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The suspect in the ambush of Microsoft manager Jared Bridegan did not act alone, authorities say

Bridegan was killed in front of his 2-year-old while driving home in 2022. One suspect was arrested but police say he "did not act alone." Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith said Jared Bridegan's murder was "a planned and targeted ambush" and a "ruthless homicide."Getty Images Police arrested a man in connection to the shooting death of Microsoft manager Jared Bridegan. Henry Tenon, 61, is charged with second-degree murder, but authorities said he "did not act alone." Police said Bridegan was "gunned down in cold blood" in front of his 2-year-old daughter. Authorities in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, have arrested one suspect in the murder of 33-year-old Microsoft manager Jared Bridegan last February, but they say they believe the man "did not act alone."Henry Tenon, 61, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, child abuse, and being an accessory after the fact, officials said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith said Bridegan's murder was "a planned and targeted ambush" and a "ruthless homicide." He described how Bridegan was driving home in February 2022, with his 2-year-old daughter in the backseat, when he got out of his car to remove a tire from the road that had been deliberately placed there to make him stop. Smith said Bridegan was then "gunned down in cold blood," while the 2-year-old remained in the car. State Attorney Melissa Nelson said the child abuse charge against Tenon stems from putting the 2-year-old "directly in harm's way" during the shooting.Authorities did not take questions during Wednesday's press conference and provided no details about other suspects or persons of interest in the case. They also did not mention Bridegan's ex-wife, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, who has been the subject of intense media scrutiny due to her acrimonious divorce from Bridegan.In an interview last year, Gardner-Fernandez told the Florida Times-Union she had a "complicated" relationship with her ex-husband and said she had no intent to harm him. Smith said police are continuing to ask the public for help solving the crime — particularly in relation to the tire planted in the road and identification of a dark-colored Ford F-150 pickup truck seen near the scene.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 25th, 2023

The suspect in the "planned and targeted ambush" of Microsoft manager Jared Bridegan "did not act alone," authorities say

Bridegan was killed in front of his 2-year-old while driving home in 2022. One suspect was arrested but police say he "did not act alone." Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith said Jared Bridegan's murder was "a planned and targeted ambush" and a "ruthless homicide."Getty Images Police arrested a man in connection to the shooting death of Microsoft manager Jared Bridegan. Henry Tenon, 61, is charged with second-degree murder, but authorities said he "did not act alone." Police said Bridegan was "gunned down in cold blood" in front of his 2-year-old daughter. Authorities in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, have arrested one suspect in the murder of 33-year-old Microsoft manager Jared Bridegan last February, but they say they believe the man "did not act alone."Henry Tenon, 61, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, child abuse, and being an accessory after the fact, officials said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith said Bridegan's murder was "a planned and targeted ambush" and a "ruthless homicide." He described how Bridegan was driving home in February 2022, with his 2-year-old daughter in the backseat, when he got out of his car to remove a tire from the road that had been deliberately placed there to make him stop. Smith said Bridegan was then "gunned down in cold blood," while the 2-year-old remained in the car. State Attorney Melissa Nelson said the child abuse charge against Tenon stems from putting the 2-year-old "directly in harm's way" during the shooting.Authorities did not take questions during Wednesday's press conference and provided no details about other suspects or persons of interest in the case. They also did not mention Bridegan's ex-wife, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, who has been the subject of intense media scrutiny due to her acrimonious divorce from Bridegan.In an interview last year, Gardner-Fernandez told the Florida Times-Union she had a "complicated" relationship with her ex-husband and said she had no intent to harm him. Smith said police are continuing to ask the public for help solving the crime — particularly in relation to the tire planted in the road and identification of a dark-colored Ford F-150 pickup truck seen near the scene.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 25th, 2023

How China planted an FBI mole who was discovered only after gutting the CIA"s vast spy network

Over the past decade, more than a dozen Chinese agents recruited by the CIA have been killed or imprisoned. An alleged spy in the FBI may be to blame. The FBI building in Washington, DC.Celal Gunes/Getty Images The following is an excerpt from "SPYFAIL: Foreign Spies, Moles, Saboteurs, and the Collapse of America's Counterintelligence" by James Bamford. An alleged spy within the FBI may be largely responsible for unraveling the CIA's Chinese spy network. The FBI's website carries a stark warning. "The counterintelligence and economic espionage efforts emanating from the government of China," it says, "are a grave threat to the economic well-being and democratic values of the United States. Confronting this threat is the FBI's top counterintelligence priority." But far worse is the threat to the lives of scores of courageous Chinese agents who have volunteered to spy for the U.S. within their own country. Over the past decade, more than a dozen agents recruited by the CIA have been killed or imprisoned.And it now turns out that it was an alleged Chinese spy within the FBI's own counterintelligence division who may have been largely responsible. A spy whose activities went undetected for upwards of two decades, until his quiet arrest in 2020. Currently in a Hawaiian jail, his little-known case is wrapped in layers of secrecy as he awaits trail. Now in his new book, "SPYFAIL: Foreign Spies, Moles, Saboteurs and the Collapse of America's Counterintelligence," author James Bamford peels back many of those hidden layers.THE RENDEZVOUS"Spy Fail" by James Bamford.Twelve BooksIn the spring of 2001, Chinese intelligence was on a very big roll. On April 1, a Navy EP-3 electronic spy plane, operated by the National Security Agency and on patrol along the Chinese coast, was forced to make an emergency landing on China's Hainan Island. After evacuating the crew, Chinese intelligence agents went to work extracting some of the agency's most secret espionage and cryptologic equipment, along with piles of documents classified above top secret.  An enormous windfall, the hardware, software, and documents gave Chinese intelligence critical insight into the NSA's targets in their country, and the methods used to spy on them.  And less than a week earlier, Chinese intelligence came upon another intelligence bonanza when two former CIA clandestine officers, one born in Shanghai and the other in Hong Kong, agreed to change sides.At the time, four years after the handover from Britain to China, much of Hong Kong remained a world of neon and noise. But now a great many of the tourists haggling over Rolex watches, checking into the Peninsula, and packing Lan Kwai Fong and other nightlife districts had a decidedly Mandarin accent. "Five years ago, everyone looked down on you if you spoke Mandarin," said a Beijing executive living in Hong Kong. "Now, they know we're the big bosses with the money."Despite predictions that the former colony would turn into a gray vista of hunched workers and nameless noodle shops, travelers from mainland China had become the principal source of visitors to Hong Kong. They were even spending more per capita than their American and Japanese counterparts. And March 2001 was an especially busy time. As soon as the Hong Kong Arts Festival ended, the Hong Kong International Film Festival began.Deep in the shadows, the city had also become a major crossroads for Eastern and Western spies. "Hong Kong is a place where foreign intelligence agencies conduct a lot of activity," admitted Li Gang, the deputy director of Beijing's Liaison Office in the city. As the arts crowd checked out of their rooms and the film fans checked in, two former American spies quietly slipped into another hotel for a discreet rendezvous with their Chinese counterparts. They were brothers who had both worked as clandestine CIA officers in China, and now they were about to switch sides.Alexander Yuk Ching Ma and his older brother David were both veterans of the CIA's clandestine operations division. David was born in Shanghai in 1935, a time of smoky jazz clubs, bustling casinos, and opium dens. The Pudong District, on the eastern bank of the Huangpu River, became the country's major financial hub, and decades later it would also become its high-tech eavesdropping hub.In 1961, at the age of twenty-six, David moved to Los Angeles, became a naturalized U.S. citizen, and six years later joined the CIA in an entry-level capacity, possibly as a translator. But in the late 1960s the United States was in the middle of its desperate war with North Vietnam, which was aided by China. As a result, a throng of new recruits were continuously making their way to Camp Perry, known as "The Farm," the CIA's boot camp for spies, near Williamsburg, Virginia.The problem was, nearly all had the physical appearance of cheering fans at a Notre Dame football game. Few would blend into a crowd on a street in Asia. Also, very few spoke Chinese or Vietnamese, especially with any fluency. That was good for David, and in 1971 he was promoted to the officer ranks within the CIA's clandestine service. Entrusted with the identities of many of the agency's human sources in China and elsewhere, as well as its system of covert communications (known as "covcom"), he spent years in the Far East.People do Tai Chi exercises in Hong Kong's Happy Valley district in February 2001.Dustin Shum/South China Morning Post via Getty ImagesIn 1983, David resigned after it was determined that he was inappropriately using his government position to assist Chinese nationals in obtaining entry into the United States. But months before, as if taking his place, his thirty-year-old brother Alex had joined up and also became a clandestine officer. He was born in Hong Kong and, like David, lived for a time in Shanghai. Both also graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Following extensive training at The Farm, he was also provided with the identities of the agency's networks of spies, the various covcom details, and was sent to the Far East. Seven years later he left the agency, and around 1995 he moved to China, there oddly being no restrictions on former spies moving to their target nations. Therefore, little is known about his activities there.David, however, ran into serious legal and financial trouble. In 1998, while living in Los Angeles, he pled guilty to two counts of defrauding a lending institution. In December he began serving a five-month sentence at Taft Correctional Institution, a low-security federal prison near Bakersfield, California, followed by five years of probation and $145,623 in restitution — money he didn't have. Then in 2000, his brother Alex returned from China, telling Customs and Border Protection officers that he was an "importer and exporter" and was carrying $9,000 in U.S. currency. Not long after, both brothers turned up in Shanghai.For three days, beginning on March 24, 2001, Alex and David allegedly met secretly in a hotel room with at least five officials from China's Ministry of State Security (MSS) and passed on highly classified information. According to government charges, details included the covers used by CIA officers and CIA activities in China; cryptographic information used in classified and sensitive CIA communications and reports; information concerning CIA officer identities as well as those of CIA human assets in China; the CIA's use of operational tradecraft; and CIA secure communications practices — that is, covcom details. The brothers were then handed $50,000 in cash.Afterward, as laid out in the indictment, both Alex and David returned to California, but they kept in touch with their handlers. Alex eventually agreed to become a mole for China's intelligence service within the FBI, and on the day after Christmas 2002, he applied for the position of special agent. By then, however, he was about forty-nine years old and was informed that he was over the age limit.But in 2004 he was nevertheless hired as a Chinese translator since he spoke several Chinese dialects. In many ways, this was an even better position for a spy since he would have access to a very broad range of information, including intercepted Chinese conversations. The day before he started his new job, he called a suspected accomplice, possibly David, to give him the good news that he would now be working full-time for "the other side."By then the FBI was reeling from another extremely damaging, and extremely embarrassing, counterintelligence disaster involving China. In 2003 it was discovered that the bureau's key U.S.-based China asset, Katrina Leung, was, like Alex, a double agent working for China. Worse, she was simultaneously sleeping with two of the FBI's top China agents. Among them was her longtime handler, through whom she had been passing false information for more than a decade, information that often was quickly passed on to the White House.Assigned to the Honolulu FBI office, Alex and his wife moved into a $600,000 condominium on Hawaii Kai Drive, a short walk to the ocean on the southeastern corner of Oahu. Strongly built, with a broad natural grin, Alex wore squarish glasses above puffy cheeks that seemed to glow when he smiled, which was often. Over at least the next six years and possibly much longer, he took over the role of FBI mole where Robert Hanssen, who spied for Russia for more than two decades, left off, except for a different spymaster. It was as though no lessons had ever been learned by the bureau.The method was simple. Attracting no suspicion, Ma would gather up piles of highly secret materials and simply walk out the door with them, just as Hanssen had done for decades. Some he photographed with a digital camera, others he downloaded from his computer onto a flash drive, while still others he copied onto CD-ROM discs. Some dealt with guided missiles and weapon systems, and others revealed the identity of confidential sources, putting their lives at risk.FBI agents remove evidence from Robert Hanssen's home in Vienna, Virginia on February 20, 2001.Alex Wong/NewsmakersIn addition, Ma had extensive knowledge of the CIA's highly secret covcom techniques by which CIA officers communicated with their sources. Every few months, once he had accumulated a load of secrets, he would call his handlers. They would then book him a hotel room in Shanghai, pick him up at the airport, and take him into town, where he would hand over his secrets and be debriefed by agents of the Shanghai State Security Bureau (SSSB).The SSSB was the regional office of the Ministry of State Security, China's equivalent of both the CIA and FBI. Headquartered in Beijing at Xiyuan (Western Garden), next to the vast ensemble of lakes, gardens, and palaces of the Summer Palace, its logo still displays the hammer and sickle of the Communist Party. At the time, it was run by Minister of State Security Xu Yongyue, a stern-faced senior party official from Zhenping County, the jade capital of China, in the province of Henan. And in charge of the SSSB was Cai Xumin, who received a very significant promotion to vice minister of the MSS in 2004, likely due to his recruitment of Ma.Following the rendezvous and document drops in Shanghai, Ma would simply fly back to Honolulu. At one point a curious U.S. customs official pulled him aside for a secondary search and discovered he was carrying $20,000 in cash and a shiny new set of golf clubs. But no questions were raised, no actions were taken, and later that day Ma sent an email to his SSSB handler with an attachment containing additional classified information. Other money paid to him by the MSS was regularly deposited in a bank account in Hong Kong.David Ma also secretly remained in the loop. Living in Arcadia, a wealthy Los Angeles bedroom community, he established himself as a consultant on immigration rights for the many Asian immigrants in the nearby communities, such as Alhambra and Monterey Park. Familiar with their needs and fluent in various Chinese dialects, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghai, and Chaozhou, he opened several businesses. They included the Chinese American Civil Rights Organization and AsiAmerica Immigration & Consultancy, Inc.Ironically, in 2005 he was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article about Chinese espionage. As China's economy continued to boom, he said, he could understand the temptation of some Chinese Americans who wanted to do business there to help the government any way they could. "I'm not saying all of them are spies," he said. "But for some of them it is outright greed because they need to do business with [the Chinese government]. It's just like barter or exchange."Because of his businesses, David became very well known within the Chinese communities in Los Angeles, which was ideal for the SSSB and MSS. Critical for them was discovering community members who had become confidential informants on China for the CIA and FBI. In February 2006, Alex Ma, China's mole in the FBI, sent David photos he received from his handlers of five suspected human sources. Accompanying the pictures was a photo of five dogs sitting on a park bench, which was a coded way of asking him to supply the identity of the sources. Shortly thereafter, David sent Alex an email identifying two of the informants. And a memory card belonging to Alex had pictures of the five sources along with a list of five names.Shanghai's Pudong district in August 2006.Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty ImagesA few months later, Alex arranged for his wife, Amy Ma, who was also born in Hong Kong, to fly to Shanghai to meet with his handlers and to deliver an encrypted laptop computer to them. An email message soon came back thanking him for sending his wife and delivering "the present." Over the years, without suspicion, Alex continued to fly back and forth to Shanghai every few months with stashes of secrets. And in June 2008, his handler phoned him to say that his "company" would have a lot of work orders in the coming year.In May 2010, a few months after another clandestine rendezvous to hand over documents to his handler, Alex received a phone call from an MSS officer apologizing for not seeing him during a recent visit to China and extending an invitation to meet in Shanghai in the future. He also asked Alex to get in touch with David and see if he would be willing to discuss their "business venture." About the same time, the MSS was also bringing on board another veteran CIA clandestine officer, one who had just reapplied to the agency, possibly to become a mole. Known as Zhen Cheng Li in China, he was Jerry Chun Shing Lee to his colleagues at Langley.Born in Hong Kong like Alex, Lee grew up in Hawaii and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. At seventeen, in 1982, he joined the U.S. Army, serving for four years but remaining in the reserves. A few years later he enrolled at Hawaii Pacific University, graduating in 1992 with a degree in international business management. A year later he earned a master's degree in human resource management and shortly thereafter joined the CIA as a case officer in the clandestine service. Over the following fourteen years, he was dispatched on numerous overseas assignments, including to China, where he, like Alex and David Ma, had access to the agency's clandestine networks, both human and covcom.By July 2007, Lee had become frustrated by his lack of advancement at the CIA. "He was quite critical about the organization and his time there; the fact that he didn't get credit, he didn't get promoted, he didn't get the assignments he deserved," said one of his associates. As a result, Lee resigned and moved to Hong Kong, taking a job with Japan Tobacco International ( JTI). Employing about forty thousand people around the world, the company sells 120 brands of cigarettes, including both Camel and Winston outside the United States.But a key problem for the company was tobacco smugglers and counterfeiters. Asian crime syndicates were exporting tons of counterfeit cigarettes out of China with the help of corrupt officials. To combat the syndicates, the company had established a Brand Integrity Unit under a veteran CIA officer, David Reynolds, who had worked at the agency from 1988 to 2002. Afterward he was assigned as a U.S. consular officer in Guangzhou for two years. Lee claimed that his last job at the CIA was the agency's official liaison in Beijing to Chinese intelligence, the MSS, and he was hired by Reynolds.Now, with an office on the forty-second floor of Tower 1 in Times Square, the city's flashy, upscale shopping and restaurant complex at Causeway Bay, Lee could see all of Hong Kong spread out below him. But adjusting to private industry was difficult and he soon ran into problems. Company officials began to suspect that he was alerting corrupt Chinese officials about the firm's investigations and the pending raids and arrests by law enforcement. "Several of the shipments of counterfeits purchased as part of the investiga-tions were seized by the Chinese authorities or simply disappeared, and one of our contract investigators was arrested and imprisoned in China," said a manager.All evidence pointed toward Lee, and as a result, executives at JTI alerted the FBI, but apparently no action was ever taken. Lee was finally fired in mid- 2009, and soon afterward a Chinese official warned the company that he was not only continuing to share information with MSS officers, but was also actively working with them. And once again JTI officials passed the information to the FBI. "I certainly reported it to the appropriate authorities," said a company supervisor. It was good information, but once again it seemed to go nowhere within the bureau. At about the same time, Lee hooked up with a potential business partner, Barry Cheung Kam-lun, a former Hong Kong police officer who, Lee knew, had close ties to the MSS. And on April 26 the two traveled across the Hong Kong border to neighboring Shenzhen for a private dinner with MSS officers.Shenzhen, China.Liao Xun/Getty ImagesIt was time for the official pitch. After excusing Barry, the intelligence officers and Lee reached an agreement that he would begin passing secrets to them and act as their spy. In exchange, they handed him a briefcase full of cash, $100,000, along with an agreement to take care of him "for life." It would be the first of hundreds of thousands of dollars he would receive, and within a few weeks he began receiving his taskings, key among them apparently becoming a mole in the CIA, as Alex Ma had done in the FBI. That same month, he applied for reemployment with the CIA. But given his less than illustrious career and departure from the agency, it went nowhere.Instead, possibly as a cover, Lee and Barry Cheung Kam-lun established their own company, FTM International, to enter the "Big Tobacco" wars and conduct their own brand integrity investigations. After investing nearly $400,000, they set up shop in the down-market Wan Chai area, renting space in Dannies House. Unlike JTI's soaring skyscraper in Times Square, Lee's new office was in a tired thirteen-story orange high-rise with battered air-conditioning units stuck out the windows like giant steel bird feeders.But two years later, fed up with Hong Kong and having run out of secrets to sell, Lee decided to move his family back to Virginia, where he had been offered a potential job by the CIA. It had been secretly created to lure him back to the United States, and in August 2012, during a three-day stopover in Hawaii, agents conducted a black bag job on his hotel room. What they found was damning. Inside a small, clear plastic travel pack was a forty-nine-page datebook and a twenty-one-page address book, both of which contained top secret handwritten operational notes from his CIA days. Most critically, they included the true names of secret human sources as well as the dates and operational locations of the meetings. Another clandestine search was conducted on his hotel room in Fairfax, Virginia, soon after he arrived, and the information remained in his possession.But inexplicably, rather than Lee being arrested, the decision was made to simply question him repeatedly over the following year. Finally, after the fifth interview in June 2013, with the questions becoming more and more revealing of what the bureau knew, Lee fled with his family back to China-controlled Hong Kong. Once more he was out of reach, and once more the FBI had bungled it.Over the next few years, Lee did security work for the cosmetics company Estée Lauder and the auction house Christie's. Then in January 2018, apparently believing the danger had blown over, he boarded a Cathay Pacific flight to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. It was a serious mistake. His name had been flagged on the airline's manifest and he was arrested as soon as he landed. After first vowing to fight the espionage charges, in May 2019 he agreed to plead guilty and was sentenced to nineteen years in prison.Around the same time, the FBI finally discovered the Chinese mole who had bored his way into the organization sixteen years earlier. In August 2020, an agent posing as an MSS officer approached Alex Ma in Honolulu and snared him in a sting operation. To convince Ma of his bona fides, he showed him a video of the meeting between him, David, and the SSSB agents at the time they signed on as spies in 2001. The pretend MSS officer then offered Ma $2,000 in cash as a "small token" of appreciation for Ma's assistance to China. Ma offered to continue working for the MSS and stated that he wanted "the motherland" to succeed. Shortly afterward he was arrested on charges of espionage and is currently awaiting trial. With regard to David, then eighty-five years old, the decision was made not to arrest him due to his advanced stage of Alzheimer's disease.James Bamford, winner of the National Magazine Award for Reporting, is the bestselling author of "The Puzzle Palace," "Body of Secrets," and other books on intelligence. His most recent book, from which this excerpt was taken, is "SPYFAIL: Foreign Spies, Moles, Saboteurs and the Collapse of America's Counterintelligence," which will be released on January 17.Excerpted from "SPYFAIL: Foreign Spies, Moles, Saboteurs, and the Collapse of America's Counterintelligence." ©2022 James Bamford and reprinted by permission from Twelve Books/Hachette Book Group.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 17th, 2023

Apple is coming off a terrible year and Wall Street is torn on whether it"s set for more pain or about to skyrocket.

Insider's Phil Rosen breaks down two firm's outlook for the major tech stock and the underlying iPhone demand story. Happy Friday eve, team. Phil Rosen here, reporting from Los Angeles. Something to note right off the bat: The Fed released minutes from its December meeting  yesterday, and policymakers seem concerned that bullishness from investors could make fighting inflation harder. Basically, if markets rally in part because of expectations for cooling inflation, the opposite could become true.Asset prices could rocket higher again if investors believe the central bank is about to pull back. This has been shown in the speedy decline of US Treasury yields, which in part reflects investors' outlook on further rate hikes. While the meeting minutes don't tell us exactly what the Fed will do next month, generally they are worth paying attention to for hints into the thinking of central bankers.For now though, let's turn to the mightiest tech stock in the world. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.Apple CEO Tim CookJerod Harris/Getty Images Entertainment1. Apple is coming off a rotten year, shedding $846.34 billion in value in 2022. Shares fell further on Tuesday and Wednesday after a Nikkei report said demand for MacBooks, AirPods, and Apple Watches is weakening. The tumble brought the tech giant's market cap below $2 trillion. It was the last company standing above that threshold. But Loup Funds' Gene Munster said Apple stock should be worth double its current value, given that it's one of the world's greatest companies. He said December weakness isn't something that will last because customers are loyal to the brand.  "Ultimately consumers may delay for three, six, nine months, but they're going to come back, they're going to be upgrading iPhones, Macs, iPads [and] I think that's something investors can lean into," Munster said.Over at Wedbush Securities, Apple got its price target slashed by almost 13%. It maintained its outperform rating, but analysts said supply chain checks in Asia remain suspect heading into the coming quarters, reflecting a softening consumer environment.Still, Wedbush's Dan Ives noted that demand for the core iPhone 14 Pro looks to be more stable than feared, which will make the overall landscape more resilient than Wall Street expects."[W]e believe baked into the stock is a massive amount of bad news ahead," Ives wrote, adding that Apple is still a tech-favorite.Still, there are more than 200 million iPhone units that haven't been upgraded in four years, and that's a key part of Apple's underlying demand story. Ives pointed out, too, that the next iPhone model is expected to come out alongside an augmented reality headset, dubbed "Apple Glasses," which should help the company remain a "Rock of Gibraltar name into 2023." What's your outlook for Apple stock this year? Tweet me (@philrosenn) or email me (prosen@insider.com) to let me know.In other news:ussian President Vladimir Putin at Artifical Intelligence Journey Conference in Moscow, Russia, on November 24, 2022.Contributor/Getty Images2. US stock futures are seesawing early Thursday, as investors weigh just how hawkish the Fed was in the minutes from its last meeting. Here are the latest market moves. 3. On the docket: Constellation Brands, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Helen of Troy, all reporting.4. RBC recommends buying these 30 stocks right now. This batch of names are poised for returns in the first quarter of 2023. Strategists also broke down why it's safe to bet on Facebook parent Meta this year.5. Sam Bankman-Fried's $470 million Robinhood stake is set to be seized by US authorities, an attorney said. The move would likely temporarily halt a four-way battle for the FTX founder's stake. Read the full report. 6. Russia's war revenue dropped by $15 million during the last week of 2022. Crude exports also fell to the lowest mark of the year in a sign that sanctions are having an impact on President Vladimir Putin's warring nation.7. Tesla stock is at a "fork in the road." Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said Elon Musk must lead the EV maker through weakness in demand. He said that the stock has been "way oversold," but Musk must outline a path as competition rises.  8. The president of a real-estate firm shared her predictions for mortgage rates in 2023. She also broke down which regions will see the steepest price corrections and the type of properties that will have the largest spike in demand. 9. Goldman Sachs recommends buying stocks in these 15 emerging markets. In the firm's view, these countries offer upside for 2023 — and are set to outperform the US as earnings weaken in the new year.Markets Insider10. "Everything is going down." This hedge fund manager has returned 163% over the last year, and he's anticipating more pain to come for stocks. This is how he's laying bets for a rocky 2023.Curated by Phil Rosen in Los Angeles. Feedback or tips? Tweet @philrosenn or email prosen@insider.comEdited by Max Adams (@maxradams) in New York and Hallam Bullock (@hallam_bullock) in London.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 5th, 2023

Transcript: Edward Chancellor

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Edward Chancellor on the Real Story of Interest, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, and YouTube. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This… Read More The post Transcript: Edward Chancellor appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Edward Chancellor on the Real Story of Interest, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, and YouTube. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have another extra special guest. Edward Chancellor is a legend amongst financial journalists and historians. His book on the history of speculation and manias and bubbles, “Devil Take the Hindmost” is just legendary. It is the full history of financial speculation. His latest book could not be more timely, “The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest,” it’s all about the history of interest rates, money lending, investing speculation, funded by banks and loans and credit. According to Chancellor, interest is the single most important feature of finance, both ancient and modern. And it’s how we allow transactions to take place across time. I found this conversation to be fascinating, informative. He is one of a kind, and I’m confident you will find this to be fascinating also. With no further ado, my conversation with Edward Chancellor. Let’s start with your background in academia. So you study history at Trinity College. What is a Master of Philosophy in Enlightenment and History from Oxford? Am I mangling that in the American — EDWARD CHANCELLOR, AUTHOR, FINANCIAL HISTORIAN & INVESTMENT STRATEGIST: Well, we call it MPhil. It’s the shorter version of a doctorate or DPhil. I read a research paper and had exams at the same time, and it was originally created as a sort of academic teaching degree, but then got somewhat usurped by the PhD. RITHOLTZ: And that was where I was going to go, it looks like you’re setting yourself up for a career as an academic. CHANCELLOR: I thought about it. And then I was invited with the other graduate students to my History professor’s house on the outskirts of Cambridge. And I thought, well, if this is where — this is where — the guy who’s got to the top at Oxford list, I’m going to go and get a job in the city of London. So that’s what I did. And I sort of didn’t — my thinking on leaving academia is that if I need to earn a living, I might as well make money from money, which is what Aristotle disapproved per se. It was the sort of an anti-Aristotelean act of going into the city. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. So you go into the city of London, and is that where you began at Lazard Brothers or how did your career start? CHANCELLOR: Yes, I started at Lazard’s. RITHOLTZ: No relationship to the U.S. Lazard? CHANCELLOR: Yes. They’re all — they call it Lazard Brothers in London, Lazard Freres in Paris, and Lazard probably here. So they’ve now all been drawn together. Though, when I was there, there were sort of interconnected shareholdings that were joining the different branches together. I went into what’s called corporate finance, what people would see now as sort of M&A department. RITHOLTZ: In the 1990s in London, that had to be pretty busy time. CHANCELLOR: Well, I was actually in a sort of subgroup there, which was called corporate strategy. We were sort of doing our job. Our job was basically to give sort of strategic advice to Lazard clients, which would generate capital-raising mergers and debt financing. First, these companies, they were sort of self-interested advice. But I didn’t last very long there because I thought I didn’t like corporate finance. I sort of — I felt they were sort of ruthless, cynical, always looking for a deal. I remember once, one of my colleagues says that a friend, one of the French Lazard Frerers partners was asked by a sort of junior, “How much should we tell our client to bid?” And the French partner said, “The price is right which hurts our client.” There’s sort of cynicism in corporate finance. I didn’t find it intellectually interesting. You had all those deal books you can imagine and — but it was — RITHOLTZ: Tedious, not thrilling. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And I was sort of grunt level. RITHOLTZ: Sure. CHANCELLOR: And I came to the point where I thought, well, I’d sooner be driving a bus if I continue this work. RITHOLTZ: Right. So how did you transition from Lazard to GMO. CHANCELLOR: So it wasn’t a straight path. When I was at Lazard, you can’t work in finance without people talking about the great speculative bubbles of the past. So people would mention this British Railway Mania in the 1840s and Tulip Mania and so forth. And I left with no more money than I had when I came in, and I decided I would write a history of financial speculation of my own bat. I’ve read the other stuff, Kindleberger got rate [ph] and that sort of stuff. And I still felt there was room to write a new book. RITHOLTZ: The space had not been mined through exhaustion. CHANCELLOR: I think Kindleberger is very good. If you’re me, he’s writing a sort of taxonomy of the bubble. And then as an historian, I wanted to write the narrative of the bubble. Now, you’re probably aware of Charles Mackay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions.” RITHOLTZ: Sure. CHANCELLOR: I mean, that’s your 1840s narrative and it’s highly inaccurate and — RITHOLTZ: Really? CHANCELLOR: Yes. It is full of sort of legend. He talks about the black tulip and stories that people bite — people biting — with the tulip bulb, he talked about a sailor coming along and mistaking a tulip bulb for an onion and eating it, and it turning out to be a rare tulip bulb worth the value — RITHOLTZ: Hundreds of thousands of dollars. CHANCELLOR: — of an Amsterdam townhouse. And (inaudible) from a sort of investment perspective, you don’t really get a proper picture of what’s going on. So in some ways, I was sort of right. And then, obviously, Mackay writing, he only covered tulip mania, South Sea bubble and Mississippi bubble. So I thought I want to write the sort of arch of financial speculation up to the current day. And then in the course of writing it, the dot-com bubble started to form. So that made it more pressing, and in a way, more interesting, because you could — RITHOLTZ: You’d see it in real time. CHANCELLOR: Exactly. But also, you could see these parallels. So I was writing about the British Railway Mania of the 1840s. Railways were this revolutionary technology that was going to change the world, going to change civilization, the speed with which people — roughly at the same time, remember Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley — RITHOLTZ: Sure. CHANCELLOR: — in light with the Internet report that was being sold at Barnes & Noble in ‘96. And I wrote the book, but also journalism in ’96 and the FT saying, “Hey, this Internet stuff looks a lot like the railway mania of the 1840s,” and ‘96 hadn’t really started getting and going for — RITHOLTZ: As a reminder, Alan Greenspan’s infamous irrational exuberance speech was late in ‘96. CHANCELLOR: Yes, December. RITHOLTZ: Yes. And we were really just ramping up for the next couple of years. CHANCELLOR: Yes. RITHOLTZ: So the book comes out, I think, June 1999, is that right? CHANCELLOR: Yes, correct. RITHOLTZ: That’s fairly auspicious timing. CHANCELLOR: So it came out with Farrar Straus. I’m sure you’re aware. And I said to Jonathan Glass [ph], the editor, “You’ve got to get this out quickly. And FSG, to their credit, reduced publication time from their normal one year to six months. RITHOLTZ: You still had 15 months so — well, let’s see, June, you had nine months before things really topped out. CHANCELLOR: Yes. As you know bearish messages oftentimes — I’d say even — was it better to have left the publication date later? I don’t know. I mean, you remember a bit later, Robert Shiller’s “Irrational Exuberance” came out. RITHOLTZ: 2000, right? CHANCELLOR: Yes. So I was probably a sort of eight, nine months before Shiller. RITHOLTZ: But it’s a book. It’s not — you’re not picking the top or bottom. A book is multi-year process and it’s — it could have been “Dow 36,000” which came out around the same time. So — CHANCELLOR: Well, yes. No, I — the first thing I spoke at was a Goldman Sachs Asset Management conference, strange enough in a place called Carefree, Arizona. And the “Dow 36,000” people were there. And I was saying there’s a great bubble, which is about — this would have been in late ‘99. And I said, “We’re here in Carefree, Arizona, but around the corner is a place called truth or consequences. And perhaps we should really be meeting there.” You can imagine, you give a bearish message at a bullish investment conference, and no one listens to you. Not a single one of the partners or anyone like that thanked me or — RITHOLTZ: Really? CHANCELLOR: — for the talk. It was completely — I felt completely blank. But actually, I’m later met, one of the “Dow 36,000” people, Kevin Hassett. I met him there. He’s actually a very nice fella. And he did — when I met him, let’s say in 2010, he acknowledged that they’ve got things wrong. RITHOLTZ: James Glassman, and Kevin — CHANCELLOR: Kevin Hassett. RITHOLTZ: –Hassett. Now, not too long ago, just before the pre-pandemic period, like late 2010s, they kind of came out when Dow first crossed 36,000. Maybe it was ‘21. They kind of came out and said, “See, we told you.” And it’s like if you write a book Dow 100,000, well, I guess you just got to come back in 60 years to say, “I told you so.” But 23 years later, you don’t get credit for saying you could buy stocks right here, right before they collapse. CHANCELLOR: Yes. But the other point is that when people say, “Oh, well,” and I think Wall Street Journal had an editorial opinion about “Dow 36,000.” RITHOLTZ: That’s how you know it’s going to be low? CHANCELLOR: And look — yeah, but then if you look at the valuation of the market at that time, the market was — the U.S. market at the end of last year, so probably we’re on what we call the Shiller P/E ratio, the cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio, which is the sort of most reliable long-term valuation, where it was at its highest level at the end of last year than at any point apart from the last stages of dot-com bubble that’s higher than in 1929 and higher during the 1950s when the market is very expensive. And what we will also know, those of us who work in investment, is that your future returns are inversely related to the valuation. So perhaps every time we get to Dow 36,000, you can expect a long period of decline. I mean, in the end, inflation will — and accrued earnings will mean that we’ll get to 36,000 one day on a sustained basis. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: But just probably not the next decade or so. RITHOLTZ: That’s interesting. So you write the book, gets published to great acclaim. How did you go from that and other writings to GMO? CHANCELLOR: So ’99, the quant shops, Jeremy Grantham in GMO; Rob Arnott’s First Quadrant, now Research Affiliates; Cliff Asness — RITHOLTZ: AQR? CHANCELLOR: — AQR. They were in trouble. They were not buying into the TMT bubble. They were buying their beloved value stocks. And everyone was just saying they were idiotic quants and that that approach would no longer work. So then they found that — they saw this book came out, saying, “Look, the — RITHOLTZ: You’d be right eventually? CHANCELLOR: And then they looked through the dot-com bubble, it looks a lot like these historical bubbles. So all of them, independently, Jeremy, Rob, Cliff read the book and got in touch with me. And Jeremy became more of a friend, but I didn’t go straight to GMO. I then was doing journalism for Breakingviews, which was the sort of dot-com startup, FX FT people known by Reuters, and started doing some — and then I did some research for Crispin Odey, London hedge fund guy. And so, Crispin and I were having lunch in late 2003. Crispin said — we were talking about what was going on in the markets and in world. And Crispin said, “It’s really all about credit.” And I said, “Yes, I agree.” And he said, “Well, why don’t I just pay you to write a report and to analyze what’s going on?” So I spent next sort of nine months looking at what was going on in the U.S. and the U.K. in the credit boom, in real estate boom, and development of securitized lending and subprime, so forth. And then I put that out as I — I did that for Crispin, but I also sold it as a report, but not for wide distribution, sort of $1,000 a shot. And that went to sort of a few people. I gave a copy to Jeremy as a present. And then I was having lunch with Jeremy in Boston. I was working for Breakingviews in New York, and we were returning to England after a couple of years. I was having lunch with Jeremy in the summer of 2007, just after the Bear Stearns hedge fund started blowing up. And Jeremy said, “Well, at least there’s enough structural redundancy in the banking system.” And I said, “What the hell makes you think that?” RITHOLTZ: And what was his response? CHANCELLOR: Well, he sort of — yeah, he thought about it. And then I went home, I went — we have a house in Cape Cod and I went out. Jeremy called and said, “Would you like to join the asset allocation team?” And — RITHOLTZ: That’s a hard thing to say no to. CHANCELLOR: Well, I said no initially. And then went back to England, then he called again. And because these investors sometimes say, like, throw job offers around then never serious. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: And then he called a couple of months later, and then I decided, yes, I would take it. And Jeremy wanted a — obviously I’ve done a lot of work on the credit boom. But he also wanted sort of — I said to Jeremy, “I’m not a quant.” And look, GMO is, so to speak, a quant shop. RITHOLTZ: It’s filled with quants. Right. CHANCELLOR: Filled with quants. Yes. And Jeremy said, “I’m not a quant, either.” So he wanted a sort of non-quanty view input into the asset allocation process. RITHOLTZ: And I assume that worked out pretty well. CHANCELLOR: Yes and no. RITHOLTZ: They did well during the financial crisis. CHANCELLOR: Yes. RITHOLTZ: It’s relatively — CHANCELLOR: They were well positioned. RITHOLTZ: Positioned already. Yes. CHANCELLOR: They had the equity allocation. I mean, I didn’t want to blow my own trumpet up too much because most of the positions were in place, the quality funds, which more defensive and less leveraged, and low allocation to — a relatively low allocation to equities, and then the hedge funds sort of long/short positions that benefited in the financial crisis. My only real contribution that year was right at the beginning, when I hit the first week I joined GMO, I’ve written a piece in an FT column I had at the time saying, “Don’t believe the story that emerging markets can decouple from the rest of the world.” And GMO was still sitting on a massive emerging market position in the asset allocation team. And I tried to sort of chip away at that with Jeremy, and not having much success. And then the CLSA Asian economists called Jim Walker. I don’t know if you ever came to know. RITHOLTZ: No. CHANCELLOR: He’s sort of Scotsman with sort of voice like a Presbyterian minister. He was also on the sort of anti-decoupling story and he was bearish on EM. I dragged Jeremy to Jim Walker. And he said that this Scotsman with his gloomy voice is more effective and persuasive than I with my language, English drawl. And then Jeremy went out and sold all the emerging position. RITHOLTZ: Wow. Really? CHANCELLOR: Several billion dollars. And within, I don’t know, two months, he bought them back at half the price. RITHOLTZ: So you earn your keep then? CHANCELLOR: Yeah, only by — I think it was Jim Walker who did the thing, but at least I got Jeremy — RITHOLTZ: You got him in front of him. That’s what I’ll say. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And that sort of — I suppose I used to tell that sort of paid my way while I was there. RITHOLTZ: Absolutely fascinating. So let’s talk about what’s with this quote that I like from a 19th century trader, James Keene, “All life is speculation. The spirit of speculation is born with men.” Tell us about that? CHANCELLOR: Well, I mean, the act of speculation is to look out into the future. The word speculator is Latin and was a Roman military guard whose job was to look out and see whether the — RITHOLTZ: Speculate on danger. CHANCELLOR: — the gulfs [ph]were (inaudible) over the hills. In particular, when you get into what — financial market’s capitalist world, you’re always trying to anticipate what’s going on. In that sense, even people who describe themselves as investors are also necessarily speculators. But when we talk about speculation, we often talk about sort of unfounded, or irrational, or dangerous gambling- type tendencies. RITHOLTZ: So that leads me to the question, what is the actual difference between speculation and investing? Clearly, they’re both a gamble on the future. Is it about the amount of risk taken and the psychology of the person involved? Or is it something a little more quantitative? CHANCELLOR: You read threads where all the customers (inaudible). And you remember there he says, “The difference between speculation and investment is that speculation is an attempt, normally unsuccessful to turn a little amount of money into a lot. Whereas an investment is an attempt, normally successful to make sure a lot of money — RITHOLTZ: Doesn’t turn — CHANCELLOR: — doesn’t become a little.” RITHOLTZ: Fred Schwed, right? Is that who wrote the — CHANCELLOR: Fred Schwed. Yes, that’s right. So embedded in that is the idea — is the speculator is going to be taking more risk. RITHOLTZ: And not concerned with preservation of capital, the way an investor might be, is that what’s embedded in that? CHANCELLOR: I’d say the speculator now called in the book, “Devil Take the Hindmost.” And that is really a reflection of what they call the greater fool theory of investment is via a Shiba Inu coin or an NFT, and sell it to you, Barry. Well, then I buy because I think Barry is a bigger sucker than I am., and that he’ll take it off me from a bigger price. That’s a sort of Ponzi scheme or pyramid chain letter dynamic to a speculative bubble. And the other aspect of the speculator is he often gets lured into envisioning how the world will be and gets drawn into these new technologies, whether it’s radios or cars in the 1920s, or Internet stocks in the 1990s, and various types of — well, think of all those specs and electric vehicles the last couple of years. And the speculator — the trouble is that they look into the future and they draw — they imagine the future is actually much closer than it turns out to be. And so you could say that they’re operating with a sort of hyperbolically discounting the future, or just say they have too low discount rates. So they’re drawing everything forward. And even with the Internet, which we know, established and changing one’s life within a very short period of time. Even then, it didn’t stop the NASDAQ coming down by more than 75%. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: A lot of these dot-com businesses flaming out. RITHOLTZ: By the way, everybody talks about the Internet happening so quickly. It began in the 1980s as a way to survive a nuclear attack and be able to launch the retaliatory codes through DARPA. CHANCELLOR: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: So it took decades to be commercialized and more decades to become more broadly adopted. So if you are an Internet investor in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, most of those companies didn’t do well. CHANCELLOR: What I didn’t say the “Devil Take the Hindmost” was some research from a guy. I think he was at Bell Labs at that time, called Andrew Odlyzko. He’s now at University of Minnesota. And he and a colleague worked out in ’98, ‘99 that the projections for Internet traffic growth that the likes of WorldCom and big telecoms company was saying that Internet traffic growth was doubling every couple of months. And Odlyzko found out that actually the rate of growth was slower than that. Still doubling, but I think once every six months or so. And the result was getting — in the mania, people get overfixated on growth. They have growth projections –overoptimistic growth projections, then you get the overinvestment, you get speculative companies raising money over investment. And then if you remember after the dot-com, bust, you had these miles and miles of so-called dark fiber because you had excess capacity in fiber optic cable, which is, I mean, so commonly cited about, some 95% excess capacity. And that ran for several years, a bit like the sort of — if you think about it, the excess U.S. homebuilding during the real estate bubble which took — RITHOLTZ: A couple years to work out. CHANCELLOR: When they’re more than — I think it really took from 2006 to 2012. Before that, access build had really just worked its way out the system. RITHOLTZ: And then the hangover from that is we were under building houses for the rest of the decade because once bitten, twice shy. And then when suddenly there was demand for houses, there’s no inventory. There’s a shortage. CHANCELLOR: Yes, that’s it. I mean, given now, we’re going to get right into later. Now, first year mortgage rates have doubled. I think the Americans going to be grateful that they didn’t do that much building in the last few years because otherwise, we would really have a replay of 2007 and ’08. RITHOLTZ: That’s really quite fascinating. So I mentioned earlier, the book comes out in June ’99, pretty auspicious timing. But it raises the question with the publication of your new book, how often does history repeat itself? Are all of these bubbles and manias and collapses, is it pretty much the same playbook that just substitute Internet for railroads, substitute houses for telegrams? Do all these things just follow the same sort of cycle just forward in history? CHANCELLOR: Well, Jim Grant has a comment there. He says, “We’re always stepping on the same rake.” And I have a — a friend of mine, a financial strategist, lives in Edinburgh called Russell Napier runs a — has a — RITHOLTZ: Oh, I know the name. He wrote a book on — CHANCELLOR: He wrote a book called the “Anatomy of the Bear.” RITHOLTZ: Of the bear, that’s right. CHANCELLOR: An excellent book. He has a financial library in Edinburgh called the Library of Mistakes. And the idea is that you can learn everything you need to know in finance and for an investment career by actually working out the mistakes people have made. And that does seem to be, yes, as sort of similar pattern. Although, I should add that certainly it doesn’t help you on the short side, betting against speculative bubbles. When I was at GMO, we — a colleague and I ran a sort of quantitative analysis of speculative bubbles and we crunched, produced my system date 10,000 years of data of various commodity markets, and real estate markets, and stock markets around the world. And what we found is that bubbles are indeterminate in length. And they’re also indeterminate as to how high they can go. So if you don’t know how long the bubble is going to last and how high it’s going to rise, then you might be able to identify a bubble. And I don’t think that’s, frankly, that hard. And I think that’s useful if you’re just a long-only investor, you can stay out of the bubble market. RITHOLTZ: Right. But the timing on the downside is really difficult. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And I think what we’ve been — look, the last decade, we had — people were talking about dot-com 2.0 back in sort of 2012. RITHOLTZ: Yes. CHANCELLOR: And I actually — one of my last projects at GMO was to do a sort of — to look at what was going on from economic sentiment perspective, looking at various different measures in a bull bear ratio, amount of margin loans in system. I can’t quite remember what they were. But anyway, I put them all together and it looked — that speculative sentiment was very inflated in 2013. And actually, I presented this to (inaudible) and Jeremy got up afterwards and said, “I think the bull market has looked good to run.” And the other day, he was sort of tweaking my notes by saying — reminding me that I had been bearish and that he’d been relatively bullish. But clearly, there was another seven years to go and it got pretty — what happened in 2020 was nothing like — it was– RITHOLTZ: That’s a one-off. Yes, for sure. CHANCELLOR: Yes. I mean — RITHOLTZ: By the way, I have a — my partner Michael Batnick wrote a book that your colleague Russell Napier would really appreciate, called “Big Mistakes: The Best Investor and Their Worst Investments.” And he went through the history of George Soros and Warren Buffett, and all these legendary investors, and their giant mistakes and what they learned from them. I’ll send you guys a copy, you’ll appreciate it. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And that definitely belongs to the Library of Mistakes. RITHOLTZ: Yes, for sure. It’s literally exactly what he was discussing. So again, we see auspicious timing on your part to put out a book on interest rates in the middle of 2022, the most rapid increase in inflation since the 1980s, the fastest rising set of rates from central banks. I think you could say they ever from zero to 3.5% on the way to 4%, 4.5%. Your timing is quite auspicious. When did you first start thinking about, hmm, maybe it’s time to write a book about interest rates? CHANCELLOR: Well, quite a long time ago. I think I got interested in those subjects about a decade ago. And when I did this work on the credit boom, before the financial crisis, I belong to the school that thought that when the Greenspan Fed took U.S. Fed funds rate down to 1%, after the dot-com bust, that ignited, in my mind, the real estate bubble. RITHOLTZ: Obviously, a giant factor, has anyone actually made a case to say, “No, no, keeping rates under 2% for three years and under 1% for a year had no impact on real estate?” I mean, it’s not the only factor. But it’s pretty hard to say, “Oh, no, not relevant.” CHANCELLOR: Whether the Fed under Nobel laureate Bernanke — RITHOLTZ: Yes. Saving squad, we all know that’s nonsense. CHANCELLOR: Yes. I mean, I used to write about that in this new book where money flows off to the emerging markets when dollar rates are low. And then it comes back because these guys, they’re not saving. They’re actually just buying long dollars, treasuries. RITHOLTZ: And then investing. Right. CHANCELLOR: They’re buying them to manipulate the currency of China, most of all. But then I suppose difference between Bernanke and me is that Bernanke has a sort of abstract view of economics, whilst I try and look at what’s going on in the real financial world. RITHOLTZ: Although, to be fair, for an academic, he actually got to put his theories into practice as Fed chair. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And that’s problematic. I mean, do you remember, it was in ‘99 Milton Friedman’s 90th birthday. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: When they passed 2002, Friedman’s 90th birthday party in the Fed, Bernanke says facetiously to Friedman, “Apologizing for the Great Depression on behalf of the Federal Reserve, and ensuring that it won’t happen again.” And then five years later, we get meltdown. Bernanke and the Fed had — in particular, Bernanke had no inkling of what was about to happen. And then we didn’t get a Great Depression. But we then got into this era of extremely low interest rates and of quantitative easing, and that was associated with a period of what they call secular stagnation or extremely low growth. And we never really got out of that. We — RITHOLTZ: Until the pandemic. CHANCELLOR: Well, we didn’t get out — I mean, the pandemic was just the last gasp when they went back to quantitative easing. And they really came — the House of Lords, which the House of Lords wrote a report on quantitative easing last year which they called a dangerous addiction. And as Ben Bernanke introduced this financial dope, and I went off to work for hedge funds, or whatever he does, that is. RITHOLTZ: He’s a consultant. CHANCELLOR: He’s consultant. RITHOLTZ: Right. They consult. So let’s bring this back to the book, which is really quite fascinating. You start in Babylon with the origins of interest, and you go straight through the most recent boom and bust. How did the concept of paying interest on money begin? CHANCELLOR: Well, what we know is that interest is a very old phenomenon, five millennia, at least. RITHOLTZ: Before Babylon? I mean — CHANCELLOR: Well, if you look at the words in the ancient languages, including Assyrian, and Greek, and Latin, Egyptian, all the words for interest are linked to calves and lambs and kid goats. So there is this sense that interest must have existed in prehistoric societies. And the idea was I’ll lend you my cow. But a year later, I want the cow and a calf back, and you can keep if it has male. You can keep the male. Now, you can keep the extra cow. And as I cite in the book, the Americans were still — in the beginning of the 20th century, they’re out in the Midwest or whatever, people were still lending livestock and demanding interest payments in the offspring of the livestock. That I think is the origin. And then as I say, in ancient Mesopotamia, which had large cities and trading quite in a way, quite capitalistic, and you can see that interest was used on loans. It contains a sort of risk factor that people were using, borrowing and paying interest to finance, shipping ventures to finance local businesses and trade crafts, and also for financing the purchase of houses. So, you’ll see that in this sort of what you might call a proto capitalistic society, interest is serving a number of different important functions. And my reason for getting back to that point is to try and underline how important the function of interest is. That the Yale historian, William Goetzmann says that the invention of interest is the most important invention in the history of finance because it allows people to transact across time. And my thought, when I was doing this work, is we’re at a moment of zero interest and of negative interest in many countries, and that the zero negative interest was the sort of second most important development in the history of finance, and possibly the most, to my mind, worrying development. RITHOLTZ: We’re going to talk more about negative interest rates in a moment. But I have to reference the title of the book, “The Price of Time,” interest and interest rates are all about being able to engage in commercial transactions over time. Essentially, that’s what interest rates allow. CHANCELLOR: Yes. So time, as Ben Franklin says, is money. Time is valuable. Time is our most precious possession. And we must use time well. All our economic actions are taking place across time. And we need to sort of coordinate those actions. How much are we going to save? How much are we going to invest? What type of investments we’re going to make? What valuations will we place upon the house that we’re purchasing? Whether — should we invest in this country? How much risk should we take? All these factors have an interest rate embedded in them. And the American economist, Irving Fisher says that interest is an omnipresent phenomenon. And really what I’m trying to do with this book is to take this oldest of financial institutions, this omnipresent phenomenon, that to my mind, had been neglected by modern economists who really just see interest as a lever to control inflation and ignore these other functions. And thrust to the argument, the second half of the book is that the — when the central banks focused only on using the interest to prevent the price level from falling after the global financial crisis. They neglected the impact the saving has on valuations, on the allocation of capital, on savings and pensions, on the amount of risk-taking, and on capital flows, and the direction of capital flows. And in each of these other areas, we see a chronicle in the book, problems building up. And so if you take, for instance, valuation and we just discussed earlier how valuation of the U.S. stock market was very high last year, but aggregate household wealth that the Fed actually gathers — RITHOLTZ: Record highs. CHANCELLOR: Six times GDP against an average of 3.5 times GDP. And what you can see if you chart and I showed a chart in the book, is I showed the household wealth with the Fed funds rate. And each time the Fed funds rate goes down, the household wealth sort of pushes higher and higher and higher. So that’s obviously a source of instability because then when you raise rates, hey, presto, the markets come down in tandem with the bond stocks. Everything bubble gives way to the everything bust. RITHOLTZ: So clearly, the cover of the book has an hourglass showing time slowly seeping away. How important is time to those of us working in finance and engaging in transactions, where capital is put at risk? CHANCELLOR: Well, I mean, it’s likely. But, first of all, I’d say time is important to all human beings. And what’s called time preference, people’s tendency to prefer the present to the future to what we call discount the future, it appears to be a universal phenomenon. Some people are — another way to talk about is impatience. Some people are more impatient than others. So everyone has their own internal interest or discount rate. In finance, all finance is about transacting across times, lending, investing and so forth. It’s absolutely essential. There’s no activity in finance that doesn’t involve an interest rate. I mean, I cite a description of the failure of the Soviet economy. Even if you have a Soviet planned economy, you need to allocate resources across time. And if you’re not guided by the interest rates, as which the Soviets weren’t, you’re going to have these misallocations of capital that eventually clog up the system. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about that. I love this quote, “Interest rates are the most important signal in a market-based economy and the universal price affecting all others.” You’re suggesting, because that signal was missing from the Soviet economy, it eventually crashed and burned? CHANCELLOR: Yes. I mean, among other reasons. What I’m saying is that every — because it’s innate to human, because all humans are constrained by their mortality. All actions take place. Economic actions take place across time. But even if you didn’t have a capitalist or market economy, suddenly would need to rational to direct your resources or direct your behavior across that. In a way, it’s more explicit in a capitalist economy because you’re paying a certain rate of interest on your loan, or you have a certain required hurdle rate on your investment, or you’re applying a certain discount in the valuation of an asset. So in that sense, the time value of money is sort of first thing one learns in finance. RITHOLTZ: So prior to the financial crisis, I never thought about zero interest rates and I certainly never thought about negative interest rates. The decade that followed that seem to have created all of these negative rates. How do they affect economies? How do they affect trade? And how do they affect the consumer? CHANCELLOR: So the zero rate leads to these buildups of financial instability, and at the same time contributes to a misallocation of capital. RITHOLTZ: You’re not getting any yield on fixed income, so you tend to go to more speculative — CHANCELLOR: Exactly. RITHOLTZ: The whole TINA, there is no alternative. CHANCELLOR: Exactly. Yes. I say the English 19th century finance writer Walter Bagehot, where he says, “John Bull, the eponymous Englishman, John Bull can stand many things, but he cannot stand 2%.” And when people — we talk about yield chasing or carry trading when rates are very low. With the negative rates, you remember the argument negative rates was that they were going to turbocharge the economy. This was a phrase used by Ken Rogoff, the Harvard economist who wrote a book called “The Curse of Cash” in I think 2016, where he argued that you need to get rid of cash so that we could have properly negative rates. Well, the way I see negative rate is it’s a tax on capital, which is instituted by an unelected — RITHOLTZ: Central bank. CHANCELLOR: — central bank, or policymaker, without any one voting for it. He said these people who wanted us all to have accounts with the central bank, with the central bank having an authority, just takes much of our capital weight, seem to undermine property rights. But leaving aside that, while we see you in a place like Japan and Europe, there was no turbocharging of the economies. In fact, as you know, banks can’t make money at negative rates, and they are reluctant to lend. This is a point the Bill Gross, PIMCO’s former sort of Bond King, was making very early on in the era of zero rates. He says it’s sort of created — it was like sort of leukemia in the financial system, the negative rates, that destroyed the vitality of the banking system. But he said — he says that you need positive carry for the financial system to carry on making loans. Now, negative rates may seem a lot worse. I mean, what you saw when the Japanese went over to negative rates in 2016, articles in the newspaper about Japanese buying safes to store their money. And one of the large German banks also announced that it was going to be storing cash. And then you get these absurdities. So to note, I think it’s the impetus to credit growth, but you had these absurdities like Danish homebuyers actually receiving payments on their mortgages. So you’re having a transfer of wealth from savers to borrowers. And then they — RITHOLTZ: Which makes no sense. CHANCELLOR: No. I mean, we’ve been living in Alice in Wonderland world. I mean, I think it’s just the Lewis Carroll world. But I mentioned some of the long-dated Japanese bonds at negative yields, that some Japanese life insurance guy who I cited said, “Yields state matter.” And people were buying long-dated bonds at negative yields in anticipation — RITHOLTZ: Of them going lower? CHANCELLOR: — of yields going lower. And therefore, you could get capital gains from bonds with negative yields. And if you wanted income, you had to buy equities. RITHOLTZ: How is that any different than the people buying some of the coins you mentioned or the NFTs? You’re buying a negative yielding instrument. I’ll give you $100 for a century, and in 100 years, give me back $98. How is that any different than buying an NFT? CHANCELLOR: Well, I mean, you’re right. It’s — RITHOLTZ: Other than you get your $98. CHANCELLOR: Yes. I mean, well, credit of the government. But look what happened in the gilts market. RITHOLTZ: Recently or — CHANCELLOR: In the U.K. quite recently. So you had these long-dated index-linked gilts. The one I say is a 2073 linker, RITHOLTZ: So equivalent of a 50-year bond here in the U.S.? CHANCELLOR: Yes. But actually trading on a negative yield last year, 2.5%, been trading down for a long time. This year, that bond has lost 85% of its value at the trough before the Bank of England intervened to try and sort of stop the gilts market completely blowing apart. It was yielding to redemption 1.1%. So you blew 85% of capital to end up with an asset, with an expected real return held to redemption of just over 1%. RITHOLTZ: It doesn’t sound like a great trade to make. CHANCELLOR: It was A trade that, as you know, the U.K. pension funds engaged in to the tune of hundreds of billions of pounds. And to make things more interesting, they use leverage too. So there is sort of really a story for our times of pension funds induced too, because of the low interest rates and because that may have affected the present value of their liabilities as your discount rate. Again, they’re forced to go in and do sort of Walter Bagehot-type stupid things of leveraging up these long-dated bonds, while at the same time owning stuff that would have had a higher return, but then getting into a mess. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about what’s been going on around the world. And here in the United States, we have inflation at its highest level in 40 years. How much blame do you assign to central banks for the current circumstances? How significant were those quantitative easing and zero interest rate policies to the current state of inflation? CHANCELLOR: What do you think? I mean, pretty significant. RITHOLTZ: I think it’s one of many things, but obviously a very big one. CHANCELLOR: Yes. I mean, the inflation is complex phenomenon. RITHOLTZ: Right. But we had massive fiscal stimulus in U.S. CHANCELLOR: Yes. RITHOLTZ: And then the closing and reopening. But within the long-standing environment of zero for a decade. CHANCELLOR: Yes. So I think I mentioned quantitative easing becoming a dangerous addiction. Initially, that quantitative easing after the financial crisis, was a time where the sort of financial system was deleveraging. The money wasn’t really making its way to Main Street, besides Main Street was high unemployment, and so on and so forth. It’s different when by 2020, with the lock downs, and not just U.S., Britain and — RITHOLTZ: Around the world. CHANCELLOR: — around the world. You had I think $8 trillion of central bank QE or balance sheet expansion, and roughly, dollar-for-dollar increase in government spending. And then, obviously, people were just staying at home with their stimulus checks. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: And they were going out and buy meme stocks, having looked up on Wall Street bets, which stocks to be targeting, and borrowing at 2% from Robinhood. And — RITHOLTZ: So here’s the question, if artificially low rates helped get us into this mess, will raising rates help get us out of this mess? CHANCELLOR: No. I’ll tell you why. I mean, the thrust of the book is that you’ve got yourself into a perilous position, too much debt, too much risk-taking, overinflated valuations, too little real savings, too much financial engineering, and too little real investment. And once you’re in that position, it’s very difficult to get out of it. Do you remember after the financial crisis that was commonly used this phrase “kicking the can.” And really for the last — you could say for the last 25 years or so, we’ve been kicking the can. And now, we’ve reached the point where we have inflation, as we say, and it’s more difficult for the central banks to come in and kick the can any further because they’re in danger of losing credibility. RITHOLTZ: The can is kicking back. CHANCELLOR: The can got bigger. It’s like sort of quantum. Every time you kick it, it gets bigger and bigger, and bigger. So we’re now sort of sitting under a massive can. RITHOLTZ: So I want to roll back to the financial crisis because I suspect I’m reading between the lines a little bit or maybe not so much. When we rescued a lot of the banks and then kept rates very low for the next seven, eight years, we ignored some of the things we had learned previously, when we go back to Walter Bagehot. Shouldn’t we have taken these banks and allowed them to go to that lovely building with the columns downtown, the bankruptcy court, and allow all these banks to wipe out the equity holders, give the bondholders a haircut, and clean up their balance sheets and send them back into the world revitalized? Like, the zombie banks we kept on life support of low rates, wasn’t fixing one problem, eventually setting us up for the next problem. RITHOLTZ: Yes. I think so. Well, the policymakers said — and central banks, they say there was no alternative. And if you criticize that, you were wishing another Great Depression. But, in fact, actually, I cite right towards the end of the book, the case of Iceland as a counterfactual. Because what happened in Iceland, Iceland went completely crazy. RITHOLTZ: Yes. CHANCELLOR: Their debt, foreign debt was 10 times GDP. The current guide deficit was 25% of GDP. They’ve completely given up fishing. They’ve all turned into bankers. RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: And then it blew. But Iceland was not part of the EU, so no one was really coming to their rescue. The Fed didn’t offer either credit lines, dollar swaps to the Iceland central bank. And so poor Iceland was just left on its own. And what’s interesting is they sort of followed that course that you described. The big banks went bust. They were put into receivership. Domestic depositors were protected. The mortgage borrowers who — interest rates went up, but mortgage borrowers were protected by giving taxation relief on their interest payments. And the foreign debt was defaulted on. And currency declined with capital controls. But after a few years, capital controls were taken off. And this is what’s most interesting is that the Icelandic economy transformed away from finance towards tourism, and technology as well. So you had this Schumpeterian creative destruction. The government debt relative to GDP came down. The economy, within six or seven years, Iceland was growing, had recovered all its losses, and was growing faster than any other European country. So making the creditors take a haircut, forcing them take that, goes back to these ancient Mesopotamian practices of debt jubilee, such they originated the debt jubilee, the giving up the writing off of debt, which also the Egyptians and the Israelites did. So — and that’s seen as a sort of left-wing idea, but I don’t think it necessarily has to be. If you’ve made loans that have bad loans, then it’s right that the creditor should take a haircut. RITHOLTZ: Right. And hence, bankruptcy courts exist for a reason, right? They shouldn’t — they are not just there to show off the architecture of those columns. CHANCELLOR: I’ve never been — as I mentioned in the book, insolvency rates was sort of absurdly low. We talked about the Great Depression. The new headlines were “Oh, another worst financial — the worst crisis since the Great Depression, it was called the Great Recession.” And then, actually, if you look at insolvencies, they were lower than the insolvencies after the dot-com bust — RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: — or the insolvencies after the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s. So you didn’t get your bankruptcy, you said you get the zombies. And the zombies are sort of living dead, which is sort of death to a capitalist economy because they — RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: — they don’t — they discourage entrepreneurs. They discourage investment. They discourage productivity growth. RITHOLTZ: No doubt about that. And there are ramifications and unanticipated consequences that we’re still living with till this day, whether it’s a very low growth rate that begot the rise of authoritarianism, both here and abroad. You can trace that back to not allowing the banks to go through that process. CHANCELLOR: Yes. Well, I do — I mean, my chapter — the book ends with a — called The New Road to Serfdom, and the argument — RITHOLTZ: Channeling Hayek. CHANCELLOR: Yes. Friedrich Hayek, the Austrian economist, philosopher, and he wrote a book in the Second World War, thinking that the advance of the state during the war into the economy and into people’s lives was not going to retreat. And it wasn’t really right. There was sort of retreat. But my argument, drawing on Hayek, is that if you take away the universal price, the price of interest that guides the capitalist system, then the system will fail. And the more system fails, the more the authorities have to come in to prop things up until you get to a position where you no longer, in a way, have a capitalist society. And I suppose that’s the juncture we are today. Are we going to sort of go through the problems of adjusting from the low rates to normal rates, whatever that takes, or are we going to just shift into a sort of a different type of paradigm in which the state allocates capital and controls over that? I’m not saying that we’re going down that route. I’m just raising the question that I talked about people sort of stumbling, progressing without really — no real intention, blind progression. And one sense is that this has sort of been a blind progression. And no one, I mean, it’s absolute clear to me that no one in any position of authority considered the actual ramifications of monetary policy of these low rates. RITHOLTZ: Quite fascinating. I only have you for a few more minutes before we have to send you off to the airport. So let’s blow through these five questions in a few minutes, starting with, tell us what kept you entertained during the pandemic. What were you listening to or watching? CHANCELLOR: Well, we watched “Succession.” RITHOLTZ: Right. CHANCELLOR: And we watched then the other HBO, the — RITHOLTZ: “White Lotus?” CHANCELLOR: I watched “White Lotus.” I watched the TV — the series, “A Game of Thrones.” RITHOLTZ: Oh, okay. CHANCELLOR: I watch a lot of “Game of Thrones.” RITHOLTZ: Right. Tell us about some of your mentors who helped to shape your career. CHANCELLOR: Well, when I was writing “Devil Take the Hindmost,’ I went see Charles Kindleberger outside Cambridge, Massachusetts. Crispin Odey, who I mentioned, commissioned me to do that work on credit, which been very useful to me. Another investment from Marathon Asset Management, a friend called Charles Carter. I edited a couple of books for them called “Capital Cycle Theory of Investment,” which has been sort of quite important to me. And then Jeremy Grantham at GMO has been my mentor, I’d say. RITHOLTZ: That’s an impressive list. Let’s talk about other books in addition to what you’ve written. What are some of your favorites, and what are you reading now? CHANCELLOR: My wife and I get into Indie quite a lot. And my favorite novelist is R.K. Narayan, who Graham Greene said was the best writer in the English language. And I actually — I start that book with an epigraph from Narayan’s “The Financial Expert.’ On sort of Indian theme, I’ve been reading these colonial thrillers set in 1920s Calcutta by an Indian-Scottish writer called Mukherjee. I can’t quite remember his first name. They’re pretty good. And Vaclav Smil, Doctor Smil is the Canadian scientist who writes about energy and civilization, and has written — and last year, I read a book called “The Great Transition.” And this year, he’s written a book about — called “How the World Really Works.” And Smil’s argument is to look at how mankind has moved from one energy source to another. RITHOLTZ: I’ll definitely — I’ll definitely look at that. CHANCELLOR: Yes. And Bill Gates says he’s his favorite. I don’t know if that’s a recommendation. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. Our last two questions, what sort of advice would you give to a recent college graduate who is interested in a career in either history, journalism or finance? CHANCELLOR: Sort of almost think again. I mean, I don’t think academia is a place to go into now. Journalism is much less — and my grandfather worked at Reuters. He was Shanghai Bureau Chief in the 1930s. And in those days, you could earn a decent living and have a decent career in — it’s harder, where in Bloomberg, the guys here are paid reasonable. Financial journalism pays, most other journalism doesn’t pay. So I’d probably say if you’re going to go into journalism, do financial journalism. And in finance, again, in my view, I went into finance, as I say, almost cynically. It actually then became a calling for me because I actually turned out to be genuinely interested in finance and finance history. People are drawn into finance because people are paid better. And we’ve had the financial sector growing and the markets rising. If we’ve reached a cusp, and the market is going to be not raising in the future, then actually that sort of (inaudible) that you earn from finance is perhaps not going to be there. And I suppose if I was sort of recommending, so when I said they want to get into investment finance, I would say, are you sure your talents can’t be used more beneficially elsewhere? Because if you think you’re just going to enter into this sector because you’re going to be paid 5 to 10 times more than anyone else, than the average, then I wouldn’t be sure that that’s going to be the case going forward. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of speculation, bubbles, interest rates today you wish you knew 30 or 40 years or so ago when you were first starting out? CHANCELLOR: Like, I didn’t know any. I mean, I didn’t know anything then. I mean, it’s — look, we’ve been living through the most extraordinary period. I used to think the dot-com bubble was amazing. RITHOLTZ: It was until we supersized. CHANCELLOR: No. And then I thought why wasn’t the security, subprime securities? That was extraordinary. And then we had the pandemic, everything, bubble. And we have lived through the most extraordinary period in the history of finance. I had no idea that that was going to be the case when I started my career. RITHOLTZ: Absolutely fascinating. Thank you, Edward, for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with Edward Chancellor, author of “Devil Take the Hindmost” and “The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest.” If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure to check out any of the 450 or so conversations we’ve had previously. You can find those at Spotify, iTunes, Bloomberg, YouTube, wherever you feed your podcast fix. We’d love your comments, feedback and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. Sign up for my daily reading list @ritholtz.com. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack team that helps us put these conversations together each week. Sarah Livesey is my audio engineer. Atika Valbrun is my project manager. Sean Russo runs our Research. Paris Wald is my producer. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio. END   ~~~   The post Transcript: Edward Chancellor appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureNov 9th, 2022

Jittery Futures Coiled Tightly Ahead Of Today"s Jobs Report Main Event

Jittery Futures Coiled Tightly Ahead Of Today's Jobs Report Main Event S&P futures rebounded from an overnight drop and swung between gains and losses as investors looked forward to the week's main event, the September payrolls report, for clues on what the Fed will do next after a raft of hawkish Fed doused expectations on Thursday for a quick halt to rate hikes. Nasdaq 100 futs fell 0.3%, trimming deeper losses, amid a sharp premarket drop for semiconductor stocks prompted by a plunge in AMD which slumped after it preannounced much weaker-than-expected 3Q revenue and margins . Meanwhile, S&P500 futures on the S&P 500 Index traded little changed, although the benchmark was poised for the best weekly advance since June. Treasuries drifted lower, the dollar was flat, and cryptos were unchanged. In premarket trading, Credit Suisse shares gained 7.9% after the lender offered to buy back debt securities for as much as CHF BN, in a show of financial strength after recent concerns about the bank’s solidity. Shares are up 14% this week, best weekly return since June 2020. They have recovered from a 12% intraday drop on Monday, when the stock slumped to a fresh low Shares are 49% down YTD. On the other end, chipmakers led the slide in early New York trading. Besides AMD’s 6% plunge, Nvidia Corp. and Intel Corp. fell more than 2% each amid concern that a slowing world economy will sharply dent semiconductor demand. Here are some other notable premarket movers Twitter shares fell as much as 1.9% to $48.45 in US premarket trading on Friday, trading almost 10% below Elon Musk’s offer price of $54.20 as the deal is said to be contingent on receiving $13 billion in debt financing, according to people familiar with the matter. They were flat by 6am in New York. Chip stocks were lower in US premarket trading after Samsung and AMD reported disappointing figures within hours of each other. The announcements signaled a deteriorating climate for global chip demand affecting the entire personal computers supply chain, including chipmakers, semiconductor equipment makers and PC manufacturers. AMD  -6.4%, Nvidia -3.3%, Intel -2.8%. Pot stocks rallied in US premarket trading on Friday, set to extend Thursday’s gains after President Joe Biden pardoned thousands of Americans for possession of marijuana and ordered a review of its legal status, sparking hopes that decriminalization of the drug was drawing nearer and a more favorable regulatory environment for cannabis-related firms. Tilray Brands +9%, Canopy Growth +9%, Cronos Group +2.4%. DraftKings shares jump as much as 9.2% in US premarket trading on Friday, boosted by a report that the sports-betting firm is said to be nearing a sizable new partnership with Disney’s ESPN, signaling that interest in legalized sports betting in increasing. DraftKings trades at a price-to-sales multiple of 4.2 times, according to Bloomberg data, down from a peak of around 37 times reached in March 2021. Levi Strauss shares fell as much as 4.6% in US premarket trading on Friday after the jeans maker cut its adjusted earnings per share and net revenue growth outlook for the full year, stoking worries that it could be tough for retailers in the near-term as the company grapples with the impact of a stronger dollar, weakness in its European markets and supply-chain disruption. Payoneer Global jumps as much as 8.4% in premarket trading following news that the company will join the S&P SmallCap 600 index before trading opens on Oct. 12. Lyft shares fall 3.7% in US premarket trading after RBC downgraded the ride- sharing firm and slashed its PT, saying its bull case for the stock looks increasingly less likely. Aehr Test Systems jumped 9% in extended trading after the semiconductor manufacturing company reported net sales growth and improved adjusted earnings in the fiscal first quarter. As previewed earlier, today's main event is the jobs report and as JPM noted, prior to Friday's NFP (and CPI next Wednesday), the market has been oscillating between the “hawkish Fed” and “Fed pivot” narrative. While the JOLTS Job Openings and the ISM Manufacturing employment index showed more evidence of a slowing labor market, the stronger than expected ADP/ISM Services once again proved the economy still remains strong and therefore weakens the hope of a near-term pivot from the Fed. In a nutshell, according to JPM's trading deks, with consensus expected tomorrow’s NFP to print +255k, Equity bulls would need a print ~100k to see the market alter its Fed expectations (full preview here). The data will follow hawkish comments from Fed officials. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said the benchmark rate will probably be at 4.5% to 4.75% by next spring, and Minneapolis Fed’s Neel Kashkari said the central bank is “quite a ways away” from pausing its campaign of rate increases. “Barring an unexpectedly shocking number, I do not think today’s release will prompt the Fed to change tack,” said Stuart Cole, the head macro economist at Equiti Capital. “This has certainly been the message that various Fed officials have been promulgating.” Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, US Treasury yields are heading for a 10th week of increases, the longest streak since 1984, as the Fed stays resolute in its fight against inflation despite recent data suggesting a cooling of the economy. Investors are being swayed between hopes for an end to monetary tightening by March next year and concern over the possibility of a deep recession that such a pivot would underscore. At the same time, investor focus is increasingly trained on signs of a weaker earnings-reporting season. Besides Thursday’s dour trading update from European oil major Shell, underwhelming figures from AMD and South Korean Samsung Electronics Co. are reinforcing concerns for the global economy. “The issue of the Fed pivot remains the main factor restricting risk appetite,” Sebastien Barbe, the head of emerging-market research and strategy at Credit Agricole CIB, wrote in a note. “Cautiousness should remain in place ahead of the US jobs report. Given the repeated hawkish comments by Fed speakers, this may not be enough to sustainably support risk appetite.” In Europe, the Stoxx 50 fell 0.2%. FTSE MIB outperforms, adding 0.2%; IBEX lags, dropping 0.5%. Tech, consumer products and retailers are the worst-performing sectors. Here are the biggest European equity movers: Renault shares climb as much as 4.8%. The automaker is raised to outperform from neutral and PT hiked to EU55 from EU35 at Oddo on its successful operational recovery and accelerating “product offensive.” Credit Suisse shares gain 8.4% after the lender offered to buy back debt securities for as much as CHF3bn, in a show of financial strength after recent concerns about the bank’s solidity. Telenor shares jump as much as 5.1%, the most since July 2020, after the telecom operator agreed to sell a 30% stake in its Norwegian fiber network to a consortium led by KKR and Oslo Pensjonsforsikring. Storytel gains as much as 11%, the most since August, after the Swedish publishing house released preliminary streaming revenue for the third quarter that was slightly above guidance, according to DNB European chip stocks are under pressure on Friday after industry bellwethers AMD and Samsung posted results that widely missed analysts’ expectations. ASML drops as much as 2.9% Adidas shares decline as much as 3.2% with UBS saying the uncertainty about its partnership with Kanye West’s Yeezy brand is a “negative development” for the sportswear group. Ocado shares decline as much as 3.1% after PT cut to a Street-low 420p from 595p at Morgan Stanley, which maintains an underweight rating on the grocery delivery group and says the case for its automated model has “got harder.” Building materials group Marshalls slumps 28% after it warned on a slowdown in demand for its landscaping products, prompting Peel Hunt to cut earnings estimates. Asian stocks fell, on track to snap a three-day winning streak, as Federal Reserve officials reiterated their hawkish views and tech shares weighed. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 1.3%, with tech and consumer discretionary shares falling after five Fed officials on Thursday separately signaled inflation remained too high in the US. Some chip shares slid after Advanced Micro Devices’ preliminary third-quarter sales missed projections and Samsung reported disappointing preliminary quarterly results.  Meanwhile, China’s electric-vehicle firms led declines on the Hong Kong market as concerns grew over weaker-than-expected orders. Vietnam’s stocks tumbled to the lowest in almost two years as a wave of forced selling hit the market amid concerns about rising interest rates.  Liquidity remained relatively low with the onshore China market closed for the Golden Week holiday.  The Asian gauge remains on track for its best week since July after weak US economic data earlier fueled hopes that the Fed may be less aggressive in tightening. Traders will scrutinize the US payroll data out later Friday for signs of economic slowdown and the impact on monetary policy. “Clearly the equity market is still playing chicken with the Fed around,” Joshua Crabb, head of Asia Pacific equities at Robeco, told Bloomberg Television. The interest-rate environment “is here to stay and that will continue to put pressure on some of the more highly valued sort of companies.” Japanese stocks dropped as investors remained cautious over the outlook for Fed policy and awaited an upcoming monthly US payrolls report. The Topix fell 0.8% to 1,906.80 as of the market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.7% to 27,116.11. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group contributed the most to the Topix’s decline, decreasing 2.2%. Out of 2,168 stocks in the index, 569 rose and 1,495 fell, while 104 were unchanged. “There is uncertainty whether US interest rate hikes could be 75bps or 100bps during the FOMC meeting in November,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management. “We are watching the unemployment rate and wage growth.”  Stocks in India ended flat on Friday but posted their first weekly advance in four, helped by a recovery in metal companies. The S&P BSE Sensex was little changed at 58,191.29 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.1%. For the week, the gauges rose 1.3% each. Tata Consultancy Services was the most prominent decliner among the Sensex 30 companies, dropping 1.3%. The country’s biggest software exporter will kickoff quarterly earnings season Monday. Titan was among the best performers after reporting strong sales growth for three-months through September. Eleven of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. retreated, led by oil & gas companies, while consumer durables makers were the top performers. A measure of metal companies was the top gainer for the week, posting its best advance since July. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.1% as the dollar fell against all Group of 10-peers apart from the kiwi. Demand for dollar topside exposure in the long-end remains strong ahead of the payrolls report. The euro rose above $0.98 and Bund yields climbed by up to 4bps as real yields continued to push higher alongside ECB tightening wagers. The cable led G-10 gains to trade above $1.12 after reversing early European session weakness. Yields on gilts rose by 3-6bps. The New Zealand dollar rose against the greenback as the nation’s bond yields closed up to 10bps higher. Australian dollar and Norwegian krone strengthened somewhat. Australian yields rose up to 7bps. The yen snapped a two-day decline as traders weigh the risk of an intervention by Japanese authorities to support the currency after it weakened past 145 per dollar. The currency is still set for an eighth straight week of declines In rates, Treasuries were slightly cheaper across the curve after most yields reached weekly highs while maintaining narrow ranges ahead of September jobs report. Gilts and bunds weigh, underperforming Treasuries. US yields cheaper by up to 3bp across belly of the curve, cheapening 2s5s30s fly by 3.5bp on the day to around 12bp, up from as low as -13.7bp on Tuesday; 10-year yields around 3.85%, richer vs bunds and gilts by 6bp and 2bp. UK 10-year yield rises 2.5bps to 4.19%, while German 10-year climbs 4.5bps to 2.13%. In commodities, US crude futures rose to approach $89 a barrel, on course for the biggest weekly surge since March. Spot gold is little changed at ~$1,713/oz. Bitcoin is contained within very narrow parameters, essentially pivoting the USD 20k mark as we head into the NFP release. To the day ahead now, and the highlight will likely be the aforementioned US jobs report for September. Otherwise, data releases include German industrial production and Italian retail sales for August. From central banks, we’ll hear from the Fed’s Williams, Kashkari and Bostic, as well as BoE Deputy Governor Ramsden. Finally, EU leaders will be meeting in Prague. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 3,748.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 395.56 MXAP down 1.1% to 143.02 MXAPJ down 1.3% to 463.87 Nikkei down 0.7% to 27,116.11 Topix down 0.8% to 1,906.80 Hang Seng Index down 1.5% to 17,740.05 Shanghai Composite down 0.6% to 3,024.39 Sensex down 0.3% to 58,069.57 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.8% to 6,762.77 Kospi down 0.2% to 2,232.84 German 10Y yield little changed at 2.13% Euro up 0.2% to $0.9813 Brent Futures up 0.1% to $94.53/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,712.81 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.24% to 111.9 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Investors poured the most money into cash since April 2020 on fears of a looming recession, but stocks could see further declines as they don’t fully reflect that risk, say Bank of America Corp. strategists Underlying inflation in the euro area is increasingly driven by higher demand, according to the European Central Bank, which has listed the trend among reasons to lift borrowing costs Inflation expectations among euro-zone consumers held steady in August, according to the European Central Bank, which has been raising interest rates in the face of record price gains The European Central Bank is ratcheting up pressure on some banks to keep 2022 bonuses in check amid fears about the darkening economic outlook, according to people with knowledge of the matter A report by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation showed UK companies are starting to impose hiring freezes because of pessimism about the outlook, and employees are deciding “stay put” rather than apply for other jobs A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks were lower as the region followed suit to the weak performance seen in global counterparts with risk appetite sapped amid the slew of hawkish Fed rhetoric and with participants awaiting the key US jobs data. ASX 200 was subdued by underperformance in the real estate sector and after the RBA Financial Stability Review noted financial stability risks have increased globally and that some households are already feeling the strain from higher rates which is likely to persist for some time. Nikkei 225 was pressured and briefly dipped below the 27,000 level after disappointing data in which Household Spending showed a surprise M/M contraction and with wage growth softer than previous. Hang Seng declined amid weakness in property and tech stocks with sentiment also not helped by reports that the US is to announce new measures that will effectively halt some exports of US equipment to Chinese firms making advanced NAND and DRAM memory chips. Top Asian News BoK said it will maintain its stance of raising interest rates going forward to combat inflation which is expected to remain in the 5-6% range for a considerable period of time, according to Yonhap. RBA Financial Stability Review stated that financial stability risks have increased globally and markets are stressed by synchronised policy tightening, geopolitical tension, higher USD and rising energy prices. RBA also stated that stability risks would be magnified by further substantial tightening in global markets and some households are already feeling the strain from higher rates which is likely to persist for some time. Japanese top currency diplomat Kanda says has never felt a limit to ammunition for currency intervention, making various steps so as not to face a limit to ammunition when it comes to FX intervention, via Reuters. Malaysia Cuts Personal Income Tax by 2 Percentage Points Tycoon Faces Key Vote for Plan to Tap Vedanta Cash Reserves Gold Set for Largest Weekly Gain Since March as Jobs Data Loom Taiwan Exports Shrink for First Time Since 2020 on Global Slump European bourses are modestly on the backfoot, though have trimmed this slightly as the session progresses, in limited newsflow pre-NFP. Nonetheless, are still on track to conclude the week with upside of just over 2% WTD for the Stoxx 600. Stateside, futures are similarly contained and lie either side of the unchanged mark with NQ -0.1% modestly lagging amid yield upside as officials pushback on an imminent pivot. ECB recently told some banks to exercise restraint on pay and dividends amid concerns about a potential wave of defaults, according to Bloomberg. Top European News UK PM Truss is watering down former UK PM Johnson's plans to cut 91k civil service jobs, according to FT. Irish Foreign Minister Coveney says the new air of positivity has created a flicker of optimism, lots of issues yet to be resolved (re. Brexit/N. Ireland). Greece Should Take Turkey’s Warnings Seriously, Erdogan Says Credit Suisse Short Bets Soar Weeks Ahead of Strategy Review Brexit Grudges Recede as Truss Makes Inroads With EU Allies New Jupiter Boss to Shake Up Dozens of Funds and Cut CIO Role Swedish Housing Market Slump Deepens on Rate, Energy Worries Geopolitics US President Biden said the nuclear 'Armageddon' threat is back for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, according to AFP News Agency. Japanese government spokesperson Kihara said Japan is to impose additional sanctions against Russia and will freeze assets of more Russians after the annexation of parts of Ukraine, according to Reuters. US and South Korea are to conduct joint maritime drills involving the US aircraft carrier off the east coast on October 7th-8th, while the South Korean military said it will continue to strengthen its abilities to respond against North Korean provocation through joint drills, according to Yonhap. US forces conducted an airstrike in northern Syria on Thursday which killed Islamic State leader Abu-Hashum Al-Umawi and another IS official, according to Reuters. Turkish President Erdogan in a call with Russian President Putin discussed improving bilateral relations, according to the Turkish readout via Reuters. FX Typically tense pre-NFP trade has seen the DXY briefly dip below 112.00, to a 111.94 low, before regathering itself and holding marginally above the figure. Action that comes to the benefit of peers across the board with GBP the primary beneficiary, Cable to a 1.1218 peak, but closely followed by other activity FX. EUR/USD is more contained given a hefty amount of OpEx around today's NY Cut, with participants also cognisant of worrying German data. After yesterday's relative outperformance, the CHF and NZD are the relative laggards and are currently unchanged on the session. CNB Minutes (Sep): Mora and Holub voted for a 75bp hike, other members regarded rates as commensurate with the current situation. Consensus that inflation was probably close to peaking. HKMA purchases HKD 1.57bln from the market as the HKD hits the weak end of its trading range. Fixed Income Core benchmarks dipped to lows amid the morning's German data release, with Import Prices lifting again, though have gained some poise since in quiet trade. Currently, Bunds are towards the mid-point of a ~70tick range with similarly settled action in USTs and Gilts before US data & Fed speak. As such, yields are elevated but off highs of 3.85%, 2.16% & 4.22% for US, German and UK 10yrs respectively. Commodities WTI and Brent are off highs but still holding onto gains of around USD 0.50/bbl and are at the top-end of the week’s USD 86.35/bbl – 95.00/bbl parameter in Brent Dec’22. For today, the main potential catalyst is the EU’s informal meeting of heads of state. A gathering which is focused on “Russia's war in Ukraine, energy and the economic situation.” US Secretary of State Blinken said the US will not do anything that infringes upon its interests and is reviewing a number of response options when asked about ties with Saudi Arabia and OPEC+ cuts, according to Reuters. US Republican Senator Grassley will seek to add the NOPEC bill to the defence policy bill, according to Reuters. OPEC Sec Gen says oil production capacity freed up by the latest production reductions could allow nations to intervene in the event of any crises in the oil market, according to Al Arabiya. Spot gold is little changed overall having derived some very brief upside from the DXY’s move below 112.00; however, the metal remains capped by the 50-DMA. US Event Calendar 08:30: Sept. Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 255,000, prior 315,000 Change in Private Payrolls, est. 275,000, prior 308,000 Change in Manufact. Payrolls, est. 20,000, prior 22,000 Unemployment Rate, est. 3.7%, prior 3.7% Underemployment Rate, prior 7.0% Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 62.4%, prior 62.4% Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 5.0%, prior 5.2%; Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.3% Average Weekly Hours All Emplo, est. 34.5, prior 34.5 10:00: Aug. Wholesale Trade Sales MoM, est. 0.5%, prior -1.4%; Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 1.3%, prior 1.3% 15:00: Aug. Consumer Credit, est. $25b, prior $23.8b Fed speakers 10:00: Fed’s Williams Speaks in Moderated Q&A 11:00: Fed’s Kashkari Discusses Agriculture, Food and Inflation 12:00: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Inequality DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap In these stressful markets I’ve kept my personal anecdotes to a minimum but I have a few butterflies this morning as I have a big 36 hole golf matchplay final on Sunday. After 2 major knee operations in the last 12 months, 4 back injections in the last 18, a long period with a trapped nerve in my shoulder, a numb hand and countless rounds of physio, I’ve eventually played the best golf of my life this year and have got down to a 2.6 handicap. I have to give my opponent 16 shots over 36 holes though so it’s going to be hard. A couple of weeks later I’m also in a scratch final with no shots given. However the problem is my opponent is off +1. My current mid-life crisis obsession (after piano, cycling, etc. previously) is to get down to scratch. I suspect I’ll fail as I don’t hit it far enough. However I’m doing weights and speed training which is why I keep getting injured. My wife despairs at my obsessiveness most of the time but it keeps me going!! We’re all going to be obsessing about payrolls today and then US CPI next week. Clearly the latter has more potential to shape trading over the next few weeks but the former is always a big event. In terms of what to expect from today's jobs report, our US economists are forecasting that nonfarm payrolls grew by +275k in September. That’s slightly above the +250k consensus print, but if realised that would still be the slowest pace of monthly job growth since April 2021. However versus long-term average that would still be a hefty print even if you adjust for population. Our economists think that’ll be enough to push the unemployment rate down a tenth to 3.6%, especially given the three-tenths rise in the participation rate in August. When it comes to the Fed, both futures and our US economists see a +75bps move as the likely outcome at the next meeting, and a strong report today would cement those expectations, not least given the recent chatter that the Fed might slow down their pace of hikes earlier than anticipated. Today's print comes as the mood has soured again over the last 48 hours even if the prior 48 hours were spectacular enough to leave us notably stronger for the week still for risk even if bonds have given up their gains. Yesterday saw a fresh selloff in stocks and bonds alongside further dollar strength after multiple Fed speakers pushed back on speculation that they’re about to ease up on hiking rates. That wasn’t helped by the news on the inflation side either, with oil prices reaching a one-month high, whilst commodities more broadly advanced for a 4th day running. Going through some of these themes we’ll start with the Fed, since yesterday saw an array of speakers who reiterated hawkish talking points from the get-go. In particular, Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari said that “Until I see some evidence that underlying inflation has solidly peaked and is hopefully headed back down, I’m not ready to declare a pause. I think we’re quite a ways away from a pause.” So that adds to the previous day’s FOMC members who similarly pushed back on an imminent reversal. Later in the session, we heard from Presidents Evans and Mester, Governors Cook and Waller. They all held the line, pushing back on any pivot pricing. Notably, President Evans, another reformed dove, said rates would be near 4.5-4.75% by the spring of next year, with the market pricing terminal rates at the lower end of that range at 4.55% as of March. Against that backdrop, investors continued to price out the chances of a Fed pivot next year, with Fed funds futures for December 2023 up +13.4bps on the day to 4.33%, their biggest one-day increase since the September FOMC itself. Now that’s still beneath the 4.6% that the FOMC had in their dot plot for end-2023 a couple of weeks back, and the 4.50% the market priced in 8 days ago, but the moves over the last couple of days do suggest they’re having some success in pushing back on the rate cut speculation. The impact of that worked its way through to Treasury yields, with the 10yr yield up +7.1bps to 3.82%, having been led by a +6.8bps rise in the real yield to 1.61%. That's still some room below the late September intraday peak of 4.02%, but quite a bounce from Tuesday’s intraday low of 3.56%. That range is all within seven days, such is the recent volatility in bond markets. This morning in Asia, yields on the 10yr are just a tad lower as we go to press. It’s worth keeping an eye on long-end Gilts as they continue to unwind some of the once in a lifetime sized rally from 5% last week after the BoE stepped in. 30yr yields closed at 4.29% having been as low as 3.62% on Monday. Anecdotal evidence points to the LDI saga still impacting that end of the curve. The hawkish Fed rhetoric impacted on equities as well, with the S&P 500 (-1.02%) and the STOXX 600 (-1.25%) each seeing a noticeable pullback. The NASDAQ proved more resilient falling only -0.68%. In addition, the VIX index of volatility picked up again following a run of 4 consecutive declines, moving up +1.97pts to finish above 30 again at 30.52. One factor that won’t be welcomed by policymakers is the latest rise in commodity prices, with Brent crude (+1.12%) and WTI (+0.79%) oil prices rising for a 4th day running, which follows the decision by the OPEC+ group to cut their production levels the previous day. In response, US President Biden said that his reaction was “Disappointment. And we’re looking at what alternatives we may have”. In the meantime, there was a modest downtick in European natural gas futures (-3.91%) to €167 per megawatt-hour. Speaking of which, our research colleagues in Frankfurt published their latest gas supply monitor yesterday (link here), in which they update their scenarios for this winter to reflect the latest developments. They also preview what to expect from the informal meeting of EU leaders taking place in Prague today. Staying on Europe, sovereign bonds lost ground across the continent in line with the US moves, with yields on 10yr bunds (+5.4bps), OATs (+4.4bps) and BTPs (+4.7bps) all moving higher. That follows a similar dose of scepticism from investors about whether the ECB might pivot alongside the Fed, and the deposit rate priced in by overnight index swaps for June 2023 moved up more than 15bps for the second straight day, increasing +15.5bps yesterday to 2.89%. Those moves also came as we got the accounts from the ECB’s September meeting when they hiked by 75bps, which indicated that “some members” had preferred to only hike by 50bps, although “all members joined a consensus to raise the three key ECB interest rates by 75 basis points”. There was also a view that policy rates were still “significantly below the neutral rate”, even with the latest rate hike”, and it said that chief economist Lane had “stressed that price pressures were extraordinarily high and likely to persist for an extended period.” Back in the UK, there were fresh signs that the recent market turmoil was impacting the mortgage market, after Moneyfacts reported that the average 5yr fixed mortgage rate was now above 6%. That puts it at its highest level since February 2010, and follows the previous day’s news that the 2yr fixed rate had also passed the 6% milestone. Furthermore, there were some warnings on the energy front, with National Grid saying that there was one scenario (although not its base case) that could see 3-hour power cuts if there wasn’t enough gas supply. The more negative newsflow occurred as sterling continued to lose ground against the US Dollar again, with a further -1.45% fall that brings its declines over the last two sessions to -2.76%. And gilts struggled as well, and not just at the long-end as discussed earlier, with 10yr yields up +13.3bps on the day to 4.15%. Asian equity markets are also declining this morning with the Hang Seng (-1.13%) leading losses, pulling back from a strong rebound earlier this week with the Nikkei (-0.59%) also trading in negative territory. Meanwhile, the Kospi (+0.06%) is swinging between gains and losses with the index heavyweight Samsung Electronics downbeat 3Q preliminary earnings forecast weighing on sentiment. Elsewhere, markets in China are closed for the National Day holiday. Looking forward, stock futures in the US are fluctuating with contracts tied to the S&P 500 (+0.03%) and NASDAQ 100 (+0.04%) just above flat ahead of the big day. Early morning data showed that Japan’s real wages (-1.7% y/y) fell in August for the fifth consecutive month, following a revised -1.8% fall in July. At the same time, household spending (+5.1% y/y) increased in August (v/s +6.7% expected) following a +3.4% gain in July as the economy continued to recover from COVID-19 restrictions albeit with rising prices probably preventing further gains. Ahead of today’s US jobs report, the weekly initial jobless claims for the week ending October 1 came in at 219k (vs. 204k expected), although there was a -3k downward revision to the previous week, without any apparent impact from the recent hurricane, which our US econ team believes will show up in next week’s data. Elsewhere, German factory orders contracted by more than expected in August, falling -2.4% (vs. -0.7% expected), but there was a sharp upward revision to the previous month, as the data now showed a +1.9% expansion (vs. -1.1% previously). To the day ahead now, and the highlight will likely be the aforementioned US jobs report for September. Otherwise, data releases include German industrial production and Italian retail sales for August. From central banks, we’ll hear from the Fed’s Williams, Kashkari and Bostic, as well as BoE Deputy Governor Ramsden. Finally, EU leaders will be meeting in Prague. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/07/2022 - 07:49.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 7th, 2022

The 30 bestselling audiobooks on Audible in 2022, from celebrity memoirs to the most gripping thrillers

These are the most popular audiobooks on Audible that make for great road trip or beach day entertainment. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.These are the most popular audiobooks on Audible that make for great road trip or beach day entertainment.Crystal Cox/Insider Audible has thousands of books and podcasts. You can start a free 30-day Audible trial here. Below, we compiled its 30 bestselling audiobooks among Audible users right now. Books run the gamut from popular novels to self-help hits. If you're spending more time outside these days and have already cycled through your weekly podcasts, we'd recommend the slow burn of a great (and highly mobile) audiobook. If you're looking for a new title, we suggest starting with the books currently gaining buzz. Below are the top 30 bestselling audiobooks on Audible right now. The site has hundreds of thousands of titles to choose between, as well as a catalog of podcasts. If you're new to Audible or audiobook services in general, be sure to check out the FAQ section at the bottom of this article to get started. You can access Audible for free as part of a 30-day trial.The 30 bestselling audiobooks on Audible right now:Descriptions are provided by Amazon (lightly edited and condensed)."Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia OwensAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $12.39For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say.Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life — until the unthinkable happens."Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones" by James ClearAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $11.98No matter your goals, "Atomic Habits" offers a proven framework for improving every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.“The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny HanAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $9.25Some summers are just destined to be pretty.Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the following summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys Belly has known since her very first summer — they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.“Dreadgod: Cradle, Book 11” by Will WightAmazonPre-order: Free with 30-day trialThe battle in the heavens has left a target on Lindon's back.His most reliable ally is gone, the Monarchs see him as a threat, and he has inherited one of the most valuable facilities in the world. At any moment, his enemies could band together to kill him.If it weren't for the Dreadgods. All four are empowered and unleashed, rampaging through Cradle, and grudges old and new must be set aside. The Monarchs need every capable fighter to help them defend their territory.And Lindon needs time. While he fights, he sends his friends off to train. They'll need to advance impossibly fast if they want to join him in battle against the kings and queens of Cradle. Together, they will need enough power to rival a Dreadgod.“Scars and Stripes: An Unapologetically American Story of Fighting the Taliban, UFC Warriors, and Myself” by Tim Kennedy, Nick PalmiscianoAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $18.37From decorated Green Beret sniper and UFC headliner Tim Kennedy comes a rollicking, inspirational memoir. It offers lessons on embracing failure and weathering storms — to unlock the strongest version of yourself.“It’s Not Summer Without You: Summer I Turned Pretty, Book 2” by Jenny HanAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $9.36It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again, and Conrad stopped caring. Everything right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come. But when Jeremiah calls, saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started — at Cousins Beach.“The Hotel Nantucket” by Elin HilderbrandAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $17.99Fresh off a bad breakup with a longtime boyfriend, Nantucket sweetheart Lizbet Keaton is desperately seeking a second act. When she's named the new general manager of the Hotel Nantucket, a once Gilded Age gem turned abandoned eyesore, she hopes that her local expertise and charismatic staff can win the favor of their new London billionaire owner, Xavier Darling, as well as that of Shelly Carpenter, the wildly popular Instagram tastemaker who can help put them back on the map. And while the Hotel Nantucket appears to be a blissful paradise, complete with a celebrity chef-run restaurant and an idyllic wellness center, there's a lot of drama behind closed doors. The staff (and guests) have complicated pasts, and the hotel can't seem to overcome the bad reputation it earned in 1922 when a tragic fire killed 19-year-old chambermaid Grace Hadley. With Grace gleefully haunting the halls, a staff harboring all kinds of secrets, and Lizbet's romantic uncertainty, is the Hotel Nantucket destined for success or doom?“I'd Like to Play Alone, Please” by Tom SeguraAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $18.33From Tom Segura, the massively successful stand-up comedian and co-host of chart-topping podcasts "2 Bears 1 Cave" and "Your Mom's House," come hilarious real-life stories of parenting, celebrity encounters, youthful mistakes, misanthropy, and so much more.“Verity” by Colleen HooverAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $23.99Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, the husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of the night her family was forever altered.Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents could devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue loving her.You can find more of Colleen Hoover's best books here.“Sparring Partners” by John GrishamAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $27.90"Homecoming" takes us back to Ford County, the fictional setting of many of John Grisham's unforgettable stories. Jake Brigance is back, but he's not in the courtroom. He's called upon to help an old friend, Mack Stafford, a former lawyer in Clanton, who three years earlier became a local legend when he stole money from his clients, divorced his wife, filed for bankruptcy, and left his family in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again — until now. In "Strawberry Moon," we meet Cody Wallace, a young death row inmate only three hours away from execution. His lawyers can't save him, the courts slam the door, and the governor says no to a last-minute request for clemency. As the clock winds down, Cody has one final request. The "Sparring Partners" are the Malloy brothers, Kirk and Rusty, two successful young lawyers who inherited a once prosperous firm when its founder, their father, was sent to prison. As the firm disintegrates, the resulting fiasco falls into the lap of Diantha Bradshaw, the only person the partners trust. "Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience" by Brené BrownAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $18.34In "Atlas of the Heart," Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances — a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.Over the past two decades, Brown's extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as on Brown's singular skills as a storyteller, to show us how accurately naming an experience doesn't give the experience more power — it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice.“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins ReidAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $22.49Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jump-start her career.Summoned to Evelyn's luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the '80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn's story nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique's own in tragic and irreversible ways.You can read a review of "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" here.“Greenlights” by Matthew McConaugheyAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $15.98From the Academy Award-winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.“Finding Me: A Memoir” by Viola DavisAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $18.53In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever.This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose, but also my voice in a world that didn't always see me.“The End of the World Is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization” by Peter ZeihanAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $31.50For generations, everything has been getting faster, better, and cheaper. Finally, we reached the point that almost anything you could ever want could be sent to your home within days — even hours — of when you decided you wanted it.America made that happen, but now America has lost interest in keeping it going.Globe-spanning supply chains are only possible with the protection of the U.S. Navy. The American dollar underpins internationalized energy and financial markets. Complex, innovative industries were created to satisfy American consumers. American security policy forced warring nations to lay down their arms. Billions of people have been fed and educated as the American-led trade system spread across the globe.All of this was artificial. All this was temporary. All this is ending.In "The End of the World Is Just the Beginning," author and geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan maps out the next world: a world where countries or regions will have no choice but to make their own goods, grow their own food, secure their own energy, fight their own battles, and do it all with populations that are both shrinking and aging.The list of countries that make it all work is smaller than you think. This means everything about our interconnected world — from how we manufacture products, to how we grow food, to how we keep the lights on, to how we shuttle stuff about, to how we pay for it all — is about to change.“Finna: Book 1” by Nino CipriAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $14.99When an elderly customer at a Swedish big-box furniture store ― but not that one ― slips through a portal to another dimension, it's up to two minimum-wage employees to track her across the multiverse and protect their company's bottom line. Multi-dimensional swashbuckling would be hard enough, but those two unfortunate souls broke up a week ago.To find the missing granny, Ava and Jules will brave carnivorous furniture, swarms of identical furniture spokespeople, and the deep resentment simmering between them. Can friendship blossom from the ashes of their relationship? In infinite dimensions, all things are possible.“The Golden Couple” by Greer Hendricks, Sarah PekkanenAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $17.68Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all ― until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship driven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their eight-year-old son and because she loves her husband. Enter Avery Chambers.Avery is a therapist who lost her professional license. Still, it doesn't stop her from counseling those in crisis, though they must adhere to her unorthodox methods. And the Bishops are desperate.When they glide through Avery's door, and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it's no longer simply a marriage that's in danger.“It Ends with Us” by Colleen HooverAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $10.26Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town where she grew up — she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life seems too good to be true.Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn't hurt. Lily can't get him out of her head. But Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his "no dating" rule, she can't help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.You can find more of Colleen Hoover's best books here."Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds" by David GogginsAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $20.10For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare — poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him The Fittest (Real) Man in America.In "Can't Hurt Me," he shares his astonishing life story and reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities. Goggins calls this The 40% Rule, and his story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach their full potential.“We’ll Always Have Summer: Summer I Turned Pretty, Book 3” by Jenny HanAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $9.31Belly has only ever been in love with two boys, both with the last name Fisher. And after being with Jeremiah for the previous two years, she's almost positive he is her soul mate. Almost. While Conrad has not gotten over the mistake of letting Belly go, Jeremiah has always known that Belly is the girl for him. So when Belly and Jeremiah decide to make things forever, Conrad realizes that it's now or never — tell Belly he loves her or loses her for good.Belly will have to confront her feelings for Jeremiah and Conrad and face the inevitable: She will have to break one of their hearts.“Happy-Go-Lucky” by David SedarisAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $17.79Back when restaurant menus were still printed on paper, and wearing a mask — or not — was a decision made mostly on Halloween, David Sedaris spent his time doing normal things. As "Happy-Go-Lucky" opens, he is learning to shoot guns with his sister, visiting muddy flea markets in Serbia, buying gummy worms to feed to ants, and telling his nonagenarian father wheelchair jokes.But then the pandemic hits, and like so many others, he's stuck in lockdown, unable to tour and read for audiences — the part of his work he loves most. To cope, he walks for miles through a nearly deserted city. He vacuums his apartment twice a day, fails to hoard anything, and contemplates how sex workers and acupuncturists might be getting by during quarantine.As the world gradually settles into a new reality, Sedaris too finds himself changed. His offer to fix a stranger's teeth rebuffed, he straightens his own, and ventures into the world with new confidence. Newly orphaned, he considers what it means, in his seventh decade, no longer to be someone's son. And back on the road, he discovers a battle-scarred America: people weary, storefronts empty or festooned with "Help Wanted" signs, walls painted with graffiti reflecting the contradictory messages of our time: Eat the Rich. Trump 2024. Black Lives Matter.“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1” by J.K. RowlingAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $6.98Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.“Match Game: Expeditionary Force, Book 14” by Craig AlansonAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $14.44For years, the ancient alien AI known as Skippy (the Magnificent, don't forget that part) has been able to do one impossible thing after another. What is his secret? It's simple: 100 percent Grade-A Extreme Awesomeness. And also because he had never been faced with an opponent of equal power. Until now.This time, he might need a little help from a band of filthy monkeys.“The Terminal List” by Jack CarrAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $11.99On his last combat deployment, Lieutenant Commander James Reece's entire team was killed in a catastrophic ambush. But when those dearest to him are murdered on the day of his homecoming, Reece discovers that this was not an act of war by a foreign enemy but a conspiracy that runs to the highest levels of government.Now, with no family and free from the military's command structure, Reece applies the lessons that he's learned in over a decade of constant warfare toward avenging the deaths of his family and teammates. With breathless pacing and relentless suspense, Reece ruthlessly targets his enemies in the upper echelons of power without regard for the laws of combat or the rule of law."Project Hail Mary" by Andy WeirAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $17.32Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission — and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.Except that right now, he doesn't know that. He can't even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.All he knows is that he's been asleep for a very, very long time. And he's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it's up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery — and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he's got to do it all alone. Or does he?You can read a review of "Project Hail Mary" here."12 Rules for Life" by Jordan B. PetersonAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $13.55What are the most valuable things that everyone should know?In this book, Jordan Peterson provides twelve profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticizing others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today. Happiness is a pointless goal, he shows us. Instead, we must search for meaning, not for its own sake, but as a defense against the suffering that is intrinsic to our existence.Drawing on vivid examples from the author's clinical practice and personal life, cutting-edge psychology and philosophy, and lessons from humanity's oldest myths and stories, "12 Rules for Life" offers a deeply rewarding antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems.“Run, Rose, Run” by James Patterson, Dolly PartonAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $17.84From America's most beloved superstar and its greatest storyteller — a thriller about a young singer-songwriter on the rise and on the run, determined to do whatever it takes to survive.Nashville is where she's come to claim her destiny. It's also where the darkness she's fled might find her. And destroy her."The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" by Mark MansonAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $12.99In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.“The Paris Apartment” by Lucy FoleyAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $17.99Jess needs a fresh start. She's broke and alone, and she's just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn't sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn't say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up — to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? — he's not there.The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother's situation, and the more questions she has. Ben's neighbors are an eclectic bunch and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it's starting to look like it's Ben's future that's in question.The socialite — the nice guy — the alcoholic — the girl on the verge — the concierge.Everyone's a neighbor. Everyone's a suspect. And everyone knows something they're not telling.“Come with Me” by Ronald MalfiAmazonFree on Audible with 30-day trialAvailable on Amazon for $11.49Aaron Decker's life changes one December morning when his wife Allison is killed. Haunted by her absence — and her ghost — Aaron goes through her belongings, where he finds a receipt for a motel room in another part of the country. Piloted by grief and an increasing sense of curiosity, Aaron embarks on a journey to discover what Allison had been doing in the weeks prior to her death.Yet Aaron is unprepared to discover Allison's dark secrets, the death and horror that make up the tapestry of her hidden life. And with each dark secret revealed, Aaron becomes more and more consumed by his obsession to learn the terrifying truth about the woman who had been his wife, even if it puts his own life at risk.Audible FAQHow much is Audible?Audible Plus is $7.95/month and Audible Premium is $14.95 per month. You can compare the Audible plans here.Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus have a 30-day free trial to most new members that come with one free credit to use on a title of your choice. And since Audible is an Amazon company, Prime members get two credits in their Audible trial as one of their perks.When your trial is over, you'll be automatically charged a monthly subscription fee. You can cancel anytime. What's the difference between Audible Plus and Audible Premium?Both memberships give you unlimited access to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, podcasts, and more.But, only Audible Premium gives you a credit that's good for one title of your choice in the premium selection every month and 30% off all additional premium titles, plus access to exclusive sales. You can toggle between some of the titles in the Premium selection and Plus selection here.Are there other good audiobook services out there?At Insider Reviews, we also like the service Scribd, which is $10/month for unlimited audiobooks and books. The company also has a joint NYT and Scribd membership for $12.99/month which can be a very good deal. You can start a free trial here, or find a full review of the service here. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 29th, 2022

GOP Rep. Paul Gosar spread a baseless transphobic rumor that the Uvalde school shooting suspect was a "transsexual leftist illegal alien"

The suspect was identified by authorities as an 18-year-old male who was a resident of the community and had also shot his grandmother. Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted that the Texas shooting suspect was a "transsexual leftist illegal alien."Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Rep. Paul Gosar has been repeating misinformation about the suspect in the Texas school shooting. Gosar tweeted that the shooter was a "transsexual leftist illegal alien." The false claim has spread based on the photos of a person who is unrelated to the attack. Following Tuesday's mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, Arizona GOP congressman Paul Gosar spread a false and transphobic claim that the suspected shooter was a "transsexual leftist illegal alien."Gosar tweeted the claim even though authorities had already identified the suspect as an 18-year-old male resident of Uvalde, where the shooting occurred.As of Tuesday evening, the GOP representative has not commented on his tweet, which was deleted about two hours after being published.A screenshot of Paul Gosar's tweet.Screenshot/TwitterThis false claim has been proliferating on social media with photos of a transgender person unrelated to the attack. The images appear to have been taken off the Reddit account of a transgender artist.Among the social media accounts that shared such images is a Facebook page called "North Florida Patriots."The page has since corrected its post, with its operators stating that they "won't be lectured" by people looking to make the shooting a political issue and turn it into a "gun grab."Texas Governor Greg Abbott has identified the suspected shooter as an 18-year-old male who lived in the Uvalde community. Authorities say he shot his grandmother before heading to the school with two military-style rifles he bought on his 18th birthday.He also donned body armor for the attack and was shot dead by a border patrol agent who rushed into the school without waiting for backup, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.At least 19 children and two adults were killed in the attack, making it the deadliest elementary school shooting since the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary.According to CNN, the suspect worked the day shift at a local Wendy's and was described by the restaurant's evening manager as "the quiet type" who didn't socialize with other employees.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 25th, 2022

Futures Slide After Dismal Target Earnings, Plunging Mortgage Apps

Futures Slide After Dismal Target Earnings, Plunging Mortgage Apps The brief bear market rally in US stocks was set to end with a whimper following Tuesday’s strong dead cat bounce, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave his most hawkish remarks to date. Hope that China lockdowns would soon end turned to skepticism, as the yuan slumped after its biggest gain since October, while dismal guidance from Target - which warned that inflation was crushing margins - confirmed what Walmart said yesterday, namely that the US consumer is running on fumes. An 11% plunge in the latest weekly mortgage applications only reaffirmed that a hard-landing is inevitable and just a matter of time. Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 1%, while S&P 500 futures slipped 0.7% after US stocks surged on Tuesday. Treasury yields hit session highs, rising back to 3.0%, and the dollar snapped a three-day losing streak. Bitcoin got hammered again, sliding back under $30k. Among the biggest premarket movers, Target crashed 22% with Vital Knowledge calling its margin shortfall “more dramatic” than what Walmart posted on Tuesday, citing industry-wide macro problems. The retailer reduced its full-year forecast on operating income margin to about 6% of sales this year. It also reported first-quarter adjusted earnings per share that came in below expectations. Food and gas inflation is drawing money away from discretionary and general merchandise spending, forcing “aggressive” discounting to clear out product in the latter category, Vital’s Adam Crisafulli said in a note. Elsewhere in US premarket trading, Tesla slipped 1% after its price target was cut at Piper Sandler. Meanwhile, Twitter Inc. also traded slightly lower even as the social media platform’s board said it plans to enforce its $44 billion agreement to be bought by Elon Musk. Here are some other notable premarket movers: US tech hardware stocks may be in focus as Jefferies Group LLC strategists have turned bullish on the likes of IBM (IBM US), Cisco Systems (CSCO US) and Microchip Technology (MCHP US) after this year’s steep declines for US information technology shares National CineMedia (NCMI US) shares jump as much as 33% in US premarket trading after AMC Entertainment (AMC US) reported a 6.8% stake in the cinema advertising company. AMC shares gain 1.2% in premarket trading. DLocal Ltd. (DLO US) shares gain as much as 15% in US premarket trading after the Uruguay-based payment platform posted 1Q revenue that doubled from the year-earlier period and topped expectations. Doximity (DOCS US) shares fall as much as 19% in US premarket trading, after the online healthcare platform provider’s forecast for 1Q revenue missed the average analyst estimate, prompting analysts to slash their price targets on the stock. Penn National (PENN US) may be active on Wednesday as Jefferies raised the recommendation to buy from hold. The company’s shares rose 4% in premarket trading. On Tuesday, Powell said the Fed will keep raising interest rates until there is “clear and convincing” evidence that inflation is in retreat, which initially pushed stocks lower but then was faded as risk closed near session highs as nothing Powell said was actually new. The S&P 500 is emerging from the longest weekly slump since 2011 as investors have been gripped by fears of hawkish monetary policy and surging inflation driving the economy into a recession. As also discussed yesterday, Bank of America’s survey published yesterday showed that fund managers are the most underweight equities since May 2020 and are piling into cash. “This is one of the most challenging markets I have been in in my career,” Henry Peabody, fixed income portfolio manager at MFS Investment Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “I suspect at a certain point of time we’re going to have the liquidity of the markets challenged. They really haven’t been thus far.” As the Fed embarks on interest-rate hikes, frothy growth shares, including the tech sector, have suffered in particular as higher rates mean a bigger discount for the present value of future profits. This marks a major shift in investor outlook after tech stocks had been some of the market’s best performers for years. “Investor sentiment and confidence remain shaky, and as a result, we are likely to see volatile and choppy markets until we get further clarity on the 3Rs — rates, recession, and risk,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, wrote in a note. Rebounds in risk sentiment are proving fragile amid tightening monetary settings, Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s Covid lockdowns. In what’s seen as his most hawkish remarks to date, Powell said that the US central bank will raise interest rates until there is “clear and convincing” evidence that inflation is in retreat. “We’ll have this kind of volatility as people jump in and look at opportunities to buy as markets decline,” Shana Sissel, director of investments at Cope Corrales, said on Bloomberg Television, referring to the Wall Street bounce. The Fed is going to struggle to achieve a soft economic landing, she added. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was little changed, with energy stocks outperforming. Spain's IBEX outperformed, adding 0.5%. ABN Amro slumped almost 10% after the Dutch lender reported first-quarter results burdened by rising costs.  The Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources sub-index drops, underperforming other sectors in the broader regional benchmark on Wednesday as base metals ended a three-day rebound and as iron ore declined. Base metals paused a recovery from this year’s lows, with copper and aluminum stalling after hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Iron ore futures declined as investors weighed China’s faltering economy and the prospect of support measures amid a mixed outlook for steel demand. Basic resources index -0.6%, halting three days of gains; broader benchmark little changed. Siemens Gamesa jumped as much as 15% as Siemens Energy weighs a bid for the shares of the troubled Spanish wind-turbine maker it doesn’t already own. Here are the most notable movers: European oil and gas stocks rise amid higher crude prices and broker upgrades, while renewables rallied after Siemens Energy confirmed it was considering a buyout offer for Siemens Gamesa. Shell gains as much as 1.8%, BP +1.8%, Equinor +3.4%, Gamesa +15%, Vestas +7.7% Air France-KLM shares rise as much as 7.5% in Paris on news that container line CMA CGM intends to take a stake of up to 9% in the French carrier following the signing of a long-term strategic partnership in the air cargo market. Rockwool shares gain as much as 8.3%, most since Feb. 15, as the company boosts its sales in local currencies forecast for the full year. British Land shares rise as much as 4.2%, as the company’s results show a strong recovery and a good performance in the UK landlord’s portfolio, analysts say. Vistry shares climb as much as 8% with analysts saying the UK homebuilder’s trading update looks positive, particularly the robust momentum in its sales rate. The Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources sub-index drops, underperforming other sectors in the broader regional benchmark on Wednesday as base metals ended a three-day rebound and as iron ore declined. Rio Tinto slips as much as 1.5%, Antofagasta -2.7%, Anglo American -1.5% Prosus shares fall as much as 4.2% and Naspers sinks as much as 6.7% after Tencent reported first- quarter revenue and net income that both missed analyst expectations. TUI shares drop as much as 13% in London after the firm announced an equity raise in order to repay a chunk of government aid that helped see it through the coronavirus crisis. ABN Amro shares declined as much as 11% after the lender reported 1Q earnings that showed higher costs related to money laundering. Experian shares fall as much as 5.1% after the consumer-credit reporting company reported full-year results, with Citi saying organic growth missed consensus. Meanwhile, UK inflation rose to its highest level since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister 40 years ago, adding to pressure for action from the government and central bank. The pound weakened and gilt yields fell as traders speculated that the Bank of England will struggle to rein in inflation and avoid a recession. Elsewhere, the Biden administration is poised to fully block Russia’s ability to pay US bondholders after a deadline expires next week, a move that could bring Moscow closer to a default. Sri Lanka, meantime, is on the brink of reneging on $12.6 billion of overseas bonds, a warning sign to investors in other developing nations that surging inflation is set to take a painful toll. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced for a fourth session as strong US economic data allayed worries about the global growth outlook, while Chinese equities slipped. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index rose as much as 1%, extending its rebound from an almost two-year low reached last Thursday. Materials shares led the gains, with Australia’s BHP Group climbing 3.2%. Benchmarks in most markets were in the black, with Indonesia, Taiwan and Singapore chalking up gains of at least 1%.  Upbeat retail sales and industrial production data from the US underpinned sentiment, so much so that investors barely reacted to hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. He indicated that policy makers won’t hesitate to raise interest rates beyond neutral levels to contain inflation. Equities in China bucked the trend. Property shares paced the drop after data showed the decline in China’s new home prices accelerated in April, while tech shares also lost steam ahead of Tencent’s earnings which missed expectations and slumped. Local investors may be underwhelmed by a lack of details from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s fresh vow to support tech firms. Liu said the government will support the development of digital economy companies and their public listings, in remarks reported by state media after a symposium with the heads of some the nation’s largest private firms. Lee Chiwoong, chief economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, said Liu’s comments point to an easing of the crackdown on internet firms. “The Chinese government is stepping up measures to support the economy following the slowdown,” Lee said.  “As bottlenecks stemming from lockdowns in Shanghai ease, that impact will gradually show up in the economy,” Lee added. “We should be able to clearly see an economic recovery in the second half of this year.” Japanese equities gained as investors assessed strong US economic data and comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the outlook for interest rate hikes.  The Topix Index rose 1% to close at 1,884.69. Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 0.9% to 26,911.20. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix gain, increasing 2.9%. Out of 2,172 shares in the index, 1,345 rose and 749 fell, while 78 were unchanged. Chinese stocks erased losses intraday after earlier disappointment over a much-anticipated meeting between Vice Premier Liu He and some of the nation’s tech giants. Overnight, data showed US retail sales grew at a solid pace in April, while factory production rose at a solid pace for a third month. Australia's stocks also gained, with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 1% to close at 7,182.70, extending its winning streak to a fourth day. Miners contributed the most to its advance. All sectors gained, except for consumer staples and financials. Eagers slumped after saying that its 1H profit will be lower than it was a year ago and flagged reduced new vehicle deliveries. Wage data was also in focus. Australian wages advanced at less than half the pace of consumer-price gains in the first three months of the year, reinforcing the RBA’s signal that it will stick to quarter-point hikes.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.1% to 11,258.28 India’s benchmark equities index fell, snapping two sessions of gains, weighed by declines in engineering company Larsen & Toubro Ltd.    The S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.2% to close at 54,208.53 in Mumbai, after rising as much as 0.9% earlier in the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index fell 0.1% to 16,240.30.  Larsen & Toubro slipped 2% and was the biggest drag on the Sensex, which saw 17 of its 30 member stocks decline. Sixteen of 19 sectoral sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. dropped, led by a gauge of realty shares.   State-run Life Insurance Corporation, which debuted Tuesday, rose 0.1% to 876 rupees, still below the issue price of 949 rupees. In earnings, of the 34 Nifty 50 firms that have announced results so far, 20 have either met or exceeded analyst estimates, while 14 have missed. Consumer goods company ITC Ltd. is scheduled to announce results on Wednesday. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an early loss and the greenback advanced versus all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. The pound was the worst G-10 performer, tracking Gilt yields lower and paring the previous day’s gains. A widely expected jump in UK inflation prompted investors to pare back bets on BOE rate hikes. Money markets are pricing around 120bps of BOE rate hikes by December, down from 130bps from the previous day. UK inflation rose to its highest level since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister 40 years ago, adding to pressure for action from the government and central bank. Consumer prices surged 9% in the year through April. The euro fell for the first day in four and weakened beyond $1.05. The Bund curve has twist flattened as traders bet on a faster pace of ECB tightening after Bank of Finland Governor Olli Rehn said there’s broad agreement among members of the Governing Council that policy rates should exit sub-zero terrain “relatively quickly.” That’s to prevent inflation expectations from becoming de- anchored, he said. The Aussie swung between gains and losses while Australia’s bonds trimmed earlier declines after a report showed wage growth last quarter was less than economists forecast. The wage price index climbed an annual 2.4% last quarter, trailing economists’ expectations and coming in well below headline inflation of 5.1%. The yen rose as US yields declined amid fragile risk sentiment. Japanese government bonds were mixed, with a decent five-year auction lending support while an overnight rise in global yields weighed on super-long maturities. In rates, Treasuries were under pressure, though most benchmark yields remained within 1bp of Tuesday’s closing levels. 10-year yields rose just shy of 3.00%, higher by less than 1bp with comparable bund yield +3.3bp and UK 10-year flat. TSY futures erased gains amid a series of block trades in 5- and 10-year note contracts starting at 5:20am ET, apparently selling flow. According to Bloomberg, six 5-year block trades and two 10-year block trades -- all 5,000 lots -- have printed since 5:20am, apparently seller-initiated as cash yields concurrently rebounded from near session lows. Wednesday’s $17b 20-year new-issue auction at 1pm ET may also weigh on the market. 20-year bond auction is this week’s only nominal coupon sale; WI yield ~3.37% exceeds all 20-year auction stops since then tenor was reintroduced in 2020, is ~27.5bp cheaper than last month’s result. Elsewhere, the UK yield curve bull-steepened with the short end richening ~5bps, while pound falls after inflation surged to a four-decade high. Money markets pare BOE rate-hike wagers. Bund curve bear-flattens while money markets bet on a faster pace of ECB tightening after ECB’s Rehn said the central bank needs to move quickly from negative rates. In commodities, WTI trades within Tuesday’s range, adding 1.6% to around $114. Most base metals are in the red; LME tin falls 1.5%, underperforming peers, LME aluminum outperforms, adding 1%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,815/oz. Looking to the day ahead now, and data releases include the UK and Canadian CPI readings for April, along with US data on housing starts and building permits for the same month. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker and the ECB’s Muller. Earnings releases include Cisco, Lowe’s, Target and TJX. Finally, G7 finance ministers and central bank governors will be meeting in Germany. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.5% to 4,065.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 438.11 MXAP up 0.8% to 164.43 MXAPJ up 0.7% to 539.81 Nikkei up 0.9% to 26,911.20 Topix up 1.0% to 1,884.69 Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 20,644.28 Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,085.98 Sensex up 0.3% to 54,469.39 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.0% to 7,182.66 Kospi up 0.2% to 2,625.98 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.03% Euro down 0.4% to $1.0505 Brent Futures up 1.5% to $113.66/bbl Gold spot down 0.0% to $1,815.04 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.33% to 103.70 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Sweden’s biggest pension company has begun buying government bonds amid a “paradigm shift” in the market that pushed yields to their highest level since 2018. The CIO views Treasuries as “quite attractive” after a prolonged period of razor-thin yields that forced the company into alternative and riskier asset classes to preserve returns across its $117 billion portfolio While outright China bulls may be hard to find, shifts in positioning at least point to improving sentiment. Bearish bets on stocks are being abandoned in Hong Kong, expectations for yuan volatility are falling, domestic equity traders have stopped unwinding leverage and foreigners have slowed their once-record exit from government bonds The EU is set to unveil a raft of measures ranging from boosting renewables and LNG imports to lowering energy demand in its quest to cut dependence on Russian supplies. The 195 billion-euro ($205 billion) plan due Wednesday will center on cutting red tape for wind and solar farms, paving the way for renewables to make up an increased target of 45% of its energy needs by 2030, according to draft documents seen by Bloomberg that are still subject to change A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed as the regional bourses only partially sustained the momentum from global peers. ASX 200 was led higher by outperformance in the mining and materials related sectors, while softer than expected wage price data reduced the prospects of a more aggressive RBA rate hike next month. Nikkei 225 briefly reclaimed the 27,000 level but retreated off its highs as participants digested GDP data which printed in negative territory, albeit at a narrower than feared contraction. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were subdued with large-cap tech stocks pressured in Hong Kong including JD.com despite beating earnings expectations and with Tencent bracing for the expected slowest revenue growth since its listing, while the mainland was hampered by the mixed COVID-19 situation as Shanghai registered a 4th consecutive day of zero transmissions outside of quarantine, although Beijing was said to lockdown some areas in its Fengtai district for 7 days. Top Asian News Shanghai authorities issued a new white list containing 864 financial institutions permitted to resume work, according to sources cited by Reuters. China, on May 20th, is to remove some COVID test requirements on travellers to China from the US, according to embassy. China's Foreign Ministry says the BRICS foreign ministers are to meet on May 19th. Goldman Sachs downgrades its 2022 China GDP growth forecast to 4.0% from 4.5%. European bourses are rangebound and relatively directionless, Euro Stoxx 50 U/C, taking impetus from a mixed APAC session which failed to sustain US upside. Stateside, futures are modestly softer and a firmer Wall St. close; ES -0.2%. Limited Fed speak due and near-term focus on retail earnings. Tencent (0700 HK) Q1 2022 (CNY): adj. net profit 25.5bln (exp. 26.4bln), Revenue 135.5bln (exp. 141bln). Lowe's Companies Inc (LOW) Q1 2023 (USD): EPS 3.61 (exp. 3.22/3.23 GAAP), Revenue 23.70bln (exp. 23.76bln). SSS: Lowe's Companies: -4.0% (exp. -2.5%); Lowe's Companies (US): -3.8% (exp. -3.7%). -0.2% in the pre-market Top European News UK Chancellor Sunak is reportedly mulling bringing forward the 1p income tax cut to the basic rate by one year, according to iNews citing Treasury insiders. Other reports suggest that Sunak is putting plans together to raise the warm home discount by hundreds of GBP in July ahead of lowering taxes in autumn to assist with the cost of living crisis, according to The Times. EU is to offer the UK new concessions on the Northern Ireland protocol but has threatened a trade war if UK PM Johnson refuses to agree to a compromise, according to The Telegraph. In FX Sterling slides to the bottom of the major ranks as fractionally sub-forecast UK CPI dampens BoE rate hike expectations; Cable reverses from just over 1.2500 to sub-1.2400, EUR/GBP nearer 0.8500 after dip below 0.8400 only yesterday. Hawkish Fed chair Powell helps Buck bounce ahead of US housing data, DXY towards the upper end of 103.770-180 range. Aussie hampered by softer than expected wage metrics that might convince the RBA to refrain from 40bp hike in June, AUD/USD heavy on the 0.7000 handle. Yen relatively resilient in wake of Japanese GDP showing less contraction in Q1 than feared, USD/JPY closer to 129.00 than 129.50. Euro loses momentum irrespective of comments from ECB’s Rehn echoing Summer rate hike guidance as final Eurozone HICP is tweaked down, EUR/USD fades from 1.0550+ to test support around 1.0500. Loonie treads cautiously before Canadian inflation metrics as oil prices come off the boil, USD/CAD back above 1.2800 within 1.2795-1.2852 range. In Fixed Income Gilts sharply outperform as UK CPI falls just shy pf consensus and dampens BoE tightening expectations. 10 year UK bond rebounds towards 119.50 from sub-119.00 lows, while Bunds lag below 152.50 and T-note under 119-00. Record high cover for 2052 German auction and low retention sets high bar for upcoming 20 year US offering. Central Banks ECB's Rehn says June forecasts are seen near the adverse scenario from March, first rate increase will likely take place in the summer. Many colleagues back stance for quick moves. ECB's de Cos says the end of APP should be finalised early in Q3, first hike shortly afterwards. Further rises could be made in subsequent quarters of medium-term outlook remains around target; the build-up of price pressures in EZ in recent months raises the likelihood of second-round effects, which have not strongly materialised. In commodities WTI and Brent are modestly supported after yesterday's lower settlement; currently, firmer by just over USD 1.00/bbl. Focus has been on the narrowing WTI/Brent spread, particularly going into US driving season; see link below for ING's views. US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude -2.4mln (exp. +1.4mln), Cushing -3.1mln, Gasoline -5.1mln (exp. -1.3mln), Distillates +1.1mln (exp. unchanged). Spot gold and silver are modestly firmer but capped by a firmer USD, yellow metal just shy of USD 1820/oz. US Event Calendar 07:00: May MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 2.0% 08:30: April Building Permits MoM, est. -3.0%, prior 0.4%, revised 0.3% 08:30: April Housing Starts MoM, est. -2.1%, prior 0.3% 08:30: April Building Permits, est. 1.81m, prior 1.87m, revised 1.87m 08:30: April Housing Starts, est. 1.76m, prior 1.79m DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Another reminder of my webinar replay from last week discussing our recession call for 2023 and an update on credit spreads. In it I said that while we have high conviction that HY spreads would be +850bp in H2 2023, the outlook over the next few weeks and months may actually be positive from this starting point. I would say I am nervous of that view but I still don't think that the real economic pain comes until deeper into 2023 when the lagged impact of an aggressive Fed starts to bite. Click here to view the webinar and to download the presentation. Good luck to Glasgow Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt in tonight's Europa League final. These are not teams that any would have expected to reach this final and I will watch with stress free divided loyalties. My father's family were all from the former and supported Rangers while the latter play at the fabulously named Deutsche Bank Park. So good luck to both. I suspect I'll be less stress free in 11 days' time when Liverpool are out for revenge against Real Madrid in the Champions League Final. At the moment I’m feeling nervously optimistic. Talking of which, investor optimism has returned to markets over the last 24 hours as more positive data releases raised hopes that the US economy might be more resilient in the near-term than many have feared. The economic concerns won't go away, but stronger-than-expected numbers on retail sales and industrial production helped the S&P 500 (+2.02%) close at its highest level in over a week. Remember monetary policy acts with a lag and it would be very unusual historically if the data rolled over imminently. By this time next year it will likely be a very different story. The higher yield momentum was reinforced by a Powell speech after Europe went home but there was a steady march of slightly hawkish central bank speakers through the day. Before we review things keep an eye out for UK CPI just after this goes to press. The headline rate is expected to be a huge 9.1%. Expect a lot of headlines reporting of 40 year highs. With regards to Powell, most in focus was his claim that policy rates would rise above neutral if that was required to tame inflation. While the sentiment was not necessarily new, his explicit comment that neutral rates are “not a stopping point” garnered focus, noting that the Fed was looking for “clear and convincing evidence” that inflation was subsiding. The rates market have already priced terminal policy rates above the Fed’s estimate of neutral, but a combination of the risk on, and stronger data meant that equities could go up alongside yields. Earlier in the day we got a smattering of communications from Fed regional Presidents, none of which registered as materially but it reinforced the direction of travel after a month to date where markets have repriced the Fed lower. Indeed, even resident hawk, St Louis Fed President Bullard, reiterated Powell’s message in that the Fed was on course for 50bp hikes at the upcoming meetings and said that “I think we have a good plan for now”. Sovereign bonds had already sold off significantly ahead of all that Fedspeak, aided by the broader risk-on tone yesterday, but continued drifting higher through the US session. Yields on 10yr Treasuries closed +10.4bps to a one-week high of 2.99%, driven by a +7.9bps rise in real yields to 0.24%. The moves were more pronounced at the front-end however, and the 2yr yield rose by a larger +13.1bps as investors priced in a more aggressive path of hikes over the next 12 months after data showed the economy was performing stronger than the consensus had anticipated. In terms of the headlines, retail sales were up by +0.9% in April (vs. +1.0% expected), but the growth in March was revised up to +1.4% (vs. +0.5% previously). Retail sales excluding autos and gas were up by +1.0% as well (vs. +0.7% expected), whilst the industrial production number was another that came in above expectations at +1.1% (vs. +0.5% expected). Europe also had a large move in yields, which followed comments by Dutch central bank Governor Knot who became the first member of the Governing Council to openly float the idea of a 50bp hike. Although he said that “my preference would be to raise our policy rate by a quarter of a percentage point”, he said that “bigger increases must not be excluded” if data were to show inflation “broadening further or accumulating”. So even though he’s one of the more hawkish members of the council, that’s still a significant milestone in that larger moves are being openly discussed, and echoes what we saw with the Fed at the turn of the year when the policy trajectory became increasingly aggressive. Market pricing reflected that shift yesterday, and for the first time overnight index swaps were pricing in that the ECB would hike by more than 100bps by their December meeting and thus catching up with the DB House View. That growing belief behind additional hikes led to a fresh selloff in sovereign bonds, with those on 10yr bunds (+10.9bps), OATs (+10.5bps) and BTPs (+11.7bps) all moving higher. The biggest moves were seen from gilts (+15.0bps) however, which followed data that pointed to an increasingly tight labour market in the UK, and overnight index swaps nearly doubled the probability of a 50bp rate hike from the BoE in June, with the odds moving from 17% on Monday to 33% yesterday. Over in equities, stronger risk appetite led to a significant rebound yesterday, with the S&P 500 (+2.02%) hitting a one-week high, whilst the NASDAQ (+2.76%) saw an even larger rebound in spite of the simultaneous rise in yields. Walmart (-11.38%) was by far the worst performer in the S&P, which came as it cut its earnings per share forecast, which it now expected to decrease by 1%, relative to previous guidance that expected it to rise by the mid single-digits. But that was the exception, and every sector except consumer staples moved higher on the day, with the more cyclical areas leading the advance. Over in Europe the STOXX 600 (+1.22%) posted a strong performance of its own, bringing its advance to more than +5% since its recent closing low just over a week ago. Overnight in Asia, performance in regional stock indices is diverging partly on the back of economic data. Japan’s Q1 GDP (-1.0%) contracted less than expected (-1.8%), lifting the Nikkei (+0.50%) this morning. In China, though, rising covid cases and waning optimism about government’s support of tech companies weighed on the Shanghai composite (-0.37%) and the Hang Seng (-0.66%). New home prices (-0.30%) in the country also slid for an eighth month in a row. This slight souring of sentiment has extended to S&P 500 futures (-0.23%) with the US 10y yield edging back lower by -2.2bps. Elsewhere, tensions over Brexit ratcheted up again yesterday after UK Foreign Secretary Truss announced plans to introduce legislation that would override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Truss said that the UK’s preference “remains a negotiated solution with the EU” and that the bill would contain an “explicit power to give effect to a new, revised Protocol if we can reach an accommodation”, but that “the urgency of the situation means we can’t afford to delay any longer.” Unsurprisingly the EU did not react happily, and Commission Vice President Šefčovič said in a statement that if the UK moved ahead with the bill, then “the EU will need to respond with all measures at its disposal.” Staying on the UK, the latest employment data out yesterday pointed to an increasingly tight labour market, with the unemployment rate falling to 3.7% in the three months to March (vs. 3.8% expected), which is the lowest it’s been since 1974. Furthermore, the number of vacancies was larger than the total number of unemployed for the first time, and the more up-to-date estimate of payrolled employees in April saw an increase of +121k (vs. +51k expected). Elsewhere in Europe, the latest estimate of Euro Area GDP growth in Q1 showed a bigger than expected expansion of +0.3% (vs. +0.2% previously). Elsewhere the chances of a Russian sovereign debt default increased, following the Treasury department confirming a temporary waiver that allowed Russia to pay US creditors would expire on May 25. Meanwhile, the US is reportedly considering a tariff on Russian oil in conjunction with European allies, as the saga about banning imports to Europe drags on. To the day ahead now, and data releases include the UK and Canadian CPI readings for April, along with US data on housing starts and building permits for the same month. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker and the ECB’s Muller. Earnings releases include Cisco, Lowe’s, Target and TJX. Finally, G7 finance ministers and central bank governors will be meeting in Germany. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/18/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 18th, 2022

Sunday Collum: 2021 Year In Review, Part 1 - Crisis Of Authority & The Age Of Narratives

Sunday Collum: 2021 Year In Review, Part 1 - Crisis Of Authority & The Age Of Narratives Authored by David B. Collum, Betty R. Miller Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology - Cornell University (Email: dbc6@cornell.edu, Twitter: @DavidBCollum), Dave: You do lack self control, but I learned and laughed making my way thru this. ~ Larry Summers (@LHSummers), former Secretary of the Treasury Every year, David Collum writes a detailed “Year in Review” synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year’s is no exception. Introduction I’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty. What began more than a dozen years ago as a synopsis of the year’s events in markets and finance for a few friends morphed beyond my control into a Year in Review (YIR)—an attempt to chronicle human folly and world events for the entire year. It captures key moments before they slip into the brain fog. The process of trying to write a coherent narrative helps me better understand WTF just happened and seminal moments that catch my eye. By far my favorite end-of-year recap for the last ten years. Finished it yesterday. Once again David hasn’t disappointed. He’s on my I want to go to dinner with list. ~ Jim Pallotta (@jimpallotta13), money manager and former owner of Boston Celtics I’m game, Jim, even if it’s just a pretzel, nachos, and a brewski. The title, “Crisis of Authorities,” is a double entendre. On the one hand, previously trusted authorities that we relied on to better understand the world are long gone. Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and Tim Russert have been replaced with Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon, and Brian Stelter. Oops. Scratch Chris Cuomo. Ponder the following: which acronymed organization do you still trust? FBI? CIA? FEMA? DOJ? CBS? ABC? Fox? CNN? At one point I would have comfortably offered up the CDC, FDA, and NIH. Portions of those three should be razed. Social media offered up one acceptable answer: KFC. The second, more deeply disturbing meaning is that smoldering socialism has veered toward authoritarianism, a seismic shift that is global and quite possibly unstoppable. 2021: The year liberals threw eggs at black politicians, republicans pushed to legalize pot, conservatives declared “my body, my choice”, and libertarians muttered, “just shoot me now.” I am suffering future shock—the struggle to adapt to an abruptly changing world. Topics that seemed farcical not long ago are less entertaining now. Silly events in public schools and college campuses loosely defined as political correctness have morphed into religious wars. Progress was made in the Cancel Culture Wars. They tried to get Joe Rogan and couldn’t put a glove on him. The populace and the workers at Netflix went after Dave Chappelle and learned that not everybody kowtows: If this is what being canceled is like, I love it… To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands. ~ Dave Chappelle, wisdom Politicians groping for their vig—10% for the Big Guy—have mutated into total MAC (Mutually Assured Corruption). Social contagions are more virulent than biological pathogens. Attempts to stem the movements are emblematic of proto-authoritarianism of the past. I am unable to keep up—unable to even catch my breath on some days. Following up after listening to a widely distributed QTR podcast, a friend and long-time YIR reader asked, “Are you OK?” I said I was fine, but on further reflection realized I was not so sure. You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks. ~ Winston Churchill (@DeadGuy) I have lost friends and made new ones all because of the Great Partisan Divide. (Please excuse the caps throughout; everything now seems to demand a proper name and acronym.) My colleagues have put to rest doubts about whether I am nuts, noting that I am contrarian on all topics. Of course, they don’t hear about the ones for which I have no gripe, but their assertions are not entirely wrong. Friends let me be me, but there is something isolating about it. By contrast, I have many friends in the digital world for which the Venn Diagram of Ideas has a much greater overlap. You can have friends without ever seeing them in the flesh, but these digital pals become bucket-listers for me to meet. Some accept my invitation to have dinner on my deck overseeing Cayuga Lake. Try explaining to your wife that you are having dinner with some guy you met on the internet. This has included famous people like David Einhorn, Tony Deden, Cate Long, and Doug Noland as well as walk-ins whom I knew nothing about until they showed up with a bottle of wine. They have, without fail, brought rewarding evenings of lively chat. Disclaimer: Opinions and ideas expressed herein are not my own. I also don’t use asterisks, so you are just going to have to grow a f*cking pair. If this message is lost because you have sh*t for brains, my advice is to stop reading now. Philosophy. I have let go of the belief that I know truth, because I am relentlessly doubting the veracity of the data from which my narrative derives. In the Age of Narratives, all I can offer is Dave’s Narrative. There is also no topic in the Year of Our Lord 2021 in which my opinion is non-partisan because all opinions are now partisan. Consequently, I may come off as a right-wing white supremacist who moonlights as a Russian operative while serving up nostrums characteristic of an anti-war ex-hippie. This guy is so left wing that he doesn’t even understand his own bias. ~ Rich Weatherford, commenter on a podcast   The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him. ~ Richard Benchley My attempt to create a Unified Theory of Everything is very much like building a jumbo jet in mid-flight. In science, when your model is right, it starts playing like the tail end of a game of Solitaire or a jigsaw puzzle—the cards and pieces naturally fall into place. If the nothing makes sense no matter how hard you try, it may be time to tear down that Rube Goldberg structure and start from a fresh perspective. My greatest strength and weakness are an ability to entertain almost any idea—entertain conspiracy theories and scamper down rabbit holes—until I hit paydirt or hardpan. Feel free to call me a conspiracy theorist; it helps me identify narrow-minded boneheads. What baffles me is why “conspiracy” is so pejorative. Men and women of wealth and power conspire. Anybody who cannot concede that point is an intellectual dingleberry (or works for the Deep State!) Alex Jones got more right than CNN. ~ Dave Smith, comic and possible presidential candidate   Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. ~ Matt Taibbi I am an openly white, right-leaning, closeted hand-sexual male with audacious opinions. I promise, however, that I will sling barbs without regard to race, creed, or color. If I think you are a douche bag, I will say so. When anger consumes me, however, it gives way to angst because somebody may have suckered me into playing a role in some higher authority’s master plan to disrupt the American Dream. As we are being dazzled by the Harlem Globe Trotters, recognize that we are the Washington Generals. Remember the olden days when the wealthy and powerful nefariously assaulted the unsuspecting populace? If caught, scandal followed, heads rolled, and we moved on, leaving us plebes with the sense that justice was served. Since the government was small relative to GDP, the systemic corruption represented a few percent of the system. It’s now growing like a tumor and devoid of consequences for the powerful. In the Age of Narratives, we snarf down platters of propaganda served by powerful media empires. This bread and circuses is free but leaves us marinating in ignorance. It’s a trap Mickey: the cheese is not free! The Western media is now the arm of the State, no better than Pravda. Failed business model led the media into the oldest profession. How many narratives have we fallen for? How many have you fallen for? I think you owe it to yourselves to replay the tape from years past and ask whether you were duped. Malcolm Gladwell’s latest (see Books) suggests we are hard-wired to trust. As social animals, we cannot function if we don’t. It’s difficult to push back but push back we must. The more highly politicized the topic—climate change, pandemics, vaccines, elections, central banking, foreign wars—the greater the urgency to repel. I offer up one of several quotes from Gore Vidal, a thought-leader canted profoundly left whom I have come to view as the intellectuals’ George Carlin: Our rulers for more than half a century have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government has done to other people, not to mention our own. ~ Gore Vidal Sources and Social Media. I am a Twitter long hauler with 70,000 followers but haven’t yet figured out how to monetize the micro-fame enough to buy a mocha Frappuccino. I do, however, find it a useful sounding board. One tweeter—probably a Twitter bot—captured the essence: If you need something researched for free and you don’t feel like doing it just post a tweet about it that’s mildly incorrect and wait. ~ @InternetHippo My Twitter long hauling has occasionally been interrupted by Twitter time-outs. They range from 12 hours to ponder the err in my ways for posting an inappropriate link to Bichute or The Lancet, to a full week for calling Tony Fauci “a skanky whore.” A permanent ban would (will) be painful because I have old and new friends there—Rudy: I love ya man!—who enrich my life with their wisdom. New posse members joining the already eclectic mix include @JonNajarian (getting me closer to winning CNBC Twitter Bingo), scholar and author @BretWeinstein (see Books), actor @AdamBaldwin, polymath rapper @ZubyMusic, and waves of bitcoin hodlers. Favorite news sources include podcasts—I am an audiophile—as well as blogs and newsletters by Tony Greer, James Grant, Jesse Felder, Bill Fleckenstein, Automatic Earth, Grant Williams, Ron Griess of The Chart Store, Chris Martenson, emails from a woman named Denise, and the 500 lb. gorilla of the internet—Zerohedge. I know I’ve missed many more. Apologies. The trouble is, you think you have time. ~ Buddha Figure 1. Toddler hacks the US Strategic Air Command; nuclear war was averted. Topics Untouched. As usual, I am up to my ass in debris on the cutting room floor writing this beast. Some topics simply proved unworthy; others were not ready yet. One of the great merits of blogging is that blogs stand alone; write them when you wish. A once-a-year narrative, by contrast, demands some sort of theme or glue, and, frankly, you can’t write The Wealth of Nations in November. By December the tank read “Empty”, but there were topics I had to finish. I actually started getting minor migraines. What follows are thumbnail sketches of a few stories that were left largely untold. There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen. ~ Vladimir Lenin By late 2020, it was clear that I had overlooked China as the global provocateur. They are Orwell’s hole in the air—the blurry schlieren in the jungle as the Predator arrives to tear out Arnie’s organs. The Chinese have infiltrated all aspects of the West’s geopolitical and economic system. Josh Rogin’s Chaos Under Heaven (see Books) is an excellent primer. I’ve heard second hand that the military top brass believes we are already at war but just don’t realize it yet. I regret punting the most important story, but they invented the punt for a reason. I’ve taken a pass on campus politics, cancel culture, and all things politically correct. I know how much joy it brought many of you to find out how much you wasted sending your children to college, but this was an off-year. Cancel culture may be fading because, to put it bluntly, nobody likes a bunch of clueless douche bags. Critical race theory (CRT) with its deeply Marxist underpinnings and intentions is a bad idea whose time has come. In a law school, there are scholarly components. As it seeps into the K–12 zone it becomes a steaming load of crap. If you have kids, you should go to school board meetings and get arrested for speaking up or, what is now called, being a domestic terrorist. It masquerades as objective science but was written as—all right, I’ll use the word—propaganda. ~ Steven Koonin (@SteveKoonin), former Cal Tech physicist, Obama Science Advisor, and author of Unsettled? The 2019 YIR tackled climate change.ref 1 I thought I might be augmenting it this year, but I will simply leave it by noting a few high-water marks. Steve Koonin, former Cal Tech physicist, expert modeler of complex systems, and Obama chief science advisor wrote the book Settled?. (See Books.) Like many other “climate deniers” his creds are beyond reproach. Steve had chaired the American Physical Society’s committee of 12 elite scientists that examined the state of climate science. After paying some lip service to Mankind’s contributions, Steve eviscerated the models and absurdities comprising the Climate Change Narrative. This, of course, caused a seismic shift in the scientific community’s view of our global climate initiatives. Just kidding. Nobody gave a shit because trillions of dollars have already been spent on it and an estimated $150 trillion more will be handed out to anybody willing to feign belief in the Scriptures. I also had a long talk with a Stanford University psychologist and media expert who went down that rabbit hole and became a denier. Nothing will get in the way of this $150-trillion-dollar juggernaut. All hail Greta! By the way, Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans appears to have snuck back on YouTube after being banned for truthiness. It is a good documentary.ref 2 Despite numerous podcasts with Holy Rolling Bitcoin Hodlers with their Scriptures under arm trying to sell me currency warranties, I remain on the sidelines (a no-coiner, pejoratively speaking). I cannot add much to this heated debate except to congratulate them for riding Metcalf’s Law to riches. I suspect their next test will be a Tether insolvency or a good ol’ fashioned credit crunch, prefacing the final Battle of the Bastards pitting the Hodlers versus The State unwilling to forfeit control of the money supply. All of this presumes cryptos aren’t just a fad. I wish you laser-eyed crazies well. Dude –you deserve a Pulitzer for your coverage of the George Floyd Story, and I’m going to tweet that out. ~ Tony Greer (@TgMacro), TGMacro In the 2020 YIR I wrote extensively on why Chauvin would be a tricky conviction.ref 3 At least two of us thought it worthy. The trial went off without a hitch. The media’s minor lipservice given to why angry mobs in the street would make it hard for the jury to remain unbiased while obsessing over why he should be convicted no matter what. The jury did their job. The part that was missed was the witness nullification. I must confess to not watching much, but nobody—as in not a single person in court—wanted to provide the testimony that got Chauvin acquitted. You could hear witnesses choose their words carefully. I’m not even sure the defense team wanted the win. Oh well, I wouldn’t underwrite Derek’s life insurance policy. Prosecutor: But you decided you needed to run because of the fire of [inaudible]: why? What was so urgent? Kyle Rittenhouse: There was a fire. Enter the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. In shades of the Covington Scandal, even the President of the United States fondled the scales of justice to ensure the right outcome. The talking heads served up narratives that were fact-free clickbait to pay the bills. The prosecution was so comically bad—moments of great levityref 4a,b,c—that I began to wonder if they were tossing the case intentionally. Both the judge and the prosecution appeared to be intentionally setting up a mistrial. Kyle is gonna have a college essay to die for. Good luck getting it past all but Liberty University’s admissions committee.ref 5 In a related story, Nick Sandmann of Covington fame got his third quarter of a billion dollar settlement for defamation of character. Early negotiations are rumored to involve a 50:50 split of CNN by Sandmann and Rittenhouse. Figure 2. Judge David Collum and Kyle Rittenhouse playing Call of Duty-Modern Warfare. And now to bullet a few drive-by shootings: The Epstein story could have been resurrected from the 2019 YIRref 6 with the arrest of Head Pimp, Gishlaine “Gizz” Maxwell, caught hiding in a New Hampshire mansion already surveilled by the FBI, but it is just starting. I’m guessing she will be convicted of a 1997 minor traffic(king) violation, punished with time served, and retire comfortably on the MPP (Mossad Pension Plan) to live out her days in seclusion with her manly girlfriend, Jessica Schlepstein. Durham’s investigation of the Steele Dossier could heat up but hasn’t yet. Indictments are working their way from the bottom up. I won’t believe that plot has legs till I see it running. Nobody in power ever pays for their misdeeds. The Pandora Papers showed galaxy-class criminality of the global elite socking over $11 trillion dollars away in off-shore accounts, but prominent Americans were notably absent.ref 7 The media assured us that there are no crooks of such sociopathy in America.ref 8 The story had the shelf life of a souffle. John McAfee offed himself (or not). There were rumors that he had a kill switch that would hew vast stands of powerful people including voter fraudsters.ref 9 Well, McDeadGuy, we’re waiting. It won’t matter anyway because…oh never mind. Major Themes of 2021. Enough already: what are you going to talk about? I cover the usual topics on the economy and investing and take a bat to market valuations again. Broken Markets are a prominent because they’ve never been more broken. Covid-19 and the vaccine get serious facetime as the opening act of a much bigger drama. The events at the January Insurrection offers more plot thickener as one of the most important single days in American history. That anagnorisis arrives when the voice says, “The call is coming from inside the house!” The final scene will be the rise of global authoritarianism—total global domination—and you squeal… I did nazi that coming. WTF just happened? Figure 3. Change comes with little warning. Contents Part 1  Introduction My Year Investing – Gold, Energy, and Materials  Gold and Silver The Economy Inflation The Fed Valuations Broken Markets Part 2 (Coming Soon) Covid-19 – The Disease Covid-19 – The Response Vaccine – The Risks Vaccine – The Rollout Part 3 (Coming Soon) Biden – Freshman Year One Scorecard Capitol Insurrection Rising Authoritarianism Conclusion Acknowledgment Books My Year This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read. ~ Winston Churchill I read a book on narcissism. Although I flunked yet another test having checked a paucity of the boxes, there were a couple of categories demanding a big Sharpie. Narcissistic tendencies underly all achievement so there’s that too. This section is where I wander through the last calendar year of my life looking for college-essay material. It can be skipped by all but the most loyal readers (three at last count). That isn’t writing at all, it’s typing. ~ Truman Capote Self-Improvement. OK. Let’s call it attenuated personal decay. I had dropped 26 pounds of comorbidity in 2020 and another 10 pounds in 2021. I am by no means emaciated yet. I was pestered by London money manager Mitch Feierstein into playing a seminal round of golf after decades of neglect and was hooked. While watching the final hole of the FedEx Open, Cantalay hits a 371-yard drive, a 217-yard 6 iron 10 ft from the cup and two-putts for a birdie and $15 million. I’m thinkin’, “Hey: I can birdie a par 5 with a few Mulligans!” .....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 3rd, 2022

A McDonald"s customer assaulted an employee with a french-fry scoop because her order took too long, Nashville police say

Nashville authorities said they were searching for a McDonald's customer who attacked a worker and then drove away. The incident took place in Nashville, Tennessee. Reuters Nashville police are seeking help to identify a suspect who attacked a McDonald's employee. The incident occurred after the customer became irate over a delay with her order, police said. The employee, who has not yet been identified, suffered a gash to their forehead after the attack. An irate McDonald's customer attacked an employee because her order took too long, according to Nashville police.The Nashville Police Department said in a statement on its website that the dispute took place on October 2 at a Tennessee branch.The Charlotte Observer first reported on the incident.The suspect became angry when her order took longer than expected. She then went behind the counter and "punched an employee with the metal fry scooper," the police statement said. According to officers, the employee, who has not yet been identified, suffered a gash to their forehead after being hit with the instrument, which is typically made from stainless steel. Following the incident, the suspect was seen driving away in a silver Chevy Impala with "a friend and children," the police statement said. Police released images of the suspect and appealed for information. Nashville Police Department McDonald's and Nashville Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Investigators are asking the public to help track down the female suspect. In a series of photos uploaded to help identify her, the woman was seen to be wearing a face mask below her chin. In a separate incident earlier this year, a McDonald's manager reportedly had a gun pulled on him after two customers complained their fries were too salty.In another fast-food-related incident that also took place in Tennessee, Memphis police said they arrested two customers for starting a shooting at a Burger King branch in June.The pair had complained that their chicken sandwich had too much hot sauce, Insider's Grace Dean reported. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 17th, 2021

A McDonald"s customer assaulted an employee with a french-fry scoop because her order took too long, according to Nashville police

Nashville authorities say they are searching for a McDonald's customer who attacked an employee and then fled the scene, per reports. The incident took place in Nashville, Tennessee. Reuters Nashville police are seeking help to identify a suspect who attacked a McDonald's employee. The incident occurred after the customer became irate over a delay with her order, police said. The employee, who has not yet been identified, suffered a gash to their forehead after the attack. An irate McDonald's customer attacked an employee because her order took too long, according to Nashville police.The Nashville Police Department said in a statement on its website that the dispute took place on October 2 at a Tennessee branch.The Charlotte Observer first reported on the incident.The suspect became angry when her order took longer than expected. She then went behind the counter and "punched an employee with the metal fry scooper," according to the police statement. According to police, the employee, who has not yet been identified, suffered a gash to their forehead after being hit with the instrument, which is typically made from stainless steel. Following the incident, the suspect was seen driving off in a silver Chevy Impala with "a friend and children," officials said. Police released images of the suspect and appealed for information. Nashville Police Department McDonald's and Nashville Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Investigators are asking the public to help track down the female suspect. In a series of photos uploaded to help identify her, the woman was seen to be wearing a face mask below her chin. In a separate incident earlier this year, a McDonald's manager reportedly had a gun pulled on him after two customers complained their fries were too salty.In another fast-food-related incident that also took place in Tennessee, Memphis police said they arrested two customers for starting a shooting at a Burger King branch in June.The pair had complained that their chicken sandwich had too much hot sauce, Insider's Grace Dean reported. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 16th, 2021

Taibbi: Konstantin Kilimnik, Russiagate"s Last Fall Guy, Speaks Out

Taibbi: Konstantin Kilimnik, Russiagate's Last Fall Guy, Speaks Out Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News, On Real Time With Bill Maher two Fridays ago, I fumbled and deflected politely over a Russiagate question, instead of going full cage match. The segment went off the rails beginning with this exchange: MAHER: You compared it to WMDs. You said, the Russia connection with Trump is this generation’s WMD. I don’t think that’s an accurate analogy, because there were no WMDs. But there was collusion with Russia. TAIBBI: Really? Where? MAHER: Where? The Senate Intelligence Committee, run by Republicans, who are if anything slavish to Trump, their report said, “The Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian intelligence services during the 2016 presidential election posed a ‘grave’ counterintelligence threat.” First of all, that quote isn’t from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report from last August. It’s actually a paraphrase of the report from an Associated Press article, “Trump campaign’s Russia contacts ‘grave’ threat, Senate says,” which reads: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian intelligence services during the 2016 presidential election posed a “grave” counterintelligence threat, a Senate panel concluded Tuesday… The real SSCI quote is a little different: Taken as a whole, Manafort's high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services, particularly Kilimnik and associates of Oleg Deripaska, represented a grave counterintelligence threat. By all rights, Russiagate should be dead as a serious news story. But as the Real Time episode showed, “collusion” is still alive for some, and the bulk of the case essentially rests now upon the characterization of one person from the above passage as a Russian agent: a former aide to Paul Manafort named Konstantin Kilimnik. Kilimnik is a Ukrainian-American who’d served in the army and was hired to work as a translator at the American-funded International Republican Institute in Moscow beginning in the mid-nineties. In 2005, he left the IRI to go work for Paul Manafort, who was advising future president Viktor Yanukovich and the “Party of Regions” in Ukraine. As it happens, Kilimnik worked at the IRI in Moscow during the same time I lived in that city in the nineties and early 2000s. In fact, he was well-known enough in that small expatriate community that in the space of a day last week I was able to reach, through mutual acquaintances, five of Kilimnik’s former colleagues, including three from the IRI and one from the U.S. State Department, to whom he was a regular and valuable contact (the Senate investigators left that fact out). I also called Kilimnik and had two lengthy interviews with him. Why bring this up? Because in that little flurry of calls, I did more actual work on Konstantin Kilimnik than either the Special Counsel or SSCI researchers, who ostensibly spent thousands of man-hours investigating him. Kilimnik being a spy wouldn’t just mean that the Trump campaign had been penetrated. It would mean the same thing for the IRI, which was chaired by late Senator and leading proponent of the Russiagate theory John McCain at the time. More to the point, it would also be disastrous for the State Department, and particularly for the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, whose staffers placed great trust in “KK” as a regular source. The FBI’s own declassified reports show Kilimnik met with the head of the Kiev embassy’s political section “at least biweekly” during his time working with Manafort and Yanukovitch, adding that he “displayed good knowledge and seemed to know what was going on,” and came across as “less slanted” than other sources, among many other things. This fits with what I was told by multiple former colleagues of Kilimnik’s, that staffers in the Kiev embassy valued his analyses above those of some Americans in Yanukovitch’s orbit. (A third former co-worker was a little more blunt about what he heard, saying the Kiev embassy was “sucking his dick”). They also show the embassy was so intent on protecting Kilimnik’s identity as a State Department source that they pulled his name out of diplomatic cables sent home: Kilimnik says he “played a certain role in communication with the Western embassies in Kiev” both before and after the “Euromaidan” Revolution in 2014. “I tried to draw attention to facts about thugs attacking TV channels and opposition politicians, and things like [an arson attack against “InterTV” in 2016],” he says, adding that he “naively thought the West would stand for media freedom and protecting rules for fair play in politics, like it has for many years.” The only reason nobody’s asked the Senate Committee why Kilimnik’s alleged spy status doesn’t also represent a “grave” embarrassment to, say, the U.S. State Department is because our press corps is the most dogshit on earth (more on that in a moment). Special Counsel Robert Mueller claimed the FBI spoke to an IRI employee who said Kilimnik was “fired from his post because his links to Russian intelligence were too strong.” Though not all the IRI staffers I reached liked Kilimnik, each found the idea that he might be a spy alternately ridiculous and baffling. Multiple ex-colleagues said they believed he was fired for “moonlighting,” i.e. because he’d already started working for Manafort. “I was actually moonlighting. It was a funny story,” Kilimnik says (for a more complete explanation, see the Q&A below). As to the idea that it was known around the IRI office that Kilimnik had intelligence ties, one former senior IRI official said, “I think whoever said that, that’s someone trying to feel more important in retrospect,” adding that the idea that he was “some GRU plant from years gone by” was questionable because the Russians “didn’t know their right from their left back then, and the IRI could not described as a high-value target.” The official concluded: “I find the notion that Kilimnik is now this big figure remarkable.” None of former employees of the Moscow IRI office I spoke with had been contacted by any American investigator, including Mueller. Then there’s the matter of the suspect himself. Question to Kilimnik: how many times was he questioned by American authorities, with whom he was so familiar — remember he met with American officials “at least biweekly” at one point pre-Trump — during the entire Russiagate period? “Not a single person from the U.S. Government ever reached out to me,” Kilimnik says. Nobody from the Office of the Special Counsel, the FBI, or the Senate Intelligence Committee ever contacted him? “Not once,” Kilimnik says. “Nobody from Mueller’s team reached out to me, literally nobody.” In reaching Kilimnik last week I also became just the second American reporter, after Aaron Maté of RealClear Investigations and Grayzone, to call Kilimnik for comment on the Senate report. Virtually every American news organization or TV commentary program has in the last year repeated accusations against Kilimnik made by either the Senate Intelligence Committee or the U.S. Treasury Department, which earlier this year called him a “Russian Intelligence Services agent” in an announcement of sanctions against Russia. It was once normal practice in American media to give people a chance to respond to serious allegations, but no longer, apparently. “Zero. Zero,” says Kilimnik, when asked how many American media outlets called him after the release of the Senate report. Incidentally, Kilimnik isn’t hiding under a snow-covered trap door at a secret FSB installation outside Izhievsk. He’s in an apartment in Northwest Moscow, where anyone could find him. “Everybody knows my phone number. It was in Mueller’s reports,” he says. “But I got no questions. I mean, a lot of people know how to find me. I guess they just didn’t care.” Kilimnik was even on the list of 16 entities and 16 individuals the Treasury just this year said “attempted to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election at the direction of the leadership of the Russian Government.” That’s the 2020 election, not the 2016 election, meaning the one that came after the Senate report. “The US actually sanctioned me for interference in 2020 elections,” Kilimnik says. “I would not be able to say why. I’d love to know. I’ve been sitting in fucking Moscow, in my backyard, and feeding squirrels. Must have been some sort of interference.” The aforementioned Maté published photos of Kilimnik’s passport that appear to show he entered the U.S. on a visa stamped in a regular Russian passport on October 28, 1997. This is the same date the Senate committee said he was entering the United States on a diplomatic passport. The Senate also said Kilimnik met with Manafort in Spain in 2017, which he denies. “I’ve never been to Spain,” Kilimnik laughs. “I haven’t been there. Let them prove I’ve been there.” Another thing that came up on Real Time was the idea that we shouldn’t dismiss the monetarily tiny Russian Facebook campaign — featuring classics that ironically read like Real Time bits, with images of Jesus pleading with American voters, “Struggling with addiction to masturbation? Reach out to me and we’ll beat it together” — because “9/11 didn’t cost much either”: I oversold things on the air, talking about how the Internet Research Agency only spent $100,000, as only $44,000 of that was before the campaign. More importantly, only a tiny percentage of ads qualified as coherent propaganda. I’d wager few Americans have actually read through all these ads, which have messages like, “Tell me once again that there’s no such thing as white privilege,” “Stop Trump and his bigoted agenda!”, and “Share the experience and the challenges of the black hair industry.” Overall, for 2016, they read like a creepy, overambitious parody of woke culture, with a tinge of Charlie Manson’s “Helter Skelter” plan thrown in. Whatever it is/was, it’s pretty far from 9/11: Kilimnik stands accused of helping Evil Von Putin aim this high-tech weapon. How? Senate investigators said, “Manafort briefed Kilimnik on sensitive Campaign polling data and the Campaign’s strategy for beating Hillary Clinton.” What was sensitive about it? “That’s bullshit. There was nothing that resembled ‘sensitive’ polling data,” Kilimnik says. “I would get two figures maybe once a month, not every day, not every week.” Two figures — meaning two pages? “Two digits,” he says. “Like, ‘Trump 40, Hillary 45.’ That’s all I would get, nothing more. So I don’t understand how this is sensitive data.” Kilimnik was getting his information from former Trump deputy campaign chief Rick Gates, who was directed to send the data to Kilimnik by Manafort. None other than Rachel Maddow once called Gates “Mueller’s star cooperating witness.” I called Gates last week and asked: what was he passing to Kilimnik? “Top-line data, and I want people to understand what that means,” he says. “It was like, ‘Ohio, Clinton 48, Trump 50,’ Or, ‘Wisconsin, Trump 50, Clinton 42.’ The sources were a combination of things like RealClear Politics and occasionally some numbers from [Republican pollster] Tony Fabrizio. But it was all just top-line stuff.” Gates’s story is that Manafort was passing this data back to people like his longtime sponsors, the Ukrainian barons Rinat Akhmetov and Sergei Lyvochkin, because “Paul was just trying to show that Trump was doing well,” as “Paul was just trying to do what he’s always done,” i.e. trying to show how valuable he could be. For those disinclined to believing the Gates or Kilimnik version of events, remember that neither Mueller nor the Senate Intelligence Committee could come up with a different one. Apart from adding “sensitive” to their description (Mueller just called it “internal polling data”), the Senate never offered evidence that Kilimnik was getting more than those few numbers. As to why Kilimnik was sent this information, this is what the Senate had to say: The Committee was unable to reliably determine why Manafort shared sensitive internal polling data or Campaign strategy with Kilimnik. Manafort and Gates both claimed that it was part of an effort to resolve past business disputes and obtain new work with their past Russian and Ukrainian clients by showcasing Manafort's success. Why “sensitive?” The Committee was “unable to reliably determine” why, having no idea what Kilimnik did with those numbers. But they were sure enough it was bad to conclude it represented a “grave counterintelligence threat.” Kilimnik is roughly the twentieth suspect in a long list of alleged secret conduits that across five years have already been tried out and discarded by pundits and investigators alike as “smoking gun” links between Trump and Putin. An abbreviated list: There was a Maltese professor named Josef Mifsud and a young Trump aide named George Papadopoulos, former Trump adviser Carter Page, an alleged “secret server” supposedly pinging between Trump and Alfa Bank, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser J.D. Gordon, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, real estate developer Felix Sater, another Russian who approached Trump people claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton named Henry Oknyansky, a Russian firm called Concord Consulting, plus Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, and many others. The pattern with all of these “smoking gun” cases was the same. At first, there would be a great press hullaballoo, complete with front-page media profiles and heated straight-to-camera monologues at the tops of cable commentary shows over “Breaking News” chyrons: Freakouts would be long, but months or years later, narratives would collapse. Ambassador Sergei Kislyak was everyone’s favorite suspect in the summer of 2016 for having done everything from rig the Republican convention platform to turning Sessions into a spy, but then Mueller quietly said Kisylak’s interactions with Trump officials in those months were “brief, public, and non-substantive.” Reporters howled that Christopher Steele was right about Cohen meeting Russian hackers in Prague to help rig the 2016 race, and even claimed (see above) that Mueller was about to release evidence of it any minute, until Mueller said flatly, “Cohen… never traveled to Prague.” The saddest case involved Carter Page. Steele’s Dossier identified Page — not Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, or even Donald Trump — as the mastermind of the Wikileaks leak: The aim of leaking the DNC e-mails to WikiLeaks during the Democratic Convention had been to swing supporters of Bernie SANDERS away from Hillary CLINTON and across to TRUMP… This objective had been conceived and promoted, inter alia, by TRUMP’s foreign policy adviser Carter PAGE… Steele also had Page negotiating a massive bribe via the oil company Rosneft in exchange for the dropping of sanctions, and acting as the personal intermediary between Paul Manafort and the Kremlin. Page, not knowing he was being spied upon, told an FBI informant that August that he had “literally never met” or “said one word to” Paul Manafort, even going so far as to complain that Manafort never answered his emails. The FBI sat on this information, and wrote up a secret surveillance warrant application that read: Sub-Source reported that the conspiracy was being managed by Candidate’s then campaign manager, who was using, among others, foreign policy advisor Carter Page as an intermediary… It wasn’t until the report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz came out in December of 2019 that the world found out that the FBI not only “did not have information corroborating the specific allegations against Carter Page,” but had covered up Page’s history as an informant for the CIA, very much like the Senate and the Treasury are now covering up Kilimnik’s status as a U.S. State Department source. Kilimnik is just the last person on the list, and he’s conveniently in Moscow, unlikely to ever come back here to defend himself. As such, he’s the perfect fall guy for the marooned-Japanese-soldier-type holdouts on Russiagate who think the collusion narrative is still viable. More from Kilimnik: TK: You were described by the Senate Intelligence Committee as a “Russian Intelligence Officer.” Are you one? Konstantin Kilimnik: I have not had any relationship with any intelligence agency. Not with U.S. intelligence, not the Ukrainian, Russian, Zimbabwean, whatever. I’m a consultant who has worked for many years running elections in Ukraine. I just haven’t had any relationship with any intelligence, and haven’t seen any facts proving otherwise. I think the investigation was so politically charged from the beginning, that they just needed to find a Russian body that they could just put as much dirt as possible on. Ultimately, nobody is going to care, because all the Russians are considered to be bad anyhow, they’re all spies. TK: The intelligence community in the U.S. seems unanimous in their conclusion that Russians interfered in the 2016 and 2020 elections. Did they not? Konstantin Kilimnik: I don’t think Russians interfered… I know that runs counter to all the conclusions of the intelligence community and all that country to all the intelligence and press and all that. And maybe there were other efforts, as well. But, I was not involved in any of that. There was a lot of misinformation, just because the public wanted someone, and I just happened to be that person thrown into the mix. If I had Hungarian citizenship or any other citizenship, of course, people would not have given my name. They just needed the Russian connection, and I happened to be that unfortunate Russian connection. TK: The Mueller report claims an IRI employee believed you were “fired from his post because his links to Russian intelligence were too strong.” Others say you were “moonlighting.” Why did you leave the IRI? Konstantin Kilimnik: I was actually moonlighting. It was a funny story. I was looking for ways to move on, because by 2005 I had been at IRI for 10 years. Some time in mid-2004 an old IRI pal, Phil Griffin, reemerged and proposed a well-paying job of going to Ukraine and writing analyses of what was going on during the Orange Revolution, for Manafort. So, I went there after not having been to Ukraine for over 10 years. I was ecstatic about Kiev and got seriously interested in what was going on politically… Manafort, Griffin and I (as a translator) went to Donetsk in, I think, November 2004 to meet some guy I had no previous knowledge of (who turned out to be Rinat Akhmetov’s closest confidant, Borys Kolesnikov). Manafort and he spoke for several days and got convinced that the “Donetsk guys” were not even close to being thugs they had been portrayed by the Western media to be. I went back a couple of times to translate for these meetings, which I thought were not in any conflict with my work at IRI Moscow. Then, the government in Ukraine changed. [Viktor] Yuschenko became the President, Manafort was in negotiations about the contract, and I almost forgot about my short translation jobs. In April 2005, we were at an IRI retreat, and my boss, director of Europe and Eurasia programs Steve Nix got a tip from the new President’s office that “Donetsk thugs” were looking to hire an American consultant, and that a guy who seemed to work at IRI was helping in the process. Steve, who was very pro-Yuschenko, completely freaked out, and accused me of working for criminals. I said that a) I was doing this in my free time, 2) this did not conflict in any way with my job at IRI Russia, and 3) maybe things are not so straightforward in Ukrainian politics, and there are no guys in black and white hats, but mostly gray hats. He disagreed and demanded I resign, which I did. TK: The Senate claims you met Manafort in Spain in 2017. Did you? Konstantin Kilimnik: I have never been to Spain. (laughter)...I have not been there. They can’t prove that. And yet they’ve inserted that. And yet, that’s central to what they’re saying. Europe is specific place in terms of passports and immigration. To cross the border, you have to give your fingerprints, and upon any re-entry too. If I went to Spain, I can guarantee that, first of all, Europe keeps a record of that. They would say that I have crossed the border at a certain time in a certain place. And that would be okay because, again, it’s all tied to the fingerprints. You cannot get into the EU without this. You can’t fake it. So let them prove it. TK: You’ve been accused of obtaining that “sensitive polling data” for Oleg Deripaska. Was that right? Konstantin Kilimnik: No, Deripaska was a Russian businessman. I actually didn’t have any contact with him. There were Ukrainian businessmen and Ukrainian politicians in 2016 who were in opposition, and who were actually under pressure from Petro Poroshenko’s government. Naturally, for them, any change, opening a channel into the U.S. Government, that for them would have been a great thing. So that’s why they were interested in the outcome of the elections. There was no Russian connection whatsoever. If there were, they would have a record of me talking to Deripaska or visiting him.TK: You never had any contact with Deripaska? Konstantin Kilimnik: No, I haven’t met him since, I’m afraid to be exact, but like 2006, I think was the last time I saw him. I was translating for Manafort. But after that, Manafort spoke to him himself, because Deripaska spoke the language by then. And there was no need for me. Part 2 of my interview with Konstantin Kilimnik is coming later this week. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/13/2021 - 21:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 13th, 2021

Futures Rise On Taper, Evergrande Optimism

Futures Rise On Taper, Evergrande Optimism US index futures jumped overnight even as the Fed confirmed that a November tapering was now guaranteed and would be completed by mid-2022 with one rate hike now on deck, while maintaining the possibility to extend stimulus if necessitated by the economy. Sentiment got an additional boost from a strong showing of Evergrande stock - which closed up 17% - during the Chinese session, which peaked just after Bloomberg reported that China told Evergrande to avoid a near-term dollar bond default and which suggested that the "government wants to avoid an imminent collapse of the developer" however that quickly reversed when the WSJ reported, just one hour later, that China was making preparations for Evergrande's demise, and although that hammered stocks, the report explicitly noted that a worst-case scenario for Evergrande would mean a partial or full nationalization as "local-level government agencies and state-owned enterprises have been instructed to step in only at the last minute should Evergrande fail to manage its affairs in an orderly fashion." In other words, both reports are bullish: either foreign creditors are made whole (no default) as per BBG or the situation deteriorates and Evergrande is nationalized ("SOEs step in") as per WSJ. According to Bloomberg, confidence is building that markets can ride out a pullback in Fed stimulus, unlike 2013 when the taper tantrum triggered large losses in bonds and equities. "Investors are betting that the economic and profit recovery will be strong enough to outweigh a reduction in asset purchases, while ultra-low rates will continue to support riskier assets even as concerns linger about contagion from China’s real-estate woes." That's one view: the other is that the Fed has so broken the market's discounting ability we won't know just how bad tapering will get until it actually begins. “The Fed has got to be pleased that their communication on the longer way to tapering has avoided the dreaded fear of the tantrum,” Jeffrey Rosenberg, senior portfolio manager for systematic fixed income at BlackRock Inc., said on Bloomberg Television. “This is a very good outcome for the Fed in terms of signaling their intent to give the market information well ahead of the tapering decision.” Then there is the question of Evergrande: “With regards to Evergrande, all those people who are waiting for a Lehman moment in China will probably have to wait another turn,” said Ken Peng, an investment strategist at Citi Private Bank Asia Pacific. “So I wouldn’t treat this as completely bad, but there are definitely a lot of risks on the horizon.” In any case, today's action is a continuation of the best day in two months for both the Dow and the S&P which staged a strong recovery from two-month lows hit earlier in the week, and as of 745am ET, S&P 500 E-minis were up 25.25 points, or 0.6%, Dow E-minis were up 202 points, or 0.59%, while Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 92.0 points, or 0.60%. In the premarket, electric vehicle startup Lucid Group rose 3.1% in U.S. premarket trading. PAVmed (PVM US) jumps 11% after its Lucid Diagnostics unit announced plans to list on the Global Market of the Nasdaq Stock Market.  Here are some of the biggest movers today: U.S.-listed Chinese stocks rise in premarket trading as fears of contagion from China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis ease. Blackberry (BB US) shares rise 8.7% in premarket after co.’s 2Q adjusted revenue beat the average of analysts’ estimates Eargo (EAR US) falls 57% in Thursday premarket after the hearing aid company revealed it was the target of a Justice Department criminal probe and withdrew its forecasts for the year Amplitude Healthcare Acquisition (AMHC US) doubled in U.S. premarket trading after the SPAC’s shareholders approved the previously announced business combination with Jasper Therapeutics Steelcase (SCS US) fell 4.8% Wednesday postmarket after the office products company reported revenue for the second quarter that missed the average analyst estimate Vertex Energy Inc. (VTNR US) gained 2.1% premarket after saying the planned acquisition of a refinery in Mobile, Alabama from Royal DutVTNR US Equitych Shell Plc is on schedule Synlogic (SYBX US) shares declined 9.7% premarket after it launched a stock offering launched without disclosing a size HB Fuller (FUL US) climbed 2.7% in postmarket trading after third quarter sales beat even the highest analyst estimate Europe's Stoxx 600 index rose 0.9%, lifted by carmakers, tech stocks and utilities, which helped it recover losses sparked earlier in the week by concerns about Evergrande and China’s crackdown on its property sector. The gauge held its gain after surveys of purchasing managers showed business activity in the euro area lost momentum and slowed broadly in September after demand peaked over the summer and supply-chain bottlenecks hurt services and manufacturers. Euro Area Composite PMI (September, Flash): 56.1, consensus 58.5, last 59.0. Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (September, Flash): 58.7, consensus 60.3, last 61.4. Euro Area Services PMI (September, Flash): 56.3, consensus 58.5, last 59.0. Germany Composite PMI (September, Flash): 55.3, consensus 59.2, last 60.0. France Composite PMI (September, Flash): 55.1, consensus 55.7, last 55.9. UK Composite PMI (September, Flash): 54.1, consensus 54.6, last 54.8. Commenting on Europe's PMIs, Goldman said that the Euro area composite PMI declined by 2.9pt to 56.1 in September, well below consensus expectations. The softening was broad-based across countries but primarily led by Germany. The peripheral composite flash PMI also weakened significantly in September but remain very high by historical standards (-2.4pt to 57.5). Across sectors, the September composite decline was also broad-based, with manufacturing output softening (-3.3pt to 55.6) to a similar extent as services (-2.7pt to 56.3). Supply-side issues and upward cost and price pressures continued to be widely reported. Expectations of future output growth declined by less than spot output on the back of delta variant worries and supply issues, remaining far above historically average levels. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose for the first time in four sessions, as Hong Kong helped lead a rally on hopes that troubled property firm China Evergrande Group will make progress on debt repayment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.5%, with Tencent and Meituan providing the biggest boosts. The Hang Seng jumped as much as 2.5%, led by real estate stocks as Evergrande surged more than 30%. Hong Kong shares later pared their gains. Asian markets were also cheered by gains in U.S. stocks overnight even as the Federal Reserve said it may begin scaling back stimulus this year. A $17 billion net liquidity injection from the People’s Bank of China also provided a lift, while the Fed and Bank of Japan downplayed Evergrande risks in comments accompanying policy decisions Wednesday. Evergrande’s stock closed 18% higher in Hong Kong, in a delayed reaction to news a unit of the developer had negotiated interest payments on yuan notes. A coupon payment on its 2022 dollar bond is due on Thursday “Investors are perhaps reassessing the tail risk of a disorderly fallout from Evergrande’s credit issues,” said Chetan Seth, a strategist at Nomura. “However, I am not sure if the fundamental issue around its sustainable deleveraging has been addressed. I suspect markets will likely remain quite volatile until we have some definite direction from authorities on the eventual resolution of Evergrande’s debt problems.” Stocks rose in most markets, with Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and India also among the day’s big winners. South Korea’s benchmark was the lone decliner, while Japan was closed for a holiday In rates, Treasuries were off session lows, with the 10Y trading a 1.34%, but remained under pressure in early U.S. session led by intermediate sectors, where 5Y yield touched highest since July 2. Wednesday’s dramatic yield-curve flattening move unleashed by Fed communications continued, compressing 5s30s spread to 93.8bp, lowest since May 2020. UK 10-year yield climbed 3.4bp to session high 0.833% following BOE rate decision (7-2 vote to keep bond-buying target unchanged); bunds outperformed slightly. Peripheral spreads tighten with long-end Italy outperforming. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an earlier gain and dropped 0.3% as the dollar weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen amid a more positive sentiment. CAD, NOK and SEK are the strongest performers in G-10, JPY the laggard.  The euro and the pound briefly pared gains after weaker-than-forecast German and British PMIs. The pound rebounded from an eight-month low amid a return of global risk appetite as investors assessed whether the Bank of England will follow the Federal Reserve’s hawkish tone later Thursday. The yield differential between 10-year German and Italian debt narrowed to its tightest since April. Norway’s krone advanced after Norges Bank raised its policy rate in line with expectations and signaled a faster pace of tightening over the coming years. The franc whipsawed as the Swiss National Bank kept its policy rate and deposit rate at record lows, as expected, and reiterated its pledge to wage currency market interventions. The yen fell as a unit of China Evergrande said it had reached an agreement with bond holders over an interest payment, reducing demand for haven assets. Turkey’s lira slumped toa record low against the dollar after the central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates. In commodities, crude futures drifted lower after a rangebound Asia session. WTI was 0.25% lower, trading near $72; Brent dips into the red, so far holding above $76. Spot gold adds $3.5, gentle reversing Asia’s losses to trade near $1,771/oz. Base metals are well bid with LME aluminum leading gains. Bitcoin steadied just below $44,000. Looking at the day ahead, we get the weekly initial jobless claims, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for August, and the Kansas City fed’s manufacturing activity index for September. From central banks, there’ll be a monetary policy decision from the Bank of England, while the ECB will be publishing their Economic Bulletin and the ECB’s Elderson will also speak. From emerging markets, there’ll also be monetary policy decisions from the Central Bank of Turkey and the South African Reserve Bank. Finally in Germany, there’s an election debate with the lead candidates from the Bundestag parties. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 4,413.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 468.32 MXAP up 0.5% to 200.57 MXAPJ up 0.9% to 645.76 Nikkei down 0.7% to 29,639.40 Topix down 1.0% to 2,043.55 Hang Seng Index up 1.2% to 24,510.98 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,642.22 Sensex up 1.4% to 59,728.37 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.0% to 7,370.22 Kospi down 0.4% to 3,127.58 German 10Y yield fell 5.6 bps to -0.306% Euro up 0.4% to $1.1728 Brent Futures up 0.3% to $76.39/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,768.25 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.33% to 93.16 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Financial regulators in Beijing issued a broad set of instructions to China Evergrande Group, telling the embattled developer to focus on completing unfinished properties and repaying individual investors while avoiding a near-term default on dollar bonds China’s central bank net-injected the most short- term liquidity in eight months into the financial system, with markets roiled by concerns over China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis Europe’s worst energy crisis in decades could drag deep into the cold months as Russia is unlikely to boost shipments until at least November Business activity in the euro area “markedly” lost momentum in September after demand peaked over the summer and supply chain bottlenecks hurt both services and manufacturers. Surveys of purchasing managers by IHS Markit showed growth in both sectors slowing more than expected, bringing overall activity to a five-month low. Input costs, meanwhile, surged to the highest in 21 years, according to the report The U.K. private sector had its weakest month since the height of the winter lockdown and inflation pressures escalated in September, adding to evidence that the recovery is running into significant headwinds, IHS Markit said The U.K.’s record- breaking debut green bond sale has given debt chief Robert Stheeman conviction on the benefits of an environmental borrowing program. The 10 billion-pound ($13.7 billion) deal this week was the biggest-ever ethical bond sale and the country is already planning another offering next month A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquaw Asian equity markets traded mostly positive as the region took its cue from the gains in US with the improved global sentiment spurred by some easing of Evergrande concerns and with stocks also unfazed by the marginally more hawkish than anticipated FOMC announcement (detailed above). ASX 200 (+1.0%) was underpinned by outperformance in the commodity-related sectors and strength in defensives, which have more than atoned for the losses in tech and financials, as well as helped markets overlook the record daily COVID-19 infections in Victoria state. Hang Seng (+0.7%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.6%) were also positive after another respectable liquidity operation by the PBoC and with some relief in Evergrande shares which saw early gains of more than 30% after recent reports suggested a potential restructuring by China’s government and with the Co. Chairman noting that the top priority is to help wealth investors redeem their products, although the majority of the Evergrande gains were then pared and unit China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle fully retraced the initial double-digit advances. KOSPI (-0.5%) was the laggard as it played catch up to the recent losses on its first trading day of the week and amid concerns that COVID cases could surge following the holiday period, while Japanese markets were closed in observance of the Autumnal Equinox Day. China Pumps $17 Billion Into System Amid Evergrande Concerns China Stocks From Property to Tech Jump on Evergrande Respite Philippines Holds Key Rate to Spur Growth Amid Higher Prices Taiwan’s Trade Deal Application Sets Up Showdown With China Top Asian News European equities (Stoxx 600 +0.9%) trade on the front-foot and have extended gains since the cash open with the Stoxx 600 now higher on the week after Monday’s heavy losses. From a macro perspective, price action in Europe has been undeterred by a slowdown in Eurozone PMIs which saw the composite metric slip to 56.1 from 59.0 (exp. 58.5) with IHS Markit noting “an unwelcome combination of sharply slower economic growth and steeply rising prices.” Instead, stocks in the region have taken the cue from a firmer US and Asia-Pac handover with performance in Chinese markets aided by further liquidity injections by the PBoC. Some positivity has also been observed on the Evergrande front amid mounting expectations of a potential restructuring at the company. That said, at the time of writing, it remains unclear what the company’s intentions are for repaying its USD 83.5mln onshore coupon payment. Note, ING highlights that “missing that payment today would still leave a 30-day grace period before this is registered as a default”. The most recent reports via WSJ indicate that Chinese authorities are asking local governments to begin preparations for the potential downfall of Evergrande; however, the article highlights that this is a last resort and Beijing is reluctant to step in. Nonetheless, this article has taken the shine off the mornings risk appetite, though we do remain firmer on the session. Stateside, as the dust settles on yesterday’s FOMC announcement, futures are firmer with outperformance in the RTY (+0.8% vs. ES +0.7%). Sectors in Europe are higher across the board with outperformance in Tech and Autos with the latter aided by gains in Faurecia (+4.6%) who sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 after making an unsurprising cut to its guidance, which will at least provide some clarity on the Co.’s near-term future; in sympathy, Valeo (+6.6) is also a notable gainer in the region. To the downside, Entain (+2.6%) sit at the foot of the Stoxx 600 after recent strong gains with the latest newsflow surrounding the Co. noting that MGM Resorts is considering different methods to acquire control of the BetMGM online gambling business JV, following the DraftKings offer for Entain, according to sources. The agreement between Entain and MGM gives MGM the ability to block any deal with competing businesses; MGM officials believe this grants the leverage to take full control of BetMGM without spending much. Top European News BOE Confronts Rising Prices, Slower Growth: Decision Guide La Banque Postale Eyes Retail, Asset Management M&A in Europe Activist Bluebell Raises Pressure on Glaxo CEO Walmsley Norway Delivers Rate Lift-Off With Next Hike Set for December In FX, not much bang for the Buck even though the FOMC matched the most hawkish market expectations and Fed chair Powell arguably went further by concluding in the post-meeting press conference that substantial progress on the lagging labour front is all but done. Hence, assuming the economy remains on course, tapering could start as soon as November and be completed my the middle of 2022, though he continued to play down tightening prospects irrespective of the more hawkish trajectory implied by the latest SEP dot plots that are now skewed towards at least one hike next year and a cumulative seven over the forecast horizon. However, the Greenback only managed to grind out marginally higher highs overnight, with the index reaching 93.526 vs 93.517 at best yesterday before retreating quite sharply and quickly to 93.138 in advance of jobless claims and Markit’s flash PMIs. CAD/NZD/AUD - The Loonie is leading the comeback charge in major circles and only partially assisted by WTI keeping a firm bid mostly beyond Usd 72/brl, and Usd/Cad may remain contained within 1.2796-50 ahead of Canadian retail sales given decent option expiry interest nearby and protecting the downside (1 bn between 1.2650-65 and 2.7 bn from 1.2620-00). Meanwhile, the Kiwi has secured a firmer grip on the 0.7000 handle to test 0.7050 pre-NZ trade and the Aussie is looking much more comfortable beyond 0.7250 amidst signs of improvement in the flash PMIs, albeit with the services and composite headline indices still some way short of the 50.0 mark. NOK/GBP/EUR/CHF - All firmer, and the Norwegian Crown outperforming following confirmation of the start of rate normalisation by the Norges Bank that also underscored another 25 bp hike in December and further tightening via a loftier rate path. Eur/Nok encountered some support around 10.1000 for a while, but is now below, while the Pound has rebounded against the Dollar and Euro in the run up to the BoE at midday. Cable is back up around 1.3770 and Eur/Gbp circa 0.8580 as Eur/Usd hovers in the low 1.1700 area eyeing multiple and a couple of huge option expiries (at the 1.1700 strike in 4.1 bn, 1.1730 in 1 bn, 1.1745-55 totalling 2.7 bn and 1.8 bn from 1.1790-1.1800). Note, Eurozone and UK flash PMIs did not live up to their name, but hardly impacted. Elsewhere, the Franc is lagging either side of 0.9250 vs the Buck and 1.0835 against the Euro on the back of a dovish SNB Quarterly Review that retained a high Chf valuation and necessity to maintain NIRP, with only minor change in the ordering of the language surrounding intervention. JPY - The Yen is struggling to keep its head afloat of 110.00 vs the Greenback as Treasury yields rebound and risk sentiment remains bullish pre-Japanese CPI and in thinner trading conditions due to the Autumn Equinox holiday. In commodities, WTI and Brent have been choppy throughout the morning in-spite of the broadly constructive risk appetite. Benchmarks spent much of the morning in proximity to the unchanged mark but the most recent Evergrande developments, via WSJ, have dampened sentiment and sent WTI and Brent back into negative territory for the session and printing incremental fresh lows at the time of publication. Back to crude, newsflow has once again centred around energy ministry commentary with Iraq making clear that oil exports will continue to increase. Elsewhere, gas remains at the forefront of focus particularly in the UK/Europe but developments today have been somewhat incremental. On the subject, Citi writes that Asia and Europe Nat. Gas prices could reach USD 100/MMBtu of USD 580/BOE in the winter, under their tail-risk scenario. For metals, its very much a case of more of the same with base-metals supportive, albeit off-best given Evergrande, after a robust APAC session post-FOMC. Given the gas issues, desks highlight that some companies are being forced to suspend/reduce production of items such as steel in Asian/European markets, a narrative that could become pertinent for broader prices if the situation continues. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are both modestly firmer but remain well within the range of yesterday’s session and are yet to recovery from the pressure seen in wake of the FOMC. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 320,000, prior 332,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.6m, prior 2.67m 8:30am: Aug. Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.50, prior 0.53 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 55.4 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Services PMI, est. 54.9, prior 55.1 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 61.0, prior 61.1 11am: Sept. Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 25, prior 29 12pm: 2Q US Household Change in Net Wor, prior $5t DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap My wife was at a parents event at school last night so I had to read three lots of bedtime stories just as the Fed were announcing their policy decision. Peppa Pig, Biff and Kipper, and somebody called Wonder Kid were interspersed with Powell’s press conference live on my phone. It’s fair to say the kids weren’t that impressed by the dot plot and just wanted to join them up. The twins (just turned 4) got their first reading book homework this week and it was a bit sad that one of them was deemed ready to have one with words whereas the other one only pictures. The latter was very upset and cried that his brother had words and he didn’t. That should create even more competitive tension! Back to the dots and yesterday’s Fed meeting was on the hawkish side in terms of the dots and also in terms of Powell’s confidence that the taper could be complete by mid-2022. Powell said that the Fed could begin tapering bond purchases as soon as the November FOMC meeting, in line with our US economists’ forecasts. He left some room for uncertainty, saying they would taper only “If the economy continues to progress broadly in line with expectations, and also the overall situation is appropriate for this.” However he made clear that “the timing and pace of the coming reduction in asset purchases will not be intended to carry a direct signal regarding the timing of interest rate liftoff.” The quarterly “dot plot” showed that the 18 FOMC officials were split on whether to start raising rates next year or not. In June, the median dot indicated no rate increases until 2023, but now 6 members see a 25bps raise next year and 3 members see two such hikes. Their inflation forecasts were also revised up and DB’s Matt Luzzetti writes in his FOMC review (link here) that “If inflation is at or below the Fed's current forecast next year of 2.3% core PCE, liftoff is likely to come in 2023, consistent with our view. However, if inflation proves to be higher with inflation expectations continuing to rise, the first rate increase could well migrate into 2022.” Markets took the overall meeting very much in its stride with the biggest impact probably being a yield curve flattening even if US 10yr Treasury yields traded in just over a 4bp range yesterday and finishing -2.2bps lower at 1.301%. The 5y30y curve flattened -6.7bps to 95.6bps, its flattest level since August 2020, while the 2y10y curve was -4.2bps flatter. So the market seems to believe the more hawkish the Fed gets the more likely they’ll control inflation and/or choke the recovery. The puzzle is that even if the dots are correct, real Fed funds should still be negative and very accommodative historically for all of the forecasting period. As such the market has a very dim view of the ability of the economy to withstand rate hikes or alternatively that the QE technicals are overpowering everything at the moment. In equities, the S&P 500 was up nearly +1.0% 15 minutes prior to the Fed, and then rallied a further 0.5% in the immediate aftermath before a late dip look it back to +0.95%. The late dip meant that the S&P still has not seen a 1% up day since July 23. The index’s rise was driven by cyclicals in particular with energy (+3.17%), semiconductors (-2.20%), and banks (+2.13%) leading the way. Asian markets are mostly trading higher this morning with the Hang Seng (+0.69%), Shanghai Comp (+0.58%), ASX (+1.03%) and India’s Nifty (+0.81%) all up. The Kospi (-0.36%) is trading lower though and is still catching up from the early week holidays. Japan’s markets are closed for a holiday today. Futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.25% while those on the Stoxx 50 are up +0.49%. There is no new news on the Evergrande debt crisis however markets participants are likely to pay attention to whether the group is able to make interest rate payment on its 5 year dollar note today after the group had said yesterday that it resolved a domestic bond coupon by negotiations which was also due today. As we highlighted in our CoTD flash poll conducted earlier this week, market participants are not too worried about a wider fallout from the Evergrande crisis and even the Hang Seng Properties index is up +3.93% this morning and is largely back at the levels before the big Monday sell-off of -6.69%. Overnight we have received flash PMIs for Australia which improved as parts of the country have eased the coronavirus restrictions. The services reading came in at 44.9 (vs. 42.9 last month) and the manufacturing print was even stronger at 57.3 (vs. 52.0 last month). Japan’s flash PMIs will be out tomorrow due to today’s holiday. Ahead of the Fed, markets had continued to rebound from their declines earlier in the week, with Europe’s STOXX 600 gaining +0.99% to narrowly put the index in positive territory for the week. This continues the theme of a relative outperformance among European equities compared to the US, with the STOXX 600 having outpaced the S&P 500 for 5 consecutive sessions now, though obviously by a slim margin yesterday. Sovereign bonds in Europe also posted gains, with yields on 10yr bunds (-0.7bps), OATs (-1.0bps) and BTPs (-3.2bps) all moving lower. Furthermore, there was another tightening in peripheral spreads, with the gap in Italian 10yr yields over bunds falling to 98.8bps yesterday, less than half a basis point away from its tightest level since early April. Moving to fiscal and with Democrats seemingly unable to pass the $3.5 trillion Biden budget plan by Monday, when the House is set to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, Republican leadership is calling on their members to vote against the bipartisan bill in hopes of delaying the process further. While the there is still a high likelihood the measure will eventually get passed, time is becoming a factor. Congress now has just over a week to get a government funding bill through both chambers of congress as well as raise the debt ceiling by next month. Republicans have told Democrats to do the latter in a partisan manner and include it in the reconciliation process which could mean that a significant portion of the Biden economic agenda – mostly encapsulated in the $3.5 trillion over 10 year budget – may have to be cut down to get the entire Democratic caucus on board. Looking ahead, an event to watch out for today will be the Bank of England’s policy decision at 12:00 London time, where our economists write (link here) that they expect no change in the policy settings. However, they do expect a reaffirmation of the BoE’s updated forward guidance that some tightening will be needed over the next few years to keep inflation in check, even if it’s too early to expect a further hawkish pivot at this stage. Staying on the UK, two further energy suppliers (Avro Energy and Green Supplier) ceased trading yesterday amidst the surge in gas prices, with the two supplying 2.9% of domestic customers between them. We have actually seen a modest fall in European natural gas prices over the last couple of days, with the benchmark future down -4.81% since its close on Monday, although it’s worth noting that still leaves them up +75.90% since the start of August alone. There wasn’t much data to speak of yesterday, though US existing home sales fell to an annualised rate of 5.88 in August (vs. 5.89m expected). Separately, the European Commission’s advance consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area unexpectedly rose to -4.0 in September (vs. -5.9 expected). To the day ahead now, the data highlights include the September flash PMIs from around the world, while in the US there’s the weekly initial jobless claims, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for August, and the Kansas City fed’s manufacturing activity index for September. From central banks, there’ll be a monetary policy decision from the Bank of England, while the ECB will be publishing their Economic Bulletin and the ECB’s Elderson will also speak. From emerging markets, there’ll also be monetary policy decisions from the Central Bank of Turkey and the South African Reserve Bank. Finally in Germany, there’s an election debate with the lead candidates from the Bundestag parties. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 08:13.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 23rd, 2021

Futures Rise Boosted By Solid Tesla Earnings, Chevron"s Giant Buyback

Futures Rise Boosted By Solid Tesla Earnings, Chevron's Giant Buyback In a mirror image of Tuesday's action, when MSFT earnings hammered stocks (after first headfaking them higher) only to see the selloff reverse completely during the course of Wednesday trading, on Thursday US equity futures and tech stocks were set to gain after an upbeat earnings report from Tesla reinforced optimism about the health of Corporate America. As of 7:30am, Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.7% while S&P 500 futures rose 0.3%. Tesla jumped about 8% in premarket trading after the electric-car maker reported better-than-expected profit and said it was on track to deliver about 1.8 million vehicles this year. Risk sentiment was boosted by news that US energy giant Chevron had authorized a massive $75 billion stock buyback, representing 22% of its outstanding shares, helping elevate energy stocks around the globe. Asia stocks jumped to 9-month highs as Hong Kong returned from break and European stocks rose by 0.4%. Meanwhile, the dollar continued to weaken as speculation continued to mount that the Fed is drawing closer to the end of its rate-hiking cycle, and would follow in the footsteps of first Canada and then Indonesia, both of which have officially paused. Bonds and gold edged lower. In premarket trading, all eyes were on Tesla which rose 7.3% after the electric-car maker reported better-than-expected profits and said it was on track to deliver about 1.8 million vehicles this year. Analysts noted that the EV market leader’s output target looks conservative as new factories in Berlin and Austin are set to add more capacity this year. Among peers: Rivian (RIVN US) +3.5%, Lucid (LCID US) +3.4%, Nikola (NKLA US) +1.9%, Nio (NIO US) +4.9%, Xpeng (XPEV US) +5.1%, Li Auto (LI US) +5%. Bank stocks traded higher in premarket trading Thursday, putting them on track to gain for a second straight day. In corporate news, a New York Stock Exchange employee failed to properly shut down a disaster-recovery system, leading to Tuesday’s chaotic opening session. Meanwhile, Cboe Global Markets wants to list more tokens on its crypto exchange, as established firms from traditional finance seek to capitalize on demand for reliable counterparties following the collapse of FTX. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Chevron (CVX US) gains 2.5% after it announced plans to buy back $75 billion of shares and increase dividend payouts after a year of record profits that evoked angry denunciations from politicians around the world as soaring energy prices squeezed consumers. Pfizer (PFE US) drops 1.8% in premarket trading as UBS downgrades the stock to neutral, saying estimates for the pharma giant’s Covid-19 franchise still look too high. IBM (IBM US) shares slip 2% after the tech infrastructure and IT services company’s free cash flow for 4Q fell short of estimates, which Morgan Stanley analysts say was a “significant blemish” in the quarter. That overshadowed IBM’s estimate-beating revenue and profit for the fourth- quarter. BuzzFeed (BZFD US) shares were indicated up about 35% following a Wall Street Journal report that the company reached a content creation deal with Meta. The deal was agreed last year and is worth nearly $10 million, WSJ cites people familiar with the matter as saying. Seagate (STX US) shares rise 7.6% as its quarterly update was better than expected and the computer- hardware firm’s guidance underpins a positive view on the stock, analysts say. Teradyne (TER US) falls 3% after its 1Q earnings forecast missed the average analyst expectation, on lower demand for semiconductors and storage tests. Fourth-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates. Las Vegas Sands (LVS US) shares gain 2.1% as analysts raise their price targets on the stock. They said better-than-expected results despite travel restrictions boded well for a recovery. US stocks have kicked off 2023 with a rally that has set the S&P 500 on course for its best January since 2019, as investors bet that the Federal Reserve will slow the pace of rate hikes in time to avert a recession. Deutsche Bank AG strategists said this week they expect further gains in the first quarter as an economic contraction is “running late.” Commenting on yesterday's dramatic market reversal, Goldman trader John Flood writes that "when the market/stocks dont go down on bad news (MSFT guide) typically a bullish signal. I think we learned a lot from this price action today: this mkt is more resilient than most of us are giving it credit for (be very thoughtful/selective with your short positions as squeezes will be common this Q). Worth noting CVX raised the dividend by 6% and authorized a monster $75B buyback...energy complex will outperform on this tomorrow. Reminder buyback blackout period ends post close this Friday." Today all eyes will be on US GDP figures due later today, with economists expecting the data to show a slowdown in growth at the end of the year. Focus has also been on the fourth-quarter earnings season for signs of how companies plan to navigate slowing demand and elevated inflation. Analysts are projecting the first quarterly decline in US profits since 2020, but some market strategists have warned profit margin estimates for 2023 are still too high. “Earnings have not been great but they are not disastrous either,’ said Rupert Thompson, chief economist at asset manager Kingswood Holdings Ltd. “Institutional investors have been short equities so you are seeing some of those positions being covered.”  Thompson sees the January stock surge as overdone, given recession risks ahead, but did not discount further short-term gains because “if you do get a 5% pullback, people who missed the rally may think ‘shall we just bite the bullet now rather than wait for another 5% fall?” "Sentiment remains fixated on the path of inflation, and where the Fed will go with interest-rate policy,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. Today’s economic data will be crucial to see “whether demand is being squeezed out of the economy and whether more storm clouds are gathering on the horizon,” she said. Soft-landing bets for the US economy and expectations the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its rate-hiking cycle have lifted stock markets and put the dollar on course for its worst monthly performance since last May. On Thursday, it held around flat against its Group-of-10 peers as investors awaited economic growth and jobs data as well as a core price index that could determine the Fed’s policy path. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 was higher by 0.5% with outperformance in the tech sector after Nokia and STMicroelectronics posted better-than-expected numbers. Results from telecoms group Nokia Oyj and chipmaker STMicroelectronics NV were applauded by investors, helping to lift the Stoxx 600 index by half a percent. Here are some of the biggest European movers on Wednesday: Sabadell shares soar as much as 10% after the Spanish lender reported 4Q net profit that beat estimates and gave above- consensus estimates guidance Sartorius AG rises as much as 8.3% after the laboratory equipment firm reassured the market with an update to its financial targets; its subsidiary Sartorius Stedim Biotech rises, too STMicro jumps as much 9.3% after the chipmaker projected first-quarter and full-year sales ahead of consensus estimates, defying a slowdown in the broader semiconductor industry Nokia shares gain as much as 7.2%, the biggest intraday climb since July, after the telecom equipment maker outlined full-year outlook that met expectations Diageo falls as much as 7.4%, weighing on peers in the alcohol and beverages sector, after the Johnnie Walker maker’s results disappointed in North America and delivered an uncertain outlook Volvo shares slide as much as 4.9% in early trading after the Swedish truck producer reported 4Q22 earnings that came in below consensus SEB falls as much as 4.8%, the most since October, after the Swedish lender reported 4Q figures that beat expectations but were of a low quality, according to Citi Novartis falls as much as 2.4% on being cut to neutral from buy at Citi on a more cautious outlook for the Swiss pharma group’s cholesterol drug Leqvio and prostate cancer drug Pluvicto SAP shares fall as much as 4.1% after it’s free cash flow outlook for 2023 missed estimates, even though the firm still projected at least a double-digit growth for operating profits Earlier in the session, stocks in Asia Pacific rose for a fifth straight day as investors in Hong Kong returned from Lunar New Year holidays that delivered a boost to consumption. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.8% to the highest since April 22. Hong Kong-listed stocks rallied as data on spending and tourism during the three-day break signaled a recovery in demand is gaining traction in China. The Hang Seng Index closed at its highest since March. “Stocks in Hong Kong would probably remain on the stronger side,” Chetan Seth, an Asia Pacific equity strategist at Nomura, told Bloomberg Television. “What we might see in the months ahead is improvement in activity indicators.”  Benchmarks in South Korea, Indonesia and Singapore also rose as traders assessed the global economy’s prospects. China’s reopening has triggered a rebound across Asia, with investors now looking beyond Covid infection figures to evaluate how a recovery in the region’s largest economy will impact earnings. The MSCI Asia gauge is outperforming the S&P 500 by more than four percentage points so far in 2023 Japanese stocks fell, while markets in Australia, China, India, Taiwan and Vietnam were closed. Japanese stocks closed slightly lower, erasing early gains and halting a four-day winning streak, as investors assessed prospects for corporate earnings and the global economy. The Topix fell 0.1% to close at 1,978.40, while the Nikkei declined 0.1% to 27,362.75. Sony contributed the most to the Topix decline, decreasing 1.3%. Out of 2,161 stocks in the index, 893 rose and 1,116 fell, while 152 were unchanged. “There is a continued wait-and-see mood as there are two important indicators, the FOMC meeting and ISM employment reports coming up next week,” said Shogo Maekawa a global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Index swung between moderate gains and losses. The Norwegian krone and Australian dollar led gains, while Sweden’s krona lagged.  The euro retreated after six days of gains versus the greenback, though it is likely to enjoy continued monetary policy support, as several European Central Bank rate-setters spoke in favor of further hefty policy-tightening over coming months.  Traders are likely to parse reports on US economic growth, initial jobless claims and a core price index due Thursday to gauge if the Fed will opt for a smaller rate hike on Feb. 1. Recent commentary from some central bank officials has backed the case for a quarter point increase In rates, treasuries were lower after following gilts and, to a lesser extent, bunds during European morning. US yields cheaper by up to 4bp across long-end of the curve which leads losses on the day; 10-year yields back up to around 3.48% with gilts underperforming by additional 2bp in the sector and bunds trading broadly in line. UK and German 10-year yields rise by 4bps and 2bps respectively. A raft of US economic data is set to be released, and auction cycle concludes with 7-year notes following strong demand for 5- and 2-year sales. $35b 7-year notes at 1pm New York time is final coupon auction of the November-to-February financing quarter; all previous coupon auctions during January have stopped through. The WI 7-year around 3.525% is ~40bp richer than January’s stop-out and below auction stops since August. Saira Malik, chief investment officer of Nuveen, said earnings risk in a consumer-led slowdown will act as a headwind to equities, with a shift into bonds underscoring the fragile sentiment. “You can start to increase your duration in fixed-income and get strong total returns in it without a lot of these heavy macro risks that are going to hit equities,” Malik said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “Equities considering their valuation are less attractive.” Elsewhere, oil prices rose for a second day, lifted by expectations of demand recovery in China. Crude future advance with WTI gaining 0.9% to trade near $80.90. Spot gold falls roughly 0.5% to trade near $1,937/oz. Bitcoin fell more than 2%, reversing much of Wednesday’s gain. Looking to the busy day ahead now, data releases from the US include the advance estimate of Q4 GDP, preliminary durable goods orders for December, new home sales for December and the weekly initial jobless claims. Otherwise, earnings releases include Visa, Mastercard, Intel, American Airlines and Comcast. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 4,038.75 MXAP up 0.6% to 170.22 MXAPJ up 1.1% to 558.68 Nikkei down 0.1% to 27,362.75 Topix down 0.1% to 1,978.40 Hang Seng Index up 2.4% to 22,566.78 Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,264.81 Sensex down 1.3% to 60,205.06 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,468.30 Kospi up 1.7% to 2,468.65 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 454.33 German 10Y yield little changed at 2.19% Euro down 0.1% to $1.0900 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $86.50/bbl Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,937.17 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.17% to 101.81 Top Overnight Stories BOJ members were divided over whether the 2% inflation goal could be sustainably achieved and felt the extreme level of accommodation should be sustained. Also, The IMF suggested that the BOJ could allow more flexibility in 10-year bond yields, a move that would involve policy changes for the central bank. RTRS / Nikkei China’s most scenic destinations have been inundated during the Spring Festival holiday, as Beijing’s shift away from Covid Zero spurred a travel frenzy despite the country’s ongoing omicron outbreak. BBG Bank of Indonesia has delivered enough interest-rate increases, according to Governor Perry Warjiyo, who signaled that this round of tightening is coming to an end as the Federal Reserve also winds down. This is the second central bank in as many days (after the Bank of Canada yesterday) to signal an end to rate hikes. BBG Pakistan’s economy is at risk of collapse, with rolling blackouts and a severe foreign currency shortage leaving businesses struggling to operate as authorities attempt to revive an IMF bailout to relieve the deepening crisis. FT Adani Group may take legal action against Hindenburg Research after the US short seller alleged "brazen" market manipulation and accounting fraud. Shares of Adani-related entities slumped yesterday, shaving $12 billion off the empire of Asia's richest man, and a raft of its companies' dollar bonds fell further today. BBG Eurozone officials start talks on creating a huge multibillion-euro fund to compete w/the US green energy subsidies. London Times The NYSE mayhem earlier this week was due to simple human error, people familiar said — an exchange employee didn't correctly shut down a backup system running overnight so heading into Tuesday, the NYSE's computers treated the 9:30 a.m. bell as a continuation of trading, skipping the opening auctions. No word yet on the cost of the chaos. BBG Donald Trump's back. Meta will reinstate the former president's social media accounts "in the coming weeks" following a two-year suspension. He had 34 million followers on Facebook and 23 million on Instagram back in 2021 but, more important, his re-election campaign will now be able to buy ads to raise money via direct appeals or by capturing users' contact info to solicit them directly. BBG Tesla jumped as much as 8% premarket after profit beat, though there were mixed signals on the outlook. Elon Musk said production may top 1.8 million vehicles this year. BBG A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks traded somewhat mixed amid key holiday closures and after the flat handover from Wall St where the major indices recouped most of their initial losses after the BoC’s dovish hike. Nikkei 225 was subdued amid a firmer currency and upside in yields, while the government also lowered its overall economic assessment for the first time in 11 months. KOSPI gained despite the weaker-than-expected GDP data although the finance minister flagged the likelihood of a return to growth for the current quarter. Hang Seng outperformed as participants in Hong Kong returned from the Lunar New Year holiday and were greeted by strength in tech, property and autos, although trade across the rest of the region remained relatively quiet owing to the closures in Australia, China, Taiwan, India and Vietnam. Top Asian News BoJ Summary of Opinions from the January meeting stated it is appropriate to maintain current monetary easing including YCC and that the BoJ must keep yields from rising across the curve while being mindful of the bond market function. Furthermore, they must spend more time to gauge the impact of the December decision and must conduct a review of policy at some point although it is appropriate to maintain easy policy for now, while they still see some distance in achieving the price goal and noted it will take some time to achieve sustained wage growth. IMF (policy proposal on Japan) says the BoJ should allow bond yields to move in a more flexible manner; If significant upside inflation risks materialise, BoJ needs to be ready to withdraw stimulus strong, e.g. by increasing interest rates; possible options for the BoJ include widening the yield bank, increasing the yield target, targeting shorter yields and shifting to a quantity target; BoJ policy is appropriate as inflation is likely to ease but risks are becoming more pronounced; FX intervention should be limited to special circumstances such as disorderly market conditions. Japan is to downgraded its COVID classification on May 8th, via NHK. European bourses are firmer across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.6%, with a busy morning for earnings dictating the state of play before Stoxx 600 heavyweight LVMH's (MC FP) earnings, due after-market on Thursday. Stateside, futures are firmer across the board, ES Mar'23 +0.2% and comfortably above the 4k mark and as such the 10- and 200-DMAs which reside on either side of the figure. NDX +0.6% is the incremental outperformer after a well received update from Tesla (TSLA) +7% pre-market while IBM (IBM) slips -1.6% after its Q4 report. Top European News US and EU are reportedly discussing a potential deal regarding critical raw materials and minerals, to enable the EU to benefit from the US' Inflation Reduction Act/green investment plan, via Bloomberg citing sources. UK 2022 car production fell 9.8% Y/Y to 775k units, while car and light van production for 2023 is expected to increase 15% Y/Y to 984k units, according to SMMT. UK ONS says consumer behaviour indicators were broadly similar to the prior week. Irish Finance Minister McGrath says Brexit talks have reached a new level. Italian Economy Minister says before April they intend to extend relief measures to assist families and firms with energy costs, could alter regulations on capital gains tax. Denmark Calls for Mandatory Military Service for Women Europe Gas Prices Rebound After Slump With Asia Demand in Focus Diageo Drops as Sales Growth Slows in Crucial US Market Saipem Top Oil Services Pick at JPMorgan, Subsea 7 Cut FX DXY slips to a minor new 101.500 y-t-d low, but holds in and pares some losses pre-US data raft. Aussie and Kiwi remain underpinned on inflation grounds, but AUD/USD heavy on 0.7100 handle and NZD/USD clipped around 0.6500. Yen recoils between 129.00-130.00 range vs Buck as Japan's top currency diplomat warns that sharp moves will not be tolerated, CNH bid as HK markets return from holiday with COVID reopening optimism. Euro and Pound wobble above 1.0900 and 1.2400 vs Dollar and ahead of technical resistance. Morgan Stanley's month-end USD rebalancing model: expects the USD to underperform in January, with weakness expected vs all G10 currencies ex-NOK. CBRT announced support for the conversion of firms' foreign exchange obtained from abroad into Turkish liras to support 'liraization' in commercial activities, with firms to be provided with FX conversion support corresponding to 2% of the amount converted. Fixed Income Core benchmarks have continued to ease from best levels with the IMF's BoJ/Japan policy proposal adding to the pressure. Bunds holding just above 138.00 within 138.62-137.91 parameters while Gilts are just below 105.00 towards the mid-point of a 105.66-104.72 range. USTs are similarly contained around the 115.00 handle as participants await US data and a subsequent 7yr auction. Commodities WTI and Brent March futures remain underpinned by the China-demand narrative, though are relatively rangebound overall and spent much of the morning trading with no firm direction with focus on geopols and French strike action. US and European gas futures are experiencing a modest divergence, with ING suggesting the US Nat Gas pressure is due to milder weather. TotalEnergies (TTE FP) says pension reforms strike action is interrupting shipments at French production sites, except for the Feyzin refinery (119k BPD). Continue to ensure petrol stations are supplied, no shortage. 24-hours strike declared at the 140k BPD Fos-Sur-Mer oil refinery in France, according to BFM TV citing an Esso Union official. German energy regulator says there is not enough gas saving in the third calendar week; household, business and industry consumption down 9%in total in that week (vs 20% target). Spot gold has been dipping from best levels amid seemingly yield-driven USD upside while LME copper is relatively resilient but has slipped from best levels. Geopolitics Russian Kremlin says it sees the sending of Western tanks to Ukraine as direct and growing involvement in the conflict. Russian Security Council's Secretary Patrushev says the US and NATO are participating in the Ukrainian conflict and want to prolong it. US Event Calendar 08:30: 4Q GDP Annualized QoQ, est. 2.6%, prior 3.2% 4Q GDP Price Index, est. 3.2%, prior 4.4% 4Q PCE Core QoQ, est. 3.9%, prior 4.7% 4Q Personal Consumption, est. 2.8%, prior 2.3% 08:30: Dec. Durable Goods Orders, est. 2.5%, prior -2.1% Dec. -Less Transportation, est. -0.2%, prior 0.1% Dec. Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. -0.2%, prior 0.1% Dec. Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. -0.4%, prior -0.1% 08:30: Jan. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 205,000, prior 190,000 Continuing Claims, est. 1.66m, prior 1.65m 08:30: Dec. Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. -$88.1b, prior -$83.3b, revised -$82.9b 08:30: Dec. Retail Inventories MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.1% Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 1.0% 08:30: Dec. Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index 10:00: Dec. New Home Sales MoM, est. -4.4%, prior 5.8% New Home Sales, est. 612,000, prior 640,000 11:00: Jan. Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. -8, prior -9 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Morning from Milan. Yet another first time since the pandemic started trip. Always nice to be back. I’d almost forgotten how good the food is here! It was a fairly positive macro dinner with clients generally constructive. It was unique to be in Italy and see no-one really too concerned about Italy credit quality which is testimony to the various EU/ECB packages both pre and post the pandemic and also impressive given how far the ECB has come on rates and how far it still has to go. With markets overall on the calm side too at the moment we're getting our mini vol from entering earnings crossfire season where a big name’s quarterly report can pick you off. Indeed, sentiment yesterday was heavily influenced at first by Microsoft’s disappointing cloud sales outlook from after the bell on Tuesday night. The company’s shares were down around -4.5% soon after the open, before sentiment steadily improved as the day progressed. By the end of the day, it had clawed its way back up to have only lost -0.59%. More broadly, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 hit intraday lows of -2.34% and -1.69%, respectively, before closing at -0.18% and -0.02%. So a decent recovery. After the close, we then heard from Tesla and IBM. Tesla reported adjusted earnings of $1.19 EPS ($1.12 EPS expected) as it sought to boost output quickly to achieve its previous guidance of 1.8mn vehicles delivered this year. In after-market trading it then advanced +5.5%, especially after Elon Musk said that he expected demand would remain strong despite an expected contraction and that there was a new “next-generation” vehicle that would be announced in March. IBM (-2.0% after-market) also beat earning expectations at $3.60 EPS (consensus was $3.58), and increased its sales forecast whilst announcing they would be cutting headcount by 1.5%. Against this backdrop, US equity futures are looking more positive this morning, with those on the S&P 500 (+0.12%) and the NASDAQ 100 (+0.35%) both higher. With the S&P 500 finishing the day largely unchanged, 12 of 24 industry groups were in positive territory for the day. Telecoms (+2.50%), banks (+1.17%), insurance (+0.78%), and food & beverage (+0.73%) outperformed, whereas transports (-1.43%) and utilities (-1.36%) were the biggest laggards. Europe closed before the last of the rally in the US, with the STOXX 600 finishing down -0.29%. The STOXX Technology index was similarly down -1.66% at the lows before staging a late recovery itself that only left it down -0.13%. Much like US equities, US bonds saw a decent range and by the close yields on 10yr Treasuries were down -1.1bps on the day to 3.44% (range 3.42-3.49%). By contrast in Europe, yields on 10yr bunds (+0.3bps), OATs (+1.1bps) and BTPs (+3.3bps) all moved higher to varying degrees. That followed fresh comments from ECB speakers, with Slovenia’s Vasle saying that rates should go up by 50bps at the next two meetings. Ireland’s Makhlouf also endorsed continuing with 50bps into March, saying that “We need to continue to increase rates at our meeting next week – by taking a similar step to our December decisions – and also at our March meeting.” Ahead of the Fed and ECB decisions next week, we did get a decision yesterday from the Bank of Canada. They hiked by 25bps as expected, but said in their statement that they expect “to hold the policy rate at its current level while it assesses the impact of the cumulative interest rate increases.” Governor Macklem did make clear in his press conference statement that this was “a conditional pause”, and said they were willing to do more if needed to get inflation back to target. However, it’s still an important milestone after a series of 8 hikes at consecutive meetings, particularly given speculation about when the Fed might reach a similar point in their own hiking cycle. Speaking of the Fed, they’re currently in their blackout period, but the Washington Post reported yesterday that Vice Chair Brainard was a top contender to become the next head of the National Economic Council at the White House. If that happened, that would open up a space on the board as well as the Vice Chair position, although as it stands Brainard’s position as both a Governor and Vice Chair currently last until H1 2026. Nevertheless, there is a precedent for such a move from the Fed to the White House, such as when former Chair Bernanke went from being a Fed Governor to Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in 2005, before going back to the Fed as Chair the following year. Similarly, Janet Yellen made the same move from Fed Governor to CEA Chair in 1997. Staying with the White House, the Biden administration announced that the US would be sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, adding on to those confirmed by Germany. Delivery of the US tanks could take months but training would begin soon. The German tanks are expected to be sent to Ukraine within three months. Overnight in Asia, equities have posted advances for the most part, with the Hang Seng up +1.89% as it resumed trading following a holiday. That leaves the index on track for its highest closing level since April last year, and brings its gains since the end of October to +53% now. In the meantime, the KOSPI was also up +1.44%, but the Nikkei is down -0.20% this morning amidst a further strengthening in the Japanese Yen, which stands at 129.36 per US Dollar this morning. Looking at yesterday’s other data, the Ifo business climate indicator from Germany rose to a 7-month high of 90.2 in January (vs. 90.3 expected). And the expectations component rose to an 8-month high of 83.2 (vs. 82.0 expected). To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the advance estimate of Q4 GDP, preliminary durable goods orders for December, new home sales for December and the weekly initial jobless claims. Otherwise, earnings releases include Visa, Mastercard, Intel, American Airlines and Comcast. Tyler Durden Thu, 01/26/2023 - 08:06.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 26th, 2023

Futures Steady As Fed Blackout Begins, China On Holiday, Earnings Galore

Futures Steady As Fed Blackout Begins, China On Holiday, Earnings Galore US equity futures were little changed, trading in a narrow ten point range during a muted overnight session on Monday as investors braced for a moderation in Fed rate increases after the Fed mouthpiece suggested a 25bps hike is now the baseline (coming at a time when the Fed is now in a quiet period until the Feb 1 FOMC meeting), while bracing for a busy week of earnings. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures each rose 0.1% at 7:45 a.m. ET after both underlying benchmarks rallied on Friday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index has posted three weeks of gains, the longest winning streak since mid-August. 10Y TSY yield rose 2bps to 3.50%, while the dollar rebounded from nine-month lows against the euro and a group of other currencies, after a slew of Federal Reserve officials laid out the case for a downshift in the Fed's rate-tightening campaign. China and most Asian markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. In premarket trading, Tesla rose more than 2% as sentiment toward the EV maker recovers after aggressive price cuts are seenas helping it gain market share. Salesforce climbed 4.1%  after hedge fund Elliott Investment Management took a substantial activist stake in the enterprise software giant. Western Digital shares gained 1.4% after a Bloomberg report that the company and Kioxia are progressing in their merger talks. Western Digital would spin off its flash business and merge it with Kioxia, creating a publicly traded company in the US, according to people familiar with the matter. Spotify shares advanced 2.6% in US premarket trading, after Bloomberg reported that the music streaming company is said to be planning job cuts as soon as this week, amid layoffs in the broader tech industry. Bank stocks are lower in premarket trading following their best day since November on Friday. In corporate news, Germany’s antitrust regulator opened an investigation into PayPal over potential obstruction of competitors. Here are some other notable premarket movers: AMD and Qualcomm rise after they were upgraded at Barclays, while Applied Materials declines amid a downgrade. Barclays says it’s more positive on semiconductor companies with data center, PC and handset exposure, but remains negative on semiconductor capital equipment stocks. AMD gains 2.5%, Qualcomm advances 2.1%, Applied Materials declines 2% Pliant Therapeutics surges 69% after the biotech announced data from its phase 2 trial for bexotegrast, its treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), prompting analysts to raise their price targets on the stock. Western Digital shares gain 1.4% after a Bloomberg report that the company and Kioxia are progressing in their merger talks. Western Digital would spin off its flash business and merge it with Kioxia, creating a publicly traded company in the US, according to people familiar with the matter. Keep an eye on Warner Music as it was downgraded to equal-weight from overweight at Barclays, which said the recording company’s financial performance has been too volatile to justify a premium valuation. Peer Universal Music is maintained at overweight. Keep an eye on Flywire as it was initiated with an equal weight rating at Morgan Stanley, with the broker expecting faster growth due to the payments company’s “significant competitive product advantages” and untapped potential with global colleges and universities. Planet Labs stock could be in focus after it was initiated at equal-weight by Morgan Stanley, which expects the wireless telecom firm to boost annual revenue by 20%-25% over the next two-to-five years and achieve positive free-cash flow toward the end of that period. Deutsche Bank expects another volatile year for US software stocks as investors look for a bottom amid weakening fundamentals. Downgrades Check Point, Matterport, Workday, CrowdStrike and SentinelOne, while raising Shopify and Confluent. PTC Inc. is upgraded to overweight from sector weight at KeyBanc, with analysts saying the US software provider could be “one of the best” free cash flow growth stories over the next three years. Investors are increasingly contrasting the US picture with a relatively rosier outlook for Europe, which many reckon will manage to dodge recession this year. Forecasts of a US recession in the second half of 2023, the ongoing wrangling in Congress over the debt ceiling and signals from companies weighed on equity index futures, which struggled to build on Friday’s momentum that lifted S&P 500 after four days of losses. On Friday Fed Governor Christopher Waller, one of the more hawkish officials at the US central bank, joined other policymakers in backing another moderation in the size of rate increases when they next gather. Investors are also weighing the incoming stream of corporate earnings for signs of how corporate margins are holding up against inflation and economic slowdown pressures. By contrast, ECB policymakers Klaas Knot and Peter Kazimir spoke in favor of continuing with half-point interest-rate increases at the next two meetings, adding to the hawkish comments made last week by fellow ECB officials. And while there were several notable bullish calls over the weekend, most notably at Goldman where traders clashed over the fate of the market, one place where there was no change in the dour mood was Morgan Stanley whose strategist Michael Wilson said that the improving sentiment toward US equities is at odds with a backdrop of weakening economic data and earnings: “The question is when will equity indices price the current weakness in the leading data and the eventual weakness in the hard data?,” said the strategist, who ranked No. 1 in last year’s Institutional Investor survey. “We think it’s this calendar quarter.” Earnings were also a concern for JPMorgan strategist Mislav Matejka, who notes that the environment will be particularly challenging this year, with corporate pricing power starting to reverse, just as margins are near record-high in the US and in Europe. European stocks also opened higher as they looked to continue their solid start to the year but gains have since evaporated with the Stoxx 600 now trading flat. Tech, miners and real estate are the strongest performing sectors while chemicals and travel underperform. The Stoxx 600 index was steady, having risen nearly 7% this year, almost double the S&P 500’s gain. Meanwhile, the euro strengthened to the highest since April 2022. The single currency is up almost 2% this year against the greenback, after falling nearly 6% last year. “The market has decided recession risks were overdone for Europe and you can see that in the outperformance of European stocks and the euro,” Rabobank strategist Jane Foley said. Here are some of the biggest European movers on Monday: Intesa gains as much as 3.3% after Citi said the Italian lender remains adequately capitalized even after latest charges linked to EBA guidelines that will impact capital this year Atos rises as much as 6.2%, after French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche reported that engineering firm Astek was interested in buying a stake in Atos’ data and cybersecurity unit Evidian Boliden rises as much as 2.9% after Berenberg raised to buy from hold and lifted price target. The miner is well placed to benefit from the rally in commodity prices, Berenberg writes GTT rises after the French group acknowledged the suspension of a decision by the Korea Fair Trade Commission relating to its activities with Korean shipyards in relation to LNG carriers National Express shares jump after the public transport group announced its German rail subsidiary won a €1b contract to operate the RE1 and RE11 Rhein-Ruhr-Express lines until 2033 ISS shares rise as much as 3.3%, with Morgan Stanley saying the organic growth and free cash flow reported by the Danish facilities manager is ahead of prior expectations Symrise drops as much as 8.6% after a larger- than-anticipated margin miss. Peers Givaudan and Croda also fell DSM falls as much as 5.5% after the Dutch chemicals and ingredients group extended the acceptance period for shareholders to tender ordinary shares Juventus shares fall as much as 13% in Milan after authorities penalized the soccer team, with a cut in its point standing because of how it accounted for player transfers Informa shares fall on Monday after UBS downgrades to neutral from buy, saying the consensus has largely priced in a recovery in the events firm’s China business Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose with Japan leading gains as much of the region was closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, as prospects for slower Federal Reserve policy tightening lifted investor sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 0.4%, on track for its highest close since June 9, driven by gains in Tokyo-listed technology shares including Keyence and Tokyo Electron. Key share gauges also rose in India. Trading overall was light with markets shut in Greater China and a number of other countries. Asian equities have been outperforming global peers this year amid optimism over China’s reopening and its easing crackdown on large tech companies. While further moderation in Fed rate hikes should be another tailwind for the region, questions linger over the outlook for the global economy. Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller, one of the more hawkish officials at the US central bank, Friday joined other policymakers in backing another moderation in the size of rate increases when they next gather. “If the inflation rate drops as expected, and the Fed finally decides to stop raising interest rates, it would then be positive for stock prices in the long term, but we are probably not there yet,” said Ayako Sera, a market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd. in Tokyo. The MSCI Asia benchmark is up 7.7% so far in 2023, more than double the gain in the S&P 500 Index, and is trading above technical levels often seen as overbought. Japan’s Topix has underperformed with a rise of less than 3% amid expectations the nation’s central bank may move away from its ultra-easy monetary policy. Japanese equities rose, following US peers higher as comments from Federal Reserve officials calmed concerns over aggressive monetary tightening.  The Topix Index rose 1% to 1,945.38 as of the market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 1.3% to 26,906.04. Keyence contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 2.8%. Out of 2,161 stocks in the index, 1,832 rose and 263 fell, while 66 were unchanged. “The rebound of US Nasdaq had a positive influence on Japanese equities, as it cooled concerns over tech-related stocks,” said Ayako Sera, a market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd. “While the stock market rallied on potential easing of monetary tightening by the Fed officials, it might be still early to be optimistic about the economic situation,” Sera said. Australian stocks ticked higher, extending their winning streak to four days. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.1% to close at 7,457.30. Energy and technology stocks contributed the most to the benchmark’s advance. Karoon was the top performer after reporting higher reserves at its Bauna oil project in Brazil. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.2% to 11,948.72 In FX, the diverging rate bets pressured the dollar, which stayed just off nine-month lows against a basket of peers. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dropped as much as 0.3% before paring, and the greenback weakened against all of its Group- of-10 peers apart from the yen. Scandinavian and Antipodean currencies were the best performers. Pressure on the greenback has increased after last week’s weak retail sales data and a slump in business equipment production reinforced the challenges for the world’s biggest economy. The euro rose as much as 0.7% to 1.0927, the highest since April 21, before paring. Options gauges however point to downside risks for the euro. The pound rose to a seven-month high of 1.2448. Gilts advanced, led by the front end of the curve The yen was sold in the Asia session and Japanese bond futures extended gains as the BOJ’s offer of five-year loans drew strong demand, spurring traders to cover their short positions. Institutional investors have turned bullish on the yen for the first time since June 2021 as speculation mounts over the future of the BOJ’s ultra-easy monetary policy In rates, Treasuries drift lower with the curve steeper and long-end yields cheaper by up to 2.5bp on the day. No strong catalyst for price action with S&P 500 futures little changed near top of Friday’s range. US 10-year yields trade just over 3.50%, cheaper by ~2bp vs Friday’s close with bunds and gilts slightly outperforming in the sector; front-end Treasuries steady, steepening 2s10s and 5s30s by ~1bp.US auctions resume Tuesday with $42b 2-year note sale, ahead of $43b 5-year and $35b 7-year notes Wednesday and Thursday. Euro-area bonds followed US Treasuries. Focus Monday will be on the host of ECB speakers including for hints on the direction of policy ahead of next week’s rate decision. US session is light on calendar events with Fed speakers in quiet period ahead of Feb. 1 policy announcement. In commodities, crude futures advance with WTI gaining 0.5% to trade near $82.00. G7 is considering two price caps for Russian oil products, one for expensive products such as diesel or gasoline and another for cheaper products e.g. fuel oil, via Politico citing EU diplomats. India is planning to lower gold import duty to prevent the increase in smuggling, according to Reuters sources. Spot gold has been waning from its USD 1,935.41/oz overnight peak, with traders citing profit-taking following the yellow metal’s recent run higher. LME Copper printed a +6month peak overnight given the positive demand picture and supply-side concerns regarding Peru. Bitcoin is supported on the session and resides at the top-end of a USD 22.94k-22.30k range, albeit it is yet to re-test the January 21st YTD peak of USD 23.35k. Today's calendar is relatively quiet with just the Leading index on  deck. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 3,987.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 453.10 MXAP up 0.5% to 167.79 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 551.49 Nikkei up 1.3% to 26,906.04 Topix up 1.0% to 1,945.38 Hang Seng Index up 1.8% to 22,044.65 Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,264.81 Sensex up 0.6% to 60,975.85 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,457.27 Kospi up 0.6% to 2,395.26 German 10Y yield little changed at 2.18% Euro up 0.4% to $1.0902 Brent Futures up 0.5% to $88.07/bbl Brent Futures up 0.5% to $88.07/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,924.23 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.30% to 101.71 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Responding to massive state aid the US is providing for its green transition, European Council President Charles Michel is proposing steps to strengthen the bloc’s economies that would involve a new bond program to even out the different financial situations of EU member states The ECB should continue with half- point interest-rate increases at the next two meetings and the time to slow the pace of hikes is “still far away,” according to Governing Council member Klaas Knot ECB Governing Council member Olli Rehn said “there are grounds for significant increases” in the key interest rate in the winter and early spring, reiterating comments he’d made earlier in the week Japanese government representatives at the BOJ’s December policy meeting requested an urgent time out in a likely sign of their surprise at planned adjustments to the bank’s yield curve control program Some BOJ board members said the bank must communicate clearly that adjustments to the conduct of yield curve control aim to make easing more sustainable and aren’t a policy shift toward an exit, according to minutes of December policy meeting Australian central bank chief Philip Lowe’s prospects for an extension of his role are far from clear-cut, according to economists, with some highlighting political hurdles to his reappointment A more detailed recap of overnight news courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pacific stocks began the week with a positive bias but with gains capped amid mass closures across the region. ASX 200 was rangebound as weakness in the defensive sectors was counterbalanced by gains in energy and tech, in which the latter took impetus from last Friday’s outperformance in the Nasdaq after Netflix’s strong subscriber numbers and Google’s announcement to cut its workforce by 12,000. Nikkei 225 was the biggest gainer and rose above 26,900 to print a fresh monthly high where it then met some resistance, while overnight newsflow was extremely light and China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam are all closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. Top Asian News China's box office film sales totalled CNY 1.34bln on the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday (2022 1.45bln YY; 2021 1.67bln YY), via SCMP. China CDC chief epidemiologist said the possibility of a large-scale rebound of a COVID outbreak during the next two or three months is very small as 80% of China’s population has already been infected, according to Reuters. Furthermore, China reported that COVID-19 deaths in the week leading to the Lunar New Year topped 12,600. Japanese PM Kishida said will pick the new BoJ Governor by taking the economic situation in April into account and it is too soon to say if there is a need to change the government-BoJ accord, according to Reuters. It was also separately reported that PM Kishida said the government will nominate the new BoJ Governor in February. BoJ December meeting minutes stated the central bank will add some easing if necessary and several members said the effect of powerful monetary easing will continue even if the BoJ widens the yield target band. Furthermore, a few members said the BoJ must clearly explain that widening of the yield band is not a move eyeing the exit from ultra-loose policy, while a member said the BoJ must conduct a review of its policy framework sometime in the future. New Zealand’s ruling Labour Party voted to choose Chris Hipkins as the new PM and Carmel Sepuloni was named as the Deputy PM, while incoming PM Hipkins stated that Finance Minister Robertson indicated that he wants to continue in the role, according to Reuters. European bourses are modestly firmer, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.2%, amid a relatively quiet start to the week given the mass APAC closures from the Lunar New Year holiday. Sectors have a similar mild positive bias with Tech and Basic Resources the marginal outperformers. Stateside, futures are essentially unchanged, with the ES capped by 4k and the Fed blackout period underway going into the second busiest week of earnings this season. Banks including Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan (JPM) are said to be planning payment wallets to compete with the likes of PayPal (PYPL) and Apple Pay (AAPL), according to WSJ. Top European News UK electricity network operator National Grid had emergency coal-fired plants warm up amid expectations of tight supply and increased demand due to cold weather, while it will pay households to use less power during early Monday evening, according to FT. UK has started a post-Brexit review of EU's investor fund regulations amid concerns that Europe is not acting fast enough on appropriate safeguards, according to FT. Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister has described ongoing NI Protocol talks as "very challenging", according to BBC's Parker; “We would hope that those negotiations would be successful but they are very challenging.” French President Macron said Germany is to join the new hydrogen pipeline project between Spain and France, according to Reuters. Fitch affirmed Ireland at AAA; Outlook Stable and affirmed Norway at AAA; Outlook Stable, while it affirmed Hungary at BBB; Outlook Cut to Negative from Stable. ECB ECB’s Knot said to expect the ECB to hike by 50bps in February and March, followed by more steps in May and June, according to Reuters. ECB's Nagel says ECB is to return inflation to target without causing a recession, via Econostream; thinks this will be achieved by the end of 2024/25.   ECB's Villeroy said the ECB will continue to raise rates, but possibly at a slightly slower pace than in recent months, but will do so to a level necessary to keep inflation under control, via Econostream. FX The DXY has eased further to the benefit of most peers across the board as the Fed blackout period commences with a 25bp hike almost entirely priced in. AUD and NZD are among the outperformers ahead of inflation data, with AUD/USD surpassing 0.70 and NZD/USD testing 0.65. EUR continues to benefit from hawkish ECB guidance, EUR/USD above 1.09 at best, while JPY is the relative laggard after dovish December minutes. CHF gleans modest support from Credit Suisse lifting its SNB forecast for March to 50bp vs prev. 25bp while the CAD is relatively steady pre-data/Wednesday's BoC. Brazil and Argentina aim for greater economic integration and decided to advance discussions regarding a common South American currency that could be used for financial and commercial flows, according to an article jointly penned by the countries' leaders. Fixed Income Hawkish ECB vibes continue to hold sway as sellers fade upticks in debt, Bunds sub-138.00, Gilts under 104.00 after brief bounces to 138.44 and 104.63 respectively. T-notes a bit more resilient as Fed hawk Waller joins 25bp hike advocates for February's FOMC, 10 year bond within 115-07/114-30 range vs last Friday's 115-02 close Commodities Crude benchmarks are somewhat choppy in contained ranges of circa. USD 1/bbl given the mass APAC closures; though, prices overall are underpinned by a rosier demand picture. Kuwait temporarily suspended operations at three ports on Sunday due to bad weather, according to state news agency KUNA. US Treasury Secretary Yellen said western countries are working on price caps for Russian refined petroleum products to ensure the continued flow of diesel but added it is complicated and there is a possibility that things may not go to plan, according to Reuters. G7 is considering two price caps for Russian oil products, one for expensive products such as diesel or gasoline and another for cheaper products e.g. fuel oil, via Politico citing EU diplomats. EU Securities Watchdog ESMA says EU gas price cap could impact the orderly functioning of markets and impact financial stability, according to a draft report cited by Reuters. Japanese insurers will raise insurance by about 80% on ships carrying LNG in Russian waters, according to Nikkei. Netherlands seeks to close the Groningen gas field this year which is the largest in Europe and earthquake-prone, while an official noted that it was very dangerous to keep operating the field and that they aim to shut it by October 1st but would wait to see if there is a shortage of gas after the winter, according to FT. India is planning to lower gold import duty to prevent the increase in smuggling, according to Reuters sources. Spot gold has been waning from its USD 1,935.41/oz overnight peak, with traders citing profit-taking following the yellow metal’s recent run higher. LME Copper printed a +6month peak overnight given the positive demand picture and supply-side concerns regarding Peru. Geopolitics Joint French-German statement following a summit between French President Macron and German Chancellor Scholz stated they will support and assist Ukraine for as long as necessary and they support efforts to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes, according to Reuters. Furthermore, French President Macron commented at the summit that he doesn’t rule out sending Leclerc tanks to Ukraine and that training time needs to be taken into account, while he added that sending tanks should not endanger France’s own security. German Defence Minister Pistorius said he thinks there will be a decision soon regarding tanks for Ukraine whichever way it may fall, while it was also reported that German Foreign Minister Baerbock said Germany would not stand in the way if Poland sends Leopard tanks to Ukraine, according to Reuters and French television LCI. A Russian warship armed with hypersonic missiles will participate in joint naval exercises with China and South Africa in February, according to Reuters. Russian Kremlin says that there have been no announcements yet on whether President Putin will run for another term in office in 2024. EU ministers have agreed a new sanctions package against Iran, according to the Swedish EU Presidency. US Event Calendar 10:00: Dec. Leading Index, est. -0.7%, prior -1.0% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Morning from an exceptionally cold and misty England. I've been feeling dreadful after a virus struck me down on Friday. I've had three very bad colds since the end of November, an ear infection, and now a virus that for the first time in this spell has given me a fever! My wife has had a similar path over the last two months and the kids have all had strep A. The difference is that within 2-3 days they bounced back completely whereas us old timers can't get a break this winter and have to look after their hyperactivity at the weekends while we lie on the sofa feeling sorry for ourselves. We've done more covid tests as a family recently than we needed to do throughout the entire pandemic. All negative! I can only assume that our immune systems had a break for 2 plus years around covid and are now taking a winter to rev back up! We'll get the latest health check on global growth momentum this week amid releases of Q4 US GDP (Thursday) and global PMI numbers (tomorrow). US leading indicators today will also be of note as we are around levels only previously associated with recessions. In addition, PCE, personal spending (both Friday) and durable goods orders (Thursday) will also be released. Key central bank events will include the BoC decision, and Summary of Opinions and minutes from the BoJ's shock December meeting (all Wednesday). In earnings, all eyes will be on Microsoft (tomorrow), Tesla and ASML (both Wednesday), amongst others. The Fed are now in their blackout period so the usual mini vol around Fed speakers won't be there this week. However, there are quite a few growth signposts to engage markets. We'll expand upon a few of the key upcoming events now. It's not a top tier release but today's US leading indicators (consensus -0.7% vs -1.0% last month and likely around -5.5% YoY) will likely remain at levels only previously associated with recessions. Last month the Conference Board, who publish this series, said the following: “Only stock prices contributed positively to the US LEI in November. Labor market, manufacturing, and housing indicators all weakened—reflecting serious headwinds to economic growth… The US LEI suggests the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening cycle is curtailing aspects of economic activity, especially housing. As a result, we project a US recession is likely to start around the beginning of 2023 and last through mid-year.” This is interesting as we felt when we did our 2023 outlooks we were the opposite way round to consensus. We expected a good start for risk assets this year but a very bad end to the year on our long-standing H2 23 recession call. To be honest, the US data has generally been poorer than anticipated this year so far which is fascinating as markets are rallying hard. We'll get a good read on global growth momentum with tomorrow's global flash PMIs which will take into account China’s reopening and falling gas prices. Then we'll see how growth was faring going into this year with Q4 US GDP on Thursday. Our economists expect +3.2% annualised (consensus +2.7%). Interestingly they expect +1.8% for Q1 with H2 being where the US recession hits. Consensus on Bloomberg is around 0% for Q1 so that's a potential battle ground once actual hard data comes through. Other notable data releases on Thursday include durable goods orders, new home sales, and the Chicago Fed national activity index. All will be closely watched for signs of weakness seen in the data so far this month. Friday’s core PCE release will occupy the Fed's minds on their blackout period ahead of next week's FOMC. Our economists don't expect the same declines as recently seen in CPI as some of the stronger components in PPI last week are better correlated to PCE components. They expect a +0.4% monthly gain in the core PCE price index. With that Fed blackout, ECB speakers will take center stage, especially today with Lagarde being the highlight. Dutch CB chief Knot continued his recent hawkish rhetoric over the weekend suggesting that “We made a step down in December from 75 to 50 basis points — that will be the pace for a multiple number of meetings… So that means at least the two in February and March.” So that will challenge the Euro rates bulls after the recent rally. We saw a big reversal from the yield lows (+20bps on 10yr Bunds) on Thursday (and into Friday) after Lagarde's hawkish Davos commentary. Knot is also on the agenda again tomorrow. You'll see the full list of speakers in the day-by-day week ahead at the end. Back across the pond, the BoC are expected to hike 25bps on Wednesday. A few weeks ago many were expecting a pause but a recent stretch of firm data has moved the consensus back in favour of a hike. Over in Asia, key data releases for Japan will include the aforementioned PMIs and the Tokyo CPI (Thursday). Aside from the BoJ's Summary of Opinions for the January meeting, the minutes of the December meeting will also be released and our economists highlight the importance of analysing how the decision to double the yield curve control range was reached. Elsewhere in the region, the Lunar holidays will curtail a lot of the week's activity with many bourses shut until midweek with China shut all week. In corporate earnings, Microsoft will kick off the reporting season for Big Tech tomorrow, with the rest of the group reporting next week. All eyes will be on Tesla post-market on Wednesday ahead of earnings from traditional automakers next week as investors try to grasp trends for EV demand. Other earnings highlights are in the calendar at the end. This morning in Asia many major equity markets are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday with, as mentioned, mainland Chinese markets remaining shut until January 30. Amid a subdued trading, the Nikkei (+1.21%) is the standout performer, mirroring Friday’s strong finish on Wall Street after a broad rally in the US tech stocks. Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 (+0.12%) is also trading in positive territory in early trading. In overnight trading, US equity futures tied to the S&P 500 (-0.09%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.09%) are just below flat ahead of the start of a busy week of earnings. Meanwhile, yields on 10yr USTs (-1.28bps) edged lower to trade at 3.47% as we go to press. Yields on 10yr Japanese Government Bonds (0.38%) remained below the BoJ’s 0.5% ceiling after the central bank said it will provide 1trn yen of collateralised loans for banks as it attempts to keep rates from rising. In the FX market, the dollar index (-0.24%) declined for the fourth consecutive day to trade at 101.78 amid concerns over US economic growth. Recapping last week now. The strong start to the year for risk assets took a bit of a pause mid-week on heightened US recession risks, only to close out strongly again. The S&P 500 rose sharply on Friday (+1.89%) to leave the S&P 500 'only' down -0.66% on the week. Tech stocks led the rally on Friday with the NASDAQ up +2.66% (up +0.55% on the week), with positively received earnings releases from the likes of Netflix, and news of cost reduction at Google, helping. The Stoxx 600 rallied +0.37% on Friday but was fairly flat (-0.09%) on the week. Bonds also saw decent sized swings on the week with the 10yr Treasury yield +8.7bps to 3.48% on Friday, their largest move up since mid-December, but still down -2.5bps for the week but having traded as low as 3.32% on Wednesday. Over in Europe, there was a similar sell-off on Friday in fixed income as the market had to face a hawkish end to the week from the ECB speakers (especially Lagarde). 10yr bunds rose +11.2bps on Friday to 2.177%, the largest increase since the end of December, although for the week as a whole they were up just +0.9bps. Yields on 10yr OATs (+14.0bp) and BTPs (+21.8bps) also increased significantly on Friday but were down -0.9bps and -1.8bps for the week respectively. Commodities again had a decent week following continued optimism surrounding China’s reopening. WTI crude was up +1.82% over the week to $81.31/bbl (+1.22% on Friday), its highest closing level since mid-November. Brent crude also rallied over the week, up +2.476% (+1.71% on Friday). Tyler Durden Mon, 01/23/2023 - 08:02.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 23rd, 2023

72-Year-Old Suspect In Monterey Park Shooting Reportedly Kills Himself

The suspect sought by authorities for the Monterey Park shootout has reportedly shot and killed himself. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaJan 23rd, 2023

Where Did All The Workers Go?

Where Did All The Workers Go? Authored by Bret Swanson via The Brownstone Institute, In a November 30, 2022, speech on “Inflation and the Labor Market,” Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell blamed most of the 3.5 million estimated shortfall in the US labor force on premature retirements. He also blamed a large portion – between 280,000 and 680,000 – on “long Covid.” In a footnote, however, Powell acknowledged a far more somber factor: an estimated 400,000 unexpected deaths among working age people.  It’s easy to blame these deaths on Covid-19. The virus is of course one significant cause. But it’s not nearly the only cause, especially among young and middle-age workers. We need better government data transparency to make a full assessment. Until then, we can proceed with others who track mortality for a living – life insurance companies.  The Great Divide – 2020 vs. 2021 In 2020, Covid-19 took many lives, even among select groups of middle-age people, specifically those with comorbidities such as diabetes. In 2020, Covid did not take very many lives of healthy young and middle-age people – for example, the types of people who are employed at large and mid-size companies and who have group life insurance. As you can see in the chart below, group life insurance benefit payments in 2020 were barely higher than in 2018.  In 2021, however, group life payments exploded by 20.7 percent over the five year average and by 15 percent over the acute pandemic year of 2020. Why would healthy young and middle-age people suddenly begin dying in large numbers in 2021 when they’d navigated 2020 with relative success? Especially when we consider that in 2021, the US administered 520 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. Shouldn’t healthy people employed in good jobs with good benefits, now protected with vaccines, have fared better in 2021 than in 2020? Surely, overdoses and suicides have risen in recent years. But those causes of death are less prominent among the group life cohorts in general, and the latest data confirm these were not drivers of the group life surge. Curiously, two of the largest spikes in 2021 came from deadly automobile accidents and non-automobile accidents. Millennial Mortality Let’s look at a few of these young adult age groups in more detail. In the charts below, we’ve broken out total all-cause deaths into three groups – 30-34, 35-39, and 40-44. Eyeballing the age group charts alone shows that factors other than Covid-19 itself must have driven large portions of the mortality spike in young and middle-age workers. (We are using official statistics, which likely overstate Covid mortality and understate non-Covid mortality. It’s the best we’ve got for now.) The most important overall point is that 2021 was far worse for young and middle-age people than 2020.  Another key point is that 2022 was also worse than 2020, though not as bad as 2021.  Mortality rates in 2022 were still dramatically higher than the pre-pandemic baseline. In the three charts above, we estimate 2022* total deaths because November and December are still provisional and subject to upward revisions. We’ve made what we believe are reasonable projections. The % change figures are relative to the 2018-19 average. These are absolute numbers not adjusted for population growth or cohort size. Covid-19 hit hard in 2020, especially for the old, vulnerable, and comorbid. In other words, Covid-19 took many of the most unhealthy from us in 2020. In principle, therefore, a smaller number unhealthy people might have been susceptible to Covid-19 in 2021 and 2022. High mortality years are often followed by low mortality years. After two successive high mortality years, the third year is even more likely to be low-mortality. For 2022 to be as bad, or somewhat worse, than 2020, is thus a big surprise. Last year’s milder Omicron variants make 2022’s stubbornly high mortality rate even more baffling.  All-cause mortality is crucial to understand whether public health policies are working. All-cause numbers can also help expose faulty reasoning when overly narrow, overly complicated, or overly clever analyses miss or hide important signals. For example, an analysis which purported to show lockdowns reduced Covid deaths but which neglected to show other deaths rose even more, would not reflect the totality of the policy’s effects. Likewise, a chemotherapy which shrinks tumors but kills patients may be successful in its narrow task yet fail the larger mission. Most analysts and health authorities studiously ignored all-cause over the last three years. The all-cause figures above show our Covid policies were far from successful. For other purposes, however, it’s helpful and even necessary to drill down on specific causes. Important signals can also be lost in large groupings – Simpson’s paradox, for example, is a common statistical illusion. (Few have dug deeper, with as much specificity, as John Beaudoin, an engineer from Massachusetts who gained access to his state’s digital death records for the last eight years. He shows that specific causes of death spike and fall at important moments and periods. CDC data is not organized with such granularity. More on Beaudoin’s analysis in coming weeks…) We know that recent years saw an upswing in drug overdoses and suicides, which accelerated with the pandemic lockdowns. Although these troubling trends cannot explain the enormous and unprecedented all-cause mortality seen above, we should attempt to account for them. Likewise, although Covid-19 did not cause all these record deaths, it was a significant factor.  Employment Aberration So we dig deeper. If we remove both Covid-19 and unnatural deaths (homicide, suicide, overdose, etc.), we see a dramatic spike of natural, non-Covid-19 deaths among working age people beginning in the spring and summer of 2021. The CDC then stopped publishing the detailed data breaking out these particular categories.  But we know this trend continued. In fact, it got much worse. The life insurance companies told us so. On a December 30, 2021, videoconference with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, OneAmerica CEO Scott Davison reported with shock: “And what we saw just in third quarter, we’re seeing it continue into fourth quarter, is that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic.” “40% is just unheard of.” “It may not all be COVID on their death certificate, but deaths are up just huge, huge numbers.” Several months later, Lincoln National reported its 2021 payouts were $1.4 billion, versus $548 million in 2020, a 164 percent rise. As you will remember seeing in our three all-cause charts, August, September, and October of 2021 showed a gigantic upward bubble – the worst ever period of concentrated young and middle-age deaths, at least in modern times.  Heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary embolisms, accidents, and many seemingly-inexplicable sudden deaths, which continued into 2022, and now in 2023. Here is the Society of Actuaries November 2022 update, which goes through June 2022.  Source: Society of Actuaries, Group Life Covid-19 Mortality Survey Report, November 2022. It’s true that the late summer and fall period of 2021 coincided with the Delta wave in the US, which was more infectious and appeared to be more pathogenic than previous variants. (We’ve suggested the mass vaccination programs may have, by exerting extreme evolutionary pressure, driven convergence onto more infectious, vaccine-evading variants. Brand new research just published in the New England Journal of Medicine continues to bolster our escape variant thesis: Substantial Neutralization Escape by SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variants BQ.1.1 and XBB.1.) Federal officials and the medical establishment, you will recall, argued in 2021 that it was a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Even the Society of Actuaries attempts to explain away its alarming findings by implying the deaths are due to lack of vaccination. It does so with crude regressions of excess mortality and bulk statewide vaccination totals as of June 30, 2021.  But remember those 520 million vaccine doses. How can you generate far more deaths in 2021 – ascribing them to unvaccination – with a dramatically smaller number of unvaccinated people? In 2021, perhaps 20-40 percent of these group life insureds were unvaccinated. In 2020, 100 percent of them were unvaccinated, yet mortality barely rose. The math doesn’t come close to working.  The 40-44 age group, for example, suffered 21.5 percent more total deaths in 2021 than 2020. This terrible outcome occurred with less than half the so-called susceptible population due to their unvaccinated status. It’s difficult to assert robust vaccine effectiveness when both doses-delivered and deaths are skyrocketing. On the other hand, the group life insurance data show vaccinated groups may have suffered the worse outcomes. By August, most large and mid-size companies and organizations across the country had vaccine mandates, and most employees complied. Yet these workers suffered extraordinary – indeed, totally unprecedented death rates – in 2021, especially the second half of 2021. Source: Society of Actuaries, Group Life Covid-19 Mortality Survey Report, November 2022. Ed Dowd, a former BlackRock portfolio manager, points to a crucial peculiarity in his book Cause Unknown. Employed people with group life insurance policies are far healthier than their overall population cohort. They typically die at a significantly lower rate, just 30-40 percent of the overall population. This is an iron actuarial law. In 2021, however, as you can see in the chart directly above, these employed Americans died at excess rates far higher than their larger pool of less healthy peers. We could also point to fast-rising disability as a key factor in the worker shortage. Fed chair Powell blames it on long Covid. Once again, however, the timing doesn’t fit that story very well.  To overgeneralize:  In 2020, the vulnerable died of Covid at unusually high rates. In 2021 and 2022, Covid continued its assault, but the young, middle-aged, and healthy also died in aberrantly high numbers of something else. These patterns are repeating across the high-income developed world – Germany, the UK, Japan, South Korea, Australia.  *  *  * Reprinted from the author’s Substack. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/22/2023 - 14:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 22nd, 2023

Top ISIS Security Chief Masquerading As An Asylum-Seeker Arrested In The Netherlands

Top ISIS Security Chief Masquerading As An Asylum-Seeker Arrested In The Netherlands Authored by Thomas Brooke via Remix News, The Syrian national, who has not been identified, faces allegations he led the terror group’s security services before fleeing to Europe to claim refuge... A Syrian asylum seeker was arrested in the Netherlands on Tuesday on suspicion of acting as one of the Islamic State’s top security chiefs during the terror cell’s infamous rise to power in the Middle East. The 37-year-old man was arrested in the village of Arkel, approximately 40 kilometers east of Rotterdam, where he had resided since entering the Netherlands and claiming asylum back in 2019. The suspect is believed to have been in a senior position in the security services of both the Islamic State and, prior to this, Jabhat al-Nusra, another proscribed Salafist jihadist terror group, according to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM). “It is suspected that from his position at IS, he also contributed to war crimes that the organization committed in Syria,” the Dutch public prosecutor said in a statement. “Before that, he supposedly held the same position for two years at another terrorist organization: Jabhat al-Nusra. He is said to have held both positions in and around the Yarmouk refugee camp in the south of the Syrian capital Damascus,” OM added. The arrest followed a tip-off about the suspect’s former alleged involvement with the terror groups to the special Dutch war crimes police team. Following an investigation, authorities reportedly uncovered evidence that suggested he had led the Islamic State’s security service from 2015 until 2018, when he left the organization and fled to Europe seeking refuge. The suspect, who has not been identified, will appear before a judge in The Hague on Friday. The Netherlands has frequently been a target location for numerous former Islamist extremists fleeing Syria following the demise of the Islamic State. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf highlighted two other examples of jihadi leaders slipping into the country among the many thousands of Syrian refugees, highlighting Europe’s incredibly lax screening processes overwhelmed by the numbers who have and are still arriving from the Middle East. One example the newspaper cites is that of Aziz al-H., known as “Balie jihadi” who entered the Netherlands in September 2017 under false papers and lived the high life in Amsterdam for over a year. Fellow Syrians recognized him as a terrorist ringleader once he started turning up at a debate center in Amsterdam, and Aziz was subsequently arrested by authorities. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Another example involved a Syrian national arrested in Kapelle, Zeeland, in 2019. He had been leading an inconspicuous life as a bus driver before evidence was presented to authorities showing his personal involvement in the execution of a Syrian colonel on the banks of the Euphrates River. He was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/20/2023 - 06:55.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 20th, 2023

Smart Home Technology For Your Investment Property

Do you have a rental property? Are you looking for ways to make it more attractive to tenants who might have many options in your community, city, or state? One way to do so is by offering more value for the rent they pay — and you can achieve this with smart home technology. According to […] Do you have a rental property? Are you looking for ways to make it more attractive to tenants who might have many options in your community, city, or state? One way to do so is by offering more value for the rent they pay — and you can achieve this with smart home technology. According to one survey, up to 57.4 million households in the United States are actively using smart home devices this year. This is up 6.7% compared to 2021, when the tally of households actively using smart home technology was 53.8 million. 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); Q4 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   If you want to make your rental property a more attractive option for tenants, include smart home technology. Keep reading to see some smart home options worth considering. Smart Home Technology Investment Options Smart Thermostat If your tenants pay for utilities, they'll be interested in units with smart thermostats. If they are away for large chunks of the day, they can set their smart thermostats so that the temperature isn't higher or lower than it needs to be. When they're away at work during the winter, they can program the smart thermostat so that the temperature isn't any warmer than it needs to be. It'll be possible to program it so that the temperature rises when they return from work. Energy Star notes that people can save about $50 annually using their smart thermostats. That might not sound like a whole lot. But with inflation driving up the cost of living, every saving opportunity counts. The tenants for your rental unit will appreciate being able to save money. Video Doorbell Another smart home technology to consider for your rental unit is a video doorbell. Occupants will have an extra layer of security since they'll be able to check who is at the door without having to walk to the door physically. Whether they're in bed, in the living room, in the kitchen, or away from the rental unit, they'll be able to check who is at the door. A video doorbell can also deter would-be crooks from burglary attempts. Thieves prefer easy targets, so seeing a video doorbell that can capture them in the act is enough to dissuade most bad actors. Equipping your rental unit with a video camera could appeal to tenants. They'll feel safer, which could be enough to differentiate your rental property from other properties. Smart Home Security System It's always been a good idea to install a sound home security system. But a smart home security system is another matter entirely. Such a setup will include various physical electronic components that work together to safeguard your rental property. It can consist of the following: Smart security cameras Motion sensors that detect motion and send notifications if motion is detected Glass break sensors that will send alerts if glass is broken Entry sensors to detect whenever someone enters or leaves the rental unit An alarm to warn of any potential danger and potentially frighten off crooks Smart Wireless Camera It's essential to remember that wireless cameras can come as part of a complete home security system or as a stand-alone option without the alarm, the keypad, and other components. Sometimes wireless cameras can simply be about providing peace of mind for tenants. So, if they want to check the house's perimeter without going outside at night, they can do so via wireless cameras. All they'll need is access to their computer, tablet, or laptop. Another reason to consider installing wireless cameras is if your tenants have pets. If your tenants are out and about, they might take comfort in being able to check in on their pets. Wireless cameras ensure that they can check in from wherever they are. Furthermore, installing wireless cameras without all the other components will be a more cost-effective option. Voice-Controlled Smart Speaker Did you know that the worldwide smart speaker market is expected to grow to $6.5 billion this year and, according to IMARC Group, could skyrocket to $27.5 billion by 2028? According to the research firm, smart speakers refer to wireless, internet-enabled devices that are equipped with integrated voice assistants that help people with everyday tasks. Perhaps you've already used one. They have voice recognition technology, so they decipher and respond to voice commands. For instance, if you have the Amazon Echo Dot voice-controlled smart speaker with the Alexa voice assistant, you can ask something like the following: "Alexa, what's the forecast for tomorrow?" The voice assistant will then respond with the weather forecast for your area. But voice assistants don't just provide weather updates, as useful as that can be. They can also play music, stream live news, set alarms, answer questions, read e-books, set reminders and timers, and more. You can also use a voice-controlled smart speaker, according to IMARC, for GPS navigation and even to control smart home devices. So, the use cases are many. Consider voice-controlled smart speakers if you want to offer tenants a tool that will offer convenience and functionality. They're relatively inexpensive and do provide value. All you need is internet access to offer tenants the benefits of voice-control smart speakers. Smart Smoke Detector Whether it's your primary residence or a rental property, you'll want to protect your investment. One way you can do so is by installing smart smoke alarms. It's certainly a good idea to install them in your rental units. When smart smoke alarms detect smoke or carbon monoxide, they can send alerts to your tenants' smartphones. Tenants will also be able to control smart smoke alarms remotely. It can be a game-changer by providing an extra layer of security for tenants and their pets, if you allow pets in your investment properties. Safety should be a priority. And tools like smart smoke detectors can help protect your tenants and your rental properties as well. Smart Plug Another smart feature for your rental properties is a smart plug. When you install smart plugs in your rental units, you'll transform the way tenants interact with their appliances, even if they're someplace other than home. Smart plugs are plugged into regular electrical outlets. They're then controlled by apps that tenants can use to control their appliances or anything else plugged into the smart plug. So, if they have a standing lamp plugged into one, they can have it automatically switch itself on at night or off in the morning. That's not only about convenience; it's also about saving money. Smart plugs can help tenants be more responsible about their energy consumption. They can choose when and how long appliances or plug-in lamps are on. If tenants are responsible for their own utilities, then offering smart plugs will be an even more appreciated feature. If you are responsible, then you'll do the saving. But when you consider how cost-effective smart plugs are, you'll realize they're worth buying. Smart Lightbulb Smart bulbs are easy to install. In fact, you can install them the same way you would install any traditional lightbulb. So, it's one of the more cost-effective smart home upgrades you can pursue for your rental properties. If you do some research, you'll find that smart bulbs can last for 25,000+ hours of use. That's a long time by any stretch of the imagination. This means your tenants will save money over the long run if you install smart bulbs. These options are also better for the environment since they don't have mercury, as do fluorescent bulbs. If you can save money while doing the best thing for the environment, that's a win-win. Just keep in mind that tenants will need to download an app to use smart bulbs. Once they have it on their smartphones or tablets, they'll be able to operate the smart bulbs whether they're at home or on the road.   Smart Garage Opener If you rent out a home with a garage, there's a good chance that a garage opener is already in place. But is it a smart garage opener? If it's not, it's worth upgrading to get the features that come with a smart garage opener. A smart garage opener won't just open and close your garage door. Instead, the unit will send activity alerts directly to your tenant's smartphone. The tenant will also be able to determine who can have access to the garage. A smart garage opener can also alert your tenant if the garage door is inadvertently left open. That can be a game-changer since leaving a garage door open by mistake can lead to problems like theft or even worse. And That's Not All… It's possible to get many other features as part of a smart home security system. Your tenants can keep tabs on what's going on inside and outside their rental units no matter where they are. They can set things up so they're alerted if there's a problem. If a service provider monitors the system, then the authorities can be dispatched as required. These are some of the things you do to make your investment property more attractive to renters. If you want more tips on how to offer people what they want as a property owner, consult with a property manager experienced at helping property owners to find suitable tenants. The right property manager can improve the investment property ownership experience with smart home technology. You'll get help with necessary maintenance and repairs, updating your rental property so it's competitive in the rental market, finding suitable tenants, and more. Article by Deanna Ritchie, ReadWrite.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 19th, 2023

Davos Highlights: David Solomon, David Rubenstein, Albert Bourla And Much More

Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcripts of CNBC interviews which aired on CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” (M-F, 5AM-6AM), “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET), “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM) and “TechCheck” (M-F, 11AM-12PM) today, Wednesday, January 18th for Davos 2023 in Davos, Switzerland. Interview with Pfizer Chairman & CEO Albert Bourla Bourla On China And […] Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcripts of CNBC interviews which aired on CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” (M-F, 5AM-6AM), “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET), “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM) and “TechCheck” (M-F, 11AM-12PM) today, Wednesday, January 18th for Davos 2023 in Davos, Switzerland. Interview with Pfizer Chairman & CEO Albert Bourla Bourla On China And Vaccines ALBERT BOURLA: Everybody has their own healthcare priorities and how they want to be able to control it. They have their own, apparently they have their own vaccines, they rely on Chinese vaccines and as far as I know, they didn’t ask for western vaccines, but they did ask for treatments from the west. 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); Q4 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Bourla On CDC Investigation BOURLA: What the CDC said was they saw a signal in one small little database and as a result, they triggered a very comprehensive review of all the databases in existence and they discovered nothing. Bourla On Pfizer Vaccine Safety BOURLA: Irrelevant from conspiracy or not, we have a team that constantly does this. They are collaborating with major scientific institutions and they are doing with them and alone ourselves digging into databases and we constantly review and analyze data. It’s not a signal, although we have distributed billions of doses. Bourla On Covid Strains BOURLA: Every time a strain comes up, we treat it like it would be a suspicious strain. We start working on it. Once we discover there is, we start working on it to see if we’ll overcome protection of the vaccine. Possibility, immediately we develop a kind of vaccine just in case the authorities will ask us to do it. Bourla On RSV Vaccine BOURLA: For us, we submit it. So we’re going to get it whenever the FDA will provide this approval. We have priority review because of the strong data and the disease doesn’t have any vaccine right now. Interview with Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman Friedman On Interest Rate Environment ADENA FRIEDMAN: I think there's still a lot of unknowns that people want to see have a little more certainty around most notably the interest rate environment and what I think we should expect is within the first three to four months, we'll have a pretty known interest rate environment. Friedman On Recession Concerns FRIEDMAN: I'd like to think that we don't actually have to plan for a recession. And it's not it's not an absolute certainty that it's going to happen. But what people really want is a known environment, right. So they want to understand their cost of capital as a company. We want to understand that in terms of underwriting investments, as an investor, you need to understand that in terms of you to model investment, and then understand what your hurdle rate is, in terms of your investment return versus your cost of capital. If we can get to that point where we have a known interest rate environment, even if inflation is still a little elevated, I think we can operate in that environment for a long time. That will allow investors to make decisions on companies to make capital allocation decisions. And I think we're gonna end up hopefully, even you know, starting a recession, but even if we live in one for a little while, we'll know the environment and that it creates a better environment for investors Friendman On The Cost Of Growth FRIEDMAN: This notion of growth at all costs is gone for some period for the foreseeable future. I, the cost of capital is real. So, money costs money and so access to capital is going to have some sort of consequence. That'll make it so companies are making more discerning investment choices in terms of how to grow and expand their business. They're going to be focused on cash flow a little bit more, I think probably a lot more. And then I think investors are going to underwrite companies that can show profitable growth or a clear path to profitability. And in that in that environment, that's a nice sustainable way for us to manage for a while and a much more sustainable market environment as well. Friedman On Digital Transformation FRIEDMAN: The digital transformation of the economy is something that's going to happen. It's happening. It's an unstoppable force. I think companies will continue to focus on that making their use of their data much more strategic, being able to leverage their infrastructure much more efficiently. And frankly, with the labor environment, they're trying to do more with less. So they want that technology, that technological transformation is real. I think that's one of the threes, right? That's the one that's going to go into three and then they're gonna have to look at what what growth pillars are really painful and as like we have three key growth pillars and we're continuing to be very bullish on us. But we have to make sure we're very efficient internally to be to have the benefit to be an investment Friedman On Blockchain And Crypto FRIEDMAN: I think that the blockchain technology continues to be something that could have really interesting, you know, for in finance but when you look at cryptocurrencies that that particular ecosystem went through a massive reckoning. And I like to say that way you kind of saw what would happen in the framework, that there was no regulation, right? It's just, you have to think about regulation is actually helping create sustainable high integrity, trusted markets. I also think about the crypto world we had, it's lost trust, it's lost the confidence of investors. So what's gonna happen next, I don't think it's gonna die. I think, frankly, there are going to be there certain cryptocurrencies that have real utility. More adults want to come into the room. And it is time for, it's time for some really trusted players to come into the space. However, the regulatory environment needs to be clarified. Interview with Accenture CEO Julie Sweet Sweet On Shaping The Economy JULIE SWEET: For us, working with emerging technologies, being ahead of the curve is what we do, and what is most interesting about this work is that because we’re doing it with not-for-profits, governments and companies, we’re actually shaping the technology at scale, and that’s, you can’t put a price on that. Sweet On Metaverse Use Cases SWEET: Consumers want to do it. 55% all say they want to do it in the next 12 months. Industrial metaverse – huge. Enterprise metaverse – I’ve already got 150,000 people going through it to onboard. First diversity fair in the metaverse starting next month. The use cases are enormous. Interview With NYSE President Lynn Martin Martin On Pipeline LYNN MARTIN: The pipeline is strong. The pipeline’s never been stronger. The power of the public market currency has never resonated more than it’s currently resonating. However, as you know and as you report on every day, we’re in a period of deep uncertainty, and that’s being reflected by the market. Market doesn’t like uncertainty. So what that’s caused is CEOs of companies looking to go public have postponed their plans, and they’re just waiting for the market volatility to abate. Martin On Coming To Market MARTIN: We’re excited about the pipeline. We’re excited about the amount of innovation that’s coming to market. We’re just really looking forward to the time when the market volatility could abate just a bit so some of these amazing companies could come public. Martin On Crypto MARTIN: I’ve long said that crypto is a market in need of regulation. We need to know what the regulatory guideposts are. We need to know what a framework is to bring this asset class under the more traditional structures that have served volatile markets, volatile periods well, and that’s more the centrally traded, centrally cleared types of frameworks. Interview with EY Global Chairman & CEO Carmine Di Sibio Di Sibo On Market Optimism CARMINE DI SIBIO: I think people are starting to think that maybe the major markets in the world are getting inflation under control. Maybe with China opening in terms of COVID, there'll be more physical interaction between individuals which will be helpful in terms of any kind of relationships, in particular on the business side. Interview With Cisco Chairman & CEO Chuck Robbins Robbins On US And China CHUCK ROBBINS: I think it’s more important from a global stability perspective more so than it is about whether I invest in China or not. I think we need the U.S. and China to find a way to compete and disagree but do it in a way that it works for the global economy. Robbins On Recession ROBBINS: Somebody asked me last night, what are you hearing from all of your peers? And I said, well publicly everybody’s being asked are we going to have a recession, and most people are saying, yeah we’re going to have a mild one. Beyond that we’re not really talking about it. And I think most people are generally over the mid-term and long-term very optimistic, and hopefully it turns out to be like Davos. If everybody’s talking about a recession, it won’t be as bad because we’re just going to be wrong. Robbins On Companies Investing ROBBINS: The pandemic taught the C-suite executives and government leaders around the world really up close and personal the power of this technology and what it can do, and I think they’re now understanding. Whether it’s connecting industrial systems to the internet or changing the way you interact with your customers, companies are investing. Interview with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Kemp On Being In Davos BRIAN KEMP: I'm here selling our great state. I mean, we have so many good things going on in our economy. We've had two record years in a row with job growth and investment. Our mid-year numbers that I got while I was on the way out here are set to break last year's record if you take out in the Rivian and Hyundai deals which you don't get those maybe once in a decade if you're lucky if that. So we're still doing incredible even in this environment. Kemp On EV Legislation KEMP: Well when the legislation passed, it treated our Georgia based companies unfairly. You know, it helped because we're, you know, I think a right to work say I believe the legislation the way it was drawn up and passed was designed to help the union base workforce in other states. You know, we made that aware to our US senators. Before the legislation passed, we worked with the White House and them since to get some changes so that just every company that's building electric vehicles in the United States is treated fairly. That's all we're asking for. It's unfortunate that was not the case when the legislation passed and we continue to urge them to fix it. Interview with Goldman Sachs Chairman & CEO David Solomon Solomon On Consumer Business DAVID SOLOMON: We probably took on more than we should’ve, too much too quickly. But I think we now have a very good deposits business. We’re working on our cards platform, and I think the partnership with Apple is going to pay meaningful dividends for the firm over time. We have this acquisition of GreenSky. We think it’s a good business and so we’re going to give people a clearer view, there’s more transparency around how they can contribute. Solomon On Executing Goldman’s Strategy SOLOMON: We’re focused on executing our strategy. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last few years. We’ve got more to do, but I think the firm is incredibly well-positioned. And we have a business mix that’s very sensitive to capital markets activity and asset prices. We’re trying to evolve that, but we still have a distance to go and we’re working on it. Solomon On Job Cuts SOLOMON: During the pandemic for 2 and a half years, we stopped our normal process of reviewing underperformers for 2 and a half years. The environment’s changed, and we made the difficult decision and it’s kind of a reset, and I think it was the right decision, and it positions us very well as we go forward as we see the environment forward. So I hate the fact that we had to do it, but given how we’ve grown the firm and the headcount, it was the right decision to do. Solomon On Views Of Soft Landing SOLOMON: I think the sentiment is softening a little bit and the view the chance of a softer landing both in the U.S. and Europe is actually increasing. Our economists, you know, our economics team has been pretty soft landing over the last 6 months. I was more in a position because I was talking to CEOs who have been more cautious that I was more uncertain. But I see CEOs softening a little bit. Solomon On Dealmaking SOLOMON: Dealmaking has slowed a little bit, but I point you to our M&A revenues in the 4th quarter and the relative performance of our M&A franchise. We’re still seeing good performance in our M&A franchise, but it’s off the peak. Interview with Liberty Global CEO Michael Fries Fries On Broadband In The Pandemic MICHAEL FRIES: In the broadband business, the pandemic wasn't that bad to us, right? Nobody was disconnecting internet or mobile during the pandemic, they were actually looking for faster speeds and more connectivity. So we kind of did pretty well during the pandemic period. And I think, you know, we're an essential service and that's been positive. Fries On Cable TV Business FRIES: I think the pay TV business or the cable TV business traditionally has done better in Europe, principally, because streamers came later. And I think the broadcasters in Europe are actually pretty strong. Fries On Fixed Wireless FRIES: US cable guys have started selling horizons mobile product and they're having to get to four or 5 million customers, each still small. In Europe, one out of every two broadband subscribers takes a mobile product from us, I think in the US, it's 20%. So we're highly converged and we're approaching each home and each business with a fixed and mobile proposition and with equal, equal weight and equal dependence fixed wireless, which is trying to provide 5G access to the rural markets. Not as big an issue here because Europe is dense and urban. Interview with Guggenheim Partners CIO Anne Walsh Walsh On Being Ahead Of Market Peers ANNE WALSH: We’re a little ahead of our market peers in terms of our viewpoint. Our market peers are sort of anticipating a recession maybe at the end of 2023, maybe into 2024. But we think that this quantitative tightening, which is both a combination of rate hikes, which we anticipate the Fed will continue. Certainly the market has priced in 2 25-basis-point rate hikes this year still. And of course the addition of the quantitative tightening coming from the reduction of the balance sheet will also help to drive down prices further. So all this is sort of feeding into our narrative for this year. Walsh On Time To Reposition WALSH: I think this is a time to reposition portfolios. As a long time fixed income manager, there’s one thing the Fed has done for us, and they put the income back in fixed income. So right now, there’s a very good time to be in investment-grade fixed income relative to equities. Equities haven’t repriced yet, and as we go through a recessionary timeline, we will see that. But certainly right now, the fixed income story is a good one. Interview with Carlyle Group Co-Founder & Co-Chairman David Rubenstein Rubenstein On Inflation Concerns DAVID RUBENSTEIN: I think the Fed has telegraphed that it's likely to do 25 basis points at its February meeting, and they haven’t telegraphed it but it’s probable that they'll do maybe 25 in March and then I think they'll pause for a while and see what the impact is. And hopefully by the end of the year, they might be able to do the reverse and actually begin to lower rates. That's the hope. Rubenstein On The Best Time To Invest RUBENSTEIN: In my own view is that the best time to invest is when there's some uncertainty or when the economy is seen to be a little bit nervous in terms of where it's going. That's the best time to invest. It’s not when the markets are going this way. RUBENSTEIN: It's a good time to invest now because I think the markets are not going to see another 20% drop in public prices. I think that's probably past us. I think we're probably coming back to the point where people are gonna feel very comfortable investing at least in my view. I think prices between the sellers and buyers are still a big gap and because the sellers are are afraid that— ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: They're holding on. RUBENSTEIN: Right and the buyers don’t want to look stupid by buying now but there's too big a gap and it's that is a bigger problem than anything else right now. Rubenstein On Congress RUBENSTEIN: I do think that in terms of fiscal policy, Congress is not likely to default in my view, they will go right up to the end. And then at the end, somebody will plank and I think that's probably a good thing. The markets are not going to want to have a default. We've never had a default. I think that's not a good thing. And I think we shouldn't be playing chicken but I think— Rubenstein On China RUBENSTEIN: When you change your government policy, you can't do it overnight so quickly. All of a sudden, it looks like you were making a mistake before. So you evolve. And I think the Chinese government is now evolving from a complete Covid shutdown to the kind of more different different Covid policy. I think they would like a better relationship with the United States and they are astounded that we think they're going to invade Taiwan sometime soon. They just don't think that's in the cards for them. So I don't think they are against having a better relationship. The real problem, I think, is the US doesn't have a situation where we can get into a better relationship with China without causing all the Republicans to be upset with Biden and vice versa. Interview With Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi Khosrowshahi On Consumer Spend DARA KHOSROWSHAHI: Consumer spend remains strong and a lot of people are thinking about, oh, there’s a recession coming, etc., there’s demand weakness. We obviously haven’t announced our results, but generally I’d say across the world the consumer stays strong, and we’re a consumer company in terms of demand. Khosrowshahi On Uber Drivers KHOSROWSHAHI: We need more drivers. We are now the single largest source of work in the world. There are 5 million drivers. Not gig work. Work in the world. There are 5 million drivers on our platform, and we could add another 500,000 drivers tomorrow and they would have work, so we absolutely need to add drivers. Khosrowshahi On Inflation KHOSROWSHAHI: At the same time, 70-80% of drivers who are joining the platform are saying that one of the reasons they’re joining the platform is because of inflation. It is because of cost of living and earning on Uber is helping them buy their groceries or otherwise continue to live their lives. Khosrowshahi On Volatility In Earnings KHOSROWSHAHI: There’s volatility in the earnings. You have good days, you have bad days, there are good situations, etc. And if we can remove some of that volatility, which means benefits, minimum earning standards, etc., we can actually make driving more attractive. Interview With Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel Bancel On RSV Vaccine STEPHANE BANCEL: So pre-Covid in 2019 if you look at the respiratory viruses that drove specialization in the US and around the world, RSV was number two. It's not very well known. It used to be not tested. And because there's no vaccine, nobody really talks about it. There's a flu vaccine, of course, as you know, and so as we just looked at the impact on the world, hospitalization and death, we need to find a solution. And so we deployed the mRNA technology and actually if you look at one of the amazing things about this technology is we started with Phase I for the RSV vaccine in January 2021, just after the COVID-19 vaccine was approved and here we are just 24 months after, we are now seeing Phase III positive data. Bancel On How Covid Is Handled BANCEL: I think governments and industry have to work together. We're, of course, the scientific and academic community to figure out how do we educate people? How do we share the real-world evidence? Bancel On Combining Vaccines BANCEL: We're trying to combine them so we currently have in the clinic Covid booster and flu booster in one dose. Covid booster, flu booster and RSV also in one dose because I agree with you when we talk to consumers, people don't even remember now did I get a Covid shot this winter or the flu shot? Think about when you had third one- for people who are 50 or 60 years old. Interview with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker Pritzker On Crime J.B. PRITZKER: Crime is coming down gradually in the city and across the state. It’s going to take a little while. These things don’t come down immediately. But it’s getting better. Pritzker On Jobs And Business PRITZKER: We’re in a much better fiscal situation in the state and a much better position to help businesses. It has not been a high tax state. 4.95% individual income tax is not a high rate. We’re not raising that rate. The rate has remained steady. And we’re attracting jobs and business to the state. Interview With Coca-Cola Chairman & CEO James Quincey Quincey On China JAMES QUINCEY: What matters to our business is the mobility of consumers in the country. Obviously there’s an increase in mobility so that’s going to be good for us. Chinese New Year is a couple of weeks away so we’re going to have to wait and see how that all plays out. We typically don’t know how the end of the year start from the beginning of the year has gone in China until we get past Chinese New Year because it’s such a big occasion for them and with the reopening it’s a little confused so we’ll see. The trajectory of them reopening I’m sure will be very like the U.S. and the European reopens. Quincey On Consumer Stress QUINCEY: Cleary there’s consumer stress you cannot go on long when inflation runs ahead of wages without consumer stress. That happened in the U.S., happened in Europe. Our focus has been we’re going to past on the cost increases come through, whether from services or commodities or other inputs. Of course, we try and adapt our packaging strategy to give the consumers the price point that works for their pocketbook.   Quincey On Commodity QUINCEY: We’ve seen commodity pressure slightly reduce. Obviously, we’re a large corporation, large system so we hedge forward so sometimes commodities come up and then come down but the underlying price is still higher today than it was necessarily before. Quincey On Inflation QUINCEY: The inflation has moved to the service sector, to the wage sector and so some costs are slowing down and some are ramping up if you like, but overall, I think everyone’s expectation is that the inflation pressure will soften if only we’re going to start comparing to the high numbers from last year. Quincey On Having The Right Portfolio For Consumers QUINCEY: The number one thing about us is there is no silver bullet. What’s really working for us is having the right portfolio for the consumer and backing it up with the market and innovation. Interview With Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach Miebach On Consumer Resilience MICHAEL MIEBACH: The consumer has been resilient so that’s the headline. And if you peel the onion a bit, what you generally see is depending on the country, the inflation is clearly a trend that is global, but the impact on the consumer has been different country by country depending on policy reactions. Miebach On Credit Delinquencies MIEBACH: If you look across the industry, we talked to our financial services partners, banks and the like, we are still finding our way back to pre-crisis delinquency levels on the long-range normal so it’s still in below average territory. Miebach On How Inflation Is Affecting Business MIEBACH: Medium, short-term, moderate inflation has been good for our business because it raises the overall volume but this is, this is the kind of impact on a business you don’t really want as you look at having a sound economy. Miebach On China MIEBACH: Northeast Asia has been shut and now it’s starting to really gain a lot of momentum. So I think we should all look forward with optimism on what that will do for a global economy. We have seen the last few years, wherever travel restrictions have been removed, people just travel they go and they go out and we expect the same thing here and it’s going to be big volume. Miebach On Blockchain MIEBACH: We have been bullish on blockchain technology and what it can solve so that’s really where our investments went, where we went out to the market to partner with banks and so forth and see how we can further optimize cross-border payments, make them cheaper, more effective, things like that. That’s where our focus was, so the noise that we have, unfortunate noise in the crypto winter, and those are things that we are staying close to to make sure that we protect Mastercard holders there. But, it’s really the focus on technology and what can it do......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 19th, 2023