of supply and demand against Reserve currencies. And not by just gold either, but by a wide range of commodity and currency values ​​produced by domestic producers. It is worth noting that 40% of these valuables are produced in the Russian Federation, 60% in the EAEU countries and 80% in the BRICS countries. Just in those very countries, some of which are now under sanctions pressure, the ultimate goal of which is to establish control over resources.”  The URA reporter asks “How actively is this topic being discussed in the government?“, to which Siilvestrov replies: “Serious preparatory work is underway, and many departments have practical interest in it. Interest in this topic is shown by the expert community of the Eurasian Union and  BRICS . The results of this work can form the basis for the introduction of an international unit of account within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union.” Glazyev Comments Again In an even more recent interview on 24 August with Russian-language business daily newspaper Vedomosti, Sergey Glazyev refers to the proposed Moscow Gold Standard  Eurasian Standard, and the need for Russia to continue to buy gold: “now it is necessary to replenish [for ex reserves] primarily through the purchase of gold. The Central Bank needs to increase activity in this direction and bring the share of gold in the composition of gold reserves to 80%. “In response to Vedomosti’s remark that the liquidity of Russian gold under the conditions of the West’s embargo on its purchases is in question, Glazyev announced the need to quote Russian gold on world markets. ‘This means that you need to introduce your own gold standard, which would be recognized at the international level, with a gold quotation on the Moscow Exchange and completely get rid of the London Exchange“ On a ‘Eurasian standard", Glazyev says that: “this Eurasian standard must first be agreed with our partners, for example, in the SCO." Russian gold will be quite liquid on the Asian and global markets in general, regardless of the position of Western countries. At the same time, we could introduce a new international payment and settlement instrument – a stablecoin pegged to gold – and offer it to all Asian countries. In the future, other commodities produced in the SCO countries can be added to gold as collateral for the new world settlement currency. Together with a pool of their foreign exchange reserves, this would become the basis for creating a very stable and reliable payment instrument, an alternative to the current ones.” The reference by Glazyez here to ‘stablecoin’ resonates with the reference by the EEC spokesman to Glazyez’s 11 July meeting where they also discussed “infrastructure for the circulation of tokenized gold and precious metals." As a reminder, SCO refers to the “Shanghai Cooperation Organisation" whose members are China, India, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. There are also 4 Observer States interested in attaining full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and 6 Dialogue Partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey). Iran is in the process of moving to become a full SCO member, while Egypt, Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia are becoming dialogue partners. One of the SCO’s priorities is regional development. Conclusion As you dig deeper, what looked like a hastily put together Russian attempt to react against being kicked out of the LBMA, suddenly looks like a long term plan involving the EAEU, BRICs and the SCO. Following the European gas and electricity price spikes, is the Russian precious metals ban another case of Western countries shooting themselves in the foot? Long before the 11 July meeting between EAEU central banks, national exchanges and precious metals participants, Sergei Glazyez was already calling for common exchange markets for goods including gold, as he said: “In terms of pricing processes and currency infrastructure, we are over a barrel on Western systems. Today we should not only think about forming the exchange space, but also create our own pricing system in national currencies.“ As regards EAEU, BRICS and SCO, Russia was even calling for increased cooperation on 25 April: “Russia is urging Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries to increase settlements in national currencies to increase independence in mutual trade." One could say that given that the Russian Federation is the largest and most influential member of the EAEU, and given that Sergey Glazyev is a Russian economist, then from Russia’s point of view, the “Moscow World Standard” and the ‘Moscow precious metals exchange” are Russian ideas which Russia has literally ‘proposed’ to itself. While this may be true, at the same time they have been proposed to the other EAEU members also, and if implemented will apply to the whole EAEU, and any other country in BRICS or the SCO that wants to join too. But it’s probably the case that while the Russian Ministry of Finance was acting as a conduit in communicating the message of the EAEU to financial market participants in Russia, the Ministry of Finance was most likely involved in the formulation of the Glazyez plans all along. The Russian Min Fin letter ends with a sense of urgency saying that the Western ban on Russian precious metals refiners “actually paralyzes their activities and is a critical negative factor that calls into question the very existence of the industry in Russia. According to URA, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) press service, in reference to feedback from the parties to the 11 July meeting said that “after the Commission receives the positions of the parties, a decision will be made on the advisability of continuing this work”.  While launching a Moscow World Standard and gold exchange will not reverse the ban on Russian gold sales entering London, Zurich and New York, it could, if it reaches critical mass, allow buyers of Russian gold to emerge across the rest of the world from countries which take part in the new system. And importantly, if a new Standard and Exchange becomes operational, Russian gold would not need to be sold at a discount.  But the real impact of the proposed new precious metals trading and pricing infrastructure, if it’s embraced by countries from the Eurasian Economic Union, from BRICS, and from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, is that it could lead to real precious metals price discovery and be “capable of destroying London’s monopoly” on pricing.     That could spell the end for the fractional reserve system of the LBMA and COMEX where unlimited synthetic cash-settled paper contracts determine international precious metals prices, while underpinning Sergey Glazyev’s international settlement unit of gold, currencies and commodities, if it ever takes shape. The LBMA annual conference takes place this year in the middle of October in Lisbon. While the new Eurasian Economic Commission proposal for a Moscow World Standard is not on the official agenda, it will probably be one of the subjects most talked about by conference delegates during coffee breaks. That is of course unless the LBMA bans freedom of speech, like it banned the Russian refiners and banks. This article was originally published on the BullionStar.com website under the same title "Eurasian alliance plans a Moscow World Standard to destroy LBMA’s monopoly in precious metals pricing". Tyler Durden Sun, 09/04/2022 - 07:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 4th, 2022

Activists More Than Halfway To Forcing Constitutional Amendment Convention

Activists More Than Halfway To Forcing Constitutional Amendment Convention Authored by Brian McGlinchey via Stark Realities    Though it’s received relatively little attention, a conservative-led drive to call a convention to consider amendments to the U.S. Constitution has been making steady progress, and is now more than halfway toward realizing its goal. At a time when Americans are increasingly polarized — to the extent that 43% think a civil war will erupt in the next decade — should you be alarmed or enthused? Article V of the Constitution provides two avenues for amendments. Under the first one, Congress proposes amendments that are enacted if three-fourths of the state legislatures approve them. That’s the way all amendments have been advanced so far. Conservative activists want to knock the dust off the other Article V provision, which empowers state legislatures to “call a convention for proposing amendments.” To trigger a convention that way, two-thirds of the state legislatures must call for one, and governors have no say in the matter. States would then send delegates to a convention where proposals would be put forth and debated. In the end, the convention is only a vehicle for proposing amendments. As with congressionally-proposed amendments, ratification of any convention-proposed amendment requires the approval of three-fourths of the states. That approval must come from the state legislatures or, if states choose, a ratifying convention in the state. So far, 19 state legislatures have called for an amendments convention, which means advocates are more than halfway toward the 34 they need. Though that still leaves lots of work to do, there’s a sense of growing momentum, as four states joined the cause in 2022 alone: Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Today, Republicans have full legislative control in 30 states. (That doesn’t count Nebraska, which has a nonpartisan, unicameral legislature and is already on board.) "COS" = Convention of States. Chart via Convention of States Action With political winds seemingly favoring the GOP in the coming November elections, a few more states could flip to full Republican control, including Minnesota and Nevada, which have yet to call for a convention. It isn’t all about Red vs Blue, however: Convention advocates have also targeted Republicans who’ve opposed their efforts. Convention of States Action and its affiliates spent over $600,000 in at least five state primary contests. Convention of States Action’s model language for state legislatures seeks to limit the scope of the convention to “proposing amendments…that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.” Many right-leaning advocates see a convention as an opportunity to rein in a federal government that is — thanks in part to the Supreme Court’s wildly creative interpretations of the Commerce Clause — operating far beyond the bounds of the Constitution, dominating countless aspects of American life that, according to the 10th Amendment, are to be exclusively under the purview of state governments. "The states have sort of lost their voice, and all we can do now is beg from the cheap seats and say, 'Hey, don't do that’," South Carolina state rep. Bill Taylor, who led a successful constitution-calling effort, told Insider. Though the largest convention drive is led by conservatives, some liberals are itching for a state-led constitution-editing session of their own. Prompted by the Citizens United decision, progressive commentator Cenk Uygur launched Wolf PAC to push for a convention geared toward campaign finance reform. Four legislatures have advanced the Wolf PAC convention application. In 2016, Convention of States Action held a mock constitutional convention, and six amendments proposals were advanced. Among other things, they included: Congressional term limits Requiring a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to increase the public debt Restoring the Commerce Clause to its original intent and scope Repeal of the 16th Amendment, which gave us the income tax Giving states, by a three-fifths vote, the power to negate any federal law, regulation or executive order Giving Congress an easy means of overriding federal regulation 137 delegates representing 50 states participated in Convention of States Action's 2016 simulated amendments convention  While the conservative drive has largely stayed under the major media radar, there is a growing sense of alarm among liberals. Former senator Russ Feingold is promoting a new book he co-authored: “The Constitution in Jeopardy.” In an interview with ABC News, he said the effort could result in reduced federal protection of the environment, civil rights and voting rights. There are also alarmists among some conservatives who conjure images of a “runaway convention” that ignores the stipulated scope and advances any number of unwelcome amendments — for example, an evisceration of gun rights. Even if the convention somehow went off the deep end, it’s important to remember that it only proposes amendments. Calling a convention requires the support of 34 legislatures, but any proposed amendment must then garner the support of 38 of them—some of which didn’t even support having a convention. With that built-in friction acting as a brake on extreme ambitions, amendments would seemingly require at least some bipartisan appeal to make it across the goal line. In that light, perhaps the proposal with the best chance of passing the high ratification hurdle would be one establishing congressional term limits, which is a central thrust of the conservative-led effort. A 2021 Rasmussen survey found 87% of Republicans, 83% of Democrats and 78% of independents favor them, which means state legislatures would face bipartisan pressure to ratify them if given the opportunity. The mere drive to hold a convention may have its own prodding effect on various fronts. Looking back, a state-led push for an Article V convention to bring about the direct election of U.S. senators was still one state short when Congress decided to yield to growing pressure and propose such an amendment on its own. Though it’s understandable that liberals would view a conservative-led constitutional-amendment push with deep unease — just as conservatives would were the roles reversed — limiting the power of the federal government may be the surest way to avert more acrimonious division in the country. The intensity of today’s division springs from the fact that we have an increasingly powerful central government — including a increasingly unchecked executive branch — imposing its will on 331 million people spread across a vast country containing many different subcultures and sets of values. Liberals and conservatives are thus compelled to clash with increasing intensity over who gets to control levers the Constitution never even authorized. The more we rightly restore authority to state and local governments, the lower the national political stakes for all of us, and the lower our collective temperature. However, the federal government won’t surrender that power on its own — which is exactly why the founders gave us this other avenue of amending the Constitution. Indeed, as one contemporaneous account recorded, George Mason, in urging the adoption of the state-driven convention avenue, argued that, without it, “no amendments of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people, if the government should become oppressive.” Stark Realities undermines official narratives, demolishes conventional wisdom and exposes fundamental myths across the political spectrum. Read more and subscribe at starkrealities.substack.com Tyler Durden Sat, 09/03/2022 - 22:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 3rd, 2022

Peter Schiff: Washington Goes Full Orwellian

Peter Schiff: Washington Goes Full Orwellian Via SchiffGold.com, An audacious communications campaign from Democrats in Washington is currently underway that is attempting to convince the public that: There is no recession Inflation has been vanquished Even if inflation is still alive, targeted new Federal legislation will kill it As strange as these claims sound to anyone with even the most casual grasp of reality, it is a testament to the post-factual world we now occupy that the Biden Administration is able to attempt, let alone succeed in, putting out such monumental fantasies. The campaign began late in July when the Biden team attempted to redefine the word “recession.” While the left has always tried to redefine words (think “racism” or “gender”), it has never attempted it so spontaneously with such a technical definition. Typically, they let new definitions germinate in academia or policy think tanks before trotting them out for public consumption. That was the playbook that helped change the meaning of the word “inflation” (from its original understanding as an expansion of the money supply, to its current definition tied solely to rising prices). But the inflation campaign unfolded over decades and did not require the public to completely surrender its critical capacities. I’ve been publicly commenting and writing about the economy for almost 30 years (and talking about it for essentially my entire six decades on the planet). Over that time, the technical definition of “recession” has never been in dispute. Of course, I’ve had many arguments over what caused any given recession, why recessions may be necessary to purge an economy from excesses and malinvestments caused by artificially low interest rates, what government responses should be to recessions, or why things were better or worse than a particular political party claimed them to be. But in that time, I never encountered anyone who quibbled with the accepted technical definition of “recession” as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. What would be the point? Recessions affected both political parties. Why change a definition when the original definition may suit you down the road? But that’s what the Biden Administration did when they claimed that the Second Quarter GDP Report, which showed a .9% annualized decline in GDP, following a 1.6% annualized decline in the First Quarter (Bureau of Economic Analysis), did not mean we were in a recession. What? That’s been the textbook definition for…like forever. If Biden wanted to put a happy spin on the data, which is what sitting Presidents do, he could have said, “while technically it’s a recession, the current period shows many signs of strength that are not typical in recessions, leading us to believe we are in much better shape than the GDP headlines suggest, and that the recession will be shallow and over quickly.” I would have disagreed with that, but it’s fair game. But his approach wasn’t just to move the goalposts, it was to take them down entirely. What’s even worse is that the very next day after the Biden Administration first floated its idea that “two negative quarters are not a recession,” the point was repeated by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at his FOMC press conference on July 27. If nothing else, this proves just how ridiculous claims of “Fed independence” have been over the years. Economists like to claim that the Fed acts independent of political control.  Would they have us believe the Fed spontaneously changed its definition of recession precisely after the administration did? Clearly, the Fed is taking its marching orders from the White House. The sad part is that outside the typical sources of right-of-center news, the media just ran with the new definition. My favorite was the Associated Press headline that ran after the GDP numbers were announced, “U.S. Economy Shrinks for a Second Quarter, Raising Recession Fear.” (7/28/22) Up until two seconds ago that would have been reported as the official start of a recession, not something that would simply “raise fears,” of a future eventuality. This redefinition of terms would have been impossible when journalistic standards were higher and institutional memory more entrenched. In George Orwell’s 1984, the totalitarian State of Oceania, where the action takes place, is always at war with another empire. Sometimes against Eurasia, and sometimes against Eastasia. But when the antagonists switched positions, as they often did, it served the government’s interest that the public forget that any other enemy ever existed. It required citizens to say, “We have always been at war with Eurasia,” even if that war just started yesterday. In the same vein, a recession has never been defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth! Following up on this easy rhetorical victory, the Biden team decided to keep the ball rolling by claiming that there was “zero inflation in America in July.” That may come as a surprise to a select group of Americans, say those who have shopped at stores in the past month, but the claim went largely uncriticized in the press. To tell this whopper, Biden had to talk only about month-over-month inflation, and ignore the year-over-year data, which still shows a hefty 8.5% inflation rate in July (down slightly from the prior month). (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) In all my years following economic news, I can say with extreme certainty that I never saw anyone hold up a month-over-month number as proof of anything. So yes, gas prices came down in July, possibly as a result of the release of millions of barrels of oil in the U.S. Strategic Reserve (though food, rent, and service prices continued their relentless rise). But oil prices could very well be up in September. Should we expect Biden to place great weight on that eventuality as well?  Don’t hold your breath. In reality, after so many months of blistering price increases, a cooler month should be expected. The trend lines remain unbroken. This “zero inflation” claim, repeated by Administration spokespeople dozens of times, is the kind of huge lie that would have elicited waves of head-smacking coverage during the Trump Administration. But Biden is getting a pass, he’s even being congratulated for his rhetorical boldness and courage in standing up to the “right-wing spin machine.” But the best piece of doublethink comes with the Democratic Party’s passage of the 2022 “Inflation Reduction Act.” In the long history of misnamed pieces of legislation, this title might be the most egregious. Nothing in the gargantuan Bill was conceived with the aim of reducing inflation and nothing in the Bill will actually accomplish that goal. In truth, many of the plan’s provisions will make inflation even worse. On some level, you must admire the audacity. The Democrats took a bunch of terrible ideas that they couldn’t pass in the Build Back Better Bill (either in the original $3 trillion version or the slimmed down $1.3 trillion version) and jammed it into a new package which they rebranded the Inflation Reduction Act. It didn’t bother them that all the elements of the Bill were conceived before inflation was considered a major national priority and were not designed with inflation reduction in mind. They know that inflation is a high priority to voters, so they want to look like they are doing something about it. The Bill, which will pass both Congressional houses without a single Republican vote, proposes $764 billion of new revenue (including new taxes and greater enforcement of existing tax law, and savings resulting from lower prescription drug prices paid by Medicare) and $517 billion in new spending, with the difference going toward Federal deficit reduction.  Unfortunately, the variety of healthcare, environmental and social welfare spending, combined with new taxes and beefed-up IRS enforcement, will hamstring the country’s economic vitality, and tend to increase both budget deficits and inflation. And as a result, the plan will do far more harm than good. Let’s look at the contents: The Bill looks to raise revenue by: $265 Billion – Allowing Medicare more leverage in negotiating lower drug prices paid to pharmaceutical companies. This is the government’s primary example of the Bill’s anti-inflationary bona fides as it intends to lower costs for consumers. But this type of price control has a very poor track record in fighting inflation. The government will mandate lower prices, which may limit supply of current drugs and discourage the research and development of new drugs. The savings will likely be far smaller than the government expects. $222 Billion – Minimum 15% corporate tax for companies with more than $1 billion in annual income. As with all such provisions, this policy does not take into account how corporations will alter their structures and practices to avoid the tax. As a result, the take will be lower than the government expects. Also, companies will deal with higher tax and accounting burdens by reducing output, raising prices, and cutting salaries. This is not anti-inflationary. Worse, money that is paid in taxes is not available to finance capital investment. The result will be a reduction in supply, putting greater upward pressure on prices. $204 Billion – Increased tax revenue through greater enforcement. – This is the most controversial aspect of the Bill. This nightmarish provision more than doubles the size of the Internal Revenue Service and adds 87,000 new agents specifically to increase the number of taxpayer audits. While the Biden administration is pretending that the agents will only go after the ultra-wealthy and the large corporations (who are limited in number and who can afford to hire accountants and lawyers), in truth the typical target will likely be small businesses and members of the burgeoning “gig” economy. The added fear of IRS scrutiny will cause these business owners to spend more time and money on accounting and legal fees, devote less time and money into growing their businesses, and invest less in increasing capacity.  All of this will cut into output and profits, thereby putting upward pressure on prices and downward pressure on wages. This will not help curb inflation. $74 billion – Imposition of a 1% excise tax on stock share buybacks. This provision is likely the least destructive of the revenue provisions, but it will do nothing to lower inflation. However, any money a corporation pays in taxes is money it no longer has for capital investment. So, this reduces supply, the opposite of what is needed to fight inflation. The Bill will spend new money on: $369 Billion – Energy Security and Climate Change – This is the boondoggle portion of the Bill where the government will shower funding on a variety of Democrats’ Climate Change pet projects. My feeling is that most of these investments will be on inefficient energy sources that the public doesn’t want, and which are unable to meet our energy needs. While the Bill does have a few provisions that will encourage domestic fossil fuel production, most of these programs will mandate the use of more expensive and less efficient energy. Misallocation of resources will make inflation worse by limiting the supply of energy and increasing its cost. $64 Billion – A three-year extension on subsidies for Affordable Care Act health insurance premiums. Originally offered through the 2021 Covid-inspired American Rescue Plan, this extension is just another step backwards toward a permanent entitlement of subsidized health care. This will do nothing to actually lower the cost of health care, but simply change who gets the bill. It is not anti-inflationary. If anything, it will have the opposite effect, as the more involved government gets into any industry, the less efficient it becomes, and increasing the cost of its goods or services. $80 billion on IRS Funding – This is the spending that will supposedly enable the government to collect $200 billion in revenue, so the net benefit to the Treasury is $120 billion. But the government will be spending real money to go after hoped-for money. The resulting numbers may be far less equitable for the government and provide massive anxiety to taxpayers. So, there you have it, the government apparently takes inflation head-on. Except that it doesn’t. The best way to fight inflation is to reduce government spending, thereby leaving more investment capital in the private sector, and to reduce regulations, allowing businesses to increase the supply of goods and services so that prices can fall. Instead, we are currently in an environment where government policies are artificially suppressing labor force participation and piling new taxes and regulation on businesses, all the while keeping the floodgates of fiscal stimulus wide open. This is a recipe for higher, not lower, prices. It is not accidental that earlier this month the Labor Department reported that worker productivity fell 2.5% from a year earlier, the largest yearly decline since 1948. At the same time, despite deceptively low rates of unemployment, the actual number of people in the labor force continues to shrink. These trends come as a direct result of misguided government policies and regulations that disincentivize work and increase the burdens on business. A shrinking and less productive labor force does not lead to the expansion of the supply of goods and services needed to bring down inflation. The provisions in the Bill will add to these inflationary problems. Also, the continuation of deficit spending far more than pre-pandemic levels means the Fed will come under increased political pressure to monetize the shortfall. That pressure will become particularly intense once the recession we are pretending does not exist gets much worse. Since quantitative easing is just a euphemism for inflation, a bill to increase deficit spending is a bill to increase inflation. Given the drift of the data and of government messages, I wouldn’t be surprised if we are soon told that any “quantitative” attempt to measure inflation is misguided, and that the phenomenon can only be understood in qualitative subjective terms. How we feel about the products and services we are buying means far more than what we are actually paying. Just wait, it’s going to happen. *  *  * To order your copy of Peter Schiff’s latest book, The Real Crash (Fully Revised and Updated): America’s Coming Bankruptcy – How to Save Yourself and Your Country, click here. For an in-depth analysis of this and other investment topics, subscribe to Peter Schiff’s Global Investor newsletter. CLICK HERE for your free subscription. Tyler Durden Thu, 08/25/2022 - 16:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 25th, 2022

Tax And Retirement Consequences Of Biden’s 2023 Budget Proposal

As part of the Biden administration’s fiscal year 2023 budget proposal, aka the Green Book, for the Treasury Department, Janet Yellen testified before the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee in early June 2022. Her first stop was the Senate Finance Committee, where she testified on Tuesday, June 7, at a […] As part of the Biden administration’s fiscal year 2023 budget proposal, aka the Green Book, for the Treasury Department, Janet Yellen testified before the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee in early June 2022. Her first stop was the Senate Finance Committee, where she testified on Tuesday, June 7, at a hearing on‌ ‌“The‌ ‌President’s Fiscal‌ ‌Year‌ ‌2023 Budget.” That hearing was about inflation, food and energy prices, international tax agreements, and rewriting tax law‌ ‌to‌ ‌better‌ ‌support‌ ‌low-‌ ‌and‌ ‌middle-income‌ ‌families. ‌For the full transcript of the Senate Finance Committee hearing, click here. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more On Wednesday, June 8, she testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in a hearing called‌ ‌“Proposed‌ ‌Fiscal‌ ‌Year‌ ‌2023‌ ‌Budget‌ ‌with‌ ‌Treasury Secretary‌ ‌Janet‌ ‌Yellen.” ‌This hearing focused on tax reforms, food and energy prices, rising prices, and controlling inflationary pressures in the president’s ‌budget‌ ‌request. ‌See the full text of the House Ways and Means Committee hearing by clicking here. Additionally, if the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) passes, President Biden would raise revenue‌ ‌by‌ ‌$4‌ ‌trillion on‌ ‌a‌ ‌gross‌ ‌basis‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌next‌ ‌decade. ‌Therefore, the proposed Biden tax increases in the budget and the BBBA could have affected the economy significantly. And, this is primarily in terms of tax and retirement implications. Among the significant tax proposals are: Income, business, and capital gain taxes at higher rates; Terminating step-up in basis by making death taxable; Making the active pass-through business loss limitation permanent and expanding the base of the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT); International tax changes; and New minimum taxes for individuals, corporations, and businesses. All of that is a lot to process. So, let’s take a closer look at the potential tax and retirement consequences. Tax‌ ‌Policy‌ ‌Changes‌ ‌Aimed At High-Income‌ ‌Taxpayers A major focus of the proposal is on three significant changes in tax policy for high-income earners‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌U.S. “First, the treasury wants the highest marginal income tax rate to increase from 37% to 39.6% effective December 31, 2022,” writes Shehan Chandrasekera, CPA, Head of Tax Strategy at CoinTracker.i, for Forbes. “This increased marginal rate would apply to taxable income over $450,00 for married filers and $400,000 for individual filers.” Moreover, if your total taxable income is above these thresholds, any short-term cryptocurrency gains (coins & NFTs sold after holding them for less than 12 months) as well as other forms of cryptocurrency income, such as mining, staking, and interest, would be subject to the‌ ‌higher‌ ‌rate, he adds. A second proposal would subject long-term capital gains (which are generally taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income) to a higher rate for taxpayers earning over 1 million per year in‌ ‌taxable‌ ‌income. “For example, if your overall taxable income is over 1 million, long-term gains in excess of 1 million would be subject to a much higher ordinary income tax rate vs. the maximum 20% rate under the current law,” Chandrasekera explains. ‌Additionally, the proposal seeks to make gifts of appreciated property and transfers at death ‌taxable‌ ‌events‌ ‌for‌ ‌wealthy individuals. “Third and arguably the most aggressive tax proposal included in the document is the 20% minimum tax on ‘Total income’ for taxpayers worth over 100 million.” ‌This would include regular taxable income such as wages and investment income and surprising unrealized gains from assets owned by the taxpayer. More Money to Social Security and Retirement Accounts Biden‌ ‌proposes boosting discretionary funding for the Social Security Administration by $1.8 billion in his proposed budget for 2023,‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌total‌ ‌of‌ ‌$14.8 billion. ‌About 70 million Americans will receive retirement, disability, and survivor benefits from the agency, which receives funding increasing by about 14% from the levels enacted in 2021. Within the proposed $14.8 billion budget, $1.6 billion more (an additional 14% increase over 2021) would be allocated to improving agency services, while $224 million would be allocated to safeguarding the integrity of the program. Additionally, Biden proposed an increase to Social Security of 9.7%, or $14.2 billion total, for 2022 to help with‌ ‌the‌ ‌ongoing‌ ‌Covid-19‌ ‌pandemic. $1.6 billion will go to field offices, disability determination centers, and teleservice centers. ‌‌Moreover, the money would help speed up disability processing and reduce waiting‌ ‌times. Additionally, the agency would be able to make changes so that everyone could get the services they need. ‌Additionally, $224 million will be added to track spending and support the investigation and prosecution‌‌ ‌‌of‌‌ ‌‌fraud. Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., reintroduced a bill in October 2021 that would give beneficiaries a benefits boost of about 2%. ‌Also, low-income workers would receive a higher minimum benefit. As part of the legislation, payroll taxes for those earning $400,000 and over would be reapplied to higher-wage earners. ‌As of 2022, 6.2% of those payroll taxes are applied only to wages up to $147,000 for both employees and employers. As of 2034, Social Security’s trust funds will run out, making Biden’s new budget proposal even more timely. ‌By then, 78% of promised benefits will be paid out. Surtax on Estate Transfers and Gifting By the end of 2025, the current exemption of $12.06 million per person (in 2022) will expire. ‌Approximately half of the current exemption amount will be reduced at that time. According to earlier proposals under consideration, the higher exemption amount would have expired in‌ ‌2022. ‌Despite this, the Green Book does not address the broad issue of gift and estate taxation. ‌It does contain a few other provisions, however. Proposed changes. Gifts of appreciated assets resulting in unrealized gains that are received during life and held at death will be treated for tax purposes as “realization events.” ‌These gains will be taxed the same way as if they were sold. ‌A single taxpayer may exclude $5 million from their lifetime tax liability for unrealized gains from the property transferred by gift during life or held at death. ‌The unrealized gain on property owned at death can be offset by any unused exclusion during life. A surviving spouse could also utilize the proposed exclusion if it is portable. ‌As a result, married couples filing joint returns can exclude $10 million of unrealized gains from their taxable income. There would be no requirement to recognize gains on gifts or bequests to charities. ‌If you give or bequeath to a spouse, you won’t gain until either of you‌ ‌dies‌ ‌or‌ ‌disposes‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌asset. ‌The cost basis, however, will carry over in either case. The tax would be imposed on the transfer of property ‌after‌ ‌December‌ ‌31,‌ ‌2022. ‌Or‌ ‌on the transfer of property owned by an individual who passed away‌ ‌after‌ ‌December‌ ‌31,‌ ‌2022. A gift-like transfer of appreciated assets to or from an irrevocable trust, partnership, or other non-corporate entity would also be taxable if the gain is unrealized. An irrevocable trust, partnership, or other non-corporate entity would also be subject to tax on unrealized gains in appreciated assets if they were not previously recognized as taxable income. After December 31, 2022, the rules would apply to transfers and property owned by people who die after that date. Changes to Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts Currently, grantor retained annuity trusts don’t have term ‌restrictions. ‌However, all GRATs would be subject to a minimum 10-year term and a maximum equal to the annuitant’s life expectancy plus 10 years. Additionally, the remainder interest of a GRAT must‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌minimum‌ ‌value. ‌Typically, the value of the assets transferred to the GRAT would be equal to 25% of their value for gift tax purposes. Alternatively, it would be $500,000. But‌ ‌not‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌the‌ ‌value‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌assets‌ ‌transferred. ‌During the GRAT term, the GRAT annuity cannot decrease. ‌Furthermore, the grantor can’t exchange assets held in the GRAT tax-free. A trust formed after the enactment date would be subject to the new provisions. By eliminating short-term GRATs, the risk of a grantor dying in the middle of the GRAT term would be reduced. ‌Therefore, the grantor’s estate would include the GRAT’s assets. ‌A zeroed-out GRAT would also be prohibited by this provision. Modernize Rules for Digital Assets Also in the budget is a plan to modernize digital asset rules. ‌According to the budget documentation, such a move would generate $4.9 billion in revenue in 2023. As part of the new rules, certain financial institutions, such as brokers of digital assets, would also be required to report information. Certain taxpayers with foreign digital asset accounts would also be required to report, and the mark-to-market rules would be amended ‌to‌ ‌include‌ ‌digital‌ ‌assets. ‌In total, the administration predicts these rules will‌ ‌generate‌ ‌$10.9‌ ‌billion‌ ‌by‌ ‌2032. According to a Treasury Department explanation, “tax evasion using digital assets is a rapidly growing problem. Since the industry is entirely digital, taxpayers can transact with offshore digital asset exchanges and wallet providers without leaving the United States.” “In order to ensure that the United States is able to benefit from a global automatic exchange of information framework with respect to offshore digital assets and receive information about U.S. beneficial owners it is essential that the United States reciprocally provide information on foreign beneficial owners of certain entities transacting in digital assets with U.S. brokers,” the Treasury added. Additionally, the budget seeks to enhance the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ability to pursue cyber threats through investments that support a multi-year effort to enhance cyber investigative capabilities at FBI field offices. “These investments include an additional $52 million for more agents, enhanced response capabilities, and strengthened intelligence collection and analysis capabilities. These investments are in line with the Administration’s counter-ransomware strategy that emphasizes disruptive activity and combats the misuse of cryptocurrency,” ‌the‌ ‌document stated. Frequently Asked Questions How much did the president propose? A $5.8 trillion budget was proposed by President Biden. ‌With billions earmarked for police departments and the military, along with new taxes on the rich, this plan reflected growing concerns about security and the economy at home and abroad. White House budgets aren’t really budgeting at all. They’re just requests to Congress to control the government’s ‌spending. But they’re snapshots of where the president wants to go with his priorities. According to President Biden’s second budget request, domestic investments will amount to about $1.6 trillion for the fiscal year 2023. That’s a 7 percent increase over current levels. ‌Among the initiatives that are receiving additional funding are projects to prevent gun violence, improve the supply chain, and address the excessive inflation that has contributed to cost overruns. One of the biggest increases was Mr. Biden’s $773 billion military proposals, an increase of 10 percent for the Pentagon following concerns like the Ukraine war. The‌ ‌budget‌ ‌also‌ ‌includes‌ ‌nearly $70 billion for fighting violent crime through the F.B.I. and cracking down on gun trafficking. ‌There is a total of $45 billion allocated to combat climate change across the federal government, an increase of $16.7 billion over the level enacted in 2021. How will this be paid for? Among the tax increases proposed by the president was a ‌minimum‌ ‌tax‌ ‌on billionaires. Under the proposal, which must be approved by Congress, households worth more than $100 million would have to pay 20 percent of both their incomes and unrealized gains in ‌their‌ ‌liquid‌ ‌assets. ‌They include stocks and bonds, which are taxed only when they are sold after accumulating value for years. ‌Using the $360 billion raised by taxation that the White House is hoping to generate, the president could fund a broader agenda as well. The‌ ‌White‌ ‌House‌ ‌budget‌ ‌also‌ ‌calls‌ ‌for‌ ‌higher taxes‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌rich. ‌The top individual income tax rate would increase from 37 percent to 39.6 percent under this proposal. ‌As for the corporate tax rate, Biden wants to raise it‌ ‌to‌ ‌28‌ ‌percent‌ ‌from‌ ‌21‌ ‌percent. What are the possible effects of‌ ‌these‌ ‌proposed‌ ‌changes? Although the Green Book proposes changes to a wide range of tax laws, these changes will mostly affect a ‌specific segment‌ ‌of‌ ‌taxpayers. ‌You may be concerned about the changes, though, if you fall into any of these categories: If you’re single and filing a return, you need to have an adjusted gross income of at least $400,000, or $450,000 if you are married and filing jointly You can itemize deductions on your ‌tax‌ ‌return Currently or in the future have‌ ‌trusts You own a limited partnership, limited liability company, “S” corporation or C corporation Various changes to the law have been proposed, but their effective dates do not line up. ‌Some could take effect sooner than December 31, 2022. However, most would be implemented after that date. How Biden is Impacting Social Security? SSA, which distributes benefits to 70 million Americans, will receive an additional $1.8 billion in discretionary funding in Biden’s proposed budget for 2023. ‌That‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌an increase of 14% over the funding levels enacted in 2021, so $14.8 billion altogether. In addition to the new funding, the SSA will increase its current funding by 14%, from $1.8 billion to $1.6 billion. This will improve the quality of retirement, survivor, and Medicare claims it processes each year, as well as ‌disability‌ ‌and‌ ‌SSI‌ ‌claims. Among the things that the money would fund are field offices, teleservice centers for retirees, and state disability determination services, as well as: Cutting‌ ‌customer‌ ‌wait‌ ‌times Improved outreach to hard-to-find people Streamlining the application process Improved‌ ‌access to 800-numbers and online services The‌ ‌other $224 million goes to program integrity, responsible spending, and investigating and prosecuting‌ ‌fraud. Article by John Rampton, Due About the Author John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old while attending the University of Utah he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and Finance Expert by Time . He is the Founder and CEO of Due.   Updated on Jun 22, 2022, 2:47 pm (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: valuewalkJun 22nd, 2022

25 insightful self-help books that will help you grow in all aspects of your life

Books by authors like Malcolm Gladwell, Eckhart Tolle, and Marie Kondo top our list of the best self-help books, reviewed by Goodreads readers. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Books by authors like Malcolm Gladwell, Eckhart Tolle, and Marie Kondo top our list of the best self-help books, reviewed by Goodreads readers.Amazon; Alyssa Powell/Insider Self-help books aim to improve an aspect of our lives. They might be business books, psychology reads, or memoirs. We used Goodreads to rank the best self-help books to read in 2022. Books can serve so many different purposes, from entertainment to education, but self-help books are designed to help us improve a specific aspect of our lives. Though the very idea of "self-help" books used to conjure mental images of cheesy lectures and impractical advice, the best self-help books actually offer a new perspective for readers to explore habit building, emotional growth, or gain a deeper understanding of the world. Goodreads is the largest platform in the world for readers to rate and review books, so we turned to Goodreads reviewers to rank the best self-help books to read in 2022. From classics like "How to Win Friends and Influence People" to Susan Cain's "Quiet," these self-help books include business books, memoirs, philosophy reads, and so much more. 25 of the best self-help books, according to Goodreads"The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" by Mark MansonAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.60Mark Manson is a popular blogger who aimed to defy the norm of "positivity" in self-help books by acknowledging that, sometimes, life sucks! In his book, Manson encourages readers to recognize what is worth caring about and adjusting our perspectives based on our goals. "Atomic Habits" by James ClearAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.98"Atomic Habits" is a practical self-help book that helps readers change bad habits and develop good ones. With an abundance of practical examples, any reader can develop a system of change with James Clear's suggestions and motivational writing."How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale CarnegieAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.99With over 700,000 ratings and averaging at 4.21 stars, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is the best self-help book according to Goodreads members. Selling over 15 million copies since its original publication in 1936, Dale Carnegie's book includes his tried-and-true principles to help readers in their personal and professional lives. There are six principles to help people like you, 12 to help people understand your way of thinking, and nine to encourage change in others."The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. CoveyAmazonAvailable at Amazon, from $12.53With over 15 million copies sold since its first publication in 1989, this self-help book uses 7 fundamental habits that guide readers toward an independent, successful, and fulfilling life. Using psychological principles, this book begs to be opened over and over again, refreshing readers with life mantras that will lead them to greatness."The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles DuhiggAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.95After studying patterns across a variety of success stories, Charles Duhigg presents why habits exist — and what we can do to change them. He argues the key to reaching any of our goals lies with understanding how habits are formed and uses researched principles to help readers change habits in order to transform their lives."The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie KondoAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.58With a book and Netflix series that changed how we organize and stay tidy, Marie Kondo is a professional organizing consultant who presents the KonMari method of organizing. In "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," Kondo introduces readers to her approach to cleaning, including the idea of only keeping items that "spark joy"."You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life" by Jen SinceroAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.45This best-selling self-help book uses anecdotes and exercises to help readers break down the mental barriers that are keeping them from achieving their goals. It's an inspirational, motivational, and funny read that aims to instill self-confidence and leave readers feeling refreshed and ready to accomplish anything."The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel RuizAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.74In this spiritual self-help book, Don Miguel Ruiz pulls from Toltec wisdom to present four principles that, when applied in harmony with each other, can offer new experiences and happiness in our lives. This book challenges readers to apply four simple truths to their lives: Be impeccable with your word, don't take anything personally, don't make assumptions, and always do your best."The Power of Now" by Eckhart TolleAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.51"The Power of Now" is a spiritual self-help book that proclaims living in "the now" is the ultimate path to happiness. More a practical guide than a traditional narrative, Tolle aims to inspire readers to become conscious of the thoughts and challenges that prevent us from living in the present moment."Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan CainAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.89Introverts have been widely overlooked in American society. In this psychology book dubbed a favorite self-help read by Goodreads reviewers, Susan Cain uses stories from successful introverts to explain how invaluable introverts are to our community and help introverts value themselves more. To learn more about this book, check out our review of "Quiet.""The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brené BrownAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.47Brené Brown's 2010 self-help bestseller is still a favorite amongst Goodreads reviewers for the revelations and impacts her reflections have had on their lives. In this book, Brown explores the psychology behind releasing our expectations of living a "perfect" life and offers 10 benchmarks readers can follow to embrace a more authentic life."Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" by Brené BrownAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.99Based on 12 years of research, "Daring Greatly" is a self-help book that encourages readers to embrace vulnerability as a strength, not a weakness. With personal anecdotes and plenty of examples, this book demonstrates how vulnerability can open new avenues to courage, connection, and creativity."Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" by Cal NewportAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99"Deep Work" is a self-help book about productivity that aims to help readers understand how to reach a "deep work" state where we can focus on a mentally demanding task without distraction — a skill that has become harder and harder to master in an increasingly distracted world. Cal Newport argues the importance of deep work and presents four rules readers can follow to transform their productivity habits and reach more focused success."The 5 Love Languages" by Gary ChapmanAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.57"The 5 Love Languages" is a self-help book whose concepts have permeated many relationships as its popularity grows. In this book, Dr. Gary Chapman proposes that there are five main ways in which people give and receive love. By understanding your and your partner's love language, you can enrich your relationship by showing love more effectively. "Who Moved My Cheese" by Dr. Spencer JohnsonAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.17First published in 1998, "Who Moved My Cheese?" is a self-help book in the form of a motivational fable of four characters who live in a maze, looking for cheese. Representing anything we may want in life, the cheese is constantly moving and only when one character successfully navigates change to reach the cheese does the reader discover how to navigate change in their own lives."The Secret" by Rhonda ByrneAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11Written after the hit movie of the same name in 2006, "The Secret" is a self-help book that outlines the law of attraction, a concept Rhonda Byrne claims can change or redirect a person's entire life. With this concept, Byrne encourages readers to find the power within themselves to apply "The Secret" to every aspect of life and achieve nearly anything."Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel KahnemanAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.29This psychology book has helped readers understand the way we think by separating our thought processes into two systems: one that is intuitive and one that is deliberate. By knowing how these two systems work separately and together, we can better understand how we make choices and think about thinking. To learn more about this book, check out our review of "Thinking, Fast and Slow."Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. KiyosakiAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.18Though "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" is usually seen as a business or finance read, Goodreads reviewers love it as a self-help book as well for its lessons on how to make your money work for you. Author Robert T. Kiyosaki grew up with two dads — his own and his best friend's dad — who shaped his views on money and investing in very different ways. In this book, Kiyosaki explains different financial theories to change how many readers view finances."The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun" by Gretchen RubinAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.19When Gretchen Rubin realized she wasn't focusing on the things in her life that truly mattered, she decided to dedicate a year to her "happiness project." This autobiographical self-help book is a 12-month chronicle of her journey as she tried new things, focused on improving herself, and embraced happiness while encouraging others to take time and do the same. "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear" by Elizabeth GilbertAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.38In a self-help book that aims to inspire creativity, Elizabeth Gilbert offers an honest look at the creative process — with all of its challenges and unrealistic expectations. This book reminds readers that creativity isn't linear or clean and we can be any degree of an artist, writer, or musician that satisfies our soul."Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. FranklAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.99"Man's Search for Meaning" is a memoir that begins with psychologist Viktor E. Frankl's experiences in Auschwitz during World War II and how he coped with suffering in order to not just survive it, but move forward with purpose. With psychological, philosophical, and sociological influences, this moving read offers self-help advice through the author's inspirational personal account of searching for a guiding meaning in life. It's also a book that therapists recommend to read if you want to build more empathy."The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy FerrissAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.39Aiming to help readers escape the confines of a 9-5 job, "The 4-Hour Workweek" encourages a restructuring of our lifestyle to find fulfillment now rather than once we retire. Born of the author's three-week break from his company, this self-help book is modeled after his series of lectures on entrepreneurship given at Princeton University."Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity" by David AllenAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.29While many self-help productivity books encourage readers to work harder, "Getting Things Done" proposes that our productivity is directly linked to our ability to relax, as we can only reach our greatest potential when our minds are clear and organized. This book offers core principles, tricks, and advice to help readers streamline their effectiveness, overcome challenging situations, and avoid the burnout that often comes with an overwhelming workload.  "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" by Carol S. DweckAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.55Dr. Carol Dweck is a psychologist who, after decades of research, has discovered just how powerful and affecting our mindset can be in every aspect of our lives. In this book, she demonstrates how we can influence our success by adopting a growth mindset — and how changing the mindset of a community or organization can inspire incredible success.  "Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm GladwellAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.94In this personal development read, Malcolm Gladwell highlights successful "outliers," the best and brightest of our society — from the Beatles to Bill Gates — and what makes them so successful. Gladwell presents the histories of our heroes, their rise to excellence, and how their beginnings carefully positioned them for success. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 13th, 2022

Ethereum Tumbles Below Holders" Average Cost Basis

Ethereum Tumbles Below Holders' Average Cost Basis While bitcoin remains stuck to a $30,000, trading in a $2k range around the "nice, round number" for the past month... ...  In its latest weekly Crypto Compass note, UBS writes that what is most stunning is how bitcoin's biggest challenger, ETH has totally retraced its entire outperformance since late 2020 to the point where it has merely level-pegged with benchmark equities since both then and the start of 2019 for an equivalent unit of risk invested. Worse, after relentlessly dropping for 10 consecutive weeks.. ... the token which forms the backbone for web3, and which Goldman called the "Amazon of information" has just taken out a key long-term long-term support, tumbling 12% on Sunday to 1,500.22, the lowest price since Jan 2020. There are several reasons for Its latest relative softening according to UBS, chief among which is a sharper drop-off in activity that is a casualty of weaker transactional demand for Ethereum-based defi and NFTs. which in turn is a function of Fed tightening which is causing asset prices to tumble uniformly (in stocks, bonds and yes, crypto too) as "crash-correlations" approach 1. Some also point to concerns about a Terra-like implosion due to misplaced fears that a security attack on staked Ethereum could lead to a "fat tail" outcome ahead of the ETH 2 transition later this year due to 4 million ether deposited at Lido Finance, making the exchange a concentrated holder and threatening a centralized attack on the broader ETH network (Lido developer Vasiliy Shapovalov disagrees). Additionally, some slowing in the network as the so-called 'difficulty bomb' begins to bite ahead of the late-summer Merge may also be exerting some drag. Amid this wholesale selloff, bear-market blues, liquidations and outright capitulation have set in among even the most ardent crypto proponents (e.g., here). So much so that some have started to highlight how native technical indicators skew the balance of risks henceforth heavily to the downside. Yet in comparison to prior 'crypto winters,' bitcoin's price has yet to fall below holders' average cost base (23,500), although after today's drop, ether is now below the average cost basis which according to UBS is at 1,750. Furthermore, net unrealized profit/ loss metrics highlight specifically how long-term holders have yet to be tested. One way UBS suggests this could happen is via miners capitulating to sell down holdings of existing coins: indeed, their sales in early May coincided with the last lurch lower to and through 30k. Indeed, miners' businesses remain under significant pressure due to high energy costs and capex commitments, so their stock prices continue to make fresh lows even as the broader market has consolidated or even rebounded somewhat. Meanwhile, as UBS adds, there has been little positive news to offset investor concerns, and the Swiss bank proceeds to list some of these, starting with stablecoin issuers who have been put on notice by UST's collapse, while officials should feel spurred on to clamp down by Do Kown's plans for Terra2, Justin Sun's launch of the effective copycat USDD, and Tether's expansion onto Tezos. Japan's Diet has passed legislation allowing only banks and other licensed financial institutions to issue yen stablecoins as of next year. New York's Department of Finance likewise formalized guidance mandating full backing via short-dated T-bills or equivalent, segregated accounts and monthly audits by independent US CPAs. And a new UK consultation paper just floated procedures for dealing with failed issuers and makes provisions for systemically important designation Amongst the familiar fare of hacks, and outages, two additional items stood out in UBS' review of key events. One was the SEC moving to investigate Binance over its 2017 BNB exchange coin listing. The latter's price fell almost 10% in consequence. But the action matters beyond the fact that it involves the largest exchange by volumes and the industry's third largest non-stablecoin. It signals a fresh effort to enforce securities registration that will be applicable to the vast majority of crypto ventures. This comes atop other probes into the company that were already underway. These involve possible trading abuses by corporate insiders, insufficient segregation of the firm's local US subsidiary and concerns that it has been conducting unregulated broker-dealer activities. There is also the issue of whether founder CZ's ownership stakes in market-makers that are active on the platform constitute conflicts of interest. That said, UBS is quick to caution that none of this is to argue that crypto is sliding into oblivion, quite the contrary - after all Wall Street and Silicon Valley have invested tens of billions in crypto infrastructure and manpower (most did so around the time cryptos peaked),. Yet what it does point to is how the future will look very different. According to UBS' James Malcom, players will have to embrace regulation and collaborate with existing financial service providers; thus Singapore's just-launched Project Guardian, which represents a pilot project for the central bank to explore tokenized bonds and deposits via the establishment of permissioned liquidity pools in collaboration with DBS, JPMorgan and Marketnode. They must also have to compromise even as they seek to disrupt longstanding tradfi practices, per FTX's bold bid to disintermediate derivatives trading by clearing customers' swaps without the involvement of FCMs. The good news is that, as UBS concludes, those who can last beyond the near-term downward pressure and volatility, the longer-term demand-side outlook looks exceedingly healthy when recast in such terms. Accenture's newly released Future of Asian Wealth Management survey revealed that more than half of its 3,200 respondents already hold digital assets, and nearly three quarters plan to do so by year-end. However, two thirds of the 500 financial advisors surveyed have no plans to offer such services due to regulatory uncertainty and unfamiliarity with the space, which would require specialized research capabilities plus substantial investment in training for relationship managers.  Little wonder satisfaction ratings with primary counterparts score rather lowly.  It is also not surprising that many allocators end up relying on potentially less reliable online advice in consequence. UBS' Global Family Office Report 2022 finds, by contrast, most of the bank's clients are 'cryptocurious' rather than 'crypto-committed'— wanting to learn about the space rather than invest. It pegged just a quarter of Asian participants as active in the space, though that rises to more than a third in North America. The vast majority of allocations amount to less than 3% of portfolios and are being made to better understand the technology as much as on the expectation of strong, diversified returns at this point. As for Ethereum's latest tumble, it could certainly fall more amid capitualtory liquidations, now that selling below the average cost basis means cementing losses for retail investors. But when it comes to institutions one can be certain that instead of writing off their investments in the web3 space, most will simply double down, and why not: it is already widely accepted that after the Fed hikes enough to push the economy into recession (or depression) in the next few months, it will then proceed to aggressively cut rates again... ... with the benefit of QE again, and the moment Powell capitulates - which will be some time in late 2022 or early 2023  - is when all the "growth", high-beta assets that have gotten destroyed in the past few months, will erupt to new all time highs in anticipation of the biggest liquidity injection yet, one which is simply mandatory if for no other reason than central banks have to fund and finance the $150 trillion (with a T) spending over the next 30 years (via QE) that is unavoidable if the progressive "climate change" agenda is to pass. And it will - too many politicians and parties have staked their entire existence on it. Finally, none of this accounts for the growing risk that China, and its $54 trillion in bank assets or 150% more than the US... ... will suffer another devaluation, sparking another massive capital exodus using bitcoin and other crypto instruments. Tyler Durden Sat, 06/11/2022 - 13:06.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 11th, 2022

Escobar: Will The Global South Break Free From Dollarized-Debt?

Escobar: Will The Global South Break Free From Dollarized-Debt? Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Cradle, In his latest book, economist Michael Hudson pits socialism against finance capitalism and tears apart the 'dream civilization' imposed by the 1 percent. With The Destiny of Civilization: Finance Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism or Socialism, Michael Hudson, one of the world’s leading independent economists, has given us arguably the ultimate handbook on where we’re at, who’s in charge, and whether we can bypass them. Let’s jump straight into the fray. Hudson begins with an analysis of the “take the money and run” ethos, complete with de-industrialization, as 90 percent of US corporate revenue is “used to share buybacks and dividend payouts to support company stock prices.” That represents the apex of “Finance Capitalism’s” political strategy: to “capture the public sector and shift monetary and banking power” to Wall Street, the City of London and other western financial centers. The whole Global South will easily recognize the imperial modus operandi: “The strategy of US military and financial imperialism is to install client oligarchies and dictatorships, and arm-twist allies to join the fight against designated adversaries by subsidizing not only the empire’s costs of war-making (“defense”) but even the imperial nation’s domestic spending programs.” This is the antithesis of the multipolar world advocated by Russia and China. In short, our current Cold War 2.0 “is basically being waged by US-centered finance capitalism backing rentier oligarchies against nations seeking to build up more widespread self-reliance and domestic prosperity.” Hudson presciently reminds us of Aristotle, who would say that it is in the interest of financiers to wield their power against society at large: “The financial class historically has been the major beneficiary of empires by acting as collection agents.” So inevitably the major imperial leverage over the world, a true “strategy of underdevelopment,” had to be financial: instrumentalizing IMF pressure to “turn public infrastructure into privatized monopolies, and reversing 20th century pro-labor reforms” via those notorious ‘conditionalities’ for loans. No wonder the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), established in Belgrade in 1961 with 120 nations and 27 observers, became such a threat to US global strategy. The latter predictably fought back with a slew of ethnic wars and the earliest incarnations of color revolution – fabricating dictatorships on an industrial scale, from Suharto to Pinochet. The culmination was a cataclysmic Houston get-together in December 19, 1990 “celebrating” the dissolution of the USSR, as Hudson reminds us how the IMF and the World Bank “laid out a blueprint for Russia’s leaders to impose austerity and give away its assets – it didn’t matter to whom – in a wave of ‘shock therapy’ to let the alleged magic of free enterprise create a neoliberal free-for-all.” Lost in a Roman wilderness of debt To a large extent, nostalgia for the rape-and-pillaging of 1990s-era Russia fuels what Hudson defines as the New Cold War, where Dollar Diplomacy must assert its control over every foreign economy. The New Cold War is not waged only against Russia and China, “but against any countries resisting privatization and financialization under US sponsorship.” Hudson reminds us how China’s policy “followed almost the same path that American protectionism did from 1865 though 1914 – state subsidy for industry, heavy public-sector capital investment…and social spending on education and health care to upgrade the quality and productivity of labor. This was not called Marxism in the United States; it was simply the logical way to look at industrialization, as part of a broad economic and social system.” But then, finance – or casino – capitalism gained steam, and left the US economy mainly with “agribusiness farm surpluses, and monopolies in information technology (largely developed as a by-product of military research), military hardware, and pharmaceutical patents (based on public seed-money to fund research) able to extract monopoly rent while making themselves largely tax-exempt by using offshore banking centers.” That’s the current State of Empire: relying only “on its rentier class and Dollar Diplomacy,” with prosperity concentrated in the top one percent of establishment elites. The inevitable corollary is US diplomacy imposing illegal, unilateral sanctions on Russia, China and anyone else who defies its diktats. The US economy is indeed a lame post-modern remake of the late Roman empire: “dependent on foreign tribute for its survival in today’s global rentier economy.” Enter the correlation between a dwindling free lunch and utter fear: “That is why the United States has surrounded Eurasia with 750 military bases.” Delightfully, Hudson goes back to Lactantius, in the late 3rd century, describing the Roman empire on Divine Institutes, to stress the parallels with the American version: “In order to enslave the many, the greedy began to appropriate and accumulate the necessities of life and keep them tightly closed up, so that they might keep these bounties for themselves. They did this not for humanity’s sake (which was not in them at all), but to rake up all things as products of their greed and avarice. In the name of justice they made unfair and unjust laws to sanction their thefts and avarice against the power of the multitude. In this way they availed as much by authority as by strength of arms or overt evil.” Socialism or barbarism Hudson succinctly frames the central issue facing the world today: whether “money and credit, land, natural resources and monopolies will be privatized and concentrated in the hands of a rentier oligarchy or used to promote general prosperity and growth. This is basically a conflict between finance capitalism vs. socialism as economic systems.” To advance the struggle, Hudson proposes a counter-rentier program which should be the Global South’s ultimate Blueprint for responsible development: public ownership of natural monopolies; key basic infrastructure in public hands; national self-sufficiency – crucially, in money and credit creation; consumer and labor protection; capital controls – to prevent borrowing or denominating debts in foreign currency; taxes on unearned income such as economic rent; progressive taxation; a land tax (“will prevent land’s rising rental value from being pledged to banks for credit to bid up real estate prices”); use of the economic surplus for tangible capital investment; and national self-sufficiency in food. As Hudson seems to have covered all the bases, at the end of the book I was left with only one overarching question. I asked him how he analyzed the current discussions between the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and the Chinese – and between Russia and China, further on down the road – as being able to deliver an alternative financial/monetary system. Can they sell the alternative system to most of the planet, all while dodging imperial financial harassment? Hudson was gracious enough to reply with what could be regarded as the summary of a whole book chapter: “To be successful, any reform has to be system-wide, not merely a single part. Today’s western economies have become financialized, leaving credit creation in private hands – to be used to make financial gains at the expense of the industrial economy… This aim has spread like leprosy throughout entire economies – their trade patterns (dependency on US agricultural and oil exports, and IT technology), labor relations (anti-unionism and austerity), land tenure (foreign-owned plantation agriculture instead of domestic self-reliance and self-sufficiency in food grains), and economic theory itself (treating finance as part of GDP, not as an overhead siphoning off income from labor and industry alike).” Hudson cautions that “in order to break free of the dynamic of predatory finance-capitalism sponsored by the United States and its satellites, foreign countries need to be self-sufficient in food production, energy, technology and other basic needs. This requires an alternative to US ‘free trade’ and its even more nationalistic ‘fair trade’ (deeming any foreign competition to US-owned industry ‘unfair’). That requires an alternative to the IMF, World Bank and ITO (from which Russia has just withdrawn). And alas, an alternative also requires military coordination such as the SCO [the Shanghai Cooperation Organization] to defend against the militarization of US-centered finance capitalism.” Hudson does see some sunlight ahead: “As to your question of whether Russia and China can ‘sell’ this vision of the future to the Global South and Eurasian countries, that should become much easier by the end of this summer. A major byproduct (not unintended) of the NATO war in Ukraine is to sharply raise energy and food prices (and shipping prices). This will throw the balance of payments of many Global South and other countries into sharp deficit, creating a crisis as their dollar-denominated debt to bondholders and banks falls due.” The key challenge for most of the Global South is to avoid default: “The US raise in interest rates has increased the dollar’s exchange rate not only against the euro and Japanese yen, but against the Global South and other countries. This means that much more of their income and export revenue must be paid to service their foreign debt – and they can avoid default only by going without food and oil. So what will they choose? The IMF may offer to create SDRs to enable them to pay – by running even further into dollarized debt, subject to IMF austerity plans and demands that they sell off even more of their natural resources, forests and water.” So how to break free from dollarized debt? “They need a critical mass. That was not available in the 1970s when a New International Economic Order was first discussed. But today it is becoming a viable alternative, thanks to the power of China, the resources of Russia and those of allied countries such as Iran, India and other East Asian and Central Asian countries. So I suspect that a new world economic system is emerging. If it succeeds, the last century – since the end of World War I and the mess it left – will seem like a long detour of history, now returning to what seemed to be the basic social ideals of classical economics – a market free from rent-seeking landlords, monopolies and predatory finance.” Hudson concludes by reiterating what the New Cold War is really all about: “In short, it is a conflict between two different social systems, each with their own philosophy of how societies work. Will they be planned by neoliberal financial centers centered in New York, supported by Washington’s neo-cons, or will they be the kind of socialism that the late 19th century and early 20th century envisioned – a ‘market’ and, indeed, society free from rentiers? Will natural monopolies such as land and natural resources be socialized and used to finance domestic growth and housing, or left to financial interests to turn rent into interest payments eating into consumer and business income? And most of all, will governments create their own money and steer banking to promote domestic prosperity, or will they let private banks (whose financial interests are represented by central banks) take control away from national treasuries?” Tyler Durden Sat, 06/11/2022 - 07:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 11th, 2022

Meet The Globalists: Here Is The Full Roster Of Davos 2022 Attendees

Meet The Globalists: Here Is The Full Roster Of Davos 2022 Attendees The infamous World Economic Forum (WEF) will host its annual meeting in Davos this week, and Jordan Schachtel,via 'The Dossier' Substack, is going to make sure you know who is attending the invite-only gathering. For those of you who are new to this nefarious organization: The World Economic Forum (WEF), through its annual Davos conference, acts as the go-to policy and ideas shop for the ruling class. The NGO is led by a comic book villain-like character in Klaus Schwab, its megalomaniac president who articulates a truly insane, extremist political agenda for our future. Heard one of your politicians declaring support for the “Build Back Better” agenda? How about the “Great Reset?” All of those bumper sticker political narratives were popularized by the World Economic Forum. Have you read about the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) movement? That’s also a WEF favorite. Davos 2022 includes the usual components of WEF’s “you’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy” totalitarian eco statist agenda. Topics discussed and panels at the 2022 meeting will include: Experience the future of cooperation: The Global Collaboration Village Staying on Course for Nature Action Future-proofing Health Systems Accelerating the Reskilling Revolution (for the “green transition”) The ‘Net’ in Net Zero The Future of Globalization Unlocking Carbon Markets And of course, a Special Address by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine The American contingent will include 25 politicians and Biden Administration officials. US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will join Climate Czar John Kerry as the White House representatives there. They will be joined by 12 democrat and 10 republican politicians, including 7 senators and two state governors Without further delay, I’ve provided the entire list of attendees who are showing up to Davos next week. I’ll list the Americans below and the rest are linked below that in an attached document. Gina Raimondo Secretary of Commerce of USA USA John F. Kerry Special Presidential Envoy for Climate of the United States of America Bill Keating Congressman from Massachusetts (D) Daniel Meuser Congressman from Pennsylvania (R) Madeleine Dean Congresswoman from Pennsylvania (D Ted Lieu Congressman from California (D) Ann Wagner Congresswoman from Missouri (R) Christopher A. Coons Senator from Delaware (D) Darrell Issa Congressman from California (R) Dean Phillips Congressman from Minnesota (D) Debra Fischer Senator from Nebraska (R) Eric Holcomb Governor of Indiana (R) Gregory W. Meeks Congressman from New York (D) John W. Hickenlooper Senator from Colorado (D) Larry Hogan Governor of Maryland (R) Michael McCaul Congressman from Texas (R) Pat Toomey Senator from Pennsylvania (R) Patrick J. Leahy Senator from Vermont (D) Robert Menendez Senator from New Jersey (D) Roger F. Wicker Senator from Mississippi (R) Seth Moulton Congressman from Massachusetts (D) Sheldon Whitehouse Senator from Rhode Island (D) Ted Deutch Congressman from Florida (D) Francis Suarez Mayor of Miami (R) Al Gore Vice-President of the United States (1993-2001) (D) Full list of confirmed attendees of 2022 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Here’s the PDF File in case the link goes down. There is one member of the 'elites' that is not going to be there (and never has). As Mohamed El-Erian writes in an op-ed at Bloomberg, Davos meetings are full of potential but rarely full of solutions. I have never taken up the opportunity to attend the Davos meeting and I will pass again this year. That, however, does not mean that I do not follow its evolution and outcomes. I am certainly interested in what could emerge from a meeting that brings together so many leaders of governments, civil society and business. In an ideal world, this year’s meeting would prove catalytic in two important ways.  First, it would trigger greater awareness of ongoing watershed developments in the global economy and draw attention to how differently these are viewed around the world. And second, it would point to ways in which an increasingly “zero-sum” view of international coordination can be reshaped to contribute to collective resilience and inclusive prosperity. The list of ongoing watershed developments in the global economy is long, extending well beyond the horrific war in Ukraine and the associated human tragedies. Here is an example of what is on such a list: Due to the convergence of food, energy, debt and growth crises, a growing number of poorer countries face a rising threat of famine — and this is but one part of the “little fires everywhere” phenomenon undermining lives and livelihoods around the world. Inflation at 40-year highs in wealthier countries is undermining standards of living and growth engines, hitting the poor particularly hard, fueling political anger, eroding institutional credibility, and undermining the effectiveness of economic and financial policy. The inability to deal with critical secular challenges, including climate change, is seeing short-term distractions compound what already are meaningful long-term challenges. Private- and public-sector efforts to strike a better balance between highly interconnected supply chains and national/corporate resilience are complicated by a global economy that lacks sufficient momentum for this to be done in an orderly fashion. The western weaponization of international finance, while effective in bringing the eleventh largest economy in the world to its knees, has been pursued without a global framework of standards, guidelines and safeguards. I suspect that, while the vast majority of Davos participants will agree on this list (and, indeed, add a few more items), there will be quite a bit of disagreement on the causes and longer-term consequences. Such disagreement is problematic in two ways. First, it undermines the shared responsibility needed to address challenges with important international dimensions; and second, it erodes even more trust in the existing international order. Unless the disagreements can be resolved, the damaging effects will deepen and spread.  On paper, the upcoming Davos meeting would be perfectly suited for resolving these conflicts. History, however, does not provide much encouragement or optimism. Time and time again, Davos has fallen victim to a lack of focus and actionable unifying vision. Individual and collective interests have remained unreconciled. Distractions abound. As a result, the output has been, at best, backward-leaning. Given the multiple crossroads facing the global economy, this would be a particularly good time for Davos to fulfill its considerable potential — to look ahead, not back. To identify solutions instead of just problems. Otherwise, the forum will evolve even more into a network and social club that is, and is widely perceived to be, even more decoupled from the realities of many and the challenges of most. Tyler Durden Mon, 05/23/2022 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 23rd, 2022

Macleod: The Only Replacement For Fiat Is A Currency "Credibly-Backed By Gold"

Macleod: The Only Replacement For Fiat Is A Currency 'Credibly-Backed By Gold' Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, Rising interest rates threaten to destabilise both financial asset values and the fiat currencies in which they are priced. This outcome is feared by the chattering classes who increasingly speculate about currency resets. So far, we have seen cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, plans for the introduction of central bank digital currencies, plans to de-dollarise Asian trade, and even El Salvador adopting bitcoin as legal tender. But are these resets valid? Except for a new currency mooted for cross-border trading purposes between Russia, its former Central Asian satellites and China only at the conceptual stage, all these plans fail in one important respect: as things stand, legally none of them can have the status of a currency. Money, that is physical gold and silver, banknotes and bank credit are exempt from property law with respect to stolen goods which otherwise can be seized from innocent parties who have subsequently acquired them. Without this exemption embodied in lex mercatoria a currency replacement is useless. The only replacement for fiat is a currency credibly backed by gold. And that is the legal position! Introduction The introduction of new currencies is a topic moving increasingly into public debate driven by both the inflation dilemma faced by central banks and, recently, by the consequences of fiat currency sanctions against Russia. There is a convergence of events at play. While there are the immediate problems of rising interest rates and of the financial and commodity price war being waged between the West and Russia, there are plans for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to give the monetary authorities greater control over the use of new currencies that could replace existing fiat. The problem is that in the monetary sense the public is not even ruled by one-eyed kings; we are all subjects in the kingdoms of the totally blind, at least in the economic and monetary sense. While some very clever people can tell you all about the sophisticated financial instruments few of us have even heard of and their roles in the fiat currency universe, no one in charge appears to understand the root of it all, which is money. This unbelievable situation is easily verified by listening to the utterances of or reading the information emanating from leading central bankers and the research departments of nearly all the participants in the finance industry. The role of money has been reaffirmed by philosophers and economists from the dawn of money itself, at least until this age of neo-Keynesianism. This quote is over 2,300 years old and is from Aristotle: “With regards to a future exchange (if we want nothing at present, that it may take place when we do want something) money is, as it were, our security. For it is necessary that he who brings it should be able to get what he wants” This was reaffirmed by Jean-Baptiste Say two centuries ago in his famous law which defined the role of money in the division of labour. The only form of money legal from Aristotle’s time until even today is metallic. That is gold and silver coin or bullion which can be coined or weighed and does not alter over time — the rest is credit. In the form of banknotes, credit is the circulating representation of money, which we call currency. Since the end of Bretton Woods in 1971, gold has been dismissed as the anchor for currency value by promoters of fiat currency, which is now wholly dependent upon faith and credit in their issuers, who have long forgotten the vital role of metallic money. Metallic money was settled upon as the medium of exchange by its users, and the responsible role of the state has always been not to replace it, but to standardise it. The state had a fundamental duty to ensure the coinage was good and money’s representation as credit was sound. That is now forgotten. Nor is the role of interest rates understood. While being a cost to a borrower, for a lender who loses the use of his money, they reflect compensation for that loss and the risk that the borrower might not repay. Included in the lender’s calculation must be an allowance for changes in purchasing power. If a lender buys, say, a 10-year US Government note and currency debasement leads to a loss of purchasing power officially recorded by the consumer price index at 7.5%, then it is likely that a cohort of lenders to the US Government would seek a similar level of compensation for this factor alone. That is without reckoning on central banks, which suppress the evidence from their debasement policies. The Fed, which bears responsibility for the world’s reserve currency, now finds itself unable to keep the lid on rising interest rates and against its will is being forced by markets to permit them to rise. All central banks are being pushed into similar decisions. Not only are they uncomfortable with markets forcing their hand, but they firmly believe that interest rates are an unnecessary imposition on investment capital and state finances. Their response to market pressures is to enforce yet greater control over markets by redesigning their currencies. But there are insurmountable legal problems, which so far have not entered the debate. New forms of currency face a huge legal hurdle No one could be more ill-equipped to design a new currency than planners employed by governments. Instead of the public being permitted to satisfy its own criteria, governments try to evolve currencies away from being determined by its users towards increasing statist control. The Bank for International Settlements, which is coordinating research into CBDCs is clear on the subject. CBDCs are intended be the equivalent replacement of cash with two key differences: “The central bank will have absolute control on the rules and regulations that will determine the use of that expression of central bank liability [i.e. cash], and we will have the technology to enforce that. Those two issues are extremely important and is a huge difference to what cash is.” Augustin Carstens – BIS General Manager But as a replacement for banknotes, a CBDC cannot share the legal status of cash today, which is specific. It is not clear whether ignoring it is intentional, or the lawyers are yet to be fully consulted. Here is the central issue. Money, that is gold and silver, and currency in the form of banknotes and representative coin have a different legal status from all other forms of property. If the true owner of money which has been stolen finds it is in the hands of the thief, he may recover it. But if the thief has purchased things in the shop with it in the usual way of business and the shopkeeper takes it honestly in the way of his trade and without knowing it has been stolen, he may retain it against the original owner from whom it has been stolen. That is to say the right to the property in the currency passes by its delivery. This single exception to property rights extends to substitutes and representations of money, such as bills of exchange, banknotes, cheques, and other cash substitutes exchanged for money, currency, or credit, which are all assimilated to money. It accords with precedents in the Lex mercatoria (merchant law, or the Law Merchant in common legalise). It is the body of trading principles which evolved from the middle-ages along with trade between centres as a system of custom and best practice in Europe. In this legal respect, money, currency, and credit are different from, say, stolen artworks or precious stones, which on proof of original ownership can be recovered decades later. The families robbed of their possessions by the Nazis over eighty years ago are still reclaiming their property but have no claim on the cash and bank deposits stolen from them. The position of a CBDC appears to be intended to be different from cash and deposit currency to allow a central bank to control ownership and direct its use, as the quote above from Carstens makes clear. In other words, the right to property in a CBDC differs fundamentally from that of money and currency. The idea that a CBDC is a legal replacement for cash founders on this important point, which the General Manager of the BIS appears to ignore. Yet the point is proved by commercial bankers in a different context, as evidenced by their inability to deal with payment fraud. If a bank customer finds his bank account emptied by someone who has stolen access to it, it is a criminal act. But the property right to the bank deposit has passed with the stolen money and the bank having had a valid instruction to transfer balances in good faith can do nothing to recover it. A CBDC does not appear to be a currency in this legal sense, because the right of ownership is subject to conditions imposed by another party — a central bank. In layman’s terms, banknote cash is a document unconditionally entitling the bearer. A unit of a CBDC is not. Therefore, a CBDC and its derivative forms of credit cannot be currency in law, the term given exclusively to money, credit and their immediate derivatives. Which, incidentally, applies in all post-barter jurisdictions from the time of Aristotle at least. Not only is this important topic not discussed by the BIS committee working on CBDCs, but no one, to this writer’s knowledge, seems to be aware of a CBDC not qualifying as money or currency in law. It is true that laws may be passed to change the status of a CBDC, but it is equally true that a law may be passed to force everyone to wear a hat. No law can work when its intent is to undermine the whole basis of trade. In commentaries on the subject, almost everyone has ignored the purpose of a currency which they confuse with money. It represents credit and nothing else. As Carstens points out, cash, by which he means banknotes, is a liability of a central bank. To this we can add bank accounts, which are credit given by a commercial bank to its depositors. And a commercial bank’s reserves held at a central bank are the liability of the central bank with the same status as the central bank’s banknotes. Almost everyone also ignores the opinions of commercial bankers at the prospect of having their business taken from them by the state and who so far have held their council. We should remember that in America, host to the world’s reserve currency, that the largest contributors to the politicians’ coffers are the banks. That alone should ensure the enabling legislation will never get off the ground in America and therefore for every other major currency which regards the dollar as its reserve currency. Bitcoin won’t save the Salvadorians The legal distinction between currencies and CBDCs appears to disqualify cryptocurrencies as well, not only because they are an invention not anticipated in established law. Ownership is firmly tied to a blockchain or similar arrangement which acts as a self-auditing trail. This appears to be an insurmountable hurdle, because to operate as a currency the promoters of any cryptocurrency will have to persuade the authorities in every jurisdiction to pass legislation to give their cryptocurrencies the legal status of currencies. The current position is that ownership of bitcoin, which we will take as proxy for all cryptocurrencies whose promoters seek to replace state-issued fiat currencies, is theoretically traceable through the blockchain. Under current property law, which in lex mercatoria is common internationally, stolen bitcoin would thus be traceable when held by subsequent owners, either through the blockchain itself or alternatively through the bank payment records when bitcoin pass from seller to buyer. This means that you may acquire bitcoin through a crypto exchange in good faith and not possess the property rights that come with it, if it had previously been the proceeds of crime. It appears that the only reason property law has not been pursued across the bitcoin blockchain is because of the international character of bitcoin transfers, making it virtually impossible to enforce. Furthermore, access to wallets requires consent which may be withheld. But that does not change the legal position, which is that only money, currencies, and their direct derivatives, even though they have been stolen, pass away “in currency” into the hands of an innocent acquirer, becoming his or her property indisputably in accordance with established lex mercatoria. Assuming this interpretation is confirmed in law, based on ownership being theoretically traceable the whole foundation of cryptocurrencies as legal tender fails. The authorities are unlikely to accept that it is otherwise for multiple reasons. They have stated their interest in preventing criminal activity, money laundering, and tax evasion and clearly want to confiscate the proceeds of crime when possible. They will also dislike the idea that there is a rival to their fiat currencies, which are protected by currency status in law. It is in this context that we will consider El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin as legal tender. Aside from the economic problems that a volatile currency creates and the encouragement for Salvadorians to use a highly volatile ethereal asset as a medium of exchange, there is the problem that by declaring it as legal tender it exposes the population to a currency where ownership in law might not actually exist if it is not classed as currency in other jurisdictions. While not unique to El Salvador, the political class seems to have so little understanding of money and the legalities behind it that we must question the motives behind bitcoin’s adoption. In May 2021 America withdrew funding from the Salvadorean Government, following a US declaration that five of the President’s ministers and aides were corrupt. The following month the President (Nayib Bukele) announced that he was bringing a bill before the Legislative Assembly to make bitcoin legal tender. Put another way, Bukele appeared to be responding to a dollar shortage created by American sanctions. And early in September Bukele announced that the government had bought 400 bitcoins. The price at the time was approximately $48,000. The timing of these events strongly suggests that Bukele thought that bitcoin could restore government finances following the withdrawal of US financial support. At the time it was commonly said that the price would eventually rise to over $250,000 with some saying they expected to see it go to over a million. The hype has died down somewhat in a rising interest rate environment, which has also undermined stockmarket prices. Clearly, owners of volatile stocks also own bitcoin, binding the fate of bitcoin to that of stockmarkets. El Salvador’s launch of a $1 billion bitcoin bond to finance a new coin-shaped bitcoin city, due to have been confirmed earlier this week, has been delayed. Last December, Blockstream (El Salvador’s manager for the bond) announced it had “soft commitments” for up to $300m mostly from “Bitfinex whales”. A soft commitment is not a commitment at all, and the delay of an announcement meant to take place last week does not auger well for the project. Furthermore, the necessary legislation has not yet been submitted and passed by the Legislative Assembly. The reasons are unknown, but if it is because subscription levels have been disappointing, El Salvador’s bitcoin strategy will begin to unravel. That being the case, the Salvadoran people many of whom do not have internet access will have been saved from an eventual crisis. But the crisis for government finances will intensify. In propping up government finances Bukele appears to have been a victim of the popular delusions and the madness of crowds seen so many times in history, in this case a cryptocurrency bubble. Arguably, if he understood money and currencies, he might not have fallen for it. In the legal sense cryptocurrencies are not and, citing longstanding law and lex mercatoria precedent, never can be currency. These simple facts are set to doom the whole cryptocurrency movement to an extinction with which historians of financial bubbles will be familiar. Plans for a new Eurasian and monetary system For some time, the Eurasian Economic Commission has been discussing the currency aspects of trade between member states. The Commission represents China, Russia, and the former Soviet regions of Central Asia, all of which are members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). According to Sergei Glazyev, the EEU minister in charge of integration and macroeconomics, the objective was to create a Eurasian monetary and financial system, excluding foreign currencies. The proposal was to remove exchange controls for cross-border settlements within the Eurasian membership, and thereby replace the dollar as the commonly used settlement medium between them. Since then, the project has acquired a new urgency due to western currency sanctions against Russia. According to 24KG, which is a news agency based in Bishkek, only last week the Eurasian Economic Union and China confirmed that they will develop a new international currency (that is international between EEU members and China). The currency and the financial system that goes with it will be based on the national currencies and the prices of exchange-traded commodities. There are no further details other than this statement. It appears that the intention is to create a sort of SDR but with links to commodity prices and unlike the SDR to be usable at local level. Presumably, the basket of commodities will include oil, and it is interesting that coincidentally Saudi Arabia is considering selling oil for Chinese yuan, calling an end to the petrodollar, and aligning itself more closely to the Eurasian superpowers behind this scheme. Let us put aside the impracticalities of the intended currency for a moment and consider the implications. For reference, Figure 1 shows a basket of commodities in a typical ETF, which in dollars has been highly volatile. Over the last two years, the basket of commodities represented in this tracker has increased in dollar prices by 160%. Meanwhile, at the same time the price of gold has increased by 33%. There can be no doubt that the common factor is the dollar’s debasement (USD M2 increased by 42%). Doubtless, the EEU and China will be considering not only which commodities to include and their weightings, presumably in a daily index to be calculated by a central authority. This would then form the basis of bank credit issued by commercial banks authorised to do so. Furthermore, the absence of exchange controls between participating member states will allow businesses and citizens to exchange domestic currencies for the new currency, attracted not just by rising commodity prices, but by relative weaknesses of individual national currencies. That alone will be a tricky issue to deal with, potentially destabilising some national currencies. Figure 2 shows that compared with pricing in dollars, oil priced in gold is considerably more stable, calling into question the concept of indexing a new currency to commodities. There is therefore a prima facie argument that instead of using a basket of currencies it would be better to use gold. For those that understand money, there is no other alternative if the objective is to design a new stable currency to banish the inflating dollar. Using gold offers the following advantages: Gold is legal money, commodities are not. Gold is recognised as money throughout the Asian continent. The word for money and gold in Chinese is the same for good reason. A gold-backed currency would have greater public credibility than linking it to a commodity basket. Throughout the history of fiat currencies commodities have been more volatile than gold. Virtually all the central banks of the EEU have been accumulating gold in their reserves. They do not possess commodities. The international legal position of gold as money is clear and opens the possibility of other nations joining the currency scheme in future (like Saudi Arabia?). We cannot know why the obvious solution is not being considered. The signal emanating from these half-baked ideas is that Glazyev and his team in devising a new currency have a limited understanding of money, currency, and credit. Whatever the post-classical economic beliefs may be, the extra volatility in commodities compared with gold is undesirable, because as Aristotle said, “With regards to a future exchange (if we want nothing at present, that it may take place when we do want something) money is, as it were, our security”. In other words and in accordance with Say’s law, we require money to be stable and predictable to allow us to plan our business and lives. The economic consequences for domestic economic activity from the unpredictability of a currency’s future purchasing power will only hamper investment in production. The lesson of history is that the industrial revolution desired by the Chinese in Central Asia is best achieved under a gold coin standard, where the currency is fully exchangeable for coin at the holders’ option. The central banks in the region have sufficient gold reserves to implement such a standard. The Chinese and Russians similarly should abandon the expansion of currency and credit as an economic cure-all in favour of monetary stability. Indeed, if China had introduced sound money and let markets set interest rates rather than the Peoples’ Bank, the level of private sector debt, much of which is unproductive, would not be so high and the current property crisis which is likely to destabilise China’s economy would not have occurred. Unfortunately, the concept for monetary reform as announced by Glazyev is redolent of being just another statist currency with no real backing. To have a daily fix against the national currencies of the member states without an obligation to deliver anything in lieu is meaningless. And the management of currencies in a “snake” has equally proved to be a failure. It would be far better to start with a new currency operating on a regionally pooled gold coin exchange standard. And by resisting the temptation to incorporate it in a BCDC it would be fully legal. Anyway, one can imagine that the currency proposed will take several more years in the planning, even though Western sanctions have made the issue urgent. Conclusion The debate on currency resets has omitted to address the fundamental legal principles behind money and currencies. They have a unique status in criminal law established over many centuries, embodied in the lex mercatoria. Without this status, no one can accept the right to currency or bank credit safe in the knowledge that it might not be reclaimed as property stolen from a previous owner. In law this is yet to be tested on central bank digital currencies because they do not yet exist. But cryptocurrencies are already seized by governments when it is suspected they represent the proceeds of or have been used to facilitate a crime. It is acknowledged that bitcoin is not entirely fungible and the law in the US treats it as property and not a currency. The US Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual (2021) states that “most crypto currencies have a blockchain… Using open source or subscription analytical tools, cryptocurrency transactions can be often traced through their blockchains." In other words, a US resident having purchased it in all innocence can have his cryptocurrency seized. The problem the authorities have is accessing wallets to recover cryptocurrencies. This is normally targeted at suspected criminals, rather than later down the transaction chain. But the legal distinction of non-currency property seems to be clear, at least so far as the US Department of Justice is concerned: crypto and CBDCs are not currencies exempt from seizure under lex mercatoria. Attempts at finding alternatives to money, which is only gold and silver coin and bullion, and currency, which is a central bank liability along with bank credit entries, are based on avoiding the discipline of a gold exchange standard. Even bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have set themselves up as a better medium of exchange, claiming to be in tune with our technological times. Instead, they lack the crucial lex mercatoria exemption and so cannot replace metallic money. Instead, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are liable to collapse entirely if metallic money is reintroduced to back existing currencies. To varying degrees, central banks have the gold to back their currencies, but with few exceptions such as El Salvador they do not possess bitcoin and never will. Meanwhile, the situation for inflating fiat is becoming increasingly precarious. Sanctions against Russia are driving up fuel, commodity, raw material, and food prices, the last of these threatening global starvation in the coming months. More currency will be printed in an attempt to defray the gathering crisis. Interest rates are beginning to rise as control over them is being taken away from central banks by market forces. Historical precedent is increasingly pointing to a collapse of financial asset values driven by rising interest rates which will take fiat currencies down with them. Tyler Durden Sat, 03/26/2022 - 10:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMar 26th, 2022